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Re: Jack promised

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Sun Jul 6 18:00:51 2003


>>> Hey Jack,
I was looking forward to your further explanation of the development of the circular hand path promised on July 1st... your students are demanding, eh? thanks a bunch. Rich <<<

Jack Mankin's reply:

Hi Rich:

Understanding how to develop a productive hand-path is very important and I am sorry for the delay in my response. In order to bring the other readers up to speed on the discussion, I reprinted the thread (below).

>>> I have a nine year old son who with very limited coaching hit the ball very very well, his swing was more linear mechanics than anything, knuckles lined up and his wrists broke natuarlly creating excellent batspeed. Last year I purchased the Final Arc video and have pretty much changed alot of what he was doing. He is generating batspeed, but he just dosen't seem as comfortable, there are times when he will crush the ball and other times when he seems to either hit dribblers or little pop flys that can't make it out of the infield. He will hit on the Nedco bat action unit and he will crush the ball for hours, same swing over and over. One thing I have noticed is that his step forward is gone and I can't get him to do it at all. Another thing is that he seems to hit off the end of the bat alot. any ideas? <<<

> Hi Eight

The number one reason rotational mechanics generates greater bat speed than linear mechanics is due to the path the hands take during the swing. In a good rotational swing, about 50% of the bat speed developed come from a circular path of the hands. Both types of mechanics rely on torque to accelerate the bat-head, but with a straighter hand-path (linear mechanics), torque (pushing the back-hand past the lead-hand) must account for 80% (or more) of the bat-speed.

When doing a Swing Review of a batter who is having trouble adapting to rotational mechanics, I usually note that although the batter rotates his or her body, they still extend their hands in a straighter path. Using a straighter hand-path and trying to accelerate the bat-head with Top and Bottom-hand-torque (the rotational method of applying torque to the bat) just does not work efficiently.

Without the bat-head acceleration that comes from the circular-hand-path, the batter quickly falls behind the power curve and must extend the back-arm in an attempt to catch up. There is no way a batter can use Bottom-hand-torque if the back-arm extends. Therefore, it is imperative that your son practices and develops the correct hand-path for rotational mechanics. Once he can accelerate the bat-head using only the path of the hands (no torque applied), he can start adding to that bat speed by adding Top and Bottom-hand-torque.

Eight, other than not taking a timing step, I bet that your sonís problems stem from not generating the correct hand-path for rotational mechanics. I will explain how to develop the circular-hand-path in a July 1 post.

Jack Mankin <

Hi All

In my previous post, I pointed out that getting the body to rotate does not assure you of great bat speed. The key to transferring body rotation into bat-head acceleration is to develope a productive circular-hand-path (CHP). Once you generate good bat speed from the hand-path alone, then torque is added to reach maximum bat speed. But in order to determine how much bat speed is coming from the path of your hands alone (how much body rotation is being transferred into bat speed), you must first isolate torque from the swing (which is the push/pull action of the hands). One way to get the feel of a torque-free swing is by swinging a rubber hose at a ball on a tee. If torque is applied, the hose will bend just above the hands and will add little power to accelerating the end of the hose. You will soon learn that thrusting the hands forward produces poor results. --- Instead, learn to swing, or fling, the hose in a circle (like a ball on the end of a rope) instead of shoving the hands forward (A to B) and the hose will not bend. When translated into swinging a bat, use the same technique for creating a CHP - swing or fling the bat head, rather than shoving the bat handle at the ball. Note, torque is a very important part of the swing, but the first step is to learn a CHP, so that torque can be applied correctly.

To practice a CHP, I like setting up the heavy-bag and having the student swing a light bat with a steering-wheel-knob attached (as shown on the instructional video). First, with the top-hand only, the batter's hand will start up close to the back-shoulder. As the batter rotates, the forearm (of the top hand) will rotate down to horizontal, maintaining a circular path. The back-elbow will be back at the batterís side at contact (in the slot). This circular hand-path creates maximum bat-head acceleration and is the same hand-path the batter will use with both hands on the bat. Once a proper circular hand-path is developed, the batter must learn to add torque (top hand (THT) and bottom hand (BHT)) without altering the circular hand-path. This procedure - applying torque - is explained in the instructional video/DVD.

Although some batters practice and develop CHP, BHT and THT, they never reach full potential because their swing is "too mechanical" (too much tension in the hands and arms). In order to progress, the batter must learn to acquire a good loose launch position and initiate the swing with the correct forces (top-hand holding or pulling back) and then just let CHP, THT and BHT happen. You cannot think your way through a good swing. --- Remember: "A ballistic motion, once initiated, produces trajectories that can only be efficiently changed at its margins." So just set up the swing correctly, stay tension free, and rotate. When you get it right, the bat-head will fling through the contact zone at great speed on a clean plane.

Jack Mankin


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