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Re: Jack, I Disagree with Your Weight Distribution Position


Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Wed Aug 20 01:58:23 2003


>>> Earlier this summer I asked you if you thought a hitter's weight should be against the inside of the rear thigh at contact, and you disagreed, saying that it should be against the the front thigh. Pardon me, but I would have to take exception to your logic on this issue. Let me validate my point.

In baseball, many pitches are thrown between the waist and the knees. If you do not dip your back shoulder, and sit on your back leg, the weight distribution on your back side will be equal to the weight distribution on your front side. You will lunge, and swing down at pitches going down. Off course, you could also choose to uppercut these pitches, but the angle of intersection with the ball on an uppercut is significantly less than one who implements the slight upswing.

Therefore, on middle-in pitches going down, one must dip their back shoulder, and tuck the rear elbow in. You must not overlook that the rear elbow works up, preventing a person from lunging, and forcing him to rotate around a stationary axis. That means you start with the weight on the inside of the rear thigh. But what happens when you drop the back shoulder, tuck the back elbow, and force the lead elbow up? The weight shifts to the back of the rear thigh!

This is what Mike Epstein called "tilting to avoid the tilt." In other words, you must tilt if you are going to get on the plane of the low pitch. And it can only be accomplished by having the weight situated against the rear thigh. Now your bat is positioned perfectly to execute an upswing flush into the pitch. <<<

Hi BHL

You stated, "This is what Mike Epstein called "tilting to avoid the tilt." In other words, you must tilt if you are going to get on the plane of the low pitch." - A number of good hitters, including Hank Aaron, swung around a more upright axis. On a few of Aaron's home runs, his axis actually leaned forward on some low pitches and he did not swing down at the ball. Therefore, even though I teach hitters to have their axis leaning 10 to 15 degrees away from the pitcher, I cannot call it a "must" or absolute.

BHL, as I tried to explain to you before, you are equating body tilt at contact to having more weight on the back-foot at contact. This is just not the case. Many hitters, especially those with longer strides, have a tilted axis but will have little to no weight on the back-foot at contact. In fact, some will have the back-toe off the ground or sliding forward. I seriously doubt that those hitters feel a lot of weight on the "back of the rear thigh."

I also feel little weight on the back of my rear thigh at contact when I use the extension of the lead-leg to assist in body rotation. Even though my axis is tilted, my front leg seems to be supporting most of my weight through contact. --- As far as controlling lunging, I have found that stressing to the batter to have their lead-shoulder pulling back toward the catcher at contact is more effective (and produces a better swing) than having them drop the back-shoulder.

Jack Mankin


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