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Re: Re: Re: Re: flattening of the hands

Posted by: Jack Mankin (mrbatspeed@aol.com) on Mon Sep 15 20:28:44 2003

>>> could you please give me/us your definition of "flattening the hands"? <<<

>>> i really don't have something more specific. i just have a problem sometimes, with interpreting accurately what people mean verbally.
a visual demo accompanied by a verbal explanation is much more accurate in transferring information.
if you would, could you tell me at what point in any/all of nick's recent clips (bonds, guerrero, pujols) the hands are "flat". is it when palm up/palm down occurs? <<<

Hi Ray

Many batters hold the bat in a vertical position in their stance. As they prepare the launch position, the bat is lowered to about a 45 degree angle with the ground. As the swing continues, the bat lowers to about level at what is referred to as the "lag position." Lowering the bat to this position is what most coaches mean by "flattening the hands."

Some coaches believe that the "flat position" is also the optimum launch position. They contend that all the body and arm movement used to get the bat from a more vertical launch position to the "lag position" is just wasted effort. To them, they would be better off initiating the swing from the "flattened hand" position.

Steve Ferroli, in his book "Hit Your Potential," promotes starting the swing from the "flattened hand" position. He, like most coaches, simply do not understand the absolute necessity of the bat attaining a good rearward rate of angular displacement before it reaches the lag position. Ferroli actually believed Ted Williams would have generated as much bat speed starting from that position.

Below are excerpts from Ferroli's book.

"Why did Ted hold his bat vertically? Well, for one reason he personally liked the lighter weight when the bat is held perpendicular to the ground. But hitters don't hit from their stance. They hit from their landing! Therefore, having to bring the bat down to the flattened position from a higher position in the stance is an unnecessary movement."

"I lured my teacher into a sparring session. I said, 'Ted, why not just start with the bat right here?' But, there was no sparring session. Instead, being the number one forefather of technical hitting, he bellowed, 'Why not!'"

"Why not!" -- I can say with confidence that if Ted had initiated his swing with a flat static bat at the lag position as Ferroli proposed -- we would never have heard of him.

Jack Mankin


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