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Re: Hands

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Sun Dec 10 18:25:12 2000


>>>Whenever I start to swing I am bringing my hands forward to about the front of my back shoulder before I start to bring my hands through the zone. I know it is taking poweer away from me, but I have gotten this bad habit and I can't stop it. If anyone has any ideas feel free to post them. Thanks. <<<

Jack Mankin's reply:

Hi Ryan

Ryan you are certainly right, letting the hands creep forward or away from the body prior to initiation robs your potential to produce power and bat speed. The position of the hands at launch is one of the first things I look for when doing a video review of a swing. As viewed from the pitchers mound, the more of the hands I can see the straighter the hand-path becomes. This means the batter will gain progressively less bat speed from the body's rotation. -- To transfer the energy of the body's rotation into angular displacement of the bat (bat speed) requires an angular motion. -- Like swinging a ball around on the end of a string requires the hands to stay in a circular path. A straight hand-path will not cause the ball or the bat-head to come around.

Gaining little bat speed from your hand-path means you must rely more on torque developed from driving your top hand forward. But much of the bat speed gained from this mechanic will occur late in the swing, after the bat passes through the ideal contact area. This means that many of your at bats will result in flares to the opposite field because the bat is dragging through the zone, and your harder hit balls will be pulled foul. -- The top hand can not apply efficient torque until the lead hand slows at full extension and the top hand has something to push against.

So Ryan, my advice to you is to change your concept of the swing. -- Think of it more as "swinging the bat-head" and less of "shoving the handle." To accomplish this, try not to have the first movement of the hands directed at the pitcher. The first movement should be directed perpendicular to the ball's line of flight. -- Get the hands back with the lead arm across the chest. Do a slight "inward turn" (rotate the hips and shoulders) until your hands disappear from the pitchers view.

Now the most important part -- DO NOT USE THE ARM MUSCLES TO ACCELERATE THE HANDS. The hands are brought around to the contact point by the rotation of the body, not the extension of the arms. Keeping the hands back and allowing body rotation to accelerate the hands will produce an angular hand-path. This will allow you to develop more bat speed much earlier in your swing.

Ryan there is more to the swing than what I just described, but it will get you started off right.

Jack Mankin


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