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Re: Jack: Front Foot Closed

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Wed Jan 25 13:56:37 2006

>>> Not sure why I just thought of this now, but why do you say to land with the stride foot closed? How does the pivoting of the front heel assist in driving the front knee straight?
Cause I have a much easier and quicker time striding to a slightly open front foot. It feels more relaxed, and the pivoting seems like an unnecessary movement that wastes a split second of time to open the hips. I been studying some clips of rotational hitters such as Posada, ARod, Konerko, and even the cartoon guy in the Swing Mechanics strides to an open front foot and doesn't pivot, and the cartoon guy in the booklet shows the same thing on the Launch Position page. So I ask what purpose is there to the pivoting of the front foot? Is it something you came up with for beginners and newbies to the rotational method to provide some kind of cue to make it easier for them to grasp? Is it simply a matter of personal preference, or are Paul Konerko, Jorge Posada, and Andrew Jones doing it wrong? <<<

Hi Dougdinger

When charting hundreds of swings I found no set rule in how much the lead-foot should be open at heel plant. In the best hitters it varied from closed to 45+ degrees open. I teach having the foot closed at toe plant because too many hitters are back-side dominate and tend to open the lead-side prematurely during the stride.

Many back-side dominant hitters are mainly concerned in getting the top-arm in a strong driving position. To accomplish this, they tend to - (1) stride to an open lead-foot - (2) knee pointing toward the pitcher - (3) drop the back-shoulder and forearm to a driving position. They look similar to a boxer setting up to deliver an uppercut to an opponent�s mid-section.

For these hitters to approach their potential, they must learn to make more efficient use of the lead-side to rotate the bat-head to contact. For the bat-head to attain maximum velocity at contact, it must first attain angular velocity rearward to (and through) the lag position. The mental cue I use to accomplish this is - "Rotate the heel - Rotate the bat-head." In other words, they have their foot closed at toe-plant and as they rotate and lower their heel to initiate body rotation, they should also concentrate on accelerating the bat-head rearward - not on driving the knob forward.

I find it discourages a batter from driving the top-hand forward during initiation while concentrating on accelerating the bat-head rearward. -- The same is true for lunging. A batter is less likely to lunge forward while concentrating on having the lead-shoulder pulling rearward at contact.

You stated, "the pivoting seems like an unnecessary movement that wastes a split second of time to open the hips." -- That may very well be the case with your swing. But here is a clip of Pujols - (http://home.comcast.net/~karla.mcnurlin/2b1b.gif ). Note he has a very high and closed heel at toe-plant. Rotating his heel does not seem to slow his swing down.

Jack Mankin


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