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Re: Re: Back Elbow Down

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Tue Jun 27 17:40:40 2006

>> I read the "Back Elbow Down" topic and I am still unclear. Are you recommending the back elbow remain down? Last year my son hit very wellwith the back elbow down. This year his coach taught him "back elbow up" and he has not hit as well. May I have some clarification?

Thank you,

Mike Vick <<

>>> Getting the arm up is the number one hitting myth of all times. If there was a hall of fame for "wrong advise" this would win hands down (no punt intended). It has a life all of it's own. But the fact is that it's entirely wrong.<<<

Hi Mike & Joe

If having the back-elbow elevated was a flawed mechanical position, then almost every great hitter that has ever played the game initiates his swing from a flawed position. In our Archived posts, there are over 50 clips of some of the game's best hitters. If you view those clips frame-by-frame, you will note that they either have the elbow already elevated in their stance, or they elevate it just before initiating the swing.

There is a very positive reason why these great hitters initiate their swings with the elbow elevated. -- They can generate greater power and bat speed from that position. -- With that being said, I do not have my students start with the elbow elevated. As Michael states in his post, the productive use of an elevated elbow requires the use of an advanced mechanic.

Regardless of whether the back-elbow is up or down, the key to a good swing is to NOT drive the top-hand forward (away from the shoulder) as you initiate rotation. However, the natural tendency of most hitters is to do just that -- initiate the swing by driving forward with the top-hand. Having the elbow raised only adds to that problem.

To correct this, I tell the student to start with the elbow down and concentrate on keeping their top-hand back at the shoulder and use the pull of the lead-side to accelerate the bat-head 'first' back toward the catcher. As the tendency to extend the top-hand subsides, I allow them to raise the back-elbow. Why - because they can keep (or pull) the top-hand back toward the shoulder stronger with the elbow elevated than with it down at their side. Plus, the lowering of the elbow aids in pulling the top-hand rearward during initiation.

They are now learning the principle of applying top-hand-torque (THT). The mechanic exhibited by the best of the best.

Jack Mankin


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