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Re: lose grip

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Thu Jul 5 11:53:36 2001

>>> i was told to have a lose grip on my bat is this true it seems to be working so far but i need to know <<<

Hi Coach09

A tight grip that causes tension in the forearms can reduce a batter's ability to generate bat speed. The grip needs to be no tighter than required to keep the bat from flying free.

One of the most important things to remember about the "grip" - is not to grip tightly - at least not while using the top hand mechanics used by the better hitters today to apply THT. The angle between the wrists can constantly change during the swing. Too tight a grip with both hands can cause the wrists to bind and often forces the lead-wrist upward as the bat approaches contact. I refer to this flaw as the "wrist droop."

Some of the major mechanical flaws I see while analyzing players' swings begin with the grip. In fact, I found it necessary to add a video clip to the Swing Review Analysis explaining the "wrist droop" and other problems a hitter can get into by gripping the bat too tight.

When some batters initiate their swing with a high back-elbow, the top of both hands is almost in-line, therefore, this means the angle between the wrists are from 145 to 180 degrees. However, as the swing proceeds and the hands approach contact, this angle wants to decrease to about 15 degrees. If the grip is too tight or the batter's gloves (or bat handle) will not allow the top hand to rotate (or slip) around the bat, there is going to be a large build-up of pressure on the wrists -- especially the lead-wrist. Something will have to give!! It usually results in forcing the lead-wrist upward causing a decrease in bat speed and the bat to wobble through the swing plane.

So, it is difficult to find one "grip" or "knuckle alignment" a batter can maintain from initiation to contact if he plans to use top-hand-torque (raised back elbow) to initiate the swing. The batter should hold the bat lightly with the fingers of the top-hand and allow the fingers to roll (or slip) around the bat as the swing proceeds. A normal grip of the bottom-hand will keep the bat from flying free.

Note: While charting swings for my study, I noted this flaw in some of the major league hitters. At the time, I did not know what caused the "wrist droop" but could tell it did impact their performance. Mike Marshall, for example; was having a good year at the plate for the Dodgers until this flaw appeared. This cut his production to a point that I'm not sure whether or not he even finished the season in the starting lineup.

Jack Mankin


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