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Re: Hand position preferences?

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Thu Sep 6 00:24:33 2001

>>>I was unfortunately a good enough hitter as a kid that I was never coached on fundamentals & mechanics (that I remember). I say unfortunately, because now I feel like I could hit much better with some instruction.

I have recently seen diagrams on proper grip (middle knuckles aligned), and noticed that I grab the bat with 3rd knuckles aligned ("choke grip"). The modified and choke grips supposedly reduce bat speed. Does anyone have any thoughts on grip position as relates to bat speed?<<<

Hi RH & Maximum

Below are a couple of posts I made earlier on the grip

"I believe we need to rethink the whole concept of the baseball/softball grip. In fact, the term "grip" can be misleading when referring to the placement of the hands on the bat. We grip an object to prevent it from slipping or rotating in our hands. But there is no one "grip" (no slippage) that will allow the batter to use top-hand-torque and have the bat stay on a good swing plane without serious wrist-binding occurring. --- The bat must be allowed to rotate or slip in the top hand as the swing progresses.

Most of the better pro hitters have a raised back elbow as they prepare for the swing. The raising of the back elbow brings the forearms or top of the hands almost in-line with each other. This means the angle between the wrists is approaching 180 degrees (140 to 180 degrees). But as the swing progresses and the hands are extended (or rotated) toward contact, the angle between the wrist is steadily decreasing toward 10 to 15 degrees at contact.

So batters who start with a raised back elbow and initiate the swing with top-hand-torque must have a "loose grip" with the top hand or face wrist-bind problems. --- Batters who do grip the bat too tight usually have waves in their swing-plane due to the binding of the wrist. --- Note: The bat can be gripped more firmly with the bottom hand.

Kent, lining up the middle knuckles (10 to 30 degree wrist angles) encourages a "swing down" or wood chopping type of swing. Attempting to initiate the swing into a more productive plane with this grip will cause a breakdown of the backside and force the back elbow inward toward the bellybutton. (Topic for another time).

Note: Wouldn't a term like "loose grip" be contradictory?


Welcome to the site. -- I'm sure Tom is more qualified than I to discuss slow-pitch softball grips. But I am finding many problems with the baseball and fast-pitch softball grips that cause the angle between the wrist to be very small. Many coaches have the batter place their hands on the bat so that if the forefingers are extended they will point in the same direction (very small angle between the wrist). This would be the proper wrist angle for a bat at the contact position, but like I said, it causes problems if the batter has that grip as he initiates the swing.

In many videos sent to me for review, I am finding the batter's back-side really breaking down. The lead elbow rises and the back-shoulder drops. As the body rotates, the back-elbow is driving inward under the lead arm almost to the bellybutton. The spine is twisted over and the result is a weak swing. --- I have found that much, if not most, of the blame can be placed on a grip that brings the elbows closer together with little angle between the wrist. -- As the bat-head arcs downward into the plane of the swing, the back-elbow is forced inward toward the batter's belly. The elbow should rotate in an arc at the batter's side and allow the spine to stay straight during rotation.

The key to solving this problem is to take a grip with a much wider angle between the wrist and DO NOT grip the bat tight with the top hand. The top hand must be loose enough to allow it to turn on the bat as the angle between the wrist goes from wide at initiation to narrow at contact. -- Hey guys, this is tough stuff to describe, so cut me some slack - ok ?

Note: For those that think that the tightness of the grip and diving through the ball has a great effect on the balls exit velocity, test results from the article below may give you pause to reconsider.

Grip effect on ball’s exit speed

Jack Mankin


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