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Re: Loopy Swing

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Fri Jan 18 00:32:08 2002

>>> My son has developed a nice rotational swing, but I'm noticing a bit too much of an uppercut in his swing, and its a bit loopy. His hands seem to be going a bit low, and his back shoulder is dropping fairly far. He tends to hit the bottom of the ball too often, and looks like a few pop flies are in his future if we don't make some changes. Any advice on what the problem might be and how to work it out of his swing? <<<

Hi Dan

Without actually seeing your son's swing the mechanical problems I describe and the remedy is problematic at best. But, I have performed a number of swing reviews where the batter has problems very similar to what you have described. --- A looping swing is usually accompanied with a collapsing backside - back-shoulder and hands lowering too much and too early in the swing. You might also notice the lead-leg straightens too soon causing too much weight on the back-leg. It is also common to see the back-elbow slide inward toward the bellybutton (especially on inside pitches).

These problems can occur with a batter who relies too heavily on the back-arm. In order to get the top-hand into a strong driving position, the batter lowers the forearm (and hand) to horizontal much too early. This results in the backside breaking down. He would look similar to a boxer who has lowered his shoulder and arm and is ready to deliver a blow to an opponent's mid-section. His thoughts are mainly centered on using the back-side and one hand.

If we can encourage the batter to make better use of the lead-side as he initiates the swing - the spine will stay straighter - the shoulders will rotate in a more correct plane - he will also make better use of the lead-leg and have better weight distribution. --- The drill I would suggest works best when using a heavy bag. The batter can then concentrate solely on the mechanics of the drill - not the ball.

In the launch position, have your son start with his back-elbow down at his side - the back-forearm is vertical with the hand at the shoulder. The lead-arm is across the chest without any looseness (good linkage from shoulder to bat) As the swing (loose, smooth and easy, ever accelerating) is initiated and shoulder rotation starts, the back-arm should remain vertical with the hand staying at the shoulder. The rotation of the lead-shoulder (through the lead-arm and hand) will apply a pulling force on the knob end of the bat. The pulling on the knob, as the top-hand remains fixed at the shoulder, will accelerate the bat-head around toward the catcher. As the swing proceeds, the back-forearm will start lowering toward horizontal, but the batter should still be thinking "have my lead-shoulder pulling back toward the catcher at contact."

PS: Once he is performing good bottom-hand-torque, he can start raising the back-elbow for top-hand-torque (if he feels he needs to at this age).

Dan, I hope I described the drill well enough to be of help. But as I said earlier, without actually seeing your son's swing, it is just my best guess.

Jack Mankin


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