>>> Following is a link to a file with some frames showing my interpretation of THT. Please let us know if this is correct. How do you teach it? Is the que flatten the hands useful? (The file is best viewed in frame by frame mode)
Demonstrating THT w/Pathfinder
Thanks, Nick >>>
Jack Mankin's reply:
In order to generate maximum bat speed at contact, the better hitters first accelerate the bat-head back toward the catcher before directing their energies around toward the ball. The purpose of Top-Hand-Torque is to apply forces to the bat that will accelerate the bat-head in an arc back toward the catcher. With many hitters, Bonds and Sosa to name a couple, the bat-head is accelerated back in two phases.
The first phase occurs prior to shoulder rotation and we refer to it as "Pre-launch" Torque. During this phase, the batter starts with the bat cocked forward toward the pitcher and has his hands some distance from the back-shoulder. Sosa, as the clip below illistrates, starts with his hands low and forward from the back-shoulder. As he prepares the launch position, his hands (as a unit) are brought up and pulled to the back-shoulder.
Sosa, front view of PLT & THT
The bat-head is being accelerated into the normal launch position by the top-hand being pulled back at a faster rate than the bottom hand (THT). Therefore, the back-forearm is rotation and pulling the hands, as a unit, to the back-shoulder. But the top-hand is being pulled faster causing the bat-head to accelerate rearward. During the pre-launch phase, one can clearly see the rotation of the forearm and the top-hand being pulled up and back (or toward the catcher) before shoulder rotation is initiated.
The second phase of THT occurs during initiation as the bat sweeps into the plane of the lead-arm and shoulder rotation is being initiated. The direction of force applied by the top-hand at initiation continues to be rearward, but the rotation of the lead-shoulder accelerates the hands (as a unit) around and forward. Therefore, once shoulder rotates begins, the hands (as a unit) are viewed moving forward, but the rearward directional force of the top-hand causes the bat-head to be accelerated in an arc around the hands.
Many good hitters do not use pre-launch torque in their swings. They apply THT at initiation as described for the second phase. Since they are applying THT as the shoulder start turning, the hands (as a unit) will always be viewed moving forward. --- Nike, the clips you are showing has the batters starting with the bat at (or past) the normal launch position.
Note: With linear mechanics, at initiation, the direction of force of the top-hand and the hands (as a unit) are both forward. This results in a straighter hand-path. --- With THT, the rearward directional force of the top-hand results in the hand-path being directed more parallel with the catcher's shoulders into a more circular hand-path (CHP).