How I Teach What Happens to the Hands During the Swing...

by George
(Collier illegal, TN)

Hands near shoulder at start of swing -- let your shoulders pull hands into circular path then...as quickly as you can -- reverse position of hands as the centrifugal force of shoulder rotation move hands away from body. This attempt to instantly (notice i said attempt -- it wont happen instantly) put top hand on bottom will result in your back elbow connecting with hip as barrel moves through hitting zone. Keep rotating barrel as the bat hits ball.


Swing Smarter Response:
Hey George, do you have any analysis video you've done showing this movement?

I get the gist of it, but others in the SwingSmarter.com community may not.

Also, are you saying the shoulders are moving the hands, or the hands help move the shoulders?

I would love for you to include pics and video, as I'm sure everyone else would too.

Thanks for the tip!
Joey

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Explained in a different way...
by: Joey from SwingSmarter.com

Hey George,

I love your explanation shedding different light as to how I see the role of the hands in the swing.

One of my favorite parts is when you said:

"I believe having the batter THINK shoulders pull the hands can aid in teaching an aggressive batter to not let their hands and arms "outrun" the rest of their body -- until the proper time."

You're referring to barrel "drag," and I find it one of the hardest things to UN-teach in a young overly aggressive upper body swing.

I believe yes the hands do work when you hit, but mostly building momentum with the pre-launch torque phase of the swing; where the hitter utilizes the back elbow row (or scapula load) and barrel tilt towards the pitcher or opposing dugout accelerating the barrel before the Impact Zone.

I also agree, the top hand "pushing" through the end of impact, which looks more like keeping the 2-ton fly-wheel turning.

The end to what you so simplified with words...

"...for a RH batter, the right hand starts as top hand, then at low point in swing it becomes bottom hand -- then as the swing is near completion it becomes top hand again as arms are pulled to full extension."

Interesting...

How you describe the hands as the boss, and in an elite swing, they tend to delegate more locomotion processes.

I believe and I know you probably agree,

Big muscles and joints are turning smaller muscles and joints. This rule of the universe holds true with each and every movement our body does, from squatting to lunging, and pressing to pulling...the core begins the energy transfer and communication between our upper and lower halves everyday.

Remember "core" is not just the "6-pack abs," it extends from the bottom of the chest to the top of the knees, and wraps all the way around the body including the sides and backside.

So, from a functional movement point of view, the hands are really just another link in the chain, and borrowing your analogy, I think the CORE is more the boss than the hands and its mastery of movement delegation will decide how elite a swing is or not.

The hands are important but, by far, the core is 85% of the swing. I tell my kids the hands are the end of a whip.

Again, you may agree with all of this and probably meant the hands were the "boss" and "delegated" for the upper half ;)

Thanks so much for simplifying the hand movement George! Let me know what you think...

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Followup to question re: shoulder / hands
by: George

 Question: Are you saying the shoulders are moving the hands, or the hands help move the shoulders?
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Answer: I believe having the batter THINK shoulders pull the hands can aid in teaching an aggressive batter to not let their hands and arms "outrun" the rest of their body -- until the proper time.

But, to answer your question, I must, at the risk of sounding obtuse, say IMHO attempting to answer either of those questions will make you veer away from the path to understanding.

I think it's more like the hands are "in charge" -- but they delegate certain actions to the shoulders rather than try to perform the actions by themselves.

In the tip I submitted, the hands appear to follow the shoulders because they are held close to the shoulder as the shoulders start to rotate. But the hands are not merely hooks holding the bat -- they are actively performing an important finesse move. Before the launch of the swing, they are managing timing of launch with small torque occillating movements of tilting the bat.

At launch, multiple things happen all at once. As batter gets in sync with the pitcher, his hands pivot torque the barrel behind him into the proper swing plane, as shoulders begin to rotate. Batter then attempts to bring his top hand which is behind the handle, to the front of the handle (top hand becomes bottom hand). This causes the back elbow to tuck to or alongside the hip automatically. (there is no need for batter to think about tucking his back elbow)

It is the combination of these two distinct and complimentary movements which cause the bat to whip into the hitting zone and deliver the "early bat speed" you must have at the top levels of hitting.

Note: if you want the full extension after contact you often see in top hitters, try to delay rollover for a micro-second by continuing to turn the bat handle with hands (like was done at first part of swing) until the bottom hand returns to it's original top hand position. To say it a slightly different way, for a RH batter, the right hand starts as top hand, then at low point in swing it becomes bottom hand -- then as the swing is near completion it becomes top hand again as arms are pulled to full extension.

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