Is the Information on SwingSmarter.com Contradicting??
by rod haney
Hitting Information Can Be Contradicting
1. Please excuse key board work, also i am not a wise ass i am serious. You say: tee work developes muscle memory, let the ball get deep, and then say have the tee locate the ball out in front of the plate.
2. You also say bat weights are great, and then provide an article saying they are counter productive.
3. You then say drop ball drills are no good, only to allow a player to work on timing and tempo. I thought drop ball drills developed quickness into the opening of the forearms.
4. You also say barrel speed is produced by the core of the players body not the wrist. How does the power get to the ball if the wrist do not effectively transfer the power. I don't know if this is a story to you or not but it is to me.
Rod, YOU rock!!! I love when people challenge me and ask why...I was never good at doing that until High School...parents, coaches, and players all need to get good at constructively challenging ideas or concepts that don't seem right or sound contradictory. I'd love to clear up some confusion with "my story..."
I split the issues you raised into numbers as seen above, so those reading this can match up questions and answers easily.
1. Tee work is the best at developing quality muscle memory at a slower pace, now the question is, do we set the tee and ball out in front of the plate/stride foot, or "let the ball get deep?"
We have to look at these two things in context...we always always always want to set the ball up on the tee out in front of the plate/stride foot because we want to get extended as smart hitters.
The whole game of baseball is played "out front," so we set up a certain margin for error, just think about it...bunting an incoming pitch, fielding a ground ball, and throwing strikes as a pitcher all need to be out front.
We mention letting the ball get deeper on SwingSmarter.com when we're addressing an outside pitch, NOT a ball thrown down the middle and definitely NOT on the inside corner.
Even so, on an outside pitch, we should be making contact with the ball (depth-wise) lined up with our stride big toe on the outside corner, It's still out front, but deeper than we'd address a pitch down the middle or inside.
2. In the article you were referring to on bat weights, I say they're great for "warming up" but NOT good for increasing bat speed.
3. Drop toss drills are really the root of quite a bit of swing faults because the focus is all wrong, on quickness. Sure, we need to be quick to a ball being dropped from 6-7 feet, but not at the expense of good swing tempo. If we're moving faster (upper body) than what our hips and core can do, then we might as well be swinging a wet newspaper.
The focus we should be having is to develop a rhythm with our drop tosser, use a 1...2...3...count to create the timing necessary to execute the drill properly.
Drop tossing isn't a guessing game of "when is he dropping the ball so I can start my swing," this creates too many herky-jerky muscle patterns. I can't repeat enough, how important proper swing tempo is...ask any Albert Pujols, NASCAR driver, Lance Armstrong, Kenyan long distance runner, and Husein Bolt how important tempo is to them.
4. Power is produced rotationally in the hips and core (the hips start the swing -- Ted Williams said this), and transfers the manufactured rotational energy (centripetal force), into the upper body and arms as linear energy (centrifugal force). The arms are only along for the ride.
However, I DO believe in using the wrists as a cue in our "Plan" part of the mental swing. In other words, when I start my swing, I'm thinking with my hands and wrists on being short to the ball because I know my bottom half is going to execute as a result of the hundreds of thousands of swings I've taken developing the proper muscle memory over time.
Rod, I hoped this has helped to clear up any confusion on SwingSmarter.com...if you have anymore questions, I'd be MORE than happy to answer them brother :)