Where to Snap, Where are the Hands, & Forward Momentum OH MY!

by Robert Canary
(Hartford, KY)

Jose Bautista 2012 Home Run Derby (courtesy of bluebirdbanter.com)

Jose Bautista 2012 Home Run Derby (courtesy of bluebirdbanter.com)


When *should* a hitter snap the bat, and where should the hands be.

I see it like this:

Hands should stay back in the area of the back side while snapping the bat forward, only then should hands start to push out adding speed to the bat.

Your thoughts?

Swing Smarter Response:

Hey Robert, it's funny how at certain times of the year, in teaching hitting, we get titillated on a select few things...for me right now, I'm obsessed with Forward Momentum!

Back to your question...

The barrel "should" be accelerating just before the barrel drops into the Impact Zone. Once it hits Impact, the barrel should already be accelerated allowing the hands and arms to make any last minute adjustments to pitch location and speed.

We're describing it a different way, but are both arriving at the same spot.

In elite hitters, I don't see the wrist snap at Impact, but actually much before (between Slot and Impact actually).

And now the smoking gun...

Which brings me back to Forward Momentum (this article from Baseball Hitting Rebellion com will change your life Robert!!).

This one concept rocked my perspective on hitting, and has really turned the dial up on my students' ball exit speeds, not to mention the sound of the ball off the bat of my High Schoolers resembles an M-80 fire cracker.

What Chas Pippitt and I are finding is the Forward Momentum move is making the swing more efficient using less moving parts (the arms and hands), thereby increasing pitch speed/location adjustment time.

Besides increasing ball exit speed by at least 10 mph, the other thing Forward Momentum is accomplishing is getting the barrel to EXPLODE through Impact.

I once thought the core and hips delegated the "through" part of Impact to the top hand (the push I've always talked about using the top hand), but in looking at these powerful case study videos, I KNOW it's the act of Forward Momentum.

What are your thoughts Robert?

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Wrist snap
by: Joey from SwingSmarter.com

@Andy: the snap of the hands I think is overdone. The snap we all see happening is 95% weight shift and torque driven. The hands are the end of the whip. Chas's teenage female softball case study shows here "through" or extension at impact on her after forward momentum swing boost dramatically.

At extension position
by: Andy

If the arms are in close to ad at impact then how does the arms at extension where the arms are straight bat pointing to pitcher? Ithink there is continuing snap of hands after impact. Is this correct?

by: Robert Canary

Well now that I have digested some of that ... I have to say I have some mixed feelings about it. Here is my issue:

*IF* a kid has the head still, and the lower rotation timed, and the hips driving through, and the bat is snapping though att he right time, then they will still hit hard. What I see is it still comes back to when the bat starts.

These videos are great examples of the bat head starting to soon. And often it is associated with the back elbow wrapping out in front instead of staying back. If you reference a really big guy (Ok ... ahem.. a fat kid) they hit hard and they hit far. But they don't do the forward thing, hell you can't even get them rotate the hips hardly. BUT ... with just a little rotation, they have learned to keep the hands close and snap the bat around, and they get great power. Imagine if one combines the same technique with a full rotation.

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