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Qustion to coaches re check swing

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by BuzzBuzz » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:45 am

I have noticed that players trying to check a swing fail to do so a significant fraction of the time. It has occurred to me that there might be a better technique than just using the muscles that control the wrist to try to stop the angular momentum of the a swing. I would appreciate any comments from a coach about the technique I describe below. In particular I am interested if any coach has ever seen anyone try this or a similar technique, and if so why it was not successful. I am assuming it it had been seen to be successful, more batters would be using it.

For a right-handed batter, when the batter wants to check a swing he should loosen his grip on the bat with his right hand just enough so that the bat slides along his right hand, and as his right hand moves towards the head of the bat, the head of the bat will be controlled so that the check swing will be successful.

For a left-handed batter, he would loosen his left hand in a similar fashion.
BuzzBuzz
 
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by JCbaseball » Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:01 pm

Buzz

I hope this helps you gain insights. As levels of baseball go upward - I do not think your improved method would work.

Any good High School - College - Amatuer and Pro hitter has a mantra they must follow which is: "A hitter is swinging until he says no". By that I of course mean that you cannot plan to swing and also have another plan to not swing. Hitters have as little as .004 seconds to "continue to swing or to say NO".

Also all good swings start with the lower body thus - since "hands come last" one is still almost completely rotated the belly button and or the laces on the back shoe all the way to the Pitcher before he or she invokes the NO part of the equation.

I do see where your methodology is very sound but give me some more feedback after you read the above.
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by BuzzBuzz » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:29 pm

Hi JCbaseball:

Thank you for your reply.

My thought is that a batter does decide to try to check his swing at some point in the swing. Your description of how late that is in the swing is very interesting and vivid. The current method a batter uses at that critical point is that the batter stops using his wrist muscles to speed the head of the bat forward, and instead uses the counter-muscles in his wrist to try to reverse this. Presumably this technique is practiced so that the batter can get better at it. My thought is that the batter can instead practice using a different technique. Instead of changing the wrists muscles used at the critical point, he loosens the grip of his upper hand on the bat just enough so that the bat slides along this hand.

Do you think this alternative method might possibly work better? If not, I would be much interested in your thoughts about why not.

Regards,
Buzz
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by JCbaseball » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:03 pm

Hi Buzz - see my comments to your replies

My thought is that a batter does decide to try to check his swing at some point in the swing.

Me: I would disagree with the choice of "does decide” – I think a check swing is all part of a good amateur’s mantra – which is yes yes yes or yes yes NO.

Your description of how late that is in the swing is very interesting and vivid. The current method a batter uses at that critical point is that the batter stops using his wrist muscles to speed the head of the bat forward, and instead uses the counter-muscles in his wrist to try to reverse this.

Me: I would not disagree with this but I think what really happens is a last ditch – almost dropping of the bat. Remember that most hitters think of their bottom hand as the steering wheel and their top hand as the gas pedal – thus – a releasing of the top hand may allow them a favorable call with the Plate Umpire. In HS and below with two man crews – check swings allowances are more common because a base umpire will not call a “yes he did” if the inning takes him into the umpiring “C” position on a right handed batter. In pro ball there is always an umpire on each foul line.

Presumably this technique is practiced so that the batter can get better at it.

Me: Amateur hitters after 15 are creatures of habit. The only coach I have ever met who “dry taught” anything so called negative on the baseball diamond was Oscar Miller from Cal State East Bay.

My thought is that the batter can instead practice using a different technique. Instead of changing the wrists muscles used at the critical point, he loosens the grip of his upper hand on the bat just enough so that the bat slides along this hand.

Me: See above as I don’t disagree. However practicing something on the side or in the off season often time does not transfer over into a game when there is an opponent vs a scrimmage or team practice.

Do you think this alternative method might possibly work better? If not, I would be much interested in your thoughts about why not.

Me: I believe your method would work in LL and Babe Ruth where pitching velocity is not dominant.

Me: I will give you and OLD analogy. I started coaching at the age of 27 with what I thought was decent knowledge. How wrong I was. When I first started coaching LL hitters of 9-10-11 and 12 I taught them to hit the outside pitch to the opposite field by “stepping in that direction” and ‘taking the ball to the off field”. One of my mentors heard me say this and without embarrassing me – said let’s go get coffee… and he told me that my term was only valid because the pitcher throwing from 46’6” – most likely threw the pitch with a hump or an arch on the pitch route and thus those then LL hitters had time to do what I was telling them to do. After having coffee, I stopped teaching that bizarre method.
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by BuzzBuzz » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:05 pm

Hi JCbaseball:

I much appreciate the time you took to respond to all my comments. I find that the only item which fails to convince me that you are completely correct is your analogy. The situation in the analogy is that what you were teaching would only work for relatively slow pitching. That is, the batter would have to make a decision about whether the pitch was toward the outside of the plate (or not) before choosing where he would put is forward foot when taking a step toward the pitcher.

The situation for the check swing is different. The current technique requires that he changes what his wrist muscles are doing when he has already started a swing but then recognizes that the ball will be sufficiently out of the strike zone that so that he should try to check the swing. The change I am suggesting is that the batter will instead train himself to loosen his upper hand grip just enough to let the bat slide along his upper hand. The change is entirely limited to how he responds with his upper hand muscles rather than with his wrist muscles.

Regards,
Buzz
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by JCbaseball » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:44 pm

HEY BUZZ

My analogy was mainly to show you that baseball has a sort of hierarchy that (unfortunately) is not prone to change their way of thinking and thus teaching.

Here's another example. There was a frequent poster here who was SURE that using a javelin and doing javelin throwing exercises would be beneficial for all levels of pitchers learning how to pitch. I think the webmaster had to remove him from the board because he did not like the back and forth - give and take that you and I have enjoyed. I asked dozens of people in the ABCA and they all laughed at his javelin suggestion.

My issues with the check swing basically is at the Pro level hitters have .004 of a second to do all that is required once the ball leaves the pitchers hand.
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by BuzzBuzz » Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:06 pm

Hi JCbaseball:

Thank you again for all your help.

I hope that the following question will resolve all my uncertainties.

Given that a batter has about 0.004 seconds while swinging his bat to react by changing the use of his wrist muscles to try to check his swing,
AND assuming that the batter has practiced to instead of changing the use of his wrist muscles he relaxes his finger muscles in his lower hand just enough for the bat to slide along the palm of this hand, THEN do you think this change might possibly result in a higher percentages of successes when trying to check his swing? If not, why not?

Regards,
Buzz
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by JCbaseball » Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:42 pm

Ideally since you know a hitter is "swinging until he says no" - then your method(s) may work providing you had one pupil as a template and then could infiltrate the rest of the curmudgeons in baseball and provide your teachings on a world wide basis.

If ones pupil knew what one was looking for in your methodology - again it could/may work.

Many Many decades ago hitters use to hit with a cross-grip grip and it had some merit but since the beginnings of baseball in the 1800-1900's - many outside the box methods were scoffed at.

Personally I do not feel hitting coaches and any level, lets say 5000 hitting coaches and 10 thousand hitters - care - enough about check swings within the course of one to five at bats (depending how many innings you play - we play 9 innings) to invest in your procedure mentally because it would be just another teaching point that most hitters had never heard of.

Rather I think those "5000 hitting coaches and 10 thousand pupils" are much more concerned with simplifying it down to: "Can I get a good pitch to hit, Can I put a good swing on said pitch and Can I hit the pitch hard somewhere.

As you know there are 8 position players standing in front of any given hitter thus a hitter can never control the out come of his swing. All he can control is *good pitch and * good swing hopefully allowing said hitter to have hit the ball hard somewhere.

Good luck going forward.
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by BuzzBuzz » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:01 pm

Hi JCbaseball:

I much appreciate your discussion with me about changing the check swing technique. I believe that we have agreed that my suggestion might in principle be useful, but in practice it is very unlikely to ever get used because the vast majority of coaches would not expect the benefits to be worth the effort required to introduce necessary training and practice.

Regards and happy holidays,
Buzz
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by JCbaseball » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:31 pm

Buzz

It has been a pleasure. If you ever need to get a hold of me you can try.

student-athlete AT hotmail dot com
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