|The Hitters Swing takes Centrifugal Force in order to hit a baseball over 400'.|
Part Two: Continued
Rotational Hitting the Natural Way.
New Phases that you have learned are:
Phase One: Torso/Weight shift back
Phase Two: Lift
Phase Three: Accelerate Forward
Phase Four: Torso Rotation
Before I begin explaining Phase Five: Centrifugal Pull you need to have an understanding of centrifugal force and how it comes about.
In accordance with Newton's Third Law of Motion, the mass exerts an equal and opposite force on the object. This is the reactive centrifugal force. it is directed away from the center of rotation, and is exerted by the rotating mass on the object that originates the centripetal acceleration.
This Centrifugal pump shows the center spinning and pushing the fluid out into the pipe.
On the left shows that when the Torso spins, it produces centripetal force that is directed inward. This only happens when an object is spinning by itself. But when an object or bat is placed in the hands, or when there is another object attached to the object that is doing the spinning action. Then there will be Centrifugal force produced to impel that attached object in a straight line away from the center that is being spun.
The simple understanding of Centrifugal Force is to see that the Torso is put into a spin, which by itself is producing centripetal force. Centripetal force is inward directed toward the center. But when we place an object in our hands, a bat or ball, the force now produced by the torso acts against the bat, and the force is now applied to the object or bat, and is directed away from the center or torso. Thus the bat is being forced away from the center by the rotating torso. The bat and especially the bat head (where the main weight or mass is located in the bat) is impelled out in a straight line toward the ball for contact.
The big round part that the swings are attached to is what is causing the turning or spinning action. If there was no swing attachments on the center part, then we would only see the disk type object spinning around. But as soon as a swing is attached and a person is places in the swing then we see the person being spun away from the center of the disk. As the machine spins faster and faster, what happens to the person in the swing? The further they move away from the center. The force applied to the person is centrifugal force.
You may remember playing on one of these merry-go-rounds when you were younger. Remember when it was spinning around really fast and you had to hang on tight, in order not to be thrown off. If you were to be thrown off, what happened? You fell down, but you was also thrown away in a straight line. Well these pictures and explanations should give you the idea of what really happens in the swing.
Now let's see how all this fits into the swing of the Major League players.
Phase Five: Centrifugal Pull
In order to create centrifugal force to the arms, hands, and bat, the hands are left in place as this phase happens. That is why we see the torso moving and the hands staying. As the torso moves forward and moves as far as it can away from the hands (taking the slack out of the arms), the torso now starts to pull on the hands and bat. This pull shows up as the torso rotates and impels the hands and bat out in a straight line (centrifugal force). The separation of the shoulders and the lower body that is seen, and is described as torque, is actually a result of the work of the Torso and the arms not working.
Remember this clip of Vladimir. He is in the first part of Phase Four: Torso Rotation. Now let us turn all our attention to the arms, hands, and bat and see what happens in the swing.
First the hands are in the box in frame 29. Now the torso moves forward. The hands stay in the box until frame 39 where the hands start to move forward out of the box. The hands move forward, because as the torso goes forward and the hands stay, the front arm is stretched across the ribcage as he leaves the hands and moves the torso. This is being done by a simple thought of “leave the hands”. That's all it takes for the hands to stay.
When the hands stay and the torso moves forward it creates the same thing that the amusement swing creates on the person. It is stretching the hands to the point where they are as far away from the center of the torso. So the hands can be pulled on with the most force they can be, by the torso rotation. In frames 42 – 45 where the beginning of the torso turn happens, we start to see the front arm being pulled by the torso. As the pull begins the back elbow starts to come down into what is called the slot, I like to say it is coming down to the side of the ribcage. Up to this point, the movement of both arms are a result and not something he is doing. No work of the arms are needed to perform this. This is Natural if one works the torso and just leave the hands.
From frame 45 to 47 you will notice the back elbow comes into the side of the torso or ribcage. The reason the elbow comes into the area of the ribcage is from the pulling of the Torso on the front arm and hands. Well, really the pull is on the mass or weight of the bat which is in the barrel of the bat and the farthest point away from the center.
In frame 48-50 shows the hands leaving the back shoulder or away from the body for the first time. This also is because of the centrifugal force being applied to the bat, and that force is now going out of the circle created by the torso turning quickly. That bat head is accelerated so fast it is impossible to see at 30 frames per second.
Now in frame 51 you see red lines on the arms showing the angles of the front arm and the back arm. Instructors are trying to teach this position, when it really is just what happens Naturally if one works and moves properly with the torso. These players never work on these positions of their arms when they are hitting well.
It is the spinning action of the Torso that created centrifugal force that throws the hands and bat out in a straight line, so the bat head can travel to the point of contact with all the force that the torso produces.
In Vladimir's swing you will also see that his hands stay really tight to his torso, most of the time called “hands inside the ball”. Most try to teach this on every swing, but the reason they stay so close to the body is where the pitch is located (inside and thigh high). Never teach hands to stay in close and never teach hands to go out. Why? Because that is teaching arms and hands working, and in the ML swing they are not working their arms and hands to generate power. They are only guiding the bat head to the ball with the arms and hands. The hands go out to the pitch whether it is inside or outside. On the inside pitch like Vlad's they don't appear to go out very much, yet on other clips to follow you will see that the hands do go out to the pitch on the outside.
In Arod swing the same things happen. Back elbow by ribcage, torso pulling front arm, and hands in close. But wait a minute, this is still an inside pitch.
Hands only guide the bat to the ball, not creating bat speed or power. Torso creates the force from it's rotation, which produces centrifugal force to the bat head.
Pujols shows the best pull of the front arm in frames 30-36. At frame 36 you will see the hands now moving away from the rear shoulder, which shows the centrifugal force now pulling the bat head to the point of contact. Which the ball is coming down the line, thus the bat head travels down the line.
This is also an inside pitch.
Manny Ramirez in a swing on a low middle to outside pitch that he hits for a Home Run. Watch closely and you will see that before foot strike the is “Torso/weight shift back”, “Lift” then “Accelerate Forward and Rotation”. When he gets to foot strike the rotation is seen by the rotation is very little. In the clip there is a pause at foot strike that I have put in the clip just so you can start to follow the Torso movement and what the Torso does to the arms and hands. Watch as the Torso turns and bend over toward the plate. This turn and bend of the Torso is happening in order to put the bat head to the ball, which is low and away. The torso swings the bat, or the Torso creates centrifugal pull on the arms and bat head to impel the bat head to where-ever the ball is.
Also notice the back leg and foot. He did not even get off the foot, nor did the leg rotate like Rotational Hitting mechanics teach, yet he produced enough power to hit the ball out of the park. That kind of power comes from the Torso, The Mass, working and moving to swing the bat. This shows that what most believe about mechanics being taught by the gurus' is not what these Major League hitters are really doing to create the swing.
See the Torsos turning and pulling the hands and bat head out to the ball. Also see the swing is a slight upward swing to match the ball plane.
If you see the arms and hands as a part of the body that creates power, then you have missed the whole idea behind what these players are doing. If you can visualize that the heavy part of the bat, the bat head, is what is being impelled away from the torso then you will understand the Major League swing. Now You are one step closer to becoming a great hitter like these players.
I am sure most people will understand the picture to the right, but there are still a lot of improper teaching of what plane to swing the bat on. Please notice the angle of the baseballs in the picture to the right. The baseball is coming in at a downward angle. So the barrel must get into this same angle in order to have the most time to make contact. Most ML hitters have the bat barrel in the plane of the baseball for 6 to 16 inches.
Some still teach level swing, which only gives the barrel in the plane of the ball for only 2 to 4 inches. Now I am sure most of us have watch some ML hitter in the on deck circle practicing many things. You may have even seen Derek Jeter practicing swinging down. Well believe me he never swings down on the ball, never. Swinging down on the ball, will put a back spin on the ball, which will lead to the ball traveling farther. But it only leave a window for contact of only ½ of an inch. That is just too little of a contact zone. Always swing in the plane of the ball, a slight upward angle. For pitchers trying to get us out, they throw breaking pitches, curves, sliders, and split finger pitches trying to change the ball plane to get us as hitters to miss the ball.
Notice the bat head being pulled or impelled out of the circle right before contact.
Back in 1953 or 1954 Babe Ruth once told a professional golfer to place a handkerchief under his front arm and hold it against his ribcage. If he would do this and not allow the handkerchief to drop until contact with the ball, then he would hit with more power.
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