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Thread: Front shoulder pull

  1. #1
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    Front shoulder pull

    Is Front Shoulder Pull a teach? In other words, as I look at many powerful MLB swings, I notice how the front shoulder really pulls into and after contact...which helps hook the hands and create more bat head speed. Does this front shoulder pull happen automatically, or is it a teach into contact? I am leaning toward that it is a teach, especially when you look below at Ellsbury's shoulder pull on this HR swing below. Thoughts?
    SC
    PRO PHOTO SAMPLES 08-11-2011 0003.jpgJacoby Ellsbury 08-25-2011 0003.jpg

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    Good question. I could go either way... today.
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    no. the shoulders and arms are along for the ride. the hips and core powers the swing. I would not teach shoulder rotation at all. if you rotate the hips properly the shoulders will follow.

    teaching the shoulders to rotate purposefully will usually lead to pulling the head off the ball and an upper body dominant swing. that's why any MLB hitting coach says "keep the fron shoulder in (or closed)" although that doesn't reflect reality of course.
    I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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    Swing coach,

    Is Front Shoulder Pull a teach?
    This mechanical action is a main component of force coupling of the hands at contact to create equal and opposite pressure on the bat handle. The opposite force is voluntary and active pronation of the back side forearm. This action causes conservation of previous inertia built up by the torso rotation and is a teach. The instructors that do not teach force coupling with the hands will not produce it in their students.
    Primum non nocere

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    keep the front shoulder in
    I wish I knew what that meant. I have asked players what they thought it means after I tell them, and they will give a thousand different answers.

    Especially since the front shoulder doesn't stay "in" at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dominik View Post
    no. the shoulders and arms are along for the ride. the hips and core powers the swing. I would not teach shoulder rotation at all. if you rotate the hips properly the shoulders will follow.
    The arms are not along for the ride. The hips have to clear for the top to go to work. Ted Williams' suggested that he wanted the hips to be operating at about 85% and the arms/hands/wrists to be going at 100%. Regardless of percentages, there is work to be done in the swing by other body parts than the hips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    I wish I knew what that meant. I have asked players what they thought it means after I tell them, and they will give a thousand different answers.

    Especially since the front shoulder doesn't stay "in" at all.
    The hips lead. They open before the shoulders. The separation of the bottom half from the top half and the torque generated by that separation is what "keeping the front shoulder in" is all about. Of course that cue has been hijacked by poor instructors to mean other things.

    edit: went hunting in the clips/pics thread. Here are a few to look at.



    Look at the torque on francouer plant...



    Now just imagine the separation at plant. The front shoulder is in.

    Last edited by The Uncoach; 09-07-2011 at 09:47 AM. Reason: added images

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swing Coach View Post
    Is Front Shoulder Pull a teach? In other words, as I look at many powerful MLB swings, I notice how the front shoulder really pulls into and after contact...which helps hook the hands and create more bat head speed. Does this front shoulder pull happen automatically, or is it a teach into contact? I am leaning toward that it is a teach, especially when you look below at Ellsbury's shoulder pull on this HR swing below. Thoughts?
    Interesting topic and something that I've been thinking about myself as I think about problems like bat drag and arm bar.

    I believe that, while the front shoulder has a role to play, I believe that taking it too far can create problems like arm bar. One way to interpret the clip below is that the hitter is trying to pull too much and/or too soon with their front shoulder.



    This swing could be interpreted as...

    1. Push the hands back to try to create separation.
    2. Pull like crazy with the front shoulder.

    I'm toying with characterizing the swing above as a dominant front arm and/or shoulder (with the arm bar being effect more than cause) more than bat drag.

    In truth, you have to balance things out.
    Last edited by Chris O'Leary; 09-07-2011 at 10:08 AM.
    Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

    I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

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    Songtitle,

    This all depends on the approach and actual performance by pitch location.
    “I wish I knew what that meant.”
    To me it has always meant shoulder deceleration into contact that I physically teach and it produces great results in that the hands can actually be used then to force couple the bat

    “I have asked players what they thought it means after I tell them”
    Why are you telling them if you don’t know what it means?

    “they will give a thousand different answers”
    Teachers should teach what they should do not what they think they are doing although asking them what terms mean can often produce surprising responses and lead to clarification on even the seemingly simplest terms.

    ”Especially since the front shoulder doesn't stay "in" at all”
    Watch great power hitters, their shoulders create great speed in the beginning and decelerate into contact then continue on their way.
    Primum non nocere

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    Dirt,
    Why are you telling them if you don’t know what it means?
    heh, I try to get kids to think about cues and what they mean. Some, like this one, don't have any practical meaning for them.

    I agree, the front hip and front shoulder can't fire together. I focus on the front hip and the back shoulder firing together - this is what makes a good swing so tricky for most.

    Chris,
    Notice how his back shoulder is getting ahead of his back hip. Remember we talked about keeping the back hip/shoulder synced, yet having the front hip go ahead of the front shoulder.
    Last edited by songtitle; 09-07-2011 at 11:08 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    Chris,
    Notice how his back shoulder is getting ahead of his back hip. Remember we talked about keeping the back hip/shoulder synced, yet having the front hip go ahead of the front shoulder.
    I see that as well.

    His sequence is definitely upside-down, coming top-down rather than middle-out from the hips.

    What's confusing is that the hips do turn, but if you look carefully you will see that they are being pulled around by the shoulders rather than vice versa.

    Thanks to the action of the serape muscles, his front shoulder is pulling his back hip around rather than his front hip pulling his back shoulder around.

    However, I think it's still (mostly) accurate to describe this as a shoulder-driven swing.
    Last edited by Chris O'Leary; 09-07-2011 at 11:17 AM.
    Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

    I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    I wish I knew what that meant. I have asked players what they thought it means after I tell them, and they will give a thousand different answers.

    Especially since the front shoulder doesn't stay "in" at all.
    It means to not pull the front shoulder out, but rather, hold it in until it gets forced open due to hip rotation. As usual with many queues, it doesn't mean literally, to "keep" it in, and never let it go. The hips turn the shoulders and the shoulders pull the hands

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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    I focus on the front hip and the back shoulder firing together - this is what makes a good swing so tricky for most.
    What "fires" the back shoulder . . . or how does it "fire"?

    I guess to be clearer in my question . . . what pulls it or pushes it to make it "fire"?
    In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbooth View Post
    It means to not pull the front shoulder out, but rather, hold it in until it gets forced open due to hip rotation. As usual with many queues, it doesn't mean literally, to "keep" it in, and never let it go. The hips turn the shoulders and the shoulders pull the hands
    JB, not to raise the hairs on the back of your neck here or anything, but doesn't the bold sort of explain the meaning of the "shoulder bypass" to you, or at least help you understand what is meant my it, even if you don't necessarily like those words for it?

    IOWs, don't consciously do anything with the shoulders in the swing . . . just "bypass" them and use the "hips and hands" . . . in simplified terms that is.

    No?
    In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Swing Coach View Post
    Is Front Shoulder Pull a teach?
    No way. It would definitely screw up your hitters big time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dominik View Post
    no. the shoulders and arms are along for the ride. the hips and core powers the swing. I would not teach shoulder rotation at all. if you rotate the hips properly the shoulders will follow.
    I too was fooled by the dark side and believed that the hips power the entire swing....but when the force was shown to me...working with hundreds of players, talking to a couple MLB players and really studying what people smarter than me were saying...i was changed. The hips are not connected to the bat, so they cant supply all That much power to the bat. They are connected to the shoulders ( which are connected to the arms and then the bat.)... and once the shoulders start turning, i believe teaching a strong front shoulder pull through contact applies direct torque in the arms and forearms and hooks the hands inward...which creates a powerful hinge between the hands, thus accelerating the bat head through the ball. Shoulder decceleration causes the hands and arms to extend towards the ball, which prevents a hand hinge and ends the rotational torque sequence...better known as "disconnection" through contact. You can teach your soldiers to deccelerate the shoulders into conact and i will teach mine to do just what Chipper and Ellsbury and Kinsler and many others do with their shoulders when they hit their long home runs.

    SC
    Last edited by Swing Coach; 09-07-2011 at 05:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swing Coach View Post
    ... and once the shoulders start turning, i believe teaching a strong front shoulder pull through contact
    OK SC, similar question to you as to ST . . .

    What is it exactly, that "pulls" the "front shoulder through contact" and how are you teaching kids to get whatever that is to pull?
    In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudvnine View Post
    What "fires" the back shoulder . . . or how does it "fire"?

    I guess to be clearer in my question . . . what pulls it or pushes it to make it "fire"?
    The same thing that "fires" the front hip. See the center figure below.


    It's simple leverage. The front hip and rear shoulder are working in unison to rotate quickly around an axis.
    Last edited by songtitle; 09-07-2011 at 08:04 PM.
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  19. #19
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    It seems focusing on the front shoulder pull would cause hitters to pull off the outside pitch. And as Dirtberry mentioned, the shoulders need to decelerate into contact.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by azmatsfan View Post
    And as Dirtberry mentioned, the shoulders need to decelerate into contact.
    That's crazy talk.

    I remember when people once mocked this one guy for saying the same thing a few years ago. ;-)
    Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

    I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

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