To build on the recent topics on swing sequence, I want to talk about shoulder alignment and how this plays a role in building a load that transfers into the swing.
The basic concept here is about alignment. I wrote about hip alignment a bit ago… about capturing the transition from closed to open. With this idea, you need to close the hips before you can open them. A lot of hitters never close their hips so there is no transition from closed to open.
The shoulders have a similar transition. There will be style variations with this, but it is something I highly, highly encourage experimenting with. The “look’ here is has two components – shoulder tilt and shoulder alignment. The shoulders moving for a closed, forward-tilted position to a neutral-aligned, back-tilted position.
We’ll look at Ted Williams and Stan Musial to get some looks at this.
Williams had such a quick swing. He does an interesting “push back” move with the hands that you don’t see often. In the slow clip, you can see the shoulders start closed and angled downward. During the “push back” hand move, the back shoulder will come forward and the shoulders tilt. The feel of this for you might be “keeping the front shoulder in.”
This really sets up a different swing than what most people experience. The direction of rotation is being established and that toy propeller, rotor shaft effect comes into play. If you peruse internet hitting or twitter, there is a ton of focus on swing launch, on different body parts… if you get this sequence, there is really only one way for the hands to work. It isn’t something that needs to be forced. It should be a product of your swing’s sequence.
Here’s a look at Stan Musial. This video angle really helps you see the alignment. Something to consider here is how so many hitters close their hips during their stride. The shoulders can also close during the stride, as well as increasing some shoulder tilt.
Miguel Cabrera is a great example of this.
Try this out and let me know how it goes!
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