David Ortiz (of my very favorite Boston Red Sox) convincingly won the All Star Home Run Derby. It's sort of like the slam dunk contest before the NBA All Star game; it's good for bragging rights only. You get to see a check written in your name to a charity.
But still... pretty cool.
Every year I try to get photos of the winner doing his swing. And why? Because...
- Hitting a baseball is considered by many to be one of the most difficult feats in sports.
- Hitting a homer is even more difficult. It isn't just about the power. A hitter needs to put the bat on a moving ball and have it jump out with the right speed and the right angle, or it'll either pop up or bounce. The trajectory of a homer is within a pretty narrow range.
- So... hitting a homer requires BOTH power and precision. And to do this stroke after stroke after stroke - which the winner does - takes perfect mechanics.
- Perfect mechanics means applying the principle of Sequential Summation of Motion (SSM). You start with the large muscles in the core, and finish with the smaller muscles in the periphery.
- Perfect mechanics and perfect SSM means you use your core muscles (your legs/trunk) to generate power and the muscles in the periphery (your arms/wrists) to layer on the precision.
- Yes, a martial artist can learn a thing or two from this. The perfect Sanchin thrust (or golf swing, or thrown pitch) is all about the same thing. Only with the Sanchin thrust, it's about doing everything smaller and quicker.
The bad news
I have this small thing called moving and starting a new job just ahead of me. Like I really have time to do this...
But I will. I hope...