That reason is because of exactly that – it’s a practice swing and you aren’t hitting a ball, so the hand-eye coordination that helps you hit a ball doesn’t interfere with that great motion, knowing you’re just swinging.
Put the ball down on the ground or tee in front of you however and things go haywire, because (believe it or not), your hand-eye coordination tells you that you aren’t going to be able to make that swing and still make contact with the ball from that address setup.
Think of Charles Barkley – I was blogging back then during the Haney Project days and I said that all Charles B was doing was drilling himself to death under Haney, but also drilling himself to fail, because as the superb-if-rotund athlete that he was, his hand-eye told him he’d never make contact with the ball from his position at the top.
That’s why you saw him freeze halfway down and then lunge at the ball – hand-eye telling him, “Nope, not from here…”
Why Theory Work Is So Exciting
I wrote this past week about how I’d crossed myself up working on two models at once and how, once I’d separated them, the picture became so much clearer as to why I’d gone to the range and swung basically the same as always, but for the left-dominant arm setup and motion which I’d eliminated.
Once I was set on what actually needs to occur with either swing model, the pivot mechanics and down swing ironed themselves out and today I had an idea about something, a “theory,” if you will, that I proved to myself by looking at archive video.
I used to posit that your optimal impact position with both models was with a flat or low trailing heel, until I thought about it while working on the Classic pivot and I thought, “Hmm, if the trailing heel comes up during the back pivot… the heel should be raised at impact and then the foot releases through the finish.”
The problem was that I didn’t have an “optimal” swing to look at in the Classic model of MCS – until I remembered why practice swings are so much better than actual swings at times.
“My practice swing is exactly what the motion should be,” I fairly shouted to myself, “so let’s look at some practice swings to see what the trailing foot does through impact!”
And guess what I found?
Exactly what I thought I should find:
If my practice swing (without being messed up by incorrect ball position, left-arm dominant setup, etc) is “perfect,” then my hypothesis would be correct, until I get back out and produce a swing very close to optimal, at which point I’ll know for sure.
But first indications are that, now that I’ve established with the training aid how to create maximum speed with either model, things will progress even more quickly than I had anticipated.
And this is why I don’t “work on my swing” at the range. It is a waste of time. You will swing the swing you have that day and no changes you make over the ball just to make solid contact are changes that will remain or produce the same results over time.
You know, the old “I tried this tip with my swing and was hitting it brilliantly, and hit it brilliantly for a few days, then something else was wrong and I couldn’t hit the ball solidly again…”
That’s because no Band-Aid swing adjustment on the fly will work over time. It’s just using a temporary fix to solve the problem you had that day with that particular setup, ball position and motion.
If any of those change, there goes the quick fix adjustment.
You make swing changes before the range, then you see how it goes.
At least, that’s the way I’ve found best works.