In response to input and comments from our followers following the most recent post on refinements of the proper compound pivot, I re-post this video. It was first posted to counter assertions that Mike Austin’s teaching were cryptic (versus hands-on). But, it also shows the link between the heel and the pivot. Mike Austin is stepping on my rear heel. When he does so, I can’t even begin to make the pivot. Try the exercise yourself.
Note too the drill Mike used to get the student to feel the compound pivot. Grab your back pocket with and pull upward and forward with your lead arm. Raise that rear heel. (Raising the rear heel and flexing the rear knee also lowers the right hip.) The bottom 6 joints drive the upper 6 joints.
Mike Austin’s secrets reside in the efficient movement of the muscles and joints. Mike had a keen mind. He used his background in kinesiology to ascertain the correct movements and then used mental imagery to efficiently and effortlessly perform those motions. Here, Mike Austin’s hands-on lesson highlighted the QL and the spinae erector muscle groups. More specifically, Mike demonstrated which spinae to activate. As a right handed player, the QL contracted the 12th rib of my left side down toward my left hip. The left spinae then provided the rotary motion allowing the front of my body to swing like a door in front of me. Notice the difference in motion when the player improper activates the right spinae.
Here’s an absolute essential to the Mike Austin swing, as explained by Mike himself.
Never swing the arms! The arms move with the chest as a unit. The chest moves via the actions of the ankles, knees and hips.
Your C7 is like the hub of a wheel. Your arms are spokes. Swing your arms independently and you have broken the structure of the wheel.
Guys and gals, I will get to the release but I really want to you to get down the pivot. You can kill it just with the pivot.
Really study this video. I can’t tell you enough that it’s a shift AND a turn. Look at my first swing. Looks fine. But if you really look closely you can see that I stopped my body ever so slightly near the end. I cut off the swing motion. Mike Austin yelled at me all day to keep the stomach and right knee going. Look and LISTEN to the next swings. See the flow and HEAR the high pitched, lively hit? That’s what you are looking for. Actually, that’s what you are listening for. It provides your very own feedback. Hear the sound and look at the flight.
“That’s killing the ball”.
I went back to my mission statement and recalled that I started the blog because I was quite upset at those who were espousing incorrect versions of what Mike Austin taught and claiming that they had figured it out or had taken lessons from Mike (more likely one lesson) and consequently could enlighten Mike Austin fans as to what the great man taught.
Prime example – Here is a student shifting his weight by rolling between the insides of the ankles.
Mike Austin’s response? “Pick up the heel! Pick up the heel!”
To teach otherwise and call it Mike Austin, is, as Mike would say, “A bunch of crap”. Note too, Mike explaining the benefit of a narrow stance enabling you to work with the hips. With a wide stance you are working “against the hips”.