Every once in a while there are players that I work with who talk about certain mechanical things that are great, but are not really sure why or how or whatever it is. The "scap load" is one of those. Often times, I have players who are trying to scap load but don't even know what their scap is. So today I want to discuss what a scap load is, why it is so important and how to work on it.
WHAT IS THE SCAP? The “scap” is a shortened version of scapula, or shoulder blade.
WHAT IS A SCAP LOAD? A scap load is when the shoulder blade retracts towards the middle of the body and spine. The easiest way to think about this is to think about doing a row at the gym. Another way to think about it is to sit up and pull both shoulder blades together.
WHY? Scap loading can be a vital part of getting more power and more consistency at the plate and it all has to do with the kinetic chain.
Power: In order for the body to create maximum power, the body must sequence the kinetic chain properly. That means that energy is created from the ground up. Perhaps the most vital link in the kinetic chain is the link between the hips and the torso. In a powerful swing, the hips begin rotating as the upper body stays back. In order to keep the upper body back, a scap load can help anchor the torso to stay back longer, thus allowing the hips to turn more before the torso rotates, creating more stretch.
Consistency: One of the qualities that the best hitters in the world possess is the ability to keep the upper body and the hands back for as long as possible. A proper scap load can allow the hitter to keep the upper body and the hands back longer to allow more time to see the ball before committing the hands. The longer a hitter can wait to commit the hands, the more information they gather on speed, spin and location. This allows hitters to show better plate discipline and decrease chasing and swing and misses.
HOW TO WORK ON THE SCAP LOAD