Strike of the Cobra
By T.J. Tomasi
Maya Moore, Connecticut’s star basketball forward, can unhinge her wrist faster than a cobra strikes. And the good news is so can you, assuming your wrist is not injured. Once the trail or power hand is coiled (hinged backward and rotated clockwise), it can fire the clubhead at high speeds, something every long hitter takes advantage of.
To understand how the power in your wrist works in the golf swing, do the following:
Anchor your elbow on the arm of a chair with your right forearm (left for lefties) parallel to the ground and your thumb pointing toward the sky. Now hinge your wrist up and down as if you were pounding a nail. This is the hinge part of your wrist’s coil.
Next, turn your palm to the ground and cup your wrist backward as if you were warning someone to stop, then rotate your wrist like a windshield wiper.
That’s the pivot part of the coil.
These two motions, hinging and pivoting, are the key to power — the cobra strike.
Coil of the cobra
All long hitters make correct use of the trail wrist. It hinges (folds back or cups) by virtue of the wrist bones at the top of the wrist, and it also rotates by virtue of the forearm. Thus the correct action is both a hinge and a pivot of the wrist.
The wrist pivot keeps the clubhead in place on the clockwise arc going back, while the hinge turns itself into a power lever at the top.
Strike of the cobra
Coming to the ball, the trail wrist rotates counterclockwise, retracing the arc, while the cup (hinge) stays in place until the hands approach the back foot. It is here that the cobra strikes, causing a burst of clubhead speed.