Baseball Training Aids: Long Slow Swing Fix?
It’s featured advertising on MLBNetwork. Derek Shelton, the Tampa Bay Rays hitting coach, is the spokesperson in the video ad (CLICK HERE to see video).
Go to the SpeedHitter website, and you’ll see endorsements from:
- CC Sabathia (son uses),
- Aaron Boone (son uses),
- Kerry Wood (son uses), and
- David Segui.
I’ve also seen the Speed Hitter being used – this past summer – in Little League All-Stars game on-deck circles. Does it work? In this baseball training aids video blog post, we’ll talk about:
- Speed Hitter baseball training aids review,
- Barrel path science, and
- A better alternative…
Speed Hitter Baseball Training Aids Review
Two main objectives of Speed Hitter baseball training aids (softball included) allegedly address a hitter’s contact point and barrel path. A hitter is suppose to swing it and hear the “pop” of the ball where contact is made. The Speed Hitter is priced between $59.99-79.99 + shipping. Baseball training aids that are highly endorsed and visible often raise red flags for me. THREE reasons WHY:
- Endorsements – A majority of Pro-level athletes simply CANNOT teach what they do (or did)*,
- Expertise – MLB hitting coaches carry A LOT of high “lose-your-job” risk instructing big money ballplayers, and
- Marketing – Big money ads, in the proper places, can lend massive credibility to a defective concept that as a result, users tend to overlook.
*This actually has to do with what Neuro Linguistic Programming calls Unconscious Competence. Players simply perform on ‘auto-pilot’. On the other hand, Conscious Competence is being able to instruct someone else to exactly model what you’re doing.
Barrel Path Science
Speed Hitter baseball training aids are flawed for FOUR-reasons:
- Point of contact and when the barrel enters the zone are two different things,
- Point of contact – CLICK HERE for a post I did illustrating point of contact based on pitch depth,
- When Barrel Enters Zone – this will depend on pitch depth – the farther the pitch is away from the hitter, the earlier the barrel should enter the zone. The closer the pitch, the later the barrel should enter the zone, and
- Tampa Bay Rays hitting coach and Speed Hitter spokesperson Derek Shelton doesn’t have an efficient swing himself (wraps the bat in the ad).
Addressing #2 above – The Speed Hitter doesn’t seem to be a hitting aid that lends itself to practicing “point of contact”. It’s more geared for when the barrel enters the zone.
Addressing #4 above – nothing against MLB hitting coaches or any coach on YouTube demonstrating a hitting aid or technique, but there’s always context. There are “snapper” hitting coaches out there teaching every one of their hitters to force barrel back right away, this is great for middle-away and middle-down approaches but terrible middle-in and middle-up – at least WITHOUT significant mechanical compensation to the latter pitch locations (loss of ball exit speed). And then their are ‘down swinger’ coaches who teach the exact opposite of the snappers. Both approaches can work in the right circumstances, but teaching one approach to all hitters is a BIG mistake.
A Better Alternative…The Swing Blaster
FIVE benefits of using Swing Blaster baseball training aids (good for softball as well) are:
- Early Barrel Acceleration – focuses on getting the barrel on pitch plane ASAP. It’s not about being quick to the ball, it’s about being quick to pitch plane.
- Lengthens Hitter’s Pitch Plane – Gives hitter the ability to hit pitches harder – and keep them fair – that they may be late on otherwise.
- EIGHT levels of difficulty – there are eight little ‘washers’ that increase or decrease the level of difficulty to hear the audible “click”.
- Take soft toss – You can use the Swing Blaster to take short range soft toss. A hitter CANNOT do this with Speed Hitter baseball training aids. DO NOT hit LIVE batting practice with it unless the hitter has good bat control.
- MADE IN USA
How does it work?
The Swing Blaster gives a hitter audible feedback in the form of a “click” when max barrel speed has been reached. It’s simple…
If the hitter hears the “click” AND contact at the same time, then they’re doing it WRONG. If they hear a “click” FOLLOWED by contact, then they’re doing it RIGHT. Whereas Speed Hitter baseball training aids have it backwards. They want the hitter to hear the “pop” at contact. To be effective, this isn’t when a hitter should be accelerating the barrel. The barrel should already be accelerated at impact. Impact is when a hitter’s arms are lengthening out or adjusting in to increase turning speed or inertial force.
The price? Get yours today for only $34.99 + shipping on Amazon…I’m not sure if Swing Blaster will be raising the price soon, but for now you’ll be SAVING at least $25 than buying a Speed Hitter. CLICK the following link to…
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