Baseball Workouts: "Game Day" Guy

Baseball Workouts: “Game Day” Guy VIDEO

Baseball Workouts: “I Think We’d Like To Tell Guys More Than Seeing How They’re Pitching Him…See How They’re Adjusting To Them…”

 

 

Here’s what we cover in this baseball workouts Geoff “The Game Day Guy” Rottmayer interview (29-minutes reading time, or you can 2X the video speed above, if wanting to watch video in half the time):

  • What are your 5 Baseball Workouts Pillars to Preparation Success?Baseball Workouts: "Game Day" Guy
  • Who is Geoff Rottmayer?
  • What are some of the two-strike mindset approach type things that you guys talk about?
  • Basing plan at the plate on pitcher observations & PBR?
  • “Pregame data research, where you combine on and try to figure them out…”
  • “Every pitcher is different, his fastball, not his fastball, his curveball, not his curveball. It’s really individualized and everything. That’s the key to it individualizing as much as you can…”
  • “I think we’d like to tell guys more than seeing how they’re pitching him…see how they’re adjusting to them…”
  • “There are three mindsets that we’ve been able to identify over the last five, six years, and then it’s really been an eye opener…”
  • What are some of the baseball workouts questions that you ask to take a player from compare-convince phase to compete-contribute?
  • So where can people find you as of today?

I’m currently working with Geoff to bring an online video course to market that goes step-by-step through his process of helping hitters become fantastic game day hitters.  I think he holds an important piece to the transitioning grooved batting practice swings into games puzzle.  CLICK HERE to download pdf of video transcription.

Enjoy!


Joey Myers  00:06

Hello and welcome to the Swing Smarter Monthly Newsletter. This is your host Joey Myers from hittingperformancelab.com and I have a friend who’s been a friend for a long time since the beginning of hitting performance lab baseball workouts.

Joey Myers  00:19

Probably even before swing smarter or baseball rebellion?

Geoff Rottmayer  00:24

Yes, right about that time.

Joey Myers  00:27

So, this is Geoff. Is it Rottmayer?

Geoff Rottmayer  00:30

Yes.

Joey Myers  00:31

This is Geoff, I think you all are in for a treat, because we’re going to be talking about baseball workouts mental process all that kind of stuff. So first, I want to welcome you to the show, Geoff.

Geoff Rottmayer  00:42

I appreciate it, man.

Joey Myers  00:43

We were just talking about the beard that he’s got, that he’s sporting. Beautiful, beautiful beard there that has taken some time and some work and some tutelage to keep.

Joey Myers  00:56

Well, hey, brother. So, you’ve been working with what I really liked, that we had a conversation before obviously getting on this one that you were talking about your baseball workouts process that you’re using, which we’ll get into here in a second. But you spent the last, what, five or six years really honing it and perfecting it.

Joey Myers  01:12

Not that any process is ever perfect. But you got it to a point where you got a bunch of case studies and things like that. I know we talked about some of the pillars in your baseball workouts programming that you talked about, what are those pillars? Then we can kind of start doing a deep dive into them.

 

What are your 5 Baseball Workouts Pillars to Preparation Success?

Geoff Rottmayer  01:27

We came up with the five pillars, we call it the five pillars of the strategic advantage player development process. The first one is mindset. We can go deeper on all that. And then we have the offseason training, then we have preseason practice, then we have in season game planning, then we have game day execution.

Geoff Rottmayer  01:50

Everything that we built out, basically a framework. We’ll get into it in a minute how we build the pieces into it, but what I found when I started this was, I wanted to kind of build out a process that would help guide in different parts of the season.

Geoff Rottmayer  02:12

What I found was, we were having a lot of guys having, we were doing awesome on the training side of it. The game day side was where we would kind of lacking a little bit, especially when they started to level up against guys that are just as good, if not better than that. My whole journey just last five years been figuring out how to get guys to compete again, guys that are good, if not better than them.

Joey Myers  02:38

Very cool. Before we get into that, give a little background, your baseball workouts background, where you played so people go, why do I have to listen to Geoff here?

 

Who is Geoff Rottmayer?

Geoff Rottmayer  02:48

Sure. I grew up in Clearwater, Florida. I played High School down there. Then I got drafted by the Florida Marlins. There were areas in my game that I knew I needed to work on.

Geoff Rottmayer  02:59

I was originally going to go to Georgia Tech and play football and baseball. But I ran to transcript issues. Now I’m passionate about understanding that piece of it.

Geoff Rottmayer  03:11

That led me to Juco in Oklahoma, Seminole State, one of the premier Juco down there.  I spent a year down there we went to junior college, I probably played some of the best ball I’ve ever had.

Geoff Rottmayer  03:24

Then I went over to Florida Gulf Coast, in Fort Myers, Florida, and played there for three, four years or three years. The thing that I need to work on in my game, I didn’t improve on, I knew I needed to work on them, but I didn’t know how to do it.

Geoff Rottmayer  03:43

It cost me my ability to play professional baseball. Now that’s where I spent the last 15- 16-17 year trying to figure out what was the missing link for me. That’s how I kind of got into where I’m at right now.

Joey Myers  03:57

Now go into what was the origin of these five baseball workouts pillars. Was it something that maybe in 10 years ago, you came up with pillar one? And then a couple years later, pillar two, or was it more like, as a flood like an aha moment? Oh, shoot, we need to really work this out. What was the origin story?

 

What is the origin story of the 5 Baseball Workouts Pillars?

Geoff Rottmayer  04:21

I think when we all first started out, we tried to figure out, we know what we know. Some of us like to reflect on where we were at and how we could have done things differently. That’s where I was at, and I was a power hitter type of guy, but I swung and missed a lot. It wasn’t a practice thing for us.

Geoff Rottmayer  04:44

When I got into the coaching side of it, I got into the, what I call the training piece of it. I now call that offseason training, but there’s a place for that obviously, you got to train, you got to get better, and you got to put in your work.

Geoff Rottmayer  05:01

What I was finding is that we were transitioning to in-season, and we were still kind of in a training mindset. We never really had the transition in that what I call now preseason and practice. Then in season game planning.

Geoff Rottmayer  05:15

We never really had the mindset shift to allow us to play well on game day. The training feed was all about let’s get better, become a better hitter on game day. Guys were getting better. But it just wasn’t where I felt like they need to be best.

Geoff Rottmayer  05:32

When they started leveling up again, again just as good, if not better. I started digging deeper. I asked the guy who worked with me now, his name is Daryl Coulters. We started kind of brainstorming this and he was talking about game day being about the opponent.

Geoff Rottmayer  05:52

We kind of all sit there, of course, but really, it was the mindset behind it. That really got us kind of digging deep into Okay, we got to go from offseason training to preseason practice, to in season game planning.

Geoff Rottmayer  06:09

The offseason training, it’s more about your athletic system by getting bigger, faster, and stronger. It’s about getting your numbers, getting your exit speed. It’s about practice habits and routines and your attitude.

Geoff Rottmayer  06:28

The baseball workouts mindset is about you, it’s all about you, do what you got to do to get your stuff and be a better player.

Geoff Rottmayer  06:36

When we transition to preseason practice, the mindset has to be about going from training to working on getting your baseball skills game ready. Now take everything that we developed in the offseason and turn them into skills that we can use in a real baseball game that we can game plan with.

Geoff Rottmayer  07:00

That’s kind of how we went with that. The pre-season practice, what we do in there, what I call our stick process. And for us, that’s to me, that’s the task of hitting. We have the sting the ball, the next one is timing. The next one is understanding your pitch, discipline, and then your swing.

Geoff Rottmayer  07:24

I started kind of working the process backwards. Now instead of starting with the swing, we started with, hey, man, what the ball looked like out of the hand, and how do we get there and get there consistently, because you can’t get there all the time, right.

Geoff Rottmayer  07:38

If you can work that profit to get there early, then you have a chance to see the ball early and long. You have a chance to see some of the cue that the ball is telling you and even what the hand telling you.

Geoff Rottmayer  07:51

We spent a lot of baseball workouts time focusing there first. And then what I found with that was the timing got better. When the timing got better the pitch selection got better. We were seeing the ball, and then ultimately, the swing got better.

Geoff Rottmayer  08:04

Now that didn’t mean guys didn’t need to work on their swing because they did but I felt like if we could get the task right, then we can see where we were really at with the swings, because there’s so many other variables.

Geoff Rottmayer  08:17

Then we went into what I call the command hitting, command hitting it’s being able to tie a situation account that every single rep that we do, and then going through our pre pitch process, what I call the mental game. It’s really about the process, it’s about, you know how you think, in terms of baseball, it’s not the feel-good stuff. It’s not the deep breathing and the positive self-talk.

Geoff Rottmayer  08:45

There’s nothing wrong with that. But when it comes to baseball, it’s strategic, and so how we think in terms of what we want to do, and how we prepare for our battle against an opponent matter.

Geoff Rottmayer  09:00

We started practicing command hitting like, hey, man, I want you to hit the ball right there. In this situation account, that’s when you would need to be able to do that.

Geoff Rottmayer  09:09

We would work and not manipulate in our swing but really understanding what pitch I can do with and understanding, you know how to do it. That don’t mean that we always get the result but at least we start working on perfecting the skill.

Joey Myers  09:30

Give me a baseball workouts example. Like most of coaches out there, their big thing is two strikes, right? What are some of the two-strike mindset approach type things that you guys talk about?

 

What are some of the two-strike mindset approach type things that you guys talk about?

Geoff Rottmayer  09:40

Yeah, with two strikes, well, we want guys to understand it depends on the pitcher too. A lot of the things that our approach and our game plan is all based on the opponent.

Geoff Rottmayer  09:52

We must think about that, what pitches he has, and depending on the pitch that he has, and how he uses that. We call it PBML. There’s a pit, the velocity of the movement to a location.

Geoff Rottmayer  10:07

The more we understand that the more we can make a game plan with that. With two strikes, it’s just a generic approach. What we tell guys is you got to be able to hit every pitch on every plane, right.

Geoff Rottmayer  10:22

You have a wide variety of velocity ranges to cover. What we tell guy is, we can do a couple things, one, try to take the fastball down the right field line, go back and do that now let every other pitch travel a little bit deeper, and I can keep the off-speed stuff fair.

Geoff Rottmayer  10:42

The other thing that allowed me to do is to make sure to strike, because I think most hitters, we swing too much. We got to get better at taking pitches, the best hitters in the world are good because of the pitches that they take not the pitches that they swing.

Geoff Rottmayer  11:02

When we try to get guys to understand that, hey, maybe there’s a situation or count where you want to sit on a curveball, sit on a slider, and that’s fine. You can get that ball a little more upfront, or whatever you’re trying to do.

Geoff Rottmayer  11:15

With two strikes, we want to say hey, let the fastball get deep. Try to take it down the first baseline or third baseline if you’re a lefty, and then that will let the curveball and changeup travel a little bit deeper.

Geoff Rottmayer  11:26

You can see if it’s a strike, and because the ball better a mistake, you’re going to turn it on, it just looks so good and you’re going to hit it. That’s kind of how we do the baseball workouts two-strike approach.

Joey Myers  11:39

Very cool. You guys are basically hunting, again, depending on the pitcher, and that’s what I was telling my hitters you’re not jumping into the ballpark like that, that movie back to school with Rodney Dangerfield, where he’s up on the high rise, he’s licking his thumb, checking the wind.

Joey Myers  11:57

You’re not just walking into the stadium deciding what you’re going to hunt or what your plan is, you’re going to base on the observations of the pitcher like you said.

 

Basing plan at the plate on pitcher observations & PBR?

Geoff Rottmayer  12:07

Yes, and that takes to the preseason, and that’s what the preseason for us is all about. We like to think of it like football. How did the football season work? It goes in the offseason, it’s all about getting bigger, faster, and stronger.

Geoff Rottmayer  12:23

The preseason is about homing in your play to understand your skills and know what played you want to run. And then the infield is all about studying the opponent and practicing all week from that one opponent.

Joey Myers  12:34

Good point.

Geoff Rottmayer  12:35

With the baseball, now, especially the good pitcher, the guys that are not incredibly good. They suck you should hit them, but the guys that are good that we’re trying to level up against. They’re in the PBR. They’re in perfect game.

Geoff Rottmayer  12:52

Their video on YouTube, their scouting reported, it’s on PBR, so you can study them before you see them. Basically, for us, it’s like, we just want to understand their PBML.

Geoff Rottmayer  13:08

Their pitches, their velocity, and then how the pitches move so that we can understand what we want to attack and what we want to take. With all the information out there, now we can practice even if we play every day, you still have practice for the game. Your whole practice, your whole mindset is about that pitcher you’re going to face that day.

Joey Myers  13:34

I love that. That’s a great piece of baseball workouts advice, especially with that if these players are facing these good ones, they’ve got recruiting things right on PBR. I mean, they’re right out there on the internet, you just search them, you know who you’re going to play, the person, you just search them up on and look up their scouting report and there it is right there.

Joey Myers  13:53

You got other people doing the work for you. So why not use the internet? I love that. During the game, the in season, you’re talking about that game planning, and you’re talking about studying your opponent and competing to get your opponent, is that the third baseball workouts pillar?

Geoff Rottmayer  14:12

That would have to be the fourth one. The first one we didn’t talk about just yet. I want to talk about that, but we’ll go back to that one. But the in season, we have the pregame, pregame data research, where you combine on and try to figure them out.

 

“Pregame data research, where you combine on and try to figure them out…”

Geoff Rottmayer  14:28

Then it’s about, like watching the game, like the game within the game, and we tell guys when you’re hitting every at-bat mentally needs to be an at-bat that you’re taking, and then reading and studying the pitcher what is he doing in certain situations to count? What did he do? What are his tendencies? What is his habit? What did he like to do? How did he respond when they were going into the fourth condition? What did he like to go to?

Geoff Rottmayer  14:58

To really studying and watching, what do you do, and every advantage you can have is a strategic advantage, and you can use it against him to be better. It’s about getting the guy to understand how to watch the game.

Geoff Rottmayer  15:12

The thing is, we can’t tell them to watch a game, they don’t really know what they’re looking at, this is something that must be taught, what do I look at? What’s the basic, what do I start with?

Geoff Rottmayer  15:25

Once they get the basics down, then they start understanding Oh, holy crap, I didn’t know that you did this, you know. Once you start teaching them how to think and how to watch a game, then they start noticing all these little things that they can use to their advantage.

Joey Myers  15:40

Do you have them watch one of those things? Or body language? Do you have them watch the pitcher to see if they’re in these kind of slump positions versus chest out? You know that kind of baseball workouts stuff?

Geoff Rottmayer  15:49

Absolutely. Then we’d like to see how they respond to everything. The more we can have, the better, you know, the data. Now, the tricky part is not over analyzing that information that you gather that you can go. But when you get in that box, after you go through your pre pitch routine, you get in that box, it’s all about giving my brain the direction.

Geoff Rottmayer  16:14

Now by going out there seeing the ball and reacting. Again, I’ve given myself a starting point. That doesn’t mean it’s always going to happen, but we have a starting point I have a plan.

Joey Myers  16:25

Well, it’s predictability, right? You were attempting to predict the probability or use probability as when pitchers just as a general, looking at it from a general point of view, like 30,000-foot view in at bat.  Baseball workouts like these aren’t easy.

Joey Myers  16:39

When a pitcher is ahead in account, what does he or she tend to do? If she’s a behind in the count? What does he or she tend to do? Now, it’s not going to be 100% of the time, nothing’s ever really 100%. But what you’re saying is we’re taking the highest probability and it could be 60%, 60% versus 40%, that this pitcher’s throw a fastball in this count?

Joey Myers  17:03

Well, you can’t sit in the middle. Well, it could be their fastball or curveball, right? You say we’re thinking just a pitch with two pitches. 60% chance you’re getting a fastball 40% you’re getting a curveball, well, it doesn’t make sense to look for the curveball.

Joey Myers  17:17

Still, even though it’s a low percentage of fastball and that count, it’s a 60% but it’s a majority doesn’t mean that you’re going to get the fastball and if you don’t, what I tell my hitters is that you now learn something. In that count, 60% of time fastball, 40%, curveball, but then you see a curveball, the reality, right?

“Every pitcher is different, his fastball, not his fastball, his curveball, not his curveball. It’s really individualized and everything. That’s the key to it individualizing as much as you can…”

Geoff Rottmayer  17:37

Right, that’s the thing, everybody’s different. Every pitcher is different, his fastball, not his fastball, his curveball, not his curveball. It’s really individualized and everything. That’s the key to it individualizing as much as you can.

Geoff Rottmayer  17:57

You’re a different type of hitter than this guy. What does he know about you? Because he’s studying you, too. What are your weaknesses?

Geoff Rottmayer  18:04

The more you know about what you do, and your tendency, the more you can game plan and know what maybe I tend to play and again, like you said, doesn’t mean you’re always right. But it’s all like, okay, he knows this, I know this. That’s when that chess match happens, that’s when baseball’s fun.

Joey Myers  18:21

A good friend of mine, Daniel Robertson, he played a lot of minor league ball, got a couple decent cup of coffees in the big leagues, played with Mike Trout the angels, a great guy, super intellectual guy, when it comes to all this kind of baseball workouts stuff.

Joey Myers  18:34

We were talking one day, and we were talking about the same thing, and you take one scouting report, because like we said, we could go and look up the pitcher scouting report on PBR, or whatever. But then the pitcher can look up your scouting report on PBR. You got to think up.

Joey Myers  18:48

What Daniel was saying was taking a scouting report or a heat map of a pitcher and what his strengths and weaknesses are in different counts and stuff, and you take the heat map of a hitter strengths and weaknesses, and then you see where those intersect.

Joey Myers  19:03

You can take from that data, a game baseball workouts plan, you can create a game plan against 100%.

Geoff Rottmayer  19:11

I mean, something better than nothing. And again, the more you play the guy, the more data you have, and the more you can kind of fine tune that plan.

Joey Myers  19:20

The other thing too, that is interesting is some of the hitters when I start working with them in there, they got a little bit of some time to go right before they’re up there, but they’re considered as a pitcher.

Joey Myers  19:32

When I used to pitch, I pitched probably up to my sophomore year in high school, and then after that, I got bored of it. As a pitcher, you’re looking at a lineup in colors, in shades, right you have a certain hotter shade, and that can be usually three, four or five guys, maybe one two, and then there’s going to be some streaky guys and you’ll see some red here and there but it’s not consistent.

Joey Myers  19:53

Usually red three, four, or five, maybe six and things like that. Then there’s those kinds of shades of gray in there that you tend to just default pitching, right I pitch I’m going to pitch this to guys the same way because they’re in that shade, that gray shade.

Joey Myers  20:08

I tell my hitters when you start smashing the ball and smashing the ball is when pitchers must make an adjustment. They don’t care. They don’t make an adjustment. If you hit a blooper to right field as righty or opposite, as a lefty or hit a seeing-eye single, pitchers don’t care. That doesn’t scare them.

Joey Myers  20:23

They’re just going to think you’re lucky. They’re going to do it the same way the next time. What do you guys do you as your hitters when… You got a guy that’s hot. Now he can’t look at his teammates and how they’re being pitched as they’re going to be pitched in same way, as how do you guys treat that when it comes to baseball workouts? Like as they start leveling up.

 

“I think we’d like to tell guys more than seeing how they’re pitching him…see how they’re adjusting to them…”

Geoff Rottmayer  20:45

Probably really our guy did look like your individual. You can take information from other guys. But if you’re not the same hitter, the other thing is, you don’t see what he sees.

Geoff Rottmayer  20:56

We all see things a little bit differently. That’s why like, you see guys like Dude, his curveball nasty the next guy is like, what are you talking about? Everybody sees something different.

Geoff Rottmayer  21:07

That doesn’t mean that we don’t take information and understanding how they’re picking them what adjustment they’re making, I think we’d like to tell guys more than seeing how they’re pitching him…see how they’re adjusting to them.

Geoff Rottmayer  21:21

When we can start seeing how what his strategy and what his approach to make an adjustment, then we can kind of start looking at up. How would he adjust a bit with me if I did XYZ? Every hitter is different.

 

“There are three mindsets that we’ve been able to identify over the last five, six years, and then it’s really been an eye opener…”

Geoff Rottmayer  21:39

When you get to a certain level, everybody is unique and there’s a spot form them. This is where we get into that mindset people talk about? There are three mindsets that we’ve been able to identify over the last five, six years, and then it’s really been an eye opener.

Geoff Rottmayer  21:58

When you start figuring out where guys are at. The first one is called to compare and convince mindset. This is the guy that constantly comparing himself to everybody else, he is doing that, or I got to do this, or his numbers are this, I got to do that, or he got three hits, I got to get three.

Geoff Rottmayer  22:16

These guys never really focused on what baseball workouts they need to do. They’re comparing themselves to everybody else. They don’t play as well. Now they’re convincing themselves to try play at that level.  A lot of guys are at that level.

Geoff Rottmayer  22:30

Every time you level up, you get to that level, you just kind of look around everybody bigger, faster, and stronger. They know how to play the game of baseball. For us, we had the conversation all the time about figuring out where they’re at mindset wise.

Geoff Rottmayer  22:45

When guys struggle, that’s where they’re at most time and then that compare, convince mindset but we got to bring awareness …and it’s done through a conversation.

Geoff Rottmayer  22:55

Like we talked to them, and really try to have them and we have a relationship with them, that they can trust and be vulnerable a little bit. Now, still, by way of their action, a lot of times they want to tell you with all the good stuff they don’t want to tell you about.

Geoff Rottmayer  23:08

We wanted it to be the other way around.

Joey Myers  23:10

Teenagers, right?

Geoff Rottmayer  23:11

Yes, exactly. The next one is called what we call compare, or I’m sorry, compete and contribute. Now, we’ve gotten them from compare-convinced to know, I look like everybody else, and I can play at this level.

Geoff Rottmayer  23:28

That’s good, you can level up with that.

Geoff Rottmayer  23:30

Now, the next one is what we call the strategic advantage mindset. That’s what we work on, that’s what we specialize on this past year. This is the guy that only himself, he’s individualized, it’s what he does, and what he does, or what he done to do to give himself a game day advantage.

Geoff Rottmayer  23:50

We’re talking about mindset, skillset and how you prepare. These guys are like good with where they’re at, even though they may not be where they want to be. But they’re good with where they’re at. They understand that they’re unique individual, they understand that they have a role that they are qualified for.

Geoff Rottmayer  24:11

They’re okay with that role and they’re going to succeed in that role and eventually get into a bigger role that they want. Getting guys to that mindset demanded changes how they practice, it changes how they talk, it changes how they know confidence, it’s just a different level because they feel free to be themselves and understand that what they do and where they’re at is good enough.

Joey Myers  24:36

I know we can go deep in each of these baseball workouts and pillars, and we’ll do that on future calls for sure. Before we get to where people can find more information on you, I wanted to ask you, because I love questions. It’s how we ask our questions. The quality of our questions makes the answers much more quality, right.

Joey Myers  24:56

When you have player in that comparison, in that mindset, and the bottom rung, when they’re in there, what are some of the questions that you ask them to help get them to the next part of it, where they compete, when they get into the compete the second rung?

 

What are some of the baseball workouts questions that you ask to take a player from compare-convince phase to compete-contribute?

Geoff Rottmayer  25:10

I always start with the conversation because they’re never going to come out tell you this. You always start with like, hey, man, let’s say we’re in season and he comes to me today. He had a game last weekend, like, hey, man, so how did it go? Where were you at? What did you do?

Geoff Rottmayer  25:25

They’ll kind of run through me, I struggle a little bit, I struck out a couple of times, we had two innings where we batted around, and I got two of the outs and stuff like that. I was okay, why do you think you struggle? What do you think it is?

Geoff Rottmayer  25:42

I don’t give answers man, like, I want them to tell me what their thinking, but I don’t know what they’re thinking and what they’re seeing. I’m trying to understand what they’re thinking and what they’re seeing.

Geoff Rottmayer  25:54

It always starts with what did you know about the pitcher? If anything? What did you know about the team? Because certain teams have certain philosophy on how they approach guys, so what do we know about them?

Geoff Rottmayer  26:09

What would your plan against them and again, like at the youth level, even we can, we can go and watch games in between, and see where they’re at, and kind of figure out what we know about them.

Geoff Rottmayer  26:19

A lot of these kids play each other all the time anyways. But I would start there with like, what did you know there? What would your mindset about that? A lot of these kids, they’ll go on like new trip or they’re going PBR and they’re going to stuff, and they’ll psyche themselves out before they even get out there because you’ve got to do it.

Geoff Rottmayer  26:38

It’s like you’re giving this guy too much credit. How do we get out of that? It’s like, Hey, man, that’s good, man. He’s good. That’s who you want to play. That’s who you’re trying to measure yourself again.

Geoff Rottmayer  26:53

We’re trying to figure out like, so what did you know about them? What should have your mindset have been? What should your plan have been? When you were in the box, what was your pre pitch routine? Because the way we structure our pre pitch routine, and we can talk about that later, is we organize our thoughts in a way to keep the present on the tasks?

Geoff Rottmayer  27:19

If we don’t organize their thoughts, and we just have thoughts, and we can start thinking about anything. So we have them organize their thoughts in a way that we like, Hey, man, when were you there. That’s really those areas right there. It’s really where it starts.

Geoff Rottmayer  27:35

They get in the game, and they’re like, okay, this guy’s fastball fast. Like, I already knew that coming in. Now he’s trying to convince him stuff that he can play against him. Now we have that conversation. Okay, dude, that’s where it started. It started long before you got in that batter’s box. It started with what you were thinking the moment you knew you were playing there.

Geoff Rottmayer  27:56

How do we work on that thought process? We got to change the thought process about. This is who I exactly who I need to play to measure up where I’m at. How do I get an advantage? What are my skill sets? How can I game plan against him? What advantage do I have against them?

Geoff Rottmayer  28:17

That’s where we start with that whole process. Then that conversation gets saved, man. I was talking about the What were you seeing? Did you see the ball were cued and see, were you on time and all that stuff?

Geoff Rottmayer  28:30

A lot of it goes back to that baseball workouts mindset. What they were thinking about that pitcher before we got into all the other stuff.

Joey Myers  28:38

I love that. We can go deep in that and maybe another episode or whatever. To be respectful of your time, where can people find you, I know, you’re just starting to get online.

Joey Myers  28:51

What I love about you is that you’re in the trenches, you’re doing all this stuff, you’re not spending all your time on social media, and all in it all. You’re in the trenches doing this stuff, so I understand you’re getting online now. So where can people find you as of today?

 

So where can people find you as of today?

Geoff Rottmayer  29:05

I’m on strategichittingguy.com. I’m building now, the pillar that we talked about, it’s more of a framework, I’m trying to build that out. It’s been 5-6-7 years in the making. Really testing it out, really seeing great results.

Geoff Rottmayer  29:23

We got guys from youth ball with a pro ball. It’s been great man. I want to help as much as I can, cuz I feel like man, get a few little things, do extra things, especially game day stuff.

Geoff Rottmayer  29:38

We can help hitters get to that next level. There’s a lot of great coaches out there, man. There’s a lot doing awesome stuff. But I feel like we can do a little better on game day. This is just my small contribution to the community.

Geoff Rottmayer  29:56

Hopefully, that’ll come out here in the next couple of weeks. I’m finalizing the editing part. It takes some time.

Joey Myers  30:06

I see that you’re doing it and you’re versed in all the other stuff too, mechanical stuff and all that. From our conversations, it seems like you’re more like the glue, you’re the glue that’s in the middle of all this stuff that brings it all together, brings all the puzzle pieces together and combines it.

Geoff Rottmayer  30:22

Absolutely like the framework, we can plug anybody’s stuff into it. Let’s say, when we do our initial assessment, we start looking at what the holes are. Then we start saying, okay, you need the hitting performance lab here. This is where you plug your stuff in.

Geoff Rottmayer  30:39

Then you need to know this Joe down the road, hit the plug in here. We start plugging in the hold of where we need to be. That’s what’s cool about it, we’ve been able to kind of bring focus, because there’s a lot of guys who don’t really know where they’re at and they don’t know what they need to be working on.

Geoff Rottmayer  30:58

Now we have an assessment process and a framework that allows them to plug in hold and plug in whatever philosophy you believe I don’t really care. If they help, as long as you understand the pros and cons if there is any, and how you game plan.

Geoff Rottmayer  31:13

Whatever you choose to do is great man, I get that a lot of great stuff and a lot of different philosophy. I don’t really care what you use, if you can game plan and play on game day.

Joey Myers  31:25

Do you have any other sort like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, any of that up yet?

Geoff Rottmayer  31:31

I got Facebook going. That’s just my personal one, Geoff Rottmayer. I got an Instagram going, and it’s Geoff Rottmayer. Same thing with a lot of stuff that I put on like my podcast. My podcast, strategic hitting guy, and that also, I made a video form on YouTube.

Joey Myers  31:52

Okay, cool. So you got some YouTube stuff for those of you out there. Very cool.

Joey Myers  31:57

Well, hey, Geoff, I appreciate your time, man today. And hopefully, like I said, do some more episodes, part two, part three, and we can dive a little bit deeper and all this other stuff. Thank you for hanging with me today.

Geoff Rottmayer  32:08

All right. Thank you.

Mini wiffle Ball Pitching Machine MaxBP Reviews

Mini Wiffle Ball Pitching Machine MaxBP Reviews [VIDEO]

Mini Wiffle Ball Pitching Machine MaxBP Reviews: What Does It Mean To ‘Build The Database’ When It Comes To Hitting?

 

 

Mini wiffle Ball Pitching Machine MaxBP Reviews

Wiffle Ball Pitching Machine MaxBP Reviews

In this mini wiffle ball pitching machine MaxBP reviews interview with owner and founder of MaxBP Neil McConnel, we’ll go over:

  • You’re doing a lot of really big things over the last year or two? Go ahead and let them know what you guys are up to?
  • What are some of those tools? I know you have a bunch of them, but say like top two or so outside of the actual pitching machines?
  • It’s not just about a whiffle ball pitching machine to hit on?
  • What does it mean to ‘build the database’ when it comes to hitting?
  • You guys have done a lot of cool stuff with using max BP with catchers, how do you guys use that?
  • “Where you’re making them make a decision and ignoring one color versus being locked into another color…”
  • “You can honestly get work in and probably 10-15 feet. 20 feet is a good space….”
  • Do you guys test them before they go out?
  • Where can people find you, the website, the social media, all that good stuff?

CLICK HERE for the mini wiffle ball pitching machine MaxBP reviews video transcription in PDF form, or jump around the video using the following full transcript… (29-minutes reading time)

ENJOY!


Mini Wiffle Ball Pitching Machine MaxBP Reviews Video Transcription…

Joey Myers  00:09

Hello and welcome to the Swing Smarter Monthly Newsletter or the swing smarter hitting training podcast, it’s your host Joey Myers from hittingperformancelab.com. With me, it’s always an honor to have Neil McConnell on representing mini wiffle ball pitching machine MaxBP reviews.

Joey Myers  00:21

We’re going to talk a lot about what…there he is right there, about MaxBP reviews. It’s not what it was about five years ago. It’s bigger. But first, I want to welcome into the show, Neil.

Neil McConnell  00:32

Thanks, Joe. I appreciate you having me on.

Joey Myers  00:36

We’ve had webinars together; we’ve done all kinds of MaxBP reviews stuff. We’ve talked endless amounts on the phone. I think the wife is wondering if I’m cheating on her.

Neil McConnell  00:48

Tell her to meet up at ABCA.

Joey Myers  00:51

Exactly. Tell the audience about mini wiffle ball pitching machine MaxBP reviews, for those that know about MaxBP reviews, maybe they bought something from you, a machine or whiffle ball pitching machine back in the day, but that’s not all you guys sell.

Joey Myers  01:06

You’re doing a lot of really big things over the last year or two? Go ahead and let them know what you guys are up to?

 

You’re doing a lot of really big things outside of mini wiffle ball pitching machine products over the last year or two? Go ahead and let them know what you guys are up to?

Neil McConnell  01:13

I’m just to give you a quick snapshot that will fold into that. We’re going on our 12th year in business. When we started this, really it was about having a machine that allowed us to get more batting practice.

Neil McConnell  01:26

Fairly quickly, I cooked up with several vision guys, Ryan Harrison is one of them, his father, his late father, Dr. Bill Harrison, pioneer vision in Major League Baseball from the 70s, quickly helped me understand just how much more this product was.

Neil McConnell  01:43

It’s not about the reps, it’s about the eyes, the vision and the reaction training. That’s where we really pivoted early on and really focused on those reps that you get to work on your eyes that’s often an overlooked aspect.

Neil McConnell  01:57

People are working out they’re eating right, they’re taking BP, they’re fielding ground balls and so forth. Now sleep is a big one, the eyes, and what are people doing on a daily or weekly basis to really improve that sports vision.

Neil McConnell  02:16

Then take that a step further, what we’ve done over the last three years, is really focus on the reps. While we have this machine that throws a high velocity ball to allow you to have max reps.

Neil McConnell  02:29

In fact, I’d love to rebrand the company, Max Reps, but we spent 12 years doing Max BP. We’ve been slowly adding products that are the best of the best, that allow you to have more reps.

Neil McConnell  02:44

That’s whether you’re on your own, you’re with your parents, you’re with your friends, you’re with your team. We have from the MLB level on down, we sent machines to Japan for both baseball and softball just a month ago.

Neil McConnell  03:00

We have over 500 colleges, you look at a top 25 and majority those elite teams are using our stuff. All of our products, again, compared to a wholesaler that’s selling everything, we’re really focused on those key tools to throw in your kit and allow you to get reps whether you have people to help you or you’re on your own.

Joey Myers  03:25

Now, what are some of those mini wiffle ball pitching machine MaxBP reviews and other tools? I know you have a bunch of them, but say like top two or so outside of the actual pitching machines?

 

What are some of those tools? I know you have a bunch of them, but say like top two or so outside of the mini wiffle ball pitching machine?

Neil McConnell  03:32

Outside of the machine MaxBP reviews, probably the one we’re most excited about is the heavy swing bats that we added earlier this year. So heavy swing similar clientele to ours, they’ve been around about 10 years, pretty amazing start for them, they had David Freese World Series MVP, that World Series, he had their bat in the on-deck circle.

Neil McConnell  03:54

This is a tool that allows that light heavy game bat sequence, working it off the tee and then working off a machine. They have hand weighted bats that are going to help you build strength which translates to bat speed.

Neil McConnell  04:11

For younger folks that haven’t refined their swing path, it’s going to help them reinforce that correct swing path hands inside. That’s the one we’re probably the most excited about.

Neil McConnell  04:25

We’ve got another one that we recently picked up as the web glove. I don’t have one around here.

Joey Myers  04:35

Like real pancake ones, but it’s a web?

Neil McConnell  04:37

Yeah, and this one it just attaches to these two fingers, they’re very small it’s for catching small whiffle balls, it showed up on LSU’s pre-season video this year for their softball team.

Neil McConnell  04:51

Again, to me, it’s about the reps and I feel like these days whether it’s the travel ball or parents thinking their kids going pro, they’re just kind of grinding on him right and so there’s some of that fun taken away.

Neil McConnell  05:04

To me, this is a great tool that kids can have a catch and a pair, and you’re really refining, because you’re catching something smaller, right? It just changes it up.

Neil McConnell  05:15

When you and I were kids, to me, it was about, go find that shovel that was broken, I saw off the shovel and hide the broken shovel or whatever.

Joey Myers  05:25

Throw rocks at each other.

Neil McConnell  05:26

Yes, we work on a new grip, throw rocks or whatever, throw the bottle caps, anything. We’re kind of inventing our own games. I feel like, in a bunch of ways, we must help the kids find these things, they’re going to get out and, and they’re going to get their reps on their own.

Neil McConnell  05:45

Parents and coaches can grind on the kids all they want, there’s great support, right? You don’t want the kids to quit, you want to stick with it. But they also need to find that extra time on their own to explore.

Neil McConnell  05:57

Again, just about every product we have, it allows the athlete to get working on their own. A lot of times, that’s where some great development happens, they’re experimenting with different grips.

Neil McConnell  06:13

They can see the results, right, and they can make the adjustments. To us at the end of the day, it’s all about reps and finding ways to put that time in.

Joey Myers  06:25

I love that, and probably five years ago, the reps thing was, to me was just like, but they got to be quality reps. I didn’t really learn the lesson on that, what you’re saying, until I started coaching my own son’s team.

Joey Myers  06:39

We started at the tee ball, and then we did the last year was the first year of player pitch. We’re teaching them all that stuff. But if for anybody who has coached a team, a young team like that, where you’re talking 6-7-8-9-10 year olds, reps are huge.

Joey Myers  06:55

There’s a little bit of, make sure you get your butt down, if you’re feeling ground balls and things like that. Or if we’re catching things, you don’t want to catch a ball like this, because where you have the glove up, if the balls up above the waist, you want to do that, because we always tell them what happens if the ball goes in the glove, and then out of the glove, we want to make sure we turn it over.

Joey Myers  07:15

There’s big things like that, obviously. But what I love about mini wiffle ball pitching machine MaxBP reviews and the glove you’re talking about is one of the things that we did, we didn’t have the glove because it was just first time I heard about the glove that you guys have.

Joey Myers  07:27

What we did was, right before we start playing catch, we have a little drill, it’s just a catching drill. The no hands like no gloves, they just use their hands and we have them do 10, they partner up like their catch partner.

Joey Myers  07:41

They just under hand the ball they’re not throwing it from about 10 feet is the first the first one. They’re just under handing the ball to each other. And the first round, they’re catching it with both hands, catching the ball both hands 10 times, and then we back them up. We go length.

Joey Myers  07:58

Now, same thing, they throw it to each other. But now they’re at 15 feet, or 20 feet, they’re lobbing the ball to each other, catching in both hands. They learn how to release the ball the right way to put it in a way where the person can catch it, because at first you know the ball is going over their head, and it’s going way over here, because they don’t know how to underhand the ball that’s controlled.

Joey Myers  08:15

We do four total phases, we do two hand catch the first one, close, two hand catch far. And then we do single hand catch. Whatever their glove hand is, so for me being righty, my left hand, so they can only catch it with their glove hand.

Joey Myers  08:30

They do the 10 feet again, 10 throws each and then they back up to 15 feet, 10 throws each and they’re catching it with this hand and tossed him with this hand. We did that every single practice but like you’re saying repetition, it’s not so much that you have to get super technical and specific about things, but that’s something that they can do.

Joey Myers  08:53

It’s a mini wiffle ball pitching machine that you can hit on max BP, but it’s also a machine you can catch it you can catch things, throw you grounders, you can have it throw you fly balls with the attachment that puts a fly ball and nothing’s better than repetitions of fly balls trying to catch a whiffle ball that’s not going to hurt them.  What are the MaxBP reviews?

Joey Myers  09:09

It’s not going to give them a bloody nose or black eye or anything if they miss it and it hits him in the face. It’s such a versatile machine like you said it’s not about back in the day.

Joey Myers  09:20

Can you remember what the first one was? I learned about you guys through Sandlot Slugger. I came in and you acquire them and then you took their machines in and stuff and that’s how I came to you, but it’s not just about a mini wiffle ball pitching machine with great MaxBP reviews.

 

It’s not just about a mini wiffle ball pitching machine to hit on?

Neil McConnell  09:34

Yes, absolutely. In fact, my favorite pop-up drill. Again, I learned this when I had my kids run it through their progression. How come my kid can’t catch or every time he moves to the side.

Joey Myers  09:48

Ole, ole, ole

Neil McConnell  09:51

I saw this guy online. He’s doing the drill, and just tossing the ball and having the kids take it off their forehead and he’s using the golf balls. Just throwing it off the forehead and that gets you in that position and lines up the eyes, right?

Neil McConnell  10:06

The ball is going to hit you in the forehead, it’s in the right line to be in front of it and catch it, and you’re maintaining that line of vision, same thing I’ve been.

Neil McConnell  10:15

It’s interesting. I always wonder, as I’m explaining these things, just lately, I’ve been working anywhere from the pros all the way down to five, six-year-olds just getting started, but like the fielding, in that butt down and aligning the eyes so that the more that that balls coming, coming, right, and it’s in line with your eyes, same with like bunting and explain them, hey, hands way out.

Neil McConnell  10:38

As opposed to kids want to keep that bat back, right? Or they move it back but having it way out. So you’ve got that line of sight that’s coming, and the line is not diverting from this to this, it’s more of a straight line.

Neil McConnell  10:53

Just building up the reps becomes a reaction. At the end of the day, the kid level, a lot of times, it’s going slow enough that they can think about all of the pitch. But somewhere along the way, the game speeds up to where it must be a reaction.

Joey Myers  11:10

Then it’s the reps like you said, that’s a rep set builds that right? It’s that constant pattern of okay, the balls in this line here, and then oh, the balls in this line here. I’ve seen it over and over and over. Oh, and now the balls down here, it’s in this line, or it’s coming this way, right?

Joey Myers  11:26

They see this, that tunnel, or that bridge over and over at different areas, and that’s what’s going to give them at the higher speed level as they go up, that when it starts moving faster, well, now it’s not so much that we can see the ball all the way like you’re saying it’s going 35 miles an hour, and we can track it all the way.

Joey Myers  11:44

Well, now when it starts to get to 45, 55, 65, 70, 85, then it becomes a blur, becomes a line it becomes like we call them tunnels, right? Then you’ve built up enough of the repetition, where when it was slow enough where you can track the whole thing?

Joey Myers  11:58

Then it just does this and then all you’re looking at is you’re looking at that tunnel, is it up here? Is it here? Is it here? Right? I love that great MaxBP reviews, go ahead.

 

What does it mean to ‘build the database’ when it comes to hitting on the mini wiffle ball pitching machine?

Neil McConnell  12:08

I was just going to add on to that. ABCA I would guess maybe 15 years ago in San Diego saw Don Slaught speak. He’s got his Right View Pro. I just loved how he talked about building the database.

Neil McConnell  12:21

Your brain and all these reps, as I’ve always taught, again, I evolved with my kids and listening a lot more over the last 10-15 years. I always ask people, hey, where do you set up the tee and they set it up in that one perfect spot.

Neil McConnell  12:39

Every kid wants to set up and that one perfect spot, great, you’re going to be good at hitting that one pitch? It’s one out of about 50 or so locations.

Neil McConnell  12:50

So we talked about battleship. In fact, we have a couple blogs on our website, we relate it back to the game of battleship because you’ve got this grid, right of all these potential pitch locations, where there’s that famous to cover the Ted Williams book, all the zones.

Neil McConnell  13:04

Those are the ones we want to work. So anyhow, that translates over incredibly to the max BP, because like they did a study, this might have been Slaught’s one as well. It might have been Mike Epstein at ABCA, but they talked about hitting off the Iron Mike.

Neil McConnell  13:25

They had pros hit five, six balls off the Iron Mike, and then they covered one of their eyes, depth perception, and they were still just crushing. The point was there wasn’t enough variation location.

Neil McConnell  13:38

It’s the same as like, pitchers are taught you never throw the same pitch to two pitches in a row. Almost no matter how bad the guy is. Same pitch, second time around. The guy’s going to boom.

Neil McConnell  13:52

Anyway, so the max BP got this beautiful variation that’s working around the zone, that reinforces that whole battleship concept and really building that database.

Joey Myers  14:04

Also whiffle balls in the wind, if you’re in a windy area, you’re going to have that variation anyway, and so we teach in extremes. When we use our MaxBP mini wiffle ball pitching machine, that’s one of our stations, we do our small private groups, between two and four to six hitters in a group.  My hitters have favorable MaxBP reviews.

Joey Myers  14:19

The max BPs one of the stations and usually I’ll use it as like a righty slider for my juniors, High School guys and gals, gals not so much the slider, but we use that righty slider because they’re going to see more righty sliders and they are lefties, but you get all that movement.

Joey Myers  14:37

What I’m trying to get them to do is I’m trying to get them to see this, this, this, this over and over, like you’re saying that pattern, right?

Joey Myers  14:45

The other one we like to use is just the high fastball, so we crank it up the turbo, we get it to where it’s coming across their letters, and so they’re getting used to getting on top of the ball and what we say is hitting it through the tube.

Joey Myers  14:56

Imagining the ball coming through a tube, from the MaxBP machine, and it’s coming to the hitter at a certain height that tube is, and we’re trying to hit it right back through that too.

Joey Myers  15:06

Those are the two biggest ones that we use with the MaxBP mini wiffle ball pitching machine. But what I wanted to ask is there’s a lot of catchers out there, a lot of parents with catchers, coaches with catchers, and you guys have done a lot of cool stuff with using max BP with catchers, how do you guys use that and what kind of MaxBP reviews have you received from catchers?

 

You guys have done a lot of cool stuff with using max BP mini wiffle ball pitching machine with catchers, how do you guys use that?

Neil McConnell  15:24

Everything from just starting learning how to receive the ball to if you look on the website, we’ve got one of the all-time great college catchers Chelsea Goodacre, who played at U of A and played professionally, was in Japan this last year, but she has this great drill that she did that was basically trying to get on, with the glove hand, she would tap the ball as it came in and have it hit home plate.

Neil McConnell  15:48

By doing that she was getting on the outside of the ball. Again, reps, reps, reps, reps, reps. So, learning to receive, learning to block, there’s kind of just countless catchers from the big-league level on down that are just trying to get the work in and learning positioning, the new where they’re starting with the glove down low and coming up.

Neil McConnell  16:14

That’s something you subscribe to, again, how are you going to get your guy hundreds of reps a day, without getting beat up, because a lot of the benefit out of the max BP is the reps without the fatigue you would get catching the balls.

Joey Myers  16:30

When you guys also have colored balls. It’s not just like the whole balls yellow, or the whole balls red, which you do have, but you have split colored balls. One of the other things we like to do is we’ll do our drills, but we’ll have a mix, like complete mix, like you gave me a mix, but I even made a mix of the mix.

Joey Myers  16:47

Sometimes what we’ll do is they’ll have to say the color before they hit it. If it’s a two-tone colored ball, so it could be yellow and white, or it could be blue and green or whatever, they have to say the first color that they see before they swing.

Joey Myers  17:02

That also with the catching can really help because again, like the Harrison stuff, right? The eye stuff, you’re trying to get them to identify and then make it. It could be to where maybe they don’t catch the greens. Maybe you have a mix of red and greens. Or they catch the greens, and they don’t catch the reds, like red light, green light, right?

Joey Myers  17:21

Where you’re making them make a decision and ignoring one color versus being locked into another color.  Something else you may not pick up from online MaxBP reviews.

“Where you’re making them make a decision and ignoring one color versus being locked into another color…”

Neil McConnell  17:29

I would say to me the most transformational drill with this one. Again, I believe that more every single day. It’s incredible, because as we get testimonies coming in, and there’s one after another kid, my kids swung in and miss pitches all the time, and now he barely swings and misses.

Neil McConnell  17:45

We get those every day. It’s incredible.

Neil McConnell  17:48

But the tracking catch drill if you’re doing that. Take the bat out of the hands, you’re in the hitting position, load, and then you’re catching left hand, catching right hand, you’re trying to catch the ball as deep as possible.

Neil McConnell  18:03

Kids initially will want to come out front and slap the ball. Right. It’s getting them to track it deep getting them to, and then the second phase pass out, one is the track and decide.

Neil McConnell  18:14

That’s what the multi colors you’re just talking about. What’s happening in your brain there is it’s differentiating between a difference in color. The same thing that’s helping you make that rapid decision, because then that’s translating to a left hand or right hand or letting it go.

Neil McConnell  18:32

That’s the same thing that you’re picking up from a pitcher’s hand, a different release, different release point that might indicate fastball versus curveball, or slider. So those micro differences that your brain is recognizing quick.

Neil McConnell  18:46

This is colors versus a grip or a small spin, but that same thing, and that rapid decision making is training your brain,

Joey Myers  18:57

That’s cool. There’s a lot of difference if you bring up the subject of pitch recognition. Those are different phases. We teach my hitters that that might be like four different phases.

Joey Myers  19:07

Number one, the signals that you’re looking for, could be the pitcher hasn’t even started his wind up or her wind up yet, and they’re giving away what they’re doing. I tell my hitters, when I was in college, we had a lefty, who threw about 94, had about an 88 mile an hour slider.

Joey Myers  19:24

I loved hitting lefties, but he was devastating to a lot of different hitters. What he would do is that when he would go fastball, he would just get his sign, and then he would do his thing.

Joey Myers  19:35

If he got curveball, he would take his glove and he would go here and then up and then go, so he gave it away right away. Then in their wind up, even before the wind up, there’s the pattern recognition of okay, what are they throwing, what do they tend to go to a hidden account? What do they go to behind in the count? What do they tend to lean on more?

Joey Myers  20:00

That’s a big part of our homework, I tell my hitters you got to be critical thinking hitters. Before that pitcher even throws a ball, before he even gets a sign, you need to have a bulk of information that you’re dealing from then wind up, he gives something up or maybe his release point, he gives something up, he does this with the curveball throws it to 12 to six, and a fastball throws out here more three quarter, he’s given it up based on his arm angle.

Joey Myers  20:25

We’re not necessarily looking for detail in his hand but we can see this versus this, fastball versus here.

Joey Myers  20:32

There’s spin, so once I get here, there’s given stuff away, and then there’s spin, right you were looking at. A lot of this we can work on with Max BP, a lot of this with the coloring you’re talking about is ignoring one color but hitting another color or saying the color out when you’re hitting it or putting it in a zone and just getting the reps in that area so that you’re getting used to that movement. I love being able to have that as an option for kids, like you said with the repetitions of it.  This can be helpful for someone looking for MaxBP reviews.

Neil McConnell  21:04

Absolutely and again, they can set it up on their own. That’s one of the beauties, so it’s small space. Incredible.

 

“You can honestly get work in and probably 10-15 feet. 20 feet is a good space….”

Neil McConnell  21:12

I caught up with an old college friend who was with the nationals and asked him hey, what’s max BP given the whole thing? He was, oh, that’s your company. He’s like I got, who’s Daniel Espinosa. He grabs me and we go down on the road games in the hotel and find like a room that’s open and he’s firing balls at them and clean up and all that.

Neil McConnell  21:36

If you got a…

Joey Myers  21:38

Cellar, basement.

Neil McConnell  21:39

Yes, anywhere. You can honestly get work in and probably 10-15 feet. 20 feet is a good space.

Joey Myers  21:47

Yes, I mean how many settings? There’s like what five settings for speed. There’s regular speed. There’s turbo, you even have fast to where the dial where you can set it to righty curveball, lefty curveball, and then yes soft toss. You have like a couple other speed things there too. There are so many different options that you can use.

Neil McConnell  22:07

Absolutely.

Joey Myers  22:09

I got a question for you that I usually get. I’ve asked you this in the past, is people will say, well, I got another whiffle ball pitching machine and it’s a lot cheaper. What are the differences between MaxBP reviews and others? What’s the answer you usually give to that?

Neil McConnell  22:24

Well, the most obvious is the velocity. Our exit velocity is much higher than anything out there. If you’re wanting to set it up further away, or get the ultra-high velocities, like we had, I’m going back maybe 8,9,10 years ago.

Neil McConnell  22:42

Raúl Ibañez, when he was still playing, I believe he was with Seattle at the time, and he was about to buy one of those tennis ball machines that are 10 – $14,000 or something, and they throw the balls, I want to say 140 miles an hour.

Neil McConnell  23:00

They require an operator, they jam, they have a handful of issues, but they’re great for training. In fact, if you watch some Edgar Martinez retirement videos, he talked about his eye issues he had through his whole career. That was one of the things he did to really put in all that extra work to be the Hall of Fame player he was.

Neil McConnell  23:19

Anyway, Raúl, quickly got exposed to our machine and realized, this is going to do the same thing. That ball is fast, it’s portable. If you go down the list, so it’s fast as the most obvious, it’s more durable.

Neil McConnell  23:37

If you feel it, obviously there’s a difference, holds more balls, so it allows more reps. The number of speed and the curve changes. On the pro model, there’s three different righty curves, there’s three different lefty curves. Maybe we call like slaughter slider cutter curve.

Neil McConnell  23:58

The pitch interval, on the pro there’s a rapid-fire option that allows a ball to fire every second. Instead of the fastest being three seconds, you got a ball coming every second so whether it’s a bunting station, there’s other drills you can do bunt, take, swing.

Neil McConnell  24:14

The rapid hand catch drills, whether you’re a catcher or even in the hitting position, in fact that one Sean Casey on MLB network demonstrated that one about four years ago with the rapid fire.

Joey Myers  24:31

Do you guys test them before they go out because that can be helpful for someone looking for MaxBP reviews?

 

Do you guys test them before they go out?

Neil McConnell  24:33

A lot of testing. We’re built here in the US so we do have good parts you can’t get anywhere in the world but China still, but the build is done in the US, we hand pour our wheels, we test, there’s multiple test spots at every single step.

Joey Myers  24:54

I know that was one of the big things with the cheaper model was that people would get them, they’re all over the place, they’re not tested basically before they go out.

Neil McConnell  25:04

Yes, and one of the other keys, we’ve stuck with whiffle brand balls so those guys are out of Connecticut, 63 year old company, three generation, our customers were amazing and stuck with us, they ran out of the plastic and they had empty warehouses for the first time in their 63 years of history this summer.

Neil McConnell  25:25

We were rationing balls like saltines in a bomb shelter or something. That’s one of the keys though, so they maintain the weight, the size and all that. People, too, they say, hey, these balls are expensive.

Neil McConnell  25:44

Again, it’s high quality, we say you must lose them for them to become useless. They don’t ding, they don’t have the little burrs that create imperfections. Very high-quality product that’s made here in the US, in Connecticut. There was one other difference, what the heck was it?

Neil McConnell  26:10

I’ll think of it.

Joey Myers  26:10

There’s a lot to take in regarding MaxBP reviews.

Neil McConnell  26:12

Yes, there’s a bunch. It’s high-quality product and the thing we stand by is our customer service. We’ll work with the customers, we’ll help them through drills, we’ll help them through set up and all that kind of stuff.

Neil McConnell  26:29

We’ve got some great new setup videos that are out on the website. We pulled away the paper instructions a few years back and went to an FAQ text and got a few complaints like hey, we’re expecting a step by step, but we’ve created some really great videos, everything from setting up the tripod attaching the pop up to just a general unboxing and here’s what you get.

Neil McConnell  26:52

The drills we’re about to shoot another drill run. The first that we did was probably four and a half years ago with the guy Tyler Hyneman, catcher out of UCLA, most of his time at Triple A he was with the Astros at the time.

Neil McConnell  27:05

Last year thanks to Buster Posey taking a year off, half the summer caught opening day for the giants.

Joey Myers  27:12

So cool.

Neil McConnell  27:13

Just one of the more awesome dudes in baseball, just as nice as they come, and I just fall in love with these guys that put in the work. It’s almost like when I met Scott Hatteberg, about 10 years ago, I was more interested in talking about Michael Lewis and spending a week with Moneyball, getting ready for Moneyball.

Neil McConnell  27:36

One of the guys that was with me asked Hatteberg a question was like, hey, so how do you foul off a pitch and managing an at-bat and just foul off and wait for good pitches.

Neil McConnell  27:47

He’s like, I was never able to do that, he’s like, I felt lucky just to make contact and the amount of work I put in, and when you talk to guys like that, that just grind and they put in the work, if I had that time machine, I would give myself one of these machines in the 80s.

Neil McConnell  28:06

I love putting in the work but having the tools, I say, kids these days, and athletes in general, the tools at their disposal are just off the charts. The science on eating and sleeping.

Neil McConnell  28:22

Harrison did a series of webinars when COVID started and it seemed like every webinar we did, sleeping was coming up. It was incredible. But those are things that we just had no clue of back in the 80s.

Joey Myers  28:37

We were doing what the outfielders’ combined sleep was like three hours. We had a game like that in college. We used to do a brunch on Sunday at Fresno State, beautiful brunch and especially my freshman year, towards the end of the season, I played the first half of the season and then pretty much sat the last half of the season.

Joey Myers  28:59

Sunday, it was always the rule if you were playing you can pretty much eat what you wanted as much as you wanted. If you weren’t playing you had to be careful if you ate too much that you were going to fall asleep on the bench, but we had one of those Sundays to brunches, we had our complete outfield.

Joey Myers  29:17

I wasn’t one of them, but our complete outfield had like accumulative sleep the night before because they’d all gone out like four hours, four hours of sleep. Don’t do that.

Neil McConnell  29:32

Memories.

Joey Myers  29:34

Well, hey, I want to be respectful your time, Neil. So where can people find you, the website, the social media, all that good MaxBP reviews stuff?

 

Where can people find you, the website, the social media, all that good stuff?

Neil McConnell  29:41

So MaxBP.com, that’s probably the quickest way to jump all our social links. We just rolled out a new website about a week and a half ago, the fifth website in 12 years. A lot of great content up there.

Neil McConnell  29:54

We’re here to help you get more reps. We’ve got another cool announcement here in the next couple of weeks, another product that we’re bringing on board, we’re teaming up.

Neil McConnell  30:06

The one thing I quickly realized as we were doing ABCA and NFCA and all these shows is there a few big companies out there like the Wilson who picked up ATEC and Louisville Slugger and Marucci has since gotten purchased.

Neil McConnell  30:13

There were just several 100 amazing small companies that had really cool products and sell them and had a tough time getting visibility to the masses.

Neil McConnell  30:39

It’s funny I have a handful friends always call me the gizmo guy like I’ve got one Gizmo after another but I’m always testing things, but I have a very small kit of tools that I use when I coach.

Neil McConnell  30:53

That’s reflected on our website I refuse to take on hundreds and hundreds and just sell everything in anything because I really believe you work on hitting, you work on the mechanics on a tee, getting some reps there and now you’ve got to hit a moving ball and then how are you going to get lots of reps doing that and we strongly believe MaxBP’s the best way to do that.

Neil McConnell  31:16

Thanks a ton for having me and visit www.maxBP.com and reach out to us, any questions you have, we got a ton of great blog articles. We’re grateful for the partnership with Joey going back long ways and hopefully see him in person.

Neil McConnell  31:34

Are you going on NFCA, I think that’s our first show out the gates this December?

Joey Myers  31:40

We’ll see. I think I kind of want to see how all this political stuff pans out on the traveling side of things. If it’s closer I can drive probably better deals, but we’ll kind of see on those I will eventually get back out there again.

Joey Myers  31:56

I can’t wait to get together in person, not saying that we’d have one of those nights where it would be four hours of sleep between us but maybe that might happen.

Neil McConnell  32:10

Thanks. Yeah, you also improve my golf driving yardage. I think I had a good 30-40 yards consistently. Thanks for the bellybutton squeeze.

Joey Myers  32:21

Well, the reason I recommended that to you because you were saying you got that back pain.

Neil McConnell  32:25

Exactly. The back pain is gone. I love how these things they translate over to other sports because, when I was golfing last summer through COVID I hadn’t played in seven years.

Neil McConnell  32:39

I love how these pieces come together, and then that reminds me, too and when I’m working with my hitters. What are they doing biomechanical and you’ve got that stuff nailed.

Joey Myers  32:50

Exactly. Cool, dude. Well, hey, any scratch my back. I scratch your back type of thing. Alright, Neil. Well, hey, have a good rest of your week and we’ll do this again some other time, MaxBP reviews.

Neil McConnell  33:02

Thanks.

Joey Myers  33:03

Alright brother.

Private Baseball Lessons Near Me

Private Baseball Lessons Near Me Video Interview

Private Baseball Lessons Near Me: “I saw 6000 guys; I didn’t see anybody who could hit a curveball. It’s like, how are we not hitting a curveball?”

 

 

Private Baseball Lessons Near Me

If you’re searching for “private baseball lessons near me” in central Pennsylvania, then please reach out to Coach Bill Masullo.

In this private baseball lessons near me video, we interview a good friend of mine Coach Bill Masullo out of Pennsylvania.  His company is of the Ultimate Edge at GoodSports.  In this private baseball lessons near me interview we chat about:

  • Give me your sales pitch on you guys’ Academy, what you guys do, where you’re located, etc.
  • How long has it been since you started following me Bill?
  • Do you guys do different experiments and stuff like that? Do you show those kids a part of your learning process?
  • What’s your advice on the biggest mistake you see some of these hitting academies making in the beginning?
  • How are you guys applying Perry Husband’s stuff?
  • What hitting strategies are you talking about to your guys? And how are you practicing them?
  • Why ‘keep hands inside’ the curveball is a myth…
  • Bill and Joey on the state of youth baseball and softball: ‘free play’
  • Where can people find you Bill?

Very interesting sit down with Coach Bill, to give you a little taste, here’s a quote from him about his research this past summer…

“I saw 450 teams play, and of those 6000 players, 50 are phenomenal, and I didn’t see a bad player. I’m being honest, I didn’t see a bad player. But I saw like 5950 guys, that all looked alike… I saw 6000 guys; I didn’t see anybody who could hit a curveball. It’s like, how are we not hitting a curveball?”

CLICK HERE for the full pdf transcript of the above private baseball lessons near me video, or continue on to read below…

ENJOY!


Joey Myers  00:06

Hello, and welcome to the swing smarter monthly newsletter. This is your host Joey Myers from hittingperformancelab.com and I have the honor to have a guest on, who I’ve been on his stuff quite a bit, Mr. Coach Bill Masullo.

Joey Myers  00:20

Welcome to the show first, Bill.

Bill Masullo  00:22

Oh, thank you, Joey. Thank you for having me here. I love it.

Joey Myers  00:27

One of the big reasons why I want Coach Bill on is Bill runs an academy, a decent size Academy, it’s been around for a while, I’m going to have him go into that just give you the little details, in case you’re in his general area over there in the Pennsylvania’s.

Joey Myers  00:42

I wanted to have Bill on because I wanted to go in, and I know I have some Academy owners that follow me. I know there’s some out there may be just starting or wanting to start their own hitting Academy or baseball softball Academy.

Joey Myers  00:54

I think Bill’s private baseball lessons near me knowledge of this, and his school of hard knocks knowledge will be invaluable in this. So first, I want to start off, Bill, I want you to just give me your sales pitch on you guys’ Academy, what you guys do, where you guys are located, and kind of go from there.

 

Give me your sales pitch on you guys’ Academy, what you guys do, where you’re located, etc. for those looking for private baseball lessons near me?

Bill Masullo  01:11

Sure, I run a facility. It’s known as Good Sports and we are located in Central Pennsylvania. If you can picture Pennsylvania as a somewhat of a square looking type of state, little rectangular and you stick your finger right in the middle of that, that’s where you would find us and we’re just a little bit north of Penn State University. Most people have heard of that.

Bill Masullo  01:38

I began in a very roundabout way. I’m a little bit of an outsider when it comes to this whole baseball thing. I coached hockey for 25 years-26 years in all honesty. I was too small of a guy to play baseball, so nobody wants a light hitting second baseman.

Bill Masullo  02:05

What I noticed along the way was, I’m very much a contrarian by nature, so I noticed a lot of information that I didn’t think was good information or correct information and then when it was acted upon by the player, the player sort of got a little bit of grief.

Bill Masullo  02:27

I just always sort of thought, hey, I can do that a little bit better with a little bit of a different outcome. We’ve been successful in that regards. Everything we do is either small group, or one on one. I don’t promote travel teams or such. We just train, that is what we do. It’s a little bit different in that regard.

Joey Myers  02:53

I love that. How long has it been since you started following me or any of the other ones that we’ll talk about in this call?

 

How long has it been since you started following me Bill?

Bill Masullo  03:01

Joey, I’m trying to even figure out how I got there. Well, I’m going to say it’s been at least 10 years. I’m going right back to the very first book that you put out. I think what attracted me to you and I get attracted to these types.

Bill Masullo  03:28

Guys that are out there saying, speaking, what no one else was talking about. You’ve always heard me say, with you, it was always well, let me prove it. Let me go grab some baseballs and let’s set something up formally, and let’s look at it. Let’s see if that’s true or not.

Bill Masullo  03:50

I thought, wow, if a guy is going to get that deep into it, that’s the guy that I want to understand, and you went to movement. I just thought, you know what, that’s a piece of the puzzle that everyone wants to neglect and not knowingly, but it’s just sort of like, Oh, so and that’s it. I know that’s how I got to you. I don’t know when that was.

Joey Myers  04:16

I think that’s interesting and that was when I first did it. When it comes to private baseball lessons near me, I didn’t want to come from a background where I wanted to push my Fresno State background. If you go on my about page I do mention that but I don’t say listen to me because I went to Fresno State, because I know there’s going to be somebody else saying, well, I played for the Blue Jays for 10 years.

Joey Myers  04:38

I trump your four years playing division one college baseball and then for that person, well, I made three All Star game appearances. It’s this shouting match that whoever can shout the loudest whoever got to the top, in that sense, we should be all listening to Bonds and Aaron.

Joey Myers  04:59

Although I do agree with a lot of what they say I think it gets misconstrued, but this idea of going out and prove it. I think what you’re saying is that a lot of the instructors out there, gurus, whatever you want to call them, the guys at the top of the food chain, I guess, and the gals, that it is a dogma, they’ve created a system that is so much of a dogma that they can’t save face and go opposite of what they said.

Joey Myers  05:27

I think early on, when I did the swing experiments, I said, hey, I’m stumbling on this new stuff. Let’s challenge it and let’s do a little swing experiment and say, okay, let’s see what happens if we do this, and then the opposite of this, and then see how the numbers roll out.  And I think people who search “private baseball lessons near me” can appreciate that approach.

Joey Myers  05:43

Like you said, I always tell people find out do it on your own. Don’t take my word for it. I don’t want to be the bottleneck. Go do it on your own. Do you guys do different experiments and stuff like that? Do you show those kids like a part of your learning process?

 

Do you guys do different experiments and stuff like that? Do you show those kids a part of your learning process when doing private baseball lessons near me?

Bill Masullo  05:57

Absolutely. Obviously, sprinkled with a lot of self-deprecating humor.

Joey Myers  06:04

Yeah. That’s what I like about you.

Bill Masullo  06:08

I don’t ever want to take myself seriously. I jokingly tell my kids this all the time, you certainly don’t want to hit the way I hit. Let’s try to get to the information. I want my kids to experiment quite a bit.

Bill Masullo  06:29

I would say probably the biggest fight I have, is just knocking the kids over the head, a little bit gently, but the idea of logging, doing experiments on our own. We’re always trying to that idea of being comfortable with being uncomfortable. I would say I have learned far more from those kids than they have ever learned from me.

Joey Myers  07:01

I love that, and speaking from an academy owners’ point of view, and I know, like you said, you’re not really into the travel ball teams, it’s more of the development side, which I love.

Joey Myers  07:10

I think that is must be a private baseball lessons near me staple in any kind of hitting Academy, it can’t be just about taking the parents money, not saying they all do this, but taking the parents money just to have a travel team to go out and play and things like that there must be a foundation to that.

Joey Myers  07:24

If I’m paying as a parent $200 a month or $300 a month or 400 or whatever. I mean, I’ve heard some crazy amounts, my kids better be getting something other than just exposure, right? There are a lot of travel teams out there.

Joey Myers  07:38

What would be your advice for other hitting academies, it could be a one just getting off the ground or thinking about getting off the ground? Or maybe one that’s been going for maybe a year or two? What’s your biggest advice for marketing to the private baseball lessons near me crowd?

Joey Myers  07:51

Or how about this? What’s your advice on the biggest mistake you see some of these hitting academies making in the beginning, like top two or one biggest mistake?

 

What’s your advice on the biggest mistake you see some of these hitting academies making in the beginning?

In the summer, “I saw 450 teams play, and of those 6000 players, 50 are phenomenal, and I didn’t see a bad player. I’m being honest, I didn’t see a bad player. But I saw like 5950 guys, that all looked alike… I saw 6000 guys; I didn’t see anybody could hit a curveball. It’s like, how are we not hitting a curveball?”

Bill Masullo  08:05

At the end of the day, I want to create a relationship with my player. I want them to understand that I’m invested, and with what they want to do, to help them improve.

Bill Masullo  08:23

For me, logging, just everything is a little bit slower. Some days that is, does that mean then that we can just go do a classroom day where we want to discuss a little bit more before we go put it into operation? Yeah, we do that. But I want them to see the breadcrumbs that they’ve laid down as they continue to improve to develop their skill.

Bill Masullo  08:50

For us, I just look and go, we need to understand how to play baseball. What does that mean? To be prepared to do these travel things, that is a huge undertaking. I have done that this summer, I have traveled extensively to watch some high caliber players.

Bill Masullo  09:12

At the end of the day, I am going to say if I saw 450 teams play, and of those 6000 players, 50 are phenomenal, and I didn’t see a bad player. I’m being honest, I didn’t see a bad player. But I saw like 5950 guys, that all looked alike.

Bill Masullo  09:37

I tell my guys every day be uncommon, and I want them to be aggressive, to stay away from passive attitudes. I want them to be aggressive, make mistakes and being earnest, learn from them. That’s why I’m there to help guide them to say hey, it’s okay that we fell here today. Just keep at it.

Joey Myers  09:57

I love that, especially if 2020 has taught us anything, almost the biggest skills that we can instill in our baseball and softball players are two things. They both start with the same letter. I know you love this; you appreciate that is courage and critical thinking.

Joey Myers  10:14

It sounds like that’s what you’re saying courage and critical thinking.

Bill Masullo  10:19

Yes, every day, because one of my weaknesses, I don’t know how to think well, and I’m being honest. I see it but then because I am aware of that weakness, that’s why I seek guys like you out.

Bill Masullo  10:39

Okay, you got to do the lifting, because I’m not smart enough to understand that. But it’s funny when that begins to happen, because then I get like lightbulb moments on a regular basis. Okay, now I get it. Then the movement begins, and something else happens, and it’s right.

Bill Masullo  11:00

Right now, I took for granted that we’re discussing, as we get into the fall here. Again, I saw 6000 guys, I didn’t see anybody could hit a curveball. It’s like, how are we not hitting a curveball?

Bill Masullo  11:21

I took for granted that they did the things that I did. When we’re talking visual, visual data, just actual visual data collections, I find out that they’re into narrow a box, they have no idea of how the balls moving in space and time, the control of the space in front of them.

Bill Masullo  11:46

Now I must step back and that’s what we are doing right now, planning on in the next couple of weeks to undergo that as a major educational component, and that will be your visual planning.

Joey Myers  12:05

We have a very co-friend in Perry Husband, and you talk about seeking people out smarter than you. Talk a little bit about that, a lot of what you’re talking about is in that Perry sphere, right? How are you guys applying that when it comes to private baseball lessons near me?

 

How are you guys applying Perry Husband’s stuff?

Bill Masullo  12:22

I want to talk about like visual planning, I will say this and I’m pretty sure I got this from Perry and so Perry is effective velocity HittingIsAGuess.com for those of you, look him up.

Joey Myers  12:34

Dot com

Bill Masullo  12:35

Yep. He has some theories, I believe very valid theories, tested theories. It’s the hallmark of how I instruct, but when I began to use what I would call right now, I use the phrase “right now” his heart, whatever, it’s a pneumonic that Perry uses when stating, do only one thing, understand location, understand shape, understand the velocity of the pitch.

Bill Masullo  13:14

Now what I’m seeing is, when this gets combined with the idea of the visual, what is the shape that I’m looking for, you know, how should that look? What is it actually? Now it’s almost instantly guys are coming back with information.

Bill Masullo  13:32

I’ve had kids that have never given me one good sentence of good feedback. Now they go a little bit wider, and they’re saying, oh, well, I can see where that fastball is coming all the time. Plus, you tip off your curveball. I say tip off my curveball. They said yeah, you lean forward on your curve.

Bill Masullo  13:55

These are kids that are good hitters but have always had that trouble. That’s the thing that I’ve seen, and I deal a lot with 18-17-16, all the way down to 10-year-olds, that’s the bulk of who we’re working and yet they know curveballs come in, and yet, they still can’t hit it.

Bill Masullo  14:16

That’s what I saw a lot of and such, so now when I take those components, there’s visual components with their background that they have and what EV is, suddenly that’s like the brick and mortar.

Bill Masullo  14:31

There are no cracks right now, and I know that there are, I just don’t know what they are yet. Now we go back and now we test again, a la Joey Myers, a la hitting performance lab.

Joey Myers  14:44

That’s super interesting. It seems like every year there’s some sort of you talk about the aha moment and in our system, and it used to be in the mechanic side of things. There’s this aha moment and we start working on it with some new stuff and doing that swing experimentation.  The private baseball lessons near me crowd will love this!

Joey Myers  15:00

We finally evolve it to a point where it’s like this is solid. It’s consistent with the success my hitters are getting. This last year, it was almost like it wasn’t the physical, mechanical aha moment, we call them hitting strategies.

Joey Myers  15:16

We have six of them, and what it is, is I teach my hitters that there’s three dimensions to hitting, there’s the vertical component, so the pitch can go up or down in the zone, there’s the horizontal component, which is the depth of the pitch, right inside, middle, and away.

Joey Myers  15:31

There’s the Perry Husband EV dimension, which is the timing or the speed of the pitcher, the shape like you’re talking about, and people out there don’t know what the shape, what Bill’s talking about is the shape of the pitch, the shape the pitch is taking, or we could argue the shape that it’s coming out of the hand, or where the arm slot is, and all that kind of stuff.

Joey Myers  15:51

There’s two out of I think we have about six, I just added a two-strike approach. It has nothing to do with physical adjustments, like we’re not choking up, we’re not going wide with our feet. The whole other things that coaches teach and I’ve taught to, but I don’t really do that.

Joey Myers  16:08

We always say that if you’re going to use a two-strike swing, if you’re going to make those physical adjustments that you must practice out in the cage, you can’t just practice your normal swing, and then in the game, oh two strike adjustment and then go straight to that because you’re not practicing it.

Joey Myers  16:20

The top two that we use that do strike is what we just added recently. But the first one is adjusting verticals, we call them verticals, not launch angles, because you know, coaches love that word launch angle, some of them, say, adjusting to like what Perry says hit it back, we call it hitting back through the two, but he says hitting it back through that little donut that he has that marker at 10 to 15 degrees.

Joey Myers  16:44

You’re making your adjustments above and below. If he had a ground ball, trying to hit a fly ball next time, if he had a fly ball trying to hit a ground ball next time, trying to get it to go right back through, right, so that’s number one.

Joey Myers  16:54

Number two is our middle away, middle up, or middle away, middle in, middle down approach where we’re adjusting our barrel path to middle away, middle down, which is very similar, but it’s different than middle and middle up.

Joey Myers  17:08

Those two alone, I tell my hitters, I said, I was a .250 career hitter in college. Those two alone have nothing to do with mechanics. But those two alone, those two hitting strategies, I would have hit 100 points higher, for sure, in my career, I would hit .350 at Fresno State.  This helps to win over the private baseball lessons near me crowd.

Joey Myers  17:26

You’re talking about these hitting strategies? What are some things you guys do to practice that?

What hitting strategies are you talking about to your guys?  And how are you practicing them?

Bill Masullo  17:32

Number one, I look at younger kids a little bit different than I look at my 12-year-olds a little bit older, so there’s a different way that we would approach them. First thing I want them to do is just be able to hit it hard and hit it far.

Bill Masullo  17:52

I really don’t get locked into a whole lot of mechanical work. There’s always time towards that. The very first thing that we’ll do is we’ll set targets so that we can get feedback. It’s the one thing in baseball that I think is lacking, is the understanding of how I obtain feedback.

Bill Masullo  18:24

Every kid that has a bucket, coach has a bucket everywhere and the coach goes crazy at some point when everybody’s shooting basketball. One day I was watching that, and it sort of struck me as like, and yet here they are playing this random game, with their buddy as they’re trying to put balls back in the bucket, it was like, that’s the feedback that I want you to understand.

Bill Masullo  18:50

Now we have very distinct targets. So that if I were to ask them, what are you trying to do? What are you trying to hit? If you’re going to hit that target with the ball off the barrel of your bat? What does it look like?

Bill Masullo  19:05

Again, this goes back to Perry and I would say the use of imagination. Understanding what type of swing gives you that, it’s amazing what the brain will do, and it just brings them to that.

Bill Masullo  19:17

We’re always getting feedback based on what their intended goal was. When it’s used over and over, it’s easy to see when they’re using their pneumonic, when they’re using hit hard or right now, and when they’re not.

Bill Masullo  19:39

To me, the fallacy is the foul ball that’s straight back, and everybody says, oh, you’re right on it, and that is the furthest thing from the truth, and we’ll measure that out for that ball to go directly back.

Bill Masullo  19:54

That means I’m like probably on my back hip and maybe a little underneath it. I’m thinking that my hands were on hands show. I’m like, a foot 18 inches out in front of me.

Bill Masullo  20:08

Well, when I do that, and I show them that, and I just marked that with baseball, it’s anywhere from 33 to 36 inches off. That is a bundle of distance in speed. They’re not close.

Bill Masullo  20:23

What I need for them to understand is some of the stuff they’ve heard all along isn’t true. For baseball players, they want to make small incremental adjustments.

Bill Masullo  20:35

I always tell them when I was telling the story, when I was younger, my dad would come home from work, and I would beat him home 10 minutes from school, and I always had my eight-track cassette player on, so I don’t want to date myself.

Joey Myers  20:53

I had one, too.

Bill Masullo  20:55

I have it at eight, my dad would come back to the bedroom. He’d say, hey, can you turn that down? I take it to seven, and he’d come back about 10 minutes later and turn it down before and say I thought I asked you to turn that down?

Bill Masullo  21:08

I said, well, I did well, not enough. That’s what I think. Getting the kids to understand how big are the adjustments? We talked about this, you and I and Perry we talked about this, like when that barrel enters to when that barrel exits, it’s typically six miles an hour of velocity, that the barrel stays in the strike zone, and before it enters and out.

Bill Masullo  21:32

If that pitcher can beat that, plus or minus faster or slower from pitch to pitch 5-6-7 mile an hour, we’re going to struggle all day long at the plate. That’s what I think overall, that’s number one, especially with my older guys that I try to get them to understand.

Bill Masullo  21:50

Then and only then, because when I become efficient, if I change one thing, I change everything. Now the efficiency starts to work for me. That’s probably number one for us, it’s just getting on time.

Bill Masullo  21:55

What I would tell a beginning instructor or only a year in, get your kids a quick win. The biggest way I can tell you is off the fingertips, right? As they’re hitting it now, hit hard, hit now, whatever two positive strong words that they are to a target.

Joey Myers  22:33

When you say right now, for those that don’t know Perry stuff, what Bill saying is, like you said out of their fingertips, the hitter set starts to swing right and then now is that contact.

Joey Myers  22:44

They’re visual, or they’re mouthing, saying that word right now. They’ll set a measurement of that third dimension of the pitch.

Bill Masullo  22:56

Yes, and I want my guys to dance a lot. They joke about it, we laugh about it, yet at the end of the day, there’s rhythm, there’s tempo that occurs, and it’s part of what I want them to take in.

Bill Masullo  23:12

I think maybe currently, I think that’s been lost to a degree, not because it was intended, or it’s stupid idea or whatever. It’s just that I think the lack of free play is no longer there, where kids would get together for five-six hours every day, with no adults around and then being allowed to experiment and to try different things.

Bill Masullo  23:40

None of that happens, or at least it doesn’t happen to the degree it used to for a lot of societal reasons. I think, a little bit of what happens, everything’s organized and a lot of instruction is just maybe ill-advised words.

Joey Myers  23:59

Mechanized, internal, too machine-like.  This can sometimes turn off the private baseball lessons near me searching crowd.

Bill Masullo  24:05

When the concept of hitting a curve, I’ll go back to that concept of hitting a curve is look for the rotation. Well, I think, though, all those answers were Oh, you know, I sort of noticed that, oh, yeah, let’s look for rotation.

Bill Masullo  24:24

Now we’re so focused in tight on trying to see what the ball is, we have no context of where the ball is in space and time. A whole bunch of things go on there but that’s just an idea of it for me.

 

Why ‘keep hands inside’ the curveball is a myth…

Joey Myers  24:38

You said that’s one of the cues that I remember getting thrown around for the curveball, hitting it and then the other thing was staying inside it and keep your hands inside the curveball and there were just things that once it dawned on me that there is a different barrel path middle in versus middle away.

Joey Myers  24:44

It dawned on me that staying inside it wasn’t very effective at the curveball that was coming say righty- righty that was coming out of the hitter and then breaking into the middle of the plate.

Joey Myers  25:03

Like if you stood in set that stayed inside that thing, if you hit it, it’s not going to be hit very hard. If you watch the trout and the guys that just smash these things, you’ll see that barrel instead of dumping in the zone early, you’ll see it carry high a little bit longer and we’ll dump in later.

Joey Myers  25:19

What they’re doing and Bonds was probably one of the best at this, many out there. Remember watching Bonds hitting bombs into the bay, at fastballs that were up almost seemed like it was going to hit his elbow guard, or his arm guard, big old giant, bionic thing he had on, and he was able to get to it at 95 up and in.

Joey Myers  25:38

Same thing with the curveballs, lefty curveballs coming at him, and he just spun right on him. It’s not so much the rotation of Bonds’ body as more of where his barrel path was to that curveball.

Joey Myers  25:50

Like you said, that’s one of our strategies too, that’s the third strategy we have, we have the adjusting verticals, adjusting horizontals, and then curveballs. We hunt specific curveballs and zones and like you said, the younger the player, a little different approach.

Joey Myers  26:04

You don’t want to get too detailed, and those pitchers aren’t as good with their command and things like that. But when they get into 12-year-old, that sixth grade year, those pitchers start getting pretty good. They have a pretty good handle of that 46-foot distance there, or 50 feet, whatever pony leaves and stuff like that.

Joey Myers  26:21

They start to get a little bit more command until that mound backs up a little bit, then you see like about a year or two where they struggle, but that curveball approach, I completely agree with you, because what’s funny is I have one of my hitters right now who it’s going to be so unfair because he’s got one more year at Little League.

Joey Myers  26:37

He’s somewhat of a big kid. He’s a taller kid, but he’s come a long way in a year, he’s worked his butt off. Now we got his mechanics, took about six to eight months during this 2020 year, got his mechanics to a good spot to where everything’s effective.

Joey Myers  26:55

We’re still working on stuff from time to time, but we really got to focus on the strategies.

Joey Myers  27:00

Ideally, in Little League what happens is pitchers will try and get you out with the fastball, and they might move in and out. Most of the time, it’s away and down and stuff like that. But the faster pitchers will come in, and if you can’t hit it, they keep throwing it.

Joey Myers  27:12

This hitter smashes it, and because we’ve equipped them with the curveball approach, the next logical step for these pitchers is to go curveball, right? Because they’re used to, like you said, 6000 players, 400-500 teams, you’re watching, and you’re seeing a struggle with the curveball, because all they got to do is throw it, it doesn’t matter where the curveball is at in the league.

Joey Myers  27:33

It’s effective because hitters that have never seen it before or they don’t have a good approach like you’re talking about, they swing and miss, swing, and miss.

Joey Myers  27:39

Well, what happens when that pitcher sees a hitter who has a curveball approach? Then you start smashing the curveball. It’s like, the coaches, the players, they don’t know what to do.

Bill Masullo  27:50

Yeah, it’s called intentional.

Joey Myers  27:56

They start throwing around the zone hoping he’s going to go outside the zone.

Bill Masullo  28:00

Yes, absolutely. That’s what I think that’s the aspect that’s been lost a little bit with the lack of free play. To reintroduce some of these concepts, and am I the guy for that? Not to demonstrate it.

Joey Myers  28:21

Unless you’re hitting a hockey puck.

Bill Masullo  28:22

Yes, that’s right.

Bill Masullo  28:26

Even then, I’m not the guy to demonstrate. But that’s just as important too, Joey, is that it’s modeled correctly. I just remember playing as a kid and you took your favorite team, and you knew how every kid on that team hit.

Bill Masullo  28:47

You hit left hand and you hit right hand and you look like Willie Stargell on this one and it was Roberto on that one, and Dave Cash on this one, and yet, it’s almost Oh, the Ripken boy.

Bill Masullo  29:04

I’m thinking Cal, thinking Edgar Martinez, they might have had 15 or 20 different stances in a year and yet, we’re telling guys, you know, oh, you can’t ever change. And it’s like, yeah, you need to change so there’s an evolving that has to happen.

Bill Masullo  29:27

When you begin to, and when you begin to know what the pitcher is going to do before he does, and it’s still not easy to hit, but boy, it becomes a little easier. That’s when you have guys that people are looking at going wow, that guy knows what he’s doing.

Joey Myers  29:45

We say hitting isn’t easy, but we can make it easier.

Bill Masullo  29:49

Yes, that’s true.

 

Bill and Joey on the state of youth baseball and softball: ‘free play’

Joey Myers  29:52

Before I let you go here because I’m respectful of your time. You say the free play and it’s funny you say that because we went a little independent with my son’s baseball team this year, we went away from the league because I felt they didn’t handle the whole 2020 thing very well.

Joey Myers  30:07

I took our team, we had about eight or nine that decided to stay with us. We added about four or five, so we had about 14-15 hitters.

Joey Myers  30:16

What we did when the season was done, and we got a few games, we played ourselves more than we played a little bit more sandlot than anything. But I told the parents it’s probably what was going to happen, just because you had teams still in leagues, and it was going to be hard to put games together and all that kind of stuff.

Joey Myers  30:30

To tell the truth, we weren’t ready for tournament play. We had some guys that are, they were rough around the edges, but what we elected to do is even when the season was done, we just ramped down how many practices we had during the week, we went from three, down to two and then down to one during the summer.

Joey Myers  30:45

What I did during the summer, was we switched our practices to the morning, so it was cooler because it gets super-hot here.

Joey Myers  30:51

What we did was we did some street wiffleball we just introduced, and we played games like we had, the other team would be fielding and we’d have to throw to the base like normal baseball, so we get to learn some rules there that we couldn’t accomplish in a smaller area, right, because we’re just playing between two gutters.

Joey Myers  31:08

On the other side, and then we got the plate on the sidewalk, and then we got our little painted bases out, orange bases out and stuff. We did some two-strike innings, we would do a normal inning where they had their 0-0.

Joey Myers  31:08

We had an 0-2 inning where they had to swing because I think they were getting a little bit too passive. We did two strike and then at the end, the last that we were supposed to have on this week, but I cancelled it because our school start next week.

Joey Myers  31:37

We started to Home Run Derby the last probably three or four weeks. We just had them out. We carved them into two teams, we set up our thing, just things that you and I did as kids growing up just in the streets playing ball, that free play.  A great play for those private baseball lessons near me folks.

Bill Masullo  31:51

It’s so important because they’re good. For me, they’re getting so much feedback that’s not coming from an authoritative figurehead or however they’re perceiving it.

Bill Masullo  32:09

Joey, I’ll throw this out there as well. Typically, most of the issues that I really see with my kids, and the not through and through, but I’d say overwhelming majority come from kids who are trying to perform for their parents, they come from kids who they are trying their love for them into their success at the plate.

Joey Myers  32:40

That breaks my heart.

Bill Masullo  32:46

Sometimes that becomes a process where we’re just a lot of times, I’ll have to rip kids all the way back down the ground, we’ll go backwards before we go forward. Once we go forward, and they’ve got a good feeling and a good understanding, and they’re playing the game, because it’s their game in my game. They’re far better off for it.

Joey Myers  33:07

I love that. That’s great private baseball lessons near me advice. That’s great for coaches, instructors, Academy owners to look out for, and especially Academy owners, because they have so many kids in their system. That’s the thing, right?

Joey Myers  33:17

Coaches generally have a team or two that they’re coaching. They’re depending on what level they’re at. It could be 15 kids, could be 30 kids, right? But you got the academy owners that can have hundreds of kids.

Joey Myers  33:28

They’re in a position where they can affect a lot of kids and parents searching “private baseball lessons near me”, it’s good for them to know that. Thank you for sharing that. All right, Bill, where can people find you? If they want to get more information? Where can they find you?

 

Where can people find you Bill?

Bill Masullo  33:41

Oh, I would just say go over to the Facebook. If you have it, if you believe in it. It’s TUE good sports. I don’t know anything about the websites or anything like that. I don’t do that. But if you get over there to it stands for the ultimate edge, it’s TUE good sports.

Bill Masullo  34:00

There’s also better ballplayer. That’s where we typically do some of our virtual stuff.

Joey Myers  34:10

Any kind of private baseball lessons near me new things on the horizon for you that you’re putting together any kind of virtual summits?

Bill Masullo  34:16

I have one coming up here at the end of August, and it’s on crushing the curve. So that’s a good topic on the top of my head there.

Bill Masullo  34:28

That is foremost on what we’re doing. We’re prepping for the fall here as we get into it. That’s the biggest item on the list.

Joey Myers  34:40

Very cool. All right, Bill. Well, thanks for your time here today for all the private baseball lessons near me crowd, and we’ll have to do a take two at some point.

Bill Masullo  34:46

Absolutely. Oh, I appreciate it. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. Hope I didn’t put too many people to sleep. God bless you. Thank you.

Baseball Pitching Training

Baseball Pitching Training [VIDEO]

Top Two Mistakes That Coaches Are Making In Baseball Pitching Training?

 

 

Here’s what we cover in this baseball pitching training interview with my pitching coach Michael Gillen from PitcherPerfectPro.com: (about 29-minute read time)

  • Give us a little look at your baseball pitching training setup over there…Baseball Pitching Training
  • Who you are, the kind of your mentors on the pitching side, who guides you and your training?
  • Top two mistakes that either pitchers or coaches are making in teaching pitching?
  • What do you feel with the whole Tommy John stuff? What do you feel like the top two issues that are leading to that?
  • When reading about spinal engine springy fascia, were you were able to apply those principles to pitching?
  • What are those two baseball pitching training things that you go, alright, we need to fix those right away?
  • Like hitting, is there such thing as over-rotating when pitching?
  • Tell people where your website is, your social media, any kind of deals or what kind of deals that you do, obviously, locally, right? But are you doing some online lessons? Let people know that kind of stuff.

As usual, I’ve transcribed the baseball pitching training interview for your convenience with handy-dandy little video timestamps.  Enjoy the conversation with my favorite pitching coach, Mike Gillen, as we discuss baseball pitching training…


Joey Myers  00:06

Hello and welcome to Swing Smarter Monthly Newsletter. This is your host Joey Myers from hittingperformancelab.com and I have the honor today to bring my peanut butter and jelly counterpart, Mike Gillen.

Joey Myers  00:18

So first, I want to welcome you to the show. Welcome to the show, Señor

Mike Gillen  00:23

The man-dinga himself. Thanks for having me, Joey. This is awesome.

Joey Myers  00:27

You got it.

Mike Gillen  00:28

I’m the one that has the honor here.

Joey Myers  00:30

The reason I say peanut butter and jelly, to give those out there that are listening to this context, this is my pitching guy, my local baseball pitching training guy. It just so happens that we’ve known each other since the fourth grade and played baseball together forever.

Joey Myers  00:45

Coach Mike or coach Gilligan or coach Gillen, many of the names that we talked about. He played at Fresno City College for a couple years transferred to San Diego State and pitched out there with Coach Tony Gwynn when he was still around.

Joey Myers  01:01

I wanted to have this pirate garb because Mike and I have so many inside jokes. I don’t know if we have a pirate inside joke, but there’s always these shenanigans that are going on.

Mike Gillen  01:11

It’s non-stop. Always, 100% of the time.

Joey Myers  01:17

I’ll take this off real quick. There we go.

Mike Gillen  01:20

I didn’t even recognize you.

Joey Myers  01:23

It’s Clark Kent and it’s Superman. You see how that works? So, let’s start off with a softball question. Pardon the pun or pun intended. Tell us a little bit about what you got. Maybe give us a little look at your setup over there.

 

Give us a little look at your baseball pitching training setup over there…

Mike Gillen  01:42

Okay, I can give you a tour, a soft tour. Let’s see. Moving around this way.

Joey Myers  01:48

Show me your number one baseball pitching training fans.

Mike Gillen  01:50

It’s humble beginnings. This is it. I’m going finish that cement here in the next couple of weeks. Make a little more inviting to everyone. What’s that over there?

Joey Myers  02:07

Look at that sign, hitting performance lab? That’s cool.

Mike Gillen  02:09

Right? He sponsors us. You got Charlie right here. He’s a mainstay. I tell the pitchers to say sorry before they start their pen. That way there’s no misunderstandings later. This is it for now.

Mike Gillen  02:31

You’re catching me right in a reconstruction, this middle part of that mount. I’m going to have to rip that out of there and I’m going dual mounds and we’re going to start doing doubles here soon.

Joey Myers  02:41

Oh, cool. There you go

Mike Gillen  02:43

Two target and I got a mat there, mat there. We’re going to get that going. Well, the idea and this is not as hard to see, but if you look back there, there’s going to be a metal building put back there at some point.

Mike Gillen  02:54

I’m still not sure if I want to plug that in or not, it’s going to be costly. Once it’s up, it’s like I’m going to be married to it so I’m not sure what’s going to happen there. If I do then I’ve got a place to put my tractors

Joey Myers  03:09

Just get one of those baseball pitching training kids of yours to get on a bike like a hamster and you just power it themselves.

Mike Gillen  03:17

Exactly. Hey, I got some dads that will probably be okay with that.

Joey Myers  03:22

Or just have like have the bike riding to power the shed, have that be one of your stations for your pitchers, when you have a group of four pitchers, have one of them over there with the legs out, have a small for them.

Joey Myers  03:35

Their legs are like this, when they’re riding it like this, and then power for the other pitchers. I love it.

Joey Myers  03:47

Obviously, this is a hitting blog, but baseball pitching training is a part of baseball and softball too. Get people out there who do really research the pitching side and give them little background on who you are, the kind of your mentors on the pitching side, who guides you and your training?

 

Who you are, the kind of your mentors on the pitching side, who guides you and your baseball pitching training?

Mike Gillen  04:03

It was probably just three big names. Do you remember Fred? Not a whole lot of people are going to know. I got with him in college, and he really helped instill confidence and he was tough and gritty, that old school coach so I owe a lot of credit to him just from my kind of my beginnings on how it was to pitch correctly.

Mike Gillen  04:36

Even it was very generalized but learning how to push off at the right time. How to have your mentality out there and like I said that toughness that you need, you don’t back down from anyone and I got a lot of the mental side from him.

Mike Gillen  04:52

But more recently, I guess in the last 10 years kind of on my road to finding out the answers and just making sure I was doing it correctly, because everyone kept asking, hey, you know, I heard you get good pitching lessons, and that just kind of snowballed.

Mike Gillen  05:09

I wanted to make sure that I was doing things right. So, for me, the beginning of all is ASMI- American Sports Medicine Institute with Dr. Glenn Fleisig. I would look that name up.

Mike Gillen  05:21

Of course, Tom House, nationalpitching.com and Brent Pourciau, topvelocity.net. Those are three big names. If you all just look those names up and start doing your own research and looking at what their backgrounds, where they came from, and go from there. That’s kind of where I went.

Mike Gillen  05:41

Tom House taught me when I was back at San Diego State. That just opened Pandora’s box. I was a little frustrated at the time because it took me till I think what we lose 22 to 23-ish.

Mike Gillen  05:55

I was learning how to pitch or learning the movements of it and the proper way, the way the big leaguers do, it was like a secret up till then. Just the sequence of it all.

Mike Gillen  06:11

Back in the day, and there were some good things taught, but there was no rhyme or reason to it really. It was scattered. I learned how to segment it and how to put it in proper order from Tom House and like I said, just built from there.

Joey Myers  06:29

When we were 22-23, the internet was just getting started. This is early 2000s. The information wasn’t out there as ready as it is now. I think YouTube maybe was just getting going. I don’t even know if it was getting going yet.

Joey Myers  06:43

I know Twitter came on the scene about 2007. We didn’t have Twitter. We had Facebook, I think MySpace was still a thing.

Mike Gillen  06:58

I’m still on my space, I’m going strong.

Joey Myers  07:00

Is that still around?

Mike Gillen  07:04

It’s funny, you brought it up. For what reason, my wife and I were talking about that and about my space and the cool features it had and how Facebook didn’t have that, and it took me a while to get used to it.

Mike Gillen  07:16

We were wondering, Is that still around? Just no one uses it. Or is it shut off? Do you have access to it? It was all just beginning when we were kind of toward the end of our baseball lives and in slow motion captures.

Mike Gillen  07:36

The cool thing about ASMI was they’ve done hundreds and hundreds of captures, thousands. But they did 10 Cy Young Award winners and quantified their movements and went okay, this is how the best do it.

Mike Gillen  07:52

Guys like me came around and figured that out. Now we’re able to segment things and work it in a certain order. I think that’s really the secret to it all is how do you do or where do you start?

Mike Gillen  08:07

For me, I start backwards in the delivery. It’ll start at the end, and figure that out, and then we work our way to when you lift your leg up. That was a big one from Tom house. Top velocity, those guys, I figured out how to work it backwards. But yes, they didn’t have any of that stuff back then.

Joey Myers  08:28

Now what would you say today, in today’s game, what’s the top two things that you see, whether it’s coaches or pitchers, on whether social media is where you’re seeing it, the top two mistakes that either pitchers or coaches are making in teaching baseball pitching training?

 

Top two mistakes that either pitchers or coaches are making in baseball pitching training?

Mike Gillen  08:48

If anyone’s teaching a balanced point, that would probably be the worst teach you can make. I think the other one would probably be the next step in how to load, load your back leg.

Mike Gillen  09:03

I see a lot of up and down movements going on.  I think you can go up down, a little bit, some times where I do that, but it’s not very much, I just do it a little just to get a feel of what is it like to put pressure and a load into your back leg. But it’s not something I do a lot of.

Mike Gillen  09:24

I think balance point though, like big league ball was teaching that back in the 80s and 90s, they were teaching their pitchers that for whatever reason, because if you look before that there wasn’t a lot of balance points with guys like Sandy Koufax and there was no stopping in their movements.

Mike Gillen  09:46

You’re seeing that a lot more now, it was like we had this gap where there wasn’t any and then they teach in balance points. That’s where you and I come in is that’s what they were teaching us in high school.

Mike Gillen  09:57

Maybe some guys it worked for them in some way, but it destroyed me. I needed the momentum, and I didn’t know how to do that, I had no idea. One of the biggest flaws in a pitcher is the front leg when they land, there’s no stability there. They hit the ground and their knee moves around either side, or at least more toward the catcher.

Mike Gillen  10:22

They’re losing accuracy and velocity there, but as far as teacher goes, if they’re being taught that not all coaches teach that, but I think that some coaches need to break out of that and not try to stop teaching that balance point stuff. It’s really destroying a lot of kids.

Joey Myers  10:39

I know what you’re saying too. When it comes to teaching baseball pitching training, and with the sequence and all that, using cues, like in hitting four or five years ago, I would have hated the swing down cue absolutely hated it, because it was being taught like you’re saying probably like the balance point thing and pitching.

Joey Myers  10:55

The swing down is what I was taught in high school and college, swing down and through.

Joey Myers  11:00

Now, I come to find out, the swing down part is effective, but only middle in, middle up pitches. Middle away, middle down, is probably the worst cue you can use to tell the hitter to swing down.

Joey Myers  11:12

Now, are there certain scenarios with the pitcher that you would tell them to balance like if they’re horrible with balance? Or wouldn’t be a scenario on that?

Mike Gillen  11:23

There is. I hate the word balance point, it is frustrating. Stop at a point, that means you’re stopping. If you’re teaching just the leg lift in and of itself, you can kind of teach that, but there’s never an effort to do the full movement.

Mike Gillen  11:49

When I let a kid do his full throw, there’s never any talk about stopping yourself or gathering in a point where you’re stopping and coming to that point. I broke it down in four stages.

Mike Gillen  12:06

There’s the finish, there’s two middle portions, and then beginning where you’re lifting your leg up. I teach a lot of momentum there and a lot of movement there. I try to make it towards as little as possible.

Mike Gillen  12:20

When you have to time and when you’re breaking your hands to throw, you’re up, and you can’t see this, but I’m picking my knee up in your leg lift. Then you can go down and you break your hands while your knee goes down, then you bring it back up. Their leg lift foot never touches the ground.

Mike Gillen  12:41

In a way, that’s very minimal, I just get them to go, hey, this is how you time that and you time your hands with your front leg or your lift leg. You do that a couple times. And then Okay, now that you understand that let’s move around a little bit now.

Mike Gillen  12:56

I break past that. It’s an initial teach that I give them. I’ll literally tell kids, okay, don’t ever do that, again. Don’t sit there for 20 minutes of your day or 10 minutes and working on just staying in one place with it. If you want to do it a couple times, fine. But then let’s start shifting our weight into that movement.

Joey Myers  13:17

What do you feel with the whole Tommy John stuff? What do you feel like the top two issues that are leading to that?

 

What do you feel with the whole Tommy John stuff? What do you feel like the top two issues that are leading to that?

Joey Myers  13:27

Because it’s exploding. It’s getting down to 12-year-old’s, it’s there.

Mike Gillen  13:38

Well, fatigue is number one, overthrowing kids and doing that too much. I think the general answer would be fatigue and bad mechanics. But what are bad mechanics? The less hip and shoulder separation you have, I think a lot of people know this by now and that’s something that was coined by Tom House. I guess he discovered it and brought to light.

Mike Gillen  14:03

The less separation you have of your hips going to home plate and your shoulder staying back. Now the more you can get into injury patterns. It’s basically arm dragging, hyper-angulation of the shoulder.

Mike Gillen  14:16

When you go to throw it because you didn’t get your hips through, then you must create this drag across and you get into that drag. That’s the number one reason for Tommy John, outside of fatigue, overall fatigue, like I said overdoing it.

Joey Myers  14:33

Yes, and it’s crazy that it’s getting earlier and earlier. We didn’t have to think about that kind of stuff then.

Mike Gillen  14:41

It goes into the fatigue part. I really think there’s too much travel ball. We played spring summer and then we were done. We were sad for a week, and we got over it, we played football or basketball or something else.

Mike Gillen  14:57

If you interview or talk to any big leaguer, they’ll tell you Hey, you need to play other sports? You can’t be baseball all the time. It’s that fatigue factor, I always tell parents and kids, look hey it’s November 1st, and there’s a runner on second.

Mike Gillen  15:11

You got to make this pitch again and you’re in a stress, you’re in a stressful throw. We got to remove the stress a little bit. Go work out, lift, get bigger, get stronger, go play another sport. That feeds into that fatigue thing.

Mike Gillen  15:28

That mechanical kind of dragging your arm. That’s what I was doing. What the balance point, I couldn’t really get moving. Well, they were teaching pull the glove, I should have told you that one pulls the glove and created this drag on me. After years and years, and this arm didn’t want to do it anymore.

Joey Myers  15:49

Remember when I was during my changing over from online or the one on ones to the groups, and my group started to grow. I was like, hey, Coach Gillen, can you come in and I need to train somebody to take over some of my hitters.

Joey Myers  16:03

I went to my pitching guy to help with my hitters. Right? It ended up working out and I ended up finding a hitter, a younger hitter, who I’d worked with for a while, and he came on as my hitting apprentice, and then you got busy with your pitching stuff.

Joey Myers  16:17

But you came out and you observed, you even read my book, the Catapult Loading System. Were there some changes in there? Reading about spinal engine springy fascia that you were able to apply to pitching?

 

When reading about spinal engine springy fascia, were you were able to apply those principles to pitching?

Mike Gillen  16:30

Yes, I do that. Closing the shoulders off and getting that preload of everything. Hearing words like springy fascia, I didn’t know what that was. I used to say, hey, let your arm lay back, and I didn’t know at the time that was that’s external rotation, internal. Thinking of it like that.

Mike Gillen  17:00

I’ll even ask them, if it’s your one of your students, hey did Joey show you that thing where you put your hand on the table, or on your leg and you do that, and then you try harder, and then you combine them? That one was great. I love that analogy.

Mike Gillen  17:19

Just closing off more. I mean, I knew to do that, but I didn’t really know the benefits as much to it, or to do it more, or maybe even exaggerated just to get a feel for what it’s like, but yeah, you’re trying to stay close as long as possible and then let’s work our feet, work our hips through and you’re trying to create as much separation as you can.

Mike Gillen  17:40

I read it a lot more a lot sooner. I remember you telling me that about don’t wait so long to show them that because I start with where they’re squared up. If your home plate the cameras on plate, they’re in movements where they’re always going forward.

Mike Gillen  17:55

I start teaching them how to close off more after that. You probably put the cherry on top when it came to how to close off and how that works, I guess springy fascia and how you can create tension in the body.

Joey Myers  18:12

If you look at the pitchers in the past, you mentioned Sandy Koufax and we can say, Nolan Ryan. We talk about now is back then it was showing numbers right, hitter showing their numbers to the pitcher type of thing. We’ve evolved that to neck pressure, I think maybe I’ve talked about that.

Joey Myers  18:31

With the hitter, we’re trying to create neck pressure. Where the head anchors in a tracking position, right, we’re trying to track the balls is the most important thing that a hitter needs to do.

Joey Myers  18:41

The head doesn’t move, it doesn’t allow the shoulder to pull the head off.  It’s the shoulder that pulls underneath and goes as far as it can go until it can’t go anymore because the heads keeping it from going. If you look at the pitchers, I know you’re a lefty but I’m going from my right side, is the same kind of thing, right?

Joey Myers  18:58

You see these pitchers in this kind of position, where there might be a slight tilt this way, and then the shoulders coming underneath. They’re creating pressure the same as a hitter would create as they’re going here and then start to unwind and go, so it’s the same thing. It’s just one person’s throwing a ball and the others swinging the bat.

Mike Gillen  19:19

Just getting kids used to that because it’s uncomfortable at first. I think a lot of the injury can be just as something as simple as that or something. You think it’s little but a kid, when he goes to throw, some naturally do it, but they don’t want to create that, that’s uncomfortable, and they’re just okay I just want to throw it, I just want to get my home plate.

Mike Gillen  19:46

If they can’t see it, they must get their eyes there. Here go their shoulders and they’re early. So just getting them in a stance and getting them to close off and feel that neck pressure and getting into there. I’ll just have them sit there for five minutes and feel what that’s like. That’s pretty much all I do, is just get kids to feel what positions are like.

Joey Myers  20:10

I love that. Now this can be a little bit different than the mistakes you see out there. But picture you got a kid coming in, say like Gino, first time pitcher that comes in to see you. What are those couple things that you see like over and over and over, that they’re doing?

Joey Myers  20:27

Maybe they haven’t been taught at all or anything? Maybe they’re natural? What are those two things that you go, alright, we need to fix those right away? Is it different than the balance thing and landing thing? Or is it the same?

What are those two things that you go, alright, we need to fix those right away?

Mike Gillen  20:44

I don’t get into the balance stuff or the leg lifts, it depends on the kid and how quick he picks everything else up. It could be a couple of weeks, or a couple sessions where we don’t even lift a leg up. We don’t even get on a mound.

Joey Myers  21:04

Do you remember what you worked with Gino on first?

Mike Gillen  21:07

It was the forward movements; there’s so many coaches literally think that pitching is a rotational action. A lot of it is, sure. But there’s sagittal movements, it works on three planes.

Mike Gillen  21:23

I get them to figure that out just because I think there’s that universal throwing package that every team puts together, and they put them on a knee and make them finish over their knee and their leg and they’re making them rotate when there’s not enough speed and momentum to rotate like that. Why are you teaching them to do that? That’s my opinion.

Mike Gillen  21:45

It’s all about going forward. It’s arm action going forward, and then trunk going forward. We figure that out because everything is taught to spin, I feel. There’s obviously coaches that do it right, there’s really a lot of good ones out there. But I feel like there’s so much rotation in the throw that no one teaches any forward movements.

Mike Gillen  22:07

At the big-league level, pro level, and even college, some high school, there’s a lot of good forward movement into that throw, and then you see rotation, whereas kids cut that forward movement off and just spin and then you get into that drag.

Mike Gillen  22:22

I would say cutting the ball on accident, meaning their hand is turning as they’re throwing it, and they’re creating that cut and the ball. That’s usually what I hit first, how do you go over your front foot? You hear it all the time they follow through, reach out in front?

Mike Gillen  22:40

I don’t see a lot, there’s not a kid that’s coming here that went Oh, yeah, I’ve done that before. None. I like to be the first one to teach him.

Joey Myers  22:51

It’s interesting, you say that the rotation, right? Because I agree with you, I think both pitching and hitting, there’s a little bit of all that in there. You mentioned three planes of motion.

Joey Myers  23:01

All three planes are engaged in a dynamic pitching delivery or a swing. One of the things I’ve been really tuned into the last couple months, the last couple of years beginning to COVID I think January 2020, January, February, it’s been over a year and a half now, is over rotation to the swing.

Joey Myers  23:21

There was this one thing, I just couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on, I’d see these hitters come in, and we call it racing back elbow at the time, where they’re swinging and their elbows come and pass their belly button, and everything’s completely sideways before their barrel even gets to the ball. I was like, What the hell’s going on?

Joey Myers  23:37

I looked at some research, and I found they’re over rotating. They’re getting their chest all the way squared and their barrels back here hitting the ball. It’s like you talking about the arm, right? Talking about where they’re getting here in the arms being way back here, all that pressure on the elbow and the shoulder and the whole thing, right?

Joey Myers  23:58

Over rotation of the swing, but all these coaches, these younger coaches are all you know, flip that foot back foot over and get your hips through the ball, and all this rotation, yes, that happens to a degree in the swing, but we never teach really, any rotation of the lower half.

Joey Myers  24:18

We don’t, we just expect it to happen, and it happens. We focus on like you said, preloading the upper half, and then the lower half will do its job but to say rotate, rotate all the time. It’s a problem in hitting too, just like in baseball pitching training.

 

Like hitting, is there such thing as over-rotating when pitching?

Mike Gillen  24:35

I agree. This is the biggest overstatement. It’s 2021, we break past. Back in the day, it’s 1972 we’ve got all the advancements we need; it just keeps going like that and soon it’s Hey, it’s 2055, we need to get it together.

Mike Gillen  25:01

There’s too much information now, it’s all out there. Back in 1993, there were no slow-motion cameras, there was nothing breaking this down. There was nothing Hey, do you see how your knees internal too early, there was nothing. But now there is.

Mike Gillen  25:19

I don’t want this to be a hating on coach’s thing, but I’ll ask kids and there’s never any video analysis done ever like I never hear about that maybe it’s the first time you’ve been recorded and you look at your video and they’ve never seen it, high school kids, the high school coaches, there’s got to be some that do it. But I don’t think there are I mean, I’ve gone as far as telling kids, hey, can you sneak your phone in there and have your buddy take a little video of you.

Mike Gillen  25:49

That way you can break it down and look at it and see where your flaws are, see if you’re doing a good job or not. They were too locked into this old school mentality. We got to get out of it, blending of both.

Joey Myers  26:06

Exactly, you need gut. You can’t just have a data thing, or you can’t have just had a gut thing. You got to use both. You got to use the tech detect, the data and in the gut feeling stuff. It must be all of it.

Joey Myers  26:20

We can talk and go deep into some of these baseball pitching training things.

Mike Gillen  26:26

Let’s extend it.

Joey Myers  26:28

I’d love to, we just got to transcribe it. My virtual assistant would be a little upset if I gave her an hour transcription she had to get done in a day. But hey, I wanted to give you a chance to promote what you’re doing.

Joey Myers  26:40

Tell us a little bit about where to find you, where to find your website. Your website looks good, by the way. Tell people where your website is, your social media, any kind of deals or what kind of deals that you do, obviously, locally, right? But are you doing some online lessons? Let people know that kind of stuff.

 

Tell people where your website is, your social media, any kind of deals or what kind of deals that you do, obviously, locally, right? But are you doing some online lessons? Let people know that kind of stuff.

Mike Gillen  27:00

I’m still trying to get the online stuff off the ground. You can reach me on Facebook. I’m on Instagram, but it’s not really active but you can go to pitcherperfectpro.com

Joey Myers  27:19

There it is right there.

Mike Gillen  27:21

Let me see. It’s not backwards.

Joey Myers  27:23

No, you’re good. You’re good. I’ll put all that into the show notes, so people have that.

Mike Gillen  27:39

Those are the best ways to contact me. A lot of this is generated off word of mouth. People are doing it that way. Obviously, that may not help everyone in what we’re trying to do right now.

Mike Gillen  27:52

I’m on Facebook, Instagram. I do have Twitter and Instagram; I need to get better at those. I don’t ever use them.

Mike Gillen  28:01

On Facebook, I’ll just put before and after videos of kids and show where they were and where they are. I do like the online stuff. Speaking of dinosaurs. I need to get better at that and get reach more people.

Mike Gillen  28:23

I’ll tell you this, it’s tough because I’m fully loaded here. I need to get an apprentice myself and make another carbon copy of me so I can move more kids through.

Joey Myers  28:35

Yes, sir. You need to, again, just grab one of your pitchers who’ve been with you for a while, is older. You know mine. He’s a senior, is going to graduate this year from high school. I’ve had him since he was 10 or 11. Nicky Frye.

Joey Myers  28:47

He’s my head and apprentice. I sent all the younger one. Any of them that are 11 years old or older, I’ll take in any ones that are below that I’ll send to him. It helps a lot. I mean, at some point, obviously you’re going to get pretty bloated with the 11 and ups and all that, but it’s good that you got your building the second part of your baseball pitching training bullpen, so you’re going to have two bullpens pitchers can throw.

Joey Myers  29:11

That gives you two people you could do, obviously the biggest thing would be to get four in a baseball pitching training group. If you can find two other stations or whatever to do that, but you know me, I’ve been trying to get you to do small private group for a long time, but you kind of painted yourself into a corner because you accept payment upfront for like 20 lessons.

Joey Myers  29:29

You got to wait for those 20, do those one-on-one lessons and you kind of painted yourself into a corner but I see you’re starting to make moves to try and get into more of the group because how many pitchers are you working with right now?

Mike Gillen  29:44

I want to say probably 40.

Joey Myers  29:47

You’re giving that halt sign, I’m coming around second base, I’m lumbering towards third and I’m trying to send you more pitchers and you’re doing this, you’re giving me this sign right here. Hey, I got one out. There’s only one out, I can roll the dice and try and go headfirst into third. Come on.

Mike Gillen  30:10

I’m creating this. My waitlist is a mile long. It’s sad, injury out there and there’s so many problems with these kids as far as how they’re moving, and I can’t get to all of them. That’s why I finally put my foot down, I finally looked, and you saw the facility, it’s geared toward one kid, you got that mound in the middle and that’s really killing it.

Mike Gillen  30:40

I got to take that out, put two more in, I’m getting two made right now. Once I get that, then at that point, I could probably bring in two more and do maybe some camp style stuff on like a Saturday and get more kids in.

Mike Gillen  30:56

Like you said do stations, do like a dry run station with one or with two other stations and then two others are throwing and then swap them out? Like every 15 minutes.

Joey Myers  31:06

I hope that this interview, it’s going to go probably decent well and go down with some people. Hopefully it’ll bring you another 50 people, 50 pitchers, if you imagine another 50 pitchers coming in and knocking on your door?

Mike Gillen  31:19

Right. I do have that Saturday; I finally cleared a Saturday open. it’s mostly open for family and I’m able to not do a pitching lesson one day out of the week. A little two-hour camp or three-hour camp could work.

Mike Gillen  31:42

I think once I figure out online and get that going, it’ll free up some stuff plus, opening this up. Get a couple more kids, I think it’ll be all right.

Joey Myers  31:54

Well, thank you so much for coming on. We got to do a part two, maybe we’ll make this a common thing if it’s like once a month or something, we can do like thoughts with Michael Gillen.

Mike Gillen  32:10

What was the SNL thing, deep thoughts?

Joey Myers  32:13

Deep thoughts with Michael Gillen or all those kinds of baseball pitching training things. I must do something like that. Maybe we’ll do like a little bit more frequent ordeal.

Mike Gillen  32:24

Where’s your podcast?

Joey Myers  32:28

This is like an unofficial official podcast (you can find it on iTunes, Google Podcast, and Spotify). This is part of the Swing Smarter Monthly Newsletter, which is a paid newsletter that I send out to people, it’s like a $5 a month thing, or $10 a month thing.

Joey Myers  32:41

My coaches will subscribe to that, and I put this in two expert interviews, it’ll be you and it will be somebody else. I’m actually going to have a coach on who I’ve worked with all three of his boys hitting, his two older boys ones playing football in college right now.

Joey Myers  32:57

It didn’t work out on the baseball side. Then the other one I think is graduating high school this year. He’s kind of stopped from baseball, but the youngest brother is 13, dad coached a lot of the little league teams, a lot of them growing up as they were and he’s like the coach whisperer, so he’s the younger kid coach team whisperer.

Joey Myers  33:17

He told me a story the other day that one of his buddies was to coach in a team and highly organized coach he had every practice, three-hour practices by the way for these younger kids, way too long, right?

Joey Myers  33:30

He had three-hour practices plan to this second minute of what they’re doing and then their practices are overly scheduled, right. The guy goes, comes up to him and go, Shawn, I don’t know what to do, man. I got thorns in my feet and tears in my eyes.

Mike Gillen  33:49

A little bell that says inside joke.

Joey Myers  33:55

Yes, he said that. He goes, Yeah, we’re just not winning. We’re doing everything right. I got a plan. I got it organized. We’re doing what we need to do what’s wrong? Then Shawn the team whisperer, he goes, team party.

Mike Gillen  34:11

Explosion.

Joey Myers  34:12

He’s like what do you mean? They did a team party on a Saturday night. They had a doubleheader the next day and they swept the next day, they beat the other team twice.

Mike Gillen  34:22

You need a rain out!

Joey Myers  34:24

Exactly. This is a man-made natural disaster. So yes, I’m going to have him on, probably this next week. He’s got a day job; he does like Pharm and stuff.

Mike Gillen  34:37

I’d love to watch that. I’ve got one of my baseball pitching training clients. All have a problem or an issue with something and I think once I was trying to get a loan to pay for something…

Baseball Hitting Lessons Near Me

Baseball Hitting Lessons Near Me VIDEO

Baseball Hitting Lessons Near Me: “I Don’t Use A Glove When I Throw BP, So I’ll hold Curveball Like This.  I’ll Hold It.  I Want to See If They’re Smart Enough to Look at My Hand”

 

 

In this baseball hitting lessons near me interview with Ray Camacho from Fat On Fat Academy, we go over… (about 34-minutes reading time – PRO TIP: use “gear” on YouTube video settings to “speed watch” to 2X, so you can watch in half the time!!)

  • Tell me a little bit about your baseball hitting lessons near me nonprofit, where you guys are and what it’s about,Baseball Hitting Lessons Near Me
  • Who are your top one or two follows for strength and conditioning?
  • “It’s ever evolving with me because one kid teaches me how to do something for another kid…”,
  • “It’s extremely tough as a parent to watch our kids struggle, fail, and be rejected. But if we don’t let them experience it, while they’re young, they’ll have no idea how to handle it when life shows up later down the road. Our job is to love them and teach them how to work through it.”
  • “I like to pride myself in not being just like a scratch a surface guy. I get deep.”
  • I think hitting a baseball and softball consistently hard is the hardest thing to do in any sport,
  • The toe tap to me is the most adjustable swing that I’ve ever had,
  • I don’t use a glove when I throw BP so I’ll hold curveball like this. I’ll hold it. I want to see if they’re smart enough to look at my hand,
  • Where can people find you, talk about the social media platforms…

Click short link for transcribed baseball hitting lessons near me interview in pdf format: http://gohpl.com/rayctranscription

Here’s the full transcription of the interview…ENJOY!

Joey Myers  00:06

Hello, and welcome to the Swing Smarter Monthly Newsletter. This is your host, Joey Myers and on the call here with me, I’m honored to have Mr. Ray Camacho. He is of a nonprofit called Fat on Fat, or fat off the bat on fat on the ball. And we had a nice, interesting baseball hitting lessons near me conversation recently and there’s some cool little nuggets here.

Joey Myers  00:29

First, I want to welcome you to the show, Ray.

Ray Camacho  00:32

Thanks for having me.

Joey Myers  00:35

We’re going to dig into some stuff, I think the 30 minutes goes quick. I’m sure there’s going to be plenty, plenty to talk about in future stuff. But first question I want to ask you, tell me a little bit about your baseball hitting lessons near me nonprofit, where you guys are and what it’s about.

 

Tell me a little bit about your baseball hitting lessons near me nonprofit, where you guys are and what it’s about…

Ray Camacho  00:51

I started off a Fat-on-Fat Baseball Academy. But then recently, I started doing softball, so I changed the name to Fat-on-Fat Academy. The name came about when I was growing up, my dad was trying to think of something nice and easy for me to remember and something that rhymed.

Ray Camacho  01:07

He was like, son, fat of the bat, fat of the ball. That concept is something I grew up chasing my whole life, because I was just trying to square the ball up with fat on fat and is just a catchy phrase that everybody would use.

Ray Camacho  01:21

My dad would just be quiet and simple with it, fat on fat, son, watch the ball fat on fat. I had that concept, and as I grew up, I thought it was kind of cheesy, honestly a little bit. I felt embarrassed a little bit to talk about it to some of the guys, and then I started coaching and they started really liking it, like the young guys started liking it and said, What’s fat on fat coach? They wanted more stuff.

Ray Camacho  01:44

I ended up needing an outlet for myself because I was coaching a baseball hitting lessons near me organization. I was working at another organization; I was doing things for everybody else. I needed my own passion in my own lane.

Ray Camacho  01:57

What ended up happening was, I created my own college team, and I needed a name. My dad was like, you got to go fat on fat. I was like, Dad, these college guys are going to laugh me, everybody’s going to talk mess, they’re going to clown me.

Ray Camacho  02:12

I still felt like I was a college guy as well as trying to coach and I just didn’t believe in it. I shared it with a partner. I shared it with a couple of people my idea. They kind of was like, dude, that’s awesome. I love that name. I shared it with the Commissioner of the CCBL League that was playing in the summer. He was like, that is the best name ever.

Ray Camacho  02:35

He coached me when I was in high school, in college. He was like, I love it. You need to go with the name. When I got that feedback, as cheesy as it may feel for me, because it’s something my dad gave me, and sometimes he says, Son, you think your dad’s cheesy or corny, but everybody loved my dad, everybody thought my dad was funny, but of course, as a son you think he’s lame.

Ray Camacho  02:58

I’m going to run with it. I wanted to turn a negative into a positive because fat is a negative word. We think it’s a negative word, I feel like I have enough energy to turn it into a positive word. I’m from San Antonio, Texas, my company is based out of San Antonio, Texas.

Ray Camacho  03:17

I’ve lived in San Antonio, Texas my whole life. I love San Antonio, everything I do is for the city. Everything I do is for the kids in the city. We have an obesity problem here, and so when I started doing fat on fat, I was 50 pounds heavier at the time. I had a lot of backlash, a lot of people talking, Oh, your company’s fat on fat, because you’re fat, bro.

Ray Camacho  03:40

I was going through a lot of personal things. They said some uglier stuff too. I always tell these guys, my biggest teaching to the kids is, if you’re going to be good, you’re going to have to be ready to accept what comes with being good. Because there’s going to be snakes in the grass, there’s going to be your own teammates trying to go against you, there’s going to be a whole bunch of negativity that being the dude in titles.

Ray Camacho  04:03

If you’re not ready to accept that, then you can’t be the dude because you’ll fall short, as a lot of mental stuff. I just really wanted to be a forefront in this for fitness, for obesity in San Antonio, I wanted to bring awareness.

Ray Camacho  04:20

Five years ago, when I started it, I really didn’t have a lane. I didn’t know what I was going to do until I really started doing my first video of showing my training.

Ray Camacho  04:29

Five years ago, I was nothing compared to who I am now. I look at those old videos and I look at myself like you’re a chump. How can you let that kid get away with that movement? How can you let him do that? It makes me angry in the sense at myself that I couldn’t figure out my philosophy and my lane faster because I could have helped so many more kids.

Ray Camacho  04:51

That passion drives me today to not let anybody have bad movements when they come into the RPO which stands for Real Players Only. I have fat on fat baseball hitting lessons near me Academy and it stands for real players only.

Ray Camacho  05:03

Real players know who real players are. Real recognizes real. You can’t fake being real. Because once you step on that line, between those lines, you know who you are. I just love everything that baseball and softball brings to the table. I always talk about it. I’m going to do this till the day I die.

Joey Myers  05:21

I love it. That’s what really came out and struck me in our initial baseball hitting lessons near me conversation was the fact that you’re training baseball and softball players. But it’s not to be baseball and softball players, it’s to be better in life, right?

Joey Myers  05:34

You’re teaching life through baseball and softball, and that’s what I really love. The other thing is, and we can get into that a little bit, but I really wanted to jump into the baseball hitting lessons near me training side of things. Strength conditioning, and I asked you a question. I said, who are your top two follows for strength conditioning? Who do you say, who was your first one?

 

Who are your top one or two follows for strength and conditioning?

Ray Camacho  05:53

Paul Chek.

Joey Myers  05:54

Those out there, Paul Chek is no joke, go out and check out the Chek Institute. What brought you to Paul Chek? How do you feel Paul Chek has helped your hitters, the baseball hitting lessons near me information that has helped your hitters?

Ray Camacho  06:09

I got introduced to Paul Chek. Just going down a worm hole of different trainers and instructors, I’m sure you went down the same path because we’re men and we’re baseball players.

Ray Camacho  06:21

Everybody’s trying to be the biggest, fastest, strongest, and it’s all about information. Well, how much information can you input in your head? How much can you process and how much can you actually apply?

Ray Camacho  06:30

I feel Paul Chek has indirectly mentoring me every day, I listen to his podcast, it feels like he’s speaking directly towards me. I got introduced to Elliott Hulse, a long time ago, and his stronger version of himself.

Ray Camacho  06:46

I’ve really followed his transformation. We all have our transformation as men. I was into the bodybuilding scene and all that stuff, try to be the biggest, strongest dude. That was a toxic mentality for a baseball player, because I ended up messing my body up senior year, I may say mess up, but I had the best year of my senior year ever, and I set records and stuff like that, but I’m saying, I always wanted to be the best.

Ray Camacho  07:12

I’m always going to critique myself if I mess up. I will always put myself down if I do mess up because I’m just honest. I messed up a lot of my mobility aspects by just bodybuilding and doing a lot of hypertrophy training, and not focusing on strength and speed.

Ray Camacho  07:28

I got two tenths of a second slower on my 60 time. I was running a six-eight and so I run a seven-one because I wanted to drop bombs. I didn’t realize I didn’t have a mentor. I didn’t have anyone in my ear saying, you got to stay fast. If you lose your speed, you are nothing.

Ray Camacho  07:44

They have big six foot three guys that mash. You’re not that guy. You must be a fast infielder like you’ve always been, and I lost sight of that. I lost my chance to get drafted when it came down to it because of the speed and I never got officially said that. But I know deep down in my heart that’s what it was, you know, because nothing else held me back.

Ray Camacho  08:02

I’m still a dude, I’m 36 I still can play, still hit bombs, hit a bomb Sunday, and that was the first time I ever did that. I can tell you the training works because I’m doing everything I teach and preach myself at 36. If my mobility helps me, it’s going to help a 10-year-old.

Ray Camacho  08:19

If my strength conditioning helps me it’s going to help a 13–14-year-old. I try to empower these guys to really do that. Elliott Hulse came from a strongman competition. He was big and swoll.

Ray Camacho  08:33

I used to love listening to his rants because he always spoke intelligent. I always wanted to be a meathead, but an intelligent meathead. A best of both worlds. I can go in and out of bodybuilding, powerlifting, I can go talk to a physics major, a teacher.

Ray Camacho  08:50

I can talk to anybody, I can walk in any circle, because I love that I have the social awareness to be to be flowing in those circles and talk to anybody because if anybody can teach me anything, like you’re worth something to me, because I love knowledge and wisdom.

Ray Camacho  09:05

It’s one of the biggest things that Paul Chek put me on in his book. It was maybe like six months ago, I wrote down my goal was to have knowledge and wisdom and to be able to apply it to my sport, and just keep learning every day and growing.

Ray Camacho  09:20

Honestly, that’s what’s really happening every day because I tell parents my baseball hitting lessons near me training may switch up from next week to the next week, because my training like we talked about, it’s ever evolving.

 

Baseball hitting lessons near me: “It’s ever evolving with me because one kid teaches me how to do something for another kid…”

Ray Camacho  09:30

It’s ever evolving with me because one kid teaches me how to do something for another kid. It’s all the same mechanics, if he has bad ankles, this guy has bad ankles. If I see it, we’re going to do ankle mobility stuff.

Ray Camacho  09:42

If he can’t go up on his tippy toes because his feet are weak, we’re going to work on feet for 20-30 minutes because that matters. Not getting in the cage, not warming up and just swinging, we must change the culture.

Ray Camacho  09:54

These kids just want to get in there and move and their bodies not primed up and not ready to rock and roll. They don’t understand the mechanics of a movement. I get kids as young as four and as old as 22. I’m teaching them all the same things.

Ray Camacho  10:07

I talk to them all the same way. I know those little kids, they’re going to be dudes when they grow up, and the girls are going to be studs, because the girls, they listen the best obviously.

Joey Myers  10:16

They do.

Ray Camacho  10:18

That’s been awesome with me. I never thought in a million years, I’d be doing softball, they’ve really accepted me, and local coaches have liked what I’ve done with hitters and I’ve had kids that shouldn’t hit home runs that are hitting home runs.

Ray Camacho  10:34

I don’t take any baseball hitting lessons near me credit for it because it’s hard work and they are doing all the work. I’m just showing them the way. The biggest thing is I want to give direction because if kids and parents don’t know direction, they don’t know where to go.

Ray Camacho  10:46

They think anything they do is good. No, the right stuff is good. The right way is good, the most functional, the strongest way to be a healthy individual is the right way.

Ray Camacho  10:57

Elliott Hulse is the one responsible for putting me on Paul Chek. Listen to Elliott Hulse in his podcast, I started finding my direction because Elliott Hulse is big into masculinity and building men up and keeping men strong.

Ray Camacho  11:12

I’ve been blessed with a facility like this, because a man took a chance on me and he believed in me, and he said, I wanted to give you the opportunity to pay it forward. I’ve been very blessed to have a gym and two cages and my own little place to call home in the RPO.

Ray Camacho  11:31

Now that I’m kind of getting a little baseball hitting lessons near me momentum and things are going well, now I’m giving back because everything I do is going back to the kids. I have a lane now. I keep creating new logos and new things. I have fat on fat and fit on fit.

Ray Camacho  11:45

Actually, two days ago, I’m working on another logo flat on flat, because I have flat feet. I have probably like 20-30 kids that have flat feet. The first time I heard I had flat feet, the doctor was like, he’s going to have hard time with the ankle, he started saying all these negative things.

Ray Camacho  12:01

I had two or three ways to think about it. I was like, you know what, I don’t feel anything he’s saying. My ankles hurt a little bit, but I warm them up, I’m good to go. All those exercises he prescribed, I did them every day. I did them every day because I’ve always wanted to be the best at everything.

Ray Camacho  12:17

I was a football player at the time, I was the quarterback, I knew my feet needed to eat. I just worked out hard to grow my legs and my whole life I’ve had huge legs.

Ray Camacho  12:27

People have always talked about my legs, and I’ve always had my pants tighten up, always been a leadoff batter, I’ve always showed that physical strength that people can just see looking at my legs, and could tell that he might be good, he might be able to run a little bit.

Ray Camacho  12:42

I’ve taken pride with that, but that was instilled by my dad instilling those morals and those ethics. He really put a lot of good groundwork in myself, it’s kind of hard to go against some of those things sometimes.

Ray Camacho  12:55

It’s one of the reasons why I have a big heart. I just love hearing people’s stories; I’ve always been a good listener. When I hear an intelligent man speak, you shut up. That was like the number one rule my dad always said, you’re going to hang out with adults, you’re going to hang around grown men, shut up until they ask and talk to you if you’re a little boy.

Ray Camacho  13:15

Or if you don’t know what you’re talking about, you just listen. Listening taught me a lot of things. It’s right there in front of you if you listen in and aware of stuff.

Joey Myers  13:23

I love that man. I learn more about you the more we talk and that listening part as an advice, you have to know when you’re a teacher, you got to know when your student, and sometimes you got two teachers talking to each other. But sometimes even in that conversation, one teacher might know more than the other teacher.

Joey Myers  13:43

The teacher that doesn’t have quite the knowledge needs to, like you said shut up and listen, and not try and fight the other guy when they don’t have all the baseball hitting lessons near me information. It’s this kind of liquid relationship that happens between student and pupil, or pupil and teacher.

Joey Myers  14:01

I got on your Facebook page, there’s a cool quote, I’m thinking retweet. We’re not on Twitter. Here’s the quote, “It’s extremely tough as a parent to watch our kids struggle fail and be rejected. But if we don’t let them experience it, while they’re young, they’ll have no idea how to handle it when life shows up later down the road. Our job is to love them and teach them how to work through it.” Talk about that a little bit.

 

“It’s extremely tough as a parent to watch our kids struggle, fail, and be rejected. But if we don’t let them experience it, while they’re young, they’ll have no idea how to handle it when life shows up later down the road. Our job is to love them and teach them how to work through it.”

Ray Camacho  14:35

I told you this a little bit about last time what I do in the sessions, it’s because a lot of times, parents are hovering over and watching you move and work and talk. They’re watching everything and I’m very analytical myself, I may not see it.

Ray Camacho  14:49

I wear sunglasses all the time because I don’t want people to know where my eyes are going. It’s a coaching thing as well, but I understand the physical appearance, as you’re a coach and you’re sitting there like this, you look like you’re doing something.

Ray Camacho  15:03

If you’re staring at a kid, and he knows he’s messing up, he’s going to feel that energy. I’ve always done that. When I first started out, I was nervous about what people thought about what I was saying, I’m like, they think I’m messing their kid up.

Ray Camacho  15:16

Or maybe they’re not emotionally woke like me, or maybe they don’t understand some of the things. I got nervous speaking, but then I started realizing the kid is only going to be as good as the parents.

Ray Camacho  15:31

What I started doing was I just start sharing stories. As I continue to talk to other kids, and opening and motivate them, I always share my baseball hitting lessons near me life stories, because my life stories teach me a lot about things. I know the way I am because of my dad.

Ray Camacho  15:45

One of the best things my dad ever did, he coached me till I was 12, but he always let me play. He never over coached me; I don’t think I ever heard my dad yell at me on the field. He never told me to go warm up, he never told me to do anything, as soon as we got on the car, he already knew.

Ray Camacho  16:01

We were talking about that stuff of what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do and how you’re going to show up, how you’re going to look, who you are. He laid the platform for me when I was a little kid. This is what I do now, I just took it 100 million times more, because I went farther than him.

Ray Camacho  16:19

At age 12, he was always telling me that you’re better than ever I was, and he was my hero, my idol. As I started realizing interaction with parents, that parents are sabotages, as well. My big thing is, I need to make them understand whether you need to peel back or whether you need to be involved more.

Ray Camacho  16:39

My thing that I tell every parent is, especially the dads, because sometimes the dads have egos. Sometimes the softball dads are the worse. That’s their little girl, and I’m teaching their little girl. They get all huffy puffy, sometimes, but I just show them love and break them down and show them what I’m trying to teach.

Ray Camacho  16:59

My thing is, I teach the parents. I always tell the parents; your kid is only going to be as good as you. If you reiterate what I’m saying, and you back me up, because I’m always going to back you up, I am never going to say, I’m never going to disrespect you, your kid, I’m going to only help your relationship out.

Ray Camacho  17:17

We are a team, and it’s all about your kid. Obviously, parents love their kids. They’re going to understand that yes, you’re right. We’re not working against each other. Because if we do, now, the kid doesn’t know what the heck to do.

Ray Camacho  17:29

Now he’s always going to follow the parents’ lead. If I can have the parent buy in to baseball hitting lessons near me, I know it’s only a matter of time that kid buys them because now the kids are accepting. I always tell the story when I was 12, my dad sat me down and said, look, I’ve taught you everything I know, you’re better than me, I don’t know how to get you to that next level anymore, you must be looking for something else now, and learn from other people.

Baseball hitting lessons near me: “I like to pride myself in not being just like a scratch a surface guy. I get deep.”

Ray Camacho  17:54

I can honestly tell you, I didn’t learn from any other adults. No, all my coaches, maybe like one little rinky dink thing, but it was very generic. I like to pride myself in not being just like a scratch a surface guy. I get deep.

Ray Camacho  18:11

I always say breaking it down to the single digit. Like you got a million, I’m going to break it down all the way to the simplest form to get you to understand that if you don’t understand we’re going to keep doing it. I keep talking, I’m going to do some physical with you, because I need you to understand. I have simple goals when I get in the cage.

Ray Camacho  18:30

My dad released in me, and him being a big man and saying he can’t take me anymore, helped me take ownership on myself, because my dad had a bad back and he was in a bed for like a year. He was never supposed to ever walk again. He blew some disk and stuff like that.

Ray Camacho  18:48

I remember him being in a bed in the living room, just lying there all the time. And he showed me how to fold towels. He showed me how to do stuff. I was so literal, he would show me how to fold towels laying down in his bed, and I would lay down on the ground and fold towels.

Ray Camacho  19:05

I understood that kids mimic movements. I always prided myself in being healthy and in shape and showing kids and not just sitting on a bucket and getting up and working out and challenging the kids. I work out with the kids sometimes, I run with the kids sometimes.

Ray Camacho  19:21

I have a senior that’s coming to work out with me on Sundays, and I’m not charging them. It’s we’re working out together because I want to show them how it’s supposed to be done and how I work. I put my head down, I don’t see nothing, I just go to work. This is what I’m doing. I’m serious about it still because I want to be the best.

Ray Camacho  19:40

I’m playing in a World Series in Arizona for men’s and senior baseball league. I got stuff to prove. I haven’t played in a long time. I just want to give one last hurrah. I love learning so as I’m in this journey as well, I’m continuing to learn and I feel like if I’m learning, I’m growing and I’m going to pass it on to the kids. As I enhance my threshold in my knowledge, I’m bringing everybody with me.

Joey Myers  20:06

I love that. The idea that these kids nowadays, and I’ve heard this from multiple coaches, this isn’t just me, and I’ve not just heard it from you, but that players are soft. I think when you have these athletes in multiple sports, whether it’s soccer and football and whatnot, is people don’t realize when they get into baseball and softball, you and I could get into probably baseball hitting lessons near me arguments with other sports people about this, but I think hitting a baseball and softball consistently hard is the hardest thing to do in any sport.

 

I think hitting a baseball and softball consistently hard is the hardest thing to do in any sport

Joey Myers  20:42

I went into basketball for three years, and Michael Jordan was playing in the mid-90s, because I love Michael Jordan. I never played organized basketball, I did soccer, organize it in baseball, and I did martial arts for three years. But I did basketball just with some buddies on my street and did that. It was hard, but it took me I don’t know, six months, eight months, so I could finally figure out where I needed to shoot and things like that. They come into this sport and expect to hit .800 and .900.

Ray Camacho  21:13

It’s very disrespectful, honestly.

Joey Myers  21:17

It is and to have that kind of baseball hitting lessons near me mentality coming into our sport and thinking things are just going to be easy. I even have parents that it’s pitching versus hitting, what’s harder, and I always say that hitting is harder.

Joey Myers  21:30

I have a buddy that teaches pitching, he’s the guy I send my hitters to go learn pitching. Hitting is harder than pitching, I pitched all the way through my sophomore year in high school until I went full time outfield and hitting.

Joey Myers  21:46

The thing was, is I knew where I was going to throw the ball, what kind of pitch I was going to throw and in what location and speed. I knew all that beforehand, right? Whether it went there or not. Who knows? But hitting I don’t know any of that stuff and when they say well, there’s a mind game that the pitcher must play against a hitter. Well, doesn’t the hitter have to play mind game against a pitcher?

Ray Camacho  22:06

That’s what I teach, bro. That’s what I teach. I don’t film it because I don’t want to share it with people, but my feel work, my live at bats, that’s what the high school guys come for, because I did it better than anybody.

Ray Camacho  22:20

When I hit that homerun on Sunday, this guy was a nobody, and I’m not disrespecting him. But I know he was a nobody, he wasn’t throwing hard, just throwing like 70-75. I know who I am. Full count, he goes like this, to show me that curveball.

Ray Camacho  22:33

Right away, just to who I am. I never really paid attention to those things because I just saw the ball hit the ball at time. But I saw that, and I remember thinking curveball, and then as soon as it released, I saw that bad ass backspin and then I just crapped on it.

Ray Camacho  22:49

I was like you think you’re going to trick me with like JV tricks. Because for one you don’t throw hard, I’m not scared of you. Two, I know that if I sit back, you’re not going to blow anything by me.

Ray Camacho  23:01

I try to teach kids out because I do the same thing on the pitching. I wouldn’t call myself a pitcher, but I could pitch. I pitched a little bit in college, I pitched in high school, but they couldn’t take me out of shortstop because we didn’t have a shortstop.

Ray Camacho  23:12

When I pitch, they had the ball at shortstop. It’s frustrating because I used to be that guy making errors. Now somebody else is making errors for me. I call myself a competitor. I know how to play the game. I was never good paper guys.

Ray Camacho  23:27

One of the reasons why I feel like I didn’t get drafted. But you put me in a game I do all the right things I get on base; I steal the base. I read the ball. I see the pitcher.

Ray Camacho  23:36

I always liked hitting off big, big, tall pitchers because they always thought that they’re better than me because it’s physical. My dad was talking about it yesterday, and I can hear the anger in his voice how I got shortchanged from my size.

Ray Camacho  23:48

He goes I must tell everybody, I put you against anybody. I put you against anybody.  I remember sophomore year in high school, we were placed in Austin Buoy, and they had three dudes and we played them three games, we had three dudes, they’re all six foot plus, doing upper 80s lower 90s.

Ray Camacho  24:05

The first game I went for five off that guy’s a leadoff guy. Because they didn’t respect me, you’re trying to drive till mid upper 80s fastball is by me, I’m a fastball hitting son of a gun. I’m jumping on that. I just beat you, beat you, beat you guess what, next at bat curveball I sit on it. You can’t throw it because you’re trying to throw it, you’re already spinning on the ground.

Ray Camacho  24:23

I had an elimination process at age 10. I tell people I manifested and prayed to God for all these things that I had each night not knowing that I was doing this stuff. I taught myself how to keep two hands on the bat, there’s no tricks or gimmicks. Simply every night, told myself you hit the ball very good every time but you’re breaking apart.

Ray Camacho  24:44

Let’s just swing with two hands, see what happens. I would tell myself every night until it started happening. Of course, I practice it and I try to apply it and put it in my head.  My feel work was immaculate. Anytime I took a pitch, I always took it correctly. I was always on time. If I wasn’t, that’s a negative one in energy. So, I get out, I do two feel work.

Ray Camacho  25:05

I go one, two, or whatever I felt like I needed to do to get back in the box and get that back. I never understood it, but I was always going in the box plus one, or plus two, especially if I won that pitch. That means you didn’t buckle me; your curveball isn’t crap. I stare at it and I look back at you. I go yes, you got to throw me a fastball, let’s go.

Ray Camacho  25:24

I’m ready to rock and roll.  I was always ready to hit. I got my batting stance from Chipper Jones; he was my favorite player. His dad was out of Stetson University and he created the toe tap.

 

The toe tap to me is the most adjustable swing that I’ve ever had

Ray Camacho  25:36

The toe tap to me is the most timing the most adjustable swing that I’ve ever had.  I’ve dabbled in other things, I listened to other guys, and they’ve all ruined to me, and they took my time in a way my weight shift.

Ray Camacho  25:48

The biggest thing when it comes to pitching and hitting, they’re both rotational movements, you both must read energy. I literally move just like the pitcher when I hit. That’s why I’m superior in timing. I always tell pitchers this when you’re throwing, if you throw hard, or if you got gas, you’re trying to throw it down their throats every time most time unless you have a different mentality of maybe just don’t strike, you can’t throw strike.

Ray Camacho  26:14

When I got up there, I’m throwing my heart and soul every pitch because we’re competing. And I can do that, I always prided myself in being a 90% and 95, on everything I can do.

Ray Camacho  26:25

Now, I would never say 100, who can be 100 all the time. But I would say A plus student on the field. As far as I could, I could run as hard as I could because I had control. When I move to load back, that guy’s doing the same weight shift as I’m doing.

Ray Camacho  26:40

Of course, I have my strong legs and everything else they go with the timing, but I try to tell guys this because I show them right away from soft toss to the front toss to live, if you do not have a weight shift, you have no timing, and they don’t understand it. Someone along the way, told them not to move. My biggest thing is, this is how you tell if you have a good instructor a good coach or not.

Ray Camacho  27:02

If your coach limits your movement, if you’re Aaron Judge, you can limit movements. He’s Aaron judge, and he’s hella strong and badass. If you’re a JV guy that hasn’t gone on varsity yet, and if you’re weak, you limit movements, you’re not good, you’re not going do anything to the ball, because it’s strength and rhythm.

Ray Camacho  27:23

When a coach is telling you to get your foot down early, when coaches tell you to go to a two-strike approach, they’re taking your rhythm out, they’re taking your weight shift out, they’re not even teaching it properly. Or if they tell you to go oppo, and the guy throws you an inside pitch, you’re screwed.

Ray Camacho  27:38

Those are sabotage advice, and I talk about it openly. I don’t even care if the high school coaches hate me, because I care about the kid. If you tell him this, now he shut down and now he’s dumbed down. Now he cannot focus on practice and go as hard as he can.

Ray Camacho  27:57

I try to enhance everybody with balance and rhythm. That is it. It’s your balance and rhythm. It’s only a matter of time, and how do we know that? We watched your takes, because whether you like it or not, there’s a pitching coach who didn’t hit. I’m confident about this. A pitching coach who didn’t hit watching your feel work like a dumb pitcher, notice that like a pitcher.

Ray Camacho  28:20

I’m a hitter, a pitcher, a first baseman, a catcher, a right fielder, a third baseman, I’m everything. I’ve done everything. I think from those perspectives, but I think more like a pitcher and a catcher and a shortstop when I see hitters, and I’m like, am I scared of this guy? Or what am I seeing?

Ray Camacho  28:34

I can go to any high school game right now and call pitches and tell you exactly what’s going to happen? Because the coach is on level one, they’re on level one, until you start beating them or start sitting on pitches understanding that, then they’ll switch up, they’ll switch it up just like the game, right?

 

I don’t use a glove when I throw BP so I’ll hold curveball like this. I’ll hold it.  I want to see if they’re smart enough to look at my hand

Ray Camacho  28:48

That’s what I do with the high school guys, because I don’t use a glove when I throw BP so I’ll hold curveball like this. I’ll hold it.  I want to see if they’re smart enough to look at my hand. If not, then I just keep breaking them off. Keep breaking them off.  Then when I start seeing sit on it. I’m like, hey, what are you doing?  They’re like, Oh, I see it in your hand coach. Awesome.

Ray Camacho  29:08

Now I can manipulate you because now I hold it like that. Then I’ll throw a fastball because my fastball curveball.  I know how to compete. If you’re guessing you’re not ever going to beat me. I can do 30 minutes of fastball and curveball round with guys, I’m talking about varsity guys, and just beat them because they’re trying to guess.

Ray Camacho  29:30

I say you don’t guess if you guess I will blow a fastball by you because I’m reading your energy. I’m reading your movements, just like any coach would right now. The younger kids, I tell the dads and the moms, whoever’s helping them, whether you like it or not the kid is competing against an adult.

Ray Camacho  29:47

There’s a coach watching what he does, if he steps out, he’s going like this to the pitcher. Now the pitcher throws strikes. Now your kid doesn’t have a chance because he’s not understanding how he’s moving. He’s not understanding what he’s presenting to the whole baseball community when he’s doing that.

Ray Camacho  30:02

I’m trying to really get the guys to do field work. That means I really must control my sessions. If a kid takes a bad swing, if he takes two in a row, I have to stop and tell him to get out of the box and do feel work. Then I watch his feel work.

Ray Camacho  30:17

If his feel work is bad, then I got to stand up and go back over there and talk to him about it. Because the feel work matters what you’re going to do in the box. Sometimes they’re too immature to understand it. I got to keep talking about it and keep talking about it. My biggest thing is making them aware. My big varsity guys like to dive in.

Ray Camacho  30:35

I have this big thing of reading that energy and going back and forth, stop angles of feet, hips and shoulders, we’re not manipulating those right now, especially if you don’t need to understand how to hit. The balanced approach is just staying square.

Ray Camacho  30:49

Now that’s outside, you close up, go to right center field, and it’s down the middle or if you want to pull it you go left centerfield. Shoulders and hips. That’s it. That’s how the elite hit with our back hip.

Ray Camacho  31:03

I literally show the guys and then I go in there. If they don’t believe me, I show them how to hit where you want me to hit it, boom, I hit their left center, we want to hit right side, and boom, this is how we do it.

Ray Camacho  31:11

I’ve always had back control, my dad just showed me off with a five-year-old. I would just mechanically sound. That’s it. I was connected, the term connected, right. I try to show those guys how to be properly connected with their core, their breathing their chin.

Ray Camacho  31:26

Your head doesn’t matter if your feet suck, because the little kids, if their back foot never rotates properly, you don’t exist. Because you cut off all the power, you cut off that right eye or your left eye whatever way you’re swinging, and you don’t rotate properly. That’s the biggest thing.

Ray Camacho  31:42

Now if the back foot sucks the front foot is usually the culprit because the front side leaves the backside more ground up. That’s something that I figured out, but I don’t know if it’s out there already, but I don’t try to worry about everybody else. I know what I’m doing here, and how I speak. I try to make them understand that your head doesn’t matter. Your hands don’t matter if your feet are bad.

Joey Myers  32:03

I love it. Well, hey, I want to be respectful of your time a lot. A lot of great advice there. I love that, Ray. Glad that we did this. I’m sure we can do some part twos. Before we go, where can people find you, talk about the social media platforms. I know you got a website, but it looks like it’s a little under construction right now.

 

Where can people find you, talk about the social media platforms…

Ray Camacho  32:25

I’m big on social media. I got Snapchat, it’s RayCam4, just the number four. My Instagram is raycam4oe. I have fat on fat baseball on Instagram, fit on fit fitness on Instagram. I also have fit on fit fitness on Facebook as well.

Ray Camacho  32:45

I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all the big social media sites I have, fit on fit fitness, fat on fat baseball and my own personal page account. I just try to give information out to as many people as possible. I do a lot of free work because I feel like this stuff is so hard. That if you can do it, awesome.  It’s no secret. There’s no secret. I’m an open book. I’ll tell anybody anything. People reach out to me all the time in DMs and messages and I love my job.

Joey Myers  33:16

I love it. What are the one or two that you’re on most?

Ray Camacho  33:21

I would say Facebook and Instagram. I’m actually on tik tok as well, Ray Camp4oe

Joey Myers  33:27

I was going to say that was in there.

Ray Camacho  33:31

I did a video. Like two days ago and I’ve gotten like 100 followers on tik tok recently. I’m really surprised because I see a lot of baseball coaches getting roasted on TikTok. These kids are unrelentless.

Ray Camacho  33:47

I was telling a friend; I’ve been ready for a little kid to come talk smack to me. I can just get them, but it hasn’t happened. The only thing I can think of is I’m doing it right. They understand what I’m saying. I had a kid reached out to me say Hey, where’s part two? Hey, it’s one fan, right? I posted two. I was like, Alright, here we go two and three, because I’m willing to teach anybody who wants to learn because we’re all learning.

Joey Myers  34:13

Cool, dude. Thank you so much for your time again. Like I said, we’ll be in touch. I’ll get you all your stuff. We’ll kind of go from there and maybe do a part two, part three in the future.

Ray Camacho  34:24

Awesome, man. Thanks.

Joey Myers  34:25

Thanks for your baseball hitting lessons near me time, brother. Keep up the good work there.

Ray Camacho  34:28

You too, man.

Joey Myers  34:29

Alright, see you.

Mental Game Of Baseball

Mental Game Of Baseball VIDEO

Mental Game Of Baseball: Anxiety Disorders Seen With Young Athletes Today & How to Fix?

 

 

In this mental game of baseball interview with Coach Derek Mayson, we go over (Estimated reading time: 26 minutes):

Mental Game Of Baseball

  • Give us a Little Background from where you Started – you have a Great Story…
  • When it comes to the mental game of baseball, What Anxiety Disorders do you see with Young Athletes Today and How to Fix?
  • What’s your advice to a young player that is putting a lot of pressure on themselves and is almost given himself deadlines if this doesn’t happen?
  • Contrarily, what is your advice to parents who have kiddos that don’t have motivation or inspiration to practice?
  • What was the one big thing or was it a few other factors that helped you to break out of your anxiety disorder?
  • Explain just a little bit about what the product is and walk us through that, where we can find your website, any kind of social media, YouTube, all that kind of stuff?

Click short mental game of baseball link for transcribed interview in pdf format: http://gohpl.com/derekmtranscription

We don’t go into the mental game as much here at HPL, but when we do, we do something like this post titled: “Mental Approach to Hitting: Failing Forward”

Here’s the full transcription with time stamps of the above video interview with Derek Mayson … ENJOY!

Joey Myers  00:06

Hello, and welcome to the Swing Smarter Monthly Newsletter. This is your host, Joey Myers from hittingperformancelab.com.

Joey Myers  00:11

Today, this is actually our first-time meeting in person, Derek Mayson. Welcome to the show, first of all.

Derek Mayson  00:19

Thanks for having me, Joey. This is great. Looking forward to it

Joey Myers  00:22

You got it. I’m going to let him go into a little bit more on what he does, but Derek teaches the mental game of baseball. In particular, with these, our group we talked about hitting, and we’ll be talking about the mental side of hitting in this program.

Joey Myers  00:39

What’s interesting about Derek is he’s our northern ally up in Canada. Anytime we can promote Canadians and get Canadians out there, showed up on the complete sports podcast, Darren runs that, he’s a Canadian, fellow Canadian. It’s kind of cool.

Joey Myers  00:55

We had a little conversation, hour and a half, and talked a lot about some of the challenges with getting more Canadians recruited in playing Major League Baseball and things like that, like Justin Morneau, Larry Walker, and some of the very big ones out there. Anytime we can promote Canada, we’d love to do it.

Joey Myers  01:17

First question, Derek. Just give us a little bit of a background from where you started in the mental game of baseball. You have a great story. Go ahead and just give us that elevator pitch there.

 

Give us a Little Background from where you Started in the Mental Game of Baseball – you have a Great Story…

Derek Mayson  01:31

I’m from North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I’ve grown up playing fastpitch softball, actually, pretty unique. These days, the men’s game has dwindled off and don’t see a lot of male participants in the sport anymore, but it still has an international competition.

Derek Mayson  01:57

I grew up playing fast pitch from five years old, sprinkled a little bit of baseball in there, but that’s really been my focus. Growing up here playing on provincial teams, first got noticed into the national team conversation around the age of 19 or 20 and made my debut with Team Canada at a Pan American championship in Mexico in 2006.

Derek Mayson  02:22

I’ve been with the national team program since then, I’ve played in four World Championships, I’ve won a gold medal at Worlds and three bronze, also won the Pan Am Games in 2015.

Derek Mayson  02:35

I’ve been really fortunate to play at the highest level of competition in our sports and travel the world playing in Australia and New Zealand couple of winters down there. As well as done some coaching with the Team Canada women’s Olympic team prior to the Beijing Olympics of 2008.

Derek Mayson  02:56

As I said my international career started around 2006-2009 was my first world, leading into that, just having some uncertainty in my life coming back from some travel after finishing my university degree.

Derek Mayson  03:10

I started to experience an anxiety disorder which really you know, kind of rocked my life but as well in tandem with that my performance on the field. I feel like I didn’t bring my best self to that 2009 Worlds which was my first debut at an international major event like that.

Derek Mayson  03:33

From there brought my play down, brought my quality of life down to the point where for the 2013 Worlds, I was cut from that team, that was the first time I’d ever been cut from a ball team in my life and kind of faced the Crossroads where I had to consider. I was 28-29 at the time, happy with having played at Worlds and kind of move on or am I going to sink my teeth into this and figure it out and get my game back, get my mental strength, mental capacity back essentially.

Derek Mayson  04:11

I chose the latter fortunately, I continued to educate myself with quality coaching and counseling on that side. I really sunk my teeth into different areas around the psychology of sports and of life.

Derek Mayson  04:27

Learning about sports psychology, dedicating myself to mindfulness meditation practice and for me as a jock coming up, when it was first introduced to me, it was like wow, this is like for monks in the Himalayas or dudes wearing robes off in the Alps or something like that, this is not me.

Derek Mayson  04:48

But I read Phil Jackson’s book 11 Rings, and he spoke a lot about how we brought the Zen tradition but more so just it’s a focused practice to the Bulls then to the Lakers of the 90s and early 2000s. Being an athlete, I really connected with that.

Derek Mayson  05:07

Follow that up by reading George Mumford book, The Mindful Athlete. Again, just seeing how to see the mind from a different perspective and better understand what it’s doing, why it’s doing, especially when you’re struggling, when you’re facing all sorts of challenging thoughts or tense feelings and stuff like that, how to navigate through that and rather than fight against it, but work through it, and be able to put it aside and focus exactly in that moment where you need to be.

Derek Mayson  05:42

I got back on the team in 2014, my play much improved, regain my starting spot for 2015 for the World Championship win, and the Pan Am Games win. Since then, I played in two Worlds, I’ve continued to broaden my knowledge in this area.

Derek Mayson  06:01

I’ve always wanted to share this information with individuals or young athletes who are coming up in A, they may be experiencing similar challenges, or B, they’re just looking to get their game to that next level by strengthening their mental skills.

Derek Mayson  06:20

Rather than taking the one-to-one consulting approach, I’ve developed an online mental training program, which is a six week daily guided program for athletes and coaches to follow, which follows the path of short, two-to-four-minute audio lessons with some video lessons mixed in and some exercises each day to start by just better understanding how the mind works.

Derek Mayson  06:50

Introducing some of those focus practices that it’s just like learning any other skill where we’re trying to adjust our swing in a particular way, or learn to hit an off-speed pitch, we have to do repetition and work on drills and stuff like that.

Derek Mayson  07:05

These are skills, they can be taught, and they can be learned. Working through exercises in that sense, taking it from these practices outside of the game and bringing them onto the field, and how we can incorporate those into building more presence and focus into our game.

Derek Mayson  07:27

Looking at how to deal with those challenging thoughts and thought patterns that creep up for all of us. Sometimes they just take up too much real estate in your head and inhibits our ability to focus.

Derek Mayson  07:38

Looking at some common obstacles like fear of failure, fear of what others are thinking, how do we approach being in a slump, and how can we work our way through that mentally to get through successfully.

Derek Mayson  07:52

It’s been a passion of mine to talk about this, to teach others and getting some great traction in both the baseball and fastpitch side of things, it’s a unique opportunity for an individual to go through, but also, I’m getting a lot of teams. It’s a cool team bonding experience that they can collaborate for.

Joey Myers  08:15

Cool, you shared a lot of mental game of baseball info, and we’ll deep dive into some of that. I love that. I wanted to start with, if you don’t mind me asking, you mentioned anxiety disorder. I know you were going through if you don’t mind, I understand if you don’t, but I’m sure there’s plenty out there, like you said that are probably dealing with the same thing.

Joey Myers  08:36

If you can go into maybe a little bit more detail what that was for you. Do you see some of the challenges, maybe the top two, when it comes to those different anxiety disorders, thank you to the 2020 stuff. Maybe what you had to deal with, a little bit more in depth, and maybe how you got out of that, what was the aha moment? Maybe what you see the top two things from 2020 that are going to come up.

 

When it comes to the Mental Game of Baseball, What Anxiety Disorders do you see with Young Athletes Today and How to Fix?

Derek Mayson  09:05

As far as my experience with it, it’s kind of different for a lot of individuals who experience this, and unfortunately, they say this is the most anxious generation to date.

Derek Mayson  09:20

For me, I had some insomnia troubles, which goes without saying is going to affect your performance as far as being sharp and just where your mind is. Overall, with that, the line of thinking that I was under, it was creating a lot of tension in my body.

Derek Mayson  09:45

Definitely didn’t have that relaxation feel to be able to come onto the field and just let it flow. A lot of worry type thinking that was quite pervasive. I think the biggest thing that I realized over time was fighting against those types of feelings and those thoughts.

Derek Mayson  10:09

What I mean by that is, for any individual, if you just pause, and it’s quiet and just try and listen to sounds for a second, within about half a second, one or two seconds, thoughts just going to pop into your head, whether it’s what you got to do next, maybe it’s something silly.

Derek Mayson  10:30

Or if your mind is stuck in this habit of negative pervasive thoughts, they may be something that’s self-critical or judging against yourself. The realization that these thoughts that just pop into our heads, we don’t really have any control over that, they’re called automatic thoughts.

Derek Mayson  10:51

When they’re negative, they called automatic negative thoughts or ANTs for short. So, the realization that I don’t have any control over this, if I’m beating myself up over these thoughts popping into my head, or from my body feeling tense for a particular reason, I’m really just kind of adding to the tension and angst within my mind or within my body.

Derek Mayson  11:16

By understanding that those are automatic, it’s based off of however my previous experiences, or maybe some hardships I’ve undergone in previous years. If I don’t fight those, and don’t give my mind the trigger that is saying, “That’s bad, I need to fight against that”, essentially the mind is saying, “Oh, you gave me some attention, I’ll send some more of those types of thoughts”.

Derek Mayson  11:47

If we kind of just notice it, and let it go, over time, the mind figures out that okay, maybe these aren’t very useful tight thoughts, I don’t need to keep sending thought that what if I strike out, everyone’s going to laugh at me, or who’s in the stands, or the scouts in the crowd or anything like that, whereby we can let those go and stop fighting against those.

Derek Mayson  12:12

The other thing is learning how to become present on the field. When I was first introduced to mental training, when it comes to sport, it was often said, you got to be fully present, you got to be fully present on the field. I kind of took that to be, Okay, well the game is two or three hours long, I got to be focused for two or three hours.

Derek Mayson  12:35

That’s just not how the mind is made. The mind is made to focus in short stints and then wander off. We just learn to notice that, and then bring it back gently, and wanders, it comes back, wanders, come back.

Derek Mayson  12:48

To understand A, why the mind does that, but also B, how do we bring it back? We can do that by utilizing our senses. If that’s on the field, rather than thinking about the ball, we throw away two innings ago, we can notice that our mind has gone off there, and I can reconnect with my breath, I can reconnect with the feeling of the dirt under my cleats, connecting with our senses, they are inherently present.

Derek Mayson  13:15

You can’t hear something 10 minutes ago; you can’t taste something two days from now. They happen right now. By connecting with those senses, you’re able to bring yourself back to the present moment. It’s better to just let go of those challenging thoughts.

Joey Myers  13:32

Very cool. I love that. That was one thing, I was at headspace, the headspace app, and I did that for a couple years and learned that whole idea of you don’t fight the thought even when it’s negative. The natural tendency is to say that’s ridiculous, that’s not true.

Joey Myers  13:51

Like you said, it’s almost like the mind goes, Oh, there’s some attention, let’s do more of that. I have a hitter, I have a young online hitter right now, fairly young, and he is a hard worker. For his age, he’s got a black belt, I think it’s in Taekwondo, which is pretty impressive.

Joey Myers  14:09

But the swing, he seems to be having a hard time, he’s putting a lot of pressure on himself to the next month, I better do well or else I’m going to quit. He puts his work in, he’s working half hour a day.

Joey Myers  14:24

I usually recommend to my hitters at least five minutes a day, four days a week. I don’t say thousands of swings and all that kind of stuff. You know how it is with some players, they shut off. They’re like I’m not doing that, and we try and start short.

Joey Myers  14:37

This player is on the other side of the spectrum where I have to almost tell him to take days off. For his age it’s pretty crazy. He puts a lot of pressure on himself. What’s your mental game of baseball advice to a young player that is putting a lot of pressure on themselves and is almost given himself deadlines if this doesn’t happen?

Joey Myers  14:54

We’re talking about hitting here, hitting is a very challenging skill in probably, arguably, any sport, you could probably agree with me on that, maybe more so than pitching. What advice would you give him?

What’s your advice to a young player that is putting a lot of pressure on themselves and is almost given himself deadlines if this doesn’t happen?

Derek Mayson  15:09

When it comes to better understanding that belief system that he’s working through. Essentially what his mind is telling him is, if I don’t get this by next month or if I’m not the best, then what’s the point? You kind of have to dig a little deeper into the thought patterns and understand where they’re coming from, and potentially it is to that root belief of, I got to be the best or it’s not even worth it.

Derek Mayson  15:43

We kind of peel back the layers of the onion, to get to that core belief that is coming through, and breaking that apart a little bit, almost how a lawyer would break it down very objectively.

Derek Mayson  16:00

Let’s look at that, that belief of if I’m not the best, it’s not even worth it. How many people are the best hitter in the world? There’s only going to be one and there’s a lot of other hitters in the world, too, it’s very objective as to what is the best hitter in the world.

Derek Mayson  16:22

Breaking it down and being able to see that there’s this belief that has built up, it’s not necessarily true. Now, every time he sees a thought along those lines of, I must get it done by next month, he could step back and go— you know what, that’s not actually true. Just because my mind tells me that it doesn’t mean it’s true.

Derek Mayson  16:46

What we do in the program is work through developing some affirmations against that. Rather than letting the mind continue to tell you that I must get this done next month or there’s no point, could create an affirmation in the opposite effect.

Derek Mayson  17:04

As far as I’m working hard, and I’m improving every day, and my skills are going to develop over time. Rather than having a strict schedule towards it, softening that approach, like we talked about a double-edged sword sometimes, where we need that drive, to push us, to put in the work, to practice. Otherwise, we’re going to be on the couch and not working on your skills.

Derek Mayson  17:35

But the other side of that sword is pushing ourselves too hard, putting too much mental strain on. I think understanding that just because your mind tells you something, it doesn’t mean it’s true, that you can challenge that, and plug in some more affirmations that work more in your favor, as opposed to just going with whatever your mind tells you.

Joey Myers  18:03

I love that. Thank you, Derek, for that. On the opposite side, this particular hitter is, I don’t want to call him an anomaly, because it’s not like it’s super rare, but there are hitters that work almost too hard. I was one of those.

Joey Myers  18:17

I learned throughout my career that I had to take time off. When I was really frustrated, or I was really just disappointed in my play, that I would skip out on the extra BP or I would come to the ballpark, I wouldn’t come early like I would before to try and put some extra work in and I would take those breaks.

Joey Myers  18:33

How about the hitter on the other side, some of those parents out there, I get emails and when I put out surveys, they’ll say the biggest frustration is actually getting their kid boy or girl to actually do the work. Inspirational side or motivational side, what’s your mental game of baseball advice for those parents working with those kiddos?

 

Contrarily, what is your advice to parents who have kiddos that don’t have motivation or inspiration to practice?

Derek Mayson  18:58

Again, that is a tough one because usually when you see athletes who rise to the top of their group, their sport and that sort of thing, a lot of that is intrinsically motivated, they are the ones who want to go to practice. They are the ones who want to put in that work.

Derek Mayson  19:21

Especially when it comes to youth sports, I’m very much an advocate of focusing on the fun aspect of it, not focusing on what could be with college scholarships, or what could be with pros if you just listen to me. In that essence you can turn off a kid by pushing them too hard, if it’s just not theirs, but by focusing more on the fun elements and letting them figure out what drives them to play the sport, that’s going to be much longer lasting than just going about it in practice, because mom or dad told me to, or because it’s a chore.

Derek Mayson  20:05

I think it must come from that joy of the sport and lessening that pressure, understanding that maybe they’re avoiding doing extra work, because maybe there’s some fear involved that they might not be living up to some expectations that we may or may not know that we’re putting on the kid. Again, coming back to the fun and taking that pressure off that. Let it be their drive to do it.

Joey Myers  20:35

Great advice. I think that worked both ways from the hitter that’s not as inspired and the hitter that’s almost overly inspired. I think that fun element and relationship is a big thing. That’s great advice.

Joey Myers  20:48

On the hitting side, you mentioned slumps. What’s your mental game of baseball advice when it comes to hitters that are in slumps? Like you said objective, it could be 0-for-30, it could be an 0-for-10 0-for five, it just means whatever slump is to the hitter, what are some of the things, maybe the top two things that you recommend that they do to help them transition out of it?

Derek Mayson  21:11

First thing is having that perspective, you talked about 0-for-30, 0-for-10, whatever it is, typically, in a season, you’re going to have four to 700 at bats or something like that, it’s a small segment of that entire season of your entire career.

Derek Mayson  21:32

You also probably have been through a slump previously, and it did come to an end. Sometimes when we’re in slumps, we figure, there’s no way out of this. But understanding that you’re in it right now, forcing your way out of it isn’t the way.

Derek Mayson  21:51

The other thing I like to think of is, when we think of bringing a slump with us to the plate, we’re carrying that baggage of that 0-for-10 up to the plate. But when we’re up there, we can’t do anything about those previous at that, they’ve already happened.

Derek Mayson  22:08

Essentially, as much as we can, bring in that 0-0 mentality to the plate, that this is a brand-new opportunity, brand new approach. As much as we can bring that presence practice, onto the field.

Derek Mayson  22:23

What I mean by that is, the mind is going to revert back, you’re going to be on deck going, it’s going to save you, you’re 0-for-10. You need to get ahead here, you got to bust out, we can notice that our mind is trying to do that, we don’t have to necessarily just go with that.

Derek Mayson  22:40

Notice it, let go, get back into the feel of our swing, get back into the dirt feeling under our feet, get extremely present and break it down very individually, sense to sense, step to step, get into the box, and then break it down into what I call “what’s real moment”.

Derek Mayson  23:01

As opposed to thinking, three pitches ahead, and if he paints the outside corner with this, I got to be ready for a down and in, everything like that, breaking it down to what’s real.

Derek Mayson  23:13

I’m standing here with a bat, the pitchers out there with a ball, and my best chance here is to rely on my natural abilities. And to just rely on your reaction and instinct, rather than thinking your way through that, rely on your instinct and just let your talents flow.

Joey Myers  23:31

That’s great one. Yeah, relying on your instinct. Usually, because I was more of a thinker. It would usually get me in trouble. It was a blessing and a curse, right? Don’t need to think ahead and do things ahead of the game, be ahead of the game.

Joey Myers  23:45

Especially in times of slumps, you tend to overthink and overanalyze. I used to look at some of my teammates who seemed to be like cavemen more than over thinkers.  I used to just think, I wish I could be like Brian more, I wish I could think like him, when you have the attention span of a gnat, where something’s in front of your face, and once it’s gone, and you forget all about it. I wish, at some point, I could do that.

Joey Myers  24:10

I like how you gave that bit of advice. Before we get to a little bit more of what you’re doing. I know you touched on that a little bit on your programming and stuff, and we’ll ask you where people can find you.

Joey Myers  24:23

One of the one of the questions I had, when you talked about that you pretty much transitioned out of that anxiety of insomnia. You mentioned a few things, I think you mentioned meditation and trying to be more present in the moment.

Joey Myers  24:36

What was the one big thing or was it a few of those mental game of baseball factors that helped you to break out of that? Was there one thing that really transitioned you out and some of the other things helped climb up that ladder? Or was it just a group of different things and what were they?

 

What was the one big thing or was it a few other factors that helped you to break out of your anxiety disorder?

Derek Mayson  24:53

I think the biggest thing for me and whether it’s achieved through meditation, it was meditation, others it can be just a just a realization and more presence of mind of having that separation between mind and self.

Derek Mayson  25:14

There is a reason that headspace is called headspace, it’s being able to see the mind doing what it does separate from myself. What I mean by that is, my mind may tell me that we haven’t got to hit off this picture in six tries. I don’t want to look like a fool today.

Derek Mayson  25:41

I know there’s some scouts in the crowd, and the mind may be doing all this. Essentially, understanding why the mind is doing that, it’s trying to protect us, it’s trying to prepare, it goes way back to how the human brain has evolved over time to protect us and keep the species alive. It’s always kind of looking out for us.

Derek Mayson  26:02

It will ping these thoughts and over time, if we give those thoughts a lot of attention, like we said, it’s going to keep spiraling. To be able to understand that, it’s just the mind trying to protect me, I can put that aside. Like we said, bring our presence to the field, and let her natural abilities flow as much as possible.

Derek Mayson  26:25

When I was having my hardest times, it was that overthinking state of getting into the box and trying to predict what the next pitch was, at the same time it’s trying not to, whether it was built up in the mind of don’t embarrass yourself here or don’t waste your at-bat because you’re supposed to be this type of player.

Derek Mayson  26:53

Getting caught up in all those habitual thoughts, being able to separate from those, that’s just the mind doing its thing. I don’t have to buy into those, I can let go, and just be with what’s here. It’s me, I’m on a ball field, I got a bat, there’s a pitcher with the ball. Let’s do this.

Joey Myers  27:11

I love that. With my hitters we work mechanical stuff, and I tell them, there’s certain things that we work with that you can bring to the field today. We talked about something like finger pressure, where it’s just squeezing tight, but it’s nothing like some of the other things we teach where it’s a little bit more cognitive load, and tell them, when you get into the box, all you’re thinking about is just competing.

Joey Myers  27:36

I think that’s basically what you’re saying— work based off of instinct. You must trust the work that you put in outside of the box, and once you get in, like you said, it just you, you got a bat in your hand, you got a guy that’s got a ball, and you’re not even really paying attention, that’s the other thing causes anxiety.

Joey Myers  27:50

You think, this guy, he’s one of those above average velocity guys, and he’s really good. He’s being scouted. He’s verbal to a big-time college school and all that. Like you said, it’s that forward, that future thinking or we’re bringing past in, and it’s just become so heavy that it almost paralyzes you. Particularly good. Awesome.

Joey Myers  28:12

I want to be respectful of your time. You talked a little bit about what your product is and what you’re doing. Explain just a little bit about what the mental game of baseball product is and walk us through that, where we can find your website, any kind of social media, YouTube, all that kind of stuff.

 

Explain just a little bit about what the product is and walk us through that, where we can find your website, any kind of social media, YouTube, all that kind of stuff?

Derek Mayson  28:35

The mental game of baseball program is called the Locked In Mental Training Program, it can be found at lockedinmentaltraining.com. It’s a six week daily guided online program that users access through whatever device, typically a mobile phone.

Derek Mayson  28:52

Each day, users will have a two-to-four-minute audio lesson, along with some daily guided exercises to run through each day, to reinforce the learnings. Rather than just kind of passively sitting back and listening to something and thinking that it’s going to be absorbed again, this is a skill that has to be practiced.

Derek Mayson  29:16

Each day, about 5-10 minutes of practice, which varies between some focus practice to bringing some more presence into your day. I like to talk about how the mind itself, we’re not just training it to be a better ballplayer because we bring our mind everywhere, we go.

Derek Mayson  29:37

This mental game of baseball training, it’s training for life skills, better presences as an athlete, as students, as in your relationships or career, with those exercises, there’s focused practices, some journal exercise, exercises to do to break down some of those thought patterns to better understand how to work through those challenging thoughts.

Derek Mayson  30:06

Over those six weeks, students often come back to me saying they have a much better attention to where their mind is at any time. As opposed to just writing off some of those more challenging thought patterns.

Derek Mayson  30:23

Coaches enjoy it, because we all know the mental game is a huge part of sports, but the hard part is how do we bring that in a program, in a guided process to athletes, a lot of times, we bring in a guest speaker or say, read this book. That’s the end of it.

Derek Mayson  30:44

This is a guided day by day process that builds up through an understanding of how the mind works, and specific exercises that we can bring onto the field of play, to get us in that great mindset to be present and ready to compete.

Derek Mayson  31:01

Again, lockedinmentaltraining.com, you can find me on social @lockdownmentaltraining on Facebook, and Instagram, @DerekMayson on Twitter. I love to talk to some coaches or players out there about the mental game or we’re setting it up for their team for a cool team bonding experience.

Joey Myers  31:25

Cool. Well, thank you for your time, Derek. And again, like I said, this is the mental game of baseball, or just even playing in general. I love how you how you transition to that.

Joey Myers  31:37

It’s not just baseball or softball that you’re learning, but it’s you’re learning life through baseball and softball, and I’m all about that, and anybody that can put something together that’s going to help both of those two things, and not just the baseball, softball, because someday that career will end, whether that’s going to be after Little League or high school, college or professional or Olympics.

Joey Myers  31:59

At some point, that career is going to end, and you got to have those skills, you develop those mental game of baseball skills to be able to apply to life, wherever that takes you. So, I appreciate your message, Derek, and I’ll get everything together for you send that over and then you can do with it how you will, but thanks again for your time, brother.

Derek Mayson  32:16

Glad to, love what you’re doing, Joey and let me know how you want to continue to connect in the future.

Joey Myers  32:23

You got it. Keep up the good work up there in our northern border.

Derek Mayson  32:28

You got it, I appreciate it.

Joey Myers  32:29

Softball Practice Drills

Softball Practice Drills: D1 Hitting Coach [VIDEO]

Softball Practice Drills: “What Are You Looking for When Recruiting Hitters?”

 

 

In this softball practice drills interview with Justin Lewis, Softball Hitting Coach for the Fresno State Bulldog softball team, we’ll be looking at…Softball Practice Drills

  • How did you get to being the hitting coach for Fresno State softball?
  • What do you do when you come into a new program?
  • What are you looking for when recruiting hitters?
  • Do you guys do game planning?
  • Do you have your girls hunt the rise ball?
  • Softball practice drills: do you do pitch recognition stuff with the girls?
  • You’re getting ready in a short amount of time? What’s high priority right now?
  • Anything else that you’re working on?

Coach Justin and I ran into each other a few years back when he was doing his Coaching Minds podcast.  Justin is a good friend of mine, so I think you’ll enjoy learning about softball practice drills and many other things a coach has to deal with coming into a program during COVID…

Below is the audio transcription of the interview.  CLICK HERE to download the transcription PDF. This is one of 24 expert interviews included in my new Swing Smarter book.

Enjoy!

 


Justin Lewis  00:00

I think she hit two home runs off those, she was like four for four with two jacks. Yeah, she was incredible.

Joey Myers  00:09

Wow. Well, there’s a bunch that opted out last MLB season two. I don’t know who really, but I know there were a few. Are you ready to get started?

Justin Lewis  00:20

Yes, whatever you need, brother.

Joey Myers  00:22

All right, let me do an official role here.

Joey Myers  00:25

Welcome to Swing Smarter monthly newsletter. This is your host Joey Myers from hittingperformancelab.com, and I have the pleasure today of returning the favor, Mr. Coach Justin Lewis.

Joey Myers  00:34

He had me on his softball practice drills podcast a few years back, and he has just moved here to California actually, specifically Fresno, he just got the hitting instructor job for Fresno State softball.

Joey Myers  00:48

I want to first welcome you to the softball practice drills show, and welcome you to California, Justin.

Justin Lewis  00:51

Yes, brother. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it, and yes, the tables have turned here.

Joey Myers  00:58

Well, in those days, you were still doing the firefighter gig and you were looking to start to get your foot in the door for coaching and things like that. Now, you’re the hitting coach for Fresno State softball.

Justin Lewis  01:10

Yeah, it’s kind of been a whirlwind last three and a half years. I was driving a fire truck three and a half years ago when we last chatted. What’s funny about that podcast, I loved doing that podcast, and I actually miss it a lot.

Justin Lewis  01:23

I miss having great conversations, with people like you, but I started it because I wasn’t having any luck getting back into the game. It was like, well, let’s start this little journey and then I got the opportunity to kind of get back in. This is my third school and three and a half season goal, and my fourth season now.

Joey Myers  01:46

So, Tracy’s back there, you started the softball practice drills podcast to try and get your foot back in the door in the game. How did you get to where you are now? How did that domino help you to get to where you’re at?

 

How did you get to being the hitting coach for Fresno State softball?

Justin Lewis  01:58

Yeah, I don’t know that the podcast really helped me that much. Basically, Mike Kandrey at University of Arizona is one that really helped me out the most.

Justin Lewis  02:07

I was living in Tucson, driving a fire truck, but I was working on Mike’s camps. That’s really what helped me get in. Then, Craig Nicholson was out of coaching and was looking to get back in and he took a Division Two head job at Texas A&M Kingsville.

Justin Lewis  02:27

I had known him from we were both at Central Arizona College together. He was the head softball coach, and I was coaching baseball there. We had a relationship and that’s kind of how it worked out.

Justin Lewis  02:39

I went to Kingsville, took a team that hadn’t been to the conference tournament in 10 years. We went to the conference tournament the first year, and then the second year, went all the way to the DII World Series and finished second.

Justin Lewis  02:51

We got double dipped on the last day to lose it. It was kind of a rough one. But D2 right, they’re going to make you do a doubleheader in the championship game.

Joey Myers  03:03

Yeah. Right. Like little league?

Justin Lewis  03:07

Yes, and so then a friend of mine got the head job at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, which is a D1 school down there. I was already living in Corpus Christi, so it was an easy transition, I got to sneak into division one ball and didn’t even have to move.

Justin Lewis  03:23

Then this opportunity came along, and it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up, being able to join a program that’s firing on all cylinders. They had a great run before COVID hit last year. I can join them, and hopefully, coming here will not screw things up.

Joey Myers  03:44

Was it just one of the few openings that came up, Fresno State? How did you land here?

Justin Lewis  03:58

It came open. They kind of went through the hiring freeze with COVID, after the Coach Lisle left. It was just kind of a timing thing, and I had some people reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in it.

Justin Lewis  04:16

I hadn’t even really thought about it, I wasn’t planning on leaving where I was at, we were building, we took over a team that had only won eight games the year before we got there. We were kind of in our complete rebuild.

Justin Lewis  04:29

I was really looking forward to going through that journey because we brought 13 new kids into Corpus this year, and then had an amazing recruiting class coming in 2021. I was super excited because that team is going to be nasty.

Justin Lewis  04:45

I was looking forward to being part of that. I wasn’t planning on leaving until I could get a head coaching job, it was kind of my goal.

Justin Lewis  04:54

I wasn’t really looking to leave for another assistance role, but again, just the opportunity to come join a top 25 program, with the facilities that we have here.

Justin Lewis  05:05

As a hitting guy, they got everything in the world you could want here. I haven’t been to a school yet that had any more technology than my cell phone. Having an indoor hitting facility with hit tracks, K motion, blast, and everything we got, it was just kind of an ideal situation for us.

Joey Myers  05:27

What do you do – softball practice drills – when you come into a program? Like the last couple ones you talked about, they only won eight games. As a hitting guy, where do you start? That’s a big challenge. Where do you start with that?

 

What do you do – Softball practice drills – when you come into a new program?

Justin Lewis  05:42

Just start with the basics, if you don’t even know where to sometimes, it’s so overwhelming, because you didn’t recruit any of those kids, right? When I recruit, I try to recruit swings that I already love, because they limit us in time so much that we don’t have time to do complete rebuilds of swings, it’s just unrealistic.

Justin Lewis  06:04

That’s even if the kids want to. It’s a lot of just band aids and try to make them as good as they can possibly be with what they’re already working with.

Justin Lewis  06:17

At the end of the day, one of the reasons I recruit swings that I already love, besides the timing factor, is I don’t want to take something away from a kid, even if you make a change, you still kind of took something from them, right?

Justin Lewis  06:29

To me, mentally that does something to them. Luckily, we’re in situations where those kids were hungry for any kind of knowledge and work ethic. It was just kind of lucky that when I was at Kingsville, there were some really talented pieces that were in place, and we kind of fell into a great situation. That was nice.

Justin Lewis  06:55

The last year was a little rough just because there wasn’t a whole lot of talent there, but just great kids that wanted to work. We were better, we were 6 and 16 when COVID hit and kids were gelling and starting to really buy in.

Justin Lewis  07:14

We probably would have won about 20 games is my guess, which doesn’t sound great but compared to eight the year before. I was kind of sad for those kids to not get to finish off showing that we were better.

Justin Lewis  07:30

The teams that we played could tell that we were better. We were competing in games that they had no business competing in the year before and snuck a couple of sneaky wins in over some teams that we had no business beating.

Justin Lewis  07:45

You miss it for those seniors that didn’t get to finish it. As far as just the hitting goes, it’s just tough, it is just putting in the reps with the kids that want to work and just trying to put it all together.

Joey Myers  08:00

It makes it nice when they actually want to learn and want to get better at softball practice drills. I always tell my dads or my buddies “hey, do you want to get into college coaching or high school coaching? I’m doing a little league thing by default because my son’s eight now”. We’ve been doing that, you know?

Joey Myers  08:19

I always tell him, well, it’s nice with the private small group stuff we do because all those kids want to be there. They all want to get better and the parents want that as well.

Joey Myers  08:29

When you say that it makes it easier when you walk into a facility or softball practice drills program even if you didn’t recruit those hitters. You mentioned the kind of swings that you’re looking for, what are the top, maybe one or two things, say like Fresno State moving forward, when you get to start recruiting bid? Or maybe you guys are still doing that now? What are you looking for?

 

What are you looking for when recruiting hitters?

Justin Lewis  08:54

A couple things, the biggest thing I look for is, I look for kids that are already naturally keeping their barrel in the middle of a field. It’s like the recruiting velocity for pitchers. It’s just more room for air.

Justin Lewis  09:10

Kids that already naturally do that, that’s like number one for me. Are we swinging the bat hard? Are we trying to do damage? It may look pretty but there’s no juice behind it. Kids that are real spinning, I try to avoid even if they look the part.

Justin Lewis  09:33

A lot of times in travel ball you get these kids that are 5’9″. Big strong kid, they’re on the right travel ball team, and they get enough bad pitching in high school and travel ball that they can make that swing work.

Justin Lewis  09:47

You better understand that swinging will translate to this level where kids are upper 60s and painting corners like crazy and 80% of our pitching is probably on the outside part of the plate and it’s there for a reason, it’s all these kids come in.

Justin Lewis  10:03

As they’re growing and getting older, they are getting stronger, they realize that if I get going this way in a hurry, spin it in one direction, I got a little bit of juice. That just doesn’t translate when you get to this level. Naturally, I just look for those kids that naturally just keep their barrel in the middle of the field.

Joey Myers  10:23

The other thing in softball, you have the high fastball and baseball but on the big field, 60 feet six inches to see that ball come and travel. But in softball, it’s 43 feet, right? You have less time, so the rise ball comes in, and when you have that spinny swing, typically what follows is that barrel gets in the zone way too early and drops because the minute that barrel leaves the shoulder, gravity starts taking over and rotational forces start taking over and drag the barrel down.

Joey Myers  10:51

That rise ball becomes a challenge. The past school, was that baseball or was that softball?

Justin Lewis  10:58

I’ve been in softball ever since I got back. I played men’s fastpitch for 15 years. That’s kind of where I fell in love with the game. You look at it as like a business move if you looked at just that way.

Justin Lewis  11:17

Softball, to me, is the way to go. I talked to baseball guys all the time, like you got to get into softball. There’s so much room for growth, and there’s so much dominant coaching, just excellent coaching, and all levels of college baseball.

Justin Lewis  11:32

I was getting in as a 40-year-old assistant, starting from the bottom. I wasn’t 23 or 24 right. I had to make a business decision as well. It wasn’t just that, I love softball, after playing it, and you see how fast the game is compared to baseball.

Justin Lewis  11:52

I have a hard time watching baseball anymore, it’s just so slow and dry. It doesn’t even hold my attention. I grew up with four older sisters, I got a wife and a daughter, like I should have known, it should have been foreshadowing years ago that I was going to end up coaching females, but I absolutely love it. I wouldn’t trade it for baseball in a heartbeat right now. There’s no way, I absolutely love it.

Joey Myers  12:22

I love my boys. I love working with my boys, but the girls are a little bit more fun. Boys are sponges, they want to soak it in, they want to learn, they want to get better, and some more than others. But it just seems like every girl that I’ve worked with doing softball practice drills, they just want it a little bit more sometimes.

Justin Lewis  12:42

I was nervous about it. I’ll tell you a funny story. My first road trip and Kingsville were kind of letting me know that there’s not a whole lot of difference between them either. We’re driving, we’re not 30 minutes down the road and I hear this man who farted, and I was like, they’re the same.

Joey Myers  13:05

They’re humans.

Justin Lewis  13:09

There’s some obviously particulars where we got to be careful touching and hand placements.

Joey Myers  13:18

Yes, no more butt slaps.

Justin Lewis  13:21

Yes, none of that. No grab ass at all. You must be particular where you stand, especially once the relationship gets built, they understand that you’re just there to help them but I’m very particular and make sure I keep my distance.

Justin Lewis  13:36

I stand in front of them, “Hey, is it okay if I touch your shoulders?”, if I want to try to manipulate them a certain way, the same with their hands. I got about a three-foot-long PVC pipe for one, stand that back hip, it’s like that right there.

Joey Myers  13:55

Instead of using your finger, you’re poking them with it.

Justin Lewis  13:59

I grab them if their hips are going a certain way, I grab their hips and manipulate them the way you wanted to, but that’s just not an option.

Joey Myers  14:06

Exactly. Yes, that’s a good point. I think you coming from a female background family wise, you understand that, and that’s good for others to hear, too. Especially those that have daughters that are getting into softball practice drills, like the little league version of softball and stuff. It’s good to know.

Joey Myers  14:24

On game planning, do you guys do game planning? Do you have a strategy that you help the girls with? Like you hunt? Do you have them hunt in certain softball practice drills? How does that go?

 

Do you guys do game planning?

Justin Lewis  14:36

I try to look at what the other pitchers are trying to do to us. Most of them are trying to throw strike one, let’s find out, can she throw a strike one? If she can, is that our best pitch to hit?

Justin Lewis  14:54

If it is, to me we got to go bang strike one. If they have proven through scouting whatever, they’re not great at throwing strike one, we can be a little bit more patient.

Justin Lewis  15:05

I battle with these kids a lot because no one wants to hit down and away curveball running away from you at 68 miles an hour. That might be legitimately your best shot. If you’re 0-1 now because you didn’t want to go attack that pitch, now most of them are just going to try to throw rise balls above your hands. Good luck with that.

Justin Lewis  15:33

Let’s find out if strike one is an option for us, and if it is, we got to drop our egos and we got to go attack it. I’m also real big about the 1-1 count, it makes a big difference in that -pitch, are we going 2-1? Or are we going 1-2, and that’s just vastly different scenarios there.

Justin Lewis  15:54

Pitchers tend to get into rhythm and pitch callers get into rhythms, those are two counts that I track, the 0-0 count and the 1-1 count, and just having an idea of what that rhythm and routine is, if there’s any pattern there.

Justin Lewis  16:13

At this level, the higher up you go into Division One, the lower levels and DII, a lot of times you’re just facing two pitchers. There will be curveball rise ball, the special ones got that third one that change up, if they got that trouble.

Justin Lewis  16:29

The higher up we go, you’re facing kids that almost every kids got that change up, and maybe they got a fourth pitch. We start looking at what pitches can we eliminate. To me when I played and face guys that were throwing absolute gas and had four devastating pitches, I’ll start eliminating some of these pitches.

Justin Lewis  16:47

How do I do that? To me it was, if I go hunt something down at my knees, the rise balls a lot easier to take when I’ve got to be focused down in the zone. I do a drill with our girls where I’ll tell them in front toss, every pitch is going to be at your kneecap, to your shin and I want you get down there and drive it.

Justin Lewis  17:08

We’re not just going to pound ground balls running that pitch, and they focus and it’s always their best round, and they’re super focused on it. About three quarters of the way through that round, I’ll throw a one up at their chest level, and they take it effortlessly.

Justin Lewis  17:24

I’ll talk about it afterwards. “Hey, that was a great round. Why do you think you did so good?” “I was focused”. Oh, that’s a mind-blowing stuff here. Then, I’ll ask them, “Hey, I threw that ball up kind of simulated rise ball, how easy was that to take?” “Well, it’s really easy”. “How come?” “I was focused down in the zone.”

Justin Lewis  17:45

Shocking. From me having to do that over and over again and chasing my fair share of rise balls through the years. That’s what I try to get through to them. We face so many rise ball pitchers, that seems to be the key for us.

Joey Myers  18:06

Do you guys ever switch your plan or softball practice drills, and go and hunt the rise ball at all, like rise ball, obviously up to a certain limit? You’re not swinging at one that’s up here.

Do you have your girls hunt the rise ball?

Justin Lewis  18:15

Flat rise balls go a long way. What’s interesting is this summer, or during quarantine, a bunch of us hitting coaches got together on a weekly zoom call. It was awesome.

Justin Lewis  18:30

There’s probably as many as 28-29 of us every week from all the top programs and just JuCo programs, all different levels, and everyone’s sharing their information and one of the coaches, his approach sometimes is like, “whatever their strength is, let’s go hunt that”, it was kind something I hadn’t really thought.

Justin Lewis  18:55

Why would I go look for their worst nastiest pitch, and when we start looking at a lot of the statistics, some of these guys really get into the weave with the tracking of some of this stuff, they have the technology to do it.

Justin Lewis  19:10

They still miss, and we got to be ready for where we act. A lot of times pitchers never miss, and they do at all levels, even the greatest ones, miss right in the middle of the plate a lot. It certainly made me question and made me think a little bit more about it.

Joey Myers  19:27

Have you ever dug into Perry Husband stuff? Effective Velocity?

Justin Lewis  19:32

Absolutely.

Joey Myers  19:32

He’s gotten really big into the fastpitch softball world and he’s worked with I think some of the top five programs, when it comes to both the hitters and the pitchers.

Joey Myers  19:44

Hitters, it’s the hunting, if it’s the pitchers, they’re moving their pitches around in the zone to take advantage of the discrepancy between how close the ball is versus how far it is away.

Joey Myers  19:55

That was a big one for me, from a hitting perspective because now I have to counter that. How do we counter that? He says, it’s like a wide receiver trying to cover two cornerbacks, one cornerback trying to cover two wide receivers.

Joey Myers  20:11

Both wide receivers run a similar route, one’s a deep route and the other one’s like a deep post, he can just kind of hang out in the middle, read the quarterback and then just peel off whenever the quarterback goes and releases the ball.

Joey Myers  20:22

The problem happens when you have one wide receiver that goes deep, and you have another one that does like a 10 yard cut in the middle. Now that cornerback has to decide, do I need to defend the deep ball because I don’t have a safety behind me to help or can I peel off and go inside?

Joey Myers  20:39

With the pitching, it’s the same idea. If you guys are facing a lot of rise ballers, like this coach is saying why not? Why not hunt their best stuff and teach the girls during softball practice drills how you get to that rise ball and crank on it?

Justin Lewis  20:51

Yes, absolutely. One of the things with softball, you’re not like baseball, you have different arm slots, everything like that. That’s not a thing in softball, and so everything’s coming out of one spot.

Justin Lewis  21:03

The ability for these pitchers to have everything busting out of one plane different directions, it’s nasty. Some of these kids are just filthy with what they do, and I think the EV stuff in softballs is barely scratching the surface right now.

Joey Myers  21:23

Now, pitch recognition, like you mentioned is a little tougher softball, because it’s coming out it seems like the same slot. Do you do pitch recognition stuff with the girls? And if you do, how do you do that?

 

Softball practice drills: do you do pitch recognition stuff with the girls?

Justin Lewis  21:36

I don’t dabble with it much. Again, worse. Especially right now, where Fresno State didn’t even have a fall. It’s like fire ready aim right now.

Joey Myers  21:47

Yes, it’s a little advanced.

Justin Lewis  21:51

It’s just trying to get reps right now and some of these kids have been off for 10 months, relying on what kind of work they put in. Luckily, at this level, most of these kids have still been putting in work, they haven’t seen a live pitching in 10 months.

Joey Myers  22:09

Talk to that, because there’s a lot of coaches out there dealing with the same thing, both baseball and softball, where their hitters may or may not have been working over the term, but they obviously haven’t been getting a lot of LIVE. When is the first game of the season?

Justin Lewis  22:24

It’s like the 20 or 12th, I think February 12, we got like 23 days.

Joey Myers  22:30

You got less than a month. How do you guys attack that? You’re getting ready in a short amount of time? What’s high priority right now?

 

You’re getting ready in a short amount of time? What’s high priority right now?

Justin Lewis  22:39

There’s no manual for this, this is something we’ve never really had to do. We started the first week, we didn’t know what our athletes were going to come in. We didn’t know what shape they were going to be like.

Justin Lewis  22:53

You must move as your slowest runner. We just brought them in, and then kind of did like an individual the first week and come down, let’s just hit for an hour and see where everybody’s at.

Justin Lewis  23:06

I’m coming in with I don’t know any of these kids. I try to build that relationship quickly, and I just wanted to see what they’re trying to accomplish with their swings. We’re still just kind of tracking them along slowly.

Justin Lewis  23:21

We’re kind of hitting the ground running now, just started team practice and revving up those the number of swings and the amount of work we’re trying to do.

Justin Lewis  23:30

Fortunately, we have two GAs and a pitching coach that all throw full arm. There’s nothing that is better than that. Our first year at Kingsville, it was just me and the head coach, and neither one of us threw.

Justin Lewis  23:47

Our kids’ timing issues were evident, our first quarter of the season was we’re late on everything. The next year, we played one of our… running a GA basically that threw non-stop for us, and it made the world of difference.

Justin Lewis  24:04

In my school last year, the Corpus Christi, both the head coach and the pitching coach both threw a lot. Now having three here, we’re kind of spoiled. It makes a huge difference.

Justin Lewis  24:19

We haven’t even started with the pitchers as far as seeing live pitching, but I think it’s coming pretty soon because we don’t have a choice. We got to get them as many looks as we can.

Justin Lewis  24:33

There’s just no playbook for it, and I’m interested talking to buddies across the sport, seeing what everyone’s doing to get ready, but also keep in mind that a lot of them had falls.

Justin Lewis  24:45

They’re kind of building off of what they did in the fall to where we’re just kind of getting started. I’m really interested as far as a coaching perspective to see if it even matters. That’s what I’m really interested in.

Joey Myers  24:59

Yes, the ultimate experiment.

Justin Lewis  25:03

In Corpus Christi, we had our fall cut short because of COVID. We lost the last two and a half weeks of the fall, and just getting into bunt defenses, and first and thirds, and all that kind of stuff, and it was taken away.

Justin Lewis  25:20

We’re feeling very unprepared. As I was interviewing for this job, they were “we’ve had no fall”. I was like, I don’t feel so bad anymore.

Justin Lewis  25:28

I’m just wondering, as coaches, we always feel like we’re not prepared enough. We’ve got to do that bunt slap defense for the 9 millionth time and our kids are like, “got it”. I’m interested to see how much it matters that we didn’t have a fall.

Justin Lewis  25:46

I’m sure it’s going to matter a little bit here and there, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it may not matter as much as we think it is.

Joey Myers  25:55

I agree. It will be interesting on the hitting, and the timing, and all that kind of stuff, too, with minimal prep time to see. I think the experiment really is, is it the amount of work you’re putting in? Or is it the software? That’s the hardware, the software and the brain, how long does that take to really actually get it?

Joey Myers  26:16

You’re talking about higher level cream of the crop hitters. You’re talking about better software at that point. It would be interesting to see how that goes.

Justin Lewis  26:24

The NFL just kind of showed us, they had their training camp, but they didn’t play any pre-season games. It was completely different. I watched a lot of games that kind of look like the NFL to me.

Justin Lewis  26:38

I’m sure the coaches would disagree with that, and point to numerous areas where they fell short, because they didn’t feel like they were prepared. I’m sure we’re going to miss; we’re going to screw up a cuts and relays.

Justin Lewis  26:53

Maybe we miss a couple bunt defenses, but at the end of the day, I’m interested. Look at the recovery side for the student athletes. Baseball and softball players can traditionally claim to be some of the most overworked athletes around just because there’s no stopping, especially those college baseball players, and they go off in the summer, and they’re just that grind.

Justin Lewis  27:18

Softball doesn’t really do that, they start a summer league here and there, getting to be a little bit more popular, but we may have the freshest athletes we’ve had in a long time. I’m interested to see how that plays.

Joey Myers  27:31

If you get out of the gate screaming, like you said, they’re fresh, and they kind of hit their stride, that kind of subsides a little bit. That would be interesting, we will be staying in touch because for me too, I’m learning.

Joey Myers  27:43

I’ve had my hitters coming and seeing me and I just felt bad for them when we shut down. I just felt like they had about two or three weeks into the high school season, when it when it shut down here.

Joey Myers  27:57

My hitters were poised to do well, do really big things, and it just got shut down. We do our share of little games of random pitch and whatnot, but it’s just not enough of the reps. Like you said, it’ll be interesting to see how that goes.

Justin Lewis  28:18

The fall can be a grind, you’re looking at the mental grind of the whole season. That includes the fall and the spring. Our kids are just chomping at the bit to be back and be around their teammates.

Justin Lewis  28:32

From a mental health standpoint as well, I’m curious about a lot of things. I think it may change; the world has changed clearly. I’m always fascinated about things that change the world. After 9/11, we haven’t worn shoes through airports, and it’s just normal. Now, I’m interested to see what other ways the world has changed because of all this.

Joey Myers  29:01

Exactly. Well, I want to be respectful of your time. Anything that besides the congratulatory on getting a new job and being closer to me and all this stuff, anything you’re working on outside of trying to get this band of elite athletes to where they need to be during softball practice drills?

 

Anything else that you’re working on?

Justin Lewis  29:20

I just try to learn all the time. Take everything I can, I read way more than I probably should right now. My family is not out here, they’re still in Texas. It’s softball and just trying to get better at everything.

Justin Lewis  29:36

There’s a couple of books that I read recently. I always put out a reading list every year, I keep track all the books that I read, and my two bests are Unlearn by Humble the Poet and Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty. Those are my two best read.

Justin Lewis  29:56

Those were amazing books. I just investigate ways to apply it, and always the ultimate hunt for becoming a better coach, and a better leader, and a better husband, and father, and it’s amazing how much I think I fall short on that from time to time.

Justin Lewis  30:15

That’s really been it, just trying to adapt to this area and these kids, just trying to serve them in the best ways I possibly can. It’s all about them, and as long as we keep that attitude, good things are going to happen here.

Joey Myers  30:33

That’s what I like about you, you got that softball practice drills growth mindset. You always want to be around those kinds of coaches, because they’re willing to say when they’re wrong, they’re willing to keep learning and that kind of thing.

Joey Myers  30:42

I think if you’re not falling short, you’re not doing some right. You got to be setting those goals out there far enough that sometimes you do reach them, but sometimes you don’t, and that keeps you going.

Joey Myers  30:52

I think that you have all the softball practice drills formula of a great growth mindset coach, I appreciate everything you guys are doing and take care of my girls. I won’t mention their names but take care of them out there.

Justin Lewis  31:04

You got a couple good ones. They’re some of my favorites.

Joey Myers  31:07

Talking about growth mindset. Those two and the older one, I won’t mention her name. She is a sweetheart and she’s one that you’ll definitely want to lean on with recruiting because she is just likeable, network-y, bubbly personality. She’s awesome.

Justin Lewis  31:25

She’s a rock star. She broke my PVC wall yesterday.

Justin Lewis  31:31

I’ve never had one explode like this, how hard does this kid swing the bat? She’s a little ball of terror. Like the rest of the kids that came through the station, they’re like, “of course it was her that broke it”

Joey Myers  31:48

You know when you mentioned her name? I think I told you this, it was all her, I always say I’m a compass and the flashlight in the dark, you have to put the work in.

Joey Myers  31:59

That summer, she worked so hard, she went from like a 65 mile an hour ball exit speed with the softball to 75 plus, in three months or two and a half months, however long that we were working together. She’s just a hard worker.

Justin Lewis  32:15

Yes, it comes off her bat in a hurry. When she keeps that barrel in the middle of the field, it’s nasty.

Joey Myers  32:22

When she came, she used to think that she was taught her whole life before she got into college to slap the ball, slap. Then, I think the coaching change after her freshman year that she recruited her to slap and the new coach that comes in says, “You know what, we’re not slapping, we’re driving”.

Joey Myers  32:39

She didn’t know how to do that. because she’d been taught her whole life to slap. Now to think how far she’s come. It’s great to see that, so proud of her and you’re going to be taking care of them.

Justin Lewis  32:51

She’s amazing, she’s been a big help in my transition here. Both have actually, I got to go, we had a day off. They’re both local kids, getting all the spots where I got to go hiking and everything else. They’ve been taking care of me, they’re good people.

Joey Myers  33:12

They’re both great. I haven’t met the other girls but I’m sure they’re great, too.

Justin Lewis  33:18

It’s a diverse group of kids here. I love it. They’re all different walks of life and just getting to hear their stories and what their whereabouts.

Justin Lewis  33:31

I come back to coaching, I say it all the time, I love hitting and I spend way too much time thinking about it and studying it and swing, trying to fix swings in the middle of night when I’m sleeping, but really, it’s the kids.

Justin Lewis  33:45

I’m trying to help them, use my experience to help them become the people they were meant to become is really why I came back to it and I need that interaction more than they need me. They will never find that out, though.

Joey Myers  33:59

They don’t realize it now, they’ll realize it later, but it’s not about softball, it’s about life. You’re teaching them life through softball, and I agree with you. That’s why I do it and continue to do it, it’s you’re mentoring.

Joey Myers  34:12

Like you said, you’re getting more out of it probably more than they realize, although when they get older, and they start you know, getting dealt families and stuff, they’ll say “Ah, Coach Justin, he was really pouring into me and I learned actually a lot from him”. But at the time they didn’t realize it.

Justin Lewis  34:26

Hopefully.

Joey Myers  34:28

All right, brother. Hey, keep up the good work out there. Good luck with all the COVID happenings, I know we talked before we started recording about your stuff out there. Stay safe and healthy.

Justin Lewis  34:40

Let’s get together. Let’s get you over to the facility soon and let’s whack it around a little bit.

Joey Myers  34:43

I would love it.

Justin Lewis  34:45

Awesome, brother.

Joey Myers  34:46

All right, Coach Justin. See you, bud.

Justin Lewis  34:47

You got it, take care.

Joey Myers  34:48

Take care.

Softball Hitting Lessons

Softball Hitting Lessons: Surfer’s Code? [VIDEO]

Softball Hitting Lessons: “When it Comes to Guys, the Performance Determines their Happiness. When it Comes to Girls, the Happiness Determines the Performance.”

 

 

In this softball hitting lessons interview with Amanda Smith of WhiteZoneCoaching.com, titled: “When It Comes to Guys, The Performance Determines Their Happiness.  When It Comes to Girls, The Happiness Determines the Performance”, we go over:Softball Hitting Lessons

  • Come to find out you are an Aerospace Engineer,
  • Where did you get White Zone Coaching from?
  • When it comes to guys, the performance determines their happiness. When it comes to girls, the happiness determines the performance…
  • … You can give them more and more and more as long as you know where their edges at,
  • “The Surfer’s Code” and what softball and baseball players can learn from it,
  • How do you coach your softball girls to deal with the 2020 challenges?
  • Amanda, where can people find you?

Click short link for transcribed interview in pdf format: http://gohpl.com/amandasmithtranscription

The following is the transcription of the above video…

Joey Myers  00:06

Hello and welcome to Swing Smarter Monthly Newsletter. This is your host Joey Myers of hittingperformancelab.com and I have the honor and privilege today, this is our second softball hitting lessons call or second meeting with Amanda Smith of White Zone Coaching.

Joey Myers  00:19

I have a lot of cool stuff that we’re going to talk about today, I’m going to ask her, but first, I want to welcome you to the show, Amanda.

Amanda Smith  00:25

Hey, Joey, thanks for having me. I am so excited to be here and to talk with you and share a little bit about what I’m doing in my softball world.

Joey Myers  00:35

Very cool, and many of my softball hitting lessons readers out there will understand that we like to apply human movement principles that are validated by science to hitting the ball.

 

Come to find out you are an Aerospace Engineer…

Joey Myers  00:45

We like to use physics and engineering and biomechanics and different things like that when we describe the swing, when we teach the swing, and we want to have a higher standard for our hitters, and they come to find out you are an aeronautical engineer.

Amanda Smith  01:01

Aerospace engineer. Yes.

Joey Myers  01:04

Let’s go in with the softball hitting lessons question, how has the engineering background helped you coach your pitchers? I’m sure you do all of them or just mostly hitters?

Amanda Smith  01:19

Pitchers, catchers, hitters, I also do throwing and fielding when people need it, want it. Generally, people aren’t going to be like, I need a throwing coach, or I need a fielding coach. They want hitting coaches and pitching coaches and catching coaches. I do all those things.

Amanda Smith  01:35

When it comes to my engineering background with physics, I love physics. I’m such a physics dork. I try to keep it as very simple as possible so that my nine-year-olds can understand what I’m saying to them.

Amanda Smith  01:53

When I bust out with 90 degree angles, they’re like, Huh? I have to bring myself back down to Okay, like the corner in your house, that’s a 90-degree angle. What they’re getting from me in lessons is usually a physics education, a math education, they’re getting some biology education, I’m talking about anatomy phys with them and kinesthetics. I’m a nerd like that, they just got a deal.

Joey Myers  02:23

I love that. I was working with one of my one on one hitters, who’s a sophomore in high school and we do three days a week one on one. We were talking the other day, and we talked about like what you said, we do the physics thing, engineering, but we also might talk a little politics and I talked a little of religion, we might talk all kinds.

Joey Myers  02:43

I said, hey, you’re getting an education in this one hour, then he just talks about this experience with school, this last 2020 has been absolutely horrendous, he hasn’t learned anything.

Joey Myers  02:53

He’s one of those 4.0-3.6 type students, and he just said it was really rough. Not hard but just rough like it’s too easy, almost. I said, hey, maybe I should get you a degree at the end of this thing instead of going into your junior year in high school. We go over a lot.

Amanda Smith  03:13

Yes, ultimately, we’re teaching them life lessons, right? We’re helping them discover who they want to be and maybe even what career they want to go into. I know a lot of the parents that send their kids to me, they’re engineers, so their kids are already exposed to that softball hitting lessons environment.

Amanda Smith  03:32

It’s crazy to notice that most of the people that come to me have that kind of background. I love it, but the same time, I find it really interesting from a business perspective, Oh, I’m targeting engineers.

Joey Myers  03:46

It’s almost a blessing and a curse because from the start, I’ve always had that in my business to target the science side of things. You do attract the engineers, you attract the MDs, you attract the PTs, the physical therapists, you attract these, and it’s a great crowd, and they get it, right?

Joey Myers  04:04

It’s a small grouping of the overall market. The blessing is, it’s a great crowd and they are very educated, they understand the whole how everything works, but it’s a curse, because it is such a small area.

Joey Myers  04:20

Like you said, taking the 90-degree angle and saying the corner of your house that’s 90 degrees, being able to take it down so that the nine year old can understand but also the parents can understand it.

Amanda Smith  04:30

Yes, and the parents, they’re sitting in the background, just nodding their heads, like I love what she’s teaching my kid. As parents, they generally can’t reach their kid on the level that a private coach can reach their kid and they want to, they desperately want to, I’m a parent, I get it.

Amanda Smith  04:52

To have the kid hear it from more than one avenue now. That’s what the parents absolutely love. I have something I like to bring to the table for the parents and be like, you know, I bet your parents have said this to you before.

Joey Myers  05:11

I always say that you could be Babe Ruth, or you could be Sierra Romero, but they’re not going to listen to you and when I’m talking to parents, it don’t matter who you are in the stratosphere of high level softball hitting lessons, but there’s just your dad or your mom.

Amanda Smith  05:30

From the kids’ perspective, you got to listen to them about everything. When it comes to softball or baseball, do you want to listen to them about that too? Your parents pick your battles.

Joey Myers  05:41

Exactly. Delegate when you need to

Amanda Smith  05:43

Yes, exactly.

 

Where did you get White Zone Coaching softball hitting lessons from?

Joey Myers  05:44

I had a question for white zone coaching, where did you get white zone coaching from? When did you come up with that?

Amanda Smith  05:51

The white zone is that ultimate level that athletes want to get to. If you’ve seen the movie For Love of The Game, with Kevin Costner, where he clears the mechanism, everything around him goes white, except for the umpire, the catcher, and the hitter, and that home plate, that’s the white zone.

Amanda Smith  06:13

That’s ultimately what I want to take all my athletes to, is that level of understanding of getting into that flow state so that their physical talents can just take over and go on autopilot and they can think about all of the mental things that the game has. That’s why I’m a white zone coach.

Joey Myers  06:30

Very cool. Going into that a little bit on the mental side of the softball hitting lessons game, what do you find the top two issues that players are dealing with in today’s game that have to do with the mental side?

Amanda Smith  06:43

Perfectionism, number one. I’ve got so many kids coming to me that are like, Okay, I must do everything perfect. I got to get 10 out of 10. How overwhelming is that for anybody? Let’s take the pressure cap off that kid.

Amanda Smith  06:59

The other one is confidence. They come in, and they’re like, well, I don’t have it. No, you do have it, you just have to remind yourself that you have it and letting them know, here’s where the confidence lies, and here’s how to get back to it yourself.

Amanda Smith  07:15

I can pump you up all I want but if you don’t know how to pump yourself up, you’re just going to have to keep coming back to me and that’s a do loop I don’t want to be in.

Joey Myers  07:25

Right. On the perfection side, I’ve had recently a few or a couple hitters who are in that mode and one I’m thinking about is an eight-year-old, dad works for NASA. The son has a black belt already at eight years old in taekwondo.

Joey Myers  07:47

I thought this was going to be slam dunk case. Physically, the kids obviously proven. He’s very disciplined in what he’s doing, but this is another sport, hitting is a completely different monster. How do you deal with perfection? He’s a perfectionist, I haven’t dealt with too many of those, but they come along, and I have one right now. So how do you deal with it?

Amanda Smith  08:11

I have a lot of them. It was a thing that I had to work on. Girls are perfectionist. I see it constantly because it was the thing that I had to work on. The way that I help them is I teach them, and I have a video on this, if you sign up for my email list, you get this video.

Amanda Smith  08:34

It’s called seven out of 10. In practice, we put everything into buckets of 10 and then seven is the baseline. If they get seven out of 10, in that group of 10, that’s when they get to analyze it, they don’t get to analyze it every single movement, or every single at bat or every single hit.

Amanda Smith  08:54

They only get to analyze it after the 10 and if they got seven, they did good. If they did better than seven, they did great. If they did less than seven, then they have something to learn. That language right there at the end where we’re learning instead of, I’m bad, that’s the switch that they need to make and that helps with confidence too.

Amanda Smith  09:15

Those two kinds go hand in hand. But giving them that baseline and helping them understand this is your baseline seven out of 10, they take the pressure off themselves automatically.

Amanda Smith  09:27

Now all I have to do with my kids, seven out of 10 if they start to nitpick every single pitch or every single hit, and they go oh yeah, that’s right. Then bam, I get them into that mode of I’m going to analyze the group instead of every single movement. Once I get to that point, I’m not analyzing it was bad. I’m analyzing Okay, what can I do better? What can I learn from this?

Joey Myers  09:52

I love that. Of course, at the end, all those softball hitting lessons links and all that stuff we’ll put that out there because I want to help just like you want to help. Another example, the same hitter I was talking about, the sophomore in high school, we always go over these kinds of scenarios and things like that.

Joey Myers  10:18

This is a different hitter, lefty. He’s one of my seniors in high school and he kind of had a little bit of a rough day yesterday. Usually we do well, but he was having a hard time with controlling his top hand.

Joey Myers  10:35

He was just like; I don’t know what the heck’s going on and he was visibly frustrated. He’s usually the surfer kid, I call him shades because he walks in and he has the Aviator shades on.

Amanda Smith  10:49

Aviators

Joey Myers  10:50

I call him shades. He’s usually the kickback kid, surfer dude, and whatnot. He was a little out of his element it seemed like and we did something a little tougher. We call it chaos rounds, where what we do is we do a six-swing round, and he’ll take two swings at one plate, we have two plates, set about five feet apart, or three to five feet apart.

Joey Myers  11:12

He’ll switch plates every swing and at each plate he’s doing something different. It’s a different strategy. It could be we’re going to control, we call verticals or launch angles, we don’t call them launch angles, because a lot of coaches don’t like that term.

Joey Myers  11:25

One plate, maybe he’s controlling his verticals and another plate, we’re doing middle in, middle away type stuff. So, he’s working middle in, middle way. Another one, we might be just doing straight up curveballs. He switches in what he’s doing.

Joey Myers  11:38

We mix and rearrange. It’s not all the same the whole time. It’s very mentally draining. It put some pressure on him. I think he blew a gasket but what I said was get back to the mental side. At least for him a gasket.

Amanda Smith  11:57

Was it pressure relief, or was it like pressure explosion? Like if I think of a pressure cooker?

Joey Myers  12:04

I think it was a pressure explosion. He knew what he needed to do to fix it. He just wasn’t doing it. When we were talking about it, at the end, I was telling him about frustration, I said, frustration is good. It’s a good thing. As long as it doesn’t make you depressed, right? Know what you need to do to fix it and then you do what you need to do to do that.

Joey Myers  12:27

He goes, this is how I operate. He goes, I get super frustrated. And then the next day I go out and I think it’s fixed. It sounds like he goes like mentally he goes through it and then can work it out. Is that something?

Amanda Smith  12:42

Girls don’t do that

Joey Myers  12:45

What’s the girls do in that scenario?

 

When it comes to guys, the performance determines their happiness. When it comes to girls, the happiness determines the performance…

Amanda Smith  12:49

This is where boys and girls differ a lot, I feel like. When it comes to guys, the performance determines their happiness. When it comes to girls, the happiness determines the performance.

Joey Myers  13:03

Okay, I got it.

Amanda Smith  13:07

If girls are off when they walk through the door, and I can see it right away, like, okay, we got another session, we got to switch up that attitude quick are the whole session it goes to pot.

Amanda Smith  13:24

This is where girls are different. The more pressure you put on a girl the worse their attitude gets, and the worse their performance becomes. Whereas guys, they like the pressure to kick them out of it. I find that so fascinating, right?

Amanda Smith  13:40

This is why I coach girls. For the girls, it really goes back to that perfectionism pressure bottle. If we go into a chaos scenario, like you’re explaining, and I’ve never used that technique on a girl, I want to try it and see what happens honestly.

Joey Myers  14:01

They must be in the right softball hitting lessons mindset before they come into it.

Amanda Smith  14:04

They have to, they absolutely have to and that’s number one for me has put them in the right mental frame so that they can have success and then carry that success into the next success and then it snowballs.

Amanda Smith  14:16

Parents love that because they’ll come back to me and they’ll be like, what did you do because she went into the next game and she did phenomenal and like I just gave her a little confidence boost and gave her some tools to boost herself to

Amanda Smith  14:34

I feel like if I were to lay the pressure on a girl she’d crumble, she’d start to cry.

Amanda Smith  14:45

I welcome that at my sessions because you’re not allowed to get emotional in a game, right? You can get emotional after a big win or you can get emotional after a great strikeout that ended a really tough inning.

Amanda Smith  14:59

There are certain times when you can get emotional, but like getting emotional at private lessons happens a lot. I welcome it because we must have the ability to express those emotions no matter what. Again, this is where girls and boys kind of differ.

Joey Myers  15:15

That’s cool. Mine is about 95% guys, I have a few softball hitting lessons girls, I have a few that are in college that I’ve worked with. I’ve noticed the girls, when I give them something to work on mechanically, they’re good, I can probably lay on three or four of them, three or four different mechanics, and they’ll get the first one, they’ll get the second one, I might give you another one.

Joey Myers  15:43

I keep going up until that point, you start to see that flip of Okay, now this is a little bit too much. But the girls, for whatever reason, I feel like most of the girls I’ve worked with, they’re able to handle more of those things versus the guys, we tend to stay in the two to three things range, and they don’t get frustrated, you don’t see their eyes. I’ve had a few guys that you see the tears start to well up. I have a couple of them who are emotional.

Amanda Smith  16:14

Let it rip, Coach. Let it rip.

Joey Myers  16:15

Yeah, then they start getting sloppy. I must pull back because they’re getting sloppy. I mean, they don’t care emotionally that they’re getting sloppy, like the girls would care emotionally that they are sloppy, and they take offense to it, like you said, the perfection side.

Joey Myers  16:29

But the guys they get sloppy, and so I can’t allow him to get sloppy. So, I must scale it back to girls. The girls they handle it. Like they can handle 2-3-4 different things in one session.

Joey Myers  16:41

It’s almost like I played this game of see how far I can go with the girl. Then once I start seeing the emotion, I start dialing it back with the guys, I pretty much know how much they can handle and it’s not an emotional thing, it’s a sloppy thing.

 

… You can give them more and more and more as long as you know where their edges at”

Amanda Smith  16:54

It’s a practice, honestly, I feel like I must be able to turn that dial up to. You can do it with guys, you can give them more and more and more as long as you know where their edges at.

Amanda Smith  17:09

With girls, they’re more latent to let you know where their edges at. Keep that in mind, we know how to bottle things up. It’s crazy how much we do that.

Amanda Smith  17:25

With girls, it goes back to the whole multitasking brain. I feel like moms are masters at multitasking and dads are like I can only do one thing. Some dads are amazing at multitasking, don’t get me wrong, you hand that down to your kids, they innately become great at having multiple things thrown at them and then being able to handle it.

Amanda Smith  17:55

I love pushing that edge. Because with my kids with my girls, what I notice is I can give them three things. Then the next session, I’m going to like to take those three things and add one more thing on top of it and maybe a third. Well, a fifth thing, technically, but a second thing on top of that and see how far I can carry it.

Amanda Smith  18:18

Some of these girls, I can give them 10 different. What do we call these tasks on 10 different things to work on in a session and they can handle it. And it’s like, Okay, I got to scale you back now.

Joey Myers  18:35

It’s crazy because you could cover the whole softball hitting lessons gamut. There’s always something to work on. But I mean at some point, we kind of must start circling back to some of the other things.

Joey Myers  18:47

I always tell my hitters it’s like, at the circus in the old days, they had to put the sword down and they get the plate and they start spinning on it, then they set up another sword and start spinning the plate, and then they have to copy the first plate and keep it spinning, it’s like keeping these plates spinning and I feel like the girls do a better job of that than the guys do.

Amanda Smith  19:06

Multitaskers. Look at their parents. That’s really the indicator.

Joey Myers  19:11

Yes. I saw a video of you doing a mental Monday talk which is really cool. I saw one on your Facebook, Mindset Mondays yes, and we can discuss the book. What was that book?

“The Surfer’s Code” and what softball and baseball players can learn from it – softball hitting lessons

Amanda Smith  19:26

The Surfer’s Code. I love that book.

Joey Myers  19:29

Yeah. You’ll pick a chapter and then you’ll use that as the content of the video. That one that I watched it was the one where you get smashed by a wave and it’s a question of Okay, I can hang it up and be done and not go through that again, or I can go back out.

Joey Myers  19:47

Talk a little bit about that and how that applies to like your softball hitting lessons girls, how you can apply that in school.

Amanda Smith  19:54

I live in Denver. Let’s preface there. I’m in a landlocked state. Everywhere I go I like to surf if there’s surfable water. I also surf but I’m a snow surfer. That means snowboarders for those of you who don’t know.

Amanda Smith  20:09

What I love in the surfing world, there’s rules that they live by as surfers. This surfer has been in the game for a long time. He wrote the book and shared it with the rest of the world.

Amanda Smith  20:27

Not every surfer was thrilled about that. That’s kind of their inner code. That’s why this book is called the Surfer’s Code.

Amanda Smith  20:39

I love their principles, and this principle that you’re talking about, I will go back out, if I have a bad game, if I have a bad surf, if I have a bad wave, I’m still going to go out again.

Amanda Smith  20:56

For softball, for baseball, the way that applies is, hey, you had a bad at bat, you get another opportunity, you get another try. That’s that whole taking the pressure off thing to, you had a bad game, you still get another try, you’re going to have another game, right?

Amanda Smith  21:13

When your career ends, that mentality starts to shift, right? Like your seniors in high school, or your seniors in college, their mentality is slightly different when it comes to their next wave, or their next opportunity to go out because it might not happen.

Amanda Smith  21:29

I can remember my last college game, every second of that last college game. The number of tears that flowed out of my face after that game, because I knew I didn’t have another wave, there wasn’t another opportunity, and then there was, and that was the thing.

Amanda Smith  21:48

After college ended, I had the opportunity to play NPF, I had the opportunity to play international ball. I got an offer to work at NASA on the Orion program, so I didn’t take it, but there could have been another wave to take.

Amanda Smith  22:08

Just remember, you’ve always got another opportunity, another try coming up no matter what. Yeah, even if you think it’s your last game for you seniors, you still have another opportunity, there’s going to be another wave to get out there and ride.

Joey Myers  22:26

I love that and especially with the 2020 COVID stuff and how hard it’s been for athletes. I’ve had some athletes that I work with, we work through things, we have to be very critical thinking about how you’re not able to play, how can we get you out there? How can we work on getting you in front of your seniors in high school or college coaches?

Joey Myers  22:52

Like you said, got to get back out there. It might be in a different way, it may not be in the same direction, but it’s going to be somewhat unconventional from what you’ve thought.

Joey Myers  23:03

One of the softball hitting lessons things, as an example, that I talked to a few of my seniors that graduated, they graduated I think in 2020 spring and then you have the seniors coming through now, 2021.

Amanda Smith  23:16

They’re experiencing it, too.

Joey Myers  23:17

Yes. One of the things we talked about was how do you contact a coach, college coach and if you’re going to send a video, how do you send a video, and one of the coolest things I read, it was in negotiating book, negotiate as if your life depended on it.

Joey Myers  23:36

I think it was it was Chris Voss. I don’t know if you’ve read that one before, good, reads well. He has great stories. Negotiating as If Your Life Depended On It, I think is what it’s called.

Joey Myers  23:51

He talked about with his own son who was playing football and back in the day, trying to contact coaches, and one of the things was instead of shooting video, and just trying to hit all the points, all the checklist, and send it out to all these coaches, why not go to the coaches first and ask them what do you use?

Joey Myers  24:12

What kind of evaluation do you use when you recruit players? Because it’s going to be different, some coaches in baseball, like college coaches love the launch angle game, they love that terminology, another one will not like the launch angle game.

Joey Myers  24:28

If you send a video of you hitting the all these doubles and dingers all over the yard, those coaches that don’t like that launch angle game and they’re more of the batter sacrifice, they’re more of the what the low level and drive, hit hard on the ground, and you want to go to that college, either it’s not going to be a fit for you or you need to make a different video.

 

How do you coach your softball girls to deal with the 2020 challenges?

Joey Myers  24:47

I thought that was great advice, you’re going to have to go back out, but it might look in a different direction. Any kind of experience you’ve had with that with your players?

Amanda Smith  25:00

Yes, with the 2020 and the 2021 kids, it’s not just the seniors. That’s the other thing that I keep reminding myself, to watch the level of depression that happened with these players, because their life is school and sport.

Amanda Smith  25:22

When one of those was taken away, and the other one, they’re like, I like it, but I kind of have to do it. Whereas the other one I get to do it. It was tough to watch them mentally crumble. If you’ve played a sport, and that sport ended for you, you’ve experienced that so you can totally relate.

Amanda Smith  25:51

Helping my 2022s, my 2021s figure out how to do this, the new way, how to get in front of coaches. I just had one who, for spring break, she went out and checked out a bunch of schools, and I told her, you’ve got to email the coaches and let them know that you’re coming, send them your skills, video, do all the things.

Amanda Smith  26:19

She got out there to watch them play and one of the coaches, the head coach of the school that she was really interested in, came over to her and her parents and said, what are you doing here?

Joey Myers  26:31

What?

Amanda Smith  26:32

I came to watch the game. They’re like, we don’t have an audience for our games. We don’t have fans watching our games, you need to leave. Automatically this kid’s like, well, this isn’t the school for me, obviously.

Amanda Smith  26:48

It’s an isolated incident. The coaches are getting used to this scenario, too. They just started playing games. This is something that’s out of their comfort zone as well. A head coach coming out to fans and telling them that they got to go, that’s unheard of.

Amanda Smith  27:04

The head coach doesn’t do that, but in this scenario, that’s what happened. I was like, this is one of those softball hitting lessons opportunities to think from a different angle. Think of how uncomfortable that had to have been for that coach. Think of how uncomfortable it must be to tell all the kids’ parents, you can’t come and watch your kid play. You can watch her on YouTube.

Amanda Smith  27:27

To play without a crowd. That’s a first for a bunch of college kids. There are so many weird scenarios that we’re dealing with right now, and you just roll with it. But keep your mind open and don’t get single minded on Oh, that coach was mean, I don’t like that coach at all.

Amanda Smith  27:44

Don’t cross them off your list, have another conversation with that coach and be like, hey, you were the one who said to me, we had to go, and you weren’t very nice about it. Is there any reason why you had to be so mean?

Amanda Smith  28:01

It’s another opportunity to talk to the coach at least. You might find in that second conversation, that that’s not the coach for you, but you brought up culture, when it came to those coaches who don’t like the language that you use, or they want hitters that hit a certain way versus another way.

Amanda Smith  28:20

Players need to really dig into the schools and understand the culture of the team, the culture of the coaches. I didn’t do it right and I learned the hard way. I literally just had a Facebook post in my Facebook group about this, where there was a player who got her nursing degree from Minnesota, and she got it in four years.

Amanda Smith  28:48

She was one of those kids who graduated last year and got the option to come back and play a fifth year because of COVID and she did, she opted to not dive into her nursing career and instead play her senior year or her second senior year, because she knew that that season was fleeting, that season of her life was fleeting, the sport is fleeting.

Amanda Smith  29:12

She’s not planning on going on NPF or the Olympics or any higher level, what is it athletics unlimited? When I was in school, I was trying to pull off that mechanical and aerospace engineering degree which is a tough degree by itself, but now add sports on top of it.

Amanda Smith  29:32

I learned right away like D1 top 25 school; you’re spending 52 hours a week doing softball. I ended up going D2 after two and a half years at D1 for many reasons, but one of the reasons was because I was struggling badly to pull off both and the coaches were giving me a hard time about it.

Amanda Smith  29:56

They were picking on me because I had to go and do work with my classmates that interfered with some of my practices, and they hated that. That goes back to the culture.

Amanda Smith  30:10

Parents who are in the thick of it, it’s hard to see the teams, it’s hard to talk to the coaches right now. Do your best to figure out what the culture is, talk to the players, you can as athletes talk to the players, you can’t necessarily talk to the coaches. That’ll give you a really good idea of what that program is about and how the coaches support the athlete as well as the student.

Joey Myers  30:39

I’d love to just end on this and ask you where softball hitting lessons people can find you, but before we get there, it’s advice I think that the young ones don’t quite grasp. You and I have been through it, or telling them to do your homework basically, to talk to the players in the teams that you want to go play for in college.

Joey Myers  31:02

They will just answer whatever, I know there’s enough pros, it’ll be fine if whatever. What we’re trying to tell you out there to do your homework, spend the time. I know that for the guys, it’s the testosterone brain that tends to make us lazy. It’s a strong hormone, but it’s also a lazy hormone.

Joey Myers  31:23

I know the girls are a little bit more on top of it but go out and definitely do your homework because you don’t want to land in a place and have to keep switching. It’s just like moving. The best part of moving is when it’s over. Moving your house and all that kind of stuff, it’s the same thing.

Joey Myers  31:39

You don’t want to be jumping schools all over the place because oh, I screwed up. I pick the wrong line, let me go to this one, and you didn’t do the same process, repeat the same process, and you make another mistake. Anyway, great advice.

Joey Myers  31:51

Amanda, where can people find you? I know you mentioned an opt in page to get that video, so go ahead and mention that.

 

Amanda, where can people find you?

Amanda Smith  32:03

Whitezonecoaching.com is my softball hitting lessons website, you can get the freebie at the bottom of the homepage. That’s the seven out of 10-perfectionism busting video. It explains how to implement it as an athlete or how to implement it as a coach.

Amanda Smith  32:19

You can also find me at fastpitch softball skills and drills by white zone coaching Facebook group, that group is growing like crazy.  That’s where I’m sharing a lot of softball skills and drills.  White Zone Coaching on Facebook.

Amanda Smith  32:32

I’ve got a lot of baseball people showing up in the group now, too. That’s where you can find me on the interwebs. I also have a YouTube channel, that’s white zone coaching.

Joey Myers  32:50

Yes, Instagram, TikTok

Amanda Smith  32:53

No TikTok. I am not a TikTok-er. I have Pinterest.

Joey Myers  33:02

Are you on Pinterest?

Amanda Smith  33:02

Of course, I am on Pinterest, I’m a pinning queen. I have an Amazon list for softball parent and players. I mean, I’m on the internet.

Joey Myers  33:16

Very cool. Well, thank you, Miss Amanda Smith, I appreciate the call. What we’ll do is we’ll probably have multiple part two and stuff, I’d love to come back and go a little bit deeper into some other things.

Joey Myers  33:30

Your story is very interesting, and I love the origin stories because it explains where you’re at now. It gives a little bit more flavor to the type of coaching that you teach and the purpose behind why you teach what you teach. So keep up the good work out there.

Amanda Smith  33:47

The whole white zone thing. That’s why I teach what I teach.

Joey Myers  33:51

Exactly. Thank you so much and I’ll get you all the goods. Oh, we’ll do like a little Dropbox thing and I’ll send all that stuff to you, and you can do with it however you want. We’ll keep connected.

Amanda Smith  34:05

Awesome. I am excited to keep connected. We’ve got a lot in common, sir.

Joey Myers  34:10

Very much so. Well, have a good weekend.

Amanda Smith  34:14

You, too

Baseball Hitting Fundamentals

Baseball Hitting Fundamentals Gold [VIDEO]

How To Apply The “Precision” Golfing Principles To Baseball Hitting Fundamentals

 

 

In this baseball hitting fundamentals gold interview with Golf Pro Instructor Lee Comeaux, we go over:Baseball Hitting Fundamentals

  • “You’re going to ruin low backs if you teach that!”
  • “Golf is about accuracy. If you ain’t accurate, you’re not gonna play a good score”…
  • “All of a sudden, I realized, turn your rib cage, and then boom…”
  • “You got to understand how the fascia and these trains all play because there’s layers upon layers in the body”…
  • Hitting for targets and areas on the barrel, and…
  • How to apply the “precision” golfing principle to hitting.

CLICK HERE to download the baseball hitting fundamentals video transcription pdf.  The following is the transcription in its entirety.  And by the way, this is one of 24 expert interview in our brand NEW baseball hitting fundamentals book on Amazon: Swing Smarter …  Enjoy!

Joey Myers  00:00

Hello and welcome to the Swing Smarter Monthly Newsletter. This is your host Joey Myers from Hitting Performance Lab dot com and with me today is a good friend of mine and I didn’t really get to say his last name correctly. It threw me for a loop until David Shanklin, mutual friend of ours, it’s Comeaux, right? The last name?

Lee Comeaux  00:18

Yes, Comeaux.

Joey Myers  00:19

So, Lee Comeaux. For those of you who’ve read catapult loading system, which became an Amazon bestseller in the baseball hitting fundamentals niche in 2018, you will know Lee because Lee was in the book. He’s had a mentorship in my program namely the hollow position, we call that and the finger pressure. I was working on finger pressure, but I was a little bit off base and he really helped with that. So, welcome first, Lee, to the show.

Lee Comeaux  00:47

Thanks for having me. I hadn’t talked to you in a while.

Joey Myers  00:51

It’s been a while. It’s fitting that it’s right before Christmas.

Lee Comeaux  00:55

It is.

Joey Myers  00:57

First question, Lee. When we first met, you were really disgruntled with my system, you said “hey, you know you’re going to be hurting lower backs” and all this kind of stuff. I loved it and I’m one of those guys that if you can show me a better way, and then I’m all ears, and I was with you. Lee, for those of you who don’t know who he is, he is in the golfing world.

Joey Myers  01:20

He works with golfers internationally, he works with golfers of all time from professional, amateur, the whole thing. It’s interesting to get his perspective from the golfing world. Tell me just initially when you first came in and were like, you know what, this is really going to ruin backs and things like that. What brought you to that baseball hitting fundamentals decision? That observation?

 

Baseball Hitting Fundamentals: “You’re going to ruin low backs if you teach that!”

Lee Comeaux  01:40

Let me tell you the story how I got to anatomy trains, fascia, and things like that. I quit golf about 2000, every single move hurting and I had a lot of questions from my teachers. One of them was I tend to hit it with forehand a lot, right hand. Most instructors were usually lead arm, left arm. They changed me up, I just got tired of hurting, got tired of playing bad, I quit.

Lee Comeaux  02:07

My daughter, one night, let’s go the range, we go the range. I hadn’t hit balls in months or years even, I’m doing my thing, the next day she comes back, she said, “Dad, where’s the power come from?” Well, I really didn’t know.

Lee Comeaux  02:20

Long story short, kind of started over, I was like I’m gonna do it my way this time. I’m not going to go to instructor, I hadn’t played three to four years. Just started hitting balls in the range, just letting my right hand hit forehand shots, and before I looked up, I’m 10 buckets into it. I haven’t missed a shot, I feel great.

Lee Comeaux  02:43

What are these baseball hitting fundamentals things I’m feeling in my body? I started asking questions. My wife was a massage therapist, she just came home, and it was unbelievable. I went to the range, I took it back however I wanted, swung it down however I wanted, put one right where I wanted. I was feeling these things with my body, all she said was anatomy trains.

Lee Comeaux  03:06

You might as well say it in Chinese. Anatomy trains? Off I went!  I found Tom Myers, anatomy trains, started to understand the fascia of the body. It really was how when we’re just sitting there and I’ll take my daughter, a daughter had a select career from 8u, all the way to 18u, .697 batting average.  We kept it simple, the object was just to hit a ball. That’s it, not hit hard and in fact, when we would go to practice, talking about squeezing the last three. What I found was anatomy trains, I understood the arm lines, functional lines.

Lee Comeaux  03:48

I understood why when I grabbed a golf club, a bat, anything, for the last three, my hand is clenched. How my hand pivoted, how when we do simple tasks, paying attention to what your hand is doing, your grip. Not what does it look like, not in golf, is the beast point somewhere because all those things lead to how, it will lead to poor kinetics, it’ll lead to your brain and body being confused.

Lee Comeaux  04:22

The thing that blew me away was my back didn’t hurt, but also realize that first night how engaged my knees were, which you know and what you know now. Look how the functional lines attached in the knees, come up here and attach to the upper arm. We’re in golf, everybody’s teaching connection where when you learn that your functional lines attach on three sides of the humerus and they’ll connect about right here on the front, back and sides. It all starts making sense.

 

“Golf is about accuracy. If you ain’t accurate, you’re not gonna play a good score”

Lee Comeaux  04:51

Why my knees got involved was because it made my lumbar spine move around and time and space. Instead of me chunking hips around, and I’m never was a hip chunker, I was never one of those who bought into that theory. Golf is about accuracy. You had to be accurate, but powerful would be nice. If you ain’t accurate, you’re not gonna play a good score.

Lee Comeaux  05:15

When I played in college and professionally, accuracy was where it’s at. All of a sudden, I went from being sore and hurting to not hurting anymore because I was letting my body do things. It was wanting to do, not what that guy saw, what he saw, what he thought, I’m having results. I think of a shot and hit it, boom, there was.

Lee Comeaux  05:38

I think I’m gonna leave right there, in Texas we have crawfish holes, I’m going to hit it by a crawfish hole, about four feet, and have it stop right there and I’m like, whoa, never in my golf life that happened. Here I am at, I’m 52 now, this happened. Six, fourteen, thirty-eight and found anatomy trains, and was just started answering all these baseball hitting fundamentals questions of why things work. It also answered why things weren’t working in that, you can focus on things that are irrelevant and that really affects the way all this tissue operates.

Lee Comeaux  06:16

I’ve never heard in baseball, or golf. You never hear them talking about thoracic movement until you came along. It was always turning your shoulders, that’s great. They sit on top your thoracic that pivots, unbelievably, because that spiral line, but if you’re worried about throwing these joints around a rib cage, you’re going to struggle, you’re gonna fight it.

 

“All of a sudden, I realized, turn your rib cage, and then boom…”

Lee Comeaux  06:40

All of a sudden, I realized, turn your rib cage, and then boom, I just started looking. At 52 years old, I hit it further than I’ve ever hit in my life. Understand what thoracic pivot is, versus, I would never tell a student, turn your shoulders, turn your thoracic, because that’s what’s turning. As simple as that sounds, it is just it’s huge.

Lee Comeaux  07:01

Again, my daughter 697… .692 career, batting average. She went three years, she swung it for three years, whenever she pulled the trigger on the back move, she made contact, she averaged .954 percentile. When she swung the bat in a four-year period, she made contact, she may have found it, she might have popped louder, it didn’t matter.

Lee Comeaux  07:29

What we trained was, when this move, its job was to touch that ball. Confidence will teach you how to touch it harder and better, if that’s what you want, but what she found was you’re just going to want to hit it, you’re going to want to place it where they aren’t like Ichiro said. Same thing with her, it never hurt, never.

Lee Comeaux  07:37

It wasn’t until later in her career, in her college, D-1 career where they change things up, she started having back issues, but I knew that was going to happen because she knew that she had to do what they said. She also knew what they didn’t know, but we knew how to fix it. Thank God, through anatomy trains and things like that, you know how to fix it. I may want to leave it alone but that’s kind of the baseball hitting fundamentals backstory of how I got to that. Then, I saw you.

Lee Comeaux  08:18

I learned this in golf, come out in ’06-’07, talking about anatomy trains and fascia and pushing versus pulling and I was on a site called The Secret is in the Dirt, that Steve Elkington had. I look up one night and you look at all the hits on this website and if there were a million hits, 750,000 were my little thread.

Lee Comeaux  08:40

I’m some guy in Beaumont, just decided to pay attention to what was going on, to define some parameters or what I call good, listen to what my body was telling me, and then ask some questions, and my wife’s genius was anatomy trains. I look back and I’m glad that’s all she said, because she would have said anatomy trains and went into it real deep, I probably would have just walked away with “Yeah, I don’t care about all that”.

Lee Comeaux  09:07

Because it forced me for the first time ever, to research something I knew nothing about and you’re… I tell people this all the time, God gave you a gift called arm lines. It makes life so easy for human, for about four- or five-point human being. That’s why you can just throw, that’s why you can just swing and hit it. It’s when we get into the baseball hitting fundamentals of what does it do from the bottom of the feet.

Lee Comeaux  09:31

You’re not going to bat .692 in a 10-year span, you’re not going to not miss one or three years because you’re worried about you forced your motor cortex to worry about things that are irrelevant, none of that has anything to do with do this, other than the limbs are attached to it. That’s it. That’s why God gave you this and these, that’s it.

Lee Comeaux  09:53

You had no pelvis and hips and certainly Gracovetsky opens your eyes in his video is about the guy with no legs and how he was is able to propel himself, and when you get into the spinal engine, it’s like I tell people, especially in golf, the spine is such a focused-on thing. It’s probably focused on to a detriment, where it’s a curve, it’s an S, you’re going to slump some days, you’re going to be straight some days.

Lee Comeaux  10:23

Tiger showed us and a lot of these strike back golfers for sure. You look at the spinal injuries on tour, and it’s all from you not letting your spine. You got Nicklaus, who would always say, global flex. These are terms that weren’t around in 2006. Global flexion, local flexion, Hogan was a local flexing guy, it just wanted his arms around his waist, his hand, his hand path was around his pelvis. Make sense, so, this is where I was at years before where you got, and other people, and you’re seeing that more and more in sports.

 

Baseball Hitting Fundamentals: “You got to understand how the fascia and these trains all play because there’s layers upon layers in the body”

Lee Comeaux  10:59

You got to understand how the fascia and these trains all play because there’s layers upon layers in the body. While somebody listening to this may get a little bit as a parent, get nervous, but if you just leave it to pros and leave it to grip pressures, and you leave it to what’s my objective, all those other things do their job. Their job in hitting is to hit, you put this on the ball and how I taught her to do it because it tells me just like your brain tells you how to train anyone, mainly your kid.

Lee Comeaux  11:17

What we used to do was that here’s the deal, you’re going to get 100 looks tonight, you make 100 swings, wherever daddy throws it, you have to go put this bat on the ball. The minute you miss, we start over. If I threw it, if she had to jump and hit it, she had to jump and hit it, if she had to step over and hit it, I got her brain numb wrapped around what is the strike? I told her that ump you’re facing and how many times have we seen this?

Lee Comeaux  11:42

You got an ump calling strikes, here or at the ankles. We practiced in such a way that when the bat moved there was going to be a strike, whether you hit it or didn’t, you just initiated a strike. We just saw thousands upon thousands of not misses, and it got to where, but it became a game in the batting cage, I toss it or throw it harder, I thought it didn’t matter how I throw it behind my back. Her goal was no matter how it came at her, she was so focused on hitting it, so I throw it, top right corner, top left corner of the cage that’s got to where we would have to do that to kind of make it somewhat entertaining because she wasn’t missing.

Lee Comeaux  12:42

She was hitting it as hard as she wants then we got into it, barely hit it and hit, just to where it barely comes over my head, the batting cages and that what taught her all the anatomy trains in her body. It taught her control. How? What if you want to just bloop it up? What if you have one of those nights, you’re not feeling it and maybe all you need to do is get it out the outfield, and third base comes in and you win, I can’t tell you how many games she won like that.

Lee Comeaux  13:12

We did it and she did it successfully over and she got to where she could drop it into buckets, and we did it over and over. We had fun with it because the game was to hit just like the game is to throw the game has to catch. When that ends, she never hurt, that was pushing. I say pushing was the key to that, whenever we push, it’s very hard to hurt your back, whenever we pull, it’s doing what we have most of our injuries as a human.

Joey Myers  13:42

A couple things, and I love just listening to you talk and it goes into different baseball hitting fundamentals rabbit holes, you covered a lot of different things. Thing number one is swinging without pain. I just had last week, Monday, Tuesday, I had a gentleman come up from Ojai, California, which is down LA area and he came up 71 years old.

Joey Myers  14:07

He had contacted me over DM on Facebook and at first, I thought it was a hoax, and then he was legit. He’s like, “hey, what date? Tell me where to go? Give me the address.” He comes, 71 years old, we started swinging. He read my book, that was the thing, so he read my book, and then he’s like, “I love it, it makes sense”. He’s an attorney, international attorney.

Joey Myers  14:26

It made sense to him, a lot of the language he has read every book out there and a lot of people don’t know how to explain it. He comes we work on basically we call it neck pressure now. It’s the idea that the C and the T are creating tension, right that pressure. We took him from 51 miles an hour ball and speed off the tee, to 60 miles an hour within that first hour session.

Joey Myers  14:49

The one baseball hitting fundamentals thing when we talked about safety in the swing, was he took it he took a swing and he’s like, “oh my back” and I was like is it on the outside part of your back? Like your oblique, your external oblique? He said no, it’s the center and so I said, let’s do this, let’s do hollow.

Joey Myers  15:05

We call it the pinch, we take the belly button and the belt buckle, and we pinch those two points together, which is putting that flexion into the lower back and having swing and zero pain, no more pain. That’s number one, so maybe we could talk on that a little bit, but the other thing that you mentioned that I really love, that you gave me a huge idea back in the day, was you talked about Bustos, where she did a video where she had her bat, actually it was three tapes.

Lee Comeaux  15:31

It was somewhere blue, she had different videos, but the thing was pink. The one in her hitting where she hits the girl.

Joey Myers  15:40

Yes the target, so she had to hit, her girlfriend that was hitting with her was standing out, I think she was off the tee, she was standing out different places in the cage, and she’d have to not only hit the spot on the bat where she had taped there and I’ve done it in an ‘S’, I think maybe you had an answer something where there was like, maybe a half an inch, the actual tape itself, right?

Joey Myers  16:02

She hit it on one part of the tape, it could be this. the number one, number two or number three, and she had to hit their target that was out there, which was her buddy that she ended up hitting on her right back butt cheek and made it really hurt. But this idea that you talk about, that you don’t hear anybody talk about this, is hitting on a certain part of the barrel and hit a target, and you were saying with Goose is, it’s either hit it up there, hit it over there, it’s hit it in different spots, but also hit the part of the barrel. Those are two baseball hitting fundamentals things, both the safety of the swing that I’ve really learned from you and then the idea of changing targets and changing spots on the barrel.

 

Hitting for targets and areas on the barrel

Lee Comeaux  16:44

Correct. This is a manmade bat and a bat I’ve always preferred because of the way it’s made, and it has a lot of inertial value in it, but you take the measurements of the tool you’re using, you measure three quarters the length from the in you’re holding in this sweet spot right there. It’s a mathematical…it’s called center percussions. Now, where I started with her was, as I would put that, I made her start at the ball and go, with no wind up.

Lee Comeaux  17:24

For the people listening, you go to McKenzie Comeaux, M-A-C-K-E-N-Z-I-E Comeaux, C-O-M-E-A-U-X, she has a YouTube, 77 videos. There’s some of her hitting, but the main thing was, we start from here, we’re not ready to play, the minute we go, this thing lists tension, this about integrity of tension we need, we go, then it’s allowed. The same thing is when this lifts, that area lifts we go, and if I tell you, you’re about right here, and I tell you go left, you bet you got to be able to control this and go there.

Lee Comeaux  18:00

What it told her was, because when you’re in a game, you see the hole and you see the guy look at the pros, they’ll submit, the play offset…If you taught someone how to hit like that, and they shifted on you, and they left field wide open, you own them. Now, we got into what side of the ball to hit it, the left field wasn’t turned fast to hit a left field hit the outside quadrant, and that was just the deflection angle. That’s kind of where we went with it.

Lee Comeaux  18:34

It was a true game changer, and your anatomy trains. What I tell people is human bodies learn how much effort to put in something. It can go all out; McKenzie could lay a bunt this far off the plate every time. That’s controlling, that’s catching the ball with the bat, you want to catch it and drop, just take the inertia in and drop it.

Lee Comeaux  19:06

It’s actually fun when you do it, when you take the time to learn to do it, it’s just like golf. How to hit a fat chip on a fast green downhill because that’s the only shot you got. I see amateurs trying to spin it and they got no chip, no matter how much you spent, you got no chip, you should have fatted it, get it barely rolling, let the ground do the rest.

Lee Comeaux  19:27

That was kind of how we treated and she’s taking up golf so she’s really getting my analogies now because she’s gotten into golf at 19 but that’s anatomy trains, that’s the animal in the forest stalking that’s gotta turn it on. That’s human, humans got the same thing. We have been so joint focus for 200 years, structural focused. It’s just like tell people there’s a lining around the button, this is simple, there’s a lining sack around the bone that allows this arm. This looks goofy, but there are no biomechanical descriptions for that. They don’t know how that happens, if you ask somebody in biomechanics, what makes that go in those directions? They don’t know. Well, it’s that tissue, its fascia, it’s your ability to just think it and do it. That’s the beauty of it.

Joey Myers  20:21

What I love about what you bring to this, from the golf world, is precision, right? We’re talking about an industry, as you know, this baseball hitting fundamentals industry, baseball softball was more so baseball, but softball too, is this idea of hit the back, top third part of the cage, launch angles long, hit it hard, launch angles, launching and launching. It’s this push for aggressive swings all the time, where I think is lacking is the precision side and that’s where you come in.

How to apply the “precision” golfing principle to hitting

Lee Comeaux  20:49

Here’s a challenge for everybody listening and follows you. I used to tell McKenzie, how easy can we swing at it? What you come to realize is the moment of contact between the two, when this bat touches the ball, like in golf, I told her, the moment I felt the ball touch the face, I could accelerate. That was something I always had and it’s just for that little bitty golf ball distance, same thing with a softball or baseball, but how easy can we go and still get this out the park? What was the bottom limit? What was the top limit?

Lee Comeaux  21:00

She learned some things like I’ve shared with you 45-degree launch angles, you can go very very slow, but if you have a 45 degree launch angle, that’s optimal projectile distance. All of a sudden, I don’t only remember bat speed, but just say, she could probably at about 35 miles an hour at the right launch angle, get it out the park, which isn’t a whole lot of bat speed, but you can’t quit on the hit, you got to drive, you got to create the inertia to get the ball out.

Lee Comeaux  22:02

She started understanding the differences. We’ve all hit a hard ball versus kind of hit a ball, it’s fast and quick, and it just had nothing. You see a lot of kids that make this contact the ball just kind of fizzes off of there. You put them on video, it looks like they just nailed the center of it, but then what happens is they kind of let go the grip pressure, they let go… they think it’s over with because they practice so hard to quit it at impact.

Lee Comeaux  22:04

We practice, that’s why I started impact through impact through, punch it, it’s what you do. Once you make contact, all the damage is done by keeping going catapult system, the catapult has got to keep, the catapult doesn’t quit. That thing is the slings or the ball way past the mechanical point. The cable still has it, once it all the way stretches forward, it launches it, it doesn’t let go when it passes the two prongs.

Lee Comeaux  22:59

It’s all about getting all the energy out and inertia out, that’s kind of how the anatomy trains, that’s how you save your back. It’s like I tell people, I hear it all the time, turn your hips, all your pelvis is doing is taking your lumbar spine. This is the back of my lumbar spine where your pelvis moves, and it just rotate. It’s what gives your lumbar spine move 45 degrees, because it only has one degree of motion.

Lee Comeaux  23:28

If I want my lumbar spine to look that way, my pelvis will move that way. It has nothing to do with power, it has everything to do with safe lumbar movement to have a lot of what looks like motion because the more motion you have, the better you are. You have to open up areas of joints and able to move through the joint, where golf dynamic x, where we’re trying to hold our pelvis still. Can I do that? Sure. That’s really on the short shot.

Lee Comeaux  24:02

I’m just trying to get it through the outfield… I tell people, everything we do is a catapult system, optimum human performance is a catapult system. No matter, we’re fishing, if we’re tennis’ing, whatever we’re doing, we’re trying to move an object with a stick or something outside of us. Here’s a term I’ll never hear but what I call it the right-angle feet.

Lee Comeaux  24:32

Right foot like this, left foot is going to be like that and it can be anywhere. Golf is no different. When I’m playing good golf, my right foot square, my left foot, flair it out. Here’s why, the minute you do this, the minute your footsteps. If you hit against a spine with feet like this and pelvis like this and hips like this, all the tension from all these diagonals changing, your ipsilateral is all going right to your lumbar.

Lee Comeaux  25:00

For all of you listening and go home tonight, open this foot up, and then turn. You take all the pressure off one side of your back, bye bye back pressure. If I go bye bye back pressure, guess what I have a spinal engine telling me how much do you want? How much can I give you? Your only limit?

Lee Comeaux  25:21

I’m asked, where does the power come from? I’ll give you a minute to say it or think it. The answer is simple, it’s your glands, your adrenals. All these glands you have a release this energy, that’s the days when I as a golfer or me as any athlete or anything, no matter what I’m doing, I have optimum power management and optimum power results for the given baseball hitting fundamentals situation.

Lee Comeaux  25:56

You can work out until the cows come home, but if those things are not moved, fluid moving and again, that’s why we curve the spine. The things I learned, when the spine curves, we hit certain buttons that help certain glands activate for us to be our best us. Our job is to learn how to, “I want to hit it out the park, but I really need to get this just over the second baseman or just out to the infield, because I need to score the guy on third, so we win the game”,

Lee Comeaux  26:24

I take the chance of hitting out of the park striking out, and that’s what my daughter got good at sending it on the ground, we practice trying to hit it and skip it off the earth as hard as possible. You know how many times she skipped it over second baseman head because she just practice beating up or over the pitcher’s head.

Lee Comeaux  26:44

You run out of things to do when all you’re worried about is making contact, we learn all these ways to control the contact to get a result, to get on base, to either score someone. We learned, we practice how to fly out to the right and left field to score somebody on third hit a deep, everybody thought, Oh, she flew out, but to her, I score the guy on third, or the lady on third. That was her job.

Lee Comeaux  27:08

That’s where you go with this once you learn, once you’re pain free, and once you can focus. You’re not worrying about these things you’re not worried about; I sit down for the next day. We never iced down.  We got to have fun. We got to have a career that’s legendary around here.

Joey Myers  27:31

Yes, it was unbelievable. We talked about this idea of people, they are used to hitting .300, .400. They’re not used to hitting .600, .700, .800, right and one thing that came to mind when you’re talking about the lower back taking pressure off by taking that front foot and opening it up a little bit, is think about when at a bar, you have that barstool, you have the barstool, and then you have the little bar at the bottom for the foot. That was meant so that when you got your arms up on the bar, and these guys been there for hours drinking, talking, singing, and you’re standing for lengths of time with your feet like this, that little bar at the bottom there is for you to pick your foot up, put it down, and most of the time, it’s in that position.

Joey Myers  28:14

Another baseball hitting fundamentals scenario is you’re lying on the couch, watching TV, where you’re laying back, not laying, laying kind of prop down. You have both legs straight out this way, what you do when you start to feel your back getting tight, is you’ll bend the knee, and you’ll shift out this way and one side, you’ll bend the knee and go out the other way to take the valgus knee.

 

How to take pressure off the low back by flaring front toe out

Lee Comeaux  28:35

It’s because the bottom of your feet, now you get in the deep backline which starts right here on the forehead runs on top of your head, the bottom your feet. This is where people go, I get where people in golf were doing the spine and doing alignment squared because it’s based off of the deep backline.

Lee Comeaux  28:52

These are all things that God gave us as a gift to perform best but also to fix ourselves when we do ache and we do have pain. It’s just like my daughter came to me one day, I don’t know how long into this and she goes “Your femur head”. I’m like, “What do you mean your femur head?” I told her, your femur head is the reason your front foot is open, you got your femur head sitting here and you’re sitting here just like that, the pelvis and also one day you’re going to feel the same kind of slide move.

Lee Comeaux  29:24

What’s happening is people throwing their pelvis and hips are kind of all these femurs are getting. Everything’s getting all torn up. That’s when Nicklaus repaired his hip, that’s where people have bad hip injuries, or their hips get worn out because they’re trying to spin them and they’re getting all mangled and all sudden one day you feel it slide.

Lee Comeaux  29:43

I’m on the range one day, I felt mine, it’s a bulge, I get up pivoted around this joint, but that foot being that way, leave the pressure to where this thing can move and the ligaments around your femur head are probably the strongest you got, things just start. She went, I get it. I said, you get it now. And she’s like, yeah.

Lee Comeaux  30:08

Again, it’s because she was actually daydreaming once, she was at batting practice. She got bored of what to think about. She still felt it, there you have it. She was hurting a little bit. She had been at that point, I think some of the college coaches were trying to get her to do the hang back, throw it all out the last second.  Whatever that means.

Joey Myers  30:33

Crazy.

Lee Comeaux  30:34

It’s like reverse catapult hit the brakes, work your ass off to go nowhere to get it. You went from barely swinging and hitting over the fence, to now you got to give it, you got to go work out just to get to the fence.

Joey Myers  30:50

It’s baseball hitting fundamentals with the emergency brake on.

Lee Comeaux  30:52

Very well put, it’s hitting in park. I like that.

Joey Myers  30:58

I know we can we can talk all day and I would love to listen to you all day, but I want to be respectful of your time. I got a hard stop here in a couple minutes, but I wanted to ask you, if there’s anywhere that you want people to go to find out a little bit more information on you, maybe there’s some people that will see this that are golfers that maybe want to look.

Lee Comeaux  31:16

If you can google me “Lee Comeaux golf” and I’ve got a basic little video on YouTube, now called “Making the Divot”. For golf, you got to keep the symbol just aim your divot, because it’s an aiming sport for what you do.

Lee Comeaux  31:35

The good thing is you don’t have to be an aimer, you can start keeping the lines and to be a .600 plus hitter, you start focusing on exact spots, and the Ichiros of the world, that’s what they did. That’s why they had the hits they had, and that’s who they were, and that’s the same people that come here.

Lee Comeaux  31:53

That’s what they all want to be. We all think we want to be the Barry Bonds with the homerun record, we really want to be an Ichiro with a long career. How many pitchers do you think, just when he came up, they’re like, I got no clue how to get about this guy? That’s what you want to be.

Joey Myers  32:12

The idea of them striking Ichiro out or even getting them out, didn’t even enter their mind, it was to minimize the damage or to get him to go someplace that they didn’t want him to go.

Lee Comeaux  32:25

Ichiro was a pure fascia. He said it a lot. You have to have soft muscle and you get that once you realize what soft muscle is, and when the fascia melts, and all this stuff is working in your favor, and you see it on high speed all the time, you will see the tissue in the arm just flapping around.

Lee Comeaux  32:45

That’s us in our best, that is always a high-end athlete you see it in and that’s why he had a cannon like he had. That’s why the guy could run this fast, this dude performed at a high-level catching, throwing and hitting. If you look at the complete package, and why because the guy obeyed his anatomy trains, he kept these squeezed.

Lee Comeaux  33:09

It’s the same thing I feed to my daughter, when you squeeze these three, the same thing happens to your feet and we become a supple leopard, like a lot of people talk about in… the older gentleman came to you and he learned it’s about, there’s so many blocks we put in our way because the way we just stand there really, and I like what you’re talking about with the head.

Joey Myers  33:35

Neck pressure.

Lee Comeaux  33:37

Golf is one where you see it in an opposite where they’re looking, a lot of people turn their head this way, so they go in a lot. What that is, is because their thoracic is trying to make the biggest motion possible and all the tissue connects around the head. If I turn this it allows me more, it allows me to turn my thoracic. That’s all it is.

Lee Comeaux  33:57

Unfortunately, it gets very confusing if you want to go this way. I’m more of a guy this way because I know I’m playing that’s where I’m going, I understand all this and I want a compact golf swing, so I turn mine this way and keeps it. It’s no different than baseball.

Joey Myers  34:14

Absolutely.

Lee Comeaux  34:17

I appreciate your time, I appreciate it.

Joey Myers  34:21

I love listening to you talk baseball hitting fundamentals, and I always learn something new. Tell Mackenzie AKA Goose, tell her we missed her and Merry Christmas to you guys out there in Texas and think about us in California because we need all the help we can get with our Governor.

Lee Comeaux  34:35

Big fan. I wish you the best of 2021, keep doing what you’re doing, I told you this a long time ago, your days are coming where you’re going to be the guy, they’re all going to be chasing you. Have a great Christmas, my friend.

Joey Myers  34:49

Thanks, brother. Keep up the good work yourself.

Bat Tee Interview

Bat Tee Co-Founder: How To Make Adjustments [VIDEO]

Backspin Bat Tee Co-Founder Interview: If One Of The Best, Mike Trout, Is Giving Up An Average 20-mph Of Ball Exit Speed, How Much Do Mere Mortals Give Up Doing The Same Thing?

 

Here are the Backspin bat tee co-founder interview with Taylor Gardner topics that we discussed:

  • What do bat tee adjustments mean to you when it comes to talking to your hitters?Bat Tee Interview
  • True or False: Hitters MUST straighten their front leg to be effective…
  • What if hitters used a more precision approach like golfers when operating between 90-degrees?
  • Instead of writing off the arm bar as it doesn’t work, why not ask how can it work?
  • Is there ever a time when ‘swing down’ or ‘barrel above the hands’ bat tee cues can work?
  • If one of the best, Mike Trout, is giving up 20-mph of ball exit speed, how much do mere mortals give up doing the same thing?
  • Where can people find more about you Backspin bat tee guys?

The following is the bat tee transcription of the video above.  This is a sneak peak at the expert interviews we’ll be including in Volume-2 of the Swing Smarter book series.  Enjoy!

———-

Joey Myers  00:07

There he is.

Taylor Gardner  00:09

Oh,

Joey Myers  00:10

You hear me? Okay.

Taylor Gardner  00:12

Oh, yeah!

Joey Myers  00:13

Oh, there’s the baby. You got that mixed up? I don’t think that’s supposed to go in your mouth.

Taylor Gardner  00:21

Probably should.

Joey Myers  00:24

Look at you.

Taylor Gardner  00:26

Yeah.

Joey Myers  00:27

Causing your parents so much so many sleepless nights.

Taylor Gardner  00:30

Yeah, momma needed a shower time and dad had an interview here.

Joey Myers  00:38

Double interview.

Taylor Gardner  00:40

Yeah. Oh my

Joey Myers  00:45

Look at that, first time I think we’ve done a zoom interview.

Taylor Gardner  00:49

Oh it has been working out, better adjust my camera?

Joey Myers  00:55

No, I think you’re good. What do you need to adjust?

Taylor Gardner  00:57

All I was going to bring it down a little bit. I think I always fall down.

Joey Myers  01:01

Yeah, I think you’re good. Okay. Are you ready? Let me do the official bat tee start. Hello and welcome to Swing Smarter Monthly Newsletter. This is your host Joey Myers from HittingPerformanceLab.com and probably for the half a dozenth interview. I have Taylor Gardner here from Backspin Bat Tee. Welcome to the show. Taylor looks like you brought a little friend.

Taylor Gardner  01:26

That’s right. Yes. Yeah. She has been influenced by any good or bad and…

Joey Myers  01:37

there. There we go. You froze for a little bit. Say it again? Say No. So, she’s been influenced by what?

Taylor Gardner  01:46

I said. No, we got we got a fresh template here. She hasn’t had any good or bad instruction to start working with this.

Joey Myers  01:54

Yeah, yeah. Tie the right arm behind your back and… is your brother? Is he lefty? Or is he righty?

Taylor Gardner  02:03

He’s a switch hitter. You can do both.

Joey Myers  02:05

He does both. But what about throwing? Is he a righty?

Taylor Gardner  02:07

He’s righty.

Joey Myers  02:09

Okay, cool. Well, hey, I wanted to get you on the on the other side of the screen here and wanted to talk about making bat tee adjustments. So that we could go into the hitting side we could go into the strategy side we can go into any different things. So, what do adjustments mean to you when it comes to talking to your hitters?

 

What do bat tee adjustments mean to you when it comes to talking to your hitters?

Taylor Gardner  02:30

The adjustment is, must be understood and adjustment is something if a hitter is already attempting to be on time, it’s really hard to make adjustments if you’re not in the time window to start with. If you’re going up there to hit and you’re just purely reacting your adjustments are also reacting maybe even twice as long or twice as late as they should be.

Taylor Gardner  02:56

Within the understanding that people were syncing up release point we have the timing window of the pitch coming in. Maybe we’re sitting on fastball and all sudden we a pitcher throws a changeup, and whether you recognize the spin or the speed or the trajectory angle, whether an off-speed pitch, what do you do?

Taylor Gardner  03:15

Well, if your plan was there to help you your approach is there to help you not hurt you, so within your plan or approach if you’re on time for fastball, and oh no it’s an off-speed pitch. What do you do? Well, easy answer is, you don’t stop your swing. I know we get told a lot of wait, let that curveball get a lot deeper. Now we’re talking about changing depths and it’s really hard to change depths of timing on the fly. So as instead of being reactive to making your adjustment proactive and making your adjustment one thing that my baby down actually brought a bat here to show you…

Joey Myers  03:55

Use the baby as a bat…how cute she is.

Taylor Gardner  04:02

One thing that we see a lot with hitters. He was left-handed here. I do apologize. Is they’re sideways, they’re pretty lined up with a pitcher in some fashion bat tee stance, and then we start to ride and stride as they start to witness that. Okay, this ball isn’t a perfect fastball down the middle. What do I do?  Well, we see them not only continue to take their head and posture to the ball, but you see a lot of hitters start turn in and sit with the ball.

Taylor Gardner  04:33

As opposed to going uh oh, I’m a little early, let me pull out and then have to release my arms and hands to hopefully start to see hitters actually sit with that ball. Then because, you sit, any movement takes time. And if the plane is correct, you’re on time for the pitchers fastest pitch and then if you’re making an adjustment is to bite. This is where a lot of young hitters especially they don’t do a good job of buying time.

Taylor Gardner  05:00

They end up staying on their backside and opening up too soon and all they have left is like it with their own risk. And yeah, you can hit a ball and do that, and you probably get on base and feel good about yourself. But the faster you know that speed starts to go up and level and the more drastic change of off speed, you get a 90 mile an hour fastball and 80-mph changeup. That’s a little different than facing a 75 mile an hour fastball and 70 mile change-up.

Taylor Gardner  05:27

As a pitcher supposed to extend those timelines, adjustments and variables, the hitters have to as well. The ability to be ready for the fastest pitch and also be able to buy time while staying in a good posture position on the ball is something that we see really good hitters do and you know, quite frankly, amateur hitters don’t do as well.  Oh, sure at some level. Yeah, won’t be a good fastball hitter.  Every great hitter is known to be a great fastball hitter.

Taylor Gardner  05:55

If you’re looking off speed looking for that, that slow curveball every fast ball is going to beat you. On the timeline you got to be prepared for the pitches, pitchers fastest pitch as the fastest timeline. Therefore, your plan is there to help. Yeah, he’s going to be perfect every time, well of course not, it’s baseball. It’s tough. But at least the plan was in place to help you be on time for fastball and buy time for off speed.

Taylor Gardner  06:23

For example, this last weekend, my nephew, faced his first knuckleballer. 13 years old didn’t know this pitcher had a knuckleball it wasn’t his main pitch, so you know first at bat I don’t know hit a fastball for double, second a bat gets a strike or two on him a ball or two and then all the sudden, whack!  He hits a single, steals second base eventually gets to third base and the coach at third goes, “good job Maverick you know you really sat well in your legs on that change up”, he goes “wasn’t a changeup coach, it was knuckleball”. He goes, “Oh, when did you realize it was a knuckleball?”  “After I hit it!”

Taylor Gardner  06:59

It reminded me that he took a good plan to the plate, ready for fastball he happened to adjust instinctively to this crazy knuckleball, but it was more about controlling this contact depth. I’m not quitting on my swing. Did he sit more in his legs, sure.  Did he have a locked out-front leg? No. But he found a way to keep his spinal engine and posture on the ball. By the time he pulled the trigger. Sure, the ball got a little deeper, he barreled it up, he got a good hit out of it. At the end of the day, it didn’t fool him, this random pitch that he really has never seen, didn’t make him react and freeze.

Taylor Gardner  07:36

It didn’t make him react it to slow down and touch it, his reaction was to stay on the ball and give it a chance. And it sounds easy to do until you start seeing a pitch come flying at your body. For us older coaches that aren’t playing anymore, I think sometimes we forget that. There’s a little fear involved. And so, a good plan leads to good adjustments. And sometimes knowing how to get over that fear or filter out your situation really helps that plan starts to stick together better.

Taylor Gardner  07:57

And therefore, those bat tee adjustments really become valuable. As far as other types of adjustments. And that was one type of sitting in your legs, other types of adjustments. We’ve seen Mike Trout sit in his legs; we’ve also seen him bend over a little more at his waist a little side tilt. That’s another way of buying time. Adjustments to me, in our world is a place to buy time, every movement takes time. But unless you’re ready to line your posture up for the ball on time to begin with, adjustments are just going to slow you down. You’ve got to make sure those adjustments are there to help you not hurt you.

Joey Myers  08:48

Well, you said a couple bat tee things that would blow a couple people’s minds they were listening to this… number one is sitting on your backside and swinging from that position number one, and number two, that you don’t have to straighten out your front leg that you can keep that bent. And I love that and that’s something that I’ve learned from you and your brother and Matty, Matty Nokes that the legs really set direction like the lower half basically sets directional force, it does contribute to some of the power.

Joey Myers  09:16

And we’ve learned discussions on that over the last couple of years saying you know, probably between 20 and 30%, it probably contributes to the power of the overall power thing. But the idea that you can use your knees bending your knees at front knee to adjust to pitch height like those are bat tee adjustments that we can make that if you’re from a train of thought that says you have to straighten it you have to brace that leg out, right, I mean that’s really not… We’re trying to like you said buy time.

 

True or False: Hitters MUST straighten their front leg to be effective

Taylor Gardner  09:46

Right. Speaking while the bracing the front leg, the front leg can obviously we can see it YouTube it, Google it. Now of course you can hit with a straight front leg and even sitting in your legs may still turn out to be a brace straightening front leg, you still bend your knee and still walk and brace into that front knee.

Taylor Gardner  10:06

But I think a lot of times as coaches and instructors that usually come to… an issue that I’ve seen come around is their teaching to push the leg straight, as opposed to letting the hip pull the leg straight.  Pitchers do a really good job of this, they don’t just land in their front leg and then push straight up.  Is their vertical ground force? Of course, there is.

Taylor Gardner  10:29

Now in hitting though, there may be little more of that vertical into horizontal ground force, it sounds funny to say, but you’re not just going to push up away from the ball every time. Sure, could you get away with it, of course, and there’s nothing wrong if you are on time and you get the barrel to it, great job. But like you like to say Joey, if it happens too much to ignore, I’ll just start paying attention.

Joey Myers  10:52

Yeah, and on that note, that was the one big bat tee thing that I pulled from you, we’ve been friends for probably over 6, 7, 8 years now, was that idea of staying sideways and keeping that back foot from completely turning over. Like a lot of coaches will say pivot that back foot, pivot that back foot, and meaning, that back heel will turn towards home plate. And it’ll continue to keep rotating. And so, I think we’ve developed almost a generation or two of hitters that are over rotating the lower half.

Joey Myers  11:23

And you say, using Matt Nokes’s lingo is stay sideways, stay sideways, I think is a great one.  And to your point, or to our point that it happens too much to ignore, and you can’t just write it off. Some of our buddies in the past have said well, that hitter can do that because he XYZ that hitter can do that because it’s… no it happens if you take the top 100 hitters, 50 hitters, you’ll see half of them stay sideways and maybe the other half, get to this neutral with it. So that happens a little bit too often to be ignored.

Taylor Gardner  11:57

For anyone that’s listening, if you’ve ever played golf and if you haven’t fine taken a baseball bat take it slow, practice golf swing, go YouTube, Rory McElroy, Tiger Woods, anyone you want. Golfers have figured out how to stay sideways with their back foot.  Now, their balls on the ground and it’s generally between them. Like ball being on a bat tee for hitters.  They’re more allowed to buy but positions of contact with golf. However, you’re going to see baseball players do it too. But since the contact point in baseball can be further out front. Sure, you’re going to see that that back foot rotates a little more before contact. I get that told a lot. “Well, look at this hitter.”

Taylor Gardner  12:33

Yes, but look what happened the first 80% of his swing before contact, he was still sideways, he was still… now was he turning his shoulders, was he loading his core, the spiral engine. Sure, but the back foot was still sideways to hit, the back foot ends up becoming a bit of a rudder.  I won’t even take that too literal. But you wouldn’t start with your back foot facing the catcher, you wouldn’t face with your back foot facing the pitcher. There’s a reason, it’s a natural position for the body.

Taylor Gardner  13:05

The ball is thrown in front of us and quite honestly, ball comes in and it is in front and to the side of us.  If you’ve ever swung an axe, it makes sense to shift your weight and leverage up. That’s why we want to have a little more shift, not only for taking your head to the ball and be able to judge depth before moving very good and feeling your depth and putting a nice sense to it.

Taylor Gardner  13:34

But at the same time spinning against my back foot. Step on my dog… [laughs] spinning too soon. Now the ball is essentially to the side and behind us. Not that you can’t hit from here we opened up too soon. My swing’s wanting to go this way, I crossed my face this way, we want to cross our face into contact with the ball. Again, golfers understand this and their balls in front of them. They want to cross the face you don’t want to spin out and then cross their face too late that ends up turning into a slice and anyone who has played golf, probably vouch for that, my goodness I’m spinning off the ball. balls on never fixed.

Joey Myers  14:19

Well, and what I love the golf analogy is because in golf, you have a ridiculously small margin for error, you have we’re talking in hundreds of yards, not hundreds of feet and your little ball that’s got to get hit by this clubface and then the square center center contact with the clubface in the ball the straighter the ball is going to go. You can take that clubface and slightly like a couple of millimeters you can slightly pull it in like you’re going to hook it or slightly away like you’re going to slice it and those little, teeny millimeters by the end of that 200-yard journey is going to be way pull or slice.

Joey Myers  14:55

What I always tell my hitters, I say when we’re teaching this concept of staying sideways and keeping that back foot from over rotating is, we have to play almost like a golfer, where a golfer’s looking at one shot to the pin, I call it one degree of fair territory. And outside of that 359 degrees of foul territory, because in golf, the objective is the least number of strokes to get it in the hole. In baseball, of course, we have 90 degrees to play with, but we want to act like we’re doing like golf, we want to act like there is a smaller margin, and we have to operate within that smaller bat tee margin, right?

What if hitters used a more precision bat tee approach like golfers when operating between 90-degrees?

Taylor Gardner  15:29

Along those lines, that it’s incredible you say that because the whole outside pitches, let it get deep, inside pitchers you’re magically allowed to pull for some reason, we’re talking about different depths there. Where in golf, obviously, the ball’s not moving, but to their benefit, they’re more precise, they have time to get their stance set up, time to adjust their face angle. So yes, maybe we don’t have that luxury in baseball, but we do have the luxury of knowing our contact depth.

Taylor Gardner  15:58

Do I like hitting the ball more? You know, some hitters like hitting the ball more off their front hip, some even further out front, some like hitting it a little deeper, more or middle of the other ball, whatever it is that you are super comfortable. That’s your decision. That’s what you’re going to battle with the best. And, again, based on your timeline. I have a lot of young hitters, and we constantly have to work on reminding them. Where is your preferred contact?

Taylor Gardner  16:29

And not to make them look like robots, but you’ll see them when uh, I don’t know, maybe like right there or up here. It’s like, Oh, you got to know, if you don’t know, you’re guessing, like your close, good job of being on time. We want to be on time with our contact point. This is a lot more precise. And as you know, aim small miss small, it’s may not always show up in baseball, maybe you had a day where you didn’t hit well. But you know what my plan was good. My adjustments were sound. And maybe I was just a little early or tad late, whatever that may be over under the ball.

Taylor Gardner  17:06

But you can sleep well at night knowing, man I had it at 99% today. And you don’t realize how much you haven’t figured out. You start thinking about more precision, besides movements. And then suddenly you go out three years ago, I was going to battle with a 50%. efficiency.  That shocks a lot of hitters and I really do think a lot of good college players get to pro ball and maybe it doesn’t pan out for whatever reason.

Taylor Gardner  17:32

I think a lot of them whether they can say it or not verbiage that happens to a lot of if they get exposed, we get told at every level of baseball, you better swing faster Jerry, you better figure out how to get that faster pitching, you better, have quicker hands, whatever. Of course, we must make those adjustments because we’re being exposed. What if we got ahead of that being exposed?

Taylor Gardner  17:56

I don’t know if you saw the video that I posted on the baseball Illuminati page. I was actually crow hopping of doing run and guns, a nine-year-old ballplayer shuffle stepping out 25 feet in front of them throwing the ball 60-mph our reaction time stupid fast. So never seen anything that fast in their lives. As far as timing wise. And you know what he did? It took him a bit. He filtered it out. He figured out when to go when to shift, how to track the ball.

Taylor Gardner  18:26

And yeah, that ball was getting to him quicker than any pitch he’s ever going to see in baseball. And he started barreling balls up.  Our brain’s a supercomputer y’all know that problem is if that supercomputer is putting in the wrong formula, it’s still going to, there’s still going to be a glitch. You still have to help it out.

Joey Myers  18:44

Shoot, I’d even go another step with the wrong formula and just saying that it’s becoming impossible, or you hear that from coaches? Well, that’s impossible, that’s not going to happen, or that’s not reality, or it’s not going to happen. And instead of saying that something’s not possible, why not ask why? or How can it be possible, right? We’ve talked about the front arm shape and trying to get that thing extended out. Whereas everybody in their mother seems to teach this bent front arm, right.

Joey Myers  19:13

The question that I always get when I put that post out there, people will go well, you know, I’ve tried to test it out and beer league softball and works there, but it doesn’t work in the big leagues and whatnot. And if you go way back, Joe DiMaggio and Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, all those guys locked out. So instead of saying, oh, that doesn’t work, today’s pitchers throw too hard and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Why not ask how can we make that work? Yes. How does that work? Right?

 

Instead of writing off the arm bar as it doesn’t work, why not ask how can it work?

Taylor Gardner  19:42

What if we made 90 miles an hour feel slower? Nothing’s any easier to hit. But what if? What if it wasn’t impossible.  And clearly, it’s not, people do it every day. It’s not impossible.  I’d like to say maybe the way we’re rationalizing it and maybe even practicing. Maybe we’re not doing our own job as a baseball coach, making, maybe it’s 75 miles. Now, if you’re struggling, maybe that’s what it is, whatever it is get ahead of that curve, not that you’re going to just start jacking home runs. But don’t be late. There’s no excuse for being late. There’s no excuse for not filtering out and understanding your environment.

Taylor Gardner  20:19

Maybe you don’t get to face a live picture every day or practice, that’s fair. I’m sure you have your work cut out for ya. But there’s no reason to get your doors blown off, when you have all of the potential to be as early as you want. Once you’re late, once the ball gets behind your timeline, and it gets behind your back. Pitcher starts in front of us. We as hitters, let ourselves be late. Maybe because we’re trying to do some crazy swing, like, oh, let it get deep and snap it or something, I don’t know.

Taylor Gardner  20:50

But whatever it may be, again, kind of back to the approach and those adjustments. Got to clean that up. And maybe you got to study more time. Maybe you got to study more spinal engine springy fascia and figure out where to get your running position. To your arm bar point… I think a lot of… uh oh, we have a wandering baby…

Joey Myers  21:13

Wait till she starts walking…

Taylor Gardner  21:15

I know I can’t wait!  I understand folding your levers and engaging muscles, getting correct shapes. That makes sense. But when you see arm bar, and it starts to walk out, or to do slow motion. Yeah, looks funky in slow motion to arm bar. When you engage the body and it starts out, it starts to feel a little more natural golfers do the same thing. Luckily for us that in golf, you get to start with it extended and just connected to your body from there.

Taylor Gardner  21:55

But this bat is heavy, I completely understand why people want to hold it close to their body, it is rational. And it’s still close to the body. It’s not like we’re arm barring out here. If you’re still arm barring across our core, this bat is behind you, want lag and you want leverage, leverage, and just loose and lever sometimes, your hands are so close to your body. And even so close this way to the middle of your body. By the time you do a swing, yeah, you’re getting the barrel off your foot. And it may be a strong position depending upon position.

Taylor Gardner  22:34

But if I never got the benefit of the lag, and a clearing, and time to speed up the bat, it takes time to speed up the bat. This is not an instantaneous thing. I know this swing only takes like point two seconds; I get it.  That’s slow through the world of everything happening, there is plenty of time and so that hand, grips on the bat. For most people they’re bottom hand is the weaker hand.  Not doing anything left-handed if I have to. But you want your dominant arm to do his job.

Taylor Gardner  23:09

Not that you have to do it all with a dominant arm. But you certainly don’t want your weaker arm to be your dominant arm. Now, how do you get them in position? Well, as you get a swing, if it happens to lock out, you’re getting the benefit of lag and leverage. How is that wrong? If I understand timing, if I understand off your positions and swing plane. And armbar is nothing in the scheme of arguments. I’m linked into the lever.  If I do it correctly, then of course, I have more leverage and more bat speed.

Taylor Gardner  23:42

But bat speed takes time. And so, when I see a lot of kids, they start here and the lever pull even more on their hands get across the face really soon, elbows way behind their hand and not even close to be slotted. And next thing you know, you’re chopping down or they slice it, and more important, their swing radius and swing arc may only go so far. Versus if I clear, I can get a further reach. And it’d be right within my wheelhouse of comfortability.

Joey Myers  24:13

If we go back to your contact points, right, knowing what your contact points are. When we work with our hitters on what we call our horizontal approach, or our line-to-line approach. Being able to hit the ball the other way, pull it, and go up the middle things like that. We talked about that there are two main things to be aware of… one is what you’ve already said is your contact point. But number two is when that barrel enters the hitting zone.

Joey Myers  24:38

And it’s going to be different for we call middle in and middle away. It’s going to be different. So middle away and middle down. That snapping early getting the barrel in the zone early makes sense. It’s a great middle down of the strike zone middle away approach. But when it comes to middle in the middle up, it doesn’t make sense, and I use those bad cues that I thought were bad about four years ago. Swing down, barrel above the ball, we do use those but only for middle in, middle up.

 

Is there ever a time when ‘swing down’ or ‘barrel above the hands’ cues can work?

Taylor Gardner  25:05

But right. Speaking along those lines… Yes, have you ever had a kid trying out a new baseball bat and Oh man, he’s struggling with the weight or it was too long for him. But that’s some of the stuff you’ve been told, just remember that when this bat is laying horizontal, is heavier, as far as where the balance is. There’s a reason we stack the barrel. And there’s a reason we hold this bat up, you can hold it with one finger.

Taylor Gardner  25:34

That’s how life, if you will, work how to control the bat, Matt Nokes talks about this, why, the barrel above the hands, it’s taken me a while, the feel can be down, in fact there is a down move in the swing, hold your posture. It’s called your head. The balls is below you. Yes, we want to swing on plane. Of course. But how you get to that barrel entering the zone. And before it starts that actual upswing? That is paramount.

Taylor Gardner  26:07

That also was still wrong with the down early method. Yeah, you’ve got there. But did you give up timing, to get to position at contact.  Did you give up adjustments, because your only move is to get there. If you were able to just keep your hands and be ready for that high and inside pitch, as Perry husband would say we get to focus on EV tunnels.

Taylor Gardner  26:34

If I’m ready for that, then great. And then I can always adjust if I need to.  Wait adjustment patterns, that kind of dynamic plan. Not everyone would agree with me on this, but just from a third party perspective, if the high and inside pitch is the ball that we have to get the barrel out there quickest to, it makes sense to me to be on time with that and adjust down and away with that, because you have more time or space, ball is further away from me to do so, obviously, you get in the baseball stuffs like, well, if you’re looking middle middle, and then that gets tougher if you’re looking away if you’re looking wherever.

Taylor Gardner  27:19

I don’t want to get into the approach part of it. But it just makes sense to me that you can practice, play around practicing with looking high and in, get that pitch locked in, and then we’ll work it down to middle middle, get that adjustment pattern locked in. Maybe for some people, it’s not so much that they have to change their approach, maybe they just need to be comfortable getting to all these pitches vertically, you might not have to worry about what my timing is good, I’m swinging at the right pitches, just getting jammed a lot on high.

Taylor Gardner  27:51

Well, maybe it’s just because you’re dumping your barrel too soon.  It’s okay, you got to find where that issue is, and not fight it. But again, let your plan help you get there. The barrel above the hands is a great plan. It helps me already be ready for that movement pattern… sure, maybe you get to that pitch well maybe you’re facing speeds you can handle and you’re struggling with low and away. So maybe you do have to think about releasing that barrel sooner. Okay, nothing wrong with that.

Taylor Gardner  28:23

I would give everyone hesitation to just go out and put out a YouTube video saying this is the one and only way, of course it’s not. But we must understand all of it so that when you hear someone say something, to filter through what they’re saying, you’ll see why he’s doing it, that makes sense.  When you come out and some of these instructors say just one swing plane for every pitch. And if I just wait longer than I can see it longer. We know that’s not exactly be true.  Eyes don’t see the ball much longer just because we’re not swinging.

 

If one of the best, Mike Trout, is giving up 20-mph of ball exit speed, how much do mere mortals give up doing the same thing?

Joey Myers  28:56

Well and what’s also interesting is what the actual hitting operating system is when you can watch somebody, when you have been around the block and you’ve seen a lot of these different teachings, you can see what their main operating system is. And I know you and I were similar in this and we want to maintain high ball exit speeds.

Joey Myers  29:16

When you get a hitting guy that’s talking about a certain thing like hey, we need to get that at high and inside pitch with the bend in the front arm we need to get there, well we know that Perry Husband said Mike Trout, one of the best in the world will go down is one of the best top five probably, ever top five top 10 and down and away average ball exit speed is 101 miles an hour, not his top out but his average. And that’s where he’s locked out with that elbow at contact.

Joey Myers  29:45

And then at up and in, he’s reduced to a high school baseball player at 80 to 83 miles an hour. So he’s losing almost around 20 miles an hour ball exit speed that’s 80 feet. That’s 80 feet of batted ball distance that he’s giving up by looking away and adjusting in. Well, some people go well, that’s fine. But here’s the deal. And this is what I tell my players I say, Mike Trout is a once in a lifetime player. He’s just one of those people that we will look back on when he’s done with his career. And we will say he’s one of the best. One of the best ever is giving up 20 miles an hour ball exit speed.

Joey Myers  29:50

20 miles an hour.

Joey Myers  30:24

You know what the amateurs are probably giving up. 30-35 miles an hour ball exit speed?  He’s one of the best he can get away with it. You’re going to be given up a lot more.

Taylor Gardner  30:34

Yeah. I can’t remember if it was you or someone else had brought to my attention. It was before COVID happened. I think it was the baseball season before. And they asked, who hit their highest exit speed most often? Try and word that correctly. And I was like, Oh, I don’t know. And there’s Jose Altuve. And Aaron Judge. I was like, oh, okay, wow, two different types of hitter’s sizes body length. They said, Oh, you know how often they hit their hardest exit speeds?

Taylor Gardner  31:06

And at first, I’m like, Oh, these big leaguers? Oh, man, I bet 20% of their hits or they’re popping out near their top exit speeds. It was less than 2%. Wow, less than 2% of all of their hits, on miss hits in the realm of hitting is as hard as you can. What does that mean, though? Does that mean maybe they’re slowing their swing down and touching the ball? No, I don’t think so. And in my opinion, obviously get fooled on some pitches. Okay, fine.

Taylor Gardner  31:33

But I think most of their base hits that they reported, I think their miss hits are that powerful. And once you start to realize that homeruns are the best result, okay, but maybe your best result is a hard line shot, single or double, whatever. However hard you get whatever type of hit is your hardest hit, which for most people is a low launch angle, I dunno, maybe 0-5, maybe 10 degrees. And then that makes sense. Balls coming down about 5, 7, 8 degrees.

Taylor Gardner  32:03

And you can imagine that plane, you’re going to give up exit speed when you raise or lower your launch angle. And I see a lot of people don’t understand that. Oh, no. My hardest hits home runs.  Not exactly. I want to say the highest ball ever recorded was a ground ball. Double play.  It’s okay. It’s okay that if your exit speed fluctuates, based on how well you struck that ball for a single, double, triple based on how high or low you hit it, that’s fine. And you want to start tightening those windows up.

Taylor Gardner  32:33

But Backspin tee, you know Taylor, Joey, you can’t control your launch angles, not saying you can control your launch angles. It’s just like I’m not saying you can even hit why I’m saying though, is you can work on the precision of contact and work on your precision posture and swing plane. And when it lines up, you smoke a ball at the pitcher’s head, you did your job. And when the next at-bat, it probably feels the same and you hit a homerun, guess what you did your job. You hit the ball far. But more importantly, your plan gave you the ability to fall as hard as potentially could that swing.

Taylor Gardner  33:08

And that’s Oh man, how many young kids have you seen? You throw them one change-up… They’re crushing balls… you throw them one change up. And then the next 10 swings are crap. They just can’t find it… it just ruins their world. It’s like, oh, man, you got to filter that out. Trust the plan and get to the next pitch. It’s okay.

Joey Myers  33:29

Yeah, exactly. That’s crazy. Yeah, that’s a good one to end on. And that’s another call for another day. I want to be respectful of your time because you’ve got a little one that’s down there. And she’s been great. By the way.

Taylor Gardner  33:40

She’s sleeping now.

Joey Myers  33:41

She’s asleep. Yeah, she’s asleep. I’m talking too loudly. I’m talking to you loudly. But hey, I want to let you get back to the baby and get back to the family. hopefully get some sleep. Maybe she’ll take take a nap with her. But hey, where can people find you? socials, website, any kind of deals that you got going on right now? Go ahead. And…

 

Where can people find more about you guys?

Taylor Gardner  34:04

Yes, so find us on Google backspin bat tee to find backspintee.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, we have a 20% off code at the moment. If you use the code BATBROS. For those of you that follow the baseball bat pros, I’m very good friends with them. They are great people Bill Taylor and them and they’re amazing people. But you’re also going to find our bat tee in Dick’s Sporting Goods here soon. So be on the lookout.

Taylor Gardner  34:28

Hopefully, Academy is a follow that as well for those that maybe that’s closer to here. And we’re trying hard to get Mark word shields and some other big retail stores. But the Dick’s Sporting Goods we’re shipping that out here in a couple days. Extremely excited to make that next jump to the big retail because we’ve done so well on the individual bat tee sale and it’s time to make that move.

Joey Myers  34:50

Yeah, congratulations, buddy. I’ve been with you for a lot of this bat tee journey. I think we jumped on probably we start building our relationship maybe your second year I think you guys are. So, so I’m just excited for you guys. And I know you guys have been just like all of us been through our ups and downs and stuff and it sounds like you guys are starting to starting to rise again. So yeah,

Taylor Gardner  35:12

Yeah, it all started with Joey Myers experiment video, my bat tee versus the other tee, and we didn’t know each other so you have to watch that video.

Joey Myers  35:20

Again. See how they turned out? Yeah, it was in a very bias thing, I was probably, we had run into each other a couple times. We talked on the phone maybe once or twice and I was like, you know what, let’s try this out. Let’s do a bat tee experiment on it. I think it turned out well for you guys.

Taylor Gardner  35:34

Yeah, I think well back to the precision of contact, just changing that visual. You had a more funnel effect with the Backspin Bat Tee, and with the traditional tee, it was a little more scattered and it just makes you wonder, not promoting my bat tee over another tee… Tee just are you working on your precision and in your vision obviously has a lot to do with that so, pick up a Backspin Bat Tee, give it a shot, if you don’t like don’t like it, then I’ll give you your money back. Yeah, definitely.

Joey Myers  36:01

Right. Then percent off and you get 20% BATBROS. B-A-T-B-R-O-S, and that’s all caps, correct? Cool. All right, brother. Well, thanks. Keep up the good bat tee work. Congrats on everything and congrats on the little girl. My first time seeing her.

Taylor Gardner  36:13

Thank you bud.

Joey Myers  36:14

Alright brother. Take care of yourself.

Taylor Gardner  36:16

Have a good one.

Joey Myers  36:17

Have a good Easter.

Taylor Gardner  36:18

Thank you.