Little Known Way To Optimize Bat & Ball Exit Speeds By Rotating “Under Load” (not what you think)

In today’s video, you’ll learn how to fix your flat feet

…(insert record scratch sound effect)…

“Wait a cotton pickin’ minute, so you’re showing me a video on how to correct ‘flat feet’?!  How is this suppose to help my hitters?”

…Someone somewhere might be saying 😉

The above video will be a game changer for the progress of your hitters.  It may even improve bat and ball exit speeds over time.  It may even fix some of the hitting faults you’re having a challenge correcting right now.  The content in the above video will improve both the rotational effectiveness and efficiency of your hitters.

Strength & Conditioning Coach Naudi Aguilar understands and applies Thomas Myers’s springy fascia principles in Anatomy Trains, and that’s WHY I follow him.  I highly recommend you CLICK HERE and “Subscribe” to his YouTube channel FunctionalPatterns and look into the courses on his website.  He already has  183,942 YouTube subscribers!

Oscar Pistorious Blade Runner

Oscar Pistorious (the Blade Runner) won 3 Gold Medals in the 2008 Olympics. Photo courtesy: DailyMail.co.uk

He’s a locomotion expert, and by the way – he talks really fast!  Here are a couple notes I took while watching the above video:

  1. Naudi talks about how the body doesn’t need lower leg to sprint at the highest level. Don’t believe me, CLICK HERE to watch this video of South African sprinter Oscar Pistorious who won 3 Gold Medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (about 0:45 minute mark).
  2. Relationship between pecs, lats, and glutes – anterior and posterior oblique slings, highly neglected part of training and carries a bigger influence on efficient movement (about 1:45 minute mark).
  3. Leg and knee should land as close to neutral as possible when running or walking with effective rotation.  If deviation occurs, then most likely there’s a deficiency in either the anterior and/or posterior oblique slings (about 3:05 mark).
  4. The idea of rotating “under load”. Using feedback mechanism – the resistance band – to “feed the mistake”.  Click to get WODFitters Pull Up Assist Bands on Amazon. (about the 4:45 mark).
  5. Practice functional movement patterns, walking, running, or hitting while using the feedback bands (about 8:30 mark).

 

In Application…

About point #1 above, as most of you know, I’ve been promoting a spine driven swing for the past 4+ years.  If you read Dr. Serge Gracovetsky’s book The Spinal Engine and Thomas Myers’s Anatomy Trains, then you’ll discover that the legs aren’t necessary for locomotion, they’re an enhancement.  CLICK HERE for a post on this titled, “The Swing Does Not Start From The Ground And Move Up?”

About points #2 & #3 above, some experts call this the “Serape Effect”, “Power Slings”, or Thomas Myers labels these a combination of Spiral, Functional, and Lateral fascia lines.  Hitters, both young men and women, will have a deficiency here. Since a majority of hitters DO NOT take the same amount of swings and throws from the opposite side, there will be an imbalance created that MUST be addressed.  Diversifying in other sports does help, but most likely, there MUST be correction.

About point #4 above, Naudi Aguilar uses a band that’s much longer than the one I use at home, so you may not need to wind it around the mid-section as much as he does in the above video.  For me (I’m a right handed hitter/thrower), to correct dysfunction in rotational locomotion, I wrap my band over my left shoulder, then around my middle back, and then loop the end around my left leg.  You’d do the reverse to enhance rotation for a lefty.  I put this on at least 5 days per week, and wear it for about an hour while doing my morning routine.  I’ve found the tightness in my right foot, Achilles, and inside part of my right knee almost vanished within 3-4 weeks of doing this.

Also, CLICK HERE to learn where I talk a little more about “feeding the mistake” using Reactive Neuromuscular Training, or RNT to correct ‘stepping in the bucket’.

About point #5 above, Naudi mentions rotating “under load”.  Coaches, I’d advise having hitters experiment using the feedback bands while hitting, and recommend they wear it at home too, as a recovery tool.

These bands are a great way to counter-balance the imbalanced movements baseball and softball inherently promote.  If your hitters move better, they’re perform better.  Swinging smarter by moving better.

Where A Higher Batting Average Can Be Cultivated AND How To Get It (An Over-The-Shoulder Look)…

Here’s Part-3 – a continuation of – a three part series showcasing a local lesson of mine…Over Shoulder Look: Hank Aaron Wrist Snap

I get questions every week on how I’d run a practice or one-on-one session.  This is an over-the-shoulder look.  The main objective of this video series is to demonstrate how I use some of the “sticky” coaching principles covered in this post, and in my new book The Science Of Sticky Coaching: How To Turn Ordinary Athletes Into Extraordinary.

In case you missed the background information of Part-1,

Zack is a 14-year-old hitter from Visalia, California, which is approximately an hour drive from me, one way.  And this is the first time I worked with him since about a year ago.  We’ve had about half a dozen session together in total.  And what I like about Zack is he asks a lot of really good questions during our sessions.

And before we started this session, Zack was having a challenge with hitting line drives.  He was either hitting the ball on the ground or non-productive balls in the air.

DISCLAIMER about the video:

  • Fortunately the video quality is great because Dad used his GoPro, but unfortunately I wasn’t mic’d up, so the audio isn’t like some of my other videos.
  • We’re at a public High School on a Saturday afternoon, so there are other team noises, bird sounds, emergency vehicles, etc. going on in the background that can be distracting.

Sadly, a few coaches on the socials will be overly critical of this hitter, and I’m asking you to suspend judgement.  The purpose of this video IS NOT about being overly critical of the hitter’s swing, it’s about the demonstration and use of sticky coaching principles.

Swing and coaching suggestions are welcome, but be nice coaches.

Now, for those coaches looking to learn and help their hitters get better…ONWARD…again!

A typically lesson I do, is organized like the following, from start to finish:

  1. Dynamic warm-up,
  2. Beginning Ball Exit Speed readings,
  3. Record and analyze current swing,
  4. Lesson, and
  5. Ending Ball Exit Speeds readings.

Part-3 lands you towards the end of #4 above.

What you can look out for in above video

  • Training something new should feel goofy, that’s normal…if they feel no change in movement at the beginning stages of motor skill development, then they’re repeating the same old thing (about 0:45 mark)
  • The arch and hollow (hunched) positions in Gymnastics.  “Hunch” can have a negative connotation, but reality says it’s a VERY SAFE position for a twisting spine to start in. CLICK HERE for a Zepp swing experiment that looked at the benefits of a “Hunched” spine. (about 1:55 mark)
  • Playing around with wrist snap variance using the target ankle resistance bands.  It’s NOT a roll over, it’s like a “waggle” that golfers use pre-swing.  Great defender against off speed and breaking pitches, AND increase BA by controlling the barrel.  Keep main objective in mind: hit ball as hard and far as you can.  (about 3:45 mark)
  • Working the Wrist Snap Variance Drill on the open field hitting targets. Hank Aaron was really good at this.  Watch Hank Aaron video below and watch his wrist action at impact… (about 6:15 mark)
  • The Frog Tape bat…barrel awareness.  Focusing on hitting a certain part of the barrel AND hitting it in a specific direction or target. (about 11:20 mark)
  • Discussing how switching bats between rounds forces a hitter to focus on adjusting their timing. Heavier/top heavy bats have to start sooner…lighter/balanced bats can start later.  (about 15:30 mark)
  • Zack made the observation that Finger Pressure makes the Wrist Snap Variance Drill easier to feel.  (about 17:30 mark)

 

Also, when it comes to sticky coaching principles, notice how I:

  • Move the tee positioning around after every swing (both high/low and inside/outside),
  • Vary soft toss heights and depths,
  • Vary mechanics on certain swings in a 5-swing round (I call these Varied Rounds), or practice one thing the whole round (I call these Block Rounds),
  • Ask quite a few feel, visual, and/or audio feedback questions AFTER round is over (think of it like a hitting quiz),
  • Keep my mouth shut during the 5-swing round (little to no feedback from me),
  • Don’t make Zack take a lot of swings during our time together,
  • Chunking certain movement together, so they don’t seem like separate pieces,
  • Have him change his bat size during rounds, and
  • Work with him on simplifying the juggling of a couple different mechanical cues.

Dramatically Improve HOW Your Hitters Learn By Listening In On A Local Lesson of Mine

Here’s what I have for you…

The above video is Part-1 of a three part series showcasing a local lesson of mine.

The objective of this video series is to share with coaches – literally – an “over-the-shoulder” look at how I do a local lesson.  More on this in a moment…

Zack is a 14-year-old hitter from Visalia, California, which is approximately an hour drive from me, one way.  And this is the first time I worked with him since about a year ago.  We’ve had about half a dozen session together in total.

Before we started this session, Zack was having a challenge with hitting line drives.  He was either hitting the ball on the ground or non-productive balls in the air.

DISCLAIMER about the video:

  • Fortunately the video quality is great because Dad used his GoPro, but unfortunately I wasn’t mic’d up, so the audio isn’t like some of my other videos.
  • We’re at a public High School on a Saturday afternoon, so there are other team noises, bird sounds, emergency vehicles, etc. going on in the background that can be distracting.

Now, what’s in this Part-1 video?

Let me expand on the video’s objective and how it can benefit coaches

I get questions every week on how I’d run a practice or one-on-one session.  This is an over-the-shoulder look.  The main objective of this video series is to demonstrate how I use some of the “sticky” coaching principles covered in this post, and in my new book The Science Of Sticky Coaching: How To Turn Ordinary Athletes Into Extraordinary.

Sadly, a few coaches on the socials will be overly critical of this hitter, and I’m asking you to suspend judgement.  The purpose of this video IS NOT about being overly critical of the hitter’s swing, it’s about the demonstration and use of sticky coaching principles.

With that being said, swing suggestions are welcome, but be nice coaches.  Also, coaching suggestions are welcomed…but again, be nice.

Now, for those coaches looking to learn and help their hitters get better…ONWARD!

A typically lesson I do, is organized like the following, from start to finish (I’ve cut some parts out of this video for the sake of brevity):

  1. Dynamic warm-up,
  2. Beginning Ball Exit Speed readings,
  3. Record and analyze current swing,
  4. Lesson, and
  5. Ending Ball Exit Speeds readings.

What you can look out for in above video

  • Talking about how to pick the right bat size (1-3:30 min mark),
  • Showing him Miguel Cabrera’s landing position top hand and elbow positioning on my phone after video analysis of Zack’s swing (about 7-min mark),
  • Working on Zack’s top hand Finger Pressure (about 8-min mark),
  • Switching bats – over-loading with heavier end loaded bat with goofy PRX knob (about 13-min mark), and
  • Teasing the Part-2 video where we talk about lowering Zack’s hands to not get above armpit line to landing – and the benefits of (about 15:30-min mark).

Also, when it comes to sticky coaching principles, notice how I:

  • Move the tee positioning around after every swing (both high/low and inside/outside),
  • Vary soft toss heights and depths,
  • Vary mechanics on certain swings in a 5-swing round (I call these Varied Rounds), or practice one thing the whole round (I call these Block Rounds),
  • Ask quite a few feel, visual, and/or audio feedback questions AFTER round is over (think of it like a hitting quiz),
  • Keep my mouth shut during the 5-swing round (little to no feedback from me),
  • Don’t make Zack take a lot of swings during our time together,
  • Have him change his bat size during rounds, and
  • Work with him on simplifying the juggling of a couple different mechanical cues.

Your Typical Hitting Coach Doesn’t Want You To Watch This Sierra Romero & Aaron Judge Hitting Analysis Swing Comparison

 

Sierra Romero v. Aaron Judge Hitting Analysis Swing Comparison

Comparative Fight Positions of both Sierra Romero and Aaron Judge. Dang, they look good! Photo courtesy: YouTuber: Sports Gaming & MLB.com

Let me be up front with you in this post…

Some hitting coaches still think the baseball and softball swing are drastically different.

I disagree…Big League.

Human movement is human movement.  Sure there are undeniable anatomical differences in body type between males and females, and differences in reaction time from sport to sport…

But there’s virtually zero difference in explosive human movement when the swing objective is hit the ball as hard as you can, as far as you can…consistently.

In this video analysis, I wanted to compare the swings of Sierra Romero and Aaron Judge.  Don’t worry if you don’t know one or the other…you will by the end of this post.

Actually, you know what, if you don’t know either of these hitters, then SHAME ON YOU!!! 😛 lol

Kidding aside, and in my opinion, more baseball players can learn A LOT by watching Sierra Romero swing the bat than any Big Leaguer.  It’s a bold thing to say, but it’s true.

In comparing Sierra Romero to Aaron Judge, we’ll compare the following components of an effective swing:

 

Who is Sierra Romero?

Besides being my favorite swing model for Fast-Pitch Softball hitters, and according to the USSSA Pride website:

  • 5-foot, 5-inches in height.
  • Sierra finished her rookie professional Fast-Pitch Softball season batting .339 in 109 at-bats with 18 runs scored, 37 hits, 4 doubles, 2 triples, 5 HR, 21 RBI and a .397 OBP.
  • First player in NCAA softball history (at Uni of Michigan) to record 300 runs, 300 hits and 300 RBI in her career.
  • Owns NCAA record in career runs (300) and grand slams (11). Ranks fourth all-time in career RBI (305) and slugging percentage (.882) and eighth in home runs (82) and walks (225).
  • Joined the USA Junior Women’s National Team (2012), ISF Junior Women’s World Championship Silver Medalist (2012).

 

Who is Aaron Judge?

Besides this guy being a friggin’ BEAST of a human being!?  Here are some major talking points, according to Wikipedia.org and FanGraphs.com:

  • 6-foot, 7-inches tall, and 282-pounds (imagine the parents that had to feed this guy!!) lol
  • Was a three sport athlete in High School (Football, Basketball, and Baseball).
  • Played at my Alma-mater, Fresno State, from 2010 and got drafted by the Yankees 32nd overall by the Yankees in 2013.
  • As of April 2017 Exit Velocity metrics, Judge clocked game batted balls of at least 115-mph SIX TIMES!!  Joey Gallo was second with two.
  • Did I mention this guy is a BEAST?!

This video from MLB.com titled, “Aaron Judge: Burden of Proof” says it all:

 

The Bottom Line…?

In comparing the swings of Sierra Romero and Aaron Judge, there are many BIG WIN mechanical similarities.  They both hit for power and precision.  The softball swing isn’t any different than its baseball counterpart.  Power and precision don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  Size doesn’t matter, however if you’re a beast like Aaron Judge the capability of hitting the ball farther with consistently higher Ball Exit Speeds is greater.  What is clear however, is if you move better, then you perform better.

In the day and age of advanced technology and access to specific experts on human movement and Physics, there’s no room for coaches who resist getting educated.  If you aren’t growing, then you’re dying.

How a Dad Turned Around His Struggling 16-year-old Fast-Pitch Softball Daughter’s Swing in 1-Day?

Kelli M BEFORE & AFTER Swings

1-day difference between swings, yes I know one is a game swing and one is off the tee, one is a back view and the other is a chest view, but the changes are still dramatic…

I was blown away by an email I recently received from the dad of Kelli, a struggling 16-year-old fast-pitch softball hitter…

And by the way, the following email was unsolicited, much like Marty White’s testimonial in this post about his son, 14-yo Hudson White, who participated in Brian Domenico’s 2016 National Power Showcase hitting 11 consecutive dingers out of the Texas Rangers ballpark in Arlington, averaging 398-feet, at only 5-foot 7-inches, 130-pounds.

I feel the following story of Kelli’s struggle holds true for quite a few baseball and softball hitters out there, and I wanted to share it.  It breaks my heart to hear the BEFORE stories.  But without the bitter baby, the sweet ain’t so sweet!

Please pay special attention to how Mike introduces new hitting content to his daughter.  Sometimes this can be a slippery slope with parents and their daughters and/or sons.

DISCLAIMER: results aren’t typical. Hitters getting “it” or “not” depends on a few things: 1) Player engages in consistent deep practice, 2) Coach successfully connects player to message (the WHY), 3) Material presented in a way to set player up for success not overwhelm, and 4) Coach taps into player’s primary learning style to name a few of the biggies.  

Enter Mike’s email…

“Joey:  I saw your book “Catapult Loading System” on Kindle and figured I’d take a chance on it because I have always liked to read different philosophies on hitting.  I’ve been coaching my daughter and her teams in fast-pitch softball for over 8 years starting with Rec through Club ball here in AZ.

Lately, to my disappointment my daughter has taken a break from club ball for the last 6 months but has just started playing again on her High School  JV team.  She is a power hitter but has been struggling with weak grounders and pop ups.

After I read your book I asked her to work with me for 10 minutes a night hitting into the net off a T. Catapult Loading System(She’s 16 and this was all could get out of her, so I took what I could get.)

I noticed when I took some videos of her during games that she was stepping into the bucket on her stride and was leading her hands with the back elbow, which I know is a no, no and creates bat drag.

Those two things combined were causing her to dip the bat off plane and not hit the ball solid, causing the pop ups and grounders.   She was basically trying to “lead with the hips and start her swing from the ground up” like I had been teaching her for years.

After reading your book, I didn’t want to overwhelm her or totally change her swing so I just focused on the bottom three fingers of the top hand tightening in the swing and showing the numbers by loading the shoulders as you explain in the book.

I also told her to shorten her stance a bit so she would focus on loading the shoulders (showing the numbers and hide the hands) rather than taking a big stride and stepping into the bucket.

I wish I could send you the videos of the before and after of her swing after one 10 minute session.  I’m not kidding when I say that it was almost an “instant”  change for the better. 

What I noticed by having her tighten her bottom three fingers on the top hand, is it forced her to keep her back elbow in the slot and her hands to stay in front of the back elbow.  This immediately corrected her bat head to stay on plane in the zone longer with no casting or weak bat angle.

I also noticed that by having her load with the shoulders rather than relying on her hips with a big stride, she didn’t step into the bucket or fly open with her hips.

These simple little tweaks helped to correct the things I’ve been working with her for years but to no effect.  I couldn’t believe the difference from such a small simple adjustment.

I’ve told some of my softball friends and fellow coaches about it and they just look at me and chuckle like I’m making up some kind of tall tale.  I’ve even shown them the before and after video and they still seem skeptical.

But here’s the bottom line…

The day after I worked with my daughter for all of 10 to 15 minutes, literally hitting about 35 or 40 balls off the T, against one of the best teams in our division, she got up with two runners on, with two strikes and launched a bomb for a three run HR.  She went 2 for 2 that day. 

That night we spent another 10 minutes working the same drills and the next day, she did the same thing on her first at bat hitting another bomb.  She went 3 for 3 that game. 

Now look, I’m not a scientist nor am I into hockus pockus but I  have to admit I’m a true believer and just had to tell you about our instant success by using some of the small tweaks you talk about.  I plan to keep using these ideas and I’m going to re-read your book again to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

Thanks for the info and know you have another success story here in Arizona.” – Mike Monaghan

After I asked for Mike and Kelli’s permission to publish her story and for the BEFORE and AFTER videos to do analysis on, I received this follow up from dad…

“I apologize that these two videos are from a back vs front view but the differences can still be seen.  The before video is a game swing with her uniform on and are only a day apart.  If you can run them in slow motion, you’ll notice a couple things that made the world of difference.
In the before:
  • Wider stance (in my opinion, too wide)
  • More lateral movement because she doesn’t load at the shoulders (show her numbers)
  • Steps in the bucket as her hips fly open
  • Back elbow is leading the hands
  • Bat angle is well below the ball plane as she starts her swing
  • Result….pop up to pitcher
After video:
  • All we worked on was tight bottom three fingers on top hand, loading at the shoulders (showing the numbers) and a slightly narrower stance.  Results:
  • Back elbow is behind the hands and she has a much more solid impact on the ball
  • Bat head stays on plane with ball longer allowing a line drive impact on ball (not too much bottom half or top half on the ball)
  • She doesn’t fly open with her hips and her body stays in alignment longer (notice where her foot lands on the second video…..right on the line in the cement on the floor.)  I think the shoulder load (and I know she could probably show even more of the numbers if we keep working on it) prevents her or at least minimizes her from flying open.  You probably have a video link to some sport’s scientist that can explain how the shoulders and spine work together and keep the hips in check….Lol!
Bottom line results….2 HR’s in two games….much more solid impact on other hits.
Stepping in the bucket has been a huge issue we have tried to correct for years with little to no success and although I know we need to keep working a couple minutes a night to turn these tweaks into habit, I still can’t believe how quickly she made a change.  It might also explain why I get so many skeptical looks and opinions when I talk about your book to other coaches and show them the results after a one day difference.  If I hadn’t witnessed this with my own eyes, I’d probably be skeptical too.
Her instant success has also done a few things I never thought possible. She actually likes working with me in the garage hitting into the net at night because it is no more than a 10 minute session and she can still enjoy being a teenager.  She actually will listen to my instruction and corrections and wants me to video her so she can see that she’s doing it correctly.  When she was little, we use to go to the park and hit 100 balls off a machine or soft toss but those days of daddy/daughter time are limited so a 10 minute session is something she is OK with. Its a win/win for both of us.”

Thank YOU Mike I appreciate your support.  Great approach in getting that young lady of yours “hooked” again.  It sounded like a tall order, but you pulled it off nicely Coach.  I’m proud of both of you!

Also Mike, here are my next step swing suggestions:

  1. CLICK HERE for a video on how to fix stepping in the bucket using resistance bands,
  2. Finish up with the rest of the concepts in the Catapult Loading System book, then…
  3. CLICK HERE for the Float Variance Drill, and
  4. CLICK HERE for a definitive guide to forward momentum.

For those of you who may have missed Coach Mike’s effective approach with his teenage daughter, here are a couple key points:

  • Mike set his daughter up for success by telling her to only commit 10-mins per day to this new information (I tell my hitters to spend 5-mins/day, at least 4-days/week in deep practice),
  • He had the humility to admit (to his daughter I assume) that his teachings may have been misplaced in the past (this is part of a Growth Mindset by the way),
  • Didn’t want to overwhelm her, so Mike started with one thing first, “Finger Pressure”, then when she got that, he moved onto “Showing Numbers”, and lastly
  • Mike has a “results don’t lie” story to tell the naysayers, whether they heed his advice only time will tell…but the truth is undeniable.

This works for softball players folks…not just baseball.  If you aren’t growing as a coach, then you’re dying.  Dead things get thrown in the trash.  Cultivate a Growth Mindset coaches or else you’ll be short changing your players, and your significance as an effective coach.

The times are a changin’…

 

UPDATE on Kelli…

Joey:  You had asked me to keep you up to date on how Kelli had progressed after I worked the Catapult Loading System with her.  I’m proud to give you her final stats after 17 games.  You can note that we worked the system after game 7, so her results were really proven in the last 10 games.  Up until we worked the system, she had only one HR and most of her hits were weak ground balls in the gaps and bloopers over the infield.  Although she had decent numbers before working the system as I had told you in previous emails, her hitting really came alive and her hits were much more powerful.  She had very few if any extra base hits in the first 7 games and the triples and doubles really took off in the last 10 games.  Although she was playing JV, we are in the 6A division playing some of the largest and most competitive schools in the state of AZ and she lead the team in almost every category or was in the top three out of 19 girls on the team.

  • Games played: 17
  • Batting Average: .652
  • Plate Appearances: 48
  • At Bats: 46
  • Runs scored: 22
  • Hits: 30
  • RBI: 26
  • Doubles: 9
  • Triples: 2
  • HR: 4
  • BB: 2
  • K: 1
  • OBP: .667
  • SLG: 1.195
  • OPS: 1.863

David Weck & the WeckMethod are Turning Rotational Power Training on its Head

 

David Weck: WeckMethod RMT Club

You asked for it!

I had quite a few of my readers ask me about the WeckMethod of training by David Weck.  Btw, David is the inventor of the Bosu Ball, for those that train athletes for a living.  And the readers who kept bringing up his training referred to his new product the RMT Club (CLICK HERE to get it on Amazon), which you’ll learn more about in the above interview.

If you’ve never heard about the WeckMethod of training, and want to know what sets it apart, please CLICK HERE to view the following 35-min video.

If you’re short on time, then here’s a brief introduction to the WeckMethod of training from David Weck:

“What I do is more fundamental foundational work than specific hitting instruction.  My focus is improving systemic strength and power concentrating on Tensional Balance and Rotational Power – as well as non-dominant side training to provide a stronger foundation for sport specific skill.”

I feel like he’s onto something that most trainers ARE NOT. And it’s because he understands the foundation of locomotion.  He has a fantastic understanding of the human movement “rules”.

In my research, I fell into the following David Weck Carpool Tunnel fix video that helped get rid of the pinching in my right wrist, at the bottom of a push-up position, in about a week (I haven’t been good lately with my gymnastics wrist stretches 🙁:

Another great article I ran into in my research – and posted to social media – was an interview that Chris Holder did at BreakingMuscle.com with David Weck titled, “The Key To Speed Is In Your Spine”  There are great nuggets in there along with a few training videos.  It’s definitely worth your time.

The main video above is a Skype interview I did with David Weck that’s about 45-minutes.  A lot of great information in there that translates to hitters and HOW TO train power.  What follows are some of those talking points…

The Show Notes

  • How would you explain to a complete stranger what it is that you do? (1-min, 22-seconds)
  • DW explains Tensional Balance – relationship between suspension and transmission throughout your body, requires perfect alignment of skeleton, muscles, and connective tissue (1-min, 48-secs)
  •  When tensional balance & rotational power are dialed in, you can express more speed, control, power, etc. with LESS wear and tear on the body (3-mins, 10-secs)
  • Where did DW’s passionate curiosity into this realm of training come from? (4-mins, 20-secs)
  • DW discovered slow motion analysis while playing D3 college football – you cannot understand human movement with that slow frame by frame motion analysis, the eye in the sky does not lie…clock doesn’t lie…measuring tape doesn’t lie (6-mins, 0-secs)
  • Unmatched degree of intensity to enhancing human locomotion because of Bosu Ball success…was able to devote entire focus to seeking and finding answers. (7-mins, 23-secs)
  • Deep appreciate that locomotion is the key, developing straight ahead speed, is the key to developing the greatest rotational power (9-mins, 0-secs)
  • Human movement industry is about to be flipped on its head because of this breakthrough understand of “core” strength…the “Bracing Core” (weight room and picking up heavy objects) versus the “Coiling Core” (engaging in lateral movement – side bending and head over foot) (9-mins, 40-secs)
  • Real versus Feel coaching, “My athletes are doing something that I’m not coaching them to do”, high level athletes have an innate sense of speed and power, but coaches are trying to coach it out of them, elite athletes (like Olympic Gold Medal winning sprinter Michael Johnson) saying to do the exact opposite of what they’re doing on film!  Experts are teaching on a faulty foundation (11-mins, 40-secs)
  • DW is meeting with Marlon Byrd on getting specific with the WeckMethod exercises (14-mins, 7-secs)
  • Quick movement experiment…stand up right now and going through a throwing motion WITHOUT any side bending…how did that feel? Without side bend you’ll destroy your spine. You can train side bend. Locomotion is your foundation. (17-mins, 50-secs)
  • DW responds to the reader comment, “Is it logical to say that average kids can perform at a tier-1 level?” In context, the reader comment was to the claim that my 100-lb hitters consistently driving the ball 300-feet are standouts athletically.  Also, what makes a kid athletic? (20-mins, 10-secs)
  • DW explains how to train ipsilaterally (right shoulder-right hip) to get the “Serape Effect” or I like to call the “Springy X Pattern” (right shoulder-left hip) optimized for performance. Tighten the coil, time the sequence, and keep center of gravity to be neutral. Take clunky and make them fluid. (22-mins, 20-secs)
  • DW discusses the curse of moving the center of gravity during rotation.  Learning the axis of rotation, front/back, and side. Central control. Create a late rotate, like a whip. (25-mins, 0-secs)
  • The evolution of the spine, side bending is crucial to an S-shaped spine curve. (27-mins, 30-secs)
  • DW responds to the question, “Does sprinting, throwing, hitting start from the ground up?  Why or why not”. CLICK HERE for the HPL link I referred to in the video (33-mins, 30-secs)
  • DW talks about harmonizing the muscles with the connective tissue.  Least muscular contraction compared to the connective tissue. Muscles that are bound up, cannot relax.  Transmission of force, power equals speed.  Muscle acts like a circuit breaker. (34-mins, 0-secs)
  • DW discusses having tensional integrity between the muscles on the inside, and fascia on the outside. How integrity and connected the fascia is to muscles.  Bonds never lost body-weight transmission when he bulked up.  Strong is great, but not at a sacrifice of speed.  (37-mins, 0-secs)
  • We discuss Thomas Myers, Anatomy Trains, “finger flick” test to demonstrate the power of connective tissue over muscle contraction (38-mins, 44-secs)
  • DW responds to the question, “If you were going to prescribe 2 of your top RMT Club exercises to a baseball or softball player, what would they be?” Coiling Head Over Foot movement. Pulse of power. (39-mins, 30-secs)
  • DW top gifted books: Thomas Myers book Anatomy Trains, Jim Piersall book Fear Strikes Out: The Jim Piersall Story (44-mins, 0-secs)

Recommended Top RMT Club Exercise for Baseball or Softball Players

CLICK HERE for a link to his blog to supplement this video.

Where can you find more about David Weck and the WeckMethod?

Please let me know if you want me to do a Part-2 interview with David Weck, and what questions you have for him about this presentation by REPLYING in the comments below…
Swing Experiment using the RMT Club coming soon 😉

How To Turn Your Fixed Mindset Into A Growth Mindset (and WHY your Hitters will THANK YOU later)…

 

Growth Mindset versus Fixed Mindset

Fixed versus Growth Mindset illustration photo courtesy: KaylaCelliott.com

Nothing is more frustrating – and disappointing – than running into a Fixed Mindset coach…

All you get are excuses…excuses…EXCUSES!!

Think about the Fixed and Growth Mindsets, from Dr. Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, like the operating system for your computer or mobile device.  Each Mindset (or operating system) will take you down a different path to problem solving.

Some may say, well, the examples you give are reveal “closed minded coaches”, not a Fixed Mindset.  I disagree.

Look, I’m sure at times there are some closed minded Growth Mindset coaches, but I’m willing to bet my first born on that there are exponentially more closed minded Fixed Mindset coaches.  You see, closed mindedness is a subset of a Fixed Mindset coach, NOT a Growth Mindset one.

Before I get into taking you through the story, I wanted to let you know what I have for you:

  • An 8-min, 25-sec video from Trevor Ragan outlining the difference between a Fixed v. Growth Mindset (video above)
  • Address 7 DEVASTATING Fixed Mindset coaching EXCUSES that are killing the progress of smaller power hitters, and
  • The Fixed versus Growth Mindset Introduction from my new book.

Back to the story…

I ran into a couple of them on social media this past week about the promise I make in my Catapult Loading System book: How To Teach 100-Pound Hitters To Consistently Drive The Ball 300-Feet.

Particularly, they were commenting that Hudson White, the hitter I covered in this blog post, weighing 130-pounds hitting the ball 398-feet – and that includes wood – was an over-exaggeration.

To their credit, they did concede it’s possible.  But then oh man, here came ALL the excuses, taking credit away from the hitter’s dedication to his craft…

  1. “The bat was hot”,
  2. “Isn’t the norm, or has athletic ability – I wouldn’t take credit for that”,
  3. “Average kids don’t use there body’s efficiently as someone with above average athleticism can regardless of training”,
  4. “Only in batting practice and not in games”,
  5. “130-pound hitter wouldn’t make our Varsity team”,
  6. “Working with the exception, not the rule”, and the kicker comment about hitting ground-balls…

“I’ve never played or coached this game from a text book or a state sheet and never will. I do just what I’m doing here, I talk shop with knowledgeable people. Scouts, college coaches, minor league players and coaches and once in a blue moon with hitting instructors. I have very rarely come across any one of them that is as passionate about getting the ball in the air so much. Most of them try to keep things as simple as possible, which means barrel the ball, hit it hard. Period. No emphasis on air v ground, just barrel it.”

Addressing Excuse #1

Hudson White has hit balls over 398-feet with a Hickory wood.  My over half a dozen hitters tripling their body-weight in batted ball distance (i.e. 100-pounder hitting ball 300-feet), are not using hot bats, and neither did Hudson at the National Power Showcase Home-Run Derby Competition put on my Brian Domenico at the Texas Rangers ballpark in Arlington in 2016.

Addressing Excuses #2 &3

What does athleticism mean exactly? What are your rules that say one kid is athletic and another is not? I’d hallucinate yours are different than mine.  However, the question is, can we make a seemingly nonathletic kid average or even above average athletically?  Not all, but I think we can make EVERY kid move better.  And next week’s post interview with the founder of the Bosu Ball, David Weck, will shine more light on how to do this.

I brought up examples of Michael Jordan, Tim Tebow, and one of the best cricket players in the world weren’t able to or currently are not doing well enough to make it to the Big League level. It can be argued these are non-baseball athletic examples, but you’re saying above average athletic ability is one of the main causes for young hitters tripling their body-weight in batted ball distance.  It’s speculation.

I’d argue “train-ability”, as referenced in the Heritage Study from David Epstein’s book The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance, as a more crucial element than above average athleticism in explaining why my hitters (and other coaches’) can triple their body-weight in batted ball distance.  Learning is learning, but they still have to learn the most effective mechanics.

Take for instance my 67-pound hitter blasting a 180-foot dinger – in a game – after working with me for 6-months.  When we first started he couldn’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag.  So in 6-months did he auto-magically go from below average to above average athletically?

Addressing Excuse #4

I have game footage film of two of my hitters tripling their body-weight in batted ball distance:

By the way, Temo now is around 135-lbs and is consistently driving the ball 370+ feet.  Also, Hudson White is driving the ball 400-feet in games as well.

Addressing Excuse #5

Are you KIDDING ME!?  To write a player off based on the “eye test” is ignorant. It makes me sad how many of these “under-weighted” young hitters are not being given a chance because some coach DOESN’T HAVE A CLUE how to get educated in all things effective.

Coach, if this is you, then you’re going to love the Introduction to my book that follows, on Growth v. Fixed Mindsets…

But first,

Addressing Excuse #6

This one made me laugh.  I responded back with something like, man I must be running into all these exceptions then!  Myself and the hundreds of coaches – who’re getting the same, if not better, results than I am by the way – teaching the same system, must be exception magnets!!! lol

Addressing Bonus Excuse #7

Look I agree, line drives and barreling the ball AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE should be every coaches objective for their hitters.  However, the question is raised, if you were to have your hitters miss, would you rather have them miss hit the ball in the air or on the ground?  I’m not going dive deep into this here, because I did that already in the Ground-Ball Rant, but I do want to say High School coaches (on down) are getting a false sense of achievement with the ground-ball because fielders aren’t what they are at the D1 and Pro levels.

Now, listen closely…

If you’re not teaching your hitters to consistently drive the ball (in the air), then YOU WILL HAMSTRING them at the higher levels, if they make it that far.  And by then, it’s too late.

I was just on the Coaching Minds Podcast by host Justin Lewis (Please follow him on Twitter @The_Coach_Mind), our interview I’ll be posting in 3 weeks or so, shared that he works almost exclusively with High School and College level fast-pitch hitters.

The horror stories he revealed the new hitters he’d get in college, reported they were only taught to slap the ball their whole life because of how “tiny” they were.  What happens to these girls at the college level?  When a hitting situation would come up to drive in runs, you know what the college coach does to these “tiny” slap hitting specialist?  

They pinch hit them.

If ground-balls were so great, then why not let this slapping specialist slap?!  Ground-balls are her specialty!!  Let me give you a clue, ground-balls work less at the college level…and EVEN LESS at the Pro level.  Don’t let this happen to your hitters.

And after hearing ALL these excuses, it was refreshing to get this email message from a coach after watching my webinar (I can’t say he uses my system though, but the message speaks for itself):

“The 135-lb pound kid…that is good but not that impressive…not too many kids at the age of 12 and 13 that weigh 135 pounds…he should be hitting the ball that far…now the 67 pound kid…that is impressive (one of my players at 75 pounds can hit the ball 225)” – ulley13usparks (username)

Now, he was talking about my two 13u  hitters Eddie S. and Temo C. both weighing 135-lbs and driving the ball 370+ feet, and my 67-lb hitter I spoke of earlier in this post.  “…should be hitting the ball that far…”, man, how refreshing to hear.

This leads me to the MAIN ISSUE…the above excuses are from Fixed Mindset coaches.  The video above is fantastic education on the Fixed versus Growth Mindset debate in under 10-minutes.  Rest assured you’ll be a more effective coach after watching the video.  And if you like the video, then you’ll love Dr. Carol Dweck’s book Mindset.

And to drive the nail home, below I’m including the Introduction to my new book The Catapult Loading System: How To Train 100-Pound Hitters To Consistently Drive The Ball 300-Feet, that people are loving by the way…just read the Amazon book reviews so far.

Without further adieu, here’s the Fixed v. Growth Mindset Intro…

—–

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

– Eric Hoffe

Fixed Versus Growth Mindset CoachingGrowth Mindset: The Catapult Loading System Book

When it comes building consistently powerful hitters, this book will provide you with the pathway to get there.

However, I think the most important aspect to bridging the gap between what the coach teaches and what the player absorbs has to do with Mindset…

Coaches can be split up into two groups.

  1. Fixed Mindset
  2. Growth Mindset.

According to Dr. Carol Dweck, in her bestselling book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,

“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.”

Here are some things you hear FIXED Mindset coaches saying,

  • You can’t teach a Little Leaguer to hit like a Major Leaguer because they aren’t strong enough.
  • Hand speed can’t be coached.
  • Natural hitters are just born.
  • Hitting is subjective and is different for everybody.
  • The greatest hitters just have great hand-eye coordination.
  • That 12u 100-pound hitter can consistently hit the ball 300-feet because they’re hitting with a HOT bat.
  • He/She can hit the ball hard and far because of their body mass.

All of those are to the contrary of Dr. Dweck’s definition of a Growth Mindset coach:

“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”

These coaches find a way. They ask the right questions. They ask, “Why not?”  They don’t rest on elite-level playing experience or decades of coaching experience.

The objective of a Growth Mindset coach is to learn principles first, or “rules”. Then, design methods to stay within those lines, not the other way around. You’ll learn more about this in CHAPTER 1.

I’ll let Billy Murray give Growth Mindset coaches a word of caution in dealing with Fixed Mindset coaches on social media:

“It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person.”

Why?

From Henry Ford:

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, then you’re right.”

One puts the forest before the trees (versus missing the forest for the trees), and the other is swatting a piñata with one eye blindfolded!

I get it, we all want to be heard and validated as being knowledgeable in a subject, but high credibility in the wrong place is highly misleading.

Some go to extreme lengths to IMMEDIATELY make their presence known. Here are some Fixed Mindset saying tip-offs:

  • “I’ve played [X-number] years professionally and I should know.”
  • “I’ve been coaching for 30+ years, and this is why you should listen to me.”
  • “I’ve studied millions of hours of video analysis of only the best hitters. I know what I’m talking about”
  • “I’ve put a lot of work into the cages, and that’s how I know what I’m talking about”

Don’t get me wrong, the last two points above have their place and CAN be effective in learning and seeing success patterns, BUT massive effort going in the wrong direction can be gross negligence.

Besides, it takes A LOT of effort in the cages and hours of video analysis to stumble onto the right answers.  But, I have a more elegant solution that will dramatically cut your learning time in half!

You’ll know what to look for, so you can SUPERCHARGE your time in the cages and also for when you’re doing video analysis.  You’ll read about this in CHAPTER 2.

Willful ignorance.

I heard this term on Facebook and love it!  People online defend their hitting philosophy and theories to the death, even if human-movement principles validated by science, reveal the opposite.

I mentally play the “What if…Strip” game with Fixed Mindset coaches…

WHAT IF this person NEVER…

  • Played in the Big Leagues…
  • Coached for 30+ years…
  • Studied millions of hours of video…
  • Put a lot of work into the cages…

…IF we stripped them of their primary credibility indicator, THEN I ask:

  • What do they actually know?
  • Who or what have they studied? (Physics, Bio-Mechanical, Psychology, Exercise Science sources? Not baseball or softball)
  • What kind of consistent or inconsistent results do they get with their hitters?

We’ll get deeper into the Credibility Fallacy in CHAPTER 3.

Fixed Mindset coaches are stuck. They regurgitate the same information they’ve been taught in the past without question. They may even say their hitting philosophy is a science, but it’s not.  It’s a pseudo-science.  Their copy and duct-taped together hitting philosophy reeks of uncertainty. We’ll get more into that in CHAPTER 4.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes by Dan Farnsworth:

“Doing a thing and understanding a thing do not automatically qualify you to teach a thing.”

And it’s so true!

I can tell with 100% confidence that I have not:

  • Played Professional baseball,
  • Coached for over 30 years,
  • Studied millions of hours of only the best hitters on video, or
  • Put in as much work in the cages as others say they do…

So, why listen to me?

Because of:

  • What I actually know,
  • Who and what I’ve studied, and
  • The results my hitters are getting.

We’ll drill deeper into these points in the following CHAPTERS, but what I think is VERY IMPORTANT for those who never played ball past Little League or 12u softball,

…That you too, can be a hitting expert.

All you need is a passionate curiosity to learn and apply the human-movement principles that are validated by science, to hitting a softball or baseball.  I’m going to teach you how to conduct fool-proof swing experiments, so that you can use your findings to show people who won’t take you seriously.

You’ll learn my swing-experiment-blueprint in CHAPTER 4.

And I’m going to break it down for you, so don’t worry if you didn’t do well in science class back in school.

CHAPTER 5 will take you through the science of springy fascia and spinal-engine-mechanics. This is the WHY behind the methods we discuss in the later chapters. You can skip this one, but please return to it later, so you have ammunition for Fixed Mindset coaches who won’t believe the results your hitters are getting.

CHAPTERS 6 through 11 will take you through the practical methods and drills my hitters are using to consistently triple, or at least double, their body-weight in batted ball distance.

Lastly, CHAPTER 12 will walk you through, how to train these newly-learned hitting techniques. I believe the training is as important, if not more critical, than the mechanics you’ll be learning in this book.

I had a third-year pro-hitter drive up from San Diego (about a 7-hour drive for me, one-way), comment that he thought the training by itself was worth the trip! And he spent a fortune in time and money to work through a whole weekend with me.

What You’ll Learn

Here’s what you’re going to learn in the upcoming pages:

  • Why hitting philosophy fails and principles that are validated by science succeed.
  • Why you shouldn’t make video analysis FIRST-priority, when modeling elite hitters.
  • What 30+ year coaching experience and pro players won’t tell you, and how the information source you focus on can dramatically cut down your learning curve.
  • How to become a hitting expert when you’ve never played higher than Little League.
  • There’s a BIG advantage to learning how the body actually loads (and it’s not what you’re thinking).
  • A simple method that helped Babe Ruth to consistently crush the ball with some of the heaviest bats ever used.
  • Elite-hitters revealing ways to hit balls with High-Exit-Speeds, swing after swing, using three elements even a 4-year-old can understand.
  • At last, the secret to transitioning grooved batting practice swings into game at-bats is revealed.

WHY is this Important to you now?

There are four reasons…

Most “hitting stuff” we’ve learned is DEAD WRONG. It’s based off philosophy and theory, and with the technology available today, we can test the value of those hitting philosophies.

Nowadays, everyone is a hitting “expert”. How do we differentiate between an effective versus an ineffective approach? This is important because it’s not how PRO someone is, how many years of coaching they’ve accumulated, how many man-hours of video analysis they’ve done, or even how many hours of lessons they do in a given day. You can’t argue with science and powerfully consistent results.

“Confusion” between mechanical causation equaling correlation. Can you put backspin on a ball by swinging down on it (i.e. negative barrel Attack Angle)? Yes, you can. But, will the hitter consistently get the ball in the air that way? No. In this case, swinging down does not consistently put the ball in the air with authority, and IS NOT what the best are REALLY doing on slow motion video.

Big difference between what’s “real” and what’s “feel”. When Mike Trout says he works at ‘getting on top of the ball’, that doesn’t mean Johnny’s coach should go out and share with his team this method. In fact, Mike Trout says this to himself to protect his swing from HIS naturally tendency to upper cut too much, like he says to ‘chicken wing’. The cues that MLB and professional hitters use are often lost in translation with the younger-end user.

Is the Information in this Book for you?

First, we WILL NOT be talking about:

  • ‘Squishing bugs’,
  • ‘Swinging down on the ball’, OR
  • ‘Loading & exploding the hips’.

Second, this is specifically about how to apply human movement ‘rules’ to hitting a moving ball, and not about hitting ‘philosophies’ or ‘theories’ that DO NOT predictably work in LIVE case studies.

Third, the information in this book is based on the success my personal hitters have had both online and locally, plus the hundreds of coaches, who’ve duplicated the results, if not bettered them by using this system.

The House Rules

Here’s what I’m not promising…

  1. No “get powerful hits, quick”.
  2. No “do nothing, and crush the ball”.
  3. My results aren’t remotely typical.
  4. Most people who buy ANY “consistent-power-swing” training, will not have success with getting consistent power in their hitters.

Addressing point numbers one and two above…

Some of my 12-years-old and under hitters, weighing around 100-pounds, don’t start consistently driving the ball 300-feet right away. Some take 2.5 years to get to consistency, whereas before they do it “every once in awhile”. Other hitters, although rare, achieve this in less than 6-months. This seems to be the range for the hitters I work with.

It depends on work ethic and what David Epstein calls ‘learn-ability’, in his book, The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance.

Addressing point numbers three and four above…

I encourage my hitters to work hard on the things we go over, and to keep on trying even after hitting major obstacles.

Most young hitters don’t do that. They just show up for a lesson or gather information and “get ready” to work…or they throw in the towel and quit at the first bump in the road.

It took a lot of hard work for my hitters to start seeing favorable hitting outcomes.

Interestingly, it was the work with my hitters that gave me the inspiration to write this book.

The bottom line is, I have no idea what your results may or may not be.

And it’s not my place to try to predict that. Your success is up to you, as always.

Onward…

—–

CLICK HERE to order your copy of The Catapult Loading System on Amazon today…

Now Your Hitters Can Have Power Without Starting The Kinetic Chain At The Feet


I briefly viewed a hitting instructional video on YouTube the other day that one of my readers sent me (Thanks Joe),

…I won’t share who did the video, so as not to cause any embarrassment.

Like what was being illustrated in the video, I would say a majority of hitting instructors both online and off swear that the swing starts from the ground up.

This IS NOT what the current research shows as validated by human movement science.

Yes, Gravitational and Gravitational Reaction Forces do have their place (and we’ll get to that)…my point is, ALL human movement DOES NOT start from the ground, and work it’s way up the Kinetic Chain.

Consider this Tweet from one of my readers…

And I added the following comment…

What I have for you above, is a snippet of video about 5-minutes long, explaining where the swing starts as explained by Dr. Serge Gracovetsky, Physicist, Electrical Engineer, and founder of The Spinal Engine.

Here are some talking points that Dr. Gracovetsky mentions in the video (please WATCH video at the 2:00 minute mark to about the 7:00 minute mark):

  • There’s a lack of agreement in literature at what the function of the spine is.
  • Spine is generally believed to be a supporting column linking shoulders to pelvis…as we walk the trunk is thought to be carried passively by the legs.  Problem with this: WHY is shape of spine in form of an “S” instead of being straight? – straight column would support compressive loads better than a curved one right?
  • Consider 20-year-old male subject who has reduced arms and no legs…moves on his Ischium.
  • If it was true that legs are necessary for human locomotion, then a person with such an anatomy would not be able to walk.
  • With the bottom of the screen hidden [while the subject “walks” across the floor], it is impossible to tell that this man has no legs.
  • Locomotion was first achieved by movement of the spine, and the legs came after as an improvement, not a substitute.
  • When providing a lateral bend to a curved spine (lordosis), an axial torque is induced. The rotation of the pelvis and shoulders is driven by the spine.

And this is the basis for my The Catapult Loading System book on sale at Amazon.

So does the swing, or any human movement for that matter, start from the ground up?  In other words, are Gravitational Forces a necessity to move the Spinal Engine or merely an enhancement?

In an email conversation I had with Dr. Serge Gracovetsky a few years back, he said this about the relationship between gravity and spine engine mechanics:

The coupled motion has nothing to do with gravity. It works in space as well. It is a property of the spine or any flexible rod for that matter.  But the interaction with gravity makes interesting results which are exploited by every sport.”

Okay, since we’ve determined human movement DOES NOT start from the ground and go up the Kinetic Chain, I want to share a couple snippets from Dr. Gracovetsky about what role Gravitational Forces do play in dynamic movement…

Here’s a note about the importance of the heel strike in locomotion from Dr. Serge Gracovetsky in his book, The Spinal Engine (p. 168):

“…the compressive pulse generated at heel-strike is essential to the locomotion process.  The shape of this pulse must be very specific if maximum energy is to be transferred from the earth’s gravitational field to the rotating pelvis.”

According to Dr. Gracovetsky, while running, our heel hits the ground creating a compressive force that is equaled to NINE-times our body weight.  Gravity pulls our body down, and at heel strike, the ground pushes back in a compressive force.

This is why it has been demonstrated by Speed Coach Barry Ross that runners who dead-lift heavy weights with a low time under tension, get faster!  They’re able to push into the ground with more force, which in turn, the ground pushes back with equal and opposite force.

It’s also worth noting about the Spinal Engine while walking on sand versus solid ground…

Dr. Serge Gracovetsky offers this example in his book (pgs. 168-169),

“Running or walking on soft sand is not easy and is very tiring,  In this particular case, the energy leaks into the sand, the impact force is reduced, and the compressive pulse through the spine is attenuated [disabled] as the total energy recovered is reduced.”

The compressive force is softened by the sand, which doesn’t allow the pelvis to turn using efficient spine engine mechanics.  To maneuver, the brain has to recruit big muscles to do the work.  This is why you get a workout walking on sand…it’s powerless effort, rather than effortless power.

Does current research, that’s validated by science, say human movement starts from the ground, and travel up the Kinetic Chain?

No.

The trunk isn’t just a passive structure that is carried by the legs.  Legs are not a necessity to human movement – evidenced by the legless subject in the video – they’re an enhancement.  The Spinal Engine can work in space!  I say the legs and arms amplify the movement of the Spinal Engine.

Do Gravitational Forces play a role in human movement?

Yes!

Like Dr. Gracovetsky says, “…the interaction with gravity makes interesting results which are exploited by every sport.”

That my friends is a human movement principle that is validated by science.  Not philosophy or theory.  This is why my new book The Catapult Loading System is so powerful to hundreds of coaches and tens of thousands of hitters across the US… (just check the reviews 😉

How To Use Brian Domenico’s Power Showcase To Get Seen By College Coaches & Pro Scouts

 

I have an opportunity for coaches with a hitter or two in mind you think could compete in Brian Domenico’s National or International Power Showcase Home-Run Derby.

If you remember, towards the end of 2016, I did a video post showcasing a small 14u slugger by the name of Hudson “The Hawk” White, who at the time of the 2016 National Power Showcase was 5’7″, and only 130-pound, managed to hit 11 consecutive homers averaging 398-feet.  He also came in second overall in the Derby!

Come to find out, Hudson’s father Martin said his son has been taught my system over the past 2+ years.  Mr. Martin left a fantastic testimonial in the following post, so please CLICK HERE to check it out.

Also remember, it was in the same post I talked about how 14u Blaze Jordan, 6’2″, 215-pounds, jacked two balls over 500-feet!

Here are some quick bullet points about the Power Showcases:

  • Brian Domenico is the President.
  • International Power Showcase has been around 12 years (started in 2004), and the National Power Showcase has been around for 3 years (started in 2014).
  • International Showcase has had 27 countries represented from around the world since its inception.
  • National Power Showcase (3 days – October 31st though November 2nd) & International (4 days in December and includes a Pro Scout Day).
  • Participants must achieve and maintain a high-level academic status, while possessing the redeeming leadership qualities and determination that exemplify respect in keeping with the game of baseball.
  • Notable Power Showcase Draftees: Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo
    Power Showcase: Bryce Harper

    Bryce Harper at the 2009 Power Showcase hitting a 502-foot bomb. Photo courtesy: Power-Showcase.com

  • Objective of the Showcase for the player: to promote and market each player to the fullest extent possible (Great opportunity to dramatically boost a player’s recruiting stock).
  • Age Divisions: Future Stars 10-14 years old, High School, and Brian just added College.
  • Bats used are official, and NOT “juiced” or “hot”.

What’s interesting to note, for recruiting purposes is…

Over one half of POWER SHOWCASE participants were drafted by major league organizations directly out of high school. The remaining participants go on to play for major Division I and junior college programs and were/will likely be selected in upcoming MLB drafts.

Now, a HUGE event like this does not come with a cheap price tag, so it may not be for everyone.  However, I think you can see the HUGE upside potential to get a name out there, especially if you’re a coach who enjoys marketing your players.

Please expect to pay at least $1775.00 with a $575.00 deposit due within 7 days to hold spot.  Please CLICK HERE to get more information on how to register on the Power Showcase website.  Then click on either the “2017 PSC Nationals Texas” OR “2017 PSC Miami 12th” navigation bar links.

I’ve been asked by Brian to come out, and would love to see some of my students from afar, and coaching disciples.

If you’re interested, then please reach out to Brian Domenico at his website’s contact page (CLICK HERE to do that).  Also, VERY IMPORTANT: please mention where you heard about the Power Showcase, by mentioning my name and blog.

Brian has really put together an outstanding event that is a HUGE opportunity for those hitters looking to compete and make a name for themselves.

As always, keep me updated 😀

You Don’t Have To Be A Pro To Be An Effective Hitting Coach (BEST-Of 2016 Blog Posts)…

The Catapult Loading System Book

Get The Catapult Loading System book on Amazon in paperback or for Kindle by CLICKING the image above…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I know I’m a little late,

But I’ve been working on getting the new book, The Catapult Loading System, published on Amazon these past 4 weeks or so.

Before getting into this BEST-of 2016 post, I wanted to discuss that…

With the New Year typically comes New Year’s resolutions.

And this year my goal for the content at the Hitting Performance Lab is as follows:

  • More posts from knowledgeable industry experts via webinar, audio, or written,
  • I will be conducting many more swing experiments, and
  • Tackle more of the tough questions – via video – my readers have submitted through the emailed survey (I have over 350 of them!!!!).

Rest assured, it’s going to be a good year for your hitters.

Now, for the BEST-of 2016 post…

In looking at my Google Analytics for January through December of 2016, the following three posts were – by far – the most popular (sorted in descending order)…

 

#3: Batting Timing Drills: 2 Little Known Ways To Get “On-Time”

The Timing of a Wave

A hitter’s timing is like a wave, building slow and early, picking up momentum, then crashing with force.

If you didn’t catch this post, then please CLICK HERE.

I did this post a few years ago, but after sharing it on social media a couple times, it became the “village bicycle”.

This post includes my two favorite timing drills:

  1. Float Variance Drill, and the
  2. Varied Reaction LIVE Toss Timing Drill.

In my opinion, timing is more important than effective hitting mechanics.

WHY?

Because you could have the most effective mechanics in baseball or softball but if you can’t make timing adjustments, then you will not last long in the sport.

Many coaches/instructors I highly respect in their knowledge of hitting, don’t believe you can teach timing.

I disagree.

My hitters are drilled from the beginning on timing.  They’re frequently quizzed on their ability to adjust their timing.  And their timing gets better, oftentimes within three to five 5-swing rounds.

The key is using the two drills [videos] included in the above link.

#2: Blaze Jordan (14u): 6-Ft, 217-Lbs Hits TWO 500-Foot Moonshots, But…Did You Catch The Performance Of The Small Slugger That Beat Blaze Jordan?

Hudson White Home-Run Derby

Hudson “The Hawk” White making it rain 😀

If you didn’t catch this post, then please CLICK HERE.

I remember seeing everyone ooooo-ing and ahhhh-ing over 14 year old, 6-foot, 217-pound Blaze Jordan on Facebook about the two 500-foot monster home-run derby shots he hit at the Texas Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

But nobody was talking about how 14 year old, 5-foot 7-inch, 130-pound Hudson “The Hawk” White hit 11 consecutive homers in the same home-run derby, beat Blaze Jordan, and came in second overall!  Not to mention, the average homer Hudson hit was 398-feet.

On Facebook, people actually wanted me to dissect Blaze’s swing, and NOT Hudson’s!

Wa??!

Don’t get me wrong, to have the ability to hit a ball 500-feet (twice) as a 14u, you have to be doing something right in your swing…

BUT,

Hudson is tripling his body-weight in batted ball distance – 130-pounder hitting the ball 400-feet…wouldn’t you want to see what he’s doing?

Here’s what Hudson’s dad said:

“Hello, i just wanted you to know that i have followed you for years and teach your principles to my 14u son who just came in second place at the 15u power showcase in Arlington Texas ahead of the world champion Blaze Jordan . he also broke the world record for most consecutive home-runs in a row at 11. he was a year younger and 50 to 100-lbs smaller than all the other contestants who were made up of the best hitters in the country. It was the most amazing thing that anyone had ever seen . i wanted to share the video with you and hopefully you can help make it go viral. all the hype is about Blaze Jordan for hitting a 503 ft home run, but for a smaller younger kid to go out and break the world record for most consecutive and beat blaze in the final round to come in 2nd place is a major feat. my son is a lead off hitter. so all hit hits were 395-ft line drives. this is your student. this is the result of your teachings. i am very grateful!”

And the #1 blog post of 2016 was… (drum roll please)

#1: Baseball Hitting Drills For Kids: The UGLY Truth About Hitting Ground-Balls

Backspin Batting Tee

The Backspin Batting Tee Pro Model

aka “The Ground-ball RANT”.

If you didn’t catch this monster post, then please CLICK HERE (20-min read for average reading speed).

I did this post at the beginning of 2016 and coaches LOVED it, garnering over 4,200 Likes on Facebook!  To say this post went viral was an understatement.

The main reason I felt I had to write it was the dialog the two Backspin Tee co-founders, Taylor and Jarrett, shared with me in their conversation with a pair of college coaches (from same school) at an ABCA conference a year or two ago.

It went something like this…

Backspin Tee Bros: “What do you teach your hitters to do?”

College Hitting Coach: “To hit the top of the ball and get backspin.”

Backspin Tee Bros: “What do you teach your pitchers to do?”

College Pitching Coach: “To keep the ball down in the zone.”

Backspin Tee Bros: “What part of the ball do you want the hitters hitting?”

College Pitching Coach: “The top half.”

Backspin Tee Bros: “Why the top half?”

College Pitching Coach: “So the hitter drives the ball into the ground.”

Backspin Tee Bros: “So what part of the ball do you want your hitters hitting now?”

College Hitting Coaches: “Uh, well, I guess I’ll be teaching them to hit the bottom half now.”

Buahahahaha! 😀

Excluding Hit & Runs and Move Runner Over scenarios, WHY the heck are we teaching our hitters to hit the top half of the ball, when that’s what pitchers want hitters doing?!

I make many more arguments in the above linked RANT, but I think the above dialog puts the argument as a whole to bed.

By the way, over 8,000 Backspin Tees have been sold over the last couple years and only a dozen have been returned.  CLICK HERE to see how a swing experiment I ran turned out between the Backspin Tee and a regular tee.  And if you haven’t invested in a Backspin Tee yet, then please CLICK HERE.