Brandon Moss

Brandon Moss Analysis Shows Timing Adjustment Must Be Made…

 

Brandon Moss REVEALS Slow Pitcher Timing Secret

Brandon Moss photo courtesy: Zimbio.com

This Brandon Moss analysis comes from a conversation I had with Coach Justin Karr and his 12-U Bakersfield Sliders Black team.  Thanks Coach Karr, I hope this helps your troops!

I want to compare what Brandon Moss does differently hitting a slower pitcher, like knuckle-baller R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays, to a hard throwing “King” Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners.  We’re going to:

  • Make the complicated, uncomplicated,
  • Learn how-to adjust to slower pitching according to Brandon Moss, and
  • Discuss what a hitter can do to adjust timing.

 

Make the Complicated, Uncomplicated

First of all, executing flawless hitting mechanics mean nothing if timing is off.  I love how Dr. Kelly Starrett describes learning complicated movements (or strategies) in his book Becoming A Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance:

 “When it comes to learning complicated movements efficiently, the key is to make them uncomplicated.  We do this by breaking them down into precise, manageable steps.  Then we emphatically encourage like-your-life-depends-on-it focus in performing each step.  This is the path to a tight learning curve.  It’s the foundation required for optimal performance.”

We focus on one aspect at a time.  In respect to the calibration of timing, we have to forget swing mechanics and focus solely on adjusting the timing.

Brandon Moss homers off R.A. Dickey knuckle-ball

Brandon Moss photo courtesy: MLB.com

 

How-To Adjust to Slower Pitching According to Brandon Moss

In the video, I compare and analyze two 2013 home-run swings by the Oakland A’s first baseman Brandon Moss:

  1. 77 mph knuckle-ball from R.A. Dickey Moss (left-handed) hit over the center field fence (418 feet*), and
  2. 93 mph fastball from “King” Felix Hernandez Moss hit over the right-center field fence (387 feet*)

(*Home-run distances according to the ESPN Stats & Information Group)

 

CLICK HERE to revisit a video blog article I did, featuring Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout, where I went over:

  • When does a swing start?
  • Leg kick or slide step? and
  • How to practice timing?

For an average velocity pitcher, each hitter MUST figure out at what point in the pitcher’s delivery that they start their swing.  Then experiment starting the swing at a later point with a slower pitcher.  This will be slightly different for every hitter as the Josh Hamilton article shows.

The main point is, the hitter has to make a a conscience effort to change their timing.  They can’t just use the same timing for every pitcher.  Hitting is a game of inches…being one inch ahead or behind can mean barreling the ball or not.

Also, if the whole team’s offensive numbers are suffering against a slower pitcher, then the adjustment DOES NOT necessarily have to be a mechanical one.

One more interesting point…notice how far Brandon Moss cranked the Dickey knuckle-ball?  418 feet!!  “King” Felix?  387 feet…a pitcher’s velocity doesn’t dramatically contribute to batted ball distance.  It’s bat speed that does.  According to a forum at eFastball.com, for every 1 mph of added pitching velocity, 1 foot of batted ball distance is the outcome.  BUT for every 1 mph of increased bat speed, 4 feet of batted ball distance is the result!!  Don’t let low velocity pitchers slow your bat speed down hitters!

Troy Tulowitzki Stride Length Experiment

 

Question: Does Stride Length Kill Bat Speed?

Troy Tulowitzki Stride Length Killing Your Bat Speed?

Photo courtesy: MLB.com

Using the Zepp (Labs) Baseball app, I wanted to use the Scientific Method to analyze whether Troy Tulowitzki’s longer stride increases or decreases bat speed.  Not just a longer stride, but I want to see the torso moving forward as well.

Background Research

Troy Tulowitzki had a wider stance in 2013.  In 2014, he’s adopted more of a narrow stance and a longer stride length.

Forward Momentum may be a new concept to hitting, but not to other explosive rotational athletes.  It’s also known as the Conservation of Linear Momentum and the Un-Weighting Principal.  The idea is that the hitter is getting a “head start”.  Other high level athletes using Forward Momentum:

  • Olympic Throwers (Discus, Javelin, and Hammer)
  • Olympic Shot Put
  • 4 X 100 meter relay sprinters
  • Circus Trapeze Artists
  • Lacrosse Players
  • Hockey Players

Hypothesis

I think the addition of forward momentum, or a longer stride length, will contribute to more bat speed because this gives the hitter a “head start”, making the body feel lighter while moving.  This allows the body to turn harder, and ultimately increase bat speed.

Troy Tulowitzki Experiment

Equipment:

Setup:

  • Feedback markers = my bat length, plus two baseballs
  • Distance from plate = end of the bat touching inside corner of plate, and knob of bat touching my mid-thigh
  • NO-stride stance was width of feedback markers
  • Forward movement stance was open, and feet set a little wider than shoulder width
  • Tee was set a baseball or two behind the front feedback marker, and tee height was about mid-thigh
  • 101 baseballs were hit using both the NO-stride and longer stride sessions

Data Collected:

Results of Tulo Stride Length Bat Speed Experiment

Pay particular attention to the bold typeface

 

Data Analysis & Conclusion

Last 6 Swing Zepp Baseball app

NO-stride: last 6 batted balls (Zepp Baseball app)

  • 0.624 mph average bat speed increase with a longer stride.
  • Apex of bell curve for NO-stride swings ranged from 77 mph to 83 mph*.
  • With a longer stride, you’ll see the bell curve shifted, 81 mph to 85 mph*.
  • Three more 90 mph+ swings using a longer stride, in addition to increasing my Personal Record 2 mph.

*Based on six or more batted balls repeated in specific mph (bold typeface in the chart above)

 

Notes

Longer Stride: last 6 batted balls (Zepp Baseball app)

Longer Stride: last 6 batted balls (Zepp Baseball app)

  • Before the experiment I did a 7 minute Dynamic Warm-up.
  • I didn’t just increase my stride length, I moved my whole torso forward.
  • I began the experiment with the NO-stride swings.
  • I took a 20-30 minute break between the two sessions.
  • During the last twenty swings of the longer stride session, I hit five-of-eight 90 mph+ balls.

From the Zepp Baseball screenshots to the right, it’s interesting to note, my bat speed kept up, even increased with forward momentum and a longer stride.  In other words, I wasn’t as tired at the end of hitting over 200 baseballs.

Now that Troy Tulowitzki is using a more narrow stance and generating forward momentum with a longer stride, he’s able to increase his bat speed.  This may explain the surge in opposite field home-runs in 2014.

Does Ryan Braun Hit Backwards?  Common Mistake #1 (of 4)…

 

In the first installment of the Hitting Backwards: 4 Common Mistakes Hitters Make video series, featuring Ryan Braun, we’re analyzing why “Sitting Back” isRyan Braun: 4 Common Mistakes Hitters Make Part-1 so destructive to friction-free mechanics.  The WHY boils down to a strange word…

According to IdeaFit.com,

Proprioception is the body’s ability to transmit a sense of position, analyze that information and react (consciously or unconsciously) to the stimulation with the proper movement (Houglum 2001).”

The brain does whatever it needs to balance physical movement.  Let’s discuss the following compensations caused by “Sitting Back”:

  • Eyes and head shift forward during Final Turn,
  • Lunging, and
  • Front shoulder flies open.

 

Eyes and Head to Shift Forward During Final Turn

Ryan Braun’s friction-free swing is like snapping a towel.  Throw the towel end towards the intended target, then quickly snap it back.  We’re getting eye-head movement out of the way early, then shifting our spine up and back towards the catcher –  snapping the barrel into the impact zone.  Ryan Braun does this!

Sitting back makes the hitter do the opposite…

  • Keep the hitter back till the last possible second, then
  • The hitter has to shift their weight forward to counter-balance because of proprioception, and
  • As a result, shifts the head and eyes forward.

 

Lunging

What’s your definition of lunging?  When Ryan Braun lands his front foot, his knee virtually floats above his ankle. My definition of lunging is when the front knee continues to float over or passed the ankle during the Final Turn.  It’s a very ineffective position to hit in because the head will continue moving forward.

Here’s how sitting back causes lunging:

  1. Hitter shifts weight to back leg,
  2. Reaches out softly with the stride foot, like a cat (and oftentimes too early)
  3. Waits till ball is on the way, then
  4. Because the body isn’t balanced, the brain shifts the hitter’s weight forward with no hope of getting back,
  5. So the hitter continues forward until he or she hits (or misses) something.

 

Front Shoulder Flies Open

Unlike Ryan Braun, most ‘Sit Back’ hitters:

  1. Have hand dominant swings.  Since the shoulders are closest to the hands, they have to start earlier to get the hands working.
  2. Don’t set up the natural rotation counter-rotation relationship of the pelvis and shoulders* before the front foot hits the ground.  This causes the shoulders to compensate and open prematurely.
  3. Open their hips and shoulders at the same time.  If this happens, a hitter will max out at 60-70% of their ability to transfer energy efficiently from body –> to barrel –> to ball.  This put smaller hitters at a disadvantage by dramatically decreasing power output.
  4. Have a difficult time keeping the front shoulder in with off speed and breaking balls.  It’s easy for pitchers to disrupt a Sit Back hitter’s timing.  Their brain is focused on too many things at once: timing, proprioception, and pitch speed/location (because of late head-eye movement).

*CLICK HERE for an in-depth look at spine engine mechanics according to Dr. Erik Dalton.  Read below the subtitle, “The Spring-Loaded Spiraling Spine”.

CLICK HERE for Part-2 to the Hitting Backwards video saga, where we’ll analyze Adrian Gonzalez and Common Mistake #2: loading the swing incorrectly…

Matt Holliday Part-3: How to Optimize Vision, Tracking, and Timing

 

…In this Matt Holliday video we’re mourning the loss of plate discipline in today’s youth game.  World renowned motivational Matt Holliday Video: The Death Of Plate Disciplinespeaker Tony Robbins once said,

“If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”

In his 11-year career, 6-time All-Star Matt Holliday has amassed an On-Base Percentage of .387 (according to Baseball-Reference.com).  This is impressive, considering the league average is .340.

Plate discipline is critical, and in this video, we’ll discover How-To:

  • Fix common mistakes at practice,
  • Develop a solid plate discipline strategy, and
  • Strengthen your eyes in 30 days.

 

How-To Fix Common Mistakes at Practice

We have to make batting practice as “game-like” as we can.  The THREE worst mistakes are:

  1. Rapid-fire batting practice,
  2. NO home plate for pitchers to throw over, and
  3. NO plate discipline strategy.

 

How-To Develop a Plate Discipline Strategy

Guys like Matt Holliday ABSOLUTELY have a strategy at the plate.  Coach Mike Batesole at Fresno State showed me this in 2003.  His 2008 Bulldogs won the College World Series.  For younger hitters, use this strategy in practice ONLY.  It doesn’t work as well in games until about High School, when pitchers get better with their accuracy and their own hitter game plans.  Check it out:

  • Cut the plate up into 2/3 and 1/3.
  • Hitter focuses on either the inner OR outer 2/3’s.
  • If the pitch crosses inner OR outer 1/3, then they take it.
  • In games, only use approach with zero or one strike.
  • In games with two strikes, a hitter will cover the whole plate.
  • In games, look fastball with zero or one strike.  At higher levels, like college and professional, hitters may need to look breaking ball with zero or one strike.

Be flexible with the plan if the pitcher’s stats show otherwise.

 

How-To Strengthen Your Eyes Better Than 20/10

According to a Yahoo Health article, the ULTIMEYES interactive game app improves vision by training the brain.  According to the article, the app “even improves vision in athletes who already have excellent eyesight, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Cell Biology.”  

The article summarized the study:

“University of California Riverside researchers tested the perceptual learning app on 19 baseball players from the school’s team, then compared their results with a control group of 18 untrained pitchers. On average, the trained players achieved a 31 percent improvement in visual acuity.”

The players used the app for 25 minutes a day for 30 days.  CLICK HERE to get the app.  Right now, it’s only available on PC, MAC, and iPad.  Coming soon to Android.

Any questions about this Part-3 Matt Holliday: The Death Of Plate Discipline article?  Please post below.  In case you missed Part-1 and 2 to the Vision, Tracking, and Timing video series, then CLICK HERE for Part-1, and CLICK HERE for Part-2.

Josh Hamilton Part-2: How to Optimize Vision, Tracking, and Timing

 

Josh Hamilton Video: Coaches Don't Tell You This (About Timing)

…In this Josh Hamilton video we’re focusing on what most coaches don’t tell you (or simply don’t know) about calibrating the timing of a hitter.  You can have the best hitting mechanics, but if timing is off, results can be frustrating.

In this video, we’ll analyze:

  • When does a swing start?
  • Leg kick or slide step? and
  • How to practice timing?

 

When Does a Swing Start?

Short answer?  About when the hitter picks the front foot up.  When walking, you can’t take a step forward without picking up your foot and putting it back down.  This is why I hate “no-stride” coaching cues.  Here’s how walking bio-mechanics work:

  1. Front heel hits the ground signals pelvis to open.
  2. Same timing signal travels up the spine to the shoulders, telling them to counter-rotate the pelvis.
  3. This is why your opposite arm and leg come forward at the same time.

This simple timing mechanism is important to hitting.  Hitting experts call this torque, but really, it’s how humans are designed to move against gravity using the spine for locomotion.  CLICK HERE for a more in–depth study on walking bio-mechanics according to Dr. Serge Gracovetsky.

 

Leg Kick or Slide Step?

It ALL depends on a batter’s moving parts…

  • Leg Kick a-la Josh Hamilton forces the hitter to start the swing sooner.  Hamilton starts his when the pitcher breaks the hands.
  • Slide Step a-la Mike Trout can start their swing later.  You’ll see these types of hitters picking their front foot up when the pitcher lands and/or begins forward movement with the arm.

 

How to Practice Timing

SEVEN ways a hitter can practice “collecting data”:

  1. LIVE arm: whether seated – on a bucket, kneeling, or standing.
  2. Soft toss or LIVE: throw baseballs, whiffle, dimple, tennis, golf, or dried pinto beans.
  3. Broad focus: have hitter pick out a point in the pitcher’s delivery to start the swing.
  4. On-Deck circle: work on when to pick front foot up.
  5. Sit in on Bullpens: hitter passively (no swings) sits in on pitcher bullpens (with a helmet on of course).
  6. Pitcher’s BP: have pitchers trade off throwing batting practice (advanced).
  7. Intra/Inter-squat games.

Above-all, be safe.   The truth about Josh Hamilton timing?  It takes reps, reps, and more reps.  CLICK HERE for Part-3 Matt Holliday: The Death Of Plate Discipline.  In case you missed Part-1 Mike Trout: Why Your Consistency Won’t Improve, CLICK HERE.

Mike Trout: “You’ve Got To Hit It First, Then Look Where It Goes”

 

Mike Trout: 3 Reasons Why Consistency Won't Improve

Posted to Hitting Performance Lab’s Facebook page…

…This three-part video series will analyze how to optimize vision, tracking, and timing.  This Part-1 video, featuring Mike Trout, will be unwrapping how the best mechanics in the world mean nothing without proper vision.  In this game, we live and die by how consistent we are.

In this post, we’ll go over:

  • Physically impossible to keep eyes on the ball,
  • How much and when head movement is okay, and
  • Building consistency with vision.

CLICK HERE for an interesting academic study on six elite female shot putters.  Results found head movement during rotation can influence the movements of the limbs and trunk.

Physically Impossible to Keep Eyes on the Ball

In a study by A. Terry Bahill, titled “Baseball Players Cannot Keep Their Eyes on the Ball”, his findings say this:

“We have shown that no one could keep his eye continuously on the ball as it flies from the pitcher to the plate.  For our professional athlete, the ball was always more than 2-degrees off his fovea before it came within 5-ft of the plate.  However, when the ball is off your fovea, you can still see with peripheral vision.  However, with peripheral vision, the ball would only appear as a white blur, you would not see details.”

The finding that was most interesting in the study, using University students as a control for the study, was:

“Most of our student subjects tracked the ball with either head movements alone or eye movements alone, but not both…After the ball crossed the plate, the students usually made large eye or head movements, whereas the gaze of the professional athlete was quite steady…The stance of our professional athlete was very repeatable.  At the beginning of the pitch, his head position was the same (within 1-degree) for each of the three experimental pitches we recorded.  When he was looking at the ball in the beginning of the experiment, his eyes were rotated 22-degrees to the left; his head was rotated left 65-degrees (yaw), was bowed down 23-degrees (pitch), and was tilted right 12-degrees (roll).”

The professional hitter in the study was right handed.

What’s interesting with hitters like Mike Trout, is that they have to use a bit of head and eye movement when tracking the incoming pitch.  Not one or the other. However, nobody on earth, EVER, has been proven to keep both eyes on a pitched ball continuously to home plate.

In the study, A. Terry Bahill said, in order to do that, the ball would have to be traveling at around 25-mph, in which case, it would NEVER reach home plate in softball or baseball.

 

How Much and When Head Movement is Okay

Olympic throwers move their heads forward (including Javelin, Discus, and Hammer).  Lacrosse players do too.  And so do Pitchers!

For a hitter like Mike Trout, forward head movement, dropping the “eye-line”,  are okay…until landing.  I say, get head movement out of the way early.  Mike Trout does strikeout quite a bit, which may be attributed to the dropping eye line.

The hitter told to “Sit back”, keeps the head still early, but moves it after the landing position and during the Final Turn.  This is not good for improving consistency.

 

Building Vision Consistency like Mike Trout

How-to improve consistency with vision:

  • Understand the swing is a “snapping towel” (forward first, then back),
  • Keep head in-line with spine,
  • Use the study finding parameters above, to know how much head and eye movement keeps consistency, and
  • Maintain a moderate swing tempo and relax the jaw (not over-swinging).

CLICK HERE for the Josh Hamilton Part-2 Video: Coaches Don’t Tell You This (About Timing)…

In This Andrew McCutchen Video (1 of 4),

 

Andrew McCutchen Un-Weighting Principal…We’re going to look at how ‘Cutch’ (5’10” 190 lbs*) used Science to beat Paul Goldschmidt (6’3″, 245 lbs*) for the 2013 NL MVP.  McCutchen has to stay close to human movement science in order to compete with big guys like Goldschmidt.

(*according to Baseball-Reference.com)

In this Part-1 video, we’ll:

  • Demo the Un-Weighting Principal,
  • See how Cutch either DOES or DOESN’T use this in his swing, and
  • Look at how to work on this at home.

For a different angle on this, CLICK HERE to watch the – 1 min, 58 second – PBS Circus Physics video about the Conservation of Linear Momentum (aka, the Un-Weighting Principal).

A few notable explosive rotational athletes who also use this human movement rule:

  1. Olympic throwers (javelin, hammer, and discus)
  2. Olympic shot putters
  3. Olympic jumpers (high, long, and triple)

 

WHY the Wide Stance?

I get tired of hearing about instructors pushing the wider [non-athletic] stance.  This makes it difficult to create any forward movement in the swing, and see it’s benefits (read below).

I ask my students…what position – with your feet – would you want to cover a fast wide receiver?  How about guarding an agile soccer striker?  Or jumping to slam dunk a basketball?  Hitters need to start from an athletic stance – feet slightly wider than shoulder width.

“Sitting back” isn’t very effective when it comes to dynamic human movements.

As a famous Samurai swordsman Miyamoto Musashi once said:

“In all forms of strategy, it is necessary to maintain the combat stance in everyday life and to make your everyday stance your combat stance.” – Musashi, The Water Book

 

Un-Weighting Principal Benefits:

  • Feel lighter in Final Turn
  • Easier to move heavy objects
  • Get a ‘head start’

 

How Does Andrew McCutchen Do This?Andrew McCutchen Un-Weighting Principal

  • Front hip moves forward
  • Head movement is okay to heel strike
  • NO push, natural fall forward

 

How-To Practice at Home (feedback marker setup)

  1. Back marker (dimple ball or duct tape) inside back foot
  2. Front marker is hitter’s bat length, plus one or two baseballs in front
  3. Get “front hip” to front marker
  4. Set tee slightly behind front marker

CLICK HERE to watch Part-2, Andrew McCutchen: Do This For Longer Drives.  We’ll look at how effective Cutch’s Final Turn is…or isn’t.

In This Baseball Hitting Video Easy Distance PART 2,

We’re going over:

  • “Gas Pedal” — Natural, NO Push from Backside,
  • “Smooth” — NO Rush (Archer Metaphor), and
  • How Far Should the FREE-FALL be? (setting up your feedback markers).

Someone did a video analyzing The Babe’s swing (not up anymore), and what’s amazing is his nearly three-foot long bat almost matches his just under three-in-a-half foot stride length.  Also important to note is Babe Ruth’s head moved two-and-a-quarter feet forward before his front heel hit the ground.  CLICK HERE to see game footage.

What do you think The Babe would say to those today who shout, “NO head movement!”?  When we look at the science and its application, we know this statement doesn’t make sense.

 

MLB BIG-Boppers who use Forward Momentum

David “Big Papi” Ortiz (9-Time All-Star):

Baseball Hitting Video Easy Distance: David Ortiz

Video courtesy of MLB.com

Chris “Crash” Davis (2013, led Big Leagues with 53 hr’s and 138 RBI’s & was an All-Star in 2013):

Chris Davis Baseball Hitting Video

Watch how Davis is a big guy abiding by the rules in this baseball hitting video easy distance.

Bo Jackson when he was with the White Sox (All-Star in 1989):

Bo Jackson (White Sox) Baseball Hitting Video

Here’s one of my college hitters, and his BEFORE (left) & AFTER (right) Forward Momentum:

Anthony Case Study 19yo

Other Athletes Who Use Forward Momentum…

Paul Rabil – Lacrosse player with world record’s fastest throw (111 mph, and averages well over 100 mph in games):

Paul Rabil - MLB Lacrosse Player (fastest Lacrosse ball thrown)

Courtesy of SportScience

Ulf Timmerman – holds the World Shot Put Record using the Glide Technique:

Ulf Timmermann Glide Technique Shot Put

Note how Ulf uses his front leg to gain forward momentum, before the slight push from his back one…

Jan Zelezny – World Record holding male Javelin Thrower:

Jan Zelezny World Record Holder in the Javelin Throw

Note how much linear momentum Jan creates…

I hope you learned something from watching the baseball hitting video easy distance part two.  CLICK HERE for the Baseball Hitting Video PART-THREE (How-To Make Swing Science Sticky) of a FOUR-Part Series on Explosive Rotational Power.

In This Baseball Hitting Video Gain Distance The Easy Way PART 1,

We’re going over:

  • How to feel lighter in the Final Turn using the rule of Un-Weighting,
  • Moving the body forward to create momentum, and
  • Turning Yourself into a Projectile Missile (Broad v. Triple Jump).

It’s amazing what happens when you add a little momentum.  Muscles don’t have to work as hard, and the body moves effortlessly through space.  We get a “head start” using our body’s weight more than we realize…to get up from the floor, the couch or chair, or to step up into the bed of a truck.  Why should hitting be any different…heck, just about every good player uses momentum in some way.  I hope you enjoy Baseball Hitting Video Gain Distance PART-One.

CLICK HERE to watch a YouTube video on how Babe Ruth gains distance the easy way.

 

MLB Small-Boppers Who Use Forward Momentum…

Jose Bautista (4-Time All-Star):

Baseball Hitting Video Gain Distance the Easy Way: Jose Bautista

Video courtesy of MLB.com

Andrew McCutchen (2013 NL MVP, 3-Time All-Star):

Andrew McCutchen Spine Engine

Video courtesy of MLB.com

Robinson Cano (5-Time All-Star):

Robinson Cano Baseball Hitting Video

Robinson Cano is one of the best examples I can think of for Baseball Hitting Video Gain Distance the Easy Way PART-One

 

Jumping World Record Holding Athletes Who Use Forward Momentum:

Standing Long Jump, Korean World Record holder at almost 10.5 feet:

WR Standing Long Jump

Look at how he uses his arms to gain Forward Momentum…video courtesy of YouTuber Hyrugaful

Triple Jump World Record Holder Jonathan Edwards from Great Britain at 18.29 m (60 ft 0 in):

Jonathan Edwards GBR WR Triple Jump

Look at how much Forward Momentum is gained before breaking the world record. Video courtesty of YouTuber MCTnF

CLICK HERE for Baseball Hitting Video PART-2, where we go over how to apply what we learned in this video.

In This Baseball Hitting Drill Video,

 

Baseball Hitting Drill: #1 Way To Hitting For Consistent Power (Case Study)…We discuss the #1 way to hitting for consistent power by analyzing one of my younger hitters Braden:

  • Before and after swing,
  • The Un-Weighting Principal, and
  • What baseball hitting drill to work on next.

 

Before & After Swing

It’s so fun to see young men – like Braden – begin to build in human movement principals like Un-Weighting and notice an instant jolt in force at contact.  I ask all my students, if you wanted to live, would you rather get hit by a train going thirty miles-per-hour, or a motorcycle going sixty?

Of course the motorcycle!  You see, the motorcycle swing is very handsy, fast like a bike but no weight.  The train swing uses heavy mass and the slower rotational speed of the torso to pack a wallop at impact.  Forward movement and Un-Weighting are only the beginning…

 

The Un-Weighting Principal

I’m working with Braden on throwing his body mass at the ball.  Much like a projectile missile.  This helps to make the bat feel lighter to the hitter.  And be able to turn harder with less muscle involvement.  The swing is a transfer of energy.  We’re taking the potential energy contained in the hitter’s body, and getting it moving to transfer into the barrel.  Then effectively shift this moving energy into the incoming baseball.

CLICK HERE for a YouTube baseball hitting drill video I put together that demonstrates the power of the Un-Weighting Principal.

 

What Baseball Hitting Drill to Work on Next?

Braden is coming along nicely with his footwork – with the exception of making sure his lower half is mostly open at the Fight Position (landing).  We’ll be getting him to tap into the natural springy effect of his torso.  I call it the Catapult Loading System.  How the swing is loaded is a difficult concept for most to understand because their focus is on the wrong things:

  1. Not every great MLB hitter walks away from their hands.
  2. And not every great MLB hitter is swinging as effectively as they can.
  3. We tend to study the wrong hitters.
  4. And the camera view matters.

If you have any questions on this, then please post them below…