Best Functional Wrist And Tendon Strengthening Exercises At Home For Pain In Baseball & Softball

Discover the best functional wrist and tendon strengthening exercises you can do at home if you have pain* for baseball and softball players.  Learn the best wrist exercises for advanced grip strength, bat speed, and pitching velocity.

*If you’re having wrist pain, then see a medical professional first before doing any of these exercises.  I am not a medical professional and DO NOT pretend to be one.  This is only my advice after doing the research and connecting the dots.

Wrist Exercises VIDEO: Improve Hitters’ Flexibility & Strength In 2-Weeks

 

 

Wrist Exercises: Wrist Flexibility & Exercises For Hitters

Handstand GymnasticBodies.com. Photo courtesy: GymnasticBodies.com

This wrist exercises post is for Coach David Michael Enciso (DME).  He mentioned having a couple girls that had stiff wrists, and was wondering about stretches.

To those that don’t know, I’ve been doing Gymnastics body-weight strength training through GymnasticBodies.com over the past four months. That link will give you $25 OFF their Fundamentals course.

I don’t get commission on that, I just think what Coach Sommers has put together is excellent training for baseball and softball players!  By the way, Coach Sommers was the former US Olympic men’s Gymnastics coach.  I’ve also recommended his program to quite a few of my hitting students and parents online and off.

I personally finished the Fundamentals 4-week course, and moved onto the Handstand course, which I’ve been working on for the past 2-3 months months.

However, I’d recommend my players completing the Fundamentals course first, then moving onto the Foundation courses, before moving onto Handstand.

In the video above, I show you all the wrist stretches and strengtheners that I do on a daily and bi-weekly basis for my Handstand training.

The wrist stretches alone got rid of a painful pinch on the backside of my right wrist (my throwing hand), that I’ve had for the last 5 years, at the bottom of the push-up position…the pinch was gone in 2-weeks!

Do the THREE stretches EVERYDAY as prescribed in the video,

AND

Do the FOUR exercises 3-sets X 5-repetitions each wrist, 2-3 times per week.

PLEASE keep me updated on any changes you find in your hitters, from these wrist stretches and exercises.

Another training device you should look into is Rotex Motion.  Click Here for an experiment I did on that.

Make sure we’re swinging smarter by moving better 😉

How To AVOID Mental Hitting Block & STRUGGLING At Plate - Fun Game Like Batting Practice Stations

Discover fun game like batting practice hitting stations to AVOID the dreaded baseball or softball mental block and struggling at the plate.

Discover The “Paradoxical Intention” Secret To Making Adjustments

 

 

In this video, we’ll discuss:

  • Man’s Search For Meaning, by Dr. Victor Fankl and his theory of “Paradoxical Intention”
  • Making “horizontal” hitting adjustments,
  • Making “vertical” hitting adjustments, and
  • Making adjustments to the point of impact.
Increase Your Bat Speed & Power with Online Hitting Lessons Swing Science Program For Baseball

Discover an online hitting lessons swing science program for baseball and softball players.  Learn where to find a remote hitting instruction coach to teach kids how to increase bat speed and power.

Batting Cages May Be Dangerous To Repeatable Power

 

 

Batting Cages May Be Dangerous To Repeatable Power

“Testimonial” from Kyle – Stephen’s dad – the same night (he’s in white, I’m in blue)

I know you what you’re thinking, “Okay, so what’s wrong with hitting at the batting cages?”

We’ll get to that, but before we do, let me set the stage for what I’m about to share with you.  A glimpse into an online hitting lesson I gave to my hitter Stephen at The Feedback Lab.

I was granted permission from Kyle (Stephen’s dad), to share his 12-year-old son’s latest online hitting session with me.  They’re out of New Jersey…

 

What Was To Be Corrected

  • Hiding his hands from the pitcher
  • “Downhill” shoulder angle pre-turn, and
  • Maintaining 90-degree back leg angle during turn and finish.

Stephen 2-Months Later…

In the above video, I mentioned the difference between comparing a swing off the tee versus at the batting cages.  It’s not really an apples to apples comparison, BUT if they can repeat what we’re trying to get them to do off a tee, then the feeling to repeat it is there.  Here’s what his analysis showed:

  • Great downhill shoulder angle,
  • Much better with hiding his hands from the pitcher (could polish a little here), and
  • Much better body angle on his finish.

 

3-Points Worth Noting…

  1. Dad had mentioned to me, in the past 2-months, that they’ve been testing hand, butt, and hamstring tension, which might have also had an effect on Stephen’s outcomes.
  2. Stephen will be working on a better barrel launch angle using variance training mentioned in the above video.  Pay attention to the Bat Angle Experiment I referenced in the video.
  3. I give feedback based on Tony LaRussa’s “Pat & Pop Method”.  First give a “pat” on the back (what they did or are doing well), then reveal the “pop” (what they’ll be working to improve their swing).

Coaches, this is critical!!  Athletes don’t just need to be broken down all the time.  Build them up first, then offer up the constructive criticism.

 

The Danger in Batting Cages

And I’m not talking about Happy Gilmore style…

 

Someone smart once said:

“Practice like you play, so you play like you practice.”

Most coaches have their players do what’s referred to as “massed practice” versus “training ugly” at the batting cages.  For example, if you needed work on hitting off speed and breaking pitches, a massed practice would look like the following scenario…a pitcher throws each hitter:

  • 15 fastballs, then
  • 15 curve-balls, and
  • Lastly 15 change-ups…

But this isn’t what it’s like in the game.  The hitter rarely knows, with 100% certainty, which pitch, speed, and location they’re getting.  So practice MUST reflect this dynamic in training.  And hitting at the batting cages limits the amount of variance we can work into our practice.

I do a few things with my more advanced hitters (mechanically speaking), to mix things up:

We may not practice all these at once.  Coaches, our objective with our hitters is to move them to the verge of “meltdown” with variance.  Then bring them back.  Then rebuild.  The other thing is, during batting practice, the tendency is to take rounds of 10, 20, and 30+ to get a hitter’s timing and rhythm down.  This IS NOT good.  This is marathon training.  Hitting is more like sprint training.  Rounds of 3-6 swings is more like it – with 30+ seconds to rest between rounds.

I hope this helps!

Hitting Training For Baseball & Softball Swing Trainers | Hitting Performance Lab

Discover game like batting practice.  Learn about fun hitting stations to STOP your son or daughter struggling at the plate for baseball and softball.

Train Ugly: Transition To Game Swings In Less Time With Random Practice

 

 

My friend and colleague, Lee Comeaux, Shared this video with me, and I just had to share it with you.  CLICK HERE for a post I did awhile back, showcasing 8 science of successful learning principles that are validated by empirical research.

This video goes into one of the principles mentioned in that post, the art of variance…Or “training ugly” as Trevor Ragan calls it in the video (CLICK HERE for his website).

Below are my bullet point notes from the above video:

  • 1:10 – performance is best because you do things that have higher levels of retention – does practice promote better retention?
  • 2:00 – What is a skill? Just Technique? 1/3 of the equation
  • 2:45 – Read, Plan, Do
  • 6:00 – How to practice this…Block (or Massed) Practice
  • 7:00 – Random Practice
  • 8:00 – Studies showing the benefits of Block versus Random Practice
  • 9:15 – Coach Tom Black explains WHY Block Practice is more attractive to coaches: ego and/or seeing immediate gains with it, answer the WHY – easier for coach to let go of Block Practice…find better ways to track progress (transfer and retention to games test)
  • 11:15 – WHY do we see dramatic gains transferred to competition with random practice? When Block Practice, we’re eliminating Reading and Planning from the motor learning equation. Random is like the game!  “You play volleyball, you don’t drill volleyball”.
  • 14:25 – taking a Growth Mindset into practice…Random Practice is more challenging, will make more mistakes, will be uglier, better for us, prepares us better for game situations

TRAIN UGLY Coaches!!

PLEASE share below how you’ve used this OR will use this with your hitters and players…

THANKS in advance for your responses 😀

Hitting Training For Baseball & Softball Swing Trainers | Hitting Performance Lab

Discover overload and underload how to increase bat speed training for baseball and softball players in this Perry Husband from Effective Velocity interview.  Check out these heavy bat and light bat wood trainers for sale at TheStartingLineupStore.com

Overload Bat Training: Hitter Has To Work Butt Off To Resist “Casting”

 

 

Here’s the Hitting Jam Session Interview Collection with Perry Husband:

  1. Why You Should Not Teach Hitters To Hit Homers?
  2. What’s The Biggest Mistake Coaches Make In Boosting Ball Exit Speeds
  3. How To Make Teaching Proper Weight Shift In Swing More Understandable To Hitter
  4. Teach: How To STOP Hitting Excess Of Ground-balls & Fly-balls
  5. 5,000 Swing Experiments Validate Locked Lead Arm Is Superior To Bent
  6. [YOU ARE HERE] Overload Bat Training: Hitter Has To Work Butt Off To Resist “Casting”

Here’s what we discuss in this episode:

  • WHY a hanging FB (located down/away) is more likely to get hit harder than hanging off speed or breaker,
  • How every Major League hitter locks lead arm, may not talk about it, may not practice it, but when they hit their hardest “bolt” – they’re doing it,
  • Overload training: WHY Heavier weight is better, especially end loaded, hitter has to work their butt off with end loaded to keep from “casting”,
  • How changing length of bat and weight helps hitter learn how to adjust timing – training body to be more sensitive to timing,
  • And much more!

Without further adieu, here’s Hitting Jam Session #6…

Show Notes

  • At about the 2-minute mark, Perry and I discuss putting together a subscription based coaching program for coaches which would have access to our courses and have weekly coaching calls to mentor coaches, Twitter bantar…pitching philosophy used to be 70% fastballs, mixed up/down & inside/outside, then moved to away/away and down/down because hitting was hard to lift far away, then hitters started lifting those pitches – Moneyball & analytics, hitters focus now on swinging up and everyone on the field can go oppo bomb, teams will start elevating fastballs which will set in motion more stuff, odds of “up swings” getting to high heat will be more challenging, is the idea of throwing fastballs down “stupid”?  Perry did micro study…MLB – RHP v. RHH: FB up/in = 84.6-mph BES, SL down/away = 82.2-mph BES, CB down/away = 80.1-mph BES, & CH down/in = 86.5-mph BES (chose pitches that would be in that FB tunnel), a hanging FB (located down/away) is more likely to get hit harder than any other hanging off speed or breaker because every hitter is focused on the FB.
  • At about 12-minute mark, Perry study comparing middle three, upper three, and above three part of the zone with off speed and breaking (hanging stuff) versus the bottom three parts of the zone with fastballs…he counted number of hitters that averaged 90-mph BES…12 to 1 hitters favoring fastball down versus changeup up (12X more likely to avg. 90-mph BES), not a fair study, just a ballpark, today more likely to hit a fastball down than a hanging changeup up,
  • At about 14-minute mark, locked lead arm follow up, reader saying not many hitters using locked lead arm…Williams and Choo both lock lead arm and pull the ball – can locked lead arm help going to opposite field, every Major League hitter locks lead arm, may not talk about it, may not practice it, but when they hit their hardest bolt – they’re doing it, Perry talks about one of elite Fastpitch Softball hitters in the country Todd Budke locked lead arm (YouTube video of him hitting oppo dinger) – facing guys that made Randy Johnson look like a thumber 80-86-mph velo from 46-feet, bent front arm results in more balls fouled back, evidence of what happens when guys hit up/in pitch – they’re doing it with bent lead arm, can we do better than that with locked lead arm?  What happens when all fastballs go away EXCEPT the up/in fastball?  The “adjustable” hitting mindset isn’t going to work anymore when pitchers get more EV efficient
  • At about 23-minute mark, do young hitters from High School on down learn how to “hunt” pitches or wait till pitchers get better? Thank God pitchers still make mistakes, but what pitchers are being taught right now is to stay down with fastballs, sliders, etc.  It’s predictable.  When pitchers TRY to be EV efficient, things will be troublesome for hitters, the basic hitting approach of today is like a 2-strike approach (the “adjustable” swing), the adjustment will be much harder for hitters when EV tunnels are enforced, will happen at Big League level first, Greinke example using certain pitches to take hitter’s attention away from where hitter’s strength is, creating shiny objects, get swing down right, then figure out how to apply it,
  • At about 33-minute mark, I ask Perry his advice on how to teach 6-8yo to get more on time, Inner Game of Tennis book drills – 100% on-time 100% effective with swing mechanics (not about swinging as hard as you can), take and control “A” swing – best swing, being on-time to that pitch,
  • At about 38-minute, 30-sec mark, Perry talks about over under load training, we talk about Axe Bat and DriveLine 20% over/under $600 system, Perry asked Gray Cook’s advice about over/under load training in 1992, Babe Ruth did overload training, end loaded is key, does Axe bat’s 20% over/under go far enough? No.  Is it effective? Yes, but it doesn’t go far enough, would you get stronger with light weight in gym?  Heavier weight is better, especially end loaded, hitter has to work their butt off with end loaded +10 and control line drives, hitters will “cast” with an end loaded bat – but hitter MUST keep that from happening, Perry over/under load study +10 and -10 results were astounding looking at video of players and data – consistency numbers went up and recruitment of lower half, fastpitch softball Frosh case study 6-weeks no change in mechanics went from 55-mph to 62 or 63-mph BES, Reactive Neuromuscular Training (RNT) – this is what overload training is doing, feeding the “mistake”, Cook bands, TheStartingLineupStore.com Anchor Bat +4 to +6 and -5 wood bats over/under load system, locked lead arm, end loaded bat, and releasing barrel into “belly button” catcher’s glove,
  • At about 58-minute mark, Perry’s effective velocity timing sticks, change length of bat and weight – hitter is learning to adjust timing, training body to be more sensitive to timing, using different size, color, weight balls, “Riiiiight Now” Drill for 6-8yos to train timing, keep conscious mind busy, so unconscious mind can get to work,
  • You can find Perry Husband at HittingIsAGuess.com, use EV25 coupon code for any of the online courses.  @EVPerryHusband on Twitter, and @PerryHusband on Facebook.
Discover the best online youth hitting coaching blog for baseball and softball analysis, instruction, and private lessons program. Why the best? Because we apply human movement principles validated by science to hitting a ball.

Discover the best online youth hitting coaching blog for baseball and softball analysis, instruction, and private lessons program.  Why the best? Because we apply human movement principles validated by science to hitting a ball.

How To Get Hitters To Buy Into The System

 

 

In this video, we answer the following reader question:

“How Do You Get Kids To Buy Into These Movements When Every Hitting Instructor In The Area Is Teaching Robotic, Sequential Hitting Positions?”

We’ll go over:

  • Hypnosis: GOOD or BAD?
  • Internal v. external cues, and
  • Listing successful case studies…

But before we get into these, some housecleaning, and the elephant in the room…any new hitting movement a hitter learns, regardless of the content, will look robotic and mechanical, until they’ve put enough repetitions in.  For kids to ‘buy into’ the process, they must understand this.  For instance, if I taught a hitter to reverse their hands on the bat (ex. right handed batter – right hand on bottom, left hand on top), it would feel real awkward at first, but after 66 days of constant practice, it would feel comfortable.

Imagine what it would be like if you experimented with switching up how to steer a bike:

 

 

The initial learning process for young hitters may look, sound, and/or feel like this.  I tell my hitters that we take one step back, to take two forward when learning a new hitting mechanic.  Arnold Schwarzenegger outlines his path to making the unreal, REAL, in his book Total Recall:

  1.  Goals,
  2. Steps, and
  3. Reps.

Whether Arnold was talking about how he won Mr. Olympia, prepping for a movie like Terminator 2, or being Governor of California, he stuck to these three objectives.  Setting specific GOALS, with a timeline, and focusing on the things that athlete can control are crucial.

Where girls softball hitting tips start to get fuzzy is whether these hitters are being shown the right STEPS to get there.  Or as Tony Robbins calls it, the most effective ‘pathway to power’.  In other words, are they focused on learning the right things?  What are the ‘right’ things?

Are the hitting movements they’re learning following human movement principles that are validated by science?

When the right things are being taught, doubts seldom rise in the minds of my hitters.  PLEASE NOTE: we’re NOT talking about girls softball hitting tips philosophy or theory here.  Our hitters MUST live and die by a better and more secure hitting standard.  Validation through REAL science.  NOT pseudo science that is subjective, versus being objective.

And lastly, are hitters focused on doing those things right (efficiency – putting in the REPS).  Now, let’s dive into the main content of this girls softball hitting tips post…

 

Hypnosis: GOOD or BAD?

Hitters MUST NOT work with instructors that are teaching ineffective mechanics, technique that’s unsupported by science.  PERIOD.  Or they’re wasting their time and their parent’s money.

If we rule out the instructor, then most likely their school coach will be reinforcing ineffective hitting hypnosis.  How do we get kids to buy into the system?  What are some girls softball hitting tips and tactics to deal with this kind of scenario?

Give the hitter a heads up

They MUST know what they’ll be hearing at practice, and how it may be different than what an effective instructor is teaching, and most likely COMPLETELY backwards!!

Also, passively listening to the BAD hypnosis over time will manifest physically, even if the hitter knows it’s bad.  The more we hear the same message over and over, it’s only a matter of time before what’s subconscious, becomes conscious.  The fix?

The hitter MUST consciously hear what the coach is saying, and actively compartmentalize that information as ineffective in their brain.  Where there’s awareness, there’s power of control.

The ‘bobblehead nod’

Use this when coach is telling you to:

  • Swing down on the ball,
  • Chop down on the ball, or
  • Knob to the ball…

Then you nod your head up and down, saying “Yes Coach”.  And when they leave your presence, go back to what an effective swing path should look like.

Preach Science, NOT hitting theories

Other ways to reinforce GOOD hypnosis is to preach how the movements they’re learning are validated by human movement science.  Promote curious experimentation with specific hitting movements.  Cite hitting experiments.  Encourage hitters to try it the wrong way, then the right way, and have them compare their visual, auditory and/or feel feedback after 5 swings.

Inspire your hitters to seek out specific hitters on YouTube like McCutchen, Pedroia, Sadaharu Oh, Hank Aaron, Bautista, and Donaldson, and encourage them to look for what it is you’re teaching them.

You can also do movement tests like Dr. Kelly Starrett’s One-Joint Rule from one of the links above.

Internal v. External Cues

There seem to be two groups of coaches online…ones who believe effective teaching is using 100% external cues…and the other? Using 100% internal cues!  Both are wrong.  It’s a blend.  Just like the swing is either rotational or linear…it’s a blend.  Just like superior athletes are either born with it or work at it…this too is a blend.  And if someone tells you otherwise, they’re lying to you.  And probably not teaching the game on a consistent basis.

That being said, sticky coaching cues are key to getting kids to buy into the system.

When you sink the blade of an ax into a block of wood, are you thinking about keeping your right arm at X-degree angle, or slotting your back elbow?

No.

You’re thinking of taking that handled ‘blade thing’ in your hand, and splitting that ‘wooden thing’, sitting on a platform in front of your feet, in half.

Talking about  limb angles and back elbows slotting as girls softball hitting tips are internal cues…and can, with the right coaching cues, be effective.

But not quite as effective as external cues such as:

  • ‘Get shorter’ at landing or ‘stay shorter’ throughout the turn,
  • ‘Let the barrel chase the ball’ after impact,
  • ‘Hit the bottom half of the ball’, or
  • ‘Skip the barrel across the lake’.

I like to use external cues to kill 2, 3, or 4 birds with one stone.  I call it the “lazy” coaches way to success, again, I use these myself.  However, if I need to target specific movements and external isn’t working, I go internal.  This does require knowledge about human movement validated by science, which I’ve found some coaches don’t want to take the time to learn.  Additionally, it can depend entirely on the hitter and their learning style.  CLICK HERE to read what science says about this in a post I did titled, “What Every Coach MUST Know About Giving Feedback To Hitters…”

 

Girls Softball Hitting Tips – Listing Successful Case Studies…

Girls Softball Hitting Tips: Liam Wolf

Liam Wolf is one of my 11u hitters. Photo courtesy: his parents.

Successful case studies are the lifeblood of getting your hitters to buy into the system.  These can be your own, or borrowed from someone else.

These are powerful for young hitters.

Remember the time when your kids were learning how to swim?

Did they learn better watching adults swim OR when they saw kids their own age or slightly younger/older swimming?

Here is a current list of my case studies I often bring up to my hitters:

  1. 98-lb 11yo hitting the ball 300-feet, multiple times
  2. 95-pounder hitting their first dinger over 270-feet? (this is actually the brother of the above hitter but 2 years younger)
  3. 115-lb 11yo not only hitting the ball 300-feet multiple times, but hitting over 40 homers in one season…to ALL fields
  4. 66-lb 11yo hitting the ball over 180-feet, AND
  5. a 115-lb 13yo hitting the ball 330-feet (this one I borrowed from a hitting instructor in my area that teaches the same things as I do)…

Here’s video footage of #1 above (which was hit on a field in Manteca where the fences were set at 330-feet):

 

 

And I have many more, but these are the easiest to rattle off without having to give too much context.  If you don’t have any, then feel free to borrow mine, just please give credit where credit is do.

To recap…

Girls softball hitting tips to get your kids to buy into the system:

  • They MUST hear GOOD hitting hypnosis,
  • They MUST hear sticky coaching cues, and
  • They MUST hear this stuff working with hitters close to their age.
Struggling To Hit In Games But Not In Cage Or Batting Practice? Discover Game-Like Baseball Softball Hitting Stations

Is your son or daughter struggling to hit in games but not in the cage or batting practice? Discover how to put together game-like baseball or softball small group hitting stations.

Cage Bombs: How-To Identify & Fix A “5 O’clock” Hitter

 

 

Okay, in all seriousness…I received an email from a reader named Garrett, and in response to a post I did, titled:

“What Every Coach MUST Know About Giving Feedback To Hitters”.  This post will identify and fix a “5 O’clock” hitter…

 

Identifying a “5 O’clock” Hitter

What is a “5 O’clock” Hitter?
One who ONLY “shows up” for batting practice, but not in a game.  In other words, BOMB!! lol
Here is Garrett’s email…
“Hey Joey, 
Does this sound like the recipe for a five o’ clock/inconsistent hitter to you?
  1. takes one swing then goes and analyze the video…repeats the process 30 times
  2. relies on someone else to tell the what they are doing wrong
  3. uses BP to try and hit bombs…how do your hitters use bp on the field for work?
  4. uses the tee to practice the perfect swing for the perfect pitch
Thanks.”

How-To Fix a “5 O’clock” Hitter

My responses below addresses the numbered questions above (slightly edited)

“Garrett,
  1. That sounds like a similar approach to Jaime Cevallos’s Positional Hitting!  Video analysis is a great source of external feedback, but like everything else, can be relied upon too much, or obsessively at times.  I’d prefer the hitter work out the kinks for at least 5-8 swings before filming again.  This can be supported in Peter C. Brown’s book Make It Stick.
  2. Hitters are their best own evaluators.  Nobody else can tell them how or what they felt on a particular swing.  I’ve had hitters like this, and typically it stems from mom or dad (or somebody) giving them the answers all the time growing up.  Not letting them make their own mistakes, and learning from them.  Young hitters have to fail on their own, then struggle for the adjustment…and if they need help after that, then coach can pick them up.  This has Daniel Coyle’s book The Talent Code written all over it.
  3. “Practice like you play, so you play like you practice”.  If you have to compete in a 100-meter sprint, you can’t train like you would for a marathon.  Marathon batting practice sessions (taking 8+ swings per round) are useless to a game swing.  My hitters take 3-5 swing rounds, and then get a brief break.  They’re also required to swing as hard as they can – under complete control – for each swing.  CLICK HERE for a great testimonial case study post from one of my San Diego dads, on the turnaround his two High School boys experienced making this switch.
  4. Mass practice off the tee is no good.  The tee position must be varied after each swing.  This is talked about extensively in Peter C. Brown’s book above as the Art of Variance.  Also, please refer to preceding point #3.
Hitting cage bombs gives a short-term boost to self-confidence.  And hitters who don’t do train for the “100-meter sprint” will break during competition.
Self-confidence is gained through working the process, staying the course, and not obsessively focusing on outcomes or their competition.  Gio Valiante’s book Golf Flow is a great resource for this type of thinking.”

BOMB!! 😀 lol

My question to you is…What are the one or two biggest mistakes you see coaches or players make in practicing like they’re going to play?

Please REPLY in the comments section below…

Hit Baseball Or Softball In Certain Direction Place Hitting To Opposite Field Drill

Discover how to hit a baseball or softball in a certain direction, like place hitting to the opposite field, at home by yourself using indoor drills with limited space.

How To Optimize Directional Force Using The “Pounding Nail” Drill

 

Most likely, Little Leaguers and 12-year-old young ladies won’t be driving the ball 400-feet anytime soon.  I know that. However, the point of this “Pounding the Nail” drill video post is how to train hitters to direct their swing force optimally.  In the above video, we go over…

  • Thanks to Matt Nokes,
  • Define Directional Force, takes 8,000 pounds per square inch, in one direction, to hit ball 400-feet,
  • What is a Lumberjack trying to do? Lean in and compress the baseball,
  • Using colored bands on ground to simulate pitch location directional force (see image of plate and colored bands below), and
  • Stand out front of hitter with external image (nail).

I like to pair the above “Pounding the Nail” drill with the following “Shorten Swing” drill…

 

 

However, I’ve evolved my thinking on the latter video.  And here it is:

  1. The “catcher’s glove” ball marker closest to the actual catcher is outer 1/3 of plate right-center approach (for righty, reverse for lefty),
  2. The “catcher’s glove” ball marker inline with the back foot is middle 1/3 of plate dead-center field approach, and
  3. The “catcher’s glove” ball marker inline with hitter’s belly button is inner 1/3 of plate left-center field approach (for righty, reverse for lefty).

I see coaches generally teaching a “kicking back” of barrel towards the catcher.  I found deeply accelerating barrel same for all pitch depths to be ineffective for my hitters.  As you’ll see in the syncing of these two drills, the distance between what catcher’s glove the hitter hits and the depth of impact is the same.

For example, the DISTANCE between hitting catcher’s glove position #1 above to optimum impact on the outer 1/3 of the plate SHOULD MATCH hitting catcher’s glove position #3 above to optimum impact on the inner 1/3 of the plate.  You still following me?

I was teaching the same blanket “deep barrel” acceleration as everyone else, but my cleaner hitters mechanically were having a challenge barreling up the inner 1/3 pitch.  You see, their swing path was taking too long in getting to the inner 1/3 pitch with the generalized “deep barrel” approach.

I recommend watching video of top hitters smashing the inside versus the away pitch and in most cases, you’ll see a difference in what catcher’s glove they’re hitting.  Remember the objective is directional force.  Matt Nokes says that is takes 8,000 pounds per square inch of force, in ONE DIRECTION, to hit a ball 400-feet.  Practice syncing these two drills with your hitters in the following progression:

  • Dry swings first,

    “Pounding Nail” Drill colored band staggered impact setup to simulate pitch depth (for a righty, reverse for a lefty)

  • Tee next,
  • Then soft toss (DO NOT work the “deep” catcher’s glove position here, unless you’re okay with donating your teeth!)
  • And when you get the hitter to LIVE, make sure they understand before pitcher throws the ball, they default to the middle approach, and make the smaller adjustment in or out, depending on pitch depth.

PLEASE NOTE: once the hitter gets to LIVE, make sure they understand the following:

  • Most optimized force = pounding nail over correct part of plate (ex. for righty, driving inner 1/3 to left-center),
  • Optimized force = slipping lines, and pounding one nail over (ex. for righty, driving middle 1/3 to left-center), and
  • Sub-optimal force = slipping lines, and pounding two nails over (ex. for righty, driving outer 1/3 to left-center).

Just think about it, if it takes 8,000-pounds per square inch of force in one direction to hit a ball 400-feet, and that’s optimal…what happens if the hitter uses “Sub-optimal force” like in the above bullet point?  Right! It’s going to take more force to hit it farther.  I dunno how much, but taking a guess in the aforementioned sub-optimal example, it may take 12,000 or 16,000-pounds per square inch of force to hit the ball 400-feet pounding two nails over, so make it easy..hit it where it’s pitched!

After this lesson, typically the “light-bulb” goes on with my hitters.  I hope this helps!

How To Stop Missing Under Ball, Hitting Popups, & Late Batting Timing For Baseball And Softball

Learn how to Stop AND Fix missing under the ball, hitting too many popups, and late batting timing for baseball and fast-pitch softball players.  Discover how to swing the bat faster, for more power, and ultimately hit more line drives.

“Shorten Swing” Like An Elite Hitter (Not What You Think)

 

 

Ask any “self-proclaimed” hitting coach what a “short swing” is, and you’ll get many differing interpretations.  I think the problem is found in the debate of feel versus real.  If you ask professional and MLB hitters what they’re trying to do, and they’ll use phrases like:

  • “I’m trying to stay short to the ball”, or
  • “I’m trying to be compact”...

The challenge is these examples are so vague, they’re widely open to interpretation.  And give coaches that kind of slack, and they tend to “hang” their hitters.  For instance, take the following swing example of Kris Bryant:

 

 

Some coaches will say his swing is too long, and that ONLY Big Leaguers can have swings like this.  This is an EXCUSE.  Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark McGwire have been quoted as saying they swing/swung down on the ball.

You see, what elite hitters are feeling, and what we’re actually seeing on slow motion video (what’s real) can be two totally different things.  So how do we get our hitters to “swing shorter”, like Kris Bryant…?

…without using hitting aids, and using effective external coaching cues, which science says are far superior than internal ones (CLICK HERE to read this post about that).  Without further adieu, here’s the…

Shorten Swing Path Drill

In the above video we discuss:

  • Drill Objective: to help fix “casting”, “long”, or “bat drag” type swings.
  • Define “Long” versus “Short” swing
  • Finger Pressure for “connection”
  • Hitting the “catcher’s glove”:
    – “Ferris Wheel” versus “Merry-Go-Round”
    – Throwing barrel “sideways”
    – Using Variations
  • Ropebat as a supplemental hitting aid.

The following is the NEW Improved and Updated version of the video above…