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

Fun ways to teach a beginner kid (get them to buy in) to hit with power and improve batting timing for baseball and softball players.  Helpful drills and tips for 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, & 12 year olds.

Softball Hitting Tips for Beginners: 5 Little Known Ways To Improve Hitters

 

 

Softball Hitting Tips for Beginners: 11yo Jackson Handler

This is one of my online lessons out in Pennsylvania (I’m in Cali), 11yo Jackson. 2.5 months between BEFORE/AFTER’s.

A great softball hitting tips for beginners question came in recently, from a reader (relates well to baseball too)…

“What percentage of hitters that you have coached got no improvement or no benefit from your program? How many swings per day would you recommend for a 10yr old hitter (what’s too much and not enough?”

Here’s what we’ll cover in this softball hitting tips for beginners post:

  • Improvement depends on these 5 things…, AND
  • How many swings are too much & not enough?

 

Improvement Depends on these 5 Things…

Softball Hitting Tips for Beginners: Mia Buffano 15yo

This is one of my online fastpitch hitters 15yo Mia out in Florida.

I’d be lying to you if I said that ALL my online and local hitters are continually improving or benefiting from my system.

Sadly, this holds true for anyone’s system…effective or ineffective.

Unless…

The instructor is HIGHLY selective on who they accept as a client.

Although, it must be said those hitters being taught ineffective mechanics will get cut much sooner than ones learning how to hit employing human movement principles that are validated by science.

We coaches and instructors can control only so much.

We’re like a flashlight guiding the way in the dark.  We can illuminate where we want the hitter to go and how to get there, but ultimately it’s up to the hitter to do their homework.

Here are FIVE critical factors for seeing constant improvement with hitters…

Softball Hitting Tips for Beginners #1: Motivation/Inspiration

Softball Hitting Tips for Beginners: Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins photo courtesy: attitudes4innovation.com

Like Tony Robbins says, “Motivation is like a warm bath”.  Motivation wears off in the short term.  But inspiration can last up to months, if not years, from its inception.

There’s a time and place for each.

Think of motivation as PUSHING the player, whereas inspiration allows them to be PULLED by their own self-motivation.

The latter is obviously ideal, but the challenge is that every player is inspired and motivated by different things.

There’s nothing more frustrating for a hitting coach or the parents, than an unmotivated and/or uninspired player…

Which we may have to face the conclusion that this player is probably not in the right sport or activity.

Softball Hitting Tips for Beginners #2: Effective mechanics

Is the hitter applying human movement principles – that are validated by science – to hitting a ball?

You see, effectiveness is doing the right things, while efficiency is doing those things right.

In other words, I can get real good at ‘squashing the bug’, ‘chopping down on the ball’, and ‘sitting back’ but my playing career will be dwarfed in comparison to executing more effective body movements.

One of the biggest competitive advantages I would recommend to any coach, would be to invest and read Thomas Myers’s book Anatomy Trains.  Here’s a short video from Thomas Myers explaining “What is Tensegrity”:

Softball Hitting Tips for Beginners #3: Effective coaching cues

As most of you coaches know, player learning styles are different.  Do you know how many learning styles there are?

Here’s a clue…

Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP, says there are 3 main ones (acronym – VAK):

  1. Visual (sight/pictures),
  2. Auditory (sound), and
  3. Kinesthetic (feel).

Furthermore, vague coaching cues like ‘get on top of the ball’ or ‘be short to the ball’, which can be used effectively as adjustment cues, are too general and broad in scope to teach as a default swing strategy.

Without extended explanation, these cues aren’t very intuitive, and are ultimately ineffective on a broad scale.

On the other hand, ‘show your numbers to the pitcher’ or ‘land shorter’, will require minimal explanation to get the hitter executing exactly what you want them to do.

Softball Hitting Tips for Beginners #4: Feedback systems

Softball Hitting Tips for Beginners: Zepp Sensor

This is the Zepp sensor connecting to phone app

I think it was Peter Drucker that said what gets measured, gets managed.

If you’re a hitting coach that DOES NOT use slow motion analysis, then you’re not being effective.

With free slow motion video phone apps like CoachesEye and HudlTech, and inexpensive PC/MAC software like Powerchalk, there’s ZERO excuse to not do slow motion analysis with your hitters.

Also, swing apps like Zepp, SwingTracker, and the more expensive HitTrax cage system are great for getting more in depth in measuring a hitter’s outcomes.

You can also use Pocket Radar or a Bushnell radar gun to measure Ball Exit Speeds.

There are also intuitive hitting aids out there that help to cut down the learning curve when teaching a hitter specific swing movements.  One inexpensive one giving audible feedback of when the barrel is accelerating is the Swing Blaster.

The point is, there are great forms of technology and a few hitting aids out there to aid in your feedback systems.  These modalities give hitters INSTANT feedback on where to improve.

Softball Hitting Tips for Beginners #5: Doing the work

This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.  Even if you’ve checked the previous FOUR factors off your list, if the hitter isn’t putting the work in, then they’ll get better…but can take years to see consistent improvement.

The overarching theme of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography, in his tell all book Total Recall, was:

  • Goals,
  • Steps, and then
  • Reps.

You see, if the hitter is inspired/motivated, employing effective mechanics and coaching cues, using feedback systems to manage what’s measurable, then it’s all about putting the work in.

Do the right things, then get outstanding at doing those things right.

How Many Swings are too Much & not Enough?

Positive Coaching Alliance

Positive Coaching Alliance website is PositiveCoach.org

Fine Line Between Motivation & Inspiration

Remember motivation is like a warm bath, good in the moment, but will soon cool.  Inspiration is the PULL of self-motivation we want to cultivate in our athletes.

Most young athletes ARE NOT inspired to go to practice.  Most go because they want to have fun and connect with friends and teammates.  It’s the 1/3 Rule:

  • 1/3 of your team wants to be there AND get better,
  • 1/3 of your team wants to be there, and the last
  • 1/3 of the team DOES NOT want to be there & could care less about getting better.

And unfortunately, coaches have to spend most of their time on strengthening the weakest links.  This at least holds true for school ball, whereas the parents to have to pay to play.

I find leaning on an organization like the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) to help equip coaches, players, umpires, and parents on how to build, motivate, and inspire better athletes, resulting in better people later in life.

Over-Practicing

The International Youth Conditioning Association, whom I’m certified with, talks about how long is too long to have young athletes train or practice.

If we’re coaching 12u, practices SHOULD NOT be more than 45-60 mins, 3 times per week.  More than that is too much.  30-mins or less for 8u.  Middle School should be around 1 hour 30-mins, High School 2 hours 30 mins, college 3-5 hours (depending on weight training days).

And if you feel that’s not enough time to get things done, then you’re not being effective and/or efficient with your practices.

CLICK HERE for an insightful interview with NCAA college Hall of Fame baseball Coach Bob Bennett (my coach for 3 years at Fresno State).  He outlines what MUST be the highest priority for practices.

Do you know how to tell if an athlete is over training?

CLICK HERE to read this BreakingMuscle.com article to see how to by just monitoring an athlete’s resting heart rate.

At-Home Sweet Spot

I recommend to all my hitters, to start with 5-15 minutes/day of purposeful quality swing reps at home.  4-5 days per week.  This range will depend on self-motivation of course.  Players can put in more time, but only if they’re feeling it on that day.  The point is to get them REVISITING the material everyday.

By the way, this is outside of normal team practice time.  This is time on their own without coach around.

And they need to know, less frequency will translate to a larger learning curve.  In other words, it’ll take LONGER to improve.

And lastly,

Look for the Signs

When practicing or training, look for signs of frustration/anger, boredom, or shutdown.

You’ve seen these before, for example…

When a player is getting frustrated, you may see tears welling up in their eyes…OR anger may be taking unfocused swings as hard as they can.

When a player is bored, you may see them yawn, or being distracted.  The latter could be ADD/ADHD.  The point is they’re not into what you’re teaching them, so you have to make an adjustment.  Make practice a game, and more fun.  That will grab their attention…and keep it.

When a player looks shutdown, it’s time to shut down their session.  Go back to the drawing board and start anew tomorrow.

An outstanding coach is an observant one.  Don’t try to fit a round peg in a square hole.

Above all, PLEASE use common sense.

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

Find the best fascia strength training program for baseball and softball hitters to improve power.  Works for pitchers too!  See how you can do these workouts and exercises for 11 and 12 year olds at home and in the off-season.

4 Tips On How To Train Springy Fascia

I frequently get questions on how to train springy fascia. The following 4 tips from Tom Myers, author of the book Anatomy Trains, will help shed light on how to do just that. The following videos are NO MORE THAN 2-mins long each. Enjoy!

 

Tip #1: Varying Vectors

  • Includes tendons, ligaments, and fascial fabric of the body…not the same as training muscles and nerves.
  • Vary the vectors – difference between working on gym machines v. Rope systems, throwing things, etc.
  • Machines are good for rehabbing muscles, but don’t prepare you for life’s movement challenges.

How does this apply to hitters?

Tom Myers Anatomy Trains: Image of Fascia Stretching

How to train springy fascia. Image is of fascia stretching. Photo courtesy: Tom Myers Anatomy Trains YouTube

Functional training in the weight room is great for this. Squatting, lunging, hip hinging, twisting, rolling, crawling, single leg hopping, single arm pressing, horizontal pushing, vertical pushing, horizontal pulling, vertical pulling.

Training on different planes: Sagittal, Frontal, and Transverse. Some of the best environments for varying training vectors are Parkour, American Ninja Warrior, Gymnastics, Martial Arts, Dance, Rock Climbing, Yoga, and Pilates.

A quick tip for training this when hitting would be to do the reverse strike zone drill, where the hitter has to swing at pitches outside the strike zone, and take anything in the zone.

Also, CLICK HERE for a great how to train springy fascia YouTube resource of exercises from David Weck at the WeckMethod using the Rotational Movement Club (RMT).

Tip #2: Lengthening (Stretch)

  • If trying to lengthen fascia, then to be safe, lengthen slowly. Slow sustained stretching like you’d find in Yoga, this avoids damaging the fascia.
  • Fascia isn’t well vasculated, meaning blood doesn’t move to and through fascia very well, so repair of fascial tears takes a lot of time to heal. Muscles regenerate after 90-days, but ligaments can take over 200-days!!
  • If you want to stretch the fascia, then think Yoga or Tai Chi speeds. NOT athletic speeds.

How does this apply to hitters?

Studies show today’s athletes are sitting 80% of their day, so again, Gymnastics, Martial Arts, Dance, and Rock Climbing are great counter-balancers to this reality. Long slow stretching in the mid-split, front split, and stretching associated with handstand work are great for young athletes spending a lot of time with their bottom on a seat, and spilling their brain out on mobile devices developing “text neck”.

 

Tip #3: Hydration

  • Most important that fascia gets hydrated…did you know your Achilles tendon is 63% water?
  • Hydrating fascia IS NOT necessarily about how many bottles of water you drink.
  • The question is, does water get to specific bottle-necked areas of fascial fabric in the body, such as the Achilles tendon. Hydration matters – where the water you drink gets to.
  • “Squeezing the sponge” – big muscular effort helps this, Fascial rolling using a Self-Myofascial Release tool (SMR), self or professional massage, Rolfing.

How does this apply to hitters?

A couple things…

  1. Young athletes MUST drink water, how much? According to world renowned strength and conditioning Coach Charles Poliquin, take half their body-weight, add 30%, and drink that in ounces. A 100-lb player for example, 100-lbs/2 = 50 X 30% = 15 + the halved 50 = 65-ounces of water throughout the day (that’s about FIVE 12-ounce bottles of water).
  2. Remember, what matters is WHERE the water you drink gets to. The best speedy recovery principle to “squeeze the sponge”? Click for this post, “Speedy Recovery? Ice Bath Benefits Not What They Seem”, and
  3. CLICK HERE for a SMR foam rolling routine video I did a few years back.

 

Tip #4: Elasticity (Bounce)

  • Stretch-shortening cycle – we stretch out the muscle to get it to contract (shorten). Fascia works the same way.
  • We can encourage and cultivate elasticity in fascia. Elasticity is a property of youthful tissue. If baby falls down stairs, they bounce. Grandma falls down stairs, she doesn’t bounce.
  • Ballistic stretching. Rhythmic motions such as running, jogging, jumping rope, etc…cultivate “bounce” within a 0.8 to 1.2 second stretch-shortening cycle.  This is the opposite of Yoga and Tai Chi speeds.

How does this apply to hitters?

If you want the fascia to perform, then we have to do rhythmically bouncy movements where the stretch-shortening cycle lasts between 0.8 to 1.2 seconds. Running, jump rope, jogging, skipping, single leg hopping, etc.

I’m beginning to sharpen my thoughts on this as it pertains to the Catapult Loading System. I used to teach the hitter had an option to start in the CLS position, in the stance like Hunter Pence, then hold and maintain until stride landing. But now I’m reconditioning my hitters to do a later CLS move (during the forward momentum phase), and to bounce from that into the turn. Miggy, Trout, Khris Davis are great examples of this. As a matter of fact, most elite hitters you see using the CLS, time the move with a bounce into the turn.

What’s funny is, this post has been “bouncing” around in my head the past week (pun intended), and speak of the devil, my good golfing friend Lee Comeaux recently text me a new-to-me resource for training springy fascia. It’s called the Rotex Motion (YouTube channel). Some cool stuff there!

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

How Much Ball Exit Speed Does Lower Body Contribute To A High Level Swing?

 

In this baseball and softball video post, we’ll be looking at whether preloading upper body hitting torque or using lower half hip rotation contributes for more power.  Check out this swing drills over rotating experiment…

Do you consider yourself an open minded coach?  If not, then this post MAY NOT be for you.

Do you consider yourself a coach willing to try new movements before criticizing them?  If not, then this post MAY NOT be for you.

Fair WARNING…this video will make most feel uneasy because it strikes at the heart of their teaching.  I believe the quality of our lives and the success we experience in it, depends solely on the questions we’re willing to ask our-self.

In this video, the Backspin Tee Gardner Brothers (Taylor & Jarrett Interview here) did a small thought provoking swing experiment that looked at how much value the lower half contributes to the swing.  Most popular hitting instructors treat the lower half like a JoBu shrine in the movie Major League.  Don’t get me wrong, the lower half has a role, but I disagree on the importance most put on it.

Using the Scientific Method…

 

Question

Backspin Tee Swing Experiment on Not Using Hips

Taylor Gardner doing a Jumping No Hips Swing

They looked at how much value (measured in Ball Exit Speed) the lower half contributes to the swing by restricting its movement.

 

Background Research

Taylor read my book The Catapult Loading System: How To Train 100-Pound Hitters To Consistently Drive The Ball 300-Feet, and it got him thinking about how much the lower half actually contributes to power compared to the shoulders?  Earlier I mentioned how much the movement of the pelvis in the swing is worshiped by so many hitting coaches.  “Fire the hips!” “Hip Thrust baby!” Sadly, the torsional forces are taken to the point of being unhealthy for a young hitter’s low back.

Consider what Charlie Weingroff, DPT, CSCS, a physical therapist and trainer in New York City said this:

“Only your thoracic spine (which consists of the 12 vertebrae in your upper and middle back) is designed to rotate significantly — about 40 degrees in each direction, according to Weingroff — when under compression. The lumbar spine (lower back) should rotate no more than about 12 degrees.”

Let me give a clue, coaches want better separation, torque, lag, etc. in their hitters right?  We see that a high level right handed hitter’s pelvis starts rotating counter-clockwise at the start of the turn, leaving the shoulders temporarily behind, this is the essence of “lag” or “torque”.  But what coaches aren’t seeing is what’s happening before the ‘hips lead the way’?  The compression and tension forces happening in the torso beforehand, to make that move possible.

If hitting coaches would do their homework on basic bio-mechanical locomotion and function of the spinal engine as a whole, then they’d find they’re missing  60-70% of the performance puzzle (as you’ll soon see), and quite possibly wearing a hole in the lower backs of their hitters.

I constantly see well intention coaches posting videos on Twitter of their young hitters savagely twisting the pelvis and low back (lumbar), in addition to the hyper-extension of the lower lumbar.  Quite frankly, it’s painful to watch.  CLICK HERE for an exercise to correct this.

Did you know there’s a much safer way to achieve those high BES numbers and more?  Some books to get you started on the right track:

By the way, Dr. Serge Gracovetsky is a Physicist and Electrical Engineer.  He said the Spinal Engine can operate in space without Gravitational Forces.  His research shows arms and legs aren’t necessary for locomotion, they’re an improvement.  Please read that sentence again because it’s important to understand locomotion.

Can explosive high level athletes perform without the aid of Gravitational Reaction Forces?  Check out the following videos:

Derek Jeter makes jump throw…

Jeter is jumping up and away from his target, taking his momentum in the opposite direction of first base. This should put him at a disadvantage, but it doesn’t hurt him too much, as you can see.

Big air motocross freestyle jumps…

Notice how these athletes use the head to control their body.  No Gravitational Reaction Forces to help here either.  But man can these athletes put a big smile on your face while watching this video!

Don’t seek the footsteps of others, seek the footsteps they sought.

 

Hypothesis

The Gardner brothers thought this mini swing experiment would show more of a minimal role of the lower half in the swing, compared to the “lower half worshiping” hitting coaches out there.

Experiment Setup Details

  • 4 different hitters (Taylor – High School level hitter College Track & Field athlete, Jarrett – professional pitcher, Rookie in pro ball, home-run record holder at Div-1 college)
  • Took Full Swings prior to experiment swings (the Control group), so they could compare to when the lower half was restricted
  • Backspin Tee used on all swings (I know, shocker!)
  • Chair used to hit ball while falling
  • Pocket Radar to measure BES
  • Used 2 judges for checks and balances
  • Goal was to eliminate use of lower half
  • Every one used the same metal bat, a Copperhead C405 34 inch, 30 ounce (-4)

 

Data Collected

Based on control swings, this graph shows average BES as % of the control swings, Highest BES as %, & Lowest BES as % of each of the four hitters. Photo courtesy: BackSpinTee.com

 

Graph shows top BES per hitter on control swings, when Stationary No Hips, when Jump Float No Hips, Falling Float No Hips, Lead Leg Only No Hips, and Avg. BES. Photo courtesy: BackSpinTee.com

 

Data Analysis & Conclusion

Small sample sizes can cause a lot of problems, so there definitely needs to be more data points to make a conclusive decision.  However, with the data we have, the fact four different hitters participated on all swing experiments, in looking at the last graph, you can see that when the lower half was restricted, Ball Exit Speeds were around two-thirds of top exit velocity of control swings (normal swings).  Think Jeter making his jump throw!  So from this small sample size, we can say the lower half contributes about one-third to the Exit Speeds of these four hitters.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the Comments section below.  Be nice, be respectful.

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

Baseball Swing Mechanics Experiment: Squash The Bug Ineffective?

 

This post discusses youth hitting fundamentals of why squishing the bug is bad for baseball and softball players in 2022?  Learn basic how to hit the ball in a certain direction beginner swing tips experiment.  This information is great for 10-year old’s and younger.

Question: Do “Squish the Bug” Baseball Swing Mechanics Depress Bat Speed?

 

Baseball Swing Mechanics Experiment: TylerD

Here are the two test swings from my intern for the summer, redshirt college Frosh, Tyler Doerner…

Using the Zepp (Labs) Baseball app, I wanted to use the Scientific Method to analyze if the baseball swing mechanics “squishing/squashing the bug”, during the turn, increases or decreases bat speed.  The term “squishing the bug” means rotating the back foot, on the ground, during the turn.  Like you’re squishing a bug.

This can be a very sore subject, and hotly debated with a passion, in the Church of Baseball.  Surprisingly, it’s still widely taught throughout the lower levels.  Although a few images off the internet of effective swingers like Cano, Bautista, McCutchen, etc. will reveal “squishing the bug” isn’t what the best are doing.

So we wanted to test it…

My intern for the summer, redshirt college freshman Tyler Doerner did this experiment.  This post is for you Joe (you know who you are ;-)…

Background Research

One of the main objectives of whether to skip the foot, or keep it on the ground, has to do with transferring linear momentum, better known as un-weighting or forward momentum.  Check out these four HPL posts for a baseball swing mechanics background on this:

  1. Troy Tulowitzki Zepp Swing Experiment: Stride Killing Bat Speed?
  2. Ryan Braun: Common Mistakes Hitters Make #1
  3. Baseball Hitting Video: Gain Distance the Easy Way PART-1
  4. Perfect Swing Hacking with Forward Momentum (feat. Mike Trout)

Now, for you academics, CLICK HERE to watch a short 2-minute PBS video on Circus Physics and the Conservation of Linear Momentum.

So, after reading/watching the above videos and posts, we should be at a common understanding of Forward Momentum.

The next objective of “squishing the bug” versus “skipping the back foot” during the turn, boils down to allowing the body to transfer energy effectively.  This has to do with springy fascia in the body…

In Thomas Myers’s book Anatomy Trains, he talks about a cotton candy like springy material that the bones and muscles float it, and what gives muscles their shape called fascia.

Specifically in the book, he talks about the Front & Back Functional Lines.  CLICK HERE for a post I did on this, featuring Ted Williams and Matt Kemp.

In the following video, Thomas Myers explains this idea of Tensegrity, or Tension-Integrity.  There are compression and tension forces acting on the body at all times.  Within the body these two opposing forces are always searching for balance…

For a hitter, if the body moves forward, but the back foot and leg stays behind, then these forces don’t get optimally transferred from body to barrel to ball.  In other words, the backside gets “left behind”.

Hypothesis

Based on the above research, I think “squishing the bug” baseball swing mechanics will have a depressing effect on bat and hand speed because it doesn’t allow for full transfer of momentum and release of elastic energy in the springy fascia.

 

“Squish the Bug” Baseball Swing Mechanics Experiment

Baseball Swing Mechanics Experiment: Zepp Baseball App

CLICK Image to Purchase Zepp Baseball App

Equipment Used:

Setup:

  • Forward momentum was taken out of this baseball swing mechanics experiment by hitting from a 1-2 second pause at landing
  • Back two “baseball markers” were set at about 3 baseballs apart
  • The two tests in the experiment were counter-balanced.  Which consisted of eight blocks of 25-swings done in the following order ABBA BAAB.  Say “squish the bug” was letter ‘A’, and “skipping back foot’ was letter ‘B’.  200 total swings were completed in the experiment, 100 per test.  Counter-balancing helps remove the “getting tired” and “not being warmed” up factors.

 

Data Collected (Zepp Baseball App):

Squish the Bug Baseball Swing Mechanics Experiment

There were significant changes in Average Bat & Hand Speed, Time to Impact, and surprisingly, the hitter’s Attack Angle in this baseball swing mechanics experiment…

Data Analysis & Conclusion

  • +8-mph difference in average Impact Bat Speed, siding on “Skipping Back Foot”,
  • +3-mph difference in average Hand Speed Max, siding on “Skipping Back Foot”,,
  • -0.019 difference in average Time To Impact, siding on “Skipping Back Foot”, and
  • +4-degree difference in average Attack Angle, siding on “Skipping Back Foot”.

 

Notes

  • I think the “Squish the Bug” baseball swing mechanics experiment results were overwhelmingly clear.
  • Tyler did not technically keep his back foot posted to the ground during the “squish the bug” tests, so there still was an element of un-weighting going on with his backside.
  • In which case, measuring Ball Exit Speed (or how fast the ball came off the bat) may have netted interesting data to consider, compared to Impact Bat Speed.  However, with the results with the other readings of Avg. Hand Speed, Time To Impact, and Attack Angle, I think we can put the “Squish the Bug” baseball swing mechanics myth to bed 😀
  • The data and results suggests that when a hitter “leaves behind their backside”, there’s a slowing down of forward momentum, and the body naturally decelerates because the springy fascia is forced to stretch, but not release.
  • Keep in mind what I call the Goldilocks Syndrome.  The back foot can skip too far (porridge too hot), and it can also not skip at all (porridge too cold).  We want the back foot to skip just right.

The Bottom Line?

In this “Squish the Bug” baseball swing mechanics experiment, “Skipping the Back Foot” showed a notable difference in average Bat & Hand Speed, Time To Impact, and the hitters Attack Angle.  I want to encourage you to tinker and test this for yourself.  The objective of these swing experiments is to put modern hitting theory to the test, literally.  We NEED to test based on data, not feelings.  Share these results with friends.

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

13 Josh Donaldson Gold Nuggets: You Didn’t Have To Be A Professional, To Teach High Level Baseball Batting Stance & Hitting Techniques

Discover some of the best youth batting stance drills for baseball, fastpitch softball, and slowpitch softball.  In the video below, Josh Donaldson addresses proper swing hitting mechanics such as power, elbow up or down, closed stances, and hitting lefty or righty.

(I apologize in advance…PLEASE set aside about 14 minutes of reading time for the following baseball batting stance & hitting techniques post. It’s a bit of an emotional RANT 😉

 

Baseball Batting Stance & Hitting Techniques: Josh Donaldson

Josh Donaldson talks hitting with Mark DeRosa on MLB Network. Photo courtesy: MLB.com

We FINALLY have validation!!!

To have 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson affirm A LOT of what we teach here at HPL!

Some of you may have seen the above video already…

If you HAVE NOT seen it, then please watch.

In the following baseball batting stance & hitting techniques post, I go into more depth about the 13 talking points Josh Donaldson mentions about the “NEW science of hitting”, beginning where Ted Williams left off.

By the way, CLICK HERE to see an article where JD CRUSHES an online pseudo-science ‘hitting guru’.

After we go over the @BringerOfRain20 talking points,

I want to address the few ex-Pro and MLB player TROLLS that wrongly tear myself, my colleagues, and my readers down on the socials for bringing up things Josh Donaldson addresses in the above video.

Without further adieu,

From my baseball batting stance & hitting techniques video notes…

 

Note #1: Back knee inside foot or weight inside back knee?

Buster Posey Back Knee Position

Is Buster Posey’s back knee being prematurely shifted inside his foot in the ‘Float’? Photo courtesy: InWriteField.com

This was a question from Mark DeRosa…

Josh Donaldson responds that he focuses his weight on his back heel and back hip.

I HATE when hitting instructors PREMATURELY force the back knee of every hitter they instruct, inside the foot (even in the stance).

There are phases to the swing, and Donaldson is talking about what my hitters refer to as the ‘Float & Fall’…

Matt Nokes calls it the ‘Ride & Stride’.

During the ‘Float’ or ‘Ride’, the hitter DOES NOT have to prematurely push their back knee inside the back foot…or focus the weight on the inside of the back knee.

CLICK HERE for a baseball batting stance & hitting techniques post I did on this, dealing with a Twitter Troll.

NEWS FLASH…

Self proclaimed elite hitting instruction doesn’t rest on taking a ton of ‘quality hacks in the cage’ and/or debating over millions of hours of video analysis footage of ‘only the best hitters’.

WTF does ‘quality hacks’ and ‘only the best hitters’ mean!!!!!?

Are we suppose to take your word for it that you know what you’re doing?!

Nah.

I’d rather watch The Kardashians.

Okay, back to focusing on where the weight is in the Float…

Prematurely forcing weight on the inside of a ‘dumb joint’, like the knee, can really put undo stress on the ligament material.

Coaches…please DO NOT wear holes in your players’ knees.  This is really important for those FP softball hitting coaches.

And on that note,

FP softball coaches, CLICK HERE for a great BreakingMuscle.com post titled, “Women: Protect Your Knees With the Sprinter Stance Squat”.

 

Note #2: Not thinking about hands going towards the baseball

Derek Jeter: Hands Inside The Baseball

Derek Jeter is one of the few having a lengthy career with an extreme handsy approach. Not too many hitters could get away with how he did what he did. Photo courtesy: BaseballByTheYard.com

I totally agree!

ALL the following baseball batting stance & hitting techniques coaching cues are destructive for youth swings:

  • Hands to the ball
  • Knob to the ball
  • Be short to the ball
  • Hands inside the ball

Yes! Especially the last one…

WHY?

Like the others, it gets the hitter thinking about doing something with the path of their hands.

Some of you use this cue when instructing hitters, and may get occasional positive results…

However,

Any coaching cue that requires an extensive explanation or doesn’t get predictably positive outcomes, is INEFFECTIVE.

I’m looking for cues that with a minimal number of words, gets my hitter to do what I want them to do, even if the concept is new to them…over and over.

 

Note #3: When Josh Donaldson begins his fall forward, that’s when he goes into loading his upper half (his ‘coil’)

Andrew McCutchen Showing his Numbers

Andrew McCutchen ‘showing his numbers’ while his lower half is beginning to turn counter-clockwise. Photo courtesy: MLB.com

YESSSSS!!

I get asked this baseball batting stance & hitting techniques question quite a bit…when does the ‘load’ start?

And this depends on your definition of a load.  But in Donaldson’s context…

The timing of Donaldson’s load, or ‘coil’, isn’t necessarily the rule,

It’s one of three options…

Option #1: Some hitters start in the ‘coiled’ position (highly recommended for younger hitters):

  • Yoenis Cespedes,
  • Hunter Pence, and
  • Ben Zobrist (from the left side)…

Option #2: Some hitters move into the ‘coiled’ position similar to Donaldson:

  • Bautista,
  • Cano, and
  • McCutchen…

Option #3: Some hitters move into the ‘coiled’ position later, like Dustin Pedroia.

The objective is that at landing, or what Josh Donaldson refers to as ‘heel plant’, the hitter is in this ‘coiled’ position.

I call this the Catapult Loading Position.

And it requires the lower half to be open at landing (pelvis on down), and the upper half (above pelvis), to be closed.

Additionally, I LOVE Jose Bautista’s timing cue of loading ‘slow and early’ (CLICK HERE for a post I did on that).

More on the lower half landing open a bit later…

Note #4: Creating bat speed with shoulders, NOT hands (effortless bat speed)

Josh Donaldson: Spinal Engine

Josh Donaldson’s swing illustrating the spinal engine and Springy ‘X’ Pattern discussed in the next section. Photo courtesy: PicPlayHost

This is VERY important…

WHY?

Because EVERY human movement is driven by the spinal engine…pelvis-spine-shoulders.

According to Dr. Serge Gracovetsky in his book The Spinal Engine, the spinal engine can move in a vacuum.

However, it’s the relationship between arms, legs, and Gravitational Forces that amplify how explosive an athlete can be.

Quite a few hitting instructors talk about hip thrust or loading and exploding the hips.

But what are the shoulder’s function in all this?

Being passive?

I don’t think so.

Some would say a right handed hitter’s front shoulder at landing should be pointing at the pitcher.

This is an ineffective hitting mechanic, shown in this Zepp swing experiment (CLICK HERE) where I observed an average 6-mph boost in Bat Speed at Impact showing my numbers to the pitcher versus pointing the front shoulder at the pitcher (not showing numbers), over 200 swings.

Don’t get me wrong, YES, the pelvis does ‘lead the way’ as Ted Williams said in The Science of Hitting.

But it plays a much smaller role than coaches believe.

Think about how we walk…

If I told you to fire your hips as you walked, what do you think your shoulders would do?

They’d FIRE also!

How about if I told you to fire your hips while walking, but don’t let your shoulders move

Would that feel awkward?

Dr. Serge Gracovetsky talks about the coupled motion of the spine…

Meaning, while the hips rotate when we walk (albeit small to the naked eye), the shoulders counter-rotate the pelvis.

This is why your right arm and left leg swing forward at the same time.

To have effortless bat speed, like Josh Donaldson says, you MUST teach your hitters to take advantage of these natural laws of human movement.

DON’T use baseball batting stance & hitting techniques to coach them out of them.

 

Note #5: Rubber band effect, ‘stretching’, creating tension at the finish of his load

Another YESSSSS!

Although Josh Donaldson uses different baseball batting stance & hitting techniques terms, he’s talking about the compression/tension forces in the body via connective tissue called fascia.

Thomas Myers in his book Anatomy Trains describes, what he calls Tensegrity (Tension-Integrity), like this:

I don’t like to think of the body as a rubber band, but rather like a spring.

But what Donaldson is describing is correct.

I refer to this as the Springy ‘X’ Pattern.

CLICK HERE for this video post describing this using Adrian Gonzalez’s swing as a model.

 

Note #6: Creating the timing to hit the pitch

Most people probably missed this point in the video…Donaldson briefly mentioned it, but I find it VERY important.

TIMING FOR HITTING IS EVERYTHING.

This is why I don’t like rapid fire soft toss OR 15-pitch marathon rounds batting practice.

It’s NOT about quick hands either.

Look, a baseball player may only see one pitch every 12-20 seconds.

A fast-pitch softball player may see one pitch every 8-15 seconds.

In games, swing intensity EVERY swing matters.

I can take a hitter with seemingly slow hands, adjust his or her timing, and have them barreling the ball more.

Of course, we’ll have to address their still ineffective mechanics at some point in the future, but the point is, it’s not about fast hands.

It’s about using the shoulders to speed up the hands.

The opposite IS NOT true.

Coaches handicap hitters by using ineffective drills like rapid fire soft toss, drop toss, and/or marathon B.P. sessions.

Again,

TIMING IS EVERYTHING IN HITTING.

CLICK HERE for “The Dead Simple Guide To Optimizing A Hitter’s Timing In Games”.

 

Note #7: Front foot is open…hips can’t separate from upper half

Miguel Cabrera: Landing Closed

Miguel Cabrera is one of my favorite swings to model, except for landing closed (less than 45-degree angle). However, he’s a physical beast, and most definitely succeeds despite one ineffective mechanic. Photo courtesy: MLB.com

Another baseball batting stance & hitting techniques golden nugget from Josh Donaldson.

However, there are quite a few other coaches getting their panties in a bunch about this comment.

CLICK HERE and follow the thread of one of my Facebook posts.

CLICK HERE and follow a Facebook post thread of my friend and colleague Taylor Gardner, founder of the BackSpin Tee.  Actually a lot of really good discussion happening on this one.

They’re reinterpreting it as Donaldson is saying to ‘point the landing toe at the pitcher’.

This may be what it looks like in the video, which we also have to be careful of camera angles…

But the point of the matter is, that Donaldson is saying to ‘land open’.

And this is where, us coaches, must define terms.

I say if the landing foot is opened less than 45-degrees, the foot is closed.

If the landing foot is opened more than 45-degrees, the foot is open.

Chris Welch at ZenoLink says the front foot should land open, roughly around 65-degrees (at about 2-min mark):

And I agree.

I do think hitters like Donaldson and Bautista are more on the open side than others.

With my definition of landing foot closed versus open, I’d rather have my hitters err on the side of open, than closed.

CLICK HERE for another Zepp swing experiment where I tested this and found an average bat speed boost of 3-mph boost when landing open, over 200 swings.

Kyle Harrington, dad of one of my online hitting lesson students Stephen, who’s currently 13yo, 5’7″, 130-lbs…

Recently, increased his Ball Exit Speed 5-mph in the last 5 months off the tee, to now 77-mph.

I asked Kyle, what were the two biggest contributors to the increase…and he responded with:

“He grew about 2″ but he’s only 5’7”.  I think the main thing is that he is not stalling the bat.  In the 3D testing with Chris Welch [of ZenoLink.com] his peak bat speed slowed almost 10 mph before impact, which is common.  So he is decelerating the barrel less coming into impact.   He was blocking with the front hip and all the speed was too early .  So he’s actually  moving the bat speed forward in his swing more (where impact is)  rather behind the ball before impact.  That’s the main reason.”
This can happen for a few reasons:
  • Too much forward momentum (yes you can have too much),
  • Landing closed with the front foot, and
  • Inward turning (coiling) the pelvis towards the catcher (shifts our 45-degree optimal impact zone too deep into the swing).

When the hitter lands closed, as Donaldson said, it’s more challenging to optimize the body’s natural springy fascia.

It’s also worth noting that the front ‘foot shape’ will change depending on pitch location at impact.

For instance,

On an outside pitch, we’ll see the foot more flat, and possibly more closed, than on an inside pitch.

 

Note #8: 10yo kid told to get on top of the ball, tell them NO…don’t get paid for hitting ground-balls

Effect of Speed Fades Only When Launch Angles Exceed 10-degrees.

Ground-ball Coaches, if you spent more time instructing 10-degree launch angles and boosting Ball Exit Speeds, than you do telling hitters to always hit the ball on the ground, our hitters will be in a better position to crush pitchers.

For me, this tip was definitely the highlight of this video.

Btw, I agree…AGAIN!

And I’m not going to get into this in detail, because I already did that in “The UGLY Truth About Hitting Ground-Balls” RANT post.

What’s more,

There was a comment on my baseball batting stance & hitting techniques Facebook post that is worth noting:

Reader A: “If I’m coaching a team of 10 year olds, and either the kid (or parent) tells me no, they ought to start looking for another team to play for. If you allow a kid to tell you no at that age, the kid will become uncoachable when he gets older.”

And here was a great response from another readers to this person:

Reader B: “If a teacher tells your kid 2+2 is 5, you don’t want him to have the courage and character to question the teacher?  This society man, anyone that questions authority is deemed to be at fault…how dare they!!!”

I agree with Reader B…however, I understand there are ignorant parents, as well as players, out there as well.

However, speaking in the context of what Donaldson is saying, I agree with Reader B on this.

If you’re a coach that’s teaching hitters to ALWAYS hit the ball on the ground, you’re being ineffective as a coach.  And you MUST get educated because if you’re aren’t growing, then you’re dying.

 

Note #9: Relaxed in stance…time that arms get engaged with the body is during his ‘coil’ (mentions ‘scap load’)

Jace: Fixing Bat Drag w/ Finger Pressure

Jace, one of my 11yos, weighs 67-lbs, and hit his first homer over a 180-foot fence. We fixed his racing back elbow bat drag with connecting his hands to his spinal engine through finger pressure.

I totally agree.

There’s a time to be relaxed, and then there’s a time to connect the body (driving engine) to the “things” holding the bat…the hands.

CLICK HERE for another Zepp swing experiment that talks about what I teach to my hitters as ‘finger pressure’, and how we’re banishing racing back elbow bat drag with this technique alone.

It’s ALL about “connection” folks.  Quite a few of the young hitters I see just aren’t connected.

But when they get connected…this is when we can triple their body-weight in distance (see Jace image above).

Note 10: Hands load it (versus shoulders), then barrel tips too much…leads to getting underneath balls

Josh Donaldson is talking about getting into his load (or ‘coil’) with his shoulders and not his hands.

When he uses his hands to get there, he feels it leads to an excessive ‘barrel tip’ (click following link), and to getting under the ball too much.

CLICK HERE for an AthleticsNation.com article titled, “Josh Donaldson: Changes in Approach & Mechanics”.

In this article, Jerry Brewer from East Bay Hitting Instruction compares Donaldson’s swing and metrics from 2013 to 2014.

The one big difference being an excessive barrel tip in 2014, leading to drops in his BA, OBP, & SLUG metrics by something like 50 points EACH.

By the way, Jerry is right on with the swing as well.

 

Note 11: At landing, wants bat to be at 45-degree angle, and to split his head from behind

I agree.

I don’t really want to get into this, but I thought it was a good little baseball batting stance & hitting techniques nugget from the video.

 

Note 12: Swing down to create backspin

The Science of Hitting Graphic on optimal bat path

This is where I see Josh Donaldson picking up where Ted Williams left off. This is a well known graphic from Williams’s book The Science of Hitting.

This is something Josh Donaldson is against, and I agree.

Yes, every once in awhile, a hitter can swing down on a ball and launch one.

Did you read the keywords there…?  “Every once in awhile.”

Do you know what the majority outcomes will be doing this?

Ground-balls.

And if you read my Ground-ball RANT, then you know how inferior default teaching your hitters to hit them is, unless of course you have hitters who run like greased lightning, or in a Hit & Run type scenario.

The biggest argument here, comes from Little League coaches saying, but the ground-ball is the hardest hit ball to field, throw, and catch.

And my rebuttal is, what happens when your ground-ball hitting team meets a team that can play catch?

It doesn’t matter anyway, because a majority of pitches are taught to keep the ball down in the zone to hitters.

WHY?

Because PITCHERS WANT HITTERS DRIVING THE BALL INTO THE GROUND.

 

Note#13: Intent – damage at all times

I thought this was a HUGE baseball batting stance & hitting techniques gold nugget.

When asked if Donaldson makes educated decisions to commit on pitches or against pitchers, he says, yeah it depends…

BUT,

His intent is to do damage at all times.

“Why wouldn’t I?” He smirks to Mark DeRosa 😛

Double and Dinger damage.

That’s what the Blue Jays pay him for.

Our objective as hitting coaches should be to get our sluggers hitting the ball as hard as their physical ability will allow them…as frequently as possible.

To return this baseball batting stance & hitting techniques post full circle, let me repeat:

You Don’t Have To Be A Professional, To Teach High Level Baseball Batting Stance & Hitting Techniques Today

You just have to understand human movement principles that are validated by science, and apply these “rules” to hitting a ball.

Circling back to the headline of this post, looking at proper swing hitting mechanics: power, elbow up or down, closed stances, and hitting lefty or righty…

  1. Power – at HPL we believe 70-80% of consistent power comes from properly moving our spinal engine, power doesn’t mostly come from the lower half as some would believe.
  2. Back elbow up or down – what’s important is hitter gets a slight downhill shoulder angle by stride landing (6-10 degrees down).  Lifting the back elbow can help with this, but if lifting the back elbow keeps shoulders level, then it doesn’t matter.
  3. Closed stances – I know Donaldson and I differ on this, but I like the closed stance to restrict hip movement.  Some hitters OVER rotate their lower half and lose out on directional force.
  4. Hitting righty or lefty – I don’t have a preference for this.  The hitter will figure it out either way.  However, I do have an opinion on switch hitting…I don’t believe switch hitting is all it’s cracked up to be because they get waaay more at-bats on the left side early on because there aren’t that many lefty pitchers, so the righty swing significantly suffers.  Evidence of this lack of lefty pitchers is shown in the majority of lefty hitters struggling against lefty pitchers.
Baseball Trainers Near Me

Increase Consistent Power In 2-Weeks: Baseball Trainers Webinar Part-1…

 

Are you looking for 1 on 1 or small private group hitting lessons for baseball and softball players in the Fresno and Clovis, CA areas?  Or are you looking for the best private online batting instruction and swing analysis in 2022?  We do training for both adults and youth.  This 20-min part-1 video webinar will give you a little taste of what we’re about.

For those interested:

  • Here’s a link to sign up for our online hitting lesson program called The Feedback Lab,
  • Please text me at: 559-709-5808 (Joey) if you’re in Fresno, Clovis, or general California area to setup private 1 on 1 instruction or small private group lessons.
  • CLICK HERE for a link to Our Story and testimonials.

Here’s are the three parts:

  1. [YOU ARE HERE] Baseball Trainers Near Me? Part-1,
  2. Perfect Baseball Swing Webinar? Part-2, and
  3. Part-3 COMING SOON!!

The following is the transcript to the baseball trainers near me webinar… (about 18-minutes reading time)

Joey Myers  00:06

Get cozied up to technology over the years, because of the online thing, it is what it is.

Joey Myers  00:14

Let me let these people in. Welcome everybody that are coming in here. Some are coming in by phone.

Joey Myers  00:25

We have a lot of information today, I’m going to try and get through it really quickly, within 30 minutes. It will be good information.

Joey Myers  00:32

If you have any questions, I know, I have a lot of questions, a lot of great questions that Neil relayed over to me, from many of you. There’s a lot of them, like I said, 40-50, something like that.Baseball Trainers Near Me

Joey Myers  00:42

I’m going to do my best to really get through those quickly. Obviously, I’m not going to be able to go through them in depth, but if you have any questions after this, feel free to reach out and email me at Joey, J-O-E-Y, like Joey from friends, at hitting performance lab dot com, and I’ll have that at the end of this too. You don’t have to worry about downloading it into your brain. If you have any baseball trainers near me webinar questions, please, and I will answer them, have them ready.

 

Baseball Trainers Near Me – Our Story

Joey Myers  01:08

I think we’re adding them here. As they as they come in, we will add them. Today, we’re going to be going over something, about 2012, towards the end of 2012, is when my son, who’s now going to be turning eight in three days.

Joey Myers  01:28

When he was born, and the wife was doing the midnight, every two hours, three-hour milk feedings. I had a book called Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers, same last name. I’m sure on the family tree, we are related in some way, but I don’t know him like I would know my brother or my uncle or anything like that.

Joey Myers  01:50

Thomas Myers’ book Anatomy Trains was something that really changed everything, how I teach hitting, and how I’m going to teach hitting, and you will hopefully get to see a little bit of that in this baseball trainers near me presentation. So again, welcome.

Joey Myers  02:04

Thank you again, Neil, for putting this thing on and keeping you already to go. Hopefully, we can get a lot of information in and if you got to go, we’re going to record this, don’t worry, we will get that out. I’ll get the recording out to Neil and he can get it out to you guys, so let’s get going.

Joey Myers  02:19

This is the baseball trainers near me seminar, teleseminar, whatever you want to call it, how to teach 100-pound hitters who consistently drive the ball 300 feet. This was something that I didn’t just cook up and create a product and go. This came to me with the results that my hitters were getting, and hitters were soon to be, what other coaches were learning, and were applying with their hitters.

Joey Myers  02:44

Brought to you by Hitting Performance Lab, that’s my website. You got Neil over at MaxBP. One of my favorite quotes is by Ralph Waldo Emerson, you might know that gentlemen,

“As to the methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles is sure to have trouble”.

Joey Myers  03:15

Now this is an important quote, because it distinguishes between methods and principles, principles are rules. Think about playing Monopoly, you got to know the rules of the game before you can play the game. The principles to hitting can come in the form of bio-mechanics, physics, engineering, those are the principles that we tend to stick with.

Joey Myers  03:42

What we’re going to be talking about today, case studies, why legs fail, and spinal engine succeeds in the power equation, discover the springy fascist secret, how to turn the spine into a safe ball crushing machine. We were talking about this with Neil, I talked to him yesterday on the phone, he was having some back pain with his baseball golf swing, and we’ll see if we can get to that in this, but I really want to focus on more of the power side, but we want to make sure the swing is safe, we will talk about that.

Joey Myers  04:17

Before we get there, let’s add some more people in here, probably have Neil do this. That’s right. Thank you for joining everybody. All right.

Joey Myers  04:35

The first question usually when you go to a wedding is how do you know the bride? How do you know the groom? So, how do I know MaxBP? Well, it first started with the Sandlot Slugger, and then MaxBP acquired Sandlot Slugger, and that’s where we connected, and I connected with Neil. That’s probably been, I don’t know, Neil can probably say on this five, seven years ago, maybe, that this happened. Is that about right, Neil?

Neil McConnell  04:58

Yes, that sounds right. We’ve been around about 11 years; Sandlot Slugger ran probably about 14 years ago. Somewhere in that mix.

Joey Myers  05:08

I know them because we started the starting lineup store dot com, where I started it back 2010. I was grouping a lot of the hitting aids that really love to work with my hitters that are proven, whether it’s through science or just data, and MaxBP, Sandlot Slugger at the time, the MaxBP is one of those hitting aids, I call them the best hitting aids in the world, on the planet. That’s how I know Neil and MaxBP.

Joey Myers  05:38

I played four years division one baseball at Fresno State from 2003, I just want to give just a little bit, I’m going to probably rush through this because I know most year, just cut to the chase. I think some of you that don’t know me, would be good to just take a gloss… Over 15 plus years in the corrective exercise industry, and those are some of the alphabet soup that I have certification wise.

Joey Myers  06:02

What’s funny is in college, I was a criminology major and I really fell in love with kinesiology. I wish if I did it over again, that’s what I would have done, but I’m mostly self-taught. I used to train people, I wrote a 2018 Amazon bestselling book, Catapult Loading System, that’s the title of this baseball trainers near me webinar.

Joey Myers  06:24

How to teach 100-pound hitters, how to consistently drive the ball 300 feet, and that started me on this journey that this stuff really works, because you really start to get in with a lot of other coaches reteaching the same information, and you really get to see this stuff.

Joey Myers  06:42

It’s not just me and my hitters, or my magic, but other coaches are able to do the same thing. I’ll have a cool little bonus for you guys, free bonus that you can grab this book at no cost on Amazon. At the end of this baseball trainers near me webinar, we’ll talk about that.

Joey Myers  06:58

We’ll get a couple more of these, about almost 30,000 online courses, lessons and books product sold online, over 333 blog posts at Hitting Performance Lab dot com, giving away over 8500 copies of Amazon best selling book…

Joey Myers  07:19

We applied human movement principles that are validated by science to hitting the ball. Like I mentioned, I played four years of division one baseball at Fresno State. I didn’t play pro ball, I didn’t play major league ball, but I played probably more than 95 and 98% of the baseball population.

Joey Myers  07:34

I don’t say that to brag, I say that most of the teaching that I teach has nothing to do with how I was taught. I do use some of that stuff. I do use some of the cues and different things like that in certain circumstances, but most of my stuff, if not all of it, is validated by science.Baseball Trainers Near Me

Joey Myers  07:53

The other thing, that we talked about is, I’m working on a new book that’s going to be published, we are working on January- February of 2021. It’s called “Swing Smarter: Science-Based Hitting Training, Built to Understand How, Why and the Reasoning Behind it”.

Joey Myers  08:09

Those are all things that we stand for and set us apart from a lot of the others that you’ve probably read, heard, watched out there, purchased their products, watched their YouTube videos.

 

Case Studies

Joey Myers  08:19

Let’s get started, case studies, so the only reason I got, I’m not here to brag, and I could give you a hundred other ones, but I want to give you an example since Neil talked about that there’s a huge smattering of different people on this call. There are parents that are just coaching their kids, there are team coaches that are coaching a group of kids from 14 to probably 30 plus in high school, professional and there are instructors out there like myself, there are probably academy owners out there.

Joey Myers  08:27

I just want to put it up front on the people that we help and how these human movement principles that are validated by science can help anybody.

Joey Myers  09:04

At 14, a 130 pound hitter that was driving the ball 385 feet and by the way that was with a hickory wood bat. That wasn’t the hot metals that everybody says, “oh they always try and explain these case studies away”.  This particular hitter, I think it’s Texas Tech, he got a full ride to Texas Tech, Hudson White is his name. I do have a blog post on him that is featured on my blog, but he’s one of them.

Joey Myers  09:31

Sixty-seven-pound hitter at the time, soaking wet. I think that 67 pounds, he had eaten a Costco chocolate muffin, that I think after he went to the doctor to get that measurement or something like that, he might have even been easy, 65 pounds before eating that muffin, but he was hitting the ball 180 plus feet and this is consistent.

Joey Myers  09:50

I always tell my hitters that I’m just the compass and the flashlight in the dark, you have to walk the path, I don’t have to walk the path for you, I’ve done that on my own. I’ve walked the path plenty of times, but now it’s the hitters that have to do that. They are 90% of this. I’m just the 10% that gives them the right direction to go.

Joey Myers  09:50

She put a lot of hard work in that summer, and she gained 10 miles an hour and ball exit speed, hitting a softball. We have an indie baseball player, he was pretty much out, he came to me, and in one hour, we increased, obviously baseball, plus 10 miles per hour and ball exit speed.

Joey Myers  09:50

This isn’t just a one flash in the pan time, 90-pound hitter driving the ball 300 feet. D-1 college fast-pitch softball player, she was a Fresno State in a summer, now with softball because the balls bigger, many you know in softball obviously, in baseball you should know bigger softball, heavier, more mass, and to gain 10 miles an hour in one summer in two and a half months is a big deal. That’s what she did, a lot of hard work.

Joey Myers  10:52

Now those things when they gain that much, the reason why, is because the principles we’re going to talk about today, the consistently power principles, and they were almost nonexistent in their swing. If you have a hitter who is nonexistent, you’re going to see these big gains using principles seen in this baseball trainers near me webinar.

Joey Myers  11:07

If you see hitters that have maybe a couple of these or one of these, you’re not going to see that kind of a gain, just because they’re not starting from zero. I want you to understand that this isn’t the norm. It’s not the norm when somebody started from zero but it’s pretty close. It’s between six and 10 miles an hour ball exit speed when they’re starting from zero, it’s what I tend to see.

Joey Myers  11:28

55-year-old slow-pitch softball optometrist online lesson, and he’s working with me and doing pretty well. I don’t have any gains on that side of it, but it’s interesting and 71-year-old senior league baseball player, I worked with him this week, he came up, he read my book, he said, “It makes sense, I love what you wrote. A lot of the other books I’ve read are hard to understand”. He’s an attorney, by the way. Attorneys usually are really into that jargon.

Joey Myers  11:55

He picked it up, he said “I love it”, it kind of come up. He’s from Ojai, in California, he drove about three and a half hours. For two days, we worked, and we increased his ball exit speed by nine miles an hour in one hour.

Joey Myers  12:09

The first day we really hit a couple of these principles hard the first day, and he gained nine miles an hour, plus, he had a little bit of back pain when we first started, and we got rid of it in his swing.

Joey Myers  12:20

Again, that’s something maybe we’ll talk about if you guys want me to. I’ve worked with major leaguers, whether it’s in person or they bought my courses and we’ve talked online through some of this stuff, professional hitters I’ve worked with in person, college, Juco, high school, junior high school, little league and senior league.

Joey Myers  12:38

This goes across the board, it doesn’t matter what level they’re at, these principles work, whether they are male or female, they work, it doesn’t matter. Human to human is basically what it works for.  And you’ll learn these principles in this baseball trainers near me webinar.

Joey Myers  12:49

If you want to get a lot of the testimonials, and that’s just probably, I think it’s 50 to 100 of them on my website, I have more, I just had been lazy to get them up, but if you go to hittingperformancelab.com, if you scroll all the way down into the footer, you’ll see the about page and you can click that, read a little bit about me, and then scroll down and there’s a ton of testimonials there. You can go check out more of those.

 

Why Legs Fail and Spinal Engine Succeeds in the Power equation

Joey Myers  13:11

Enough of that, let’s start to transition in this baseball trainers near me webinar… why the legs fail, and spinal engine succeeds in the power equation. Learning principles from water polo, maybe those of you out there have had kids that played water polo or have hitters that have played water polo. I have cousins and hitters that also did it, and the idea came to me, I ran an experiment where I wanted to have my pelvis facing forward, I was using a knob tracker, like a Zepp on my on my knob for those of you who blast motion, same thing, swing tracker.

Joey Myers  13:44

I was facing my hips forward, but I was just turning my upper body to be able to hit the ball. The experiment didn’t really turn out really well, but I tried to do it because my mobility in my spine or my shoulders and my pelvis weren’t allowing me to actually do the experiment like I should.

Joey Myers  14:02

We had the backspin tee guys, I’m really good friends with them since I met them. They did an experiment where they were jumping up and hitting a ball off the tee and dropping off of a chair hitting a ball before they hit the ground. They were doing a couple different experiments like that, and what they found was when their feet weren’t on the ground, and they were just using their shoulders in their thoracic spine, the middle of their spine, that their base when they had their feet on the ground ball exit speed…

Joey Myers  14:27

They had single-A ball players, they had indies or rookie ball, they had golfers that are hitting the ball 300 plus yards or 400 yards now and they had an eight-year professional pitcher who hits pretty well too. They were doing the experiment and they found that about 90 miles an hour was their normal control when their feet were on the ground, but when they were jumping up hitting or when they were falling and hitting, and doing their other things trying to take the lower half of the equation that their ball exit speeds were about 70 to 80% of what their control was, which was interesting.

Joey Myers  15:06

They were about 60 to 70 miles an hour versus the 90 with their feet on the ground. It got me thinking, and then somebody said, “well, that’s not a good experiment”, because you know, if you really wanted to do this, you had to hang from a harness, where your feet were hanging in, and then you hit it like that, like, well, who’s going to do that? Unless you’ve got access to a harness, like that, maybe at a farm.

Joey Myers  15:25

I was thinking, what athletes do throw or hit, from that kind of a position? I did a blog post, and it was titled “Is rotating back hip through the ball necessary for power?” Think about this baseball trainers near me webinar thought experiment.

Joey Myers  15:43

I don’t know if anybody has actually done this. I probably have to do this next summer, but think about that the fastest water polo throw, if you googled it, what do you think of that speed of that water polo ball. As you can see, the size of that ball is like a volleyball, Croatian Olympic water polo, male athlete, 60 miles an hour.

Joey Myers  16:15

As you can see floating in water, they’re not going down to the bottom and pushing up, they’re floating in water, so the lower half is minimal to almost zero friction with the lower half, so you’re not able to use a lower half like you are when you are standing on land, 60 miles an hour.

Joey Myers  16:31

Think about the pitcher, who is going down the mound, they got gravity, they got access to everything. Fastest pitcher, let’s just round it up to 100 miles an hour, so 100 miles an hour, on flat ground, falling down a mound is the fastest pitch.

Joey Myers  16:51

I know 102, 103, we can argue but say 100 easy numbers, so that water polo throw is throwing a big ball, that’s going to have an effect. Now, what happens if we put in that Croatian, male Olympic water polo player athlete, we put a baseball in his hand and have them floating in water and have them throw that baseball as hard as you can?

Joey Myers  17:13

What do you think that speed is going to be? It’s going to be a lot faster than 60 miles an hour, I can tell you. Is it going to be, instead of 60, is he going to throw at 70? Is he going to throw 80 miles an hour? Let’s be conservative and just say 70 miles an hour.

Joey Myers  17:27

You’re telling me in water, the fastest water polo thrower throws a baseball 70 miles an hour, while on land, the fastest pitcher throws 100 miles an hour. Easy numbers, 70% we can say, maybe conclude, that without ground reaction forces, that 70% of that velocity is coming from the pelvis, spine, and shoulder combination.

Joey Myers  17:56

Without ground reaction forces, we are very minimal when we’re in the pool. I say the spinal engines is responsible for about 70 to 80% of the power equation, and the lower half the legs and ground reaction forces are responsible for the other 20 to 30%. That’s what I say. Keep that in mind as we talk through this baseball trainers near me webinar and the spinal engine system.

Baseball Trainers Near Me Webinar

Betts, Arenado, & Trout. Showing ‘dem numbers!

Joey Myers  18:20

Do you recognize some of these hitters? Some of them have changed unis, or one of them at least, Mookie Betts, he’s on the Dodgers now. Nolan Arenado is in the middle, Mike Trout.

Joey Myers  18:29

Notice the pinstripe on the side of their leg and how it connects into the belt. Notice the positioning of where that is. Pelvis is already starting to open; all these hitters are at toe touch or pretty close to toe touch. Notice the numbers on their back. Now the righties, because the camera in the major leagues isn’t straight on center-field because you get to see the pitcher and the hitter, it’s slightly off center towards left.

Joey Myers  18:56

Your righties, you’re going to see probably more numbers than you would see lefties doing the same degree of rotation. This started off as showing numbers, it’s what we called it, and we will talk in a little bit how we’ve refined it to creating neck pressure but notice these in this baseball trainers near me webinar.

Joey Myers  19:12

Swing experiments results with the big three. The first of the big three is showing numbers. When I used a Zepp back in the day, now Zepp is turned in blast motions taken over and swing tracker. When I did about two- three experiments showing numbers, we found that out of 100 swings not showing numbers and 100 swing showing numbers, that bat speed was increased on average by four to six miles an hour, that’s bat speed.

Joey Myers  19:40

Bat speed is the close cousin to the ball exit speed. They are not the same, but they’re like first cousins. Without bat speed, ball exit speed probably is not going to be there. We got to be able to swing the bat somewhat hard to get the ball coming off the bat as fast. There are three others…

To be continued in Part-2 to this baseball trainers near me webinar…

Perfect Baseball Swing

Where Power Secret is & Where to Find it: Perfect Baseball Swing Webinar Part-2…

Here’s are the three parts:

  1. Baseball Trainers Near Me? Part-1,
  2. [YOU ARE HERE] Perfect Baseball Swing Webinar? Part-2, and
  3. COMING SOON!!

The following is the continued transcript to the perfect baseball swing webinar part-2… (about 18-minutes reading time)

‘Showing Numbers’ and ‘Neck Pressure’Perfect Baseball Swing

00:07

Do you recognize some of these hitters? Some of them have changed unis or one of them at least. Mookie Betts, he’s on the Dodgers now, Nolan Arenado is in the middle, Mike Trout.

00:16

Notice the pinstripe on the side of their leg and how it connects into the belt. Notice the positioning of where that is, pelvis is already starting to open. All these hitters are at toe touch or close to toe touch. Notice the numbers on their back.

00:33

Now the righties, because the camera in the major leagues isn’t straight on center-field because you have to see the pitcher and the hitter, it’s slightly off centered towards left.

00:43

Your righties, you’re going to see probably more numbers than you would see lefties doing the same degree of rotation. This started off as showing numbers, it’s what we called it. We’ll talk in a little bit how we’ve refined it to creating neck pressure. but notice these.

00:57

Perfect baseball swing webinar experiment results of the big three. The first of the Big Three is showing numbers. When I used a Zepp back in the day, now Zepp is turned in, BlastMotion taken over and SwingTracker.

01:05

When I did about two, three experiments showing numbers, we found that out of 100 swings, not showing numbers and 100 swing showing numbers that that speed was increased on average by four to six miles an hour. That’s bat speed.

01:27

Bat speed is the close cousin to ball exit speed, they are not the same, but they’re like first cousins. Without bat speed, ball exit speed probably is not going to be there, we got to be able to swing the bat somewhat hard to get the ball coming off the bat as fast.

01:46

Here are three others, you can probably notice these ones again, jerseys might have changed. JD Martinez, on the left, you have Aaron Judge in the middle, and you have Altuve on the right.

01:57

I know I’m as big against the whole cheating thing, as probably many of you are with Houston, the Astros back in 2019. But Altuve, being 5’6, 5’7, he does a lot of these mechanical things correctly. Regardless of whether you knew the pitchers coming or not, he still got to be able to hit it, as far as he does, which I think that year up, you hit 30 plus… 35, even with the playoffs in the World Series, I think he got close to 40 home runs that year.

02:32

Even though you know it’s coming, the guy is 5’6, he’s not Judge who is 6’8. You can’t just write the guy off for “Oh, he’s gifted”. There’s a lot of things that he’s doing in his swing that are very effective when it comes to this perfect baseball swing webinar – spinal engine mechanics. That was showing numbers.

‘Hiding Hands’ from the Pitcher

02:51

The second part, it was the third part, we’re going to get to the second part of the big three and the second one of the big three, but the other one is we call hiding the hands from the pitcher.

03:01

A lot of times what you will see is at the start of the swing, you’ll see the hitter’s hands, and then by toe touch as you can see, all three of these hitters are pretty much a toe touch or right at toe touch. You’re not seeing their hands, they’re hiding them.

03:15

You can see Judge, they’re kind of behind his head over here, Altuve is the same, JD Martinez behind his head, but from where they start with their hands, where their hands are at. Before the pitcher starts or gets in the wind up to when they’re at landing, there’s this move the hands to go back, and it’s not towards the catcher, it’s actually back at an angle behind the hitters heel or over the hitters back heel, that’s where the hands need to go.

03:43

We see this idea of hiding the hands, now in the swing experiments with that, we found between a one to three mile an hour average increase in bat speed with hiding the hands versus not hiding the hands.

Perfect Baseball Swing Webinar: Spinal Engine Mechanics

03:59

The second one we’ll talk about here in a second, it’s called downhill shoulder angle, but I wanted to go into the three basic principles of locomotion. There were three books that ruin my life when it comes to hitting in a good way.

04:13

The first one I mentioned was Thomas Myers book Anatomy Trains. The second one was called Dynamic Body by Dr. Erik Dalton, D-A-L-T-O-N. It was a collaboration of different authors that were all along the same lines of springy fascia, Spinal Engine and locomotion, that kind of stuff.

04:30

In that book, Dynamic Body, I found Dr. Serge Gracovetsky’s book The Spinal Engine. This is out of the spinal engine, the little thing on the right, which he’s talking about a pitcher and talking about side bending, which is downhill shoulder angle, and he talks about axial rotation, which basically means shoulders moving opposite of the pelvis.

04:30

When we walk as humans. our left leg comes forward when our right arm comes forward and the opposite happens. Left arm comes forward our right leg comes forward. That is axial rotation, your shoulders turn opposite your pelvis, and it’s like this gear shift that just does this when we walk, our shoulders and our pelvis and they move opposite each other, almost like winding it up, unwinding, winding, unwinding.

05:15

The axial rotation, shoulder, pelvis separation, the side bend, or downhill shoulders, and then the third move of the spine is flexion extension. If you go into an arch, you’re extending your spine, you’re hyper extending your spine, if you just stand in neutral, your lower back has a slight curve to it, or at least it should, if it does not, then we’ve had surgery to correct something we put pins in or something, or maybe we’ve got a lower back that’s compromised, but we should have a slight curve in the lower back.

05:46

Dr. Serge Gracovetsky calls it “lordosis”. Just standing there in neutral, with that curve in your lower back, you already have extension in your back, it’s not hyper-extension, it’s just extension.

06:00

Flexion would be if you were doing a crunch, and you were to go the opposite direction and you flex your spine. You think about whales, they go this way with their tail, right? That’s flexion extension of the spine, sharks go side bend, you see this right here, they do a little bit of both, but that’s the good example of side bending.

06:17

We use all three of those when we walk. We already have lordosis or that little bend in the lower back. We drop our shoulder into a side bend, and that helps us to initiate the axial rotation where right arm comes forward as the left leg comes forward.

06:31

The story that really got me with this was Dr. Serge had a patient, you see this gentleman on the left, he was born without any arms or legs. He walked on what’s called the ischium the bottom of the pelvis, and you can see him here in this perfect baseball swing webinar.

06:50

What he did was he hooked up electrodes, not to shock him but to measure his muscle activation and his ligament activation. He said if you watch and you can go on YouTube, and you can put in Dr. Serge Gracovetsky, try and spell it the best you can.

07:07

It’s kind of a goofy name, spinal engine, and he’s got a video on there that’s like an hour long, and you can watch I think it’s around the four-minute mark or three-and-a-half-minute mark, his show has a video of this gentleman locomoting.

07:21

What’s crazy, if you remember, this is from birth, this wasn’t the guy who had arms and legs until he was 18, got in a car accident or got a bad disease or virus or something where he had to be amputated, he was born this way. It was from the start.

07:36

If you covered the lower half of his pelvis to know he didn’t have legs and you watched him move, you would swear he had legs. That begs the premise locomotion is from the beginning.

07:51

As we start going from baby crawling or rocking, crawling to standing to walking, we learn how to locomote this way, this is the best way how to locomote. This gentleman really opened my eyes to wow there must be something here and where it got me to reverse engineer the swing.

Perfect Baseball Swing Webinar: Springy Fascia Secret

08:13

Discover the springy fascia secret. Springy fascia for those of you that don’t know out there, we got bones, we got muscles, but did you know, we have connective tissue? Part of that connective tissue is called fascia.

08:25

What is connective tissue? Tendons, ligaments, fascia, to cotton candy or spider web-like material that your bones and muscles float in. It gives muscles their shape if you’ve gone to the grocery store and bought a bag of tangerines in that, that fishnet type of bag, think of the tangerines as your bones, muscles, and your organs, and the bag being the fascia, so it gives muscles their shape.

08:52

Myofascia or fascia, if you’ve done myofascia release on a foam roll, you probably felt the pain especially if you do your IT band of that fascia when it gets really tight and clogged up. Cotton candy and spider web-like material, it’s made up of mostly collagen and elastin fibers, mostly collagen, but there’s elastin in there, collagen is very springy.

09:12

You’ve seen the Kardashians, how springy it is because they inject it in their face and their butt and everything else. It keeps everything nice and plump and tight. Bones and muscles float in this web, they’re composed of compression and tension forces.

09:27

You see a couple of these things you probably recognize as a kid or if you bought these for your kid, that Chinese finger trap and the geometric toys, although I don’t know about the Chinese finger traps nowadays, unless you go to some arcade and you can win tickets and get some of those things. Never thought you’d be learning about Chinese finger traps in a perfect baseball swing webinar!

09:42

The idea is compression forces a brick stacked up on top of a brick pushing down, each push against each other tension forces would be like a boom crane and you have the cable. You got the big wrecking ball at the bottom of the cable. You got the structure, the boom crane.

09:58

There’s a tension force being exerted on it by the structure of the boom crane and the wrecking ball itself. We have both of these forces, fascia that are acting within our body at all times and resembles more of this toy on the left, this kid’s toy, when you push one side of that toy down, it kind of shifts and changes it, one side opens up as you push on the other side. We got those two forces that fascia is into.

10:27

In Thomas Myers’ Anatomy Trains, we have three different systems. According to him, we have the neural which is brain spinal cord stuff, the fluid, which is your veins and your heart, and then we have the third one, and hopefully, if you got kids there, there’s no naked pictures here, but it can be a little bit unnerving.

10:47

We have a fiber system, which looks like this, they did a lot of cadaver work. This is what the fascial system looks like. It’s not just something that is magic and floats, they have done a ton of research on this, and this is your fiber system or your fascial net, it’s what Thomas Myers refers to this as.

Finger Flick & Wringing Towel Effect

11:05

What I want you to do is do a finger flick test. Thomas Myers came up or this is where I read this from. To show you the power of the springy fascia spinal engine system, what I want you to do, if you’re seated, I want you to take your right hand or your left hand, whatever your dominant, whatever hand is dominant, I want you to put it on your leg on the thigh of whatever side leg, I want you to take your index finger, and I want you to just pick it up by itself and try and slam it as hard as you can on your leg, do it three times, pick it up, slam it, pick it up and slam it.

11:38

That’s an example of muscle using muscle to do it. Now we’re going to use only the ligament, I want you to take your opposite hand, pull the right finger, or mine is right finger, pull your index finger back as far as you can, and let it snap against your leg, you might be able to hear it on the camera, on the computer three times.

12:01

That is an example of a 100% ligament driving that, you can probably already tell that you’re going to bet a bigger snap than you are when you’re using your finger muscles.

12:11

The last one is I want you to use a combination of both, use a combination of the elastic or collagen, the ligament tissue, you’re going to pull the finger back and as you release the finger, I want you to slam it. I found that that hurts a lot more than the other two.

12:31

What we talked about in the swing is we’re using a little bit of both, we’re using more of the ligament tissue, which makes it safe on the body, and then we’re using some of the muscle, the muscle isn’t required, but it does help.

12:45

When we talk about strength conditioning programs and that kind of stuff, that helps, but we want to make sure we get our hitters moving correctly first.  A must you’re learning in this perfect baseball swing webinar.

12:53

The other metaphor I like to use is the wringing towel effect. Imagine we got a wringing towel, like you see me in the picture, I got my bat here and to wring a towel, you got to turn one hand one way and the other hand the other way.

13:05

When we combine the springy fascia and the spinal engine, instead of two hands, like we only have two, if I had a third hand like Squidward on Sponge-Bob, I have a third hand down here facing the same direction as the one on top.

13:18

The one on top is my head and my neck, my C spine cervical. The one in the middle is my shoulder and my thoracic spine, the middle part of your spine, the 12 vertebrae, the bottom one is your pelvis and your lower lumbar, the head and your lower back, turn the same direction, they’re turning the same direction.

13:38

It’s the one in the middle, the shoulders and the thoracic spine are turning the opposite. Imagine a wringing towel, except with two hands, we’re using three like Squidward. As you can see here in this video, this is what we’re doing with the spine and we’re doing it in a safe manner.

13:54

Again, returning to our hitters here. We talked about all these guys, neck pressure, AKA showing the numbers. When it comes to the pressure, what we’re talking about is taking the head and we anchor the head in a tracking position, because when I used to teach this is just showing numbers that hitters were showing too much of their numbers, and now they weren’t able to see the ball.

14:16

We make sure that their head is the anchor and anchors in a tracking position, the shoulder, the front shoulder comes underneath the chin, possibly even past the chin as far as it can go, as far as the neck will allow the shoulder to go.

14:31

Wherever the shoulder stops, you got to stop, because then we start to pull the head off the ball. When we say neck pressure, that’s what we’re referring to. Head anchors show front shoulder comes underneath until it stops at landing.

14:47

At stride landing as you see what these hitters here, this is what they’re all doing. You can see what their head and I encourage you to go out on YouTube and go start looking for this. You’re going to see it, you’re going to see the head anchor, you’re going to see the shoulder coming underneath, that’s the first one of the big three in this perfect baseball swing webinar.

‘Downhill Shoulders’

15:03

The second one, we talked about the side bend or down shoulders. The experiment we did on this added on average when we had down shoulders versus flat shoulders added, on average four miles an hour of bat speed, and again, bat speed ball exit speed, they’re similar, not the same, but without bat speed, you’re not going to have ball exit speed.

15:23

You can see four these hitters right here, Miguel Cabrera, on the left, you can see JD Martinez in the middle, on the top Mike Trout in the middle, in the bottom and you got a new guy this last year, you probably all have seen him, he had a good year this year, Fernando Tatis Jr.

15:39

You have this slight downward shoulder angle, and I say slight. In golf, you’re going to see an extreme just because where the ball is. In baseball or softball, we can’t be quite that down because we got to be able to hit balls up in the zone.

15:52

When I say slight, I’m talking about 6 to 10 degrees down, it’s not a lot. I tell my hitters, this is 90 degrees, and then, 45 degrees, 22 and a half degrees, 12.25 degrees, it’s really small, but you can see the back shoulder is above the front shoulder slightly. You can see with Trout on the bottom, I know that picture is a little farther off.

16:15

You can see with Miggy, he’s about eight degrees, nine degrees. JD is probably around that six to eight degrees. Tatis is about six to eight degrees, and Trout is around that same.

16:27

Hiding hands, we talked about this already, so we won’t go too far into it. Hiding the hands here you can see also, we talked about being safe with the lower back.

Last but not least in this Perfect Baseball Swing Webinar: ‘Hollow Position’

16:39

What we do is we don’t like what we call Donald Duck butt or those of you that know Dr. Kelly Starrett from mobilityWOD used to be and now I can’t remember what he changed it to, but taking the pelvis acting like the pelvis is a bowl of water, and we don’t want to spill water on our front of our toes.

16:55

We don’t want to tilt our pelvis to water spilling forward, we want to tilt our pelvis or our water spilling on our heels. What you can see here, not so much with Betts, you can see Arenado you can see this belt loops are almost flat.

17:09

When you see the belt loops in more of an angle and that also depends on the hip hinge that the hitters taken as well but with Arenado you can see almost more of a flat, he’s taken the curve out of his lower back because he is spilling water on his heels.

17:23

Trout, you can see the same, he’s flattened it. Judge he might be a little bit curved. Altuve, you can see the same thing, and if I had a picture of Josh Donaldson, you would see flat when he gets at the height of his leg kick, his pelvis is flat.

17:41

If we go into a hyper extended position, what that does is that pushes the vertebrae of the lower back together. That’s not bad in itself, we see gymnast when they are swinging back and forth, they’re going from global flexion to global extension, flexion would be flexing the lower back, extension would be when they come through the bar and they’re extending into like a global arch position, that’s okay.

18:03

The problem is since we hit, we have to turn and rotate, we have to, so if you’re overarching, your lower back or your hitter’s back and then you turn, you arch turn, arch turn.

18:16

It’s not going to show up in your younger hitters, but as they get into high school, junior high, high school on up, they’re going to start experiencing back pain. What we do when we flex, when we spill water on our heels, and the term we use with our hitters is we take the belt buckle in the belly button, and we try and bring those two points together.

18:35

We hold those two points together through the turn, even into the finish because some hitters will release it into their follow through and they’ll get into that arch again, we’re still turning as we’re arching, we don’t want to do that.

18:47

If you can do the pinch, we call it the hollow pinch. If you look on YouTube and just look up hollow position, or hollow exercise, you’ll get some cool gymnastic exercises to strengthen that, but we want our hitters to maintain the short distance between the belly button and the belt buckle as we’re turning.

19:05

Now, when you do that, the opposite happens to the vertebrae when you’re arching, you give space or traction between the vertebrae, and now when you turn, you don’t have that friction you’re not bone on bone turning.

19:16

Over time, obviously it’s a lot safer, and it doesn’t take away from performance at all. The swing experiments we did on that, I think it added one mile an hour on average, it didn’t add a lot, but it makes the spine safe and when the spine is safe the brain is always about survival. It doesn’t care if you can hit a 4- or 500-foot home run or in softball, a 300-foot home run, it doesn’t care about your performance.

19:36

It cares about surviving, it cares about keeping your body safe, and if there’s an issue with your lower back or your knee, your ankle, your shoulder, it’s going to say, “You know what, Neil? I can’t let you go 100% on your swing performance, I have to cut you down about 80%”, depending on the severity of the issue, and Neil was talking about his lower back was hurting him in the golf.

To be continued in Part- to this perfect baseball swing webinar…

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

Jaime Cevallos Part-2 Interview: What are the 3 most Important Things to Consistent Power?

 

 

In case you missed any of the 3-part series…

Here’s what we’re going to discuss in Part-2 of the Jaime Cevallos interview:

  • What are the BIG-3 for consistent power?
  • How do you wind up the body to deliver more force?
  • What is the Main Thing that Separates the Great Hitters from Average?
  • What are the 3 most Important Things to Consistent Power?

The following is the transcription of the above video.  You can find Jaime Cevallos at the following places:

Enjoy!

 

What are the BIG-3 for Consistent Power?How To Wind Up The Body To Deliver More Force

Joey Myers  00:06

…the application of it basically. And in the beginning, there was the big three is what I call it. So that was showing the numbers, so hitters showing their numbers to the pitcher, there was the downhill shoulder angle. So that’s the side bend side of it. And then there was the hiding of the hands.

 

Joey Myers  00:20

And I know you came to kind of a conclusion about that front arm shape being barred out or even slight bend, but pretty close to being barred out. So, the hands don’t necessarily they used to teach walk away from the hands, right? So that to me is translated as the hands going back towards the catcher, but it’s actually should go back at an angle back where we say hiding the hands from the pitcher. So, the hands should end up at landing somewhere above or behind the back heel.

 

Joey Myers  00:49

So if the pitcher is watching this hitter, and again, go look at Mike Trout, go look at JD Martinez. Go look at Mookie Betts. Look at all these guys and you’ll see them number one, showing their numbers. Number two, not all of them have a downward shoulder angle but many of them do; Miggy Cabrera, Ted Williams if you want to go back in the day, a lot of hitters in the Stan Musial, they used to say that it looked like he was a little kid peeking around the corner. Right.

 

Joey Myers  01:16

And it was that the showing numbers part of it. And you see them all hiding their hands. So, from the minute they start to at landing, you see their hands disappear. So those are the big three and what’s happening fascia wise is we’re taking the front shoulder, we’re taking the front shoulder and we’re bringing it down and in towards the back hip.

 

Joey Myers  01:37

So that gives you that slight down angle and it gets you… we’ve evolved showing numbers to more creating neck pressure. Because every hitter is different, you and me being a little bit older, although we do a lot of movement work on our own body so we probably move better than people our age. But a lot of hitters are different in how far they can get their head here because one of the biggest…. one of the biggest things that people hated was showing the numbers was that, well, it pulls the hitters eyes off the ball.

 

Joey Myers  02:04

And yeah, if you do it too much, but the head’s got to anchor down in a position, so if I go sideways, so the head’s got an anchor in a tracking position, not necessarily square off to the pitcher, but intercept where the balls coming in.  All Dr. Peter Fadde’s stuff and head anchors and then we just pull that shoulder underneath as far as you can. And that’s going to create some tension in the neck.

 

Joey Myers  02:28

So it’s like a wringing towel, like we’re wringing a towel out. So, where your head is on top, the top hand and that your shoulders are the bottom hand, and we’re just wringing as far as we can. We’re taking that spine, that section of the spine, and we’re just bringing it as hard as we can until landing and then we just let it go.

 

Joey Myers  02:44

So it’s kind of like, I call it more of a spring than some people call it rubber bands like get the rubber bands really tight and then let them go like a rubber band system. Kind of but it’s more it’s more spring, springy. So those are the big three if you connect the dots between what fascia is what the spinal engine is, it’s easy way to think about it is a wringing towel, like you’re wringing the towel, it’s loading that system up and then letting it go.

 

Joey Myers  03:10

And like I said, I ran quite a few swing experiments that proved that showing numbers versus not showing numbers, you add between four to six miles an hour bat speed, and I can’t remember if I did a ball exit speed one, but bat speed and ball exit speed are very similar. They’re like first or second cousins. So it’s very translatable. The down shoulders added four miles an hour of speed. And the showing numbers I think was three miles an hour, or one to two wasn’t quite as much. The big one was showing the numbers or creating that neck pressure.

 

Jaime Cevallos  03:41

So what this does is it winds up the body so that you can then deliver more force…

 

How do you Wind up the Body to Deliver more Force?

Joey Myers  03:48

Yes, yeah, it takes the slack out of the system. So slack being a little different than what how the human body because we talked about it’s more compression tension forces that’s taking slack out, but it’s almost like If you think about a car that goes into a ravine and then you have a Jeep with a winch on the front that you can take the cable, hook it up to the bumper of the car that’s been dropped in the ravine and to pull that car out, right, so you turn the winch on…

 

Joey Myers  04:15

And if you have slack in the cable that’s connected to the bumper, and you turn that winch on right away, because there’s slack in the cable, it’s going to just pull the bumper off, it’s not going to pull the car out of the ravine.

 

Joey Myers  04:25

So what you have to do first is after you hook it, hook the bumper, is you got to slowly take that slack out of the cable of the winch line and then turn it on and it’ll pull the whole car out. So that’s slack versus no slack. Some people out there have been on a what a toboggan on the lake, and you’ve been on a boat pulling you along, and you’re holding on to the ski line or whatever you hold on to the ski bar, right and they’re pulling you along.

 

Joey Myers  04:52

And we had a buddy who did this with us. And at the time, I was super strong. I was lifting a lot and he goes I’m going to do it as hard as I can to you, alright do it, bring it, bring it, man. So, he got it to where he’s pulling me at first. So, there was no slack in the line; line was nice and tight. And then he got me to where I started coming up to the side of the boat. So, he kind of slowed it down a little bit. And then I started kind of floating up and started putting slack in the line and then he floored it! And boom, and that I held on and there was one time I think I ended let go, but that amount of force all at once. It was a slack in the line.

 

Joey Myers  05:30

Oh my gosh. So what happens is…

 

Jaime Cevallos  05:34

You’re lucky you didn’t hurt yourself.

 

Joey Myers  05:36

Right? Yeah, dude, we were like 25 years old, right? ever get hurt. But that’s the thing. So when youth hitters, a lot of times what I see is these coaches say, keep your shoulders square. Don’t show your numbers to the pitcher for all these different reasons we can go into some other time, but they want the shoulders square. They don’t want you tilting them. They don’t want you turning them in. They want them square and then they want the hips to do everything.

 

Joey Myers  06:04

And so what’s happening is it’s putting slack in the system. Because to take slack out we just talked about is like that wringing towel, we have to wring the towel and then let it go. And that’s where you get a nice powerful move, consistently powerful move, and it’s safe on the spine versus the opposite where the coach wants this shoulder square doesn’t want any turn it in or down or anything like that. And they want the swing powered by the pelvis or the hips, they say explode the hips, load and explode the hips.

 

Joey Myers  06:34

And what happens there is you’re taking the equipment of the lower back, the set of five vertebrae is in the lower lower back, who actually are not made to rotate. They’re not made to, they’re not built to rotate the bones. Okay. All they can do is flex and extend. The rotation that you see is about seven to 12 degrees and this is via Tom Myers, and a pretty prominent, I can’t remember his name right now, physical therapists been around forever in the strength conditioning world [Charlie Weingroff, DPT, CSCS, a physical therapist, a trainer in New York City, and is pretty high up on the human performance food chain], seven to 12 degrees of rotation is all it’s allowed because of the muscles surrounding those bones.

 

Joey Myers  07:13

So that’s the rotation you see is that set that seven to 12 degrees rotation, you see, is because of the muscles surrounding the bones.  The thoracic spine, so shoulders and then the rest of it that attaches up to the top of the lumbar, the lower back is made to rotate is actually made to rotate 40 degrees, four-zero in both directions.

 

Joey Myers  07:34

So I should be able to do a good moving human body can move 40 degrees to the left and rotate 40 degrees to the right. So when you employ a part of the body that isn’t allowed to rotate, to rotate and to not only rotate but explode, like absolutely explode. Now what happens is we start wearing holes in the lower back, we see back spasms. We see herniated discs. 

 

Joey Myers  07:35

We see all kinds of stuff in the swings we were referring to earlier about the barrel moves the body, not the body moves barrel. So those ones that are teaching barrel moving the body, what I see in those swings is I see these hitters on Twitter where their back is arching their arching and you can almost draw for righties, you can draw a reverse C shape. And for lefties, you can draw a C shape like from their head, down their back and out their leg because they’re arching so much you can see this kind of C shape going on.

 

Joey Myers  08:32

And the problem with that is extension is okay, so if you arch your back in just a normal, a normal sagittal plane like a front to back plane, like you do a lunge or squat in a normal extension is fine. An arching of the back is fine. You see a gymnast when they swing the bar when they’re swinging under the bar, right? You’ll see them go into a globally flexed position where their spine kind of looks like this and then as they swing through, they go into a globally arched and global just means the whole body is arch. There’s not one little point that’s arched, say like in my head if I went and I just dropped my head back and I went into an extended position with my neck and not using my body as well, that’s that would be a local extension.

 

Joey Myers  09:17

Those aren’t usually good when they’re coupled with their rotation. So, when the hitter is going into an arched position, that by itself isn’t troublesome. But the minute you add a rotation in with that, now, when you arch you’re pushing the vertebrae together in your back when you arch. Okay, now that again isn’t a big deal, but the minute you start rotating, now you’re grinding and that is a problem and that’s what I see when you teach hitters the barrel moves the body and to snap the barrel back way back here.

 

Joey Myers  09:51

When I see those swings, I see those hitters arching their back and turning and it just makes me want to throw up because these coaches either, they’re, it’s like a cat, right? Cats are either really, really smart or they’re really, really stupid. And to me, it looks like those coaches don’t know any better. And they’re getting their information from some guy who doesn’t know any better, who knows better, but he’s not teaching the right thing and it’s just it’s horrible to see these young hitters doing that.

 

Jaime Cevallos  10:25

So, what you would say is the main thing that separates the great hitters from the average or the just the good has to do with this sort of building tension not creating slack in the torso area and the upper legs basically, of the body.

 

What is the Main Thing that Separates the Great Hitters from Average?

Joey Myers  10:51

Right, exactly. So if you go back and Ted Williams you look at Stan Musial, you look at even Babe Ruth, and not all of them have them have every single principle like they could have and they could have done better. You could even look at Tony Gwynn, right? There was an article I do that every time I put it up on social media, I said something in the article or in the headline to the effect of, could Gwynn have had more power?

 

Joey Myers  11:16

And I just did an analysis and took a look at his swing and pointed out areas where he could have maximized or optimized power. A lot of people don’t like that. You know, Tony, how could you be? You know, how many hits? Did you get the big leagues in? How could you take on Tony, when you don’t know what you’re talking about?

 

Joey Myers  11:31

I was like, no, it’s dude. It’s a thought experiment. I’m not going after the guy, right. He didn’t want to hit for power. Although, when he had his talk with Ted Williams, his power numbers sure went up a little bit because Teddy told him, Hey, you might want to pull the ball and own your pull field a little bit more. And that year after he had that talk with him, I think he went from like 11 home-runs a season I think he hit maybe 20 or 18 or something like that.

 

Joey Myers  11:54

But this idea that Ted Williams is probably one of the best one of the best at it, you see the showing numbers, or his in his case “the number” nine, you see his down shoulder angle. You see him hiding the hands. You see this locked out front lead arm when he started his swing.  Like he’s got it all, all of it.

 

Joey Myers  12:14

The only thing I don’t agree with that it’s not a bad thing per se. Extra motion, is the idea where he turned his hips in slightly. So, he kind of turned the hips in like he was turning towards the catcher. And I did this read a book you know that in high school and college and stuff like that because that’s where I thought power was in the pelvis.

 

Joey Myers  12:37

But if you think about, when I turn my hips in and I’m creating my neck pressure showing my numbers and I’m pulling the shoulder in well if my hips going away from my back hip, which I’m supposed to be taking my front hip and bringing or my front shoulder and bringing it to my back hip, with my back hip is going away and my front shoulder is chasing what you’re continually chasing. So, you never get to that point. Right?

 

Joey Myers  13:00

So if we just keep the pelvis in neutral, so belt buckle, pointing at home plate we don’t inward turn or anything, and just let the shoulders do what they do. Creating neck pressure showing numbers going into that position there. Then now we’re compressing where we need to and what happens is when you inward the pelvis and we’re seeing data on this, ZenoLink.com – Chris Welch.

 

Joey Myers  13:26

So he does a lot of experimentation. He’s kind of physical therapist guy, and very, very knowledgeable and he’s got a lot of data. He’s got force plates he’s got all this different stuff. And so, I had one of my online hitters went to him, Chris’s on the East Coast, went to him to go through all his testing evaluation stuff.

 

Joey Myers  13:45

And Chris was saying that this particular hitter’s barrel speed was super maximized behind him, which is again, the same people that teach barrel swings the body right so the barrel speed was increased or was maximized behind him, but by the time he got to impact it was slowing down. So answer that, how are we teaching something that’s actually slowing down your barrel by the time you get to impact…

 

Joey Myers  14:15

And there’s a couple different factors in that we can go into if you want, but that was the whole thing he was in inwardly rotating his pelvis and he was a lefty. So he was taken in rotating his pelvis in towards the catcher and then get to landing and then he would he would rotate, he would rotate back, you know the pelvis back and explode into the ball, but that was causing him to have a premature maximizing of bat speed. It wasn’t helping him it wasn’t maximizing his ball exit speed.

 

Jaime Cevallos  14:46

Now, so the most important thing, you mentioned three things, say those, again…

 

What are the 3 most Important Things to Consistent Power?

Joey Myers  14:54

The spine, of the spine?

 

Jaime Cevallos  14:57

Well, just that I think there were just three things that were…

 

Joey Myers  14:59

You’re talking about?

 

Joey Myers  15:02

Oh, oh, oh…the three things the big three, okay, so showing numbers or create neck pressure.  If I’m here, I’m here. So, my head anchors in a tracking position, shoulder comes pulling underneath as far as I can just like you’re wringing a towel out right, my head and my shoulders. I’m bringing that towel out, creating pressure in the neck. So that’s number one that’s showing numbers neck pressure.

 

Joey Myers  15:27

Number two is downward shoulder angle. From this view, is more of a slight down shoulder. So, it’s like you’re doing a side bend. So, the shoulders the back shoulder goes up, the front shoulder goes down. And with that, you don’t want it to be too much. The sweet spot there is like six to 10 degrees down so it’s not a lot, but what helps a lot of times is controlling where that elbow goes.

 

Joey Myers  15:54

I back this up a little bit, give you guys a little bit more room. If I can use my elbow to pull the elbow or pull the, or bring the shoulders down, steer the shoulders down. That’s a way to do it. But you can also focus on taking this front shoulder down and then towards that back hip that’ll help to create this down shoulder. Right.

 

Joey Myers  16:14

And what’s interesting in the swing, if we want our body to accelerate and decelerate properly, is we want the shoulders to start down. And then as we swing, then they’re going to tilt. This front shoulder starts down, left shoulder, and then as I swing, it’s going to go up. And then in my finish, think about the Ted Williams pictures and Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth and all these guys, how did they finish they end up finishing in this position.

 

Joey Myers  16:45

So what we should see is we should see… left shoulder starts down, pops up, and then it should end down. So down, up, and then down on the finish. You know those Ted Williams pictures where he’s like, position right. It’s this one, it’s his left shoulder as a lefty starts, or he starts here. His left shoulder here starts up, and then it goes down. And then it finishes up. Right. So that’s a proper accelerating decelerating into the spine. So that’s the second thing that’s the down shoulder.

 

Joey Myers  17:23

And then the last one is the hiding hands from the pitcher. One more time again. We got so if I start my swing, this way, you can see my hands and the minute I get to landing, I’m creating what you see this back elbow peeking out behind me. So that’s they call it a SCAP row, or SCAP load, SCAP pinch wherever you want to call it. So that’s the move there. Where now you can’t see my hands.

 

Joey Myers  17:49

And now what I’m doing is this front shoulder for those those Kines geeks out there. The front shoulder is a Scap protraction so the scalp is coming in the scapula is coming this way coming across. And then my back SCAP is retracting. They’re doing the opposite of each other protraction retraction, right?

 

Joey Myers  18:10

So if you watch any gymnastics, or Olympian doing a spin, ice skater, if they do a spin, that’s what you’re going to see. And a lot of people out there will say, Well, I like to scap pinch, but I don’t want this front shoulder coming in. And like you’re not, that’s not how the human body works, dude, you’re not getting 100% optimization out of the rotation.

 

Jaime Cevallos  18:35

So the showing numbers has been something that people didn’t want to do?  I was not aware of that…

 

Joey Myers  18:41

It was and still, yeah, it’s crazy.

 

Jaime Cevallos  18:45

Why did they say you didn’t want to show numbers?

 

Joey Myers  18:47

Good question. The irony by the way, these same people that don’t like it, swear by video, swear by video analysis. They say well we’re going to look and see what the best hitters do and that’s what we’re going to do.  And you see them do it. You can again look at Miggy look at Ted Williams look at Trout look at just look at the top 10 power hitters right now and even in the in the day, and you see all of them do it.

 

Joey Myers  19:13

So I don’t understand why they’re all about video analysis, but they choose to see what they want to see. Right. So what they say is the problem they say with it is that it takes the hitters eyes off the ball, but I just talked about, we create neck pressure. The head is the important part. That’s the piece that’s the anchor. It’s like a boat and I ask my hitters, what does an anchor do on a boat, it either stops the boat or it slows it down, right?

 

Joey Myers  19:37

So the head is the control piece. Wherever the head goes, the body follows. So the head takes a tracking position and anchors down and then it’s the shoulder that comes in as far as it can while we’re wringing the towel out. And that’s what’s going to get you to the show numbers.

 

Joey Myers  19:53

Now lefties if you watch lefties because the camera angle at Major League ballparks is slightly off center towards left field right… (To be continued in Part-3…)

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

Here’s A Quick Way To Help Hitters Understand Springy Fascia Power…

Most coaches understand the function of bones and muscles in the body, but don’t understand springy fascia, which is:

  • A cotton candy or spider webby like material,
  • What bones and muscles float in,
  • What gives muscles their shape,
  • Made up of mostly collagen fibers (and some elastin) – ask the Kardashians,
  • To the human body as steel is to the building industry,
  • Great at resisting change in shape,
  • A material of the body that DOES NOT need much in nutrients (e.g. food) to move like muscles do,
  • An injury to connective tissue (springy fascia) can take over 200-days to heal, whereas a muscles can take only 90-days to regenerate,
  • Like the bag carrying potatoes you buy at the supermarket, whereas the potatoes represent the bones and muscles.

CLICK HERE for a post we did titled, “4 Tips On How To Train Springy Fascia”.  In the above video I use the Thomas Myers Anatomy Trains ‘snapping finger’ test to demonstrate the power of springy fascia.

best swing in baseball

Best Swing in Baseball: Here is a Method Helping Mookie Betts – And Many Others – Consistently Crush The Ball

 

In this best swing in baseball video, we’ll discuss:

  • Data and reasoning because personal opinions are seldom useful,
    Best Swing in Baseball: Mookie Betts hitting inside pitch and 'showing numbers'

    Mookie Betts (via my Twitter feed) ‘showing numbers’ at landing on inside pitch…Hitting Guru #57 “should NEVER ‘show numbers’ on inside pitch” objection based on personal opinion with ZERO data to back claim :-/

  • Anatomy Trains, The Spinal Engine, Dynamic Body, WeckMethod, Matt Nokes, Homer Bush, Aaron Miles, and numerous past and present professional hitters agree with CLS,
  • Objection #1: Increases Time to Impact because turning away from impact – twisting balloon analogy,
  • Objection #2: Hitter loses vision and tracking of the pitch – “back eye test
  • Objection #3: Not on inside pitches – hitting “belly button” catcher’s glove,
  • Can eat soup with spoon, fork, knife…but only one way is more effective. Teaching hitting is the same.  Apply human movement principles that are validated by REAL science, NOT “because-I-said-so ‘bro-science'”, and
  • The information is out there, so hitters will find it for themselves, either you will be able to take credit for teaching it or you won’t. Results don’t lie.

Still don’t believe the best ‘show numbers’?  CLICK HERE for a post I did recently titled, “Why I Teach Hitters To ‘Show Numbers’ (And Maybe You Should Too)”.

Don’t be like opinion-based Hitting Guru #57…have solid data and reasoning to back up your “opinions”.