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Jaime Cevallos Part-3 Interview: How to Turn Harmful Instruction into Safe & Effective

 

 

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

Here's what we're going to discuss in Part-3 of the Jaime Cevallos interview:Do You Recognize The #1 Early Warning Sign Of Physically Harmful Hitting Instruction?

  • To show the numbers or not to show the numbers?
  • What about hand path?  What would you say about that?
  • Wrist snap: supinating snap or pronating snap?  And,
  • Why ‘barrel moves body' approach is wearing holes in low backs.

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

Enjoy!

 

To Show the Numbers or Not to Show the Numbers?

Joey Myers  00:05

…left field, right?  Righties are always going to be showing their numbers more than lefties but it's only because of the angle. If you see a lefty really showing his numbers like Robinson Cano… legit like him and Trout are probably pretty equal and how much of the numbers that they show. They say it takes the eyes off the ball, and then they call it false separation.

 

Joey Myers  00:29

They say you're moving away from contact. And I'm like, well, they obviously don't know how the human movement like looking basic locomotion, right? Because it's all about spirals. It's all about rotation, pre-loading the torso before you get to landing that's what it's all about. That's how you take the slack out.

 

Joey Myers  00:46

And the other thing is, after they started to soften to it some of these guys that were teaching the guys, some of the stuff we've been talking about the philosophy, the barrel moving the body. After a while then it was like okay, well I see guys doing that I see guys showing their numbers but they can't get to an inside pit like 97 in like that.

 

Joey Myers  01:06

So I went online I looked up Craig Hyatt's page, I looked up videos of all those guys we mentioned in this video so far maybe and all these guys and I was looking for 95 plus inside and was trying to see because one of my hitters actually this was about three years ago. Hitter's been with me since he was seven, he's now driving, he's got his license, he's 16 now he's pretty clean Catapult Loading System wise, like the stuff we're talking about today.

 

Joey Myers  01:31

And he was having a hard time and I was teaching that deep barrel dump, that barrel in the zone super early, no matter if the balls in middle or away didn't matter, barrel dump. We were throwing live and I'm throwing to him and he's like, coach, I don't feel like I can get to that inside pitch. He goes, am I showing my showing my numbers too much. I was like, ah, I don't think so. But let me do some research.

Joey Myers  01:50

I went to Craig Hyatt's page. I was looking at 95 plus inside. I was looking at those specific hitters that do this, where there's a lot of them doesn't take long to find them. On pitches that were fastball that hard inside, were they, the question was, were they still showing their numbers or showing their numbers less than if they would on an outside pitch? And the answer that came up was clear as day, was that they showed their numbers the same regardless of the pitch. It's not something like a stride…

 

Jaime Cevallos  02:20

Showing numbers happens before you know where the pitch is.

 

Joey Myers  02:23

Yeah, yeah! You can't like, adjust on the fly, right? You're just loading your body and getting ready. That answered my question. I was like, okay, these guys that are saying, “Well, you can't do it, inside, 97 in.” It was like, Okay, well, what, what's the difference then. And what I'm going to reveal, this is a talk for another video, probably would have to go into this one.

 

Joey Myers  02:48

The difference was when the barrel entered the zone. If the ball was in, middle, inner third. What they did was they tucked the barrel closer to their shoulder…up, up, up, up, up, up… and then what we call the belly button catcher's glove, they release the barrel… Imagine a catcher in line with the hitter’s belly button. If they release their barrel in line with the hitter’s belly button catcher's belly, but like they're knocking the catcher's glove off that's in line with the hitter’s belly button. Right?

 

Joey Myers  03:19

Barry Bond swings… A lot of times, he would hit pitches that seem to be like right here, and he frickin hit him into the, into the bay. Right? And he couldn't do that. If he's dumping his barrel early. It's not going to happen.

 

Joey Myers  03:35

So that was what I found out again, that's a talk for probably for another video. But that was what I found out. It wasn't about showing numbers. There was no, all the objections they were raising, well, it pulls the hitters eyes off the ball. No, not if you use the head as an anchor. You know, you can't hit 97 in like that. Well, no, we see them hitting 97 like that, but it's something else. You're not, what is in the way of view accepting this is we're talking about something totally different has nothing to do with showing numbers.

 

Joey Myers  04:05

You can't disagree that they don't show their numbers. I mean, it's right there clear is day, and their video, they're big on video analysis and that's what's silly that's what's clownish about the whole thing.

 

Jaime Cevallos  04:17

What about a hand path? You could do all what you're asking a hitter to do but then you could have the bar arm, the arm the front arm barred or you could come in like this. What would you say about that?

 

What about Hand Path?  What would you say about that?

Joey Myers  04:46

So you got, again, the swing is a journey. It's not a destination, right? So especially with younger hitters, so I have my hitters right now I don't work with many that are below unless they're online, below age 11 or 12. Because we do small private groups and it's harder for the young ones to work into groups with older guys. Most of my guys are high school going into college and I have a few Junior highers going into high school and stuff like that.

 

Joey Myers  05:11

So the younger ones that tend to have a harder time with it, especially the ones you're talking about that are very linear with their hands, they're going here.  And I have one right now who's actually a junior in high school. He's made huge strides. He was barely able to, he was knocking on the door to 70 miles an hour ball exit speed when he first started with him. This was probably about a year and a half ago, and he's now at 83. I think he's topping out off the backspin tee which is pretty impressive because backspin tee takes off about three miles an hour from a Tanner tee.

 

Joey Myers  05:44

Backspin tee, that's equivalent to Tanner tees 86. In a game, he's hitting 86 plus a plus five in a game. He's hitting 91 in a game pretty good for a junior, right? But the problem we're having with him and I'm thinking we've been doing some movement stuff with the RotexMotion and different things like that. And that's where his improvements have come. And that's, by the way, 83 with wood, not bad.

 

Joey Myers  06:08

And the big problem we're having with him is that when he turns, we get him into a position where he's barred out. But like you said, what happens if they bend and they come through this way, and that's kind of what he's doing. What we do and this takes a little bit of time, at least from my understanding, we're doing what's called a wrist snap, a deep tee wrist snap.

 

Wrist Snap: Supinating Snap or Pronating Snap?

Joey Myers  06:31

See if I can even try this on film, you can see what that is. Basically, what a wrist snap, choke up so i don't hit my computer, so wrist snap would be… See we get into that barred position; you can still hear me Jaime I'm not too far away. You get into that position and then as I'm coming around, so what I'm going to do is, this is the other thing that you see on video, you'll see the major leaguers, the elite hitters, you'll see their knob stop at a certain point.

 

Joey Myers  07:01

And then this snap comes around. Yeah, I'm exaggerating it here. But in high speed, it actually looks like what the guys are doing. The knob has to stop at a certain point. And then we snap it around. Like when you throw a ball, you get that snap with the hand. What do they call it up? Pronating. Not supinating. Like a lot of these guys teach, they talk about supinating this way, right? This is actually pronating this way.

 

Joey Myers  07:26

Again, I'm exaggerating just because we're going in slow motion here, but the knob will stop, and then the barrel comes around and pivots. Okay, so a lot of those kids you're talking about are bend, and then the knob keeps going. And then what they do is they end up pronating, if when we learn how to do this, and that's what this particular kid is doing, but they do it way out in front.

 

Joey Myers  07:50

They've already hit the ball, palm up, palm down, and then their balls going away and then they're pronating.  Instead of palm up, palm down at contact and then pronating right away like that. Pronation already starts before they even hit the ball. It's not over though it's not that we're not rolling. It doesn't look like it's rolling over yet. They're still here. But then you get that snap at the end like Hank Aaron would do, right?

 

Joey Myers  08:14

How I teach it is, at first it was imagining you have a red laser here and then coming out of the knob and a green laser coming out of the end here. What you're doing is you're replacing red with green, red with green. And if you watch Griffey, Griffey’s a big one, you watch him do it and everything just snaps right through.

 

Joey Myers  08:36

We evolved the laser part, the laser, they can figure that out. But to get them to physically do it, I found it was a little tough. So then what I tell them is I want them to snap the barrel past their hands. If their hands and their barrel were in a race, I want their barrel to win. And that seems to help, and I'll change that up, I might say snap, so for some hitters, and this comes to what you're alluding to the problem is, they're over rotating their upper half.

 

Joey Myers  09:06

At contact, they're in this type of position. Because they're not taking slack out of the system or they're not snapping, they're not making the body move.  Or their lower half is over rotated. We have to under rotate, their upper or lower half. So the deep tee snap, what we do is how we set that up, is we have them set up a tee, whether it's backspin or Tanner, or whatever, we have them set the tee up slightly deeper than they would normally, middle middle of the plate, where the ball is lined up at landing with their front hip.

 

Joey Myers  09:37

Okay, so normally, if they're going to hit that, they're going to try and hit that to the opposite field, because it's a little deeper on them.  But what we challenge them to do in three phases. The first phase, we call it a 1.0 swing. We practice that red laser to green laser. We just have them sit on a chair or a bucket and we just have them practice that motion and practice that motion in a way where the knob stops at their rib-cage, and then they snap it around and switch it. That's the first phase.

 

Joey Myers  10:05

Second phase 2.0, where they get to landing position, they get to their landing position create their tension in their neck, in their head, in their Catapult Loaded Position. And then from there, they got their tee setup deep. And then you'd have them snap it and they have to actually pull it, they have to pull it into the, for righties, left side of the cage, lefties right side of the cage, they can't hit it oppo.

 

Joey Myers  10:26

They have to be forced to really snap it around. So those players that do this with their hands, they have a hard time with it because at first, they hit soft stuff to the opposite way until they get good, and part of it is getting good at it is a strength thing. We use a lot of heavy bat stuff because they have to learn how to maneuver that snap and be able to control it.

 

Joey Myers  10:46

And it's like a pinball machine, the flapper right?  If you want to hit a ball, a pinball, to the right side of the table, you got to hit it in a certain position and you got it the directions got to go that way. If you want to pull it You know, same type of thing. The snap is we can, I can practice my snaps to right. I can practice them to center and I can practice them the left. It's getting familiar with the move, and the hitters that are opposite, they bat left, throw right or bat right, throw left, they're going have a harder time because now they're controlling that with their top hand. They're going to have a hard time in the beginning, but usually takes those hitters about a week more to get it then then the right right or the left left.

 

Jaime Cevallos  11:29

Okay. I just want to be respectful of your time as well.

 

Joey Myers  11:35

Yeah, I got a little bit of time if you're if you're good, I'm good.

 

Jaime Cevallos  11:40

I actually don't have…

 

Joey Myers  11:43

I'll be respectful of your time today.

 

Jaime Cevallos  11:48

But I do want to ask really quick what is the worst thing that's being taught out there right now, to be on the negative side of things.

 

Why ‘Barrel Moves the Body' Approach is Wearing Holes in Low Backs

Joey Myers  12:01

I know there's so much but you know, to prioritize that, I would say the worst thing is that barrel moves the body because…

 

Jaime Cevallos  12:08

And that you're referring to, I believe, teacher man's teaching where basically he says that this is a really interesting approach and I agree with you, it's absolutely crazy to think that basically you're the center of the swing is, is when you snap the barrel back like that. Okay, so that to you is…

 

Joey Myers  12:38

Here's, here's the thing, right? I'm okay with that. Middle away and middle down. I'm okay with that. That barrel entering the zone early is fine, because you're making contact later in the zone. So again, like my player that got tested, and found out that he was maximizing barrel bat speed behind him, but by the time he got the impact, which was maybe an inside pitch, maybe middle in, maybe middle up. His barrel was slowing down but that time.

 

Joey Myers  13:04

You can't teach all hitters to do that all the time because it depends. I like his approach. I love teacher man's approach. I'm not I'm not trying to put him down. I love his approach middle away, middle down. And if I have a hitter who is a physically swinging down hitter, which I don't have too many, most of them are barrel dropping type hitters, so we have to go the other way.

 

Joey Myers  13:27

I like his approach, middle away, middle down, or if the hitter is physically swinging down, like he's got too short of an approach. I'm good with it. The problem that I have with it is that they're teaching it to all hitter’s blueprint, blueprinting to all hitters. Regardless of pitch depth: inside, middle or away, it's the same barrel path all the time doesn't for one that's not going to work middle and middle up. Doesn't work very well. Not very consistently, let me say, consistently.

 

Joey Myers  13:56

The other thing is I see all these hitters arch their backs. I see them arching their backs in a way that is putting these hitters in harm's way big time, like, of course, an 11 year old, 12 year old, they're not going to feel it yet, but by the time they're our age, they're going to have a hole in their back, they're going to have back spasms, herniated discs, all kinds of stuff. If they continue to do that swing after swing after swing after swing.

 

Joey Myers  14:17

I like the approach but being safe with it, meaning we call it the hollow position, taking your belly button and your belt buckle and pinching those two points together. That puts up more of a flex in the lower back. And if you can hold that flex and do what teacher man’s telling you middle down middle away, it's a great approach. I love it. But I see too many back arching and turning and at that point, it just makes me want to puke.

 

Jaime Cevallos  14:47

I think it's important that we talk about everyone, everyone's theories of the swing and get it out there basically, I think right now a lot of it is just so hard to understand what exactly the people think, what do people think about the swing. I appreciate you coming on, I think we need to do this more guys who have popular theories about the swing. Come out and explain it. I think this is good. I would love to ask you more questions, but we filled up the time already. Let me give you a chance to tell people where they can find you.

 

“Where can People Find you?”

Joey Myers  15:46

Sure. Thanks, Jamie. I appreciate the time and we'll do a part 2, 3, 4 whatever. But people can find me HittingPerformanceLab.com, you can go. There's a lot information 300+ blog posts been doing that since like 2014 I think is when I came out with the blog, there's a lot there use the search bar the top for whenever you have a query.  I have it all in the navigation bar separated by popular blog posts and then I have it by blog posts that have to do it build more power, hit more line drives, get on time more often and then I have other blog posts in there too.

 

Joey Myers  16:20

That can help to filter the information so you can find out what you need. And then the other part and you can find me on the socials, either Joey Myers just type in “Joey Myers” or “hitting performance lab” and you can find me there on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn be Joey Myers and Instagram.

 

Joey Myers  16:38

I'm going to be doing some different stuff here in the next probably couple weeks I'm going to change around what I'm doing to make it a little bit more user friendly. So that's where you can find me and then TheStartingLineupStore.com is where I have the… It started off as the nine best hitting aids on the planet but you know there's a little bit more than nine so I couldn't stick to that but it is the hitting aides that I use and others use and things like that. So HittingPerformanceLab.com in TheStartingLineupStore.com.

 

Jaime Cevallos  17:06

Awesome. Thank you so much, Joey. And till next time take care, buddy.

 

Joey Myers  17:10

Got it bud thank you.

 

Jaime Cevallos  17:12

All right.

Albert Pujols Hitting Mechanics

Albert Pujols Hitting Mechanics: Hit Top Part Of Cage? Or Back Part?

 

 

In this Albert Pujols hitting mechanics talk, some questions Pujols and Harold Reynolds answer:

Albert Pujols Hitting Mechanics

Albert Pujols & Harold Reynolds Interview, MLB Network 30 Clubs in 30 Days. Photo courtesy: MLB.com

  • Hitting ball off same spot off tee or vary?
  • Dangers of a purely opposite field approach…
  • When is using ‘hands inside the ball' okay?
  • Hit top part of the cage of the back?
  • How many swings until you should take a break to reflect?
  • Inside pitch barrel path: is it different than away?
  • Should hitter get “taller” to hit a high pitch?

Make sure you watch the 8-minute 30-Clubs in 30-Days Albert Pujols interview on grooving his swing, before diving into my notes.  I time stamped the above video for quick and easy reference…

  • At the 0:10 second mark,  tsk, tsk…notice Harold Reynolds isn't following the 4-foot social distancing rule!! (for those watching this well after the craziness of the Coronavirus has passed – lol).  
  • At the 0:30 second mark, interesting Pujols talks about building a consistent swing, hitting off the tee in one spot.  He references variance training with some hitting coaches moving the ball up and down, in and out.  I do agree with him, but it depends on the end result.  If you're just introducing a new hitting mechanic, then keep the tee in one spot.  If you're looking to deeply embed a well worn hitting mechanic, then variance or chaos training is key.
  • At the 0:45 second mark, Albert Pujols talks about setting tee up slightly off center of the plate towards outer part.  He likes to work gap to gap and not force or push the ball to right field.  He mentions if he focuses too much on right field, then he gets under the ball too much.
  • At the 1:30 minute mark, Pujols dispels the myth of “staying inside the ball”.  He says of course you're inside the ball…you don't see hitters EVER getting their hands outside the ball.  ‘Hands inside the ball' can be a great cue for those hitters doing the opposite – casting barrel early.  It's not a perfect cue, but may work in some cases.  Then to throw gas on the fire, he mentions ‘knob to the ball'.  Real v. Feel.  There's a reason you keep hearing this kind of stuff from guys like Pujols, A-Rod, and Bonds.  It has to do with top hand dominance and pronation.  We call it the “wrist snap”.
  • At the 2:00 minute mark, Albert Pujols talks about working on the liner, not trying to hit the top part of the cage. He picks a spot in the cage he wants the ball to travel.  External cue.  He wants the ball to come off the bat as high as the tee is set.  Harold brings up that some people are teaching to hit the top of the cage (I used to be one of them!!).  But Albert plays the politician and comments that he doesn't want to say what those coaches are doing is wrong, but that he wouldn't teach that.  And right now, I'd agree with him.
  • At the 3:00 minute mark, Harold asked Pujols if there's a rhythm to working on gapping the ball, and Pujols says he tries to hit 3 or 4 in a row, then take a break to reflect on the feeling.  He tries not to rush when working out.  He tries to take his time.  Process what he just did.  Great advice!
  • At 4:00 minute mark, Harold asks Albert about his inside approach.  How to hit the inside pitch.  Watch how Pujols demos his barrel path to get to it … barrel above hands?  This Adam Eaton video reveals the same thing.  Interesting huh?  We call this knocking the “belly button” catcher's glove off.  He says he's just reacting to the inside pitch.  Typically, he's looking out over the plate.  He doesn't try to focus on one area of the plate.  He looks middle, then adjusts in or out from there.  Definitely works for Albert.  And Mike Schmidt also talked about it in his book the “Mike Schmidt Study”. Only downside is when pitchers start using EV tunnels Perry Husband talks about.  It's easier to cover middle in/out/up/down (50% of the plate), based on pitcher's pattern.  Obviously, this is more effective the better the pitcher is.
  • At 5:00 minute mark, in the above Albert Pujols hitting mechanics video, Pujols talks about keeping his shoulders “square” or keep front shoulder pointing at “400-foot” mark in straight center.  Not to close shoulders off.  Albert never really did ‘show numbers' much, but he does a lot of other things right.
  • At 6:00 minute mark, Pujols talks about not getting “taller” to get to the pitch up in the zone, but to stay sink down and use hands to get to it.  Again demonstrates keeping barrel above hands.  We talk about getting shorter and staying shorter.  And middle in, middle up pitches are addressed by knocking off belly button catcher's glove or telling hitter to keep barrel above hands.  Real v. Feel.  Now, this isn't actually what's going to happen.  The result of this hitting cue is a tighter, shorter, more compact barrel path.  Much needed closer the ball is to the hitter or the eyes.  He talks about using his legs to get to pitches down in the zone.

Here is a Method That is Helping Nelson Cruz ADD Ridiculous Batted Ball Distance

 

Nelson Cruz: 'Showing Numbers'

Nelson Cruz ‘showing numbers' hitting a 2-run monster shot traveling 463-feet with a launch angle of 23.7-degrees off 75-mph CB on 09/23/16. Photo courtesy: MLB.com

(‘Showing Numbers' Experiment REVISITED) 

Question: Is Increased Bat & Ball Exit Speed ALL in the Hips?

Using the Zepp (Labs) Baseball app, I wanted to use the Scientific Method to analyze whether ‘Showing the Numbers' to the pitcher is more effective than ‘NOT Showing' them when it comes to measuring Bat and Ball Exit Speeds.

In this swing experiment, I had professional hitter of mine that I've been working with for a few months, Preston Scott, do the hitting.

 

Background Research

I'm revisiting an earlier experiment I did, looking into whether power was ALL in the hips.  You can CLICK HERE to read and watch the experiment findings.

Not to beat the springy fascia horse, but you can get more background information on why this swing experiment turned out like it did by reading through the following video blog posts.

  1. Miguel Cabrera and the timing of torque.
  2. Josh Donaldson v. Jose Bautista: how spine engine mechanics are amplified by Gravitational Forces, and
  3. Adrian Gonzalez: how-to naturally spring load the body.

 

Hypothesis

From the research into Anatomy Trains (Thomas Myers), The Spinal Engine (Dr. Serge Gracovetsky), and from my past swing experiment, I expect to see similar results…maybe even slightly lower numbers favoring ‘Showing Numbers'.

I say slightly lower numbers because in the first experiment I didn't counter-balance the swings.  In other words, I took 100 consecutive swings ‘NOT Showing Numbers' first, then took another 100 consecutive swings ‘Showing Numbers'.  This may have caused a “getting tired” or “not warmed up yet” effect, therefore biasing the experiment results.

The big UPDATES to the experiment will be:

  • Adding the measure of Ball Exit Speed,
  • Counter-balancing the swings, and
  • Professional Preston Scott taking the swings, not me.

I'm interested to see how this experiment turns out…

 

ADD Ball Exit Speed Swing Experiment

Equipment Used:

  • Zepp Baseball app (to measure Bat Speed, Hand Speed, Time to Impact, & Attack Angle),
  • Bushnell Radar Gun (to measure Ball Exit Speed, or BES),
  • Backspin batting tee,
  • Two yellow dimple baseballs (feedback markers),
  • Android GS6 video camera and Tripod, and
  • 34 inch wood bat.

Setup:

Preston Scott: Showing versus NOT Showing Numbers

Preston Scott: ‘NOT Showing' versus ‘Showing Numbers'

  • Yellow dimple ball feedback markers to keep starting footwork the same = bat length
  • Tee was set one baseball's length behind the front feedback marker, and tee height was about mid-thigh
  • Forward momentum was eliminated in this experiment, and Preston hit from a 1-2 second pause at landing
  • We stayed as consistent as we could with keeping the ball height and depth the same for most swings.
  • I used two yellow dimple ball markers to make my stance setup consistent…one was placed inside my back foot, close to the plate.  The other was placed one bat’s length ahead of the back marker.
  • The two tests in the swing experiment were counter-balanced.  Which consisted of eight blocks of 25-swings done in the following order ABBA BAAB.  ‘NOT Showing Numbers’ was letter ‘A’, and ‘Showing Numbers’ was letter ‘B’.  200 total swings were completed in the experiment, 100 per test.  Counter-balancing helps remove the “getting tired” and “warm up” factors.
  • On ‘NOT Showing Numbers' swings, Preston kept his shoulders in line with the blue band on the ground in front of him (towards the pitcher).  And on ‘Showing Numbers' swings, he kept his shoulders in line with the red band that was set at about a 30-degree angle from the blue band.
  • Preston Scott was sipping a protein shake throughout the length of the experiment to aid in recovery.
  • On both experiment days, Preston had finished “leg day” at the gym, so our warm-up was brief, followed by about 15-20 swings off the tee.
  • We had to break the 200 total swings (4 sets of 25 swing chunks each day) into two days, with the second day coming 1 week later because of time constraints.
  • It's important to note, Preston and I were working on improving his mechanics slightly different both days (having nothing to do with ‘showing numbers'), but even though Day 1 (November 7, 2016), and a week later, Day 2 (November 14, 2016) swings may look a bit different, the slightly differing mechanics were used for BOTH ‘NOT Showing Numbers' and ‘Showing Numbers' tests, so as not to muddy the experiment results.

 

Data Collected (Zepp Baseball App):

‘NOT Showing Numbers' Day 1 & 2 side by side comparison…

NOT Showing Numbers Day 1 & 2 (100 swings total)

‘NOT Showing Numbers' Averages of averages: 71-mph Bat Speed at Impact, 27.5-mph Hand Speed Max, 0.165 Time To Impact, -25* Bat Vertical Angle at Impact, & 4.5* Attack Angle

‘Showing Numbers' Day 1 & 2 side by side comparison…

Showing Numbers Day 1 & 2

‘Showing Numbers' Averages of Averages: 76-mph Bat Speed at Impact, 28-mph Hand Speed Max, 0.162 Time to Impact, 28* Bat Vertical Angle at Impact, & 6* Attack Angle

Also, CLICK HERE to access the Google Drive spreadsheet with all Ball Exit Speed (BES) readings from the experiment.

 

Data Analysis & Conclusion

Starting with Zepp data analysis comparing the averages of averages:

  • 5-mph INCREASE in Bat Speed at Impact with ‘Showing Numbers'
  • 0.5-mph INCREASE in Hand Speed Max with ‘Showing Numbers'
  • .003 second DECREASE in Time to Impact with ‘Showing Numbers'
  • 3* INCREASE in Bat Vertical Angle at Impact with ‘Showing Numbers'
  • 1.5* INCREASE in Attack Angle with ‘Showing Numbers

Now, let's see how the Ball Exit Speed averages compare between the two mechanics:

  • 76.02-mph BES when ‘NOT Showing Numbers'
  • 77.32-mph BES  when ‘Showing Numbers'
  • That's a 1.3-mph average INCREASE when ‘Showing Numbers'
  • Translates between 5.2-feet to 7.8-feet of EXTRA batted ball distance – depending on if you calculate using 1-mph BES = 4-feet of distance OR 1-mph BES = 6-feet of distance.

 

Notes

  • In this experiment, if you look at the ‘NOT Showing Numbers' swings, they were actually ‘Showing Numbers'.  In other words, Preston already shows his number to the pitcher well causing him a challenge to not show them.  Therefore on the ‘Showing Numbers' swings, he showed them more.  I think that's why we didn't see as much of a difference in Ball Exit Speeds.
  • One of the big objections from some is that ‘Showing Numbers' causes an increase in Time To Impact.  These results show it doesn't – it actually decreases Time To Impact.  WHY is this? It has to do with ‘taking slack out of the system' as it relates to compression/tension forces acting within the body.
  • Preston Scott generally does a great job of ‘Showing Numbers', even before I started working with him, so he felt like he really had to try and keep from pulling the ball too much when ‘NOT Showing Numbers'. And as you can see in the video, he was still ‘Showing Numbers' somewhat, even when he wasn't suppose to!

Reader Question: “What flexibility work do you do with your trainees to enhance counter-rotation of the torso as the foot lands open?”

 

Andrew McCutchen 'Showing his Numbers' to the Pitcher

Andrew McCutchen ‘showing his numbers' to the pitcher, while landing open with lower half. Photo courtesy: MLB.com

This questions stems from how I teach hitters to ‘show their numbers' to the pitcher during the load, as close to stride landing as possible…

(see image of Andrew McCutchen)

But for this to work, here's the kicker…

The hitter MUST land open with the bottom half…front foot open between 45 and 60-degrees.

This creates what some coaches call torque, or counter-rotation of the shoulders-to-pelvis…

These are basic walking mechanics of the spine…and is why, as your right leg swings forward, so does your left arm.

So how do we optimize this action with our hitters using flexibility and strengthening?

I'm about 8-weeks into an online gymnastics strength training course through GymnasticBodies.com myself.  I've finished their Fundamentals course, and currently working through their Handstand course.

GymnasticBodies.com Fundamentals Course Deal

Photo courtesy: GymnasticBodies.com

CLICK HERE to get $25 OFF full price of $100 for their Fundamentals course.  I don't get paid if you purchase the course.  I just LOVE what they're doing, and believe ALL hitters MUST be engaging in this type of mobility and strength training.

(PLEASE NOTE: I'm not sure how long this deal will be up, so jump on it!)

Why am I putting myself through this training?

#1: as my wife will tell you, this is a gross obsession of mine…sometimes bordering on OCD.

And #2: I wanted to pick up a few things about bodyweight training mobility and stability for my hitters.

One of my guiding principles is if you aren't growing, then you're dying.

And if you're a coach that takes mentoring young athletes seriously, then you MUST be subscribing to the same proactive learning principles.

So, in the above video, we go over:

  • Rotation v. Anti-Rotation (acceleration v. braking systems)
  • Rotation stretch – hold each side for at least 30-secs
  • Rotation strengthen:
    • Windshield Wipers – do 10 repetitions each side
  • Anti-Rotation strengthen:
    • Side Plank (anti-side bend) – start off with holding for 30-secs, then increase by 15-secs after mastery
    • 3-Point Plank (anti-rotation of pelvis) – start off holding for 30-secs, then increase by 15-secs after mastery.

ENJOY!

#1 Youth Baseball Swing Fix To Deflating Bat Speed

 

 

Awhile back I posted the following youth baseball post to my Hitting Performance Lab Facebook fan-page (CLICK HERE if you haven't “Liked” my fan-page yet…new content daily):

[fb_embed_post href=”https://www.facebook.com/HittingPerformanceLab/posts/565739680222497/” width=”400″/]

This video blog post will target one of the worst youth baseball swing offenders to deflating bat speed…bat drag.  In this article, we're going over:

  • What is Bat Drag?
  • The science of Bat Drag (to hitting an unknown moving pitch), and
  • One way to fix Bat Drag.

 

What is Baseball Youth Bat Drag?

#1 Youth Baseball Swing Fix To Deflating Bat Speed

Notice the difference in Charles's barrel angle.

This is when the front arm “bars out” before the Final Turn.  Also known as “Casting.”  And it's an oftentimes frustrating youth baseball hitting fix.

I received an email awhile back from James Brown (NOT the singer), that said:

…”I watched a video that perry husband had at the hitting hot stove at the abca in Dallas that showed analysis of the Homerun derby, and the furthest home runs by each individual competitor happened when their lead arm was extended early.  I think swing mass and leverage has a lot to power to the ball…  Think about having your hand slammed in a door.  Would you want a door with a short distance from hinge to knob, or a long distance?  Short would close faster, but do less damage.  Long will impart more force at a slower speed.”

James Brown's email response was after I produced this youth baseball Shin-Soo Choo: Can Front Arm KILL Bat Speed? video post.

Here's how I responded…

 

The Science of Bat Drag (to hitting an unknown moving pitch)

…”I see what you're saying and agree…to hit the ball the farthest, a straight front arm would be ideal. Look at golfers for instance. But here's the problem…a hitter in a game doesn't know with 100% certainty: pitch location, speed, and pitch type.

So a hitter needs to turn quicker for the first half of the Final Turn, to get the barrel on the plane of the pitch as soon as possible.  Then extend on the pitch plane, depending on pitch location and speed.”

In the home run derby, hitters know the pitch speed, type – and for the most part – location.

I agree with Perry Husband in that hitters should make it a goal to get to impact with a long front arm.

However, I don't agree in getting a hitter to bar that front arm out early on, pre-turn.

It's a simple Conservation of Angular Momentum issue.  CLICK HERE for a short 2-minute Circus Physics video from PBS on this movement Principle.

An ice skater speeds up by tucking her arms in towards her rotating middle.  She slows down by extending her arms away from her rotating middle.

What's going on here?

Rotating speed goes up when the rotation is tighter (bending the arms), but inertial mass decreases.  Inversely related, when the arms go out, her inertial mass increases, but her rotating speed decreases.  This is how Angular Momentum is conserved.

So, unless like Perry teaches, Pitch Recognition and Strategic hitting game plans against specific pitchers is supplemented, I don't see the logic in teaching hitters to early arm bar, pre-turn.

Why?

Because barring the front arm out early will slow rotation down (think arm extended ice skater), and on higher perceived velocities to the hitter, high or inside the strike-zone, why would we want our hitters to turn slower at the beginning of the turn?

The bottom line? Youth baseball (or softball) swing game mechanics are slightly different than in batting practice.  “Five-o-clock” hitters typically aren't very effective in games.  And let me tell you, all my pitching friends LOVE pitching to early arm bar hitters because they have a weakness to exploit.  Just like hitters that swing down on the ball and extreme upper cutters do.

One Way to Fix Bat Drag

Youth Baseball ALERT: Stop Arm Barring

See Cutch pulling his top hand, while bottom hand restrains that pull forward (look at muscles in left forearm and triceps). Photo courtesy: MLB.com

Typically, I have my youth baseball hitters practice the Catapult Loading System when we have an arm barring issue.  The finer points before a hitter lands in the Fight Position are:

  • Showing pitcher your numbers,
  • Hiding hands from pitcher, and
  • Slight downhill shoulder angle.

Another piece I've just added to the puzzle comes from Homer Kelly in his book The Golfing Machine.  The following quote may shed additional light on “educating the hands” to combat arm barring…

“Power Accumulator #1 (for right handed golfer) – is the bent right arm. Even though the right biceps is active, the backstroke is always made with the right arm striving to remain straight. But the straight left arm restrains this continuous extensor action of the right triceps with an effortless checkerin action. Consequently , during release, the right arm can straighten only as the left arm moves away from the right shoulder.”

You see, the problem with bat drag at the youth baseball level isn't the move itself, but how the compensation is triggered.  What's happening before the front arm bars out?  Is the hitter properly activating the springy fascia within the torso?

If you “Click here to ‘Get Instant Access'” button below, you can get a free video that explains:

  • Why the following advice: “Power is all in the hips”, “Load and explode the hips”, and “The hips lead the way” won’t produce the repeatable power you’re looking for…

  • Where power really comes from – the answers to how the body actually loads are validated by science…

  • The 3 Do’s & Don’ts that will help you execute this simple strategy without any hitches in swing quality…