Nick Coast Stats
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Hitting Lessons From A Primary Firearms and Tactical Instructor?

Nick Coast Stats

Nick Coast, Senior at Rancho Bernardo High School is crushing it, along with younger brother – and Sophomore – Alex Coast.

In this post, I want to share a testimonial from one of the dads who drove up from San Diego (about 7-hour drive to me) with his two sons, Alex and Nick, to hit with me for a weekend, about 9 months ago.

Both young men are playing at the highest level in the Open Division in the CIF San Diego Section, Rancho Bernardo High School.  Alex is a Sophomore playing J.V., and Nick is a Senior playing Varsity this year.  Nick’s Varsity Coach Sam Black, is the same one General Manager of the Oakland A’s played for.

The reason I’m sharing this is because dad, Mark Coast, has a VERY credible background in human movement science.  THIS is what caused him to reach out to me after rummaging through HPL.  The following testimonial is VERY validating to the things we teach at HPL.

Col. Mark Coast

SDSU Website for Homeland Security

Here’s the bio of Col. Mark Coast:

“I graduated from Cal State Northridge with a BS in Physics and Minor in Engineering in 1990. The same day I graduated college I was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve. Nearly 30 years later I am now a colonel in USMCR. Since the time I graduated college I have served a combination of 8 years on active duty and nearly 22 in the reserve. During that period I deployed to Iraq four times (2003-2006), retired from DEA after 20 years (1996-2016) as a Special Agent, worked a few years as an optical mechanical design engineer, Adjunct Faculty at San Diego State University (2009 to present) and now a founder of a new company Ceveal Solutions, LLC. I have been a professional trainer for over 25 years experience. First, as an artillery officer with USMC, Non-lethal Weapons Instructor #1 for the Department of Defense, and as the Primary Firearms and Tactical Instructor for DEA. I completely understand the scientific process and apply proven training techniques of integrating gross and fine motor skills with hand-eye coordination in shooting, very similar to hitting and golf.”

Now, here’s the email he recently sent, updating me on the boys’ progress this season.

It’s a little long, but don’t worry – if you stick through it – you’ll get a few golden training nuggets

Without further adieu, ENTER Col. Mark Coast…

“Joey,

I hope things are going well. I know you may not get much detailed feedback so I wanted to pass along something we learned the last couple weeks. We have been hitting like crazy and the results were good. One of the things we stressed was your recommendation of the two plate drill and it helped timing tremendously. Additionally, we worked hard on balance. We also increased reps off the pitching machine to adjust to velocity. They worked very hard to make balanced swings whether they hit or missed. This really improved their contact and consistently hitting with the same swing. However, I wanted to determine why the boys were popping up occasionally in clutch situations, which was unusual (pop ups). Thus, I set up a video camera and recorded their ABs. Here’s what I learned…
Upon review of video after games I was seeing the boys take a damn hard cut at a ball for the first couple strikes. I would notice they would take a subtle step towards the plate on the follow through. I asked them why they were taking a step in the game and not in the cage? Their response, “I want to crush the ball so I’m swinging harder during the game because we are pumped up.”Bruce Lee Adapt What is Useful Quote
I told them, this comes down to discipline and training. You play like you practice and practice like you play. You either swing like that in the cage or don’t do it in the game. They said they wanted to swing hard like that in the cage, but they couldn’t swing that hard for 10 pitches. I said that is exactly why Joey wants you to limit your swings to 3-5 reps.
They were very resistant to that because they “get in a rhythm” and like hitting for 10-12 reps. I told them it was reinforcing bad habits for game situations. The light bulb went on for them!
Nick has taken physics already and we drew a static diagram of a harder swing and asked him to show me and Alex where his barrel head will be when he swings with a larger angular velocity. He figured out the bat created a larger moment arm from his center of gravity [COG]. He realized his COG moved toward the plate (causing the slight step) and causing his barrel head to drop slightly causing the pop ups or foul tips.
They realized game time ABs creates adrenaline pumps and they swing harder in games and don’t train with the same intensity in the cages, thus missing balls low. They NEVER drive a ball into the ground with less than two strikes! Always swinging harder than the cage during the game. However, they are damn good two strike hitters when they purposely dial back their swings with 2 strikes.
BTW, Nick has only 6 K’s on the season and Alex has 2 K’s. They rarely miss a pitch. Again, these boys are playing at the highest level in the Open Division in the CIF San Diego Section. BTW, not too bad on defense too. Nick has a 1.000 fielding percentage as a catcher and .800 caught stealing rate. Alex only has one E playing the corners.
Experiment: Go into the cage and take full momentum swings for no more than 3 reps and rotate for three rounds.
Hypothesis: Their barrel heads would be under the ball in the first round. Second round they would apply bold adjustment method (standard artillery round adjustment method); swing below, above and then split the difference. Third round they will have taught themselves how much they need to raise their barrels heads to square up balls when swinging as hard as they can.Struggle in Today Developing Strength for Tomorrow Quote
Results: It went exactly as predicted. They rebalanced with the harder swing by moving their hips out (away from the plate).  CLICK HERE for the results during the games (Max Preps screen shots through today). They are absolutely crushing the ball. Nick is tied for leading doubles on his team, moved to hitting in the 5 hole. Alex similar results.
The last couple weeks they are coming through in clutch situations. Just this week, Nick walk off single in one game and lead off double to score winning run. Alex on Wed (btm of 12th) lead off double and was the winning run. Varsity coach (Billy Beane’s HS coach Sam Black) said, damn the Coast boys are killing it and starting game ending rallies.
Last year when we came to you in Fresno, Nick was hitting .111 (popping most everything up). Alex was similar. Now they realize how to replicate their game swings. They are disciplined with their training of limiting reps to 3-5 per round. Their friends are now adapting this training method. I think it’s ironic “The Factory” has kids coming over to hit in the cage at our house and adapting to your scientific approach to hitting. It is so cool to watch them adapt to technology and the collected scientific evidence and apply it effectively to the most difficult task in sports. I know when they coach later in life they will be better coaches. Thanks again for all your support and continued success.
Thanks,  Mark”
In addition, Col. Mark Coast added this to one of my replies…
“When their teammates see the results on the field they do not argue with success they just want to duplicate it. It’s funny how many boys are now asking them and me what are they doing other than hitting. I keep telling them it’s not the quantity, but the quality of the reps. It’s the same stuff I teach my students with shooting pistols, rifles or cannons. Spray and pray is not a method. Putting a single calculated round downrange is all the matters. The same in hitting. One well placed ball is all that matters. They are old enough to be believers now. If you want to see two snippets of video of Nick you can go to his web site on MaxPreps and see his walk off hit and a double he hit Wed. I’m in the process of getting Alex’s video from Wed uploaded too.
Keep up the great work! I don’t know how often you get feedback as scientific as mine, but I hope it helps. It is a testament to your approach. Additionally, the confidence it gives them is amazing. Nick says, I have hit off and sometimes crush all these D1 commits. I know there isn’t a kid in the country I can’t hit. That’s a bold statement!”
I can’t thank Col. Coast enough for sharing this.
I always tell my hitters that I’m just a flashlight in the dark, illuminating the most effective path to being an outstanding hitter.  Ralph Waldo Emerson Principles Quote
The biggest part – I feel – is for them to do the reps.  The Coast brothers are definitely doing that, and combined with dad’s background, knowledge, and guidance…40 years from now, both boys can look back and say they did all they could to maximize their abilities.
Listen, the moral of the story is that we’re applying human movement rules, that are validated by science, to hitting a ball.  Whether we’re talking about using variance in the cage or the standard artillery round adjustment method…these are the PRINCIPLES (See RWE quote above).
Keep up the good work Coast Bros!
UPDATE #1:
About two weeks after our initial conversation, Nick Coast (Senior in H.S.) was hitting .333, and his younger brother Alex was hitting over .400 in J.V. ball.
UPDATE #2
The Monday before I published this testimonial from Col. Mark Coast, I had a dad by the name of Jeff Pope reach out to me on my Facebook fan page, asking me where I could point him to improve his son’s game swing, which in the cage were fantastic.
I told him to be patient for this post (which I published on Thursday).
And here’s Jeff’s response, the Monday following this post’s publication (he gave me the go-ahead to share with you):
“I spoke with you last week about my son bringing his bp swing to the game and he did just that, hard work in the cage and in our garage has paid off. He hit ridiculous this weekend. He hit 2 monster home runs in 4 games. Kid just turned 11 last week, can’t wait to see what he is now capable of. I believe the home run flood gates may have just opened! Thanks for the insight and knowledge.”
His reply to my attaboy comment back…
“Something clicked, like I said he’s always been a great hitter but as big and strong as he is hitting clean up i wanted more for him. Game changing more. He took on the top ranked team with a kid throwing absolute gas and he took the second pitch he saw and hit it about 270 ft over the left field wall, he caught it out front and it looked effortless. His other shot he hit was an 0-2 fastball and he hit it over the centerfield wall with his contact swing. So much fun to be apart of.”
I asked him what exact changes they made, and here’s how he responded:
“What we changed in his practice habits before the tournament he played in was the shortening of the reps going all out if you will for 3-5 reps. I have noticed before the longer we went on a bucket the better his focus and adjustments got… But the swing obviously got weaker. I did notice the short reps really made him focus on making the most of the pitches he got but also keeping his strength and bat speed up the entire time. I really tried to get him to focus on being fast and powerful on those limited swings. You normally don’t see more than 3-5 pitches per at bat which really got in his head, make the most of what you have a priority. I really stressed that he needed to play how he practiced keeping the mind set of focus and making the most of what u got. We also focused more on increasing his reps off the pitching machine using that as a great tool to incorporate that powerful swing with speed. Well he played like he practiced going yard twice, one being a 270 footer on a kid throwing gas, then another on an 0-2 count with a 2 strike swing that was still powerful enough to hit it over the wall in centerfield. Both kids threw really fast which made him faster and he took advantage. He just turned 11 last week, look forward to many more of these sessions and hopeful success to keep him playing in games how he practices…which is all out!!”
This IS NOT rocket science people!  Practice like you play, so you play like you practice.
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Joey Myers

I’m a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA), and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).I’m also a HUGE supporter of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).

I’ve spent 11+ years in the corrective fitness industry, and have too many alphabet-soup certifications to bore you with.I also played four years of Division One baseball at Fresno State from 2000-2003.

It’s NOT how you study, but what you study that counts.I apply human movement principles (or rules), validated by science, to hitting a baseball and softball.
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2 replies
  1. Djura
    Djura says:

    Awesome article once again… Pretty cool… Again sorry about the thousand commands but now I’m past the fascial lines and trains…it’s funny how just a little while ago I was asking you why were you not focusing on the bone and the traditional understood anatomy structures, I.e.,bone and muscle. And now I’m saying I’m past facial lines… And I guess what’s left is attitudes, how to prepare, relaxation…basically the mental disciple… Timing… Understand the right approach… Vision….

    It’s funny… I’m 100 percent confident that if the approach is right and obviously the swing is right… Everything else falls in place… It’s easy to time something when it’s already in the right sequence… It natural… That’s another funny word… Hitting the ball is not natural… It’s made natural…So it’s all natural at some point… And I think that is the worst part…Being natural in a swing which is not THE SWING is a big big problem… Instincts! Because just having one thing off multiples in the hitting system… That’s how I’ll phrase it… Every flaw is multiple… How or where each one is multipled is beyond my interest…but doing poorly takes 2nd to the risk of injury… For hitters… The back… Pitchers… Shoulders… Etc… Hitting is a system and the first key is the swing and more importantly the hands and the feet… I know… It’s the torso…That’s what I read by most… The core… Blah… Blah…blah… I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it again… The body is one dynamic thing… Just look at it as a set of gears in a clock… And notice that if connected correctly the hands and feet move the system just the same but in different magnitudes, directions, angles…etc…but that’s the clue too….The 4 fascia lines are part of the key and you only focused on bottom 3… The back line is key too… Remember… Hold and turn… Remember coil from an unwinded postion to a winded postion… Meaning you hit a ball in a winded or coiled postion not out of it…I hate seeing kids but a ball on a conventional tee ( not the backspin tee) and do a check swing to the ball and wind back… No.. No… No.. Go all the way through and than wind back…now… The grip is key Joey… If you don’t know how to grip the bat… It’s a problem! If I had 10 hours to investigate the swing without knowing anything… I would spend all 9.75 hours in investigating the grip… Because as I see it… It’s in the hands and feet… But the feet responds to the hands and just needs to either be weighted on or not… Than 0.25 hours on how to squat… I love that postion or pose of all the muscles loose and your flat on your feet like a ball… So the key is knowing all that and how to set and lock them so one only moves when the other moves… Meaning they are interdependent… So they load that way too… Meaning.. Of course you use the bottom hand and off course you can squeeze the fingers as hard as you want… All your doing is hitting the domino harder… It’s when your not set up snd you don’t “KNOW IT” and your hitting the wrong parts hard where things lock up or go wrong…So if you know it you can pinch anywhere..And I mean anywhere .Or said another way… I would say it this way…The ones that are really good put it in automatic but if they need too they can GO at any moment… So the lead pinch and back armpit is one of many… So if it all works interdependently… First know the connection and how to lock them together so they work like dominos and second know how to move them by themself one after another in the connection but not locked in connection… So if you set your feet and set your hands… You are set..Than Loads and Holds…plural… The trick is what and where…That’s fascia right… And posture right… Once again fasica.. Than Turns…Ince again plural…Those are pushes… And posture… And remember you are always moving something even the holds affect your postures….And if you know how to move everything in connection and by themselves than its all interdependently… Meaning the GO is dependent on the ball location and how you moved… If you GUESSED wrong or right basically and adjustments now…if any… And usually there’s an adjustment…And you already had some holds but the pinch is in the sequence so yea… Like an on off switch but you have to know how to reconnect sort off.. So yea when I watch slow motion videos and here people say yea they hit a homerun here but they could have gotten more if this was like that or this… I’m like really… The physics don’t lie… The anatomy doesnt lie… And numbers and fact are what they are but one remember one fact… Every swing is different just like there no such thing as tie goes to the runner…But yes… We ought to start the hold with every intention of getting all of it and at the right moment… Than we play ball and I don’t care ifs it’s actually baseball or some variation of it…its see ball hit ball…the first rule of hitting… Hit hard by squaring it… If your doing it right you don’t every want to think about anything else… Hit dead square… You have to know how to twirl… Twirl it while loaded and exploding… Or while you hold and turn…

    So just do that bat rope swing… Do it with a normal bat… And your dead right… It’s great for your foot pressures… Buts it’s all in the hands AND FEET… And pay attention to your hands while it’s all going… So in relation to your feet and everything In between…So take a normal bat and since our postures are different and most likly the reason we had a hard time finding out younger swings, just start doing the bat rope drill with a normal bat but only use your middle fingers to grip the bat… Meaning you have to LET the bat do its thing and also you have to balance it with only the middle finger so you would have get all the pressures and forces right to go back and forth… Oh yea… Go back and forth not only forward… Start with a small move and make it bigger… So bigger moves gets the swing going back where your hands are around your back ear… Again our postures are different so let you body do the work… Than start pinching the top hand midden finger…as I think you always do… Top hand… Than start pinching the lead hand middle finger… Than start pinching both starting with the lead hand than back hand… AGIAN ONLY use the middle finger don’t even grip the bat with the others…And while your body makes it all work start pinch all over the place.. Outside, inside, down the plate… Use both hand… Reverse it… Notice what is happening… Notice which balls become easier to get too… Notice what provides a tighter swing… Than add the index finger… Than add the index… Etc… Notice how the hands and feet and everything works together … At some point your posture changes and you know how it feels… And you can pinch at anytime and hit hard… Meaning you know the postures… And that includes what the hands do so if you guess wrong you make the adjustments like extending your arm when playing catch… And trying to explain what I do to others with my posture is really really hard especially when I figuring it out too…Buts it’s in the postures… Every posture… Meaning if you swing… Move an inch… Is your posture where it should… Are the right muscles activated… Are your hands and fingers in the right place…If you let you bottom go… Does your top go too or can you conserve or hold or even get more load…Meaning if your bottom more can you use your hands to catch up… And would this adjustment be microseconds or actually seconds…Can you just let everything go and use your eyes (top spine) to see the ball and use your hands to adjust… If what I’m saying is right… It’s ALL about adjustments… Meaning no swings are the same and the adjustments are no more than reconnecting what you set up to the pitch….So you set up connected with the intentions to stay connected but than the real world lets you know that life isn’t fair and this guy/girl is too damn good be cause they pitchers have all the advantages and knowing the swing is not good enough…going 1/4 and 1/3 is big… You have to know how to get back into it because nobody can guess that good…..And I have a thousand ideas… One would be if you do it like this at some point your body including your hands and fingers do there things and when something happens you feel it out of whack and just fix it… So hay my finger needs a little push… So when you catch a fly ball you don’t notice your rotary or linear forces you just catch the ball and if you extend and need to adjust… Well you adjust on feel… Because you know how it should be… So posture is everything… Yea… Even the top finger tips… And the rest of your body…meaning.. Posture is everything not just your hip or your elbow… Elbow up… Well that affects other things too…Please try the drill and LET your body do its thing while only using the middle finger don’t even grip the bat, tuck the other fingers away… Start pinching each finger… Go to a heavy bat… Than a really heavy bat… See what happens…really heavy…??

    And yea square the balls… Sideways… So think of it as your hitting the ball side ways with the top hand…Well the bottom hand is obviously going to that point but behind you… Or your pushing it down and behind with the bottom hand to anticipate the top going sideways…So you try your best to keep the top sideways…

    Also you said to me one time that the swing is a push… I’ll say yea… It can be but I don’t gues ms that well… And if I did that I would be a good guess so I’ll assume your better at guessing than I was… Remember when something is out of place than there “can” be adjustments so if I pulled it barely and I’m not thinking about it… I was trained and my hands and body did what it had to do… I do think about the pinches… Pushes…

    But really fast when you go to the super market and you are pushing a shopping cart look at your hands… Are bout looking like you hitting a ball… Meaning I usually push the cart and palms are facing down but I can still push ?….

    Seriously square the ball… Dead center… By the way I’m stored electrical engineering so don’t bother with the physics…Hope all is well…
    And I hope this sounds interesting….

    So I ask you…did you every twirl your pen with your fingers… Can that be it…

    And we’re you good at guessing… I think the best way to hit for distance starts with squaring it…

    Seriously… When you have time a few of your observations would be appreciated… Thanks Joey…

    ~DM

    Reply
  2. Djura
    Djura says:

    I been trying to find anything in twirling and baseball and haven’t found anything… Than this Video popped up and I’m seeing power generation, a triple pendulum, two hands, flips, weight shifts… Momentum manipulations, pinches… I thought l, hey you had people from all sports and even mentioned kangaroos… Yep you would enjoy it and if you see what I see… It’s really cool… Again the Video… The instructor seems pretty good too…

    http://dynamoclub.blogspot.com/2013/06/dynamo-concepts-training-videos.html?m=1

    Please tell me what you think… Man where the hell did this come from… Funny!

    ~DM

    Reply