Rotational Hitting or Linear Hitting? As a hitting coach who has done millions of lessons…
Baseball Power Development
I thought I would share with you my recent experience talking to a travel organization about Baseball Power Development. "Development" is a word that get's thrown around a lot in the baseball circles and often really means nothing other than looking prettier.
Most of the 70 plus players said they take private lessons and had done at least 1 baseball camp in their lives. A lot of these players claim to have taken close to a hundred lessons in the past few years. The coaches of the organization wanted to me to come in to speak with the coaches, players, and parents. The topic was Maximizing your ability or as I like to call it......Doing More With Less.
Here are some of the questions I asked the group...
How many of you know exactly how hard you hit a baseball?
In this group only 1 out of 70 knew the answer and they had already purchased my DVD.
How many of you know exactly how fast you throw a baseball?
A few more hands went up with answers like "Last year" or "2 years ago" I threw X MPH. The answer again......very little had an answer at all.
How many know exactly how fast they swing a bat?
Only 1 knew the answer.
How many know exactly how far they can throw a ball?
Nobody had the answer.
How many know exactly know your % of target hit's today in practice?
Nobody had that answer. Both throwing and hitting.
How many of you know exactly what your batting average was last year?
Over half the class answered that they knew their batting average.
How many you know exactly what your % of hard it balls was last season?
No arms went up.
Basic Development Tip # 1
IF you don't know where you are, then how do you know where you're going?
People actually believe the batting average is the most important number.
I can certainly go hitless in a game and hit 4 balls hard.
I can also get 4 hits and not hit a single ball hard.
Scorekeeping sometimes is also subjective. Was that a hit or an error?
How do you measure improvement?
Those who preach baseball development actually measure the least. Really what they mean is they are going to get you to look "prettier" and pretty is whatever they think is pretty.
So really "development" is becoming more pleasing the coaches eye.
Bill Walsh once said "practice without improvement is a waste of time".
I agree but the problem is we all have different opinion on what improvement is to a large degree.
Some will say it's batting average. Some will say it's ERA. Very few would say it's undisputed results. In the baseball world many simply seem to be happy with getting reps done in practice. The reps the better. The problem is..........what if your process is slightly off?
If you don't know hard you throw then generally you're less likely to throw harder.
If you don't know how far you throw you're generally less likely to throw further.
The same goes for how hard you hit, how far you hit, how fast you swing.
The same goes for your tendencies on ball flight.
Awareness is the first step towards improvement.
I enjoyed the opportunity to layout the 7 Training Principles that our organization uses to challenge each of our athletes to go slightly beyond his or her capability.
The same 7 concepts that have helped over 100 of our athletes throw or hit a baseball over 90mph or more. The same 7 concepts that allowed 8 of our students hit or throw a baseball over 100mph.
It's amazing how many of these young athletes also described ways in which they can apply these concepts in other aspects of their lives including other sports and even school.
Amazing. True Development is possible but often times get ruined by lack of patience or an emphasis on "pretty". In today's world many of the young athletes simply want to please their coaches. They don't want to get in trouble therefore not getting in trouble is the key to development in most of their minds.
Very few maximize talent or even come close.
Our philosophy is simple: You can't rely on talent. Talent is simply a starting point. Following our 7 Training Principles you can get more out of your talent. Even with less talent you can do more than those with more.
Coach Ryan FastballUSA
Director of Baseball Training at Fastball USA
Coach Ryan has spent 14 years as an Associate Scout with the Seattle Mariners organization, and has been running Fastball USA since 2001. Coach Ryan has spent nearly 20 years as a professional baseball instructor specializing in hitting and pitching.