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Disclaimer: Benny R. (@BatCaveHitting) is a customer of Baseball Rebellion's hitting products. He performed this study on his own and was not directed/instructed by Baseball Rebellion in any way to do this study. After seeing Benny's tweet out (seen below) his results online, we asked if he would write a brief summary of his training for our website. THE FOLLOWING CASE STUDY IS BY BENNY R. A BASEBALL REBELLION CUSTOMER
At 39 yrs old decided I wanted to learn how to hit the ball far. So I armed myself with a #rebelsrack , a #LaunchAngleTee adapter and #hittraxbaseball and started learning how to turn. So far these are the results. pic.twitter.com/HFwuS4vmkV
— BatCaveResearchLab (@batcavehitting) May 20, 2018
In October 2017, I got to the realization that all the hitting coaching cues my 10-year-old son was receiving were the same cues that were taught to me at his age: swing down, just make contact, hit the ball into the ground. He was receiving so much step-by-step mechanical instructions that he was freezing at the plate. Being an engineering professor with amateur baseball experience and due to the fact that my son likes performing experiments, we decided that performing experiments would be a good way for him to work on his hitting and track the changes he needed to implement in order for him to hit the ball hard, over the infielders head.
The main problem from my side was that at 39 yrs old, I’m a 5’9” 160 lbs lefty hitter. Therefore, you can imagine that when I was a kid, I was taught to hit the ball into the ground or hit low line drives into the holes left open by the infielders. Even more, from the age of 18 yrs old to 38 yrs old (last time I played baseball), I only hit the ball over the fence once. Now at 39 yrs old, I had to learn/understand how to hit the ball hard and far in order to help my 10 yrs old (5’0” and 100 lbs) develop the necessary skills to hit the ball hard into the outfield gap.
After performing some research, experiments, and looking at various tools, we started to use the Launch Angle Tee Adapter to work on learning to hit the ball at better launch angles. The table below shows my average launch angle when using a regular tee vs. the Launch Angle Tee Adapter during tee work.
|Average Launch Angle|
|Regular Tee||20.7 degrees|
|Launch Angle Tee Adapter||28.3 degrees|
The average launch angle was higher with the Launch Angle Tee Adapter, however, more importantly being able to see more of the ball helped eliminate the barrier of hitting the tee which allows us to work on hitting the ball consistently hard. The image below was from an experiment that my son and I performed to see how he would happen if he used the Launch Angle Tee adapter versus a regular tee. In the pictures below, the red dots represent the location of balls hit off a regular tee and the green dots represent those taken off the Launch Angle Tee adapter.
In our experience, what happened in that experiment can be summarized as follows; the Launch Angle Tee Adapter helped improve the average ball launch angle and he was hitting the ball in a more consistent manner while reducing the number of ground balls hit.
Once I was able to learn/understand how to hit the ball with a better launch angle, it was time to learn how to hit the ball hard. Now the focus was on how to create more ball exit speed while being able to maintain that average launch angle. After looking at different options, I decided to try the Rebel’s Rack, since it had a lot of drills and resources available to use. Based on the resources available at Baseball Rebellion, here is the daily movement routine that I started to follow when trying to learn (or reprogram myself) to hit the ball harder and farther using the Rebel’s Rack.
|Warm-up Turns||2 minutes|
|Hesitation Stride, Show & Go||4 minutes (2 min/side)|
|Resisted Turns||2 minutes (1 min/side)|
|Accelerated Turns||2 minutes (1 min/side)|
|Timing Drill||20 pitches (only on hitting days)|
Below is the summary of the improvements/results obtained so far by using the Rebel’s Rack. These measurements were obtained using HitTrax.
|Date||Avg. Velocity (MPH)||Max. Velocity (MPH)||Max. Distance (Feet)||LD %||FB %||GB %||Comment|
|4/29/2018||81.1||90.9||353||49||40||11||1st session after Rebel’s Rack|
It can be observed that the first hitting session after starting to use the Rebel’s Rack, there was an improvement in distance of 17 feet and maximum velocity of 2 mph. Overall, as of May 19th, the gains have now reached almost 30 feet in distance and 7 mph of maximum velocity. Also, it can be noticed that the ground ball percentage has gone down and stayed consistently down.
As it can be seen from the HitTrax data, the Rebel’s Rack in combination with the Launch Angle Tee Adapter have helped me achieve better and more consistent movement quality and therefore helped me improve my power as a hitter. Now I’m more confident that I can use the things that I have learned to help my son and other hitters develop into more consistent and powerful hitters.