In early December, Chas flew to California to meet with the Pleasanton Little League (PLL) board members about a training partnership with Baseball Rebellion. This partnership was designed to inject Baseball Rebellion’s teachings, methodologies, and philosophies into the heart of Pleasanton’s Little League: The coaches! Very soon after, we received the exciting news that PLL had chosen Baseball Rebellion as their partner for team training. This included our detailed, online hitting, pitching, and catching clinics as well as the Baseball Rebellion staff making a trip to Pleasanton, California in January. We began to see our vision for changing the way baseball is taught and played becoming a reality on a larger scale! We booked our flights and hotels for January and spent the next few weeks preparing for the clinic. Then, Winter Storm Jonas hit the East Coast…
With thousands of flights cancelled, only Chas, Justin, and Gabe were able to make the trip. JK, Dave, KC, and Ryan worked tirelessly to find flights but the storm won out. While already shorthanded, Chas happened to slip on a wet curb and this happened…
Chas fought valiantly through a lot of pain and instructed extremely well. Needless to say, he was going to need some help with the demonstration aspect of teaching hitting. Luckily we were able to have professional players, Mark Canha and Maxx Garrett, there to help demonstrate and instruct. These guys are well-versed in our program and added a valuable element as players who actually perform the hitting movements we teach at a very high level. I want to give a special thanks to Mark and Maxx as the quality of this clinic was greatly enhanced by their instruction.
The Hitting Clinic
While the Baseball Rebellion Staff was waiting for the coaches to arrive, we were given a very clear reminder of why we do what we do. One of the worst hitting lessons I have ever seen was taking place (Note: The instructor was renting a cage and was not associated with the facility.) The instructor was clearly trying to help the student, but used a combination of the worst information and drills found in the baseball hitting industry. Consecutively, we saw one handed drills with the Insider Bat, Hitting with big cement blocks to ensure the feet remain still, Balance Board training, and some irrelevant jumping hitting drills that I honestly don’t even know how to describe. I sincerely hope the instructor overheard some of the Baseball Rebellion information and that she would begin to question the content of her lessons.
The Baseball Rebellion hitting clinic consisted of two sessions. In the first session, we gave a detailed overview of our hitting flaws and fixes clinic model. In this model we explain seven of the most widespread hitting myths, which include the following:
Within each of the hitting topics above, we explained the fix for each flaw and discussed why our hitting methodology gives batters the opportunity to see dramatic improvements. We also showed common hitting drills to avoid, hitting drills Baseball Rebellion uses, good coaching cues to use, and coaching cues to stay away from. The largest amount of time was spent on the stride and turn portions of the swing, because these are the foundational components of our teaching. We had a lot of fun taking the coaches through our hitting movements with the Rebel’s Rack. While some coaches were skeptical at first, this portion of the hitting clinic really allowed the coaches to feel the learning process that their baseball / softball players would undergo. This feeling was far more important to the development of their players than the coaches ability to perform the movements perfectly.
The first session of the Baseball Rebellion hitting clinic ended very loudly. This was because Mark Canha put on a laser show. During his rounds of BP, Mark and Chas discussed many of the hitting concepts talked about during the clinic and showed how the movements translate to a real MLB swing.
In session 2 of the hitting clinic, the coaches returned with their own kids. The goal of this session was to turn the reins over to the coaches and support them as they taught the methodology themselves. This session allowed the coaches to see some of the practical issues that come up when kids are first learning. They identified flaws fairly quickly and asked great questions regarding cueing. The kids caught on extremely fast and helped the coaches to see the immediate impact Baseball Rebellion’s Hitting Program can have. We used four kids as examples, all of whom were under 10 years old!
For the last segment of the hitting clinic, we allowed the kids to begin implementing their new movements into some swings off the tee.
While there were a few swings taken at the end, it was amazing how much improvement we saw without a bat or ball being involved. Movement was / is the key! At dinner that night, we even saw these two ninjas practicing their rack moves…
The pitching portion of the clinic followed the same overview of implementation of concepts and movements to coaches in session 1 with an emphasis on the current status of the overall throwing culture.
Coaches Clinic Structure Day 1
I decided to get the coaches moving early and often so as they began to understand our throwing / pitching movements on a conceptual level, they could also feel the differences within the body. I may have overworked them a bit, considering I had several coaches tell me how sore their legs and back were the next day, but I was pleased with the their overall willingness to engage and ask questions.
Just like Mark Canha hit in front of the coaches, I wanted to make sure I put on my own version of a pitching display. I started with portraying common throwing movement patterns seen throughout youth baseball and progressively worked towards faster, more advanced throwing movements. I’m pretty sure I threw hard enough and well enough for them to see how the full movements come together.
All of us at Baseball Rebellion want to thank Pleasanton Little League for having us and give a special thanks to Tony Cisneros for helping facilitate and coordinate the clinic! We had a great experience teaching Baseball Rebellion’s hitting and pitching coaches clinics and look forward to working with more Little Leagues and organizations who want to implement Baseball Rebellion’s methodology on a greater scale!
Gabe Dimock and Justin Orenduff of the Baseball Rebellion