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As Baseball Rebellion/Softball Rebellion has grown, we have decided to be more open with the “HOW” of our process instead of just the results. Releasing our movement progression has been something I’ve considered for a long time. We haven’t done it, until now, and will be including an even more detailed breakdown of the Rebel’s Rack Drills for those with a Rebel’s Rack.
The movement progressions we are about to show you are the core of what we do here at BR/SR. Without them, the Hittrax data we produce, the scholarships, draft picks/bonus money, and the opportunities for our position player athletes would be greatly diminished.
Our players see leaps in how hard and how far they hit a ball, without even having a bat in their hand. BUT HOW do we as instructors help players, even pros, generate so much more distance and exit velocity so fast? After years of research, through trial and error, painstaking video analysis, and constant exit velocity and distance monitoring, the team of instructors at Baseball Rebellion created the Rebel's Rack Movement Progression.
Below, you will see the 3 main moves we use, and make hitters MASTER before they are allowed to hit (in the cage) again in our program. These foundational moves are practiced over and over, deliberately, with internal cues that the hitter must make on their own before he or she re-earns the right to hit.
Once any hitter returns for their first ‘lesson’ after the evaluation they don’t even need their bat. We head over to a mirror and the hitter is instructed to stride ‘at the mirror’ as if the mirror were the pitcher. I want the hitter to see themselves move and hear our cues. "The mirror is the best teacher in the building" is often said at BR/SR. The hitter, strides and strides and strides. Over and over. All while watching themselves stride in the mirror and reacting and evolving their movements based on the cues and instructions of the BR Instructor
Now, the hitter has mastered the slow stride (this can be a leg kick, small lift, toe tap, pretty much anything the hitter wants) with an open front leg/kneecap towards the mirror. The hitter’s head is back and he or she is not ‘flinching’ or opening their shoulders at any point in the movement or at landing on the front foot. The hitter has earned the right to progress into the "Show” phase of the Rebel’s Rack Movement Progression.
Still in the mirror, facing the mirror as if it were the pitcher, the hitter is instructed to stride exactly as they did before with a few simple, and extremely important changes. As the hitter lands, they are instructed to open their pelvis towards the mirror as they keep their front shoulder closed. Cues we use range from “show your belly button towards the pitcher” to “open your stomach as far as you can while you show the back ‘wing’ of the Rebel’s Rack in the mirror".
Essentially, we are twisting up the body in opposite ways. The lower half is opening, and the upper half, specifically the upper back and back arm, are resisting that opening as hard as they can. This stores energy and prepares the body to TURN as quickly as possible. EVERY SINGLE THING done in “the Show” phase is preparing the body to turn quickly and instantly. Store as much energy as possible and completely wind yourself up as far as you can without losing sight of the pitcher with your back eye.
Now the hitter has mastered the MOVEMENTS of slowly striding and slowly storing up as much energy for the turn as possible. It's time to put that energy to good use! The hitter goes into the “Show” phase of the turn move and lands and stops. From here, we teach the hitter the turn, from a dead standstill. Basically, the turn is three basic movements that happen all at once.
The hitter must SIMULTANEOUSLY pull their back hip forward from above the pelvis (this moves the back foot as well), forcefully straighten their front leg into the ground through the front heel of the front foot, and turn their belly button past the pitcher and back shoulder all the way to centerfield.
Usually, there are many different mistakes that happen, and almost ALL of them are caused by the hitter turning too slowly. Remember, the turn must be LEARNED FAST while the preparation to turn must be learned and executed slowly. The faster you turn…the faster you learn!
Slowness in the turn causes the hitter’s head to drift forward, the front leg to fail to straighten out, the back foot/hip not moving forward far enough or too far (both can happen) and the shoulders not to turn all the way. Many balance issues arise when the turn is slow…and the hitter MUST be totally committed to the idea of achieving maximum speed in the turn from the beginning to the finish. There is no slowing down…no easing into it…the turn must GO and be done.
If a hitter is willing to spend the time mastering this movement progression with these executable internal cues, then the ‘chaos’ of hitting gets much much easier to deal with. Problems like a change of velocity or break are more easily solved by ‘sinking into’ the front side. Remember, we learned the turn from a dead stop position (Show Position), so now the hitter knows he or she can go fast from there. If a hitter gets fooled, they have a better plan…and it’s built in.
Mr. Miyagi did this to Daniel Son by having him Wax on, Wax off and Paint the Fence. These repeatable actions became ingrained in him so when Miyagi attacked Daniel, he knew how to defend the different punches. Likewise, hitter’s posture and turn aggression become what we call ‘unbreakable’. The "unbreakable" posture and turn speed can be practiced daily and once these movements are mastered they become subconscious and are instantly recalled by the body when needed in games.
In minutes, a hitter can do hundreds of turns with the rack without any failure at all! Imagine how efficient your training could be if you took away the stress of hitting? No more frustrated faces from a rollover or a pop up...No more hitting until your hands bleed...no more confusion about WHY you went 0 - 4...you'll know why you failed...your posture and speed of the turn broke. The less a hitter 'breaks' within the game turn, the better he or she will hit. Period.
Training movements away from the cage and then taking them into the cage is common in instruction nowadays. But much of that training and 'feel work' doesn't translate and is just feels for feels sake. We want everything a hitter does to increase their ability to accelerate their turn, time their turn, and find their top speed as fast as they can with their BODY, not with their arms and hands. We even take the Rebel’s Rack into the cages at first, before they hit, so they can time a moving ball with their turn after they time their load with the pitcher's arm swing or windup. This sequence leads to the fastest improvements we have ever seen on Hittrax, the fastest 'ah ha' moments for our clients, the most confidence in our shared process, and the fastest carry over into games.
Writing this article and posting these videos was scary for me. I’ve had many, many people tell me ‘they just don’t understand what you guys do’ when people come at us on social media. Players we’ve helped say, ‘Chas, if they knew how fast you and the guys did it, and how you guys did it, then they’d understand’. For years we have hidden this information from ‘outsiders’. Now, we at Baseball Rebellion and Softball Rebellion are going to bring you behind the curtain and you can try to duplicate our results for yourself. Get some Racks, and learn how to turn. Enjoy the success this will bring you, your team, and or your players. The Rebel’s Rack Movement Progression is a secret no more, now let's unlock what's inside your body already…the fastest turns you’ve ever experienced!
Chas Pippitt, Leader of the Baseball Rebellion
10 thoughts on "The Movements that Made The Rebellion – The Rebel’s Rack Revisited"
Thanks, Chas, for posting this. I’ve been reading your site for a long time but this article put it all together. If I were to have someone read only one thing on hitting, this would be it. I’m your typical dad trying to help his sons with baseball. I didn’t play myself when I was young so I’ve been trying to learn hitting mechanics for the past 5+ years and this creates a highly teachable process for everything I’ve learned about hitting with power.
I have to tell you, years ago when I first started to try to figure out how to hit (2013 maybe?), I came across a chat room that linked to your early rebel’s rack. The posters on that site thought it was crazy, but, even though I had no idea at the time what it was meant to do, I liked how you were willing to experiment. I love how you and your staff are willing to experiment and change. The baseball world is full of people that have no interest in that but it is clear Baseball Rebellion does not operate that way.
Again, thanks for sharing this.
chas, what are your thoughts of stride length, or the distance between the feet at landing?
do you think the stride helps the turn? why or why not?
I really dig this article. it puts so much of the previous posts into perspective.
Ditto what Stephen said… As a dad that played sports other than baseball, there is so much information out there. Old school.. new school, this is better… that is better. So much information overload for a dad trying to guide his young kids through the mountain of information and lead them down the right path. I am not naive enough to believe that my kids will be the next D1 superstar. But there is nothing wrong with giving them the right tools to be successful and let things fall where they fall. My only regrets are not leaving near Durham, and not starting the Rebel’s Rack sooner. I just sent the article to my 11 yr old’s head coach…. Not sure what will happen next. ;->
Keep up the good work Chas
Thank you Matt! You and your son are welcome at Baseball Rebellion HQ anytime!
The hard thing is trying to teach this stuff to a team, on the field where carrying mirrors isn’t an option. Convincing them to practice at home in front of a mirror, impossible. But we keep it up and hopefully one day it’ll all just come together.
Unfortunately, this is the case for lots of coaches. I’d say that it’s mostly a player issue…not a lot of real drive from many many players. You’ve got to pay the cost to be the boss.
Really looking forward to getting started. I have a 9 turning 10 year old and we’ve stayed away from internal cues to date, but I believe he is ready. I love the simplicity of the rack and how it teaches skills that scale.
I love how you said that, “how the Rack teaches skills that scale” very smart. That’s the entire plan w all of our products here at BR. The Rebel’s Rack, Bat Drag Buster, Launch Angle Tee and Drive Developer were all made to help coaches and players be their best not only as they use them NOW but as they age LATER.
Really disagree with your idea of “lifting” the baseball. Understanding the swing and how the swing works you have to have an open mind and open ideas that those type of words will not work for everyone