Hitting Conversations With Baseball Rebellion

Written By: Chas Pippitt

I talk to many coaches, all over the country, on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis.  One of my favorite coaches (we will call him “Eric” which is not his real name) texted me today. Here’s some of our conversation, that I think illustrates a lot of confusion and frustration in the social interaction within the hitting community over what is expected by the coaches themselves, the parents of the players, and the players taking the lessons.
text with hitting coach about how to use the rebel's rack to teach a powerful athletic turn

So there’s a lot to digest in those first few comments.  First, Eric talked about what most hitting coaches do and what he does, then he painted the common perception of me / Baseball Rebellion Instructors as ‘starting from scratch’ with our ideas and building the swing from the ground up.  As you can see based on my response, in our initial phases of working with professional athletes (and all athletes for that matter) we rarely actually HIT.  We allow the athlete to really understand and learn a higher quality movement pattern that supports an explosive turn, so that the athlete’s body chooses this optimal movement automatically once player begins to hit again.

Eric then went on to talk about his own issues with the Rebel’s Rack and his feelings on how his players use the Rebel’s Rack.  He said:ith a hitting coach about using the rebel's rack

Again, lots to see here and think about.  Lots of coaches I talk to greatly overcomplicate things.  Shoot, you can find 5000 word articles about every tiny little movement a professional hitter makes.  Those articles have their place, and I’ve even written a few hyper-technical articles in the past. But I know that’s not how athletes learn and writing articles like that is the most sure fire way to confuse dad’s and mom’s everywhere who are just looking for a few correct and actionable coaching points to help their child hit better.  Baseball Rebellion isn’t about ‘simplifying’ the baseball swing…baseball campifying it into “7 steps of hitting”….CUE THE WORST HITTING VIDEO EVER…

Yikes…We’re about simplifying how the complicated and explosive hitting sequence is Taught by Coaches and Learned by Athletes.  Eric then mentioned the “toothbrush drill” which is a Baseball Rebellion Favorite and really engages and coordinates the large muscles of the core that turn the pelvis in the swing.  See my demonstration of the toothbrush drill below and incorporate that into your pre-swing routine to activate your muscles and enhance the speed and completeness of your pelvis turn in the swing.   The reason we call this drill the toothbrush drill is because you should do it twice a day…in front of a mirror…after you brush your teeth. (Clever huh?)

After the “toothbrush drill” comment, we went into some more technical teaching stuff, and then we were back to Rebel’s Rack and turn conversation:

rebel's rack turns hitting coach explanations

Eric is a really smart guy.  Matter of fact, I really enjoy talking to him, that’s probably why I talk to him so much honestly.  The thing I like most about him was his initial skepticism in how the Rebel’s Rack could help his players and even how the turn works in general.  We still talk about the Bat Drag Buster and how/if the arms work that way…but that’s for another time…and I appreciate that he’s willing to challenge me but also willing to HEAR my thoughts and TRY to see my side of the story.  I do my best to treat his information exactly the same, and I know he appreciates that as well.  As you can see from the texts above, he’s searching to be better, which is AWESOME.  I wish more coaches were progressive and willing, as those who reach out to me get a lot in return once they show they really want to engage and share.  You can see how he taught the turn in steps, which we try not to do quite so rigidly, as Baseball Rebellion teaching a series of movements not positions which can clog the swing and the brain of a young and impressionable hitter.  If you’re a coach trying to teach this style of hitting, and very few of your students can do it…they’re telling you something…about YOU.  That’s what Eric knows and that’s why we talk the way we do.  So we can help each other reach more people in baseball and softball.  Then I started talking about my ‘stubbornness’ as a coach, not with hitting, but with the movement improvement drills we do with the rack in the mirror and with resistance.

tex avout stub

Most instructors feel pressure from parents to make the kids better.  I know I feel it.  But I remember the end goal: (Parents) want their kid to mash as fast as possible.  That’s a simple fact.  And if you set the expectations in the evaluation or first time with the kid/team, then you can introduce new movement patterns and drills that will accelerate the players’ development.  Another thing I’d strongly advise, and many coaches do, is they show video not just of professional hitters, but of young hitters that are similar in age and size to the player they’re talking to.  This shows the kid that he/she CAN do the moves, but they have to do the program that gets them to the movement progression they want in their swing.  Often times, those moves DO NOT involve hitting a baseball.  I say this all the time: You don’t learn math DURING the math test, or by TAKING MORE TESTS over and over.  You take a test, see what you did wrong, the teacher breaks down the mistake…you practice that part of the problem over and over and then you re-test.  Many people try to hit their way to a new swing, when they are just reinforcing the same patterns that got them to need lessons/struggle in the first place.  Lets make this new year a time of change in how the game is taught, spoken about, evaluated and learned.  Baseball Rebellion, and our growing group of coaches all over the country, are on the front lines of teaching and and educating the masses about the fastest way to learn.

We’re here.  We’re friendly…all you have to do is engage.  Hit me up on twitter @BRrebellion.  I’d love to talk some hitting.

Chas Pippitt, Leader of the Baseball Rebellion

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coachbrown1978
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coachbrown1978

This was a great read… I am brand new to a high school program this year as their hittin coach, and a former player that was drafted by an MLB team has been told that if he just hits with more power, he’s the next guy to be called up at his position. So, I asked him what they suggested he do. They said to get his hands back and keep his shoulders square to the plate throughout the swing. I didn’t say anything, but I was a little perplexed that that was the suggestion to for more power for… Read more »

Jack Schone
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Jack Schone

I am very intrigued with your concepts in hitting.
I have many kids and parents wanting me to help through lessons. How can I become coach of the Rebellion? Do you have some things that I can use and start with to tell these kids?

Jack Schone

Taylor Bales
Member

Chas, Another great article bud!!! Love it!! As you know, each one of us have obtained the results in our lives (in all areas, including hitting), due to mainly 3 things: 1) what we read, 2) what (or who) we listen too and 3) our associations (who we hang around with, including coaches). So be very careful what and who you expose yourself too. As one of my mentors has told me, “stupid is sticky and it will get all over ya”. LOL So, If you want better results in your life it must start with better information which leads… Read more »

James Baker
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James Baker

Chas,
I love your insight and constant drive to both learn and teach. Great article! I have started coaching an 8u travel team and I struggle with finding a way to coach 12 kids on hitting techniques. I have incorporated many of your teachings and concepts but find it very difficult to make progress. Do you have suggestions for team practice? Maybe I am just communicating poorly. I have even given homework and sent links to parents to get across the concepts. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks for your dedication,
James

Mike Daxenbichler
Member
Mike Daxenbichler

Hi Chas,
I have been looking over rotational hitting concepts for a several months and I really like your system. I am the coach of a young travel team and also the President of a youth baseball association. I would like to get my grandson started with your online training asap but I also think there may be training opportunities for other coaches and players in our programs. I do have a few questions so if you can email me your phone number and a good time to call you I would appreciate it.
Thanks,
Mike Daxenbichler

Elton Schmidt
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Elton Schmidt

Chas,

How many reps do recommend with the toothbrush drill?

Thanks,
Elton

Caleb Dalman
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Caleb Dalman

Great article. In addition to the “coaches clinic” what would you recommend a high school team purchases to best use their time? I know you are busy but would love to talk about how to best implement your program into ours.

Thanks

Randy Puaatuua
Member
Randy Puaatuua

Really liked this article. When I had my shift in thinking from “hitting balls” to “moving better” it was like seeing the world in a different shade. We’ve been using the rack and lessons for about 3 weeks and have restrained from adding other things or “doing our own thing” and just focusing on the prescribed lower half work so far. My daughter is going on 11, smaller side, and is not known for being aggressive. She’s good at learning and focuses but not kill the ball type. With the improved movement and adjustments she has a whole new attitude… Read more »

tjsojka
Member
tjsojka

That Pro Swing video is hilarious. I actually tried to teach my son from that video for about a week and realized how bad it was. Then I found Baseball Rebellion and read every article you guys have put out and watched all your videos.
He’s been working with J.K. now for a few months and he’s making good progress. He had his first practice with a new team and his coach was “very impressed” with his hitting. Can’t wait to see his progress this season!
Jeff

Adam
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Adam

At what age would you start a player using the rack/bat drag buster?
Thank you for putting out such great information. Changed my whole way of thinking on hitting.

Adam

Mickey Santiago
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Mickey Santiago

I really appreciate what you guys do. It is absolutely amazing. I get excited about the way you guys teach hitting. I was even sitting at dinner and trying to share with my wife how ‘robotic’ hitting has become and how athletic it should be. I think she could see the passion I was speaking with. I am a middle school assistant baseball coach. Our head baseball coach is very good. He manages the team well and motivates the players properly. We have won 3 conference championships in a row. But I do not agree with a lot of what… Read more »

Jason McDermott
Member
Jason McDermott

Hey Fellas, I’m a Certified Epstein Hitting Instructor out in Brooklyn, New York. As of most of you already know talking hitting is a lot like talking religion and politics in a bar. If someone is preaching their personal “hitting philosophy” run for your life. If it doesn’t fall in line with what we see every major league player do on video while at the plate time and time again it’s all myth. Baseball Rebellion does an excellent job spreading the good word and teaching exactly what our pro players have been doing since Babe Ruth started crushing the ball… Read more »