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In June of 2011, I wrote this article on Vision (See Article Here) In which I debuted the Head-Right Head-Light Drill. The drill is designed to be a fun vision exercise to make practicing seeing the baseball hit the bat enjoyable. In the HeadRight HeadLight Drill, the hitter gets a headlight from Lowes or Home Depot and straps it to his head. He sets the ball up on the tee and then shuts off all the lights. If his head is pointed at the ball, or his nose is at the ball, the ball will be lit up as light from the HeadRight HeadLight does not bend and does not lie. If your head moves in the swing, you know it, as the ball gets dark and you will usually swing and miss or knock the tee over. I even cued that AFTER the swing, the HeadRight HeadLight should still be on the tee...
And that's why I'm revisiting this article....
Because the head should NOT be that still in the finish...and I'm about to tell you 2 HUGE reasons why the HeadRight HeadLight Drill is still awesome and how Vision Directly Relates to Early Bat Speed in the Baseball Swing or Softball Swing.
DISCLAIMER: IF YOUR CHILD IS NEW TO THE REBELLION, READ THE 'VALUE OF VISION' ARTICLE FIRST AND DO THE HEADRIGHT HEADLIGHT DRILL AS PRESCRIBED THERE FOR AT LEAST A FEW WEEKS. THEN MOVE TO THIS ARTICLE TO MODIFY THE DRILL. Click Here for Link to Article.
Keeping your head locked at contact through the finish of the swing COMPLETELY STOPS your turn! Basically, unless you're Gumby or Stretch Armstrong, when you stop your turn, you're cutting off your engine.
Very few of my hitters are able to relax their bodies into the finish of their swing if they stop their turns. At Baseball Rebellion, we want the hitter to turn through the baseball and make sure to continue the hip and shoulder rotation through the finish. When you stop your shoulders to preserve vision of contact (especially off the tee, this rigid stopping of the swing causes tons of arm push and turns off the powerful muscles of the abs and back in the swing motion.
Think about it, if you can stop your chest and shoulders as you hit the ball, aren't you slowing down? I want you to be UNABLE to slow down while you're in the swing move because all of your force and power should be in the acceleration of the barrel, not in stopping the swing to run. Remember, you only have to get out of the box FAST on mis-hit dribblers...We're training to hit Doubles and Bombs!
The drills shown are the Original HeadRight Headlight Drill and our New Modified HeadRight HeadLight Drill. Both have great use based on the age and ability of the players' strengths and weaknesses.
Here's some key vocabulary before you watch the video:
Pitch Time: The Time from release of the pitch that it takes for the ball to either cross home plate or be hit. The longer you wait in Pitch Time before you decide to swing, the longer you see the ball and more information you get about the pitch.
Swing Time: The Time it takes the batter to get from start to full extension. The faster you can get your swing up to max speed, the longer you can wait and watch the ball before you commit to the swing.
Without further delay...Here's the HeadRight HeadLight Drill in Action!
I touched on Bat Speed and "whoosh" just a second ago in reason one, but this video I've got for you guys below should really 'open your ears' to what I'm talking about.
Where did you HEAR the bat? Listen closely. On the first swings, the 'whoosh' of the bat was beside me and out in front of me. On last swings, the 'whoosh' was behind me (optimal) and beside me (over home plate). Why would those be better?
Think about a car getting on the highway. The car is at the top of the on-ramp going about 10 mph. The cars on the highway are already going 70 mph. Which car will get to the bottom of the onramp first if both cars must observe the max speed limit of the road? Clearly, the car going 70 mph will win this race. So, by having great vision early in the swing move, you CAN accelerate your bat head into the zone later in pitch time but earlier and faster in swing time.
I hope you guys enjoyed the HeadRight HeadLight video and understood the ideas in the Bat Speed Test. The Whoosh marks where the maximum bat speed is and we want that as deep as possible. It's much easier to carry that bat speed through the swing than actively be accelerating the bat head as your hitting the ball. We want to make slight adjustments to a fast moving bat instead of trying to make adjustments while exerting maximum force in the acceleration of the barrel. So, If you want MAXIMUM BAT SPEED for your young hitter....Value their Vision and show them an awesome and fun way to train with the HeadRight HeadLight Drill.
Chas Pippitt, Leader of the Baseball Rebellion