When people think of hitting or pitching ‘lessons’, or lessons of any kind really, they think of change. Change is terrifying for most hitters or pitchers, especially if they have had a certain amount of success already in their careers. For that reason, many hitters and pitchers will not seek out or accept any skill training (hitting, fielding, throwing) and will just ‘work on their game’ themselves. What this means usually is they will take batting practice at a college or facility for free, with no instruction at all, and hope the hours of repetitions gets them where they want to go. Generally, this tactic does not work, as there is usually no measurement, no analysis, and no way to track performance.
On the other hand, players from all over the country employ Strength and Conditioning facilities to ‘train’ them in the offseason. The players understand their body is their ‘tool’ and they must take care of it, so they run, lift, eat well, and try to get stronger and faster. Unfortunately, if a player has a movement flaw inside of their throwing motion, pitching delivery, fielding move, or load/turn of their swing, they’ll only execute those same flaws FASTER or STRONGER once they’re done with their off-season training. Strength and Conditioning is non-invasive by nature, as it’s accepted to be the norm of being an athlete and moving more weight or running faster is accepted as a good thing. Hitting and throwing coaching, on the other hand, is VERY invasive to the hitter or pitcher and directly impacts their ‘feel’ and can also impact their confidence when being told they’re not ‘doing it right’ in spite of their success. This type of instruction can consist of changing a hitter’s grip, stride, hand position, posture...or with a pitcher, their handset, grips on pitchers, stride length or tempo of movement. All of these things QUICKLY get inside the player’s head and can leave to self-doubt, negative thoughts, and shutting down.
In order to bridge this gap, we at Baseball Rebellion created and practice the idea of Non-Invasive Training. What we do at Baseball Rebellion for pitcher and hitters is simple. We show them how their body is designed to move...not how they’ve been told to hit, pitch, throw or field. This is very different then what they’re used to as most likely ALL their hitting, throwing, fielding or pitching instruction happened WHILE THEY WERE HITTING, THROWING, FIELDING, OR PITCHING. The problem with the traditional coaching/instruction model is that the ‘failure’ or ‘discomfort’ when doing their specific skill is associated by their brains as poor performance. When the player ‘fails’ on a lift...they just try it again in another couple minutes or another day...no big deal. Failure on the field leads to less playing time or losing a job. And skill-related failure weighs on players for days and days and can lead to the rejection of a new skill idea even if it’s correct.
ALL Baseball Rebellion movement training is done OUTSIDE the cage/pitching mound. We use mirrors, bands, Rebel’s Racks, Bat Drag Busters, over speed and under speed training, Neuro Reaction Training, and other devices to get a player to feel a different muscle contraction, a different speed, and/or a different range of motion. Even our hitting timing work is done without a bat so there is not ‘failure’ of the movement quality within the drill. This removal of failure and removal of location (out of the batter's box or off the mount) leads to faster buy-in from the athlete and faster results once we return to the ‘field of play’ where they are doing their actual skill to be measured. Also, the hitters and pitchers continue to say things like “I’ve never hit a ball like that before” and “That’s the first time I’ve thrown without pain in 3 years” and things of that nature. This ‘change’ happened outside the cage where no throwing or hitting was happening and therefore the body accepted the new movement pattern faster and with less resistance.
Results have been spectacular since we’ve shifted away from hitting and throwing "drills" and towards movement work. We now focus on the repetition of proper movement mechanics instead of proper "pitching mechanics" or "hitting mechanics." Players are happy, metrics are up, and success is translating to on the field at all levels faster and better than ever before. Non-Invasive Training and Coaching is here to stay at Baseball Rebellion. The players want it and the results dictate it.