One of my favorite movies of all time is an old golf movie, “Tin Cup”. Golf instructor Roy McAvoy is struggling to find his swing days before the biggest tournament of his life, so he resorts to a contraption of a golf device to find his once sweet swing. If you've been around Baseball/Softball long enough, I know you’ve seen many devices very similar to this that guarantee results.
...And to be honest, that is exactly what I thought of the Rebel's Rack before I started working at Baseball Rebellion. But then I learned how valuable it really is...
I played with a Baseball Rebellion trained hitter on a collegiate wood bat summer league team. I noticed that every day before batting practice he had this crazy looking red bar that he would spin around on. At least, that’s how I saw it. I thought it was just some gimmick device that didn't help and made him look ridiculous. Yet every night the lineup was posted, who do you think was hitting 3rd (hint: it wasn't me)? That limited engagement and youthful ignorance is how I saw the Rebel's Rack, until I got the opportunity to see it in action every single day.
In my 3 years at BR I have seen this once crazy red bar improve the turn speed of every single hitter in our building. And every single hitter is not an exaggeration. Since working here, every first-time client has shown improvement by using the Rack. I remember asking, “What else is there to this?” and the answer is nothing but the research behind it.
The Rack gives the hitter no choice but to learn to turn their body faster. The faster the hitter is able to rotate their body, the faster the bat moves. The faster the bat moves, the more opportunities they give themselves as a hitter. Rotational speed is a skill that must be learned and continuously trained. We do that using the Rack.
One question we always get is, “well I can just use a dowel rod or PVC pipe, right?”. These two devices can bring some of the same benefits as far as rotation. However, what they don't offer is the posture training involved with the Rack. Because of the shape of the rack and the requirement of the player to pull back on the rack to hold it, they are training to maintain good posture without even realizing it; which is half the battle when training movements.
We all know there's more to hitting than just speed. So how does the Rack help in other aspects of hitting? By using the Rack you are able to move and rotate your body into optimal positions without the constraint and worry of hitting well. Whether it is a stride, posture, side-bend, or balance issue, it can be addressed by using the Rack.
We are able to teach our hitters to get into the same elite positions that the best hitters in the world get to through our Rebel's Rack work. The difference is we can do it at a full rotational speed (which is how we always practice our turns), which translates quicker, and more effectively to athletes than walking through the process slowly with a bat.
While it is important that we train our movements separate from hitting, we know that everyone loves to hit and see the ball fly off the bat. They want to see that what they're doing is improving the way they hit the ball. So how do we adapt the Rack to be more inclusive to this? With the Rack Bat.
The Rack Bat allows the hitter to feel the speed of their turn while matching their posture and side bend according to pitch location. This gives hitters the ability to improve the speed and accuracy of their turn, while performing the task of hitting a ball.
Some of you may read this article and still see the Rebel's Rack as a gimmick, and that’s fine. I thought so at first as well. And then I saw it take a college team from 14 home runs in an entire season to 368 the last 3 combined (Which is not the only thing it does for all of you thinking "Well my 8 year old can't hit a homerun"). I’ve seen it work with youth, middle school, high school, college, professional, fastpitch, slow pitch, senior league, golfers, and even cricket players. Rotational speed is a trained skill. Train it or get left behind.
To see more drills with the Rebel's Rack, click here.