Baseball Rebellion’s Kory Behenna takes pitchers through all the movements they should be doing BEFORE they throw. In the first part of the video, you’ll see the three movements pitchers should be doing before they even get to the bands. Then, Kory goes through an entire band warm-up for pitchers.
Chas Pippitt demonstrates to youth hitters, college players, and “Little League” parents the one move they should be making at the plate when they start seeing faster pitching. Plus, Chas shows a few drills you can work on!
Baseball Rebellion’s Chas Pippitt explains the meaning and importance of separation in the baseball swing. In this video, Chas explains separation in three different ways:
• To a Youth Hitter • To a College/Pro Hitter • To a Little League Parent
This article is going to have a lot of numbers. So, prepare yourself. That being said, it’s very easy to understand and see what I’m going to highlight, if you choose to believe what you see.
Below, I’m going to show a few hitters’ HitTrax data from their evaluations and then from their next sessions. Some of these hitters are from ‘back to back’ sessions. This means they had their evaluation and then we had a lesson right after that. Others had an eval and then did a Rebel’s Rack Progression lesson where they did NOT hit. Afterwards, they had a week of movement work at home with the Rebel’s Rack based on what they learned at their Progression lesson.
These 4 examples were after 25 minutes of Rebel’s Rack Training:
As you can see, All four players saw immediate gains.
The first player beat their maximum distance and exit velocity in only 2 swings. We stopped after that as we ran over on the evaluation portion, where we break down video and explain her first set of numbers from HitTrax.
This player already hit the ball very hard. We wanted the player to hit the ball higher more often to increase the average distance and slugging percentage of their hits. Interestingly, this increase in average launch angle also resulted in a massive batting average increase as well.
The next player went up in all major metrics in 25 minutes of movement progression work with the Rebel’s Rack. Average Velocity, Max Velocity, Average Velocity, Max Velocity, Average Launch Angle, Batting Average and Slugging Percentage. Every ball at every launch angle she hit in her 2nd round was harder and farther than every ball she hit at her evaluation, 25 minutes before.
What about over a few weeks?
Now, obviously, some players may take longer to make gains. And it’s also important to make sure that players continue to make gains over time. The next player’s data is 2 weeks from their initial evaluation. In these cases, they did their evaluation, came back for 1 lesson in which they did not hit at all. In the first ‘lesson’ they only did Rebel’s Rack Progressions and Rotational Speed and Skill Training. During that lesson, they were taught their homework and then were instructed to continue that at home. After a week, they returned for their 2nd lesson, their Rebel’s Rack homework was checked, and then they hit front toss, just like their evaluation.
As you can see, this hitter went up in all major categories, like the previous hitter did as well. The main focus here was pulling the ball more and hitting the ball higher when we pulled the ball as well when the ball was hit to centerfield.
Ok...What about Long Term Changes?
The next 3 hitters are after 2 months, 3 months and 3 months respectively. The 3rd hitter is the same hitter as shown in the 2 week transformation. Her 2nd week numbers are compared to her 12th week numbers. Continued rotational skill work happened for all of these hitters. While some ‘hitting drills’ were used, their homework was always the same, Rebel’s Rack Progression work that was specifically designed for them.
This hitter needed to hit the ball harder. Period. By hitting the ball harder, this hitter showed the ability to hit some extra base hits, as well as increased their batting average substantially. The area between the stars on the chart on the bottom shows that every ball hit between the designated launch angle window for the highest success rate was hit harder than 2 months before.
This hitter needed 11-12 weeks to see really impactful gains. You can see from the spray charts how many more home runs were being hit. Also, you can see the average velocity go up 3.5 mph as well as her average distance going up 34 feet. What’s really remarkable is the ‘carrying of her velocity’ as she hit the ball higher. You can see that in her launch angle chart at the bottom of the screen where the star is. When she was hitting the ball 35 degrees in the air before her Rebel’s Rack work, she was hitting it only 46 mph. After her Rebel’s Rack work, she was hitting it 70 mph. An amazing 24 mph difference!
Now on this 3 month transformation, we took this hitter from more powerful to just all around better. This is the ‘2 week’ hitter from earlier compared to 10 weeks after her 2 week lesson. As you can see, not only have all the major metrics improved (other than average distance) but her launch angle is actually LOWER! Sometimes, it’s good for even a power hitter to hit the ball lower. We found that out with this hitter and made the needed changes. One of the main things we talked about was eliminating fly outs to centerfield. As you can see in the top middle of the page, in her May 15th session she’s hitting the ball almost twice as low as she was in February. This eliminates those wasted at bats of lazy fly balls and maximizes the chances of not only hits but productive powerful hits. We took the fly ball percentage of 60 percent and dropped that to 36 percent, giving a higher batting average and more doubles with less easy outs.
Basically if you want fast results, use the Rebel’s Rack. If you want to take a few weeks to get results, again, use the Rebel's Rack. If you want sustained growth over time, guess what? The Rebel’s Rack works in that way too! And exactly ZERO changes were made to these hitter’s swings. Stances and hand positions all remain almost the same. What changed is their aggression, skill and speed of their turn. The results speak for themselves.
Dealing With Hitting Struggles
High school seasons are ending here in North Carolina and Playoffs have started. Most high school seasons are over and almost all travel ball is in full swing. Many players are struggling with new teams or to find their stroke at the plate. Here are some helpful tips on how to help your hitter when he or she is struggling at the dish. And what NOT to do if you want to actually help them hit better fast!
Don’t: Overwhelm them with Mechanical Advice
Most of the time, hitters look at their swings when they struggle as it is. Parents, many of whom never played past high school and all of whom mean well, will give lots of advice about a hitter’s swing. This is almost always the WRONG thing to do. Even if you, the parent, are correct about what your son or daughter is doing incorrectly, they just don’t want to hear it from you. Oftentimes, they tune out, or worse, talk back and that leads to an argument.
What to do Instead: Let them Cool Down, then Ask Questions
“Tough game there bud, what did you feel went wrong?” has a much better chance of starting the ‘fixing process’ than telling them the 3 things you saw from the stands that they could have improved upon. This gives the hitter a chance to vent some, and work through the frustration of failure before landing on a plan to do better in the future. If questions like the one above still illicit little to no response, then just let it be. Trust me, no one feels worse about a 3 strikeout day than the hitter who did the striking out.
Dont: Blame the Umps or Coaches (or Let the Hitter Blame them Either)
This leads to excuse making and a ‘transfer of blame’ mentality. Sure, bad calls happen, but the 3rd strike that was outside didn't cause your hitter to foul off the 2 middle middle fastballs early in the count did it? Blaming the umps for a bad call is weak minded. So is blaming the coaches for taking a player out or batting someone in a different spot in the lineup. Baseball and softball are both games of dealing with failure. The better a hitter learns this from their coaches and parents the better player they will be in the long run.
What to do Instead: Talk about Execution of an Aggressive Approach Early in the Count
Every game is a chance to succeed or fail, there are always two sides to that coin. Embrace the chance to compete even in adverse conditions. Not every umpire is great! We all know this. So take the ‘ball or strike’ call out of his or her hands! Hunt fastballs early in the count, talk about swinging at strikes with confidence and aggression. Help your hitter understand that being aggressive early is going to help them have more success and enjoy the game more. No one hits well with 2 strikes, no matter what stories you hear. The facts are the longer the at bat goes, the more likely the pitcher is to win. Ambush fastballs, and watch your hits soar!
Don’t: Blame the Bat/Buy a New Bat
It’s the carpenter who builds the best benches, not the tools he uses to build them. The batter gets the hits, not a magical ‘hot’ bat that’s $399 with overnight shipping at $49.99.
REFUSE to allow ‘different bats’ that ‘work better’ in different situations. That’s just not reality. Grab your club and wield it like Thor’s Hammer. This isn’t golf. You’ve got one bat, use it like a beast. And make sure the time your hitter spends with the bat is more with it in his hands instead of the back of your car while the hitter drinks his 4th Gatorade of the day.
Own the failure. Run towards the competition. Own your swing and your thoughts. The slump will be over soon if you execute the right plan with the right mindset.
It is the start of the season and you need your practices to be smooth and efficient. And you know that is not possible if you don't have a good batting practice thrower.
Recently, the heel plan of the back leg and keeping it planted as long as possible has become a hot topic here a baseball rebellion. Eric and I specifically have gone back and forth on the best ways to teach it and get hitters to ‘feel it’. My favorite way and the fastest way we’ve found is the toes off the ground drill.
Missing Under the Ball Consistently? Here’s Why and How to Fix it!
Pop-ups...Everyone hates them. Coaches, Parents, Hitters…(pitchers don’t count). If you are missing under the ball consistently, we're here to help.
How Missing Under The Ball Causes Pop-Ups
So why do pop-ups happen? There are a few obvious reasons like swinging too low or dropping your hands. If you think dropping your hands is the problem, check out the videos below and get that fixed asap.
However, one reason is a little less obvious, and the time your spending on your ‘mechanics’ may be a complete waste of time.
The Shape of the Swing
Essentially, The swing looks like a Nike Swoosh. We have all seen the Nike Logo perhaps millions of times in our lives. The swing is a checkmark, with the bat head accelerating back behind the hitter, sideways into the zone, and then carrying on forward towards centerfield.
The main issue I see with players with a good bat path and swing mechanics who foul balls back and hit too many pop-ups is they’re simply late! Check out the video below for more information on depth and how being ‘further out on the swoosh’ will eliminate most of your foul balls and pop-ups assuming your mechanics are good.
Most hitters instantly think ‘MECHANICS!!’ when they’re struggling with pop-ups or foul balls. In fact, many times the players simply aren't giving their bat enough time/distance to travel UP the slope of the swoosh before contact.
Tee Work CAN Make this WORSE! Tee Placement Matters!
So, if you’re training by yourself, check on where you’re putting the tee when hitting off the tee. Are you hitting balls ‘too deep’ in your path and creating a contact point that’s on the bottom of the swoosh? If so, put the tee further out in front.
That’s part of the reason the Launch Angle Tee and Adapter are both angled forward. Don’t train yourself to feel ‘comfortable’ with a super deep contact point. The power is out front! So swing sooner, and hit the ball further ‘down the line’ of the swoosh and your pop-ups will be a thing of the past.
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The ability for an athlete to rotate in proper kinematic sequence allows for maximum speed gain throughout rotation. The first step in this sequence is proper hip shoulder separation. Oftentimes in rotation, the first mistake is the worst mistake. Learning to properly disassociate pelvic rotation from shoulder rotation is key in creating bat speed.
Unlocking Your True Potential at Baseball and Softball Rebellion
The softball community at all levels has been very welcoming and open to the movement ideas here at Baseball Rebellion. Because of this, many schools are adopting the Rebel’s Rack movement progression. This movement work allows coaches and instructors to unlock the hidden potential inside of their athletes while adding the ability to hit for power. On March 22nd, 2016 Tomika and Takia Nichols walked into Baseball Rebellion. Here is Takia’s unedited evaluation video. Baseball Rebellion HQ had zero Hittrax at this point, so we used a Stalker Sport 2 radar gun to collect her exit velocity data.
Takia’s Evaluation Video, Taken on March 22, 2016
For this article, Tomika, Takia’s mother, was gracious enough to answer some questions about her and her daughter’s experience here at BRHQ. Our questions and her answers are as below.
How did you hear about Baseball Rebellion and what made you want to come for lessons?
“One of the parents from Takia’s travel ball team and I were talking. I was telling him how we had tried several different hitting instructors. At the time, I was driving from Hillsborough to Raleigh and she was not showing any improvement. He told me about a place in Hillsborough, Baseball Rebellion, that provided hitting training. It was close to home, so I thought I would give it a try. I scheduled her first evaluation and the suggestions that were given seemed to click. So, we scheduled our first lesson and the rest is history.”
What would you say the biggest difference in your daughter is since she starting training here at Baseball Rebellion?
“The biggest difference is now she is hitting for power. If it’s not over the fence it’s hard line drives. The speed of the ball coming off her bat, for the most part, is unstoppable.”
What do you think the biggest misconception about Baseball Rebellion and the training here at Baseball Rebellion is?
“The biggest misconception from my point of view is the methodology. In the beginning, she was asked why does she swing like that. People have seen her videos in the cage and ask and can she hit like that in a game. And the answer is, yes. For me the numbers on the Hittrax are fine but what keeps me coming back is her performance on the field. When I saw my daughter who was then 12-13 years old hit the ball to the parking lot, I was amazed. Then I watched girls move out of the way of a ball that is moving so fast they don’t even attempt to catch it, I was sold. She is still working hard to improve but when she is focused she can be unstoppable.”
Finally, Can you describe the way you and your daughter have been treated at Baseball Rebellion and the learning environment here at BRHQ?
“The environment at Baseball Rebellion is honestly like no other facility that we have been to. It’s a very friendly environment. We are actually treated like family. She has trained with everyone there and each trainer genuinely cares about the individual. This personal interest extends past the cage and on the field to school and life in general. I recommend Baseball Rebellion and Softball Rebellion to everyone! You cannot go wrong if you are willing to put in the work and trust the process.”
83.2 mph at a 30 Launch Angle Produces 308 Feet, WOW!
Hittrax Spray Chart from 308 Session
Takia’s Most Recent Video
Final Thoughts on Takia
Clearly, I have a lot of respect and admiration for Takia and her mother. The sacrifice both have put into getting Takia here consistently has been tremendous. Takia’s work ethic is exemplary. Her focus and drive to be great are also as high as we have here at BRHQ. Because of this, she has turned herself into a sure-fire Power 5 recruit. That being said, I wouldn’t call her drive ‘different’ here. Many players exhibit the same drive, work ethic and similar gains to what Takia has earned. In the coming months, I will highlight more and more players as they do more and more incredible things.
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Do you know today’s most commonly used hitting terms?
If not, this article will be extremely helpful for you. It’s important for moms, dads, coaches, and players to understand these terms. Knowledge is power, and knowing these terms and what they mean will help everyone learn faster and share hitting information better.
Exit Velocity: The speed the ball comes off the bat, this has nothing to do with the bat itself, just the ball once it’s hit. Another term that means the same thing as Exit Velocity is Ball Exit Speed
Bat Speed: this is the speed at which the bat is swung. This has nothing to do with Exit Velocity of the ball as Bat Speed is only about the bat. Another term that means the same speed as Bat Speed is Swing Speed.
Launch Angle: The angle at which the ball leaves the bat once it is hit. Every ball has a launch angle, grounders are negative angles to slightly positive angles (-90 degrees to about 6 degrees). Line Drives are about 7 Degrees to about 24 degrees, and fly balls are higher than 25 degrees generally. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a ‘launch angle swing’. Another term that means the same thing as Launch Angle is Exit Angle.
Attack Angle: This is the angle from when the bat enters the hitting zone until contact with the ball. For example: if you swing down and chop at the ball, your attack angle will be a negative number (-15 degrees). If you swing flat and level to the ground it will be 0 degrees. And if you swing upward it will be a positive number, anywhere from 1 to about 25 degrees. Contrary to popular belief, Pop-ups are mostly caused by negative or flat attack angles. Alternatively, line drives and hard grounders are from positive attack angles. Another term that means the same thing as Attack Angle is Swing Plane Angle.
Pitch Plane: This the angle that a pitch comes in on, in the major leagues, most fastballs come in between -4 degrees and -8 degrees. The best contact hitters have attack angles that are opposite of these numbers. Home run hitters tend to have higher attack angles than the pitch plane so they have more swing and miss in their swing.
Area of Impact
Area of Impact: this is how long the bat is in the hitting zone and behind the ball. A perfectly matched attack angle to pitch plane has the longest area of impact, which is around 3.5 feet.
Hip Hinge: this is bending at the waist towards home plate from your stance position. Another term that means the same thing as Hip Hinge is Pelvis Bend.
Side Bend: this is bending towards home plate at the contact position. The body has rotated to this ball now so the hip hinge in the stance has transitioned to side bend. Other terms that mean the same thing as Side Bend are Pelvis Side Bend or Torso Bend or Inward Tilt.
Hip and Shoulder Separation
Hip and Shoulder Separation: this is the angle of the front of the pelvis compared to the angle to the shoulder girdle/collar bone of a hitter or thrower. Generally, the more different the angles of the chest and hips, (more open for hips and more closed for shoulders) the harder a player can swing a bat or throw a ball. Another term that means the same thing as Hip and Shoulder Separation is X-Factor Stretch.
Hopefully, this article has cleared up some of the murkiness of the internet in regards to hitting terms.
At Baseball Rebellion, we want people to feel included in our discussions instead of excluded by hard to understand terms. If there are others you think we should list and identify, please comment below.
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Three Infield Drills for Softball and Baseball
Trying to find ways to get your infielders better at practice? Check out three drills that you can teach them to do at practice or at home to help your infielders improve their fielding.
We all know that fielding a groundball, whether it's in softball or baseball, is one of the most technical parts of the sports. Check out three drills from our newest partner, Meg Rem Softball, that your infielders can learn today!
Infield Drills- Technique on How to Field a Ground Ball
In this video, you will learn the proper technique on how to field a ground ball. The 3 main points being discussed in this video are:
1. Glove Work
2. Body Positioning
3. Footwork This video applies to all infielders at any position and will serve as your reference point to further develop your infield skills.
Softball Infield Drills- Footwork & Direction
Attention Innies (Infielders)…. In this video, we will work on a drill that emphasizes the importance of footwork and direction towards the baseball to help you align your body with your target. This video will help you enhance your foot speed, athleticism, and will help put you in the best position possible to field a ground ball and make a strong throw to your target.
Softball Infield Drills- Quick Hands, Quick Feet
The keys to an infielder’s success begin with their hands and feet. In this video, you will learn a helpful drill to help enhance your foot speed while maintaining balance and athleticism within your body and glove.
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How do we as instructors or coaches deal with these players and their new 'skills'?
How can we be the best we can and reward the player for their work in the offseason? The answer is building the "circle of communication"!
There is no reason a relationship cannot be established between coach and instructor. In fact, I think it's pivotal with today's youth culture, travel parents, and lesson culture that these coaches and instructors get together and work WITH each other instead of AGAINST each other. This completes the "circle of communication". Once the circle of communication is complete, it goes on forever and never stops.
The Lines of Communication
(click each box to expand)
Player to Instructor
Player to Instructor
At the beginning of the offseason, every player probably has a plan of what they want to improve on. If it's hitting, then they go to a hitting coach. Perhaps they want to get stronger, so they lift some weights. Getting more velocity behind their throw could be a goal. Because of this, the player gets on a velocity program. The player dictates what they want out of a program. Then the coach dictates how they, as a team, go about achieving these goals.
Instructor to Player
Instructor to Player
Once the offseason winds down, now it's the instructor's turn to communicate. The player must understand how to articulate his work to his coach. They must be able to explain the 'why' of what they worked on and how they measured and achieved their results.
Instructors must make sure the player is prepared for any and all conversations with their team coach. And the player has put in the work and trusts the instructor. Because of this, the Instructor must help the player get the team coach excited about the 'new and improved' player he's acquired.
Player to Coach
Player to Coach
Player to coach communication is probably the most important piece of the puzzle. Because of this, that puzzle piece won't fit unless the first two communication points occur. The player must schedule the meeting with his coach when he gets back to school.
Hopefully, the coach will reach out to the instructor for more in-depth information about the player's offseason program. Now the lines of communication are fully open and clear. This is in the best interest of all involved, the player, the coach, and the instructor. All of these three people want the same thing: the player to do well for the team! Once the coach opens this line of communication to the instructor, the sky is truly the limit.
Now, the coach can communicate exactly what he or she saw in practice and games to the person helping with development in the offseason. Because of this, deficiencies in the player's game can be specifically targeted in a one on one setting instead of a group or team setting. The player gets the best of all worlds, a coach who knows the work he did over the offseason and an instructor taking cues from his coach about what can continue to improve.
Instructor to Coach
Instructor to Coach
I have a great relationship with some coaches across the country. Many of which have players they know I train or I recommended to them when the players were in high school. As someone who works with young athletes, I don't want my job to be 'done' when they head off to college or the pros.
I want to work hand in hand with the player, his family, and his new coaches to help further his development. In addition, I'd hope any coach who signs any of my players sees some value in the type of work we did with the player and the player's dedication to our program.
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