Tony La Russa and the Unwritten Rules of Baseball

Tony La Russa and the Unwritten Rules of Baseball

Tony La Russa is old, washed up, and out of touch with reality. He’s a drunk but endangers people’s lives driving under the influence, and rants about ‘unwritten rules’ in baseball. La Russa can’t even follow WRITTEN LAWS of America and common decency.

La Russa is just as likely to run over his Mercedez drunk in his car as back over him with a bus in the press. This man thinks he’s a gatekeeper to ‘the right way to play the game’ when in fact he’s a fossilized relic of the steroid era whose entire career is based on performance-enhancing drugs and Pujols.

His comments about his own player were OUTRAGEOUS! Here are just a few examples so you can get a feel for how out to lunch La Russa really is:

How does La Russa still have a job? 

Speaking of washed-up losers here’s more of former MLB nobody and current crappy agent Jeff Frye’s thoughts on this situation. 

Based on this guy’s Twitter feed, it is pretty clear Frye hates baseball and that his ego and jealousy of today’s players has no bounds. 

Many in the media have sounded off and current players as well, here’s Jarred Carabis of Barstool sports taking a torch to La Russa’s tired, lame, and grumpy-old-man thoughts about what happened:

How Stupid is That Idea?

Play the game until the end. Why should Mercedez have to quit because the other team did?  And then...They THREW AT MERCEDEZ! Baldelli and Duffey should be suspended for 25 games. End this stupidity of throwing at people! The funny part is that Duffey isn’t even good enough to HIT Mercedez, so now, the Twins are in a much worse situation than they were before.

Duffy, a below-average player this year, with a -.2 WAR, should worry more about getting outs instead of doing stupid things to get thrown out. Duffey recently said Greg Maddux was his favorite. One of the differences between Duffey and Maddux is that Maddux wouldn’t have missed his spot. ZING!


Trever Bauer, the highest-paid player in baseball as well the reigning NL Cy Young Award Winner had this to say about Mercedez’s hit.

What Others Are Saying

Jomboy Media had this to say about the Mercedez homerun…” we’re slowly learning over and over again that the generation of baseball players that consider themselves tough is actually the biggest babies when they get their feelings hurt”

Perhaps the most damning former player opinion was that of world champion and multiple Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia.  I agree with everything he said.  Word for word.

Final Thought

All of this ‘old school’ baseball junk is just so tired. These men are being left behind and their egos are so large and so bruised by this fact, they just can’t do anything but tear the game down and the great players of today down. Let the kid have fun. Let the players of today play the game of today. And if you can’t, please,

Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 3.11.13 PM

Adjust Fast Or End Up On Your Ass

I was so excited for the McGregor vs Porier fight. Eric and JK both came over and we geared up to see the most entertaining fighter in the history of the UFC compete. Eric frequently asks me for my ‘takes’ on the fights before they happen, and I told him what I thought would occur.

McGregor’s Pre-Fight Adjustment: Grappling and Clinch Work


I mentioned the probability of an early attempted takedown, lots of clinches, but McGregor’s overall versatility, creativity, power and accuracy of the strikes should take the fight. Clearly, that’s what McGregor’s team planned for. After his loss to Khabib and total domination of Donald Ceronne, another striker, the path to victory with McGregor always has seemed to be on the mat. His team and Porier’s team knew this fact, and the first round played out as expected. And after round 1, there was a clear leader as Porier and McGregor went to their corners.

mcgregor plan a


Porier’s In Fight Adjustment: Calf Kicks

At the very end of round 1, Porier started landing some calf kicks to the lead leg of McGregor. At first, these types of kicks do little damage, but over time, they really add up. By 2 minutes into round 2, McGregor was almost unable to move at all and could put very little weight on his lead leg. You could see McGregor attempting to ‘check’ the kick, which is how you block or limit these kick’s damage, but it was too late. While McGregor started catching Porier’s kicks, Connor didn't have the explosion he needed to really drive Porier back to the cage and unleash his patented striking.

Porier’s Adjustment: Already Made

None needed because he already made it. Porier abandoned the takedown and clinch game as the calf kicks have completely stifled McGregor’s silky smooth movements. As the calf kicks continue to land, this opens up the chance for Porier to hammer a straight right to Connor’s face. From there, the lead-footed McGregor could only bob and weave so long before “The Diamond” ended the fight.

McGregor’s Adjustment: None Happened

Because of this, he ended up with a decisive TKO loss, and the hopes of Khabib in the future dashed for the time being. Once the leg was so badly compromised, Connor really only had one option, which was land the heavy left. The problem was, with his movement and explosion out of the picture, the power left and the super fast straight left counter were weapons with no more ammunition left. Once you’ve missed your chance for an adjustment, the window of time for change is gone.

connor ko


How Does This Apply To Hitting?

Players make adjustments in many ways. Some adjustments are slow and take more time (season to season). Others are faster like a game to game or at-bat to at-bat adjustment. The Fastest adjustments, pitch to pitch adjustments, can ONLY be made if the adjustment has been practiced and planned for. In the instance of the McGregor vs Porier, Connor planned for the takedown attempts and clinch game of Porier. He Neutralized that easily. When Plan ‘A’ for Porier didn’t work, and Connor started landing heavy shots, Porier adjusted. Plan ‘B’ for Dustin was the calf kick. This would slow the faster and better striking McGregor down, neutralize his power, and make him much easier to finish. 


Most Hitters’ “plan A” is to ‘hit the fastball. But what if that fails? How are you attempting to plan for the instance where a pitcher is lights out with their best fastball? What if they’re hitting their spots, with movement and high velocity? What are you going to do on their secondary pitches? Do you have an approach plan to fix problems when they arise? Are you TRAINING in such a way to prepare for a nasty slider, a wide strike zone, a pitcher with great velocity or movement? The answer is probably not.

Create and Practice Adjustments Needed for Game Success

In youth baseball and softball, it's obviously almost impossible to ‘plan for a specific pitcher’ as you don’t have scouting reports or information on their pitches or arsenal. My advice is to plan to master your own movements. Have a great ‘fastball swing’ and then practice ‘delaying’ that swing with a front leg adjustment on slower pitches. Make the plan simple. Take your best swing as often as you can on a fastball, and if it’s not a fastball, delay that best swing. Don’t ‘slow down’ the swing during the swing. Instead, delay the delivery of the swing. This is very important and simple to practice, but it must be done deliberately at first before just throwing players into the fire. Here are some articles on adjustments and how to plan for game situations and practice movements that work for Plan A and then adjustments for Plan B.

Overall Movement Plan


Adjustment Plans

Timing, OffSpeed Pitches, Obvious Game Adjustments


Now, Like McGregor, you have the chance to go back to the drawing board between seasons, games, at bagts, and if you're prepared and your training is comprehensive, between pitches. Connor will prepare for the newly envogue calf kick attack that Karate stanced fighters are more susceptible to. Will you prepare your approach or movements to make your ‘Plan B’ as effective as possible? Only time will tell.



Learn How to Throw to Your Hitters

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. We know that throwing BP isn't easy. It has taken us a lot of practice to become a professional BP thrower. Today we are going to take you inside the training we make our employees go through to become better batting practice, front toss, and side toss throwers.

If you watch these videos and practice using our tips, you're going to see a dramatic change in how you throw to your hitters. And trust us, your hitters will appreciate it!

Tips for Throwing Batting Practice

  1. Set Up a Target
  2. Four-Seam Grip Always
  3. Loose Arm Action- Don't be Stiff
  4. Firm Throws on a Downward Angle- NO Lollipop Throws (THIS IS TERRIBLE FOR HITTERS!)
  5. Stay Behind the Screen!

Tips for Throwing Front Toss

  1. Stiff Wrist on the Toss
  2. Sit Down for Better Accuracy
  3. Downward Angle at the Hitter
  4. Get Farther Back from the Net Than You Already Sit/Stand
  5. Aim at a Target

Tips for Throwing Side Toss

  1. Four-Seam Grip
  2. No Wrist Action- Keep it Firm
  3. Throw to Middle of the Hitter
  4. Straight and Strong Throws
  5. Sit on a Bucket or on a Knee

Your Hitters Will Thank You

If you can learn as a coach or parent how to throw effective batting practice to your team or kid then you are helping them out more than anything you can buy them. That $400 bat won't do your kid any good if he doesn't have any strikes to hit with it. Learn how to throw BP and your hitters will thank you and want to hit more.

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Create More Power By Loading Through the Back Heel

Many articles have been written about loading into the back hip and activating the posterior chain when hitting. I wanted to show a quick drill that will add more power to your hitter’s swing instantly when executed and cued properly.

The Problem: Early Plantarflexion of the back ankle (pushing off back foot)

Many hitters have been taught drills like this which crush a hitter’s ability to stay away from calf and quad activation and deactivate the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.

The problem here is the early calf activation that pushes my body forward and into my ‘pushing muscles’ in front of my body. I cannot ‘pull’ my hips into rotation anymore and I now have to ‘push’ my pelvis forward into the turn.

The Fix: Toes off the Ground Drill

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.

This forces the hitter to make sure they push their back heel down into the ground and hold their hinge into the rotation of the pelvis in the swing. Some hitters even do this drill barefooted to make sure they can really feel their heel in the ground. Remember: if you hold up your toes, you know where the weight goes!

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One Drill for Better Bat Path

One Drill for Better Bat Path

Eric Tyler describes how Baseball Rebellion uses the split grip drill to help improve both barrel direction and bat path.

Improve Your Timing

Using Your Load to Improve Your Timing

With the season approaching, timing is often a major concern at this time of year. This article explains how a simple 4-part drill progression can help make the adjustment from cage to game a seamless one.

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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Create Better Separation with the Rebel’s Rack

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.

Stop Spinning Off the Ball

What No One Tells You About Hitter’s Spinning Off the Ball

Every coach, instructor or parent that has ever worked in baseball has dealt with a hitter ”spinning off”. If it’s so common and has been dealt with so often, why is it still around? Here is what no one is saying about “spinning off”.

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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

Tomika’s Interview

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.

Question 1

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.”

Question 2

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.”


Question 3

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.”

Question 4

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

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

100mph Exit Velocity

Bat 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.

74.2mph Bat Speed

Launch Angle

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.

30 degree LA

Attack 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.

Attack angle/wing plane 16 degrees attack angle

Pitch Plane

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.

Pitch plane

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.

Area of Impact

Hip Hinge

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.

Hip hinge

Side 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.

Side Bend

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.

Hip and Shoulder Separation

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!

Meg Rem Softball

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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One Way to Get Your Season Started Right

How Proper Communication Can Help Your Kid Become a Better Player

Baseball and Softball seasons are starting all over the country.  Travel ball parents, little leaguers, high school players, and pros getting ready, the time is now to get hyped!

Communication Circle

Many players have spent countless hours in the weight room, batting cage, or on the pitcher's mound honing their skills for the season. Coaches are having tryouts, starting practices, or games are in full swing.

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. 

Then, he sits down in the coach's office or maybe in the batting cage hitting to discuss his changes.  Hopefully, the coach listens, watches, and sees the improvement in their game.  When that happens, and the coach is enthused with the player's offseason of work, the last two pieces of communication is possible.

Coach to Instructor

Coach to Instructor

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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One Drill for Better Bat Path

One Drill for Better Bat Path

Eric Tyler describes how Baseball Rebellion uses the split grip drill to help improve both barrel direction and bat path.

Improve Your Timing

Using Your Load to Improve Your Timing

With the season approaching, timing is often a major concern at this time of year. This article explains how a simple 4-part drill progression can help make the adjustment from cage to game a seamless one.

How to Stop Dropping Your Hands and Casting the Bat

Nothing is more frustrating than popping up or getting jammed because you’ve dropped your hands or cast them away from your body.  We see this mistake all the time.  Especially in youth hitters. Almost always, the reason is that they do not understand the forces acting on them by the bat. Or how to counteract them with their bodies.

The Bat Pulls Away From You

When a hitter turns to swing the bat, the accelerated bat begins to pull down and away from the batter’s hands. Being able to stabilize and control the bat is the most important skill a hitter can have as they learn to turn. The faster the body turns, the harder the bat pulls away from the hitter. 

Stop the Drop and the Roll! End Hand Casting and Hand Dropping NOW!

  • Casting away from the body and dropping the hands in the swing is actually the SAME MISTAKE.
  • When the back elbow ‘opens up’ instead of staying bent on pitches that don’t need it, you’ve cast or dropped your hands.
  • This causes constant pop-ups and rollovers and lots of jam shots that just plain sting!
  • Check out the drill below, with 3 variations, to fix casting, hands dropping, or both at the same time.
As you can see from the drill above, barrel support is simple to train but harder to maintain. Try this drill now with a Rebel’s Rack and Bands or a Complete Rotational Power Package from Baseball Rebellion and end the casting and dropping today!

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How to Fix a Long Swing

Coaches, parents, players, and instructors: We have all seen players or had at one time a long and loopy swing. 

Recently, I was working with an All-American Level player and she was having trouble with her on plane and on plane efficiency scores on the Blast Motion (At Baseball Rebellion/Softball Rebellion we prefer the Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker, but they do similar things).

So We made a simple change to improve her scores. **Because she’s a current college athlete, I cannot use her video, name, or where she goes to school, So I have to re-create it.**

Vertical Bat and Hand Cast

So this player, we will call her Lexi, tends to have a vertical bat and a front to back load. Obviously, this can lead to the hands pulling down or going ‘at’ the ball and reaching out and around anything that’s low or inside. Coming around the ball can be an issue for Lexi, so we wanted to address that.

Also, the higher her bat is vertically, the more she cannot turn the bat around her head/body. This leads to a very direct path, bad early connection scores, and on plane scores that are not good. Also, this can lead to a large “C” in your swing by your hands. Check out what that means in the video below:

Large “C” hand Path

The “C” of the hands can work down to the ground or out to the opposing batter’s box. Either way, this ‘casting’ movement creates a long swing and bad plane and direction issues. Hands ‘dropping’ down causes lots of ‘cut’ balls with tons of bad backspin as well as a huge vertical angle late in the swing path.

The ‘casting’ out away from the body causes the hands to get over the plate instead of the barrel. This leads to either a hard pull across the chest/stomach or lots of rollovers and grounders pull side. For powerful hitters especially ones with less than optimal speed, this really hurts the slugging of the player as well as just turns many hard hits into singles.

The Loopy Swing Fix

Flatter Bat Loading Around the Body

What we changed was simple: we flattened her bat out in her stance and load. This allowed her hands to stay high during the turn. We emphasized her connection to her body in her swing, creating a smaller ‘hand path “C”’ which made it much easier to barrel balls both up in the zone and limit pull side rollovers.  Here are her blast scores from before and after the change on her Plane Score, which is just how long her bat stays in the hitting zone. 

Before Diamond Kinetics
Diamond Kinetics 22

As you can see, Lexi still has room to grow her plane score higher, but this was a clear jump in a metric she and her coaches had been working on for over a year.

Today, she reached out to me and said she’d gotten up into the 60s! A major milestone for her. Just another way that rotational skill and understanding how the body should move will help your hitters get better and better.

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    The Rebel’s Rack

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Create Better Separation with the Rebel’s Rack

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.

Stop Spinning Off the Ball

What No One Tells You About Hitter’s Spinning Off the Ball

Every coach, instructor or parent that has ever worked in baseball has dealt with a hitter ”spinning off”. If it’s so common and has been dealt with so often, why is it still around? Here is what no one is saying about “spinning off”.

As I wrote previously, High School Freshman Takia Nichols has completely changed her swing with Rebel’s Rack progression training at Baseball Rebellion HQ. Now, how do we continue to make sure Takia, and players like her, stay on the path of production during the season and throughout her career?  Game results matter much more than HitTrax numbers once the season starts. Because of this, we make sure to keep tabs on our hitters during the season. And we also emphasize the importance of communication with them about their game success and struggles.



The first component of continued improvement for Takia and all hitters is communication. She must be able to tell us how she’s doing in games, both good and bad.  Without this information, we cannot give her holistic and complete instruction to maximize her on-field results. The home runs are fun, and there are already many of those to report, but the failures are just as important. Teaching hitters not to be ashamed of strikeouts or hitless games is paramount at this time. Many underclassmen are embarrassed by struggles. We run towards those games as instructors to identify and correct movement issues that cause the hitters to struggle.


After we’ve communicated about success and failure, it is our` job to intervene and correct the struggle points. If a hitter is seeing a lot of slower pitchers or spin, we work on adjustments. Many times, once a player hits a few home runs, throwing more off-speed pitches is how the league’s teams adjust to a new player with power.

The best drills for timing work on slow pitches are hesitation moves both with the Rebel’s Rack and Timing Turns with the Rebel’s Rack/Rack Bat (video below) as well. Also, we will use our Spinball machine set on slower than normal pitching to force the hitter to ‘time a slow fastball’.  Once a hitter masters this ability to time slow pitches, then we can throw in even slower pitches with spin. Surprisingly, the ability to maintain posture and wait on offspeed pitches is the main thing we work on with our top athletes.  

Fastball Timing

Often times, high-level players will have success early in the season because they facing weaker, non-conference opponents. The hitter will then get into conference play had start seeing a drastic increase in velocity. We help hitters prepare for this transition by working on Fastball Timing. Fastball Timing is exactly what it sounds like, teaching a hitter to time the pitcher’s fastest pitch.  Once a hitter has their stride ‘timed’ to the pitcher’s fastest pitch, then we can work backward with slower pitches or moving pitches.  None of the ‘timing spin’ work we do here at Baseball Rebellion works if the fastball timing is off. Because of this, learning to be ‘stubborn’ with the stride movement and tempo is extremely important.

The Pitcher’s Real Job

“Stubbornness” with the stride is not allowing the pitcher to do anything that changes the hitter’s stride ever.  This includes stride movement quality, tempo, or timing in games. Many times, hitters will try to ‘hover’ in the air or slow their stride down to deal with changes in velocity in games. This is the exact WRONG thing to do as it changes your movement’s tempo. Because of this, it helps the pitcher get you out.  Remember, the pitcher’s job is to just make you change anything about your movement that makes your fair ball weaker. When you look at the pitcher’s job this way, it makes it easier to work on movement stubbornness rather than getting hits.

Timing Spin Based on Fastball Timing

Now that the hitter is ‘stubborn’ with their stride movements, they can learn to delay the turn for spin. There is always an opportunity to delay the turn with the front leg, but there is never a chance to ‘speed up’ the turn if the hitter is late. Lateness is the biggest swing killer we see here at BRHQ, as it eliminates all adjustability. Being early, even to a fastball, is a much better movement plan than being late ever is. No matter the pitch, if the ball isn’t in the hitting zone at front foot landing, you can just sit ‘down’ into the front side.  This movement maintains the head posture, hand position, and turnability of the athlete. Because of this, the hitter can still take an ‘A’ turn towards the pitch, and in softball, demolish the ball to or over the fence.

Communication, Fastball Timing, Stride Stubbornness, and Spin Timing

These are the main hitting areas where we will continue to work with Takia and all our hitters as their seasons’ progress.  Communication and honesty is the first roadblock. And once a hitter is no longer scared to tell us about their failures, the sky’s the limit. Takia has grown leaps and bounds in this area. This growth will allow her to dominate high school pitching even as a freshman on varsity.  

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    Bat Drag Buster

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