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Sign Up Today for Online Pitching Lessons with BR Director of Pitching, Kyle Wormington.
PITCHING DRILL INCLUDED!
If you're looking for online pitching instruction this off-season, we have slots available now! Kyle pitched collegiately at Division-1 program, Valparaiso University before continuing on pitching professionally in the Frontier League. He was named our Director of Pitching in September of 2019. Following Julio Valdez, who is now a pitching coach with the Texas Rangers.
Since then he has been instrumental in changing our pitching program into a more modern, velocity-based program, while still teaching the fundamentals that help throwers stay healthy.
Kyle is available to work with pitchers from 9U-Professional (ONLY 25 SPOTS WILL BE AVAILABLE) and for the month of January, we will be offering one-time pitching evaluations for only $10 (Normally $20)
Not sure about online lessons? Check out a sample video of what you can expect from Kyle.
Along with getting a video breakdown of your mechanics, when you sign up for online lessons you also will be given a new drill each video you send!
Check out the Connection Ball Drill video below to get an idea of the kind of drills you can expect from Kyle, alongside BR Pro, Zack Littell:
The drills allow throwers to focus on hip and shoulder separation while maintaining a shorter arm circle by staying connected. Many throwers I see have a tough time not only creating hip shoulder separation but maintaining that separation through footstrike.
I have throwers start with a stride and stop in order to check their posture, make sure the throwing elbow is in line with their shoulder plane, and ensure they have created good separation.
Once, throwers are able to stride and stop properly we move into the stride and throw portion of the drill. I use a variance of weighted plyo balls from 5oz to 1lb depending on what I am trying to get the thrower to feel. The main focus of the throw should be to get both the plyo ball and the connection ball to hit the plyo board, what you want to avoid is the thrower pushing the ball.
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A hip/shoulder separation is how throwers create tension across the leading to the ability to produce higher velocity.
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Staying connected to the body leads to higher velocity, better timing, and consistency of throws.
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Maintaining good posture (explained in the first video) simply leads to better overall mechanics, young throwers tend to lean back early which affects the entire throw.
Extension is a hitting term that refers to the arms straightening out after contact of the ball. Often, extension work involves a lot of knob pushing and is not generally the best way to practice hitting. However, having a natural extension keeps the bat head in the zone longer and allows for more contact points and a greater margin for error.
Extension DOES happen after contact on nearly every swing. The release of the barrel or “extension” as most coaches call it helps the hitter keep their bat in the hitting zone longer. Because of this, it prevents them from pulling their hands across after contact and rollovers.
This article will show you the good and the bad of extension as well as multiple drills you can use with your hitters to help them swinging better today.
While the concept of extension in the swing is correct, it is mostly taught poorly by coaches. What we see most from kids whose coaches tell them they need more extension is a very pushy swing where the arms push the barrel out towards the ball. In the video below check out how the arms of the hitter are pushed out very early. This will cause hitters to have minimal adjustability in their swing and lose power from not using their bodies.
The best hitters have their barrel release towards the middle of the field post-contact. The direction of extension is still somewhat dependent on where the hitter hits the ball. If the ball is away the barrel might be released more towards Right Center Field (for RHH). If the ball is pulled the barrel might be released more towards Left Center Field. In the video below you can see the hitter not push their arms out but instead use the direction of their turn to help achieve extension.
To end the calendar year we wanted to highlight our top hitting articles of 2019. We have been putting out content since 2011 and this year was our best year yet. And we have you to thank! This top five list features the most read articles by baseball parents in 2019.
My oldest son, Bryant, is now playing his first year of Little League baseball. He’s almost six, so he’s in machine pitch and loving every second of it. We’ve had some funny conversations and happenings already in this season, and I wanted to use this platform to share those with you.
On his second practice, his team decided to ‘rent out’ a ‘really nice facility in Durham’. So in walks 12 five to six-year-olds for practice. Bryant is obviously super pumped that practice is at ‘Baseball Business’ and can’t wait to start.
They decided to do some catching and throwing first, and Bryant decided to catch with his face and not his glove. Thankfully, that was the only blood flowing injury of the day. He was back out there three minutes later after we cleaned off the blood in the bathroom.
It is a little league rule that all players must wear a cup. I was trying to explain this to Bryant and I could tell he was more than confused. I told my wife I’d take him to get a cup when I got off work. So of course, she went ahead and took him to get a cup herself...
As a player, ask yourself why you play the game. As a parent ask yourself why your kid plays the game, do they play because you make them? Is their goal to someday play in the big leagues one day? Or just wants to play once or twice a week because their friends do? The bottom line is taking ownership.
Find what motivates you and then plan your goals accordingly. If you don’t want to put in the extra time then you’re not allowed to be upset about your poor performance. If your goal is to have fun, I can assure you that if you practice and get better you will have more fun.
When hitters get introduced to the Rebel's Rack for the first time, there usually is slight hesitation. "How can a red bar teach me how to hit?" I'm sure is the first thought that crosses their mind. But once they buy-in and learn the movement progression, something awesome happens...
This past weekend, Tyler Zupcic and I were fortunate enough to be at the Baseball Youth All-American Games in South Carolina. The event has players from all over the country playing with each other over a weekend tournament. It’s a fun event! Part of the ‘festivities’ is a Home Run Derby.
Our booth was happened to look right out to the Home Run Derby field so we got a first-hand view of all the hitters. One hitter, in particular, stood out, but not for a good reason.
Every other hitter got their names announced before they went to the plate. Johnny Smith! Tyler Johnson! Sammy Miller! But this one 10u hitter didn’t get his real name announced, he simply went by “Big Dawg”. I was cracking up. This kid had swagger. He was also one of the bigger kids in his age group so he definitely lived up to the name.
Unfortunately, Big Dawg stepped up to the plate and laid an absolute goose egg. Zero home runs. He struggled to make contact. It was objectively and subjectively not a good round for Big Dawg...
In my years as a Private instructor, travel ball coach and even as a player, "politics" in sports is something that is unavoidable. Although this is a part of most teams, is this really why your child isn’t getting the playing time they and you think they deserve?
We hear it from parents a lot here at Baseball Rebellion that their child isn't playing because of 'politics' on the team. Well, today you're going to learn ways to help your child break the barrier and get themselves on the field. Here are some reasons why your child isn't playing and ways that they can improve that.
Most travel ball teams are coached by volunteer dads who have minimal playing experience or none at all. These parents give up their free time to help manage the team when they play and practice and should be appreciated no matter what...
Over the years I have found that many young athletes lack the ability to be coachable. Not only is this important for an athlete's career but in life itself. "Coachability" is being able to take what is being taught from your instructor or coach and applying it to yourself. It is having a mindset that there is always room for growth physically and mentally.
Athletes must understand that they have to be able to accept constructive criticism. This creates an environment for success. Being coachable is a tool that can be applied to anyone who is willing to listen, learn, and apply new ways to help them unlock their full potential as a hitter.
Natural talent ability will only take you so far before you or your players begin to plateau or becomes outmatched by their competitors. If your goal is to play beyond high school, the time is now to lay the foundation of skills and mechanics to do so...
To end the calendar year we wanted to highlight our top hitting drill articles of 2019. Our most-read content day in and day out are hitting drills and we wanted to provide you with our top five drill videos of the year. Sit back, relax and enjoy!
Often times hitters are hampered by the inability to rotate in the proper sequence. Whether their lower body rotates too far, or their upper body stops too soon, the fear of missing the ball causes poor body movements. In order for the body to accelerate properly, the hitter’s hips must decelerate and stop in time for the upper body then bat to accelerate into contact.
If the hips never stop rotating, the upper body and bat are not able to build up speed and in turn drag around the rotation.
This drill is different than med ball drills we've shown in the past as it forces the player to stop their hips while allowing the upper body to rotate past...
This week's installment of my Winter Series is brought to you by a good question that I received on my last post. Last week I did a video about isolating the coil and then feeling the separation created out from the coil. Here is the question that I got from Mike about that video about the stride and separation.
The use of the tee in baseball swing development has become quite the conversation piece in the world of #HittingTwitter over the last year or so. Some coaches believe that hitters should not leave the tee until they have an “elite swing pattern.” Others are so anti-tee that they have publicly denounced tee-work as a whole.
As with most things in the development of high-level athletes, I believe in the gray area. The following contains some of the warning signs for bad tee work and processes that I have found work the best in creating a tee routine. We wanted something that helps the player prepare for the ultimate goal: in-game performance...
We have talked about this before about the Initial start of the swing. It is crucial for a hitter to understand that if they want to hit the ball harder and farther they have to get their sequence right. Understanding the first initial moves and why you need to get your barrel slotted is crucial for success at the plate.
WHAT IS THE SLOT?
After reading the article that I tagged in the paragraph above we know that the swing starts with the hips. After that, the torso and the back knee and elbow begin to move as well. This is what will allow hitters to have the proper sequence in their swing...
When training youth hitters, exaggerated drills are often needed. Drills that can help get the hitter to understand just how dramatic of an adjustment they need to make. As we post these drills we often get negative comments on social media about how "nobody hits like that".
Completely ignoring the context of the drill being an exaggeration to help a hitter. Usually, this includes an exaggeration that forces a hitter to swing on a more upward path than they have before. However, this week I ran into a youth hitter that struggled to keep the bat moving up properly through their swing path.
Whether it be a lack of strength or understanding of how...
A negative or downward swing path. Even talking about 'level' swing paths makes me want to cringe. It's 2019 and we have autonomous cars yet the baseball world still wants to teach a swing path that has been PROVEN to be suboptimal. It's time we talk more about barrel turn and what it actually means.
The barrel turn is simply the action of the hitter turning the bat behind them towards the catcher, and then back up through the plane of the pitch. Just like this hitter is below.
Why work back up towards the ball? This creates the largest possible contact path while helping the barrel get to top speed AT contact! #BaseballRebellion #baseballrebellion #baseballswing pic.twitter.com/FPD2sGQnX4
— Baseball Rebellion (@BRrebellion) March 28, 2018
Why is it important to turn the barrel and swing up? Check out the green line in the video above. That is the 'plane' of the pitch. The ball is traveling on that line and as hitters, we want our bat traveling on that long as long as possible. So if the ball is traveling down, we must match the plane by swinging up. This ensures a maximum window for contact depending on our timing.
Thank you to the coaches, parents, and instructors out there who are teaching kids to NOT swing down. You are the real heroes in the baseball world. However, if you are one of the people I just mentioned but can't quite get your hitters to be consistent with barrel turn and swinging up. There could be one MAJOR reason why.
If you are regular readers, you have heard us write a lot about spine angle. But how does that correlate to swinging the bat up? Most hitters land too far forward in their stride, like this:
When hitter's land like this they must either move their head and spine as they turn to create space or push down and forward to create space. Neither of these solutions is ideal for power or swing path.
We want hitters to move forward but to land with your head closer to the back hip. This creates the space for the barrel to turn deep and to enter an upward motion earlier in the swing. This helps players achieve ideal launch angles. Check out the comparison of two hitters below.
If the hitter is working getting their hips out from underneath their shoulders during their stride they will set their spine angle and head position back into a strong, loaded position. It is a cue that should be taught and practiced OUTSIDE of the cage first. Then once the hitter has established a strong, controlled stride forward with their hips outside the cage, they can then move to practice it while hitting a moving ball. If done correctly it will look like this:
This drill is super effective for teaching hitters how to properly stride forward. They must use their hips to stride in this drill and not just their front foot. The goal is to get the hitters lead hip up against the wall before anything else (Quad, Foot, Knee, Ankle) touches the wall. Check out Eric demonstrating this drill and how you can apply it to your hitters today.
In honor of the 2019 MLB playoffs in full swing, we wanted to give our readers a look at our top MLB articles on our website. Inside this content, you will find swing breakdowns, drills, humor and much more. To get started, check out our top 5 Major League Baseball Articles of 2019 below:
What is one move that is helping Cody Bellinger to an MVP season & helped Babe Ruth to the Hall of Fame? The best part is after you read this you can tune in to watch Bellinger apply this move in the MLB Playoffs!
Check out Mike Yasztremski's first career home run at Fenway Park and how his swing compares to his Hall of Fame Grandfather, Carl Yastrzemski.
Check out BR's take on recasting the characters of the great baseball movie, "Major League" using today's MLB star players. You will get to see some of these players (and announcers) in the playoffs this year!
In this video you will see how Yelich is able to position himself to 1) Rotate extremely fast, 2) Work the barrel up into and through the pitch plane, 3) See the ball better and crush the low pitch. So if you are a taller player who likes to start tall in your stance, there's a good chance this will work for you too.
Even though CJ is not a big leaguer, yet, you will no doubt see him donning an MLB uniform here soon! He is also a great guy. Go check him out on social media and be sure to watch his development on the way to the show!
We recently launched our Rebel's Rack Movement Progression Certification Course. We've included 40+ lesson modules that make up the Rebel's Rack Movement Certification Course. For each part of the progression we break down: why we teach, how we teach it, and the good/bad things to look for from your hitters. We leave no stone unturned! Get more information by clicking the button below!
If you even remotely call yourself a baseball fan, you've hopefully heard of Carl Yastrzemski. "Yaz" as he is most known by, played 23 years with the Boston Red Sox, 18 of those as an All-Star. Here is a list of Yaz's other accomplishments:
To top it all off Yaz was the Triple Crown Winner leading the league in Batting Average, Home Runs, and Runs Batted In in 1967. He is one of 11 players to have his number retired by the Boston Red Sox.
Yaz had one of the sweetest swings of his generation, which led to his high production and massive power. His simple yet violent left-handed stroke helped guide his career all the way to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.
This article just isn't about Old-Man-Yaz. What baseball fans at Fenway Park witnessed last night was Yaz 2.0.
Mike Yastrzemski, the grandson of Carl, is an outfielder for the San Francisco Giants. A successful one at that, already amassing 20 home runs in his rookie season in 2019. Check out this cool moment of the younger Yaz hitting a home run at Fenway Park.
Much like his grandfather, it is his left-handed swing that has propelled him to be one of the best rookies in Major League Baseball.
Of course, outstanding genetics have led both Yaz's to be successful professional hitters. But what exactly do they do that makes them so great? I wanted to use this segment to breakdown both swings and show why they are such great power hitters and what you can learn from them to apply to your swing.
This article and video is for educational purposes only. The creation of this content does not imply that the Baseball Rebellion has worked directly with either Yastrzemski. Yes, we have to write this.