The KEY to Bat Speed: Vision! See the HeadRight HeadLight Drill Demo!

Written By: Chas Pippitt

Chas Pippitt HeadRight HeadLIght Drill

How do I increase bat speed? I hear that question almost every day.  Although there are dozens of "Bat Speed Programs" and "Bat Speed Workouts" that claim to increase your bat speed, almost all of them have wrist curls and forearm manipulations in them... which is exactly why they don't really work.
 

Everything You Were Taught About Increasing Bat Speed Is Probably Wrong

 
The truth about bat speed is that it's not about IF you get up to speed, but HOW and WHEN your bat speed is achieved that's important.
 
I wanted to revisit an old article that exclusively talks about vision and seeing the ball, but with a new twist.
 
Read and watch to see how vision can INSTANTLY increase your bat speed within your swing and give you more time to see the pitch due to this new-found explosive acceleration in your bat head.

Background:

In June of 2011, I wrote this article on Vision (See Article Here) In which I debuted the Head-Right Head-Light Drill.  The drill is designed to be a fun vision exercise to make practicing seeing the baseball hit the bat enjoyable.  In the HeadRight HeadLight Drill, the hitter gets a headlight from Lowes or Home Depot and straps it to his head.  He sets the ball up on the tee and then shuts off all the lights.  If his head is pointed at the ball, or his nose is at the ball, the ball will be lit up as light from the HeadRight HeadLight does not bend and does not lie.  If your head moves in the swing, you know it, as the ball gets dark and you will usually swing and miss or knock the tee over.  I even cued that AFTER the swing, the HeadRight HeadLight should still be on the tee...

And that's why I'm revisiting this article....

Because the head should NOT be that still in the finish...and I'm about to tell you 2 HUGE reasons why the HeadRight HeadLight Drill is still awesome and how Vision Directly Relates to Early Bat Speed in the Baseball Swing or Softball Swing.

DISCLAIMER:  IF YOUR CHILD IS NEW TO THE REBELLION, READ THE 'VALUE OF VISION' ARTICLE FIRST AND DO THE HEADRIGHT HEADLIGHT DRILL AS PRESCRIBED THERE FOR AT LEAST A FEW WEEKS.  THEN MOVE TO THIS ARTICLE TO MODIFY THE DRILL.  Click Here for Link to Article.

Reason 1:

Keeping your head locked at contact through the finish of the swing COMPLETELY STOPS your turn!  Basically, unless you're Gumby or Stretch Armstrong, when you stop your turn, you're cutting off your engine.

Very few of my hitters are able to relax their bodies into the finish of their swing if they stop their turns.  At Baseball Rebellion, we want the hitter to turn through the baseball and make sure to continue the hip and shoulder rotation through the finish.  When you stop your shoulders to preserve vision of contact (especially off the tee, this rigid stopping of the swing causes tons of arm push and turns off the powerful muscles of the abs and back in the swing motion.

Think about it, if you can stop your chest and shoulders as you hit the ball, aren't you slowing down?  I want you to be UNABLE to slow down while you're in the swing move because all of your force and power should be in the acceleration of the barrel, not in stopping the swing to run.   Remember, you only have to get out of the box FAST on mis-hit dribblers...We're training to hit Doubles and Bombs!

The drills shown are the Original HeadRight Headlight Drill and our New Modified HeadRight HeadLight Drill.  Both have great use based on the age and ability of the players' strengths and weaknesses.

Here's some key vocabulary before you watch the video:

Pitch Time:  The Time from release of the pitch that it takes for the ball to either cross home plate or be hit.  The longer you wait in Pitch Time before you decide to swing, the longer you see the ball and more information you get about the pitch.

Swing Time:  The Time it takes the batter to get from start to full extension.  The faster you can get your swing up to max speed, the longer you can wait and watch the ball before you commit to the swing.

Without further delay...Here's the HeadRight HeadLight Drill in Action!

Reason 2:

I touched on Bat Speed and "whoosh" just a second ago in reason one, but this video I've got for you guys below should really 'open your ears' to what I'm talking about.

Where did you HEAR the bat?  Listen closely.  On the first swings, the 'whoosh' of the bat was beside me and out in front of me.  On last swings, the 'whoosh' was behind me (optimal) and beside me (over home plate).  Why would those be better?

Think about a car getting on the highway.  The car is at the top of the on-ramp going about 10 mph.  The cars on the highway are already going 70 mph.  Which car will get to the bottom of the onramp first if both cars must observe the max speed limit of the road?  Clearly, the car going 70 mph will win this race.  So, by having great vision early in the swing move, you CAN accelerate your bat head into the zone later in pitch time but earlier and faster in swing time.

I hope you guys enjoyed the HeadRight HeadLight video and understood the ideas in the Bat Speed Test.  The Whoosh marks where the maximum bat speed is and we want that as deep as possible.  It's much easier to carry that bat speed through the swing than actively be accelerating the bat head as your hitting the ball.  We want to make slight adjustments to a fast moving bat instead of trying to make adjustments while exerting maximum force in the acceleration of the barrel.  So, If you want MAXIMUM BAT SPEED for your young hitter....Value their Vision and show them an awesome and fun way to train with the HeadRight HeadLight Drill.

Chas Pippitt, Leader of the Baseball Rebellion

 

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JERRY
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JERRY

CHAS . i HAVE PAUL NYMANS SET PRO ITS A BAT SPEED MONITER . AND IT SURPRISED ME WHEN YOU LET YOUR HEAD FLY OUT EARLY YOUR BAT SPEED DECREASES . SO i HAVE TO SAY i AGREE IF YOUR HEAD FLES OUT THE BAT SPEED SLOWS DOWN

Sean Barone
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What exercises can help to increase explosiveness, to help increase bat speed?

Sean
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Sean

How do you prepare for a baseball game?

Short Swing Trainer
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The thing I think people misunderstand about bat speed – and more importantly about maximizing bat speed in a rotational swing – is that the “whoosh” that you talk about happens when the top hand takes over the swing. Guys who swing bottom hand generally only have power when they pull the ball. That is because in a bottom hand dominant swing, the top hand takes over very late in the swing. People who workout their forearms (which I do think is a good idea), but don’t understand that the top hand has to dominate the swing will not realize… Read more »

Derek
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I’m a little confused on when the shoulder row should occur in the swing I don’t if it should start when your loading up or when your foot hits the ground

Gary
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Gary

Chas, I could not agree more that early batspeed is “it” and I’m trying to be sure I understand it. But I’m curious about something. In the 2 swings you show here, the first is a classic demonstration of the lead arm pulling away and draining all your power (I think). And in doing so you also are out over your front foot. An earlier comment referred to top hand bottom hand effects and I agree with him. In the first swing it seems like a pull by the lead arm followed by a later top hand push that gives… Read more »

Mike
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Mike

How could you adapt this for when you do this outdoors?

Joel urias
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Joel urias

My son plays the best defense ever but is in a slump of hitting the ball

Gabe Dimock
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Joel,

We would love to help!

-Gabe Dimock

Tyler Gray
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Tyler Gray

I’m very late reading this article and watching these videos. I have a younger brother that batted .406 his 8th grade year at the high school level, for his varsity team. This past season, he batted .268, we both worked and worked throughout the season to turn his average around, but nothing seemed to work. Sure, he had his breakout games like he usually does but he just couldn’t keep the consistency he had last year. We’re about to start summer league and I’m so glad i found this webpage. Very precise and excellent demonstration. This is going to be… Read more »

Erica Dallas
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Erica Dallas

My son is 9 and started off really good with hitting the ball. His confidence was up. The past month he’s been off with his hitting. The coaches tell him to see the ball, hit the ball. He fouls until he’s finally out. How will this drill help him to really see the ball?