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The Science of Coaching in 3 Easy Steps

Over the past couple of years, I have seen a lot of discussion on how to give the most effective feedback to athletes. In particular, the question of whether internal or external feedback is more effective has been quite polarizing. Although this is the most common debate, there are many other factors to consider when it comes to motor learning such as practice variability and the quantity of feedback. While we don’t have the space to do a deep dive into each one of these topics, I do want to give you practical coaching tips that are steeped in motor learning research rather than anecdotal opinions. I’ll be the first to admit that in writing this piece, I can think of numerous mistakes I have made with players in each of the categories I’ll discuss. Thankfully, making mistakes is a great way to learn!

Internal vs. External Feedback

Before we get into what the research says about internal vs. external feedback, let’s begin with some quick definitions. Internal Feedback is when the athlete is told (or tells themselves) to address the internal requirements of a task. For example, cueing/thinking about dropping the back shoulder forcefully to get the barrel in the path of the ball would be an example of internal feedback. In contrast, External Feedback is when the feedback or thought has to do with the external result. An example of this would be telling a player to hit the ball over the fence or to pull the ball. So, which is better? Well… As with most things it depends. Motor Learning research suggests that children benefit more from internal feedback than external feedback while adults benefit more from external feedback that is focused on the result of a task. At Baseball Rebellion, we primarily work with children and young adults. This explains the success we have had with beginning our program with our movement progression in the mirror that is highly internally focused. We have seen that once our young clients understand and have practiced focusing on the internal requirements of the swing, they are able to make astonishing improvements. This being said, it is highly important that the language used is age appropriate and presented in a way that can be understood. On the other hand, I have made many mistakes working with older clients whose performance has acutely declined when I provided seemingly simple internal feedback. In thinking back, most of the older athletes have performed better when clearing their minds and focusing on the external result. As I have heard Baseball Rebellion founder Chas Pippitt say many times, “You have to let a thoroughbred be a thoroughbred.” With this in mind, we do feel that it is important early on in the training process to know and understand the same movement progression learned in the mirror (See Blocked practice below) but with cueing that is more externally based.

Random Practice vs. Blocked Practice vs. Mixed Practice

Random Practice is when a variety of tasks are practiced at random and are rarely practiced more than twice in a row. Blocked Practice is when a task is repeated several times before a new task introduced. Mixed Practice is a combination of random and blocked practice. Research has shown that random practice is better for adults and those learning a new skill. Random practice is also better children and young adults who have achieved proficiency using blocked practice in complex, sport-specific skills. Blocked practice is better for children/young adults and those learning a new skill. The guidelines mentioned above have not only been shown to be true in the isolated research setting but in transferring improved performance to other environments. As with most things, there is a continuum so some dosage of mixed practice has been shown to be effective in all populations.

The training program at Baseball Rebellion follows this methodology in that the beginning phase contains a great deal of blocked practice for everyone. Although many players come to us having played baseball for many years, the vast majority come because they want to learn a NEW and more efficient movement pattern making the progression essentially a new skill. With our older clients, we quickly move from blocked practice to mixed practice where the hitter attempts to repeat the movement pattern learned in front toss with fastballs to different locations. As they improve we progress to mixing in off-speed pitches and throwing mixed BP. The goal is to come as close as possible to simulating the game experience they will have by randomizing the variables the hitter will face in competition. However, this is only effective after building a solid movement foundation that is established through early blocked practice. With the kids we train, we spend a lot more time on blocked practice and slowly work towards randomized and mixed practice. This is something we will continue to reinforce with the knowledge that children transfer skills more effective with a heavy volume of blocked practice.

Frequency of Feedback

Unfortunately, we all know the helicopter baseball parent’s that Domingo refers to as “Bleacher Coaches.” Often coaches are just as guilty of being helicopter coaches who micro-manage and provide far too much feedback. In the motor learning, the frequencies of feedback are defined as constant, intermittent, and faded. Constant Feedback is when it is given after every single repetition.  Intermittent Feedback is simple feedback given less than 100% of the time. Faded Feedback is when the amount of feedback is higher when learning in the early stages of learning a task and decreases as the individual becomes more proficient. Studies have shown that adults and children benefit from faded feedback with children benefiting more from a higher frequency of feedback early in the learning process. Far too many baseball coaches provide too high of a frequency of feedback for too long. After an initial period of time, an athlete recognizes their obvious mistakes on their own. A coach or parent’s constant feedback can overload and irritate a player which often leads to them tuning out the coach which defeats the purpose of coaching. A good tip for coaches is to allow your players to participate in the learning process by asking them questions. In a given lesson or session, ideally, the player will speak as much if not more than the coach.

The Take-Away

The above recommendations are great to apply to general populations and should provide a solid framework to guide your teaching.   Whether teaching kids, adults, or somewhere in between, it is essential to understand motor learning and how each individual learns best. I hope this info helps you as much as it has helped me!

References

Campbell. Physical Therapy for Children. 4th Edition. 2012.

Cech and Martin. Functional Movement Development. 3rd Edition. 2012

Gabe Dimock – Baseball Rebellion Hitting Instructor

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BR Case Study: Tiffani Railey, From Juco to the SEC in Two Training Days and a Tweet.

BR Case Study Tiffani Railey

BR Case Study: Tiffany Railey

From Juco to the SEC in Two Training Days and a Tweet

On December 28th, I met Tiffani Railey. I had never met her before, but I had worked with her older brother, Matt, on attempting to comeback to baseball after being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Her father, Mike, was here too as was her younger brother Jonathan, a great prospect in his own right, and her friend Deborah Fernanda from Chiploa Junior College and the Brazilian National Softball Team. Needless to say, we had a great group of kids in the building, all with athletic talent and untapped potential. Tiffani was an all-state softball player in High School in Tallahassee Florida, and worked out with some of the best trainers on the east coast at Titus Human Performance, headed up by Adam Faurot, a former FSU Baseball Player. Athletically, she is a phenom, as you can see…

Tiffani Railey, 19 years old, Squats 335!!
Tiffani Railey, 19 years old, Squats 335!!

So…like I said, she’s a super special female athlete. But, she came to me mainly a slapper. Here is her unedited video from her first day, December 28th and her Hittrax Data as well. She had the tools to be good, and she was good already, with an offer from a mid-major D1 School on the table already, but no interest from the ACC or SEC.

Lots of Grounders, some hard hits, but no real DAMAGE in this round at all. She had some good ‘bones’ to her swing, meaning she had a decent setup and stride, clearly she had some aggression, just the wrong direction of her hits. Here is her Hittrax Data from her round that shows her average velocity (65.6 mph), max velocity (70.4 mph), max distance (only 184 feet) and average distance (92 feet) and average launch angle at only 6 degrees…With exit velocities in the low to mid 70’s my staff and I knew Tiffani hadn’t even scratched the surface of what she could become. **Please take special notice of her SPRAY CHART. The black dots are ‘tee swings’ the blue and red dots are hits (blue) and outs (red).**
Tiffani Railey HitTrax Data Round 1

Honestly, even with the good things hidden inside her swing, her swing made me sad because I could SEE all the times she’d been HELD BACK by her SPEED. What I mean by this is she’s so fast and so explosive, as she runs a legit 2.6 to first base from the left side, that she wasn’t allowed to develop her swing and her power in a way that would make top 25 level programs want her services. So after this evaluation, we talked about the movements she lacked, mainly a complete shoulder turn and a ‘pulling’ back foot from a turning pelvis. After we worked on her footwork in the mirror for a few hours, and did some Rebel’s Rack Progressions and dowel rod work, she was finished for the day.

The next day, we repeated and added to her progression, and here’s what happened: **Note, I do not have the same view of her swing for some reason…I either never took it or deleted it…but you can clearly see the differences in how she’s turning and how her movements have changed/improved to generate significantly more power and lift…**

So…quite a bit better movement quality wise, and therefore, statistically on the Hittrax.  Her back foot is moving, her turn is more complete. Tiffani now not only has more confidence her swing and physical ability, but she also has a repeatable process to continue her growth within her movements as well as specific drills she can do daily to ensure her continued improvement. Here’s more data supporting her positive change:

HitTrax Data

The chart above is her ‘launch angle chart’ which shows her average launch angle is now 27.5 degrees, up from 6 degrees. Her average distance is up to 214.7 feet, up from 92 feet!

Tiffani Railey Round 2 HitTrax Data

The chart above shows her average exit velocity up to 71 mph, from 65.6mph, max exit velocity, 82mph, up from 75mph as well as her max distance of 286 up from 184 feet. Again, you can see her SPRAY CHART, blue dots are hits…mostly home runs, and the red dots are outs…WOW!

Tiffani Railey Front View Gif 12.29.16

Here is a front view gif of her best swing I caught on video, it shows her head moving forward less and an extremely quick pelvis turn as well as barrel action after an extremely slow forward movement. One of the things we have modified over the past few months is the ‘speed and distance’ of the forward movement. It has become clear to us at Baseball Rebellion and Softball Rebellion that moving forward, while important, is not as important as we once thought, even for our smallest hitters. Tiffani, who will be back up here at some point to continue her training, will be moving forward even less in her upcoming videos that I will update this article with upon her return.

As always, I started tweeting out her videos in raw video and GIF format as well as instagram-ing some of her swings. My phone didn’t stop buzzing for almost a week. College coaches from all over the country were inquiring about her future services. Less than a month after her visit to Baseball Rebellion/Softball Rebellion, Tiffani accepted a scholarship to play at her “dream school” the University of Georgia.

Tiffani Railey UGA Softball Tweet

Huge congrats to Tiffani on her hard work and willingness to find out what she could become instead of holding onto what she was. She’ll start at the Central Florida CC, the number 1 ranked Juco in the country and prepare for her time in the SEC. Amazing changes in only a few hours of work.

Chas Pippitt, Leader of the Baseball Rebellion

Here’s Tiffani’s thoughts on her experience at BR/SR with me and with my staff. Her father felt compelled to make a video talking about how we treated his sons and specifically Tiffani as well. Its awesome to make people feel this good and this happy and help them get an immediate return on their investment and trust in our program. The feeling is more than mutual!

Tiffani Railey Quote on SR

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Baseball Rebellion Case Study: Ian Hagenmiller

Baseball Rebellion Hitting Case Study Ian H.

Hitting Case Study: Ian Hagenmiller

At Baseball Rebellion, we get lots of calls from players at all levels of baseball. From little league dads and moms trying to help their kids get their first hit, to MLB players working to stay at the highest level of baseball. Many times, when professional players call us, they have run on some hard times within their career, and are either coming off a rough hitting year or have just been released from their team. This is a tough time not only for the player, but for their families as well. Many times, the mother and father of the player have been instrumental in the player’s development since they were a young child, so the player’s support group feels anxiety about his career. They have been helping the player to realize their dream of playing professional baseball, and the sadness and shock of the release or bad year is felt by everyone. I received this phone call from Ron Hagenmiller on April 11, 2016…

 

Ian Hagenmiller, a 10th round draft pick out of high school by the Atlanta Braves, had just been released during his 3rd year of affiliated baseball. You can hear from his voice that he’s upset for his son but he’s hopeful that Baseball Rebellion can help Ian find the swing that got him drafted so high out of high school and committed to the University of Miami. I called him back the next day, one thing led to another, and the next week, Ian flew in for 5 days of intense hitting instruction.

MiLB Batting Stats: Ian Hagenmiller

Ian Hagenmiller Pro Baseball Stats

Before we took his initial hitting evaluation video, while Ian was warming up, I asked him a lot of questions about HOW he hits on a daily basis and what he thinks about. He talked A LOT about his hands and timing the ball with his hands. He talked a lot about hitting the ball low and hard. In the initial evaluation period, I usually just ask questions, listen to the hitter, and watch how they move. Obviously, Ian had some work to do, and some changes to make, based on the stats above and his release from the Braves organization. Here’s one of the main things we had to get him to STOP doing/thinking that really jumped out at me in his initial hitting video.

 

hands to the baseball hitting

Initial Hitting Video: Ian Hagenmiller

Initial Hitting HitTrax Data: Ian Hagenmiller

After we went over these videos and hitting HitTrax data, we went to work! Most of our initial work was with his stride direction and posture. We talked a lot about staying tall in his forward move and having a more vertical posture at landing. We threw a TON of medicine balls, both with a hesitation and without. Lastly, we did lots of mirror work with the Rebel’s Rack and some assisted and accelerated turns with the rack (which is essentially under-speed and over-speed training for the turn and those drills come with the Rebel’s Rack). Below is the last video we took of Ian hitting before he left.

After Training, Hitting Video: Ian Hagenmiller

Instead of a voiceover, I decided to let you guys hear him learn and hear his thoughts in his own words. Most of these balls were home runs, many of them were hit over 450 feet. Training for baseball can be serious. Playing baseball is this player’s dream. Teaching hitting is our life’s work. But I think the journey needs to have some laughs included in it as well.

At Baseball Rebellion baseball and softball players are able to train their swings and learn hitting information from unexpected people and mediums. Ian not only hit one on one with baseball rebellion instructors, but in groups with other hitters including other pros, and even a 9 year old. He watched D1 committed softball players as part of his training and also talked to HS baseball kids about their swing thoughts and training progressions.

Ian’s changes are pretty easy to see from his evaluation to now. Ian strides further, but is under control. He’s really pulling his back foot forward due to a great rotation of his pelvis. His back knee ends up in front of his face and the LIFT (greater launch angle) in the swing is BUILT IN. Now he can use and sustain his power at much higher launch angles, which will result in higher slugging percentages and more doubles and home runs.

After Training Hitting HitTrax Data: Ian Hagenmiller

Pretty amazing stuff from Ian and HitTrax. Data Baseball Rebellion was never be able to track, even a few months ago, is now at my fingertips at an instant. If I had told Ian that he’d hit the ball 110 feet further in 5 days of training with Baseball Rebellion do you think he would have believed me? What if I said that to his father, Ron? I know I would have run from anyone with those types of outlandish claims when I was playing, but the numbers don’t lie. I have worked with lots of guys in my career at Baseball Rebellion, and Ian Hagenmiller is already one of my favorite hitters to train. He was extremely easy to work with and willing to try new things. Ian was very receptive to the movement drills we teach and why we teach them, and he appreciated our dedication to teaching not only him but everyone in our building while he was here. He’s a guy I am sure will revive his career and make a mark in baseball. His power is simply tremendous.

– Chas Pippitt, Leader of the Baseball Hitting Rebellion

Here was a Voicemail Ian left after he got home from his trip to Baseball Rebellion in North Carolina.

 

How cool is that?  Makes the time and the effort worth while.  Good Luck Ian, you’re gonna kill it.

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Baseball Rebellion Case Study: Amanda Brinegar

Baseball Rebellion Case Study: Amanda B.
Baseball Rebellion Case Study Amanda B.

Amanda Brinegar

Class: 2018

Home Town: Austin, TX

Height: 5’7″

Bats / Throws: R/R

Position: SS/2b

Exit Speed: 70.1 mph

Baseball Rebellion Case Study: Amanda Brinegar

Amanda has been working with Baseball Rebellion since 2013.  She was one of my first ever online softball clients.  Her first swings were inside her house off a tee, I’ve created a Gif of the movement pattern below.

Softball player swinging bat

In my opinion, Amanda had a few good things going for her.  She landed open with her front foot, her back foot moved forward, and she got a pretty solid turn of her hips in her swing.  Not a bad start at all.  She went through a typical progression of Rack movements, some upper body work keeping her hands higher in her turn and keeping her head more still through the turn process as well.  Amanda had some decent results from the new freedom and speed she found within her movement.  Over time her swing changed to incorporate more lean back in the turn and a higher and more athletic leg kick with better vision.  Here are some more recent game swings of Amanda, including a LASER of a double:

amanda brinegar softball game swing

The second game swing was her Home Run.

amanda brinegar softball game swing baseball rebellion softball rebellion

 

Chris, her step father, and I talk all the time about Amanda’s progress from when she started our training until now.  There have been some ups and downs, but overall she’s improved greatly.  Here’s what Chris says about his experience with Baseball Rebellion, “Chas’ passion, professionalism, and availability continue to exceed my expectations by providing high level swing analysis and genuine concern for my child’s softball goals.  I have used Chas and the Baseball Rebellion staff for the past 3 years and would recommend their services to anyone looking for a technical advantage.  Words cannot express the thanks and gratitude I feel for the value I have received.” It’s only a matter of time until we see swings like these in games all the time.  Her most recent trip up here yielded some of the best fastball/changeup adjustment video we’ve ever seen here at Baseball Rebellion from a softball or baseball player at any age.  Here is that unedited video:

At one point, they were working with a former high level softball player who was telling her that she couldn’t ‘move like that’ because she was a girl, which was upsetting on so many levels not only to her but to me.  It’s clear that boys and girls all over the country CAN move this way (as shown by THIS PREVIOUS BR ARTICLE)… It’s a matter of if the coaches they trust ALLOW them to and ENHANCE their freedom of movement within their swing.  Amanda has worked so hard on her swing, and has come to see us at Baseball Rebellion numerous times.  We have all enjoyed her growth as a hitter and as a person while we’ve known her and I look forward to her sending more swings to me like these through her Baseball Rebellion Online Lesson Account so she can continue on her path to an NCAA Division 1 Scholarship.
Amanda Brinegar softball swing softball home run swing

And here’s the most recent one.  Awesome upper body movement and great ‘hitters’ box with a perfectly still head through the turn.  Amazing how even with her  leg kick and forward move how she can keep her head so still through contact.  Lets take a look one last time at her first swing from over 2 years ago:

Amanda B first swing

And now her most recent swing she sent me, this was from a few days ago (I slowed the most recent swing down so you could see more of the movements and improvements she’s made.  At full speed it was just a blur in the Gif format):

softball hitter softball swing, youth softball swing, youth hitting drills, softball drills, softball hitting drills

Wow, what a difference!  Here’s what Amanda has to say about her experience with Baseball Rebellion: “Chas, and the Baseball Rebellion Staff are the best instructors imaginable. So much of my success as an athlete is due to my work under their guidance. They are well worth the trip from Texas!”  Great job Amanda. You are a huge part of the SOFTBALL REBELLION and teaching girls everywhere that they CAN swing athletically.  You’ve come a long way.  It’s been awesome to be a part of your journey to the best swing you can have!

Chas Pippitt, Leader of the SOFTBALL Rebellion

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Baseball Rebellion in the Big Leagues: Mark Canha Swing Analysis

Mark Canha Baseball Rebellion swing

It was December 23, 2014, I was downstairs in my office looking at some video of my invitation only clinic that most of my best players attend every year that ended 2 days before, when I got an email from “Mark”.

Mark Canha Baseball Rebellion Email-1I gave him a call that night and we talked for almost an hour.  As he mentioned above, he’d seen some of my video breakdowns and realized his swing, while very successful at the AAA level, did not resemble the swings of the players he wanted to play against. By the 30th, flights had been booked for January 20th to January 30th for him to come see us at Baseball Rebellion, Mark Canha started online lessons on BaseballRebellion.com, and off we went.

Mark Canha arrived with the swing below, this swing in particular being the one we would base his changes off of.  He picked this swing himself as his ‘best’ from his evaluation video we take in person.  

Mark Canha First Swing Gif

In the swing above, you can see Mark is working to open his front foot, but he’s got some stride direction issues because he stride slightly in towards home plate.  His back foot does move forward, but not enough which makes his posture forward in his finish position with his head in front of his back knee.  I was surprised Mark’s numbers were so good with this starting swing, but then again, I knew from my conversations with him that he noticed the differences between his swing and the MLB All-Stars he mentioned in his email and had seen his raw video from California.  Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 3.44.16 PM

With the starting velocity above, I knew he had room to grow with more athleticism in his movements, but I was unsure how much he’d be willing to change after hitting .300 with 20 home runs and 30 double in AAA last year.  Below, you can see how much he did change…in 8 days time:

Mark Canha 8 days later gif

As you can see, Mark was all in from the day his plane touched down at RDU.  We did movement improvement progressions with the Rebel’s Rack for 4 days before he really HIT again.  We did THOUSANDS of stride direction moves in the mirror and hours and hours of up the mound down the mound movement training.  Again, keep in mind this was a high draft pick, a successful minor league player, and he’d only known me in person for 8 days.  Amazing footwork change, easy body movement forward, back foot movement is quick and clean, back knee is in front of his face.  Total posture change and a LOW finish to help him complete his turn and the ‘circle’ of his swing.  I wonder if these changes made him hit the ball harder…
Mark Canha 107.3

Mark dramatically improved his power output capability this year, and while his numbers weren’t as good as his AAA numbers, Mark had a great year at the highest level of baseball, going from a Rule 5 rookie to a key contributor in the Oakland A’s every day lineup.  We were laughing the other day about how great a year he had and how Mark would have said “sign me up for that year” if he could have known his final statistics.  But then we both got quiet and said, almost simultaneously, “there were a lot of hits left on the table last year”.IMG_5886

I can’t wait to get out to California to see Mark and get back to work.  It’s Gonna be a great offseason and we’ll talk more about his past year and our future plans headed into his 2nd year in the MLB in a follow up article coming soon!

Chas Pippitt – Leader of the Baseball Hitting Rebellion

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Baseball Rebellion Case Study: Hannah Morris

Baseball Rebellion Prospect Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris

Class: 2018

Home Town: Durham, NC

Height: 5′ 6”

Bats / Throws: L / R

Position: Pitcher, 1st Base, 3rd Base

Ball Exit Speed: 72.6mph

20 Yard Dash: 3.0

Hannah started training with us at I.T.S. Baseball in March of 2015. For many, this can be a tricky time to start making swing changes because it is in the heart of the high school softball season. Hannah was unafraid and dived into her training. As you will see in her initial video below, Hannah came to us as a coordinated hitter but lacked athletic movement in her stride and lacked a lower half that maximized her turn. She was starting on her high school’s varsity softball team as a Freshman and recorded ball exit speeds as high as 62 MPH. Hannah’s willingness to learn and her hard work allowed for big improvements to happen very quickly. After just three lessons I opened my email inbox to find the following message and picture from Hannah’s mom:

HANNAH HIT A GRAND SLAM YESTERDAY….OVER THE FENCE…..OUTTA THERE!!!!!!
Hannah Morris
After the first few lessons, we usually re-test our students with the radar gun to numerically quantify their progress. Hannah’s ball exit speeds improved 10 MPH! Her top ball exit speed is 72.6 as seen in the picture at the beginning of this post. Hannah’s radar gun results certainly validated her hard work and confirmed that her in-game improvements were the result of real changes she was making! Below is a series of videos that allow you to see Hannah’s progression through our program.

Initial Video

Our process with any hitter at I.T.S. Baseball begins with an evaluation. After we watched the video above, we identified inefficiencies in Hannah’s stride and turn. Hannah and her parents went all in with our recommendations. Hannah learned how to move her body differently in the mirror and the improved results came shortly after. Below is a video of Hannah less than a month after her evaluation.

 April 2015

In just a few short weeks, Hannah made great strides. While she still had things to work on, the tempo and distance of her stride and the speed of her turn improved dramatically. Hannah was instantly more powerful, consistent, and adjustable. As Hannah continued to train and practice she only became more comfortable. As this happened, her speed, confidence, and power went through the roof as you’ll see in the latest videos below.

August 2015 (Back View)

August 2015 (Side View)

 August 2015 (Diagonal View)

Hannah’s hard work in the batting cage as well as in Will’s Athlete Development Program has really paid off. Hannah recently committed to Radford University! Congratulations to Hannah and I hope her transformation inspires other aspiring hitters to make positive swing changes.

 

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Baseball Rebellion Case Study: Jett Satterfield

Baseball Rebellion Prospects Jett S
Baseball Rebellion Prospect Jett Satterfield

Jett Satterfield

Class: 2019

Home Town: Hillsborough, NC

Height / Weight: 6’0” / 180lb

Bats / Throws: R/R

Position: C/SS

Exit Speed / Throwing Velo: 94.2 / 81

60 Yard Dash: 6.9

Status: UNCOMMITTED

Baseball Rebellion Case Study: Jett Satterfield

Jett has been in the program for 4 years now, and while I have not located his official evaluation video, I do have some early video of Jett, which you can see below. Jett was one of the best middle school players I’ve ever coached. In fact, he currently has the hardest 8th grade hit ever recorded at I.T.S. Baseball / Baseball Rebellion, with a ball exit speed of 94.2mph with a wooden bat, off front toss. Jett plays multiple sports and is currently splitting time between JV and Varsity football at Orange HS. His hitting development has been stunning as he was a lower end of the lineup player when he started training at I.T.S. Baseball, and has now blossomed into a dominant force on the SBA canes 15u team, hitting 3rd or 5th. His 6.9 60 yard dash projects well for SS as he ages, and if he only drops .1 seconds per year through HS, he’s a 6.5 runner.

Video of Jett Through the Years

March 2012

October 2012

February 2015

August, 2015

Jett has worked hard on his skills and body. He has seen incredible gains in his Ball Exit Speed and 60 Yard Dash through our programming, and his determination and effort.  I can’t wait to see how he does during his freshman season at Orange, and in showcase ball in the future. Check back later for more updates on Jett Satterfield, a top prospect in the 2019 class.

Chas Pippitt – Leader of the Baseball Rebellion

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Baseball Rebellion Case Study: AJ Bumpass

Baseball Rebellion Prospects AJ Bumpass
Baseball Rebellion Prospect AJ Bumpass

AJ Bumpass

Class: 2015

Home Town: Durham, NC

Height / Weight: 6’1” / 195lb

Bats / Throws: L/R

Position: OF

Exit Speed / Throwing Velo: 105.2 / 92

60 Yard Dash: 6.55

Status: ENROLLED University of Cincinnati

Baseball Rebellion Case Study: AJ Bumpass

AJ Bumpass has been a part of I.T.S. Baseball / Baseball Rebellion since he was 11 years old.  Along the way we have seen him dominate middle school as a SS, change positions to CF as soon as he entered high school and  dominate there as well.  He was a 2 time Conference Player of the Year runner up, a 4 time All Conference selection, and a 2015 Conference Player of the year. This year’s draft was an eventful one as teams called and wanted to sign AJ.  He elected to attend Cincinnati to play in Conference USA and further his goals of being a high draft pick in the MLB draft in 3 years.

Video of AJ Through The Years:

August, 2012

January, 2013

August, 2015

Keep checking in on AJ for more video of his ongoing progress in the Baseball Rebellion program and to keep track of his budding career as it continues.  As he is a committed player, I will update his progress as his season goes on with updated video, ball exit speeds, and accolades as they come.

 

Chas Pippitt, Leader of the Baseball Rebellion

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Case Study: More Than Just a Good Swing

Case Study: More than Just a Good Swing

The following Case Study shows the growth of two very different 10 year old boys, Tyler and Brennan.  Tyler came into the program with no previous professional instruction and Brennan came in with many lessons under his belt.  What both boys had, and every hitter in lessons needs was the right attitude, dedication, and an open mind that allowed for  tremendous growth.  Enjoy the videos below and see the evolution of two young hitters.

Tyler H, 10 Year Old Client

I started working with Tyler almost 2 years ago.  As you will see from his initial evaluation video, he came in with very little technical skill.  Below, you’ll see Tyler’s unedited evaluation video uploaded into Powerchalk and a sample example of how we can use video analysis software to show our hitters their mistakes, and eventually, their successful changes.

After looking at the video above, anyone can see that Tyler clearly needed some guidance.  Using the strengths in Tyler’s approach, his aggression and intent to crush the baseball, we began to move him into very athletic, yet stable positions.  These changes allowed him to channel his energy from the ground up, and use the bigger, stronger muscles in his body.  Over time, Tyler used his arms less to provide the power in his swing and engaged his core and front leg to drive his hip turn and power production.  After those changes, we were able to begin teaching him to direct his energy upwardly through the path of the ball.  Not only does Tyler hit the ball harder after our training, and his hard work, but also has much better contact much more frequently.  

Changes this dramatic often times need a helping hand.  Our ‘push in the right direction’ came from Will Fox, Director of Performance at I.T.S. Baseball, who has also been working with Tyler to help improve his muscle function and mobility.  With his new strength, muscle coordination, and flexibility, Tyler can support even more explosive movements while maintaining stability and technical accuracy within his powerful swing motion.  Tyler’s work with Will allows us to continue to push forward in his development with confidence that his body can support and master anything we throw at it.

None of these changes would have been possible without Tyler showing up every week with a great attitude and work ethic. We must give credit to Tyler and his family, for allowing us to work with him and guide him through a dramatic swing change. Tyler is now a much more powerful and consistent hitter and has remained the upbeat and positive kid he has always been.  Like any young hitter, Tyler has more room to grow and improve, but there is no doubt in my mind that as long as he loves baseball and is willing to learn and practice, he will be fun to watch.  Tyler’s attitude and work ethic are models for all of our hitters to follow.

Brennan K., 10 Year Old Client

The first Day Brennan walked in to I.T.S. Baseball, the research and training facility for Baseball Rebellion, his fiery personality filled the room.  Brennan is a huge (and VERY OUTSPOKEN) Boston sports fan.  So, during this football season, we made a little bet on the Panthers vs Patriots game…Here’s how that turned out for Brennan…(Hey Brennan, you’ve improved a TON in your swing, but if you thought I wasn’t going to use this picture in your case study you’ve lost your mind!)

brennan panthers

**Chas Note**This picture is a great illustration that for us, the instructors that make up the Baseball Rebellion, it’s not all about hitting and pitching mechanics.  We take the position of being role models for these kids very seriously and the opportunity that parents give us to work with their children is priceless.  It’s our job to get the best out of each player, boy or girl, that walks through our doors or hires us from anywhere in the world.  We are able to do that by finding out more about each kid, whether online or in-person, and using that to help that player feel more connected and comfortable in their learning environment.

 

Below, you’ll see how Brennan came into our program.

 

Brennan had worked with some professional coaches in the past, so his swing was very consistent with what we see over and over from guys who’ve had lessons.

  • Squish The Bug Back Foot
  • Downward Swing Plane
  • Hands Dominant Swing

Brennan’s past training made us know for sure he was ready for our instruction, but he clearly needed a more advanced system of training to unlock his full potential as a hitter. 

Brennan knows that he is not the biggest guy on the team, but thing I love most about Brennan is that that he does not care.  Brennan understands that you can’t ‘out think being small’, as Chas so eloquently puts it, so we worked to have Brennan emulate the best POWERFUL little guys in Major League Baseball.  I showed him video of Bautista and of course one of his favorites, Boston Red Sox MVP Dustin Pedroia.  Brennan’s parents decided to allow me to lead him down a different path than most hitters take to find out how good he could be.  Here’s where Brennan’s swing is now after about a year of training.

You can see the much more athletic and relaxed tempo in his initial move.  He is still and kid and sometimes that tempo speeds back up, but Brennan does a great job of being able to then step back for a moment and slow his forward movement down so he can put all his effort into his power turn that Chas call’s “SuperThrust”. **You can read Chas’s Superthrust article HERE**  I can not stress how valuable that calmness will be for him as he continues his baseball career and will it only grow as he gets better.  This will allow him to be:

  • More athletic
  • Stay relaxed longer to ensure an explosive turn of his body mass
  • Have better vision
  • Make accurate and late decisions

As you can see, Brennan has improved in all aspects of becoming much more explosive and athletic hitter.  This is even more important Brennan due to his size limitations, but totally in line with what the best players in the world do to use physics to overcome any mass deficiencies.  These same mechanics are used by top players like Dustin Pedrioa, Jose Bautista, (both of whom I mentioned before) and top prospect Javier Baez.  **You can see my Case Study of Javier Baez by CLICKING HERE**

Much like Tyler, Brennan comes into the building every week with enthusiasm and determination to get better.  His parents have committed to a consistent and positive learning environment for him which has made my job a lot easier.  I have gotten to know Brennan and his brothers, Tucker and Grogan, through their weekly lesson slots, and that allows me to coach him in a unique and progressive way.  These results would not be possible without a solid player to instructor relationship, parental trust, and conceptual reinforcement at home.

I am so excited to see how these two young players continue to grow as they anchor the top of the lineups for their respective teams.  Tyler and Brennan have a great understanding of how to train the right way and that knowledge that we have built will serve them as long as they play America’s National Game.  I am very proud of them both and I look forward to seeing them and hearing about their most recent successes every week.

JK Whited – Leader of the Baseball Rebellion

**PS.  I have started online lessons and my HIRE PAGE is coming out soon.  If you’d like to work with me on your hitting skills, before I’m open to everyone, please email us at Admin@BaseballRebellion.com.  When my HIRE PAGE does pop up, I’m only going to be taking the first 20 people to sign up, so make sure you’re one of them!  I can’t wait to work with your son or daughter to develop their most technically advanced and athletically explosive swing**

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Baseball Rebellion Case Study: Online? In Person? Effective Either Way

Online? In-person? Effective Lessons Either Way!

It is now baseball season for most of the country and High school to Little league have started or is around the corner.  Travel ball practices are picking up steam, heading into the hot, summer tournament season.  JK’s been doing most of the hitting writing at Baseball Rebellion for a while now, with some great articles on Cubs Prospect Javier Baez as well as another awesome one on Avoiding Swing Clogging Mistakes that can really derail a young hitter’s baseball season.  I wanted to get back into the swing of things by writing a dueling case study of Henry H. my youngest hitter (6 year old) and an in person client Zac S., a completely online, (12 year old) who has been in the program about 3 months.

Henry H., 6 Year Old In Person Client

Henry started hitting lessons with me about 9 months ago. He’s a quiet kid, but he loves baseball.  His dad, Thom, brought him in for an evaluation and I was very clear, that getting into our program as a 6 year old is very hard.  I wanted to make sure that Henry could pay attention and understand what I was going to teach him.  Thom understood, and Henry came in for his evaluation.  Here is Henry’s unedited video from his evaluation.  I am going to speak over the evaluation just so you can see the flaws and changes I saw at the time of his program entry.

Henry H. Unedited Evaluation Video with Chas Pippitt Voiceover

Henry In Training with the Rebel’s Rack Small and a Wooden Bat.

Henry Metal Bat Swing

Henry has improved greatly, as you can clearly see, and it’s due to the work and time he’s putting in with his father and mother, more than with me.  The key to learning is practice.  Henry practices 5 mins a night on specific things that I ask him to do.  Yes, you read that right…5 mins.  When you’re dealing with a young hitter, you must keep the lessons fun, light and energetic.  Henry loves his lessons, and we love to coach him because we trust him to do his ‘Baseball Homework’ every week.  Great Job Henry!  I wanted to show 2 pictures from Henry. The first is Henry’s drawing of Dodgers closer Brian Wilson. Henry did not know who he was at the time of a lesson, so his homework was to find out who Brian Wilson was and draw a picture of him.  Now, Henry’s rocking a sweet mohawk, so clearly Brian Wilson made an impact.  

Henry H. draws Brian Wilson as part of his Baseball Rebellion Homework
Henry H. draws Brian Wilson as part of his Baseball Rebellion Homework

The second is Henry getting into the most exclusive club in  Baseball Rebellion!  The ‘I hit the ball harder than I weigh’ club.  At 44 pounds soaking wet, Henry hits the ball 44.6 mph with wood.  Oh by the way…he came in at 29.6mph…how’s that for improvement percentage!?!?  

Henry H weighs 44lbs...hits is 44.6 mph.  GET SOME!
Henry H weighs 44lbs…hits is 44.6 mph. GET SOME!

Here’s what Henry’s dad, Thom, says about his experience with I.T.S. Baseball and Baseball Rebellion:

Chas’ teaching philosophy and positive reinforcement has Henry screaming with confidence and enthusiasm after each lesson. This not only keeps Henry excited about crushing a baseball but it flows over to all aspects of Henry’s life on and off the field. Chas’ approach to teaching my six year old son how to hit a baseball has far surpassed my expectations. Chas only expects and asks for what my son is capable of, being he is only six, and always uses a positive approach with Henry in every lesson. The goals and the manner in which Chas guides Henry to achieve them is age appropriate and is done with the students best interest first and foremost. The passion and energy that Chas and his staff posses is contagious to Henry and it is directly related to his progress.
-Thom H.

Zac S. 12 Year Old Online Client

Zac S. came into my program about 3 months ago.  He’s a big 12 year old, and I have a few kids his size in my program, but not many.  Larger kids tend to have a tougher time with the forward move and stopping their momentum, in the early stages of my program, but Zac was different.  When he got difficult drills, he didn’t get frustrated and quit, he practiced more.  He clearly put in the time needed with the Back Leg Angle Drill and Lean Drills (both of which I’ve showed versions of in articles on BaseballRebellion.com) to get to a really good place very quickly.  Below is Zac’s Before and After both on his SwingAway from the same angles.  The changes are really impressive.

Zac S. Before and After

As I said in the analysis, there’s a lot going right in that video on the right.  I know how long it took some of my in person clients that are his size to get good at this stuff. but Zac was awesome at it, almost instantly.  He did his drills, sent in his video drill checks, and made the corrections quickly and positively. When his dad, Chad, had a question, he emailed me and asked it. In any teaching situation, communication is key.  There is only one dumb question at Baseball Rebellion…the one you don’t ask.  Parental involvement and implementation of the drills are key and mom, dad and Zac’s little sister have all made cameo appearances in his videos, proving again that Baseball Rebellion Online Lesson training is truly a family affair.

Zac S. Batting Practice after Training

Many people are skeptical of online training.  I know it’s different, but it allows for a running and undeniable video log of a hitter’s progress….or lack there of.  Many times, kids and parents have a tough time taking criticism from each other.  The beauty of the online program is it puts mom/dad and the hitter on the SAME TEAM, working to correct the problems and tweaks that I point out.  This restores the connection between hitter and parent and when there is a disagreement, a quick email or a re-watch of your last lesson generally answers the question instantly.  Here’s Zac S. putting his training INTO ACTION at a batting cage against a moving ball.  Awesome! I Also Love that he’s repping his Baseball Rebellion T-Shirt in this video at the batting cages. You can get your Baseball Rebellion, ultra soft, T-Shirt Here or any of our Baseball Rebellion & I.T.S. Baseball Gear in our Store.

Here’s what Zac’s dad has to say about our program:

At first we were hesitant about trying online lessons for Zac. In the past we have had batting instructors work with him. They were all great mentors but when he left the 30 minute lessons it was hard for him to remember what was said and taught The video analysis was and is appealing to us because it really allows Zac and us to work together, review his mechanics and see his progression. The Baseball Rebellion online lessons have provided a plan of action for Zac to break down his mechanics, provide him drills to work on at his own pace and in an environment he can really enjoy and focus on. Chas provides one or two drills for Zac to work on, Zac works on them for 7-10 days, and we send back a video to Chas of him completing the drill to what Zac believes is the best of his ability. This process allows Zac to be 100% involved in how he evolves as a baseball player and is easier for him to understand what he needs to do. It wasn’t mom or dad making Zac go out and hit 100 balls off a tee or the swing away – Zac wants to go out and work on his drills and see his progression through his videos and feedback from Chas. We can’t say enough about the confidence Chas and Baseball Rebellion has instilled in Zac, the feedback is always directed at Zac and it presents both the positives and negatives. As Chas requested, we will be very happy to provide updates on Zac’s progress, especially in his upcoming games.

-Chad S.

Both of these players have shown the power of work ethic, willingness to change, constant drive to become better, and just sheer joy of practicing what they love.  Age is just a number, so while Henry is young, he’s also ready. Zac wanted to hit the ball harder. and he does now.  Zac earned his change.  I can only imagine how proud he is of his new swing.  Perhaps his dad will comment on this article and keep us all up to date on his progress and experience in the program.  I know Henry and Zac will continue to improve and I’ll keep looking forward to seeing them on my schedules and email lists as long as they remain part of the Baseball Rebellion.

Chas Pippitt, Leader of the Baseball Rebellion

P.S. NOTE:  JK Whited has started online lessons as well…so look for his ‘hire page’ to be popping up soon.  If you’d like to work wtih JK before his hire page is up, email me at Chas@BaseballRebellion.com and we’ll tell you how you can become one of his growing lists of clients). 

P.P.S.  In less than 60 days my Bat Drag Fix Product will hit the Baseball Rebellion Store!  Look for an article detailing the launch of the product and showing the excellent results we’ve already achieved with just our prototypes!  This one’s gonna be HUGE for youth players everywhere…and it’s going to be under $50 dollars…INCLUDING SHIPPING!  #BRrebel #BatDragBuster #GameChanger #WelcomeToTheRebellion

I’m tired from all that product work on the BR Bat Drag Buster…so I’m headed to bed.  Bryant’s already tuckered out from watching me try this thing out for the last 3 months!

Tired Child, Bryant Pippitt, Chas Pippitt
Bryant Pippitt sleeping on Chas Pippitt

Goodnight from the Baseball Rebellion Family and Justin, JK, Will, Gabe, Ryan and I all thank you for being a part of the Baseball Rebellion.