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Switch Hitting…Is it worth it?

In honor of the greatest switch hitter of all time, Chipper Jones, being inducted into the Hall of Fame this past month, I wanted to give my take on switch hitting. Every so often, a parent asks me if I think their son or daughter should switch hit. More often than not, my answer is simple…No! Now before you stop reading this article, because this isn’t the answer you wanted to hear, I encourage you to continue on and find out why.

My opinion on this matter may hold a little more value due to the fact it’s coming from someone who did switch hit. I’m also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with a fair amount of knowledge of joint complexity, structure, and functional body movements. The funny thing is, a majority of my personal success I owe to switch hitting. My first full season as a switch hitter ever, I set the current Single Season all-time record for highest batting average in a season at Cal Lutheran University. I then bounced around the independent league ranks for 4 seasons with a lot of opportunities stemming from the mere fact I could switch hit.

In junior college, I did not switch hit. I always wanted to but for fear of regressing, I stuck to the right side. When I transferred to my 4-year school, I dedicated a majority of my time to switch hitting. I picked up switch-hitting immediately after my sophomore season in 2008 so I had that summer and fall to work on it. I struggled immensely in the beginning and was asked often, “Why do you want to switch hit? You’re way better from the right side.” The answer was simple. I thought it was the only chance I had at playing professionally. In 2009, I had a season-ending shoulder injury and was forced to take a medical redshirt. At the time I was devastated but looking back, it gave me more time to work on switch hitting. Obviously, I couldn’t swing, but I could study the swing more. I spent hours studying the swing. The swing I looked at the most was that of Bryce Harper, while he was still in High School/Junior College. His positions and his movements, I couldn’t describe at the time but I knew he was doing things in his swing that were insanely good.

Above is one of my favorite pictures of Harpers swings. This comes from way back in 2010 when Harper played his only year of collegiate baseball at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. The positions his body gets into throughout his swing are truly unique and require a high degree of range of motion all throughout the body.

So, I tried to emulate Bryce Harper. The more I studied the positions and movements of his swing, the more I realized how different they were from what I was doing. I would think to myself, “How does he even get into these positions?” It was so uncomfortable for my body to even attempt these positions in the mirror let alone go through a live swing to replicate the movements I was observing. I will say, identifying swing positions of elite level player definitely helped me as a player. However, positional identification, in regards to the swing, has its limitations. I had a clear understanding of what I had to do in order to mimic that of an elite hitter, I just wasn’t aware of how to adequately achieve what I was looking at.  Now, with a few years of being a CSCS, working with athletes, working in 4 different strength and conditioning/physical therapy clinics and an ever-increasing amount of knowledge in regards to human movement, the answer became clear: To get the most out of positional swing identification you must physically have the joint awareness and capacity to achieve the positions you’re observing. As a switch-hitter, you have to be able to get into these positions from two sides of the body which, in my opinion, is extremely difficult for most hitters and for a lot of hitters, it is virtually impossible.

I struggled to emulate an elite level swing pattern left-handed, in part, because I didn’t have the room to move in the areas of my body that were needed. Upper back mobility, hip and leg mobility, the room to move just wasn’t there. I tweeted out a while back about how identifying positions in the swing is only as important as the knowledge needed to improve the range of motion required to achieve the identified positions. You can do all of the mirror work in the world but if your body doesn’t allow for these desired positions to occur free of conscious thought, you’re ultimately fighting an uphill battle you’re going to lose. I was fighting an uphill battle my whole career as a switch hitter, I just didn’t know it.

For a majority of hitters at any level, you are never going to move as well on your non-dominant side as your dominant side. There are too many limitations from a physical standpoint. A lot of the switch hitters I have worked with have inherent differences in regards to the shape of their swings. This is from the range of motion limitations. I always test range of motion with the hitters I work with and when it comes to switch-hitters, I’ve noticed whatever side they score better on in their assessment, that’s the side of the plate they are better on from a metrics standpoint (how hard they can hit the ball, how far they can hit the ball, etc.)

Another thing I wanted to touch on is what is generally lost in the throwing arms of baseball and softball players over time. Ask any strength coach who has experience with throwers, what are the 2 movements that, more often than not, become deficient in the shoulder joint. Throwers lose internal rotation due to an increase in the glenohumeral external rotation and upper trapezius function begins to degrade thus inhibiting the shoulder to elevate properly. Front arm elevation and internal rotation is a common movement shared amongst the best hitters in the world.

The physical limitations a hitter faces when switch-hitting are scientifically backed, but if this does not convince you, take a look at the statistical side of the argument.  First, according to Baseball Reference, not one hitter in the history of MLB is in the top 50 career-wise for batting average. You would have to go outside of the top 50 to find a hitter in this category who is a switch hitter (Roger Connor who played before 1900 tied for 64th). In terms of home runs, only 4 hitters in the top 50 were switch hitters and none in the top 15. There is a reason for this folks, hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in professional sports. The only thing harder is having to hit from both sides of the plate.

Now, despite all the evidence, there are some outlying circumstances where I do think switch hitting is good. If the hitter demonstrates similar exit velocities and consistency from both sides of the plate at a young age, then as a parent I would let my child see it out. All too often though, I see switch hitters much better from one side of the plate. With Hittrax hitting, you can actually see how you measure up from both sides of the plate numbers wise (exit velocity, distance, etc.). I’ll see a hitter attempting to switch hit and the exit velocity splits from right to left or left to right are 10MPH. That is a significant difference!  Any hitter currently switches hitting who has that big of a difference between sides should seriously consider investing their training time into the more dominant side.

In closing, if you are going to switch hit, get assessed. Go see a trainer, strength coach, or a physical therapist to make sure you have the active range of motion to move through the positions of the swinging from both sides of the plate. Never having to hit from the same side of the plate as the pitcher is throwing is a luxury but any type of physical limitations are going to make hitting from both sides of the plate even more difficult than it already is. Any questions, comment below. Thank you for reading!

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RAISE THE ROOF! – How to Help Raise a Hitter’s Ceiling

Last month, I got the opportunity to speak at the North Carolina High School Baseball Coaches Clinic in Greensboro, NC. It is an awesome event held each December for high school coaches across the state to hear from guest speakers on a wide range of topics from hitting to pitching to defense, and even turf management. It is also a great way to get all the great coaches from across the state of North Carolina together to talk baseball, trade stories and pick up a few tips from their peers along the way.

The purpose of this article is to share my presentation for all who could not be in attendance and to share some of my thoughts about the weekend as a whole as well. The article of my presentation was, “How to Help Raise a Hitter’s Ceiling” and the whole idea for this topic came about a few months ago when JK and I were talking about our clients and all the kids who come through Baseball/Softball Rebellion. As we were sitting there discussing hitters he said something that really stuck with me, the conversation approached the topic of what exactly it is we do and that’s when JK said that our goal is to raise the ceiling of each person we work with. Baseball Rebellion isn’t selling some quick fix guarantee to help your son or daughter get to the next level, what we are doing is working to raise the height (or ceiling) of their talent to a level that might not have been possible before.

My opening slide explained our thought process behind what raising ceilings actually means. Creating a higher ceiling gives kids more room to explore and experience new levels of success, it allows them to feel a sense of accomplishment that they might never have had before. Clients who come to us have goals and dreams of making it to the big leagues all the way to just wanting to make their local little league team for the first time. For the most part, we tailor our instruction to each of them the exact same movement/swing patterns with the goal of helping raise their chance of getting them to a higher level than before.

One of my least favorite phrases, when people talk about hitting, is the “cookie cutter” mentality, and it is probably for a different reason than you think. If talking with another coach or instructor about what their hitting philosophy or approach is and the only thing they tell me is that they don’t believe in a cookie cutter swing then I immediately believe that they really have no idea what they want or are looking for. I understand that no two hitters are the same, but all great hitters eventually get into the same general positions in their swing. As you can see in the pictures above, they are all in the same positions at those points in the swing and one of the beautiful things about hitting is that they all got there differently. When working with your hitters or your son or daughter, understand that no matter what kind of stance or stride they have, that they must all eventually get into these positions! They are not “checkpoints” necessarily but simply desired destinations along the journey to a high-level swing.

WHY DO I WANT MY 120-POUND SECOND BASEMEN HITTING THE BALL IN THE AIR?

 

Don’t assume a hitter can’t obtain success with a certain philosophy just because of size or ability level! Every day we interact with kids of ALL ability levels. Instead of putting a “ceiling” on what they can do we push them to move in ways they didn’t think they could. PUSH PLAYERS TO FIND THEIR LIMIT, THEN KEEP GOING!

 

So many times, coaches will limit the development of a player simply by just not believing they can achieve something. The biggest argument I hear from coaches is that my smaller or less talented players can’t have a swing that produces balls in the air because they are not strong enough. That argument simply isn’t supported by anything other than their opinion. Daily I see kids much smaller than any high school-aged player hit the ball high and far. The goal for players who are not able to hit the ball over the fence is just to hit it OVER the infielders’ head and BEFORE the ball gets to the outfielders. This will give them the best chance at success, not trying to hit the ball through the infield. Check out this stat from Alan Nathan, who is a Physics professor at the University of Illinois and one of my favorite guys to follow on Twitter. (If you want to see more of his presentation, you can click here)

 

The argument against “weaker” hitters not trying to elevate the ball shouldn’t even be a discussion. This study states that 68% of all baseballs hit with a launch angle between 10 and 25 degrees and an exit velocity between 60 and 80 mph are hits. Even at lower exit velocities, launch angle still matters.

Check out this video of one of our clients at Baseball Rebellion, Nick, who is 10 years old and weighs 70 pounds. From the video, you can see Nick has a decently high leg kick and attacks the ball on an upward swing plane. Nick’s coaches told him that his movements wouldn’t work for someone his size until he then hit a ball over the RF head for a triple in their first game. Nick is now allowed to swing the way he wants to while regularly hitting the ball 180 feet…

FOUNDATION OF PHILOSOPHY

Anyone who is familiar with Baseball Rebellion knows our general swing philosophy. We want to help give the hitter the greatest chance at making hard contact. One of the biggest misconceptions Baseball Rebellion gets about the style of swing we teach is to just get our hitters to hit fly balls, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The swing path we help hitters create gets their barrel in the zone EARLIER and keeps it there LONGER, thus helping the hitter’s chances at hard contact. Look at the two pictures below and you’ll see which swing path carries the greater chance to do damage.

Red Arrow represents a down or level swing with small contact window (Yellow Square)

Red arrow represents slightly up swing with larger contact window (Blue Square)

This slide I showed during my presentation was the one that I was asked the most questions about. For the ones who were interested, they finally saw that an uppercut swing isn’t just for trying to hit fly balls. They could see that it really is the MOST beneficial bat path for consistent success. The best reactions I got were when I showed them this picture right after:

 

The drawings I made in the two pictures of Spencer’s swing were simply the same drawings that Ted Williams had in his book “The Science of Hitting”. I hear all the time coaches talk about this “new age swing” or the “Josh Donaldson swing” (who in my opinion still has a much flatter swing plane than most, but that’s a topic for another day) and in reality, this concept of hitting has been around for much longer than many coaches or instructors who now teach it have been alive.

 

One of the most important things in developing hitters is tracking their progress. As many of you know, at Baseball Rebellion we use HitTrax machines in order to do that. However, I know that for 99 percent of the coaches/instructors out there, the ability to have one isn’t possible. One of the best ways you can track progress is by video. We use Hudl Technique every day during in-person and online lessons and it’s a great way to help show your hitters exactly what they are doing. You can compare them to other hitter’s side by side and you can voice-record over the video to explain what they’re doing as well. Like I stated in the slide when I was coaching at Providence High School in Charlotte, NC we used Hudl to video games, practices and scrimmages and it really helped us fine tune exactly what we needed to be working on with each hitter. Video is a great way for coaches and instructors who lack the financial capability to own a Hit Trax machine really track the progress of their hitters.

THAT’S GREAT, BUT HOW CAN THIS WORK IN A TEAM SETTING?

One of the biggest questions we get asked all the time at Baseball Rebellion is how can the movement patterns that we teach translate to a team setting since we are only private instructors. Well, the answer is YES. Just ask Tom Eller, Head Coach at Harford Community College, in Bel Air, MD. Coach Eller brings his hitters down every winter to train with us and my last slide of my presentation shows just how amazing their team offense production is:

Pretty impressive, right? Coach Eller, his staff, and players deserve ALL the praise and recognition for their outstanding offensive production and we at Baseball Rebellion are extremely grateful that we get to play a small part in their success.

TAKEAWAYS

I wanted to close out this article by talking about something that occurred while I was at the NCBCA convention that has been stuck with me ever since. There was another hitting talk that took place by a coach a few speakers after me. The concepts and approach to hitting that he talked about couldn’t have been more opposite to what I presented on. During his talk, a few coaches I knew leaned over to me and asked how could I listen to this and why I haven’t gotten up to leave yet? My response was simple if we expect other people who have a different opinion than ours really listen and try to understand what we have to say then we should be doing the exact same thing. Does that mean that I agreed with what he was saying? No, I certainly did not. But does that make what he teaches any less important to the people he is working with and respect him? We ALL have the same goal in mind, which is to use what we know to help hitters reach their full potential.

I hope all you readers enjoyed my presentation and this article explaining the thoughts and theories behind it. I knew going into my presentation that there may not be many open minds and that I couldn’t make this sound like what we teach is the only way to do it. I believe my explanations have shown that we simply teach what we think is the most efficient way to help hitters raise their ceilings and have a higher level of success than they ever thought was possible.

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BR Client Adam Parzych Wins the 2017 National Power Showcase!

Hey everyone!  In this article I’m going to recap an amazing weekend I had in Dallas, TX watching the 2017 National Power Showcase at Globe Life Park in Arlington which ended in a win for one of my very first Baseball Rebellion clients here in Tallahassee, Florida. The whole weekend was awesome! Brian Domenico, the president of the Power Showcase, does an amazing job of running this event year in and year out. The Power Showcase and International Power Showcases are two home run derbies run yearly (one in Texas and one in Florida) that feature some of the countries best young Power hitting talents. I’ll be honest, I was absolutely impressed by how much power some of these young kids had. I witnessed 14-year-old go 504 feet over the Hyundai sign in left-center field and numerous other 14U and 13U kids hit balls 400+. Truly fun to watch!

With all that being said, I want the aim of this article to be focused on the 14U winner Adam Parzych. 2 months ago, I moved to Tallahassee to run a remote site for Baseball Rebellion. One of the very first clients I had was Adam Parzych. His dad, Jeff, told me they were interested in training for the two Power Showcases at the end of this year. I thought, “How cool!” Adam and I sat down and talked about his goals during Adams swing evaluation. Adam wanted to train to win these events. With that in mind, we went to work.

Two times a week for the past two months Adam and I worked on constructing a plan for this event. According to our HitTrax, Adam struggled early consistently getting the ball high in the air. His average launch angle was 16, his max distance was 313 feet, and his max exit velocity 87.4.

For some context, for Adam’s age group at the Power Showcase, contestants get 15 outs to hit as many home runs as they can. Any ball hit over 300 feet down the lines and 325 to Center would be considered a home run. We trained with one goal in mind: hit the ball high. Adam would need to get his launch angle to at least the upper 20s to get the distance he would need to have a chance winning the event. 

In the beginning of Adams training, hitting the ball hard and high was a very difficult task for him. It took a lot of time in the mirror working on different movements to make these swing changes occur. We did a lot of work with the dowel stick. Trying to get his upper body to work more like a Ferris wheel as opposed to a merry go round. After a few weeks, Adam started to drive the ball higher more often. Around the 5th week, Adam shot up to 361 feet on his max distance and 93 mph on his max exit velocity. At the time he did this, he was 13 years old. Funny thing is he was only behind one other 13-year-old in the country at this time for max distance. The 13-year-old who was ahead of Adam is current Baseball Rebellion client CJ Powell out of Lincolnton, NC.

“This kid is going to smash everyone at this event” was my thought at that time. We then hit a 2-week stretch where Adam didn’t hit 1 ball over 330. “Hmm”, I thought, “What happened?” The problem was, which is common in hitters of all ages after seeing some power success, Adam was trying to falsely generate power in his swing. Adam was trying to recruit force in smaller joints in the body out of sequence. Adam was overriding his lower body and his arms were taking over his swing way too early. I see this all too often when hitters try and go for more in their swings. As a result of all of this, his exit velocity and distance numbers plummeted.

One lesson he came in and he had just had a basketball practice. Adam told me he was tired. Completely fine and I believed him because Adam is a great kid and works extremely hard. I told him, “Ok, let’s just go about 75% today.” I did not know this at the time, but that was the single most important swing cue I gave Adam (after going through our movement progression) in his preparation for this event. He almost immediately started consistently hitting balls 320+ with ease. I was like, “Dude, how are you doing this?” He told me, “Thinking 75% keeps me loose and makes me load longer. If I try and swing as hard as I can, I don’t really get the most of my load.” Talk about an extremely advanced swing thought for a 14-year-old. I told him, “I could not agree anymore. 75% it is.” Adam had made the swing change he needed to be successful in this event. He didn’t need to “go for more”, Adam needed to relax his mind and his body to stay loose throughout his swing.

It was quite the moment for me as a hitting instructor. 95% of the time I can’t get younger hitters, and even some older hitters, to swing hard enough. Here I found myself actually telling a kid to not go as fast as he could and it led to a successful outcome in his swing. I could go off on a huge tangent about where to go fast in the swing but I’ll save that for another article. 75% was Adams sweet spot for consistency. So the plan for the event was to miss high in the air and work at about a 75% effort capacity. Here is a look at Adams last lesson Hittrax report before leaving for the Power Showcase.

So, last weekend, it was off to Dallas I went. The setting for the Power Showcase was very cool. As I stated earlier in the article, Brian Domenico does an outstanding job of getting some exceptionally talented young players to come to this event. Getting the opportunity to compete in a national home run derby on a big league field looks like quite the experience. Globe Life Park is a beautiful venue for this event.

I worked with Adam off-site right before the event. We went over the plan again. Adam looked ready. Pretty much every ball he hit in our session was high off the top of the cage. Just as I said numerous times before in the two months prior, I told him again, “If you hit like that, you will win.”

Adam’s 1st round at the event was spectacular. He hit 12 home runs in the 1st round which put him in a two-way tie for 1st place. He also hit 6 in a row that round. We talked after and he told me that all he was trying to do was miss high in the air. This is a great thought for an event like this because it all but eliminates the chance of hitting groundballs. I was extremely proud of how Adam stuck to the plan and executed it.

Adams 2nd round was interesting. He only had 1 home run with 8 outs. He appeared to be a little high on the ball during this time. Meaning he was hitting a lot of low line drives and groundballs. One of the things we worked on during training was a plan if this were to happen. One of the easiest adjustments a hitter can make to hit the ball higher is to just aim lower on the ball. We practiced that because I was certain it would happen at some point in the event and Adam ended up hitting 9 home runs total in his championship round. I would have been proud of Adam regardless of the outcome of the event but I was most proud of how he didn’t get frustrated, he stuck to the plan, and he ended up with a pretty solid final round home run total. I shook his hand said I was proud of him and we eagerly awaited the last participant to hit. Before the last kid hit, I could tell Adam was a little upset. I told him he had nothing to be upset about and 9 might be enough to win it. The last participant came to bat and ended up with just 1 home run in his round. Adam had won the event! I gave him a handshake and a hug and told him I was so proud of him for all his hard work the past two months. Here is a video of Adams home runs in his final round.

I was very excited to write this article because winning this event is exactly what we had set out for 2 months ago when I moved here and started working with Adam. I told him to enjoy this moment and that it was his ability to execute the plan which won him the event. I’m extremely happy for Adam and happy to share this story through Baseball Rebellion. Look out for Adam at the International Power Showcase in Miami, Florida at the end of this year!

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Understanding the Recruiting Process – While Enjoying It (Part I)

The recruiting process is an exciting time, or at least it should be. In my experience as a Division I Softball Coach, I found a lot of the potential student-athletes I spoke with felt stressed about the process. The recruiting process can be daunting – or so it seems. In this three part article, I will address the do’s and don’ts of recruiting, what a college coach is looking for, how to better enjoy the experience of recruitment and the timeline of recruiting. 

Part I: Simplifying the first five steps in the recruiting process: from making your dream list of schools to evaluations at recruiting events. I will be taking you step by step through the process and answering commonly asked questions.

Part II: Breaking down the importance of the recruiting video and how to maximize your views by coaches (what to include in your video and what to omit).

Part III: Simplifying the last three steps in the recruiting process; pre and post-campus visit etiquette, attending camps, and receiving offers from schools. I will also go over the overall recruiting timeline for D1, D2, D3, NAIA, and NJCAA. 

1. Finding the Right Fit as a STUDENT.

First and foremost, education is the number one priority.  You want to ultimately choose the right school for you and your future – athletics is an excellent bonus. As a potential student-athlete, you need to take a moment and eliminate the athlete component from the equation. Grab a pen and paper: on one side of the sheet write down potential areas of study you are interested in and on the other side write down your top 10 schools of choice. This is a great place to begin.  With this short list, begin to research if your schools of choice have your major. At this point, you have been able to eliminate some options from your list. You never want to limit yourself, so your next step would be to research schools similar to your top choices academically. I advise you to consider ALL divisions at this stage in the process. In the early stages, I suggest you begin with a list of 15 schools with your major and that meet your needs academically – such as ACT/SAT score requirements, GPA, and academic scholarship options. 

Image result for studentImage result for student

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Finding the Right Fit as a PERSON.

Are you looking for a university with 30,000 students or 2,000? Would you want to be in a more rural location? Do you want to be close to home or far away? Do you want to go to a school where it is warm year-round (or for a season)? Would you prefer a private university or state? These questions are all important in making sure you make the right decision for you and your happiness with the college experience. It is a great idea to write down your wish list and what are deal-breakers for you vs. traits of a university you could look past. With this list, you can continue to do research on the settings of the schools on your list. Putting in the front-end work will make the official/unofficial visit process much easier later on.

Image result for factors in choosing a college

3. Creating a Recruiting Video/What to List on Your Player Profile

The creation of a recruiting video is a hot topic. In my article next week, I will discuss the content that is crucial to include in YOUR video. For now, let’s discuss the relevance of the recruiting video. The recruiting video is a snap shot of who you are as a player. In your video, you want to highlight what makes you stand out, all in a relatively short amount of time. This snap shot allows coaches to get a glimpse of you before they add you to their list of players to watch at recruiting events (camps, showcases, clinics, etc.) It is important that you treat your recruiting video as such. With this being said, it is also important to create a player profile with important information about you to attach to your video.

Below is an example of a player profile done well. As you can see, the PSA (Potential Student Athlete) has listed her name, graduation year, position, L/R information, high school information (athletic and academic), travel information, specialty coaches (slapping, catching, hitting, pitching), and accomplishments. It is important to attach a sheet like this to your emails to coaches so they have all the information they need about you to make sure you are the right fit for that particular university and program. 

 Image result for softball player profile sample

4. Communicating with Coaches (Key information they need to know)/Knowing NCAA rules

So, now you know you should attach a player profile and recruiting video to your initial contact with a coach, but what should you be talking to them about in your emails? It is important to make sure ALL of your information is accurate – correct coach name, correct university/college name, personal message (show that you have knowledge of the school), and list your travel ball schedule. Coaches like to work early! As soon as you get your information from your travel coach, send it over to the coaches you are in contact with. If there are any updates in the schedule be sure to share that with the coaches as well. Communication is the key to forming any great relationship – keep an open line of communication with the coaches you’re contacting. Also, notice how I have not once mentioned having someone else send these emails for you? Coaches want to hear from YOU…they will be coaching YOU. Please do not be shy, communicate with them often and genuinely. 

It is important to brush up on the rules (D1, D2, D3, NAIA, NJCAA). You will be sending more emails than receiving from coaches – a major component of this is from the rules. Do not let this deter you from sending emails with a purpose. When you see that coach at an event be aware of the rules in which they need to follow (contact, evaluations, etc.) There are many times when players have tried to make in person contact with a coach in person when it is not permissible for the coach to do so. They are not ignoring you, they are following the rules for the safety of their program and you! 

Image result for communication is key

5. Attributes Coaches Look for at Tournaments

I will keep this section simple. When coaches attend recruiting events, they not only are evaluating athletic performance but your interactions. How do you respond to failure? How do you interact with your coaches, teammates, umpires, and opponents? The best way to view this is to see the game of softball as a game of opportunity – train hard, work hard, be compassionate towards others, be a good person, and the game will reward you. This does not just apply to NCAA Division I – there is a place for everyone and there is no shame finding your home at a D2, D3, Juco or NAIA school. All coaches at all levels are looking for quality people with softball skills that can better their program and culture. 

Image result for sportsmanship softball

These are the key steps to get you to the point before coaches invite you on campus for unofficial and official visits. In my next article we will discuss recruiting videos in more detail (providing a sample recruiting video), pre and post-campus visit etiquette, attending camps, and receiving offers from schools. Until then, good luck on the recruiting trail – remember this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and this experience is supposed to be fun, so enjoy it!

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Launch Angle Tee Pre-Orders Are Live

Great news rebels!  The Launch Angle Tee site is live!  You can pre-order your complete Launch Angle tee or get your adapter now!

Visit http://www.launchangletee.com/store to get yours today!  Hurry because for a limited quantity Launch Angle Tees are on sale for 79.99!!

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G-Hack Batting Glove Sale To Raise Money for Breast Cancer Research

G Hack Batting Gloves BC Awareness Sale

G-Hack Batting Glove Sale / Breast Cancer Fundraiser

Baseball Rebellion is honoring Breast Cancer Awareness month by discounting our Pink G-Hack Batting Gloves $5.00 OFF.
PLUS
For every order, Baseball Rebellion will donate a percentage of the sales to Breast Cancer Research!

G-Hack Batting Gloves - PinkThe G-Hack Batting Glove is designed by Baseball Rebellion’s, very own, Chas Pippitt to be one of the most durable and comfortable batting gloves on the market.
The P.U. Leather and Mesh, upper part of the Batting Glove, allows for maximum ventilation with comfort for the top of the hand. The G-Hack Batting Glove is built with leather reinforcements at the fingers, the base of the hand, and the thumb, for long lasting durability, while preserving the hitter’s feel of the bat handle. Designed for practice and game play, the G-Hack series 1 batting gloves were researched and tested to have stood up to over 7,500 swings without a rip.

G-Hack stands for Gorilla Hack. Baseball Rebellion wants our hitters to be aggressive, and willing to swing for success, instead of defensive and just trying to hit the ball. Every time a hitter straps on his or her G-Hack, Batting Gloves they are reminded to take a “Gorilla Hack” and swing as hard as they possibly can.

G-Hack Batting Glove Features:
1. P.U. Leather and Mesh upper for Max ventilation and comfort
2. Genuine leather palm for enhanced feel of the bat
3. Genuine leather reinforcements at the base of the fingers, base of the hand, and thumb fortifying the most common rip areas for batting gloves
4. Curved thumb seem, to reduce risk of blisters
5. Ultra soft thumb knuckle upper to reduce exterior blisters
6. Durable Velcro strap

G-Hack Batting Glove Sizes: (Youth Small – XXL)

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G-Hack Batting Gloves $24.99 + Free Shipping!

G Hack Batting Gloves Small

Team Orders: For team orders please call us to receive a quote: (919) 245-1181

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Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown: Dee Gordon’s Emotional Home Run

Dee Gordon Swing Breakdown: Emotional Home Run

Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown: Dee Gordon’s Emotional Home Run

The entire baseball community was shocked on Sunday morning as we all learned the news about Jose Fernandez’ tragic death. It is still hard to believe that such a young and vibrant star with unbelievable potential is gone. No one seemed to take this news harder than Fernandez’ close friend Dee Gordon. It was reported that he instantly collapsed to his knees in tears when hearing of Fernandez’ death. The situation was handled remarkably well by the Marlins and the MLB. After canceling Sunday’s finale against the Braves, the Marlins took on the Mets last night. All of the Marlins players wore Fernandez’ number 16. After a touching tribute to Fernandez, Dee Gordon led off the game batting right handed, mimicking Jose Fernandez. What happened next is so unlikely that it is difficult to explain. Gordon, who had yet to hit a home run this season, proceeded to hit the very next pitch (as a lefty) over the fence in right field. Gordon could not hold back his emotions as he began weeping while running the bases. He was embraced by his coaches and teammates in the dugout as fans all over the country felt tears come to their eyes and chills run down their spine. This was one of those moments that baseball went from being just a game to being much more. It was a way to pay respect and say goodbye to their dear friend and teammate. After the game, the Marlins gathered around the pitchers mound and left their hats on the mound where they watched Jose Fernandez dominate opposing hitters. We will all miss watching Jose and our thoughts and prayers go to Jose’s family, teammates, friends, and the entire Miami community.

Gabe Dimock – Baseball Rebellion Hitting Instructor

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BR Camps, New Facility, & 1 Time Swing / Delivery Analysis

TPM fastpitch and Baseball Rebellion Camp

Baseball Rebellion 1-Time Swing / Delivery Analysis,

On Location Camps, and New Facility Location

In this article I will cover some of the new developments and additions at Baseball Rebellion. We have all been working very hard behind the scenes on improving our network of awesome coaches and technology inside of our facility. Here’s what we’ve been working on, and are so happy to announce!

Baseball Rebellion 1-Time Swing/Pitching Delivery Analysis

For the first time in our history, Baseball Rebellion is offering 1-time swing/pitching delivery analysis. I’m sure there are plenty of people who are interested in what our instructors think bout their swing mechanics or pitching delivery but didn’t want to commit to a recurring payment structure. Now, you can get the best analysis on the web and never have to worry about being charged for lessons you don’t use. A few people have already taken advantage of this new 1-off analysis and have loved it! This makes a lot of sense for people with less time or who are ‘in season’ and not sure how much time they’ll have for practice. Not only do you receive your swing or pitching breakdown, but your instructor will also send you a Baseball Rebellion Drill custom to your player’s needs. Try us out today and see what Gabe, JK, Dave, or Chas think of your hitting or throwing mechanics and make sure you’re on the path for long term success!

Try out our one time analysis for Pitching/Throwing HERE

Try out our one time analysis for Hitting HERE

Baseball Rebellion Camps

Baseball Rebellion is taking it’s show on the road! Finally, you can bring the Baseball Rebellion Staff to your location to instruct your players, in your facility! See first hand some of our most advanced and current movement improvement progressions and see the measurable results Baseball Rebellion creates for hitters, in only hours time. Our next 3 locations have been announced. See below for more information!

Titus Sports (Tallahassee, FL): Sep 24th, 2016  SOLD OUT!!!

One of the top human performance and athletic development programs in the entire US, Adam Faurot and Titus sports is our first location to invite us down for our movement improvement and Ball Exit Speed improvement camps.  This camp is Sold Out, but I highly recommend looking into the athletic and sport specific training down at Titus Sports Performance in the future.

Click here to check out Titus Sports Performance’s website: http://www.titussports.com

Florida Baseball Ranch (Plant City, FL) September 25th, 2016

Randy Sullivan, Founder and CEO of the Florida Baseball Ranch, has invited the Baseball Rebellion Team down to do a 1 day hitting clinic as the opening act of The BATery! CEO Chas Pippitt and Director of Performance, KC Judge will be showing our proprietary movement improvement techniques that are proven to increase Ball Exit Speed and Launch Angle in both baseball and softball athletes. This clinic is open to both Baseball and Softball Hitters.

For question regarding this clinic call 1-866-787-4533

To Register, Click Here: http://floridabaseballranch.com/hitting

TPM Fast Pitch (Atlanta, GA): Oct 23rd, 2016

tpm-baseball-rebellion-campTPM is excited to host a Swing Speed and Movement Clinic featuring Baseball Rebellion CEO Chas Pippitt Sunday October 23, 2016! This is a great opportunity for athletes to work first hand with Chas from Baseball Rebellion and TPM instructors on improving and understanding swing movements and increasing their hitting power. Each athlete will gather swing analytics prior to and at the conclusion of the Movement Clinic to show improvements.  If you are a softball athlete in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend training with the girls at TPM.

For questions regarding this clinic email  ashlye@thepitchersmound.net

To Register, Click Here: http://tpmfastpitch.com/pages/tpm-events

I’m so excited to do these camps with KC Judge, one of the top movement and hitting guys in the country. Some of the things we’ve been working on with Gabe and JK have been just awesome with Baseball Rebellion hitters and I’m very excited about showing you those in the near future.  But for now…I have MORE news…

New Training Facility coming in 2017!

Baseball Rebellion has purchased a new 13,000 square foot facility, to open up in August of 2017! This facility will have upgraded cages, lighting, huge high ceilings, as well as a retail space for all your Baseball and Softball needs! I started Baseball Rebellion in 2010 in a barn and my home office. Now, we’ll be doing lessons in a state of the art training center with designated spots for vision training, mental focus and acuity work, video rooms and evaluation spaces as well as tripling our weight room space. This will take our clients training experience to the next level and allow us to accommodate the professional and college clients as well.

Baseball Rebellion Facility Keys

I’d like to specifically thank my wife, Megan, for her support as well as my family. Also, none of Baseball Rebellion’s success would be possible without our great clients both in person and online and our tireless staff of JK Whited, Gabe Dimock, Dave Shinskie, KC Judge and Ryan Sudnik. I am constantly appreciative of your ongoing support and trust in our program and processes and products.

Chas Pippitt, Leader of the Baseball Rebellion

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Congratulations To Bull City Little League

Bull City Little League

Each summer, the Little League World Series gets the national spotlight on ESPN. This is easily the most popular youth sporting event of the year. Not only is the Little League World Series televised, but the United States Regionals are also televised. This year’s regional was particularly special to us, here at Baseball Rebellion, because Bull City Little League (North Durham) made the Southeast Regional this year. We currently train or have trained most of the players on this year’s all star team so we wanted to do a special article congratulating and recapping their success this season. Since we are busy training players and rarely get the chance to watch our players perform, seeing our guys in action on ESPN was a blast.

Bull City’s Road To the Regional

The Bull City All-Stars had a tough journey on the way to their first regional appearance in many years. Bull City handled their first test fairly easily after going undefeated on their way to winning the district title. The state tournament was much tougher. Bull City lost one of their early games which put them in the losers bracket of a competitive double elimination tournament. In the losers bracket of a large tournament, the chances of winning the championship are slim, given that you have to play many more games and use a lot more pitching to get through those games compared to teams that earn the fast track through the winners bracket. Bull City fought through the adversity to win each day from Monday thru Thursday on their way to the state championship. The championship game was one of the most exciting in state tournament history. With Bull City down by one run, in the bottom of the last inning, and with two outs, Kyle Jackson delivered a walk-off home run to send Bull City to the Southeast Regional. Colin Scoggins also hit a mammoth home run that reportedly landed in the tobacco field behind the stadium. Another notable game in the State Tournament came when Bull City hit five home runs in a 15-4 win. The home runs came from Colin Scoggins, Aidan Rice, AJ Bass, Caleb Underwood, and Luke Cullipher. The photo below was taken just after winning the state championship.

Bull City Little League

Southeast Regional in Warner Robbins, Georgia

Bull City easily faced their toughest competition in regional play. The team went 1-2 in the tournament which included a 19-0 blowout win and two close losses. This was the first time that, to my knowledge, any Bull City team at this age group had won a game at the Regional Tournament.

Below are a few of the Bull City stat leaders for the Regional Tournament:

Average

1.) Colin Scoggins (.556)

2.) Jackson Berini (.500)

3.) AJ Bass (.300)

Slugging

1.) AJ Bass (1.100)

2.) Colin Scoggins (.889)

3.) Jackson Berini (.625)

OPS

1.) AJ Bass (1.400)

2.) Colin Scoggins (1.389)

3.) Jackson Berini (1.225)

Swings From the Tournament

Below are a few impressive swings from two of our hitters: Colin Scoggins and Louis Berini.

Colin Scoggins (C-Scogg)

Colin is one of our oldest clients at Baseball Rebellion. His first video with us is so old that we’re not even sure how to locate it. Here is an early C-Scogg swing.
Young C-Scogg

As you can see from the next video, Colin has certainly grown both in size and in skill.

Colin Scoggins

One of the most impressive lessons I have ever been a part of was earlier this year when Colin shattered the building record for 50 home runs in the fewest number of swings. The previous record was held by a softball player who hit 50 home runs in 150 pitches. Colin did it in just 88 swings as you can see from his Hit Trax report below.

Colin Scoggins

C-Scogg smashed the ball throughout the 3 all star tournaments and led the team in average during the regional. Below are three of his game swings.

Colin Scoggins

Colin Scoggins

Colin Scoggins

Louis Berini (Big Lou)

Louis is easily one of my favorite kids to work with. This is not only because he works extremely hard but because he is one of the funniest kids you’ll ever meet. When Louis first came to us he had a desire to learn and improve but he definitely needed some work. Louis’ maximum exit speed was 50 mph at his evaluation. Here is a clip of Louis from this evaluation.

Louis Berini

Louis quickly got to work on his movement improvement journey and has seen phenomenal progress. Louis is now hitting the ball 70 MPH and is hitting the ball over 200 feet. Both of these are impressive feats for a guy Louis’ size. Below is a video of Louis taking BP as well as him talking a little smack to Chas after hitting the ball 200ft for the first time.

Louis Berini

Louis’ swing translates well to the game which is a testament to his work ethic and his knowledge of his swing. Below is a hard hit single that got past the right fielder and landed Louis on third base.

Louis Berini

From all of us at Baseball Rebellion, congratulations to Bull City Little League on their success this season! We are excited about partnering with Bull City through our coaches clinics to help make their trip to the Southeast Regional and beyond an annual tradition.

Thank you for reading.

Gabe Dimock – Baseball Rebellion Hittting Instructor

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2016 Home Run Derby Recap

2016 HR Derby Recap

2016 Home Run Derby Recap

So this year, Baseball Rebellion has done lots of LIVE periscope footage show on our twitter handle @BRrebellion. Therefor this year we obviously had to include some LIVE footage during the 2016 Home Run Derby Competition!  We had a great time and hoped you all enjoyed the Periscope and LIVE commentary from JK’s new house.

Round 1 – Mark Trumbo vs. Kyle Seager


Mark Trumbo and Kyle Seager was a really fun first round and opened the derby up with many BANGS. Seager has a great swing, but just couldn’t match the power of Trumbo.

Round 2 – Robinson Cano vs. Giancarlo Stanton


Giancarlo Stanton, the 2nd overall pick of the Home Run Derby draft by Chas, the HR DERBY CHAMPION, Pippitt, obliterated Robinson Cano. Since Cano won the HR Derby a few years ago, he’s participated in 2 derbys and gone out in the first round in both. It feels like his Home Run Derby Days are over.

Round 3 – Will Myers vs. Adam Duvall


Adam Duvall really surprised us here.  Duvall had one of the best swings in the HR Derby while we all thought that Myers had one of the worst. Obviously, all of these guys can really hit, and Duvall did a great job with his upward extension and completion of his turn.

Round 4 – Carlos Gonzales vs. Todd Frazier


Todd Frazier is built for the derby. He’s huge and we were surprised to see that his awkward finish, when his swing was slowed down, was not really effecting his almost perfect pre-impact swing. Cargo was asleep… After getting a ton of advice from Cano about HR Derby Approach, and JK’s 1st pick of the HR Derby Draft, he was by far the biggest bust. JK’s reign as Baseball Rebellion HR Derby Champion was concluded with an unceremonious THUD! Swinging half heartedly, Carlos Gonzales was more interested in his post HR Derby party, than actually swinging hard for the fans.

Round 5 – Giancarlo Stanton vs. Mark Trumbo


Giancarlo Stanton sent Mark Trumbo packing with another impressive round. Trumbo ran into the buzz saw that was Giancarlo “Mike” Stanton.

Round 6 – Adam Duvall vs. Todd Frazier


Adam Duvall represented well here, but he was no match for Frazier, the HR Derby Pro and defending champion. This was my first, and only, time on the loser side of the couch, but I had a meeting with Giancarlo before his last round to make sure this was my last time in this spot.

Round 7 – Giancarlo Stanton vs. Todd Frazier


The Champ Is HERE! All order has been restored to the Baseball Rebellion world with Chas Pippitt, the Leader of the Baseball Rebellion, taking his rightful place as the 2016 HR Derby Champion. We hope you all loved our perspectives on the HR Derby and got a chance to enjoy our personalities in a different way than you usually get to see through Baseball Rebellion our articles and breakdowns. Thanks for reading, and let us know your thoughts on the Derby Below!

Chas Pippitt, Leader of the Baseball Rebellion