From Sidney to “Sid the Kid”: Youth Lessons and Skill Acquisition

Written By: Chas Pippitt

Environment of Development

At Baseball Rebellion we work with players of all ability levels.  Young novice softball and baseball players train right next to first round draft picks and other professionals.  Our environment is friendly and inviting, but imagine being a 6-year-old kid coming into a place like this and seeing grown men simply demolish baseballs.  I’m certain that can be an intimidating environment to walk into as a young and inexperienced player.

I want to talk to you about a kid named Sidney who is one of the youngest hitters we have ever accepted into our program at Baseball Rebellion. Sidney came in on April 16th 2018, here are his BEST two swings from his evaluation.

Evaluation and Starting Point

Obviously, Sidney had some real improvement needed to functionally play coach pitch or machine pitch.  Now, I’m sure some of the people reading this are saying, “why is that kid in lessons, he’s too young for that he just needs play and have fun”.  I understand that sentiment, and that’s precisely why Craig, his father, brought Sidney in. Another thing to consider is how fun can baseball really be when that’s how you hit?  *note: “ITS Baseball was the name of Baseball Rebellion’s Training facility before we moved into our BRHQ location now*

Craig S., Sidney's Father, on why he decided to bring Sidney in for lessons.

Matching Movitation of Parent and Player

I will agree with Craig, Sidney is a good kid and really wanted to learn. He looked me in the eye, sat still, asked a few questions and clearly was a good fit even for a kid as young as he was. I did his evaluation personally, and I advised them to do a provisional membership, which allowed him to take 5 lessons without paying any membership fee.  

He did awesome and improved quickly because he did his Rebel’s Rack homework. In the span of five lessons, Sidney started to hit the ball harder and farther and continued his work at home, and after his fifth lesson, Sidney was offered a membership spot in our program. Exactly 2 months and 8 lessons later, here are Sidney’s improvements on Hittrax.

Evaluation vs Lesson 8 Progress

Change Fast

As you can see from the data, that’s a pretty big change. While I do not have video from the later session, I do have video and Hittrax data from his session on 1/22/19. As you can see, the difference is amazing.  Sidney S. is no longer Sidney, he’s "Sid the Kid". Sometimes he even turns his hat backwards for ‘extra power’ as he calls it.

The Data

The video is shocking but the data from Hittrax may be even more bonkers. His average velocity is up 75% and his max velocity is up the same amount as well.  Sidney's average distance is up from 12 feet to 79 feet, a 564% improvement!  His max distance is almost as improved from 29 feet to 150 feet, and up 424%!   Most importantly his enjoyment of baseball and his confidence is up about 1,000,000 percent, which is not a scientific measurement but a fair guess.

See the chart below and compare his spray charts, his contact points, and his overall numerical improvement.  Amazing job by a young, dedicated kid.

Sidney S. Eval to 1/22/19 data

Continued Improvement

Sidney has obviously continued to improve from his June numbers of last year to January of 2019.  Now if he could keep improving at the 75% to 564% rates, that would be pretty impressive.  Clearly, that is not possible.  Once you become a proficient mover, progress is slower, but no less satisfying.  The 'honeymoon phase' of Sidney's training is over.  Now we must fight for every foot of distance and every MPH of exit velocity.  The fight is worth it, as you can see, and now he's even more dominant. All of his metrics continue to improve do to his continued work on his rotational coordination and speed.

Sidney from 6.16.18 to 1.15.19

"Sid the Kid" Did the Work, So His Swing Works

He’s continued to improve tremendously and he continues to do his Rebel’s Rack work daily.  Again, he’s seven years old, but he’s into the blocked training methods we use and he’s seeing randomized BP and front toss.  He’s dominant in games and loves the game more than he ever has, because he’s GOOD at it. It’s FUN to get 4 hits in a game over and over.  It’s FUN to hit 3rd in the lineup. And the WORK makes the game FUN come gametime.

I’m very proud of Sid the Kid and appreciative of Craig and how they enjoy the lessons and the game together.  Sidney is an instructor favorite here at BR, and that’s not because he’s good, but because he gets it. He works hard, plays hard, and does great. That’s a lesson we all can learn from.

Rebel's Rack Moves and Sid's Dad's Take on The Rebel's Rack

I asked Craig, Sidney's dad, about how the Rebel's Rack helped his son's development early on and how it's continued to help him.  Here are Craig's direct quotes and Sidney's Rebel's Rack Turns.

Sid The Kid Text Message
IMG_0388

Want to Learn to Turn? Check Out How What We Use to Train Rotational Power

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