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I recently purchased four Rebel’s Racks to include in my programming after watching the success of countless Baseball Rebellion Hitters over the years. I have been very outspoken in my time as a hitting instructor against gadgets and gimmicks. To be quite honest, I initially thought the Rebel’s Rack was just another one of those.
I have done different movement prep work using PVC, medicine balls, etc., but had been holding off on bringing in anything that was anymore obscure into my program. Below, I will discuss the ways that I have introduced the Rebel’s Rack turn progressions to my hitters, and some of the results we have seen over the first few weeks of minimal use.
It is important to understand the why behind introducing a new drill progression to your hitters and being able to articulate that ‘why’ to your hitters to create buy-in. When we watch big league hitters, we see many of the same characteristics in some of the best in the world when it comes to how their body moves in space.
The goal with the Rebel’s Rack is to help our hitters learn to move better and ultimately, barrel more baseballs. Learning the drill progressions and teaching them back in a manner that is controlled, precise, and efficient is key to the understanding that the player will be able to achieve.
The old saying goes, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” In my case, I was feeling this way with regards to some of my more tenured clients. For reference, most of my client base has been with me for more than three months, with some of them having been in the program for several years. I was nervous as to how I was going to come out of left field and basically tell my hitters we were not going to hit until they had a basic understanding of this brand-new drill set. The answer: jump in with both feet!
I went through basic hesitation turn and full turn movements with them all on day one and have now added that to the beginning of every session. I feel like we are not reaching our full potential with our turns yet, but baby steps are key, especially when dealing with young hitters. It's important for us as coaches to believe in the trust our hitters have developed in us. If we can show them why the drill will help them, the buy-in will be there.
With all of the opportunities that are out there for data tracking, it is imperative that we track everything we do in the cage, particularly when we add new drill progressions, such as the ones we use with the Rebel’s Rack. In our cage, we track every swing with a Rapsodo hitting unit, and will also be trying to add Blast Motion back into the equation this Summer.
In the month or so since I have added the Rebel’s Rack to my session regimen, I have figured out my favorite use for the Rack. I recently incorporated a Spinball Machine into our training, and many of the players have had issues finding timing. We have started to use the rack with the machine to time the turn itself instead of trying to time the swing. This has created immediate timing adjustments and more consistent contact against higher velocities. In the video below, we clearly have work to do with regards to the Rack turn and the swing itself, but incorporating the turn in between swing sets allows the hitter to find better timing on the second set of swings.
I encourage anyone who has not yet tried the Rebel’s Rack to get one and try it out. In just a few weeks of training, we have seen as much as 5 mph in average Exit Velocity increases, and the hitter pictured below saw a 14% increase in Hard-Hit Percentage from limited Rack work.
The introduction of the Rebel’s Rack to my programming was not such that I had to completely change everything I do. It is simply another tool in the toolbox to help hitters understand how to use their bodies to hit baseballs harder and farther! I’m excited to see the continued progress as we roll into the summer.
John Lampros is a private hitting instructor in the Fresno, California area. He currently works with players at all levels of amateur baseball. As a player, John finished his collegiate career with a .130 batting average at then NAIA Fresno Pacific University. As a coach, John has dedicated himself to understanding why his college career did not go as planned and helping players consistently perform at whatever level they are at.
In 2015 John started Two-Five Baseball, a program dedicated to advanced hitting instruction and college development. In 2016 he was the hitting coach at Clovis North High School and helped lead the Broncos to a section runner-up finish.
John lives and teaches by the motto “Fail Better”. Baseball and life are games of failure and learning, and John believes that in teaching his players how to overcome and learn from the failures they experience in baseball, they will be better equipped to tackle life as adults.
John currently resides in Fresno, California with his wife, Heidi, and Siberian Husky, Kunu.