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The Movements that Made The Rebellion – The Rebel’s Rack Revisited

As Baseball Rebellion/Softball Rebellion has grown, we have decided to be more open with the “HOW” of our process instead of just the results.  This, for years, was not the case at BR/SR, as we wouldn’t even let clients film the movement progressions we do with hitters.  We are all excited about how showing these movements can help players of all ages turn faster and hit with more power.  Releasing our movement progression has been something I’ve considered for a long time.  We haven’t done it, until now, and will be including an even more detailed breakdown inside of the Rebel’s Rack Drills for those who have and are going to purchase the Rebel’s Rack.  All in all, the movement progressions we are about to show you have built what we do here at BR/SR.  Without them, the Hittrax data we produce, the scholarships, draft picks/bonus money, and the opportunities for our position player athletes would be greatly diminished.  We at Baseball Rebellion are extremely excited to show our process and continue to push ourselves to be more transparent and give more back to the game that have given us so much.  Enjoy!

On May 29th, 2012, I launched the Rebel’s Rack, a rotational power trainer and ‘hitting aid’ that helps baseball and softball players hit the ball harder and farther.  At the time, Baseball Rebellion had no Hittrax machines, so all we had was a stalker gun we held up at the hitter to test their exit velocities.  Softball and baseball players of all ages and ability levels were radically increasing their ball exit speed in matters of minutes using our movement progressions and the Rebel’s Rack.  

Over 55 Rebel’s Racks being shipped!

Over the years, the Rebel’s Rack has changed some.  No longer yellow in color, the Rebel’s Rack now has 4 sizes that fit kids as small as 50 lbs up to 250lbs.  The ‘wings’ on the Rebel’s Rack are longer now, limiting any pinching that the first iteration of the Rebel’s Rack could cause.  More importantly, how we USE the rack has changed, as we’ve learned the nuances of training rotation and preparing to rotate and timing that rotation to a moving ball.  At the time, I had no idea how much I’d grow to love training movement and improving rotational range, speed, and power.  The first lessons with the Rebel’s Rack, the ‘non-hitting’ lessons, are my most favorite to teach.  The foundation of movement quality and speed built there translates into game acceleration, adjustability, speed and power almost immediately for most players.  Watching a player find out what ‘FASTEST’ really is inside of their bodies and inside of their turn/swing for the first time and their eye’s light up and the green numbers flash on the Hittrax is what I love most about my job.  The Green Bell has been a great culture builder, pushing players to want to come out of their comfort zones to get the applause of those in the building when they ring the bell after a new personal record.

BUT HOW do we as instructors help players, even pros, generate so much more distance and exit velocity so fast?  Over the past 5 years, through trial and error, painstaking video analysis, and constant exit velocity and distance monitoring, the team of instructors at Baseball Rebellion have created the Rebel’s Rack Movement Progression. Below, you will see the three (3) main moves we use, and make hitters MASTER before they are allowed to hit (in the cage) again in our program.  These foundational moves are practiced over and over, deliberately, with internal cues that the hitter must make on their own before he or she re-earns the right to hit.  

 

Movement One: The Stride (Tempo Based, Slowing the Game Down)

Once any hitter returns for their first ‘lesson’ after the evaluation they don’t even need their bat.  We head over to a mirror and the hitter is instructed to stride ‘at the mirror’ as if the mirror were the pitcher.  I want the hitter to see themselves move and hear our cues.  “The mirror is the best teacher in the building” is often said at BR/SR.  Another favorite is, “your eyes are for the mirror, your ears are for me”.  The hitter, strides and strides and strides.  Over and over.  All while watching themselves stride in the mirror and reacting and evolving their movements based on the cues and instructions of the BR Instructor.

Keys to the Stride:

  • Extremely Slow in the landing
  • Open front foot/kneecap towards the mirror (pitcher)
  • Heel to Heel Landing position
  • No opening or ‘flinching’ of the chest at landing
  • Head BACK over Back Hip (this is a change from what we taught years ago, as hitting is more than just generating rotational power…you have to be able to hit and lift a moving ball)
  • Once these keys are achieved, we move on to the Rebel’s Rack Movement Progression to Movement Two. 

Movement Two: The Show (Preparing to Turn, Storing Energy)

Now, the hitter has mastered the slow stride (this can be a leg kick, small lift, toe tap, pretty much anything the hitter wants) with an open front leg/kneecap towards the mirror.  The hitter’s head is back and he or she is not ‘flinching’ or opening their shoulders at any point in the movement or at landing on the front foot.  The hitter has earned the right to progress into the “Show” phase of the Rebel’s Rack Movement Progression.  Still in the mirror, facing the mirror as if it were the pitcher, the hitter is instructed to stride exactly as they did before with a few simple, and extremely important changes.  As the hitter lands, they are instructed to open their pelvis towards the mirror as they keep their front shoulder closed.  Cues we use range from “show your belly button towards the pitcher” to “open your stomach as far as you can while you show the back ‘wing’ of the Rebel’s Rack in the mirror”.  Essentially, we are twisting up the body in opposite ways.  The lower half is opening, and the upper half, specifically the upper back and back arm, are resisting that opening as hard as they can.  This stores energy and prepares the body to TURN as quickly as possible.  EVERY SINGLE THING done in “the Show” phase is preparing the body to turn quickly and instantly.  Store as much energy as possible and completely wind yourself up as far as you can without losing sight of the pitcher with your back eye.

Keys to the Show:

  • Open the pelvis from ABOVE the pelvis, using your lower back and stomach muscles.
  • Soft and slow landing with the front side, no ‘bouncing’ into the ground or ‘stomping’.
  • Keep your front shoulder totally still or ‘slightly close’ your front side shoulder by pulling back with your upper back and resist the opening/turn/swing with your back arm/upper back.

Movement Three:  The Turn

Now the hitter has mastered the MOVEMENTS of slowly striding and slowly storing up as much energy for the turn as possible.  It’s time to put that energy to good use!  The hitter goes into the “Show” phase of the turn move and lands and stops.  From here, we teach the hitter the turn, from a dead standstill.  Basically, the turn is three basic movements that happen all at once.

The hitter must SIMULTANEOUSLY pull their back hip forward from above the pelvis (this moves the back foot as well), forcefully straighten their front leg into the ground through the front heel of the front foot, and turn their belly button past the pitcher and back shoulder all the way to centerfield.  Usually, there are many different mistakes that happen, and almost ALL of them are caused by the hitter turning too slowly.  Remember, the turn must be LEARNED FAST while the preparation to turn must be learned and executed slowly.    The faster you turn…the faster you learn!  Slowness in the turn causes the hitter’s head to drift forward, the front leg to fail to straighten out, the back foot/hip not moving forward far enough or too far (both can happen) and the shoulders not to turn all the way.  Many balance issues arise when the turn is slow…and the hitter MUST be totally committed to the idea of achieving maximum speed in the turn from the beginning to the finish.  There is no slowing down…no easing into it…the turn must GO and be done.  

Keys to the Turn:

  • The hitter must turn as fast and completely as possible, there is no ‘almost’ or ‘kinda fast’
  • The hitter must lock out his front knee completely and hold the finish
  • The hitter must pull the back foot forward with no dragging of the toe
  • The hitter must land on the ball of their back foot and not let the heel drop
  • The hitter’s back knee must be in front of the hitter’s face at the finish of the turn (swingman finish)
  • The back shoulder must completely replace the front shoulder and be higher than the front shoulder at the finish

 

If a hitter is willing to spend the time mastering this movement progression with these executable internal cues, then the ‘chaos’ of hitting gets much much easier to deal with.  Problems like a change of velocity or break are more easily solved by ‘sinking into’ the front side.  Remember, we learned the turn from a dead stop position (Show Position), so now the hitter knows he or she can go fast from there.  If a hitter gets fooled, they have a better plan…and it’s built in.  Mr. Miyagi did this to Daniel Son by having him Wax on, Wax off and Paint the Fence.  These repeatable actions became ingrained in him so when Miyagi attacked Daniel, he knew how to defend the different punches.    Likewise, hitter’s posture and turn aggression become what we call ‘unbreakable’.  The “unbreakable” posture and turn speed can be practiced daily and once these movements are mastered, they become subconscious and are instantly recalled by the body when needed in games.  In minutes, a hitter can do hundreds of turns with the rack without any failure at all!  Imagine how efficient your training could be if you took away the stress of hitting?  No more frustrated faces from a rollover or a pop up…No more hitting until your hands bleed…no more confusion about WHY you went 0 – 4…you’ll know why you failed…your posture and speed of the turn broke.  The less a hitter ‘breaks’ within the game turn, the better he or she will hit.  Period.  

Training movements away from the cage and then taking them into the cage is common in instruction nowadays.  But much of that training and ‘feel work’ doesn’t translate and is just feels for feels sake.  We want everything a hitter does to increase their ability to accelerate their turn, time their turn, and find their top speed as fast as they can with their BODY, not with their arms and hands.  We even take the Rebel’s Rack into the cages at first, before they hit, so they can time a moving ball with their turn after they time their load with the pitcher’s arm swing or windup.  This sequence leads to the fastest improvements we have ever seen on Hittrax, the fastest ‘ah ha’ moments for our clients, the most confidence in our shared process, and the fastest carry over into games.  

Writing this article and posting these videos was scary for me.  I’ve had many, many people tell me ‘they just don’t understand what you guys do’ when people come at us on social media.  Players we’ve helped say, ‘Chas, if they knew how fast you and the guys did it, and how you guys did it, then they’d understand’.  For years we have hidden this information from ‘outsiders’.  Now, we at Baseball Rebellion and Softball Rebellion are going to bring you behind the curtain and you can try to duplicate our results for yourself.  Get some Racks, and learn how to turn.  Enjoy the success this will bring you, your team, and or your players.  The Rebel’s Rack Movement Progression is a secret no more, now let’s unlock whats inside your body already…the fastest turns you’ve ever experienced!  

 

The Rebel’s Rack

$74.99

The Rebel’s Rack is the best hitting trainer for rotational hitting. The Rebel’s Rack helps to increase your player’s power, bat speed, and line drive hitting consistency.

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Description

The Rebel’s Rack is the most efficient way to develop rotational power within the baseball and softball swing.  Made of metal and powder coated, the Rebel’s Rack is almost indestructible.  Custom drills for the rebel’s rack that include range of motion, power and speed work, and isometrics are included at purchase and instantly accessible through your mobile phone, tablet or computer.  The Rebel’s Rack is used by dozens of professional players, NCAA teams, and high schools all over the country.  Easily fits inside a bat bag a perfect way to time pitchers in the on deck circle or practice timing and pitch tracking in bullpen sessions.  Perfect for injured players who cannot old a bat, now that player can ‘learn to turn’ as they come back to playing.

Team Orders

 

For team orders please call Baseball Rebellion to receive a product quote: 919-309-0040

 

Features

  • Promotes proper swing path & rotational hitting for baseball and softball
  • Increases power & line drive hitting consistency
  • Creates more power, harder hits, & more bat speed
  • Use the Rebel’s Rack by itself or with resistance from bands or cable machines
  • Comes with Step-by-Step How-To Guide and Drill Videos
  • 6-month guarantee against manufacturing defects
  • Hand-made in the United States and tested before shipping

Size Chart

Player T-Shirt Size Rebel’s Rack Size
YS-YL Extra Small
YXL – Small Small
Medium – Large Medium
XL-XXL Large

Chas Pippitt, Leader of the Baseball and Softball Rebellion

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5 Reasons Why Online Lessons Might Be a Great Fit For You

Whenever I talk with people about the online baseball/softball lesson program at Baseball Rebellion, it is usually a new concept to them. The first question usually asked is, Why don’t players  just take lessons from someone local? Unfortunately the number of baseball/softball instructors who are armed with good information, have good character, and know how to produce consistent results are very limited. If you are lucky enough to be within driving distance of these instructors, I highly encourage you to work with them! For the majority of parents and players who are looking for a proven plan and instructor who will tailor a personalized training progression to the individual client, Baseball Rebellion Online Hitting or Pitching Lessons might be a great fit! Below are 5 reasons that you should strongly consider the online lesson approach to learning.

1. No More Guessing

As someone who took a large number of lessons and gave a few lessons while I was still playing (and had no idea what I was doing), I can tell you that the vast majority of hitting coaches are guessing regarding the problems their players are facing when hitting or pitching. The human eye is too slow to see exactly what is happening in the baseball/softball swing or throw at full speed. This leads to inefficient results and often the player  begins practicing things that are detrimental or irrelevant to their swing at best. This doesn’t sound like something most players or parents would want to pay for. With the use technology like slow motion video analysis of clients and professionals, Baseball Rebellion works to systematically understand optimal body movements and train the movements that produce successful results. Baseball Rebellion has shown the impact of these movement changes time and time again via the Hit Trax system that tracks the velocity, Launch Angle, and Distance of every ball hit at the Baseball Rebellion facility. The Baseball Rebellion website has a wealth of FREE material from the hundreds of articles and case studies we have written. These should serve as proof to you of the quality and depth of information you will be getting from the Baseball Rebellion staff. Below are just a few of the case studies from our site:

Case study 1: https://baseballrebellion.com/cpippitt/baseball-rebellion-case-study-online-in-person-effective-either-way/

Case Study 2: https://baseballrebellion.com/gabedimock/baseball-rebellion-case-study-hannah-morris/

Case Study 3: https://baseballrebellion.com/category/br-case-study/

Case Study 4: https://baseballrebellion.com/jkhittingrebel/case-study-more-than-just-a-good-swing/

2. A Clear Plan

While some instructors can identify problems in a swing accurately, it is even more important that they know how to improve the issues they see. This is something that takes a great deal of skill from the instructor because many players with similar mechanical problems will respond differently to various drills/cues that are designed to promote a positive change. Baseball Rebellion makes a clear plan that is tailored to each individual client according to their specific age, needs, and learning style. Below is a template of our training progression that we make for each player:

3. Quick Feedback With Explanations That Are Thorough Yet Simple

Baseball Rebellion’s online hitting instructors have a great turn around time of no more than three business days. This allows for quick and effective communication of feedback, concepts, drills, and next steps for clients. The feedback given is delivered with the appropriate “voice” for each client. Our goal is to give in-depth and thorough feedback but in away that is simple and easy to understand. One of our mottos is that if an Elementary school student can’t understand the feedback, then the feedback needs to change! One of my favorite videos to watch is of one of our 6 year old breaking down the baseball swing. His great explanation is a result of the common and easily understood language used at Baseball Rebellion.

4. Access to Old Videos and Ability to Watch Drills Over and Over Through HUDL Technique

One of the best benefits to online lessons with Baseball Rebellion is that you can watch previous feedback and drills an unlimited number of times through HUDL Technique! While in person lessons are great, the benefit of watching feedback and drills remotely is not generally offered with in person lessons. With Baseball Rebellion’s recent switch to HUDL Technique, you will be using a unbelievably user friendly app that will give you easy access to submitting video. Here is a link to a recent article about HUDL Technique and baseball Rebellion: https://baseballrebellion.com/gabedimock/baseball-rebellion-online-lessons-hudl-technique/

5. Access to the Instructor of Your Choice

Every instructor at Baseball Rebellion has been trained and is certified in the Baseball Rebellion system of teaching. That being said, all instructors have differing strengths and voices that work better with different players. You have access to choose your instructor and change instructors at any time. Some clients choose to periodically switch instructors so that they can hear concepts explained in different ways. This can help clients glean the benefits of the strengths of all the Baseball Rebellion Instructors. All BR instructors are extremely accessible and can be reached through phone and email easily. Below are example lessons from each of the instructors.

Gabe Dimock

JK Whited

KC Judge

Tyler Zupcic

Dave Shinskie


For any of you who have been thinking about an alternative to traditional in-person instruction, I hope this has given you a picture and sense for the benefits of online lessons with Baseball Rebellion!

Gabe Dimock – Baseball Rebellion Hitting Instructor

 

 

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Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown: Dylan S.

Dylan S.

Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown: Dylan S.

Dylan S. has been a long time online Baseball Rebellion client who has had ONLY online training with us. Dylan has done an amazing job of learning the biomechanics of his swing and taking the initiative to work incredibly hard in order to make positive swing changes. While there are many parts of his swing that have improved over the years, his body language at the plate has been the largest improvement. When Dylan 1st began in our program, it was clear during each at bat whether Dylan thought he was going to be successful or not. This depended heavily on the quality of pitcher he was facing. Dylan’s confidence and body language has improved immensely in the last year or so. He now looks confident and ready to smash the baseball against any pitcher regardless of their ability. Dylan is a great example of how the Baseball Rebellion Online Program can produce great results! If you are interested in signing up for online lessons click here.

Thank you for reading and watching!

Gabe Dimock – Baseball Rebellion Hitting Instructor

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Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown: Spencer Smith

Spencer Smith - Power Showcase

In this week’s breakdown, I’m going to be looking at high school senior Spencer Smith. Spencer is a long-time client of Baseball Rebellion and is number 151 on Baseball Americas top 200 prospects for 2017. In his senior season, Spencer hit .414 with 7 home runs, 25 RBIs, and 10 doubles. He ends his 4-year career at Northern Durham high school with a .459 batting average to go along with 23 home runs and 100 RBIs. The clip I’m going to look at is from this year’s Power Showcase in Miami, Florida at the home field of the Miami Marlins. The Power Showcase is a homerun derby type event featuring the nations top high school power hitters from each state. The swing in particular that is going to be dissected is one that produced an estimated 487 foot blast. Good luck to Spencer whether he fulfills his commitment to ECU or decides to sign a professional contract after this years draft. Either way, a very exciting player to watch with serious power!

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Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown: Eric Thames

Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown:

Eric Thames

Eric Thames is the early favorite for comeback story of the year in 2017. After struggling in his initial stint in the MLB with the Toronto Blue Jays (2011-2012), Eric Thames found success playing in Korea. He hit 37, 47, and 40 home runs in his three years there, earning him a second MLB opportunity with the Milwaukee Brewers. He has started the 2017 MLB season off with a bang, already having hit 8 home runs and 6 doubles. Watch the swing breakdown above to see how Thames changed his swing from 2012 to 2017. If you would like help with your swing, click here to check out our online lesson page! Thank you for reading and watching.

Gabe Dimock – Baseball Rebellion Hitting Instructor

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Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown: Marcell Ozuna

Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown:

Marcell Ozuna

Hey Guys! In this weeks breakdown I’m going to take a look at Marcell Ozunas swing. Ozuna is an outfielder for the Miami Marlins. He was an all star last year. He hit .266 with 23 homeruns and is off to another hot start this year. I wanted to do Ozuna because I feel his movement efficiency is very high. In this video, you won’t see a gigantic barrel tip or leg kick. Ozuna is more of a reserved movement guy who does a great job of loading his swing up until he’s unloading. Very important concept to understand. I hope you guys enjoy this breakdown!

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Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown: Jordon Adell

Jordan Adell Swing Breakdown

Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown:

Jordon Adell

High school draft prospect Jordon Adell is looking to keep up his draft status with a big senior year. He for sure passes the eye ball test with his athleticism and body frame.  In these particular swings, I really enjoyed watching just about all of it. His pattern is very high level with power and ease. Jordon’s lower half is great and honestly I don’t see me much to improve on.

I really like the simplicity in his load. Not a bit of flash with high leg kicks and barrel tips but power is still very much there. I do think he could maximize his “stretch” by having a slightly more aggressive back elbow move but what he does still isn’t bad. He gets uphill with a great tilt and turn with his shoulders allowing a very efficient barrel path up through the ball. You will really be able to see this from the back view that most people don’t get to see a lot. Hope you all enjoy!

Please feel free to leave a comment below.

JK Whited – Baseball Rebellion Hitting Instructor

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Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown: Andrew Mccutchen

Andrew Mccutchen Swing Breakdown

Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown:

Andrew McCutchen

This Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown features Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen is a model of consistency as a hitter. He has had 20 homers or more in each of his last 6 seasons. Last year was a down year for McCutchen in terms of what he has typically done in his career offensively, but he was still productive. I wanted to break down McCutchen’s hitting mechanics because he is a very efficient mover in his swing. He doesn’t have a huge barrel tip or a huge leg kick, but he moves very efficiently through his pattern. He’s listed at 5’10 195 pounds, and to have that small of a frame and put up the offensive statistics McCutchen has produced, there has to be very good movements in his swing. In this swing breakdown, I’m going to highlight these movements and explain why they are important to have in your swing.

KC Judge – Baseball Rebellion Hitting Instructor

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Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown: Jim Edmonds

Jim Edmonds Swing Breakdown

Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown:

Jim Edmonds

This Baseball Rebellion Swing Breakdown is on the hitting mechanics of Jim Edmonds. I loved watching Jim Edmonds play growing up. From his defensive capabilities to his extremely sweet and productive swing, he was truly a pleasure to watch play the game. Edmonds was a career .283 hitter with 393 home runs. His best year coming in 2004 when he hit .301 with 42 homers and an eye popping 1.061 OPS.

I specifically wanted to do this weeks breakdown on Edmonds because of how efficient he was in his swing. We’re in the midst of an instruction era where unnecessary big movements are taught. It’s better than the foot down early, swing down approach that was widely used for quite some time, but still could be better. Pay attention to how Edmonds starts out from a wide stance and coils into his back hip with BOTH feet on the ground. Being able to execute this lower body loading sequence without utilizing a leg kick is very interesting to me. It is also a great demonstration of how you don’t need outrageous movements in the swing to have high level movements. I hope you enjoy this weeks breakdown. Comment below with any questions.

KC Judge – Baseball Rebellion Hitting Instructor/ Head of Athletic Performance

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2 Common Mistakes That Limit Space for Your Barrel to Turn

2 Common Mistakes That Limit Space for Your Barrel to Turn

While a hitter may perform many quality movements, the energy that is created can be lost before it reaches the barrel or can be released in the wrong direction. When the swing is all said and done, the action and energy of the barrel is truly what matters. In today’s article, I am going to highlight two common mistakes that can result in sub-optimal barrel movement.

1.) Landing With Your Hands Too Close To The Shoulder

In the video below, I will show how many hitters tie themselves up by landing with their hands too close to their shoulder. This is often coached into players who have had a previous problem with bat drag or arm bar. While this type of hitter may have a better technical look on slow motion video, they tend to look tight and rigid as they swing. If you have an excessively pushy swing, exhibit early roll over, or consistently make contact with the ball too close to your body, this landing position could be your problem. A better solution is to use your rear scapula to move your hands closer to bicep depth. During this move you will feel the front arm lengthen (but not completely). This movement will allow you the space to turn the barrel deeper into the zone as well as to keep the barrel in the hitting zone longer through the barrel release.

2.) Landing With Your Head and Torso Too Forward Relative To The Lower Body

In this section I will show a common mistake that can limit the ability to create space for an ideal swing path and launch angle. When players land with their head and torso too far forward (relative to their body), they must either move their head and spine as they turn to create space or push down and forward to create space. Neither of these solutions are ideal for power or swing path. At Baseball Rebellion, we want you to move forward but to land with your head closer to the back hip. This creates the space for the barrel to turn deep and to enter an upward motion earlier in the swing. This helps players achieve ideal launch angles. Two symptoms of landing too forward are:

    1. Inability to pull middle-inside pitches with power
    2. Inability to lift the ball with power

I hope you have enjoyed these videos and that correcting these movements leads to a better swing and more extra base hits this upcoming season!

Gabe Dimock – Baseball Rebellion Hitting Instructor