Measured Hitting Instruction
According to the publication Popular Science, "Hitting a baseball is the hardest skill to pull off in sports" as it is (scientifically speaking) "a unique blend of physics and neuroscience [which] makes the skill astronomically difficult." Now, take the hardest skill in sports and apply that with youth baseball players; it takes time, practice, and understanding of how to break down & teach to a young player what to do to be a good hitter.
At DREAM Team Baseball, we use "old school" hitting fundamental techniques and combine them with "new school" optical technology (with Rapsodo Hitting Technology) including measuring Exit Speed, Total Spin, Spin Access, Launch Angle, and Exit Direction. One may say that gathering this intelligence is going "over the top," but what Rapsodo data does show is what happens when a player makes contact with the ball (which is obviously the result of their bat path and overall hitting mechanics). More than anything, this helps pinpoint simple adjustments that can be made and then see results (when adjustments are made) of better back spin (which produces line drives as opposed to top spin which produces ground balls). This is just one application of using software to get feedback from this type of swing analysis. With all of this intelligence, we can track and make necessary adjustments, but again there's a balance of using the "new school" software with traditional (old school) hitting fundamentals. From a development standpoint, the main question (as instructors) is "why would you guess when you can assess (with measurements)?" DREAM Baseball will incorporate these measurements into hitting fundamentals and (by putting it all together) make every hitting session a learning session and overall produce greater results.
Level 1. Hitter is able to correctly hit the baseball on a consistent basis.
- They are able to step towards the pitcher on time and in an efficient manner.
- They are able to correctly load their hands and transfer weight in their swing.
- Their hands are taking a path directly towards the ball and finishing with correct posture
- Hitter should have basic knowledge of the strike zone.
Level 2. Hitter is able to consistently hit the ball with backspin and is able to cover both sides of the plate.
- Begin the concept of heel drop as a timing mechanism. Both top and bottom half should begin to move in unison.
- Hands and barrel should be in the strike zone for an extended time to consistently generate hard contact.
- Hitter should be able to hit the ball to all fields and take what the pitcher is giving.
- Beginning of a two strike approach should be present in the hitters approach. Hitters begin to further understand the strike zone.
Level 3. Hitter should have a plan and approach at the plate. Slot mechanics should begin to be demonstrated in the player's swing.
- Expand from the heel drop to add in the slot to create leverage in hands for power and backspin. (Party out front).
- Hitter should be able to recognize count leverage and develop hitting approach. (Process of elimination) (Sticking to a plan.).
- Hitter should be able to hit breaking pitches and have a sound understanding of the strike zone.
- Situational hitting should be recognizable and effectively demonstrated by the hitter.
Interested in learning more about Rapsodo Hitting, check out the Rapsodo Hitting Courses offered at DREAM Team Sports Center.