Daily Bombs: January 4, 2021

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Twitter Has Reached Peak Madness

My friend John Lampros of TwoFive Baseball got crushed over the weekend for posted a 7 year old hitting bombs and hellacious seeds on his Rapsodo.

First of all, John is an amazing trainer.  If I lived in California my kids would train in his facility.

He does great work. He keeps it honest and accountable by using data to verify his process.  Unlike many local snake oil salesman who pitch “their way” without anything verifiable.

Secondly, I have a 6 year old.  When we hit in the cage our Hittrax unit is on.

Not because the numbers are important, but because it makes hitting indoors real to him.  He gets to see how far the ball flies, and how hard he hits it.  This is, dare I say, more fun than just hitting balls blindly into a net.

You see, somehow through the years hitting in a cage became time to “work on your swing” or become internal to your process.  Which isn’t good for any player, let alone a 7 year old.  Technology such as a Hittrax or Rapsodo unit helps players keep an externally driven swing.

“See how far you can hit it”, “Is that has hard as you can swing?”  That’s how they do it on the islands and that’s how we do it in our cages, except with computers.

We also keep a record board for my 6 year old and 9 year old.  We track everything.  Distance, exit velocity, throwing velocity, and target throwing games.

Again, not because the records are all that important, they aren’t.  The experience of chasing your personal best and everything that goes along with it is.  The highs of breaking records and the lows of falling short.  Most of the lessons young people need to learn in sports aren’t preached to them, but rather, learned through experiences of success and more importantly through experiences of failure.

Pursuing your personal best is hard.  It comes with all sorts of setbacks.  Our nature is to do just enough to get by.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s the best college football coach off all time telling you

So how do we know what our personal best is in training?  We measure it.  It’s really that simple.

(I am not going to give the people who argued with John any attention because their points were dumb.  If you want to see them go follow John @twofivebaseball on Twitter)

Cueing Isn’t Coaching

Full discretion.  I was that guy.  I thought my cues were better than everyone else’s and I would fight to the death to defend them.

What I do today is very different.

Coaches often ask me “What do you say to a hitter if she/he (fill in the blank)”

Typically that answer is not much.  As Frans Bosch has said “the body doesn’t care what the coach has to say”

So even if I had the perfect answer and the perfect cue it wouldn’t matter for any lasting change.

Yes it may fix said problem in the short term in the environment we are in, but what happens when the task and environment change?

You see, mechanics don’t happen in a vacuum.  Rather, they are unique interactions between the player, the task, and the environment they are in.  Each one is unique.

Our process today is much less prescriptive and much more explorative.  Swing flaws exist, but they are usually much more complex than a simple cue could ever cover.

I spend most of my time trying to understand the uniqueness of the interactions of hitting and we can design better tasks to influence those interactions in a more efficient way

And yeah, we measure it to ensure that it is or isn’t working.

If you don’t follow Caleb Abney @Cabney18 (We did an LPD+ Roundtable with him), he does an excellent job of illustrating the uniqueness of the interaction of hitting

And also our rockstar hitting intern, Nick Ascue @coach_ascue

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