Your son's extra swings are making him....worse?
Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late - Ben Franklin
Let's talk here, just me to you.
Can you keep a secret? I've gotta question to ask you I don't want you to share.
You can! Great!
Have you ever tried to learn about the baseball swing?
Seeing that you're on this page right now, it's a pretty good guess that you have
(Good job you!)
Have you noticed what I've noticed?
That all of these guys, from the Youtube coaches...
to the current coaches today at the college...
...and the pro levels...
ARE CONSTANTLY CONTRADICTING EACH OTHER!
(and sometimes themselves!)
Have you ever listened to a vegan talk about their diet and how healthy they are, and you're like:
"That makes a lot of sense... I should become a vegan!"
[Ok, you probably never thought you should become a vegan. Being vegan sounds awful - am I right? But for now, lets pretend you've thought this before]
Then, you hear some Keto/Paleo expert talk about the benefits of meats and high fat diets and now you're like:
"That makes a lot of sense...I should eat more like Keto!"
It's like....how in the heck are we supposed to know?
It's the same with baseball instruction.
The average parent has almost no chance at figuring this out.
Even for me. I hate to admit it, but even as a guy who played for not one but TWO division1 programs and spent a couple of seasons in the minor leagues...
...AND founded Baseball Notes and has spent the last few years dedicated to learning and sharing about proper baseball instruction...
...it can be tough for me to figure out who is right and who is wrong when it comes to the swing.
[INSERT PHOTO OF ME IN MINOR LEAGUES - "YOU'D THINK HE'D HAVE A STRONGER GRASP, RIGHT?"
In spending time and talking with many of these coaches...I've noticed a problem.
And I don't enjoy saying this...
because most of these guys are good, sincere dudes.
But while their beliefs on how the swing is SUPPOSED to work vary all over the map...
there's one thing they share:
COMPLETE CONVICTION that they're right.
There are a few questions taht I ask during almost every interview.
Recently I was talking with a well regarded hitting coach, lots of credibility, and I asked him:
"What is something that you've changed your mind on recently or in the last few years?
"Nothing I can think of!"
I don't know about you, but that is a red flag for me.
Big red flag.
This game is too hard, too complicated to have it figured out.
And there are way too many coaches (and people in general) who have decided to take a stance on a particular topic:
Swing Up vs Swing Down.
Rotational Swing vs Linear Swing.
Hips first vs Hands first.
They've chosen their opinion and they're ready to DIE on that hill.
Any suggestion that they're wrong just hardens their original position.
That's not the type of coach that I want to learn from.
And definitely not the coach I want my SON to learn from.
It's wild how many Dad-Coaches fit this description.
I love a lot of these guys, shoot, I *am* one too.
But there's a surprising number of guys who didn't really play, don't really study, but they've watched a few things online and are SO SURE of their baseball expertise.
I mean, I guess it's fun to have an opinion, I don't know.
But this isn't just limited to the amateur level.
There's a number of high level professional coaches who I've talked to, who are still hammering the same jargon for decades.
(Many things that recent advancements have largely disproven.)
Have you ever watched something like the MLB Network, watched a former stud big leaguer break down the swing and be like...
But they're former big leaguers so you roll with it.
"I don't get it, but... must be true!"
And don't get me started with the popular Youtube guys.
They can just throw out a clickable title like "How to hit a home run off of a tee in 10 minutes" and then fill the video with a bunch of keywords, and PRESTO...popular video!
And that's who our kids get to learn from.
Because the handful of guys who REALLY know their stuff...
...who are ACTUALLY helping hitters (high level hitters) get better...
...suck at social media.
And as a result, we have a generation of young hitters who quite frankly...
...aren't very good.
Guys just don't know what ACTUALLY works.
The thing that bothers me, is that the kids who REALLY want to succeed, who are putting in the extra effort to improve ...
...are engraining the wrong movement patterns.
Deeper and deeper.
Because if you're working with the wrong technique, it doesn't matter
Sure, there are kids who are doing well, who are the best on their team.
...but somebody's gotta be!
The thing is, their movements aren't gonna work for them in the long run.
A college coach friend of mine told me:
"Kids aren't making it to college because of their training, they're making it despite their training."
And THEN, I've got
Because when I'm not growing my knowledge base for Baseball Notes, I'm out there coaching my son's 9u baseball team.
And let me tell you, us parents spend WAY too much time on the baseball field during the summers to be out there
I HAVE A FRIEND WHO HAS A BOAT! A BOAT! HE HAS INVITED US ONTO HIS BOAT AND I ALWAYS SAY THE SAME THING: WE HAVE BASEBALL. CAN'T DO IT. HE HAS STOPPED ASKING ME. I DON'T KNOW IF MANY OF YOU HAVE SPENT TIME IN TEXAS DURING THE SUMMER BUT LET ME TELL YOU....IT'S WARM HERE! I BET IT'S NICE ON A BOAT DURING THE SUMMER. COULDN'T TELL YOU. I WONDER WHAT ALL YOU DO. [INSERT PICTURE OF BOAT SCENE] INSTEAD WE'RE OUT HERE PLAYING BALL. REAPPLYING SUNSCREEN, GETTING BIT BY BUGS AND TRYING TO KEEP THE 2 YEAR OLD FROM EATING OLD SUNFLOWER SEEDS.
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