Not ever having been a baseball guy,  I need a little guidance.

I have a 2024 who has been taking batting lessons from the same coach for a couple years.  Coach is a great guy who connects with my son.  My son is a very solid hitter who takes lessons vary seriously. 

The coaches has the pedigree and is well respected.  His dad had a cup of coffee in the MLB.   I don't think Coach follows the new trends, or does a lot of research into new methods; but teaches what he knows (which seems considerable).    This is in contrast to many coaches in town who introduce all sorts of stuff to make the hitter "less comfortable"and or claim their methods are cutting edge.

Two questions?

1) How can you tell how if a kid is beginning to exceed the ability of a coach to help him?

2) Is there a newer method- whether technology based or not,  that seems to be giving better results than a traditional method.

 

 

 

 

 

Original Post

Why is he seeing a hitting coach so often? I’ve never understood the need for parents to spend money on hitting lessons when the kid is performing well. If the kid is in a slump you may want to have someone knowledgeable look at their swing and give them an opinion, but there really are only four things that affect a swing: swinging too soon, swinging too late, swinging too high and swinging too low. People make all kinds of money pretending to know some kind of magic formula for hitting, truth is most of it is innate. Players who can see the ball well, time it up and get their bat on plane with the baseball have success. Now, I know people who have paid tons of money over their kids careers are going to tell me that is a simplistic approach...and I would agree. But keeping a swing simple and natural is one of the key components to having a good swing.

I guess I just don't see any need for a 7th grader to have a full time hitting coach.  If he's hitting well, he's hitting well, and in most cases is only seeing pitching from kids his age or maybe a year older.  Let him hit...until he's not hitting anymore....whether it's because he makes a change on his own, or he gets to HS and is facing guys potentially 3+ years older than him and needs to adjust to that level of pitching.  What can a hitting coach tell you today that is different than what he told you last week or 3 weeks ago if your son is hitting well in game situations?   

My son was very good hitter from the time he started playing travel at 10 years old.  He had a very good coach at 12U that was a former MLB pitcher.  He taught lessons part time at a facility owned by a former pro outfielder who also gave hitting lessons.   We went to the hitting guy twice, once at 13U and once his freshman year....both times just a single one-hour session.   Son had gotten into a funk and I could tell watching him that he was just thoroughly confused at the plate....and I had no idea how to fix it.   Both times we went to the guy, he corrected a couple things he saw and things were back to normal. 

Multisportdad, welcome to the site.  Good (and difficult) question to jump in with.  This topic can be quite controversial and one to which you will get a very wide array of opinions and points of view.

There are more than one hitting philosophies that can work.  There are some things with hitting mechanics that are generally considered a constant and some that are optional, depending on style, preference, natural tendancies, etc.  Also, there are teaches that may be appropriate for one age/performance level that may not apply as well to another.  There is even quite a bit of conflict on how early and how often a hitter should get instruction, as you will quickly see here.  

As example, I somewhat agree with the other posters that you don't need to go overboard at an early age.  I also like to keep natural elements in the swing, as 2022OFdad suggests.  But, at the same time, many kids' "natural swing" need adjustments in order to be able to perform efficiently against better pitching at higher levels.  I have had countless kids come through our HS program who had swings that could kill it at sub-varsity level but would be exposed against better V pitching.  Also, by the time the player gets to our HS program, if his swing is too far off, he has a very difficult uphill battle to face.  So, some earlier evaluation and any necessary work and adjustments can be quite important.

And, regarding frequency, I disagree with others here that you only need to go when you are struggling.  Almost every hitter I have ever seen and/or worked with has some area that is chronically deficient and requires more than just being pointed out and corrected on the spot.  Most young players are not disciplined enough to then go home and work repetitively enough to make the adjustment permanent.  Somewhat regular work and monitoring are necessary.  Also, a hitter typically advances through stages.  If he has someone who is monitoring and helping him work through levels of advancement, he will likely progress more quickly.  I generally like a balance of periodic instruction combined with good notes and homework.  

Regarding your question #2, I do agree with 2022 that the best teach, particularly with young players, focuses on being on time and on plane.  That is generally taught by both old-schoolers and new age guys (except those particularly promoting loft).

Regarding your question #1, I would be quite surprised if a 2024 has outgrown the instruction of a well respected coach with the qualifications you describe.  He may not be using all the available measuring technology, etc., but he is likely putting your son on a good path.  And, the fact that they connect is valuable.  My suggestion would be - as your son sees other teaches and he begins to question, he should just ask the current instructor.  His answers will tell you and your son what you need to know, one way or the other.  

Cabbagedad, any hitting coach teaching “loft” ie launch angle necessary to produce HRs to a pre-high school player needs to have their heads examined. That approach requires a physically mature player with an already fundamentally sound swing. Loft approach it situational, depending on the pitch and it’s plane on approach to the plate. Having a loft launch angle on a a high fastball is going to result in a lot of pop flies and strike outs. Even when the pitch is the right one for that approach, many HS aged players are simply not strong enough to generate anything more than a fly-ball for an out.

Cabbagedad has mentioned a lot of valuable points.  I will give a little different perspective than what 2022 and Buckeye has mentioned above.  My son started WEEKLY hitting lessons from about 9 years old until he left for college at 18.  It started out as a means to keep him from being underproductive compared to others on his travel team.  During his 3 years in D1 in the offseason or before summer league began he still worked out with the same hitting instructor.  He is currently in the minors (fingers crossed for a 2019 call-up) and when he comes to visit us he spends a few lessons with the instructor.  Yes we've spent much money on these lessons.  It's easy to change your swing/approach slightly which can produce decreased results.  Weekly lessons kept him focused on the proper mechanics and plan.  I've mentioned previously in other posts but I firmly believe that the athlete must become a student of the game.  To understand it better than anyone else at that level, to have a plan each time you step to the plate.  When my son was sore from a previous game or workout, some lessons were spent being a student, without a single ball being hit.  I've said a few times (son probably disagrees) that he is a good athlete, not a great one.  What makes him more successful  than others (regarding hitting) is his athletic abilities PLUS his understanding of the game.  They go hand in hand, and if both can be applied at the correct situation good results will be seen.  Try to find an instructor who does both.  For what it's worth, throughout college and the minors (so far), not one hitting coach has attempted to change or adjust his swing.  Situational suggestions are always given (since being a student of the game there is always a need to learn more).  Unofficial word is that GM told his coaches to let him do what he's been doing and not to change mechanics.  He is fortunate to be where he is at, through hard work, proper instructions, and talent.  In the end, if financially you can afford it and your son buys into the program, this is just an example of how extended hitting lessons can bring desirable results.  Good luck and enjoy these times.

Trust In Him, I guess the question is “would he have been the same hitter without the constant coaching?” If nobody changed his swing, was there a need to pay for those lessons or were you simply paying for BP? I guess it depends on perspective. I suspect the repetition was the valuable aspect of those “lessons” and not any technical instruction - because your son apparently has an innate ability to hit the baseball.

Like Cabbage said, and Trust In Him has illustrated, everything is different for every player. 

You shouldn’t nurse maid a hitter through his journey. You want the hitter to learn and understand hitting. You want him to get to a point where even if he’s hitting well he can feel something isn’t right with his swing. If a kid understands his swing he can come to you or a coach and ask you to watch a specific body part of his swing. He can tell you what he believes is occurring rather than what should. 

Why be aware of technique problems when hitting well? Maybe that line drive single should have been hit up the gap or over the fence. 

2022OFDad posted:

Cabbagedad, any hitting coach teaching “loft” ie launch angle necessary to produce HRs to a pre-high school player needs to have their heads examined. That approach requires a physically mature player with an already fundamentally sound swing.

Weirdly twisted logic here.  A sound swing requires a 'loft' launch angle.  The pitch comes in at approx 6-10 deg, so just hitting it 'square requires a 6-10 deg loft.   Anyone that hits the ball at zero angle - flat- has a max 50 foot potential distance.

You don't need to be physically mature to learn what is a simple technique.

 

Multisportdad posted:
2) Is there a newer method- whether technology based or not,  that seems to be giving better results than a traditional method.

When I started out with the first of my many kids, I paid for lessons from pros, and HOF players, and others.  Here is what I learned.

Most instructors use cues like 'hands to the ball', 'swing down', 'line up your door knocking knuckles', etc.  No MLB hitter swings like this in a game - even though most think they do, and will instruct others like this.  If you run across one of those, run.

If they are using mostly words that you don't understand, then they have no idea what they are talking about.  Also, if you don't know, then how would your kid ever know.

If they are not measuring your kid's results, then run.  Your kid should be gearing toward higher bat speed, exit speed, and a target launch angle range.  Are they using a device to measure this? If not, run.  (Of course, you can use total distance as a measuring tool/device as well)

If they just talk about your feelings or just tell you stories about how great they were, run.

2022OFDad posted:

Trust In Him, I guess the question is “would he have been the same hitter without the constant coaching?” If nobody changed his swing, was there a need to pay for those lessons or were you simply paying for BP? I guess it depends on perspective. I suspect the repetition was the valuable aspect of those “lessons” and not any technical instruction - because your son apparently has an innate ability to hit the baseball.

Like Cabbage said, and Trust In Him has illustrated, everything is different for every player. 

IMO he would not be as successful of a hitter without the constant coaching through high school. The lessons are what gave him the swing that works for HIM.  His swing is a little unorthodox but it works for him, I would never teach a kid to imitate it. His hitting coach's initial approach was to start off working with his '"normal" swing tendencies and try to make adjustments to produce the correct swing path, follow through, weight transfer, etc.  Some parents may feel if they pay for 30 minutes of BP, the kid better be swinging those 30 mins with x# of balls.  My son's lesson was probably 15 mins of maybe 30-40 balls max (excluding soft-toss warmups), rest of time learning strategy, reading off speed, situational hitting, and such.  He also would not have the same results with a different instructor.  We went through 3 others before finding his current one.  Yes, son is a "freak", but a "good freak".

Thanks for the input , especially  Cabbagedad

One thing that might have been missed by a couple of you in the original post is simply this:  I'm not a baseball guy, and I don't know squat about swinging a bat. 

From reading this board, most of your sons have taken years of lessons-  with their dads in their backyards.  This is not an option for us.  So I pay a guy in the spring and early summer.

So given that my son is going to take lessons,  I would love a little more insight how to manage the "experts" we bring into our kids lives.  What should he be learning in the upcoming year or two?  What kind of things does he need to ignore (like launch angle from 2022OFDAD) no matter how much his buddies talk it up.

 

 

Multisportdad posted:

Not ever having been a baseball guy,  I need a little guidance.

I have a 2024 who has been taking batting lessons from the same coach for a couple years.  Coach is a great guy who connects with my son.  My son is a very solid hitter who takes lessons vary seriously. 

The coaches has the pedigree and is well respected.  His dad had a cup of coffee in the MLB.   I don't think Coach follows the new trends, or does a lot of research into new methods; but teaches what he knows (which seems considerable).    This is in contrast to many coaches in town who introduce all sorts of stuff to make the hitter "less comfortable"and or claim their methods are cutting edge.

Two questions?

1) How can you tell how if a kid is beginning to exceed the ability of a coach to help him?

2) Is there a newer method- whether technology based or not,  that seems to be giving better results than a traditional method.

1. The law of diminishing returns. You could always ask around for another instructor who may have good results with someone else you know. Get a second opinion so to speak.

2. There is nothing new under the sun. You get younger guys and newer "teachers" skanking drills from other systems and naming them something else or coming up with fancy terms for things that were done in the past. What I like about new technology and the data is the ability for players to see in their numbers how they are improving when video may provide such minor change they may not see it or get excited about it. Quite a few instructors probably need the technology just to teach stuff, too.

disclaimer: I personally only work with HS and college players.

SultanofSwat posted:
2022OFDad posted:

Cabbagedad, any hitting coach teaching “loft” ie launch angle necessary to produce HRs to a pre-high school player needs to have their heads examined. That approach requires a physically mature player with an already fundamentally sound swing.

Weirdly twisted logic here.  A sound swing requires a 'loft' launch angle.  The pitch comes in at approx 6-10 deg, so just hitting it 'square requires a 6-10 deg loft.   Anyone that hits the ball at zero angle - flat- has a max 50 foot potential distance.

You don't need to be physically mature to learn what is a simple technique.

 

You are right, you can learn the technique, but applying it with successful results is a whole other story. Most kids I see who are trying to employ this approach with an “exaggerated “ launch angle are not successful in the sense that the plate appearance is not benefiting the team in moving base runners around the bases. 

I think most high school coaches would rather see players with a line drive swing plane.

2022OFDad posted

I think most high school coaches would rather see players with a line drive swing plane.

I want you to do an experiment at your next game or practice.  On one of these perfect line drive swings, I want you to notice how high the ball was.  Did it go over the pitchers head?  Was it over the L screen? Was it higher than 6 feet?  If so, that is 6-10 deg launch angle.

And that is a natural swing, not an exaggerated loft swing or these crazy launch angles some guys are trying to teach. When I say “launch angle” or “loft” I am referring to a swing path that is intended to generate a deep, high fly ball, not a line-drive swing plane.

You are playing semantics.

Most high school players should be surprised when they hit a home run. If they aren’t, then they are probably physically mature or pro prospects.

Multisport, great question.  Don't be surprised that many of us who grew up around baseball wonder the same thing.  I'll tell you what I did.  I looked around and asked around, which hitting coach in the area is the best?  This is an impossible question to answer.  But which hitting coach is a magnet for the best HS players, college committed players, MiLB players who come back in the off season?  Not what organization, but what coach/instructor?  This you can find out.

Also, I agree with Cabbage and Trust 100%.  My son started with his coach when he was 13 (he's a senior in HS now).  Weekly hitting lessons in winter and spring (football in the fall).  The emphasis was always on what it takes to hit great pitching - as Cabbage said, most kids can hit poor or average pitching so "hitting well" may mean nothing at all to his development.  It takes time to develop great mechanics and IMO you want great mechanics when you pick up a BBCOR bat on a big field, otherwise you'll find the bench and have an uphill battle getting playing time.

2022OFDad posted:

And that is a natural swing, not an exaggerated loft swing or these crazy launch angles some guys are trying to teach. When I say “launch angle” or “loft” I am referring to a swing path that is intended to generate a deep, high fly ball, not a line-drive swing plane.

You are playing semantics.

Most high school players should be surprised when they hit a home run. If they aren’t, then they are probably physically mature or pro prospects.

A pitch coming down around 6-10 degree angle and swinging in the exact opposite, say a 13 degree attack angle is within reason.

"But which hitting coach is a magnet for the best HS players, college committed players, MiLB players who come back in the off season?  Not what organization, but what coach/instructor?  This you can find out."

This is exactly what we did. Found a coach/instructor at the local JC. He taught in a way that kids could take what they were taught and apply it. My son used what he learned from this coach and applied it in college. His results where superior.

Eric Byrnes recommended a hitting coach

 

 

 

Multisportdad posted:

To clarify-  he only does lessons in the spring and early summer

Fall is football and winter is basketball!

 

I guess I'd ask when are you playing baseball there. Here we play spring/summer. Lessons winter/later winter so the player is locked in come the season.

The best instructor the kid had had a gift for seeing what was happening in the swing real time. It should be obvious how important this is to a hitting instructor yet I can't tell you how bad at it a lot of them are (along with every Tom, Dick, and Harry who offered advice). I had a high-speed camera during the kid's pre and HS years.  I wish I had a dollar for every time someone would comment about the kid's swing and they were just plain wrong. The last two years of TB his coach was a top level hitting instructor. I know this because he told everyone who would listen. Anyway, the kid would have a bad game and tell me "the coach says I'm doing x". We'd look at film and he was just wrong. 

The other thing that set him apart was after a while the lessons became as much about the approach/mental side of hitting as the physical.

2022OFDad posted:

And that is a natural swing, not an exaggerated loft swing or these crazy launch angles some guys are trying to teach. When I say “launch angle” or “loft” I am referring to a swing path that is intended to generate a deep, high fly ball, not a line-drive swing plane.

You are playing semantics.

Most high school players should be surprised when they hit a home run. If they aren’t, then they are probably physically mature or pro prospects.

If we are going to start talking about HS kids, kids looking at college or the draft I think you'll need to start looking at the player, as in body type etc. If a kid is athletic and has speed but maybe not raw power then a lower launch angle will work. If more raw power but not the speed/athleticism he is going to want a higher launch angle. With the game as it is today with the speed on defense, the shift, and pitchers throwing 95+ a big slow kid hitting even line drives is not of value.  I know this because the last for years the kid has worked out in front of an MLB scout who is about as far up the latter you can get. He wanted to draft the kid but he made it clear he needed to show him HR power on a consistent bases.  He explained it matter of fact. "What good does it do us to have you hitting singles or doubles. How are we going to get you home? You're no threat to steal, most likely couldn't score from second on a single". For the record the kid has 6.9-7.1 60 speed.

So, there is a reason some of these guys are teaching these "crazy launch angles".

uncoach posted:
2022OFDad posted:

And that is a natural swing, not an exaggerated loft swing or these crazy launch angles some guys are trying to teach. When I say “launch angle” or “loft” I am referring to a swing path that is intended to generate a deep, high fly ball, not a line-drive swing plane.

You are playing semantics.

Most high school players should be surprised when they hit a home run. If they aren’t, then they are probably physically mature or pro prospects.

A pitch coming down around 6-10 degree angle and swinging in the exact opposite, say a 13 degree attack angle is within reason.

This is precision without accuracy.  Seriously, even with a giant protractor there's no way a player or a coach can discern an angle within this tolerance.  If a coach claimed he can do this, it's best to run away.

2022OFDad posted:

my Son also has played for 2 MLB scouts the past 2 years and both of them say launch angle is BS for high school ball players.

For most yes. But "HS" covers a largish span of time  My point was that some of those players are going to be looking past HS and for them it starts to matter. But yes, at any level if the player can't hit the ball out with some consistency then launch angle is irrelevant. 

Smitty28 posted:
uncoach posted:
2022OFDad posted:

And that is a natural swing, not an exaggerated loft swing or these crazy launch angles some guys are trying to teach. When I say “launch angle” or “loft” I am referring to a swing path that is intended to generate a deep, high fly ball, not a line-drive swing plane.

You are playing semantics.

Most high school players should be surprised when they hit a home run. If they aren’t, then they are probably physically mature or pro prospects.

A pitch coming down around 6-10 degree angle and swinging in the exact opposite, say a 13 degree attack angle is within reason.

This is precision without accuracy.  Seriously, even with a giant protractor there's no way a player or a coach can discern an angle within this tolerance.  If a coach claimed he can do this, it's best to run away.

A coach doesn't have to discern the difference. That's what gadgets like the Blast Connect and Diamond Kinetics devices discern. 

SomeBaseballDad posted:
Multisportdad posted:

To clarify-  he only does lessons in the spring and early summer

Fall is football and winter is basketball!

 

I guess I'd ask when are you playing baseball there. Here we play spring/summer. Lessons winter/later winter so the player is locked in come the season.

The best instructor the kid had had a gift for seeing what was happening in the swing real time. It should be obvious how important this is to a hitting instructor yet I can't tell you how bad at it a lot of them are (along with every Tom, Dick, and Harry who offered advice). I had a high-speed camera during the kid's pre and HS years.  I wish I had a dollar for every time someone would comment about the kid's swing and they were just plain wrong. The last two years of TB his coach was a top level hitting instructor. I know this because he told everyone who would listen. Anyway, the kid would have a bad game and tell me "the coach says I'm doing x". We'd look at film and he was just wrong. 

The other thing that set him apart was after a while the lessons became as much about the approach/mental side of hitting as the physical.

He plays middle school ball through April.  Then travel through July.   He will play in a lot at PG or Lake Point in Atlanta during middle school ball (weekday games).  Plays fall ball tournaments, but can't practice much due to football and does not take lessons then.  He plays super loose in fall ball and kills it.  I think its partly because he is in super good football shape and his body/mind are extremely connected, but part of me also feels the stress is taken out of baseball due to no lessons/few practices.  So he is relaxed.

Fortunately for us, he is a sought after kid who has a place to play any weekend.

uncoach posted:
Smitty28 posted:
uncoach posted:
2022OFDad posted:

And that is a natural swing, not an exaggerated loft swing or these crazy launch angles some guys are trying to teach. When I say “launch angle” or “loft” I am referring to a swing path that is intended to generate a deep, high fly ball, not a line-drive swing plane.

You are playing semantics.

Most high school players should be surprised when they hit a home run. If they aren’t, then they are probably physically mature or pro prospects.

A pitch coming down around 6-10 degree angle and swinging in the exact opposite, say a 13 degree attack angle is within reason.

This is precision without accuracy.  Seriously, even with a giant protractor there's no way a player or a coach can discern an angle within this tolerance.  If a coach claimed he can do this, it's best to run away.

A coach doesn't have to discern the difference. That's what gadgets like the Blast Connect and Diamond Kinetics devices discern. 

To each his own, I guess.  I wouldn't pay an instructor that couldn't tell a good swing from a bad one.

My son(s) hitting coach is a 60yo former MLB'er who is very down to earth, direct, and loves working with kids. He can be a tough dude when he needs to be, but he truly has empathy for kids having trouble hitting the ball. He has no fancy drills, but he is very good at breaking down what is off just by watching my sons hit off the tee, or in the cage. Sons says he throws the best BP, EVER.

   Coach usually can identify what is wrong in the 1st session, but it sometimes takes 3 or 4  1/2 hr. lessons to get the fix to "take". I do know players who take weekly sessions with him, all year long. I can't see how it could do anything but good, except to the bank account. I'm too cheap to go weekly.

   It's taken me years to realize what a great resource he is. There are other good teachers out there, for sure, but I appreciate how clear, jargon free, and uncomplicated his teaching is. The guy is a master.

  

perhaps we could solve the problems in Syria right after the hitting conversation is concluded....Bottom line I think good advise is to do some checking around. 

The hitting community gets very hung up on tiny details, they feel the need to defend their belief to the death, very often feel their is only one way (theirs) all others are terrible I could continue but it would just give me a headache. 

IMO swinging down to the ball is the one thing you honestly never want to hear. That is just not good. 

If your guy doesn't emphasis being athletic and aggressive in the swing and pitch count if discussing approach you are with the wrong guy. 

If your guy is teaching the exact same swing he taught 10 years ago probably should be concerned. 

If your guy is a teaching something entirely different then 10 years ago and has dismissed 100 plus years of hitting knowledge you should run away faster. 

If he gives you a 7' piece of PVC and tells you to practice hitting the ceiling while spinning half backwards as part of body feel type launch angle training thing...you have failed as a parent to use logic!! 

Remember much of what the new school is teaching is geared to generating numbers, the biggest number that matters is consistency to deliver the good numbers. I hear very little talk of this. You have to put the barrel on the baseball...the more often the better. 

 

You also understand that hitting and pitching instructors make at least part of their living teaching lessons.  To me, we are like chiropractors.  You always need to come back for adjustments.  (sorry to any chiropractors but I tell my friends who do it the same.)  Why would you teach it or fix it all in one visit when you can perfect it over time.  I think hitting lessons have to be player specific.  I know guys who can take bad hitters and make them good hitters but can't take good hitters and make them great hitters.  Most of the MLB or college great guys cannot take a bad hitter and make them good.  they are great with working with athletes but not so much with the lower level kid.  You have to find the coach that fits best with your kid and his level of play. 

My son has never had a hitting lesson from anyone other than myself, his brothers, and his coaches (which were pretty good).  He hit .500 dead on last year in HS with 7 HRs and 28 walks with 19 of those being intentional. 

 I give hitting lessons.  I am one of the guys who can help the younger players and the developing high school players.  I do a decent job of teaching mechanics.  I just don't always have the patience to deal with middle level high school players and their dads who say I've always hit this way and had success (which means batting .200 and never come close to hitting a HR on a big field) can't you just tweek it rather than me change it.  I just got to the point where I say here is what you need to do and it is up to you and your kid to fix it if you want to get better.  I find there are too many dads who were decent HS players who think the way their coach taught them back in the 80's is the way it has to be done. 

I have received many calls over the years looking for lessons. I have never charged, I am willing to help a kid who can't afford a real instructor. I have 2 guys I reference kids to who know what they are doing...bottom line is a 10 or 12 year old local athlete who wants to learn the basics of solid basic swing I am willing to donate some time to. After a few sessions of getting him to a reasonable approach I send them on their way and tell them to call if they want a tune up...hitting lessons for young kids isn't rocket science and knowing what you can productive be supportive to is important.

Keep hitting simple is a concept that seems totally lost on the modern approach. I believe it is totally underrated.

Multisportdad posted:

Not ever having been a baseball guy,  I need a little guidance.

I have a 2024 who has been taking batting lessons from the same coach for a couple years.  Coach is a great guy who connects with my son.  My son is a very solid hitter who takes lessons vary seriously. 

The coaches has the pedigree and is well respected.  His dad had a cup of coffee in the MLB.   I don't think Coach follows the new trends, or does a lot of research into new methods; but teaches what he knows (which seems considerable).    This is in contrast to many coaches in town who introduce all sorts of stuff to make the hitter "less comfortable"and or claim their methods are cutting edge.

Two questions?

1) How can you tell how if a kid is beginning to exceed the ability of a coach to help him?

2) Is there a newer method- whether technology based or not,  that seems to be giving better results than a traditional method.

 

 

 

 

 

You're not a baseball guy?  That's OK.  I thought I was a baseball guy.  Thought I understood the baseball swing, etc.  Then I learned that my thinking was more 1980 than 2013.  So, for the last 5 years, I have been getting educated. (Thank you, Internet!)  My recommendation to you, while not a baseball guy, is to get educated on this stuff.  You need to be the one to vet your son's coaches to make sure they are teaching him the right stuff.  

Here's the thing with kids, dads and coaches.  Kids don't ever want to hear that they are wrong, from their parents.  Now, you may not be saying that, and, you may be saying you're good but could be better - but, all the kid hears is "Dad says I am wrong."  So, basically, you have to pay a coach to teach your kid what you want him to learn.  But, of course, first you need to learn it, to vet the coach, etc.

The bigger thing is finding a coach who connects with your kid.  Now, the coach might be saying all the right things.  But, if the kid doesn't buy in, then it doesn't matter.  You need to find a coach who, for whatever reason, your kid will listen to him as if he was speaking gospel.

That's all hard.  Literally, it took me around 3 years to get all the pieces to align.  But, once it happened, it was magic.

To your 1st question, I would assume it's time when the kid has an issue that the coach cannot properly address.  Say, for example, you know the kid is having a problem staying back, and, he's lunging.  It's obvious.  You mention it to the coach.  But, the coach says "I think it's more a matter of how he's holding the bat."  Clearly, in this case, he's reached the point where he can't help you anymore.

To your 2nd question, it's tricky.  I know a coach who teaches NOTHING.  He has you go through a series of drills.  He says very little.  His thought is that these drills, done over and over, will teach you the swing.  I know another coach who breaks the swing down to chunks.  And, when you master each piece, then you put it all together.  And, I know another coach who just says keep swinging until you start to feel it.   

Which is best?  Maybe all?  Maybe none.  It depends on the kid.  What works for some doesn't work for all.  So, to your question, the method/technique that resonates with your son is the way you want to go.

 

ILVBB posted:

"But which hitting coach is a magnet for the best HS players, college committed players, MiLB players who come back in the off season?  Not what organization, but what coach/instructor?  This you can find out."

This is exactly what we did. Found a coach/instructor at the local JC. He taught in a way that kids could take what they were taught and apply it. My son used what he learned from this coach and applied it in college. His results where superior.

Eric Byrnes recommended a hitting coach

 

 

 

Smitty28 posted:
uncoach posted:
Smitty28 posted:
uncoach posted:
2022OFDad posted:

And that is a natural swing, not an exaggerated loft swing or these crazy launch angles some guys are trying to teach. When I say “launch angle” or “loft” I am referring to a swing path that is intended to generate a deep, high fly ball, not a line-drive swing plane.

You are playing semantics.

Most high school players should be surprised when they hit a home run. If they aren’t, then they are probably physically mature or pro prospects.

A pitch coming down around 6-10 degree angle and swinging in the exact opposite, say a 13 degree attack angle is within reason.

This is precision without accuracy.  Seriously, even with a giant protractor there's no way a player or a coach can discern an angle within this tolerance.  If a coach claimed he can do this, it's best to run away.

A coach doesn't have to discern the difference. That's what gadgets like the Blast Connect and Diamond Kinetics devices discern. 

To each his own, I guess.  I wouldn't pay an instructor that couldn't tell a good swing from a bad one.

You made an ignorant comment about the different between 10 and 13 degrees. A person doesn't have to get a protractor out with modern technology available.

"This is in contrast to many coaches in town who introduce all sorts of stuff to make the hitter "less comfortable" and or claim their methods are cutting edge"

 "variability training" is cutting edge. Last September 20 MLB teams showed up for a seminar at FBR to learn about this from Randy Sullivan. The same seminar is being repeated in October at the request of several MLB teams and I believe it is almost sold out. 

 

uncoach posted:
Smitty28 posted:
uncoach posted:
Smitty28 posted:
uncoach posted:
2022OFDad posted:

And that is a natural swing, not an exaggerated loft swing or these crazy launch angles some guys are trying to teach. When I say “launch angle” or “loft” I am referring to a swing path that is intended to generate a deep, high fly ball, not a line-drive swing plane.

You are playing semantics.

Most high school players should be surprised when they hit a home run. If they aren’t, then they are probably physically mature or pro prospects.

A pitch coming down around 6-10 degree angle and swinging in the exact opposite, say a 13 degree attack angle is within reason.

This is precision without accuracy.  Seriously, even with a giant protractor there's no way a player or a coach can discern an angle within this tolerance.  If a coach claimed he can do this, it's best to run away.

A coach doesn't have to discern the difference. That's what gadgets like the Blast Connect and Diamond Kinetics devices discern. 

To each his own, I guess.  I wouldn't pay an instructor that couldn't tell a good swing from a bad one.

You made an ignorant comment about the different between 10 and 13 degrees. A person doesn't have to get a protractor out with modern technology available.

The protractor comment was a joke.  I thought that would be obvious.  Like I said, I wouldn't pay an instructor who couldn't tell a good swing from a bad one, and I wouldn't let the instructor hide behind technology to train a 7th grader.

Smitty28 posted:
uncoach posted:
Smitty28 posted:
uncoach posted:
Smitty28 posted:
uncoach posted:
2022OFDad posted:

And that is a natural swing, not an exaggerated loft swing or these crazy launch angles some guys are trying to teach. When I say “launch angle” or “loft” I am referring to a swing path that is intended to generate a deep, high fly ball, not a line-drive swing plane.

You are playing semantics.

Most high school players should be surprised when they hit a home run. If they aren’t, then they are probably physically mature or pro prospects.

A pitch coming down around 6-10 degree angle and swinging in the exact opposite, say a 13 degree attack angle is within reason.

This is precision without accuracy.  Seriously, even with a giant protractor there's no way a player or a coach can discern an angle within this tolerance.  If a coach claimed he can do this, it's best to run away.

A coach doesn't have to discern the difference. That's what gadgets like the Blast Connect and Diamond Kinetics devices discern. 

To each his own, I guess.  I wouldn't pay an instructor that couldn't tell a good swing from a bad one.

You made an ignorant comment about the different between 10 and 13 degrees. A person doesn't have to get a protractor out with modern technology available.

The protractor comment was a joke.  I thought that would be obvious.  Like I said, I wouldn't pay an instructor who couldn't tell a good swing from a bad one, and I wouldn't let the instructor hide behind technology to train a 7th grader.

>The best instructor the kid had had a gift for seeing what was happening in the swing real time. It should be obvious how important this is to a hitting instructor yet I can't tell you how bad at it a lot of them are (along with every Tom, Dick, and Harry who offered advice). I had a high-speed camera during the kid's pre and HS years.  I wish I had a dollar for every time someone would comment about the kid's swing and they were just plain wrong. The last two years of TB his coach was a top level hitting instructor. I know this because he told everyone who would listen. Anyway, the kid would have a bad game and tell me "the coach says I'm doing x". We'd look at film and he was just wrong.<

I can't tell you how wrong, time after time after time, people were about what they thought they were seeing. 

>and I wouldn't let the instructor hide behind technology<

Video doesn't lie.

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