"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.
I will occasionally use that but only with advanced players.
!!I get that just tee hitting won't prepare you for 95 and facing velo from a short distance can help but really if your swing sucks against front toss it won't magically self organize into a good swing if you bust him inside with a machine at 92.
There is a place and time for both.
Funny you should say that! Your thought process came up at the recent coach's convention in Dallas.
From what little I understand about variability training is it is not intended to teach mechanics as it is the furthermost thing from mechanics. It is more about body movement.
I agree with your "magically self organize" statement and therefore, I believe, "some" type of "guided" discovery should be in place. The days of "everyone does it this way" are about to become a thing of the past. In my opinion, once the body understands the general direction in which it needs to go to accomplish the end goal, then the Bernstein Principle can be applied.
Just attended an MLS seminar last week and variability training is on their radar also.
For those who may not be familiar with the Bernstein Principal:
Bernstein Principle #1: “The body will organize itself in accordance with the overall goal of the activity.” ... They learn through feel and repetition, not through words.
Just my opinion for what it is worth....if your son's instructor's goal is more about how your son's swing looks then how your son's body works then it may be something to look at. For example, prior to my son becoming an FBR guy, his pitching instructors taught him the mechanics that worked for them in the bigs.....boy did my son look good when he threw!
What they did not realize is my son's body did not function the way theirs did. As a result, they made him a 72 mph guy who nobody wanted. After 3 months at FBR my son went from 72 to 80 by allowing his body to work in a manner that was more beneficial to him. Forward 3.5 years of this same training process, my son is a HS senior now who signed an NLI for a P5 school in November and touched 92 this month.
Moral of the story is, if an instructor is not continually learning and evolving as a trainer he may just be training his students right out of the game of baseball! It is easier to say the student did not have "it" when they do not accomplish their dreams than it is to continually strive to learn the latest training technics that may allow a young man or women the opportunity to unlock their true potential.
I have the utmost respect for instructors who's true intentions are to help players, but even more respect for guys like Randy Sullivan, Ron Woolforth, Eric Cressy, Kyle Body, etc, etc. who continually strive to improve their training techniques. These guys are doing something right if the MLB is coming to them....