2022OFDad posted:

Good chart. MidAtlanticDad

I think most MLB teams are looking for Barrels. Barrels include line drive and fly balls. Like Kyle says, hit it hard and hit it in the air. 

MLB Definition:

  • Ground ball: Less than 10 degrees
  • Line drive: 10-25 degrees
  • Fly ball: 25-50 degrees
  • Pop up: Greater than 50 degrees

 

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Kyle Boddy posted:

Hit the ball hard. Hit it in the air. If your son's instructor gets him to do both more regularly, you have a good one. If your son does not do this, you may not have a good one.

People in this thread can disagree all they want with the idea that 2 + 2 = 4, but no matter how hard they try, adding 2 + 2 does not equal 5.

Hitting the ball to the pull side in the air hard yields the best results in all of baseball. It's proven. There is no debate here. Increasing contact percentage and ability to adjust also matter. But do not forget what matters most - demolishing baseballs in the air. And line drives are in the air, before anyone complains about fly balls.

A+, Kyle. It's almost like we have people arguing against Ted Williams and his book the Science of Hitting. Ted was right. The basic philosophy he passed along is proven by the data available today and driveline has been a big part of providing even better details.  I haven't met 1 high school player at my cage who doesn't have the physical ability to hit a hard line drive into the outfield. Why would anyone not want a ball into the air in the OF? Bringing math back into it, there are 6 defensive players covering a small infield and only 3 OF covering the huge area called the outfield.  What's the best shot of getting a hit? Putting the ball in the air into the OF.

Disagree with some of the comments.  I have coached hitting for 35+ years.  The swing is the swing regardless of age.  So, if you teach whatever philosophy it is you believe in as a hitting coach, that is what you coach for all.  How else would/could you justify telling a client and parents that you are instructing anything less than what you consider a high level swing.  Launch angle for most hitting coaches is nothing more that what Ted Williams stated in The Science of Hitting.  

Here are some things to think about:

  • Can you sit in on lesson and watch the instructor instruct another hitter?  If not, why not?  I let parents sit in and watch and I encourage potential new clients and parents to do the same.
  • Do you agree with or understand the philosophy that the instructor uses?  "Experts" are a dime a dozen.  The level that one played doesn't mean that they know what they are doing and, if they do, that they can translate that to the hitter.
  • Does the terminology makes sense to you?  Remember, if you pick an instructor, you have to be able to assist your child/hitter and so, need to understand the terminology.  For example, "staying back" has a whole lot of different meanings.
  • How does the instructor instruct?  Personally, I would never pick an instructor who doesn't establish a running dialogue with the hitter.  My goal is to be so good that your child doesn't need me.  I don't have secrets.  I want them to know their swing as well as I will come to know it.  I want to be out of a job!
  • People often say that "word of mouth" is important.  Be careful!  Often if a hitter does poorly, the instructor gets the blame and often that hitter did poorly before they came to the instructor.  
  • Cost!  What is the going rate in the area and are you prepared to pay it?  This amazes me.  We have people paying upwards of $50+ per half hour.  Personally speaking, for that money, that instruction had better be good.
  • Facilities/Technology.  Safety first!  I think many of us have seen the video of the young man hitting a ball off of a machine where the ball came back and hit him in the face.  From there, you have so many other things to consider.  For example, my hitters have a second cage to hit in without my instruction.  It has Tanner Tees, screens, all types of balls, and it is used by both those who are reporting to lessons to get loose and those who have finished lessons who want to get more swings in.  I don't have the other gizmos that the expensive guys have.  I can't tell you bat exit speed.  I don't video every lesson.  I do video but a before, during and at the end video to show progress.  I used to use RVP but mine is down now.  If all of this matters, it comes with a cost.
  • Does your instructor come to watch your child/hitter in games?  I do as much as I can.  If not, will they breakdown game video?  
  • As pointed out, does your child need lessons every week?  Most hitting instructors will try to sell you a package.  They want that money up front and want their cage time set.  Some instructors have open slots for breaks, etc.  Is that time available to take your child/hitter every once in a while for a tune up.  I do this at the end of the day.  If you want that time slot, I'll stay.  

I hope that this helped some.  I am not an "Expert."  I don't run a business.  I teach hitting and help kids.  I try not to take on more than 22 hitters at any given time.  I am cheap.  I charge $15 per half hour.  Maybe you get what you pay for.  Maybe you get more.  LOL  Good luck finding what you are looking for.  

CoachB25 posted:

Disagree with some of the comments.  I have coached hitting for 35+ years.  The swing is the swing regardless of age.  So, if you teach whatever philosophy it is you believe in as a hitting coach, that is what you coach for all.  How else would/could you justify telling a client and parents that you are instructing anything less than what you consider a high level swing.  Launch angle for most hitting coaches is nothing more that what Ted Williams stated in The Science of Hitting.  

Here are some things to think about:

  • Can you sit in on lesson and watch the instructor instruct another hitter?  If not, why not?  I let parents sit in and watch and I encourage potential new clients and parents to do the same.
  • Do you agree with or understand the philosophy that the instructor uses?  "Experts" are a dime a dozen.  The level that one played doesn't mean that they know what they are doing and, if they do, that they can translate that to the hitter.
  • Does the terminology makes sense to you?  Remember, if you pick an instructor, you have to be able to assist your child/hitter and so, need to understand the terminology.  For example, "staying back" has a whole lot of different meanings.
  • How does the instructor instruct?  Personally, I would never pick an instructor who doesn't establish a running dialogue with the hitter.  My goal is to be so good that your child doesn't need me.  I don't have secrets.  I want them to know their swing as well as I will come to know it.  I want to be out of a job!
  • People often say that "word of mouth" is important.  Be careful!  Often if a hitter does poorly, the instructor gets the blame and often that hitter did poorly before they came to the instructor.  
  • Cost!  What is the going rate in the area and are you prepared to pay it?  This amazes me.  We have people paying upwards of $50+ per half hour.  Personally speaking, for that money, that instruction had better be good.
  • Facilities/Technology.  Safety first!  I think many of us have seen the video of the young man hitting a ball off of a machine where the ball came back and hit him in the face.  From there, you have so many other things to consider.  For example, my hitters have a second cage to hit in without my instruction.  It has Tanner Tees, screens, all types of balls, and it is used by both those who are reporting to lessons to get loose and those who have finished lessons who want to get more swings in.  I don't have the other gizmos that the expensive guys have.  I can't tell you bat exit speed.  I don't video every lesson.  I do video but a before, during and at the end video to show progress.  I used to use RVP but mine is down now.  If all of this matters, it comes with a cost.
  • Does your instructor come to watch your child/hitter in games?  I do as much as I can.  If not, will they breakdown game video?  
  • As pointed out, does your child need lessons every week?  Most hitting instructors will try to sell you a package.  They want that money up front and want their cage time set.  Some instructors have open slots for breaks, etc.  Is that time available to take your child/hitter every once in a while for a tune up.  I do this at the end of the day.  If you want that time slot, I'll stay.  

I hope that this helped some.  I am not an "Expert."  I don't run a business.  I teach hitting and help kids.  I try not to take on more than 22 hitters at any given time.  I am cheap.  I charge $15 per half hour.  Maybe you get what you pay for.  Maybe you get more.  LOL  Good luck finding what you are looking for.  

Well said. 

CoachB25 posted:


Lots of good info coach. Thanks for bringing it back to OP. I had to smile that I "followed" many of your bullet points you presented when we selected a hitting coach for my 2015. His coach was listed as the best hitting coach by the State HS Baseball Association, and my son's HS coach heard of him. Though he taught little to my son on launch angle, he taught my son how to hit with 2 strikes which is vital to his game. He focused on hitting the ball square, hard..line drives and the importance of his quick hands. Also taught him to hit behind runners and oppo which played to a strength.  Even today I'll notice the bigger swing son will take with a runner on third less than two outs and a favorable count. Those who are looking at him for the "next level" talk about him getting on base, putting pressure on the defense with his speed, and taking away runs with his glove. Not a one size fits all. I remember one instructor who worked with teammates of son who taught the "squash the bug" with an upper cut because every infield grounder is an out. We talk about finding a "good fit" for selecting colleges. I think the same can be said about hitting coaches.

Kyle Boddy posted:

Hit the ball hard. Hit it in the air. If your son's instructor gets him to do both more regularly, you have a good one. If your son does not do this, you may not have a good one.

People in this thread can disagree all they want with the idea that 2 + 2 = 4, but no matter how hard they try, adding 2 + 2 does not equal 5.

Hitting the ball to the pull side in the air hard yields the best results in all of baseball. It's proven. There is no debate here. Increasing contact percentage and ability to adjust also matter. But do not forget what matters most - demolishing baseballs in the air. And line drives are in the air, before anyone complains about fly balls.

What I bolded is the most important. I agree with a lot of what you're saying and mostly the main point: Line drives = good. But the biggest problem is that many hitters are so fixated on elevating the baseball and buying into the idea that ground balls are for chumps that they can't adjust. When it works it works, but when it doesn't the result is a K or a weak pop out 90% of the time. They can't hit situationally, they aren't capable of making productive outs. I can get behind the theory that elevation is better for hitters, but it needs to be executed better. I see too many hitters batting .247 with 28 HRs who can't move a runner over from 2nd to 3rd with no outs because they are trying to hit the ball 500ft down the line. Either the approach is flawed or hitters are not executing the method at the level it needs to be. Which tells me that the approach is not for everybody. Guys like Lemahieu and Gardner are much better served working down and hitting for average than hitting 16 HRs and batting .260. Big guys that don't run well, not so much. I'm all for listening to the numbers, but when the numbers show that a player isn't productive, there has to be a different approach. 

Multisportdad posted:

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.

To answer the original question. Outgrowing a coach can happen. They get so used to seeing the same problems and giving the same advice that it doesn't feel like he's progressing. 

I know you're not a baseball guy, but if you continue to see some of the same problems in his ABs (keeps grounding out to same position, lunging at slower pitching, hits the ball hard but never out of the IF) just ask around. Talk to the coach after the game, is there anything you think he needs to work on is always a good start. Talk to some of the more knowledgeable baseball parents or parents of the better players. See who they go to, ask if their son's ever had similar issues. Next time they go to a lesson ask to tag along and pay for/split the lesson. 

To answer the second question. There is no one size fits all answer. It varies by hitter. The methods and technology your son uses as practice don't make him a good hitter. What makes a player as good hitter is "hitting the ball good". The goal at his age should be to become a well rounded hitter. Goes gap to gap, puts the ball in play, patient, draws walks, minimal strikeouts, can start recognizing off speed pitches, protecting the plate, etc. I wouldn't worry so much about cutting edge tech and methods as much as I would focus on how do I get rid of any weak links. 

Just a quick update on what we did for my son when he began stagnating with his instructor (and remember, I am a non baseball guy who can't teach own son). 

 We found a new guy, and wow, I didn't know what I didn't know.

To find him, asked around a lot,  narrowed it to about 5 guys, and spent some time watching them each give lessons.    If my presence wasn't obviously welcome,  I scratched him off the list.

I picked a highly regarded guy who seemed excited about teaching, ran an efficient lesson, and would actually keep working past the 30 minute mark.

Was it a good choice?  Yes,  he has liberated my son emotionally at the plate.  It is crazy how much more my son enjoys the game.

Now at the plate,  son's thought process is "to win every pitch and line out to the center fielder".  That's it.  This is something a 13 year old brain can wrap itself around!

Fast forward to the season, lots more hits, lots more XBH's, and far less stress at the plate regardless of the outcome.

So the moral of the story is this, if your son truly working and you think there may be an issue or disconnect with current instructor- let your loyalty be to your son, not the coach.  Do the due diligence.

 

Glad you found the right instructor for your son.  Patience, lots of searching, and a little luck is needed for the right "fit".  For my son I found his hitting instructor through talking with numerous parents and coaches.  Only problem -  he was booked up, thus we had to wait about 12-14 months.  Son took lessons from my 2nd & 3rd choice instructors which ended up being OK, nothing fantastic.  Finally a slot opened up with my primary choice and we grabbed it (time was a little late but couldn't be choosy).  Eventually was able to get preferred day and time slot.  If you think you found the right guy don't give up if  he has no openings, keep at it and it may work out in the end!

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