Tools & Equipment
These are something we use on a daily basis for consistent quality contact. They have had a drastic effect on how we attack the center of every ball we see. In order to make these things fly you have to have flush contact, and the kids will work every swing to make sure they are "squaring up" the ball. They definitely translate to hitting a baseball, and have proven to be a great addition to the program.
The overload/Underload bats have provided us for multiple ways to change up or adjust drills without having to change too much of the drill. The implement let's them feel their swing a little bit more, and provide feedback in itself of them dragging barrel, or lunging too far in front. These help to remove deficiencies and help them have a consistent and complete swing every time they take a hack. We use these every single day in some form. Whether it's a kid working through every bat, or whether it's a certain bat for a certain drill they are utilized, and we have seen great progress.
Jaeger Bands or "J-Bands" have become the standard for arm care when it comes to pre-throwing routines. J-Bands and their program are part of our every day routine. Along with dynamic and foam rolling stretch these J-Bands increase the muscle activation for muscles used directly in throwing. I can't recommend these enough when it comes to every level of baseball. They have done an amazing job of posting new information, and making quality products. These are a must-have for every baseball athlete.
The weighted throwing plyos are used every day in order to gain a feel for how our arm works through space. Most people assume that these are directly related to velocity, while providing increased/decreased resistance and possibly increasing velocity, they also provide a better feel for manipulation of arm action by decreasing inefficiencies. Most athletes have some kind of deficiency, and these help to remove the deficiency by taking them through efficient forms of completing a task.
Data Collection Tools
The Blast Motion sensors and their use in our program has been huge. These have been great for finding the issues with a swing much more quickly than just with the eye. Plus this provides objective feedback for the athletes. In this current day and age if you can't back up your statements they sometimes are taken as fake. It's important that we have objective data to help athletes understand our statements, and to provide for us something tangible over just "It's not a great swing". Blast collects 10+ metrics and gives you clear cut definitions and training videos on how to work on those issues. They have been great for our athletes to understand what the metrics mean, and set up individual plans for every hitter. I highly recommend this tool for your program. If you are just getting started, or have limited resources for # of accounts or sensors you can take a look at the Google Sheet, and slideshow I made for those instances here.
The hitting rapsodo has been amazing as far as collecting batted ball data and being able to come up with a plan for how to work backwards and come up with a plan for each hitter. This paired with the Blast Motion has been some of the most useful tools I have used together. With the Rapsodo being able to provide objective data it has been extremely easy to train in a cage, or indoors and not get lost in what the field truly looks like.
The Pitching Rapsodo is one of the most complete pitching assessment tools out there. It gives you every metric you could ask for from a pitchers analysis standpoint. Spin Axis, Rate, true spin, Efficiencies, break on every pitch, and their profile. The measurements from this help you coach to a better curveball, or a more effective fastball. This should be on every coaches wish list for their program.
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