We are starting a journey to share ideas on hitting. I hope that hitters, hitting instructors, parents and whom ever will join in on facebook.
I recently spent time with a sports psychologist, who said their goal is to “get an athlete into the zone more often and keep them there longer.” I thought to myself, wow that is what I believe training with the ProGlider does.
Manager Dave Roberts told one of his player to play pepper everyday and the results were positive. I believe playing pepper teaches directional hitting and reacting to pitches rather than being fooled. You learn to change your contact point and release point. Is that not what a hitter is doing when he is in the zone?
You can do a full swing with the ProGlider and you can do this on your own!
(on a side note: If you were taking music lessons wouldn’t your teacher expect you to get your own instrument so you can practice before your next lesson?)
I understand his timing has to be right on and he has to see the ball early and project where to make contact without thinking just reacting. Debra Chopra once said, “a man is most creative when there is nothing on his mind and than there is a stimulus.” When you’re in the zone you go to the plate with no expectation other than feel you can hit just about anything. You maybe expecting a certain pitch but are still able to adjust and react.
“Recognition confidence” In other words you still, with confidence, react. How can the brain interfere with hitting? Hitting a baseball is 99.9% reaction and 0.1% or less to thinking. If you are fooled then your thinking time goes up and you have less time to react.
Since divided attention at encoding typically disrupts explicit memory (and implicit conceptual memory), but not implicit perceptual memory (Mulligan, 1998), suggests that implicit memory can aid performance on recognition tests, and in certain contexts explicit memory processes can interfere with implicit memory processes.)
* Note: implicit memory is learning by feel
So, how has training with the ProGlider produced the comments and testimonies? By FEEL you learn to: first produce a bat path of hands inside the ball and lag the barrel until it release itself. Than you learn to hit pitches where they are pitched. With the instant feedback you know when you did it right. (Unlike the tee that does the thinking for you) This is positive visual feedback! THAT builds muscle memory quick! The reason it is quick is that the picture your brain has in its mind has now been changed and in just a few more swings… it is yours.
After you are able to go to opposite field, up the middle, and pull, now use the ProGlider without the balls, and soft toss with tennis balls. Get to the point when you are able on command to take the inside pitch back up the middle and to opposite field. Yes a true inside out swing. What I mean is bring hands in even closer, make contact late in the zone, upon contact hand go with the pitch (out) to opposite field. (Not only does angle of bat produce opposite field direction.) Now use your regular bat and balls and do the same thing. Try putting a ball on a tee (inverted best) and hit the ball to different parts of the field, without changing your position in the batter’s box.
I hope I have contributed to your training and teaching. I also, hope to hear back with more information so we can all keep moving forward, improving the great games of Baseball & Softball. Also keep in mind we can all learn from disagreeing and dissecting the info. Won’t we learn more than if we all agree?
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