A phrase that I have seen about hitting over the yrs. is along the lines of things like: The hitter needs to be more athletic, or, you are taking the athleticism out of the hitter.
One operative principle I have utilized over the yrs. for many such assertions is that of ......
...questioning the premise. In the case of the phrase "you're taking away the hitter's athleticism" it amounts to asking: "Define athleticism."
Here's one dictionary version: "the physical qualities that are characteristic of athletes, such as strength, fitness, and agility."
But this definition, similar to the above "taking away athleticism" is equally vague in that ALL athletes have SOME degree of, "strength, fitness, agility."
But ok let's put that aside and use this definition and apply it to the "you're taking away the hitter's athleticism." How does one exactly go about "taking away" a hitter's strength, or fitness, or agility?
Well, I do not think an instructor can actually do this. How can I as an instructor make an athlete lose strength or fitness or agility at whatever level they are currently exhibiting these qualities?
Now, what I CAN possibly do is to create training protocols that possibly enhance or deter those existing capabilities.
And it is those protocols which are being, in effect, judged by those looking at those protocols, that are in question.
Now we come to the crux of the matter as regards the phrase...."you are taking away the hitter's athleticism."
I think what they are REALLY trying to say is that they disagree with your training methods. Their presumption is that other methods--usually THEIR methods-- will NOT inhibit the hitter's ...."athleticism."
But. From my vantage point that simply begs the question of: What make you think YOUR methods better enhance this vague assertion of ...you are taking away athleticism?
My argument on this is that of: Show me your evidence as to how YOUR methods actually enhance the hitter's EFFICIENCY of movement?
I phrase it like this to suggest that the vague phrase of "athleticism" is actually pretty useless. It's very subjective, vague, thus lacks, "explanatory power [my phrase].
From my vantage point, a MUCH more relevant idea is that of understanding training methods based on their ability to help a hitter ACTUALLY address the kinds of movement flaws that are inhibiting their potential.
And this kind of construct is a MUCH different construct relative to the vague notions surrounding that of ...."athleticism."

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More from @SteveEnglishbey

4 Jun
And one more thing for tonight [before I return to my bunker to read a bunch of shit!]; Not too long ago, someone blocked me ---apparently as a result of me simply pointing out that I thought their description/analysis of a hitter was flawed.
In no manner [I don't think] could my argument be construed as any kind of personal attack. Simply put, I disagreed with their interpretation and tried explain this based on my understanding of movement [based on 20 yrs. of practical and technical info].
Rather than trying to engage me he simply blocked me. Those who know me know that I am someone who is well practiced in the art of engaging all kinds of views on things. MY operative view is:
Read 9 tweets
4 Jun
Similar to the kinds of simplistic cues one uses to describe a high level swing, e.g., great hitters know how to use their hands, they have great "feel", they have great "rhythm" etc. etc., one that is commonly stated is that hitting is ALL about timing.
ALL??? As in great hitters are great hitters ONLY or mostly as a result of superior timing. I don't think so. Simply put, as with any ballistic activity that inherently involves BOTH movement capabilities AND tracking a high speed object [puck, tennis ball, skeet shooting,
hand ball, baseball, etc etc],all these involve an INTERACTION of visual acuity, memory recall "anticipation" ,etc [brain shit]AND physical dexterity/efficiency in the specific domain.
Read 7 tweets
4 Jun
I understand this analogy. However, from my vantage point I would argue that cultural trends [starting with the so-called "self esteem movement" in the 70's] have tended towards rewarding people for average or below performance ,i.e., defining merit downwardly so to speak.
From my vantage point, this kind of false praise, so to speak, will only serve to impede development [whatever the domain]. Based on practical experience as well as academic research on high level performers, one has to understand what I refer to as the "high standard."
And one has to understand as to how they ACTUALLY measure up to that standard. Inherent to this is an honest assessment as regards the kinds of flaws/deficits one has that need to be worked on in order reach that high standard.
Read 9 tweets
1 Jun
In a recent post I cited Paul Nyman's disc model to talk about the importance of the lead arm quickly getting on --and staying on the disc --from lag to contact.
Here's a clip of Griffey wherein the upper lead arm is on the disc --on both an up and in and low away location:

This is very distinct from most non-elite level hitters DROPPING the entire lead arm far under the shoulder line to line up with a middle to low location.
This distinction should be understood as a key difference between those trying to maintain good linkage of the lead arm to the rotation of the shoulders [elite hitters]...
Read 6 tweets
7 May
Over the yrs. I have seen MANY drills wherein my main thought is along the lines of: How in the world does this drill either help to overcome the flaws I see in this hitter; or how does this in any way help to develop high level movement?!
Today I saw yet another ex. of this. Context a 12 yr old was told to swing [tee swing] while having the lead leg flexed/off the ground and with the back leg slightly externally rotated.
Result? A complete arm swing ,i.e., very little trunk rotation/arms far in front of the base/elbows almost at full extension at contact. Why this result?
Read 7 tweets
5 Mar
Comment from the player ...."awkward". Which is related to my dictum as regards changing ingrained flaws: You cannot be guided by feelings of comfort.
Some context to this. Yrs. ago I was working with a 16 yr old hitter from Nor Cal --a guy who was far too upright [no hip flexion] After 3 attempts to tilt more he said ..."I don't feel comfortable doing this. To which I replied:
Well let's think about this. Imagine you as an infant wherein you see this piece of dirt on a ledge that you want to eat. You try to lift yourself up to try to get to it. After 3 attempts you say ...."I don't feel comfortable doing this."
Read 8 tweets

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