Da pow

The hitters are getting better and better each day. The players all seem eager to learn and willing to work. The first couple of practices we had the entire team together. But then I requested smaller groups and more time so I could really get to know the individuals and their own personal battles and strengths. These hitters are very disciplined and accept and expect honest feedback. They all want to get better. The pitching staff is even willing to throw BP to the hitters from time to time. There is great unity within this team. It reminds me of my own Team Indiana. I miss my TI girls.

It is all about speed. No thrills, no bells and whistles, just swing, and swing fast. A hitter can never get fast enough. Yes there is plate coverage, and hitting movement and off-speed, but when it is all said and done a hitter’s explosive speed and will-to-win will matter most. There is a lot of emphasis on tracking, but I believe it is all about form and swing speed. There is a logical progression with the learning structure and you cannot skip the steps, but there comes a point when conditioning plays a greater role in the success and performance of a hitter. Not knowing the language has really pushed me as a coach to find other means to communicate.

There is a hitter here who we call Da Pow, which translates into BIG HIT, and what I noticed first was her lack of follow-through and extension. On the follow-through it is the path of the bat and the distance it travels that is important, not the type of style. Whether a hitter is using a top-hand release or uses two hands on the follow-through, they must allow the bat to travel the same distance with equal speed. If they shorten or slow down they actually slow down before contact. Trust me, this is a hard concept to explain through a translator who has no prior softball knowledge. Da Pow is an experienced player with unbelievable power and strength. After several failed attempts through my translator to explain what was happening in her swing, I pulled out the camera and the Right View Pro. Within 5 minutes she understood exactly what was happening and made the correct adjustments. I used baseball and softball examples.  It also goes to show sometimes we don’t have to tell a player anything. Great athletes are usually very visual and can solve problems on their own. We facilitate the learning with the proper learning environment and tools. I see coaches who never played over-coach and not prepare players to think on their own.

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