Inventive idea towards hitting

Tuesday, Feb. 5th 2013

One of the most important attributes a piece of baseball training equipment can have is that it may be used alone, by one individual. Many training aids require the participation of, if not three, two people, but quite frequently we are left to our own devices to work on our swing. The Schutt Striker II looks to address the necessity of group participation in a piece of training equipment. Even with tee drills, when you are by yourself you have to hit the ball off the tee, reach down, put another ball on the tee, and do it all over again. Basic description: the Schutt Striker II is an apparatus that is attached to a fence and the ball is suspended parallel to the fence, by a piece of rope.

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The Schutt Striker allows you to practice on your own the fundamentals of your swing without having to chase after baseballs, and waiting for partner to practice with you. Simply take a swing, and the ball will spin vertically, until it comes to a stop. The advantage to this particular hitting device, as opposed to other devices like it—the Swing Away—is that after you hit the ball it travels vertically, as opposed to horizontally. Put another way, the Schutt Striker II simulates the action of a pitch better than its competitors through it’s unique design.

The Schutt Striker II is a good hitting tool because it may be used by a single individual, simulates what an in game pitch looks like more than its competitors, and is offered at a competitive price. Baseball equipment manufactures and inventors need to continue to accomplish these three goals with each new invention. If they don’t, they are only moving horizontally down creative pathway, like the Swing Away, as opposed to vertically towards ideas uncharted, like the Schutt Striker II.


A hitting tool you won’t believe you didn’t think of

Thursday, Jan. 31st 2013

I’m always interested in new a creative hitting methods, drills, and tools. Today, for our training equipment segment, we will look at the hitting disk. The hitting disk accomplishes all the qualities I look for in a piece of training equipment; the hitting disk is cheap, effective, and creative. You can get three disks for $24.95, but you could essentially buy a pool Frisbee at Wal-Mart for three dollars and save some money. However, just because the product isn’t proprietarily unique doesn’t mean it is not effective.

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(Pictures taken from hittingdisk.com)

The hitting disk is essentially a Frisbee made of fabric that you hold in between the palms of your two hands (see pictures above). After you place the hitting disk in between your palms, you get into your normal batting stance and take a swing, as you normally would, while you release the disk at the point you normally make contact with a baseball. The point of the disk is to create a correct bat path for young hitters. If your hands are not parallel to the ground or the sky when you release the Frisbee, and reach the point of contact, the disk will not fly very far; if your hands are tilted up at the point of contact, the Frisbee will fly strait up—like a fly ball; if your hands are angled down, the Frisbee will go directly into the ground—like a ground ball. The disk creates a way for a hitter to evaluate their bat path, and the best part about the hitting disk is that you don’t need a partner to use it.


Best BBCOR Bats of 2013 to get the most bang for your buck

Thursday, Jan. 24th 2013

This week’s segment on advanced/high school hitters will focus on 2013 BBCOR aluminum bats. How does one know if they are getting a good value on a bat that can run upwards of $400? Wouldn’t you like some none biased information to base you decision on? With a lot of money on the line, and little information to base you decision on, I have decided to lend a helping hand to out readers. There are several websites—CheapBats.com and JustBats.com—that provide non-biased information when it comes to aluminum bats, but I would like to point the reader’s attention towards TopBBCOR.com. TopBBCOR.com, in 2013 Baseball Bat Reviews, has acted as a critique, facilitator, and aggregator of all things BBCOR.

TopBBCOR.com’s article provides a look at the best aluminum bats available for the 2013 year based on six criterion: performance, durability, balance, looks, value, customer service. And, as an affirmation to the idea that they are unmotivated by financial incentives, their second and third rated bats retail for $200; that’s almost half the price as the majority of the other bats on the list. To aid to the quality of their article they have also placed, if not two, at least one promotional video, that either is an advertisement for the bat or a non-partisan review of the bat from one of the aforementioned websites that I named in the first article.


What to look for when you buy baseball equipment

Tuesday, Jan. 15th 2013

While we frequently recommend training aids on this blog, I thought we would look at an article that gives suggestions for buying baseball equipment this week. The article is taken from Swing Smarter.com and is entitled Unraveling 4 Momentous Baseball Equipment Buying Guidelines. While the article is helpful with certain suggestions towards baseball buying guidelines, it seems to take on the role of an infomercial at other points; so, be a close reader if you choose to follow the link, because we will only focus on the good parts of the article for this blog.

The most helpful part of the article seems to come in the form of suggestions about where and when to buy baseball equipment. The author of the article conveys a sense of credibility when he tells his readers that he has made a living by buying overstocked brand new old stock (NOS), and selling it online. Essentially, NOS is inventory that retailers are left with at the end of a season, are unable to sell, and are forced to sell in bulk deals to websites like Baseball Express, Amazon, and Overstock.com. In turn, these websites are able to turn a profit on NOS because of the low prices they originally buy the merchandise for. While online retailers are a good place to find deals on baseball equipment, online classifieds like Craigslist are also places where you can save a lot of money. Craigslist offers a unique opportunity for buyers to negotiate a price for merchandise with sellers in “unique situations.” Sellers on craigslist have often acquired their merchandise through a unique means, and frequently want well bellow market value for their products. SwingSmarter.com also recommends that parents look to buy baseball equipment during winter months to prevent sellers from charging you a “seasonal rate.”

SwingSmarter.com urges parents to buy equipment that is durable, and will be safe for their children to use. When it comes to baseball equipment, or any product in general, it pays off to buy a quality product in the immediate, and stave off the price of an inexpensive product that will break down and cost you more money in the long run. Like wise, make sure the equipment that your son or daughter chooses to use is safe. Although online reviews may suggest that their equipment is safe, affordable, and durable, these reviews have often been written by wholesalers themselves. Look to Google Groups, Blogs, and .Orgs that do not have financial motivation when you look for referrals on products.


Weighted Training Balls – Training Aid Tuesdays

Tuesday, Dec. 18th 2012

Baseball Express, amongst their other great products, offers a weighted ball set that is a must own for baseball players of all ages. The idea itself seems quite ingenious. Personally, I remember as boy cutting open a tennis ball, filling the inside of the ball with change, and rapping the ball with duck tape so I could build up my arm strength by throwing a weighted ball.

While the “penny ball”, as my friend and I liked to call it, achieves the same objective as the Baseball Express Weighted Training Ball, Baseball Expresses product provides several key features that most weighted balls do not have. Baseball Expresses ball set takes on the characteristics of a normal baseball. Most weighted balls on the market are made of a rubber, plastic, or vinyl material and do not have laces like a normal baseball. Baseball Express’ ball set is made of the same leather material as a baseball and has laces so that a player may be able to get the same feel as when they throw with a normal ball. Unlike most weighted balls that only come in one weight, Baseball Express’ creation comes in a set of six different weights for $29.99, or individually for $5.99. The set allows you to gradually build up to higher weights, from the lightest ball—7 oz.—to the heaviest ball—12 oz. After all, with any weight lifting activity, you don’t want to jump right into the most difficult and strenuous weight.

There is very little customer response available online about Baseball Express’ Weighted Ball Set, and this particular blogger would appreciate any feedback that the baseball community has about the device. Particularly, can the balls last through more than the normal wear and tear a baseball endures? Do you find that the heavier balls should be reserved for a higher age group? Have there been injury concerns associated with the ball? And, most importantly, have you see any improvement in your baseball player’s throwing? This improvement does not necessarily have to be associated with velocity. Have you seen an improvement in command? Baseball Express, like most great inventors, has filled a technological gap that is characterized by need. In an era where arm injuries are prevalent at every level of baseball simple, yet practical, devices like this weighted ball set could help shoulder condition and strength, and lead to less arm injuries.


Staying Back…What Does it Really Mean?

Monday, Aug. 16th 2010

Here’s a video that was made to demonstrate what is meant by “staying back”.   It’s a bit technical and a little long but there are some good points here.

I would also add that if you can “stay back” and not lunge at the ball, you will be able to keep you head more still, which allows you to better see the ball. You will also have a much better chance of hitting an off speed pitch.


Another Cool Insider Bat Video

Saturday, Aug. 14th 2010

Here’s a cool little video showing a young player using the Insider Bat. Looks like the Insider Bat batting trainer is working for this kid.   Notice how he is quick, directly to the ball and then extends through impact.   Nice stroke!


New Informational Video – The Insider Bat

Friday, Aug. 13th 2010

Here’s a new video from Justin Ruchti, a member of the 2003 National Champion Rice Owls and former member of the Seattle Mariners. It’s a little long at just under ten minutes but if you are curious about what the Insider Bat is all about, you should check it out.

He gives an in-depth breakdown of what it’s good for, how and why it was designed, which hitting problems it solves and which drills you can do with it.

He also clarifies how to size the Insider Bat to know which model is right for you or your hitter.


Hitting Off the Tee

Thursday, Aug. 12th 2010

Here’s a nice video from Ripken Baseball talking about using the Tee for batting practice. We all know that when you bring out the tee at practice the kids start to groan. But as we learn in this video, even the major leaguers hit off the tee every day. The key in this video is focusing on practicing the coil and weight shift. Since the ball isn’t moving, you can really take your time and practice getting your weight through the ball for more power. Enjoy!


Batting Trainer Endorsed by Successful High School Coach

Saturday, Jul. 10th 2010

“We have been using the insider bat and one of the main thing we like is the instant feedback you receive with each swing and the variety of drills that can be used with the insider bat. It really gives my players an understanding of keeping their hands inside the ball”

Head Coach Larry Turner

Head Baseball Coach
Owasso High School
Owasso, Oklahoma
State Champions 1987, 98, 99, 2001,03,04,07,08,09
State Runner-up 1997, 2000,05,06


New Hitting Trainer

Saturday, Jun. 6th 2009

Revolutionary New Baseball Batting Trainer

The great new batting trainer aid is helping players from age 5 all the way to the professional level.  The key to its effectiveness is immediate feedback and muscle memory.  You can’t hit the ball straight without proper mechanics.  And the best part is…you don’t have to think about it.  Which makes it not only effective…but fun!   Check out these videos..