Total Control Ball: Baseball Revolution or Fraud?

Thursday, Feb. 14th 2013

Today, I found a hitting product that I am fascinated with, however I am not sure if I like it or love it. The product with which I have made reference to is the Total Control Ball. There was not much information on what service the product actually performed, and after I saw the lofty price tag of around $12 a ball and $60 for a six-pack of balls, I had to know what capabilities the spherical yellow object performed.

First, what is the Total Control Ball? The TCB, as I will refer to it from now on, is made from “a highly absorbant energy material” which may be used on tee drills and soft/front/short toss drills to, as their website states, “develop strength and extension through the hitting zone and provide instant feedback to the hitter.” The TCB comes in three different forms: a whiffle ball style, a larger ball for softball, and a smaller ball for baseball.

Although it took more effort than I feel like was needed to divulge the actual function of the ball—no website adequately described what the ball was for—the TCB, unless hit in the perfect spot on the ball, either falls straight up in the air or straight to the ground, because of the malleable material it is made out of. However, I am skeptical that the product can provide results that are equitable to is lofty price tag. $12 for a ball and $60 for a six-pack is a lot of money, and these figures are on the low end of what I found to be the common sum for the product. I also found very little feedback from customers. The only explanations of the product, or comments on the functionality of the product, came from websites that featured the product for sale. The ball seems to be a glorified bouncy ball, that you can find in the toy bin at Toys R’ Us, slapped with a huge mark up. Our readers can tell me if I’m wrong. If nothing else, TCB.com did provide me with the enjoyment of a video that showcases their product to a soundtrack that sounds like it was taken out of a Michael Bay movie. Do watch it, and enjoy.


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.


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.


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..