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Choosing the best stride


Having the correct stride is very similar to getting your hands back. Both are necessary movements to starting your swing. If not done correctly, you may find yourself not being able to handle certain pitches.
A common debate for many teachers of hitting has been about what to do with the lead leg when beginning to transfer your weight. Should you have a leg kick, toe tap, simple stride, post stride, or a leg lift that simply comes up then down?  Like every other mechanical attribute, a hitters front leg movement depends on the type of hitter he is and what he is capable of. Each style has their benefits and their handicaps.

Leg kick

An example of an effective leg kick would be Hanley Ramirez. His power comes from shifting his weight s
lightly back thus allowing his lead leg to lift. As his weight shifts back to his center of gravity he has cultivated momentum which will allow his hands to be pulled through the zone while using his core for torque. This movement creates UNBELIEVABLE power but the problem is that most hitters heads will move too much during the stride thus disabling the hitters optic nerve to receive the information (pitch) accurately enough to make the correct adjustments and react accordingly. The more
the head moves the less you see. So if you have a leg kick, your head moves back but after the weight shift it has to come back to where it was in the beginning stance or a few inches forward. A little head movement won’t hurt, but a lot will. I wouldn’t recommend this for younger hitters because their legs haven’t developed enough for the necessary leg strength and balance.

Toe tap

A toe tap is all about rhythm. Chipper Jones is probably the best at this style. It allows you to get some weight going back before you stride while you keep your feet close enough to the ground so that you can avoid getting your foot down too late. Personally I think this is a good style. I did this early in my college career and also ended with a style like this. This also allows your head to stay still while you attempt to pick up the pitch early enough. There really isn’t anything negative I can think of about this approach.

Simple stride

This style is probably the most basic movement that majority of hitters have done. Not much emphasis is being put on getting your weight back, but is a style that is good for getting your foot down in time with without post- striding. A simple stride is basically the movement of your foot in your stance striding straight to a flex stance without a leg kick or toe-tap. A  Couple of players that do this well are Evan Longoria and Dustin Pedroia.

Post stride

This is a stride that you see more often in college and minor league ball. These players are finally seeing high velocity on a day to day basis so are having to make adjustments by getting the front foot down before the ball is even released. This is a very effective style as long as hitters remind themselves to keep their weight back and or not to Over stride. Some hitters tend to drift forward as they post stride thus robbing them of their power and ability to stay back on off speed. There aren’t a lot of big leaguers that do this but its not because it isn’t effective but because these guys are so athletic and experienced that they have made adjustment to big league fastballs. Juan Pierre, B.j Upton, Curtis Granderson have made hitting look easy when they do this.

Leg lift

The final style is leg lift. Its a simple lift of the leg and it lands back in the same spot. Watch A-rod or Derek Jeter. They both do his very well. This is a style I recommend for younger players along with the post stride. The style promotes keeping the head still while still generating some movement back before weight transfer.
Regardless of your preference in stride, a proper leg lift ALWAYS keeps the hitters weight inside his back leg thus keeping his center of gravity. The stride is always short. I can’t think of many hitters whose stride is long. Some hitters may start their leg lifts to late thus getting the foot down too late. This will disrupt timing, so read Getting front foot down in time:) Remember, the stride is the most important movement in your pre-swing so keep things comfortable and simple, but don’t be afraid to experiment. You never know what you will discover. There is a “True Player” inside all of us waiting to be discovered.

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The art of hitting

Hitting is both an exact science and a form of expression. It can be explained and dissected by physics as well as represented as a way of life. It is when these specific principles and elements are combined that it becomes an art form.

So much emphasis is focused on technique and strategy which influences the modern-day hitter.  Scouting reports and approaches are main themes in the awareness of most teams offensive strategy. With all this information so readily available, the most important aspects of any endeavor are lost. The focus of the process is forgotten.

When it comes to performing, while you are in the batters box, you must come to a level of consciousness that involves emotional content. Yes you must truly hit with emotion. All that you have learned physically and mentality was learned so that you may eventually forget it as it becomes an instinctual part of who you are. You must cease to be aware of yourself, which is to be unaware of any external things as well as most internal things. This process must also be effortless. Similar to the teachings of Bruce Lee, it’s the art of effortless effort or trying less trying.

The desire to succeed and win has vanished for we have now become process oriented. Since we are no longer concerned with success or failure we have greatly improved our chances of success.

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Using sexual energy to play better baseball

If you would have asked me about sex and the connection it has with baseball in2009, I would have told you, there is none. If you were to ask me this same question now, I would just simply laugh and say, my friend..if you only knew.

One of the most influential books I have ever read was written by Napoleon Hill, a success development expert. He is most famous for his book titled “Think and grow rich”. Mainly he discusses the power of the mind, and how we can provide ourselves with an abundance of money, career success, relationships, and health just by becoming aware of what we think of on a daily basis.

He understood that a mans life and what he experiences is formed by what he is thinking on a daily basis.

In one of his chapters in his book, he talks about sexual energy and what role it plays in achieving your goals and other great desires. He is quoted as saying

“Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times. So strong and impelling is the desire for sexual contact that men freely run the risk of life and reputation to indulge it. When harnessed, and redirected along other lines, this motivating force maintains all of its attributes of keenness of imagination, courage, etc., which may be used as powerful creative forces in literature, art, or in any other profession or calling, including, of course, the accumulation of riches”.

In this chapter he also writes:

The emotion of sex has back of it the possibility of three constructive potentialities, they are:
1. The perpetuation of mankind.
2. The maintenance of health, (as a therapeutic agency, it has no equal).
3. The transformation of mediocrity into genius through transmutation.

“The transmutation of sex energy calls for the exercise of will-power, to be sure, but the reward is worth the effort. The desire for sexual expression is inborn and natural. The desire cannot, and should not be submerged or eliminated. But it should be given an outlet through forms of expression which enrich the body, mind, and spirit of man. If not given this form of outlet, through transmutation, it will seek outlets through purely physical channels”.

One of the reasons this was my favorite chapter is because I always felt like my sexual drive did influence my performance on the field, and instinctively I knew that if I could control it I could accomplish 10x more! He says that transmuting sex energy turns mediocrity into genius. Thats actually a pretty exciting idea!

Now don’t get me wrong transmutation has nothing to do with suppression. As a human being and as a player making sure that certain needs are being met is important in our development, but it’s also important in what way we go about releasing this energy.

Releasing it should never be at a level of lust.

Like I have said before, there is a time and a place for everything. I feel, when I am trying to accomplish something, something big, I attempt to take all the sexual energy I have and put it into my desire for success.

Yes this means, will-power:)

I will go for as long as it takes until I feel I have put all of the energies that I have access to, into my goals and desires.

The experience of this is beyond words. Can you imagine making love to your hobby, passion, or career?
After a couple of days of transmuting my energy into my goals, they just get accomplished. It’s actually a pretty simple process:

Through will power I turn my sex energy and turn it from a desire for it to become a physical expression, into a mental, emotional, and spiritual expression.

When I get into this kind of focus, man nothing can stop me. I feel Like I can literally do and become anything I choose to.

If this is something that you think that can help you as a baseball player I suggest you try. A good place to start is at this link below:

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Increase your Baseball Talent in 20 min

The interesting thing about baseball nowadays is that players are simply getting better. Every few years or so, a player has done something that no other player has done or has achieved something that  only a small group of players have accomplished. I think the available resources that are present for even younger players are responsible for this extreme advancement in baseball talent. Players are now stronger, faster, and have much more endurance then players 20 years ago. The stamina aspect, I believe can be attributed to players playing year round at a young age.

So with this increase in talent, you have to ask yourself, how does this affect you and your opportunity to play”? Do you feel like somehow you have been left out in this increase in overall talent? Do you feel like you lack athletic ability? Are you not as fast as other players, or dont throw as hard? Maybe you wish you had a bit more pop in your bat.

Increase your talent with mental pictures
Physically a player can do a lot to increase his abilities, and if he works as smart as he works hard, results will inevitably come, but what I want baseball players to become aware of is the power of INTENTION or what has been has been popularly known as “The Law of Attraction. I use the word Power because essentially that’s what it is. It’s power!!!! And once you have learned to harness and control this mysterious but wonderful power, you can have and experience anything you want, not only from baseball, but from life as well. So now that you are a bit familiar with the “Power of Intention or Law of Attraction, I want you to pound this concept into your head!!!! I mean anything that you would want out of baseball.

Since this is a very important concept to understand, because it can possibly give you everything and anything that baseball has to offer, I would like for you to take a look at your current situation. What team you play for, where you play, what kind of teammates you have, how successful you are, how much playing time you’re getting. Whether they are experiences that you presently enjoy or experiences that you do not.  All of these things that you are experiencing are the outcomes of your thoughts you have had in the past. You see, we are in constant creation of our lives, and depending on our “habitual thoughts” we experience either negative or positive outcomes.

Change your thinking patterns
If you aren’t getting enough playing time, guess what you created it. By thinking and talking about how much you dislike sitting on the bench, or visualizing or worrying about how bad it would feel and be to spend time on the bench, instead of envisioning a season where you are an everyday starter who has played a key role on the team. If your batting average is low…….yes….you created it. By talking about how much you suck or envisioning how embarrassing it would be to strike out in front of these scouts or fans instead of visualizing hitting a pitch up the middle, you have created a negative experience!!!! Did you just get released? Yup, say it with me. YOU ATTRACTED IT.! Instead of of taking the time to intend that you will have plenty opportunities to play professional ball, you wasted your time and energy worrying and hoping that nothing bad happens to your career.

Awareness is the key
So what do you think I’m trying to say? Be aware of how, and what you think!!!! Yes, I know your probably thinking I didn’t create the over demanding coach, obnoxious fans, the injury, or lack of support from friends or family, but I’ll tell you this, excepting that you did attract these things into your life is the first step to actually being able to change the negative experiences into positive ones

You see?!!! You can truly hit for a higher average, increase velocity, overcome an injury, sign the scholarship or contract you wanted, or any other thing that you can “THINK” of just by consistently focusing on things you want
( success) instead of things you don’t want(failure). Imagine the possibilities. I know its hard to because there endless!!!!!!
Very famous and important people have discovered this power and used it to do their bidding.

Albert Einstein- “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.
Napoleon Hill-Whatever your mind can conceive and can believe, it can achieve.
John Demartini-Whatever we think about and thank about we bring about.
The Secret- Whatever is going on in your mind is what you are attracting

Take action
So you’re probably asking yourself, what can I do to become better at being more consistent with my thoughts. Like anything else, practice. Set aside 20 minutes a day. Quite your mind and attempt to visualize the best possible situation you could have playing baseball. What team do you dream playing for? Does becoming wealthy from playing baseball excite you? Visualize it. Do you want to go from a 6.9 60 yard dash to a 6.4? Close your eyes and imagine what that would be like. The more detailed your vision is the quicker it will become your reality.

It comes down to a matter of feeling. How you feel about what you see in your minds eye is important. If it makes you feel inspired, motivated, simply happy, then you’re on the right track. Remember Im not implying  that you have to control your every thought 24/7. Some negative thoughts are going to creep in. Its inevitable. But its a proven fact that a positive thought is 100 times more powerful than a negative one. So keep the positive ones coming, and when thinking this way becomes a habit, a way of life, you will be able to overcome any and all obstacles.

Mental Work
So the task is 20 minutes a day. Try this for a few weeks and see the results. Try small things at first if you’re a beginner at this (attracting a brand new Rawlings Mitt or a supportive friend off the field). Then with success, you can move on to bigger visions like a professional contract, hitting 400, or more playing time. You can be a better player in 20 minutes. Imagine what you can be in one month of dedicated positive visualization?