I think technology is great. I embraced it early and still do. We use technology for defense as well as offense.
The FungoMan machine has helped us make sure we get maximum reps any way that we want. We can control spin, direction, velocity, and can create any situation imaginable. We were one of the first to jump on board with HitTrax. Obviously, almost everyone has followed. We love it for many reasons. So do our players.
Technology has been ingrained in the game. It has been ingrained in players training and it has been ingrained in cutting edge coaches. However, is this the best way to move forward? Is technology the end all be all?
Like I said earlier, I love technology. However, I believe too many coaches are using it without flexibility or communication. The best coaches are great communicators. Communicators listen as much as they speak. Many great players, many great players in the room at the same time, need different conversations. Some need a big fix of technology and others need a whole lot less.
I feel one of my strengths is to be able to talk hitting through my beliefs in a way that the individual can understand and believe in. When I ask a hitter what he feels, wants to accomplish, and thinks, I start to understand what the player needs to hear to make him successful.
Every day I see a new high end technology training program for hitting. I agree there are benefits in seeing an echocardiogram like screen on every single movement of a hitter to insure nothing is missed, but somewhere we have lost players, hitters, that compete their butt off in the box. Hitters that are bad people, that just refuse to let a pitcher win.
I also believe the technology is not fully being understood by players. I have said for a long time that old fashion hitting sayings were said for a reason; however, they have been misinterpreted by hitters and coaches for a long time. I will talk about those sayings at another time, or email me, and I will give you a few to explain how I see hitters being confused.
Over the last year, I have had players come in to hit with me and explain what they are trying to do by using words that I needed to look up in a biology book. The problem is they never looked up the words in the biology book and have no idea what they are talking about. They come in with a great vocabulary and know what their numbers are from wearing a vest or standing on a plate; however, they can not hit to their full potential nor do they truly understand hitting. They do not truly understand rhythm and timing. They do not truly understand how to go about batting practice feeling a good swing, a bad swing, a good start, or a bad start. Not to mention how to adjust from a bad swing or what process to think about that created a good swing. Just over the past two weeks, we have helped increase players exit velocity, distance, and hard hit average within the first thirty minute session by just talking and watching their swing on video. Both players are good players. Both players have been strapped to high end technology machines. Both players had almost similar problems. I had to explain different concepts and use different drills to get results; however, we got instantaneous results by communicating and understanding one another. Understanding strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, and body.
Let’s use technology, but how about we talk more. Just like society now, text messages, new phones, and email systems are great; however, there is nothing like a face to face sit down. Look at body language. Look at facial expressions and understand if it is being understood.
I also believe that technology has ruined players truly learning how to play baseball; however, I will explain that when I have more time.