Understanding Strength vs. Practice Training
The Traditional approach
Most players and coaches do not understand the concept of training for power. Hitters and coaches confuse practice with training.
Most players and coaches understand practice. They might understand something about weight training but they know very little about training for power. They know even less about the mechanics of power and how the body develops bat speed. Most of the methods used to teach hitting don’t focus on bat speed training. Most coaches rely on how they used to do it. Most baseball instruction is a tradition, not a science.
This is why you must train your bat speed outside of traditional practice if your team is not doing so already.
The proper way to develop maximum swing power and control is easy to understand. The problem is that players do not spend enough time doing it. You can watch videos and read books but the only way to develop more power is doing it and doing it right.
The more a coach learns about the bat speed training process, the easier it becomes to teach and achieve higher levels of performance. Much of this is due to the elimination of dead-end activities. The entire strength/ speed/ power spectrum of training must be used to close in on genetic potential. This means resistance, functional, plyometric, and sport-specific training.
Swinging the Bat
The element missing from most players’ preparation is training to specifically get the swing stronger and quicker. You can’t believe how much improvement in bat speed and control takes place for young players who are seriously doing overload/underload training. I am talking about swinging as hard as they can at least a hundred times a day, 3 to 4 days a week.
Bat Speed and Bat Control
We actually find that improving bat speed improves contact because the better the mechanics the better the bat speed and vice versa. The more swings the player has taken in his life, the more difficult it is to make changes. Developing a swing for contact and then trying to increase bat speed is much less effective than learning to increase bat speed and then working on contact.
To effect changes in developing force, power, and velocity, the hitter must be subjected to stresses above and beyond that encountered everyday performance of the event.
Principle of specificity
Training needs to mimic the range of motion and speeds close to the event itself.