Letting the ball travel is a simple cue that is used all over the baseball & Softball industry. While it can work for some, it may not for others! The complete opposite thought of “catch the ball out front” could be what a specific hitter needs to think. If all cues don’t work for everyone, we should view problems from a different perspective. By doing so, we can find multiple solutions to the problem. Better yet, we dig a little deeper and we find the root problem that each cue is trying to fix. In the case of “let the ball travel”, we find that we are ultimately trying to have better direction through the middle of the field.
Let’s look at the “Staying Anchored” FarmThread, where we talked about Tatis Jr’s thought of staying on his back leg and letting the ball travel. This is what Tatis jr. has to think to create direction back through the middle of the field. This buys him time and creates space at the plate, allowing him to “Let the ball travel.”
Next, let’s look at the FarmThread, “Foot Pressure.” we combine the Salted Smart Insole technology with a visual of Tout’s swing to give a better understanding of what physically enables him to let the ball “travel” and not get pushy with his back side. These two FarmThreads give us great insight on what two of the best hitters think and how those thoughts allow them to “let the ball travel.”
The thought of letting the ball travel is typically used when hitters are:
While this cue can work, it can also cause hitters to:
As we’ve looked deeper into the effectiveness of cues, we found that It isn’t as simple as a physical Deficiency or a mental block, but a combination of multiple factors such as
For the sake of simplicity, let’s put these cues in buckets: Mental (external cue), Physical (internal cue) & External factors (implements); and look at some examples of what trying to let the ball travel looks like within each buckets.
Now let’s look at what Springer is saying in the video above. The thought of letting the ball travel helped him with the problem of lunging. In this case, an external cue got the job done. WHETHER we cue internally, externally, or use an implement, they all create a response with the body and work (or don’t work) to get the desired result; even if we aren’t specifically focused on the movement solution. HEre is an example of how they work together.
In many instances, athlete’s aren’t aware of the movements their thoughts or feels are creating. This is where coaches step in. it’s Important to have an understanding of what’s happening with the body so we can provide cues/implements that yield the intended result. tech products and tools play a crucial role In this process.
Let’s be honest, as coaches, we’re busy. more often than not, we just don’t have the time to become a biomechanist and research all of the things that we probably should. thankfully enough, tools and products have been developed that provide Important and useful feedback, without needing an expert or lab to do it. Of course this will never replace the value of an experienced and trained eye. However, the trained eye coupled with the tech, holds us accountable and provides a road map for us to deliver results.
Here are a few of the products we like to use in our training process:
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