Monthly Archives: August 2015

Why so many reps in instructional videos?

This is something I’ve been wondering about for a long time but kept forgetting to throw out there. It’s the kind of thing that drives me a little nuts.

I love to learn, and will seek out all sorts of information looking for something new to incorporate. As a result, I end up watching a lot of instructional videos.

What I often find is that a lot of time on the videos are spent showing the same drill being executed over and over again. If you’re demonstrating a drill, why do we have to sit there for 30 seconds, or a minute (which feels like an eternity in the Internet age) watching 20 or 30 reps of a drill?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to explain the drill and its purpose, have a player do maybe five repetitions, and then move on? I mean, if I need more reps I can just run the video back with my mouse (if I’m watching on the computer) or a remote (if I’m watch a DVD).

What I often find is that I end up watching a lot of these videos on 2X speed, or dragging the bar forward, just so I can get on to the next piece of information. Unfortunately, if whoever made the video says something brilliant during repetition 20 I’m probably going to miss it.

Maybe this is a holdover from the days of VHS tapes, where fast-forwarding ran a small risk of breaking the tape. Or maybe it’s a function of having 15 minutes of content but needing a 40 minute video in order to sell it.

I don’t know, but please, please, please. Can we minimize the reps when there’s nothing new happening and speed things up?

Am I alone in this? Does it drive anyone else crazy to have watch the same person do the same things over and over and over again?

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A quarter for the release of a back of the hand changeup

There are all different types of changeups. Some are more effective than others, and some suit a particular pitcher better than others. Quarter

Most of the time I teach a backhand change, which requires the pitcher to drag the ball through the release zone knuckles-first. But sometimes that one doesn’t work. So the backup plan is the back of the hand change.

With this pitch, you bring it down normally, then spin the hand around so the little finger is facing the plate, with the back of your hand facing your thigh.

One of the challenges of the back of the hand changeup is learning to get the hand spun around at the proper time so the ball actually does come out the other side. If you don’t it just becomes a bad fastball, or maybe a handshake change at best.

Young pitchers in particular don’t always understand how quickly the hand needs to turn, so here’s an activity they can do to get the hang of it. All they need to do is take a quarter (or a half dollar or a silver dollar, anything round and decently sized) and spin it counter-clockwise on the table (for a right handed pitcher; a lefty spins it clockwise).

The idea is to get the coin spinning as fast as you can while turning the hand in the proper direction. Pitchers can challenge themselves to see how long they can keep the coin spinning with a tight rotation.

A little time spent indoors on a rainy day can make a huge difference out on the field.

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