Among the litany of tips I received during my little league years, these two hitting tips were exclaimed over and over and over again.
"squish the bug!"
"stay back on the ball!"
If you gave me a quarter each time I heard one of those two phrases in little league, well, I'd be one rich man.
Little did I know that these instructional tips were all wrong. The 11 year old inside me was crushed.
But in the hour that I had the privilege to speak with Mr. Don Slaught, the founder of Right View Pro, I learned more about the fundamentals of hitting than I ever learned from playing baseball.
To me, hitting was a complex beast that at times was impossible. With so many different body parts moving at such a quick speed, I, like many young hitters, struggled to adapt to hitting higher level pitching, especially the breaking ball.
Mr. Slaught recognized that while some hitters are naturally gifted and progress nicely against quality pitching, roughly 80% of players quit by age 13 because they cannot hit a baseball. So Mr. Slaught decided to do something about it. Mr. Slaught founded Right View Pro, a California based company that uses advanced technology to show hitters what they should be doing as opposed to just telling them.
And when I say advanced technology, I really mean advanced technology. Mr. Slaught uses cameras that allow him to look at a hitter's swing from 4 different angles in super slow motion, from the start of the swing until the follow through. Slaught is able to point out frame by frame what each hitter is doing correctly and incorrectly. In addition, the technology allows Mr. Slaught to examine up to four hitters swings side by side (little leaguers, amateur players, and professionals) so you can actually see the many similarities and distinct differences hitters have in their swings. How cool is that?
When you break down great hitters' swings side by side, what you can actually see is that even though hitters might look different at the plate, the basic principles of hitting apply to all the greats. They all stay balanced, lead with their back elbow, maintain their attacking posture, and move forward with their entire body.
But where exactly can Right View Pro make the biggest impact? With the kids. As Slaught stated, "it's much easier to show a kid what he's doing as opposed to telling him what he's supposed to be doing." "I wanted to come up with a system where kids could see exactly what they were doing as opposed to what you wanted them to do."
And in short: Mr. Slaught has done exactly that.
I shutter to think how much my hitting would have improved if I could have watched my swing in super slow motion and detect my errors and reinforce good habits. Or how about if I was able to compare my swing to some of the best baseball players on the planet in super slow motion? Not only would that have been VERY COOL, but there's no doubt in my mind that I would have been a better hitter, who actually understood what it took to be a productive hitter. I'm jealous that this technology wasn't around when I was playing baseball!
I'd like to thank Mr. Don Slaught for being so generous with his time and thoroughly explaining the RVP system and the principles of hitting to me. I'm very fortunate to have had the opportunity to explore this amazing teaching tool that will continue to develop productive hitters.
If you're looking to improve your hitting skills and mechanics, then I would encourage you to check out: www.rightviewpro.com
Did you know that Mickey Mantle and Ichiro have the same type of swing? To see this and how the RVP technology works, click here.
(photo courtesy of ESPN.com)