Archive for September, 2012

A Physics Lesson – Part 2

Yesterday’s blog talked about the importance of creating GROUND REACTION FORCES when hitting. If we want to increase our angular velocity and ultimately our bat speed, it begins with our legs and feet. We must create ground reaction forces to start the “momentum train”. But, any inquisitive sort should ask,  “How do we transfer the force the ground supplies into our hips, shoulders, and hands?” We can’t just start stomping into the ground and become a better hitter, can we?

In order to use the force the ground provides, you have to be able to “accept the force” with a firm front side. Interestingly enough, Eric Cressey wrote about this very principle in his September 20th blog. You can read it here.

This principle, with respect to rotational objects, is called the CONSERVATION OF ANGULAR MOMENTUM. Simply put, once a hitter creates momentum with his lower body (yesterday’s blog) , he can neither add to it nor subtract from it. The momentum is “conserved”. It’s all about momentum transfer now. No more momentum creation. Creation happened yesterday. Today we transfer.

Momentum is a vector quantity. In other words, it has a directional component to it. If we hit (or pitch) off of a weak or collapsed front side, we risk a “momentum leak”. Some of the momentum we created with a nice strong step will be lost in the wrong direction if our front leg isn’t able to “accept” it. Make sense? See the two images below. They will give you a better understanding of what I’m referring to. I have a lesson with this boy on Saturday. We’ll get him straightened out!

“Leaking” Momentum

Accepting the force the ground provides.

Full Reps!

Bret Wagner

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A physics lesson

Newton’s 3rd law of motion says that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Most people understand this intuitively when you watch America’s Funniest Home Videos. They’re always filled with awesome home clips of Newton’s 3rd law in action.

But when it comes to hitting, how does Newton’s 3rd law apply? Enter GROUND REACTION FORCES!

Ground reaction forces (GRF) is the force exerted by the ground on a body in contact with it. In other words, when you push down into the ground, the ground “pushes” back. This is the foundation of all good “green light” hitters. Not only are they aggressive mentally, but they use the ground to their advantage. They can create some serious angular velocity but pushing down into the ground on that critical “impulse”. Everything we teach in Green Light Hitting (GLH).

Here’s a video of a player doing some GLH drills. Notice his front foot pushing down into the ground. Cole turns 10 years old in 2 weeks and already has hit 3 home runs over a 200 ft fence. Yes…He’s big. But he also uses the ground to his advantage.

Full Reps!

Bret Wagner

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Ponce de Leon and the Fountain of Youth

I’ve had several loyal GoWags members tell me, “I don’t tell anyone about this place. It’s our secret weapon.”

I often wonder if GoWags doesn’t enjoy the fruits that word-of-mouth advertising often brings because of this very unique phenomenon. Our customers, competitive baseball players, are trying to gain an advantage over their competition so they aren’t as eager to share their experience with others. Especially, if they are seeing results. With that said, I’ve always hung my hat on the fact that they’ll at least tell their teammates and/or parents of teammates. They’re in it together, right? In the famous words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!”.

Sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious. And it takes an “a-ha” moment before you realize what others have seen so clearly. When you play competitive baseball, your teammates are your biggest competition. Compete for playing time. Compete for middle infield. Compete for mound time. Compete for middle of the lineup RBI time. Make no mistake about it. GoWags members push themselves to gain an advantage over their teammates.

So…I wonder. Maybe there is a fountain of youth somewhere. Maybe a few lucky individuals stumbled upon a “secret weapon” that they’re not willing to share. We’ll probably never know the answer to that one. They’ll no doubt choose to remain anonymous.

Do I wish we enjoyed more word-of-mouth advertising? I guess. Do I worry about it? No. I much prefer the advertising we’ll be getting in about 4-6 years.

Full Reps!

Bret Wagner

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The Problem of Pain

A common refrain among non-believers is “I can’t believe in a God that would allow all this evil.” In making that statement, many don’t differentiate between goodness and kindness. What they really want is a kind God. Not a loving God. A loving God may actually allow things that at first glance, don’t seem so kind.

C.S Lewis addresses this very issue in his book The Problem of Pain.

What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like, “What does it matter so long as they are contented?” We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven — a senile benevolence who, as they say, “liked to see young people enjoying themselves” and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, “a good time was had by all”.

When I read that quote, I was reminded about a recent training session I had with a 10 yr old. I love this boy and want the best for him. He loves baseball and wants to truly be great. But…he needs to learn how to work. Because without an intrinsic work ethic, all the talent in the world will do him no good. Needless to say, 30 minutes into our session, he wasn’t feeling the love. The power sled and the lateral hops stole any warm and fuzzies he had previously felt. The med ball slams completely sealed the deal. He hated me. Truth be told, I enjoyed watching him struggle. I knew he needed this.

A couple days later I received the call from dad. “Believe it or not, he loved it. He wants to do it again. When are you available?” Insert hallelujah sound here!!!

He wanted a kind coach. He got a loving coach.

Full Reps!

Bret Wagner

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