Making Weak Hitters, Good – Good Hitters, Great – and Great Hitters, All-American
Pure Power Hitting follows the ParkerTraining System which is a complete hitting system designed to help master the art of great hitting mechanics. The PTS has been carefully designed using a teaching strategy called Understanding by Design, which is based on the simple principle of “backward design.” This principle was used to identify the five critical elements in great swing mechanics.
Within the ParkerTraining System itself, we have developed a powerful method of teaching each of the five targeted elements using a scaffolding approach to teaching. It is this unique scaffolding method that truly sets us apart. Teaching a player how do something is great, we do it all the time in our daily lives, baseball and softball are no exception. But, far too often coaches are drilling players, rather than teaching and most players have no clue “how” it benefits them and “why” it is so important. Oprah Winfrey once quoted, “people who know better, do better,” and it is the “know” that drives us here at ParkerTraining and the philosophy of the system. We want our players, coaches, and parents to “know” why each step is so important, and “how” it makes them better; we labeled this conceptualized training.
Conceptualized training means everything we do within the training system has “significant meaning” to the player; these are not just random training drills, they have a specific purpose. A purpose designed to grasp the concept of each element within each drill. Everything has meaning and everything is linked together. Master the concepts and you will master the swing.
How it Works
The PTS is broken down into three sequential phases, all of which require mastery before moving forward successfully.
Phase One – The Core
Phase One is the core to all that happens within the ParkerTraining System and will set the foundation to long-term success. Great hitting mechanics are a labor love and will require a great deal of time, commitment, and dedication. This is not a quick fix and will require a great deal of work, both mentally and physically. So, make no mistake about it, you have to be willing to work hard in order to reap the reward.
Phase Two – Top Down
Phase Two places a major focus on making adjustments within the swing. Players learn to cover the top of the zone to the bottom, instantly. Here at ParkerTraining we believe in a simple notion, a strike is a strike, is a strike. Regardless, if the ball is up in the zone or at the knees, we want our players swinging the bat and getting behind the ball. In order to properly cover the entire zone and make ideal contact, the body has to make instant adjustments. Phase Two is designed specifically to teach players how to make these adjustments from the top of the zone to the shoelaces . Phase Two requires a strong foundation, so Phase One must be mastered before moving along, successfully.
Phase Three – Inside/Out
Phase Three emphasizes plate coverage and the importance of making adjustments inside and out. This is different from the adjustment we make covering top/down and is as much “mental” as it is “physical.” We believe great hitters are great thinkers, and thinking is a major factor for being successful, especially when it comes to plate coverage.
We teach our players to “out-think” the battery they are facing (the ultimate chess match.) In order to master complete plate coverage, a player has to learn to split the plate in half, this is not a suggestion – it’s a requirement. This phase requires a great deal of discipline and a concerted effort studying what is actually happening within the game. We want strong aggressive hitters, not weak defensive ones. The only way to do this by splitting the plate in half and looking either middle in or middle out. Get what you are looking for and light up the skies.
We don’t stop there; looking “inside” or looking “outside” is only part of the full equation when it comes to a rock solid mental approach to hitting. We take this approach a step further and apply the same logic of disciplined hitting to velocity.
Pitches are categorized into two simple parts: hard or soft. We teach our players to look for either something “hard” (fastball) or look for something “soft” (off-speed), but never both until they have two strikes.
When a player takes this type of mental approach into the batters box they learn to become aggressive hitters with unlimited potential. Hitting suddenly becomes much, much more than just getting into batters box; it is the ultimate chess match between pitcher and batter, and we want to come out on top.
Within the System
If you have never used a progressive teaching system before, this will take a little adjustment. But, follow my lead and I will help you turn your players into hitting machines.
The ParkerTraining System is broken down into three segments:
Kinesthetic – Where we focus strictly on the body movement, no bat, no swings, just focusing on “how the body works” and why it is so important.
Static Training – We take the concepts of how the body works, add a bat, and apply the training principles in the form of static training by working off the tee. We focus on perfecting the concepts and master the key principles that we have defined as great swing mechanics.
Ballistic Training – Finally, we add “balls in motion” and added complexity of putting it all together with total movement, ball and body. The focus here is mastering swing mechanics and establishing great rhythm, tempo and timing.
We define great hitting mechanics as the following.
All great hitters apply the principle of weight transfer, the movement forward prior to launching the swing
Great hitters apply the principle of leveling (getting behind the ball.) The swing is slightly up through the heart of the ball. It is not a downward path; there is a loop in the swing and the swing works up.
Great hitters understand the principle of Ideal Impact(when the bat and ball meet at a 90 degree angle) square strong wrists, strong square contact. Keeping the “Hitter’s Box” intact and the variations necessary to cover the entire plate. Hitting with power to all fields is the result of mastering the concept of Ideal Impact.
Finally, great hitters understand the importance of extension and pushing the ball. Ted Williams said, “hitting is a pushing motion;” great hitters understand this principle and push through the ball to their power “V”. They don’t throw theirs hands, they don’t snap the bat head through the zone and they don’t roll their wrists.