Video Highlights from Bridge the Gap 2020

Zach Dechant: “Moving from the Middle: Hip and Pelvic Considerations for Rotational Athletes” 

Training Deceleration Mechanics in the Weight Room

Clip Highlights:

  • Strength training your specific skill is crucial to becoming a better player. 
  • When training we want to create movements that will translate to our skill and with this one we are able to train the body as if we were actually throwing but without the stress on our arm.
  • This drill is great for not only strengthening but as well getting to understand how to get our body to move efficiently.
  • Training the deceleration is just as important as training the engine.

Blending the Weight Room with your Skill

Clip Highlights:

  • Eventually blending what we do in the weight room and what we do in our sport is highly beneficial. Duplicating those same movement patterns under a load will not only strengthen us in that area, but also generate more stability in those positions. 
  • Strategic use of a biomechanics lab will be a huge competitive advantage as an assessment tool for players going forward.

Skill is Most Important

Clip Highlights:

  • It doesn’t really matter how tight or loose a pitcher is if he throws 95 mph If the skill is good, we don’t have to give him mobility drills and other correctives with little return. 
  • The mobility ranges most people use when testing athletes are based on average people. You have to be careful when using these numbers to assess elite athletes. It’s not always a mobility problem. A lot of times, it’s a skill problem that appears as a mobility problem.
  • The main objective is to take skill development and blend it with the weight room. The athlete’s skill development is most important. 

Nathan Garza: “The Power of WHY: Strategies for Blending Weight Room Performance & Skill Development”

Prioritizing Skill Development

Clip Highlights:

  • We get caught up in being big and strong, but it does us no good if we cannot transfer that power efficiently.
  • “If you had 20 minutes a day how to develop & work on your craft how would you spend your time?” 
  • The skill is most important. This takes priority over all else.
  • If you can’t move efficiently, you can’t take advantage of your size or strength.
  • Smooth is fast and fast is smooth.

Andy McKay: “Player Development the Seattle Mariners Way”

Powerful Message for Coaches

Clip Highlights:

  • You can gather all the information you want to, but it all comes down to how well you relay that information to your players.
  • As a coach you are always learning always adding new QUALITY knowledge to your tool box.
  • The ultimate feedback for the coach to know how well the player is understanding the information is when the athlete is able to take it and apply it when it really matters (in game under stressful situations).

Hitting with Confidence

Clip Highlights:

  • The best way to gain confidence is through preparation.
  • Confidence is crucial for a hitter because it paints them a clear picture of what they need to do in that moment in time. 
  • When hitters start to put thoughts in their head, confidence starts to deteriorate. They take themselves out of it mentally.

Rick Strickland: “Bridging the Gap 2020: A Visual Story”

Data Collection for Hitters: Launch Angle, Attack Angle, and Vertical Bat Angle 

Clip Highlights:

  • There is a misconception of what “launch angle” really is.
  • Vertical bat angle gives coaches valuable information on what their swing is doing at impact.
  • There is a lot of information out there, but choosing when to use it is important.
  • Gathering and collecting information throughout the course of the season is beneficial for players. It creates clarity on what they do when they’re good, what changes when they’re bad, and how variables such as fatigue can negatively impact movement efficiency. 

Simplified Evaluation of Players

Clip Highlights:

  • In order to build out a plan for development, you need to first understand current strengths and weaknesses. What do they do well? Not so well?
  • MLB teams are seeking that 90-95 win season
  • The best way to go about development is by breaking up your plan into categories. Bucket the main concepts you think are most important. Communicate which buckets your focus needs to be in at certain periods of time.

Brief Input on Technology

Clip Highlights:

  • Blast sensors are a great tool, if used correctly. 
  • Launch angle is best used as feedback for how well the hitter is squaring up the baseball day in and day out. 
  • Technology in baseball is only going to continue to grow, butt we need to make sure we do not get consumed by it.

Interested in more? Bridge the Gap 2021 is coming up!