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Par Four Family Entertainment Center

Call us at 304-722-6393


Batting & Pitching Blogs

Batting & Pitching Blogs

Hitting: More Success With The Right Instruction

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 11:25 PM

We have talked about how every hitter and pitcher can achieve their true 100 % potential, with the right instruction.  My goal is to help baseball and fastpitch softball players realize their full potential.   This will help them enjoy their career much more because when you are playing better you have more fun.   We see the better a player performs the more they practice and the more they look forward to games.   It is great to see how much more confidence and success they have in sports and even outside of sports.

I see many kids that come in for lessons, who are ready to quit because they are not having fun and they don't want to go to practice.   Some of our best hitters now, when they first came into our cages were struggling.  I talked to their parents and they were learning the same bad hitting cues everyone teaches like swing down, stay back, squish the bug, twist the hips, fast hands and swing faster.  These hitting cues make every player less of a hitter than they should be because they make you swing with your arms.  They make an average hitter really struggle.  I tell them I teach the opposite way, I show you how to use your body.  Its really exciting to see these same kids that were struggling so bad, learn to use their body when they swing and turn into very good hitters.  Many of them are the best hitters on their team now.

In the last month I've noticed at least ten hitters that when they came in to hit in our batting cages, would get frustrated and stop after just 2 to 3 rounds.  All of them were mainly swinging with their arms because they were being taught the same bad hitting cues as above by their coaches, instructors, at hitting camps and by other parents.   They were only using 25 to 30% of their true potential just because they were swinging with their arms.   Most are now taking our lessons and their parents can't believe the difference.  These players will now hit 10 to 12 rounds when they come in, they are smiling and can't wait to get in the cage.  The parents have noticed that their child really wants to come practice rather then having to drag them to practice.  They too are so much more successful.

Four weeks ago I talked to two dads that met at our cages about hitting lessons for their sons.  They picked up information about the lessons on their way out.  The dad of the one that was struggling most called back and set up a lesson for the next day.  They met again yesterday and the hitter that was struggling the most was now hitting the ball much better than the other player.  I heard his dad ask the players dad what happened and he told him he had two lessons with Mike.  The dad then came over and asked if I could help his son hit that good.  We did the lesson today and when we finished he told me he wish he would have done this four weeks ago when we had talked, he couldn't believe how much improvement his son had made in just one lesson.

Our players, parents and grandparents are seeing that our hitting and pitching system is the best.  Check out some of our testimonials.   The results for our students have been fantastic.  Whether you play baseball or fastpitch softball come in and talk to us about lessons.   Learn how much we can increase your power, how often you hit line drives, make your timing better and get you on the road towards being the hitter you always dreamed of.  Call Mike Sedberry at 304-419-2588 for more information.

Hitting And Pitching Why Get A Video Lesson

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 11:20 PM

Any baseball or fastpitch softball players that are interested in getting a batting or pitching lesson want to make sure that the instructor you are talking to can provide a video lesson.  I see many students come in and they are being taught things that are actually making them worse.   They trust the instructor because they are a coach, were or are a good player, played in College or even played professional baseball or fastpitch softball.  Students and parents trust they should know what they are teaching.   The problem is 99% of instruction is wrong in some way because every new student that comes in has been taught to swing and/or pitch with their arms whether they are in baseball or fastpitch softball.  This is the opposite of the very best hitters and pitchers in baseball and fastpitch softball, they use their body when hitting and pitching.

Because of this make sure before taking a lesson the instructor can video you hitting and/or pitching and can compare you side by side with the very best Major League baseball or Team USA fastpitch softball hitters and pitchers.   Only then are you able to see what you are doing versus what the best are actually doing when hitting and pitching.  It doesn't matter how good of a player or coach they were, make sure they do a video lesson with you.   Almost every parent that comes in and gets a video lesson becomes upset that they have spent alot of money for lessons from someone that was a good player but taught their kids wrong.  They have them hitting and pitching with their arms, the opposite of the very best players.  Do not take anyones word for it, make sure you do a video lesson. 


For example,  Alex Rodriguez was one of the best hitters in baseball that used his body when he swung the bat so well. His then hitting coach for the Yankees came up with the bright idea of having him quit taking his 7 inch step and just start putting his front foot up then down, so he could stay back and use fast hands.  They ended up doing a video of the workout they were doing.  On the cover (below) you can see the way the hitting coach wants him to look at impact.   In the video he has Rodriguez working on staying back, driving his back knee down, twisting his hips, squishing the bug and swinging down. These bad hitting cues he was teaching Rodriguez made him start swinging with his arms and he immediately started struggling.



Because he was the Yankee hitting coach Rodriguez trusted that he should know what he was doing and what he was telling him would help.  The problem, here is the former hitting coach for the Yankees and now for the Mets teaching Rodriguez  hitting cues that when he started doing them in games would put his career into a downhill spiral that he would never recover from.   Sadly, he trusted that his coach knew how to teach hitting.  If he would have looked at video of himself when he was hitting his best, he would have seen he looked the exact opposite at impact. (below)

Then he would have known what the coach was wanting him to do would not work.  Do not take anyones word for it, that they know how to teach hitting and/or pitching.

This is just one of many times hitting coaches have changed a players swing and if they take the body out of it they will also start struggling immediately.

Pitching is the same with 99% of what is taught by everyone will make you pitch with your arm in baseball and fastpitch softball.  Again the very best players in baseball and fastpitch softball pitch with the momentum of their body, not the arm.

With our video lessons we have seen that what great hitters and pitchers actually do is different from what 99% of people have heard or been taught.   When we show our new students their video hitting and/or pitching beside a major leaguer or Team USA player, they are amazed at what they see and it cements to our students and their parents that what we are teaching is exactly what they want to learn.

Our results with our students have been truly amazing because they are learning step by step the very best way to pitch and hit.   Even students that are not great athletes are doing so much better then they or their parents ever dreamed of because they are doing it the right way.   We hear everyday how much better they are hitting and pitching and how more enjoyable it is now, how their confidence has skyrocketed, and the game even seems to be slowing down to them because they are so much smoother.

If you would like to work with someone that can truly make a significant improvement in your hitting and pitching call us Mike Sedberry now to make an appointment at 304-722-6393, you will be amazed with the results.

Keep Your Weight Back Bad Hitting Cue

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 11:20 PM

Everyday in our batting cages I hear parents and coaches telling baseball and fastpitch softball hitters to stay back and keep their back foot still or down while swinging.  Almost everyone of them has very little power.  When the parent mentions how can they get more power, I ask why they are staying back. They say they were told by coaches, instructors or even other parents that you have to stay back or you will lose your power.   I tell them staying back makes them swing with their arms only which will give them the least amount of power possible.

When throwing a ball if you stay back and keep your back foot down you will have very little power throwing the ball.  You will have to throw the ball with your arm only which is the worse way to do it.  The same thing while hitting, if you stay back there will not be enough energy going forward. The hitter will feel less power and will try to swing harder with their arms causing all kinds of other problems. The bat will become lighter to the ball and go out of the hitting zone way too quickly.

You want to learn to use your body the correct way and be sure not to stay back.  Then the bat will be in the hitting zone much longer giving the batter a better chance to hit the ball harder with many more line drives.

If you would like more information on this subject call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393.

Worst Hitting Cues Back Elbow Up

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 11:20 PM

Everyday in our batting cages, whether they are baseball or fastpitch softball hitters,  batters are told to keep their back elbow up by coaches and parents.  When I do lessons 9 out of every 10 students have been told this, none of them know why.   Back elbow up will make batters uncomfortable because it puts so much tension in a batters shoulder and arms.   Every hitter needs to be comfortable and tension free when they set up ready to hit.   I tell my students to just relax their shoulder and arms.  Everyone of them tells me it feels much more natural and comfortable.  Never do anything that puts tension in your hands, arms or shoulders when hitting.

Other reasons you don't want to do this are:

When players do this they will change their grip making the bat go more into their palms rather then stay in the fingers causing a tighter grip.

Your back elbow can't stay up, if you try to keep it up, it will be the first thing the batter pulls which will cause many problems in their swing.

Your back elbow should be just below your back hand like you were going to do a push up against the wall.  There is no tension in a great swing.

If you would like to learn more how to develop an elite baseball or fastpitch softball swing call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393.

No Stride Swing Bad Hitting Cue

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 11:20 PM

This is something I have been hearing being taught by many baseball and fastpitch softball instructors lately.  This is a bad hitting cue that will lead to bad hitting mechanics.  You are wanting the bat to go out through the ball when hitting.  When you throw you want the ball to go out also.  Would you stand in place and not take a step when throwing a ball, no because you wouldn't have any power,  you would throw with your arm only.  Everyone I have seen that throws the ball hard takes a step for more power.  Same thing with hitting if you don't step you will lose most of your power and swing with only your arms.

In 2011 the Yankee hitting coach wanted Derek Jeter to stop taking a step when he swung the bat.  He wanted him to put his front foot up and down or just toe tap in the same spot so he could stay back and use his fast hands.  The hitting coach said " this will help him see the ball longer and better and use his hands to get to the ball easier.   Jeter said " this is not a big change, it isn't changing my bat path or anything difficult.

The bad thing was he changed his bat path when he went to a no stride swing.  He felt less momentum going forward so to make up for this he pulled with his hands harder than before so his bat path was changed.    It also caused a significant decrease in his power.  He worked on this all of Spring Training and after 9 games in the regular season he was hitting only .206.  He had two weak infield singles in that game to raise his average above .200.   After 9 games he had hit the ball hard only 4 times.  After game 10 he smartly went away from the no stride swing  and started taking a step.  It saved his year and he ended up with an average of .297.  

Even a future hall of famer, when you take his step away, can become an average hitter.  For the average hitter the no stride appraoch is even more devastating.

I have had many students come in using a no stride swing that they had been taught by previous hitting coaches.   They came in because they were having the same problems as above, no power and timing way off.   I tell these new students lets try an experiment .  Lets hit 10 balls using a no stride and 10 balls taking a 6 inch stride.  We find when they didn't take a step they swing so hard with their arms, they have no timing and they rarely hit the ball hard.   When the students take a 6 inch stride they hit the ball at least 50% harder and they hit in the middle of the ball twice as often.    Every student and parent can't believe the difference.


 If you would like to learn a great swing and be the hitter you always dreamed of call Mike Sedberry at 304-419-2588 for more information.

Squish the bug Bad Hitting Cue

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 11:15 PM

Squish the bug is a bad hitting cue I hear everyday by coaches that come in with their teams and by parents that bring their sons and daughters in to hit in our batting cages.   Parents pick it up from hitting instructors, coaches and other parents then start telling their kids and other kids.  Squish the bug according to the high school instruction manual is when you pivot your back foot like squishing a bug and stay on the ball of your foot so you won't let the bug get out from under your foot.  The bad thing is squish the bug is a terrible hitting cue because it holds your power back.  The very best hitters in baseball and fastpitch softball do not squish the bug. 


Above is one of my students hitting a shot off the wall and 1 of the best hitters of all time, Tony Gwynn.  Both are at impact and they are not squishing the bug, their back foot is actually off the ground.  Three years ago my student was being taught to squish the bug, swing down, stay back and use fast hands by all of his coaches.   He could barely hit the ball out of the infield.  He was hitting so bad he was ready to quit baseball just because of bad instruction (I hear this way too often).  He came in and worked hard on learning how the very best hitters in Major League Baseball actually swing the bat, the opposite of what he was being taught.   As a 12 yr old he became the most powerful hitter in St. Albans Little League history by hitting a record 22 home runs and his batting average was over .750, all this and he weighed only 90 pounds.  He even added 5 home runs in 3 all star games.  He is now one of the best hitters in the state at 14 years old because he is swinging the bat like the best hitters in baseball.   

This applies to both baseball and fastpitch softball hitters.  Squish the bug will make you swing with your arms, the opposite of what you want to do.   When you learn how to use your body like the very best hitters in Major League Baseball and Team USA Fastpitch Softball you will add power, consistency and better timing into your swing.

Anyone that would like to learn to swing with their body correctly so you can add much more force and consistency into your hitting call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393 for more information.