Building the High Level Swing
Baseball and Fastpitch Softball
Train Hitting for Power and Productivity
Train Hitting for Power and Productivity
Two Book Series: Fundamentals and Drills
Building Rome Series guides the baseball and fastpitch softball hitter as they climb, step by step, up the heights of the Roman Coliseum. Each step up incrementally but accumulatively increases the hitter’s power and production.
Like academics, music, and the arts, every player can benefit from starting with basics and gradually adding refinement to their skills. Building the High-Level Swing Series adheres to this training concept, constructing the batting swing from the ground up.
“Road Map” to the High-Level Swing
You see it time, and again, distinguished athletic programs utilize an established and trusted process for effectively and efficiently developing less experienced players into excellent performers. Building Rome Series provides a functional path, or “road map,” to develop young and inexperienced baseball and fastpitch softball players into hitters prepared to succeed at the college level and above, that is, at a High-Level of abilities.
“Road Blocks” to the High-Level Swing
Building Rome Series urges coaches, parents, and hitters to carefully consider the following list of typical roadblocks to the progression of a hitter capable of succeeding at the college level:
- Hitters have misdirected concepts. The single biggest problem with developing hitters trying to learn to hit is their deficiency in understanding what and why.
- Hitters don’t have patience since they don’t have a process they trust.
- Hitters come to believe the reason they are not improving is they lack innate talent.
- Hitters are overloaded with too many skills to learn at once. They move on to a new task before fully habituating the prior. There is no progression from simple to complex.
- Hitters don’t develop insight into different hitting strategies and their tradeoffs; hitters rarely experiment with various methods to determine if one approach would be more productive than others.
- Hitters don’t “own” their swing. Each season, with a different coach, they make significant swing changes and never develop a baseline in which they have complete confidence.
- Hitters struggle with timing; they don’t understand how to quickly and accurately adjust to different speed pitchers or pitches.
- Hitters rarely plan and rehearse their cognitive, strategic, and situational thinking for typical at-bats.
Unfortunately, one or more of these roadblocks often trigger capable athletes to give up baseball or fastpitch softball upon reaching high school age. Building the High-Level Swing Series demonstrates how to avoid these roadblocks, ensuring steady improvement in skills and confidence.
Optimized Learning System
Ancient Rome was laid out Stone by Stone, beginning from concrete foundations and working up in a stepwise progression. Similarly, Building the High-Level Swing Series breaks swing mechanics into small manageable pieces allowing the player and coach to progress incrementally. Training any complicated endeavor requires putting many “baby steps” together to reach a longer-term goal. Each step pushes the player just beyond their current skill level. Confidence soars when hitters follow a systematic method to accomplish a series of functional purposes.
This progressive “ground up” training method allows hitters to build knowledge, not only about why each fundamental is important but significantly, how individual movements work together to generate power and increase productivity—understanding why and how to enable hitters to “own” their swing. In Building the High-Level Swing Series, beginning, developing, and more experienced hitters build their own “Rome” of which they can be proud.
Absolute Fundamentals (Universal) for All Players
Building Rome Series separates hitting mechanics into two distinct types, Universal and Fit to Player. These designations clarify which swing mechanics to teach to all players (Universal) and those that should fit the hitter’s natural abilities and instinctual style (Fit to Player). Every step of training is designated Universal or Fit to Player.
Regarding Universal Fundamentals, Building Rome Series has analyzed what expert performers do that make them so good. In our age of video, radars, sensors, and analyzers, we can categorize how the best hitters move. No longer must players rely on hitting “myths” passed down by generations of coaches. In writing the Building Rome Series, the often intricate, interrelated, and varying movement patterns found in today’s professional swing were broken down in slow motion, frame by frame. As a result, we have precisely determined what is critical for maximizing performance (Universal) and what is a matter of style (Fit to Player). Furthermore, the universality of the swing patterns described in our training guides can easily be fact-checked in the internet age!
In short, Building Rome Series classifies Universal fundamentals as those where there is one prevalent method for at least ninety percent of professional and outstanding college hitters. These are absolute in that coaches can feel confident teaching every hitter to execute Universal fundamentals the same way.
Style Techniques (Fit to Player)
Yet even the swings of the best hitters vary substantially in many non-universal aspects. Therefore, style mechanics should not be copied or taught to every hitter. Instead, intricate hitting techniques must be developed and match the specific hitter’s abilities (strength, athleticism, speed, desire, aggressiveness). The real “art” of coaching hitters is to know when to let things be and come back to them later, when to experiment with a change (Fit to Player), and when to encourage a change (Universal).
A primary objective of Building the High-Level Swing Series is to demonstrate how to adjust the multitude of non-universal techniques to be an excellent Fit to Player. Separate from teaching Universal fundamentals, Building Rome Series examines various hitting strategies and a wide range of swing options. Aptly fitting these choices to the individual athlete is essential for optimizing the unique hitter’s success and confidence.
Critical for preventing roadblocks, understanding the difference between fundamentals and style helps hitters analyze and resolve conflicting coaching advice. The hitter knows what works for them and why – they learn to “own” their swing!
The Architectural Plan
The Ultimate Hitting Fundamentals, Techniques, and Strategy Guide has three parts. In Part I: Hitting Position and Part II: Turn and Torque, the ground-up swing build follows the chain of energy from the first move out of stance, then link by link to the end of the kinetic chain (follow-through). As a result, the player obtains maximum bat speed upon completion of Part I and II.
A primary objective of Part III: Increase Productivity is to bring this excellent bat speed to the ball in a manner that results in optimal exit velocity (EV) and on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS). Building Rome Series identifies methods to raise the hitter’s rate of quality at-bats, further increasing productivity.
The Ultimate Hitting Training Guide utilizes modern training methods, with 140 functional drills containing over 500 individual steps to develop the fundamentals and techniques described in The Ultimate Hitting Fundamentals, Techniques, and Strategy Guide. The training guide also incorporates:
- Swing fixes for the most common hitting issues.
- New persuasive scientific methods of learning relating to the development of motor skills.
- How to deliberately practice to make the best use of the time available.
- How to test whether habits are game-ready.
- The mental processes used by great hitters during practice and games.
- How to plan a hitting practice for all age groups.
- How to build strength, conditioning, and speed for baseball and fastpitch softball hitters.
The Hitter’s “Rome”
Ancient Rome arose from the ground, commencing with well-designed Foundations, supporting Pillars, and finally, towering Domes. Similarly, Building Rome Series portrays a powerful and productive swing as being built with Foundations (Part I), Pillars (Part II), Domes (Part III), using Tools (The Ultimate Hitting Training Guide) to do the construction.
Each of the over 100 High-Level swing Foundations, Pillars, and Domes represents individual “construction” goals, each goal devoted to one distinct hitting fundamental or technique.
“Construction” of the Hitter’s “Rome”
Have fun constructing, but remember, “Rome was not built in a day!” As the player steps up in the competition level, the techniques required to be successful become increasingly complex. These books are detailed and challenging because that is the way hitting is. If you’re a golfer, you know the mechanics and mental processes needed to become a scratch player. Only deliberate and purposeful training develops the necessary fundamentals, techniques, timing, and cognitive skills.
Yes, smoother paths look enticing! But athletes come to understand these promises are false. There are no secret methods, no shortcuts, no magic. Instead, the athlete religiously follows sound training principles to attain high levels of performance. The good news is that becoming a terrific hitter is not reserved for a preordained few. By following the Building Rome Series roadmap, dreams of becoming accomplished at hitting a baseball or softball become a reality. Getting better at anything is a quest. So remember to enjoy the process!