Mercied 8 Times! Then Saved by the The Super 8 Hitting System

May 29th, 2011 No comments

I broke down and did it.  I bought the Super 8 Hitting System, and I’m glad I did.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I buy a lot of videos and books about baseball instruction, to learn as much as I can about the game, to make my players better, and to ultimately win games.  Over the years in fact, of all the books and videos that I’ve read and seen, there are only two that I review over and over.  The videos are pitching videos by Tom House, a former professional pitcher, and the book is Youth Baseball Coaching by John T. Reed.  Now; however, I’ve added the Super 8 Hitting System videos to my list.

Click Here to Take a look at Coach Brockhoff’s Super 8 Hitting System

The videos in the system that I will review over and over are “The Pro Stroke Steps”, “Super 8 Combos” and “The Super 8 Hitting Agenda”.

The Super 8 Pro Stroke Steps video tells you exactly what you need to know about the mechanics of hitting a baseball, from the soles of your shoes to the top of your head, coach Joe Brockhoff explains everything.  In fact, as of today, I’ve watched it four times and each time I catch something I missed.  The Pro Stroke video is almost 50 minutes long, and PACKED with great insightful information about baseball hitting mechanics.

The next video I will burn into my memory is the Super 8 Combos video.  This video has so many drills and tips it’ll blow your mind.  Again, as with the Pro Stroke video, each time I watch it, I catch stuff I missed.  This video is about 45 minutes long, and I made a list of the drills so that I don’t forget them.  Here’s the list:


List of the Super 8 Combos Drills

  • Rocker step drill
  • Load, stride, pivot
  • Straight jacket drill
  • Power hand drill
  • Power V correction drill
  • Mat drills
  • Mat drill with guide stick
  • Tee drills
  • Side fence drill
  • Back fence drill
  • Frisbee drill
  • Plastic bat drill
  • Pop drill
  • Pop/stroke drill
  • Mat drill (hands)
  • Mat drill (hands / bat)
  • Hi / lo speed snaps
  • Full stroke with mat
  • Toss drills:
    • In/mid/out
    • Drive toss
    • Full toss
  • Chair drill

Uh, I already forgot what some of these drills were… SEE WHAT I MEAN!  I’ve watched this one three times.  I’ll eventually get ‘em all down.

Last, and dare I say, but not least?  My fav of the bunch – The Super 8 Hitting Agenda.  This video is also about 45 minutes long, and shows drills that can be used in the batting cage with a machine, or with live pitching.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, The Hitting Agenda!

The Hitting Agenda video has drills that train you to see the ball better (Judgmental Drills), teach you how to make better contact (Contact Drills) and specialty drills.  Here’s the list of drills:


List of The Hitting Agenda Drills

Judgmental Drills

  • Loose body
  • Stride take
  • Drive take
  • A – B – C
  • Form and technique


Contact Drills

  • A – B – Snap
  • A – B – 50%
  • A – B – 75%
  • A – B – 95%
  • A – B – Flex


Specialty Drills

  • BP Slo-Motion drill
  • Drivers (my personal favorite)
  • Quick hips drill
  • Timing Drills (stepping up and back in the cage – why didn’t I think of that?)
  • Split hands drill


Then, there’s a Power Ten Series which I did just a couple of days ago with the team that I coach.  The Power Ten series is a competitive hitting drill that the kids loved.  Each player gets to hit and they are graded on each swing that they take.  A miss, weak hit and a solid hit are each scored accordingly.  It’s fun, competitive and very useful.


What could have been better?

Well, this point is moot for me really, but here it goes.  The Super 8 Hitting System gives no instruction on bunting.  I don’t know about you, but I am not much of a bunt type coach.  I like to see my players crush the ball, so I rarely have them bunt.  I guess you could say that I’m more of an American League type guy.


My Team’s Results

The team that my son and I coached this year have had their struggles.  I had been pulling my hair out trying to figure out how to get these boys to improve their hitting and fielding skills.  In fact, we were mercied 8 times in our first 12 games… UGH!  If you’re a coach, you can imagine how that feels.

In all my years of coaching I had never, EVER, been mercied more than 2 times in a season.  I totally didn’t know what the heck to do.  I was full of anxiety, and I would wake up in the middle of the night… Thinking of what to do.  Heck, it sucked, because I don’t even have a son on the team.  I love the game and I’m lucky enough that my son helps me coach.

So about mid season, like I said when I started this post, I found, and bought The Super 8 Hitting System, and here’s what has happened since.  My players are learning to go short to the ball.  They are learning to keep their hands inside the ball, and taking a direct path to the ball with the barrel of the bat.  All because of the drills in this hitting system.

Bottom line.  Soon after starting to teach the Super 8 drills the mercies stopped and we became competitive.  My players hit better, make more consistent contact, and we’ve started scoring more, and winning more games.  The city tournament is coming up, and we can’t wait.  The more I have them do the Super 8 drills, the better they get.

This may sound like a cliche but, I really hope my competitors never see this post.

I hope this helps you (if you are in another league that is).  Please let me know if you have any questions.  This was a long post, but I can’t say enough about the Super 8 Hitting System.

Coach Ed

You’ll Find The Super 8 Hitting System by Clicking Here

Proper Batting Techniques To Be a Better Baseball Hitter

March 22nd, 2011 No comments

I have shared some of the batting techniques with you that have made my son a better hitter, and helped him hit several home runs. Allow me to summarize some of them for you. These are the batting techniques that I found most important when teaching him to be a great hitter.

  • I had him work on his strength by swinging the bat daily with a baseball bat doughnut
  • I stopped him from killing his batting mechanics by telling him NOT to “squishing the bug”
  • I told him to take a slight upward swing into the pitch plane and drive the ball back to where it come from
  • I had him practice making contact with the ball with his hands in a power palm up, palm down position
  • I also had him trick his mind into HAVING TO MAKE CONTACT WITH THE BASEBALL, by visualizing his dog in the catcher’s position (You may think it’s silly, but it worked)

All these things combined, I attribute to Edward being a great hitter.  These batting techniques can help you become a better hitter too.  Don’t forget that there are all kinds of techniques that people (coaches and parents) teach batters.  When you hear one, really think about it, because some of them just don’t make sense.

Batting is a skill that is honed by thousands of repetitions using proper techniques.  It takes hard work, and will not come easy.  I hope that in these few posts, I have given you a foundation to build upon to make you the baseball player, specifically the hitter, that you want to be.  Please email me if you have any questions.  I would love to help improve your hitting game.

Hit a Home Run With Your Mind – Secret Hitting Tip

March 20th, 2011 No comments

Hit a home run with your mind?  What are you talking about coach?  “Do you think you’re some kind of Jedi or something?”  (Yes, I’m a Star Wars geek)  What I’m really talking about here is the mental part of the game.

We have, up to this point, discussed the mechanics of hitting a baseball.  Now we will briefly discuss the mental part of the game.  Yogi Berra said, “This game is %90 mental, the rest is physical.”  That’s a great quote from a great baseball player; however, it’s very true in every sport that the mental part of the game is hugely important.  So, let me tell you what I used to tell my son to get him mentally in the baseball hitting mode.

First of all, visualization is hugely import.  Most players have hit a baseball in a way that everything in their mechanics felt perfect, and effortless.  My son Ed, used to tell me that every time he hit one out of the park his swing felt effortless.  He felt like his wasn’t even trying to hit a home run.  I soon started asking him if he could visualize that perfect swing.  If he could feel, in his mind’s eye, the moment the bat hit the ball and the effortlessness that he felt when he hit the baseball.  I also asked him if he could imagine the way his body moved when he started his swing, specifically his batting mechanics throughout his swing.  He said he could imagine all these things, so I told him that he should imagine the perfect effortless swing and mechanics each time he was on deck, and about to step into the batter’s box.  The result, more contact at the plate.

Next, and this may seem silly to some of you, but I’m telling you… IT WORKS.  I told Ed, and I always tell the players that coach, that they need to have a reason for what they do.  They need to have a reason to hit a home run, or make better contact, or steal the next base.  I tell them to trick their mind into hitting that baseball.  I tell them to have a REALLY STRONG reason to protect that plate as a better.

OK.  Here it is.  I ask the player what’s most important to them in this world.  Some say money, some say their girlfriends, some say their parents and I get a variety of answers.  Usually though, with younger, little league aged players, I tell them to imagine that their favorite pet is where the catcher is, and they HAVE TO protect them from being hit by the baseball.  Their baseball contact always increases.  ALWAYS!

The latter point also has to do with visualization motivation.  It’s a secret that I can guarantee will instantly improve your player’s baseball contact.  I know this one will help, and I hope that my opponents don’t see this post, because it will help them too.

Hand Placement at Baseball Bat Contact

March 6th, 2011 No comments

If you want to hit a home run, or even make consistent contact.  It’s important to understand a couple of things about the role of the hands in the baseball bat swing.  First off, again, going back to when I used to work with my son Ed, I taught him that when the barrel of the bat makes contact with the baseball, the hands need to be in a palm up, palm down position.  This is what it looks like:

Palm up, palm down baseball swingThis gives you control of the baseball bat, allowing you to take the barrel of the bat to the baseball, now matter where the pitch ends up in the strike zone.  The picture on the left is a pitch that was delivered pretty high in the strike zone, while the picture on the right is a pitch that was delivered low in the strike zone.  Notice, also, that they are both making contact with the baseball in front of their bodies.

As for where you make contact with the ball, it’s important to be thinking about that fact that baseball contact should be made out in from of home plate.  The more inside the pitcher pitches the ball, the sooner you’ll have to swing the bat.  When the pitch is to the outside of the plate, you will have to be a bit more patient, but still hit that ball in front of home plate.

Another thing to consider, as illustrated by the photos above, is that the hands will make contact in generally that same position in front of the body, whether the pitch is high or low in the zone.  What changes is the angle of the barrel of the bat.  The barrel of the baseball bat should be above the hands on pitches high in the zone, and for pitches mid strike zone or low in the strike zone, the barrel should be below the hands.  Always remember though, make contact in front of home plate.

Again, thank you for visiting my site and I hope these tips help you become a better hitter.  Whether you are wanting to hit a home run, or trying to make better contact with the baseball, these tips are constant.

Oh, one last point.  Whenever my son, Edward, would hit a home run, he would always tell me that he wasn’t trying to hit one out of the park and that his swing felt smooth and effortless.  I think that it was because we practiced the points within this site so much, that it became second nature to him.  It’s like riding a bike, driving a car, or tying your shoes; you don’t even have to think about it.

Baseball Bat Plane Will Increase Your Chances of Hitting a Home Run

March 3rd, 2011 No comments

A regulation baseball pitching mound is 10 1/2 inches tall.  If you really want to hit a home run, you have to take that into consideration.  Why you ask?  Well, let me ask you this, have you ever had someone tell you that you need to take a level swing when swinging the bat, or even worse, swing the baseball bat down?  Think about it for a second.  Imagine the path of the baseball going from the pitcher’s hand, to the catcher’s glove.  Do you imagine a straight trajectory that’s maybe parallel to the ground?  I think not.

Baseball Pitch Trajectory

Please forgive my crude drawing of a pitcher and catcher, but maybe this will help you understand, if you don’t yet, that you must swing your bat into the plane of the pitch.

In this baseball pitching “illustration” the red line is the path of the pitch, from the pitchers hand, to the catchers glove.  The red, orange, and green lines, are the three batting swings that I mentioned earlier; downward level and upward.

You can see that if you swing downward with the bat, signified by the blue line, you only have one chance of hitting the ball, because your baseball bat is intersecting the pitch path at one single point illustrated by the blue dot.

If you swing your bat level, signified by the orange line, you have the same type of situation, in that your possibility of hitting the pitch is only at a single point in the path of the pitch.

But, if you swing your bat using a slight upward angle, signified by the green line, you are swinging through the path of the pitch for the maximum amount of time; therefor, giving you a greater chance to make contact,  and possibly hit a home run out of the ballpark.

Your should imagine swinging to drive the baseball back up to where it came from, the pitcher’s hand, at the point of his delivery.

So, whether you want to be a contact hitter, or your dream is to hit a home run, it’s important to keep these things in mind.  You can hit it out of the park with patients, practice and persistence… oh, and of course, the proper baseball bat plane.   ; )

To Hit the Home Run, Don’t Drop The Anchor

March 1st, 2011 No comments

You may be wondering what in the heck I’m talking about? “To hit a home run, don’t drop the anchor?” Yes, I’m still talking about baseball, but now I would like to talk more specifically about baseball hitting mechanics.

You may have heard the term, squish or squash the bug, right? But is that really what you want to be doing when you go to hit the baseball? The answer is NO. Just take a look at these Major League Baseball players at about the contact point of their swing, and tell me what you notice.

Pros Not Squishing the Bug

We are all familiar with these professional baseball players.  They are all guys that hit home runs on a pretty regular basis.  I think that they pretty much know what they’re doing.

When you squish the bug, or “put out the cigarette” as I’ve heard some coaches say, you are inadvertently telling your players to put the brakes on their hips, thus robbing  power from their swing, and not allowing them to as much power into their baseball swing as they could.  The power in the swing comes from the lower half of the body as everyone knows.  If you want to be a contact hitter, you may get by swinging the bat with just your arms, but if you want to hit home runs, don’t drop the anchor (aka, squish the bug with your back foot).

In pitching, I tell my players that “hips deliver shoulders”, and it’s that same when you talk about proper batting mechanics.  The longer that you can keep your shoulders back as the hips rotate, the more power you’ll have in your swing.

Don’t listen to me though, the proof is in the pictures that I posted above.  If you want to be a slugger, and hit a home run, then don’t worry about squishing the bug.  Be more concerned about pulling in the anchor, clearing your hips, and then watching the baseball sail over the outfield fence.


Dad, How Do You Hit a Home Run?

February 27th, 2011 No comments

Well, there is was.  The eternal question from my 10 year old son, “Dad, how do you hit a home run?”  Every kid wants to hit a home run, but home run hits are something very few baseball players will actually do at any level.  At that point in my life, I was a relatively new coach, and I was totally NOT a professional baseball coach.  What to do?

So, it was at that point that I decided I really needed to study the game of baseball. More specifically, I had to learn the ins and outs of how to hit a home run.  So I picked up several baseball hitting books, and surprisingly enough, there were even some books that talked about how to hit a home run.  These books were GOLD. A couple of things stuck in my head after reading them.

The first thing was something that seemed to be a constant theme in many of these books; you should use the lightest baseball bat you can find if you want to hit a homerun out the the ballpark. This is because the consensus is that the lighter the baseball bat, the faster you can swing the bat, and the farther the ball will be hit.

Hmmm…?  Light bat = bat speed = hitting a home run (OK. I was never a math wiz, but this made sense).  So, my son Edward and I headed off to the sporting goods store where we bought the lightest baseball bat, for his age, that we could find.  I explained to him that bat speed was very important, and that he had to swing his new baseball bat as fast as he possibly could if he wanted to hit a home run.  He enthusiastically took his new bat, and agreed to work very hard.
Second, in addition to reading about the need for a light baseball bat, I also read that strength was very important, so I also bought Edward a weighted baseball bat doughnut.  I told him that he needed to build the strength in his forearms by swinging the bat at least 50 times a day (Proper mechanics evaded me at this point in time).  Edward, being the good student that he was, with home run derby champion dreams, did as he was told.  He would swing his baseball bat EVERY day, at least fifty times, with the baseball bat doughnut on it.  He got stronger, and his bat speed increased too.

Finally, all his desire, and dedication paid off.  During one of his regular season games, while playing little league baseball, he crushed a homer over the outfield fence.  Woohoo!!!  AND, he hit a total of seven that season!  He was proud, but you can probably imagine that I was prouder than he was.  After all, that’s my boy!

These two tips will do wonders for your hitting.  You can hit a baseball, you can hit it hard, and if you work really hard… You can hit a home run too! These tips are true, not only for young players, but adult players too.  I once read that Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters of all time, and one of the greatest home run hitters, used the lightest bat that he could get his hands on.  What does that tell you?

I hope that this site helps you improve your batting, and if what you desire is to hit a home run, I hope that you achieve that too.  I know you can!!!  I wish you all the best.