Analyzing Jason Heyward’s Swing

As a hitting instructor, I frequently get asked to comment on the swings of big league hitters.


“Aren’t so-and-so’s hands too low?”


“Is that guy’s leg kick too big?”


“Why can’t that dude hit a slider?”


Generally speaking, it’s a personal policy of mine to not openly critique guys who get paid millions of dollars to exercise a skill that I do not possess. Yet, does this mean that I don’t sit at home, hunched over my bowl of Captain Crunch, and quietly judge each hitter that pops up on my TV? No. It does not.


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“Why do I Hurt?”: An Ode to Mobility for Aging Athletes

I’m 28. I would venture to guess that, to most, that would not yet be considered old. And, indeed, there are days when I spring from my bed, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, leap up flights of stairs two at a time, get up off of the ground without making any noises, laugh at fart sounds, and feel like a youthful, spry version of myself. But, then, there are other days…

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Increasing Your Volleyball Vertical Jump

At Warbird Academy, we train a lot of volleyball players. Like…a lot. In addition to the 40+ players we train in house at our academy, we also write the strength program for one of the most successful volleyball clubs in the nation, Illini Elite, which rosters over 100 players and cranks out college volleyball commits like Goodyear cranks out tires (note to self: come up with better simile at a later date).


When you spend as much time as we do training these players, certain questions seem to pop up time after time. By far the most common question you could probably guess…

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Instruction vs Intent Part 2: Uphill vs Downhill Swing Plane

A couple weeks ago I posted an article discussing the advantages/disadvantages of hitting with a closed front side in response to an MLB Network segment where Josh Donaldson explained his philosophy on hitting and swing mechanics. In this second article on the difference between hitting instruction and intent, I would like to tackle one of Donaldson’s other points in the video – that a “downhill” swing plane should never be taught to young hitters and that young players, when told to hit down through the baseball, should ignore their coaches.


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Instruction vs Intent Part 1: Closed or Open Front Side?

A couple of months ago, there was some internet hullabaloo over an MLB Network segment where Josh Donaldson explained his philosophy on hitting and his swing mechanics, touting that he never thinks about his hands when he swings and that the key to his power is his “open” front foot. As a professional hitting instructor, I was intrigued yet, at the same time, I found myself cringing throughout the video. Why? Well, as I watched, a couple things became apparent to me:


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