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Coach Andy's Hitting E-zine, #30 - Video Analysis
June 12, 2006

Using Video Analysis to be a Great Hitter

Today's e-mail is all about using video analysis to help you be a better hitter.

That is right after I get to brag about my son's team winning his league championship! Now they're off to the county's Tournament of Champions.

Back to the newsletter. There is an article on why and how to do it, then there's an article on cheap resources to get a video camera for your analysis, and finally, I have a major anouncement on how you can get private lessons from me via video. So read all the way through to get you or your players to be the best hitters they can be.

How to use video analysis to help you

The motivation for this whole theme started with a question from one of you about how to get a kid who was batting successfully last year, and was slumping this year, to hit like they used to.

My answer was that if you had any video of the kid when they were swinging well and compare it to video of them swinging now, you could see the differences and get them doing what they were doing before.

I combined this with another thought I had, which is there are a lot of coaches, and even parents who watch lots of the games, who can pinpoint a good swing or a bad swing.

I encourage you to visit this website for more discussion on this.

As I mentioned before, many, many people can tell a good swing from a bad one. Where I've had so much success is that there are very few who can know enough of what they're seeing and know how to get a kid to fix what they need to and repeat the good swing.

This is where video taping swings can make you closer to being me. Just keep taking video of swings, mostly from the side (as if you were in the opposing batter's box), but sometimes from directly behind (or from centerfield) can help too.

Since you instinctively know a good swing when you see it, store the good swings (no need to keep the bad ones as a record of how to do it wrong). Then at a later time, bring them out and compare them to the current swing. There are even programs that will let you do slow motion and frame by frame analysis. And get your player to watch as well and have them do what they see they were doing when it looked good.

Cheap Video Camera Resources

All of this came together for me when the local Walmart started running Father's Day ads where they advertised a video camera for under $100.

I couldn't believe it. Many of us spend more than that for a bat, so our player can hit better, but this will help so much more.

It uses a memory stick (actually it's SD for the techies among us) to store the images and there are many USB devices that act as a mini disk drive for these camera storage cards. (Ask at your local computer store, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. and they'll help you figure this out, you may even have this built into your computer (HP's and Compaq's do)).

Here's the link for an even better buy, it's only $67 and it will play on a TV as well as store it to disk. I'd advise getting the 1GB SD memory card for an extra $35 as that's a decent price and you can store a lot more images before you run out of space (as video will take up a lot more than still pictures).

(You may need to cut and paste the whole link together to bring up the page, start at the http and end with the numbers 99).

Then I started realizing, most digital still cameras have a 10 second video mode, so you don't even need to get a video camera for this idea, since we're only keeping a 1 - 3 second swing (and only keeping it if it's of a good swing). I even recorded my son batting and receiving his trophy right from my cell phone (a Treo 650), all of which I can download and save on my computer.

So get your video camera, your still camera that takes video, your cell phone that records video, or borrow someones and download these images of their great swings to your computer. Name the file "Good Swings" and you'll have it for reference for any future slumps. The beauty of this is they don't have to be really high quality, in fact, the lower the resolution the quicker it is to store and pass around the Internet, if needed.

If your player's swing improves, just replace the videos you had with the newer version, so you'll be able to get them back to the best swing they've ever had.

Private Lessons from me via video

With all of this technology available to us now and my ability to record and store lessons for you there is now no need to hunt down a local hitting coach who's maybe been coaching a few years.

Now you can train with me personally. I'm taking reservations right now, because I have a feeling I may end up with too many requests. I now have over 1,000 of you on this mailing list and I get 10 - 15 requests for the free hitting lessons via e-mail every day so if you want to get your hitter to be better I recommend going to this web page immediately, while you're still reading this. You wouldn't want to miss out on your player hitting better would you? I've even included a bonus lesson for free just for filling out the simple reservation form.

Some of you already knew about this development by signing up for the RSS feeds and announcements at my website. I write many of my new pages or re-write existing pages each month before I get out this newsletter, so if you too want the jump on everyone else, when you visit my website notice on a number of the pages there are links to "My Yahoo" or "My MSN" or "My Google" or "RSS/XML". These allow you to learn as soon as I create a page or change an exiting one rather than waiting for the newsletter to announce it (or possibly miss it completely, if I fail to mention changes to the website).

Other Video Resources for summer

Maybe you were in the middle of the season when you heard of new and different ways to swing the bat or other techniques for playing the game, but you were a little nervous trying it out while games and league were still going.

Summer can be a perfect time to develop a new skill to take your game to a new level before fall ball or the following season.

Certainly check out my video if you haven't already and look for links to other instructional videos throughout the website.

Again, if you have any questions you can write to me via e-mail.

For other hitting learning, go to the past issues of my hitting newsletter page.

Welcome to you who are new to my hitting e-zine.

Thanks for reading and talk to you next time.

Coach Andy

6801 Dove St. Ventura, CA 93003


Coach Andy Collins has been helping players achieve their goals in softball and baseball for over 30 years. He's an advisor to national teams and can help you be a better hitter. He offers free information on his website and through free e-mail hitting lessons and has just introduced a new hitting video discussing and demonstrating how to hit great with either the rotational or linear hitting methods.

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