Guest Instructor Resources

Nate Trosky – The 10 Steps to Hitting

Okay. So I’m gonna go through the ten steps. They’re really simple, okay? They cover most of the swing. Not like little specifics, but it’s pretty simple, pretty basic. Okay? So we’re gonna go through the ten steps to hitting. OK. These are checkpoints for our swing. If you want to become a great hitter you have to have checkpoints so you can go back to your checkpoints to see if your swing is working together. So right now I’m going to go through and I want you guys to repeat after me. Back foot, front foot, measure up, check your feet, rest, check your grip, stance, step, pivot, hold, heel up, chin down. What we’re going to do is we’re going to do these ten steps with me. I’m going to condense them now to game. So in the game we’re going to do less at home, we’re practicing, or if we’re just finding our swing, we’re going to go through them all. Major league hitters actually go back after their season, and multiple guys have talked about just the simplicity of, you know, I bat a 260 this year versus 310 the year before. It was simply because my stride was off, I was striding closed versus neutral. Neutral is straight. Simple, little components to the swing. We call those the fundamentals. So if I can be consistent with the fundamentals and I can just get in the box, you just see the ball and hit it and everything’s actually working together, you know what happens. I become a real good hitter because I don’t have to think about what I’m doing. So over and over, if I can do my ten steps at home, swing a nice heavy bat. I go through my steps. I’m just checking on my feet, getting everything lined up, and I take my swing and I swing about. I swing real firm. I want to swing as hard as you can. Keeping balance, finishing heel up, chin down. So right now I’m going to go through like I’m in the game. I’m going to shorten them up just a little bit. Stay with me. Back foot, front foot, measure up, check my feet, go right to my stance. And when the ball comes, stance, step, pivot. And I’m not going to hold too long. I’m out. I’m off to the races and heading down that line. Run around it cause I gotta hit, right. I got a rocket right back up the middle. Let’s do that again. Game steps. Back foot, front foot, measure up, check my feet, stance, step, pivot, hold. Off to the races around that. Okay, now I’m going to just go stance, step, pivot, hold. So we’re going to do this as well. We’re just going to be in our stance. It’s all we’re going to work on is stance. Stance, step, pivot, hold, heel up, chin down. The heel up, chin down is a component of the hold. So there is ten steps if you actually count it sounds like there’s twelve, but hold, boom, that’s number ten, heel up, chin down is just a component of the hold.

Nate Trosky – Timing & Load

Everybody might be a little different, but this is kind of just like a standard to start from. You can be a little earlier, a little later, it’s up to you. Everybody knows their swing, but this is kind of a standard starting point. Right, here we go. Just work your load. Soft, quiet stride inside, ball the foot. Get the hands back. Take the pitch. Keep your hands back. Take the pitch. Keep your hands back. Now, fast, fast timing. Good fastball. Load early. Good. Slow timing. Here we go. Count one, then load after release. Nice job. Now I’m going to do front toss. The same for front toss, okay? At release is medium. Separation, it’s fast. Slow is one after release. You guys ready? Let’s go. Medium out of release. Let’s load. Here we go. Front toss. Do it again. Medium and release. We’re going to load a release now. We’re going to go slow. We’re going to count one and then load. Here we go. One after release. Here we go. A lot of us loaded at one. Make sure we stay one, then we load. Ready? Do it again. Slow timing. Slow the game down. Relax, let the ball travel. Here we go. We got to relax and slow it down. That’s the problem. We get excited early. Now, fast timing, at separation. Ready? Here we go. Good. Let’s do it again. Last one. Good.

Nate Trosky – 6th Tool Player

Let’s go get locked in. Come on. I said let’s get my mind right. Get my mind right. See the mind is a muscle too. Get my mind right. Train the brain, the mind’s a muscle too, get my mind right. So when we broke, we asked you guys to come on over here. A large percentage of you guys went through the gate there. Take a look over there. Is that a walkway? No. So I want you to think about this. When we’re looking for players at the next level, we’re looking for players that separate themselves. And one we’ve talked about before, but there’s the player and there’s the person. And your dollar value is going to be in direct relationship to who you are as a person because there’s a lot of really good players. So we’re looking for quality people. We’re not looking for guys that are looking for the shortcut. Why do you think most guys went that way? Because it’s easier. Right? I mean, common sense. I’m going to go right through the area where no one’s supposed to walk, move the netting, and kind of weasel my way through because it’s shorter. Let’s take a shortcut. So if you take shortcuts right there, you know where else you’re going to take shortcuts? In life, in your life, in training, in everything you do, you’re going to be a guy who takes shortcuts. Can you guys move over here, please? All of you just come back here. Okay? I work for one of the 30 major league teams, and we’re looking for players. We’re looking not only for great players and good athletes, we’re looking for quality people, guys that don’t take shortcuts. That’s the way you separate yourself, and that’s going to translate into the clubhouse.

You think of a major league season, it’s 162 games and 180 days, right? How many games? How many days? So think about the major league hitter. And we look at Nolan Aronato or any of these great players, okay? If you take him and the other the averages, if you kind of average it out, but you can look at Nolan, how many times is he going to get up roughly in a season? If you guys look at his stats or look at the average major league hitter with a starter, they’re going to get up between 600-700 hundred times. That’s in one season. I don’t know if you guys have been up 700 times in your life, 700 times in one season. Right. How many times do you think Nolan Aronato is going to get out this year? And he is arguably one of the best hitters in the game in the world. How many times you think he’ll get out this year? He’s going to get out about 300 times. How many times do you think he’s going to strike out? Probably 100 plus. Right. And he’s going to be the best hitter in the country. This is a tough game. If you take shortcuts. And if you’re not a great teammate, let me just tell you something. When you’re in that clubhouse for those 180 days with your team, 162 games, you’re traveling. If you’re not in the clubhouse, you’re traveling with your team. Well, about 50% to 75% of the time, you don’t even feel good about yourself cause you’re not hitting well because you’re getting out 300 times and striking out 100. So what happens is, what kind of guy are you? Are you a great teammate? Do you cut corners? So that’s when it comes into play. So right now you are Bryce Harper was what, won for 17 in his last four or five games, right? So what kind of teammate is Bryce Harper when he’s won for 17? That’s the question, right? And how quick can he bounce back and get back to where he is? And we say, get your mind right.

You got to get your mind right to be a great hitter. And one way you get your mind right is to clear your mind. Is to do what? Clear your mind. The second is to be present. You gotta be present. I got to be on time. And if I think about my last-at-bat, where maybe I didn’t get a hit because I wanted to, or my last two advances, what happens is I’m in the past, I’m not in the present. So to get my mind right, I have to be present. I have to be here right now. So right now you’re in the game, and you are up for two. You popped up, and you struck out, all the bases loaded, and now it’s your third at bat. A great hitter gets his mind right, and he’s present. He’s not concerned about his last-at-bats, and he clears his mind. He relaxes. He doesn’t put pressure on himself, and he attacks on that pitch. What is he doing? That pitch? He attacks. But how can you do that if you’re thinking about the past? If you take all the big league hitters and you add up their strikeouts for one year, you guys have any idea how many it is on average? 30,000. Okay, 30,000. Exactly. If you take up all the at-bats of all the major league hitters, how many times do you think they get out? On average, it’s about 135,000 times major league hitters get out in a season. How many times? It’s crazy, right? So it’s difficult to get your mind right, to be clear, be relaxed, to be attack on every pitch and be present, be locked in. Okay? Now, if we’re not on time as a hitter, if you’re 1/10 to 2/10 of a second late, you’re late, you can’t hit. That’s another major reason why we have to be present, because if you’re one to two tenths of a second, think about this one.

You have to say this. Read, recognize, and react. Say it again. Read, recognize, and react. Let’s do it in cadence. Read, recognize, and react. So you have to do that in about three tenths of a second. Just took a pitch off. Come on. You just got one good pitch to hit out at bat, and it’s in the catcher’s mitt right now. You’re not only behind the count, but you’re not going to get another good one. If there’s two change ups in a row and you swing and miss on both of them and you go sit down. Don’t take pitches off. The challenge is not necessarily to have the greatest swing, because the best guy is not always the guy with the best swing. The guy whose mind is right, he’s locked in. He’s clear headed. He’s present, he’s relaxed. He’s attacking. Stay with me. Stay locked in. Stay with me. So timing is huge as a hitter. Take a look. I got slow, got medium, I got fast. There’s a big difference, right? The swing is overrated, I want to tell you. Way overrated. The guy with the best swing typically is not the best hitter. There is a difference between a hitter and a hacker. The guy who hacks is just up there without a plan. His sense of timing is just okay. And he just tries to hit the ball hard. And that’s about 90% of the hitters. And when they take VP, what do you think they try to do? They wanna how far they can hit it. And they measure success in their VP by how hard and far they hit the ball. Look how far that one went. See that one? And you’re like, no, hit farther. Okay? You know what kind of hitter you are in the game when you think with that plan? You’re the easiest guy to get out. And that guy’s a hacker. Who is he? A hacker. A hitter has unbelievable sense of timing. Timing is unreal. What are the toughest pitchers to face? Fast, medium, or slow? Slow. Slow. Toughest. Right. Why are they tough? You got to wait longer, but you really don’t. If you load later. If I load later, right when I load, the ball will be right where I want to hit it. But if I load the same time on the medium pitcher as a slow pitcher right when it’s coming out of his hand, what happens? I got to do what? What did you say? I have to wait longer. Is it easy to wait? No. You start to leak. Hands start to come forward. You start going into your front side. Everything gives. Then you end up hooking it, popping up, rolling over, swinging bunts, weak contact, slow pitcher. Now the fast guy, why is he hard? You got less time to react, right? Here he is. It’s pretty good. Okay, this guy’s really fast. He’s throwing 97. This guy’s throwing 72. You guys are on time. Beautiful. You’re locked in, you’re on time. Okay.

Why is the fast guy tough? But if you load early, it almost starts to equal out. A lot of times we load about the same time that we try to rush our swing. So now I’m changing my swing. Just load early, just get it down early, and expect it to be where you want it. We call that recognition. What do we call it? Recognition. Recognition. Great hitters have great pitch recognition. They could recognize, say, with me, spin, shape, speed, location. Within like, one 10th of a second, they could see it all. And you can only do that when your mind is clear. So your mind has to be empty and clear and you have to have a game plan. So today what we’re going to work on is timing, game plan, recognition. It all begins with timing. So now we’ve got to be on time, know who’s on the mound. We got to categorize them fast, medium, or slow. What’s the categorize? It’s fast, medium or slow. Then we got to set our timing. And when we get in the box, we need to be on time. So we get on time by doing our homework and preparing. And then we also have to prepare outside of practice and not at the game. And we’re going to do a threeplay drill. It’s awesome. You’re going to be going back and forth to all three plates, working on your three timings, fast, medium, slow. Then we’re going to go to cage number three, and we’re going to work on cage number three. We’re going to work on game plan. We’re going to work on what?

Game plan. Game plan. The best hitters in the game have a simple game plan. We’re going to talk about game plan when we get over there, okay? Get our minds right, get on time, got our game plan set, and we’re going to get pitch recognition where we clear our mind and we trust our what. Trust our what? Our eyes. Yeah, we trust them. When you’re in your eyes, what happens is you become a visual hitter. When you’re visual your brain and your mind gets blank, it’s pretty awesome. When you start seeing something really well, you don’t think anymore. So you read recognition and react phase is going to get real quick and really good. You’re going to see well, you’re going to recognize well, and you’re going to react real well. And you go, man, I’m getting great. You’re going to be in the zone. You’re going to be where? You’re going to be in the zone. And you get in the zone when you clear your mind and you have a simple plan and everything just starts working. Swing is overrated. What’s overrated? Swing. And you do need to find your swing. So we’re going to work on our swing. We’re going to go through ten simple steps. Ten simple steps. We’re going to go through them. We’re going to find our swing. It all begins with finding your swing, right? Get to the park. You’ve got to find your swing. Let me just tell you something. A lot of times your swing doesn’t feel great, and we still need you to have quality of bats. So if you get caught up now the swing doesn’t feel good, you know what happens? You lose confidence. You’re not present because you’re thinking about your swing. So nothing works. You can’t get in the zone. You have poor pitch recognition because you’re thinking about your swing.

You gotta clear your mind. You gotta do what? Clear your mind. Clear your mind and be present and be on time. Present and on time. Locked in. Quick pitched. You be on time. Locked in. He’s ready to hit. He’s ready to get after it. Yeah. Okay, what’s overrated swain? Okay, the hitter versus the hacker. Okay? Most guys are hackers, so you want to take pride in becoming a hitter. Becoming a what? Hitter. Okay? And the big difference between a hitter is he has timing, game plan, great pitch recognition, and that needs to be practiced. Not just going and hitting the t and hitting soft toss and seeing how far you can hit in VP. Because if you just do that routine, you’re going to be like every other hitter. You’re not going to be very good. You’re going to be a hacker. You’re going to be an easy out. When we put the good guy on the mound, we’re all those guys, dudes. We put the dude on the mound, you know what happens? You’re out. You’re lucky to go one for four in that game. And that’s very typical. But when you become a hitter, you’re on time, you have a simple game plan, you’re seeing the ball well. You know what happens? You start going two for four off that guy. Start finding ways to get hits. Separate yourself. Here we go. Ready?

Nate Trosky – Pitch Recognition

So in this station here, we’re gonna work on being visual hitters. We’re gonna make sure our head is clear and we’re in trust mode. What mode? Trust mode. Trust mode. So our head is clear and we’re trusting our eyes. Let me just tell you something. Sometimes your eyes are going to actually fail you because you’re going to think you see something that’s not going to be what you thought it was, because that’s hitting. But the more you see something, the more you see a breaking ball, the more you can trust your eyes because it’s going to start to identify over and over. It’s going to get really good at identification. So in this station, we’re really just working on identifying and fine focusing the ball, really seeing the ball, seeing spin. Seeing what? Spin. We’re going to focus mostly on spin. So right now, if I throw you a fastball, it’s going to have a specific spin. It’s going to have a specific shape, it’s going to have a location. OK. It’s going to have a speed. That’s a lot to recognize within two tenths of a second, all that. So right now we’re going to train our eyes to really be focused and to pick up spin. This station is the spin station. So here’s a spin right here. I have a four seam spin. Take a look at it. You’re going to see how tight it is. See how tight it is? You can’t really see the seams. So guys, when you throw it in the station, you can just grab a four seam and just really try to spin it. OK? The two seam you’re going to see, and we can just grab the two seam like this. And with the two seam, you’re going to see a lot more seam. It’s going to be kind of lumpy. You see that? So what we’re going to do is we’re going to set our eyes for what we’re looking for. Great hitters already know what they’re looking for. When you set your eyes for what you’re looking for, if you’re looking for a fastball, you’re going to identify it really fast. If you’re going on, I wonder if you’re into a curveball or fast. But what happens is it takes you about two tenths of a second longer to decide what it really is. So we’re going to learn to set our eyes. We’re going to set our eyes for spin. So we’re looking for spin. But we’re expecting four seams in tight spin. What kind of spin? Tight spin. What kind of spin. Tight spin. So if you don’t see the tight spin, put the brake on. The throttle is on. What’s on? Throttle. The throttle. That means you’re ready to hit. The light is green. The thought is yes, okay, that tight spin is coming. As you load, you’re looking forward and you’re starting to swing. It’s not there to slam the brake on. We don’t want the brake on going. Wait, what is that? Oh, you’re swinging. Okay, so if you make a mistake, make it being aggressive, okay? Trust your eyes in the station. It’s pitch recognition.

Nate Trosky – Swing Timing

So right now I want you guys to clap when the ball is at release, okay? And that’s when he’s going to start his load. Let’s do it again. Be on time. Some of you guys are early. Be on time. Now he’s going to go back to the slow timing, slow pitcher. Okay, he’s going to load when the ball crosses that plate. So let’s clap on the ball crosses the plate halfway to him. Pretty good. Nice job, GameDay. You guys are studs. Most guys clap. Ready? Here we go. Halfway there. Clap. Good. Let’s do it again. Now he’s gonna come back up to the middle. So he’s gonna go two, two, two. Back to the middle is clap and release. Now he’s going to come back to the front plate. At separation, he’s going to start his load. Fast timing. The ball is getting you quick. Medium, regular timing. Slow time, and we’ve got to delay it, right? So work on being on time. You’re actually going to hit in the station. We were just working the time so you guys can see when you’re working on your timing. So if you were smart, you’d be off to the side when you’re about ready to get in and you’d be working your timing as the guy moves. Work with him. Instead of just standing there waiting, you’re going to get like 20 reps in before you even get in here because you’re going to get eight in here. So I could get like 100 by the time I get through this station if I’m working over here and working in here.

Medium pitcher, load on time, load of release. Atta a boy. Slow pitcher load, late. Atta boy. Fast pitcher, load early, next job.

Nate Trosky – Early Timing Drill

So you could do it two ways. You can protect your face like this if you want, or you can just throw it and use your hand. Or we can give you a glove over there. Okay. I personally don’t want to get hit in the head, so I go like this. So we’re going to do is when the hand goes back, he’s going to load. I want you guys to clap when my hand goes back. Let’s do it again. So all I want to do is just be like this. He’s going to throw darts and it’s supposed to be firm. So we’re trying to represent a guy that throws fast. So if he doesn’t load early and he doesn’t get a good pitch to hit, he’s not going to square it up. So right now let’s have him take a pitch. Okay? Just take the pitch. He’s going to load my hand goes back. See how quick it’s coming? Now if I throw it in on him, he will get jammed. It has to be a good pitch out over the plates. We need to get a good pitch to hit. So be disciplined in the station. Okay. So are you ready to hit? You guys, heads up. You guys ready? Okay. So right there, coach, you can use a glove. You can use this. And you’re working on loading early. Loading what? Loading early. And your foot down again. You’re good pitch to the head. OK, we’re still working the ball right back up the middle.