Drills are an integral part of the learning process. The key to what we do at Bardo’s is that we use drills to teach athletes how to move better. The biggest issue with how drills are perceived is that they have steps. Many people will treat drills as extremely linear. We want to use drills as parameters.
At Bardo’s in both Healthy Heat and 3D Hitting, we have general parameters for what we want in a movement. However, within those parameters there is a ton of freedom. As we say often, we do not believe step one, step two, and so on. We try to encourage athletes to utilize certain parts of the kinetic chain, but throughout those movements they are given the freedom to move how they want to accomplish a goal.
Drills allow us to continue to provide variability in the environment of the athlete with their simple goal being accomplish the task as well as they can. For hitters, we want them trying to hit a double, make the outfielders run backwards. For pitchers, we want them hitting a target...hard. While these may seem drastic to some and obvious to others, training is the perfect time to do that. Controlled chaos - where we can control the situation, when the price of failure is low, and they get to move as well as they can.
The “risk” being low also has different benefits on both sides. Hitters don’t have to suffer the disappointment of costing a team a game or not getting an RBI. With pitchers, we can take all the steps possible to manage the physical stress they are under. For example, we know that if we limit the amount of lower body engagement, and do this correctly we can teach the upper body to move more efficiently. Our belief is a majority of the efficiency will still be present when the athletes begin to use their legs.
Now the biggest battle that we face with athletes of all ages is drills can get boring. However, if we provide individualized drills and continue to adjust these drills as the athletes progress, we have seen much better results. It can also create a sense of ownership as athletes see themselves, hitting more targets or making better contact in drills that once seemed unnatural or difficult. The intent is the key, throw it hard, hit a double. And don’t be afraid to fail, just make it feel more free.
Director of Healthy Heat