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During this episode of Ahead of the Curve, I interviewed Jeff Leach, Manager of Hitting at Axe Bat. Jeff Leach shares his wealth of experience as a swinging coach for players as young as 8-years old all the way up to the professional level. Jeff offers tips on various methods of training swing timing, when players should shut down on a swing, and how to find solutions for issues that players may have with their swing.
- How did Jeff Leach get involved in baseball coaching?
- What does Jeff do for Axe Bat?
- What is Jeff Leach’s system for developing players when he starts with them?
- How does he balance his training for players of very different skill levels?
- What are Jeff’s main goals for the off-season?
- What tools does Jeff Leach use to evaluate player’s abilities?
- Where does he start looking first to identify solutions for the problems of players?
- Are there different ways that Jeff uses to train swing timing?
- How does Jeff help players to decide when to shut down on a swing?
- What is Jeff’s advice to players about what to swing at?
- Is there something that Jeff has learned lately that has him really excited?
- What is something that his players do in training that they love?
- What is something that Jeff believes that other coaches may disagree with?
- Is there anything about his training that would stand out to people?
- What are some of Jeff Leach’s favorite books and resources that have benefited his coaching?
3 Key Points:
- Baseball skill tools include arm strength, hitting, hitting for power, speed, and fielding.
- Jeff’s swinging advice is to look for speed or look for a location.
- Finding a feel you trust in a competition is probably more important than rehearsing a perfect swing movement.
- “I’m the manager hitting for Axe Bat. My role is to engage the baseball and softball community and help players really discover the Axe handle and the benefits.” – Jeff Leach (02:08)
- “I migrated from an individual to a group training environment. I could train more players more often with more tools.” – Jeff Leach (04:02)
- “If you are looking at an 8-year-old kid, he doesn’t have a lot of experience in the game. He may not be motivated at a high level to really train and practice at his craft without being pushed.” – Jeff Leach (04:39)
- “My philosophy basically is that, hitting is an infinite moving problem and I need to give them as many solutions to that problem as possible.” – Jeff Leach (07:35)
- “I think that every off-season for a player should be, first and foremost, about improving the player’s tools.” – Jeff Leach (10:22)
- “As far as drills, I really like to work with drills that require the least amount of verbal reinforcement.” – Jeff Leach (11:00)
- “Adjustability is really what we are talking about when talk about timing. Are you on time? Can you adjust your timing to barrel a baseball when your body is off?” – Jeff Leach (20:00)
- “I love to throw wiffle balls and have wiffle ball games with guys. I think that's one of the most exciting things that a player can do. The competition level increases when they start competing against teammates.” – Jeff Leach (32:50)
- Ahead of the Curve Podcast
- Twitter: @AOTC_podcast
- Jeff Leach: Linkedin Twitter
- Jeff Leach’s Email: Jeff@axebat.com