Introducing Mach 1 2020
In September 2017, the Mach-1 Pitching program was launched. Over the course of the past two years, over 200 pitchers have participated in the program and have seen great results in velocity, command and on-field performance. After all, baseball players should train to compete on the field, not just for the sake of training. Competing and training go together!
Last September, we introduced Mach 1 Hitting. This program combined the best expertise, programming, technology, equipment and facilities into a one holistic program. It was built on years of experience from coaches at All-Star Performance and trainers at Athletic Republic, with a lot of help from resources like Bobby Tewksbury, Jason Ochart/Driveline and Matt Lisle. The recent advancements in hitting have been fueled by people like this who are willing to do things a little differently and openly share their results and expertise. Mach-1 Hitting is built on the foundation of data and performance.
But baseball performance data has little value unless it achieves the following:
• Directly connects to in-game performance
• Is instantaneous, providing immediate training feedback• Has benchmarks of personal or peer performance
• Connects to players’ feel and control
• Connects to visual feedback — i.e. you can see it
This is where coaching experience and expertise come into play.
Our Mach 1 team has developed an approach and process that converts numbers into actionable assessments that are directly used to develop training programs and activities to improve player performance. For example, we developed our own app to instantaneously convert swing by swing data from Hittrax into meaningful and actionable assessments that drive training plans.
What Results Have Been Achieved?
The results from Mach 1 Hitting have been incredibly positive for high school, college age and minor league players.
Here are the average metrics improvements that we have measured and tracked over a 12 week period for over 100 hitters:
Average Exit Velocity of +5 mph
Average Launch Angle increase from 13 to 22 degrees
Pull-side Launch Angle increase from 0 to 10 degrees
This level of improvement is substantial.
A key results metric: +156 points improvement in projected Slugging Percentage (from Hittrax). This is the difference between being a good hitter versus great hitter at any level.
And, we have able to directly correlate Mach 1 performance (in “practice”) to actual game performance:
How Do We Do It?
It takes an integrated approach to achieve improvements that translate into game performance. It starts in the gym and ends with a focus on game simulation reps.
Key Improvements in 2020 (Starting in September 2019!)
We learned a lot during the first year of Mach 1 Hitting and are making improvements this year to make the program even better.
- We are adding Blast Motion sensors and data to the program. Players will put a sensor on their bat at the beginning of each session and swing data will be captured and analyzed.
- We are adding a second hitting cage to the sessions, so players can continue drill and weighted bat/plyo work in one cage while other players in the group are facing game velocity in the Hittrax/eHack cage. This will result in 50% more swings during a one hour session.
- We are adopting a monthly cycle of assessments, at the beginning of each month. So, Session 1 will be an assessment, with sessions 2-8 comprised of customized training drills based on the data from each player’s assessment. Then, a new assessment will be completed in Session 9 (firs week of following month), followed by customized training for Sessions 10-16.
Expanding the Mach 1 Hitting Staff
We are significantly expanding the Mach 1 Hitting team of coaches and trainers and have assembled a great team. This year it will include:
- Bryan Niedbalski – remote advisor on programming and analysis
- Nick Beckmann – program development, training
- Andrew Aydt – data analysis, program development
- Shane Cooper – trainer
- Fernando Villages – trainer
- Zack Rutter – trainer
Bryan Niedbalski helped start the Mach 1 Hitting program last fall. This summer, the head coach at Western Georgia watched the Gamers teams swing the bat at the PG WWBA and immediately offered Bryan a hitting coach job at the D2 powerhouse. Bryan will be implementing Mach 1 programming at Western Georgia while continuing to provide advice on data analysis and program development.
With Bryan leaving, Nick Beckmann will expand his role in Mach 1 program design. Nick is one of the top baseball coaches in the region and has extensive experience in applying new hitting technologies to high school age players.
Andrew Aydt played college baseball at McKendree University where he earned earned his MBA. Andrew trained at Driveline Baseball during his playing career and returned as an intern at Driveline following graduation. Driveline is widely regarded as a leader in advanced baseball training and analytics across all levels. Andrew will be joining the Mach 1 team to lead data analysis and program development.
Shane Cooper played at Hutchison Community College, was drafted by the Tigers in 2017. Shane finished his professional career in June 2019 and joined the Mach 1 staff.
Fernando Villages played college baseball at Central Methodist University and professionally for the Pirates, finishing his pro career in June 2019. Fernando was a Mach 1 student last winter and is transitioning to a trainer/coach.
Zack Rutter was an original Gamer in 2007 and joined the Gamers and All-Star Performance coaching staff in 2018, where he focuses on hitting and fielding.
What does the Mach-1 program include?
The Mach 1 Hitting program includes everything you need to get better:
- Initial assessment of mobility, power and strength
- Monthly assessments of hitting and swing data
- Two – 1 hour hitting sessions each week using the most advanced technology available. These sessions include:
- Pre-hitting activation and mobility program
- Weighted bat/plyo ball programs
- Individualized drills to work on specific areas for improvement
- Live “game velo” hitting off of eHack pitching machine, with results measure by Hittrax
- Strength and mobility training, led by Athletic Republic in state-of-the-art gym located at ASP. Mach-1 hitters have open access to the gym during assigned times, with a trainer present to work with the players.
- Post-workout recovery exercises and routines.
Mach 1 also includes data accounts at the leading baseball technology providers in the industry:
- Driveline TRAQ system for tracking data and programming workouts
- Blast Connect
- K-Motion/K-Vest for kinetic sequence measurements
Would you like more information on Mach-1 Hitting?