© 2020 by Nat Ballenberg

The Best Things I've Seen Volume 9

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

I have had the last three and a half months off, and it has been great. I got to coach some baseball, do some training, catch up on sleep, see loved ones, start a few projects, and read a ton.


So suffice it to say I'm about to hit you with a ton of content. So get ready, because here comes 72 links:



From The Driveline Crew:

We know very little about what hitters see when they’re at the plate, but this Driveline post covers about all of it.


Mike Rathwell on coaching development.


Kyle Boddy on intentional practice.


A Bill Hezel thread on thinking through a motion capture report to avoid identifying certain kinematics as always good or always bad.


Anthony Brady with a fairly deep dive into the sequencing of the legs and hips into footplant.


An Anthony Brady rant on data.


Matt Daniels with a great thread on how the arms work in the throwing motion.


Dean Jackson with a great thread that takes a different perspective on early torso rotation in the pitching delivery.



From the S&C Community

Zach Dechant with a quick and easy explanation of the front and back fascial lines and their roles in pitching.


Eric Cressey reminds us why it's important to get outside...or at least take vitamin D supplements.


A very cool video of breathing with a fantastic breakdown by Eric Cressey.


A great template for reaching out to someone for information or advice.


The guys at OnBaseU with a quick video of how to progress and regress some pelvic dissociation exercises.


Stephen Osterer with a thread on the need for, or lack thereof, hip external rotation ROM of the drive leg hip. And a tangentially related take on determining whether a mechanical tweak or ROM based intervention is best in any given scenario.


And yet another great Osterer thread detailing the importance of understanding why someone moves the way they do before implementing a corrective exercise, constraint drill, or mechanical change.



From Other Really Smart People

Eugene Bleeker dives into deceleration, interpreting biomechanical data, reciprocal motion, and biotensegrity in this epic tweetstorm.


Justin Stone with an incredibly clear, concise explanation of the baseball swing.


Justin Stone with a fun, simple explanation of angular vs. linear velocity.


A great thread by Ben Brewster about "stitching loops of energy together" in the pitching delivery.


A certainly unique way to warm-up by Tread Athletics by way of Ido Portal.


Ben Brewster with a great video thread on holding the hinge on the drive leg.


A quick video demonstrating one way to practice using not-visual information.


MIT's Todd Carroll with a great thread on the college baseball recruiting process.


A great thread on teams vs. work groups.


Another Joey Votto stat that made me look twice.



Just For Fun

Zack Greinke is very heads up.

Luke Appling goes deep at 75 years old.

Slapdick+

The Secret Friend Dance!



A pretty deep dive by Driveline into spin axis.


Watch out, Driveline is coming in hot with more fire. This article is on full signal biomechanical analysis, which is to regular biomechanical analysis what a video is to a picture.


A great Driveline article going into depth about a bunch of hitting stuff I thought I already understood but didn't.


A Stephen Osterer article on the impact of pickoffs and in game defensive on workload.


Eric Cressey with a wonderful article on the glutes.


Eric Cressey with more great information about how arm care is really full body care.


Mike Robertson with a thoughtful article and a fresh take on the best way to use the post workout window to jump start recovery.


Randy Sullivan provides an incredible view on ways to improve the rehab process.


If you are training athletes - or yourself - and have limited resources, the article Assessment Process For The Low-Budget Program is a great place to start.


An article by Optimal Power Performance on using the conjugate system to train baseball players.


Zac Stout with the best information I've seen on the value of one-knee catching at the HS level.


While most studies are looking at changes in the ball, fivethirtyeight took a look at the impact of spin on batted ball distance.


The Physics of The Gyro Pitch explains how gyro spin turns into side spin as the ball approaches the plate. It's very cool.


A good argument for why players should study and prepare for their next career while still playing.



From James Clear's newletter:


"Some people need more focus. Others need to broaden their perspective.

Some people need to try harder. Others need to stress less.

Some people need to care more. Others need to let it go.

The secret is you are both people. The key is to know which one you are in this moment."


James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, put together this resource of links to incredible speeches.


For those who have never seen them, I highly recommend Daniel Pink's Pinkcasts. They're short (usually 2-3 minute) videos packed with interesting ideas and actionable takeaways. In this one he talks about Intellectual Humility.


A great article on mental toughness that quotes Eliud Kipchoge - he of the sub 2 hour marathon - and really fired me up while myself training for a marathon of the much longer variety.


Desirable Difficulty is an article on practice and learning, two important things that are difficult to optimize.


Ryan Holiday explains how to protect our time, the most valuable resource we have.


Brad Stulberg writes a wonderful article on the ongoing practice of love.


This Brad Stulberg article on achieving peak performance is short and to the point, illuminating the importance of knowing how to get started, how to keep going, and how to stop.


I'm not a parent, but this article on raising kids has many parallels to coaching.


A great 2 minute video on human relationships.


The origin of "upper case" and "lower case."


This history of railroad tracks might make you question everything.


A short article on the compounding effects of actions.


A NYT piece on the value of a liberal arts education.


The robots are coming!

The future of medicine.



A wild video on some unique training techniques from an account called Fighting Monkey.


Beep baseball is a baseball league for the blind, and it makes me so happy to know this exists.


Barton Smith and Pitching Ninja team up for the greatest video on fluid dynamics that a baseball nerd will ever see. And here's Barton's full presentation on the topic.




This study questions the value of VR as a training device.


A study comparing serratus activation in dumbbell bench press to barbell bench press.


A study on Yoga and its impact on pitching recovery.


Episode 163 of The Perception Action Podcast goes into detail on constraints.


It seems like Ben Hanson gave one hell of a presentation at Slugfest. Check out his entire full-resolution slides from the talk here and the corresponding videos here.


Ryan Mossman’s incredible D1 D2, and D3 baseball statistical databases.


This Jaegersports week by week throwing build up for a professional pitcher is worth looking at for any pitcher as a template for what it actually takes to safely and completely prepare for a season from a throwing perspective.


A fun little web app where you enter your velo and spin rate to see big leaguers with comparable stuff.