Back in 2011, we wanted to establish a solid proof of concept for our new handle-weighted training product, the HeavySwing. We truly believed in the product and how it could be an essential part of on- and off-season training regimens, but we needed validation. We thought, “What better way to test the HeavySwing than at spring training with the best baseball players in the world?”
In March, we packed up a few HeavySwing prototypes and made the trek down to spring training in both Florida and Arizona. The goal—introduce the HeavySwing to top professional and college players and coaches to get their honest feedback about the product and the concept of handle-weighting in general.
We were very fortunate to secure a few key introductions to pro hitting coaches, and were soon testing the product with coaches, players and even a few Hall of Fame legends (including Rod Carew, Ryne Sandberg and George Brett). Players said that they had never seen or felt anything like it, and we were encouraged by all the positive feedback.
We explained the concept behind the HeavySwing and people quickly understood it, but once players and coaches actually swung it, the light bulb really came on. At the professional level, players are all about “feel,” and they said the HeavySwing felt really good and natural in their hands.
Some players really liked the product. More than once, we regretfully had to decline offers to buy a prototype on the spot, as we would’ve been left empty-handed with nothing to show teams we hadn’t met yet!
In fact, during one spring training game, two pro teams both wanted to use the HeavySwing (we only had one available at the time), so they arrange to have their batboys run it from one on-deck circle to the other between innings.
Nearly all of the pro and college hitting coaches who tested the HeavySwing thought the concept lined up with their “hands inside” hitting approach.
As for the Super Six, it started with a simple question from a pro player about the HeavySwing:
“It’s great. But how do you use it?”
We realized that we needed to develop a special exercise set that took advantage of the HeavySwing’s unique concept, design and weight distribution.
Working with a professional strength and conditioning coach, we were able to develop several warm-up exercises that did just that. We eventually distilled these exercises down to just six that every player should try to include in their on-deck circle routine. The goal: quickly warm up and activate all the muscle groups involved in hitting before stepping into the batter’s box to minimize the risk of strain or injury, particularly during pre- or early-season and cold-weather games.
Very few hitters step into the on-deck circle with an actual warm-up “game plan” or structured set of exercises that they perform before every at-bat. These six exercises, or as we call them, the “Super Six”, were designed to help players make the most of their time in the on-deck circle to make sure they’re as prepared as possible before stepping to the plate.
Origins of the “Super Six” – Part II