What are Swing Smarter's Thoughts on the BASEBALLANCE

by Sean Hanifee

BASEBALLANCE is the first cross curricular baseball training aid, set to be released for sale on December 1, 2009. It truly isolates the bottom half of the hitters approach and serves as a way to FEEL proper approach from balanced stance, to loading to staying off the front foot as a front foot hitter. It also isolates movement directly back at the pitcher with interchangeable rocking action from a self contained unit. It not only emphasis rhythm and dynamic balance at the plate, but with more than 30 drills for every position on the field. To see it in its developmental stages, you can search "BASEBALLANCE" to see youtube video.

Swing Smarter Response:
Interesting idea for a hitting aid focusing on the balance part of the swing, which is so very important for bat speed and the power/leverage relationship.

I work with my fitness clients on something similar called a Bosu ball, which engages the neuromuscular system (brain/spinal cord/muscles), it causes the brain to recruit more muscles to help the body to balance, resulting in more calories burned and joint stabilization reached.

With the Swing Smarter 8-Point Hitting Aid Grading Scale:

  1. Durability - A

  2. Weight - C

  3. Economical - C/D

  4. User Friendly - A

  5. Convenient/Compact for Storage - B minus

  6. Easy Assembly - A

  7. Partner Needed (Y/N) - No

  8. Does the device teach you something (Y/N) - Yes

The good news is...

This hitting gadget looks durable, easily assembled, doesn't need a partner to get something out of it, and definitely teaches a balanced swing. The other hidden benefit is CORE strength development, like with the Bosu Ball mentioned above.

The bad news is...

It looks like the BaseBalance is a little heavy and less convenient for coaches and parents to carry to the practice field every time they wanted
to use it. AND I know this aid isn't going to be cheap...probably will carry over a $100 price tag after its release December of 2009.

Don't get us wrong, Swing Smarter does like the concept of the BaseBalance, however with its seemingly high price tag, we can get the same thing done using more creative cheaper household items.

The investment in the BaseBalance may be better for teams than individual players.


The Starting Lineup Store
P.S. Wondering which baseball hitting aids are worth their weight in gold? Frustrated scowering the internet for over-hyped highly endorsed swing gadgets NOT doing a darn thing for your swing?

Swing Smarter and FOWL Ball's The Starting Lineup store is just what the baseball world is looking for...it's where we can find the "9 best baseball hitting aids on the planet."

It takes a lot for a hitting gadget to crack The Starting Lineup, because there are only 9 spots available.

Unfortunately, they aren't cheap AND some require a hefty investment...however, everyone knows we get what we pay for. If we purchase cheap baseball hitting aids, then we'll get cheap results; and if we're a seeker of non-quality non-functional products, then we'd highly recommend NOT visiting The Best Starting 9 today. Junk in, means junk out.

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Nov 09, 2010
Final comment on Baseballance
by: SwingSmarter.com

I appreciate your question hitteachhit. Since the beginning I said I liked the Baseballance, but thought it was over-priced. I get that some don't mind paying the price, which is fine, but personally, I wouldn't buy it.

I do think quite a few of the comments we've received about it were loaded by the Baseballance marketing team because nobody should think this is "God's gift to baseball." I've selected 9 other baseball hitting aids that are way better for a player in TheStartingLineupStore.com. Setting the SUPER-hype aside, it can't hurt.

Nov 09, 2010
by: hitteachhit

I have seen some debates over this BASEBALLANCE on other sites and blog sites. Do you have any new information to add about the BASEBALLANCE and how it has developed?

Apr 29, 2010
by: Texas Hitting

I love this thing! I watched a kids total approach at the plate transform in 15 minutes and purchased two!

Can't get enough kids working on this device often enough!

You can watch video on facebook.com/baseballance and their website is awesome www.baseballance.com.

Oh yeah-- go to their you tube channel too.

Jan 29, 2010
Not Hype
by: SoCalTravel

Hype ?

Have you purchased one?

Purchase it, Use it. It isn't hype if it works.

We love ours. Our kids have gotten a lot of benefit out of this thing and it has given them the confidence and understanding needed to feel a real swing. They didn't know what we meant when we said load or stay back. Now they do.

Our pitchers are demonstrating such great balance after doing their ground work off of the baseballance.

We love it. I recommend you guys buy one, if you haven't already.

Swing Smarter Response:
Again, there are things I can do to get the same amazing benefits you are with your kids but I don't have to spend $300. If you and your kids love it and are benefiting, then great, keep it up.

Regarding your hype comment...

My concern is with a couple of the comments this product has received smell a little fishy to me and have come from the product marketing team. Not all of them, but some, and they are hype-y.

I haven't purchased this product and never would, nothing against it, like I said, I can simulate the benefits in other ways.

Jan 08, 2010
Big Hit at American Baseball Coaches Association Convention and Trade Show
by: ABCA

This product has really gotten a lot of buzz in Dallas. Watching those YouTube videos does this product no justice. Hopefully you guys were at this assemblance of baseball's best to see it for yourself. If so, I am sure you will add your updated remarks. This tool is the first of its kind and it truly addresses everything it claims to address. In fact, its own DVD doesn't do it justice. You have to see it and use it yourself to appreciate it. I saw Rudy Jaramillo actually working off of it!! Enough said!!

Swing Smarter Response:
This sounds like the end-all-be-all of all baseball aids. Again, if you Swing Smarter-ians can justify spending the money to purchase this gadget, then do it. I myself would not, nothing against the contraption, it seems like it does a lot for balance, but I can simulate balance work with other not-so expensive objects.

Not necessarily talking about this particular product, however two things we on Swing Smarter absolutely despise with hitting aids are highly endorsed products AND too much hype. Usually when you get one or both, it's covering up for an ineffective and/or boring product.

Hype is by-far one of the biggest marketing no-no's, just read The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, by Jack Trout and Al Ries, probably the two biggest marketing guru's ever.

Coke, GM, and IBM are huge companies that have wasted millions of dollars hype-launching one of their new product lines. In the end, the consumer will tell the tale.

Please note: I know some of these comments are heart felt, but I have the feeling a few are from the Baseballance marketing team.

The point is, there's NO baseball hitting aid that is perfect, but there are ones that deserve to be in the top 20%, and we're working on an online store (possible launch date by the end of January 2010) featuring the 9 best hitting aids on the planet. Please subscribe to the Swing Smarter RSS feed to stay tuned...

Dec 17, 2009
by: IowaHScoach

I saw this tool on line and now have one of my own. I was so impressed by what it does that I didn't even ask for the DVD before buying. It is absolutely the best baseball training aid I have ever used. My son has been in the Yankees organization for 5 years and encouraged me to buy it for my high school team (so he could use it this winter). We will have more than the one! We will have one at every station.

Wise One-- your concerns about the cost and weight?? It weighs 30 pounds if all together, but if that is an issue you can separate it into its two parts, with ease and carry it that way. The unit itself has to have some weight to support the drill work it allows you to do and it needs weight to stay stationary. Not sure it would work well if it was lighter, would have a tendency to move around. The rockers are covered with rubber to keep it from sliding around as well. Regarding the design, they thought of everything---you can tell the developer is a coach.
And--- your concerns about the cost---275 is a bargain and if you purchase the additional platform, you really get a deal because you can use one in two stations at a time, essentially.
I would have paid more.

Swing Smarter Response:
I'm glad everyone is so in love with this gadget, if you can justify the cost, then surely invest in it. And, I really appreciate the information you all are giving, it really helps others make a buying decision.

My point is, you can get the same "balance" concept done by manipulating a couple other drills (i.e. The Balance & Reach Drill), so for those who can't justify paying $275 for a hitting gadget, then you don't have to...that's all.

Keep the comments coming :)

Dec 01, 2009
Thoughts on the baseballance

I saw an ad for the BASEBALLANCE in Coaching Management magazine which directed me to the web-site. Pretty good idea I must say. Looks like it serves so many valuable purposes. I requested a free DVD. Really may add some of these to our camp and clinic structure.

Nov 18, 2009
Saw a Demo
by: ShenUniv

So ironic, I bumped into this article today. I just saw a demonstration of this training aid last night. Brian Bocock of the San Fransisco Giants introduced several coaches to the BASEBALLANCE and the many ways it can be used to benefit players. I had never heard of it, but I loved it as a hitting tool and my fellow coaches were all about it as a way to develop the balance and approach to the plate of pitchers. Seems like a great tool.

Swing Smarter Reponse:
Thanks ShenUniv for your comment, the community truly appreciates it :)

Nov 13, 2009
What is this Thing?
by: jmiller

You guys seem to be really passionate in your discussion of this hitting tool, why haven't I heard of it anywhere but here? Is it new, does it really work as well as you all say it does? I guess my only question is: If it works, why are we worried about the price? How much is it anyway? Is it like over $500 or something?

Swing Smarter Response:
Hello jmiller, the first I heard of it was a few weeks ago when one of the marketers submitted it to us...I have yet to get my hands on an actual prototype to test it...the price is "huge" because from what I can see it only addresses one thing, balance, which is definitely part of the 80/20 to hitting, but there are other big issues really important too to merit over a $150 purchase. I say that because I don't know the price either, apparently the manufacturer is keeping it hush hush to build buzz, but I am feared it'll be up there. Thanks for your comment! :)

Nov 12, 2009
by: Rakin'

I am usually what most people would consider a penny pincher but when it comes to things that really work, I think I would spend a little more. I am not sure that this product can be made real cheap. I have paid over 200 dollars for a Jenny Finch "Power Line" mat for my daughter, which I could have easily simulated from home depot too, but I didn't. I am really starting to believe in this thing after reading your comments and then checking out the youtube stuff. It seems the thing is well made and has been through an elaborate testing process. Just the turf alone on top of it adds cost but really makes it more useful--inside and out. I don't ever remember seeing a tool that isolates these movements. The stay back hitting aid thing (over $100)says it makes you stay back----but I still wonder how---same with the Power Drive Tee, Fold and Go ($250.00)---all you have to do is avoid hitting the bar in front of you, not stay back. This thing makes you stay back and look at how it controls the bucket and dive like in the video you posted. We have all paid a little more for something than we may have originally intended, but I personally can't wait to get my son on this thing. I really think it will help him feel what I've been trying to explain about the value of hip rotation and the loss of power when he hits off the front. I vote yes and willing to pay!

Swing Smarter Response:
Hello Rakin', glad you like it, it's Swing Smarter's job to play the devil's advocate here because every other site says how fantastic every hitting aid is out there just so they can make a buck, but the reality is, 80% of hitting aids don't do anything for the swing.

That being said, don't get us wrong we like the BaseBallance, and if you feel this will benefit your team/young ball player then jump for it. Thanks for all the comments! :)

Nov 11, 2009
by: CoachWatts

I definitely agree with your comments as they relate to the functionality of the BASEBALLANCE. I have been looking for a tool that will help young players FEEL what I am trying to get across to them. It looks like this tool will definitely help do that. From what I've heard and seen regarding this thing, it's value to pitchers and players at all the other positions are something you haven't appreciated or addressed as a HITTING GUY. I don't know what it cost, but considering the many different uses, it seems like it will be worth the money as long as it doesn't get over $300. My pitchers all struggle with balance and the demonstration I saw really accents the POWER Position. One kid said he felt like a different pitcher once he FELT what it was like to get loaded and strong inside his back knee and hip.
It will have to be a little bit heavy just to keep it still as you work to hit off a tee and stuff off of it and from what I know it has two sets of rockers inside the same unit but still weighs under 30 lbs. Not too bad for something so serviceable to every player on the team. I say, lock it in a closet at the field with all the other stuff and it will always be there. Use one at practice and each kid could end up with one under their bed to work with at home. JUST WHAT I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR, something that really works and something everyone can benefit from-- not just hitting or pitching, etc... specific---just Baseball specific. I love it and can't wait til it is available--- how do we get one?? Do you know that?

Swing Smarter Response:
Thank you Coach Watts for your comments about the BaseBallance, it's much appreciated. This device would definitely help other position players with balance, however Swing Smarter dot com is only about hitting, and our sole focus with hitting aids is to see their functionality on helping the swing.

My only concern is with price, if it does get upwards of over $150, that's a lot of money I can use to mimic the same functionality of the BaseBallance at say a Home Depot.

Swing Smarter is very old school when it comes to hitting aids, old timers like Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, The Babe, and Mickey Mantle didn't have access to these type of tools and they hit the ball a lot better than most of the Major Leaguers within the past 2 decades.

BaseBallance looks like a good product, but only if the price doesn't get too high. If you're interested in it, you can probably get it at the manufacturer's website when it releases.

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