Instructor is a hit with battersWritten by Scott Calhoun | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In an unassuming garage at a quiet dwelling in the historical village of Whitehouse, something remarkable is happening to benefit area high school softball hitters.
Leon Woods, father of former All-Ohio softball player Jenn Woods, is successfully educating up-and-coming high school talent with the nation’s hottest virtual instruction hitting program.
The software is RightView Pro, a cutting-edge hitting instructional program developed by former Major League catcher and 2006 Detroit Tigers hitting coach Don Slaught in conjunction with collegiate softball coaching legends Mark Candrea (Arizona) and Sue Enquist (UCLA).
Through his MVP Hitting Solutions home business, Woods uses RightView Pro and produces an uncanny number of the top hitters among the area’s strongest softball programs.
He brought its wisdom to Northwest Ohio softball after discovering it at an area clinic hosted by area softball influence Bruce Edwards in 2004.
Prior to that point, Woods had absolutely no instructional experience in the sport. The software intrigued him so much that he spent hundreds of hours studying RightView Pro and mastering what it revealed. Now he is considered a member of the staff for the company based in Southern California.
“Leon came on board early on, right when softball was taking off for us,” Slaught said.
Woods’ home-made facility has a netted batting cage snugly encased within its confines, a practice tee rooted at a plate and various training equipment patiently sitting nearby.
“We’re doing here in my garage what the New York Yankees did five years ago in a half-million dollar facility,” he said.
Woods uses a laptop for the RightView program and a digital video camera feed to capture a student’s unrefined swing. From there, he applies the software to place a student’s video footage next to that of any one of a number of top current MLB or college fast pitch hitting stars.
With the side-by-side video images, Woods can then click step-by-step through a 60-frame/second visual sequence and pinpoint each and every miniscule difference between his student’s swing and that of an Albert Pujols or Alex Rodriguez.
That’s where the lessons are learned and the progress with each player is manifested.
“It’s essentially sixth grade physics. The proper swing motion is just like skipping a rock,” Woods said.
Broken down into three measurements — force, margin of error and efficiency — everything to understand is based on the fundamentals of kinetic energy.
Woods said players typically get that once they see it before their eyes, outside of the body.
His pupils come from as far away as Cincinnati and the Flint, Mich., area, ranging from individuals to entire teams, high school to college, softball and baseball.
The local list includes reigning league batting champions Sam Kolling of Anthony Wayne in the Northern Lakes League and Kelly Kruger of state-ranked St. Ursula in the City League. Each of those programs has won Division I state championships in the last five years.
The results explain why a once-accidental private side hobby is now essentially a full-time business for Woods, who retired as a quality assurance specialist at the Lucas County Board of Mental Retardation the same year he began teaching with RightView Pro.
“It got to the point where I wasn’t getting into the house and eating supper and I’d be in the garage until midnight every night,” Woods said. “So finally my wife said I had to make it into a business.”
Slaught developed the raw aspects of the program midway through a 16-year career, mostly with Pittsburgh, but also in shorter stints with six other major league clubs that ended in 1997.
He wanted to improve his hitting after swinging in the .200s during the first eight years of his career. He hit over .300 during his last eight.
RightView Pro was also directly behind last season’s hitting success of the American League champion Tigers.
“It’s been used by the last two World Series champions, the last four NCAA champions in softball all the way down to little league,” Slaught said.
On the web go to www.rightviewpro.com