ABCA Clinic Recaps - Matt Senk


Liam Carroll

Matt Senk has led the Stony Brook University baseball programme for 22 seasons, overseeing a transition from NCAA D3 to D1 and leading the Seawolves to the College World Series last year.  41 of Senk's players have signed professional contracts. Over the years the NCAA has implemented various changes in bat regulations for safety and performance reasons; the most recent change has resulted in bats that perform much like wood, and it is these bats that Coach Senk refers to in the title of his clinic.

New Bats, New Game – Stony Brook’s Approach to Maximising your Offense
Matt Senk – Head Coach, Stony Brook University

Clinic Topics

1. Not reinventing the wheel
2. Tried and true
3. See it fly
4. Triple Option – Quality At Bats, Short Game, Situational Hitting
5. Hit it Hard – No stride approach

Stony Brook made a splash in college baseball in 2012 by becoming one of the few “cold weather” schools to make an appearance at the College World Series.  That was in large part to an explosive offense.

Coach Senk outlined the style that his players have bought into and many of the drills they use to reinforce mechanics and their approach in leverage counts, with two strikes and in certain situations.  Regardless of the situation, Senk emphasised that the primary goal for his hitters at all times was for them to hit the ball hard.

The no-stride swing serves as a way for players to eliminate some movements from their swings, therefore encouraging efficient swings against pitchers with plus velocity and/or stuff.  While a no-stride swing removes some movement, Coach Senk showed video that demonstrated his players still use the same kinetic sequence from foot-strike onwards as hitters that do stride.  For example, there are still linear and rotational movements.

Coach Senk’s “See it fly” drills are tee and toss drills conducted at home plate.  By hitting into open space, players and coaches get to see the trajectory and spin of the baseball, making for a better coaching enviroment.  Many coaches have their players do tee and toss drills into a net at close range, meaning that you can’t evaluate result.

My Most Important Thing

For an entire team to hit with a no-stride approach is rare – Coach Senk has been successful because his coaching style has created buy-in from his players, who are committed to follow a system for the betterment of the team.

Last Up: Andy Lopez

On Deck: Butch Thompson


tagged under: baseball, coaching, softball, hitting

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About Liam Carroll

Liam Carroll

Liam was a Regional Coach and then Development Coordinator for BaseballSoftballUK until May 2014. He returned to his hometown of London to work for BSUK in 2010 after stops in Somerset, Bristol, Cornwall, California and Nevada. Growing up playing in Britain, Liam made the move to America to study and play university baseball. After figuring out that his future would be brighter as a coach rather than player, he moved to the University of Nevada Las Vegas to finish his degree and coach college baseball. Since then he’s coached youth and adult teams on both sides of the atlantic and with the Great Britain Baseball National Teams.

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