Baseball Coaching and Training Equipment Blog

Welcome to the official baseball coaching and training blog. Our free baseball coaching articles, drills and tips will help your improve your baseball training and baseball practice. Our daily posts and archives provide you with tips to help you plan your baseball practices and baseball workouts. Make sure to save or bookmark this site to your favorites for future visits. Good luck to your team!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Effective Baseball Hitting by Better Training Techniques

By Chris Moheno

Baseball is one of the most popular sports on the planet. People flock to the stadiums and pile around their televisions to watch the games. Beyond that, however, hundreds of people want to become more successful as baseball players. But their ability to succeed requires working on their skills. Just because you don't have a personal trainer, that doesn't mean you can learn how to make the most of your baseball training.

Baseball: What is Considered as Effective Hitting?

Effective hitting, in a nutshell, is hitting that results in the bat connecting with the ball. While this may sound simple, most experts agree that hitting the ball is the hardest skill to master. Even some professional players strike out or end up having to walk the bases during a game. The key to being successful in learning how to improve your baseball hitting is obviously practice but you have to practice the right way.

Here's where trouble often comes from. When you're on a team, everyone receives the same training. If you're learning the rules of the game or how to catch the ball, there's nothing wrong with using a standard method of baseball training. Baseball hitting is different. Each player is going to come to the game with a different level of skill and with different techniques that are going to hurt or help their performance. Good training finds ways to work with these existing skills and to maximize them for an overall positive performance. In many cases, that's not going to be possible without one-on-one training.

How Do You Train for It?

If baseball training is important to you but you can't afford to hire a personal trainer, there are other ways to improve your game. As mentioned above, practice is definitely going to be the key to ongoing success. The most effective approach to improving baseball hitting is to practice the individual components of good hitting, including the grip, the stance, and the approach.

Approach, for example, is something that is essential for good baseball training. However, most people have real trouble learning this information because it conflicts with their earlier training. For example, most players are taught from an early age that when they see a pitch coming they need to swing. They are not asked to judge the effectiveness of the baseball pitching. When the people doing the baseball pitching aren't very skilled either, this technique can work. As they improve, however, the will stop pitching strikes when they know the hitter is going to be swinging at every potential shot.

Instead, good hitters need to be able to determine which of the pitches have potential and which do not. Only then will they be able to get those doing the baseball pitching to send them balls with the potential to be great hits.

Another part of training to be a good hitter is practicing the swing. Even a good pitch for the hitter can not connect if that hitter does not have a good swing. Hitters need to realize that more than their arm movements are playing a role in the connection of the bat to the ball. The process actually involves the legs, the hands, the hips, and even the head. One main difference between good hitters and exceptional hitters is their ability to keep their eyes on the ball all the way through contact.

Additional Advice

Professional baseball players who have spent a good portion of their lives and their careers perfecting their ability to make that connection can provide some good advice for newer players, too. One of the most common pieces of advice involves bat selection. Again, no one recommendation is going to work for all players, except the recommendation to find a bat that feels comfortable in your hands. Try out a few and find one that delivers results.

Some pros also suggest that you have someone else watch your performance to provide feedback. That's a benefit of having a trainer but you can get around that problem if you can't afford a trainer. Instead, have someone record your actions so you can watch them later yourself and tweak your performance. You might also be able to watch the recording of your hitting performance with a coach who can evaluate your performance.

The pros also know that good baseball hitting training includes lots of practice. You'll need to complete countless numbers of drills if you want to start seeing an improvement in how often your bat makes that connection with the ball.

Chris Moheno has a long time passion for sports in general and for baseball coaching more specifically.

His goal is to spread the word about effective non-fluff baseball training techniques for both more experienced and young baseball players, to help them perform better during the game. Discover more about baseball training secrets on

Article Source:

Shop for your baseball coaching needs including baseball training aids, training videos, and other coaching supplies. Check out the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting machine by SKLZ at

See the “Original” Rotational Hitting Machine at Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to

Players develop incredible bat speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at See the world’s most advanced batting tee at

Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit now!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Baseball Coaching Strategy - How Jeter Beats Pressure

By Dr Tom Hanson

In 2001 I was working with the Yankees trying to help young players transition from the minors to the Big Leagues. I asked Derek Jeter, "How does a young guy coming into Yankee Stadium to play for the Yankees deal with the pressure?"

His answer dropped my jaw. Here's why.

A year prior I was watching a playoff game on TV from a couch in D.C. where the Yankees were down a run late in the game. They had a man on second and Jeter came to the plate. He settled into his stance and started waving the bat around, much more than a major league guy normally does.

"He looks like a Little Leaguer," I said to myself. But not just any Little Leaguer, a total stud Little Leaguer.

I'm sure you can picture the stud hitter that everyone knows can totally jack the ball. When he gets to the plate the defense swallows hard and takes a step back. Confidence radiates off the kid. In the box he waves his bat around his head menacingly, telling the world he can't wait to rip the next sacrificial offering. It looks like fun. Everyone wants to be that kid. That's how Jeter looked on TV. Except he was now in the Big Leagues, playing in the playoffs! The whole season was on the line. The crowd was going wild. The tension was thick in the playoff air. The emotion dripping off of each pitch.

And Jeter looked like a Little Leaguer having fun.

Flash forward to my interview with him...

"Well," he says, "the big thing is to have fun. That's how you handle pressure."

"Come on," I said, "with tens of thousands of people yelling, your results posted in the paper every day, your every move watched and scrutinized, and you say have fun?"

"Yes. It's just like Little League [that's when my jaw dropped]. It's the same game I've always played and always loved. It's fun. Sure it's challenging, but that's part of the fun."

Me: "Even with 50,000 people yelling and screaming."

DJ: "The more people, the more fun."

Jeter is able to maintain the perspective that the game is fun. Most players I coach come to me when they've lost that. It's become work. A job. A test of self-esteem. A measure of self-worth. It's become who they are. Stress occurs in us when we perceive a threat to us or to something we love. It may be a threat to our physical body, like falling off the back of a set of bleachers. Or it may be a threat to our emotional body, like getting yelled at by our coach. Jeter avoids stress because he doesn't perceive game situations as threatening. He sees them as challenging.

One perception creates tension, fear, doubt, choking. The other creates freedom, relaxation, and top performance. Why do you play or coach? There are lots of other things you could do with your time. One of the greatest but most important challenges is to remember why you got into baseball in the first place, and keep a perspective on it that minimizes the perception of threat.

Put your focus on your answers to this question: What's fun about baseball?

Dr. Tom Hanson helps players, coaches and parents have more fun, perform great, and develop life success skills. Past clients include the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and many other pro and college teams and individuals. He co-authored the baseball classic "Heads-Up Baseball" and gives away his #1 secret to baseball success at

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Monday, September 28, 2009

How to Increase Pitching Velocity and Dominate Hitters

By KC Andrus

I am going to start this out with a very unpopular statement, in order to Increase pitching velocity you are going to have to work pretty hard. You are also going to have to do some things you don't want to like condition (run) and lift weights. But I also have some good news, if you are willing to make some sacrifices and work your butt off you will see results and sometimes immediately.

Okay now that I'm am speaking solely to the committed, it is time to tell you how to get the desired results. The first thing you're going to have to do to increase arm strength is to do core weight lifting. This is extremely important because so much of your pitching mechanics depend on a strong foundation, your legs and your abs mostly. Do all the related lifts such as squats and a bunch of ab workouts. The next thing you will need to do is get to running. I know this sucks but being in great shape is part of it, and it will also increase your endurance and command along with your leg strength.

Now when it comes to throwing exercises to improve velocity the most important one is long toss. This should be done about everyday you don't throw off of a mound. You and your partner get as far away from each other as possible and chuck the ball at each other. Don't be afraid to rainbow it every once in a while as this helps stretch out your arm. Once you get through the initial soreness and start to get stronger you will start to see immediate improvement.

These are just a few exercises and if you complete them you will be well on your way to increase pitching velocity. But there is so much more you can add to this and start seeing your MPH go up by double digits. Follow the link for all the info:

Increase Pitching Velocity.

Article Source:

Visit the Baseball Coaching Digest for daily post and articles on every aspect of coaching baseball. The Baseball Coaching Digest Blog. Check out the Bat Action Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty. Check out for all of your coaching and training equipment needs. Visit the Baseball Dealz Ebay Super Store to purchase top quality baseball training equipment at discount prices.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Is it the Correct Baseball Swing?

By Jack Perconte

Often, a hitter seems to have a perfect baseball swing but their statistics never seem to equal this beautiful looking swing. Looks can be deceiving! There is a way to find out if the baseball swing is as fundamentally sound as it appears. With the use of a batting tee, follow these steps to analyze the swing:

1. Set or draw a home plate on the ground first.
2. Have hitter get set in the spot they normally stand at home, just like in a game.
3. Lower the tee to the height of the hitter's knees and a half-foot in front of their lead leg.
4. The tee stem should be placed exactly down the middle of home plate.
5. Now, place a ball on the tee.
6. Hitter takes 10 swings
7. With the correct swing, at least 8 balls should be hit hard directly back through the middle of the field.
8. It is mandatory that the hitter stands in the same spot each time and does not change to a different position in the batter's box. As mentioned, this must be the same spot they stand in a game.
9. The ideal hits would be line drives knee high back through the middle, but any hard hit balls through the middle are a sign of the correct baseball swing.
10. This drill will show that the hitter's hands and hips are lining up correctly which is necessary to becoming a good baseball hitter.
11. Hitters should practice this drill until they are able to hit at least eight or nine balls back through middle before working on other pitches with the ball on the batting tee.

Finally, the batting tee is a great hitting tool if utilized correctly.

Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball hitting lessons advice can be found at

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Extraordinary Baseball Strength - The Gospel When it Comes Down to the Best Workout For Baseball!

By Brandon Richey

Strength and conditioning for baseball is a must if you want to be competitive in today's game. When it comes down to getting the best workout routine for baseball players I have to exert my professional opinion by telling you about the single arm kettlebell swing. As you may know by now the kettlebell is an ancient strength and conditioning device that has been used by the world's greatest athletes for over three centuries. This ancient strength and conditioning device brings a style of training with it that is dynamic in nature and translates better than anything over to any athletic sport, especially baseball.

The base strength endurance lift that is performed with the kettlebell is known as the double arm kettlebell swing, but for this article I am going to address the single arm swing. It doesn't matter if you are looking for a baseball pitching workout, rotator cuff exercise, or just a generic workout routine for your baseball performance the single arm swing satisfies them all! To perform the single arm swing you must first understand the proper technique which is performed with the double arm version known as the hip snap. The hip snap is a movement that is done by you fluently and constantly flexing and extending at both your hips and knees in order to create the necessary momentum to swing the kettlebell up to chest level.

With the single arm swing you first want to properly set your grip before beginning the exercise. With the bell on the ground simply grab the handle towards the inner half of the bell depending on which hand you want to start with. Next, make sure that when you grip the handle to rotate your knuckles so that they point to the sphere of the kettlebell. This is known as a hooking grip and allows you to firmly hold the bell with the hook of the palm of your hand and not exhaust your grip by using your fingers. From here pick the bell up and begin the hip snap. As the bell elevates to chest height make sure that your palm is pointing down and as it descends to between your legs allow your forearm to rotate to a thumbs down position. Continue this natural rotation back and forth with each swing. You will quickly realize how much of a major league baseball workout this drill is once you start.

Take the time to endure the learning curve with kettlebell training my friend. This will no doubt take your strength and conditioning workouts to the next level. Remember that anyone can train hard, but only champions train smart!

To learn more about how to utilize your body, Kettlebells, and to achieve Mind Blowing fitness get your copy of My "Better Than Steroids Ebook" by clicking here:

You will become one of my Free Elite Members if you make your "Better Than Steroids" purchase, but to just become one of my Elite Members and receive my free Newsletter just go to

Article Source:

Shop for your baseball coaching needs including baseball training aids, training videos, and other coaching supplies. Check out the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting machine by SKLZ at

See the “Original” Rotational Hitting Machine at Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to

Players develop incredible bat speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at See the world’s most advanced batting tee at

Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit now!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hitting a Baseball - Which Stance is Best?

By Nate Barnett

There are a lot of professional baseball hitters setting up with an open stance today. If you're not totally sure what an open stance is, it's when the front foot is back further away from home plate as compared to the back foot. Sometimes the front foot will also be pointed slightly toward the pitcher.

I've seen and heard quite a bit of discussion within baseball circles about the positioning of the stance as far as what works and what doesn't in preparing a hitter. The question I will answer is: Does a particular style of stance give a hitter a better chance at hitting a baseball hard versus the other?

The quick answer is no it doesn't make a difference on how a hitter stands when determining his eventual success in hitting a baseball. Having said that, here are a couple thoughts of caution to pay attention to if you work with a hitter who chooses to stand with an open stance.

1. An open stance will take a little bit more time to move into the preparation or load position when a hitter shifts his weight to his back leg. Because of this extra time, the hitter must make sure his timing is right and he generates movement sooner than he would if he was in a regular stance position (with both feet parallel and facing home plate).

2. An open stance often times provides the hitter with a better and more clear view of the pitcher as the eyes of the hitter are facing the pitcher more equally. Because the front part of the hitter's body is opened slightly, he will need to make certain as he moves into the load position that he closes his front side off to the pitcher.

*** I realize that I'm using terminology (load position) that may not be familiar to you. There are other articles I've written on that topic if you find yourself confused.***

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball designed to improve the mental game of baseball in athletes. Learn how to help your game by improving the skill of mental baseball

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hitting Mechanics - 400 Swings Per Hour
By Brian Schreder

I recently posted the details about hitting fundamentals (stance, loading, bat speed generation, swing, follow through) and the feedback was pretty consistent. "Great description, but where are the drills to perfect the swing!" Truth be told, the drills we do can be found all over the web. The secret sauce is not in some special new drill, but in organizing the hitting practice to maximize the fundamentally correct swings to develop proper muscle memory.

Before I put together the 60 minutes of drills, let me reiterate that perfect practice makes perfect play. If the players are not swinging with correct fundamentals all they are doing is reinforcing bad muscle memory. Bad muscle memory means there will be "holes" in the swing, which translates into offensive outs and player frustration. Perfect practice creates good muscle memory that means more hard hit balls.

What we do is set up six different hitting stations around the field and divide the team into six groups (try to keep only two players per group). To get 400 swings in 60 minutes using six stations for one hour allocates 10 minutes per station. The pitching machine station can only provide about 40 swings in the allotted time. This leaves us with 360 swings for 5 stations; therefore, you must average 72 perfect swings per station per player.

Here are some example stations:

1. Overload / Underload practice swings: 5 sets of 10 overload and 10 underload = 100 swings focused on bat speed. Practice swings without a ball develops a good fundamental swing with good balance.

2. Pitch location tee work: 2 sets of 10 inside, 10 middle, and 10 outside = 60 swings focused on hitting location and driving the ball to all fields. Working off a tee adds the element of hitting the ball without ball movement so the batter can focus on another element, in this case driving the ball to all fields. By removing the ball movement a batter can develop good balance and contact point location to be able to hit to all fields.

3. Semicircle soft toss: coach soft tosses 10 balls from the front, 10 from the side, 10 from behind, 10 from the side, and 10 from the front = 50 swings focused on hitting the center of the ball. Coach soft toss adds the element of a slow moving ball with the batter focusing on hitting the center of the ball at the contact point for line drives into the outfield.

4. One handed tee work: 3 sets of 10 front hand only and 10 back hand only = 60 swings focused on hand movement through the hitting zone. The front hand guides the bat through the hitting zone while the back hand provides the power to the swing. This drill isolates the hand movement through the hitting zone.

5. Wiffle ball short toss: 3 sets of 10 inside, 10 middle, and 10 outside = 90 swings focused on putting the whole swing together but with the ball moving at a slower speed than during the game. At a short distance, the coach can locate the pitch at different positions within the strike zone to provide additional batting practice for hitting to all fields.

6. Batting practice off a machine: 40 swings focused on timing the swing. By mixing up machine balls from different manufactures, the ball movement and speed are slightly varied to simulate different pitcher's ball movement. It is very difficult to teach hitting mechanics off a machine, but can be very effective with batter timing.

There is nothing special about this set of stations other than you can get a lot of swings very quickly and isolate the individual hitting mechanics. We will use different station drills throughout the season to provide variety and work on specific skills.

What I want to encourage is that you, as a coach, think about how to maximize the number of swings per practice by sub-dividing the players into smaller groups and use multiple hitting stations. What drills do you know that fall into these broad categories? Okay, switch them in for variety. ( provides insights for parents, coaches, and young athletes around the world. Youth-Athlete also provides tournament listings (, suggestions to parents and coaches that enable a successful season, more on hitting mechanics (, and a community for open questions.

Article Source:

Shop for your baseball coaching needs including baseball training aids, training videos, and other coaching supplies. Check out the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting machine by SKLZ at

See the “Original” Rotational Hitting Machine at Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to

Players develop incredible abt speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at See the world’s most advanced batting tee at

Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit now!

Monday, September 21, 2009

How Important is Baseball Training?

By John Peter Pero

These are essentially four places where youth baseball players and their families can get the information needed to improving ball players beyond their current or recreational level:

Dad and his baseball knowledge from his own youth.

The player's youth coach(es).

Continuous home training and use of training aids.

Paid coaches and lessons.

Possibility #1

I have no doubt that an average baseball dad/coach can learn enough from the free information, tips newsletters and instructional articles that we give away at Baseball Tips to offer help to most young players to improve. This takes interest and time of both dad and player and makes for potentially lifelong memories!

Possibility #2

Youth coaches tend to be a player's dad, so the opportunity and limitations tend to be the same as option number one.

Possibility #3

Backyard training is typically a joint effort where Dad sees the player's continued interest in this great game and sees benefit in owning a few pieces of reasonably-sized baseball training equipment. He then grants his blessing to using some of the family backyard or baseball for this purpose. This is where a player can learn to get the most quality repetitions and become more skilled most quickly.. assuming that proper mechanics are being learned to begin with (no use in ingraining bad habits...right?)

Possibility #4

Paid coaches and lessons are where the most knowledge can be gained most quickly...especially if a parent will attend at least some lessons to learn what to help the player with and to reinforce and maximize the money invested in these lessons! It does cost money and those dollars are best spent as lesson packages with a set schedule and with a set plan of goals and a realistic time frame.

So what's the best way?

All and all at once is the absolute best answer.

However, the reality is that most families will be limited by time, money or the motivation to follow through. So now that you know where the sources of this powerful information is like any other family decision and is based on you and yours.

It all works...If you can and will do it. But it is worth nothing if there is a lack of consistency or honesty about your own situation.

My Summary

I have had a lifetime of hearing parents who tell me how talented and athletic their young players are but an equal number of players who never flourish because these interested players are not offered the tools or the time needed to develop both the passion or the positive results that result from graining knowledge and the positive experience that ends to follow.

The old days are gone...sandlot baseball has given way to many different organized sports and choices, all demanding time and effort.

If we truly want our players to stay in the game longer, we will need to influence them with any or all of options 1-4 above.

Life happens don't miss an opportunity!

And may never be closer to your own child than you are at 60 feet away tossing a ball and having a simple game of catch!

Baseball tips & youth baseball equipment, training aids & instruction! It's all here for baseball coaching of pitchers & hitters, little league to high school.

Article Source:

Shop for your baseball coaching needs including baseball training aids, training videos, and other coaching supplies. Check out the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting machine by SKLZ at

See the “Original” Rotational Hitting Machine at Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to

Players develop incredible abt speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at See the world’s most advanced batting tee at

Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit now!

Check out our network of baseball blogs:

Blogger (Blogspot) - baseballcoachesdigest
Blogger (Blogspot) - baseballparentguide
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Blogger (Blogspot) - batactionbaseballtraining
Blogger (Blogspot) - battingcagebuyingguide
Blogger (Blogspot) - coachesbest
Blogger (Blogspot) - teeballcoachingclinic
Blogger (Blogspot) - hurricanebaseballtrainingmachine
Blogger (Blogspot) - teeballparentsguide
Blogger (Blogspot) - youthbaseballcoachingclinic

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Plan A Practice Without A Field

By Sumit Bhatnagar and Parul Aggarwal

Being a coach, you must have experienced a number of times that whenever you call for a practice and meet the team at the field, there is always one team practicing and two other teams waiting to practice?

You start to feel sort of helpless in such a situation. Moreover, you are left with no choice but one and that is to take your team only to find the same situation there!

This article presents different ways in which you can plan a practice session for your team even without a field.

There is a big difference between a practice session with a field and the one without a field. The only difference is having a few soft covered balls available and some planned drills for a hard service.

When there is no field available, you can make your team practice in a parking lot!

However, there are many things that you can do and that you cannot do in such kind of a practice. These are as follows:

• No sliding is possible.

• In a parking lot, it is difficult to regularly practice batting with even soft covered balls.

• However, without a field, you can set up some great bunting competition games! It is simple. You can just divide the team in half, set up two cones, and ask each team to go through the batting order and see how many can bunt between the cones.

In short, all you need to do is become creative. For instance, you can make your team practice a lot of different base running drills and throwing drills.

If you fail to get even a parking lot, backyard can be your next option. To conclude, do not call off practice just because you did not get the field. Make sure you come prepared and ready with some extra props.

Free Baseball Picks - Find Out More On Baseball Betting!

Article Source:

Shop for your baseball coaching needs including baseball training aids, training videos, and other coaching supplies. Check out the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting machine by SKLZ at

See the “Original” Rotational Hitting Machine at Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to

Players develop incredible abt speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at See the world’s most advanced batting tee at

Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit now!

Friday, September 18, 2009

3 Popular Baseball Team Batting Drills

These Baseball Team Batting Drills can be used to improve baseball hitting skill, baseball team offense production, and overall team confidence.

Great Drill For Defensive,
Baserunning, and Batting Practice!

This drill involves every player on your team working on either offensive or defensive skill development. You put your regular defensive lineup on the field. Your other players are going to fungo balls and run when they hit it. The pitcher will throw a 1/2 speed ball to your catcher. When the ball hits the mitt. The batter will then toss a ball up and hit it anywhere in fair territory. The goal of the defense is to hold the batters to no runs. The goal of the offense is to get basehits by hitting the ball hard enough to get on with a hit or error. Each batter becomes a runner after he hits and the offense is allowed 3 outs before you clear" the bases. The drill is over when the offense scores 5 runs or the defense records 18 outs.

Bunt Pepper
Great Offensive and Defensive Drill

Players are divided into groups of four. Four players field while one player bunts. This drill is a great drill for both defensive and offensive work if done properly. The bunter will bunt the ball to each of the four players starting with the fielder on the left and going to the bunter's right. The fielder will catch the bunt, move the feet to the correct throwing position, and then throw the ball to the batter so that it can be bunted to the next fielder. The bunter will bunt 2 rounds or 2 balls to each fielder. The bunter will then hand the bat to the right end fielder who will bunt next. The former bunter will take the left spot in the fielder's line. Bunter's should be coached to use the correct bunting fundamentals; Square, Pivot & Squeeze. The bunter should be cautioned to soft bunt the ball. The fielders should throw the ball at a steady, medium speed that is not too hard. batting helmets should be worn for safety.

5-Position Hitting Warm-up
The absolute best warm-up drill ever!

The coach or parent uses the Hand Held Trainer to give the batter warm-up or practice swings at 5 different location, 1 - HIP TURNER LOCATION, 2 - INSIDE CONTACT, 3 - MIDDLE-IN, 4 -MIDDLE-OUT, 5 - OUTSIDE-CORNER CONTACT. You can see this drill explained and completely illustrated in the "Products" section of this site. Allowing the batter to take 5 swings at each of these locations will get him ready to hit any possible strike location that he may see in a game. Also this quick drill allows the entire team to warm-up in less then 15 minutes. The Hand Held Trainer is the best one-on-one coaching tool ever! Just 20 minutes on game days can make a kid successful. See the true story " A father helps his son succeed" in the Products section.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Numbers That Can Tell a Different Story

By Todd Thomas

Here are some of my favorite lesser-known stats that can show why a player might seemingly be "slumping" and should inevitably be breaking out of it OR shows that a player who seems to find every hole is about to make an apparent about face and regress back to the pack:

Batting average on balls in play: The average major leaguer's BABIP (or BIPA) hovers around .300. If someone has compiled a significantly higher or lower BABIP (and doesn't have a track record of doing so), some regression to the mean can be expected. For example, Chipper Jones'(Braves) at an early point in the 2008 season had a .385 BABIP which was 65 points over his career average. Consequently, we saw that his flirting with .400 didn't last. Chipper did have a very nice year though, but many of those balls that had been finding holes starting getting caught and Chipper "seemed" to regress when in reality the law of averages was just working itself out.

Line drive percentage: Of the three types of batted ball types (fly balls, ground balls, line drives), line drives most often fall in for hits. Matt Kemp(Dodgers) led the majors well into the 2008 season in line drive percentage (32.3 percent); not coincidentally, he was hitting .315 at the time. At the other end of the spectrum, Jhonny Peralta(Indians) had only 9.1 percent of his hits were line drives and he was hitting .216. The moral of the story... Want a higher batting average?.. Then hit more line drives. Want to hit more Home Runs?.. Then hit more fly balls. Want to be turned into exclusively a pitcher or be called a "defensive specialist"(usually called that because the player can't hit)? Then hit more ground balls than anything else.

Isolated power: A .300 batting average is pretty and all, but it needs some extra-base hits to really help a team in runs and RBIs. Enter isolated power, which shows the difference between a player's slugging percentage and batting average. Mike Jacobs of the Florida Marlins and his somewhat pedestrian .271 batting average ranked 19th amongst first basemen, but he was a top-10 first baseman thanks in no small part to his .336 isolated power mark (third best in the majors behind Lance Berkman(Astros) and Chase Utley(Phillies). What does that mean exactly? It means that of all of Jacobs hits, a lot of them were going for extra bases(doubles & Home Runs). Think about this(as a coach)... Which would you rather have?... Your team lead your league in batting average OR your team lead your league in runs scored?? Last time I checked, runs win games.

Ground ball to fly ball ratio: Unless you're The Flash(or Ichiro), it's hard to hit a ground ball for a home run. Not surprisingly, pitchers who do well in GB/FB(more ground balls to fly balls ratio) tend to be successful -- Fausto Carmona(Indians), Brandon Webb(D-Backs) and Roy Halladay (Blue Jays) were among 2008 MLB leaders. Grounder-heavy pitchers don't strike out as many batters as their fly-ball counterparts, but they also tend to pitch deeper into games. How does this relate to hitters? That's easy. Scroll back up and read about Line Drive Percentage again. :-)

Todd Thomas is a Baseball Coach and Professional Hitting Instructor for Mike Epstein Hitting. Coach Todd's personal hitting website is Coach Todd also enthusiastically endorses as a place where baseball and softball hitters can master the Confidence, Composure, Focus and Consistency of their game so they can reach their full potential.

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Message to Baseball and Softball Parents
Recommended Blogs & Knols

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The 4 Things That Make a Great Hitter

By Todd Thomas

There are 4 things that make a can make a GREAT baseball or softball hitter. FOUR CRITICAL THINGS. Leave just one thing out and you can forget about greatness. Be absent of two or three or all four and your going from Good, to Average, to Poor, to finding another easier athletic endeavor.

These 4 things are...Potential, Technique, Work Ethic, and Mental Approach. Let's discuss each and their importance in being a great hitter.

1. Potential: This one a coach has no real control over. If a hitter does not have the potential to hit like Alex Rodriguez, then I dont' care who their instructor is they cannot make him/her hit like Alex no matter what they are taught nor no matter how bad they or their parents want that. No more than Hank Haney (Tiger Woods swing coach) can teach any given golfer the same stuff he teaches Tiger and turn that golfer into Tiger Woods. It can't be done. The only real control an Instructor has is to help a hitter to hit to their own potential whatever that is. It may be an outstanding Rec player. Maybe that's your potential. OR Maybe a really good select player or a top high school player, a top College prospect, or maybe a pro prospect. Potential does come in varying degrees that is for sure. Some may even seem to have the ability to stretch their potential, but I would submit to you that the potential they reach was always within their own God given potential. Part of a player's natural ability to fulfill their own potential shows in their ability or lack thereof to "take it between the lines". Some players are great batting practice hitters but when they step into the batters box, they just can't seem to hit(consistently or at all) like they do in the cage or at practice. It's a frustrating and perplexing phenomenon, but it's real. The bottom line fact, and it's hard for most if not all players and their parents to accept this, is that some players just don't have it "built in" to their natural ablility/potential to perform between the lines to a high level or to the level they expect they should. Some players have the desire to be great and I'll talk more about desire later in this article. However, if the potential is not there then I'm sorry neither will be greatness.

2. Technique: When good technique is put together with good potential, good things definitely will happen for a hitter. Some players with tremendous potential and natural ability can have horrible technique and still do very well. However, in my opinion, even though they may be good they are NOT reaching their true potential without good technique. Players with average to below average potential with bad technique certainly shouldn't expect much. Conversely, players with average to below average potential can expect to be much better and have the ability to make great strides toward their own personal potential with good technique. So what technique can help hitters reach their personal potential? It is the technique used by the best Major League and Collegiate hitters. What technique is that? That depends of what you call it. Mike Epstein calls it Rotational Hitting. Some people have a problem with that term for whatever reason. Mostly because they haven't a clue of what it really means or what we specifically teach from the beginning of the swing to the end. But they "assume" and are wrong. Okay, so call the technique what you want if it makes you or someone else feel better. Call it The Big League Swing. Call it a Hybrid Swing. Call it whatever you want, but it simply is the technique of the best Big Leaguers and Collegiate players. It should be noted that some current and former players from these categories have no clue what their true technique is/was and have no clue how to actually teach it either. For you or any hitter to reach their potential, a hitter must have good technique/mechanics.

3. Work Ethic: Along side work ethic is something I mentioned earlier and that is desire. Without desire, there is no sustainable work ethic within a player. A hitter MUST have the desire to be great and because of that they MUST work hard at reaching their potential. I have seen many players with loads of potential. They have learned the best technique and yet they don't work at it. They wonder what's wrong with them, or the technique, or maybe even with their teacher. I say this to every hitter... There is no SHORTCUT to being good(and certainly not great). It takes work and it takes it for an extended period of time. In fact, it takes work until the day they stop playing the game. The best hitters in the world are Major League ball players and the top college softball players. My question to you is... How often do they take batting practice? If you answered "Every Day", you are pretty much right on. Is there a day off here and there? Sure. But for all intents and purposes, they take BP EVERY DAY! Why do they do this? They are already great. What do they need to work on it for? I'll tell you. Because hitting is a lifelong pursuit. One never has "it" figured out permanently. If the best players practice every day, then why do some hitters want to take a "lesson" and then just show up for games and expect to be good?!? It's inexplicable. Yet I see it all the time. I believe that the One Who Works The Hardest, HITS The Hardest! Work, work, work. Take a break and then work some more. Only then should a hitter expect to be their best.

4. Mental Approach: Without a solid mental approach going to and at the plate, a player can only ever expect to be good, but not great. How a player thinks in the batter's box and prior to getting there is what can make a good hitter a great hitter. There are several schools of thought on this. I say subscribe to one and APPLY IT! One side of the mental game is confidence and focus. The other side of the mental game is being prepared and thinking along with the pitcher. Mike Epstein believes the best mental approach lies in anticipating pitches. Having a plan, using acquired information (either from observation or from teammates), and anticipating pitches. Now I am not going to get into the specifics here on this. There is much more to it and to cover than I want to go into here. Mike Epstein's book "The Mental Side Of Hitting" is a good resource. I know one young hitter who has read this book SIX times and guess what, IT SHOWS! There are others resources out there on having a quality at-bat or being a thinking hitter. There really is some good information on this and those hitters that want to reach their potential are the ones who will seek it out, dive into it, and apply it. Many hitters short change themselves by selling short how important it is to have a solid mental approach at the plate. They hear it and it goes in one ear and out the other. Meanwhile, they want their instructor to just help them to perfect their technique to make them better and to reach their potential. They won't and their coach can't if their technique is already solid. Get into the mental side of hitting if you DESIRE to be GREAT.

In closing... As the title to this article would indicate, in order to be a great hitter and/or to reach YOUR maximum potential, you must have all 4 of these things. Think about it. What good is any one of these things without AT LEAST one other element? Without one, you can only expect to be good. Absent of two, a hitter will be average AT BEST. With only one element, it's all but hopeless. Do we even need to consider none? Not really. The good news is that 3 of the 4 are simply a decision. All any player has to do is to decide to have good technique, a good work ethic, and a good mental approach. Only potential/natural ability is out of your control. If God has blessed you with natural ability, then fulfill you're potential by deciding to apply yourself in the other areas. Finally... if you DECIDE to leave out one of the 3 areas that are under your control, now you'll understand the results you'll get.

Todd Thomas is a Baseball Coach and Professional Hitting Instructor for Mike Epstein Hitting. Coach Todd's personal hitting website is Coach Todd also enthusiastically endorses as a place where baseball and softball hitters can master the Confidence, Composure, Focus and Consistency of their game so they can reach their full potential.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baseball Supplies - What You Must Lookout For

By Jack D. Elliott

Baseball Supplies is a broad term that defines everything a baseball player can use to up their game and play the game baseball. The challenge for most players is trying to figure out what are the best baseball supplies for them when they have limited knowledge about what is available. To help make this process easier for all baseball players, coaches and parents, we have put together a list of tips to consider when reviewing certain products:

1. Avoid The Marketing Hype. Avoid brand new products that have not been market tested. Often times, these new products have big marketing promotions that promise big advantages that rarely pan out. Also, you should be wary of new products being reviewed on the web because many times these will be bogus reviews where the reviewer has not even reviewed the product. Instead, go after what has been on the market for a few years and has some credibility.

2. Stick with the established brands. You are far more likely to get a quality product if you stick with companies that have been in business for a number of years. They will be able to give you better customer service and will have a more longer term plan for building relationships with customers. Take advantage of this even if it means you have to pay slightly more. Let other people take the risk with an unproven brand and a year from now if the product turns out to be good, you can get it at that point.

3. Let the feel be your guide for most equipment. For a lot of equipment, the feel of it is the most important thing. If you do not like the feel of it from the start, we recommend you opt for something else. This awkward feeling is not likely to go away and it is our experience that if you like it from the start, you will like it 6 months from now. This is important because it means you will be far more likely to use it.

4. Read reviews and research the product with friend and Internet. Look around and see what others are using and ask them what they think about it. Stand back and see if they are giving you a fair assessment. Then, go online and see what the baseball experts have to say on the product. If the assessments match up, you are getting an honest review and can rely on it. If they conflict, I would look at the credibility of the people making the opinions. Usually, this will help you decide which opinion to rely on more.

Stop wasting time and energy trying to research Baseball Supplies. Instead, try visiting to get some solid tips on what to look for in baseball supplies and baseball instruction.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Baseball Pitching Mechanics - Balance and Posture

Baseball Pitching Mechanics - Balance and Posture
By Dan Gazaway

When you pitch, it is imperative that you have great balance and direction. Without proper balance, you will have a difficult time finding the plate. Just as important, when all of your energy isn't going in the right direction (toward home plate) you will find it difficult to throw strikes.

There are five basic rules to find perfect balance and posture when you pitch from the stretch and the windup. I will explain these simple guidelines to you from the stretch position.

Step #1 Start with your feet in a closed posture. Place both feet together, put the groove in your left shoe into your right shoe, like a puzzle piece. Then spread your feet shoulder width apart.

Step #2 Slightly bend your knees. The key here is to bend your knees deep enough to allow your head to stay level (instead of going up and down or to the sides) when you're throwing from flat ground. If you drop your knee as you're heading toward the plate, then your energy goes down instead of toward home plate which is ideal.

Step #3 Place ball and glove in the center of your body with relaxed shoulders. Ball and glove should stay in the middle for balance. When your glove is too far to either side, you will be off balance when you lift your leg.

Step #4 Place your chin over your shoulder. It is important that you don't put your chin on your shoulder. Many pitchers have the tendency to tilt their head to the left or right when they explode to foot strike. If you lead with your front shoulder, in a closed position to foot strike, you will more likely maintain your balance.

Step #5 Keep your shoulders slightly closed. If you're a righty, your left shoulder should be closed. Maintain that posture as well to foot strike.

Dan Gazaway has instructed well over 1,000 baseball pitchers in the last seven years. His expertise is teaching proper pitching mechanics to athletes at any skill level. Coach Gazaway is a certified pitching instructor as he has received his coaching certification from the National Pitching Association. They too focus on pitching workout programs and pitching technique.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Increase Bat Speed Using Simple Training Techniques

By Alan Bryan

Are you looking to increase bat speed? Any serious baseball or softball player understands that bat speed is the key to driving the ball harder and farther. It is not how hard your swing, it is how quick you swing. Over the years there have been many gadgets and gimmicks produced that are supposed to increase bat speed. Most of them are simply over priced tools that can actually do more harm than good to your swing.

Unfortunately, technology of today has made it extremely easy for baseball and softball players to get a false since of accomplishment when they use the latest $500 aluminum bat to crush a ball 400+ feet. However, what is really happening is technology is replacing bat speed. When these players get to higher levels of competition, and especially competition that mandates wood bat use, suddenly they don't have that pop in their bat anymore.

Some of the best training techniques to increase bat speed are actually quite simple. Understanding the mechanics of a sound swing will lead you to the areas of your body to train and strengthen to increase your bat speed. Mistakenly, some people feel muscle mass and upper body strength are the key. In reality, building too much mass in your upper body will only cause your bat speed to slow down. That is why it is important to focus on your lower core and lower arm areas when looking to increase bat speed. Strengthening your mid section, legs, and wrists will help you in increasing your bat speed.

There are some great training manuals on how to increase bat speed available today. Visit for information, tips, drills, and more on ways to increase bat speed today.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

How to Become the Best Baseball Player Possible

By Jack D. Elliott

Every youth and high school baseball player has the desire to be the best they can be. Whether it is to become a great hitter that can hit them deep or a pitcher with a great fastball and wicked breaking stuff, all baseball players want to become better than they are. However, few know exactly what it takes to get there. Here, we will discuss ways in which you can improve your baseball training to take you to the next level.

1. Develop a comprehensive approach to your baseball career. Recognize your baseball career does not begin when you are in your junior or senior year of high school. Instead, develop a plan in middle school to improve your skills year by year. In this way, you can maximize your abilities by developing more physical strength and fine tuning your swing and pitching over the course of 4 or 5 years as opposed to 1 or 2.

2. Get the best baseball instruction early in your career. Do not wait until later in your career to get good hitting and pitching instruction. Instead, get the best when you are in the 8th or 9th grade. This will allow you to learn how to do it right from the start and avoid picking up bad habits. Other more experienced people have gone down the road you will travel, take advantage of their knowledge by avoiding the missteps they have made by getting good instruction early.

3. Strength training is now a must for all baseball players. In the past, there was a school of thought that stated weight lifting should be avoided or minimized. However, modern science and baseball training have categorically discarded this school of thought. Make sure you maximize your strength gains by using a baseball weight lifting schedule in each of your summers. Strength gains made in the summer translate into faster velocity, stronger hitting, and more endurance in the spring. By doing this for four years, you will allow yourself to keep getting greater physical strength gains all four years.

4. Play in the best leagues possible. If you have the opportunity to play on all star teams and teams where the other players are older and better than you, be sure to take advantage. These allow you to become a more polished player faster even if playing time is not as high as it would be on other teams. Much can be learned by using only your eyes and ears while watching better and more experienced players play.

5. Develop a daily training schedule for your skills. It has been said that your efforts in practice will pay off in the games. By creating a daily training schedule, you ensure that you are consistently getting in the appropriate amount of training each day. This training should key on practicing your swing and your pitching motion and finding ways to continuously fine tune and develop these skill sets. Over time, you will develop valuable muscle memory that will become natural movements while playing in games.

Taking a systematic approach to your baseball training will provide you with other support for your baseball training. By taking a little time to step back and map out your baseball career, you will be able to see how all the individual pieces fit into making you become a better player. This will be helpful when your mind will naturally wander and question why you are taking that 6th round of batting practice with blisters on your hands or why you need to do one more set of the incline bench press. The answer will simply be because you know it will make you a better baseball player. After all, that is why you play the game in the first place: to be the best you can be.

Jack Elliott, is a former player and fan of the game. To read more tips and techniques about baseball training, please click here: or Baseball Training

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Easton Baseball Bat Reviews

By R. Nelson

Easton has been the leader in composite bats for the last several years and is a favorite in baseball bat reviews. They've come out with two new 100% composite models for 2009:

• The Stealth IMX - Two piece bat, 100% composite bat with increased handle flex. The increased flex handle stays true to the Stealth bat tradition (the so-called trampoline effect). The Stealth IMX comes in two other youth models Power Hitter and LCN11. The only difference is the length to weight ration.

• The Synergy IMX - One piece bat, 100% composite bat with a stiff handle. Easton added stiff handles last year to combat Louisville, as they've always pushed the "benefits" of stiff handle bats. Easton is trying to surround Louisville with this model. They've always had the two piece design while Louisville didn't, now they're attacking them head on with a one piece stiff handle design.

Two excellent 100% composite bat options for the experienced player. The main difference from last year's models is that the stiff handle design is a one piece this year. Interesting considering most went with the stiff handle design the last two years. It's simply a personal choice. If you want a 100% composite bat with the latest technology this is your bat.

Easton offers these hybrid (composite handle /alloy barrel) models for 2009:

• SV12: two piece bat, a 100% composite handle with a 100% alloy barrel. Even more handle flex than the Stealth IMX. If the price for this is anywhere near the IMX take the IMX. The composite barrel will give you a larger hitting area for essentially the same price. Unless you love that ping sound.

• V12: One piece bat, 100% alloy bat. The stiffest handle Easton makes. This should be the lowest priced of the new Easton bats. But amazingly it's not. Same price as the SV12. This is supposed to compete with the Louisville Exogrid. Both are highly priced for 100% alloy bats; take the Exogrid if you must have a high priced alloy bat.

Easton's 100% alloy bats:

• Stealth CNT - two piece, 100% alloy bat with either a flex or stiff handle (they have different model numbers and come in different colors). This was Easton's bread and butter for several years. It's now being pushed to the side as they focus on composite/hybrid bats. Hence, the price for the Stealth CNT has been reduced. This bat competed head to head with the Louisville Exogrid for a few years, but the price for the Exogrid has not been reduced. If you want a 100% alloy bat, THIS IS IT.

• Easton makes several other models, such as Titan, Reflex and Rampage which are all 100% alloy. The Titan has the newer alloy (Sc900), but the Reflex and Rampage have 7050 alloy which has been around for 15 years. These are fine for the youngest players. A high school player would be laughed at if he went to the plate with one of these.

See all of my reviews at Baseball Bat Reviews

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Shop for your baseball coaching needs including baseball training aids, training videos, and other coaching supplies. Check out the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting machine by SKLZ at

See the “Original” Rotational Hitting Machine at Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to

Players develop incredible abt speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at See the world’s most advanced batting tee at

Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit now!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Backyard Basketball Goal for Baseball and Softball Hitters

The hitter's "backyard basketball goal" makes home batting practice as easy and convenient as shooting a "game of horse"! What could 25,000 more practice swings a year do for your game?Think about it!

If you are a parent or coach, ask yourself these questions:
Is your player an underachiever at the plate?
Is your player a future prospect that loves to practice and improve?
Do you know that your player is a much better hitter than past performances indicate?
Would your player be willing to spend just 1 hour a week performing exciting and fun drills that develop incredible skill and confidence?

Did you know that for less than the cost of a new bat, you can purchase a hitting machine that can help make a young player's dreams come true?
If you answered "YES" to any of the above questions, you are about to make one of the best investments you will ever make in your player's baseball future.

Buy this great trainer at discount prices at

Sunday, September 6, 2009

3 Absolutes to Develop Arm Strength and Accuracy For Baseball

By Jack Perconte

Throwing a baseball with accuracy and speed is obviously a necessity for ballplayers to continue to move up the baseball ladder. It is almost incomprehensible that kids who are fourteen years old and in high school are expected to play at the same distances that major league baseball players do, but that is the case. High school dimensions are the same ninety feet between the bases and sixty feet between home and the pitcher's mound. Those are formidable distances for players, especially for those who have not had their growth spurt yet. The good news is that players can improve their arm strength and accuracy with good mechanics and practice. Players who want to improve their throwing should adhere to the following fundamentals and practice until perfecting them. It is also necessary to throw (correctly) for anywhere between six and nine months out of the year. Generally, as kids get closer to high school, more throwing is advised with at least a couple of days a week of quality throwing. Getting the proper amount of rest between throwing sessions is also important.

3 Absolutes of Throwing for Speed and Accuracy

1. Direction - most kids know how to stand at home plate so having them go to their hitting position before throwing should come easy. This complete turn of the body will point the front shoulder directly at the target with feet parallel to each other. Without this correct set-up position, the thrower's ability to reach maximum speed and accuracy are already compromised. A noted with hitting position, a complete ninety degree turn of the thrower's foot of the same side as his throwing arm is necessary to get to correct starting position.

2. Direction 2 - Players must step directly at the target. Without this direct step the thrower's hips will not function correctly causing a lack of accuracy and power. The length of the step will be determined by the distance of the throw and will come naturally, with the key being the direction. Drawing a direct line from the lead foot towards the target or setting down a couple of objects for the player to step in between are good practice drills to reinforce the correct step. An indirect step is the most common area of break down in a player's throwing fundamentals.

3. Follow through - it is necessary that throwers allow their arm to travel the complete path so the body can alleviate some of the stress of the arm action on the shoulder and to prevent aiming the ball. This is done by the players throwing arm finishing at his opposite side hip, thigh or knee and by having his rear leg come up and forward as they throw. Like hitting, this weight transfer puts power into the throw.

Sounds simple enough but like anything, "The difference between doing something totally correct and almost correct, is the difference between success and failure." (Author of quote is unknown.) Long distance throwing can also develop arm strength but the 3 above fundamentals must be followed for "long toss" to be beneficial.

Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball hitting lessons advice can be found at
Jack is the author of two books, The Making of a Hitter and Raising an Athlete - his parenting blog can be found at

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Looking for Top Quality Baseball Training Aids to Improve Your Swing?

Here are a few suggestions:

Shop for your baseball coaching needs including baseball training aids, training videos, and other coaching supplies. Check out the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting machine by SKLZ at

See the “Original” Rotational Hitting Machine at Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to

Players develop incredible abt speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at See the world’s most advanced batting tee at

Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit now!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

HandsBack Hitter Swing Trainer - Video Demo

Here is a quick video demo of the Hands Back Trainer. This innovative baseball trainer build and teaches the perfect swing.