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!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Baseball Coaching Tip - How to best use your time.

Wasting time is something that baseball coaches should avoid. There is nothing more precious to a player, to parents, or to assistant coaches than time. Time spent at the baseball field must be considered valuable or constructive time. We are coaches because we love the game and we want to help young players grow up to great adults. We help nuture that process by teaching good morals, good values, and good habits. There is no more important thing for a kid to learn than the value of time and the importance of always being punctual.

The key to showing that you value someones time is to have your team practices, meeting, and other acitivites planned and organized.

Here are my 10 tips for showing the value of time:
1. Be punctual at all times. If a practice is schedule to start at 3:00. You should start it eactly at 3:00. Not one minute arly or one minute late. If the practice is set to end at 5:00, end the practice on time. A coach that is constantly running practices over is showing little regard for time and family life. If you do not end it on time. Why should you start it one time. You running a practice is not different than a player arriving 10 minutes late.
2. Stop drills when the alloted time is up. Do not run over.
3. Do not waste practice time having coaching conference. Have your coaching meeting after practice or 30 minutes before practice.
4. Have a practice schedule. Have every minute accounted for and planned. Use odd minutes in drills such as 7.5 minutes. This emphasizes the value of time.
5. Have agenda for team meetings. If you have a team meeting without a purpose or agenda, you may be wasting time. If you have a team meeting and ramble on and on talking in “circles”, you are wasting valuable time.
6. Have a designated place in the dougout for each player’s belongings. Make sure every players name or number is clearly visible on their glove, batting glove and bat. This saves time when a players has to find a glove, a bag, or a bat.
7. Do not talk through the fence with a parent or friend during practice. Kids should not do it and coaches should not either. You are showing a definite lack of respect for practice time. Make sure that you make it known that you will not have discussions or converstations with anyone during practice time.
8. Set all training equipment up before practice. Do not wate valuable practice time assembling, locating, or moving practice equipment.
9. Always disassemble and pack the training equipment up after the designated practice time is over. Do not waste valuable practice time packing way equipment.
10. Do not talk all night after a game. Set a time limit to post-game or post-practice meetings. If you can not say it in 5 minutes, they are not going to remember it anyway. Younger kids are going to “turn you off” after about 5 minutes. Save some of your talk for the beginning of your next practice.

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Training Product Spotlight: Sklz 5-Position Baseball/Softball Batting Tee

Sklz 5-Position Baseball/Softball Batting Tee

Description of 5-Position Tee

**5-Position Tee is the perfect practice partner to help you learn how to position yourself correctly for inside, center and outside pitches.

**Built in easy carry handle and stem straps makes this a great portable tee.


- Improves swing mechanics and body positioning
- Practice inside, center and outside pitches
- Adjustable height from 20"to 34"
- Stem stores in center of plate for easy and compact storage sells the KLZ 5-Position Batting Tee at Discount Prices.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

When Practice Cripples Your Baseball Performance

By Leon Cautillo

Simply put, if practice reinforces the message to your 'subconscious' that you are less than what you desire to be, then this practice is counterproductive. The avid baseball fan will recognize their own similar situation in this classic example.

In 1983 the star second baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers Steve Sax went through a period where he could not find his throwing accuracy no matter what he did to overcome the problem. As if some invisible force was causing him to errantly toss the ball anywhere but to the glove he was trying to reach. Fans both listening on the radio or watching would hold their breath in anticipation that it could happen again.

Steve and his coaches did everything they could possibly think to solve this unexplainable occurrence. Each time Steve Sax spent additional time practicing his throwing, he reinforced the current reality. The message he sent himself was that he could not throw to his target. This actually went on for weeks and not until he gave up trying so hard did he return to his gold glove status.

It is not the practice that was counter productive but rather the failure to recognize the message he was sending. And had he there would have been an opening to re-contextualize the practice to reaffirm Steve's already talented abilities. Not performing well in the clutch or in playoff series is all an aspect of the same principles and when they are recognized will make you wonder why you didn't see it earlier.

What interests me is the gap between extremely resourceful organizations and the lack of current scientifically known information that would benefit players and organizations. There are many subtle practices which occur that go far beyond individual play. Such as team losing streaks or low attendance figures. It is happening at every level of the club's environment which both benefit and hinder a teams overall success.

Sports psychologists and stress management programs have been utilized by ballplayer for decades, and no doubt they are a benefit. At the level of professional sports winning and losing becomes an art far greater than simply skilled players. Any professional team has enough talented players to play in the World Series. The advantage goes to the teams who recognize the finer aspects that make for success seasons.

Even the financial success organizations experience are critical to winning as financial difficulties can always infect the freedom to play for the fun and joy of the game. Here we are awaiting the start of a brand new season, may it be a most enjoyable one.

If you understand about the power of directing your emotions in a particular kind of way, you may wish to visit

Biofeedback has advanced beyond our imagination. You can discover and manage your emotions such as to seek and dicover more joy and happiness than you can imagine. And because of computers the cost is affordable yet the advances have been remarkably pleasing.

Stop by when you can.

Article Source:

Recommended Baseball Training Sites:

Baseball Coaching Digest
Baseball 2day Coaching Journal
American Baseball Directory
Baseball Parent Guide

Friday, March 27, 2009


1. The BATACTION SELF-TRAINER™ HITTING MACHINE makes batting practice fun, entertaining, convenient and highly productive. This amazing new breakthrough in hitting technology makes batting practice so entertaining that it is often called the "Backyard Basketball Goal For Batters"! The reason for this "nickname" is that baseball and softball players love to hit as much as basketball players love to shoot. Having a hitting station in your yard 24-7 allows players to hit or practice on "impulse" when they are bored and looking for something to do. Wouldn't you rather that your player swing the bat for fun rather than play "Game Box", play "Horse" or watch TV?

2. The BATACTION SELF-TRAINER™ HITTING MACHINE allows players to practice under your watchful eyes or to practice alone when you are not at home. How many times has your player asked for your help in practicing, but you had other responsibilities that prevented you from doing so? You are a busy person. You just do not have the time to spend with him or her that you wish you did. Now, your player can hit or practice without your help because the BATACTION SELF-TRAINER™ HITTING MACHINE allows a hitter to practice alone.

3. The BATACTION SELF-TRAINER™ can be used indoors or outdoors and it makes a perfect year-round hitting station in your home or backyard. Buying a BATACTION SELF-TRAINER™ could easily give your player up to thousands and thousands of more practice swings a year! If you want your player to compete with other kids in the league, you must find a way to get as much practice as possible. The competition is tougher than ever because everyone practices and plays almost year round. Buy a BATACTION SELF-TRAINER™ and give your player an edge over the competition! You will be glad you did when you see your player become one of the team's or league's best hitters! With the purchase of a BATACTION SELF-TRAINER that goal could be reached!

4. The BATACTION SELF-TRAINER™ has height and speed adjustments for all ages and ability levels from Tee-ball to the college ranks. Thousands and thousands of high school players work out on this machine daily!
Baseball Dealz Super Store BatAction Machines and Parts

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Baseball Instruction - Hitting Your Cut Off Man

By Nate Barnett

The next time you are at a youth baseball game, count the amount of times the throw comes in from the outfield and travels far over the head of an infielder to it's destination. Next, count how many runners advance to the next base. The number will astonish you.

Using the cut off man is a simple procedure but strangely fails to end up in much baseball instruction. First, let me share with you the importance of this skill, and secondly, how to teach it.

The Importance

The importance of using the cut off man is obvious to a baseball outsider if explained correctly. And if it's obvious to an outsider, the importance should be glaring to those involved in baseball.

The problem usually occurs and makes a significant impact on an inning when there is at least one runner on base. For example, say there is a ball hit to right right field with a runner on first base. The right fielder picks up the ball and throws over the second baseman's head in an attempt to get the runner at third base. Because of the length of the throw, the runner going to third is safe and the batter upon seeing the throw sneaks on to second base. The defense now has to deal with runners on second and third rather than first and third. The problem that could have been prevented is two-fold. First, there is no possibility for a double play because the hitter advanced to second. Secondly, a base hit will now likely score two instead of one. So how important was the missed cut off man now? Could mean the game. If this problem occurs multiple time each game, as I've seen on numerous occasions, the chances of winning reduce dramatically. I will also say that if this is not worked on consistently, there is high probability that this mistake will continue to be made.

Baseball Instruction: Teaching the Relay

1. Emphasize the importance of outfielders throwing to the cut off man early in the season during practice. It has to become a cultured understanding on the team so that everyone is thinking about it whenever there is a ball hit to the outfield. That way, a missed cut off man by an outfielder gets the same response as if a hitter took off running to third base out of the box. Amazement.

2. Emphasis without practice is useless. The good thing about practicing throwing to your cutoff man is that you can work on it during other baseball drills and activities. Stopping play when a mistake is made is a must to talk over again why hitting a cutoff man should be mandatory. This way, mistakes aren't let slide.

3. A good way to help outfielders understand where to throw the ball is to have your infielders line themselves up between the outfielder and the destination of the throw. Outfielders will then learn to anticipate an infielder being a certain spot based on the depth of the ball being retrieved.

About the Author

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at

His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.

Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Coaching Baseball - 20 Points For Coaching Baseball Catchers

By Nick Dixon

There are many skills and much knowledge that baseball catchers must have to be successful. A good baseball catcher is the foundation of a championship baseball team. If you have a skilled catcher that can field, throw and talk the game, you are well on your way to building a strong team. Here are 20 coaching points we teach our catchers.

We will always have at least 4 catchers in our program each year. Two Junior Varsity catchers and 2 varsity catchers make up our catching staff each year. Here are 12 basic things that we teach our catchers to know or do. There are others things but here are the basic 12 we start with.

1. Wear your chest protector loosely. Do not strap it on too tightly. If the chest protector is too tight to the chest, the ball will bounce farther away from the body on a block. A loose fitting chest protector deadens the energy of the ball on impact allowing the ball to fall closer to the plate.

2. With no runners on base, keep the bare had behind your back. With runners on base, depending on the level of play, the catcher may position the bare hand behind the mitt.

3. The correct blocking position requires that you drop immediately to you knees. Learn to drop to block. Kick your feet back from under your body and get the knees on the ground as soon as possible.

4. The correct blocking position has the mitt in a flattened out or vertical position to block the hole under the crotch. The mitt must be flat and vertical to prevent a ball from ramping or deflecting upward off of the mitt.

5. The correct blocking position has the chin tucked, the upper body slightly leaned forward, and the elbows slightly out from the body.

6. The correct blocking position has the bare hand behind the mitt.

7. If you see that pitch is going to be in the dirt assume the blocking body position immediately. Learn to react quickly. Do consider catching it, you job is simply to keep the ball in front.

8. If time allows use a circling or rounding technique to get around the ball and direct it back to the plate. This is possible with slow pitches but is impossible to do with high velocity pitchers. Keeping the shoulders square is the only alternative when your pitcher is throwing the heat.

Know where the breaking ball in the dirt will bounce and position yourself a shade in that direction when you drop to block.

9. Know how to hide signs when you give them. Keep the legs as close as possible. Keep the sign hand as deep as possible and high enough that the fingers are in the crotch and not visible below. Put your left forearm your left thigh. Turn your arm so your mitt palm is in the hand-shake position off the front of your knee. This will prevent the 3rd base coach from stealing signs.

10. Establish a good rapport with the umpire. Keep the climate positive around the plate. Should he ask you a question, always respond with a Yes, Sir or No Sir. Do not turn around on any calls and never shake your head in reaction to an umpires call. Making an umpire mad is easiest done by two players on the field, the catcher and the pitcher. Do not dig a hole for you team by showing negative emotion.

11. When a ball needs to be retrieved near home plate. There are two people that can go get it, the catcher or the umpire. If you are lazy and make the umpire pick it up, you are asking for trouble. Hustle and get every ball and hand it to the umpire.

12. Run out to the plate between innings. Walking out sets a bad tone. Make quick crisp throws back to the pitcher during warm-ups.

13. Talk and communicate on every play. Make loud calls that everyone can hear.

14. Move slightly outward during the game to see how far off the plate the umpire will call a pitch a strike. If you move so far that he calls it a ball move slightly back in and know where that magic spot is so that you can use it to get the call on the outer half of the plate.

15. Keep the mitt low. It takes more effort to keep the mitt at a low target spot but you must do it. It is important to keep your pitcher down in the zone.

16. On pop-ups do not remove or discard the mask until you know exactly where the ball is. If you throw the mask too early, you may trip or stumble over it as filed the ball.

17. On a passed ball or wild pitch learn to execute the slide-by and pick up technique with your throwing hand. As you slide by the ball, you pick it up, come up on your left knee and make the throw to the pitcher covering home. The throw must be low and at a tag high spot to insure that the tag can be quickly applied to the runner.

18. When making throws to the bags stay low. Learn to get the ball up as soon as possible. The action requires getting the elbows up and even as if they are on a table. Step directly toward the target. Drive the hips through on the throw. Do not take unnecessary steps, catch the ball and fire it. Get on top of your throw and learn to throw hit a tag high spot at the base every time.

19. When making you throw to 2nd between innings, take it serious, and make a solid throw. Lobbing the ball down there is useless.

20. Learn to discreetly frame. Meaning that you should learn to frame with making it so obvious. Always try to get outside the ball and catch it coming back toward the strike zone. Do not hold the catch spot too long because that will only agitate the umpire.

I know that there are many other things that catchers must know, but this was as many as I could think of at the moment. I hope that this information is beneficial to you and your team.

Good luck till next time, Nick Dixon

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of BASEBALL COACHING DVDs Check out the BatAction Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty

Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, the "Hit2win Company". Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Dixon is widely recognized as an expert in the area of baseball training, practice and skill development. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of several of baseball and softball's most popular training products such as the Original BatAction Hitting Machine, SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, Original Hitting Stick, Hit2win Trainer, SKLZ Target Trainer, SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, Batting Cage Builder, the American Baseball Directory and the Hit2win Baseball Coaches Monthly Newsletter. Dixon has 5 blogs related to baseball training including the BaseballCoachingDigest Blog, CoachesBest Training Blog, Hurricane Machine Training Blog, Batting Cage Buyers Blog, and the Bat Action Training Blog.

Article Source:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Baseball Swing - Rotational Hitting Explained

By Nate Barnett

It seems like baseball instruction in the area of hitting mechanics is splitting into two different camps. Rotational hitting vs. Linear hitting. If you're new to the baseball world, or are just unfamiliar with the new exciting terminology, let me offer some explanation.

Rotational Hitting

The purpose of the baseball swing is to transfer the most energy into the baseball as possible. In order to get the most energy created, there are specific parts of the body that need to move at the correct time in order for this energy to occur.

A rotational approach offers that the energy used in creating a powerful baseball swing stems from the back side of the body, and more specifically the lower half of the back side. The controlled chain reaction that happens when the back side is moved at precisely the correct time toward the pitch is quite powerful. On the flip side, incorrect timing of the back knee and hip will produce a sluggish bat.

A rotational approach to hitting uses the follow steps to a good baseball swing:

1. A good weight shift to the back leg from the stance position as a hitter is preparing to hit. Make sure that this weight shift is not purely horizontal in motion, since this will create an imbalance.

2. The next step is the trigger. This is the most important movement that separates a rotational hitter from a linear hitter. The triggering process should begin with the back knee turning and moving towards the pitcher (as apposed to simply spinning in place). The back hip will quickly follow the back knee in the rotation process. Lastly, the hands will begin to enter into the hitting zone. It's important that the hands do not begin the swing since the power is stemming from the back knee and hip. Early hand movement would negate any effort to use energy from the back side of the hitter's body.

3. As the bat enters the zone, one will begin to see signs that a rotational approach has been utilized. The common tell tale signs are the balance points. The easiest to explain in writing is that upon contact with the pitch there will be vertical alignment with the inside shoulder joint, the back hip, and the back knee joint. This alignment shows that balance is retained and no weight has shifted forward onto the front foot (more of a linear style).

As an aside, rotational hitting is used by most major colleges and a vast majority of Major League hitters. It provide balance and power to the baseball swing.

About the Author

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at

His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.

Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Baseball Practice Planning Tips and Sample Baseball Practice Schedule

By Nick Dixon

The word is PLAN

There are many four letter words that baseball coaches know, but few are as important as the word for today, PLAN. There are very few volunteer jobs more challenging, time-consuming or rewarding than being a coach in your local league. There are many four letter words used by coaches that I can not use here. Here I want to discuss the 4 four-letter words that can and will determine the amount of success a coach has during the coming season. The four words are Goal, Plan, Work and Time. In part one I discussed the important of the word Goal and the importance of setting a goal to drive a team toward success.

The Baseball Coaches four letter word of today is P-L-A-N:

Planning is one of the most important responsibilities of a head baseball coach is planning. Planning is organization. Planning is delegation of duties and responsibilities to your assistants. You must plan every practice. You must plan your season. You must have a game plan going into every game. Planning practice after you start is a sign of bad coaching. If the team has practice at 3:00 PM, and the head coach turns to the assistant coaches as the team is warming up, and says, Well, guys what do you think we need to do today? A team with a coach like this is destined to have a difficult year. The coach is not organized and does not have the dedication to do his coaching homework at home before he arrive at the field. Have a plan and a schedule before you arrive at the field. The practice plan should be in the can! Planning as you go will waste valuable practice time that will never be recovered. It is extremely important to have a daily practice schedule written down. You must decide on each practice activity for that day, the assigned amount of time to be spent doing each drill or activity, and the objective or reason for doing the activity. A written practice schedule is a must! You practice plan must be detailed, easy to read, and easy to understand. Your practice plan begins with the first minute of practice and ends with the last minute. Every minute is scheduled. Include breaks and transition times from one activity to the next. You should write out the practice plan, run copies, and give each coach a copy. The schedule will have time slots, each coach drills and duties, and location of each activity.

A sample practice plan:

3:00 to 3:12 Team Stretch and Warm-up

3:12 to 3:27 PFP (Pitching Fielding Practice)

3:30 to 3:45 Outfield Drill Work & Infielder Drill Work

3:45 to 4:00 Team Defense, Infield, and Outfield Cuts

4:00 to 4:45 Team Batting Practice

(4 Groups, 4 Station, 12 Minutes and Rotate to the next station

-Station 1 On-field Batting Practice -Station 2 Batting Cage Work -Station 3 Bunt Station -Station 4 Tee & Soft-toss

4:45 to 4:55 Break

4:55 to 5:15 21 Outs Drill

5:15 to 5:25 Base running Drills/Conditioning

Coaching Note:

6 Pitchers will throw after practice bullpens. List Names. The greatest difficulty in having a practice schedule is staying on time. You must have a set rule that when drill time is up, the drill ends. If the drill was performed so bad that it needs to be done again, it will be done over after practice. Always have a coaches meeting after each practice to discuss what the staff has to say about the day practice. You also need to ask what they think the next practice schedule should cover. Listen to your assistants and consider what they say when you make out your next practice plan. Another part of having a plan is the delegating of responsibilities. You can not do it all. Recruit some good volunteer coaches to help you.

Good coaches always delegate task and duties to assistant coaches. Let certain coaches work with certain positions. One of the crucial assignments on every team is the position of pitching coach. You must have a coach that oversees pitching practice, bullpen work, and that calls the pitches during the game. Another important role is that of the team hitting coach. The hitting coach is often the offensive coordinator and 3rd base coach. This coach oversees all batting drills, batting practice and base running practice. Organize you pregame routine. Plan it, write it down, and make sure every coach know it by heart. Have a set time when you start stretching and warming up. Have a set time that you take pregame defensive infield and outfield warm-up. a set time that players may have 3 minutes to go to the restroom if they need to. Have a set time that you have a team huddle. Plan what you are going to say during this team moment. Having a plan is having a purpose, a time, and a place for everything and everyone.

Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, the "Hit2win Company". Nedco Sports operates and

Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Dixon is widely recognized as an expert in the area of baseball training, practice and skill development. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of several of baseball and softball's most popular training products such as the Original BatAction Hitting Machine, SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, Original Hitting Stick, Hit2win Trainer, SKLZ Target Trainer, SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and Strikeback Trainer

Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, Batting Cage Builder, the American Baseball Directory and the Hit2win Baseball Coaches Monthly Newsletter

Dixon has 5 blogs related to baseball training including the BaseballCoachingDigest Blog, CoachesBest Training Blog, Hurricane Machine Training Blog, Batting Cage Buyers Blog, and the Bat Action Training Blog

Article Source:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Baseball Training - The BatAction Machine Makes Learning to Hit Easy and Efficient!

The BatAction Baseball Training Machine offers 5 great benefits:

1. The BatAction Machine has a large circle of ball movement - This large path of ball movement allows the batter to see, hit and track the ball before and after each swing. The BatAction ball movement closely simulates live pitching!

2. The BatAction Machine allows the batter to read swing contact. The ball is suspended in mid-air without cables, string, or ropes. This unique patented design allows the ball to react to bat contact much like a real ball. The batter receives instant feedback as to the quality and power of every swing. The batter can immediately read the ball after contact to see if the ball hit was a line drive, ground ball or fly ball. This instant feedback is extremely useful and beneficial to rapid skill improvement and bat speed development.

3. Every swing is a challenge - The BatAction Machine features a moving ball with adjustable speeds. Players really love the challenge and fun of seeing and hitting a moving ball. The harder a player hits the ball, the faster it will return. This ball movement keeps the batter challenged and motivated to practice more and more.

4. The BatAction Machine fast moving ball makes every swing a challenge - The BatAction Machine features a moving ball with adjustable speeds. Players really love the challenge and fun of seeing and hitting a moving ball. The harder a player hits the ball, the faster it will return. This ball movement keeps the batter challenged and motivated to practice more and more.

5. The BatAction Machine is a great trainer for planned or impulse training - The BatAction is often used as a hitting station for team training. It is great for these planned activities. But, one of the benefits that makes it one of the most popular home trainers ever, is the fact that it can be set up as a hitting station in the backyard. This makes the BatAction Machine always available to a hitter for fun and recreational use. These impulse workouts can be done alone, even when Dad or Mom is not at home. This is why the Bat Action Machine is often called the Backyard Basketball Goal for baseball and softball players. It is so much fun to hit that kids spend hours and hours of their free time hitting the fast moving ball. These fun workouts are the reason that BatAction Machine owners are some of the most dominate hitters in the game today.

For more BatAction Hitting Machine drills, tips, and coaching information visit the BatAction Training Blog. Check out the BatAction Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

The has a great collection of baseball articles. 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 the Baseball Dealz Super Store on ebay. Buy your baseball training equipment at discount prices.

Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, the "Hit2win Company". Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Dixon is widely recognized as an expert in the area of baseball training, practice and skill development. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of several of baseball and softball's most popular training products such as the Original BatAction Hitting Machine, SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, Original Hitting Stick, Hit2win Trainer, SKLZ Target Trainer, SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, Batting Cage Builder, the American Baseball Directory and the Hit2win Baseball Coaches Monthly Newsletter. Dixon has 5 blogs related to baseball training including the BaseballCoachingDigest Blog, CoachesBest Training Blog, Hurricane Machine Training Blog, Batting Cage Buyers Blog, and the Bat Action Training Blog.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Basebal Training Product Spotlight: Sklz Quick Stick Training Bat- Pujols Signature Series

Sklz Quick Stick Training Bat- Pujols Signature Series

FREE 12pk Golf Ball Wiffles included with this Purchase!

Great for Baseball and Softball - To be used with limited flight golf ball sized wiffles.

===Improves batters' hand speed, hand-eye coordination and contact
Get more swings in with the lightweight training stick, and build better mechanics through repetition.
===Adjust length between 28 and 34 inches to simulate regulation length bats
===13oz. weight
===Durable aluminum design
===For use with practice balls only (3 plastic golf-size balls included)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coaching Baseball - 4 Common Hitting Flaws and How to Correct Each

1. Overstriding
Overstriding is a common mistake. Batters that often get "jammed" may be in fact causing their own problems by overstriding. Overstriding causes the batter's head and eyes to drop often causing the batter to "loose" the ball during the swing. Tracking the ball visually is made very difficult. The batter's overstriding can also cause the swing to be long. A batter's wide feet that are too wide tend to prevent hip involvement during the swing.
Batters should use a short or a "no stride" approach. A short stride of 3 to 6 inches is often enough. In fact simply picking the front foot up and putting it back down is all the stride that is needed.

2. "Hitch" In The Swing
Batters that have a "hitch" in their swing often have difficulty hitting the fastball. They often get "jammed" and are often late on medium speed pitches. The batter is not "triggering" correctly. The batter is dropping the hands before taking them to the "power position" or what is often called the "launch position". This lowering of the hands causes the batter to be late to the strike zone.
Take the hands slightly up and then back rather than dropping them.

3. "Locking" The Front Arm
The batter "locks" or straightens out the front arm when the hands and bat are taken back to the "power" or "trigger" position. This flaw causes the batter to be late starting the swing. It also cause the the bat speed to be too slow and increases the bat's distance to the ball. Locking the front arm also often causes premature wrist roll.
Keep a bend in the front elbow. Keep the hands together and working together. Keep the hands close to the body and do not take them back so far that front arm flex is lost.

4. Opening Up Too Soon
The front side is opening too soon causing the batter's "whole body" including head and eyes to pull off the pitch. This flaw often causes the barrel to lag and a reduction in bat speed. Much less plate coverage is allowed. Another result of dropping the hands is an increase in flyballs.
Have the batter strive to keep the "knob to belly button" relationship during the swing. The belly button rotates with the knob of the bat. On inside pitches the batter will still "open" but the timing will be perfect. On middle and away pitches the batter will not open or rotate so much. "The belly button to knob" relationship maintains correct timing mechanics.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

CoachesBest Product Spotlight: The Joe Mauer Quick Swing Trainer

The Quick Swing is adjustable to different heights, can be folded for easy storage and transport, includes an instructional video with Paul Molitor and Joe Mauer and a proven 12 step hitting process guaranteed to help improve your batting average.

==Improve your hitting mechanics
==Endorsed by all-time MLB baseball great and future Hall of Famer Paul Molitor
==Endorsed by Joe Mauer, the number one pick in MLB'S 2001 draft
==Allows a player to take batting practice alone
==Enables a player to improve on the fundamentals of sound hitting
==Improve bat speed, hand-eye coordination, and proper weight distribution
==Train indoors or outdoors
==Increase or decrease the level of difficulty
==Develop a quicker more compact swing
==Improve your baseball hitting technique.
==Improve reflexes, muscle memory and timing
eplaces both batting tee and soft toss baseball hitting practice
==Allows you to use real baseballs, softballs or plastic balls
==Made of industrial-grade steel tubing and injected-molded plastic
==Can be positioned to drop the ball within any part of the strike zone
==Adjustable to different heights
==Can be folded for easy storage and transport
==Includes an instructional video with Paul Molitor and Joe Mauer
==Proven 12 step hitting process included.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Remembering the "Johnny Bench Baseball Batter-Up" Baseball Trainer

My son loved absolutely loved his Johnny Bench batting trainer. It was so simple and easy to use. He would hit that tiny rubber ball with the molded seams and it would wrap around the pole, return, and he would hit it again. Only God really knows, how many times he watched that ball circle that pole. It was the youth hit trainer that made him a great hitter. It made him a major leaguer in his own mind. He would imagine himself being Johnny Bench. With 2 outs, bases loaded, and the World Series on the line, he had a lot of pressure on him for a 12 year old. He would track that ball around the pole as if it was a 90+ miles per hour fastball. He learned to concentrate on the ball and to keep his head still during his swing.

It was tough be a big league hitter in those days. When that ball got to him, he would hit it so hard that he would almost come out of his shoes. Grand Slam, he would yell! Then he would trot around the backyard smiling and basking in the glory that only a World Series title could bring. It was so sweet to be named the MVP of the whole world. Baseball was fun and his Johnny Bench trainer was his pitcher. As an only child and with no neighbors living close by, it was his best friend and his way of having a great make believe baseball game in his own backyard. It was those backyard games that developed the hitting skills he needed to become a great little league all-star, high school standout, and college baseball player.

Back in those days training aid manufacturing technology was a bit behind the times. There were certain things about the JB trainer that were a bit frustrating. The major problem was those confounded rubber bands. They would dry-rot and break. Eventually most people made their own from cut pieces of old tire inner tubes. Eventually the ball broke off the rod and the JB trainer playing days at our house were over. And the big mass of concrete it was mounted in proved to be a major problem to move when wanted it gone.

Years ago I looked at young players and I realized just how much they too needed a good wholesome home trainer that was fun, practical, entertaining, and productive to hit. That need is the reason I invented the BatAction Hitting Machine and the Hurricane Hitting Machine. Both of these patented batting machines have similar ball motion paths, high speed ball movement, and both offer the same levels of fun and excitement. These popular machines feature adjustable ball speeds and height settings for all ages and ability levels. If you experienced the Johnny Bench trainer as a youngster and appreciate what it did for you, you will want your child or grandchild to have the same opportunities. If you are looking for a rotational hitting machine at a good price, I recommend the BatAction and Hurricane Hitting Machines. I know that you will love the results that you see from regular backyard workouts on these hitting trainers. Good luck till next time, Nick Dixon.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Baseball Almanac

In 1866, Charles A. Peverelly wrote, "The game of base ball has now become beyond question the leading feature of the outdoor sports of the United States ... It is a game which is peculiarly suited to the American temperament and disposition; ... in short, the pastime suits the people, and the people suit the pastime."

Baseball Almanac has dedicated itself to preserving the history of our national pastime and has rapidly grown into an interactive baseball encyclopedia filled with more than three-hundred thousand pages of in-depth baseball facts, original baseball research and baseball statistics not found anywhere on the Internet. Repeatedly recognized as THE online source for baseball related information, Baseball Almanac has something for everyone — guaranteed.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Coaching Baseball - Post- and Pre-Season Conditioning by Bartons Youth Baseball

STRETCHING: Players should involve themselves in simple stretching exercises every day. Work those hamstrings and lower back muscles for the running you'll do in the springtime. Take special care to loosen up arm and shoulder muscles. "Reach for the Sky," "Swing your arms in Circles"; really get the blood flowing.

THROWING: I don't advise playing catch outside in less than 40-degree weather. Even then, exercise caution. Try to find gym time where players can toss and work on throwing and receiving mechanics. Don't let the players "air it out" and throw hard in these early sessions. Pitchers can work on their form and mechanics, and throw easily with the "5 Steps of Pitching."

BATTING: The ideal is to secure indoor batting cage time, but there are easy drills that you can do right in your garage or basement. Have players start by just swinging the bat 10, 20, 30 times a day correctly. Make sure the swings are done correctly and with balance. No "chopping wood" or hacking when they get tired. Build up the repetitions over time. Soft toss wiffle golfballs or even more inexpensively, roll up white adhesive tape into balls and soft toss them. I've done this with high school players for 20 years. You get a great number of repetitions and you don't break things.

Continue Reading at Barton's Youth baseball...Click Here - The trainer that teaches the perfect swing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hitting With Big Barrel Bats in Youth League

By Mike Posey

My eight year old was playing baseball this fall on a coached pitched team. It was the perfect situation for the fall with only one practice every Sunday afternoon from 2:00-3:30. It was a great experience, one in which he learned a lot. He also had a great time with the other kids on the team. We were also playing flag football during the fall, so we didn't have a lot of time for extended fall ball, plus he is only 8 so I wasn't interested in having him involved with a team that was going to play games every week in the fall. I'm not a big proponent of playing year round baseball, but I'll save that for another article.

The coaches decided they would try to play a couple of games and put into action what they had been teaching during the Sunday practices. We traveled about 45 minutes away on a nice Saturday during the mid fall to play a double header with another eight year old team. It was a good experience but I was shocked when I watched the other team hit. Yes, they beat us in both games 20-8 and 17-9, but that wasn't what shocked me, it was the bats they were using - Big Barrel Bats.

Let me back up a little bit first. My eight year old is our youngest. My oldest is 26 (I was 40 when our youngest was born) and we have already went through Little League, Babe Ruth, Summer Ball, etc...with our oldest. Also, as a high school baseball coach I host youth camps every summer and thought I was in tune with what was happening in youth baseball. But the bats I saw the other eight year old team using that day caught me by complete surprise. Every player on the other team was using a big barrel (2-5/8 inch diameter) bat, even though they were only eight years old.

The big barrel bat is designed for senior league play, which is typically 13-15 year olds. I did a little investigation and found that all the manufacturers (Easton, DeMarini, Louisville, etc...) specifically advertised that these big barrel bats are not approved for younger youth league teams. This was reinforced more when I found out that most youth leagues (Cal Ripen, Little League, Pony, etc.,.) do not allow players to use the larger barrel bats. However, I did find it odd that the manufacturers are making -10 to -13 drop bats (the unit distinction between the length and the weight of the bat, such as 27 inches long and 17 ounces in weight). It's obvious that the sale of these ultra-light, big- barrel bats are targeted at youth league players.

Youth league (ages 6-12) aluminum bats are typically 2 ¼ inches in diameter at the sweet spot and usually have a -8 in drop. The idea is to work up as they get older and eventually get to the -3 drop bat that is required in high school.

The problem with using big barrel bats at such a young age is it doesn't reinforce hitting mechanics. When a young hitter swings and misses the sweet spot, this reinforces the fact they need to use their hands to hit instead of their arms. The sweet spot is located 4-7 inches from the barrel end of the bat, located between the bat's trademark and the end of the bat. With aluminum (or composite bats) when the player misses the sweet spot, the bat jars in their hands. With a wood bat (which I think all young players should spend time learning to hit with) if the sweet spot is missed, the ball won't travel very far, maybe a ground ball to second or short. Anyway, it reinforces the need to rotate the hips and use the hands to get the barrel of the bat on the ball. With much practice, a player can become good at making consistent contact on the sweet spot of the bat. Using the hands correctly will strengthen the hands as they get older and allow them to progress in their mechanics as a hitter. Many players struggle with hitting on high school freshman or JV teams because they drag the bat head with the -3 bats that are required by the National Federation Rules. They have been swinging the -8 and -5 bats with their arms and the -3 is even heavier for them to swing. They haven't developed good strong hands from hitting properly.

The problem with the big barrel bats is the extended hitting zones. The player can have a long swing (one that disconnects with the arms getting away from the body) hitting the ball on the area below the sweet spot near the trademark and still get a solid base hit into the outfield. This was what I witnessed that Saturday this fall during the eight year old coached-pitched game. Most of the hitters in the opposing team line up used more arms than hands to hit, but they still had solid shots into the outfield. In fact, the few times they did make solid contact, the ball was sent like a laser to the outfield fences. Several times our players got hit with the ball (one in the head on a line drive to center field) and the coach was also hit by a hot line drive back to the mound. It was a little scary and these young players were not ready to be swinging these bats.

During my research I also found hitting with big barrel bats was common practice for travel league teams during the summer and fall. Most travel tournament sponsors do not have regulations against using larger barrel bats for youth league ages. With the manufacture warnings clearly listed on these bats, this may be a serious spot for litigation. The travel tournament sponsors and teams that use these bats against the manufacture warnings are exposing themselves to potential lawsuits.

From a hitting stand point, players will never understand their hitting flaws. It's like the weekend golfer that uses a monster head driver, one that corrects the flight of the ball if the swing is not perfect. As long as you make contact anywhere on the face of the club, you're in good shape. (I got one in my golf bag) The same is true for the large barrel bats for youth leagues. See, hitting a baseball is difficult and one that comes with much failure. A good big league player that hits around .300 will fail 7 out of 10 times. With young hitters, the failure is what makes them better. Missing the sweet spot on the bat reinforces the idea to use your hands and get the barrel on the ball.

If you're serious about your young player being a better hitter make him use the 2 ¼ inch barrel in youth league. He can also work with a wood bat in practices and scrimmage games. (or summer league play). Use bamboo when they are young (ages 6-9), moving to maple by the time they are 11 or 12 years old. Both of these bats are extremely durable and hard to break. By the time they are 15-16 years old they can graduate to a nice Ash bat. Most big leaguers use either Ash or Maple. All of our high school players have a wood bat in their bag and train with it regularly.

Don't delay the development of your youth league hitter by allowing them to use a big barrel bat. Rotate your hips and use your hands to hit the SWEET SPOT.

Mike Posey "CP"

Tips from a championship coach's perspective and experience, offering creative insights into helping others learn the game of baseball.

Article Source: - The original rotational hitting machine.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Baseball Product Spotlight - Hands Back Hitter Trainer

The Hands Back Hitter is an innovative baseball trainer that teaches players to keep the hands and weight back. The Hands Back Hitter teaches the key elements of a perfect swing. I have had many people ask questions about this great baseball training tool. here are some of those questions and my responses.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What do you do for LH batters?
The same unit ASSEMBLES for either RH OR LH.

2. Can you change it over?
You can but it takes about 3-4 minutes and most coaches buy two (2) for team practice because of the price, it just saves time and you can run two stations at once.

3. What balls do I use?
It comes with 12 medium weight plastic balls but you can use real baseballs, softballs, and golf ball wifflesTM too.

4. What powers it?
There is a patented spring popper that allows height adjustment for all weight takes no electricity. You can use it is the rain.

5. Will the string wear out?
We recommend no cleats but strings have not been a problem. Besides they add a second string free just in case.

6. How will I know how to use it?
It comes with a Training CD with about 100 slides with some streaming video. If you do not have a computer, it has pictures with instructions in the assembly guide and coaching tips.

7. What ages and gender?
It adjusts for arm length and the long trigger area allows the batter to move up and away about 14 inches with no adjustment between batters required. Very athletic 6-7 Y.O kids learn well and all payers up to and through college. Most now consider the fast pitch swing to be the same as MLB swing so it have equal application for baseball and softball.

8. How hard is it to assemble?
4 hands tighten knobs and NO TOOLS
the popper is pre-assembled.

9. Do you have to cock it each time?
Yes, we want them to work more slowly, concentrating on balance, stride, and load. Swinging in rapid succession makes for upper body hitters. This is what makes this trainer so good.

10. Why does it make you hit better?
The Hands Back Hitter separates the swing and the stride and forces deeper ball contact. It promotes a hip driven swing that is powerful and adjust for different pitch speeds. has the Hands Back Hitter and other great trainers at discount prices.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Baseball Training: What is a great baseball training tool for increasing swing power?

The Baseball POWER BAG by Muhl Tech

The Power Bag™ develops power hitting strength in the wrist and forearms. The Houston Astros, Lance Berkman (pictured) credits a similar device his father made with much of the power he has in his wrist and forearms. Hitting the ball with authority requires power and strength at contact which results in more spring off of the bat head. Bat speed is crucial for hitting the ball a long way, but if there is give in the wrist at contact much of the benefit of bat speed is lost. Strengthening the hands, wrist and forearms by using the Power Bag™ will decrease bat recoil and cause the ball to jump off of your bat. has the BASEBALL POWER BAG at Discount Prices.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Selecting a Good Assistant Coach

It is a good idea to have at least two assistants. This will give your team more flexibility in working with individual players and different aspects of the game. Ideally, one coach will work with the pitchers, and their development. This will also include trips to the mound to settle them down during a game. The second coach will work on the hitting and base running side of the game. This coach should also be one of the base coaches during the game. You can coach the other base, or have a player do it.

All coaches can work on the fielding aspects of the game. Having coaches assigned to specific tasks helps; they concentrate on learning small areas of the game instead of everything at once. This will be easier on them in their reading and viewing assignments.

If you form a nice team together, you may want to go up with the club from year to year. What that means is that as the players get older you move up to the next level with them. This can be extremely effective in helping everybody's learning curve. As you move up, the new assistant coaches will gain more experience and eventually be able to move into other roles. Your role to the coaches as the manager of the team is to develop their baseball knowledge, place them in a position to succeed, and groom them to become head coaches. That is assuming they are still rookies. If they are experienced veterans, make sure to let them know that you are there to learn from them and their wisdom.

The question you are probably asking yourself now is where can I find assistant coaches. Well, some league directors will allow you to select your own coaches. If you have this opportunity, make sure at least one of the coaches you select has some baseball experience or some good knowledge of the game. Some coaches may decide to select their friends or former teammates.

We live in a world of busy schedules. Nowadays with two working parents and tight budgets, you might not have the luxury of finding someone who is able to commit to help you out. If this is the case, check with your park director. They will have many contacts to other coaches and parents.

As for parents, the park might even assign you a coach whose son or daughter plays for the team and he or she wanted to volunteer. You should have received this information in your league director meeting earlier. If the parent's child plays on the team, you want to know this. Parents are very protective of their child and you want to be aware of the situation up front.

If you still have no such luck in finding a coach, you could try advertising in city or local community papers with a small ad with a phone number. If you are new to coaching, you probably want to advertise for someone with a little experience.

You may now find yourself asking what if the coaches I get do not have any experience. Lack of experience is fine and quite common at younger levels. Everyone has to start somewhere and most people start with coaching their children. Even if you did not play the game at higher levels, with today's media outlets such as what you are watching now, coaches can still be extremely successful by reading and observing.

For reading, there are websites, baseball books and the following lessons will all be helpful in the new venture for you and your rookie assistant. The other extremely important way to learn is by observing. Ask yourself, Which baseball teams are extremely good in your area year after year? I am speaking about youth, high school, college and even the pros. Drive to the high school field or the local baseball park and catch one or two of their practices. Watch the drills they run.

If you have any ambition of moving to the next level, it is not a bad idea to introduce yourself and ask a few questions. If you are going to ask a question, ask pointed questions so you are not wasting their time. For example, I want to improve my second baseman's double play pivot. Do you have any suggestions or drills I can use to accomplish this?

Emulation of top players and coaches will help you and your teams perform better. Once you begin your coaching career, you will be surprised at all the little nuances in the professional game you will notice by watching it on TV. Coaches need to make sure their egos do not get in the way of a child's development.

About the Author offers free educational courses in an easy to follow format in various subjects. To view a free online course covering the subject of this article, please visit "> has Baseball Training Equipment at Discount Prices.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

The Advanced Skills Hitting Tee - The Batting Tee for the Advanced Player

..Used by over 3000 high schools and colleges!..

The AST (patented) is unlike any other swing trainer available. Designed to help experienced players perfect their bat skills and begining players to learn proper mechanics, a forward arm and outside swing barrier simultaneously eliminate both "dipping" and "casting". And, the height adjustable (24"-40"), movable arm positions the ball anywhere across the strike zone to realistically represent inside and outside pitch locations. Use the AST to build a compact swing, keep the "hands inside the ball" and develop a "quick" bat. Use it to increase bat speed and learn to "hit the ball where it's pitched".

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

"Shove-Up Baseball" - A Great Baseball and Softball Practice Game

"Shove-Up Baseball" - A Great Baseball and Softball Practice Game
Adding variety and preventing boredom is an attribute of great coaching. Little league and youth baseball practice can be both fun and productive at the same time. Great coaches know the importance of having a pure fun day every one and a while. The game "Shove-Up" is definitely not an activity that you would use every day, but as a "change of pace" activity, it serves well to motivate kids and teach competitiveness. How is "Shove-up" played?

Read this article at