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!

Thursday, May 28, 2009 - Your online source of baseball coaching and training articles.


The has many categories of baseball coaching articles. Here are a few for you to check out.

Ø Baseball Team Coaching and Managing Tips

Ø Baseball Practice Planning

Ø Coaching Hitting

Ø Coaching Pitchers

Ø Coaching Defense

Ø Coaching Base Running

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coaching Baseball Hitting - Two Batting Videos on Youtube that You Can learn From

Coaching Little League Baseball - Two Batting Videos on Youtube that You Can learn From

For more information on the BatAction Machine visit

Hello and good Wedenesday morning to you. We begin our 2009 summer baseball camp today. I just hope the weather cooperates. Here are two hitting youtube links that I recommend that my players watch. T think that you will find these useful also.
Have a great day,
Nick - The ultimate online coaching and training store. Top quality Products - Outstanding Service - Discount Prices

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coaching Baseball - Situational Pitching - Squeeze Play Situation

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Coaching Baseball - Situational Pitching - Squeeze Play Situation - By Nick Dixon

We often hear the term "Situational Hitting", but just as important is "Situational Pitching". Knowing what to throw and when to throw it. Here are three examples of situational pitching.
"HIT and RUN Situation" - Most often occurs with the batter ahead in the count and no outs. The most common counts are 1-0, 2-0, and 2-1. The pitcher should know when to expect the "HITand RUN" and keep the ball inside on the hitter to prevent the pitch from being driven to the opposite field.


"DOUBLE PLAY Situation" - The most important point to remember is to keep the ball down. One of the greatest plays in baseball is the inning ending double play. It is not advised to throw a change up or curve ball in a double play situation.

"SQUEEZE BUNT Situation" - There are many things to know and remember in this situation. Here are suggestions on how to have a "pitching approach" when the squeeze bunt may be on.

1. Throw the pitch either "UP and IN" or "LOW and IN".
2. The pitcher should not try to hit the batter, but if the batter is hit, the runner must return to third base.
3. It is more difficult to bunt the low pitch than the high pitch.

1. Throw the ball outside. The pitch is actually a pitch- out.
2. Make sure the pitch is "UNTOUCHABLE".

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Correct Batting Practice Methods For Little League Baseball Teams

Good Friday Morning to You.
I hope all is well with you and your team.
Here is a great article by Marty Schupak that I found beneficial and informative. I hope that you find it useful also.
Have a great weekend!

Correct Batting Practice Methods For Little League Baseball Teams

By Marty Schupak
In my eighteen years of coaching youth baseball, I am always looking for the most efficient practice methods for every aspect of baseball. It took me only a few years to realize that most youth baseball coaches and myself were running batting practice, not incorrectly, but not efficiently. From what I have seen with the typical batting practice, a coach will pitch a predetermined number of balls for each batter with the fielders fielding the hit balls and throwing them to first base. Usually the coach will yell something like “run the last one out”, and the batter does just that. If the ball is an infield hit, they try to throw him out at first. If it is hit into the outfield, he usually runs until he is thrown out. This is all well and good intentioned, but it is wasting valuable time when a coach wants to run an efficient practice.

Here is the most efficient way of running a batting practice that I’ve come up with. First of all, let me say this. Batting practice is just what it is, batting practice. Batting practice is not fielding practice or base running practice. So all youth coaches and parents should really define what a youth batting practice is and what they want to get out of it.

Most of my youth practices do not run more than one hour. Every minute of wasted time will affect all other aspects and time of any other drills or techniques I want to accomplish. The first thing a coach needs to have is an over abundance of baseballs. The league will provide baseballs but I always make sure I purchase a few dozen extras. I try to work with three-dozen and keep an extra dozen in my trunk. And don’t think I’m not frugal accounting for every baseball at the end of practice. I try to make sure we find each one, and after practice, we comb the field to make sure we got them all. Usually we find extras and end up with more than what we started with.

Now, here is the actual logistics and set up that I do about 95% of the time I run batting practice. I’m a big proponent of bunting. I set up two cones on the third base line, about six feet apart, approximately where the bunt is suppose to go. I set up two empty buckets, one about three feet behind second base and the other one at the far base of the mound toward second. I have another bucket with the baseballs on the mound easily accessible to me. Now, this is a key. As a youth coach who wants a well-run practice and a lot of repetitions for the kids, I move up almost to the front base of the mound to pitch. I do this mainly so I can throw strikes consistently. For safety purposes, an “L” screen would be required from a shorter distance for safety. If your league doesn’t have any, make them get them.

I have the first person up at bat with the 2nd and 3rd player ready to go. I have the 3rd hitter (or double on deck hitter) on the outside of the screen hitting balls on a batting tee using pickle balls (plastic) or wiffle balls with another parent feeding the balls on the tee. I always have the number 2, or on deck hitter, ready to hit.

The batter bunts the first to pitches. For each successful bunt, the player receives an extra swing. I usually give a player five swings besides his two bunts. So if a player lays one bunt between the cones, he get six regular swings. If he lays both bunts between the cones, he gets seven swings (the maximum per hitter). Now, there are certain things that have to happen to make this work. Remember there are two buckets strategically located. After the bunts, when the hitter swings away, wherever the ball is hit, the fielder tosses it into the bucket closet to him. If it is hit to the outfield, he will throw the ball as close to the bucket behind second base. If he hits it to the infield, the fielder will toss it to the bucket behind the pitcher’s mound. Reinforce to the players that they must toss to the bucket on one or two bounces or they will tend to play basketball with the baseball and bucket.

Now the point here is that the fielders do not make a play to first and the hitter does not run the last one out. We get more repetitions in a short period of time. The players are always facing the hitter. One might ask, isn’t this boring for most of the players in the field? Well, not really. Because of the amount of balls hit in a short period of time, the ball is usually hit all over the place. And the coach throwing batting practice will keep one or two extra balls in his glove and is ready to pitch the next ball right away. When out of baseballs, have the players in the infield hustle to gather up the balls, combine buckets, and we’re ready to go again. This works great!

Batting practice is a favorite of any baseball player at almost every level. Do not deny batting practice at any practice. And always look for the most efficient, safest procedure to help enhance your whole practice.

Marty Schupak has coached youth baseball for 18 years and is the video creator of "The 59 Minute Baseball Practice", "Backyard Baseball Drills", "Winning Baseball Strategies", "Hitting Drills & Techniques" and author of the popular book, "Youth Baseball Drills". He is a principle for Videos For Coaches and is also President of the Youth Sports Club, a group dedicated to making sports practices and games more enjoyable for kids.
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baseball Training Product - The Advanced Skills Baseball Tee

Baseball Training Product - The Advanced Skills Baseball Tee

1. The forward arm eliminates "dipping" or dropping the hands and trailing shoulder to lift the ball with a "looping" type swing. If you "dip" with the AST, you hit the back of the arm. It forces you to take the bat straight down to the ball, leveling the swing at the point of contact.

2. The forward arm also pivots and rotates to place the ball on the inside or outside of the strike zone. Then, the arm points in the direction to drive the ball based on pitch location (i.e. pull the inside pitch, go with the outside pitch to the opposite field . . . "Hit the ball where it's pitched").

The outside barrier eliminates "casting". It keeps you form swinging "long" and helps you "keep the hands inside the ball". If the bat or arms are extended prematurely the bat head will slap the flexible upright barrier post. For years coaches have set a tee adjacent to a fence or screen to force hitters to compact their swing. The outside barrier does the same thing except it is a lot more effective. It rotates around the tee to accommodate LH or RH hitters and it moves along with the forward arm to help you keep the hands "tight" when you are working on inside and outside pitch locations. With the outside barrier you are forced to rotate the hips and torso and extend the hands only at the point of contact. It produces a "quick" bat and more power too.

The outside barrier can also be placed to the rear of the AST. This will further eliminate a level swing plane and force a shorter more direct swing path to the ball. This will also teach hitters to get more backspin on the ball.

You can even add an outside barrier to make the Advanced Skills Tee the most complete batting tee on the market. Simply slide on an extra barrier to develop the quickest, most powerful and compact swing possible. Eliminate casting and dropping the hands all in one workout!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Train Like a Pro: The HandsBack Hitter Trainer

The HandsBack Hitter Trainer
Baseball and Fastpitch Softball Training Tee

By Nick Dixon

Baseball and fastpitch softball hitting coaches now have a new and effective tool for teaching the mechanics of the perfect baseball swing. This new Hands Back Hitter Training Tee is a self-contained ball launching device that teaches baseball and fastpitch softball players to “keep the hands and weight back” and to “stride and then hit”. As Coach Mike Epstein recently said, "Finally a fun batting trainer that teaches the correct swing."

Some of the most difficult swing elements to teach young hitters is the proper mechanics of the stride, the timing of the stride, and the loading and separation process. Many young hitters want to stride and swing rather that stride then swing. Young baseball and softball hitters should learn to master these two elements of hitting early. They should be taught that the “stride” motion starts and finishes before the hands start the swing motion.

The correct sequence of motion and action during the swing process is: 1) Load & separation 2)Stride 3)Swing 4)Finish

The Hands Back Hitter is widely used by high school and college teams as an advanced hitting station. The device is widely respected as the perfect swing trainer. The following statement by Coach Woody Hunt illustrates the respect that the Hands Back Trainer has gained over the last two years. "We use the Hands Back Hitter to teach separation between stride and swing." Coach Woody Hunt, (Cumberland University Baseball) 2004 NAIA National Champs

How It Works: Place a ball on the launcher. With a normal stride, the batter sets the ball into motion by stepping on a string (firing cord). The ball will appear in the hitting zone with the hitter in the correct timing sequence...hands back, foot down, hips launching the swing.

The Hands Back Hitter corrects hitting flaws. The offset tee makes you contact the ball between the balls of your feet. The resistor arch makes you stride carefully to balance softly on the lead toe. The vertical popper elevates the ball after the front foot is down, creating the timing sequence of the early stride. The front toe down on the string and the heel up sets the stage for bat launch through hip rotation. Feel and teach how to load/coil your body as you stride to hit and the effortless power that comes from torque.

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 wiffles 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.

The Hands Back Hitter Pro Model is the simplest, most affordable you will practice often, it makes you a better hitter while you are having fun. The Hands Back Hitter is the personal batting station that keeps them training and swinging right even when your not there, yet most instructive training aid on the market.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Teaching Baseball Batters to Use Hip Movement and Leg Leverage to Generate Power

By Nick Dixon

When you watch several elite baseball batters hit the ball, you quickly see some common traits. The great high school, college, and pro baseball players all generate incredible power with the lower body, legs, and hips. A good baseball swing incorporates the hips and lower body into the swing. Most of batting power is generated by the hips and the leverage created by the front leg. How many times have you heard the following "That batter swings with all arms, and has no power"?

The amount of hip movement or turn is always determined by the pitch's location. We all know that a hitter that "turns on everything" is setting himself up to be a victim of "soft stuff away". And a batter that cannot turn on pitches and that has problems catching-up with the fast ball will be a victim of pitchers working on the inner half of the plate.

A batter will not use the same amount of hip turn with every swing. Some pitches we hit require more hip turn than other pitch locations. The closer the pitch is to the batter, the more hip turn allowed. How do we teach a young batter to use the hips? How do we teach a young player to vary the amount of hip turn with various pitches? We teach young players to visualize that the belly button has an eye in it. The hips should always turn the required amount to allow the "eye" in the belly-button to see where the ball went when it came off the bat. The batters hips turn completely when an inside pitch is pulled. This full hip turn allows the belly button to "see" the ball go to left field. The hips will turn less when a ball is hit to center field thus allowing the "belly button eye" of the batter to see the ball hit over second base. When the ball is hit to the opposite field, the hip turn is limited to allow the belly-button to see the ball go to the opposite field.

This technique is simple, but effective to teach young players how much hip turn they should have on each pitch location.

COACHING POINT: The proximity of the batter to the plate can cause major problems. If a batter is too far off the plate, the other third will belong to the pitcher. If the batter is too close to the plate and the batter has limited bat speed, the inner third may belong to the pitcher. The general rule is that the batter should tap the bat on the outer black of the plate when stepping into the box to insure that all pitches over the plate can be reached. If a batter has two strikes, the batter needs to move closer to the plate so that the pitch slightly off the plate can be reached. This is especially important if the umpire has shown a tendency to call the pitch slightly off the plate a strike.

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of BASEBALL HITTING, COACHING and TRAINING DVDs

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.

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.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Footwork Tips for Coaching Young Catchers

Footwork Tips for Coaching Young Catchers

By Chip Lemin

Hey Coaches,

The season is here. Let's get some last minute catching tips for you to check out.

Catchers can use two different types of stances. When there are no runners on base, you assume a position where you have the weight on the instep of your foot. The other stance is with two strikes on the hitter, or runners on base. Both stances are quite similar, the major difference is preparing to block pitches at certain times.

With the bases empty, and less than two strikes on a batter, the catcher should have their weight on the instep of the foot. To prevent the catcher from falling forward, and get caught lunging at pitches, they should have a strong center of gravity. The left foot should be slightly ahead of the right foot for a right-handed catcher. Weight should be evenly distributed over both feet to maintain balance. This positioning will allow you to shift in any direction without trouble.

The catcher's elbow should be resting slightly outside the knee. The fingers should be pointed up and relaxed along with the glove arm. The fingers in their glove should never be horizontal. The most important aspect of their throwing arm is to keep it protected. When there are no runners on base, keep the throwing hand behind the back or the leg. Even without runners on base, they must keep their intensity for a whole game. Catchers must be ready for all situations, without a lapse in concentration.

When there are two strikes on a batter, or runners on base, the throwing hand must be moved to behind the glove. There will be no change in weight, foot placement or throwing arm placement. Put the throwing hand into a fist behind the glove. Their hand is safe behind the glove as all foul balls will change directions and miss the hand. Keep the hand closed behind the glove as you catch the baseball, this will also protect the hand. The biggest benefit of keeping the hand behind your glove is being able to begin a quicker exchange to the ball when they need to throw out a runner. Keeping the throwing hand behind the back hinders a quick throw, and could affect a balanced position.

A common mistake young catcher's make is to move up into a more athletic position when runners are on base. Moving up into this position also raises the glove into a higher position. This higher more athletic position actually creates more openings for the baseball to get by the catcher. This higher target also encourages the pitcher to throw the ball up in the strike zone, which may produce unwanted results. To keep balls from getting past the catcher, the rule should be stay as low as you can.

Stay focused and intense, stay low, be ready to block all pitches, and be ready for any situation. Young catchers also like to take too many steps when they throw to bases. They feel they do not have the arms strength to get the ball to second base. A quick accurate throw by using proper footwork, is often more beneficial and productive than a late strong inaccurate throw. It takes practice for a catcher to believe that a simple drop step, and foot shift, will provide everything they need a strong accurate throw.

The catcher is the cornerstone of an exceptional defense. Your team must have an above average catcher to be considered a special team. Make sure to work in a solid backup catcher also. Resist the urge to not to teach your catcher another position. It is your job to keep them from becoming one dimensional. It will also give them a needed break late in the season.

Coach Chip

Chip Lemin has been a promoter of youth baseball since they started using aluminum bats. That's a long time. I have witnessed many good people get into coaching without solid coaching skills and it is not fun for them or the kids.Today's newer coaches are also being shortchanged on sportsmanship, like there is none. Visit my site to sign up for a insightful, informational, free coaching e-course at

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Tips for Coaching Little League Baseball - Pitching Like A Pro, Top 5 Things You Can Do To Be The Perfect Pitcher.

Tips for Coaching Little League Baseball - Pitching Like A Pro, Top 5 Things You Can Do To Be The Perfect Pitcher.

By: Mike F.

You want to pitch like a pro? Want to make people you've been pitching for 30 years? After many years in the college pitching circuit I've found there are 5 things that every pitcher needs to know. These are 5 important tips, however there are many more. I just feel like these would be the top 5:

1.) How to stay cool before you go out to play a game.
2.) Play as much as you can.
3.) How to tune out the world and focus on they job you need to do.
4.) Covering the hit after you throw a pitch.
5.) Keeping base runners from stealing bases.

Before you even step out onto the field you will get some pregame jitters. It's just normal. It's how you handle those feelings that will determine if you win or lose on the mound. To help you get focused, remember it's normal to feel how you feel. Many pitchers are able to transform that energy into positive results at gametime.

If you love pitching you will want to pitch as much as you can. This is good. Play catch with whoever will play with you. When you throw the ball, aim for different areas on your catcher body. Aim at his left arm area and try to throw it there. Have him move his glove around and try to hit his glove without having to move it an inch.

Focus is key in any successful pitching. Being able to block out the world is a hard task. Thinking too much can be a bad thing. If you're mind is racing about what you're having for dinner, and if your jersey is untucked, it will definitely affect your pitching. Learn to breathe deeply. This will certainly relax you and focus you for that next perfect pitch.

Next on the list of successful pitching is what happens after the pitch. You are a fielder like anyone else after you release the ball. After you pitch square yourself with homeplate and be ready for anything that may come your way. It is very important that you remain balanced during play so that you can throw the ball when necessary.

Keeping base runners on the bag is one of things that can keep pitchers unfocused. Don't let them spook you. Hold the ball, and look at the runner when you can. Let them know that you're not going to lose if they challenge you.

Remember that you're a pitcher, and that pitching perfect takes work, and lots of it. Practice anytime you can and don't be afraid to take a break if you feel yourself getting "burned out." Sometimes time does make they heart grow fonder, even with pitching.

Article Source - Reprint Content

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baseball Drills - Bullet Proofing That Devilish First And Third Scenario

Baseball Drills - Bullet Proofing That Devilish First And Third Scenario

By Nate Barnett

One of the trickiest defensive situations for younger teams is the runners on first and third situation. You know the scenario. The guy on first base leaves early, or walks off first base in the attempt to draw a throw from the pitcher and remain in a pickle just long enough for the runner on third base to score. It's annoying when it works while you're on defense, but absolutely brilliant where you're on offense.

I'll show you how your squad can bullet proof this scenario. Let me tell you however, that it must be implemented in your youth baseball drills often, else panic syndrome will always take over and wreck this important defensive play.

The best thing to remember in this scenario is that the defensive team is in control of the situation. The defense controls the pace, and ultimately if the runs scores. Because of this, there is no need to hurry through the play. Here is how the ideal scenario plays out for the defense.


1. Base runner leaves first base early attempting to draw a throw from the pitcher. Or, he begins to steal the base and the stops in the middle of the base path putting pressure on the catcher to do something. I'll address both situations.

2A. The base runner leaves early from first base before the pitch is delivered. The first baseman yells, "step off!" to the pitcher, who then steps off the rubber. He checks the runner on third base by looking at him and making sure his momentum is not going towards home plate. Then, he turns and immediately throws the ball to the second baseman who has come up into the base path from his position.

2B. The base runner steals second base except stops in between first and second base. The pitch is delivered and the catcher has the ball. He steps in front of the plate and turns his body quickly towards third base until the runner's momentum has stopped moving towards home plate. He then pivot and throws the ball directly to the second baseman who has come up into the base path from his position.

3. With the ball in hand and in a dart throwing position (never in the glove) the second baseman begins to WALK quickly towards first base (no running or jogging). One of two things will happen. The runner on first base will go back to the bag (first base), or the runner on third base will break towards home to draw a throw from the second baseman.

4. If the runner returns to first base, the second baseman immediately throws the ball to the pitcher who returns to the mound and prepares for the next pitch. If the runner on third breaks towards home, the third baseman yells, "runner!" The second baseman turns and throws the ball to home plate.

The worst thing that can happen during this play is for the defense to panic and forget that they are in control. If nerves can be kept, there is a very high percentage chance the play will end successfully.

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.

Check Out These Recommended Baseball Coaching Websites:
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Baseball Coaching and Training Equipment Blog
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Baseball Drills - Infield Crispness is Key

Baseball Drills - Infield Crispness is Key

Nate Barnett

A crisp infield during a game is inspiring and motivating for all on the team. It's also uninspiring for the other team if they don't match the same level of snap, zip, and crispness. A team of infielders who posses this skills developed through intentional baseball drills will set the tempo of a game. On the flip side, a sluggish and sloppy infield will not create confidence for the rest of the team and should be avoided like the plague. Here are two ways to develop the all important crispness factor for infielders.

1. Physical crispness is displayed first by hustle on and off the field. A team, and especially an infield, that is quite intentional about how they take to the field demands respect. It shows focus, excitement, and most of all a no-nonsense approach to kicking the others teams' butt. But this skill must be taught from day one of workouts. A coach that pays little attention to this detail and then attempt to put it in place mid-season will struggle to do so. During baseball drills in practice infielders must hard to positions, and if the goal is not achieved, everyone comes on back to the dugout and tries again. The picture gets across quickly. The good news is, few teams do this, therefore a good team will stand out immediately.

2. Another display of physical hustle comes in the form of throwing the ball around the infield after a strikeout. If your team is in the habit of throwing the ball around the infield (and they should be) after an opposing hitter strikes out, be snappy about it. Infielders should reduce the distance from each other by a good five steps. Movements should emulate the type of quickness one would exhibit in performing a double play. I can't emphasize enough the importance of making this part clean and free of error. Nothing like a speedy and precise throw around after a strikeout to keep defensive spirits high.

3. The last skills takes a bit more time and focus to master. It requires more mental focus rather than previous two which required physical focus and preparation. A team that communicates with the pitcher and each other is like a symphony filled with harmony. Baseball shouldn't be played silently, but on the other hand, shouldn't be played with nonsensical sounds of "hey batter bater, swing!" This is not communication, but instead (to keep with the music theme of this paragraph) sounds like a struggling young violinist annoying his parents in the living room! Infielders should remind the pitcher of where he needs to be on bunt defense, when there are runners on base for potential pick offs, etc. Infielders should communicate with each other on positioning with runners on base, cutoffs, etc. Like I said earlier, this must be practiced consistently during all baseball drills. Communication must be a natural part of the play of the team, and not forced.

A baseball team that can master the above three goals will project an image of confidence and focus. It's far worth the time and effort during baseball instruction to work on these skills.

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.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Baseball Drills - Offensive Pressure Creates Opportunities

Baseball Drills - Offensive Pressure Creates Opportunities

By Nate Barnett

One of the best ways to force long innings (when you are on offense of course) and to win more games is to put added pressure on the defense. There are multiple ways of doing this, a couple of which are outlined here. Understanding the concerns of a defense and exploiting those concerns are valuable techniques any good coach will insert into his baseball drills. Click here to read this complete article at

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Baseball - Finding The Root Cause Of A Mechanics Problem

By Nate Barnett

There is nothing more frustrating for a hitter than having a mechanical problem with the baseball swing and not knowing what the issue is or how to find a solution. While I don't have the ability here (nor do you have the patience to sort through it) to discuss all of the root causes to the countless mechanical failures of a baseball swing, I will give you one for today. Of course, you will need to consult with your hitting instructor for more depth and practical baseball drills to help solve the problem I discuss.

Let me point out the biggest lower body problem for hitters. I say the biggest problem in the sense that it does the most damage when trying to hit a baseball effectively.

The Problem: Hips floating forward

At the beginning of the swing, the hitter must begin to transfer some weight from the (presumably balanced) stance position onto his back leg. The weight distribution will then be roughly 60% weight on back leg, and 40% on front leg. Most hitters can do this step quite easily without a lot of baseball drills to assist.

The second movement a hitter makes is to begin to take some of the weight he has loaded onto his back leg and move it forward to create energy (this is the trigger process). At this time the back knee and foot begin to rotate towards the pitcher. This is when the hips floating forward problem begins for most hitters.

The weight that was originally placed on the back leg MUST remain there as the rotation occurs. You can see if this is happening by looking at the angle of the back leg. If there is a bend in the back leg at the knee (during contact with the baseball), there is a good chance this hitter is keeping his weight back. If the back leg is relatively straight when the hitter makes contact with the pitch, then the problem of hip floating forward has occurred. The only reason this happens is that many times younger hitters think they must move towards the baseball and begin turning their body with their rear hip and moving it forward towards the pitcher. This does nothing to create energy, and in fact, destroys the ability to create a quick and powerful 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.

Looking for top quality baseball training equipment at discount prices? Check out the BaseballDealz Super Store.

Wednesday, May 6, 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.

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball designed to improve the mental game in athletes. Come download a free ebook on dealing with failure in baseball

Article Source:
Baseball Coaching Journal

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

10 Tips For Improving the Quality of Your Baseball Practice Time

10 Tips For Improving the Quality of Your Baseball Practice Time

In this article Coach Dixon discusses the value of Time and how it relates to coaching baseball. He discusses Baseball Coaching Time in two contexts; Time is seconds, minutes and hours and Time is also knowing that there is a time and place for everything. Baseball coaches must know the value of time spent doing team activities. Baseball coaches must know that doing the wrong thing at the wrong time will cause team and parent problems that can be a "pain" to deal with.

Read this article at the Baseball Coaching Digest...Click Here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

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