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Friday, October 30, 2009

How Would You Like to Run a Fun, Effective Youth Baseball Practice?


www.BatAction.com

By Chip Lemin

Practices in any sport can be boring and unproductive if not planned out ahead of time. Having a clip board with your practice itinerary written out is just a good solid idea.You can keep track of your time slots for certain drills,and keeping these on file, you will know what you have covered.

Keep your practices to 90 minutes when possible. I realize that early pre season practices will likely go over due to weather wiping out some valuable time early on.

Break up the practices with a couple of water breaks, so that you add some instruction as a group.Water breaks are not free-for-alls, they are for listening. Go over what you have been doing so far,and what you going to do next.

KEEP PRACTICE MOVING ALONG!

Practices can be broken up into different stations.A station is a group of players and 1 or 2 coaches.The term station refers to whatever skill is being worked on at that "station".

Typically you will divide your players and coaches up to best suit the drills you are doing.For example, take 3 catchers and run a blocking drill for 15 minutes.Then take your catchers to home plate and along with 3 middle infielders,conduct a throwing and tagging station.You can also work on back ups at 2nd base,along with pitch out drills for catchers . GET PARENTS INVOLVED!

Obviously you will need help to run these stations. That is why in the parental letter at tryouts or sign ups, you must be clear in asking for help. The parents or relatives do not have to have coaching experience,although it is helpful.

This one good way to get parents to see how much work you put in to the team.Please make it clear who your assistant coaches are right away. NAME them in your letter if possible.Just because someone helps with practice doesn't mean they are now on the staff.

I know some of this seems obvious,but believe me,it must be spelled out to avoid confusion.You will be training the parents as well on how to help with the drills,and they just might work with the player at home also.

A GOOD PRACTICE SHOULD SEEM TO BE OVER QUICK!

My nightmare practice scenario is this.A coach is trying to throw batting practice to 1 batter at a time.The coach can't get it over the plate.There is no on deck batter to quickly help pick up balls at the backstop.The rest of the players and coaches are standing in the field looking very bored.

This is a very common practice,and 1 reason that kids don't like baseball practice. It's too boring. Well I'm here to help you take charge of your team with an energizing practice.

Use your creativity and come up with some different stations.Or just use some old stand byes. Hitting stations,throwing stations,catching stations,fielding stations,or pitching stations.

Rotate your coaches and volunteers to different stations each practice to give them another station to learn. Keep track of which person worked what station so you can them experience at all of stations.

KEEP THEM MOVING!

HITTING STATION

What is stressed at each hitting station is a good balanced stance, starting the swing with your bottom hand,along with a strong hip rotation,and balanced high finish or follow through.

We like to use a drill called the Towel Drill. It is simply placing a folded towel under the back elbow of each hitter.Each hitter then gets several balls soft tossed to them one at a time.Each hitter is then trained to rotate the torso to hit the ball without the towel falling out from under their elbow.They quickly catch on after a couple practices.This is a good drill and inexpensive.

Another drill is balanced beam drill.Using a 60 inch 4x4 flat on the ground,have the players hit a ball off of a tee or soft toss to them to see whether their swing is balanced.It will also show you if they are stepping out of the batters box.

I use soft toss all season long.Try a purchase a hitting net to set up wherever you go during the season.Using soft toss you can look at the player's swings to see whether they are swinging correctly. All of the other hitting stations work a different part of the swing.Soft toss is where you can see the progress of the stations.

REPETITION, REPETITION REPETITION

Baseball skills are learned with repetition.We must guard against boredom however by keeping station times to 15 minutes. Have players hustle from station to station. While others run the stations, the manager can go from station to station and observe players while heaping praise on them.Stop at a station and interject if needed.

Take a water break after all players have cycled through stations, and go over the fundamentals of the drills again.Also preview what they are going to do next,and praise their efforts on previous drills.Have a coach actually demonstrate the drills coming and what expect.Take questions from players if needed, but don't get off topic.90 minutes goes by fast.

Be sure to praise players who are doing drills correctly for their skill level.Remember not all players have the same skill levels, but all players need consistent praise and encouragement.

90 minute practices do not include 15 minute prepractice meeting and warm up time. Please have parents bring kids 15 minutes early, or if you are really on the ball, just schedule practice time 15 minutes earlier.

WARNING :COACHES MUST BE EARLY TO GAMES AND PRACTICE!

Parents will not get players to games and practice early if they see coaches and manager getting there late.Set an example right away!

My son had a coach who would always be there when we arrived and we were usually 30 min early for practice and 1 hour early for the game.We only arrived before him twice,and that was because we left even earlier than normal.There were no issues on that team about latecomers.

Getting to games early also helps to get good dugout sides if they are not marked.You can look at field conditions during uncertain weather.You can do some work on fields if needed or permitted.If it was a difficult place to find, you can communicate that to others by phone so they aren't late.It shows other team that you mean business,it may give you a slight psychological edge.

PRACTICE EXAMPLE

Practice is set for 12 noon

1150 or earlier - you arrive to get make sure everything is set, bases,pitching rubber,equipment, etc...

1145- players arrive hopefully, put them in parallel lines 20-35 ft. apart depending on age group. Have begin warming up using proper mechanics. Any overthrows are to be picked and run back into the line. This prevents more overthrows from further away.

12 noon Call practice to order. Go over what stations are being set up and which adults are running them.Divide players up as equally as possible,splitting up buddies,and or siblings.

If this is 1st practice using stations,please demo for kids what you want at each station.

Station 1 A drill called Fly

Players line up single file, coach throws a football pass type throw over the shoulder of player on the run to make the catch.Run the ball back to the coach on the outside of the line so there are no collisions between players. do this for 10 min.

Station 2 Fly ball drill with tennis balls

Using a tennis racket, hit fly balls to a single file line of players, one at time. Players must use 2 hands with tennis balls or they will have hard time catching them. do this for 10 min.

Station 3 5gal bucket drill

Set up a 5gal bucket at home plate or anywhere else you want.Put players in a single file line, throw them a grounder or fly ball, using proper throwing techniques, attempt to throw baseball into the bucket. Put bucket at least 100' away depending on age group of course. Do this for 10 min.

Station 4 Cut off man drill

Have the players rotate as cut off man,throw or hit ball past the outfielder,have them chase,then pick up ball,using good throwing form, hit the cut off man.Rotate after each throw. 10 min.

1245pm

Have a water break,go over how drills went.Kid around with players a little and be very positive. Highlight all the good things you saw first, then maybe touch on what needs work. Above all,stay positive,and fun.

1250pm

Divide into 2 groups 1 at 3rd,another at 1st. Single file lines Have players field some grounders and pop ups, throwing to coaches or catchers 15-20ft up each baseline. 10 min.

1pm

Put players into regular positions or close to it.Bring in 2-3 players to hit. Machine or coach pitch.Give each player 7 swings, then rotate to next batter. Each player hits 2 times, then goes out and shags balls. After hitting for 2nd time,call in another player. Always have 1-2 players ready to hit,and have everyone ready to hustle in and pick up balls between hitters.

125pm

Call team together, go over things,and announce next practice or game time.Thank everyone for being prompt,especially the parents.

BE CREATIVE BE FUN BE POSITIVE

There are many other ways to run a practice, I have given you a basic format that you can modify anyway you see fit.Just don't fall into a rut of doing the same things over and over. Variety is the spice of life and same is true for baseball.

Sometimes you will have entire practices on fielding or hitting. Schedule as many practices as the team's families will tolerate before the season starts.Once the season starts, have team arrive 1 hour before game time for some hitting and fielding workouts.

CONCLUSION

Practice will make your team better.Well run productive practices will do even more. When you run challenging varied workouts players will develop their skills quicker. Always encourage working hard on their games.Most important is be positive,and be fun.

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 http://www.baseballecourse.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chip_Lemin

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Baseball Training - An Off-Season Plan For Hitters


SKLZ Hurricane Hitting Machine

By John Peter Pero

1st Things First!

Commit to having a plan. With a plan, you have direction.

With direction, you get more done in less time and are more apt to get results.which makes you want stick with your plan.and repeat it even more.which gets you better quicker.get it?

But.what do I plan?

My summary is to always work on your weak points.but let's mix the fun stuff in as well. It's off season, you know it's important, but this is supposed to be fun. right!

Here's a great idea for this time of year:

Try to hit at a home training station with a batting tee or (for more fun) with a soft toss machine and get into a batting cage as often as you can during the cold and off-season months.

Better yet.use your plan to decide what to practice & how to accomplish your goals (again.one of your goals is to accomplish more with less time).

It is a game that we are playing.it's the game you chose, so why not make up your own practice rules!

Here's some examples & ideas:

Divide everything you do into 10 swings with a purpose.


Round 1 - Begin with hitting to the opposite field.count your successes.out of 10 (this might simulate driving in runners on base)
Round 2 - Take 10 swings up the middle - just for focusing on a target.count your successes.out of 10
Rounds 3, 4 etc. examples Make it up. play games best out of 10. Some examples: * Hitting a long fly ball to score a runner from 3B (how many runs can you drive in. out of 10) * # of hard hit balls. out of 10 * # of ground balls. out of 10 * # of sac bunts. out of 10 * # of clean base hits. all out of 10 swings

Lather, Rinse & Repeat

And, of course, you can have a 2nd round on any of these ideas to see how you improve. Keep your own "scorecard" on a clipboard complete with dates and your results. Add a buddy and compete against each other.make it 9 innings (9 specific "tests" or a World Series best of 7) where the winner of each test chooses the next test.

I'm just making up these examples as I am writing, you do the same.

Just note that the most important points are:


Get a plan (one that is fun.so you will want to do it regularly).
Use these games as practice tools.
Compete with yourself or other players.or even Dad.
Make up your own games.and compete, whether it's against yourself, your Dad or a teammate. Just do it right or not at all.

Remember to plan your work and work your plan.In other words, stay focused! It's true in school, business, baseball and life in general.

http://www.baseballtips.com/

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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Peter_Pero

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Joe Mauer Quick Swing Trainer
Advanced Skills Tee
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Hands Back Hitter Swing Trainer
Stay Back Tee Baseball Swing Trainer

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quit Wasting Your Time With Side Flips - A Better Baseball Drill Option


By Jack Perconte

One of the most common baseball hitting drills is the side-flip drill. This drill involves a coach kneeling off to the opposite side of hitters and flipping balls into the hitting zone for players to practice their hitting. The more I worked with hitters over the past 20 years the less value I saw with this side-flip drill. It does promote players watching the ball and may help hand eye coordination, but does not promote a better baseball swing. Because balls are flipped from the side, balls are flipped slowly and often with a loop on it, so hitters can get away with having long, looping swings. Also, coaches of young players tend to flip balls in the same spot, in the batters' swing path so they are virtually hitting the ball for the player. There are better alternatives that promote an improved baseball swing. Obviously, a better alternative is having a coach flip balls straight at the hitter from the front like in a game and behind a screen, but this is not always possible.

Another great alternative I propose is that coaches get in the habit of using the dropped-ball drill. This is performed by a coach who stands to the side of the hitter and drops balls into the hitting zone after the player takes their stride. Coaches have the option of dropping the ball immediately or after a slight delay. Of course, coaches should not allow their hand to fall into the swing area nor stand to close to the batter so there is no chance of the coach being hit by the ball or bat. This dropped-ball drill promotes good hand eye coordination and most importantly a fundamental, compact swing. Players who have incorrect fundamentals and long swings will have trouble hitting the ball with any consistency. This drill also helps teach players how to keep their weight and hands back which is also crucial to developing good swing fundamentals. Additionally, this drill is more challenging than the side-flip drill and helps players develop bat quickness, which is another key to good hitting.

A slight variation to this drill can also be helpful to "shorten" players' swings. Coaches can set a batting tee slightly behind hitters at about hip high to make hitters come over the tee before hitting the dropped ball. This will definitely promote a quick, compact swing that is a goal of all hitters.

It is important to note that this drill can cause frustration as contact may be difficult at first. Usually, hitters will begin to make contact which is a great sign of improvement and a challenge most players meet.

Finally, the one positive use for the side-flip drill that was useful for developing hitters was performing the side flips with fakes. Coaches would go to flip the ball but had the option of hanging on to ball or releasing it. This method of the drill would help teach batters to stay back and remain in hitting position, but still react quickly when the ball was released. This method of the drill promoted positive results involving good hitting fundamentals.

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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jack_Perconte

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baseball Pitching - A Pitcher's Nutrition Plan


www.HurricaneMachine.com

By Dan Gazaway

A Pitcher cannot expect to perform at peak performance if he ignores what he puts in his body. We as a nation have been facing an obesity epidemic for years and it is continuing to grow every year. Each year as I watch more athletes perform, I see young pitchers becoming overweight.

A few years ago I had some parents approach me regarding their son who they and other coaches and parents expected great things from as a pitcher. I watched him a few times and noticed the he did have a great ability to throw. As I observed his throwing style I also couldn't help but notice at fourteen years of age he was about 50 pounds overweight. The parents spoke with me several times about getting their boy in to see me so that I could help with his mechanics. He had a lot of flaws in his delivery; I could tell the boy would have serious arm problems in the future if he did not one, correct his mechanics and two; lose the unnecessary weight by controlling his diet and start a regular exercise routine. The weight of his body going in the wrong direction (not toward home plate) was simply putting to much strain on his arm. I received a phone call from his mother a couple months later with sobering news. This young athlete had major arm trouble. His shoulder was shot and he was a good candidate for Tommy John Surgery. When I heard the news I was disappointed, I only wish he would have developed a diet and exercise program that would not only help prevent injury, but establish good habits that could stay with him throughout his life.

I am not writing this article to tell Pitcher's they need to lose weight or think that starting a nutritional program means starting a diet. It doesn't! I want to help young athletes understand that they need to develop good nutritional habits early on in life, so they can perform to the best of their abilities and enjoy a great lifestyle for years and years to come.

First of all, I want you to understand that there is no perfect nutritional program out there. Every body is different in some respect and therefore some individuals require more caloric intake than others. It also depends how many calories are burned on a daily basis. Nobody is going to follow the perfect nutritional program. We all have foods that we enjoy that are not the greatest for our bodies. We can eat those foods sparingly and still adhere to some basic guidelines that will allow us to perform the best that we are capable of. I want to write about some guidelines to follow. If these guidelines seem simple or familiar to you, it is because they are; the key is putting them to practice.

Foods to avoid:

1) Soda: We are seeing a trend in our schools that is not going to stop anytime soon. In most cases companies will pay a district thousands of dollars to put their soda machines in all of their schools. The problem with soft drinks is that they contain empty calories, caffeine and salt. These all have an adverse effect on our bodies' metabolism. Soda also contains about 18 teaspoons of sugar.

2) Fatty and Fried Foods: We all know what most of these foods are, you can find them everywhere particularly in fast food restaurants. There are healthy alternatives in most fast food chains now, so there are no excuses. It takes more energy to move fat around than it does lean muscle. There are healthy fats that can be found in nuts (raw almonds are great), olives, avocados and fish. Choose a fish oil vitamin if you don't eat enough fish.

3) Alcohol: There is nothing good about alcohol despite what others may say, like a glass of wine a day is good for you. Well, again, there are many alternatives aren't there? Bottom line with alcohol is that it depletes us of body fluids, oxygen, and necessary nutrients that your body needs to perform every day tasks. It contains many unnecessary calories and it can be very addicting.

4) Nicotine: It, like alcohol, not only is very addictive, but it also affects our bodies' ability to get oxygen to our muscle tissue. Unfortunately, smokeless tobacco is used by many baseball players. These ball players have made the decision to affect their ability to play at their full potential. Why work hard to get to the next level and waste some of that potential.

5) Processed foods: Limit the amount of processed foods you eat. Theses foods remove vitamins, minerals, fiber and other things that are good for us, and replace them with fat and carbs like sugars.

6) Excess Condiments: salad dressings, sauces, butter etc. Excess weight is never good. These calories add up drastically when you think you are eating a healthy salad covered with ranch dressing. Choose oil or vinegar instead.

7) Steroids: We are living in the steroid era. Many athletes have chosen this route to cheat their way through sports. It will be sad to see what happens to their bodies as time goes on. We can talk all day long about the side effects and issues with this powerful drug. Just Avoid Steroids! If you choose to take them you will regret that and possibly live your life in fear like some Baseball players are right now.

What to choose and what to eat:

1) Multivitamins- These should be taken daily to ensure that our bodies are getting the proper nutrition that we deserve. Even if we follow a great nutritional plan our bodies lack some essential vitamins and minerals that are found in these pills. Make sure you get a multivitamin and mineral your body can absorb properly.

2) Proteins- We need protein to boost our metabolism and build muscle tissue. Choose lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, egg whites etc. We know we can get a lot of protein from a cheeseburger at any fast food chain, but if you are craving a double burger with cheese, turn to the healthy alternatives even a low calorie protein shake. Broccoli is an outstanding source of protein.

3) Fresh Fruit and Vegetables- They are the best when they are raw. I like using a vegetable steamer if I get frozen vegetables to keep as many nutrients in the food as possible. Also, our bodies need to be more alkalin than acid. Fresh greens in the produce section of any store are great sources of energy. I also like drinking a green drink packed with phytonutrients to start my day.

4) Fiber- Oatmeal, apples, beans etc. These help absorb some fat from our digestive tract moving it along and diminish our body's ability to digest fat. Good fiber sources are found in, but are not limited to Kashi cereals, oranges, whole-grain breads, fruits and vegetables like soybeans.

5) Eat slower and eat often- It is no surprise that Americans overeat. It isn't a hard thing for any of us to do. Our body will give us signals when we are full, if we eat to fast our brain doesn't register how much we have truly eaten. Eating often (smaller portions of course) keeps our metabolism going and helps prevent intense hunger pains that keep us non-selective in our food choices. When we are that hungry we tend to eat whatever is in front of us. A good friend of mine told me to chew my food twenty times before I swallowed. That serves two purposes, one it helps us not to overeat and our digestive system can run much more effectively breaking down food much easier.

6) Liquid Calories- We already discussed the issues with soda, however make sure that you don't drink to many fruit juices and sodas. The calories in these add up quickly just as they do in condiments. If you feel that you are lacking alternatives and are thirsty, you cannot go wrong with water. It is recommended that we drink eight glasses of water everyday, in some cases even more. Don't forget our bodies are made of mostly water anyway.

7) Avoid eating in front of the television, surfing on the internet, while doing homework or just being sedentary. It is easier to choose the wrong foods to eat and you will tend to overeat.

8) Go to the Glycemic Index: www.glycemicindex.com and choose foods that are on the low end of the index.

Dan Gazaway is known as a premiere pitching instructor who provides the most up to date information about pitching mechanics, pitching drills, grips and pitching workouts. He has received his coaching certification with The National Pitching Association in San Diego. Coach Gazaway has instructed well over 1,000 students and counting. His most recent project is his website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dan_Gazaway

Monday, October 26, 2009

Baseball Hitting - How to Improve Your Ability to Be a Clutch Hitter


By Chuck R Stewart

While attending the National Sporting Goods Manufacturing show in Las Vegas, I had the chance to sit down with some heavyweight baseball people. These were people who worked for and represented some of the best names in the game of baseball. They were people who had been around the game their whole life. The conversation started out being about the qualities in a good hitter. We talked about stance, mechanics, quick hands, great eyes, terrific hand-eye coordination, and follow through techniques. This was all great to listen to and participate in the conversation but then one man who had been around the game for more than 20 years said straight out that while all of the prior conversation was correct, the thing that made a great hitter stand out from the rest was confidence.

Confidence is a funny thing among most ballplayers. Most players are subject to ups and downs as they go through a season or even a game. He said that the players who hit the best in clutch situations want to be up in those situations and also have the level of confidence that they can perform. They have practiced their craft enough so that in any situation they are the player who knows they can come through. Confidence is born from repetition and repetition comes from practicing the Clutch Hitter until it is second nature. Players need to repeat the process of hitting until they are confident that when they swing, they will make solid contact with the ball.

I think this level of desire and confidence is what separates the club players from the recreational players once they get into high school. My son is going through this right now in each of the three sports he plays (football, basketball and baseball). He is watching fellow teammates elect to not play other sports so they can focus on their sport of choice in order to excel. The players who are electing to focus on a given sport are the ones who are spending time, getting the repetitions they need to develop their confidence and become better players. The time to spend on repetition is the key to becoming a clutch hitter.

The conversation then turned to what the right amount of repetition is in order become a great clutch hitter. One coach said it was 200 swings a day. That is was former hitting champ Pete Rose used to take every day so it should work for everyone. The issue that most players face with getting that level of repetition is the reality of who will throw that much batting practice to them during the course of a day, 5-6 times per week. My shoulder aches just thinking about it!

The answer to that question is a pitching machine and a batting cage. Both are needed to become a great clutch hitter. The reason both are needed is that they are the perfect combination. The pitching machine can save the arm of any coaching assistant and the batting cage will keep the balls in a close enough proximity that they can be picked up and reloaded quickly enough to get the workout completed within 30-40 minutes.

Any player who has the desire to be successful can afford to spend 30-40 minutes working on their craft on a daily basis.

Coach Chuck Stewart operates a baseball web site called offering baseball pitching machines, batting cages, training aids and coaching/instructional videos along with lots of free coaching content. Coach Chuck offers a pitching machine for every skill level and budget. He has coached baseball teams for 8 years and enjoys sharing the love of the game of baseball with his players.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chuck_R_Stewart

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Friday, October 23, 2009

The StayBack Batting Tee Helps Develop Power and Bat Speed


The Stayback Tee is designed to help teach and practice rotational hitting that can increase bat speed. The Stayback Tee helps the batter establish the proper axis to launch the swing. It virtually eliminates forward motion after swing initiation commonly called lunging. This enhances balance in the stride landing and allows the hitter to adjust to different speed pitches and maximize the power by leading with hips and turning into the ball.




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The Categories they have are: Baseball Training Equipment, Youth Baseball Training Equipment, Training Bats, Pitching & Throwing Trainers, Defensive Trainers, Batting Cages, Pitching Machines, Jugs Equipment, Game and Practice Baseballs, Protective Practice Screens and Nets, Portable Pitching Mounds, Baseball DVDs & Books, Clearance Items on Sales, BatAction Hitting Machines, Hurricane Hitting Machines, NEDCO Bataction Replacement Parts, SKLZ Hurricane Replacement Parts and Much Much More! Visit Baseball2U.com today!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

5 Stations During Batting Practice For Little League

By John R Di Nicola

It has been stated many times that pitching and defense wins ball games. We all know that it would be real boring if that is all teams did. It has been proven time and time again you can win without hitting . However we do have to address the issue so we have to practice hitting. Listed below are 5 stations that will help get your hitters ready for the live action of a game. You will need assistant to carry out these drills. It is important you recruit help. How much help you get will determine how many of these stations you will be able have in a practice.


Hitting off 'T"
Soft Toss
Tracking
Bunting
Batting Practice

Hitting off the "T"

You will for sure have to have hitting of a "T". This is mandatory. You will be limited to the amount of pitches you will throw each hitter. The more swings that get hitting off the "T" the better they will be prepared for batting practices and the game. The first few times through this stations have them hit the as if it were down the middle. Make sure the "T" is no higher than the players waist. Working on the following:


important that the feet are shoulder width apart and player is balanced
when hitting the ball the top hand always on top of the ball
hit the top of the ball driving it downward
pivoting back foot raising heel as the hands follow through hitting zone

As they get comfortable you can position the "T" for the inside pitch and out side pitch. Important when working on outside pitch to position the "T" behind home plate so as to illustrate to players they have to wait on the out side pitch. Also teach them to bring their hands back so their front shoulder turns in toward home plate. This will bring front foot in so they can drive the ball. Most players will open up the front shoulder and hit the ball off the end of the bat or completely miss it.

Soft Toss

The soft station is an extra in Little League. You may want to wait till later on in the season to use this station. Basically a coach on one knee positioned beside player and tossing ball to different zones of the plate. Players swings through ball using all the proper techniques from "T" drills. Hands on top of ball driving through the ball.

Tracking

This an an excellent drill to teach the Little League Player on keeping their eye's focused on the ball. Your above average hitters always work on tracking. Most of them will take pitches just to get the feel of how the pitcher is throwing. They always make the pitchers throw a lot of pitches. Teach them to follow the ball all way to the catcher mitt. This something they should do during batting practice and the game. The more they see the ball the bigger it looks. You can use a rag ball or a whiffle ball.

Bunting

The art of Bunting is so important at all levels of baseball and most neglected. In this day and age of baseball the Home Run is king. It has been proven in recent world series that small ball will win more championships than the Home Runs. Have them bunt at least five balls, down first base line and third base line. Later on you can work on bunts for base hits.

Batting Practice

Because you have so much do and trying to get all the players to hit you have to limit the amount of pitches to each batter (15-20). Have players first work on making contact. You will have the seasoned Little Leaguer who knocks the cover off the ball and then you will have the ones that you really have to work with to get them to make contact. This is why if you have the luxury of having the help to run the stations it would greatly speed up the learning curve.

Most likely you will only use the "T" and Live Batting Practices. Using this model will afford you to run a practice without having a marathon practices. Do not try and do all 5 stations the first practice. As you become comfortable you can adjust your practice schedule and add stations. Most likely you will never do all five in one practice.

Practices Makes Perfect

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. If you would like further information on this topic or other information you can E-Mail me at: jdinicola@easypitching.com


Practices Makes Perfect Thank you for taking the time to read my article. If you would like further information on this topic or other information you can E-Mail me at: jdinicola@easypitching.com

You can follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/easypitching Web site: http://www.easypitching.com Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_R_Di_Nicola


Shop CoachesBest.com for your baseball coaching needs including baseball training aids, training videos, and other coaching supplies. Check out the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting machine by SKLZ at HurricaneTrainer.com. See the “Original” Rotational Hitting Machine at BatAction.com. Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to HandsBackHitter.com. Players develop incredible bat speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at QuickSwingTrainer.com. See the world’s most advanced batting tee at AdvancedSkillsTee.com. Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit BattingCagesDirect.com now! Blogs for Baseball Coaches Links: BLogs4Coaches Twitter Blogs4Coaches.com

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baseball Throwing Part One - Why All Championship Teams Begin on Defense


www.QuickSwingTrainer.com

By Dick Birmingham

I had the good fortune to hear Branch Rickey speak and he was in his 80's. I listened along with a lot of other coaches and scouts. I listened to Branch Rickey talk about, "What it Takes To Become a Major League Baseball Player."

He said, "A guy has got to be able to do four things:

1) Throw.

2) Run.

3) Field.

4) Hit.

He has to be able to do two of these things extremely well to play in the big league."

He went on and said, "If he can do all four and hit with power, he is going to be a super star."

Well, you have listened to all of these talks about hitting, pitching and fielding, but we must remember that Branch Rickey referred to one of the four as throwing.

I have had the good fortune to travel all around the country and watch kids all the way from professional to Little League and one thing that I have observed is that throwing is being neglected in a lot of areas. Because, you see, no one teaches a kid to throw. We learn to throw kind of the same way we learned to run. Remember how we learned to run? We smarted off to the big guys, they chased us. We ran.

In throwing, we just picked up the ball and started throwing. No one told us how to put the hands, you know, eleven o'clock, one o'clock, no one told us that. We just took the ball and started throwing but it is very important that we throw correctly.

I agree with Bear Bryant. He said, "All championship teams begin on defense." I believe that.

I believe that throwing is a very important part of defense.

If something has to be taught, there is a mechanical side and a mental side to throwing. It is something that has to be taught and it is something that I feel is being neglected a little bit and can be improved.

So, I am going to challenge all of you to add another chart to the many charts you already keep in that dugout.

I think you should keep a chart on how many times a throw cost you a base. You can make another little mark where it cost you two bases. Then at the end of ten games or fifteen games or a season you can evaluate those charts and then you can make the decision as to whether you need to work a little harder on teaching proper throwing mechanics.

You see, going back to Bear Bryant's statement that all championship teams begin on defense. The key to playing good defensive baseball as you all know, is to stay away from the big inning.

You can't do that if the catcher throws poorly and allows the guy to advance. If an infielder throws the ball away at first base, if an outfielder throws poorly to the cutoff man or throws to the wrong base. So, throwing is a very important part of doing that one simple thing of keeping the double play in order.

To learn more baseball throwing tips and get more baseball throwing information to help develop your baseball players visit the Dick Birmingham Sports Championship Baseball Drill Book at http://www.BaseballDrillBook.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dick_Birmingham

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hard-Easy Training Principle Applies to Any Sport or Fitness Program


Advanced Skills Hitting Tee

By Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

You will not become a better athlete by doing the same training regimen each day. Athletes train by taking hard workouts on one day, feeling sore on the next, and not taking another hard workout until the muscles stop feeling sore.

It's called the hard-easy principle. If you want to become stronger or faster or increase your endurance, you have to exercise hard or long enough to make your muscles burn. Then your muscles will be sore for one or more days. If you try to exercise hard when your muscles are damaged, you will tear them and the muscles will weaken. If you wait for the soreness to disappear, your muscles will be stronger than they were before your workout. As you continue to take stressful workouts only after the soreness disappears, you will become progressively stronger and faster and have greater endurance. Athletes in most sports train once or twice a day in their sports, but they do not exercise intensely more often than every 48 hours.

There is a difference between the good burning of training and the bad pain of an injury. The good burning usually affects both sides of your body equally and disappears almost immediately after you stop exercising. The bad pain of an injury usually is worse on one side of your body, becomes more severe if you try to continue exercising and does not go away after you stop exercising.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin has been a radio talk show host for 25 years and practicing physician for more than 40 years; he is board certified in four specialties, including sports medicine. Read or listen to hundreds of his fitness and health reports at http://www.DrMirkin.com

Free weekly newsletter on fitness, health, and nutrition.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gabe_Mirkin,_M.D.



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Monday, October 19, 2009

Why Choosing a Custom Baseball Glove Could Improve Your Game

By Gunnar B Bengtsson

When it comes to playing baseball, like most things in life, you're only as good as the equipment you use. More than anything else, it's important that you have the baseball glove that is right for you. It can be quite difficult to play to the your full potential when you have a bulky glove that may be too big, too small, not fully broke in, or that falls apart easily. That's why it's such a good idea to get a custom made glove. When you get custom baseball gloves, it's as if you're using an extension of your hand. It's high quality and made just for you.

Having a custom glove can do wonders for improving your game, because it's literally made just for you. Many professional baseball players who've had custom baseball gloves made for them will tell you that they would never go back to using the standard baseball glove. The customizable options to choose from other than the size of your hand include what kind of web, leather, pattern, welting, back style, and even color you would prefer. They can also be catered specifically to the position you play, whether pitcher, catcher, infielder, or outfielder. Custom made gloves are also offered to softball players as well. So not only are they made specifically for your hand, but they can have any type of style and look you want. Whether you're a semiprofessional, professional, or simply hardcore baseball or softball player, you'll quickly find that it's well worth the investment.

Because these custom made gloves are so much higher in quality than the standard baseball gloves, they can be considerably higher in price. The range of prices can be as low as 100 dollars and even as high as 400 or more dollars. How much money you may pay for your custom baseball gloves will depend entirely on the brand and how extensive you may choose to customize your glove. Many manufacturers offer the option of getting a customized glove. One of the more popular series of custom baseball gloves is the Rawlings "Heart of the Hide". Other manufacturers with custom gloves include Mizuno, Glovesmith, and many others. With a glove made just for you, there's no reason why you won't play to your full potential ever again.

Gunnar Bengtsson writes about custom made gloves for Baseball Equipment Review.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gunnar_B_Bengtsson

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Increase Bat Speed Using Simple Training Techniques


By Alan Bryan

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

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

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

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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alan_Bryan

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Bronson Arroyo: Baseball Strength Training at The Workout @ Covington

Cincinnati Reds Pitcher Bronson Arroyo with Reds Coach Matt Krause and ASAP's Ed Cicale in a training session for pitchers at The Workout @ Covington



--------------------------

Jimmy Rollins - Kettle Ball Swings

Jimmy Rollins, an MVP shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team, teaches the kettle ball swing training exercise. ?Kettle ball swing is actually something I made up for Jimmy. I thought about his movement when he is doing his trunk rotation and stuff. Basically, it's just swinging on a lateral movement. You're swinging upwards and we're coming down and basically it's using the antagonist and the agonist muscles, meaning the opposite muscles because you're exploring one side. And then, you're coming back down and you got to control it going back down. So it's like coming back and forth and you're really working the transverse abdominis and you learn how to roll your hips too and everything. It's not something that you should be using a lot of lately. I think there is no more than like 8-10 pounds of working through the hip, following the motion and to see everything has to do with hips and explosion and be able to hit that ball. That's what we're trying to work on. Usually those with D3 sets of 20.?


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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Joe Torre's Genius Shows Against the Cardinals


By Dr. Gary S. Goodman

Without question, some of baseball's very best managers are leading their teams to victory in the 2009 post-season.

Joe Torre is one of them.

What makes him so effective? Article after article notes his steadiness at the helm, his patience, and abiding optimism. But when the playoffs start, he has learned to not hesitate in following his gut.

Apparently, he didn't like how Randy Wolf was aiming the ball in game one against the Cardinals, so Torre pulled him after just a few innings. That is leadership, as I see it.

Torre didn't rely on hope or allow sentiment to dissuade him from bringing in the proverbial hook.

Wolf had been a major factor in many Dodger wins during 2009, and his competitiveness and durability earned him the leading role against the Cards. But his post-season inexperience, or perhaps the fact he was having an off-day, kept him from bringing his best.

The astute Torre saw this, and citing one of his mentors and colleagues, Don Zimmer, who urged doing something when you think of it and not waiting, Torre pulled the trigger.

That move not only kept the Dodgers in the contest, which of course they won, but it showed everyone the skipper was ready to do everything in his power to help his team to prevail.

When players say they're learning a ton from Torre, I believe them. Managers, everywhere, should study his decisions and style.

For most of the season his mantra could be, "There is a tomorrow." He doesn't let any defeat haunt him or his players.

In the post-season, that quickly changes to "There is no tomorrow." The time has come for managing utterly in the moment, decisively putting victory, first.

That's what he did with Wolf, who probably wanted to stay in the game.

Instead of insulting Wolf by replacing him, Torre was really complimenting the starter, tacitly saying: "You're enough of a veteran and team player to understand what I'm doing and not get offended."

That's simply great management.

Dr. Gary S. Goodman is a top speaker, sales, customer service and negotiation consultant, attorney, TV and radio commentator and the best-selling author of 12 books. He conducts seminars and speaks at convention programs around the world. His web site is: http://www.customersatisfaction.com and he can be reached at gary@customersatisfaction.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dr._Gary_S._Goodman

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Baseball Drills - Hitting Problems? Check the Lower Half First

By Nate Barnett

There are very few things more frustrating to an athlete than than to struggle at the plate as a hitter and not understand where the problem stems from. When I work with hitters, I focus on perfecting the functions of lower body mechanics because of the affect the lower body has on the upper half. Trying to solve upper body hitting mechanics without addressing the lower half first is like attempting to build a house beginning with the second story prior to building the basement - it doesn't work too well.

Some of the common mistakes that can be ironed out with some common lower body baseball drills are:

1. Collapsing of the backside (shoulder dipping)

2. Front side (hip) flying open

3. Hunching over the plate (upper body)

4. Hands extending away from body through swing

Here is what to check for as you work with the lower body mechanics of your athletes during some baseball drills.

As the hitter shifts some weight onto his back leg (the load) prior to the pitch, look to see if that weight continues to stay on the back side as the swing begins. Many hitters have the problem of letting their hips slide forward towards the pitcher during the beginning stages of the swing. This problem (often called floating) can be a major cause of some of the above problems.

Because I understand that visualizing the process I'm referring to in text can be tricky, there is a Hitting Mechanics 101 video enhanced ebook I've created that illustrates a proper trigger and lower body mechanics. You can find the ebook by visiting the links below.

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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nate_Barnett


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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stealing Bases Strategy For Training


www.QuickSwingTrainer.com

By Sameep Shah

Kids love the game of baseball as they love hitting a home run and their personal baseball glove. Baseball has many tricks and tips which can improve playing. These tricks or strategies can be used to win the game. They require team effort so contribution from all players is a must. As kids love this sport there is no problem of team spirit. Stealing base strategy can be used in a game play. For this you need to practice it first and then apply it in the game. Training is important as you get to know how every move should be made while playing baseball. Here you can afford to make mistakes as correction of that move can be done. Staying fit and healthy is the key to good training.

Stealing basis is a secret strategy it should be known between the batter and the runner only. Well this drill should be performed unknowingly. You should be able to steal a base when it's the right time. When the pitcher is busy in pitching or when he is not concentrating on the game you can run up to the next base. This is required to be done with high speed running. You should be able to reach the second base without being tagged. It is difficult at times but as you practice it in your training it will be easy. Stealing bases required good running skills. If you are slow in it then there are chances where you can get tagged. Just when you think the pitcher is not looking at you make your move immediately. In this act you can complete a home run too.

If you are there on third base then sprinting to the fourth base without being tagged will be a good move. Here you will get a run complete. This is done when you know the batter is going to bunt. This is the time when the ball is not going to go long enough for a full run. This is a confusing trick at times as the pitcher can directly throw at the base where you need to run. Baseball has many tricks like these which are confusing but if practiced with the right help then it is easy to use them in a match. Stealing bases is a famous trick performed by many professionals. It also shows that the Pitcher is not concentrating on the game.

For more information visit Sportscapers University at Houston youth football - You can also find more information and online training videos to help you improve your skills at Katy youth football.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sameep_Shah

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 12, 2009

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The BatAction Hitting Machine is the Original Rotational Hitting Machine. The BatAction Machine is a great baseball training device for baseball players of all ages and ability levels. The BatAction Machine has an innovative patented design that has a ball suspended horizontally. This simple design makes learning to hit easy, simple and safe.

When a player hits the BatAction Ball, the ball is driven forward and around the machine. The machine then stops the ball and returns it to the player. The horizontal patented design of the machine suspends the ball in mid-air allowing the ball to react to bat contact like a real baseball or softball. The player can hit the ball moving or wait until the ball stops. The batter has ample time between swings to reset and prepare for the next swing.

The Bat Action Machine allows the batter work at a comfortable speed and pace. There is no need for another person. The batter has to do nothing but swing the bat. The Bat Action Machine does everything else. These are no balls to gather, no balls to chase and no balls to pick up. There are no levers to press, balls to toss, or pedals to step on.

The Bat Action is absolutely 100% energy efficient and it is so much fun to hit! It's no wonder; the Bat Action Machine is one of the most popular and best selling baseball training machines ever!

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Baseball Swing - Three Core Movements


www.BatAction.com

By Nate Barnett

When I teach hitting (or pitching for that matter) there are a few important core movements that if accomplished will lead to a greater chance that other movements further in the baseball swing process will be successful. Keep in mind that there are quite a few significant movements within the complete baseball swing. Please don't think the below is an exhaustive list.

Core Hitting Movements:

1. The load. Movement backwards where weight is stacked on back leg is valuable so as to make sure the back knee and hip are fully involved in the triggering (power creation) process. Without the load, little power can be effectively generated with the lower half and therefore, the front hip or hands will begin to take over to compensate (a bad thing).

2. The trigger. Movement forward with the back knee and hip are essential. If the front side (leg and hip mostly here) are doing their job, then the rotation with the back side first will create torque in the swing and allow the upper body to then whip through the bat through the zone.

3. Front side stability. I teach a lot on the lower half of the body. It's the source of the power. If it is not under full control, the upper half must work extra hard, sometimes too much in creating energy while hitting a baseball. Therefore, the front knee and hip should remain closed off to the pitcher as the back side begins it's initial movement. As the rotation continues, the front side will give way and allow full hip rotation to continue. If control of the front side initially is accomplished, the results will be energy (not to be confused with weigh transfer) being directed back into the pitch. If there is little front side control, meaning the hips begin to open too soon, the energy will not be directed into the pitch, but instead away from the plate.

As always, pictures or videos provide the best example for baseball instruction. However, understanding what one is looking at while viewing pictures or videos is the most important part in understand a fundamental baseball swing.

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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nate_Barnett

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

How to Get Baseball Scholarships - Why You Should Market and Promote Yourself




By Gary V Hawkins

The question of how to get baseball scholarships is a question that thousands of high school baseball players from around the country or even world have on their mind. If you find yourself in this situation, this article can help you get started on the path to playing in college.

How to get baseball scholarships is a question that you should take a step back from and make sure you look at from a different perspective. To do that, ask yourself these questions:

- Why do you wear the brand of baseball shoes you wear?
- Why did you buy the particular glove you use?
- Why do you wear a particular brand of clothing when you practice baseball?

Before you think I've gone off the deep end and you can't see how these questions tie into how to get baseball scholarships, think about this for a second. Every product we wear or use started off as an unknown product that had to be marketed and promoted before it became a household name. In other words, these products didn't just magically become popular and people starting buying them for no reason. All these products had to be marketed and promoted.

You should see yourself in the same way. As a baseball prospect, you are a product that has to be marketed and promoted to college baseball coaches. These coaches won't know who you are or what your skills and talents can do for their program unless you make direct contact with them. Making direct contact with coaches can get you the attention you have been looking for. Just like all other products, you need attention to make something happen.

The mystery of how to get baseball scholarships doesn't have to be a mystery for you any longer. Simply market and promote yourself to college coaches in the same way all other products are and I think you will like the results you get.

Gary Hawkins is a well known recruiting and athletic scholarship expert and the author of a popular 17-page free report titled:

"Five Secrets You Must Know To Get Recruited For Athletic Scholarships"

Head over to http://www.recruitedforscholarships.com/freereport.html to get your FREE copy now!

Gary Hawkins is passionate about helping high school athletes reach their dream of playing at the college level. In his Athletic Recruiting & Scholarship System, Gary teaches anyone how they can finally get the attention of college coaches and start being recruited for athletic scholarships. Just visit http://www.recruitedforscholarships.com/ and pick up your copy today!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gary_V_Hawkins

Blogs for Baseball Coaches Links:
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Shop CoachesBest.com for your baseball coaching needs including baseball training aids, training videos, and other coaching supplies. Check out the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting machine by SKLZ at HurricaneTrainer.com.

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Featured Product - Quick Swing Trainer


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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Superstar Conditioning - The 3 Best Workout Ingredients For the Baseball Player's Athleticism!

By Brandon Richey

Workout routines for baseball players have certainly evolved over the years. I am here to talk about what 3 conditioning type exercises are the best for baseball players to significantly improve their athleticism.

You see the truth is that exercises for the best baseball players are pretty much the same exercises that are implemented by the best athletes in every other sport. The only variables that differ are the intensity and volume of what is trying to be accomplished. Baseball players should focus on developing their athleticism in areas of flexibility, speed, power, and overall total body strength in order to be well conditioned. These are the same goals that should be intact for every other highly competitive athlete out there. I have included 3 top ingredients for baseball players to achieve top notch physical conditioning below.

1. Kettlebell Training: This is the first on my list of "must have" exercises for baseball players to implement into their training. Kettlebell training offers such a different dynamic in training because it is all "movement specific," not "muscle specific." This is the ideal combination for the development of both strength and conditioning type elements. You see this style of training is all movement based and is perfect for conditioning your body into working against a resistance through natural movement patterns that are specific to your sport. For the baseball player this is of superior value!

2. Plyometric Training: This is a "must have" ingredient for all athletes because plyometrics are great for training your body to respond to the stresses of movement by being explosive and quick in response to the outside stimulus being put on it. In other words, you develop reaction time (acceleration, deceleration, and jumping) by executing quick explosive type exercises.

3. Agility Training: This is another key ingredient that is essential in completing the task of conditioning you for baseball. Agility provides you with further reaction time, but more specifically directional reaction time. For agility you have to be quick moving right to left and front to back at a moments notice in the sport of baseball. Executing certain cone drills for lateral speed and agility are necessary to complete the tall order of being a top conditioned baseball player by today's standards. Remember to train hard my friend, but make sure to make your conditioning for baseball smart as well!

To learn more about how to utilize your body, Kettlebells, and to achieve Mind Blowing fitness get your copy of My "Better Than Steroids Ebook" by clicking here: http://www.betterthansteroidsebook.com/www.betterthansteroidsebook.com/Better_Than_Steroids_Ebook.html.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Brandon_Richey

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Baseball Instruction's 7 Essential Mental Skills

By Robert Bulka

There are many different methodologies for teaching baseball instruction. When most folks talk about baseball instruction they talking about three things: fielding, hitting and throwing. I often wondered why there isn't more importance put on teaching the mental aspects of baseball as well. What I've come to realize it that mental skills are learned, but it is an implied knowledge, meaning it's found it to be so important that I added my "7 Essential Mental Skills" to my baseball instruction program. Here they are:


How To Keep Your Cool
How To Use Visualization
Confidence and Positive Thinking
How to Eliminate Negative Thoughts
Stay Focused - No Distractions
How o Overcome Intimidation
How To Prepare in pressure situations (like a sacrifice bunt)

1. How To Keep Your Cool
One of the most important things you can teach your baseball players is how to act, both on and off the field. Another hot topic is arguing with an umpire, coach or another player. Arguing can result in immediate expulsion of the game and possibly the league.

To help players deal with frustration I teach the "10 second rule". This simply means they count to ten before talking. This is to let the rage pass. Believe it or not I have seen it work pretty well.

2. How To Use Visualizaion
Visualization is simply seeing things in your "mind's" eye before they happen. Let's say the hitter has a bunt sign. He can step out of the batter's box and visualize himself successfully executing the sacrifice bunt. Now, when he steps back in the box he has a mental picture, or a blueprint so to speak, to help him execute the strategy. This is a very effective tool.

3. Confidence and Positive Thinking
Positive Thinking and confidence are an essential part of baseball instruction. Think about the game in general, think about how many times you fail. I mean a .300 batting average is great but realistically it's being successful only 30% of the time. Think about how many outs we make, and the errors, and the mental lapses in judgements, etc. etc. There is negative and failure all around.

To promote positive thinking I use stories of incredible baseball comebacks of the past so the kids can see it's possible to comeback from a deficit and win. To boost morale and confidence players are encouraged to root and cheer for each other. It can makes all the difference hearing it from your peers.

4. How To Eliminate Negative Thoughts
Using the confidence building and positive thinking techniques also help to eliminate those negative thoughts. You can help visualize the release of negative thoughts by breathing in deep and exhaling. At the same time visualize that negatively exiting with your breath.

5. Stay Focused - No Distractions
This is so difficult to do, especially for kids. Here is a a great fielding drill that helps them focus and avoid distractions. It uses competition as it's catalyst.

With glove in hand, have four to eight players make a semi-circle around you. Yo will need a baseball glove and two balls. Now throw random ground balls and try to keep at least one of the balls active at all times. Any player who misses the ball or doesn't throw the ball directly back to you sits down and is waits for the next game. Last player left is champ.

6. How to Overcome Intimidation
Sometimes games are won before they even begin. This is because a team's appearance can intimidate a team so much that psyche themselves into thinking they have no chance. Before each game, pump your players up with accolades to boost their confidence. Another technique you can use is to huddle and give a real good pep talk.

7. How To Prepare In Pressure Situations (like a sacrifice bunt)
The use of the skills discussed above, combined, will help them prepare in pressure situations.

Robert Bulka is a former college baseball pitcher and current coach in the New York Metropolitan area. He has penned 2 books on Baseball Scorekeeping and he manages three baseball related sites. http://bestbaseballebooks.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robert_Bulka

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