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Friday, January 29, 2010

Baseball Coaching Digest - Three Things That I Feel Should Never Be Said on a Baseball Field


Available at Baseball2U.com
By Nick Dixon

There are many things said by coaches and players during a game. Many things said provide useful information and guidance to players. There are other things that I feel are best not said during a game.

Here are three things that I feel should never be said by coaches or players during a game:

1. "We are going to lose." - Expecting to win is vital. The old saying, "Whether you expect to win or expect to lose, you are probably right!" is never truer than in coaching youth baseball. Having a positive attitude is the first step toward having a good game. I do not even use the word "lose" in any conversation during practices or game. I do not want to plant a "seed" that might grow into a team mindset.

Coaching Point: Your players are going to emulate your attitude and your frame of mind. Your words and body language are closely observed and noticed by your players. Never show negative emotion or lose control of your emotions. Players learn to handle pressure as well as their coach does. If the coach expresses too much concern or alarm when something goes wrong, the players may lose faith or panic.

2. "It is too cold...it is too hot! - Playing baseball in extreme weather temperature conditions is difficult to deal with. Playing in such conditions requires a lot of stretching and constant warm-up. I have coached in extreme cold and hot conditions. I have coached with snow falling and frost on the infield grass. I have coached when it was so hot and humid that your lineup sheet would be soaking wet with sweat before you could finish making it out. The best approach when playing in extremely weather conditions related to temperature is to not mention or discuss it. The more you speak or talk about it, the colder you will get.

Coaching Point: The wearing of high quality cold weather and hot weather under wear gear is a must for staying warm in extreme conditions. Hot hands packets in the back pocket are a common tactic for keep a players hands and fingers from going numb. A heater in the dugout may be required in extreme conditions. And most of all, remember, that cold weather is brutal on high dollar thin walled bats. It is wise to invest in a portable bat warmer. The popular models feature microwavable inserts that hold the heat and keep the bats warm for several hours.

3. "Watch out for that curve ball!" - It is best not to tell a batter what pitch to look for or to expect. Mental concentration is a part of batting success. Sometimes telling a player to what pitch you think is coming, makes the player to start guessing on pitches. The player will be more successful he is thinking or concentrating for himself.

Coaching Point: The batter should always know the count and the situation. The batter should have a good mental and physical approach at the plate. The batter should always expect the fast ball away and adjust to the fast ball in. The batter should always expect the fastball and adjust to the off-speed pitch.

I hope that you found this article informative and useful. I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Good luck to you and your team in the coming season. Have a great day, Nick.

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of 1400 Baseball Products. Check out the BatAction Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

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

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bamboo Baseball Bats - The New Cage Bat?


www.Training-Bats.com
By Tyler Coughlin

Asia has again made their mark on Baseball in America. Bamboo Baseball bats have become increasingly popular among youth and amateur baseball players in the U.S. and across the globe for that matter. Bamboo bats have yet to receive the stamp of approval from Major League Baseball, and most people think that stamp of approval will not be coming at all.

There are a lot of people asking why Bamboo has yet to be accepted into the MLB? So let's go over the main arguments keeping Bamboo on the outside of Major League Parks.

Here is a Major League Baseball Rule that addresses this particular issue....1.10
(a) The bat shall be a smooth, round stick not more than 23/4 inches in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 42 inches in length. The bat shall be one piece of solid wood.
NOTE: No laminated or experimental bats shall be used in a professional game (either championship season or exhibition games) until the manufacturer has secured approval from the Rules Committee of his design and methods of manufacture.

Bamboo bats are made by laminating a bunch of bamboo strips into a blank, and then turning the blank into a bat. Which makes the bat very hard to break, and obviously violates rule 1.10 (as shown above) which states that the bat shall be one piece of solid wood.

Although that rule seems to be a big part of why Bamboo Bats are not MLB approved, there seems to be a more popular argument used. Bamboo bats are widely considered to be similar to composite bats based on the way they are made. Composite bats are also off limits in the MLB. Most experts believe that Bamboo will never receive Major League Baseball's approval unless the MLB approves all composite bats.

So, now looms the bigger question. How will Bamboo Baseball bats survive in America? Well since Bamboo bats seem to be so durable, many youth and amateur players and teams are using them as Batting Cage bats. More coaches and players are catching onto the benefits of training with wood bats, even if they play in an Aluminum Bat league. Hitting with wood forces the hitter to swing with proper mechanics, while aluminum often delivers good results even when improper mechanics are used.

Maple Bats, Ash Bats, and Birch bats all provide better power than Bamboo, but none of them provide the durability that Bamboo does. That means a perfect match for Bamboo Baseball Bats and Batting Cages.

A player or team can reap the benefits of training with wood, without having to continually purchase wood bats because of overuse. Bamboo bats are becoming a big part of the resurgence of wood bats in America. So in a game where so much has changed, wood is looking like the one constant that doesn't plan on going anywhere soon.

Written By
Tyler Coughlin
VP of Operations MoZer Bats

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


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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Baseball Coaching Digest - Pitcher Fielding Practice Drills - Double Play Feeds and Covering First

HandsBackHitter.com - Mechanical Ball Launching Tee


By Nick Dixon

Pitcher fielding practice should be an important part of every team's regular practice routine. Pitcher fielding practice is an activity that allows pitchers to practice fielding and making good throws to the different bases in different situations.

Our Pitcher Fielding Practice or PFP, as it is called, requires all infielders and all pitchers. The activity takes only 7 minutes. Therefore we do PFP drills every day in practice. This practice activity requires two coaches to fungo or hit the ground balls, 6 baseballs, and 4 catchers alternating and catching up.

First Set - Pitcher Covering First and Bunt throw to 2nd Base

We begin the activity by having 2 middle infielders report to their position. We will then divide the pitchers into two groups. One line will be getting over to first on a ball hit to the right side. The other line will be fielding bunts and making the throw to second. This is the first segment of the drill and we do this for 3.5 minutes without a beak. The pitchers will rotate lines after each throw.

The "cover first group" works on the right side of the diamond. The bunt cover to 2nd base group works on the left side of the diamond. The line will run out toward 2nd base. The pitchers will set up even with the pitching rubber but will shade to their respective side to allow enough space for both groups to work at the side time without delays or stopping.

Coaching Points: Covering First

The pitcher will must take a good angle toward the line and work up the line toward the bag. The catcher will yell, "get over" each time a ball is hit. The first baseman will communicate with the pitcher to let him know if he will take to the bag himself. If the first baseman bobbles or is slower getting to a ball, the pitcher will setup and stretch on the throw. It is important that the pitcher avoid shading over into the base path in order to avoid a collision with the runner. The pitchers will work out of the windup.

Coaching Point: Bunt throw to 2nd base

The pitchers and catchers will make a call. If the catcher can field it, he will. If the pitcher fields it, the catcher will make a "2 call". Communication and verbal calls by the catcher is an important part of this drill. The pitcher must make a perfect throw every time. Make sure that the pitcher has the right approach to the ball and sets the feet before picking it up, if he can. Good footwork will save time and make execution of the throw easier. The pitchers will work out of the stretch.

Set 2 - "Squeeze Play and Throwing to Second Baseball to Double Play"

During the second half of PFP's we will have the "right" side group field a "come backer" ground ball and make a throw to 1st or 2nd. The "left" side group will may a "do-or-die" play on a squeeze play for 1 minute and then cover home on a passed ball for the remaining 2 minutes.

Coaching Point: Comebacker

The coach will call out where runners are before the ball is hit. The pitchers always work out of the stretch. The catcher will make a "2 call" if the ball is a double play ball and there is a runner on 1st. If the ball is bobble or too slow for to turn two, the catcher will make a "1 call" and the pitcher will make a throw to 1st. If no runners on base the pitcher will make a throw to 1st. We will vary the situations on various days. The coach may call a runner on any base or all bases. The pitcher may check a runner at 2nd and go one, check a runner at 3rd and go 1. The pitcher may have to go home with it if the 3rd base man makes a "4 call". The pitcher may also turn two if the catcher makes a "2 call". All infielders are used during this drill and "talking" is vital.

Coaching Point: Squeeze Play - Cover Home

The "left" side group will may a "do-or-die" play on a squeeze play for 1 minute. The pitcher must charge the ball and use a "scoop and throw" technique to get the ball to the catcher. The winning run is at third and the play is a "do-or-die" play. Speed and accuracy is important. The catcher must complete the play with a simulated tag.
Next, the pitcher will practice covering home on a passed ball or wild pitch. The catcher will retrieve the ball using a "slide by" pickup technique. The catcher must make a perfect tag spot throw to the pitcher. The pitcher will hustle, set up for the throw and finish the play with a simulated tag.

Note: A lot of action is occurring is this 7 minute drill. If commit only 7 minutes so the "sense of urgency" make the kids really bounce around and hustle. Each fielder receiving a throw will step out of the drill and make a throw to the 2nd catcher in their drill. The catcher will then toss the ball to the coach for the next rep. The catchers alternate each side every other day. One day two catchers will work the "right side" drills and the next day they will work the "left side" drills.

I hope you find this information useful and beneficial. I know that you can add and make improvements to this activity as you use it. Good Luck till next time, Nick Dixon.

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of 1400 Baseball Products. Check out the BatAction Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

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

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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!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine by SKLZ - Video Demo Clip

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Non-Stop Explosive Power - The Absolute Best Strength Workout For Speed!

By Brandon Richey

Explosive power and superior speed can be developed with the implementation of kettlebell swings and snatches! That's right, swings and snatches are tremendous lifts that can be performed with kettlebells in order to help you to develop superior strength and tremendous athletic speed. By now you may be familiar with the ancient kettlebell and realize that this is one tool that is sure to enhance your personal strength and speed training workouts.

The kettlebell is an ancient strength and conditioning device that has been around for over three centuries. This single device has been utilized by the world's greatest athletes and strongmen to forge their bodies into to the mold of athletic masterpieces. You see the key to kettlebell training is that it is movement based in nature rather than being a form of training that concentrates on training specific muscle groups. By learning to manipulate body movements against the resistance of the kettlebell you stand to develop superior explosive strength and power which is necessary for the development of your speed and athleticism. Two of the best strength endurance lifts that you can implement with the kettlebell are swings and snatches. Both lifts are certainly very dynamic and incorporate the use of your hips and core to generate the necessary force to lift the bell. Both of these kettlebell lifts utilize hundreds of your muscles at once giving you a total body workout that is more intense than anything you have ever tried. Both lifts help you develop superior core strength, hip power, and shoulder stability in order to prepare you for any athletic task that lies ahead. You see by implementing the movements such as the swings and snatches you stimulate your body's nervous system causing your body to react quicker by forcing your muscles to contract quicker and more forcefully. This is the key to a successful speed workout.

If you are serious about learning more about kettlebell training and what it does for your body then you have got to take the time to learn about how to execute the swings and snatches for your own program. I will make it easy for you by inviting you to access the rest of my articles on this topic for free. Start improving your speed and power development today. Remember that anyone can train hard, but only champions train smart my friend!

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. You will become one of my Free Elite Members if you make your "Better Than Steroids" purchase, but to just become one of my Elite Members and receive my free Newsletter just go to http://www.efandps.com/www.efandps.com/Brandons_Members_Newsletter.html

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

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Monday, January 25, 2010

"Why You Should Coach Youth Baseball"

By Chip Lemin

Greetings to all coaches,

Now that the youth baseball season is in full swing, we will hopefully see the results of any pre-season work. If your team worked extra hard on defense, you should see the results. You may also notice a drop off in offensive production, due to the extra time on defense. This is normal and will adjust itself over the course of the season. What you don't want to see is any of your players coming down with sore arms as the result of too much off season throwing.

Many teams want to get started early in the year,often many weeks before the start of the season. Too often these practices include too much throwing without monitoring the amount of throws by the players. Players are also not properly warmed up,or worse yet, not stretched out enough. Often, coaches will have the players throwing too hard, too early.Coaches need to teach players how to properly stretch out and warm up early in their careers. An 8 yr old may not need to warm up as much,but they should be taught. As these players get older,it will become very important. They must have this ingrained into them before that age. This is YOUR responsibility as a youth baseball coach.

These players that came down with sore arms all had some type of growth plate injury. Their parents listened to the players complaints and went to doctors for exams.The good thing is that none of these injuries were very serious yet. They were the result of overuse. It began with too much pre season throwing.I know that none of these coaches did this out of negligence. They are all good veteran coaches from successful programs.

One parent, who is a good friend of mine, stated that the specialist they saw, told them this fact. No player at 12 years old should have ANY ARM PAIN. If they do, shut them down right away. Then consult your doctor.It is not worth the young player's health under any conditions.

There many ways to run pre season workouts without throwing the baseball so much. Speed and agility drills are one. Foot work drills are another. Fielding drills without throwing full speed is another. You want your players to come out of spring training fresh and ready to play, not compensating their throwing form because of a sore arm. Remember, these young players may not want to disappoint the coaches or parents by getting hurt,so they may not tell you. You must pay attention to your players. If you see any change in their form ask them if their arm hurts. The earlier it is noticed the quicker it can be treated. Many times all it will need is rest.

This just a reminder to keep a close eye on your young players. They are giving it all they have most of the time.You must give quality leadership and instruction as a youth baseball coach. Do your best to protect their health on and off the field. Please abide by pitch counts for your age groups. Thanks for your time and I hope you and your team are enjoying a fun season. Thanks

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 http://www.baseballecourse.com

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

Friday, January 22, 2010

Two Ways to Develop Bat Quickness and Bat Speed


By Jack Perconte

There is a difference between bat speed and bat quickness. I once did a study of bat speed at a local college. To make a long story short, the player who had the fastest bat speed was not a very good hitter and rarely played. Once he had the bat moving, his bat speed was fastest, but he lacked initial quickness to the ball. This player had great power which is the result of high bat speed, but rarely made good consistent contact. Think of a running race where a runner is slow out of the blocks but eventually surpasses the quicker runner as the race progresses. Unfortunately in hitting, there is no time to catch up because the whole sequence of the swing happens in less than a second. Usually, when a hitter lacks bat quickness his bat speed is useless, at least when they begin to face advanced level pitchers. To become an advanced hitter, one who can play into their varsity high school years, hitters need both bat speed and bat quickness.

Many people think that bat quickness and speed are dependent on overall strength. If this were true than all huge football players should be able to swing a baseball bat unbelievably fast. This is not true and big muscles may even slow down their quickness and speed.

This is not to say that increasing strength will not help bat speed and bat quickness, but how this strength is developed is what is important. As I have written about before, there is no substitute for good fundamentals, which includes the development of a compact swing. All good hitters are fundamentally sound and have a compact swing. Once a player is fundamentally sound, developing their fast twitch muscles will allow hitters to swing the bat quicker and faster. The good news is that good fundamentals, bat speed and bat quickness can be worked on in two ways. Obviously, the more practice time put into these two drills the more bat quickness and bat speed that will be developed.

1. Have hitters put their fielding mitt under their armpit closest to the pitcher and swing until their hands get tired. Hitters should allow the glove to fall out on their follow through with each swing. This drill will promote good swing fundamentals as well as build up the hand, wrist and forearm strength necessary to increase bat speed and bat quickness. Remember, players should stop swinging when their hands tire to avoid picking up any bad habits. Hitters will notice after awhile, that they are able to swing more times with each subsequent practice session, which is a sign of increased strength.

2. Have hitters develop a quicker back knee and back hip action with the following:

A. From their hitting stance, hitters will see how many times they can turn their back knee in a specified time span. Players can begin with a five second time span and increase it up to ten or fifteen seconds as their endurance and balance build up. Hitters should be sure to let their rear hip open with knee turn and have their weight shift slightly forward with each turn of knee. This will work on developing faster hip action for the swing rotation.

B. From hitting stance, hitters fire their back knee and hip forward when the coach yells "now." This will work on the hip quickness necessary. This drill can be done with player holding a bat regularly but not swinging, with no bat or with bat held behind them with both hands along their hips. This is the same hip and knee turn as previous drill but done for explosive quickness on the yelled command.

Unfortunately, there is no magic formula, like weightlifting, to increase speed and quickness. Like anything, success only comes with correctly performing the desired skill over and over again. Developing strong hands and quick turns with these drills will increase bat speed and bat quickness.

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


Baseball2u.com/CoachesBest.com is the ultimate online baseball training and coaching store. With over 1400 products organized into categories Baseball2u.com makes finding that baseball training product easy and simple. Order securely online or by phone. Baseball2u.com is a fully licensed company and has a full time staff available from 8:00 to 5:00 CST. Their toll free customer service number is 1-877-431-4487.

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, January 21, 2010

Productive Outs at the Plate



By Larry Cicchiello

Sometimes it's a little thing that helps win a ballgame. It's not always what makes the headlines in the newspapers or something that draws the most attention. "Productive outs" definitely fit into the category of little things that aren't so little at all.

I think it's a truly great at bat when an important run is on third base with less than two outs and the batter hits a very weak six-hopper to the second baseman and the much needed run scores. If the infield is playing fairly deep with a very important runner on third base, just focus on contact. If you can put the ball on the ground it's usually enough to get the run in. If it turns into a hit, that's better yet. The main objective is that you put the ball in play. You must make contact and not give the pitcher the all important strike out that he desperately needs.

Another productive out is when an important runner is on second base and is advanced to third base with a grounder on the right side of the infield with no outs. Productive outs are especially important to teams that play lots of close, low scoring ball games because they may very well have to "scratch and claw" to get runs.

To Be Clear On A Couple Of Things:

Hitters in the heart of the batting order. They very seldom should be looking to make productive outs. I didn't say never. I said very seldom. For example, with no outs, they should not be trying to advance the runner from second base to third base and give themselves up for the first out of the inning. That's the same as if they're saying, "here, someone else take the responsibility to knock in the run, not me." The better hitters should not give themselves up and should not leave it up to other hitters to drive in the runs.

When trailing by several runs. If your team is trailing by several runs late in the game and you ground out with no outs and have your runner go from second base to third base, there is nothing productive about that at all. The same holds true with a runner on third base with no outs or one out and you are trailing in the game by several runs. If you ground out and the run scores, there isn't anything productive about that at bat either. The other team got the out that they wanted.

Make sure productive outs are true productive outs and not counter productive outs!

Larry Cicchiello is the author of "Excellent Baseball Coaching: 30 Seconds Away." His very user friendly eBooks cover 320 topics on playing or coaching excellent baseball. ANY players, coaches or parents who want to help their child improve will be fully equipped! Some FREE tips are available at http://www.LarryBaseball.com/product/all

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

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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!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Baseball Coaching Digest - Home Batting Cages - Two Misbeliefs Concerning Baseball Batting Cage Use

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Two Batting Cage Misbeliefs that baseball people need to know about are (1) Many people belive that a Batting Cage must be long for it to be usable for all ages. That is not true. (2) Many people believe that a batter must see 75 miles per hour pitches to receive maximum benefit from cage work. That is not true.
This article discusses how many buyers are mistaken or misled in the buying or building a new baseball batting cage. The article outlines Two Batting Cage Misbeliefs that are simply not true:


1. Batting Cage Misbelief Number One - A Cage must be long for it to be usable for all ages.


This is simply not true. Players of all ages, even the high school and collegiate levels can benefit from batting practice in cages that are 35 to 50 feet in length. A cage does not have to be 70 feet long for it to beneficial to advanced players. The reason for this is that long-toss, front-toss and various other batting practice drills can be performed at distances under the regular pitching distances. When batters take swings at pitches thrown at 35 feet, the batter is seeing and reacting to pitches that simulate higher speeds at the normal pitching distance. The player must perform the swing with the proper trigger, separate, and load actions. All of these elements of the swing must be done at the same speed, rhythm, and timing as under normal game hitting.


2. Batting Cage Misbelief Number Two - A batter must see 75 miles per hour pitches to receive maximum benefit.


Most hitters at all levels of play including high school, college, and pros would rather see and hit live arm pitches at 45 miles per hour at 30 feet than pitches thrown by a machine at 75 miles per hour. Live-arm batting practice is batting practice thrown by a person not a machine. We must remember that advanced batters benefit most from seeing pitches thrown by a person. The batter must pick-up the pitcher arm-slot, the pitcher release point and time the speed of the pitch thrown. When a person is throwing batting practice the speed and location of every pitch can be changed. It is also a fact that many people are not adept at throwing strikes at longer distances. However, most people can throw an accurate pitch for a strike from 30and 40 feet distances. The batter gets more work in because more pitches are hittable. Not as much time and effort is wasted by with bad pitches out of the strike zone. The shorter distance makes the workout more efficient.


What does this all mean to a potential batting cage buyer?


For the average home user shorter batting cage is suitable for all drills, batting practice, and applications that you will need for your player to be successful through the high school level. I think it is important to realize that the system you buy will be used for a variety of batting drills. The function of the net is safety, ball containment, and practice efficiency. The batting net is no better than the parent or coach that dedicates time for its use. If you use it, you will experience incredible results. It will be a wise investment. Kids can not use the cage without parental or adult supervision and participation.


I hope that you found this article useful and informative. You may find more like it at the Baseball Coaching Digest and at the Youth Baseball Digest. Thanks for reading my article. Have a great day. Nick

Check out the BatAction Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

The Joe Mauer Quick Swing Trainer Joe Mauer Quick Swing Trainer is a popular baseball training machine for home and team use.
The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of 1400 Baseball Products. Check out the BatAction Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.


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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Advanced Hitting Drills

QuickSwingTrainer.com - Excellent Baseball Trainer for Advanced Hitters



There are numerous hitting drills and all have specific purposes. Good hitting drills address a specific area of a hitter's fundamentals. When hitters have practiced basic hitting drills for a time they may be ready for more advance hitting drills. Additionally, these drills can serve to break up the monotony of performing the same drills over and over.


Some drills will actually address a few different fundamental areas at the same time, making them even more valuable. One such drill is the back knee pickup drill that I have written about before. This drill where the hitter swings, picks up the back foot and allows the knee to rotate towards the pitcher is a good multi-use drill that works on using the front side and keeping a firm front side without collapsing the lower half on the swing.


It also serves to have hitters transfer their weight and maintain leverage through their swing. This is only a drill and is not the way a hitter will hit in a game, but a drill that reinforces the correct fundamentals for hitters who have specific hitting deficiencies. This drill helps hitters who "step out" with their stride and for those who open their hips or front shoulder too early.


Other advanced hitting drills include the following:


1. The self flip drill is very valuable for advanced hitters. It will force hitters to develop quick hands and strong forearms. To perform this drill the hitter will hold the ball with their top hand as their lower hand grips the bat. The hitter flips the ball up no higher than eye level into the hitting zone. At this time, the hitter will grab the bat with both hands and hit the ball. Obviously, the goal is to hit line drives and in the direction of where the ball was flipped, (middle, inside or outside). Hitters will notice that very quick hands are necessary to hit the ball consistently solid.
2. Another advanced hitting drill is to have the hitter stand a foot or so away from a net, where the hitter is facing away from the net. The goal is to swing and miss the net with the bat going forward, but to hit the net slightly on the follow through with the bat. This drill will reinforce a compact swing and "staying back" at the same time. Hitters should keep their head in throughout the entire swing and not pull their front shoulder out in order to hit the net on the follow through. Once again, this is another drill for advanced hitters only. This drill can be done with a ball on the batting tee or with flip drills for even better results.
3. The two ball flip drill is another advanced hitting drill that is very good for teaching hitters to wait on the ball and to develop a quick, compact swing. Hitters will need the assistance of a coach to flip balls from behind a protective screen for this drill. The coach will hold two balls in the same hand at once and flip the balls into the hitting zone. When the ball approaches the hitter, the coach yells out which ball they want the hitter to hit, either high/low, or even inside/ outside. Obviously, because the hitter does not know which ball to hit until the last moment, they cannot cheat with their swing too early or they will hit the wrong one or miss altogether.

These are a few advanced hitting drills that will help advanced hitters. Many more like these are contained in my hitting book.


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 - and one of his videos can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsIt0TIsHmQ

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The 3 R's of Pitching

By Rick Harig


Realize the basic premise that the pitcher has the advantage. This is the foundation for a successful pitcher. Hitting a baseball is said to be the hardest thing to do in all of sport. The pitcher needs to remember that. "If the swing by a right-hand batter is seven milliseconds (.007) too late, the squarely hit ball will sail foul past first base." - Robert Adair, a Yale physicist who has studied the science of baseball, referring to a 90mph fastball.

Recognize when you, as the pitcher, lose your focus. How do you avoid a big inning? You avoid it by recognizing that you have been taken out of your game and only then can you adjust and refocus to the task at hand. Many pitching plans include some avoidance of "the big inning". It is easy to talk about, but after one of these "big innings" takes place, the pitcher usually only understands it when reflecting back on it after the game and on the chaos that surrounded him while it was going on. The pitcher needs a thought-stopping cue from himself to help recognize that he has lost his focus. It is important to do this so he can pitch in the present and not in the past. The thought stopping cue could be as simple as "STOP", or "play in the now".

Refocus to the task at hand. Once the pitcher "snaps out of it" and concentrates on the present, then he can pitch to his potential and win the situation. The pitcher who analyzes and frets on how all those guys got on base will not be able to refocus into the present to do the job. A routine or mental cue can help with focus. The pitcher needs to let it flow and let the right side of the brain take over. He can only do this if the mind in clear and free of distracting thoughts. Here is an example of how a pitcher can get back into the now by letting his left brain guide him and set his right brain up for the actual pitch. Use the dirt circle of the mound as the positive / negative ground. Whenever he catches himself being negative he goes into the grass. At that time, he can tell himself anything he wants, he can worry about all the runners, the errors and walks that got them there, whatever he wants. However, the second he gets back onto the dirt he is positive and ready to get the next guy out! A routine like this combined with some proper breathing can get the pitcher to stay in a positive, non-distracting mode. Hopefully he spends most of his time in the dirt and stays in the now.

Every pitcher needs a plan. There is not one pitcher in the history of baseball that has gone through his career, let alone a season, or even a game, without adversity. No matter how good a pitcher is he will face dilemmas in games that he needs to have a plan for. It is too easy to say, "Be a bulldog, go get them". Sure successful pitchers have bulldog characteristics and competitive success models built in that they do not even know about, but there is no need to analyze that. It is the pitcher's past experiences, successes, and failures that have given him those built in characteristics. It is the future challenges that the pitcher will face as he progresses to higher levels of competition in his career that he needs the above to help advance his success rate.

Rick HarigCopyright 2009
Cognitive Advantage Programhttp://www.play-in-the-now.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rick_Harig

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Baseball Coaching Digest - 12 Baseball Coaching Tips For Coaching Your Third Baseman

By Nick Dixon

The third baseman must be a fierce competitor that shows no fear or intimidation. The third baseman must have a solid arm, quick reaction speed, great feet, and be mentally tough. This article gives 12 tips for playing third base like a major league baseball player. Those tips are:
1. Start with the glove on the ground. It is much easier to work up than the work downward with the glove.
2. Make sure to get your glove out and on the ground as you take your steps before the pitch. Taking tinny steps toward the plate gets the body moving and makes your reaction quicker to a hit ball. The body reacts quicker if it is in motion than from a still position.
3. Nothing gets by you. A good third baseman knocks everything down and keeps everything in front of his body. You have time to retrieve the ball and complete the throw with most batter/ base runners.
4. Always be ready and willing to field balls hit in the 5-6 hole. It is easier for the third baseball to cut a ball a ball and make the throwing working toward the bag, than a short stop having to make a back hand play.
5. Adjust you position to the bag according to the hitter. If you have scouting information that a player is likely to bunt, play shallow and in front of the bag.
6. With a left-handed batter batting you should play even with the bag and cheat a little to your left unless a scouting report suggest that you play differently.
7. With a right-handed batter batting you should play deeper and closer to the line unless a scouting report suggest that you play him differently.
8. Dive and knock down all balls that are hit to your right that you can reach. Never assume a ball is foul. Play everything as if it is a fair ball. Knocking the ball down that is fair nearly always holds a base runner to a single rather than allowing the runner to advance to second base.
9. Use an overhand throwing motion whenever possible to make your throw flatter and more accurate. Make your throws to first base chest high to make them easier for the first base man to handle.
10. Throw to second base that are double play feeds should be slightly toward the first base side and chest high to help facilitate a good turn and throw to first by the middle infielder to complete the double play.
11. You have jurisdiction over the pitcher and the catcher on pop fly balls. If the short stop or left fielder calls a ball, you must "bail out" to clear the catch zone for them.
12. When executing the cut off and relay. Sneak a peak to get a good initial alignment with home plate. Listen for the catcher "fine tune" your alignment. Make sure to circle the ball in flight to allow you to field it with your shoulder turned and aligned for a relay throw to home plate. If you throw to the plate, make sure that the throw is a "tag high" shot in the perfect spot to make the catch and tag easier for the catcher. If the catcher calls for a "cut 2", make sure that your shoulders are properly turned before making the throw to second base. A throw away at 2nd could allow the runner to advance to third.

I hope that you found this article to be informative and interesting. I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Good luck to your team in the coming season. Have a great day, Nick.

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of 1400 Baseball Products. Check out the BatAction Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nick_Dixon

Monday, January 11, 2010

College Division 1 Baseball - 3 Steps to Playing Baseball at the Highest Level

By Gary V Hawkins

If you are a high school baseball player and you are trying to get recruited to play college division 1 baseball, this article can help you reach your goal. This article will give you three powerful steps that can take immediately that will set you apart from your competition.

Step 1 - Develop Your Athletic Resume

First of all, you need to develop a great athletic resume. Your resume has to do the same thing a resume does when you are looking for a job. It has to generate more interest in you from the coaches and cause them to want to learn more about you.

In order to get the interest of college division 1 baseball coaches, your resume should all key contact information for you and for your current coaches. It should describe your key strengths and abilities. Additionally, it should give all your key stats and physical measurements (height, weight, etc.)

Step 2- Develop You List Of Potential Schools

The next step to playing college division 1 baseball is to make a list of the school you want to play for. This list should be realistic and the schools on the list should match your skills and abilities. Not everyone can play at the elite schools, but there are still plenty of other division 1 schools out there who need talented baseball players.

Your list should be at least 50 schools. A list of 100 schools will give you an even better shot at playing in college. The longer your list of schools, the better your chances will be.

Step 3- Start Making Contact With Coaches

Some people will tell you that if you are good enough to play at the next level, especially college division 1 baseball, the schools will find you. There is some truth in that statement, however, there are many high school baseball players who fly under the radar of college coaches each and every year. If you are reading this article, you just may be one of those athletes.

Contact coaches on your list by sending them your athletic resume along with a personal letter. If you have the talent and skills (baseball and athletic) to potentially play in their program, they will be glad to hear from you. Make sure you have some video available for them if they contact you back and ask for it.

Summary

Playing college division 1 football can be a reachable dream for you. Follow the three steps I have outlined in this article and you can be miles ahead of the other kids you are competing against for a scholarship....because most of them (99%) will never make contact on their own with a college coach.

"Learn more about how to get on the path to playing baseball in college, download our Free Report: Five Secrets You Must Know To Get Recruited For Athletic Scholarships.

Get your free report at: http://www.recruitedforscholarships.com/freereport.html

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

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If you are looking for great coaching articles, please consider one of our sites: The BaseballCoachingDigest.com, the YouthBaseballDigest.com or the BaseballParentGuide.com. Have a safe and happy season! Nick Dixon

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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.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Complete Bat Speed - A Single Strength Training Exercise to Improve the Baseball Player's Hitting!

By Brandon Richey

Baseball strength training exercises should focus in on the development of core strength and hip power. As a strength and conditioning professional I can think of no better exercise for doing this than the single arm overhead kettlebell snatch. This is the king of kettlebell lifts that is sure to help you develop the necessary athletic traits for you to obtain superior bat speed.

By implementing the kettlebell snatch you are adding a component to your strength and conditioning workout that will ensure the success of your baseball season. In order to be a good hitter you have got to have bat speed. Aside from the hand to eye coordination necessary to hit the ball your body must be able to react quickly to a very fast situation. The bat needs to feel light in your hands. Your timing must be flawless, but if it is off by a very small margin hopefully your core power will be able to help you compensate. The single arm kettlebell snatch is a powerful lift that requires a bit of technique to pull it off properly. Like hitting this is a lift that takes both skill and strength. The object of the exercise is to lift a single bell from either the ground or from between your legs up to a held position above your head in a swift smooth motion. In order to do this you must forcefully flex and then extend at both your hip and knee joints to create force to elevate the kettlebell to a high pull position lateral to your head. At the time the bell raises to this level it should be almost weightless for a fraction of time. At this peak of weightlessness you will want to vertically punch your palm towards the sky locking your elbow out and securing your shoulder into the socket. As you initiate the upward phase of this lift you should be pulling substantially with your lat in order to elevate the bell. By engaging your lat and keeping your shoulder secure in the socket you will have very little problem pulling this lift off.

Once again, in order to develop a substantially effective strength and conditioning workout you have got to include the use of kettlebells into your program. By utilizing this ancient device you stand to outperform everyone on the field in every area of the game. Including even the most basic lifts will help you to cause your opponent to have trouble falling asleep at night. Don't let that worry fall into your head. Remember that anyone can train hard, but only champions train smart my friend!

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


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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Exercises to Throw a Baseball Further


AdvancedSkillsTee.com

By Joey Madison

How can you throw further as an outfielder? The answer is simple. By strengthening the muscles that's involved when throwing a baseball. But there's also an exercise that you can't afford to miss if you want to learn how to throw longer.

In this article you are going to read about special exercises to throw a baseball further.

In baseball you need to be strong from tip to toe. Any weakness in your body will limit your throwing ability more than you think. For the most part it's your core that isn't strong enough. What this means is that you abdominal muscles can't transfer all of the power from your legs to your arm. You could end up using 75% or even 50% of your real throwing power.

This is why you really should do exercises that targets your abs and legs. This is where your power to throw farther comes from.

So what exercises should you do?

There are many exercises that are good. However, when you do an exercise remember to do it explosive.

To develop your core then try to do as many exercises as you can with a medicine ball. This is a great way to build strength in the abdominal muscles and it balances your body as well.

A very good core exercise to develop your ability to throw further is the wood chopper or abdominal twist. You can do this exercise with a medicine ball and it helps you to strengthen the muscles involved when throwing. Click here for a video demonstration.

To develop the muscles of your upper body then there is one exercise that you can't really be without.

I'm talking about long toss. This exercise will help you to quickly add yards to your throwing ability. How to do it?

The best is to try and use a softball or a larger ball for this exercise. To do this exercise you need to be 2 persons. Start at 30 feet apart and increase the distance gradually. You do this to warm up your muscles to prevent any injury. When you reach 250 - 300 feet then keep it here and increase the distance until you can't reach each other. Then decrease the distance so you barely can reach each other and keep throwing at that distance.

You will be able to push this limit if you continue to do this exercise.

How about learning from the MLB Pros themselves? You can access the exercises they use to throw longer and faster. Visit Inside Major League Training to find out more...

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

==========================
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.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Simple Assessment of the 5-Tool Player


By Connor R Sullivan

In high-school baseball, discovering a 5-tool player doesn't happen every season. Well-rounded players are few and far between. A good batter practices hitting drills daily. Maybe he watches an instructional hitting DVD. A good infielder takes grounders everyday. A talented outfielder works on his throwing accuracy. A great base runner studies the moves of opposing pitchers. Although every ball player is different, and possesses varying strengths and weaknesses, every 5-tool player has a few things in common.

One trait that all 5-tool players have is versatility. Remember that kid in grade school who, during a pick-up game, was all over the field, catching every ball? He threw out every runner at any base. He batted the ball hard every time he came to the plate, usually for a home-run. He could do it all. This is basically the very definition of a 5-tool player. His versatility is evident because his skills are obvious. He is the rare player a coach can put into any position at any point in a ball game. His batting skills are valuable, whether it's a situation where power is needed, or simply a make -contact opportunity. His speed can help a team, whether with a stolen base, or tracking down a ball in the outfield. The 5-tool player can be the MVP of any team. At least, that is, if he is coach-able. This leads to another point about well-rounded ball players.

Every developed 5-tool player has access to good instruction. Most truly gifted athletes have a God-given ability. They are just naturally good at their sport. Usually, when they are young, they will take an interest in a particular area, sometimes several areas, and that is where they typically excel. At some point though, every young player needs the instruction of a good coach. A coach can be just the one to fine- tune a players skills. He can take the raw talent and develop that talent through a trained eye and through a mature outlook. The input of a coach can help a player with skill specific improvements, or can help a player in areas which are not directly related to the sport he plays. Such things as self-confidence, self-control, and the ability to be a good leader are all things a coach can model for his player.

A third area where a 5-tool player shines above his peers is in his strong work ethic. It can be tempting, especially for a high-school ball player, to rest on his reputation of being a star. Those athletes who find success for the long term are those athletes who put in the long hours of practice. The mentality of the hard worker will serve him well in his athletic career. Even the best players are capable of slumps. But the disciplined player will be in a good position to overcome. He will run out every ground ball. He will watch hours of tape. He will take extra batting practice. Also, even the best players can succumb to injury. If an injury does occur, the player with the disciplined routine will be very successful with a rehabilitation regimen. Not only is a strong work ethic important in the physical sense, but mentally as well. The player who is both mentally and physically disciplined will be a great asset to a team.

Connor R. Sullivan ordered copies of a hitting DVD to help some of the junior the kids on his baseball team. He also set up hitting drills to help them practice.

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

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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!