Baseball Coaching and Training Equipment Blog

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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Baseball Tips on Hitting - Hitting Problem Against Tough Low and Away Strikes


By Larry Cicchiello

When trying to overcome any baseball hitting struggles, you should always look for the "easy fix" first before getting more complicated. Here is a list of things to try if low and away pitches are causing baseball hitting problems for you:

• The two most obvious reasons can be you are standing too far away from the plate or maybe your bat is not long enough and you cannot effectively reach the pitch over the outside corner. Like I said, we always start out simple.

• You may be opening your front side too early, one of the most common baseball hitting problems for hitters at any level. It simply means that you are opening up too quickly and are pulling away from where the hitting is taking place. It simply takes you too far away from the pitch, especially pitches over the outside portion of the plate. Baseball hitting is not taking place out toward the third base coach if you are a right-handed hitter or by the first base coach if you are a left-handed hitter. The hitting is taking place right in front of you and not to the side. You can try striding with your front foot closed instead of pointing straight out across from your body or even worse yet toward the pitcher. In other words, turn the toes on your front foot and point them a little bit back toward the catcher. This will encourage you to "stay closed" and not "fly open" and away from the pitch. Baseball hitting does not take place out toward third base or out toward first base. It takes place right in front of you. Please, stay closed

• You can try bending at the waist if you are not bending already or bend a little more if you are bending already. This will give you better extension and better plate coverage of the outside corner simply because you will be closer to it.

Larry is the president of Larwenty Online Enterprises Inc. He is also the author of "Excellent Baseball Coaching: 30 Seconds Away." If you are a baseball player or baseball coach at any level of play, or a parent who wants to help your child improve, you will be fully equipped! His baseball website offers several FREE baseball tips from his very informative and very fairly priced eBooks.

Larry's baseball website is http://www.larrybaseball.com/

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

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fun Indoor Baseball Drills For Kids - A Tip From the Pros For What to Do on a Rainy Day


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Fun Indoor Baseball Drills For Kids - A Tip From the Pros For What to Do on a Rainy Day
By Matt Mc Dermott

Have you ever been at a loss for what to do on a day when it rains before youth baseball practice? You want to keep the kids' enthusiasm high, but you may not have access to a huge indoor facility where you can do all sorts of advanced practice techniques. If that is the case, you may be wondering how you can beat the other team which may have better access to indoor equipment and facilities.

Take a tip from the pros on what they do on rainy days. It will help your kids have a new indoor baseball "drill" they can do any time; and it works perfectly with what they do already!

One of the benefits of having been in the minor leagues is that you see kids when they have the opportunity to come on the field after games. They imagine all sorts of fun scenarios such as hitting the winning home run, striking out the last batter, and turning an amazing 6-4-3 double play. If you use their imaginations properly, you will have a great "rainy day" technique which will help your kids get better.

Here are some visualization suggestions:


In a quiet room tell the kids that they are going to work on hitting. Choose a specific task to help them focus, such as seeing the pitch leave the pitcher's hand. Instruct them to see the situation as if the kids are already at bat (not like they are watching themselves on a movie screen). Have the kids see themselves successfully completing the task. While the ideal number of repetitions is 21 or more visualizations, that is probably unrealistic. Have the kids do 3 or 4 repeats of successfully accomplishing the task, and then make a change. For example, have them repeat everything again except this time the pitcher is throwing from the other side, the sky is overcast, or the team is down by 2 runs. Again, choose one change and have the kids repeat a successful visualization 3 or 4 times
Move on to defense and choose one aspect on which to work, such as fielding a ground ball to the back hand side (or catchers blocking a ball to the back hand side). Again, have them visualize 3 or 4 times and then make a change (overcast, team is up by a run, bases loaded and 2 outs, etc.).
Move on to base running, repeat as above
Move on to throwing, repeat as above

There have been numerous reports of basketball players improving their free throw percentages just by using mental imagery and many other articles citing the benefits of mental imagery for athletes (e.g. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/siforwomen/issue_three/think/). Teaching your kids this skill early will give them a jump on their competition.

Over time, you can have your kids successfully practice all sorts of situations so that they are familiar with the scenario before it ever happens. In addition, they have only practiced success in their minds so they reduce the odds of making errors or failing to perform in clutch situations.

This indoor baseball drill for your kids will help them go a long way in learning what elite athletes already do today. Since young kids already have active imaginations when it comes to baseball, it should be an "easy sell" on your part. If there is any hesitancy, tell them that pro baseball players use this skill to overcome hitting slumps and they should be fine with it!

Matt was a backup and bullpen catcher in professional baseball for parts of 5 seasons, and he gave post-game lessons to kids after home games throughout his career. He gave these suggestions to kids and their parents during some of these lessons, and repeatedly was thanked by parents for how much their kids improved. If you are a youth baseball parent and want to better enjoy your time as a parent in the youth leagues, then learn the same advice which professional baseball men give their closest friends who are a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/siforwomen/issue_three/think/">http://www.youthbaseballparents.com/">Youth Baseball Parents. You also can get a free report taking these visualization suggestions to the next level, and you will help your kid overcome being nervous when at bat.

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


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Monday, March 29, 2010

Baseball Training For Power Hitting

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Baseball Training For Power Hitting
By Vic Read

Watching a 5' 8", 160 pound shortstop hit a 400 foot bomb is always amazing. Sure, the 6' 4", 235 pound first baseman has the natural strength to put the ball out of the yard, but how does the smaller player do it? What does he possess to produce such power? And how do some larger players consistently hit for distance, while others just have the occasional home run?

The three main components to hitting the baseball consistently and for distance are:

1. Proper mechanics - feet comfortably spread apart, hands back, and a smooth transfer from load to swing.
2. Good eye-hand coordination - seeing the ball all the way in and watching the ball hit the bat.
3. Good bat speed - the faster the bat, the faster the ball flies out.

Each one of these components can be improved upon by every baseball player.

1. Proper Mechanics - Watch some major league games and check out the different styles of batting stance. Then grab a bat and see what is most comfortable for you. Being tense at the plate cuts down on your reaction time. And when that fastball is coming in, you have to be relaxed and ready to release the perfect swing. Once you have found a stance you like, go hit off the tee and then take some cuts at a batting cage and continue to refine your mechanics. Once you like your stance, then do some research and learn about loading up, staying back on the ball and swinging thru the pitch.
2. Good eye-hand coordination - soft toss, which is hitting a ball into a net when tossed by someone from a short distance, is a good tool to work on and improve your eye-hand coordination. Have the person toss the ball at different angles and different locations. Start off with slow tosses, and then increase the speed.
3. Good bat speed - there are many methods to help improve your bat speed. Try using a heavier bat or a wood bat during practice or in the cages. Swing off the tee using only one hand. Take a medicine ball, hold it out in front of you and rotate your hands like you were swinging a bat. The idea is to get your hands and hips moving faster to strike the ball at a greater speed.

Once you find that comfortable batting stance, and you have worked on the eye-hand drills, and you have improved your bat speed, than take a 100 swings a day. It can be off a tee, during soft toss, in a cage, or just in the backyard swinging at the air. But take a 100 good swings a day to make your swing as natural as breathing.

For more tips on increasing your bat speed and hitting the baseball farther, please visit http://www.powerhitting.net

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

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Friday, March 26, 2010

More Youth Baseball Coaching Tips for You - Be a Positive Example


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More Youth Baseball Coaching Tips for You - Be a Positive Example
By Chip Lemin

COMPETITION

You must welcome competition, your team will not improve by winning every game against weaker teams. You should step up to play teams better than yours. You will find out a lot about you and your players by defeat as well as victory.

If you are to play to your full potential, you must be willing to put out just a little more. That willingness to put out a little more in youth baseball often makes the difference. As a youth baseball coach, you should encourage your players to let it all out at times and take some chances to make that special play. Hopefully your players will not feel that making a mistake will prevent them from really going for it. Which leads us to the next baseball and life tip.

COURAGE

To become an outstanding youth baseball player, hitter, pitcher, or base runner, you must have the ability to bounce back from defeat and bounce back to victory.

Develop a fighting spirit that takes you through difficulty and discouragement. As a youth baseball player you must keep your chin high because hitting a baseball is tough business, you will go hitless some times. You make get knocked out of a game as a pitcher. Just remember, the player who refuses to be beaten is tough to beat. We are talking about our competitive spirit here, not just any single game.

SELF-DISCIPLINE

Live clean and take good care of your body with good eating and sleeping habits. Youth baseball coaches will need to lead by example here and remind players to get the rest they need. Encourage healthy snacks and lots of water or low sugar type drinks. Also help team to stay positive no matter what happens, that may be your biggest value to your baseball team.

SPORTSMANSHIP

This is a forgotten area in youth baseball. Coaches think that they are playing in the finals of the little league world series every game. Please do more than just give lip service to sportsmanship, be an example, read up on it. Be respectful to umps, opposing players, coach's fans, and parents. Remember it's still just a game, even if it is travel baseball, or little league finals or a big tournament game. Please treat everyone with respect even if they don't seem to deserve it. Remember, your players are watching you; you are the example they get day in and day out.

CONFIDENCE

you must have confidence in yourself, a positive feeling that you can do it. You must posses a mental attitude that says I can do it. Give that attitude to your teammates by always being positive with them also, encouraging them to focus, and helping them stay positive if they hit a rough spot.

As a youth baseball player your talent will not develop properly unless you are willing to work hard. There is a price to pay FOR HARD WORK; we might have to give up some of our free time. As a youth baseball player, you have to learn to work hard and do plenty of it-- and hustle at all times. Everyone on the team, including the coaches, must be willing to trade sweat, effort, an sacrifice for success.

Please check out my free 7 part coaching e-course. It covers some topics you will not find anywhere else. It will help you become a better youth baseball coach

Thanks Coach, Chip Lemin 440 465 3337

Hello My name is Chip Lemin. I'm a long time youth baseball coach who loves to promote this great game of youth baseball. Promoting sportsmanship in this game of youth baseball is something that really needs I feel. I have a free course that will give you some solid coaching information along with great help on the inter-personal relationships we must have to be good youth baseball coaches.

Things such as parents, travel baseball, getting parents to help out, how to communicate better to parents and players, just to touch on a few. This course will help to organize practices like an elite coach. How to motivate players and other coaches with your positive attitude. It really is not very hard to be a great coach when you know what to do.Best of all you will learn how to have fun with these great kids that you have the privilege of coaching. Do yourself a favor and check it out, it's free,you will get 1 part every couple of days in your e-mail. Coaching can be fun and rewarding if you have a plan in place first, and you have an idea what you are doing. I would like to help you with that.

Sign up at http://www.baseballecourse.com

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

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

BaseballCoachingDigest.com has the articles that you are looking for!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Getting Kids to Youth Baseball Practice on Time


Getting Kids to Youth Baseball Practice on Time
By Marty Schupak

As the season starts, we want to get off to a good start with our team and what is expected of them. Of course, youth baseball is unlike a school team sport and you cannot force a player to practice or even force them to be on time. However, there are certain things you can do as a coach to ensure your team develops good habits.

My own personal pet peeve was having the players arrive late for practices. My practices usually run no longer than one hour and if a player is fifteen minutes late, he misses a full quarter of a practice. I have tried a number different tactics. The first one is, I give each player a number as they arrive at practice and they keep that number throughout the practice. Whoever arrives first is number one and when it comes to batting practice he or she goes first. The players remember this and after a couple of practices, you will notice the difference with players arriving early to get a good number.

Another technique I use is to start practice with a mini batting practice even before warm ups. After you do this a few times, you'll notice the players arriving early and telling you that they go first. Do not do this technique every practice but every once in a while. Practices, especially early in the season, will set the tone for a successful and fun season. The kids take notice when the coach arrives early and organized. Use these two techniques to get your players to arrive on time.

http://www.YouthSportsClub.com

Marty Schupak has coached youth baseball for 18 years and is the creator of "The 59 Minute Baseball Practice", "Backyard Baseball Drills" and author of the popular book, "Youth Baseball Drills". He is also President of the Youth Sports Club, a group dedicated to making sports practices and games more enjoyable for kids.

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

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Baseball Bat Trends - What's Hot in the Wood Bat World


Baseball Bat Trends - What's Hot in the Wood Bat World

By David Biddle

Although the debate about banning metal baseball bats in youth baseball is not settled, high school and college players find themselves playing in wood bat summer leagues more and more these days. "It's clearly a trend," a coach told me last summer on opening day of the John Marzano Wood Bat Scout League in Philadelphia. "Kids know they need to do this, their coaches do too, and the scouts love it. Hitting with wood is a lot less forgiving than metal."

All of this makes for a more diverse baseball bat collection in summer dugouts -- from Cape Cod to Surprise, Arizona. And as the wood bat trend spreads to younger players, parents and coaches may want to know what the elite amateur players are using in tournaments like the World Wood Bat Championships held in Marietta, Georgia at the East Cobb Baseball complex.

In some ways you just have to look at the bats the pros are swinging. The two classics offered by Louisville Slugger, Derek Jeter's C71 and Alex Rodriguez's P273 are both guaranteed by the world's top bat company to be made of pro-stock wood. But if you watch Ryan Howard or Albert Pujols, they may be swinging Marucci bats; and Barry Bonds usually hits with a Sam Bat. Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins have been partial to MaxBats over the past several years. And during much of 2008 Manny Ramirez was doing his dirty work with an X-Bat. As you'd expect, then, Marucci, Sam Bats, X-Bats, and Max Bats can all be found in amateur dugouts.

But don't let the pros be your only guide. There are only about 35 bat companies with bats approved and registered with Major League Baseball. Over 100 other companies make wood bats for amateur players. These companies tend to be small, primarily serving regional baseball communities. Companies like NYStix, Carolina Clubs, Bayou Bat Company, Hoosier Bats, and the Barnstable Bat Company serve independent league players, adult leagues, and local wood bat teams extensively. NYStix got a real boost last year making bats for New York City high school teams in their first year of play under the city's new ban on non-wood bats. The company's owner told me last winter that he was having a hard time keeping up with the demand.

Amateur players also like Old Hickory (made out of maple!), D-bats, and M-Powered bats. In addition, the more standard stock that can be found with Rawlings, Easton, and DeMarini are common -- especially DeMarini's composite wood bat wrapped in a fiberglass sleeve designed to help kids make the transition from metal to wood.

Who knows what bats will be popular next season. Zinger Bats out of Montreal is ramping up their marketing plans. Miguel Cabrera, Bobby Abreu, and Dan Uggla all used custom Zingers during at least part of last season. The influx of players from Asia has also been a boon to Mizuno. And when players get hot like Josh Hamilton did in the 2008 All-Star Home Run Derby, there's no question that the bat he used will be on the top of every young hitter's wish list (he swung an ash Louisville Slugger, Model C353; 34.5 inches and 33 ounces in weight; flame tempered with the special Smith finish).

In the end, the move to wood should keep young and old players alike online all winter long searching for just the right bat to start the new season with -- maybe not as fun as playing, but certainly a useful past-time while we wait.

David Biddle has coached youth baseball for more than 15 years. Of the 33 teams he has skippered, eight have won league championships (from 9U to 14U). He also brought two teams to Philadelphia's city championships (sadly, never to win). Mr. Biddle has taught hitting to more than six hundred young players since 1992. He writes the blog "Hitting with Wood," and published an essay called "Pondering Baseball's Purity" in The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2007.

Read more about the wood bat trend in amateur baseball at http://hittingwithwood.com.

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

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Monday, March 22, 2010

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Baseball Coaching Digest - What is the Most Important Thing in Coaching Little League Baseball?


Baseball Coaching Digest - What is the Most Important Thing in Coaching Little League Baseball?

By Nick Dixon

If you ask 100 baseball coaches the question, "What is the Most Important Thing in Baseball?", you will get a wide variety of answers. Some will say winning is the most important thing. Some will say that "expecting to win" is the most important thing. Others will say that helping kids grow, mature, and develop a sincere love for the game is the most important reason for playing baseball. When I ask myself this question, I have one simple answer. This articles explains what I feel that the most important thing in baseball to me is that I see some level of improvement every day.

This "level of improvement" can be in any aspect of the game. I may leave practice knowing that our team improved their knowledge and skill in defending the bunt. I may leave a game knowing that our team, although we lost, learned how to "come back" and compete when we were down by 4 and made it a one run loss at the end.

You may see an improvement in team unity, team chemistry, or team leadership. You may see a certain player show improvement in pitching control, hitting the off-speed pitch, or reading the pitcher to get a better jump when stealing a base. See these improvements are what coaching and playing baseball is all about.

Is it better for a team to show absolutely no improvement in a season and go undefeated because they dominate their league or for a team to play.500 baseball on the season, but show incredible levels of improvement from the top of the lineup to the bottom? You see what I mean? Improvement is the "name of the game". Improvement is what coaching baseball is all about.

Coaches must keep in mind that only half of the teams that play every day, win. The other half lose. Should 50% of the coaches feel their day was a total loss ever day they play? When it comes to playoffs it is a fact that less than 1/100 of 1 percent of all baseball teams will end their season with a win each year. The other 99.999 % of the teams will find themselves ending their season with a loss or not being in the playoffs.

Now, I want you to know that I value winning as much as any coach on this planet. But what I am saying is that coaches must make winning a goal and getting better a priority. You should feel satisfaction when you see improvement on a daily basis. If you do not see improvement, chances are that you will find it difficult to win anyway. So the message here is to make it known to you team that you want to see them improve as players and as a team every day in some way. It is their job to make it happen. It is your job to give them the opportunity to do so in practices and games.

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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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Sunday, March 21, 2010

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Why Aren't YOU A Great Hitting Coach?


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Why Aren't YOU A Great Hitting Coach?
By Chip Lemin

It seemed coaching was so much simpler back when I played a long time ago. We didn't have travel teams with 400 dollar bats and 25 thousand dollar budgets. Today there are players who have had instruction since they were 5 years old that can hit whiffle golf balls with a rake handle at 60 miles per hour. But they are still the exception.More than not you will be coaching kids that are much more accomplished at video games than staying back on a pitch. Their parents will bring them to the practice with a expensive bat and expect you to teach them how to hit like a pro in one session.

The first thing you must do to become a great hitting coach is keep things fun for the players. Please don't be a tough guy and start yelling at the kids. You must heap on the praise when they do something right,it works very well. And try that with your own kid too, you'll be surprised how effective it is.Keep the kids split up into groups of 3-4 to keep them from socializing too much.

Using batting helmets during all drills is a must. It will protect you as a coach as well as the players.Take the players over the batters box and show them the batters box and how they have a lot of room to adjust to different pitchers. Show them what it means to move up in the box. Let them know most youth players should stand close to the plate because they can't cover the corner with their short bats.

Here's something most coaches don't show beginners and it is very important.Every player, regardless of their skill level must know how to get out of the way of a pitch.I will discuss 2 ways that I teach. The first one is for fast quick agile type players.Have the player hold the bat in the hitting ready position with their hands back about to swing the bat. Now show them how to just drop the bat, and drop straight to ground face first. This is just a quick drop down with feet going straight back toward the back stop and their head toward the mound. They can break the fall a little with their hands. This method is not for everyone,usually only the smaller wiry kids like it. It is the safer method I must add, but the player must be committed to doing it.

The other method is the lazy way. I teach this method to the kids who won't use the above tactic. If the ball is coming toward the players face, neck, or back, have them quickly turn their back to the pitch,exposing the back and ribs to the pitch, not their face. It should be pretty evident to the players where they would rather be hit. This why I prefer the other method,it can increase your odds of not being hit at all.

There is so much more to hitting, but the safety of your players should be foremost. Most parents will be very much o.k. with you teaching safety right out of the gate. So remember,keep it fun, keep the kids split up, and wear your helmets. Take them to the batter's box and show them around. The practice avoiding pitches for a good half hour. Here is another tip. Go back and review this every few practices to keep your players ready. You never know when a pitch may come at a player's face. It is your duty as a hitting coach to have them ready if it does.

Thanks,

Coach Chip.

For more coaching pointers on hitting,fielding,sportsmanship,and more go to my site and sign up for a free 7 part coaching e-course. Sign up at

http://www.baseballecourse.com

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 7 part coaching e-course at http://www.baseballecourse.com

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

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Fun Indoor Baseball Drills For Kids - A Tip From the Pros For What to Do on a Rainy Day


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Fun Indoor Baseball Drills For Kids - A Tip From the Pros For What to Do on a Rainy Day
By Matt Mc Dermott

Have you ever been at a loss for what to do on a day when it rains before youth baseball practice? You want to keep the kids' enthusiasm high, but you may not have access to a huge indoor facility where you can do all sorts of advanced practice techniques. If that is the case, you may be wondering how you can beat the other team which may have better access to indoor equipment and facilities.

Take a tip from the pros on what they do on rainy days. It will help your kids have a new indoor baseball "drill" they can do any time; and it works perfectly with what they do already!

One of the benefits of having been in the minor leagues is that you see kids when they have the opportunity to come on the field after games. They imagine all sorts of fun scenarios such as hitting the winning home run, striking out the last batter, and turning an amazing 6-4-3 double play. If you use their imaginations properly, you will have a great "rainy day" technique which will help your kids get better.

Here are some visualization suggestions:


In a quiet room tell the kids that they are going to work on hitting. Choose a specific task to help them focus, such as seeing the pitch leave the pitcher's hand. Instruct them to see the situation as if the kids are already at bat (not like they are watching themselves on a movie screen). Have the kids see themselves successfully completing the task. While the ideal number of repetitions is 21 or more visualizations, that is probably unrealistic. Have the kids do 3 or 4 repeats of successfully accomplishing the task, and then make a change. For example, have them repeat everything again except this time the pitcher is throwing from the other side, the sky is overcast, or the team is down by 2 runs. Again, choose one change and have the kids repeat a successful visualization 3 or 4 times
Move on to defense and choose one aspect on which to work, such as fielding a ground ball to the back hand side (or catchers blocking a ball to the back hand side). Again, have them visualize 3 or 4 times and then make a change (overcast, team is up by a run, bases loaded and 2 outs, etc.).
Move on to base running, repeat as above
Move on to throwing, repeat as above

There have been numerous reports of basketball players improving their free throw percentages just by using mental imagery and many other articles citing the benefits of mental imagery for athletes (e.g. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/siforwomen/issue_three/think/). Teaching your kids this skill early will give them a jump on their competition.

Over time, you can have your kids successfully practice all sorts of situations so that they are familiar with the scenario before it ever happens. In addition, they have only practiced success in their minds so they reduce the odds of making errors or failing to perform in clutch situations.

This indoor baseball drill for your kids will help them go a long way in learning what elite athletes already do today. Since young kids already have active imaginations when it comes to baseball, it should be an "easy sell" on your part. If there is any hesitancy, tell them that pro baseball players use this skill to overcome hitting slumps and they should be fine with it!

Matt was a backup and bullpen catcher in professional baseball for parts of 5 seasons, and he gave post-game lessons to kids after home games throughout his career. He gave these suggestions to kids and their parents during some of these lessons, and repeatedly was thanked by parents for how much their kids improved. If you are a youth baseball parent and want to better enjoy your time as a parent in the youth leagues, then learn the same advice which professional baseball men give their closest friends who are a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/siforwomen/issue_three/think/">http://www.youthbaseballparents.com/">Youth Baseball Parents. You also can get a free report taking these visualization suggestions to the next level, and you will help your kid overcome being nervous when at bat.

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


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Friday, March 12, 2010

Drills For Little League Pitchers in the Bull Pen


Drills For Little League Pitchers in the Bull Pen
By John R Di Nicola

The Bull Pen is where you can get the most done working with your young pitchers. Here they are working on their wind up and delivery. The pitchers will go through this station while the team is working on infield outfield practices. Once you have had a practice or two you can determine how much time you will allot for this station. You most likely will not get all the pitchers completed. Also your pitchers will be playing a position so you will have to schedule stations with that in mind.

You will most likely have to schedule several practices with pitchers and catchers only before the season starts. You can get so much more accomplished by working solely with the pitchers. Listed below are drills you can do in the bull pen and the actual field.

1. Wind up and from the Stretch - Mechanics

* This is the most important part for the young pitcher. Unless you get real lucky and have a pitcher who has pitched before you basically will be starting from scratch. To help the young pitcher feel comfortable you might want them to pitch from the stretch. History has shown they tend have better control when pitching out the stretch. A big factor that at the 7,8, and 9 year old level there seem to be a lot of base runners so they spend most of the time in the stretch position.

2. Locations

* This is the only time when you can really work on their control. You give them five places to look at while they are in their wind up and delivery.

1) The catcher right shoulder 2) Right Knee 3) Left shoulder 4) Left Knee 5) catcher's mask.

They first throw 10 pitches to catcher's mask. You instruct them to reach out and pull the catcher's mask off. Show them the index finger and middle finger out in front with arm extended and snap them down as to pull down when releasing the ball.

* Have them throw 5 pitches to each of the other locations. Once they are in the ready position they should pick up one of the locations and keep their eye's focused on the location till after the release of the ball.

* In time you should see improvement, However if a player is not improving with his control you to redirect him back to a position and try and find another pitcher.

Organizing your Practice

Set up your schedule and rotate your days you do the drills. You will find that some of the drills they will pick up quicker than others. The biggest thing is you cannot have marathon practices. By keeping the practices short and crisp you will keep players motivated. I found if you have a practice schedule and post it, will show the players approximately how long each drill will be and what to expect.

Practice 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 EMail me at:
jdinicola@easypitching.com

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Web site:
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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_R_Di_Nicola

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Learn How To Hit The Great Curveball


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Learn How To Hit The Great Curveball
By Sumit Bhatnagar and Parul Aggarwal

Hitting a fastball is not a big deal for almost all the Major League hitters. However, hitting a curveball needs a solid plan and only the best hitters manage to hit a curveball.

It is almost impossible to hit the great low curveball. But, if someone manages to do that, he reaches the hall of fame automatically.

Generally, even the best hitters do not dare to swing at that pitch until they get two strikes.

In fact, even the best pitchers fear to consistently throw their off-speed pitch in a great location just for a strike.

Thus, do not try to hit the un-hittable curveball unnecessarily. All you need to do is prepare yourself and be in a good position to hit the pitcher's mistakes.

You will be surprised to know that a hanging curveball is the easiest pitch to hit in baseball. An off-speed pitch up in the strike zone also helps. But, make sure you are in the right position to hit it.

Following are the secrets to conquering the great curveball:

o You should be well prepared in the first place. Also, you should try to study the pitcher's habits.

o You should make sure that you are aware of the proper keys to hitting the off-speed pitch.

o You should regularly practice the five different curveball drills. These are underhand recognition drill, bounce drill, underhand lob drill, drop the ball drill and the back toss drill.

Thus, if you do your homework regularly and practice all the techniques well, you will be able to hit the hittable curveball consistently.

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

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The Categories they have are: BatAction Hitting Machines, Hurricane Hitting Machines, 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, NEDCO Bataction Replacement Parts, Baseball Training Equipment, Youth Baseball Training Equipment, Training Bats, Pitching & Throwing Trainers, Defensive Trainers, SKLZ Hurricane Replacement Parts and Much Much More! Visit Baseball2U.com today!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Baseball Coaching Digest - the Top 10 Worst Youth Baseball Coaching Excuses of All Time

Baseball Coaching Digest - the Top 10 Worst Youth Baseball Coaching Excuses of All Time
By: Nick Dixon

If you coach baseball, you are going to hear your share of excuses from other coaches. If you are like me and most coaches, you absolutely hate to hear anyone make an excuse for bad behavior or poor performance. But, it really make me furious when I hear a coach make an excuse. Coaches are in the job of teaching kids to be accountable and responsible. They should never try to justify a mistake or poor team performance by making an excuse.

Most coaches refuse to make excuses. They understand that behavior and actions have consequences. However, there is that small percentage of coaches that are always ready with a reason or excuse for poor team performance.

The Baseball 2Day Coaching Journal surveyed baseball coaches. One of the questions was "What was the worst excuse you ever heard from a coach?"

Here are the top 10 worst coaches excuses of all time:

#10..."I forgot how many outs there were. The umpire should have told me"

#9...."They are only kids... they don not know any better. They are not a very smart bunch."

#8...."You should give up your practice time because I scheduled a game on this field without consulting the field schedule because I helped found this league."

#7...."I Can not get my short stop to come to practice. He has not practiced in 2 weeks." (shortstop started the game and made several crucial errors)

#6...."That kid is not coachable. He knows it all at the age of 12." (When talking of a kid)

#5...."I was too busy talking to my wife to watch that play." (coach missed a great defensive play by his third baseman)

#4...."I was riding around town and I did not know what time it was." (assistant coach missed a scheduled practice)

#3...."I thought the game was canceled because of the rain." (Assistant coach arrived late for the game because he assumed that the game was rained out - it rained at his home, but not at the field.)

#2(tie)...."We do not play good in early games" (youth coach after losing a Saturday morning game)

#2(tie)...."We do not play good in late games" (youth coach after losing a Saturday late night game)

#1(tie)...."I was talking on my cell phone."(Coach of the batting team did not get into the third base coaching box until his team had two outs in the inning)

#1(tie)...."I was texting my wife" (Coach failed to shake hands with the opposing coaches after the game.)

I know that you feel like I do. I feel that many of these guys are wasting their time attempting to coach youth baseball. If their excuses are true indications of their level of commitment and dedication, they need do what is best for the team and resign.

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

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

When To Pull A Pitcher in a Youth Baseball Game

When To Pull A Pitcher in a Youth Baseball Game
By Michael Sakowski

If you have watched youth baseball games at the 7-12 year old level, you have probably witnessed the act of "pulling the pitcher" in the middle of the inning. In some cases, the result is the pulled pitcher bursting into tears! Yes, these kids can be pretty hard on themselves. One may argue that such events are just a part of growing up and the youth that was pulled must learn to deal with it and move on. Still, there are measures that may be taken to minimize the trauma on the youth pitcher that is pulled.

Screen Your Pitchers Well

Make sure your pitchers can pitch at least 3 out of 5 balls in the strike zone and preferably 3 out of 4 in the strike zone. If the pitcher is pitching hit-able balls, one of two things will happen: The batter will strike out, or the batter will make a hit and place the outcome in the fielder's hands (and provide the fielders some valuable practice). If the pitcher is only throwing 1 or 2 balls in the strike zone out of every 5 pitches, the result will be a lot of walked players and runs scored on stolen bases - this really is not how the game should be played and is very frustrating for the pitching team.

Also make sure your pitcher can throw at a speed fast enough to prevent repeated heavy hits for home runs. They do not have to pitch lightning fast. If they are lobbing the ball at a "toss-speed" however, batter after batter will be hitting balls for home runs and you may have no choice but to replace the pitcher.

Communicate With Your Pitchers

From the start, let your prospective pitchers know what is expected. Let them know that if they pitch out of the strike zone repeatedly with the result of an extended inning, they may be pulled. Be patient however - I think a lot can be learned by a pitcher "working through" his temporary difficulties. If you screen your pitchers well, you won't have to pull pitchers much, if at all.

Michael Sakowski works full time and volunteers as an assistant coach for his son's youth league baseball team. He also has researched effective youth baseball methods and has published a website, Youth Baseball Basics that provides helpful information to first time baseball players and first time baseball parents.

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

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Three Tips For Improving a Pitcher's Control


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Three Tips For Improving a Pitcher's Control
By Mike Posey

Are you confident the next pitch will go exactly where you planned? How can you be sure your pitcher will locate the next pitch exactly where you want it? A pitcher with great control can sure make the the coach look good.

A few years ago we had one of our HS pitchers throw a perfect game. Not only did no one reach base (zero hits, zero walks, and zero errors) but he had ten strikeouts. What's even more amazing is that it only took 55 pitches (in a five inning ten run game) and 42 of them were strikes.

So, he must have had a blazing fastball? No, his fastball was in the neighborhood of 82 MPH with a 70 MPH change up. The most impressive feat? Every pitch was exactly where he wanted it to be. He was in complete control at all times. A real thing of beauty to watch and enjoy.

Here are three tips to help your pitcher maximize their control.

1. Good control starts with practicing good mechanics--every day.
Pitchers must practice quality mechanics daily. A secret is to develop a good visual image of how to perform correctly. From a good balance point, properly breaking the hands, a good landing, release, and follow thru. A Tip to help pitchers develop visualization: purchase a full length mirror and have the pitcher practice each day facing the mirror. Balance point, break the hands, release, and follow thru. Practice and visualize.

2. Pitchers must master both sides of the plate with their fastball.

Assuming the pitcher is practicing correct mechanics daily, emphasize that importance of pitching in and away. Many young pitchers today are afraid of pitching in. Teach your pitcher the importance of throwing to the inside half with confidence and accuracy. It will make the pitches away more effective. If you pitcher can not do this consistently with their fastball, don't go to another offspeed pitch until they have mastered the fastball to both sides of the plate.

3. More important than a pitch count is the ratio of strikes.

Pitchers must have feed back of the total percentage of strikes thrown during the game and the total percentage of first strikes thrown to each hitter. Use a pitch count device that will give you these percentages during the game.

Mike Posey "CP"
Expert Baseball Pitching Stats

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

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

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

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Hitting a Baseball - Using the Gaps


By Nate Barnett

How do you tell if a hitter is creating the correct energy and movement at bat? One simple way (there are obviously more technical ways) is to observe where most of the balls are traveling while hitting a baseball. If a hitter is directing balls into the gaps (regardless if they are ground balls or fly balls) he's on the right track. On the flip side, if a lot of balls are being sliced down the opposite field line or hooked to the pull side, some mechanical alterations are necessary. Two common causes are found here:

1. The most common root cause of hooking or slicing while hitting a baseball is improper control of the front side of the body. A good baseball swing begins with the movement of the back part of the body (specifically the back knee and hip). During this brief period of time the front side of the body (basically all joints on the front side) need to remain relatively unmoved. The purpose of this is so that the back side of the body moves towards the play. If the front side moves at the same time as the back side of the body, momentum is being taken away from the pitch. It is then more difficult for the athlete to keep his bat moving through the zone. Instead, the bat cuts across the zone and creates a lot of side spin on the baseball as well.

2. Another cause of hooked or sliced balls is how the hands enter and pass through the strike zone. The path any hitter needs to take with the hands is a direct and straight path into the hitting zone. Unfortunately, the problem of a weak front side (described in #1) tends to drag the hands away from the body. The end result is hands that progress through the zone in a sweeping fashion. This type of problem only increases the likelihood that side spin will occur while hitting a baseball.

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 your baseball psychology

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


Sponsor Links:

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!

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