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!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Recommended Sites for Baseball Coaches of Little League and other Youth Baseball.

Visit the Little League Digest at LittleLeagueDigest.com for the very latest articles on coaching Little League Baseball. Make sure to bookmar the LLD to your favorites for future visits.

Visit YouthBaseballDigest.com for free baseball articles on coaching youth baseball. Site features daily articles, tips, drills, and coaching strategy.

Visit the Baseball Coaching Journal at http://www.bb2day.com for the very latest baseball coaching drills, tips, and articles.

also

Visit the Baseball Parent Guide for Free Articles and Tips for Baseball Parents

BaseballParentGuide.com - This informative sites features articles is many interesting categories realted to helping a baseball player imrove and deal with issues related to today's game.

make sure to bookmark the BaseballParentGuide.com for future visits.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Buy Top Quality Baseball Training Equipment at Ebay Prices.

Buy Top Quality Baseball Training Equipment at Ebay Prices.



Nedco Sports Ebay Store - New Top Quality Products backed by fast and friendly serive. It does not get any better than this!

Friday, May 28, 2010

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



By: Nick Dixon - Inventor of BatAction and Hurricane Hitting Machines

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

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

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

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

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!
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Baseball & Softball Swing Training - Is Muscle Memory a Myth?


Advanced Skills Batting Tee - AdvancedSkillsTee.com

By Todd Thomas

Exactly what is muscle memory and how do you create it for a specific thing you want your body to learn to repeat? The term muscle memory is thrown around so loosely, but do those who use the term really know what muscle memory is and how to create it? So many have just heard the term and simply repeat it because it sounds good. First off let me ask, do your muscles really have cognitive power in and of themselves? Do our muscles have brain cells embedded in them? I think even those who throw the term around as if they really understand it would even admit the simple answer to that question. That answer being No. Our muscles do not have the ability to remember anything. So where does the term muscle memory come from and how does one actually create it?

Muscles really only have two capabilities. They can either be constricted(to varying degrees) or they can be relaxed. That's it. So again, where does this "muscle memory" come from? Well, it's really BRAIN memory. The brain is what is really "remembering" moves or has the "memory" of certain performed activities. The brain sends electrical impulses to the muscles causing them to either be constricted or relaxed in order for the body to perform what it is being asked to do. So it's really the brain that needs to be programmed for memory of desired muscle movement not the muscles themselves. They just perform what the brain tells them to.

So with this in mind that we really need to train the brain not the muscles in order to learn and repeat a desired athletic move, that begs the question of exactly how to do it. To understand the answer, just think about the sensory inputs that the brain receives in order to learn. Yes, the senses...Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Feel(Touch). And of course, that sixth sense, Emotion. The two most important here for programming "muscle memory" is sight and feel. Sound or Hearing factor in here too from the instruction of what a coach may be telling a player to do, but hearing by simply being told how to perform an athletic move is a far distant second(if you will) behind sight and feel in training the brain for muscle memory.

It is important for a player to "feel" what they are doing in their swing. Feeling the swing as a whole and feeling what different body parts or muscles groups are doing is a powerful step forward for any player. The ability to feel the "hands" for instance and how they are working in the swing is important. Knowing where they(the hands in this example) are at each moment of the swing is important. "Feeling" where they are and feeling what they are doing IS KNOWING their performance in the swing. I tell students a lot to draw their attention to a certain body part and to "pay attention" to what that part is doing in their swing. Paying attention to it(whatever it is) is to "observe" it without trying to change it. Pay attention or observe it as I, the instructor, am observing it. Feeling is important and is a powerful way to make mechanical changes or adjustments and to promote muscle memory.

Then there is sight. Baseball and softball players being able to see themselves and what they are doing, be it in a mirror or on video is extremely important as well. Seeing what they are doing helps them to feel what they are doing. However, the players seeing what they are doing is not the only important visual sensory input to the brain that will help develop the much desired muscle memory. It is also extremely valuable for players to take in the visual input of other players they want to emulate by watching video of that player(s) over and over and over perform at their best(or performing their best swing). Don't sell the value of this short. I'm telling you, it is a scientifically proven fact that watching the best players perform at their best is a great(and in many ways untapped) way to train a player's brain in their desired athletic endeavor. Remember, it's the brain that is trained for "muscle memory" not the muscles themselves. The brain stores and recalls this information to send to a player's muscles when it is time to perform. Does just watching a little bit of video do it? No. It should be a regular "practice" of a player wanting to train their muscle memory. Just like physical practice isn't a one time(or few times) thing either. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.

Oh yea, that brings me to physical REPETITION. Physical repetition of course is critical. Does physical repetition train the muscles? No. It trains the brain on the impulses necessary to send to the muscles to perform the desired athletic activity.

So technically, muscle memory is a myth. It's the brain that one needs to train to perform the desired muscles memory. Remember that!

Todd Thomas is a Baseball Coach and Professional Hitting Instructor for Mike Epstein Hitting. Coach Todd's personal hitting website is http://www.HitItHere.net. Coach Todd also enthusiastically endorses http://PlayMyBestBaseball.com as a place where baseball and softball hitters can master the Confidence, Composure, Focus and Consistency of their game so they can reach their full potential.

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

===============
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: 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!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baseball Pitching and Warming-Up Properly

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By Nate Barnett

Many baseball players warm-up the wrong way before they start playing catch. They tend to throw to warm-up and not to warm-up before they throw. Warming up the wrong way can cause injury to your throwing arm or any part of your body. Many injuries occur during spring training games or just before big super league tournaments when multiple consecutive games are played. Players often think they already warmed up enough from a previous game earlier in the day and they aren't as loose as they think.

Before a pitcher or any position player begins to play catch they need to warm up their entire body. Why? Players with good mechanics understand that you don't just throw with you arm, you throw with your entire body. Warm up the entire body to throw not just your arm.

What I like to do is start warming up my legs, hips, core, shoulders, arms and then fingers; yes fingers. I am not about to share with you all warm up exercises you should do because there are many. I just want to share some with you so you can get a fairly good idea how you should be warming up to play catch.

I will start with a light jog around the field followed by high knees forward and backward for about 30 yards each way. This gets the blood flowing. I will continue warming up much like football players do. Karaoke forward and back, jumping jacks, high knee skips, form running etc.

Warming up your core is also important before you play catch. I won't do old school sit ups anymore like I used to throughout High School and College. Prone holds serve the purpose, side prone holds with one leg in the air and so on. There are literally hundreds of core warm ups you could do, but I prefer the prone holds to simply activate the core and get it warm.

To get your shoulders and arm simply do arm circles forward and back; thumbs up for a set, thumbs down for another and then palms down. This ensures you warm up each of the three shoulder muscles. Front and forward claps are great and then fence shakes palms out, palms in and palms down.

When you feel loose you can start playing catch with your teammates. Again it is imperative that you warm up to throw and not throw to warm-up. Don't just start playing catch right away, you will increase the risk of injury.

Nate Barnett is co-owner of The Pitching Academy.

You can find The Pitching Academy's articles, blog, and videos on baseball pitching, and hitting mechanics when you visit the website.

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

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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 BatAction.com.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

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


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.
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

===Advertisement from our sponsor:=====

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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Monday, May 24, 2010

How to Dominate With Only 3 Baseball Pitches


Advanced Skills Tee - The World's Most Productive Batting Tee

By Nate Barnett

Nationals star Steven Strasburg has dominated on the mound once again at the Triple-A level this season. He threw six innings allowing one walk, and striking out seven hitters. But what I wanted to share with you is the command Strasburg has of his baseball pitches. He throws a fastball in the mid to upper 90's, a changeup around 90mph (must be nice), and a curveball around 80mph. This is not unusual since most MLB pitchers throw these pitches and more. But what separates Strasburg from the rest is his amazing command he has with all three baseball pitches.

Many of the youth pitchers I work with spend most of their time trying to figure out how to throw a blazing fastball but fail to prepare adequately their pitching mechanics that will promote command of their pitches. Just the other day I blogged about Moyer and his command he has of his pitches. Even though the 47 year old Moyer and 21 year old Strasburg have little in common with their pitching velocity, they share a common ability of being able to locate all of their baseball pitches in any count.

One pitching tip I can give you when working on your pitching grips and command is to practice throwing different pitches while warming up. This might not be effective with a curveball, however, I do remember working on different changeup grips all throughout my college pitching days. Put in the hours throwing different baseball pitches and you will build the confidence you need.

Nate Barnett is co-owner of The Pitching Academy.

You can find The Pitching Academy's articles, blog, and videos on baseball pitching grips when you visit the website.

The Pitching Academy's pitching mechanics DVD.

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

Thanks to our sponsor:

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: 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!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Coaching Baseball; Recommended Baseball Articles for Coaches

Coaching Baseball; Recommended Baseball Articles for Coaches


www.QuickSwingTrainer.com

Have a Great Weekend! Good luck to you and your team if you are playing. Here are some recommended baseball coaching articles for baseball coaches. Nick Dixon
Coaching Little League Baseball - Bad Habits Make For Bad Coaching

Article discusses 10 bad habits of bad Little League Coaches. These bad habits make it impossible for a coach to be an effective coach and role model.


Coaching Youth Baseball - Coaching Your First Baseman

Here are important points and skills that you must teach your First Baseman. Tips cover teaching the proper way to get to the bag, set up to receive the throw and how to stretch.


Baseball Coaching Digest - Stop and See - 1st & 3rd Double Steal Base Running Play

This 1st and 3rd Double Steal Play known as the Stop and See Steal. This play is used by offensive teams to score a runner from 3rd base by stopping the stealing runner short of the bag and tag.


Baseball Coaching Digest - Fake 3rd Out Defensive Trick

The Fake 3rd Out is a trick play ran by defensive teams to trick an unsuspecting base runner. If the base runner is not alert and aware, he may step off the bag and give the defensive team a cheap out to end the inning. Coaches should make their players aware of sure plays and tactics to prevent this trick from happening to their team.


Baseball Coaching Digest - Illegal Use of the Courtesy Runner Rule

Baseball coaches must be alert for one way that opposing offensive teams may illegally use the Courtesy Runner or Speed-Up rule. How does a team illegally use a courtesy runner? Here is the procedure outlined:


Baseball Coaching and the Importance of Goals For Team and Player Motivation

There are very few volunteer jobs more challenging, time-consuming or rewarding than being a coach in your local league. There are many four letter words used by coaches that I can not use here. Here I want to discuss the 4 four-letter words that can and will determine the amount of success a coach has during the coming season. The four words are Goal, Plan, Work and Time.




www.QuickSwingTrainer.com


Recommended Baseball Sites:
Baseball Coaching Digest
Baseball Coaching Digest - Today's Post
Baseball Coaching Digest: Daily Post Archive
New Articles for Coaches
Baseball Coaching Articles by Coach Nick Dixon
New Baseball Blogs
Videos for Baseball Coaches

YouthBaseballDigest.com
Homepage
Today's Youth Baseball Coaching Feature Article
Videos for Coaches
Blogs & Knols for Baseball Coaches, Players & Parents

BaseballParentGuide.com
Homepage
Baseball Parent Guide: Today's Post
Baseball Articles for Coaches
Baseball Blogs
Teaching Your Child to Hit
Throwing and Pitching Fundamentals
Buying Guide For Baseball Parents
Current Topics and Issues Related to Safety in Baseball

Also:
Check out our network of baseball blogs:

Blogger (Blogspot) - baseballcoachesdigest
Blogger (Blogspot) - baseballparentguide
Blogger (Blogspot) - baseballhomeworkhelp
Blogger (Blogspot) - batactionbaseballtraining
Blogger (Blogspot) - battingcagebuyingguide
Blogger (Blogspot) - coachesbest
Blogger (Blogspot) - teeballcoachingclinic
Blogger (Blogspot) - hurricanebaseballtrainingmachine
Blogger (Blogspot) - teeballparentsguide
Blogger (Blogspot) - youthbaseballcoachingclinic

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.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Secrets to Coaching Youth Baseball


By Stephen K Reynolds

Coaching Youth Baseball is a great experience for men and women to be involved in. One of the awesome things about being involved in it is the opportunity to be around young people and motivate them to be their best.

There are tons of books and materials on youth baseball so i wont try to re-invent the wheel here.
I just want to hit on some things that need to mentioned. Keep it simple!! The majority of reasons why teams aren't as good as they could be is because they don't do the simple things!

Coaches want to be smart and try to employ strategies that are just to sophisticated for young players especially for 9-10 year olds. Stick to the basics ground ball practice, fly balls, throwing fundamentals, basis pitching mechanics.

Incorporate games into the drills that way kids can see the result of why they need to use a technique correctly. Keep it light and fun that way your players keep coming back for more.

Remember long after the games are over the players will remember how they were treated, not what the score was!! Here is one for you Dads... Your Son or daughter will never be as good as you Thought you were!

Another important key is using stations, less standing around. lets face it there is never enough time as it is. The secret is to make good use of your time while you have your players.

Bottom line have fun with this great game and enjoy your time with the players it goes by very quickly!!

Stephen K Reynolds is publisher of the LSR Unlimted "Free" newsletter which focuses on helping newcomers and seasoned pros learn the secrets to marketing in the ever changing world of the internet! For more information on this e-mail lsrwealth@gmail.com

(800)758-1282

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

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Zone Hitting - Working the Pitch Count



Zone Hitting - Working the Pitch Count
By Fred Bonds

Undisciplined hitting has two major pitfalls. First, the batter is not swinging at pitches that are located where he hits most effectively, resulting in weak grounders or fly balls and easy outs. Second, a team of undisciplined hitters will never (and I mean NEVER!) press the opposing pitcher to the point of breakdown. Bottom line is that the pitcher will always maintain control of the ballgame as long as he can count on hitters swinging at his pitch and not theirs.

There are many ways to have a good at bat (let's call it a QAB or quality at bat) from this point on. QAB's come from good clean hits. The pitcher throws the all, you hit it hard, it finds a hole and you're on base. That's the most obvious QAB. The less obvious ones come from forcing the pitcher to throw you your pitch or taking him deep into the count before getting a walk or making an out. Both should be rewarded by teammates for reasons I will explain later.

Let's start by defining a QAB. This is a concept you must learn, understand, and apply every at bat from this point on. A quality at bat is any at bat you have that results in either you getting on base via a hit or walk, or you forcing the pitcher to throw more than four pitchers. Why four? Because if I, as a pitcher, can get you out in 4 pitches and I can do it again for each of your teammates, then my pitch count is 12 pitches per inning, 108 for the game. That's not too bad for a pitcher. Also, it means that you, as a hitter, are only getting 12-16 pitches (if that) per game to hit. Later in the game, you'll not have seen enough pitches to get your timing down and get comfortable. Have you ever wondered why a pitcher, who is cruising along in a game with no real problems but is going to full count with nearly every batter, suddenly gets rocked even though he is doing well? The batters got comfortable with him. They saw enough pitches to figure out how to hit him effectively. That's why closers are so effective even if they throw only one type of pitch.

By forcing the pitcher to throw more pitches, you get to see him longer, and see all of his pitches. Also, you wear him down. So instead of 4 pitches, it now takes 7 pitches to get you and the rest of your team out. Assuming no one gets on base, the pitcher ends up throwing 21 pitches per inning or 147 per game. That is a very high pitch count for anyone, especially high school or collegiate pitchers.

Let's assume that most pitchers have an effectiveness ceiling of 80 pitches. You face a pitcher and get on base in 5 pitches. The next hitter flies out in 6. The number 3 hitter hits a ground ball through in 4 pitches. The cleanup hitter is out in 7. The last batter of the inning fights back from 1-2 only to ground out in 7 pitches. No runs score, but your team has made the pitcher throw 29 pitches in one inning. At that pace, the pitcher should lose his effectiveness in the third inning. If your team continues to wear him down, you will have created a window of opportunity to break the game wide open somewhere in the third or fourth inning.

How do you have a QAB? The answer depends on the situation present when you enter the batters box. For now, let's discuss your first at bat, no runners on, and no outs. You should have a good idea of where your "happy spot" is in the strike zone. A "happy spot" is your power zone. Normally, it is mid-thigh to belt high on the inner half of the plate. Where ever it is, this is the spot that you want to hit the ball for power and solid contact. When you are at the plate, you are looking for a fastball in that specific location. You will not swing at any pitch outside that zone even if it is a strike. Also, you will not swing at any off speed pitch. You will keep looking for a pitch in this zone until you have one strike on you.

With one strike, the zone you are hitting in expands slightly. Now you are looking fastball (or hanging off-speed) across the heart of the plate. Height-wise look just above knees to hip high. You must make a mental note to stay closed as you expand your zone. The odds of getting pitched outside increase dramatically when you have one or more strikes on you. Also, your mind-set should be to hit the ball up the middle. You should not swing at pitches outside of the zone or at off-speed pitches that are not mistakes. You will hit this zone until you have two strikes.

With two strikes, the zone is wide open, extending at least 2 in. on the corners and a ball width up and down the zone. Make note of what the ump is calling and adjust your zone accordingly. Your swing shortens slightly as you look to put the ball in play or foul it off. You are now looking for the ball away and will keep your front hip closed as you approach the ball. You are looking to hit opposite field as a majority of pitches will be thrown to the outer half of the plate with two strikes. You will react to the inside pitch.

Now with this mind-set, the pitcher must throw a minimum of 3 pitches to get you out or get a walk. So, a minimum of 3 pitches to get you out or 4 to walk you. You have that many pitches to find one that is in your hitting zone to hit for power. Expect to go at least 5 pitches as we can expect the pitcher to waste a pitch or miss the zone. It is very likely one of those five pitches will be the money pitch for you. Be ready. The big difference between amateur and professional hitters is that pros can hit the pitch when they get it a majority of the time.

With runners on, your zone will change depending upon where you want to hit the ball, but for the most part, those three zone situations will suffice. Also, should you face a pitcher who is throwing strikes and a lot of them; you will need to match his aggressiveness. Still looking for your pitch, your zone should expand larger after the 1st strike to incorporate the zone the pitcher is hitting. If he's not missing much, you have to step it up a notch and match him. Sure, you are not going to drive up the pitch count (unless you hit him a lot and keep him out there) but you will see pitches you can hit so go get them.

Working the count is extremely important when hitting against a pitcher you haven't seen before. A team effort is required to gain info on what the pitcher has in way of velocity, location, and pitch types. Done properly, batters can swing the advantage to their side of the plate while possibly increasing their batting averages. Will this work every time? Probably not, but it will make you a better hitter and increase the odds of your team winning.

Variations of this approach can be made by moving your initial zone to wherever you want to hit the ball. If I know I can hit the outside pitch away with power, I may want to go after the first fastball I see on the outer half of the plate (very likely the first pitch). It's up to you. The important part of all of this is to learn discipline at the plate and not go up there hacking at anything that moves. Have a plan and stick to it unless the conditions make you change.

Ultimately, QAB's will help raise your batting average, RBI count, and on-base percentage. In order to be effective, however, you must learn to recognize pitches as well as developing a short quick stroke to the ball. Putting it all together is what it's all about!

Fred Bonds is the Director of Research for Area51Sports, an innovative new wood baseball bat company, http://www.area51bats.com. He was director of the Central Michigan Sports Center, director of the BPR Nationals Baseball HS Prospect team, and a former associate scout for the Cincinnati Reds and Global Scouting Bureau. Be sure to visit the Area51Sports website and get on the email list for the latest advances in hitting, coaching, and great discounts on the hottest baseball bats in the game. For more info on wood baseball bats or to contact Fred, go to http://www.area51bats.com.

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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Baseball Tips on Hitting - Are You Popping Up Or Grounding Out Too Often?


By Larry Cicchiello

No matter how high or how low your batting average is, one of the most important baseball tips on hitting is that you should pay close attention to how your outs are being made. We improve by working on any weaknesses we have. Even if you are hitting.350, if most of your outs are either on pop ups or grounders, you should be looking to make an adjustment. If you take your baseball hitting seriously, you must make adjustments. Here are some baseball tips on hitting that should help you.

Grounding Out Too Often and Topping the Ball

1. You may be getting your stride foot down too late. This will not give you enough time to get the bat to the hitting zone because your bat will still be too high when the moment of truth arrives, thus topping the ball.

2. You may be trying to pull the outside pitch instead of going with the pitch to the opposite field. Your bat will have a slight drag to it and you won't be swinging through the ball.

3. You may be hitting too much off the front foot and not keeping your weight on your back foot. This will cause you to be "top heavy" and most likely hit the top of the ball.

4. You may be opening your front shoulder and/or front hip too quickly, causing you to pull off the ball and not swing through the ball.

Popping Up Too Often and Hitting Under the Ball

1. Pay very close attention to what your back shoulder is doing. If it is collapsing and dropping down below the front shoulder, there is a very good chance this is the problem. Basically, you are lowering your entire swing and you almost have to swing underneath the ball. The same applies to your back leg. If it's dropping down and "collapsing" too much, that can very easily lead to uppercutting the ball and popping it up.

2. Make sure you are not dropping your hands too low when actually swinging. This obviously will increase the chances of you hitting the bottom of the baseball. If your hands are too low, your bat will be too low and there is a very good chance you will hit the bottom of the ball.

3. Make sure the back of your bottom hand is facing the pitcher when you start your swing. Remember, it should be one palm up and one palm down only at the point of contact and not before.

4. Make sure that your front elbow is pointing downward at the very start of your swing.This is very possibly the most common baseball hitting problem you will ever see. One of the hundreds of baseball tips on hitting that makes my "top three" list is that the very beginning of the swing is a downward movement and is not level at all. Only at the point of contact should the front elbow be level and pointing toward the pitcher. If you learn only this one thing, you will see a major improvement in your baseball hitting immediately!

Larry Cicchiello is the successful author of several very user friendly eBooks covering 320 topics on playing or coaching excellent baseball. ANY player, coach or parent who wants to help their child will be fully equipped! Check out some FREE baseball tips on hitting and FREE baseball pitching tips at LarryBaseball.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Larry_Cicchiello
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Aggressive Hitting Strategies That Will Make Your Team Better


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By Jack D. Elliott

Sometimes it pays to turn things up on the opposing defenses. By playing a more aggressive style of baseball, a high school baseball team can put serious pressure on a defense to perform. Here, are some strategies that can help put the opposing defense in tough situations:

1. Take advantage of the 3 and 0 count. Be sure to give the green light to your power hitters when they have this kind of count. Many pitchers will throw a slower fastball right over the plate in order to get a strike. Let your best hitters swing away as an extra base hit would be better than just a simple walk. However, only allows for the top hitters as the weaker hitters should take the pitch trying to earn the walk.

2. Use the Hit and Run when the hitter is a weaker batter. This works especially well in situations where you have either a weak batter or a slow base runner. When the hit and run is executed properly, it is one of the most beautiful plays in baseball. More to the point: it can help you move runners in scoring position and reduces the risk of double plays.

3. Be sure to use sacrifice bunts and suicide squeezes. Bunting may not be the most impressive part of baseball, but it is one of the most effective for advancing runners and scoring runs. Plus, it puts tons of stress on the opposing defense to field the ball properly. In high school, it is not uncommon to see errors made by an errant throw. Keep the pressure on the defense by using bunting throughout the game.

4. Use a lack of awareness against the opposing defense. If there is a man on third and the batter draws a walk, have the runner jog to first then take his turn and run full tilt to the second base. If the catcher throws to second, the third baseman should head for home. This can work well because you can catch a number of defenses' off guard.

5. Use the catcher's arm strength against him. If you are a base runner on first or third and know the catcher has a good arm. Don't be afraid to entice him to throw the ball over to try to pick you off. Often times, a cocky catcher will end up throwing into the outfield on accident.

6. Occasionally use the double steal. If you have runner on 1st and 2nd and the runner on second is fast, consider doing a double steal. This works well because even if the lead base runner is thrown out at third you have kept a runner in scoring position by his stealing of second.

7. Give certain players the green light to steal third base. Contrary to popular opinion, you do not have to be the fastest player to steal third base. Instead, you only need reasonable speed and a good awareness of player tendencies. This can be done by lulling the pitcher into thinking you will not even attempt to steal by beginning to take a small lead off. Once the pitcher does not view you as a threat, he will go into his motion and this is where you start to creap off. If you do it right you will have a great jump and the catcher won't have a chance to throw you out.

8. Runners on 1st and 3rd: have the runner on 1st go run for second on the first movement of the pitcher. This is a classic tactic of little league baseball that can work well in high school especially when the runner on third is fast. Do not be afraid to use it as it also requires the defense to be perfect with their throws.

9. If hitters know that the steal is on, they should swing the bat in an effort to get in the way of the catcher's throwing lane. This cannot be too deliberate, but they need to protect the base runner when they can. This is similar to the responsibility of a base runner taking out the second baseman on a double play.

All of these tips and tactics are designed to put stress and pressure on a defense. The more pressure you put on an opposing defense the better because once one mistake occurs it can be very easy to create a snowball effect. All of these things work great for your team as you continue to play a team that now has a confidence problem.

One caveat: these tips require you to be comfortable with a certain amount of risk. Occasionally, these tactics will not work out as well as you would hope. However, you need to look at it the results cumulatively and not based on any one individual attempt. Your focus is on a building an aggressive mentality that we are going to do everything in our power to score runs and are willing to do anything to make that happen. This is a powerful mindset that can transform your offense into a powerful, proactive bunch. We think you will find this approach will give you more runs and wins over the long haul.

Jack Elliott, is a former player and fan of the game. To read more tips and techniques like the ones in this article, please click here: http://www.baseballtrainingtechniques.com/Baseball-Strategy/ or Baseball Strategy

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jack_D._Elliott

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Sports Psychology and Baseball Hitting Tips - How and Why to Relax at the Plate


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By Jay Granat

The baseball season is about to begin and I already getting calls from parents, players and coaches who are concerned about hitting slumps.

Anyone who has played baseball for any length of time has experienced the frustration of an extended hitting slump. And there are many causes of these performance valleys.

Some of the causes are physical. A breakdown in mechanics, poor balance, poor technique, a moving head, a tight grip on the bat or an injury can contribute to poor performance by baseball players.

Some of the causes of hitting slumps are mental. A batter who has been hit by a pitch can be scared in the batter's box. A player who has been hitting poorly can lose his confidence. A batter who is worried about impressing his coach, his parents or a scout can become quite anxious. A player who is conflict with teammates may find it hard to hit to his potential. Similarly, a player with stress related to his or her life off the field can have difficulty concentrating when he or she steps up to the plate.

Also, it is important to understand that there are many relationships between the mind and the body where hitting a baseball is concerned. For instance, a nervous player is apt to grip the baseball bat too tightly. Likewise, a tense player is apt have difficulty turning on a pitch.

Interestingly, some people believe that our vision gets worse when we are tense and that it improves when we are relaxed.

There are many ways to relax one's mind and one's body before you get up to bat.

Players can learn relaxation techniques, meditation, visualization or self-hypnosis. Some players benefit from listening to music in the dugout or before a game. Others do some aerobics before they take the field as they find that this helps them to relax when they get up to bat.

Tension will work against you at the plate, so it is important that baseball players learn how to get very comfortable when they face the opposing pitcher.

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and the founder of http://www.stayinthezone.com. He is also the author of 101 Ways To Break A Hitting Slump With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis. http://www.stayinthezone.com/shop-stay-in-the-zone.html?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=21

Dr. Granat can be reached at 888 580-ZONE.

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

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Friday, May 14, 2010

How to Effectively Use Pitching Machines For Batting Practice


By Jack Perconte

I owned a baseball academy for many years which used pitching machines where batters could work on hitting without the fear of getting hit by the ball. The pitching machines consistently threw strikes and hitters often built confidence by using them. Confidence is always good but I am embarrassed to say that the consistency of the machines may have been detrimental to helping hitters. "Why was that?" you ask. Pitchers are not consistent for the most part, with every pitch being thrown with a different speed and location. The problem is that pitching machines are often very consistent, which is not game like. Hitting the same speed pitches with nearly the same location each time may negatively affect a hitter when they play in games, Rarely are two pitches ever the exact same in a real game.

I have seen many hitters' swings and/or timing become "screwed up" because of hitting pitching machines. Hitting a ball continually with the same speed and pitch location for 10 minutes or more can groove a hitter's swing incorrectly and create timing only for that speed pitch. As mentioned, when hitters then go to games and face pitchers who throw nowhere near the same pitch as they hit in the batting cages, this can turn their batting cage use into a negative practice. Does this mean that I do not recommend that players practice by going to the local batting cages? Of course not, but with the possible detrimental issues brought up above, there are certain things that players should do when taking batting practice with pitching machines. Following these guidelines will help hitters most effectively use their time at the batting cages.

1. If there is a faster-slower adjustment on the controls then they should be used often. Likewise, if a coach can change the speeds relatively easily, they should do so often.

2. Hitters should always begin with a no-stride approach so they avoid jumping at the ball. This will help players get used to the speed without lunging, because it is difficult to get a rhythm without the arm action of a real pitcher.

3. Likewise, as long as hitters know correct bunting technique, they should begin with a few bunts to get a gauge on the consistency and speed of the machine.

4. Hitters should move themselves around in the batters box often (even for every pitch).

a. To work on low pitches they may have to get deeper in the batter's box or move up closer to the machine to receive higher pitches.

b. Along the same lines, hitters should move closer to home to work on inside pitches and back away from home to have balls on the outside part of home plate. As with taking any batting practice, it is recommended that hitters always attempt to hit the ball in the direction of where the ball is pitched.

5. It is further recommended that the speed the hitter faces be changed each time they go to the cages; remembering to work on slow pitches when they are having trouble waiting for the ball in games and to face faster speeds when they are continually late in games.

6. It is always recommended to end with slow speeds because it is generally easier to "speed ones bat up" in a game then it is to wait for balls when a hitter's timing is too early on the pitched ball.

Of course, all of this is based on facing pitching machines that are consistent. Inconsistent machines may be more game-like and helpful but caution of being hit by the ball must be observed with inconsistent machines. Finally, hitters should be careful of using their game bat in the cages too often, as wear and tear can damage aluminum bats.

Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball playing lessons, books and 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 positive parenting advice and books can be found at http://positiveparentinginsports.com.

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

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Baseball 2Day Coaching Journal; 12 Batting Flaws and How to Correct Each

Baseball 2Day Coaching Journal; 12 Batting Flaws and How to Correct Each

How to Correct Baseball Hitting Flaws is your guide to identifying and correcting baseball hitting flaws at every level of play inlcuding youth baseball, travel baseball, high school baseball, and college baseball.

We all know that coaching hitters involves many actions:
1. Careful analysis of the the present swing's quality.
2. Correction or elimination of incorrect mechanics.
3. Practicing the desired swing with correct execution repetitively.
4. Instilling patience, confidence and agressiveness.

The following are common mechanical errors
that should be quickly identified and eliminated.
There are many more and we will
continually add more.


1. Improper Stance Width
2. "Wrapping" The Bat
3. Looking At Your Nose
4. Poor Grip
5. Overstriding
6. "Hitch" In The Swing
7. "Locking" The Front Arm
8. Opening Up Too Soon

Click here to read this article at the Baseball 2day Coaching Journal.

BB2Day.com

Baseball Coaching and Training Blog: Today's Free Articles




Good Wednesday Morning to you. Here are 4 articles that I recommend.
Have a great day. Nick

Coaching Baseball - Two True Base Running Blunders That Teach a Lesson

We all know the importance of good base running. We know that "solid" base running scores runs and wins games. We also know that poor base running can easily cause a team to lose a game. The following two stories are true stories of base running mistakes that cost the team a win. All the team had to do to win was to have the base runner advance to the next bag. These two stories are great stories that you can tell to your players to teach young players two important rules of base running.


Coaching Baseball - Strategies For Facing Overpowering Pitchers

Every one of us has at one time or another, either as a player or a coach, had to face what is considered the "unhittable" pitcher. You know what I mean, the pitcher that is undefeated because he has an overpowering fastball, nasty curve ball, and a 3 pitch arsenal of potent pitches that intimidates the average team while he is just warming up. Coach Dixon discusses is strategies that can used when your team faces a dominating and overpowering pitcher. The main strategy in this situation is that you must have a "strategy" that you and your kids believe will work. The trick is have several scenarios and plans that you will apply as the game progresses.


Youth Sports Coach - Watch What You Say

Volunteering to coach youth sports can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. It is a privilege to spend time teaching, coaching and mentoring youngsters in one of the most critical stages of their mental and physical development. Many kids do not have positive role models in their life. Many kids do not get the attention and the discipline that they need and desire. The main thing I want to discus today is the importance of thinking before you speak and the fact that your words greatly affect the self esteem of your players.


Coaching Baseball Pitchers - Two Windup Variations Used to Disrupt a Batter's Concentration

There are two simple actions that a pitcher can use to distract or disrupt a batters concentration. The two actions are the "double pump windup" and the "start over" pitch deliveries that are done to change a pitchers regular windup. Both of these actions are used when there are no base runners on base. They both serve as effective ways to disrupt the concentration of opposing batters.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Few Little League Baseball Drills to Teach Swing Mechanics


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A Few Little League Baseball Drills to Teach Swing Mechanics
By Joseph Harrison Jr

Batting a baseball is no easy task. Often it is especially frustrating and discouraging for a child. A successful swing requires control and sound technique. This article will cover basics of hitting and introduce some very simple and effective little league baseball drills, aimed at improving mechanics and technique.

First of all and most importantly your child should watch the ball all the way to the bat. Meaning when they hit the ball they should actually see the ball hit the bat.

There are several simple little league baseball drills you can do to improve "picking up", or seeing the ball.

Perhaps the most common is to stand, chin on front shoulder. As the swing is completed the chin will rest finally on the other shoulder. A batting tee can be used to develop this skill. Soft toss is equally as effective and can offer a change of pace. Both of this little league baseball drills are very effective at improving eye hand coordination and increasing bat speed.

To be a successful hitter balance is a must. Most people feel comfortable with feet shoulder width apart, although this is the norm there are a wide range of stances out there so go with what feels comfortable and more importantly with what works. However they stand be sure they are firm footed and well balanced.

A fluid swing is the result of several parts of the upper and lower muscle groups working together. Bat speed is created by the hands and wrists and is as important, if not more, than lower body muscle groups in hitting for power. A short, quick swing will generate more power than a long over extending of the arms. A shorter swing speeds your bat up, generating more power.

The hands are also extremely important in hitting. Hands should be held at chest level with the bat in front. This is a generalization, many prefer to hold their hands high and others low but chest level is the best point from which to begin a swing for most.

Avoid dropping the hands before swinging. This cuts the time a batter has to react to a pitch. The soft toss drill is one of several little league baseball drills that will develop wrists and hands. A tennis ball can be used to promote hand strength. Stronger hands mean more bat speed can be generated.

The lower body is also an important part of hitting. Many players over stride when swinging, creating an awkward swing. Have your child lift the front foot off the ground and simply place it back. This helps in keeping their weight back, creating more power in the swing.

Proper hip usage is crucial to a good fluid swing. Squashing the bug is one of several little league baseball drills to teach proper hip usage. Your child can practice swinging by placing the left hand out in front of the body over an imaginary strike zone. Then have them swing through with the right and make contact with the left in the center of the zone, keeping in mind to pay attention to form and technique. The drill is used to teach correct balance. The batter will sharply turn the right, or back, ankle as if to squash a bug with the toe as the hand swings through the zone.

The key aspects of hitting are balance, seeing the ball and precise timing of the body's lower and upper muscle groups. Hitting is very difficult by any measure. Improvement will come through good habits and practice.

I am Joseph Harrison, a baseball coach since 20 years ago. I love baseball since I am young, especially the feeling when you know you will absolutely crush the ball. Training your kid to gain interest in baseball will benefit him from both mentally and physically. In with he will gain team spirit, learn how to cope with teammates, and at the same time train up his physical, and concentration (to have good eye and hand coordination and the ability to use both at once). Go through my article and you will know all the benefits of baseball.

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

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Footwork Tips for Coaching Young Catchers


Footwork Tips for Coaching Young Catchers
By Chip Lemin

Hey Coaches,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Luck, 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

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