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Welcome to the Baseball Coaching Digest Daily Feature Article. Everyday we select an article from one of our guest authors to feature on this page. We feature one free baseball article each day for your reading enjoyment.
 
The Baseball Coaching Digest is your online source for baseball coaching articles on every aspect of coaching baseball. Bookmark this site for daily visits. Have a great day!

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Competitive Edge Sports baseball speed training. Chip Smith works with Justin Smoak of the Texas Rangers and Jeff Francouer of the Atlanta Braves to improve batting speed and agility.

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Joe Mauer Quick Swing Trainer Ball Loading and Set-up Demo from QuickSwingTrainer.com



Video shows the Joe Mauer Quick Swing Trainer being loading and set-up between hitting sessions. You will see the college player loacd the machine and take batting practice swings. He is hitting the balls into a SKLZ 7' Pop-up Baseball Drill Catch Net. The net is available at http://store.baseball2u.com/sk7mupone... Make sure to visit QuickSwingTrainer.com or http://store.baseball2u.com/joemaqusw... for more information on the Joe Mauer Quick Swing Baseball Batting Trainer.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Advanced Baseball Coaching Techniques From the Baseball Coaching Digest


Baseball Coaching Digest: Teaching Baseball Pitchers the Correct and Proper Stride Leg Mechanics
One of the most common pitching flaws seen in baseball has to do with the motion and action of the pitcher's front leg or stride leg and foot. This article discusses three common baseball pitching flaws associated with the stride leg and foot. Stride leg movement and landing foot action is an extremely important part of proper pitching mechanics. Here are three common mistakes made by pitchers that can make them suffer the embarrassment of a poor performance on the mound.

Baseball Coaching Digest - The 5 Keys to Obtaining and Maintaining Power Pitcher Status
A "Power Pitcher" is a pitcher that dominates with an overpowering fastball. There are five conditions that I think add to the likelihood that a pitcher will be overpowering to the opposition. Those keys are above average arm and body strength, above average conditioning and flexibility, good and proper mechanics, an understanding of the importance of proper warm-up, and dedicated commitment to proper post-game arm care. This article gives insight in how important each of these keys are and how each can be improved.

Baseball Coaching Digest - Teach Batters to Use Their New Brain When Batting
To me the hitter's brain is his eyes. If you literally try to think yourself through every at-bat, you are in trouble in today's game. The hitter must let his eye's do his thinking at the plate. I consider the eyes a batter's new brain. They must learn to properly use it. This article discusses several coaching points, tips and details related to this approach to hitting.

Baseball Coaching Digest - Want to Be a Great Hitter? Learn to Be Patient
One of the worst hitting flaws in baseball is "lack of patience" at the plate. This article discusses importance of being a patience batter and the reasons being a patient hitter puts the odds in the hitters favor. It also discusses one common baseball practice procedure that causes batters to not be patience at the plate.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Five Anarchic Baseball Batting Drills Revealed

Five Anarchic Baseball Batting Drills Revealed
By Robert Wicks


As I sit back and think about my playing days, I can't help but think I didn't question enough people about their methods of training. I took for granted that my high school coach, or the local hitting instructor had a legitimate theory on how to develop me as a hitter. Now as coach, I look back on the hundreds of camps and the dozens of instructors I had and can't help but think that I wasted a good majority of my time. Unfortunately, baseball has become oversaturated with "new" drills. If you are not careful, you will train your players in circles instead of helping them make any real progress. This is precisely why I have put together the top 5 baseball batting drills that your players can start using today, and begin to see some real results.


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First off, let me explain why these drills are head and heels above all the other ones that are on the market. Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with the drills themselves. Players are naturally "stubborn" when it comes to making changes to their swing. Often times you will hear, "It feels uncomfortable" or "This throws me off" for which my response is "Good!" People are a afraid of change because it means a different result that they have never experienced before. With that mind, if a player has never felt uncomfortable in his batting training, all he has bee doing is excising by swinging a bat.

As a result, we must strip out result oriented drills and add step specific drills that break them out of their comfort zone. For me, I do that by "overtraining" or "over-exaggerating" their swing path. I design, or use drills that forces players to make adjustments naturally. I have seen countless coaches over the years try to convince players that feeling uncomfortable means making adjustments. Although they are correct, that is a loosing battle on the coaching front and leads to more conflict than resolution. So I work for the opposite direction and challenge my players with hard to do drills that force them to manipulate their swing and help them figure out how hit the baseball better. From the outside in these drills may look unorthodox, but once you add them to your batting training, you question why you have ever trained any other way.

Top 5 Baseball Batting Drill Number One: The Samurai Drill. When I first got back into coaching, I began noticing a trend in most young players. They are what I characterize as "weight loaders". "Weight loaders" are typically stiff by nature and carry a lot of tension in their body that results in difficulty separating the hands and front leg during the load portion of the swing. As a result, I designed this drill to break that tension barrier. Have you player place his feet all the way together, and his have hands extended out straight towards the pitcher. Yes, it should be on the other side of his body. This is our starting position. From there we break the swing down into load and swing. On the load, the player draws his hands across his body to comfortable hitting position, and extends his front leg out towards the pitcher. For this drill only, I want the player to keep 90% of his weight on the backside of his body. This is done to over train the disconnect of his hands and feet. From there, the player takes his swing freely. Goal: Become comfortable with our hands and front leg loading away from our body.

Unorthodox baseball batting drill number 2, the Oar Drill. Nothing says baseball like an oar to paddle a boat right? In this drill you take the bat out your players hands and replace it with an oar. Then, have your player place the oar behind his back leaving the open face of the oar extended as the hitting surface. As you soft toss tennis balls to your player, he naturally has to rotate his back leg to hit the ball. This is a great drill to help players understand how to use their backside more appropriately and efficiently to give them more power.

Unorthodox baseball batting drill number 3, the Top Hand Drill. The first time any player does this drill he will give you an awkward look. This will soon be followed by, "This is impossible" or "How am I suppose to get any power?" I love this reaction! Have you player grip the bat. Then, tell him to open is top hand so just his palm is touching the handle of the bat. Then have him put hand on the other side of the handle, and flip it over so his palm is on the bat ready to "push" the bat through the zone. The key is not to grip the bat with the top hand. After you player finishes his swing his top hand should be extended towards the pitcher. This drill does wonders helping young kids how to use their hands to hit the inside part of the baseball and not extend to far to soon. My players can generate enough power during this drill to hit balls that one and two hop the wall.

Top 5 Baseball Batting Drill Number Four: The Carrier Drill. I named this drill after an aircraft carrier. They are long and flat much like how our swing path wants to be through the hitting zone. Staying through the zone for a long period of time helps players make up for timing mistakes and end up with more hits. This batting drill involves two batting tees set-up in a line one to two feet apart depending on skill level. The tees should be the same height and baseball should be placed on each tee. The objective is to hit both baseballs with one swing. It is a lot like landing plane or having a plane take off from an aircraft carrier. Goal: Understand how it feels to gain extension through the zone.

Top 5 Baseball Batting Drill Number 5: The Reverse Bucket Drill. You are sure to get an awkward look from your player the first time he works out using this drill. Saying that, at the end of the drill he will come away with better balance, and a better finish. Have your player take his batting stance. Then, place a bucket under his back leg for him to step on. This elevates the back foot dramatically and removes stability from his stance. Then have him load and swing. Note: Players back leg lightly rotates or rolls onto the topside of their foot as they swing. If the player over rotates the bucket will fall over. The key to this drill is staying balanced through contact and finishing through the baseball instead of around his body. Goal: Understand how over-rotating can affect you power through contact.

As you can see, these batting drills are a bit unorthodox and may seem a bit far-fetched, but they accomplish one thing, adjustments. It is virtually impossible for any player to go through these drills and not come out with a more efficient, powerful swing. When you break the comfort barrier, you make adjustments. Try these drills out during your next batting training session and you will be amazed at how well your players will respond!

Get more effective batting lessons from our blog! When you want to improve your baseball batting skills, you can get the complete information you need today!

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








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Monday, January 17, 2011

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

The 3 Most Common Injuries in Baseball and How to Prevent Them

The 3 Most Common Injuries in Baseball and How to Prevent Them
By Jim Bain

Baseball injuries are unfortunately an unpleasant fact of life which can't be totally avoided. If there were such a miracle I'm sure Major League Baseball teams paying players millions of dollars to sit on the bench injured would have found it.
However, there are three common injuries in Little League baseball we can look at preventing or at least minimizing the degree of the injury.

Blisters are the number one injury in Little League and are created by the irritation of equipment rubbing against the skin, which causes the first layer of skin to separate from the second layer. The body then creates fluid to fill the gap between the two skin layers in order to protect the injury from further damage.

Proper fitting equipment, the use of powders and anti irritation gels will help prevent the blister, but once the blister has occurred the first issue is to prevent further injury.

If you can't stop the activity your involved in which is creating the blister, place a piece of tape or a band aid over the wound to protect it from further damage. A piece of duct tape works as well or better than a band aid as it seems to stick to the skin better and for longer periods of time.

Depending on the degree of the blister it may heal on its own if left alone. However, if there's oozing pus, extreme pain or signs of infection the wound should be drained with a sterile needle, antibacterial ointment applied and bandaged.

Little league elbow is a soreness of the elbow usually experienced by pitchers who have not yet reached puberty. The growth plates attached to the elbow will be pulled loose creating pain when throwing.

This injury is caused by either throwing too many pitches in a particular span of time or by throwing breaking balls at too young of an age.

Should your player incur this injury, stop all throwing and have him rest the arm. Applying ice 20 minutes an hour for 4 or 5 hours the first day will reduce any swelling.

To treat or prevent this injury, be sure to monitor the amount of pitches a player throws. They should be limited to no more than 100 pitches a week and absolutely no breaking balls are to be attempted.

Sprains and strains round out the top three injuries in little league baseball. Teaching proper fielding and running mechanics is the best method to try and prevent these types of injuries.

If playing on an unfamiliar field, walk the outfield to look for any holes or unleveled ground which could cause a trip or twisting of an ankle.

The degree of the sprain dictates the treatment of the injury. A mild sprain may be treated with a treatment of ice packs rotated in 20 minute intervals for 8 hours. The injured limb should be rested above the waist or heart level in order to reduce swelling as well as wrapping with an elastic ace bandage.

As with all injuries of kids, if in doubt or at the first sign of infection, seek immediate professional medical care.

About the Author
Let Coach Bain teach you more about how to prevent and treat injured players. His site offers coaching tips on pitching, fielding, catching and more at Learn Youth Baseball Coaching. http://www.Learn-Youth-Baseball-Coaching.com

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

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Importance of Weight Lifting For Baseball

By Jim Bain


Traditionally, for the most part baseball players are not as ripped or bulked muscle definition wise as football players. The vision of rippling muscles flexing under the tremendous strains of lifting weights does not seem to compute for a MLB player in the gym as it does for a football player in the weight room. Although it's true football players normally require additional and different muscle bulk for the tasks they must perform vs. the baseball player, that doesn't mean a baseball player isn't suppose to be muscular or work out with weights. Alas, just the opposite is true.

The core strength of a baseball player, shoulders, hips and legs must be very strong in order to produce the explosive energy which propels baseballs 410' or throws a 100 mph fastball.
Core strength is produced by muscle bulk and muscles are built by lifting weights of varying sets, reps and amounts. The heavier the weight, the bigger the muscle mass which is created, while the more sets and reps performed, the more toned and lean the muscle.

Let's exam just one aspect of building muscles through lifting weights which increase core strength and how it enhances our baseball abilities. The legs are the foundation of the core, giving the body balance and an ability to coil and explode much as a snake when striking.

The legs must be strong enough to carry and balance the entire weight of the body as it prepares to begin the starting mechanism of the swing, or being able to hold the hands back as the body begins its motion forward.

Most non-baseball people mistakenly believe the power for hitting originates in the shoulders and chest area, which is not correct, not totally that is. The explosion of power originates from the turning of the hips, which when turned with speed and power, leads the rest of the body into a powerful pin wheel reaction increasing the velocity and speed of the baseball bat as it travels through the hitting zone.

This speed of the bat, as we know, is what actually transfers the body's strength and power into the baseball as contact is made. Simply defined, slow bat speed equates into weak hitting, while quick bat speed equates into powerful hitting and the sum of it all...weak core strength equals slow bat speed. Increasing core strength through exercising with weights is the best method to achieve results in the shortest period of time.

That's not to say other forms of training, cardio, stretching, pilates or yoga are not essential for perfecting our body strength, flexibility and limberness in order to prevent injury, but for pure muscle building.. Lifting weights in the proper manner is the Best method to build strength through muscle bulk.

Jim ( Coach ) Bain is a former Minor League Player and Coach of Youth Baseball for over 10 years. He has drawn from fellow successful coaches' experiences and combined them with his own extensive experience to create a Baseball Teaching Website. The site is packed with 100s of tips, drills, history and instruction on how to play and coach the game of baseball. http://www.Learn-Youth-Baseball-Coaching.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jim_Bain

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How to Create Consistent Hitting Mechanics


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Article Title: How to Create Consistent Hitting Mechanics
By Nate Barnett

I'm sure you know from experience that hitting a baseball consistently for any length of time is one of the most difficult and frustrating things to do in sports. There are two areas of your overall baseball preparation you'll need to develop on a regular basis if you want the most consistency possible as a competitive athlete - the mental game of baseball, and proper hitting mechanics. If you're interesting in learning more about baseball psychology there are quite a few resources online as well as my blog. This article is reserved for teaching a little on the topic of hitting mechanics.

I get the chance to work with dozens and dozens of athletes individually each year. It's truly a rewarding experience much of the time, though at times it can be extremely frustrating to see such talented athletes fail to put in the necessary work to achieve some consistency in their swing. I never have a tough time getting the athletes to work hard when I work with them in the cage. It's when athletes have to motivate themselves to work outside of their practice days when their work habit breaks down.

In order to become a highly consistent and effective hitter, I prescribe the following "medicinal procedure" to be used away from practice:

1. Dry Drills: These are hitting mechanics related drills that are meant to reinforce muscle memory. It is impossible to only put in two to three days on a specific hitting technique and make it stick long-term. The problem you'll run into is that during a game your focus will be placed on the pitcher and not your mechanics. If you have failed to put in the necessary time to build quality muscle memory, you'll revert back to the problems you were initially trying to fix.

2. Mental Rehearsal: The mind is a powerful tool for good or evil. When you use your mind for positive imagery or visualization you will increase your effectiveness as a hitter. If your mind pollutes your body with thoughts of failure, your body will respond in a negative way. Lack of confidence and fear can destroy a good hitter. To make sure you are conditioning your brain in the right way, it's highly important that you replay mental video clips of yourself succeeding offensively. This is easy to do, many of you do it all day long in other areas. Sometimes your mind wanders in church or school and you lose focus as to what is occurring around you. If you can slip into this mode and daydream about your performances, you can truly become a master of the mental game of baseball.

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball. His website is devoted to teaching the mental game of baseball and hitting mechanics. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career.

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





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7 Tips on How to Become a Better Baseball Player

How to Become a Better Baseball Player


7 Tips on How to Become a Better Baseball Player
By Jack D. Elliott

Baseball players everywhere want to know how they can get better. The best way to do this is to look at it your training from a comprehensive perspective. Here, are some pointers to help you up your game.

1. Read and Watch Everything Baseball. Scan books, look over hitting and pitching lessons videos, see games, ask for help from coaches and good players.

2. Practice makes perfect. Do your drills daily for at least 5 to 6 days a week. Feel free to mix up your routine; however, make sure you are developing muscle memory with enough reps of your swing and pitching motion.

3. Pick up something else when the season ends. To avoid burnout, choose another sport or physical exercise in the off-season. It is preferable to pick something you are not familiar with. This will allow you to stay fit and appease any creativity interests you have because of the novelty of the new sport. By the time the next baseball season rolls around, you will find yourself avidly looking forward to playing.

4. Strength Train Before It Is Too Late. Do not make the mistake of waiting to build strength until your junior and senior years of high school. Do yourself a favor and start working out in the summer after your 8th grade year and work out each summer thereafter. This will allow you to build a base, plateau, and then, build up to yet another plateau. In this way, by the time you are senior, you will be very physically strong and ready to have a great senior season.

5. Get Lessons. A great instructor will save you time, wasted energy, and ultimately give you better results. By learning from a great instructor from the start, you can develop the best techniques from the start and avoid bad habits. Once you learn the lessons, you can practice them and go back only occasionally when you feel a refresher course is needed.

6. Practice with a tee. The basic hitting tee has improve the swing and hitting consistency of many major league players. Learn from their example and use this tee to perfect your ability to hit to the opposite field and fine tune your swing. This along with some waffle ball toss are great for removing holes in your swing.

7. Maximize your speed and power. Plyometric exercises can help develop your speed and explosiveness. Learn from a trained instructor who can give you a regimen that you can practice several days a week. If practiced sufficiently, you will see your speed and power improve. This added boost will carry over into other parts of your game as you have a new found confidence in your baseball abilities.

All these pointers are geared towards making you a top flight athlete by your final year of high school. By using each of these pointers you can expect to maximize your potential for baseball success.

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/ or Baseball Strategy

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

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The Perfect Baseball Hitting Drill?


The Perfect Baseball Hitting Drill?
By Guest Author:Jack Perconte

The sign of a good baseball hitting drill is one that forces the correct hitting fundamentals and that over time, causes the correct hitting action when a hitter goes without the drill. With that in mind, some drills are obviously better than others. The drill below does just that. It forces the correct action and works on all the important hitting fundamentals of staying back, compact swing, weight shift, hips opening and follow through.

Because this drill combines all the correct baseball hitting fundamentals into one drill, it makes teaching hitting easier and quicker, as long as it is performed correctly. It is a little complicated and requires some hitting tools that one does not usually have in the basement, or backyard. The local batting cages though will have the things needed - balls, protective screen, batting cage.

Here is the perfect baseball hitting drill:

1. The hitter stands very close (within six to 10 inches) from a net, facing the pitcher with the net being behind the hitter where the catcher stands. The hitters rear foot and hands should both be this distance away from rear net. Make sure a home plate is set and hitters stand their normal distance from the plate.

2. The coach sets up behind a protective screen with a bucket of balls in front of the hitter, beginning at twelve to fifteen feet away.

3. The coach flips balls to the outer half of the plate - firm underhand flips are best from this distance, trying to keep the ball level with no rise or drop on the flipped ball.

Result you are looking for? Because the ball is on the outer half of the plate, hitters should drive the ball to the opposite field by missing the net on the initial portion of the swing but hitting the net on the follow through.

Note: Hitters may graze the net on way forward and come up a little short of hitting net on follow through and this is acceptable.

Why is this the perfect baseball hitting drill?

1. One of the main fundamentals of hitting is "staying back" - if the hitter jumps forward (lunges or over strides) they will not be able to hit the net on the follow through.

2. Another goal of hitters is to have a compact swing - when a hitter's swing is long, in anyway (upper cutting, casting, dropping barrel behind them) they will be striking the net on the initial portion of their swing.

3. Another objective of a good swing is to have the hands in a power position (palm-up, palm down) at contact. By hitting the ball to the opposite field on this outside pitch, this drill will guarantee that the hitter is in this correct contact position.

4. Another component of the perfect baseball swing is that the hitters' weight transfers while their hips open - missing the net on the way forward will promote weight shift and the only way to hit the net on the follow through, or get close to it, is to open the hips.

5. Another ingredient of good hitting is that hitters' keep their eye on the ball; thus, the reason for working on the outside pitch. It is further recommended that hitters keep their eyes in the direction of where they ball is hit, while trying to hit the net on the follow through as hard as possible.

As hitters begin to perform the drill with some consistency (frequent line drives with back-spin to the opposite field), the coach can begin to back up until eventually doing the drill from regulation, hitting distance.

Is the drill the perfect hitting drill? Maybe not, but if done correctly, it works on all the necessary hitting fundamentals all at once. Finally, I am sure that I have not been the first one to discover this drill, but it is one of my favorites while teaching hitting over the last twenty-two years.

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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Fixing Problems Using Baseball Hitting Aids


Youth Baseball Hitting Aids
By Joseph Harrison Jr

Chief among the positions in baseball is the position of hitter, which is way more complicated to do than most people would assume. Many problems could be said to cause a player to not hit properly, and these problems can be very frustrating until the source of them is discovered. A player's performance can be hindered if they lack proper hitting mechanics, and luckily these problems can be remedied through learning about the human body and with the use of baseball hitting aids.

Focusing way too much on the upper body and neglecting the lower half is a major cause of hitting problems for player of baseball. Learning about your lower body is a must before you can expect to begin hitting the ball correctly.

Attempting to hit the ball without knowing what your lower half is doing, is similar to trying to build a house without establishing a proper foundation, it will fall to the ground.

Shoulder dipping is one of the problems faced by hitters, and it is caused by collapsing of the player's backside. Other issues include hunching out over the plate, and letting your hands extend away from your body during a swing. Every one of these problems can result from not knowing enough about how to position your lower body during a swing.

Shifting your weight onto your back leg before the pitch begins is called loading, and if the weight does not stay on that back leg it could cause a hitting problem. Many hitters naturally shift their hips forward in the direction of the pitched during the beginning stage of their swing, and this issue may be the source of many or all of the problems listed, and this hips shifting problems is called "floating".

The "floating" problem is definitely fixable once the hitter is able to recognize it as a problem. Videos and books are good examples of useful aids, and they can be quite easily found. These aids will help one detect and the fix problems with the lower body during hitting, and then you can focus on the upper body during the swing.

Use of these types of aids can help your coach or yourself recognize which problems your have when you are at bat, and you will soon be hitting better than you had once imagined possible. These books and video hitting aids can easily be found at a local bookstore or library, and if those don't pan out you can find many online sources for aids too.

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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The Correct Technique to Throwing a Curveball


Throwing a Curveball
By Nate Barnett

There is no secret that most pitchers throw a curveball as one of their three pitches. And while this pitch is important to learn correctly, it is more important to understand proper pitching mechanics first. Only with a good understanding of how to throw a baseball right can one avoid unnecessary injury of the arm.

To correctly throw a curveball, place your index finger on the opposite seam as your thumb. When finished, your thumb and index finger will have split the baseball in half. Next, place some medium pressure on your thumb and middle fingers only. The index finger should rest lightly on the baseball.

To get the right spin off the baseball, you may consider learning this pitch by taking your index finger off of the baseball to make sure that you do not apply too much pressure with it. Too much pressure by the index finger will cause you to have poor release with the baseball and not get the desired curve effect.

Once you have a basic understanding of this pitch you will be tempted to work on it a lot. I must remind you that without proper pitching mechanics, you run the risk of hurting you arm. In addition of injury, there are some other important reasons why you need to understand pitching mechanics. First, you will end up showing hitters what your are throwing and giving you're your curveball. Secondly, you may end up reducing your arm speed when throwing a curveball which will ultimately telegraph your pitch to the hitter, obviously making it less effective. The only thing that changes when throwing a curveball is your wrist and forearm angles. There is no snapping of the baseball, instead, let the baseball roll off your index finger. If you have the correct angle with your wrist upon release, this should be a natural motion.

Coaches and parents should keep a close eye on how many curveballs are thrown per game. This is especially the case if a young pitcher has some early success with the pitch. As a general guideline, pitchers should throw curveballs no more than 15% to 20% of the time. Any more than this, athletes who are young may increase their risk of arm injury.

The Pitching Academy teaches baseball pitching grips like how to throw a curveball and how to throw a slider. Come check it out!

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

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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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How to Take an Energy Packed Pre-Game Infield Practice


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Baseball Pre-Game Infield Practice
By Jack Perconte

Pre-game infield practice can be extremely useful for youth baseball, where kids are still learning to play the game correctly. However, I've never understood the traditional infield practice routine. Hitting the ball to a player that knows the ball is coming is not very game-like. Of course, we want our fielders to expect and want the ball hit their way. In games though, players never know the ball is coming to them for sure, like it is done in the traditional infield practice method. Continue Reading....
 
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What Could Cause This Batting Flaw? Player Hits Great in Batting Drills But Does Not Hit in Games

Have you ever had a kid that had the perfect baseball swing but sometimes has difficulty hitting live pitching? In drills, the player simply kills the baseball. Every soft-toss rep is a line drive. Every front toss rep is a line drive with power. The player is perfect in every drill that your team but has difficulty hitting live pitching. The player often struggles to hit in games although he has one of the best swings on the team. What could cause a player to perform perfectly in practice but have a difficult time hitting the ball when a pitcher is pitching from regulation distances? This article discusses one cause of poor hitting performance that baseball coaches sometimes fail to detect.

Youth Baseball Digest: One Cause of Poor Hitting Performance that Often Goes Undetected Have you ever had a kid that had the perfect baseball swing but sometimes has difficulty hitting live pitching? In drills, the player simply kills the baseball. Every soft-toss rep is a line drive. Every front toss rep is a line drive with power. The player is perfect in every drill that your team but has difficulty hitting live pitching. The player often struggles to hit in games although he has one of the best swings on the team. What could cause a player to perform perfectly in practice but have a difficult time hitting the ball when a pitcher is pitching from regulation distances?

I am speaking from experience here. I once had a right handed player on my high school team that was absolutely a dream hitter in practice and a nightmare hitter in games and live inter-squad games. He would dominate every hitting station with his high velocity bat speed, precision bat control, and unbelievable ability to adjust to every pitch location with the perfect swing adaptation. However, when he faced live pitching he simply looked like "Ned in the First Grade". He would miss or be late on routine and average fastballs. He would be late or completely misjudge curve balls and when he should attack them.

I quickly realized that there was a problem and began to do some research. I soon found some definite performance tendencies. In day games, when he made contact, he almost always hit a ground ball to the second baseman. On ball he should pull, he nearly always got jammed. At night, he hit for 150 points less than in day games. With all these facts considered, we realized his cause for poor hitting. The cause was poor eye sight. We sent him to have his eyes checked. He had extremely poor vision in his dominate eye. He could perform well in our hitting stations and toss drills because they were all done at short distances. When the distance the pitch came from was increased, his ability to see and pick the ball up quickly was diminished. A new set of contact lens got him back on his "A" game. He quickly became as dominate in games as he was in drills.

So the moral of is that if you have a kid that is inconsistent from his hitting in practice to hitting in a game, make sure to have his vision checked. Poor eye sight may be the cause of his poor hitting performance.

I hope that you found this article to be informative and useful. I thank you for taking the time to read it. For more great articles on coaching baseball visit the Baseball Coaching Digest, Youth Baseball Digest, Little League Digest, and the Baseball Parent Guide. Good luck to you and your team. Have a great day, Nick

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

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

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

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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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Baseball Coaching - How to Help Your Player Get Out of His Hitting Slump!


Baseball2u.com


By Larry Cicchiello

Very simply, a hitting slump occurs because of something that you are NOW doing that is mechanically incorrect when swinging the bat (or) it can be something that you were doing correctly and NOW you are not doing it. In other words, either you have developed a bad habit or have gotten away from a good habit.
 
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Good Morning to You. Here are several recommended articles for baseball coaches. I hope that you find them informative. Make sure to visit our sponsor, Baseball2u.com. They have over 1400 Baseball Coaching and Training Products and are adding more almost daily. Have a great weekend and good luck to your team! Nick

  • Baseball Coaching Digest - The Catcher, Your PR Player
    [Recreation-and-Sports:Baseball] This article explains one of the most important roles that your catcher will play in every game. The role is that of being the team's public relations representative with the umpire staff. The catcher's attitude and behavior can have a huge effect on an umpire's attitude.

  • Coaching Youth Baseball - 25 Common Baseball Terms and the Meaning of Each
    [Recreation-and-Sports:Baseball] Coaching Little League or Youth Baseball requires a good knowledge of the game. Many good youth baseball coaches have never played the game before. They make it their mission to study and learn the game. This article presents a list of 25 common baseball coaching terms and gives the meaning of each.

  • Baseball Coaching Digest - Base Running Basics
    [Recreation-and-Sports:Baseball] There are certain base running rules that every base runner should learn. Here is each base and basic rules that players should know about each.

  • Youth Baseball Coaching - 8 Elements of a Super Baseball Swing
    [Recreation-and-Sports:Baseball] The perfect baseball swing is a thing of beauty. There are few movements and actions in sports that are practice more often than the baseball swing. Players take thousands and thousands of practice swing during a season. The key to game swing quality is practice swing quality. There are certain basic rules that every batter should remember when taking a swing in practice and games.
  • Hitting a Baseball - Finding the Root Cause of a Mechanics Problem


    Derek Jeter Baseball Trainers - HurricaneMachine.com
    By Nate Barnett

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

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

    The Problem: Hips floating forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

    BattingCagesDirect.com







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



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



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



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



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



    Coaching Points: Covering First



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



    Coaching Point: Bunt throw to 2nd base



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



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



    Coaching Point: Comebacker



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



    Coaching Point: Squeeze Play - Cover Home



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



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



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




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

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

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

    ===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
     

    Important Pitching Mechanics Tips You Need to Know

    Important Pitching Mechanics Tips You Need to Know
    By Nate Barnett

    One of the most important steps to becoming a successful pitcher is to ensure you throw with proper pitching mechanics. Great mechanics begin with appropriate balance and weight transfer toward the direction you are throwing. If there is any inappropriate head movement up or down, left or right or even any weight going in any other direction than toward home plate, you are mechanically insufficient. Many pitchers tend to struggle with their throwing mechanics. Are you one of them? Here are some helpful tips you should know about pitching mechanics.

    1. Pitchers need to make sure their momentum is going in one direction, forward! However, there is more to pitching mechanics than merely making sure your momentum is going toward home plate. Pitchers need to use explosive movements to create sufficient energy for an explosive fastball. Many pitchers are lazy and get in the habit of getting to foot strike tortoise like. This creates no power in their delivery at all. These pitchers are often seen giving up the long ball and throwing batting practice in games as hitters tee off on their lackadaisical approach.

    2. During a pitchers transition to foot strike, using these explosive movements; it is imperative that a pitcher keep his head over his center of gravity, belly button, or slightly behind the center of gravity when they transfer their weight from one foot to the other. Many pitchers have the issue of staying back to long which can create arm lag.

    3. We talked about explosive movements toward home plate, but how long should your stride be? Your stride should be as long as you are tall. If your stride is shorter than 100% of your height you should be working on lengthening your stride. A longer stride creates more power toward the direction of your throw, a shorter stride places more stress on your throwing arm because you have to rely on your arm for the velocity as apposed to first using your legs to generate it. Another advantage of having a longer stride is perceived pitching velocity. Every foot closer you are to the batter at release of the baseball at sixty feet six inches away, it "appears" like 3 mph faster to the batters eye. This gives the batter less time to react to each pitch you throw.

    4. The next step to create optimal balance in your delivery is making sure your throwing arm and glove arm mirror each other. I believe pitching instructor Tom House coined the term "equal and opposite" for this mechanical process. This means that your glove arm and your throwing arm create the same angle at foot strike. You will see different styles of how to do this in our pitching mechanics DVD. You have to see it!

    5. One of the more challenging aspect coaches face when learning about pitching mechanics is their misunderstanding of mechanical terminology. For example, there is still a lot of confusion about arm slot and arm path when a pitcher releases the ball. What arm slot is the best? What does this mean exactly? These are common questions pitchers ask me all of the time. The answer is whatever arm slot is natural for you. You don't want to force a 90 degree arm slot on a pitcher when they naturally throw three quarter. In fact, most pitchers tend to throw with a natural three quarter arm slot.

    There is a lot of science to pitching mechanics. The Pitching Academy breaks this all down for you if you're looking for more information. Pitching mechanics should be easy to understand for anybody who is eager to learn; we keep the science into pitching, but you will be surprised how simple it is to learn proper mechanics.

    Nate Barnett is co-owner of The Pitching Academy.

    After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. You can find The Pitching Academy's videos, blog, and more articles on pitching mechanics the website.

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

    How to Prevent a Hitting Slump - Eleven Baseball Hitting Tips For Players, Parents and Coaches

    America's #1 Hitting Slump Breaker! The Hurricane Hitting Machine by SKLZ!
    How to Prevent a Hitting Slump - Eleven Baseball Hitting Tips For Players, Parents and Coaches
    By Jay Granat

    Last week, I got a call from a baseball player who plays the outfield for a Triple A team connected with a major league club. The man was concerned because he has been in a hitting slump on and off for several seasons. He wants to make it to the major leagues and he feels that time is running out on him.

    Yesterday, I got a call from a mother of a college player who is also stuck in a slump. This parent happened to be a psychiatrist. Like many parents who call me for help, this worried mother said, "My son has a beautiful swing. He works with a top hitting coach. He is great in the cage, but terrible once the game starts."

    This concerned and worried mother had even tried medication to help her son perform better at the plate.

    Baseball players frequently call me when they are stuck in a slump. Fortunately, over the years, I have
    developed many techniques, strategies and tools for breaking slumps.

    However, it is useful if players can learn how to start the season with a positive and effective mental approach to hitting. Here are a few tips to help you get your baseball season off to a good start:

    1. Learn the strike zone very well and swing at strikes.
    2. Know what kind of pitch you like to hit.
    3. Be aware of the count and the game situation.
    4. Train your mind to think of nothing or have just one thought at the plate.
    5. Practice relaxation techniques.
    6. Learn how to stay calm, focused, confident and relaxed at the plate.
    7. Learn how to stay in the present and the here and now. The most important
    pitch and swing are the next ones.
    8. Watch the pitcher carefully from the dugout.
    9. Try to hit the ball into the gaps. You will naturally pull some of these for homers.
    10. Keep accurate records on all of the pitchers who you face. Record what they threw, what you did and what you learned about hitting against them in the past. This is extra work, but these data will pay big dividends for you.
    11. Once your swing is mechanically sound, you need to master the mental aspects of hitting.

    Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and the founder of http://www.stayinthezone.com

    He has written several books and developed several programs to help people perform to their fullest potential at sports, at work and at school. Dr. Granat, a former university professor, has appeared in The New York Times, Good Morning America, AP, ESPN, Golf Digest, The BBC and The CBC. His books include Zone Tennis and Get Into The Zone In Just One Minute. He is also the author of How To Get Into The Zone With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, How To Lower Your Golf Score With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump and Bed Time Stories For Young Athletes. Golf Digest named Dr. Granat one of America's Top Ten Mental Gurus. He was recently featured in a documentary film on long distance running. Dr. Granat writes a weekly column for three newspapers.

    His new program for baseball hitters 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump and a free sport psychology book is available at http://www.stayinthezone.com/shop-stay-in-the-zone.html?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=21

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

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    Advanced Hitting Drills


    By Jack Perconte

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

    Some drills will actually address a few different fundamental areas at the same time, making them even more valuable. One such drill is the back knee pickup drill that I have written about before. This drill where the hitter swings, picks up the back foot and allows the knee to rotate towards the pitcher is a good multi-use drill that works on using the front side and keeping a firm front side without collapsing the lower half on the swing. It also serves to have hitters transfer their weight and maintain leverage through their swing. This is only a drill and is not the way a hitter will hit in a game, but a drill that reinforces the correct fundamentals for hitters who have specific hitting deficiencies. This drill helps hitters who "step out" with their stride and for those who open their hips or front shoulder too early.

    Other advanced hitting drills include the following:

    1. The self flip drill is very valuable for advanced hitters. It will force hitters to develop quick hands and strong forearms. To perform this drill the hitter will hold the ball with their top hand as their lower hand grips the bat. The hitter flips the ball up no higher than eye level into the hitting zone. At this time, the hitter will grab the bat with both hands and hit the ball. Obviously, the goal is to hit line drives and in the direction of where the ball was flipped, (middle, inside or outside). Hitters will notice that very quick hands are necessary to hit the ball consistently solid.

    2. Another advanced hitting drill is to have the hitter stand a foot or so away from a net, where the hitter is facing away from the net. The goal is to swing and miss the net with the bat going forward, but to hit the net slightly on the follow through with the bat. This drill will reinforce a compact swing and "staying back" at the same time. Hitters should keep their head in throughout the entire swing and not pull their front shoulder out in order to hit the net on the follow through. Once again, this is another drill for advanced hitters only. This drill can be done with a ball on the batting tee or with flip drills for even better results.

    3. The two ball flip drill is another advanced hitting drill that is very good for teaching hitters to wait on the ball and to develop a quick, compact swing. Hitters will need the assistance of a coach to flip balls from behind a protective screen for this drill. The coach will hold two balls in the same hand at once and flip the balls into the hitting zone. When the ball approaches the hitter, the coach yells out which ball they want the hitter to hit, either high/low, or even inside/ outside. Obviously, because the hitter does not know which ball to hit until the last moment, they cannot cheat with their swing too early or they will hit the wrong one or miss altogether.

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

    Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball hitting lessons advice can be found at http://www.baseballhittinglessons.com/baseball Jack is the author of two books, The Making of a Hitter and Raising an Athlete - and one of his videos can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsIt0TIsHmQ

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

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    How to Prevent a Hitting Slump - Eleven Baseball Hitting Tips For Players, Parents and Coaches

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    How to Prevent a Hitting Slump - Eleven Baseball Hitting Tips For Players, Parents and Coaches
    By
    Jay Granat

    Last week, I got a call from a baseball player who plays the outfield for a Triple A team connected with a major league club. The man was concerned because he has been in a hitting slump on and off for several seasons. He wants to make it to the major leagues and he feels that time is running out on him.

    Yesterday, I got a call from a mother of a college player who is also stuck in a slump. This parent happened to be a psychiatrist. Like many parents who call me for help, this worried mother said, "My son has a beautiful swing. He works with a top hitting coach. He is great in the cage, but terrible once the game starts."

    This concerned and worried mother had even tried medication to help her son perform better at the plate.

    Baseball players frequently call me when they are stuck in a slump. Fortunately, over the years, I have
    developed many techniques, strategies and tools for breaking slumps.

    However, it is useful if players can learn how to start the season with a positive and effective mental approach to hitting. Here are a few tips to help you get your baseball season off to a good start:

    1. Learn the strike zone very well and swing at strikes.
    2. Know what kind of pitch you like to hit.
    3. Be aware of the count and the game situation.
    4. Train your mind to think of nothing or have just one thought at the plate.
    5. Practice relaxation techniques.
    6. Learn how to stay calm, focused, confident and relaxed at the plate.
    7. Learn how to stay in the present and the here and now. The most important
    pitch and swing are the next ones.
    8. Watch the pitcher carefully from the dugout.
    9. Try to hit the ball into the gaps. You will naturally pull some of these for homers.
    10. Keep accurate records on all of the pitchers who you face. Record what they threw, what you did and what you learned about hitting against them in the past. This is extra work, but these data will pay big dividends for you.
    11. Once your swing is mechanically sound, you need to master the mental aspects of hitting.

    Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and the founder of
    http://www.stayinthezone.com

    He has written several books and developed several programs to help people perform to their fullest potential at sports, at work and at school. Dr. Granat, a former university professor, has appeared in The New York Times, Good Morning America, AP, ESPN, Golf Digest, The BBC and The CBC. His books include Zone Tennis and Get Into The Zone In Just One Minute. He is also the author of How To Get Into The Zone With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, How To Lower Your Golf Score With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump and Bed Time Stories For Young Athletes. Golf Digest named Dr. Granat one of America's Top Ten Mental Gurus. He was recently featured in a documentary film on long distance running. Dr. Granat writes a weekly column for three newspapers.

    His new program for baseball hitters 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump and a free sport psychology book is available at
    http://www.stayinthezone.com/shop-stay-in-the-zone.html?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=21

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

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    The Proper Baseball Swing - Swinging on the Pitch Plane
    By Todd Thomas

    What should players, baseball and fastpitch alike, be focusing on improving going into a new season? I say it should be on the key element to the proper baseball swing and the proper fastpitch swing which is to match their swing plane with the plane of the pitch. Swing LEVEL...to the ball. The BALL, not to the ground. You know, like the best players in the game do?

    If you swing down on the ball, then you are "intersecting" the path of the ball giving yourself a small window of timing for contact. A more productive swing would be to attempt to match the plane of your swing to the plane of the pitch. Having the bat on the same plane as the ball as long as possible opens up your window of timing for making contact. Why would any hitter consistently give themselves the smaller window of contact? It simply makes sense to swing on the pitch plane.

    Swinging on plane IS the proper baseball swing. Albert Pujols, one of the games great hitters, has shown he is on plane on many of his swings for up to 5 and 1/2 feet. That's awesome. Being on plane that long gives Albert or any hitter a much larger window to make good contact with the incoming pitch.

    Can you be on plane perfectly every time you try? No. That's why you see various types of hits. But attempting to swing level to the ball increases your line drive rate which in turn raises your batting average. Line drives equal a high batting average.

    How do you teach players to swing on the pitch plane? You have to understand and show them how to put the bat on the pitch plane. Take a rope and secure one end. Stretch it out and teach players to put the bat on it in their swing and swing along the rope. You should hold the loose end slightly lower than the secured end in order to more closely simulate the high to low path of the ball. Take a 3 to 4 foot piece of PVC pipe and hold it where players can put their bat on it and swing along it. If you are holding the pipe, I don't recommend letting them swing at full speed.:-) It should be a slow practice swing. Get creative and teach your players the proper baseball swing and the proper fastpitch swing by teaching them to swing on the plane of the pitch.

    Play Ball!

    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

    ----------------------------
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    Baseball Coaching Tips - Teaching Players to Have a Good Two Strike Approach at the Plate


    Baseball Coaching Tips - Teaching Players to Have a Good Two Strike Approach at the Plate

    Good Morning,
    I hope the season is going great for you and your team! "Two Strike" hits
    are a big part of every team's success. Team that score runs with 2 outs and that get hits consistently with 2 strikes on the batter are the teams that post winning records and win championships. Here are 5 points that I teach to make sure that every player on our team has the same proper "two strike approach":

    1. The batter should assume a more balanced stance and take most of the weight off the back foot.
    2. The batter will be prepared to swing at "anything close". My saying is that "if it is close enough for the ump to call a strike, it is close enough to hit".
    3. The batter should get 3 inches closer to the plate than normal and choke up at least one inch on the bat. This is done regardless of the batter's ability or position in the batting order.
    4. I would rather that the batter be late on the pitch than early. What this means is that the batter must keep the hands back and have trust in his or her hand speed.
    5. Expect anything! Do not guess pitches. The even stance and "shorter bat" should allow the batter to hit or fight off any pitch location.
    6. The batter should fight to saty alive. He or she should battle their butt off to get a hit or stay alive. The batter must win the battle by fouling off pitches, eveining the count, and fighting until the pitcher makes a mistake and throws a pitch that the batter can handle to get a basehit.

    Good luck til next time.
    Have a great day,
    Coach Nick

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    Five Drills to Do When Hitters Pull Their Head


    By Jack Perconte

    One of the most common hitting problems involves hitters taking their eye off the ball before making contact. Solving this problem is rarely as simple as just telling a hitter to "Keep your eye on the ball" or saying, "See the ball hit the bat." Usually, hitters pull their head and subsequently their eyes off the ball because of an incorrect hip turn or having a long arm swing, failing to use their hands and forearms.

    Having said that, there are some good hitting drills that baseball coaches can have their players do that will help ballplayers keep their eye on the ball. Also, by controlling their head throughout the swing, it will help all the other hitting fundamentals, which is an added bonus of these drills.

    Head Control Drills that will help hitters keep their eyes on the ball:

    1. During batting practice, place an object to the opposite side of home plate from where the hitter stands and a few feet in front of home plate. This object (player's glove, pop can, etc...) should be in line with hitter's eyes at contact with the ball. The object of drill is to have batters keep their eyes on this object after contact is made and until the completion of their swing.

    2. Along the same lines and when performing tee, flips or dropped ball drills have the coach, who is standing off to the side, flash a number down with his fingers immediately after contact. The hitter is required to read the number before looking for the hit ball.

    3. Behind the hitter flips are great for keeping a hitters head in on the ball. The coach kneels a safe distance behind the hitter where the catcher usually is and the coach flips balls forward into the hitting zone. Hitters watch the ball being released from the coach's hand and swings when the ball reaches the hitting zone. With this ball coming from behind, it will force the hitter to keep their head and eyes on the ball.

    4. Writing a decent size number on a few baseballs during batting practice and having hitters try to read the numbers when hitting is also a good drill. This can be extremely challenging, of course, but will make the point of how well hitter's need to watch the ball.

    5. It is important to realize that balance comes from the hitter's head. Practicing hitting on a balance beam or similar balancing object, can greatly help hitters keep their eye on the ball, as well as helping all swing fundamentals.

    Finally, a habit that I use to incorporate in major league baseball was to watch the ball all the way to the catcher's glove on pitches that I did not swing at. Baseball coaches should teach young hitters to do that also. It will help them keep their eye on the ball when they do swing as well, which is the obvious goal.

    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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    Baseball Tips - Unruly Parents - Here is a Solution


    Baseball Parent Guide - BaseballParentGuide.com

    By Tom Read

    You Know This Parent

    My wife was a self described bad sport. She had been thrown out of games, argued with the other teams' parents, yelled at the umpires, and embarrassed my son and I. I would talk with her before and after games, reminding her to not get out of control, but it did not help. Someone from the other team would say something, or the umpire would make a questionable call, and she would start in. What was I going to do?

    It Can Start At the Beginning

    When I was coaching tee ball, I once had to break up a verbal fight between my first base coach and the other team's coach. Another time, I noticed that a dad, who had been to every practice and game, started missing the games. I asked him at a practice if his work was keeping him from the games. He told me no, Johnny was feeling too much pressure with him at the game. This is still tee ball. I guess it was good that the dad at least realized where the pressure was coming from. Most of the time parents do not realize that the things they say can put undue pressure on their kids.

    Travel Teams Are the Worst

    It seems travel teams have the most vocal parents, good and bad. I have always assumed the reasons for this are either one, they have spent a lot of time and money involved with this team and are expecting a big return, or two, they are on the road and friends and family are not around. But, on the other hand, I've seen travels teams stay home to play and behave just as badly. And I have seen bad behavior at recreational games. So it can happen anywhere.

    Solution - Put My Wife in Time Out

    Back to my wife; a few hours after the game would be over she would feel bad about her behavior. I thought about asking her to stay away from the games, but she really did enjoy watching our son play. Finally it came to me. I needed to remove her from the home plate area, get her away from the other teams' parents and away from our son when he was batting. We moved down the outfield line; pass the dugouts and about half way towards the outfield fence. Out there we didn't hear the other team, the home plate umpire couldn't hear us, and the game became real enjoyable. Our view wasn't as good, but that was a small trade off. We were having fun again.

    It Is Easy to Involve Others

    Other parents were asking us why we were sitting so far down the line. My wife did not hesitate to answer that she was in "time out". Like a child, she couldn't be trusted to behave properly when located near a potential bad situation. Soon, others that had the same problem were joining us. A few games into this idea, and half the parents were down the line with us. It became an enjoyable social event. Maybe it even helped a few marriages.

    Start Your Own Cheap Seats Section

    There are certain situations where adults will act like little children. If you have these types on your team, ask them to take a stroll down the line with you. Everyone, especially their sons, will thank you.

    Preaching to the Choir

    I know most of the people reading this are not the problem. Parents with bad behavior usually do not seek out advise. But in the right way you can make a difference. To see other baseball tips and stories I have written please visit my website at http://baseballknowledge.info

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

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    Baseball Coaching and Training Blog: Today's Free Articles


    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.

    Recommended Baseball Sites:
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    Baseball Strategy Tips For Developing a Solid Pitching Rotation


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    Baseball Strategy Tips For Developing a Solid Pitching Rotation
    By Jack D. Elliott
    Everyone enjoys the excitement of the homerun; however, pitching tends to play a larger role in the importance of a winning Baseball Strategy. Let's use high school baseball as an example. For most high school teams, there are usually only one or two good pitchers on each team. One of the differences between good and great high school teams is how they develop the rest of their pitching staff.

    To win at the high school level in the playoffs and beyond, a high school team should develop a rotation of 4 to 6 pitchers. There are several reasons for this Baseball Strategy:


    Top pitchers will then get the opportunity to rest their arms during the season.
    It provides an opportunity for younger pitchers to develop their skills for future seasons.
    The coach has a number of options to choose from for certain game situations. (For example, have a left hander throw to a left handed batter).
    May be able to use your top pitchers in other roles. This can be especially helpful if they are a very good hitter as it adds a strong bat to your lineup.
    Allows you some additional protection if you lose one of your pitchers to grades or an injury.

    Traditionally, pitchers on high school baseball teams tend to be those who throw the hardest and or have done it for a number of years. However, a smart high school coach should be scouting his team every year to look for players who could be turned into pitchers. Some of the skills a coach should look for in a prospective pitcher include:


    Left-handed or a unique throwing motion (ex. sidearm delivery).
    Strong arm (Fastball is above 80 mph).
    Excellent control of throws regardless of fastball speed.
    Natural movement on fastball.
    Ability to throw a unique pitch (ex. knuckleball).

    Once these players are discovered, the coach should have them begin practicing pitching at every practice. Over time, their skills would improve to the point where you could use them in game situations. Then, your baseball strategy could shift from relying on your two top pitchers to letting these prospects start pitching against weaker teams in your district or allowing them to pitch a few innings in certain games.

    To help encourage players to want to be a pitcher, the coach should give extra praise to those who are participating and repeat the importance that pitching has on helping the team go far in the playoffs. In addition, a wise coach would recommend these players take additional pitching instruction from quality baseball instructors in the area. With a little encouragement, you can outsource some of this training. This will allow for these players to keep developing their skills and not take away from the team's overall practice time.

    The benefits of developing a pitching staff over time should allow for your high school team to move from a good to a great program. Also, who knows, you just might stumble upon the next great ace pitcher.

    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/

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

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    Tips to Become an Effective Pitcher


    Tips to Become an Effective Pitcher
    By Nate Barnett

    We have always consistently emphasized the dramatic increase of arm injuries with youth pitchers. Many of these injuries can be avoided with proper education and healthy, yet competitive environments. I constructed a brief list on missed opportunities coaches and parents have to train their youth to be better all around athletes and pitchers.

    Pitching Mechanics: Of course this would be first on the list. I travel a lot to different youth baseball games to watch some of the pitchers I work with. I also observe pitchers on opposing teams and I am very aware of the lack of education youth pitchers have about pitching mechanics. It is concerning that so many pitchers throw to throw and don't know how to throw correctly. Their arm takes the beating and this can all be avoided with proper education about pitching mechanics. Parents and Coaches need to show their pitchers where to go for that education.

    Pitching Workouts: I have also written a lot lately about the importance of strength and flexibility. It is imperative that all pitchers have enough strength to support the pitching workloads pitching requires. If not, they are prone to injury. If you have been receiving our training newsletters regularly you will also know how important of a role core strength training plays in becoming a complete pitcher.

    Mental Game of Baseball: Many of life's lessons can be learned by playing Baseball. Parents and Coaches, I believe, have the obligation to teach the youth these valuable lessons during practice and games. We all know Baseball is a game of failure; hall of fame hitters success only 30% of the time. The best pitchers at that level succeed half of the time. Youth baseball players can learn just as much from losing as they can from winning. Of course, there is much more to the mental game of baseball than just that; we will review more of that later.

    Nutrition: Nutrition is more important than most athletes, parents and coaches understand. There are so many missed opportunities to teach nutrition. The best way to teach proper nutrition is through example. If you are a soda drinker, your kids and athletes will be as well.

    Nate Barnett is co-owner of The Pitching Academy.

    After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. You can find The Pitching Academy's videos, blog, and more articles when you visit the website.

    The Pitching Academy's pitching mechanics DVD.

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

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


    Baseball2u.com

    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.

    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:=====

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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!

    Coaching Baseball: Bad Habits Make For Bad Baseball Coaching 


    By Nick Dixon

    Here are 10 bad habits of bad Baseball Coaches:


    1. Laziness is the #1 trait of bad coaches. It is impossible for a coach to fool the players. They more than anyone else know when a coach is lazy. It is difficult to get players to work hard enough to be successful if the coach is not willing to put forth the effort.
    2. Lack of knowledge is another trait of an inadequate coach. They do not know enough to properly teach and instruct. If a coach did not play as a child or teenager, they should become a "student of the game" and learn the correct terminology, fundamentals, techniques and strategies to be successful.
    3. Not being organized is another trait that bad coaches are good at. They seldom have what they need or have a plan for practice or games.
    4. Not being on time is another characteristic of a terrible coach. They arrive late for practice and games. They often have to miss practice or have to leave practice early. They find it impossible to find enough time to be a good coach.
    5. Negativity is a trait that helps make a bad coach worst. They are always expecting the worst. They expect it to be a bad day and most of the time they are right. They expect to lose and often find a way to justify losing.
    6. Lack of attention to detail. They are too busy to see what is happening or to pay attention to small details that make big differences in a player's and team's success. They often ignore swing flaws, mechanical mistakes, and sub-par performance at practice or a game. They chose to over-look the mistake than correct it. They do not consider little things important. Therefore, their players and teams never reach their fullest potential.
    7. Bad coaches often speak before they think.
    8. They are quick to panic or over react. They are impatience.
    9. They are not consistent in teaching and instruction techniques.
    10. They don't really like kids.

    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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    Using Video to Analyze Pitching Techniques


    Using Video to Analyze Pitching Techniques
    By Nate Barnett

    One of the best ways to make sure your pitching techniques are free of any major problems is to use video to analyze the movements. The key to understanding your performance is to discover what in fact is preventing you from excelling on the mound. Professional baseball players use video all the time to detect changes in pitching technique, etc. Here are some things in the pitching motion to look for.

    1. Leg Lift: The leg lift should be a smooth process without rocking backward. Many times pitchers get into trouble because their balance tends to be poor as they lean backwards with their chest. The body should stay slightly bent so the center of gravity remains in the middle of your body.

    2. The Front Side: The front part of your body should remain closed off to the hitter for as long as possible. Many times guys with poor pitching technique tend to let their front arm and leg open up (exposing their chest to the hitter) before their front foot lands. Not only does this reduce velocity, but if affects the location of the pitches as well.

    3. The Landing: When you review your video, check to see if the landing (when the foot lands) is balanced. Guys who tend to land on the front leg with the weight already shifted forward won't get enough energy transferred into the delivery.

    4. The Finish: One of the biggest problems for younger pitchers who lack strength is falling off the mound before they have extended their body towards the catcher. They effectively peel away from the play and do not allow themselves to create the most energy possible.

    Finally, in order to learn the best possible pitching techniques, you have to be able to watch yourself over the course of a season. Find someone to video tape you at the beginning of the season, the middle, and at the end at least. If you are uncertain as to what to look for, grab a coach to help you evaluate your movements. Using video is well worth your time if you're serious about improving your ability on the mound.

    Nate Barnett is co-owner of The Pitching Academy.

    After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. You can find The Pitching Academy's videos, blog, and more articles when you visit the website.

    The Pitching Academy's pitching mechanics DVD

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


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    Coaching Baseball - 4 Things the On-Deck Batter Should Always Do and 4 Things He Should Never Do



    Coaching Baseball - 4 Things the On-Deck Batter Should Always Do and 4 Things He Should Never Do

    Baseball coaching is teaching the big and little details of the game. Every position or location on the field requires a player to observe and to be aware of what is happening. Many young batters on deck often do no pay attention to what is happening. They are often guilty of looking into the crowd or even talking to someone through the fence. On-deck batters that do not closely observe the pitcher and the catcher are missing a greatly opportunity to "scout" the opponent.

    Baseball Pitching - Coaching Pitchers to Succeed by Starting With the Basics

    The coaching of baseball pitchers does not require a degree in "pitchingtology". There is no such degree to my knowledge. I just made that up. My point here is that coaching baseball pitching is not rocket science. However, having a basic knowledge of the terms and mechanics is a must.


    Coaching Baseball - 12 Things That 3rd Base Coaches Should Say to Baserunners

    Fewer things in baseball are more embarrassing for a young baseball player than to make a base running mistake that cost his team a run. Some of the most devastating and demoralizing mistakes in baseball are made by baserunners at 3rd base. When a runner gets to third, the team momentum and confidence is increased. The team and the player, and the fans feel like they are going to soon score a run. But, to have that chance of scoring removed by a blunder by the runner or coach can take the momentum completely away from the team.

    Coaching Baseball Pitchers - The Use of Visual Anchor Points For Curve-Ball Accuracy

    The skill of throwing a good curve ball accurately is a skill that must be taught and coached. Teaching curve ball control and accuracy is vital to a pitcher's success at any level. Here I discuss the method I use to teach and coach our high school pitchers to vary their curve ball location and to accurately control the spot to which the ball will break.


    4 Baseball Pitching Drills For Little League Players

    Teaching, training and developing young baseball pitchers takes a lot of time, patience, and practice repetition. Many young pitchers need to practice pitching skills daily. To keep the interest level high, it is best to use a variety of drills on alternate days to prevent boredom. Here are 4 baseball pitching drills that can be used to train youth and beginner pitchers.

    Sponsor Links:

    ===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: 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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    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.

    Baseball Practice Planning Tips and Sample Baseball Practice Schedule

    Baseball Practice Planning Tips and Sample Baseball Practice Schedule
    By Nick Dixon

    The word is PLAN

    There are many four letter words that baseball coaches know, but few are as important as the word for today, PLAN. 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. In part one I discussed the important of the word Goal and the importance of setting a goal to drive a team toward success.

    The Baseball Coaches four letter word of today is P-L-A-N:

    Planning is one of the most important responsibilities of a head baseball coach is planning. Planning is organization. Planning is delegation of duties and responsibilities to your assistants. You must plan every practice. You must plan your season. You must have a game plan going into every game. Planning practice after you start is a sign of bad coaching. If the team has practice at 3:00 PM, and the head coach turns to the assistant coaches as the team is warming up, and says, Well, guys what do you think we need to do today? A team with a coach like this is destined to have a difficult year. The coach is not organized and does not have the dedication to do his coaching homework at home before he arrive at the field. Have a plan and a schedule before you arrive at the field. The practice plan should be in the can! Planning as you go will waste valuable practice time that will never be recovered. It is extremely important to have a daily practice schedule written down. You must decide on each practice activity for that day, the assigned amount of time to be spent doing each drill or activity, and the objective or reason for doing the activity. A written practice schedule is a must! You practice plan must be detailed, easy to read, and easy to understand. Your practice plan begins with the first minute of practice and ends with the last minute. Every minute is scheduled. Include breaks and transition times from one activity to the next. You should write out the practice plan, run copies, and give each coach a copy. The schedule will have time slots, each coach drills and duties, and location of each activity.

    A sample practice plan:

    3:00 to 3:12 Team Stretch and Warm-up

    3:12 to 3:27 PFP (Pitching Fielding Practice)

    3:30 to 3:45 Outfield Drill Work & Infielder Drill Work

    3:45 to 4:00 Team Defense, Infield, and Outfield Cuts

    4:00 to 4:45 Team Batting Practice

    (4 Groups, 4 Station, 12 Minutes and Rotate to the next station

    -Station 1 On-field Batting Practice -Station 2 Batting Cage Work -Station 3 Bunt Station -Station 4 Tee & Soft-toss

    4:45 to 4:55 Break

    4:55 to 5:15 21 Outs Drill

    5:15 to 5:25 Base running Drills/Conditioning

    Coaching Note:

    6 Pitchers will throw after practice bullpens. List Names. The greatest difficulty in having a practice schedule is staying on time. You must have a set rule that when drill time is up, the drill ends. If the drill was performed so bad that it needs to be done again, it will be done over after practice. Always have a coaches meeting after each practice to discuss what the staff has to say about the day practice. You also need to ask what they think the next practice schedule should cover. Listen to your assistants and consider what they say when you make out your next practice plan. Another part of having a plan is the delegating of responsibilities. You can not do it all. Recruit some good volunteer coaches to help you.

    Good coaches always delegate task and duties to assistant coaches. Let certain coaches work with certain positions. One of the crucial assignments on every team is the position of pitching coach. You must have a coach that oversees pitching practice, bullpen work, and that calls the pitches during the game. Another important role is that of the team hitting coach. The hitting coach is often the offensive coordinator and 3rd base coach. This coach oversees all batting drills, batting practice and base running practice. Organize you pregame routine. Plan it, write it down, and make sure every coach know it by heart. Have a set time when you start stretching and warming up. Have a set time that you take pregame defensive infield and outfield warm-up. a set time that players may have 3 minutes to go to the restroom if they need to. Have a set time that you have a team huddle. Plan what you are going to say during this team moment. Having a plan is having a purpose, a time, and a place for everything and everyone.

    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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    Baseball Pitcher Warm-Up and Stretching


    Baseball Pitcher Warm-Up and Stretching
    By Mike Schim

    Pitching a baseball game begins long before you even step onto the pitching mound. It is important to prepare both physically and mentally for pitching in a game. Below are some mental and physical steps you can do to prepare for pitching on the day of the big baseball game.

    When you wake up in the morning, begin mentally visualizing your pitching experience. Start imagining how your pitching will be that day. While taking your morning shower, think about how you want your pitching strategy to be. Do you want to throw many fastballs? Do you want to vary your pitching a lot in the game? Do you want to try and strike every batter out? Or would you want to pitch each batter in such a way as to try to get them to ground out to the infielders on the first pitch? All of this mental preparation can help visualize how you want to win.

    During the day, conserve your energy and keep thinking about how you are going to pitch the best game ever. Your positive attitude will help you win. All of the positive thoughts will get you very excited about pitching in the game.

    When you are getting dressed for the game, keep a clear head and positive attitude. If you pitching coach gave you advice on pitching strategy, repeat key concepts in your head. Consider the strategies for each batter. If you did research on the other team's players, remind yourself of which batters to pitch fastballs to, and which batters to throw curveballs to. You don't need to quiz yourself, but simply review the concepts in your head.

    Before going into the pitching bullpen, gently jog around the field. Get the blood flowing. Gently stretch, and then jog a little more. It's important to loosen up your arms and your legs. Your entire body is needed for baseball pitching, so be sure to warm-up your entire body.

    Once you've returned to the bullpen, go to a grassy spot away from other players and gently stretch your arms and arm joints. Focus on your shoulders, forearms, wrists, and elbow.

    After stretching for about 5 or 10 minutes, find a teammate to have a simple catch with. Stand about 20 feet apart and simply throw the ball to each other. There's no need to throw any pitches at this point. Just throw the ball. Catching and throwing the ball will actually help you stretch some more before you even throw a single pitch. After a minute or two, extend the distance to about 50 feet apart. After a few more minutes of having a casual game of catch with your teammate, you should start casually going through the pitching motion. Use your legs in throwing the ball. Do a casual wind-up and lift your leg a little bit in the pitch.

    Now that you've warmed up, you can start your pitching activities. Have a teammate, preferably a catcher; assume the catching position while you throw some practice pitches. Start with a very slow pitch and practice the pitching motions. Don't worry about speed. Pay attention to your pitching mechanics. The web site [http://www.2PlayBall.com] has books and videos that discuss the mechanics of baseball pitching. Besides reading and watching videos, you can also watch other pitchers and study how they pitch the ball.

    Once you've thrown about 15 simple pitches while focusing on the delivery, start to warm-up your pitching aim. Focus on inside and outside pitching corners. Practice your aim with each of your pitches. Throw a fastball, curve, change-up, slider, and other pitches.

    Ask your warm-up catcher and another teammate to go to home plate and practice with you while you stand on the pitcher's mound. Your practice catcher should assume the catching position, and your other teammate should stand in the batters box with a baseball bat in hand. The practice batter should not hit your practice pitches, but simply stand in the hitting stance and occasionally swing very lightly at the pitches. All of this will help you visually prepare for real game pitching.

    If you have not already done so, go see your pitching coach and say hello. Ask any questions that you may have. If you don't have any questions, review with your pitching coach any pitching strategies for the game.

    Before you enter the game, be sure to go to the bullpen and throw some more warm-up pitches. Also, throw just a few pitches at full speed. Don't throw too many, but throw maybe 3 or 4 full speed pitches.

    If you are not the starting pitcher, be sure to keep your body warm and loose. And remember to keep warm and loose in-between innings even when you are the active pitcher.

    And of course, enjoy your pitching experience! After all, that's why you play baseball...to have fun!

    About the author Mike S. has been a baseball fan for nearly 30 years. As a child he enjoyed playing catch with very old, well worn baseball gloves. He now plays ball with friends and teaches his family and kids how to play ball. You can read more of his articles at [http://www.2PlayBall.com] and he also writes for http://www.TeachMeSports.com Mike hopes that his passion for writing about baseball will help everyone more thoroughly enjoy the game.

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

    Sponsor Links:

    ===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: 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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    Baseball Coaching Digest: Recommended Articles



    Coaching Baseball - 4 Things the On-Deck Batter Should Always Do and 4 Things He Should Never Do

    Baseball coaching is teaching the big and little details of the game. Every position or location on the field requires a player to observe and to be aware of what is happening. Many young batters on deck often do no pay attention to what is happening. They are often guilty of looking into the crowd or even talking to someone through the fence. On-deck batters that do not closely observe the pitcher and the catcher are missing a greatly opportunity to "scout" the opponent.

    Baseball Pitching - Coaching Pitchers to Succeed by Starting With the Basics

    The coaching of baseball pitchers does not require a degree in "pitchingtology". There is no such degree to my knowledge. I just made that up. My point here is that coaching baseball pitching is not rocket science. However, having a basic knowledge of the terms and mechanics is a must.


    Coaching Baseball - 12 Things That 3rd Base Coaches Should Say to Baserunners

    Fewer things in baseball are more embarrassing for a young baseball player than to make a base running mistake that cost his team a run. Some of the most devastating and demoralizing mistakes in baseball are made by baserunners at 3rd base. When a runner gets to third, the team momentum and confidence is increased. The team and the player, and the fans feel like they are going to soon score a run. But, to have that chance of scoring removed by a blunder by the runner or coach can take the momentum completely away from the team.

    Coaching Baseball Pitchers - The Use of Visual Anchor Points For Curve-Ball Accuracy

    The skill of throwing a good curve ball accurately is a skill that must be taught and coached. Teaching curve ball control and accuracy is vital to a pitcher's success at any level. Here I discuss the method I use to teach and coach our high school pitchers to vary their curve ball location and to accurately control the spot to which the ball will break.


    4 Baseball Pitching Drills For Little League Players

    Teaching, training and developing young baseball pitchers takes a lot of time, patience, and practice repetition. Many young pitchers need to practice pitching skills daily. To keep the interest level high, it is best to use a variety of drills on alternate days to prevent boredom. Here are 4 baseball pitching drills that can be used to train youth and beginner pitchers.

    Sponsor Links:

    ===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: 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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    Recommended Baseball Sites:
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    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
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    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Coach Loses Bet & Buys New Umpire Gear


    Coach Loses Bet & Buys New Umpire Gear
    By T J Andersen

    Being an umpire must have its rewards because if you are going that route be ready to spend some money on umpire gear. I have never been an umpire, though I have coached at virtually level in the world of baseball. Somehow, I am good friends with several umpires and with all the arguments I've had with them over they years, this must be some sort of divine payback.

    Last week I was paying off a friendly bet I had made with a long time friend of mine. He and I have been rivals for years, on the field mostly, and I was going to pay him by helping to upgrade his umpire gear. It was not my idea to lose, but like I said coaches do not like it when they are wrong.

    My friend, Brice, is a much better baseball umpire than he was a player. Behind the plate he was alive, but he could not manage a hit and run situation if his life depended on it. Rather than be relegated to sitting on the bench, he decided to pursue the noble profession of a baseball umpire. There, he had found his home and his office of business was normally behind the plate in one of the most competitive conferences in the country.

    Baseball runs in our blood, Brice and me, but too many times we found ourselves on opposite sides of an argument. We met in college and as I developed as a catcher, Brice was honing his skills as a Blue.

    Recently, we found ourselves on the same field in a high school championship game and I'd promised to help upgrade his old fashioned umpire equipment if he did not blow one call. He promised to buy me dinner, a much better deal for him as I would find out. Agreed, you might not think this was a good bet on my part, but I have been around Brice and umpires like him for eons and believe me when I tell you this. They know when they make a mistake. Rarely do they not blow a call.

    With the way the game is structured, umpires are like the Pope. They are infallible and once they make a call, even if they are wrong, this call is gospel. Umpires are trained like this and many carry this inability to be corrected in all walks of life. I knew Brice would blow at least one call. Many coaches might not catch the intricacies, but I would and i was already planning where we would have dinner.

    In many ways coaches and umpires are alike. We do not ever expect or like to be wrong and when we are, obvious or not, we deny it, hide behind the cloak of our position and expect severance and understanding. Umpires don't argue like coaches. They do not have to, instead sliding behind the heavy veil of authority.

    Brice and I met for a burger and in his hand was a catalog with the latest umpire gear. Like I said, I lost the bet, I have no idea how he got so lucky. Anyway, I was prepared to spend maybe $40 plus the meal, but when I saw the knowing smile on his face, well, I was not prepared for what was in store.

    Did you know these chest protectors are now made out of some sort of armor plating? The one I saw in the book looked a lot like it belonged to the movie character, Iron Man. It must fit under the shirt somehow, because I have never seen an umpire with one visible.

    $100 plate shoes? I mean it is not like steel plates covering the foot. I thought back to the game and my temper tantrum and umpire shoes. Did I mention that I lost the bet? Did I tell the circumstances? Oh, I will get to that part.

    I winced at the price I was going to have to pay. He flipped to the umpire mask and explained about a new product called CoolMax, a fabric recently invented that draws moisture away from the body to increase ventilation. I can understand how this would be important in a chest protector, but in a face mask? Moisture control in baseball?

    I thought back to the game and had to admit that although we had lost the game, Brice only had one questionable call. Lucky guy. It was a play at the plate which occurred when my worst hitter chopped a grounder in front of the plate with the bases loaded.

    The catcher at the time, an excellent athlete, fielded the ball, fired to first and as he did my third base coach sent our runner to the plate. A good call because the runner on third had a good lead and was fast as all get out.

    The call as he was sliding into the catchers domain was close, but it was obvious from the third base dugout he was out. This is because of a bullet relay throw back to the plate from first, a throw on the left side of the plate at knee level. All the catcher had to do was catch and hold on to the ball. This is not what curled my hair. Not this call at the plate, but the call before that.

    I felt the ball was foul to begin with and this brought all my fury toward Brice. Felt? Heck I knew it was a foul ball. Chopped foul outside the batters box, then cleanly fielded after one bounce in fair territory. Brice made no call, did not have time, which was an indication the ball was in play. The opposing catcher did the right thing. He played the ball and did a great job doing so. Surely though the play would be called dead.

    When I approached Brice, a locomotive gathering steam from the third base side, he was ready with an explanation. Mask off, he told me the ball was chopped in fair territory and that my angle of vision was wrong. It was obscured and I could not see what he saw. I responded by kicking as much dirt on his shoes as I could.

    He would have thrown me out of the game had it not been over. We had lost by a run and I continued my barrage at the plate. Brice screamed right back at me, telling me I was wrong and had no idea what I was talking about. I responded again and kicked more dirt and his parting words were, "You are buying me a new pair, pal."

    The film proved Brice right and as I sipped my beverage and leafed through the catalog, it was obvious my purchases would start with the umpire shoes. The face mask would also be mandatory for my poor behavior. I ordered more beverages and thought about my tirade. New umpire gear was going to cost me. Setting the catalog down, I remembered the incident like it just happened. My tab would be at least $200 for everything. I surmised that it was better than having to apologize. Being wrong can be expensive but you still do not have to admit it. Especially to an umpire.

    TJ writes about what interests him and what he is passionate about. Visit his website at http://www.umpiregear.org which help people find the best umpire gear

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

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    Hitting Tips, Batting Tips, Sports Psychology and Baseball - How to Break Out of a Hitting Slump



    Hitting Tips, Batting Tips, Sports Psychology and Baseball - How to Break Out of a Hitting Slump
    By Jay Granat

    Every week, I get calls from parents, from coaches and from baseball players who are concerned because they or someone they are concerned about is stuck in a hitting slump.

    Hitting a baseball is difficult and when you lose your confidence and your focus, it is very hard to perform well when you are batting.

    A lot of the players who call me or who come to see me have excellent swings. Many of these baseball players have had private hitting coaches for years. Some have hitting coaches, fitness coaches, flexibility coaches, speed coaches and nutritionists. The athletes are hoping for baseball scholarships and some are hoping to play Division I baseball or professional ball.

    So, you might ask, why to players with great strength, great balance, great technique and good timing get into slumps? And what can be done to shorten the slump and get the hitter on track once again?

    In my view, many of the hitters who I counsel know very little about their own psychology. That is, they don't know how to get their mind into the right place prior to getting up to the plate. In addition, they don't know how to adjust their mental attitude in a way that will allow them to break out of their hitting slump.

    Sometimes, we need to revamp their whole approach to hitting to get them to hit to their potential.

    In other cases, one minor adjustment can solve the problem. I try to start with something simple first. Changing something minute can sometimes free up a baseball player to feel confident and empowered at the plate.

    One batter was given a confidence building slogan that he was to repeat to himself in between pitches.

    Another was taught a simple way to relax when he got up to bat.

    A very talented switch hitter needed a different way to focus when he got into the batter's box.

    Another batter changed what he did in the on deck circle. This helped him to feel more comfortable when he came up to bat.

    Many of these techniques can be found on 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis. Here is the link to get this program.

    Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and the founder of http://www.stayinthezone.com - He has written several books and developed several programs to help people perform to their fullest potential at sports, at work and at school. Dr. Granat, a former university professor, has appeared in The New York Times, Good Morning America, AP, ESPN, Golf Digest, The BBC and The CBC. He can be reached at info@stayinthezone.com - He is also the author of How To Get Into The Zone With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, How To Lower Your Golf Score With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump and Bed Time Stories For Young Athletes. Golf Digest named Dr. Granat one of America's Top Ten Mental Gurus. His new baseball cd and free book is available at: http://tinyurl.com/yh3srae

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

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    One Or Two Piece Baseball Bat?

    One Or Two Piece Baseball Bat?

    By R. Nelson

    It used to be simple; a bat was one piece of wood, aluminum or composite. How things have changed! Two-piece bats are now extremely popular and seem to be the trend for the foreseeable future.

    Easton, Demarini and Nike have long championed the two-piece design. Demarini and Nike have held fast to this philosophy while Easton has branched out to make bats in almost all designs in an effort to appeal to everyone. They say the major benefit of a two piece bat is that it gives more flex to the barrel at the point of contact and, therefore, increases the trampoline effect. This should not be confused with handle flex (or whip action). Handle flex or whip action is supposed to take place before the point of contact with the ball, and the trampoline effect at the point of contact.

    The one-piece bat argument long championed by Louisville and recently COMbat. Louisville claims their Triton and H2 are "bonded" together to act more like a true one-piece bat. They say the two-piece design results in weakness at the joint of the handle and barrel thereby reducing the trampoline effect or spring back. They're essentially saying that it provides very little resistance and therefore will not spring back as quick and hard as a one-piece design.

    Before we go any farther, let's understand what trample effect actual means in the scientific world. The trampoline effect refers to pronounced elasticity in the impacting object (baseball bat, tennis racquet, golf club, etc.) such that it acts like a trampoline. It is also referred to as the spring-like effect because of the degree to which the object depresses, then springs back into shape when striking a ball. Here are the scientific specifics for a baseball bat:


    The trampoline effect in baseball refers to the elasticity of a bat upon impact with a baseball.
    When a ball hits a wood bat, it compresses to nearly half its original diameter, losing up to 75% of its initial energy to internal friction forces.
    However, in a hollow bat such as an aluminum or composite bat, the bat barrel compresses somewhat like a spring. This means that the ball is not compressed as much and loses less energy to internal friction forces.
    Furthermore, most of the energy temporarily stored in the bat is returned to the ball in an aluminum or composite bat. The energy which is lost in the bat compression is much smaller than that lost without compression.
    So there is absolutely no doubt that the barrel flexes during contact and does create a trampoline effect. The real question is does a two-piece bat create more, less or the same barrel flex/trampoline effect than a one-piece bat made from the same material? And if so, does this increase batted-ball speed?

    This is where the science gets murky because there doesn't seem to be any scientific data supporting or debunking claims that a two-piece bat produces more trampoline effect than a one-piece bat (or vice versa). Will someone please call Mythbusters!

    So what I've done is try to look at this logically. My conclusion is that a two-piece bat probably increases the trampoline effect due to its hinge at the connection point. But, the increase is probably negligible and therefore won't make much of a difference. I've also look at what the top players are using to see if there is a preference. Most players on college baseball teams swinging Easton bats overwhelmingly choose the two-piece bats to their one-piece siblings. They'll usually choose the Stealth Speed over the Synergy Speed and the SV12 over the V12. They also tend to choose the stiff handle design of those bats. In the end, you're fine with either a one or two-piece bat as I believe they are extremely close in performance.

    First decide what you want to spend, the material that's best for you, whether you prefer an end-loaded or balanced bat, a one or two-piece model and then the handle design.

    To see reviews for all baseball bats visit Baseball Bat Reviews Blog.

    http://baseballbatreviewsblog.com

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=R._Nelson

    The Baseball Mind


    The Baseball Mind
    By Robert Bulka

    The game of baseball is one of statistics. You see the Major League Baseball Managers going through the numbers, analyzing pitcher/batter matchups, looking at the tendencies of each batter on both teams. Teams have their best scouts send ahead of them on road trips to scout out the next opponent.

    The Baseball networks are fanatics for numbers and statiistics, sometimes meaningless numbers too! The baseball mind is one that completely understands the nuances in baseball. It is one that is always thinking ahead and being prepared for any scenario.

    Here are some questions a Major League manager might be thinking when deciding to use a pinch hitter or not:


    Is he a better hitter against righties than lefties?
    Can he hit the off speed stuff?
    Can he bunt?
    Does he have trouble against this pitcher?
    Does he have success against the guys in the bullpen?
    Does he have the bat speed to get around on the pitches?
    Is he smart at the plate?
    Does he swing at the first pitch?
    Does he have a tendency to strike out?
    Is he a clutch hitter?
    Who is up after the pinch hitter?
    Who else do I have on the bench?
    What opponent's pitchers are still available?

    This is just a very simple example of the questions going through the mind of the manager when trying to decide if he should bring in a pinch hitter or not. Now, if you decided to go with the pinch hitter you also have to be ready for the opponent to make a counter move, like bringing in a righty pitcher to face the righty. But you were waiting for this and have a plan up your sleeve that can make the difference in the game. This is where the baseball mind comes through..

    The baseball mind is one that is always thinking, analyzing, looking for that something that will get you an advantage. In today's game it is just amazing how you see things like the double switch, hit and run, run and hit, rotation play and other types of strategies the baseball minds have in their toolbag.

    Learn more about the baseball mind

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



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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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    Bat Rolling - The Truth About Detection

    Bat Rolling - The Truth About Detection
    By Brock Gibson

    Everyone who rolls bats will let you know that bat rolling can't be detected; to a degree this is fact. Any type can be rolled and be undetectable; this statement comes with some exceptions. In about 90% of cases, rolling is virtually undetectable, even if a trained roller was to take it for examination. The other 10% would have issues with being undetectable.

    When a roller says that bat rolling is undetectable they are not lying but they are not telling the entire truth either. As I said earlier all can be rolled with no detection. In order to do this the bats will not come even near to being entirely broken in. What that means is the pressure placed on the bat will be not enough to break up the resin. I believe some rollers are afraid of breaking them or are inexperienced and do not know how to properly roll. This is why they roll with less pressure. Some composites and all aluminum bats will have long flat spots along the length of the barrel after rolling. With composites, this is typically caused by low-grade composite material but can also be caused by too much stress. So the question remains what if I have one of these bats that rolling will leave roller marks? Answer: A good roller will create procedures that will work around this challenge. One of these tactics is parallel rolling. One can't successfully roll an aluminum bat with a perpendicular rolling machine. Let me say that again, "You cannot effectively roll an aluminum bat with a perpendicular rolling machine". This is where a parallel rolling machine is a necessity. It will efficiently roll the bat without leaving flat spots.

    I can say the same thing about some composite bats. As I made the point in the second paragraph, a few composite bats are made of substandard material and perpendicular rolling can cause flat areas. Some of these composite bats include: 2009 or above Mikens and Worths, Easton Extended 2008, TPS, most youth fastpitch, and most youth baseball bats. This is not a complete list but it gives you an idea of some of the potential problems with perpendicular rolling. I mentioned that Mikens and Worths have this occur, this is not to say that they have low-grade composite but it definitely occurs with these bats. Again, this can be avoided with a parallel roller and an expert bat roller. So if these sorts of bats are rolled to there full capability in a perpendicular bat roller there will be flat areas. Again, there will be flat spots with perpendicular bat rolling.

    Getting back to the original question, can bat rolling be detected? No, as long as you use a parallel bat rolling machine and an expert bat roller. I have personally sent 4 bats back to Easton and Miken that had been rolled and got my replacements. You will see bat rollers on Ebay trying to get your business with no real experience. You will see things like "we can roll bats 'Hot' or 'Super Hot'", what in the backyard nilly willy is this? You will find claims of 20-60 feet; rolling has only been tested to increase distance by 40 feet. You will see bat rollers who blame the bat companies for graphics coming off. Ebay is a proving ground for inexperienced bat rollers. What to look for: look at Ebay feedback, make for certain you get it done by a legit bat rolling company, and look for a bat roller who does both perpendicular and parallel. This will improve your chances of not receiving a detectable bat after bat rolling.

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

    Teaching Young Baseball Batters to Have Better Eye Focus and Visual Concentration

    Teaching Young Baseball Batters to Have Better Eye Focus and Visual Concentration
    By Nick Dixon

    The eyes of the batter are his greatest asset. The batter must "see and think" with the eyes. A batter can know the count, know the situation, know the pitcher, and know how to swing, but if their eyes are weak or fail them, they will more than like suffer defeat at the plate. How many times have we heard a successful batter say that "I am really seeing the ball right now" or an unsuccessful batter say "I am not picking the ball up. I am not seeing the ball". There are many factors that affect the ability of the batter ability to see the baseball.

    Factors and conditions such as the pitchers motion, the amount of sunlight or field lighting, the angle of the sunlight as to the time of day and the background in center field all can hamper or affect the ability of the batter to see the baseball. These factors we have little ability to change. However, we can minimize their affects by improving the ability of the batter to focus or see the baseball.

    How should a batter use the eyes during the batting process? Does a batter simply step in the batters box, tap the plate with the bat, and start looking for the ball? Or is there a recommended process or procedure of using the eyes during the batting process? What should the batter focus the eyes on prior to the pitch? If you ask 10 batters, most likely, you will receive 5 different answers. Batters can be taught a technique that can increase the effectiveness and sharpness of eyesight during the batting process.

    Batters should use two types of eye focus when batting. Batters should start with a "soft eye focus" to ease tension on the eyes, and then go to a hard eye focus when the pitcher starts the pitching motion. The batter begins the soft focus by looking at an area around the pitchers head and shoulders. The batters may soft focus on the pitchers cap. As the pitcher begins the pitching motion, the batter when then converts to a hard eye focus on the pitching arm shoulder area and the pitchers release point. During this crucial segment of the swing, the batter uses an extreme hard eye focus technique to pick up the ball. Using the soft to hard focus technique, batters tend to not lose concentration, suffer eye strain, and get too up-tight.

    Coaching point: good teams and players read and identify certain tendencies by pitchers. The opposing pitcher should be observed and studied to determine his "arm slot" and "ball release point". Players should be doing this "observation" from the dugout and in the on-deck circle. Knowing the delivery motion, timing, and release point of the opposing pitcher allows batters to "pick up" or see the ball much quicker out of the hand of the pitcher. The ability to see the ball earlier increases the chances for a successful at-bat.

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


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

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