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BaseballParentGuide.Com: Today's Feature Article

BaseballParentGuide.com
The Baseball Parents Guide - Today's Feature Article
Baseball Parent Guide: Today's Feature Article
Teaching Your Child to Hit a Baseball
How to Throw and Pitch a Baseball
Baseball Blogs
Buying Guide For Baseball Parents
Current Topics and Issues Related to Safety in Baseball
The Dangers of Steroid and Substance Abuse
Preventing Drug Abuse
The Truth About Smokeless Tobacco
Sports Psychology For Baseball Parents
History of Baseball
Collectibles
Academics Must Come First
Weight Training and Fitness For Baseball
Baseball First Aid and Treatment of Injuries
Baseball Articles for Coaches

The Baseball Parent Guide features articles and stories related  to parenting a baseball player. Articles cover every aspect of being a baseball parent from buy a glove to improving strength and skill. Topics frequently covered are baseball training tips, baseball batting drills, baseball pitching drills, defensive coaching tips, and much, much more.

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Youth Baseball Digest - Can You Name 10 Ways a Batter Can Safely Reach First Base?



Youth Baseball Digest - Can You Name 10 Ways a Batter Can Safely Reach First Base?
By Nick Dixon

Have you ever thought about how many ways a batter can safely reach first base? I have pondered the question and I have come up with 10 different ways for a batter to safely reach first base.

The ways that I thought of include the following:

1) Base Hit - Batter swings the bat and hits a base hit. In baseball statistics a base hit is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches first base after hitting the ball into fair territory.

2) Walk or Base on Balls - A base on balls or walk is credited to a batter when the batter receives four pitches that the umpire calls balls. The walk can be intentional or not intentional.

3) Error - A batter reaches on an error when, in the judgment of the official score book keeper, a fielder misplays a ball hit by the batter allowing the batter to reach first base. The ball misplayed is one that the official scorer judges to be a play that should have been made with reasonable or ordinary effort. What this means is that the fielder misplayed a routine play.

4) Passed Ball on a Strike Out: The batter strikes out but the catcher misses the ball. The batter becomes a batter-runner and reaches first base safely. This play should be officially scored as a strikeout and passed ball, a strikeout and wild pitch or a strikeout and a fielders choice.

5) Catcher Commits Interference - Catchers interference is called when contact is made by the bat of the batter. With catcher interference, the result is the same as with all interference, The batter is awarded the results of the swing or first base. The manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire that he elects to decline the interference penalty and accept the play

6) Fielders choice - A fielder`s choice is a play made on a ground ball in which the fielder chooses to put out an advancing base runner, thus allowing the batter to reach first base safely.

7) Batter-Runner Interference - Once the batter hits the ball the batter becomes a base runner. The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without interference by a defensive player. If interference occurs, the manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire that he elects to decline the interference penalty and accept the play.

8) A Sacrifice - The batter hits a sacrifice fly or executes a sacrifice bunt.

9) Double Play - The batter reaches first on a double play by the defense that did not involve a throw to first base.

10) Hit by a Pitch - The batter is hit by a pitch thrown by the batter. The batter must be in the batting box and in the judgment of the umpire did not "lean" into the pitch.

I am sure that you may think of one or two more. These are what came to my mine because they are the 10 ways that occur most often. I hope that you found this article to be informative. Thanks for taking the time to read it. I wish you and your team good luck in the coming season. Have a great day! Nick

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

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

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Little League Digest - Proper Baseball Swing Mechanics and the "Belly Button" Rule of Hip Turn

Little League Digest - Proper Baseball Swing Mechanics and the "Belly Button" Rule of Hip Turn
By Nick Dixon

Little league Digest: Baseball Batting Coaching Tips: Teaching Hip Turn Mechanics and Using the "Belly Button" Rule to Improve Baseball Swing Quality

The hips play an important part in the baseball swing process. The turn of the hips helps to generate power and bat speed. There are several important coaching points about the involvement of the hips in the swing. The "B B" rule is one good way to teach young players the degree of hip turn on various pitch locations. This article presents several coaching points and explains the "B B" rule.

Here are 10 Coaching Points related to Hip Movement Mechanics:

1. The degree of hip movement is determined by the location of the pitch.

2. The hips must turn more when hitting an inside pitch.

3. The hips will turn less when hitting a pitch away.

4. The hips should not move before the hands and bat.

5. To free the hips, the back foot must spin, rotate or turn onto the toe.

6. The hips follow the barrel. The hips should open behind the barrel, not before it.

7. Premature front side or hip movement will cause a batter to pull the head and to pull of pitches.

8. The correct hip movement is a spin. Lunging or sliding the hips forward is not acceptable.

9. The hip movement should be a thrust or fast rotation. The faster the rotation of the hips, the faster the bats speed.

10. The degree of hip rotation can be taught by teaching the "Belly Button" rule as explained below.

The "Belly Button Rule" is explained as the following:

The Belly Button should follow the barrel of the bat through the baseball swing process. The location of a pitch determines hip turn. The degree of hip turn determines where the belly button is pointing when the batter finishes the baseball swing. The belly button should always finish in a position that points toward the direction in which the baseball was hit.

For example, when a ball is hit to the opposite field, the batters "Button" should point or be directed toward the opposite field when the swing is completed. If a batter pulls an inside pitch, the belly button should follow the ball and point toward the direction in which the ball was hit.

Coaching Point: For right and left handed batters, if the ball is hit through the box, up the middle, the belly button should "shine" or point toward second base when the swing is complete. For right handed batter, is a ball is pulled, the belly button should finish pointing toward third base. If a right handed batter hits the baseball down the right field line, the button should point toward first base when the swing is completed. If a left handed batter pulls the baseball, the hips should turn completely and the button should finish pointing at first base. If a left handed batter hits the ball to left field, the hips should turn less and the belly button should finish the swing pointing the 5-6 hole or between 3rd and 2nd base.

I hope that you found this article to be informative and helpful. Thanks for taking the time to read it. I wish you and your team good luck this season! Have a great day, Nick.

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

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

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

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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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4 Highly Recommended Baseball Coaching Articles for High School Little League, Cal Ripken, Dixie Youth, Babe Ruth Pony, and all other Youth Baseball Coaches


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Baseball Youth Digest - Bunting Made Simple - Teaching Bunting Skills to Beginners

Bunting is a skill that must be taught and practiced just like throwing hitting, and fielding. It is wise for t-ball or Little League coaches of coach pitch teams to introduce every young player to the basics of bunting. This article outlines 10 recommended coaching points for teaching and introducing bunting to beginners.

Baseball Coaching Digest - What Baseball Coaches and Umpires Expect From Each Other
Baseball coaches and umpires often have a love/hate relationship. Coaches often make the job of an umpire more difficult. Umpires sometimes hurt the feelings of a coach with a crucial call. Coaches expect a high level of professionalism from the umpires in the crew working a game. Umpires expect a high level of professionalism from the coaches of both teams. Here I outline 5 things coaches expect of umpires and 5 things umpires expect of coaches:


Little League Digest - The KISS Rule of Teaching Youth Baseball Players a Proper Swing
Coaching baseball is not rocket science. I believe in the KISS rule of coaching young baseball batters. The KISS or "Keep it Super Simple" rule means that the coach will present the batting instruction in a way that it is easy for young baseball players to understand, visualize and perform. This article explains the 6 simple steps in teaching youth baseball batters using the "KISS" method.

Youth Baseball Digest - Good Pitcher Sometimes Can Not Throw a Strike - 10 Things to Check First

If you have a young baseball pitcher that at times looks like a Josh Beckett or Randy Smith and other times he struggles to throw two strikes in a row, what can cause of his control problems? There are 10 key elements of his delivery that should always be checked first. Those key elements are outlined in this article.

Coaching Baseball - The Importance of Teaching Batters to Hit the Ball Where it is Pitched

Great hitters at all levels share one common skill. They know when and how to attack every pitch location. Great hitters read and react to every possible pitch location. If you watched the 2008 Baseball College World Series, you quickly realized that great college hitters can catch up to any fastball regardless of the velocity. You saw batters over and over, on the ESPN TV Coverage of the CWS in Omaha, hit mid-90s to upper-90s fastballs with amazing power and bat speed. You also saw college baseball batters that apply and execute one of the most important and basic skills of hitting a baseball, the skill of "hitting the ball where it is pitched". The philosophy of most pitching staffs today is that the job of the pitcher is to allow the batter to get himself out. Pitching coaches teach and coach the pitcher to keep moving the ball in or out, up or down, and to never leave it over the plate. A batter often does not get the same pitch in an at-bat and may not see the same pitch in several at-bats.

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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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Play Baseball the Way It's Meant to Be Played


By Nate Barnett
During my professional baseball experience, I had the fortunate chance to play with a player by the name of Willie Bloomquist. Willie is currently in his 10th season as a professional baseball player. In the minor leagues I watched Willie go about his game with great diligence and focus. It wasn't that other players I played with were horribly less focused, it's just that Willie did something different than most. Aside from pitching, he could play every position well at the professional level.

The ability for athletes to play a variety of positions is extremely valuable. Not only does it raise your value as an athlete, but it raises the value of the team since a multi-position athlete can fill in for anyone, anywhere. Having said this, it is disappointing to see young athletes identifying themselves as a first baseman, or a right-fielder only. Great athletes learn how to play baseball a variety of different ways. Why? Because it's fun and it's the way baseball was meant to played.

Prior to the age of specialization where we as a baseball culture accepted roles such as "the set up man", or "the closer", players played many different positions in the field, and starting pitchers threw deep into games. I'm not suggesting that youth athletes not have a primary position to focus on, but I am suggesting that learning multiple positions has a greater long-term benefit. Just ask Willie how it's helped him. His ability to play baseball the way it was meant to be played is the reason he is still playing professional baseball today. He's simply too valuable to let go.

Nate Barnett is owner of the The Pitching Academy, a pitching information website designed to improve your on the mound performance as a pitcher. The Pitching Academy contains information, products, training, free articles, and more on pitching, play baseball, how to play baseball, pitching grips, and much more.

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

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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!

Youth Baseball Practices Don't Have To Be Long To Be Good


Youth Baseball Practices Don't Have To Be Long To Be Good
By Marty Schupak

Back in the late 70's an old college professor of mine was fond of saying, "Don't confuse activity with accomplishment." Jump forward about eight years and imagine me observing a coach running practice for his Little League team. At the start of practice most of the 10, 11, and 12 year olds are very enthusiastic. As the practice progresses I notice only two forms of activity taking place. One has the head coach throwing batting practice, with each hitter getting 10 to 15 swings while each pitcher takes a turn throwing to the assistant coach as the others stand and watch. I, too, stand and watch and I don't know who is more bored-the players or me.
When I saw a member of the board of directors, I commented on how poorly I thought the practice had been run. The board member responded, "If you think you can do a better job, then volunteer to coach." (Me and my big mouth!) But I did just that. And my first practice, though planned differently, ended up being two tedious hours of batting practice and pitchers throwing on the sidelines. Exactly what I had been so critical of myself! After that first practice I told my wife that there must be a better way. Even though I had a master's degree in Phys. Ed from Arizona State University, baseball was the major sport I was least knowledgeable about.

So, I decided to research alternative practice methods. I observed a variety of teams during practice ranging from seven year olds to college level players. I noticed that the best practices were not necessarily the longest and that the most organized coaches wasted little time. On most of the drills every player was involved. It was amazing the way some coaches integrated fun and learning and how creative some of the drills and games were. I began to use some of these techniques with my team. After a little trial and error I was actually able to run a more effective practice in half the time.

To run a practice like this does take preparation, mostly at the beginning of the season. But coaches need not look at this as a chore. It can be as much fun for you as it is for the players.
The youth baseball coach, whether it's Babe Ruth League, Little League, or local Park and Recreation Dept., should make a list of drills at the beginning of the year that they are interested in trying. The idea is to be creative. When my oldest son was eight, I began a practice with a simple relay race, consisting of two lines of six players each. To put a baseball theme into the race, I had each player wear their glove and hold two baseballs in it. The learning benefit of this relay race was to teach kids the importance of squeezing the glove. Another year I was teaching players how to bunt. When the team took batting practice, I put one cone 10 feet directly in front of home plate and another cone 10 feet to the left of the plate. Each player gets two bunts before his regular swings. For each bunt that goes between the cones, the player earns two extra swings. This motivated the players to focus when they bunted. And, it worked!

If a coach plans five to seven drills of ten to twelve minutes in length for each practice, the players will be more attentive and less bored. Don't worry about players not liking certain drills. About a third through the season they will let you know which ones to weed out.

The youth baseball season is unlike any other season. Fathers sneak out of work early, families rarely eat dinner before 8:30 at night and the laundry room is active day and night. As parents and coaches, we should make practices more interesting and fun because during a typical youth baseball season, players spend as much or more time practicing than in actual games.
Be creative and have a great baseball season!

http://www.YouthSportsClub.com

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


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Baseball Drills - The Value of Learning Multiple Positions


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By Nate Barnett

It seems to me that when the topic of trying a new position is brought up to many young athletes, they cringe in disgust. Playing multiple positions well is out of the question in their minds. They have their one or two positions and that's it, period. If you work with some athletes of that mindset, the following might be worth sharing.

During our pick-up games when I was growing up, we played as many positions as we could in the field. When it came time for our coaches to work on defensive baseball drills in practice there were always multiple players who could play different positions in the field. Because of that willingness to try a new spot, the perceived value of each of those multi-position athletes continued to rise with each new position learned.

Here are a few observations I've picked up:

1. Right-handed players have a greater ability to work into new positions as compared to lefties.

2. There are more baseball players playing the game in America now that there ever has been.

3. There are more international players entering the Major Leagues today than there ever has been. Assuming the points above are accepted, and assuming most serious athletes want to play high school baseball or above (college and then professionally) here are the responses that must be taken into consideration by any athlete.

Since there are more right-handed athletes in the game than lefties, there is naturally more competition defensively at every position. Because of this increased competition, the percentage chance of an athlete being able to move on to the next level decreases dramatically if he only understands how to play one position well.

The population in America as well as the value placed on athletics has continued to rise in the past couple decades. There are countless reasons for this, none of which will be discussed at this point. I will just assume you will buy into this statement at face value. Therefore, by simply taking raw numbers, there is more competition for the same positions at the upper levels of the game.

Finally, it is no secret that there are more players from the international community being selected for professional baseball teams in the United States. Because of this, the sheer number of athletes competing for roughly the same amount of positions has increased. This effectively places lower value on an athlete who only understands how to play one position very well.

What amount of time and importance should be placed on learning multiple positions well? It should be a focus and concentration of all defensive baseball drills, workouts, and practices. The advice I give is to get good at multiple positions in the event that an amazing athlete comes along who plays your spot.

You'll want another spot to fall back to or you'll fade away from the game.

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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Nation's Winningest High School Baseball Coach Reveals Secrets to Baseball Success


Nation's Winningest High School Baseball Coach Reveals Secrets to Baseball Success
By Rick Cabral

Coach "Guy" Anderson, head coach of the Cordova High School baseball team (suburb of Sacramento, Calif.), calls himself "old school." In 40-plus years he has coached the varsity team to 840 victories, the most wins of any high school coach currently in the nation. Anderson believes his "old school" methods have played a role in the development of the young men who won those games for Cordova High on the ball field.

One of those players is Jerry Manuel, manager of the New York Mets, who was a first round pick in 1972. Another is Geoff Jenkins, who won a World Series ring with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008. Each can attest to Anderson's winning ways. In all, 24 of Anderson's players have been drafted by major league teams, and many more have gone on to play at the college level.

As with most established coaches, Anderson has developed a routine of conditioning and practicing that leads to team victories. His players begin each practice with a series of stretching exercises, then running. When they conclude their running the team participates in a Cordova High tradition of each player running to the center field fence and touching the 360 foot sign.

But it takes more than conditioning and tradition to field a winning club these days. It starts with players who have what Anderson terms "God-given ability," and he admits to seeing fewer players with that kind of skill these days. For instance, this year just 12 students made the Cordova High varsity. In the glory years of the 1980s and '90s, when Anderson's teams won three Sac-San Joaquin Section baseball titles, he often carried up to 22 players on his squad and turned away many more. Today, an intra-squad game is out of the question.

Anderson says one reason for the lack of talented players is that fewer kids play catch with fathers, an outgrowth of single-parent families. Moreover, there are a greater number of distractions-from mobile phone video games to club sports such as rugby and lacrosse, that didn't exist in California in prior decades. Consequently, when they come out for the team now, Anderson says, some players have to be taught even the most fundamental baseball skills.

But if mostly average players is what a coach ends up with, then the kind of program Anderson has developed over the years is crucial to success.

Following warm ups, the team then begins regular throwing. The players begin by taking a knee and throwing a short distance. Once they're limber, they begin throwing in earnest, eventually extending out their throws to 110 feet, and then shortening the throws. Next, they do a tossing drill Coach Anderson calls "quick fire," that requires hand-eye coordination and quick foot movements. Then the players go to their individual defensive positions.

Anderson says he got the idea for these types of drills from "Bud" Wilkinson, who led University of Oklahoma football teams to national championships in 1950, 1955 and 1956, and amassed a 47-game win streak, an NCAA Division 1 record that stands today. Wilkinson was known as an ultra-organized coach, who broke down practices in 10-minute concentrated segments; not a minute wasted and purpose driven. Adopting that concept has garnered Anderson election to the prestigious National High School Hall of Fame and the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and Easton Sports voted him "Master Coach" in 2003.

Asked what one thing he would do different in his coaching career, Anderson offers that he would show more "compassion" while still adhering to his standards. He also advises young coaches to develop a written agreement, spelling out the coach's rules or expectations and requiring both players and their parents to sign off.

This type of attention to detail, and love of the game, helps to build a winning program. It doesn't hurt to have the consistency of a head coach with 40+ consecutive years, either.

"(Baseball) is a special game to me," Anderson says proudly. And Guy Anderson will surely go down as a "special" coach.

Rick Cabral is a Sacramento baseball historian. To listen to his interview with Cordova High School Coach "Guy" Anderson visit http://BaseballSacramento.com and navigate to Teams > High School.

To learn more about Cordova High baseball, visit http://cordovalancerbaseball.com

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

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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!

Are Hitting Mechanics Your Only Ticket to Success? What You Might Be Missing


Article Title:
Are Hitting Mechanics Your Only Ticket to Success? What You Might Be Missing

By Nate Barnett

The great Ted Williams once said, "A good hitter can hit a pitch that is over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a questionable ball in a tough spot." In his book, The Science of Hitting, he makes it clear that being a selective hitter made him the.344 lifetime hitter he was. When reading his book, this stood out to me as one of the more valuable and under taught principles in hitting instruction.

Williams spends a good amount of time demonstrating the technique he uses to develop a good understanding of plate zones. What's interesting is that getting a good pitch to hit is mentioned in his book prior to his breakdown of proper hitting mechanics. As a side note, be careful that you spend ample time on the mental game of baseball otherwise you may never fully get to enjoy your hard work you've spent on your mechanical development.

Being a selective hitter is an absolute must at all levels of baseball. Once pitchers observe that you aren't going to bite on a pitch that is out of the zone, a choice has to be made on their end. It's simple; either give you a good pitch to hit and see if you can do it, or pitch around you and throw to some other guy. It's a tough choice either way, and that's how you want it to be. The more thinking going on in the head of your opponent, the better chance he will screw up and give you a fat pitch to hit.

Here's how to learn this concept Williams teaches. I've modified his idea just a bit but the core is the same. I find it easier to break this down by individual points.

1. Grab six baseballs and line them up next to each other on the front of a plate. The six baseballs will cover the entire front end of the plate nearest the pitcher. (Williams uses seven baseballs, though I find that six is easier to fit on the plate and serves the same purpose.)

2. Name the balls numerically beginning with the baseball nearest you as a hitter. The nearest ball would then be the #1 ball, and the furthest ball on the outside corner would be the #6 ball.

3. During batting practice learn to identify what range of baseballs you handle the best. That is, what ball do you get excited to see thrown your way because you know you can tear the cover off it? Throughout my career I knew I could handle balls #2-#5 quite well and could expand that to add the #1 ball if need be.

4. When you have identified your range, #2-#5 balls or #3-#6 balls, or whatever, this range is where you will spend the majority of your time in batting practice. Many coaches choose to work on pitches that are toughest for you to hit. Resist this advice for the following reason. If you know that being selective will increase the likelihood that you will get at least two good pitches to hit in any given at bat on average, then developing your skills to absolutely crush those pitches is a must. If you can hit the balls hard you've chosen in your range 80% of the time, why swing at balls outside of your range that you can only hit hard 30% of the time? Now, please understand that I'm not advocating never practicing the weak areas in your hitting zone; I'm just not advising spending the majority of your time working on those spots.

5. Learn to use the count to your advantage by shrinking your zone. On counts of 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, the ONLY pitch you should be swinging at is one that fits your developing hitting zone. If you can train your eye to recognize the pitches that float through this zone on a regular basis, you're batting average and confidence will go through the roof. Remember, pitchers aren't good enough to identify your weakness and exploit it each time you're up to bat.

While I get a thrill teaching baseball hitting mechanics to my students, I absolutely enjoy teaching hitters to increase their odds at performing to the best of their ability by winning the mental game of baseball as well. While you only get about 10 minutes of time to use your hitting mechanics in a game, your brain is working the entire time you are on the field. Training it to work with your body instead of sabotaging it will be your ticket to some good fun and success in this great sport 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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Batting Average - How to Increase It



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Batting Average - How to Increase It
By Bryan Ciconte

So you want to learn how to raise your batting average as a hitter. Well you came to the right article. I will keep it short, simple and to the point. I will cover a few tips and topics to raise your average 50-100 points.

Tip 1) Develop a game plan. So what do I mean by developing a game plan. I want you to develop an approach that you use every single time you step up to the plate. A good approach would consist of understanding how to count hit. By count hitting you will be able to anticipate what type of pitch you may see roughly 80% of the time.

Advantage Counts: 0-0, 1-0, 2-0, 3-1, 3-0
Approach: In these counts your goal is simple, look for something you can hit hard. If the pitcher throws you a pitch in an area that is not in your hot zone, don't swing. Do not swing at off-speed pitches during these counts, look for fastballs. Reality is if the pitcher throws an off-speed pitch during these counts more often than not it's going to be a ball and put you in a greater advantage. Of course there are exceptions. The only time you may want to swing at an off-speed pitch during this count is if relates to one of your strengths or the pattern percentages anticipate one.

Neutral Counts: 1-1, 2-1, 3-2
Approach 1: In these counts neither the hitter nor pitcher has an advantage. As I talked about earlier this is where having a good game plan is going to pay off. In these counts you should be able to anticipate what you may see. So trust your percentages and instinct in these counts.

Approach 2: If you are comfortable in hitting with 2 strikes you can treat these counts as an advantage count, hitting to your strengths. Both approaches are great, but which one you choose is your personal preference.

Defensive Counts: 0-1, 0-2, 1-2, 2-2
Approach: This is where you need to develop your 2 strike approach. In these counts the pitcher has you at his mercy leaving you with about a 20% chance of getting a hit. Your goal here is to battle at the plate by putting the ball in play or working the count neutral. A good mental approach for hitting with 2 strikes is thinking about hitting a pitch which speed is between the pitchers fastball and off-speed stuff. By doing so, your reactions will take over and adjust to the movement or lack of movement of the pitch. A good physical approach would consist of shortening your swing or choking-up on the bat.

These are just a few ideas on how to hit in an advantage, neutral, or defensive count. Throughout your career as a hitter you may find something else that works for you.

Tip 2) If your a good bunter and have speed utilze it, By either showing bunt or by bunting, more often than not you will put the 3rd of 1st basemen in a position that will create more holes in the infield creating a better chance for getting a hit.

Tip 3) Hit to your strengths not your weaknesses. Understand that by doing so you will enable yourself to be more confident at the plate and be more aggressive. Leave your weaknesses at practice.

I hope the few tips helped improve your game!

Thanks and good luck Bryan @ [http://www.hittingmadesimple.com Hitting Made Simple]

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

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Coaching Youth Baseball - Facing a Overpowering or Dominate Pitcher


I thought would discuss our teams approach to facing what we feel is a dominate and overpowering pitcher. In high school, we are talking about a pitcher throwing in the upper 80s and lower 90s with good off speed stuff. I am talking baout a totally over poering pitcher. For example, we faced a hard throwing lefty thsi week, he was upper 80s, good pitch command and control, and had 3 solid pitches. He is projected to be drafted and has already signed. He had given up no runs on 2 hits in the first 3 games he pitched this season.

Here are several things we talk about and do in our approach to this situation:
1. Take a lot of pitches, make his pitch count climb.
2. Every batter will do two things to increase his own bat speed. A)Choke up an inch on the bat or downsize one each in bat length.B) Move deeper in the batters box.
3. Start the hands in motion. Have the hands moving forward on the start of the pitch.
4. Hit the ball early in the count, do not allow him to get ahead without taking cuts.
5. If we go through the order once and do not touch it, we may start laying down bunts and trying to to get on base with base hit bunting.
6. If he works at a fast pace, we will try to break his rythm.

By the way...we won 2-1. Have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping in....Nick

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How to Prevent Strike Outs - Baseball Hitting Advice From a Former Major Leaguer




Article Title: How to Prevent Strike Outs - Baseball Hitting Advice From a Former Major Leaguer
By Jack Perconte

Nothing is more frustrating for young baseball players and their parents than strike outs, especially if it is a recurring event. Strike outs may lead to very depressed ballplayers and to upset coaches and parents. Obviously, continual strike outs lead to athletes losing confidence, self-esteem and usually their desire to play the game altogether. What to do?

First, explain to ballplayers that hitting a baseball is one of the toughest things to do in sports and good fundamentals, practice and patience are necessary. Further explain that there are very few kids that have natural swings and the necessary hand-eye coordination to automatically be able to hit a ball. This explanation is important so players do not get too frustrated and depressed and to give them the message that they have control over the situation if they are willing to put in the work.

Next, the results of the hitter's at-bats must be analyzed. Sometimes, it is just a matter of the hitter becoming a little more aggressive when batting so they are not always behind in the count. Unaggressive hitters find themselves hitting with two strikes too often. If that is not the problem, check the results of the player's swings and misses. Are they under the ball (most common), over the ball, early or late? This will lead to what needs to be done.

Following are possible solutions for each of these situations:

1. When hitters are continually swinging late at the pitch - challenge them with higher velocity that approximate game speeds. Many hitters will make the necessary adjustments on their own when they begin to see faster speeds and get their eyes used to seeing the faster pitching.

2. Similar advice - when hitters are continually early they need to face much slower pitching so they learn to wait on the ball.

3. When hitters are under the ball they need to shorten the swing. This means keeping their swing path more direct by keeping the barrel of the bat above the ball on the approach to the ball. This can be done in a number of ways including the following drills.

Hitting Drill - With the use of two batting tees set the tees a bout a foot apart and in line with each other. Place a ball on both tees with the ball closer to the catcher about a balls width lower than the ball out front. Hitters should work on hitting the ball closest to the pitcher while missing the back ball.

Hitting Drill - Along the same lines as the previous drill, set the height of the batting tee a little above the back hip and place the tee under the hitter's hands in their stance. Pitch balls to the hitter and have them swing over the tee on the way to contact. This will help hitters develop a more direct swing path and should lead to more consistent contact.

4. When hitters are over the ball they should work on knee high pitches until they can begin to hit line drives on this pitch location. This will help them get use to driving their hands to the back of the ball while using their hips and legs in the correct way.

It is important to note that habits are tough to change and that there are times when I use "opposite drills" to change a players habits. These drills are extremely different then what the player is doing and often are not the fundamentally sound swing either, but they are the only way the hitter can break their initial bad habit. The hitting drills under point number 3 above could be considered opposite drills compared to what happens in reality with a great swing. The goal is to eventually meet in the middle with the correct swing and this is a way of doing that.

Finally, a great way to prevent strikeouts and promote more consistent contact is with front arm work. The hitters lead arm (hand) is the one that takes the bat to the ball so swinging the bat with just the lead arm will help contact. This drill will force the hitter to use the lead arm and get stronger with the front side, which is often the hitter's weaker arm.

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 Coaching Digest - Why Baseball Players Are the Most Accountable Athletes in Sports


By Nick Dixon

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Baseball players are held to a higher level of accountability than any other athletes in the world. If you compare baseball, football and basketball to see which sport holds the player athlete more responsible for mistakes and errors, you will find that baseball holds players to a higher level of accountability. This article explains my perspective on why baseball players are the most accountable athletes in sports.

I am absolutely sure that baseball players are held at a higher level of accountability than other sports athletes. Why do I feel this way? Have you ever been to a football game and seen a player miss a tackle or block that cost his team dearly? Did the official score "flash" error on the football scoreboard? The answer is no. Have you ever watched a basketball player miss a wild open layup that hurt his team? Did the score keeper or score operator flash "error" on the scoreboard? The answer is no.

On the other hand, as baseball player can bobble a hard hit ground ball and the whole world will soon be notified and an official documentation of the mistake will be made in the scorebook. The scorekeeper will write a big "E" in the scorebook that makes the error officially known. Then the scoreboard operator will also turn on the "error" light on the scoreboard to let every player and spectator in the park know that an error was made.
That is the reason I feel that baseball players are the most accountable athletes in sports.

Maybe other sports consider adding an "Error" light on their scoreboard or writing a big "E" in their scorebook when a player makes a mistake. Then maybe the next time a player fails to execute on a football field or basketball court, they will know what it's like to be held publicly accountable and responsible like a baseball player.

I hope that you enjoyed this article. Thanks for taking the time to read it. Visit the Baseball coaching Digest, Youth Baseball Digest, Little League Digest and Baseball Parent Guide for more baseball articles. Good luck to you and your team, 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.

Little League Digest - The KISS Rule of Teaching Youth Baseball Players a Proper Swing


JOE MAUER QUICK SWING BATTING TRAINER


Little League Digest - The KISS Rule of Teaching Youth Baseball Players a Proper Swing
By Nick Dixon

Coaching baseball is not rocket science. I believe in the KISS rule of coaching young baseball batters. The KISS or "Keep it Super Simple" rule means that the coach will present the batting instruction in a way that it is easy for young baseball players to understand, visualize and perform. This article explains the 6 simple steps in teaching youth baseball batters using the "KISS" method.

The KISS method of coaching little league batters can be broken down into 5 easy steps:

Step 1 - GRIP & HANDS - The knocking knuckles must be aligned. This grip places the handle in the fingers and away from the palm. A proper grip increase hands speed and power.

Step 2 - STANCE - The feet should be shoulder width part with the insteps of the feet aligned under each arm pit. The toes should point straight toward the plate.

Step 3 - STRIDE - The stride is the step or weight transfer achieved during the swing. The stride may be a simple motion such as simply easing the weight off the front foot and restoring it. The front foot can move but does not have to. The less movement of the front foot forward is better. However, a wide stance is necessary to give the hitter a good lower body foundation and strength.

Step 4 - SEE TARGET - The batter should concentrate on the ball. He should try to see it come out of the pitcher's hand and track it with his eyes as it approaches the plate. The batter will watch the ball all the way to the bat or the catcher's mitt. The batter should keep the head down and the eyes on the ball. The batter should concentrate on hitting the top half of the baseball. Hitting the top half will insure that a fly ball will not be hit. The batter should try to hit a ground ball or a line drive.

Step 5 - SWING - The swing should be level and quick. A short quick motion taking the bat directly to the ball is desirable. A long sweeping motion or upper cut swing is not desirable. A wood chopping swing is not acceptable.

Step 6 - FINISH - The younger batter should finish the swing with two hands. The batter should concentrate on keeping the head down through the finish. Prematurely pulling or jerking the head up to see where the ball is hit, is a batting flaw that should be eliminated immediately.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Good luck this season! Have a great day, Nick.

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

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

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

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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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How to Prevent Strike Outs - Baseball Hitting Advice From a Former Major Leaguer




Article Title: How to Prevent Strike Outs - Baseball Hitting Advice From a Former Major Leaguer
By Jack Perconte

Nothing is more frustrating for young baseball players and their parents than strike outs, especially if it is a recurring event. Strike outs may lead to very depressed ballplayers and to upset coaches and parents. Obviously, continual strike outs lead to athletes losing confidence, self-esteem and usually their desire to play the game altogether. What to do?

First, explain to ballplayers that hitting a baseball is one of the toughest things to do in sports and good fundamentals, practice and patience are necessary. Further explain that there are very few kids that have natural swings and the necessary hand-eye coordination to automatically be able to hit a ball. This explanation is important so players do not get too frustrated and depressed and to give them the message that they have control over the situation if they are willing to put in the work.

Next, the results of the hitter's at-bats must be analyzed. Sometimes, it is just a matter of the hitter becoming a little more aggressive when batting so they are not always behind in the count. Unaggressive hitters find themselves hitting with two strikes too often. If that is not the problem, check the results of the player's swings and misses. Are they under the ball (most common), over the ball, early or late? This will lead to what needs to be done.

Following are possible solutions for each of these situations:

1. When hitters are continually swinging late at the pitch - challenge them with higher velocity that approximate game speeds. Many hitters will make the necessary adjustments on their own when they begin to see faster speeds and get their eyes used to seeing the faster pitching.

2. Similar advice - when hitters are continually early they need to face much slower pitching so they learn to wait on the ball.

3. When hitters are under the ball they need to shorten the swing. This means keeping their swing path more direct by keeping the barrel of the bat above the ball on the approach to the ball. This can be done in a number of ways including the following drills.

Hitting Drill - With the use of two batting tees set the tees a bout a foot apart and in line with each other. Place a ball on both tees with the ball closer to the catcher about a balls width lower than the ball out front. Hitters should work on hitting the ball closest to the pitcher while missing the back ball.

Hitting Drill - Along the same lines as the previous drill, set the height of the batting tee a little above the back hip and place the tee under the hitter's hands in their stance. Pitch balls to the hitter and have them swing over the tee on the way to contact. This will help hitters develop a more direct swing path and should lead to more consistent contact.

4. When hitters are over the ball they should work on knee high pitches until they can begin to hit line drives on this pitch location. This will help them get use to driving their hands to the back of the ball while using their hips and legs in the correct way.

It is important to note that habits are tough to change and that there are times when I use "opposite drills" to change a players habits. These drills are extremely different then what the player is doing and often are not the fundamentally sound swing either, but they are the only way the hitter can break their initial bad habit. The hitting drills under point number 3 above could be considered opposite drills compared to what happens in reality with a great swing. The goal is to eventually meet in the middle with the correct swing and this is a way of doing that.

Finally, a great way to prevent strikeouts and promote more consistent contact is with front arm work. The hitters lead arm (hand) is the one that takes the bat to the ball so swinging the bat with just the lead arm will help contact. This drill will force the hitter to use the lead arm and get stronger with the front side, which is often the hitter's weaker arm.

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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---If you are looking for BatAction Replacement Balls or Power Bands Click Here

Little League Baseball Coaching


BatAction Baseball Trainer - As Seen in Junior Baseball Magazine


Article Title: Little League Baseball Coaching
By Joe Brockhoff

If we hold our hands up and pop our wrists, we can do that over and over again very quickly. If someone were to throw a punch at us, our hands would quickly and automatically pop up in defense.

As an infielder, we don't have to think about a ball thrown to us. Our hands will react to the direction of the ball and make the catch without having to think about it.

Think of the catcher after he gives the sign. He is taught to frame the pitch. His hands automatically go to the pitch without any thought or direction.

So the hands are auto reactors. Is this good for the hitter? The answer is: No! The hitter who allows his hands to react automatically as his first movement towards the pitch will never have full body support.

When the hands go too early, this is when we hear the coach yell out, "Wait on the pitch!"
Now, let's apply this to our baseball hitting mechanics.

These are the steps:

1. Coil (Load): The hitter collects his weight on the backside
2. Stride: a linear step towards the pitched ball (30-40% of weight transfer)
3. Body Rotation: Hips rotate toward the ball
4. Hands will then, and only then, execute the stroke

Here is one of our best little league baseball coaching tips: "HIPS TAKE US TO THE BALL. HANDS TAKE US THROUGH THE BALL."

So, when we are leaning how to hit a baseball, do we trust the hands? The answer is:

Don't trust the hands. Then, trust the hands. In other words, discipline the hands to wait until we get into the launch position, which is with the hands inside the ball and the hips rotated.

Our hands do not initiate the stroke until we rotate to the pitch. They travel in rotation with the pivot, but they do not commit to the pitch until the rotation is complete. This rotated position with the hands still back is what we call the DRIVE position. It is at this time that the hands will launch.

NOW we can trust them. Let them explode the bat to the ball.

One final note. Remember that when we hit, the hands are in a double lever system. That is, they don't personally go to the ball. They are holding the bat, which goes to the ball. The hands always end up in front of the body. They are responsible for directing the bat to the proper cut line on the pitch.

Former Tulane Hall of Fame Baseball Coach, Joe Brockhoff, fully explains his baseball hitting drills with the Super 8 Hitting System, completely demonstrated with videos and hitting drills to help you hit with more power and raise your batting average. http://www.kewego.com/video/iLyROoafMM8J.html.

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

Coaching Baseball; Recommended Baseball Articles for Coaches


www.QuickSwingTrainer.com

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

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


Coaching Youth Baseball - Coaching Your First Baseman

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


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

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


Baseball Coaching Digest - Fake 3rd Out Defensive Trick

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


Baseball Coaching Digest - Illegal Use of the Courtesy Runner Rule

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


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

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




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How to Hit a Baseball


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Article Title: How to Hit a Baseball
By Chris Moheno

There is a science to the sport of baseball, especially in the batters box. It really is more than just standing up there and hoping to hit the ball. A player can either research baseball hitting information on their own or seek out professional baseball training. Either way, learning is the companion of success.

There are several principles involved with hitting a baseball successfully and consistently. Once these principles are learned and memorized, practice is the key. Ever wonder how the MLB players hit a 98 mph fastball? Lots and lots of baseball batting training.

So take these basics and practice them until they become second nature. Everything should feel natural and comfortable. Now let's take a look at the elements of baseball hitting.

1. Select the proper bat. Bats come in different lengths and weights. Then there is what is called "bat drop". This is the difference between the length and the weight. For instance, a bat that is 29" long and weighs 18 ounces has a drop of -11. This means that it feels lighter and is easier to swing. The higher the drop number, the better (and more expensive) the bat. Selection is made based on the batters height and weight.

2. Develop a hitting approach. This is also known as plate discipline and is extremely important as the player gets older. The batter needs to be able to distinguish what is a "hittable" pitch and what is not. Simply going to the plate and swinging away works for very young players as it helps allay the fear of being hit, but older players need discipline. A good start is to watch the ball from the pitcher's hand all the way to the plate, or preferably, to your bat. Adjust your strike zone as the strike count develops. A smaller zone for 0 strikes, a bit larger for 1 strike and larger still for 2 strikes.

3. Develop a good bat grip. Not tense yet firm. Not loose yet relaxed. When you grab the bat, it is important to stay relaxed in your whole body, starting with the hands on the bat. The hands should be positioned so that the top knuckles of the lower hand line up somewhere between the middle and top knuckles of the upper hand. Anywhere in that area that is comfortable is workable. The idea is to keep the bat out of the palm and closer to the fingers for more control. This also helps keep the grip relaxed, helps avoid "bat drag" resulting from tension and increases bat speed/reaction time.

4. Take note of how you stand in the batters box. Always remember the three B's: Be comfortable, be confident and be balanced. All three are necessary for hitting success. Make sure you can cover the plate and your strike zone(s) completely. Find the right depth in the box, too. You will want to be able to get on top of a fastball as well as time the breaking pitches. Most important of all is to be perfectly balanced with the hands at the top of the strike zone.

5. Learn to "pick up the ball" as it is released by the pitcher. Watch his arm until the ball is released, then pick up the ball as it travels towards you. After a little practice, you will learn to distinguish the type of pitch that is coming and that goes a long way towards hitting the baseball. Baseball training focuses on this aspect of hitting mechanics.

6. Take your stride before you swing the bat. As the ball travels towards you, take your step (stride) and keep the weight on the back leg. As you begin to take the swing, bring the weight forward and use the momentum for power.

7. As the swing starts and your weight comes forward, pivot the back foot and keep the front as planted as you can. The hips will begin to open up and work with the legs to add the power to the swing. Arms and hands should be brought through close to the body. This helps with bat speed and accuracy. The head should be picking up the ball the entire time it is in flight.

If you practice these basics of baseball hitting, you will see a difference at the cages as well as on the field. Your batting average will soar and you will hit the ball consistently. Baseball training is the way to go for baseball hitting success!

Chris Moheno has a long time passion for sports in general and for baseball coaching more specifically. His goal is to spread the word about effective non-fluff baseball training techniques for both more experienced and young baseball players, to help them perform better during the game. Discover more about baseball training on baseballtrainingsecrets.com

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

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Mental Baseball Instruction - Becoming a Mentally Tough Baseball Player



Article Title:
Mental Baseball Instruction - Becoming a Mentally Tough Baseball Player


By Nate Barnett

The assumption here is that you have either found the title of this article amusing to some extent, or you are looking for information on how to become more mentally tough as an athlete. Maybe both, which would be a bonus for you. Now, a little group participation... I want you to stop reading for a minute after you read the following question. Don't read past until you have an answer.

The Question: What did you do differently this season (compared to last) to prepare yourself for a successful experience in baseball?

If your answer is nothing, many athletes have since passed you and have consequently helped improve their chances of getting to the next level, whatever that may be for them. However, if you have added something else to your game, then the opposite is true.

In order to become a mentally strong athlete, players must develop two types of skills.

A. Physical skills: those that help you throw, run, pitch, hit, and field more effectively.

B. Mental skills: those that help you in dealing with failure, build confidence, get you in "the zone", keep you out of slumps, etc.

The problem is that there is consistently more importance placed on physical development over mental. There are a few reasons physical skills are taught far more than mental skills.

1. Physical skills are more easily taught through the ease of information access in videos, books, and private baseball instruction.

2. The fixation on massive home runs and big power numbers fuel athletes' desire to improve and learn the skill of hitting a baseball 400ft like the guys in the Bigs.

3. The results can often be noticed by everyone right away. Therefore, there is more of an immediate feeling of improvement with physical skill work through baseball drills, etc.

The mental side of baseball is taught far less for a multitude of reasons. Some include:

1. There are simply fewer resources available on the topic of sports psychology and mental training.

2. Many sports psychology and mental training information is written in a complex fashion making it difficult for a reader to comprehend the information.

3. Practice time is limited for many teams. Therefore, fewer coaches can afford to carve out the time to work on the mental game (assuming they know how to teach it).

So how do you begin to work on the mental game? You're doing it now. Read, listen, and search for pieces of information on the topic. Post-game interviews from professional athletes are a good source. Countless players like Derek Jeter and Cal Ripken have devoted time to writing some of their thoughts on the subject. Buy their books or find them at a library.

Why should you develop you mental baseball skills? The answer to this question is lengthy and is a topic for another article at another time. But the simple answer is that you will be noticed by more college and professional scouts because they look for indicators of a strong mental game. And secondly, it will help to cut out slumps that linger and take away from consistent performance.

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

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

Baseball Training Equipment - Batting Trainers

Baseball Tips on Hitting - Two Common Baseball Hitting Problems


========================

Article Title:
Baseball Tips on Hitting - Two Common Baseball Hitting Problems

By Larry Cicchiello

Let's look at two baseball hitting problems:

Problem Balance Poor

First of all, make sure that you are very comfortable in your stance. A good starting point is to have the feet about shoulder width apart or slightly wider. Usually, the width is about the same as if you were guarding someone in basketball and want to be ready to move left or right very quickly.

Make sure you are standing on the balls of your feet and NOT standing there flat-footed or even worse yet, standing with your weight on your heels. Standing with the weight on your heels may very well have you spinning like a top and that is not a good, solid foundation for effective baseball hitting and will destroy your balance.

Make sure your front shoulder remains closed. Opening your front shoulder too early will cause your foundation and balance to be severely disrupted and you won't be steady on your feet.

Problem Uppercutting the Ball. Many good baseball hitters appear to be uppercutting the baseball. The only time you should be uppercutting is when you are into the follow through of your swing. Uppercutting is a sure way to lower your batting average. Let's look at some possible reasons for uppercutting the baseball.

Your stance may be too wide. This will encourage your actual swing to be going upward when making contact.

You may be lowering your back leg, back elbow or back shoulder. It's often referred to as "collapsing your back side." If the back side goes down or collapses, the hands and the bat will go down also and you will be swinging upward to the ball.

You may be holding your hands too low and when the actual baseball hitting takes place, they will have nowhere else to go except upward and causing an uppercutting of the baseball.

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

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

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

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Looking for Cheap Batting Cages? Here's some Basic Advice


Buying a batting cage package with net and frame included is the cheapest and easiest batting cage to buu for home backyard use.

Article Title:
Looking for Cheap Batting Cages? Here's some Basic Advice
By Jason Gluckman

Cheap batting cages can be found in a number of places. One option is to look in your local newspaper for garage sales or in the ads under sporting equipment for sale. Garage sales would probably be a good place to look for smaller, cheap batting cages. It might also be possible to buy cheap batting cages from a school or recreation facility during an equipment upgrade.

Another option for finding cheap batting cages is to look online. Many sports equipment dealers have web sites, as well as individuals who are selling their sports equipment on the Internet, many of whom will be able to offer good deals. However, you should be careful that you obtain a warranty or guarantee on the item you are purchasing, especially if the item is used. If the item is of lesser quality than you were led to believe, it will be necessary for you to have a means to return it and get your money back.

Even used batting cages typically cost hundreds of dollars, but discounts may be available if you build one yourself. If you're interested in making your own batting cage, pipe for the frame can be purchased at a hardware store and netting can be purchased from a sports equipment dealer. You can purchase complete batting cage kits online, with varying prices, depending on the size and quality of the cage. Instructions for putting together your own batting cage are usually fairly simple. In addition, you will experience the satisfaction of having built something impressive and useful with your own handss

Batting Cages Info provides detailed information about batting cage equipment and indoor, outdoor, portable, and tunnel batting cages for sale. Batting Cages Info is the sister site of Trampolines Web.

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

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2010 Demarini Baseball Bat Reviews


By R. Nelson

Demarini's 2010 line-up of baseball bats includes some minor adjustments to their 2009 line. The new "buzz word" for their 2010 models is Silver Trace technology which claims to be a unique blend of carbon combined with the "Silver Trace" technology. They say it is a bonding agent that adds strength to maximize power transfer to the barrel. I'd say it's more hype than anything else but at least they're trying to make it seem like there's something new going on. The new CF4 is essentially the same as the CF3 with a slightly larger barrel and they've adding a new option in the low-priced composite category. They've also dropped the Vexxum which has been in their line-up for quite a long time.

Here are the 2010 Demarini Baseball Bat Reviews:

Demarini 100% Composite Bats


Demarini CF4: According to Demarini the new CF4 Gold is their most technologically advanced baseball bat. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much change from the CF3. The handle is now "Pitch Black Plus" instead of just "Pitch Black" composite material and the aforementioned "Silver Trace" technology to the barrel. They say this adds 11% to the barrel length compared to the CF3 (so about an inch). It also has a redesigned end cap called "The Hub" that has a noticeably concave design. It's a two-piece double wall composite bat with a flex handle and a very low swing weight, although Demarini does not supply any numbers. The odd thing about the CF4 or CF3 is that most college players do not use it. In the 2009 College World Series teams that use Demarini bats, like Arizona State, have nobody swinging a CF4 or CF3. My guess is that these advanced players do not like the extremely light feel of the CF4/CF3 and are looking for a little more mass. The Adult -3 model has a retail price of $399.99. I still think the CF3 is a very viable option on the discount racks.
Demarini Vendetta C6: This is where Demarini is using their brain. The Vendetta C6 is Demarini's first attempt at a second tier composite baseball bat. With the high cost of composite bats it's critical for manufacturers to offer a second tier model. The all new Vendetta C6 is a two-piece single wall bat with a flex handle, balanced design and Demarini's second tier (C6) composite material. The Adult -3 model retails for $299 which puts it in the same price range as the other second tier composite bats. This is a solid option in this category.

Demarini Hybrid Bats


Demarini Voodoo Black: Two-piece single wall bat with a flex handle that features "Pitch Black Plus" technology and a balanced design. The barrel is the same SC4 Alloy as the Vendetta SC4 but it retails for an additional $50 at $299.99 for the Adult -3 model. This is by far Demarini's most popular bat. As mentioned, teams like Arizona State that use Demarini bats overwhelmingly use the Voodoo. The entire Arizona State starting line-up used the Voodoo in the 2009 CWS. The Voodoo is my recommendation for high cost hybrid bats.
Demarini Vendetta SC4: The Vendetta SC4 is the same as the 2009 Vendetta model. It's a two-piece single wall bat with a flex handle, a balanced design and includes their "Rails Hybrid" technology. It has the same SC4 alloy barrel as the Voodoo. It has a retail price of $249.95 for the Adult -3 model. The only difference between this and the Voodoo is the inclusion of the Pitch Black plus and Silver Trace technology that's on the Voodoo. A solid option for the low cost hybrid category.

Demarini Alloy Bats


Demarini's only entry in the 100% alloy segment is the Nitro. It's a basic bat made from older material at a bargain basement price of $99 for the Adult -3 model.

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


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Baseball Bats: The Trademark Up Myth


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By Fred Bonds

Today's hitters are plagued with the problem of wood bat breakage. Nowhere is this more apparent than the recent maple bat dilemma in the Major Leagues. Dangerous fragmentation of maple bats that has resulted in serious injuries has brought to light the hazards created when no attention is given to proper instruction of hitters regarding edge-grain orientation at the point of contact. Most wood bat breakage issues can be resolved by properly orienting the logo (or trademark) so as to place the edge grain parallel to the flight of the baseball at the point of contact. This is the position that yields the lowest breakage and the highest hitting power.

The traditional saying "logo face up", has its origins in the early years of baseball when hitters used a different style of hitting. Hitters like Gehrig, Dimaggio, and others swung the bat more linear and transferred more weight to the front foot. This forward momentum kept their upper body level and thus the bat barrel did not rotate. Today's hitters use a rotational method of swinging a bat. More weight is placed on the back leg with the hitter rotating the torso. This causes the shoulders to dip toward the ball and creates rotation of the bat barrel. The result is today's hitters tend to hit with the flat grain of the bat more often and this results in breakage and loss of power.

To cut down on breakage, hold the bat in front of you with the logo up (or facing you). Then rotate the logo towards your lead shoulder (shoulder closest to the pitcher). The more you hit off your back foot, the more you should rotate the bat toward the lead shoulder. The maximum angle should be 45 degrees. You may want to place a mark on the bat once you get the ideal alignment. This should put your bat in the proper hitting position with the edge grain aligned perfectly to hit the ball. This proper alignment not only will decrease breakage dramatically, but will also increase hitting power due to the restriction of the flexion of the bat.

Other things you can do to reduce breakage include:

• Use a heavier bat. A -3 metal swinger does not equate to a -3 wood swinger. The metal bat has higher strength than wood at low weights. -3 wood bats break more often than -2 wood bats. Remember, there is no such thing as -3 trees. To get lower weights you have to sacrifice density and that decreases strength. Ideally, you should hit with a wood bat weighing the same as the length. A 33" bat should weight 33oz. The difference between an even weight bat and a -3 is less than a hamburger patty so man up and move up in weight for better performance.

• You can also increase the handle diameter. Most wood bat companies offer handles below 1" in diameter which means the bat will break very easily. Old school handles were often greater than 1" which made the bats slightly heavier but reduced breakage. Also, a larger diameter handle means less flexion and that equates to greater power.

Lastly, pitchers with good fastball movement can saw you off on the inside and there is not much you can do about it. But, a majority of bats that break did so when hitting the outside pitch and in particular, off-speed. The ball doesn't need to be thrown hard to break a bat. Hitting off the last 2" of the barrel causes the bat to flex backwards excessively and will fracture the bat at a point close to the hands and the break will be formed at the leading edge of the bat. This is opposite that of a bat broken by an inside fastball that breaks on the trailing edge. An inside fastball hits the handle and stops the momentum of the handle. The barrel, having more mass, continues forward and causes a U-shaped bowing of the bat forward. This causes the bat to break at the hands on the trailing edge.

The key to hitting the outside pitch is to hit it off the back of the plate. This will allow the barrel to hit the ball solid and drive the ball hard to the opposite field. Not timing the outside pitch properly causes poorly hit balls off the end of the bat, weak squiblers, broken bats, shame, ridicule, losing, you get the picture. Practice hitting for power to the opposite field. It can only be done by hitting off the back of the plate. You should never begin hitting practice with inside pitches you can pull. Always have the BP thrower start you with outside pitches and work the pitches inward.

Recently, the MLB passed a series of wood bat guidelines. In these guidelines was the requirement to place logos on the "face of the grain" instead of edgegrain. This would decrease breakage and by their own admission, decrease performance. Oddly enough, this method works for breakage because now instead of the players rotating the face side of the grain toward the baseball, they now rotate the edgegrain toward it. Unless of course, the hitters know the facegrain orientation causes decreased performance and do not put the logo side up but place the logo facing the pitcher or catcher. We have observed this to be the case.

The corrective technique mentioned in this article could have accomplished the same result without the widespread chaos and large amount of expenses incurred by bat companies to comply with the MLB rulings.

Remember, good technique and focus reduces bat breakage and increases performance.

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 HS Prospect team, and a former associate scout for the Cincinnati Reds and Global Scouting Bureau. 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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Year-Round Training With Indoor Batting Cages


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By Pinky Savika

As with all sports, baseball and softball require constant practice for you to become the best you can be. This means being willing to train come rain or shine, so that you can constantly improve on your skills. While baseball and softball are outdoor sports, it does not mean that you always have to train outdoors. Even in bad weather, you can still push through with the training with the help of indoor batting cages.

We all know how weather can make you cancel plans like training. This is because you do not perform the same in cold weather conditions; your grip at the bat is different, and so your performance is not at par with what you want. In other cases, rain also hampers you from playing at your best.

Indoor batting cages provide players with the convenience to train indoors. This means that you can work on your skills year-round, without having to consult a weather forecast prior to training. Ever got that itch to get on with the training, but you just couldn't because the weather is not cooperating? That won't have to be a problem anymore, because now you can keep that momentum going.

There are a handful of companies nowadays that offer custom batting cages. These companies tailor-fit the cages according to your needs, plus they also consider other factors like space and the weather conditions in a particular area.

Other business-minded individuals are also investing in such cages. Entrepreneurs can set up their own training facilities to accommodate the teams in their areas. While the cages are used to train people who are really serious about playing, other entrepreneurs-like restaurant owners-realize that a lot of fun can be had with these indoor batting cages. Sports bars allow their customers to play indoors; this then becomes a welcoming add-on to the establishment.

Learn more about indoor batting cages, please visiting http://www.ddksyxx.com/general/practicing-training-in-indoor-batting-cages/

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Baseball Coaching Digest - The Three Best Slides in Baseball and 3 Coaching Tips For Teaching Each


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By Nick Dixon

Baseball sliding is an important skill for baseball players to master. It is every baseball coaches responsibility to teach every player how to slide safely. Every player should know the different kinds of slides and when each type slide is used. This article explains the three safest types of baseball slides and gives coaching points for each.

Sliding is difficult to practice. I can be relatively to easy teach if the coach knows how to properly execute each slide. Until players have a chance execute slides repetitively, they do not gain the confidence they should have to use the slides in a game. The best ways to practice baseball sliding if you do not have a slide practicing mat, is to wet the grass, use nylon cloth or card board on gym floors, or practice sliding in soft loose dirt.

There are a couple of basic safety points that should be remembered when executing all baseball slides. You must start the slide at least four steps from the bag. Sliding late is a commonly cause of ankle and leg injury. Keeping the hands high also prevent injury to hands, fingers and wrist.

Pop-Up or Stand-Up Slide - This slide is the safest and most popular sliding technique. It offers one definite advantage over other slides. The pop-up slide allows runners to advance more easily should an errant throw be made by the defense.

Three coaching points for the stand-up slide:

1. The left leg is bent and is under the right leg. The right leg is extended and it should be slightly bent.
2. The runner slides evenly on both lower cheeks of his rear end or on both back pockets.
3. The runner should adjust the slide path according to the position the fielder has assumed and where the tag glove is likely to be placed. The runner can touch the bag with his foot going directly into the bag or with a hand if the runner slides away from the bag.

Hook Slide - The hook slide is so named because of the "bent or hooked" positions of the legs during the slide and the fact that the bag is "hooked" or tagged with the back foot. The slide can to the right or left of the bag as the play requires.

Three coaching points for the "Hook" slide are:

1. The runner slides on one hip pocket or the other. The body is tilted during the slide. The body should be titled toward the side of the bag on which the slide is being made.
2. The bag is tagged with the back foot.
3. The hook slide is often used by runners attempting to break up a double play. It is also a good slide to use when trying to avoid an awaiting tag by the defender.

Reach-Around or Decoy Slide - The decoy slide is the most difficult to tech, learn, master and practice. It is a slide used when the ball beat the runner to the bag by 5 steps. The decoy slide is used to fool or trick the player making the tag. The sliding runner will fake tagging the bag with one hand and use the other hand to reach around the tag. The decoy is used only as a "last resort" to try avoiding a tag when the runner find himself "dead-to-rights" and sees the ball and tag waiting on him.

Three coaching points for the "Decoy" slide are:

1. The decoy slide must be started earlier than other slides.
2. The decoy slide should be made some distance away from the bag. The distance should allow the runner to reach the bag with both hands. The distance should require the fielder to reach way from the bag to make the tag. This reaching motion gives the runner a spot to avoid and reach around. The secret is to "sucker" the defender with one hand, then withdraw that hand, and reach around the tag with the other hand avoiding a tag and reaching the bag safely.
3. The sliding technique used at the beginning of the slide is the "stand-up" slide.

Note: I intentionally did not list the "head first" slide in this article. It is illegal in most leagues. It is a slide that is considered the most dangerous and risky. It has been the cause of many serious injuries. Coaches should consider the liability risk before teaching it as a method of sliding. I personally recommend to my players that they do not slide head first.

I hope that you found this article useful and informative. Thanks for taking the time to read this article. 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!

How to Hit in the Clutch - Baseball Batting Advice From a Former Major League Player


HurricaneMachine.com

By Jack Perconte

There are not too many feelings better than getting hits for baseball players. Actually, there is? Getting a hit in the clutch is an even better feeling. Of all the great memories I have of playing baseball, the ones that are most memorable are those of clutch hits that I had. Many people think of clutch hits as those that drive in runs or win games, but just as important sometimes are hits that players get to start a rally, break up a no hitter or knock a good pitcher out of the game. One of my great memories of a clutch at-bat did not involve a hit but a sacrifice fly that I hit in the 17th inning that drove in the winning run against the New York Yankees. This was as memorable as a hit because, being a player with little power, hitting a ball deep enough in the outfield was not an easy chore for me.

Developing young players to be good clutch hitters is one of my goals as a hitting coach. Of course, the best clutch hitters are generally the hitters who are the most fundamentally sound with their hitting mechanics. Having good fundamentals always give players the best chance at success. However, just having good fundamentals does not guarantee a great clutch hitter and all hitters can be taught to become better in the clutch. I have known many players who have the knack of going 1 for 4 in games for a.250 batting average, but that one hit always seemed to be a big hit for the team. Some players just have a sense of the moment and an inner confidence that they are the right person for the situation. Good clutch hitters are able to focus on the moment. They do this by focusing on the things they can control, which is simply taking a good swing at a good pitch. These clutch hitters do not over-swing, try to hard or get too "up-tight" to perform.

With this in mind, following are coaching tips to help ballplayers become good clutch hitters:

1. Explain to players what was alluded to above, that "clutch hitting" involves more than just an RBI hit or a game winning hit. For example, just getting on base with a walk or single can be very "clutch."
2. Put players in known clutch situations in practice as much as possible. "Two outs, bases loaded, game on the line and here is the pitch," is a good batting practice idea. When players are put in clutch situations often enough, they will develop the sense of having "been there before," which may enhance their confidence and give them reassuring feelings.
3. Explain to players that no one will remember for very long if they make an out but everyone will remember, for a long time, if they come through with a big hit. In this manner, players will begin to feel like they do not have much to lose, which should ease the pressure. This also serves to have players look forward to the opportunity.
4. Good coaches do not over-coach by making more of a situation than it is. This can be done by staying calm and just telling hitters to "get a good pitch to hit." Coaches should be careful not to change their demeanor or overload players with distracting instructional tips, especially during intense game situations.
5. Ask players in practice who wants to be up to bat with the game on the line. Most if not all will say they want to be, even if they are not sure. This "mental preparation" will help players prepare for the situation before they are in the actual situation.
6. Occasionally saying to different players that you want them to be the player up to bat with the game on the line shows your confidence in the player, which should help the player's confidence.
7. Coaches should not show disappointment in front of players when they do not come through in the clutch, so that players will not shy away from wanting to be up in that same clutch situation the next time. Parents of players should be sure and follow this point also, because kids definitely do not want to disappoint their parents.

Finally, one thing that I did as a player was to begin preparing myself for game ending situations. When a game was close in score, I would begin about the sixth or seventh inning to visualize being up in the last inning with the game on the line. This was great preparation for the eventual situation where I came to bat with the game in the balance.

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

Baseball Drills - The Value of Learning Multiple Positions


Baseball2u.com - Owned & Operated by Coaches

By Nate Barnett

It seems to me that when the topic of trying a new position is brought up to many young athletes, they cringe in disgust. Playing multiple positions well is out of the question in their minds. They have their one or two positions and that's it, period. If you work with some athletes of that mindset, the following might be worth sharing.

During our pick-up games when I was growing up, we played as many positions as we could in the field. When it came time for our coaches to work on defensive baseball drills in practice there were always multiple players who could play different positions in the field. Because of that willingness to try a new spot, the perceived value of each of those multi-position athletes continued to rise with each new position learned.

Here are a few observations I've picked up:

1. Right-handed players have a greater ability to work into new positions as compared to lefties.

2. There are more baseball players playing the game in America now that there ever has been.

3. There are more international players entering the Major Leagues today than there ever has been. Assuming the points above are accepted, and assuming most serious athletes want to play high school baseball or above (college and then professionally) here are the responses that must be taken into consideration by any athlete.

Since there are more right-handed athletes in the game than lefties, there is naturally more competition defensively at every position. Because of this increased competition, the percentage chance of an athlete being able to move on to the next level decreases dramatically if he only understands how to play one position well.

The population in America as well as the value placed on athletics has continued to rise in the past couple decades. There are countless reasons for this, none of which will be discussed at this point. I will just assume you will buy into this statement at face value. Therefore, by simply taking raw numbers, there is more competition for the same positions at the upper levels of the game.

Finally, it is no secret that there are more players from the international community being selected for professional baseball teams in the United States. Because of this, the sheer number of athletes competing for roughly the same amount of positions has increased. This effectively places lower value on an athlete who only understands how to play one position very well.

What amount of time and importance should be placed on learning multiple positions well? It should be a focus and concentration of all defensive baseball drills, workouts, and practices. The advice I give is to get good at multiple positions in the event that an amazing athlete comes along who plays your spot.

You'll want another spot to fall back to or you'll fade away from the game.

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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Three Tips For Improving a Pitcher's Control


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By Mike Posey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mike Posey "CP"
Expert Baseball Pitching Stats

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

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


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Bat Speed Training For More Power


BaseballCoachingDigest.com

By Alan Bryan

Using bat speed training can help you quickly gain an additional thirty to even one hundred feet in your power. The most common refrain in hitting is that it is not how hard you swing, rather, how quick your swing. Simply, it is the laws of physics that apply to hitting, as the velocity of the bat connecting with the ball determines the distance a ball will travel.

There are many bat speed training methods that can help you increase your velocity. However, despite all the great training out there, selecting the right bat is also a factor. Most bat speed drills should be done with a wooden bat. With the new, technologically advanced aluminum bats allowing for more error in your swing, many hitters have become dependent on technology rather than practice to hit for more power.

Simply, there are no soft hitting zones in the new aluminum bats. A wooden bat, however, has a very defined sweet spot, and when you miss that sweet spot, the wooden bat will let you know by either shattering or stinging your hands tremendously. Learn how to properly get the head of a wooden bat through the hitting plane, and you are one step closer to hitting for more power.

Effective bat speed training involves several components, some of which are not directly baseball related at all. In additional to practicing with wood bats, you should also strengthen your wrist and lower body using light weight resistance. Putting it all together can help you start hitting for more power in record time.

Effective bat speed training can take your game to the next level by increasing your power and average. When used correctly, bat speed training techniques are extremely effective. Learn the best training methods, recommended by professional scouts, by visiting http://www.batspeedtraining.info.

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


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


Baseball2U.com
By Nick Dixon
Two Batting Cage Misbeliefs that baseball people need to know about are (1) Many people belive that a Batting Cage must be long for it to be usable for all ages. That is not true. (2) Many people believe that a batter must see 75 miles per hour pitches to receive maximum benefit from cage work. That is not true.

This article discusses how many buyers are mistaken or misled in the buying or building a new baseball batting cage. The article outlines Two Batting Cage Misbeliefs that are simply not true:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Little League Baseball Rules

QuickSwingTrainer.com
By Wiley Channell and Brownee Channell




Little League baseball isn't just simply a game played by younger players, there are a number of different rules when compared to official baseball. Anyone coaching a Little League team will have to know the variations in order to teach younger players properly.


Differences in Field Layout


When playing Little League baseball, the field is usually sized about 2/3 of a regulation ball diamond -- instead of 90 feet between the bases, there should only be 60 feet.
The pitcher stands 46 feet away from the batter's box, rather than the 60 1/2 feet for regulation baseball.


Game Rules


All players on the roster will play 2 innings in the field at a minimum, and have the opportunity to bat at least once.
Also, any players who leave the game can return, as long as their substitutes also get to play 2 innings and have one at-bat.
A game of Little League baseball lasts for 6 innings instead of 9.- A game is declared over once either side gets a 10-run lead over the other team.
After the 3rd strike, the hitter is out. It does not matter if the catcher holds on to the ball on the third strike.
There are no designated hitters in Little League baseball. All 9 players come up to bat according to their position in the roster.
All runners have to stay on base until the ball reaches the batter when pitched.
There are limits to the number of pitches any player can throw, based on age. For example an 11-year-old can only throw 85 pitches but an 8-year-old is limited to 50. Rest periods are also given to pitchers, depending on how many have been thrown.
A manager can visit the pitcher on the mound twice during an inning, unlike the regulation limit of once.
If a game is called on account of rain, it will count as an officially complete game if four innings have been played. If the home team is head, then only 3 1/2 innings are needed.
Double-headers can only be held once per week at a maximum, unless one of the games is played to continue a suspended tie game from earlier.


About Author:Wiley B. Channell is the editor of BaseballFarming.com - the information resource for baseball fans and players. Find more about famous baseball players at his site.
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How to Time the Ball - Baseball Hitting

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Teaching a hitter to time a baseball is difficult. There are many variables that are hard to figure out. First of all, timing is based on good vision. Hitters who do not have great vision are at a disadvantage when trying to time a pitched baseball. Also, some hitters naturally have better hand-eye coordination, which is also necessary for good timing. Developing great timing is one of those things that if anyone ever figured out the key to getting and keeping it, they would become an instant millionaire.



Additionally, good timing can be there one day and disappear the next day, or even from one at-bat to the next. I do know the best way to attain and keep good timing is to develop a good repeatable, compact swing. Many of my articles and in my book deal with developing a compact swing because of the value in having one. It makes sense that the more compact the swing, the longer the hitter can wait on the ball.


Hitters who can wait the longest for the pitch become good hitters because it allows them to swing at good, hittable pitches. Timing is useless if swinging at bad pitches. Additionally, unless a hitter can repeat a good, fundamentally sound swing, timing is often irrelevant.


This is not meant to mean that timing cannot be improved. The following hitting tips will help baseball players develop and maintain good timing:


1. Baseball players should have their eyes checked once a year to make sure their vision is at an optimal level.

2. As mentioned, hitters should continue to work on developing a compact, fundamentally sound swing.

3. Hitters should be taught to hit the ball in the direction of where the ball is pitched. For example, inside pitches should be pulled to the hitter's side of the field and outside pitches should be hit the opposite way. This should be ingrained into hitters' minds from a young age. The location of the pitch determines where it is hit and not the speed of the pitch.

4. Batting practice pitchers should alternate speeds of pitches with no speed considered too slow or too fast, within reason of course based on a player's age.

5. Batting practice speeds should be as close to game speeds as possible. Having batting practice pitchers move up or back as needed may be necessary to simulate these speeds.

6. Hitters should be encouraged to stand in (with helmet on and no bat) when their pitchers are warming up before games and during practice. This will help them see more game-like speed pitches and it allows them to just focus on the ball without swinging.

7. It is usually easily noticed when hitters are continually late on pitches or early on pitches. For players who are late, they should face faster thrown pitches than normal and hitters who are generally swinging early should face predominantly slower thrown pitches.

8. Coaches should stress to hitters the importance of watching the ball the complete distance. It is common for many hitters not to focus on the ball the first half or the last half of the ball flight.

9. Setting objects down along the path between the pitcher and batter and having the hitter call out when the ball goes over those objects can help players with tracking pitches.

10. Players should be encouraged to play other sports where hitting an object is involved. Sports like tennis, racquet ball and table tennis can help develop timing and hand-eye coordination.


Finally, just like developing a good swing is a constant process, developing good timing is a never ending job for baseball players.


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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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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Major League Hitting Drills

By Jack Perconte

Major league hitters have very advanced swing fundamentals, which explain how they made it to the major leagues. However, it is important to note that fundamentals are fundamentals. The drills that are designed for little league players are the same drills that major league players perform. There are numerous baseball hitting drills with the best drills being the ones that address the particular hitter's needs. Every hitter, from the major league player to the little league player, has a weak part of their swing. When this weakness is known, hitting drills can be geared towards addressing those areas. Working on correct fundamentals is a continual process for major league players as it is for youth ballplayers.

When I played major league baseball, the off season was the time where I was more concerned with getting in great shape by gaining quickness and strength. I was not as concerned with timing the ball as much as in season. With this in mind, preseason was spent performing drills on the batting tee and with soft toss drills. The important body parts that major league baseball players want to get in shape are their hands and core muscles, including the stomach and hips. With this in mind here are a few major league hitting drills that ballplayers practice to get their hands and hips in shape.

1. One arm drill - hitters will take swings using only one arm with a lighter bat or by choking up on their regular bat. This drill will force them to use the muscles in their fingers, hands, wrists and forearms so that they develop the strength and quickness necessary to hit major league pitching. It will also help them develop the correct swing fundamentals of each hand separately. It is recommended that players take more swings in this manner with their weaker arm.

2. Another popular major league hitting drill is the self-flip drill. With this drill, players will begin by holding the bat with their lead arm only and flip a ball up in the air with their rear hand. The ball should be flipped no higher than eye level and in the hitting zone, at which time the hitter grabs the bat with both hands and hits the ball. This drill develops quick, strong hands and requires a good fundamental swing to hit line drives.

3. Fast hips can be developed with the quick swing drill. Players will swing five times in a row forward and backward as fast as they can. Players should be sure to finish their swing to the middle of their back before they reverse the bat as fast as they can. This drill can also be done with a partner who flips five balls in a row to the hitter, releasing each ball when hitter returns to hitting position. This drill will also help overall balance, which is another key ingredient to a good baseball swing. (See following drill)

4. Balance beam drill - players stand on a balance beam and take swings at game speed, with the goal of completing the swing while staying on the beam. An example of this drill and of making a usable balance beam can be found in my book, "The Making of a Hitter."

As the season begins, major league baseball players tend to work on timing and vision drills. This is mostly done with correct batting practice habits with flip drills from the coach or regular pitched balls from a batting practice coach. Good hitters will always try to hit the ball where it is pitched in the strike zone and try to watch the ball hit the bat at contact. They will not swing at pitches outside the strike zone. Following are a few more major league hitting drills that also help hitters:

5. Back knee pickup drill - hitters swing and pick up their back knee, allowing it to rotate towards the pitcher with the swing. This drill develops hitters' front side and weight transfer as they will have to keep their front shoulder going towards the ball as their weight transfers. Both of these are necessary for good contact and power.

6. No stride drill - hitters take their regular swing without the initial stride. Many hitters get in trouble when they jump at the ball. This major league hitting drill will allow them to stay back and rotate instead of lunging at the ball. Doing this drill after the previous drill is a good idea.

It is important to note that using a batting tee for taking productive swings is a must for all serious ballplayers. The batting tee is an important device for major league hitting drills as well as for young baseball players. Coaches and hitters should consult instructional manuals or a good hitting coach so they know how to use a batting tee for the best results. All hitting drills can be done on a batting tee and will help groove a perfect baseball swing. Hitting balls solidly and on the line is always the hitter's goal, whether hitting in a game or with hitting drills.

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

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

The Mental Side of Baseball Pitching

By Chris Moheno
In many sports and athletic disciplines, the difference between a good performer and a great performer is mental toughness, intelligence and confidence. The same applies to baseball hitting and baseball pitching, the two all important aspects to baseball players and baseball teams. A hitting slump or a pitcher who can't find the strike zone and get an out are both problems that can almost always be solved with proper mental techniques and strengths. In this article, the mental side of pitching will be discussed in order to maximize your results.

Think Success and Have Confidence

Quite simply, those who do not believe in their own abilities will not see the successes their physical talent tells you they should have. If you think you will fail, that you will not throw a strike or get a batter to fly out or swing and miss, than chances are you will fail. You must believe in yourself and trust your physical talents. Know that you can hit the corners of the strike zone and believe that even if you don't have your best stuff, you are still good enough to do your job effectively.

Separate From Your Emotions

It is easy to let your emotions get the best of you on the mound. There are so many individual plays that can go against you, a missed strike call, a bad play in the field, a mistake that a hitter took advantage of for a home run. It is up to you, the pitcher, to rebound from this. Just like a poker player going on "tilt" a pitcher who loses control of his emotions can quickly self-destruct. Do not let these bad moments get the best of you. Have a short memory and focus on the job still at hand. If you throw a bad pitch that somebody gets a hold of, focus especially hard on needing to get the job done before more damage is done. If a strike is called a ball, focus on the fact that the hitter will not always be lucky enough to get that call. As soon as you get angry, upset or distressed, you're taken out of your game and your performance will suffer.

Trust Your Teammates

It is crucial to always remember that you are not alone out there on the mound; you must trust and rely on your teammates. You don't need to have every batter swing, miss and strikeout. Know that you have good teammates who will track down those fly balls. If you are in trouble with people on the bases and no outs, focus on getting that ground ball, knowing your infielders will turn the double play and get you out of the jam. Believe that your catcher has done his homework and knows what pitches would be best for you to throw. With 8 other teammates out there supporting you, take advantage of them and use them to your benefit. If you start thinking you're alone and that it is all on your shoulders, in your striving to be "perfect" you will likely come up short.

Think Your Way through Situations

Not every situation you will face will be the same, nor is every opponent you face the same. Different batters have different weaknesses, strengths and tendencies and different situations call for various strategies. It is important to be intelligent on the mound and think your way through these moments. While you always want to fall back on your best pitch in a tough situation, remember that if your best pitch is a fast ball inside, and a batter can only hit those pitches, it is best to fool them with something else. Be intelligent and always think through all the different situations you will face as opposed to treating them all the same way.

These are just some of the important mental aspects of baseball pitching; and many of these same principles can be applied to baseball hitting as well. Remember, at most levels of the game the talent across the board is fairly equal. The athletic capabilities of different players only vary slightly. It is the mental components that turn those athletic capabilities into pitching successes.

There are plenty of players who squandered their 100 MPH fastballs by not being able to control it in tough situations. Just the same, there are all time greats such as Greg Maddux who relied on their craftiness, intelligence and their baseball training rather than domineering stuff to make a great career. Hone your mental toughness and follow these guidelines to see better results on the mound.

Chris Moheno has a long time passion for sports in general and for baseball coaching more specifically. His goal is to spread the word about effective non-fluff baseball training techniques for both more experienced and young baseball players, to help them perform better during the game. Discover more about baseball training on http://www.baseballtrainingsecrets.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chris_Moheno

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The Baseball Swing - A Couple Fallacies

By Nate Barnett

Do you know why you teach what you teach to your hitters? If I stopped you right now and asked you to tell me a couple advantages of any part of what you're teaching, could you do it? If not, it's time to kick into gear your learning habit and pick up some instructional strategies.

I've picked a couple parts of the baseball swing mechanics I hear taught repeatedly that are incorrect. Don't worry, I'll follow my own advise and explain why. Don't just take my word for it, however, ask around. Get other perspectives. But most of all, build your baseball swing knowledge base. Baseball instruction is a funny thing. You can find information and hitting "experts" everywhere. However, please for your own sake make sure that you are qualifying your sources of information first before you accept it. If you don't, you'll end up spending a lot of money, and changing your philosophy often.

Two Mechanical Fallacies:

1. Keeping your back elbow up is NECESSARY for a proper baseball swing.

I hear this advice mostly in Little League or in some of the younger age leagues. There is no physical advantage or benefit for a hitter to keep his back elbow up (often sometime much above the back shoulder). I'm not quite sure where the idea originated, but I do know it spreads like wildfire. It's like the cure all for a poor baseball swing. When it doubt, it must be the back elbow! And you can be sure you'll sometimes hear from the dugout or the stands, "Keep your back elbow up, Johnny!"

Keeping the back elbow up for younger hitters is often a source of a slow and long swing. When the bat head travels into the zone, the elbow of the top arm on the bat is down and relaxed close to the hitters body (if done correctly). Because of that, it makes little sense for a younger hitter to move his back elbow from a stiff position in the stance to a relax and collapsed position in mid-swing. Extra parts moving during a baseball swing mean less consistency. As a hitter gets older, his preference may be of a back elbow that is raised some. At this point (assuming he understands swing mechanics) he can make the adjustments as necessary.

2. Rolling your wrists as your bat comes through the zone is a must to create bat speed.

I have to bite my tongue (quite hard actually) when I ever hear this advice being offered for baseball instruction. While the back elbow up philosophy can be dismissed somewhat as a youth baseball strategy that does relatively minimal damage, this wrists rolling business can not be ignored in order to create a fundamentally sound baseball swing.

What "Wrist Rollers" can't do:

A. Hit an inside fastball to the pull side (right field as a lefty and left field as a righty).

B. Hit an outside fastball with any consistency to the opposite field (left field as a lefty and right field as a righty).

C. Hit line drives with back spin consistently (you know the kind that get over an outfielders head in a hurry for a double).

Here is why I can make those statements so confidently. In order to roll the wrists through a baseball swing, your arms must be straight at the elbows on contact with the baseball to do so. Youth hitters can get away with this because the velocity of the pitch is not overpowering yet. Add another 10-15 mph to the pitch and those inside pitches cannot be hit (or if they do, it stings) because the bat will be slow to sweep into the hitting zone. Outside pitches will also be difficult because the barrel of the bat will only cover the outer portion of the plate a fraction of the time necessary.

So what to do?

Teach your athletes when hitting a baseball to have their palm facing up on their top hand as they come in contact with the baseball. As the hands stay close to the body through the swing, the hitter will extend his arms after contact is made with the pitch. This proper extension is extremely important for good bat speed and plate coverage.

About the Author

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball http://bmibaseball.com and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at http://bmibaseball.com/blog

His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.

Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.
 
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
 
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nate_Barnett
===============


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Youth Baseball Digest - What is Baseball Slugging Percentage? How is Slugging Percentage Calculated?

By Nick Dixon


Slugging Percentage is a baseball batting stat that assigns value to hits based on the number of bases reached. The bigger a hit is the more it raises the Slugging Percentage of the batter. Slugging Percentage is also sometimes called "Slugging Average" or "SLG". "SLG" is considered a reliable indicator of a batters power. It is very simple to calculate. This article explains how to determine a batters SLG.

Slugging average assigns a bigger value to bigger hits. So the calculation becomes "total bases" divided by the number of at-bats.
Here are the values for each base hit:

HR = 4 points.
TRIPLE = 3 points. =
DOUBLE = 2 Points.
SINGLE = 1 point.
The formula for determining SLG:
(HR x 4 points) + (TRIPLES x 3 points) + (DOUBLES x 2 points) + (SINGLES x 1 point) = SUM
SUM (Divided by Total At-Bats) = Slugging Average.

In other words, Slugging Average is calculated by adding the totals for all the hits the batter has, then divide by the total number of at bats. For example, a batter goes 2 for 4 and hits a triple and a double, which is five points. Five points divided into 4 at bats equals 1.250 Slugging Average.

Other examples:

A batter is 7 for 12 on the season. He has hit a HR, 2 TRIPLES, 2 DOUBLES, and 2 SINGLES. The total of bases added up equals 16. Divide the 16 bases reached by the 12 total at-bats and you get a Slugging Average of 1.333
SLG is expressed as a three-digit decimal. It is considered the best indication of a batters measure of power.

I hope that you found this article to be informative and easy to understand. Thanks for reading my article. 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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Baseball Youth Digest - Bunting Made Simple - Teaching Bunting Skills to Beginners

How to Turn Good Practice Hitters Into Game Hitters

QuickSwingTrainer.com



One of the most repeated comments from parents of my students was, "They kill the ball in practice, but not in games." There are a lot of "5 o'clock" (batting practice) hitters, as opposed to "7:30 " (game) hitters. This is one of the most perplexing situations of baseball for parents, players and coaches. Hitters, who absolutely pound the ball in batting practice and then fail to hit during games, create much frustration and even drive some to give up playing baseball. There are a number of reasons why hitters hit in batting practice but not in games including the lack of fear or nervousness that may exist in games. Players often tense up in a game, which throws their focus off.

Usually however, there are two main reasons why hitters hit in practice but not in games.

1. Their swing fundamentals are not as good as they appear. Often, it appears to the untrained eye that hitters have great swings but in reality their swings have some fundamental flaws.

2. The hitters are not being challenged enough in practice. Coaches have good intentions in batting practice of building their hitters' confidence by laying the ball in the strike zone at hittable speeds. However, if the batting practice is not game like with different speeds and different pitches, it does not necessarily benefit hitters and they only gain false confidence.

What can be done to help hitters become good game hitters?

1. Coaches should continue to give players hitting drills that address their fundamental, problem areas. Once the season starts, hitters often stop the fundamental drill work that they did in preseason. Tee work and soft toss work keep players focused on contact points and mechanics and should be continues throughout the season. They are essential for hitters to stay sharp.
2. Coaches should have a trained hitting coach observe the struggling hitters and make suggestions how to help their fundamentals. Often, just one little fundamental tip can lead to much more success.
3. Putting hitters in game like situations as often as possible in practice is good. Hitters will begin to develop game confidence and the feeling like they "have been there before" when in actual games.
4. Coaches should challenge hitters in batting practice with game like speeds and with changing speeds (age appropriate, of course). Hitters often adjust on their own, without fundamental help, when they are challenged enough. Coaches should not allow total frustration to appear in hitters by over-challenging them, though.
5. Of course, patience and encouragement with struggling game hitters is always necessary. Coaching statements like "you can do it" and "I believe in you" are great confidence builders and confidence is very important for hitters.

Finally, coaches should not give up on struggling players because "any hitter willing to listen, learn and practice is not beyond hope." I have known many hitters who became very good game hitters after years of struggle because players stayed committed to practice and coaches remained positive and encouraging towards them.

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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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!

3 Strength Building Drills to Make Your Baseball Bat the Most Powerful in Your Baseball League





These 3 batting drills should be a part of every serious baseball players daily batting practice routine. These hitting drills are well known and recognized for increasing bat speed and power. These drills should be done regularly during the off season.


Batting Drill #1 - Top Hand Drill


Purpose: To increase the coordination and skill of the top hand on the bat. The top hand is the hand that guides and controls the bat. Building strength in the top hand can make it take a stronger role in the swing thus, improving bat accuracy and bat speed.


Procedure: You can do this drill with tossed balls, a hitting stick device or a batting machine. The most common way to do this drill is to have the player assume a position with the back knee down and the front leg extended. This body position makes the batter use only the forearm and arm to control the bat. The batting aid or target should be held above the head of the batter. The batter should be instructed to take the barrel above the ball and hit the top of the ball to drive the ball unit downward.


Reps: It is recommended that a better do at least 30 to 45 top hand reps a day divided into 3 sets.


Coaching Point - The heavier the bat is the better. These are strength building exercises. We want to limit the number of reps to less than 50 three times a week. We do not want to do these during the season. We would only do these until 2 weeks before the season begins. You should also incorporate some quick hands or speed hands workouts into your daily routine as well.


Batting Drill #2 - Power Hand Drill


Purpose: To increase the muscle strength and power of the bottom hand on the bat. The bottom hand is the hand that generated bat speed and power. Building strength in the bottom hand can make it stronger and increase bat speed and power.


Procedure: You can do this drill with tossed balls, a hitting stick device or a batting machine. The most common way to do this drill is to have the player assume his normal stance. The batter should have his feet shoulder width apart. The batter will turn the hips and pivot on the back foot to do each swing. Special emphasis should be given the batter to grip the bat near the knob. The batting aid or target should be held above the belly button of the batter. The batter should be instructed to take the barrel and drive the barrel through the ball. The bat should be moving parallel to the ground.

Reps: It is recommended that a better do at least 30 to 45 top hand reps a day divided 3 sets.


Coaching Point - The heavier the bat is the better. The batter must keep the bat higher enough to be parallel to the ground or higher. The movement of the bat should never be downward. Therefore the target to hit must be kept high. The reason for this is that the batter can not be aided by gravity if the bat moves parallel to the ground and level. Any downward movement by the bat reduces the work of the muscles and reduces the effectiveness of the drill.


Batting Drill #3 - Bat Power Resistance Drill


Purpose: Use strength building resistance exercises to increase the strength and power of the muscles in the hands, forearms, and shoulders that are vital in generating bat speed and power. The stronger these muscles are the more bat speed and power the batter will be able to generate.


Procedure: This weight resistance exercise requires a stationary object like a pole, corner of a wall, or tree to give resistance to the bat during this exercise. The bat will not move. The batter will do these 3 exercises.


Exercise - Knob Drive Resistance Weight Exercise


The batter when flex the muscles of the forearms. The batter will put place the knob against the resisting object. The batter will flex the muscles 10 times at two locations. The two locations are:
Pressing downward
Pressing toward the pitcher
Exercise - Bat Barrel Resistance Weight Exercise
The batter when flex the muscles of the hands, fingers, forearms and biceps. The batter will put place the bat barrel against the resisting object. The batter will flex the muscles 10 times at two locations. The two locations are:
6 Inches behind the belly button - belt high - (toward catcher)
6 Inches in front of the belly button - belt high - (toward pitcher)
12 Inches in front of the belly button - belt high - (toward pitcher)
Coaching Point - Each exercise is done with the batter keeping the barrel level, belt high, and pressing toward the pitcher.


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

3 Mistakes Hitters Make Using Baseball Hitting Mechanics





By Rob Bucher

Want to tap into your potential with better baseball hitting mechanics?

Odds are you were taught two or three mechanical flaws most hitters have ingrained which limits their potential.

I want to reveal three common mistakes you probably were taught...

...and are seriously hampering your ability to put a charge into the ball.

Hit the top of the ball – Sound familiar? One of the biggest mistakes hitters are taught is to hit the top half of the ball. This is quickest way to spend an entire season grounding out. You need to realize the higher the level of play, the more time your ground balls become outs. Even at the Little League World Series a majority of ground ball hits were turned into outs.

Squish the bug – This term will prove disastrous for your power if you've been taught this mechanic. It teaches you to keep your weight back limiting your power potential. How are you ever going to maximize your power while keeping your weight distributed to your back leg.

Extend your arms – When you make contact with the ball you might have been taught to have your arms extended. This is another power zapping mechanical flaw many hitters are being taught. Ninety-nine percent of major leaguers don't hit with their arms extended. They extend well after the ball has left the bat.

If you have been taught these hitting cues or your son has been taught these baseball hitting mechanics. Then you need to correct them and stop letting their potential between the lines continue to be limited.

Want to learn how to add more pop in your swing and boost your batting average and learn to dominate the best pitchers you'll face?

Coach Rob Bucher is a high school hitting instructor who has been involved in playing or coaching baseball for over 30 years. His expertise on swing mechanics has helped many of his players enjoy huge success and help propel them to collegiate success.

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What is on Base Percentage? How is on Base Percentage Calculated?


By Nick Dixon

On Base Percentage (OBP) is a vital baseball statistic that tells how effectively a batter is getting his job done at the plate. On baseball percentage is often referred to the OBP. On Base Percentage is often referred to as the "on base average" or OBA.

What is On Baseball Percentage?

OBP is a statistic expressed in a three digit number that shows how often reaches first base. The OBP represents every way a batter can gets to first base for any reason other than a fielding error or a fielder's choice. On-base percentage is the measure of the number of times a player gets on base by getting on base with a hit, by drawing a base on balls, and by being hit by pitch. The expressed as a percentage of his total number of plate appearances.

How is calculate OBP?

OBP is calculated using the simple mathematical formula. To calculate the OBP you first add the total number of hits, walks and times the batter is hit by a pitch. You then divide that total by the total number of at-bats, walks, times hit by a pitch and sac flies..

OBP is calculated using this formula:

(Number of H + BB + HBP)

Divided by

(Number AB + BB + HBP + SF)

= OBP

Symbols used in the formula above:

H = Hits

BB = Bases on Balls (Walks)

HBP = Hit By a Pitch

AB = At bats

SF = Sacrifice Flies

I hope that you have a better understanding of OBP after reading this article. I really appreciate you taking the time to read it. Good luck this season, 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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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!

Tips on Baseball Pitching Mechanics


By Alan Karpuch

It is a known fact that it is hard for any pitcher to have three innings. A pitcher needs to give up hits and walks, as well as work with fielders who make errors. If you are a pitcher and wants to improve your skill, it is recommended to ask advice on pitching mechanics. Remember that a lot of problems in pitching are due to poor mechanics.

Pitching mechanics can be hard for a coach to analyze at full velocity. If the basic structure is inconsistent, remember that even if you change one feature, the problem is still there. One of the most important things you need to know which motion is wrong and it is essential to solve the trouble in lack of control.

Every pitcher is required to practice everyday and remember that it is impossible to perfect the skill in just one day. Pitching is like any other sport - it requires practice to be good at it.

It is a fact that it is hard to find a new pitcher that has good pitching mechanics. Pitching needs dedication and hard work and you must take care of yourself completely. It is essential to be in perfect shape and pay attention on your arm and you must work on the right pitching mechanics in order to lessen the risk of arm injury. If you are just starting out, make sure to do a lot of throwing in order to develop arm strength.

Aside from physical strength, you must also develop your mental element of pitching. You must also be tough mentally in order to be a skilled pitcher. This element can be developed eventually and it is necessary to examine your performance every game in order to improve more. Always focus on the game especially on the hitter and face any problem appropriately. Remember that with good pitching mechanics, you can ensure your good health and success.

Alan provides information about
Pitching Workouts through his website on Baseball Pitching Mechanics

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

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Preparing Your Baseball Team Mentally For the Big Game


By Bob Hines

An all star or travel team's mental state is a major contributing factor of whether or not they reach their goals. Whether the opponent is weak or strong if your team believes they can win they will be up for the game. Coaches sometimes mistakenly try to pump their team up for a big game. I believe players (and coaches) should treat each game the same. Provided that you prepared them physically through solid practice... If they believe they are good enough to be successful that is all the game prep they need.

When coaches tell players that they have to "play the best game they can in order to win" that's when teams usually get into trouble. When players try to push it past what they are able to do... that's when you start to see the mistakes. Good teams lose because most players don't react well to pressure from parents and coaches. Kids will "check out" when you put it in their minds that they have to perform flawlessly to succeed... that they have to play the best game possible.

So what to do? Keep it light but focused. Reinforce that they are a good team. Tell that player who's struggling at the plate that "you know he's trying hard... relax, have fun and the hits will come". If you've practiced and prepared your team for the big game then they are ready. After that the two "C's" are the most important factors to success.. Concentration & Confidence. So before the big game lighten things up with a fun team activity and think of creative ways to bring out the two "C's". Then rest assured you are giving them the best prep you can.

Coach Bob

Visit Coach Bob's Youth Baseball Blog @ http://youthbaseballblog.blogspot.com

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


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!

Baseball Pitching Mechanics - How Long is Your Stride?



Baseball2u.com has a one of the internet's largest selections of baseball coaching and training dvds.

By Dan Gazaway

How long should my stride be? That is a question that I get from many coaches, parents and pitchers. Many experts give their opinion of how long a stride should be; some say as long as you are tall, some say longer and some say 75% of your height. The answer is as far as your body will allow you to while maintaining proper pitching mechanics. You don't want to jump to foot strike (loosing balance and posture) just so you can add a foot to your stride. You want to push off the ball of your pivot foot while maintaining a closed posture to foot strike. Don't jeopardize your pitching mechanics at the expense of gaining distance. There is a way to do it right.

Why is a long stride important? There are two reasons why you need a good stride. One is to gather enough momentum to foot strike so your fastball has pop. The most exciting reason is that 1-foot = 3 mph perceived pitching velocity. The closer you are to home plate when you release the ball the better. To the batter's eye the ball appears to be going faster than it really is. So, you are working with distance. Furthermore, when you throw inside, the batter has to react that much quicker to the pitch as well. In order for him to hit the ball on the fat part of the bat, he has to react much quicker to get the bat around. Again, distance helps you as a pitcher.

How do you get a longer stride? Maintaining a proper strength and flexibility pitching workout is important. For example, if your hip flexors aren't conditioned to handle the demands of the workload pitching places on them, it will affect your distance and you will be more prone to injury. To add distance, try a delayed shoulder rotation. Some pitchers gain an extra 6 inches to a foot delaying their shoulder properly. Work on releasing the baseball later; this will also help you gain some pitching velocity.

Dan Gazaway is owner and founder of The Pitching Academy in Utah. He is known as a premiere pitching instructor and is an expert in the area of pitching mechanics. Coach Gazaway also teaches proper pitching grips, pitching workouts and drills.

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

Youth Baseball Hitting - How to Fix Your Baseball Swing

By Brian McClure

To hit the ball well takes a lot of practice. Youth baseball is actually easier than for older players because there is only the basics to learn and develop. This makes it easy for as as coaches to improve our youth baseball teams hitting.

We still must do it right. Practice does not always make perfect. The practice must be effective and done correctly or the mind and body will instill the wrong mechanics.

Hitting off the tee - has probably been a lost art. It is however making a comeback in certain circles. I have always started batting practice by hitting off the tee. Yes..all ages. Purpose of the tee is to load the bat and get our weight back. First check that the players hands are in the right place..batting stance should comfortable. Second, Load the bat (Body and hands go slightly back and front foot comes up) Third, short quick swing.

Common mistakes to look for and avoid is the player dropping his hands and and weight back to far which is caused by wrapping the hands around the head. Wrapping the bat and Dropping the hands is usually the youth baseball player trying to hit a hard fly ball. It lengthens the swing and there will difficulty in hitting the ball correctly(popups) if at all, in live pitching.

Soft Toss - My favorite way to practice hitting. A youth baseball coach (or whoever is doing the tossing) can get a lot of control over the ball and watch the mechanics without fear of injury. The most common way I see soft toss done is from the side of the batter. I prefer to use a screen and toss from the front. This better simulates the pitch and the tosser and see the hands, head, and stride better too. Franklin L-Frame Pitching Screen
Work on strike tosses in the middle, inside, and outside... up, down. Toss in a few balls too so the player can work on learning the strike zone also. As you see a lot of work can be done in a short period of time.
If you toss from the side ,it is best to have net to target the balls.

Free Hitting - Turn 'em loose. Pitch or use a pitching machine and let the youth baseball player work on improving his hitting with live pitches without a lot of coaching at this point. Let the player have fun and just hit away. The Tee drill and soft toss is to work on mechanics. Now Focus on the ball and Swing.

These tips and basic batting practice strategy will greatly help your players improve their hitting skills. As a parent you can quickly move your son to the meat of the batting order with these simple batting practice two or three times a week. As coaches we should try and implement some batting practice every practice. The best way is to divide them into groups..some work on tee..move to ..the soft toss..then free hitting and move on to shagging.

Author- Brian McClure Want to learn more about helping your child in youth baseball as a parent or coach? http://www.coaching-youth-baseball.com

See our complete list of Topics and articles on youth baseball here http://www.coaching-youth-baseball.com/topics.html

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

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How to Teach Throwing to Baseball Players

By Dick Birmingham

In the game of baseball correct throwing mechanics are of the utmost importance. If a player can’t throw with accuracy he does his team little good out in the field. Players must constantly strive to perfect their throwing mechanics. Few players take the time necessary to become really good throwers. Great pride should be taken when a player can consistently throw to a target.

Key Points in Throwing

The Grip

Many young players grip the ball with their fingers too wide apart. This affects accuracy severely reduces velocity of the throw. The fingers should be about inch apart (about the width of a yellow #2 pencil). The index and middle finger should lay across the wide seams of the ball. This grip is also known as a 4-seam fastball. The pads of the index and middle finger sit on the seam of the ball. If you think of the ball as a clock, the index and middle fingers should rest on either side of 12 o’clock and the thumb would rest straight underneath the ball at 6 o’clock. There should be "daylight" between the ball and palm of the throwing hand. This is the best grip for achieving straight backspin and avoiding any "tailing" of the ball.

Arm Action

Arm action refers to the path the throwing arm travels from hand separation to release-point and follow-through. Baseball throwers must concentrate on breaking the hands and making a big sweeping motion with the arm in order to stay long with the arm going back to a good power position. Power position refers to the position where the player has the throwing arm back, level with the shoulder or higher, and bent at the elbow. The throwing-hand index and middle fingers should be point up forming a "V". The back of the throwing hand should face the thrower while the palm of the throwing hand should face away from the thrower. Practicing a good power position is essential in becoming a good thrower. The front shoulder should always point at the target and stay closed. As the player turns to throw, the glove-side elbow should be as high or higher than the throwing-side shoulder. The throwing fingers must stay pointing up through release to get good straight backspin. When throwing with a partner, young players should imagine painting a vertical line with their throwing hand from the letters on their partner’s hat to their partner’s belt buckle.

Throwing To The Circle

Baseball players should always practice throwing on a downward plane to their target. When throwing with a partner, the player should focus on throwing down into "the circle". The circle is an area from the partner’s hat, right shoulder, belt buckle, and left shoulder. A player who can throw down into the circle consistently is a good thrower.

Note: A player receiving a ball should always have both hands in front of the chest with fingers pointing out and up. This makes a great target in the center of the circle.

Staying On Line

Throwers should imagine a line running from their pivot foot straight through their target. As they throw, they should separate their arms on the imaginary line being careful not to let the throwing arm pass behind the line. The stride should also be on the line. Any variation from the line will decrease accuracy. As the player releases the ball he should concentrate on keeping his body on the line. Many players spin off the line when they throw instead of following-through toward their target.

Note: The chin MUST point toward the target. Where the chin faces the eyes will face and the body will follow.

Squaring the Pivot Foot

The pivot foot (throwing hand-side) needs to be "square" to the target. If the player starts by facing the target when throwing the pivot foot should be opened 90 degrees toward the target to allow for the closing of the front side (hips and shoulders). Failure to do this can result in poor accuracy and velocity. Many young players do not turn their pivot foot a full 90 degrees to their target. Squaring the pivot foot should be emphasized to all players to ensure correct throwing mechanics.

It has been said many time that baseball is a game of catch, and the team that plays catch the best will usually win. As a coach, teach your players the proper fundamentals of throwing and you will win more games and develop your players.

For more baseball throwing tips and baseball throwing drills visit the Dick Birmgingham Sports Championship Baseball Drill Book at http://www.BaseballDrillBook.com

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


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Baseball Tips on Hitting - A Bizarre Method But it Will Improve Your Batting Average!

By Larry Cicchiello

If you are not one of the stronger hitters, you really should give this a try. By my own admission, it is a little "bizarre" but is definitely worth an attempt. What you should attempt to do is to hit every pitch at the pitcher's belt buckle. And no, I haven't lost my mind. There is a good chance that it will improve your batting average and I'll explain why. Try to do this on every pitch, no matter what type of pitch it is or where the pitch is located.

The big question may be that if this works, why don't all of the weaker hitters try it. That's a very fair question and the answer is quite simple. First of all, they can't try it because they don't know about it. Another reason is egos, that's why! Too many baseball hitters want to clobber everything and are in love with the long ball. Not all hitters possess great power and some of them are not willing to face that fact.

I completely enjoy watching a terrific power hitter hit a bomb. But I also thoroughly enjoy a hitter who stays within his limits, does not over swing and just makes decent contact and hits for a high batting average.

Too many baseball hitters would rather hit bombs over the fences or into the gaps. They should really do a reality check. By trying to hit the ball toward the pitcher's belt buckle, even though you are aiming up the middle, you will also hit to all fields because you won't always hit the ball straight up the middle. By aiming for the pitcher's belt buckle, it will force the hitter to watch the pitch carefully and there is a very good chance that his baseball hitting mechanics will improve. It's identical to why some outstanding professional hitters take batting practice with a smaller bat than they use in a live game. Their reasoning is that with the smaller bat it encourages them to have better baseball hitting mechanics or they may not even hit the ball at all. Please note that I said outstanding professional hitters.

Another added plus is that by aiming for the pitcher's belt buckle, you will not be trying to "do too much" with your baseball swing. A very common baseball hitting problem is that hitters have way too much going on. It's referred to as the swing "being too busy."

A player who is struggling at the plate should at least give this an attempt to get back on the right track! The expression "sometimes less is more" definitely applies here.

Hopefully, it will be very helpful to some and they will overcome any baseball hitting struggles.

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

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

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



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Free Youth Baseball Drills - 3 Great Ways to Improve the Youth!


By KC Andrus

Youth baseball is a deep tradition, certainly in the American culture, and has always filled kids and parents live's with an amazing get away from the redundancy of normal life, as well as a way to channel children's energy (and hopefully wear them out, right parents? *wink* *wink*). But whether you're a parent, coach or player these six simple, free youth baseball drills are sure to get you and you're team going in the right direction, which is having fun, of course...and winning:

1. The first difficult transition in a baseball player's life is making the jump from tee ball to coach pitch (or machine pitch) whatever the case may be. A drill that makes this transition easier is to get a big, nerf soccer ball and have them hit that for a while just to get the feel of hitting a moving ball.

2. Baseball Ready Position Drill- this drill is great to teach kids the value of being in "ready position" when the ball is delivered to the plate. Have the infielder's line up at shortstop for ground ball practice just like normal, but BEFORE you hit them a ground ball make sure they get in a good athletic position so they can get a good jump on the ball.

3. Double Leg Kick Drill- This drill is for when the youngster's start pitching. Have the child stand in the outfield and pitch from the stretch the same as he would off the mound. But when he gets to his leg kick and his leg reaches it's highest point have him pause briefly, and then put his leg back down and leg kick again. This makes sure the pitcher is keeping his weight back and using his momentum toward the plate.

There are so many more great, free youth baseball drills. that will help your children improve and reach their true potential. It is wonderful for children to improve, and it is highly likely that the better they get the more fun they will have. It's just natural. Make sure to gather all the resources you can. The following site is one that I like a lot:

free youth baseball drills.

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

Happy Holidays & Season’s Greetings From Nick

Happy Holidays & Season’s Greetings From Nick



Thank you for being a regular reader of our blog. We are taking some time off for the Holidays. Our post schedule is normally 5 to 6 daily articles posted per week. During the Holidays and until Jan. 4, 2010, or post will not be daily because of Holiday activities. If you are looking for great coaching articles, please consider one of our sites: The BaseballCoachingDigest.com, the YouthBaseballDigest.com or the BaseballParentGuide.com. Have a safe and happy season! Nick Dixon

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Baseball Pitching Mechanics - Balance and Posture

Baseball Pitching Mechanics - Balance and Posture
By Dan Gazaway

www.AdvancedSkillsTee.com



When you pitch, it is imperative that you have great balance and direction. Without proper balance, you will have a difficult time finding the plate. Just as important, when all of your energy isn't going in the right direction (toward home plate) you will find it difficult to throw strikes.

There are five basic rules to find perfect balance and posture when you pitch from the stretch and the windup. I will explain these simple guidelines to you from the stretch position.

Step #1 Start with your feet in a closed posture. Place both feet together, put the groove in your left shoe into your right shoe, like a puzzle piece. Then spread your feet shoulder width apart.

Step #2 Slightly bend your knees. The key here is to bend your knees deep enough to allow your head to stay level (instead of going up and down or to the sides) when you're throwing from flat ground. If you drop your knee as you're heading toward the plate, then your energy goes down instead of toward home plate which is ideal.

Step #3 Place ball and glove in the center of your body with relaxed shoulders. Ball and glove should stay in the middle for balance. When your glove is too far to either side, you will be off balance when you lift your leg.

Step #4 Place your chin over your shoulder. It is important that you don't put your chin on your shoulder. Many pitchers have the tendency to tilt their head to the left or right when they explode to foot strike. If you lead with your front shoulder, in a closed position to foot strike, you will more likely maintain your balance.

Step #5 Keep your shoulders slightly closed. If you're a righty, your left shoulder should be closed. Maintain that posture as well to foot strike.

Dan Gazaway has instructed well over 1,000 baseball pitchers in the last seven years. His expertise is teaching proper pitching mechanics to athletes at any skill level. Coach Gazaway is a certified pitching instructor as he has received his coaching certification from the National Pitching Association. They too focus on pitching workout programs and pitching technique.

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

Why is Tendonitis Such a Danger For Baseball Pitchers?

By Joshua Tucker

Read through baseball sports news, blogs, fantasy baseball sites, etc, and if you aren't already aware of how dangerous pitching is to baseball players, you quickly will.

Why exactly is Tendonitis such a problem for Baseball Pitchers?

Managing a pitcher and how active he is major strategy in baseball, especially in Major League Baseball.

Every day I see news reports of various pitchers getting benched, being placed on the injured list, and sent off to surgery and weeks and months of recovery.

It's too bad. All that could be avoided.

Tendonitis is an occupational hazard for major league baseball pitchers, and young men that work hard to join the ranks of a big league team.

Most of this kind of injury shows up in the arm anywhere from shoulder to fingers. Watch a pitcher throw a few times, it's no surprise. Even then pitching efficiently and effortlessly, there is A LOT of force, torque, internal movement of tendons, and muscle contraction happening over and over.

Over time after hundreds or thousands of throws, after muscles firing powerfully and pulling forcefully on their tendons, the muscles get set tighter and tighter. This starts a long Downward Spiral of increasing tightness, then increasing pain and tightness.

Whether a tendon gets irritated or actually has some micro tear to the tissue, the body kicks in an Inflammation process. This enhances the Downward Spiral by making things hurt more, which makes muscles get tighter....which makes things hurt more.

If treated the usual way, injury comes and goes, players lose time and stats to time resting and recovering from surgery. Look at all the players that have had surgery. How many of them are back to 100%, months or years later? How many of them aren't still dealing with tendonitis issues?

Tendonitis can end careers. It is a serious threat to a pitcher and his career. Whether it is Tennis Elbow, Wrist Tendonitis, a problem in the hand, Shoulder Cuff Tendonitis, or something similar, teams work hard to keep their pitchers healthy and able to play.

The problem really isn't pitching.

The problem is that the pitchers aren't doing the RIGHT self care to keep their bodies happy and healthy, as opposed to their bodies getting slowly more and more unhappy, until the pain is enough to stop them from pitching.

Rest, anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, corticosteroid shots, and splints and braces really are not preventative measures. They just don't work. Want proof? Watch sports news for a while.

Tendonitis is a threat to baseball pitchers because it is a natural result of how they use their bodies, how their bodies naturally respond to that kind of ongoing stress, and because pitchers don't do the right kind of self care that successfully reverses the first two factors.

Joshua Tucker, B.A, C.M.T is The Tendonitis Expert. He educates, leads workshops, and trains individuals how to ELIMINATE their Tendonitis related issues like Tennis Elbow, Carpal Tunnel, Plantar Fasciitis, and Wrist Tendonitis. Joshua says "When you have tried all the usual options and they have failed, it's still not to late to become pain free. It's also never too early to start."

For more of the RIGHT information about how to Eliminate your Tendonitis, no matter how bad it is or how long you've had it, visit http://www.TendonitisExpert.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joshua_Tucker
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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!

Should Baseball And Softball Players Participate In Weight Training Programs?


Advanced Skills Tee


It's baseball season, and you are ready for it. You bought a new bat, dusted off the cleats, and oiled the glove. You drilled, grounder after grounder, only to follow it by fly ball, after fly ball. When the fielding drills were over, you moved on to the batting cages. You have hit so many balls that you could probably tag a slider in your sleep. So, what's next but to hit the field, right? Wrong!

What about your weight training? Yes that's right, lifting weights. Almost all baseball clubs, from high school to the majors, use weight training for injury prevention, rehabilitation of injuries and for strengthening individual weaknesses. One of the most important things a weight training program needs to do is to isolate certain muscles specific to the throwing motion and strengthen them to prevent arm injuries.

A combination of various forms of exercises tends to work best: isometrics, isotonic and is kinetic, plyometrics, (not just for tennis anymore), active resistive and especially flexibility/stretching exercises are all important in developing a well-balance program. Players at different positions need to emphasize different elements of the program, and different body parts.

For pitchers, you need to build cardiovascular endurance, and lower body strength and endurance. You also need to build general flexibility, and strengthen the shoulders and the elbows. For catchers, you need to emphasize leg strength, flexibility and agility. Building hand a wrist strength is also important along with building abdominal strength.
For Infielders and outfielders, a combination of building leg flexibility, hand and wrist strength, upper body strength and endurance is very important.

For all positions its important to add exercises that emphasize the rotator cuff complex, consisting of internal and external shoulder rotation, and front, rear and side elevation isolating the supraspinatus. Especially effective are lightweight shoulder excursuses stimulating the small muscles (rotator cuff) essential to the throwing motion.

When putting together a workout program for baseball, it is most effective if three programs are built. The first program should be the off-season program. The program should be designed to strengthen and balance all major muscle groups of the body. You should consult your coach or trainer about varying the exercises in the program to strengthen your particular weakness and/or correct muscle imbalance.

The second program should be the pre-season program. This program should be designed to build more strength. This program should be started 4-6 weeks before the season, this is also the time to start incorporating baseball-specific exercises in the gym or out on the field. This helps get your body ready to perform baseball skills again.

The third program should be the in-season program. This program should be designed to maintain strength levels acquired during the off and pre season programs. Abdominal, rotational and light weight work are essential parts of any in-season program. Pitchers should concentrate on light weight shoulder work such as deltoid raises.
As you can see, as much as we want to hit that chalk lined field, it's just as important to incorporate a weight training program, to insure a fun filled, and injury free season.

http://www.articlesbase.com/baseball-articles/should-baseball-and-softball-players-participate-in-weight-training-programs-516868.html

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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!

How to Choose a Quality Pitching Instructor


By Dan Gazaway
One of the biggest frustrations many parents and coaches share is the lack of teaching talent and many philosophies pitching instructors seem to have these days. There are many theories out there that are not yet proven. Can you teach each pitcher the same way and clone them? The answer is no, you cannot.

Here are some things to look out for when choosing a qualified pitching instructor.

First of all, if the pitching coach has spent some time in the Major Leagues, Rookie ball and so on, do not assume they know what they are talking about. There are many who have natural talent with incredible arms, however most don't know the first thing about pitching mechanics; they only know what has worked for them. What has worked for them may not work for you.

Not only that; if the instructor seems to know what they are talking about, are they a good educator? I have run into many retired Major League pitchers that are great people, but horrible educators. Some I know, understand pitching mechanics, but they have the most difficult time explaining or demonstrating the "how to's" of mechanics. Just attend a pitching camp or clinic in your local area and ask the boys that attend that camp what they learned that day and how they are going to apply it.

Don't listen to an instructor who tries to change your natural arm slot or tells you most successful pitchers throw at a 90 degree angle. I throw with a "natural" three quarter arm slot, most pitchers "naturally" throw this way, but others really do throw close to 90 degrees.

Avoid instructors who try to teach other off speed pitches before the student understands how to throw a great fastball with solid pitching mechanics. Until you, as a pitcher, understand proper movements toward home plate with outstanding balance, you will not be successful throwing other pitches anyway. You can risk a shortened career and put undo stress on your throwing arm.

There are some great instructors out there, don't get me wrong! The "great" instructors are just very difficult to find. Good luck in your pursuit of the perfect pitching instructor.

Dan Gazaway is a quality pitching instructor who specializes in pitching mechanics, teaching different pitching grips including how to throw a curveball [http://www.thepitchingacademy.net/Articles/Pitching-Articles/Pitching-Grip-How-To-Throw-a-Curveball.html].

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

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

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

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. Having a commitment to be attentive to details in instruction and and to have frequent quality practice sessions is a good start toward becoming a coach of a successful pitcher at any level.

Here are the 5 basics elements of pitching success:

1. Beginning with the basics and keeping it simple

Let we first say that one of the basic rules on our high school team is that if you make our team, you are going to pitch. Every player participates in pitching workouts until it is determined that player simply can not help us on the mound. Over the years about 75% of our players pitch at least 10 innings during the season. With that said, I want you to know that my philosophy is to keep the terminology simple, the technique simple, and to make the process of pitching as easy as possible to master.

2. Balance is Key

The first thing we want out kids to understand is the importance of balance. Pitchers must learn to achieve and maintain balance from the start to the finish of their delivery. This is done by learning to keep the weight evenly distributed on the balls of the feet. Nothing happens on the heels. Keep head and body movement to a minimum. The head should stay still. This allows the head to stay over the ball of the pivot foot and over the body core or center. Special attention should be directed at eliminating any tendency to lean back, lunge forward, or to arch the back.

3. Knee Lift and Proper Stride Leg Motion

The lifting action of the stride leg should be smooth, straight up, and to a point of perfect balance. Make sure that the leg is not swung. The stride foot should go downward and then out. Many you pitchers want to lead with their hip and this cause major problems. Make sure that the leg action is down and out in smooth path. The stride foot should land on the ball of the foot. The stride should be in a direction with at least part of the foot landing on a straight line toward the catcher. Some pitchers will land more closed and some will land more open. The main point to remember here is consistency. A pitcher must land in the same spot time after time. If the landing spot is all over the place, control problems will be evident.

4. Elbow Dynamics

Much has been written and many studies have been made on the dynamics of the pitching process. To keep it simple, we want the following to occur. When the front foot lands both elbows should be up and even with each other on a direct line. The glove and ball may be above or below the elbow, but both elbows serve to reverse mirror each other. If the front elbow is tucked when the front foot lands, then a problem is evident. Both elbows should be extended away from the body in perfect opposite directions from the body to form a perfect straight line.

5. Late Break of the Hips

What I mean by this term is that we want the weight out and onto the front foot before the hip and trunk rotation occur. This late rotation generates velocity. Early rotation causes the pitcher to throw with all arm and will cause arm problems.

COACHING POINT: Make sure that the pitcher finishes low with the throwing arm finishing outside the stride knee. Many young players want to lock the front leg thus pole vaunting or lifting their body up and over the front foot. The stride leg should bend slightly.

As mentioned before, make sure that the stride foot is not heeling- out or landing on the heel. This is a flaw that causes jar and control problems. Also make sure that pitchers set up on the pitching rubber in the correct location. We want right-handed pitchers on the right of the rubber and left-handed pitchers on the left. This makes the ball more difficult to pick-up by the batter because of the increase in angle. It gives the pitcher more plate to work with.

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

Tips for Coaching Little League Baseball - Pitching Like A Pro, Top 5 Things You Can Do To Be The Perfect Pitcher.



By: Mike F.

You want to pitch like a pro? Want to make people you've been pitching for 30 years? After many years in the college pitching circuit I've found there are 5 things that every pitcher needs to know. These are 5 important tips, however there are many more. I just feel like these would be the top 5:

1.) How to stay cool before you go out to play a game.
2.) Play as much as you can.
3.) How to tune out the world and focus on they job you need to do.
4.) Covering the hit after you throw a pitch.
5.) Keeping base runners from stealing bases.

Before you even step out onto the field you will get some pregame jitters. It's just normal. It's how you handle those feelings that will determine if you win or lose on the mound. To help you get focused, remember it's normal to feel how you feel. Many pitchers are able to transform that energy into positive results at gametime.

If you love pitching you will want to pitch as much as you can. This is good. Play catch with whoever will play with you. When you throw the ball, aim for different areas on your catcher body. Aim at his left arm area and try to throw it there. Have him move his glove around and try to hit his glove without having to move it an inch.

Focus is key in any successful pitching. Being able to block out the world is a hard task. Thinking too much can be a bad thing. If you're mind is racing about what you're having for dinner, and if your jersey is untucked, it will definitely affect your pitching. Learn to breathe deeply. This will certainly relax you and focus you for that next perfect pitch.

Next on the list of successful pitching is what happens after the pitch. You are a fielder like anyone else after you release the ball. After you pitch square yourself with homeplate and be ready for anything that may come your way. It is very important that you remain balanced during play so that you can throw the ball when necessary.

Keeping base runners on the bag is one of things that can keep pitchers unfocused. Don't let them spook you. Hold the ball, and look at the runner when you can. Let them know that you're not going to lose if they challenge you.

Remember that you're a pitcher, and that pitching perfect takes work, and lots of it. Practice anytime you can and don't be afraid to take a break if you feel yourself getting "burned out." Sometimes time does make they heart grow fonder, even with pitching.

Article Source - Reprint Content

Batting Fundamentals


By Eugene Rischall

Batting fundamentals are very important to becoming a good hitter. The 5 basic fundamentals are stance, hitting position, step, swing and wrist action, and follow-through.

You need a stance which is comfortable for all situations. It should be close to the plate to meet outside pitches. Most players turn the front foot slightly toward the pitcher. For hitting position the bat is brought back with the arms away from the body when the ball is being delivered. The hips and shoulder accompany the movement. Most players hold the bat shoulder high to best control hitting high and low pitches.

For step, the planting of the front foot is delayed until the location of the pitch is anticipated. This makes it possible to step forward or away from the plate for some pitches increasing the possibility of perfect timing. Swing and wrist action are very important to becoming a good hitter. Your most driving power comes from quick wrist action with your arms and hips. Keep rear arm bent and close to body. Both arms are extended as your wrists are snapped into the ball. The wrists roll after the ball is hit. Perfect balance is important for a good follow-through. The front foot is solid but only the back toe is on the ground. This puts the entire weight behind the swing and makes for maximum driving power. The actual body turn varies as to when the ball is hit.

I hope this article gives you some idea of important batting fundamentals and how to use them.

Author-Eugene Rischall, Owner, Baseball Training Emporium http://www.baseballtrainingemporium.com

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

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The Baseball Swing - Rotational Hitting Explained

The Baseball Swing - Rotational Hitting Explained

By Nate Barnett


It seems like baseball instruction in the area of hitting mechanics is splitting into two different camps. Rotational hitting vs. Linear hitting. If you're new to the baseball world, or are just unfamiliar with the new exciting terminology, let me offer some explanation.

Rotational Hitting

The purpose of the baseball swing is to transfer the most energy into the baseball as possible. In order to get the most energy created, there are specific parts of the body that need to move at the correct time in order for this energy to occur.

A rotational approach offers that the energy used in creating a powerful baseball swing stems from the back side of the body, and more specifically the lower half of the back side. The controlled chain reaction that happens when the back side is moved at precisely the correct time toward the pitch is quite powerful. On the flip side, incorrect timing of the back knee and hip will produce a sluggish bat.

A rotational approach to hitting uses the follow steps to a good baseball swing:

1. A good weight shift to the back leg from the stance position as a hitter is preparing to hit. Make sure that this weight shift is not purely horizontal in motion, since this will create an imbalance.

2. The next step is the trigger. This is the most important movement that separates a rotational hitter from a linear hitter. The triggering process should begin with the back knee turning and moving towards the pitcher (as apposed to simply spinning in place). The back hip will quickly follow the back knee in the rotation process. Lastly, the hands will begin to enter into the hitting zone. It's important that the hands do not begin the swing since the power is stemming from the back knee and hip. Early hand movement would negate any effort to use energy from the back side of the hitter's body.

3. As the bat enters the zone, one will begin to see signs that a rotational approach has been utilized. The common tell tale signs are the balance points. The easiest to explain in writing is that upon contact with the pitch there will be vertical alignment with the inside shoulder joint, the back hip, and the back knee joint. This alignment shows that balance is retained and no weight has shifted forward onto the front foot (more of a linear style).

As an aside, rotational hitting is used by most major colleges and a vast majority of Major League hitters. It provide balance and power to the baseball swing.

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

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

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” Roatational Hitting Machine at BatAction.com. Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to HandsBackHitter.com. Players develop incredible abt speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at QuickSwingTrainer.com. See the world’s most advanced batting tee at AdvancedSkillsTee.com. Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit BattingCagesDirect.com now!

Tips for Coaching Little League Baseball - Pitching Like A Pro, Top 5 Things You Can Do To Be The Perfect Pitcher.

Tips for Coaching Little League Baseball - Pitching Like A Pro, Top 5 Things You Can Do To Be The Perfect Pitcher.



By: Mike F.

You want to pitch like a pro? Want to make people you've been pitching for 30 years? After many years in the college pitching circuit I've found there are 5 things that every pitcher needs to know. These are 5 important tips, however there are many more. I just feel like these would be the top 5:

1.) How to stay cool before you go out to play a game.
2.) Play as much as you can.
3.) How to tune out the world and focus on they job you need to do.
4.) Covering the hit after you throw a pitch.
5.) Keeping base runners from stealing bases.

Before you even step out onto the field you will get some pregame jitters. It's just normal. It's how you handle those feelings that will determine if you win or lose on the mound. To help you get focused, remember it's normal to feel how you feel. Many pitchers are able to transform that energy into positive results at gametime.

If you love pitching you will want to pitch as much as you can. This is good. Play catch with whoever will play with you. When you throw the ball, aim for different areas on your catcher body. Aim at his left arm area and try to throw it there. Have him move his glove around and try to hit his glove without having to move it an inch.

Focus is key in any successful pitching. Being able to block out the world is a hard task. Thinking too much can be a bad thing. If you're mind is racing about what you're having for dinner, and if your jersey is untucked, it will definitely affect your pitching. Learn to breathe deeply. This will certainly relax you and focus you for that next perfect pitch.

Next on the list of successful pitching is what happens after the pitch. You are a fielder like anyone else after you release the ball. After you pitch square yourself with homeplate and be ready for anything that may come your way. It is very important that you remain balanced during play so that you can throw the ball when necessary.

Keeping base runners on the bag is one of things that can keep pitchers unfocused. Don't let them spook you. Hold the ball, and look at the runner when you can. Let them know that you're not going to lose if they challenge you.

Remember that you're a pitcher, and that pitching perfect takes work, and lots of it. Practice anytime you can and don't be afraid to take a break if you feel yourself getting "burned out." Sometimes time does make they heart grow fonder, even with pitching.

Article Source - Reprint Content

Parents Don't Have to Be a Professional Instructor - Baseball Hitting Advice For Everyone

By Jack Perconte


1. Good balance is a key for everything in sport, so mention the term balance to the baseball hitter whenever they seem to be off balance or out of control.
2. Whenever possible, perform quality batting tee work, or flip drill work, before batting practice begins. Quality is apparent when the hitter hits line drives on the sweet spot of the bat in the direction of where the ball is pitched, or located on the tee. A pitched ball will help the hitter's timing but drill work, done correctly, will improve the hitter's fundamentals. In the long run, cutting back on regular batting practice and doing more good drill work will pay off. Using a lighter bat than normal or using aluminum instead of wood will allow the hitter to save strength, and be able to work longer at their fundamentals.
3. When a batter is in the on deck circle and swinging to loosen up, teach them to swing the bat to different locations. Most hitters take their practice swings in the exact same groove, time after time and then have trouble hitting balls that are not in their groove. Many hitters also swing a heavy bat when on-deck, which tends to slow the swing and tire the muscles. A few swings with the heavy bat are ok, but using the on deck circle to observe the pitcher and practice swinging to different pitch locations would be better use of the time.
4. The hands of the hitter should be the first part of the body to get tired when swinging. When the player's hands begin to tire, have the hitter take a break or wait for another day to work on their hitting. If another area of the hitter's body gets tired first, then the hitter's swing probably needs adjusting.
5. The following are great baseball swing advice that anyone can use and sayings that will make you sound like you know what you are talking about. See the ball, stay back, use your hands, track the ball to contact, and maintain balance.
Finally, the common saying "if it ain't broke, there's nothing to fix" is important to remember. When a player is having success, and in a good groove, let them ride it out, doing just enough to stay sharp. Often, I have seen hitters "practice" their way out of a good groove. Hitters should save the heavy work load for the times when they are struggling with their swing or confidence.
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
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jack_Perconte


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Baseball Batting Trainers Make Practice at Home Easy, Efficient and Productive


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Video features five popular and productive batting trainers. The trainers are the BatAction Machine, Hurricane Machine, HandsBack Hitter, StayBack Tee, and SKLZ Target Trainer. Each batting trainer is shown being hit by a player. Each trainer's specific use and purpose is also given.



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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!

Baseball College Recruiting: 10 Facts Baseball Players, Coaches, and Parents Need to Know

By Kenny Buford

Although many of the colleges want you to believe you have to be the top of the top for baseball college recruiting, that isn’t always so. In fact, many times colleges are assuming that they are not looking at the top 5% because those student athletes may already be spoken for.




Some things to remember:

1. Grades count. Sure, athletic ability is important, but do you have the grades to get into the college admissions office and catch their eye even without your sports ability? You should have grades that support you as a well-rounded student, not just an image of a ball player alone.

2. Do you know what a college coach values in a player? Is it the same as a high school coach or a teen-level coach? What do you bring to the coach that is different from the myriad of other players your age and ability that makes you a step above? Can you bring the values to the team that your coach is looking for?

3. What is your motivation? Not just “are you motivated” but what motivates you? Is it fame, money or a passion for the game? Do you work at your game based upon only your motivation? Do you have many motivators for your game? This is important; because parents, students and coaches will need to understand the motivators.

4. Are you motivated? As a verb, do you have it? Do you have what it takes to look into adversity and tough times and still shine? This is going to be important to be able to display to prospective colleges and future coaches as this may be a tie breaker trait.

5. Don’t wait until the last minute. Some students start as early as their freshman year in marketing themselves to colleges. If you are a senior and haven’t started, don’t let that discourage you, but do get moving on that! Market yourself as early as you can as a true athlete, because every moment you are no exposing your abilities, your peers are.

6. Do you, or do you plan to, meet the core requirements of entering college? If you are a great player, it’s important to have pretty good grades and decent SAT scores. There are a myriad of Internet sites that can help you make sure you are not lagging, and your guidance office should be able to help you. Again, it’s never too early to start working on your sports collegiate career.

7. Know the reality. According to statistics, less than 15% of high school baseball players will play college baseball. Just know your realities so if you don’t make the team, you are not devastated. It’s as important to know the realities of the situations as well as how to best get into a situation. Never enter any situation blind to both sides.

8. Look at the bigger picture. You may want to play ball but you may also want to have a certain climate, social life and academic schedule that fits your desires. Look at more than just the team; because you are more than just a ball player.

9. Do you have what it takes? It’s more than just the above. There is also something called “Luck and Timing”. Absolutely realize that you have to have both in addition to all the things you can control. Realize that a little of this is going to be out of your control.

10. Finances: not everyone is going to be playing ball on scholarship, or at least on full scholarship. Decide if the cost is worth the sport participation. If you are reading this, the answer probably is “yes, of course it is” but realize an injury or a sudden lack of passion means you still have the finances to deal with but none of the glory of the sport. Really weigh your financial realities.

All of this is meant to get you thinking – be it a parent or a player. Even a coach reading this needs to understand that you are going to be looking at some kids who have the research down pat and can impress you, but some other youth will be just as impressive deep down, but you may have to scratch the surface a bit. Not everyone knows the ins and outs of impressing a coach and a college but may be an exceptional player, student and person under it all. It’s everyone’s responsibility to learn as much as possible and do what they can to ensure the best options for all involved.

Kenny Buford spent years playing baseball at the college level. Today, he coaches 3 youth development teams and shares his extensive coaching knowledge on his blog, you can visit him here: http://www.baseball-tutorials.com/

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

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Youth Baseball Drills - Start the Kids on the Road to Success Early


Youth Baseball Drills - Start the Kids on the Road to Success Early

By KC Andrus

Why Youth Baseball Drills?
Ahh, the joys of youth baseball. What a wonderful sight to behold, the children out there giving it there all, wearing their emotions on their sleeves and the parents in the stands biting their fingernails, overcome with nervousness. The sights and sounds of a little league game are one of the fondest memories of many children's childhoods and also becomes ingrained in the minds of their parents. Whether you are a parent, coach or player, however, it takes steady practice doing the RIGHT youth baseball drills to make your team a winner.

What Youth Baseball Drills are Effective?
Everyone knows that the most glamorous asset for a baseball player's inventory is his hitting skills, it is also his most valuable. So here are some common problems facing young hitters and some drills to help you improve.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball!
It's the first thing you learn as a baseball player and one of the most important. A good drill to improve this is to have someone stand on a mound and throw a ball and have the player track the ball all the way into the catcher's glove. Very simple and effective.

Hit Line Drives
If you're popping the ball up a lot or hitting way too many choppers, it is always one of two things: your timing is off or your swing is off and your bat path isn't straight to the ball. A good drill to make sure your bat path takes you straight to the ball is to practice hitting sharp line drives off of a tee.

My Timing Is Off
If you're struggling with timing and rhythm within your swing one of the best drills you can do to correct that problem would be soft toss. Have someone kneel on one knee out to the side and softly toss the ball up to you while you focus on timing and hitting the ball up the middle squarely.

What Other Measures Should I Take?

There are various other resources that can help you come up with Youth Baseball Drills and provide fantastic coaching tips. In order to get the best information, you have to sift through all of the misinformation on the internet. This is where I found the best information for me, it provides solid tips and even lets you in on some secrets to maximize hitting potential:

Youth Baseball Drills

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009
 
 

Baseball Hitting Mechanics - Don't Settle For Sloppy

By KC Andrus

I Hit The Ball Pretty Well, Why Worry About Mechanics?

Everyone who has ever played baseball, knows that it is a game of failure. They have heard how it is a GOOD sign if you fail 70% of the time. These are just the cold, hard facts, the nature of the game that is our nation's greatest pastime. With so much of the game built on personal defeat, it is easy to get down in the dumps fast. One of the game's most famous quotes, and possibly one of sport's most famous quotes came from Yogi Berra, who said, "Baseball is 90% mental -- the other half is physical."

This is such a true statement that come from one of sport's most unique personalities. Baseball is such a mental game, there is so much thought process that goes into all facets of the game that it makes the game seem almost impossible at times, and the most mental part of the game is most certainly hitting. This is why it is so important to focus on proper hitting mechanics, because then you can focus on the mental aspect of the game and not have to worry about what you're doing with you're swing when you're actually in the batter's box. You can focus on what's really important when the pitcher is staring down at you, HITTING THE BALL!! Okay, so now that we have discovered why baseball mechanics are important, we can get to the good stuff, what the heck are the proper mechanics for hitting a baseball. It all starts with the basics, you have to get the basics down in order for your swing to evolve and become more complex.

What are the Mechanics?

- The Stance - There are many so-called hitting "buffs" that will stress the importance of a normal, balanced stance. There is some truth in this but it is more important to just find a comfort zone, this will allow you to relax in the box.

-The Load - The load is very important, and it is absolutely crucial to the timing of your swing. It is extremely important to get some slight backward movement with your swing before whipping the bat through the zone. Make sure you take a small step, this can be as simple as picking up your foot and putting it down or taking a full stride. When in doubt, my golden rule is to simplify, simplify, simplify. Also get some movement with your hands.

-The Swing - The best advice I can give about the actual swing is to "train your hips." Your hips are VERY important to your swing and are responsible for a lot of power withing your swing. Getting stronger in your "core" helps this tremendously.

- The Finish - I don't like to worry about the finish as much as most. Most people will tell you that you have to finish balanced and "squish the bug" with your back foot. Finishing balanced is a very good sign that your swing is smooth, but it is not essential to success within your swing, and that is what we are all looking for. Did you find these tips useful? Find out much more about these Baseball Hitting Mechanics and learn a lot of secrets that you need to know and I'm betting no one has told you yet: Baseball Hitting Mechanics

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

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Monday, Nov. 16, 2009

Baseball Basics

Baseball Basics

By John J. Castro

Here are some of the basics to know about baseball. Foul lines are the white lines that start from home plate and extend all the way down field to the outfield fence along the first base and third base side.These lines are to determine whether the ball is either foul or fair. For example if you hit the ball to the third base side in the air and it lands to the left of the line it is a foul ball. If it lands on or on the inside part of that line then the ball is fair or in play. If it lands fair then goes foul it is still in play unless for example you hit a ground ball in the infield and its going fair but then right before it gets passed the third base bag it goes to the left then it is foul. The bases are shaped like a big diamond. These are placed on the four corners of the diamond or field. Moving counter clockwise is what the player must do in order to score runs.

When hitting there are boxes lined out in chalk. These are called the batters box. The hitter must be inside the batters box before the pitcher can throw the pitch. A right handed batter stands on the left side of home plate which is shaped differently from the other bases, where as a left handed hitter stands on the right side of home plate. The mound is where the pitcher pitches from. Distance may vary according to age limit of league.

John has been writing articles online for nearly 6 years, not only does this author specialize in sports, you can also check out one of his latest websites on Batman Party Supplies which has some great deals on Birthday party supplies.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_J._Castro

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

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

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

Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit BattingCagesDirect.com now!
 
 
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” Roatational Hitting Machine at BatAction.com. Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to HandsBackHitter.com.

Players develop incredible abt speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at QuickSwingTrainer.com. See the world’s most advanced batting tee at AdvancedSkillsTee.com. Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit BattingCagesDirect.com now!

Friday, Nov. 13, 2009
 

Coaching Baseball Batters - 3 Common Baseball Swing Mistakes and Corrections


By Nick Dixon

Coaching youth and high school baseball batters requires a watchful eye and close attention to detail. Baseball coaches must identify and correct any flaw in batting hitting mechanics. Players should not be allowed to practice their swing over and over without correcting their mistakes. Good baseball coaches are always on the constant lookout for any bad habits that a young player may develop. Here I discuss three of the most common hitting mechanical flaws and my approach to correcting each. Here are three common mistakes I often see at my baseball camps and when I observe youth games and youth practices.

1) BARRING THE FRONT ARM - The batter locks or stiffens the front arm as the swing begins. Many young batters will have assumed the correct stance and launch positions but have a tendency to tighten up as the swing begins. The barring of the front arm causes the swing to loop and to be too long. The batter has great difficulty taking the bat to the ball and making contact unless the ball is thrown exactly on the swing plane. The proper swing has a "short stroke" or path to the ball. The best way to correct barring of the front arm is to make sure that the batter keeps the front arm elbow bent or at an "L" position prior and during the swing.

2) STEPPING OUT OR PULLING OFF PITCHES - I often see this with young kids in our summer camp program. They always step out or their front side often flies open before the ball arrives. This batter has great difficulty making contact. Until this flaw is corrected, the batter will only become frustrated and embarrassed. To keep the front shoulder in the proper "closed" position, teach the batter to keep the front shoulder closed and directed at the second baseman for right-handed batters and toward the shortstop for left-handed batters. The stepping out is a more difficult flaw to fix. Having the batter pick the front heel off the ground and stepping just slightly toward the plate may help. I frown on putting obstructions behind the front foot to keep it from moving backward, although many coaches do this to stop this bad habit. I often use the "step in and hit: drill with a hit trainer, Bat Action Machine or batting tee. The batter assumes a position back away from the ball target that requires the batter to step toward the ball in order to make contact. If the batter does not step toward or into the ball, the batter will not be able to hit the ball.

3) UPPER CUT SWING - The upper cut swing may be caused by two things that are quickly identified Dropping the hands and back leg collapse can both cause the batter to swing upward. Make sure that the batter keeps the hands at the top of the strike zone and does not drop the hands or dip the back side shoulder during the swing. The back leg should be keep "tall or straight" to prevent back side dipping which can also cause an upper-cut swing. Two great drills that we use to stop this is the "Zone Circle" tee or soft-toss drill. We make a circle the side of our batting cage by inter-weaving a white or yellow rope in the net. The batter must hit or drive the ball off the tee or from a soft-toss into the circle. The batter must have a level swing and keep the front side in to be able to hit the zone.

COACHING POINT: Make sure that the batter is not over striding. This too can cause a batter to pop up. The batter must concentrate visually on the top half or middle of the ball to make good contact.

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Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, the "Hit2win Company". Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Dixon is widely recognized as an expert in the area of baseball training, practice and skill development. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of several of baseball and softball's most popular training products such as the Original BatAction Hitting Machine, SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, Original Hitting Stick, Hit2win Trainer, SKLZ Target Trainer, SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, Batting Cage Builder, the American Baseball Directory and the Hit2win Baseball Coaches Monthly Newsletter. Dixon has 5 blogs related to baseball training including the BaseballCoachingDigest Blog, CoachesBest Training Blog, Hurricane Machine Training Blog, Batting Cage Buyers Blog, and the Bat Action Training Blog.

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

BatAction Hitting Machine - Simply the Best!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Youth Baseball Coaching Challenge - Developing a Coaching Philosophy


Hello,

This will be the last posting this week. My next post will be Monday. Have a great weekend. Goo luck to you and your team.

Nick

Youth Baseball Coaching Challenge - Developing a Coaching Philosophy
By Larry Miljas

Developing a coaching philosophy is an often overlooked yet very important aspect of coaching. Many youth baseball coaches have an idea of their philosophy, but never take the time to write it down or convey it to their parents and players. By doing so you will be helping your team understand you and your expectation and believe me, this will make your job A LOT easier.

Your philosophy is a collection of principles that you will use to run your team. The principles that you have will guide you in creating your team policies and these policies will guide your coaching decisions throughout the year. If parents and baseball players know what your philosophy is, what your policies are and what you expect from them, you will be ahead of about 90% of all youth coaches in heading off potential disasters. However, let me make one thing clear. If your philosophy and policies should change during the season, you MUST communicate this as early as possible.

It's not as complicated as it may seem. To break it down -- Your coaching philosophy is made up of your principles, your principles will drive your policies and your policies will drive your decisions. As stated earlier, all coaches have an idea of what their philosophy, principles and policies are, but by organizing, clarifying and communicating them, you will increase your coaching effectiveness.

Step 1 -- Organize. Think about what is important to you as a baseball coach and write it down. Create a spreadsheet or word document of what you feel is important for you as a coach to do for your players. Make a list.

Step 2 -- Clarify. Once your list is finished, go through and make sure you didn't miss anything. Also, look for things that appear contradictory. If you find some, think about what the differences are between the two and then remove one, or clarify it if need be. Once you get a clear understanding of what is important to you as a coach, you should have a good list of principles to use to develop your policies.

Step 3 -- Communicate. Clean up and edit your document and then use it as a handout at your first practice, or attach it to your introductory letter. At your parent meeting (yes you should have one of these), go over it with parents and let them ask questions. This should put everyone on the same page. By communicating your philosophy and policies at the beginning of the season, you will save yourself headaches and distractions later on.

In closing, here are some sample principles that I have heard other coaches incorporate into their philosophy.

* Doing your best is more important than success.
* Coaches, Players and Parents should be positive at all times.
* Good sportsmanship is mandatory.
* Players and Coaches should have fun.
* Players and Coaches should be disciplined.
* Players and Coaches should be enthusiastic.
* Always keep a good attitude.

There are probably hundreds or thousands more, but this should give you a good start. I wish you success in your youth baseball coaching endeavors. Make it a great season!

Larry Miljas believes that coaching youth is very important as it gives us a chance to influence tomorrow's leaders. He is a martial arts instructor and little league baseball coach that wants to provide baseball tips, drills, and information on techniques for hitting, pitching, coaching, and training through his website at http://www.TheYouthBaseballCoach.com

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

Shop Coachesbest.com for all of your coaching needs including the BatAction Hitting Machine.

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009
 

Game Time Hitting Struggles Solved!


www.BatAction.com

By Todd Thomas

As a hitter, your goal should be to have practiced your mechanics so repetitively that they eventually become second nature. I was reading in a book on muscle memory this week and it said it takes about 400 hours of repetition for a skill to become FULLY automatic. That's a lot. So if you are looking for a shortcut, you might want to consider an easier athletic endeavor.

The more a player works on their skill the more second nature it becomes. You want to (and should, beginning right now no matter what level you are at) step into the batter's box and think only of hitting the ball and where you want to hit it. NOT HOW in terms of mechanics you should hit it. If a player is thinking about their mechanics during live game swings, then their chances for success are being severely diminished. The odds are already not in the hitter's favor, why decrease them further?

Think about the animal kingdom. If a lion had the cognitive ability of man, it's hunting effectiveness would be greatly reduced as it would be thinking about HOW to attack it's prey rather than working from conditioned reflexes. A lion doesn't think about how far or high it needs to jump or fast it needs to run in order to catch it's prey. They don't think about what is exactly the proper technique or take lessons on it or question what it did wrong when the prey gets away.

Contrast that with a human with our left side brain power and think about the professional golfer. Cognitively (with the left side of his brain), he contemplates pin placement, prevailing wind conditions, uphill lie, downhill lie, and strategy when preparing for a shot. Then they execute their shot (from the right brain) without thinking about the mechanics of their swing by letting it come naturally. The weekend golfer, on the other hand, uses his cognitive abilities not to think about playing strategies so much but rather about the fundamentals of his swing and how he should execute them correctly. The weekend golfer reduces the swing to it's component parts by thinking about the back swing, hip action, wrist break, arms, legs, and so on. This results in stress and tension in the muscles causing the player to become a victim of "paralysis by analysis". He is trying to perform using the left brain instead of the right.

Such is the same with the baseball and softball player. Even if a player has reached a point from practice and repetition that the required muscle memory is built in for their best swing, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN (certainly not at it's fluid best) between the white lines when the pressure is on IF the player is not confident, relaxed, focused, calm(not nervous), or is afraid (fear ridden). Nervousness and fear manifest themselves from thinking too much or over-analyzing. Worrying (or having fear or nervousness) about what might happen or what has happened is devastating to the ability to relax and to perform at ones peak.

Read the last few sentences again.

The only time an athlete performs their best in an athletic move like a swing is when they are totally and completely confident and RELAXED. If any measure of nervousness is present, the muscles will not be as completely oxygenated as they need to be for smooth performance. As the degree of tenseness increases, performance plummets.

Ever wonder why a player performs like a animal in practice, but looks lost when they step into the batter's box during games? Who hasn't seen the player who crushes the ball at practice but can't hit during games? We all have. At practice, there's nothing to be afraid of. They step into the box relaxed and hit great. Come game time however, fear, nervousness, and worry about results rear their ugly heads and the results speak for themselves. If you've ever wondered why this is true about a player, then now you know.

Players that learn how to be confident, focused and RELAXED are your peak performers.

RELAX! And HIT!

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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Tuesday, Nov. 10. 2009
 

Baseball Training - An Off-Season Plan For Hitters

By John Peter Pero

1st Things First!

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

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

But.what do I plan?

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

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

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

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

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

Here's some examples & ideas:

Divide everything you do into 10 swings with a purpose.


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

Lather, Rinse & Repeat

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

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

Just note that the most important points are:


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

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

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

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

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Monday, Nov. 9, 2009

Baseball Hitting - The Basics to Success

By Chris Moheno
Baseball hitting is a lot more then just swinging a bat around and hoping to get lucky. When it comes to learning how to hit a baseball, you have to remember that there is a lot more skill, technique, and focus needed then meets the eye.

There has to be a lot of practice hours put in or you will never be able to swing the bat like some of the great names in baseball history. By practicing hard and keeping a few simple tips and hints in mind you will be able to swing like a pro in no time at all.

Remember though, besides hard-core technique, there is also a lot of room for the practice of visualization and positive thinking in your baseball training, which has proven to help many people.

If you have been swinging for a while but just want to learn to hit better the first thing you need to do is to avoid any major changes in your stance. Even though this seems a little bit backwards considering you are trying to hit better, it is an important move. Many players, even the not so great ones, naturally develop certain stances in order to make up for something such as a dominant right eye. Before you make any drastic changes make sure that you figure out why it is that you do what you do. If there is no reason for the stance, the grip, or the swing that you have other then laziness or lack of knowledge then it is time to get to work on that.

Time to get ready for the hit. If you do not have a lot of experience with this then make sure that you have a bat you are comfortable with and get up to bat. Get in a proper fitted stance. Keep your chin tucked in along with your front shoulder. Make sure that your head is completely turned so that you are able to clearly see the pitcher. Stay off of the heals of your feet by remaining on the balls of your feet. And most importantly, keep your head still. Even though you may find that over time your stance will change, it is extremely important to keep those simple things in line. Always stay on the balls of your feet and never take one eye off of the pitcher. These are the rules no matter what stance you adopt.

Time to select the right ball to hit. Even though you may be willing to swing at anything that comes at you it is important that you do not. Not every pitch is a good pitch. Be selective and be patient about it. There is no reason to go in overly aggressive. Just make sure that you are concentrating on putting the ball in play and use the entire field to do it. As you are waiting for the ball to come your direction you will want to carefully think through what it is that you are trying to do at the plate.

Imagine and envision yourself striking the bat against the ball. Picture complete batting success before you even have the chance to hit the ball in real life.

The last step would be to take all of the skills you have learned and hit the ball. Make sure that you swing with force and that you follow through with it. Imagine where in the field you are sending the ball and see what happens.

If you feel you need more help with your baseball hitting then you need to seek out some one on one help. Having someone right next to you through your baseball training is always a great thing to have. There are also many DVD's that are being sold in order to perfect your skill. Watching the exact technique played out is a great way to make sure that you are doing everything you should be doing.

Keep practicing and then one day everything will suddenly click and you will be hitting every ball that comes your way.

Chris Moheno has a long time passion for sports in general and for baseball coaching more specifically. His goal is to spread the word about effective non-fluff baseball training techniques for both more experienced and young baseball players, to help them perform better during the game.

Discover more about baseball training secrets on baseballtrainingsecrets.com

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, Nov. 6, 2009
 

How to Be a Three Hundred Hitter - This Single Tip Can Turn Your Child Into an All Star in No Time


QuickSwingTrainer.com

How to Be a Three Hundred Hitter - This Single Tip Can Turn Your Child Into an All Star in No Time
By Jay Granat

Believe it or not this tip has nothing to do with grip, mechanics, balance, head position, weight transfer, open stance, closed stance, hitting to the opposite field,watching the ball, knowing the strike zone, hitting in the cage, bat speed, following through, or where your elbow is when you get into the box.

This tip is a vital thing for parents, coaches and young players to understand and remember the night before the game, the day of the game, in the dugout, in the on deck circle and in the batter's box.

Every week, parents contact me because their son or daughter is in a hitting slump.

Now, I have dozens of interventions which I use to help baseball players to break out of hitting slumps and to start to drive the ball with confidence, conviction, focus and optimism.

I work closely with a number of hitting coaches and we make sure the player is mechanically and physically sound.

One tip that I have told many parents and coaches over the years is very simple but it is exceedingly important. Realize that many kids and parents who seek out my help are struggling with their relationship with their child around their sport. In this case, it is baseball. And specifically, it is about hitting with more consistency, especially in pressure packed situations.

So, here is the tip: Your child needs to know on a deep and sincere level that that you love them whether they hit two hundred or whether they hit four hundred." Once your child believes this and feels this kind of unconditional love, he or she is set up to perform better at the plate. Make sure you communicate this message to your young player consistently and frequently. This will build confidence. It will help your child to relax and allow him to have fun at the plate and at the game.

Give it a try now.

Dr. Jay Granat has recently released 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump With Sport Psychology and Self-Hypnosis. http://www.stayinthezone.com/baseball.htm He is also the Founder of http://www.StayInTheZone.com

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



Baseball2U.com has the 5-Position tee at Ebay prices!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Baseball2u.com has a one of the internet's largest selections of baseball coaching and training dvds.

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

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

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

Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit BattingCagesDirect.com now!
Blogs for Baseball Coaches Links:
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Blogs4Coaches.com

Todays Post - Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009
 
By Brandon Richey

Strength and conditioning for baseball is a must if you want to be competitive in today's game. When it comes down to getting the best workout routine for baseball players I have to exert my professional opinion by telling you about the single arm kettlebell swing. As you may know by now the kettlebell is an ancient strength and conditioning device that has been used by the world's greatest athletes for over three centuries. This ancient strength and conditioning device brings a style of training with it that is dynamic in nature and translates better than anything over to any athletic sport, especially baseball.

The base strength endurance lift that is performed with the kettlebell is known as the double arm kettlebell swing, but for this article I am going to address the single arm swing. It doesn't matter if you are looking for a baseball pitching workout, rotator cuff exercise, or just a generic workout routine for your baseball performance the single arm swing satisfies them all! To perform the single arm swing you must first understand the proper technique which is performed with the double arm version known as the hip snap. The hip snap is a movement that is done by you fluently and constantly flexing and extending at both your hips and knees in order to create the necessary momentum to swing the kettlebell up to chest level.

With the single arm swing you first want to properly set your grip before beginning the exercise. With the bell on the ground simply grab the handle towards the inner half of the bell depending on which hand you want to start with. Next, make sure that when you grip the handle to rotate your knuckles so that they point to the sphere of the kettlebell. This is known as a hooking grip and allows you to firmly hold the bell with the hook of the palm of your hand and not exhaust your grip by using your fingers. From here pick the bell up and begin the hip snap. As the bell elevates to chest height make sure that your palm is pointing down and as it descends to between your legs allow your forearm to rotate to a thumbs down position. Continue this natural rotation back and forth with each swing. You will quickly realize how much of a major league baseball workout this drill is once you start.

Take the time to endure the learning curve with kettlebell training my friend. This will no doubt take your strength and conditioning workouts to the next level. Remember that anyone can train hard, but only champions train smart!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday - Nov 3, 2009
 

How to Improve Your Baseball Hitting Simply Through Practice

By Jack D. Elliott

Much like everything in life, you get better at things the more times you do them. Baseball Hitting is no different. For this reason, the best baseball hitting advice anyone can give you is to practice your swing.

Mickey Mantle was said to swing the bat at least 100 times a day right handed and then do the same left handed. Also, modern day players like Barry Bonds are said to swing the baseball bat 500-1000 times a day. If this strategy works for the pros, it can also work for you.

How to implement this Baseball Hitting Strategy:

1. The best strategy is to divide up the swings throughout the day. After you get up in the morning, take 25 cuts batting from the right side and then take 25 cuts batting from the left side. (It does not matter if you are not interested in switch hitting, practicing swinging from both sides will allow you to develop your muscles more fully.
2. Depending on what your schedule will permit, you can either take another 25 cuts each from the left and right side at lunch or just after school gets out.
3. Then, take 25 cuts from each side right before or after dinner.
4. Finally, take 25 cuts from each side right before bedtime.

Over time, you will see your strength grow and should develop a more natural swing. Also, as you get stronger you can increase the number of overall swings. This is an excellent Baseball Hitting Strategy to follow.
From here, you can incorporate this repetition principle into other aspects of your Baseball Hitting routine.

For instance, if you do not already practice your swing by hitting off a tee, it is a good idea to acquire a basic hitting tee and a bucket of whiffle balls. The cost is minimal as these two items can be purchased for under $65, but the benefits to your Baseball Hitting can be quite large. A Hitting Tee affords you the opportunity to practice your baseball hitting of inside and outside pitches. For example, if you have difficulty hitting outside pitches, you can set your self up away from the tee so to practice hitting outside pitches. Over time, you will see your skill improve because of the repetition principle.

You want get into the habit of practicing your hitting 5-6 times a week. One caveat: as you start to increase your batting swing repetitions, you will begin to develop blisters and calluses on your hands. This may initially seem like a bad thing; however, these really are badges of honor. They show you are putting in the work on your swing. There is an old expression in baseball hitting circles which says practice until the blisters bleed. Once you develop hardened calluses on your hands, you will be able to keep increasing your repetitions.

Bottom line is do not let a lack of access to a batting cage prevent you from practicing your swing. It should not matter whether you have access to a batting cage or not. In the end, all you really need is a baseball bat and a strong desire to improve.

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

Monday, Nov. 2, 2009
 
Different Methods For Breaking in a Baseball Glove

How to Be a Three Hundred Hitter - This Single Tip Can Turn Your Child Into an All Star in No Time


QuickSwingTrainer.com

How to Be a Three Hundred Hitter - This Single Tip Can Turn Your Child Into an All Star in No Time
By Jay Granat

Believe it or not this tip has nothing to do with grip, mechanics, balance, head position, weight transfer, open stance, closed stance, hitting to the opposite field,watching the ball, knowing the strike zone, hitting in the cage, bat speed, following through, or where your elbow is when you get into the box.

This tip is a vital thing for parents, coaches and young players to understand and remember the night before the game, the day of the game, in the dugout, in the on deck circle and in the batter's box.

Every week, parents contact me because their son or daughter is in a hitting slump.

Now, I have dozens of interventions which I use to help baseball players to break out of hitting slumps and to start to drive the ball with confidence, conviction, focus and optimism.

I work closely with a number of hitting coaches and we make sure the player is mechanically and physically sound.

One tip that I have told many parents and coaches over the years is very simple but it is exceedingly important. Realize that many kids and parents who seek out my help are struggling with their relationship with their child around their sport. In this case, it is baseball. And specifically, it is about hitting with more consistency, especially in pressure packed situations.

So, here is the tip: Your child needs to know on a deep and sincere level that that you love them whether they hit two hundred or whether they hit four hundred." Once your child believes this and feels this kind of unconditional love, he or she is set up to perform better at the plate. Make sure you communicate this message to your young player consistently and frequently. This will build confidence. It will help your child to relax and allow him to have fun at the plate and at the game.

Give it a try now.

Dr. Jay Granat has recently released 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump With Sport Psychology and Self-Hypnosis. http://www.StayInTheZone.com He is also the Founder of http://www.StayInTheZone.com

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



Baseball2U.com has the 5-Position tee at Ebay prices!

10 Things a Batter Must Remember

Every Batter Must Remember:

1. "Think YES, YES, YES, On Every Pitch." Prepare yourself to hit every pitch. Convert to no or "hold off" only when you see that the pitch is a ball.
2. Track the ball from the pitchers hand to the cather's mitt.
3. Expect the fastball, adjust to off speed pitchers. Expect the ball away, adjust to the ball on the inner half.
4. With a runner in a "steal situation" get depth in the box.
5. Move up in the box when the bunt might be on.
6. Never look back at the umpire after a "called" strike.
7. Never speak or exchange words with the catcher.
8. Know the speed and tendencies of the pitcher. They will determine whether you are up or back in the box.
9. Be ready to attack a first pitch fastball. It may be the best pitch that you get.
10. If the color is "green" attack the first pitch that you like. If the color is "red", do not swing until the pitcher throws a strike. "Red" is called when baserunners are needed badly or when the pitcher has walked two of the last three batters.

Good Luck til next time, Nick.
 
Baseball2u.com has a one of the internet's largest selections of baseball coaching and training dvds.

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

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

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

Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit BattingCagesDirect.com now!
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Oct. 28 - 2009 - Have a great day. Today's post is brought to you by BaseBall2u.com.
 

Did You Learn to Hit on a "Johnny Bench Batter-UP"?


Do You remember the "Johnny Bench Batter-UP"? If you had one, you know and realize the benefits of a rotational hitting machine with a high speed moving ball.

Did you love your "Johnny Bench Batter Up" Rotational Trainer From the 70's? Looking for similar machine for your player? The BatAction Machine features the same ball movement but with a heavy-duty space age design that offers superior performance and durability! If you are old enough to remember the Johnny B "Batter-Up", then you will really appreciate what the BatAction Hitting Machine offers your hitters!


The BatAction Hitting Machine features the same high speed ball rotation but in a larger circle! The BatAction trainer is made with today's "space age" technology to offer a high performance machine that will provide your players with years and years of quality practice! In fact, Coach Nick owned a "Batter-Up" years ago!


The Baseball Swing - A Couple Fallacies

By Nate Barnett

Do you know why you teach what you teach to your hitters? If I stopped you right now and asked you to tell me a couple advantages of any part of what you're teaching, could you do it? If not, it's time to kick into gear your learning habit and pick up some instructional strategies.

I've picked a couple parts of the baseball swing mechanics I hear taught repeatedly that are incorrect. Don't worry, I'll follow my own advise and explain why. Don't just take my word for it, however, ask around. Get other perspectives. But most of all, build your baseball swing knowledge base. Baseball instruction is a funny thing. You can find information and hitting "experts" everywhere. However, please for your own sake make sure that you are qualifying your sources of information first before you accept it. If you don't, you'll end up spending a lot of money, and changing your philosophy often.

Two Mechanical Fallacies:
1. Keeping your back elbow up is NECESSARY for a proper baseball swing.

I hear this advice mostly in Little League or in some of the younger age leagues. There is no physical advantage or benefit for a hitter to keep his back elbow up (often sometime much above the back shoulder). I'm not quite sure where the idea originated, but I do know it spreads like wildfire. It's like the cure all for a poor baseball swing. When it doubt, it must be the back elbow! And you can be sure you'll sometimes hear from the dugout or the stands, "Keep your back elbow up, Johnny!"

Keeping the back elbow up for younger hitters is often a source of a slow and long swing. When the bat head travels into the zone, the elbow of the top arm on the bat is down and relaxed close to the hitters body (if done correctly). Because of that, it makes little sense for a younger hitter to move his back elbow from a stiff position in the stance to a relax and collapsed position in mid-swing. Extra parts moving during a baseball swing mean less consistency. As a hitter gets older, his preference may be of a back elbow that is raised some. At this point (assuming he understands swing mechanics) he can make the adjustments as necessary.

2. Rolling your wrists as your bat comes through the zone is a must to create bat speed.

I have to bite my tongue (quite hard actually) when I ever hear this advice being offered for baseball instruction. While the back elbow up philosophy can be dismissed somewhat as a youth baseball strategy that does relatively minimal damage, this wrists rolling business can not be ignored in order to create a fundamentally sound baseball swing.

What "Wrist Rollers" can't do:
A. Hit an inside fastball to the pull side (right field as a lefty and left field as a righty).
B. Hit an outside fastball with any consistency to the opposite field (left field as a lefty and right field as a righty).
C. Hit line drives with back spin consistently (you know the kind that get over an outfielders head in a hurry for a double).

Here is why I can make those statements so confidently. In order to roll the wrists through a baseball swing, your arms must be straight at the elbows on contact with the baseball to do so. Youth hitters can get away with this because the velocity of the pitch is not overpowering yet. Add another 10-15 mph to the pitch and those inside pitches cannot be hit (or if they do, it stings) because the bat will be slow to sweep into the hitting zone. Outside pitches will also be difficult because the barrel of the bat will only cover the outer portion of the plate a fraction of the time necessary.

So what to do?

Teach your athletes when hitting a baseball to have their palm facing up on their top hand as they come in contact with the baseball. As the hands stay close to the body through the swing, the hitter will extend his arms after contact is made with the pitch. This proper extension is extremely important for good bat speed and plate coverage.


About the Author
Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball http://bmibaseball.com/blogand is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at http://bmibaseball.com/blog
His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.


Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.


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Why Coaches Are Often Remembered As Childhood Heroes

Why Coaches Are Often Remembered As Childhood Heroes
By: Gregg Hall

Very often it is more than just a mother or father that shares in raising a child. Other people can be very influential in the way that a child turns out and for the morals and values that are instilled within them. This person could be anyone but very often it is a child's coach. Coaches are normally a huge influence on a child and a very positive role model as well. Most look at a coach as a person who teaches child perseverance and how to be dedicated and win the game. This could be in part because as a coach is instilling values that are relevant to the game, they are also values that are spilling over into the child's life. As he grows, he remembers things that he was taught by his coach.

One way that a coach teaches a child to win the game is to establish goals and this is a critical factor when one is growing up. In order to be a sound and responsible adult, you should establish goals as this is how you get from point A to point B. So coaches instill this quality in children while they are still young and impressionable. They also teach children how to never give up and to be determined to finish whatever they begin. These are all things that set a foundation for the path that leads into adulthood.

Coaches also instill the values of how to work in a team setting and adults are all too familiar with that concept. Those who can not work in a team environment are sure to get left behind. There is a lesson to be learned from coaches whether the game is won or lost. Coaches say just the right things that are often exactly what a child needs to hear especially from someone other than a parent. Another important lesson that coaches teach is making sure that a child follows through with everything to the best of their ability. If that lesson follows through the rest of their life, they will surely be winners.

Good coaches teach children that winning is secondary to everything else that the game in its entirety teaches. The outcome of the game is not always going to result in a big win or a big loss so it is important to teach how to be a graceful winner as well as a graceful loser. Coaches very often are the ones who children look back from adulthood as one of their childhood heroes but may have never realized at the time exactly what an important role this person actually played in their lives until they became more mature.

It would be then that they would discover how much their coach actually did help them walk through life and become the person that they have become. The real shame is that all too often coaches themselves do not know how much of an influence that they played in the children who surrounded them and their life growing into adulthood.

About The Author-- Gregg Hall is an author living with his 18 year old son in Jensen Beach, Florida. Find more about coaching as well as sports equipment at http://www.nsearch.com

How to Help Your Child Overcome Their Fear of Playing Baseball - Eleven Tips to Perform Better


By Jay Granat

The baseball season for children in towns throughout the country is starting to get into full swing now that Spring has arrived. It can be a wonderful time of the year for the kids and for the parents. However, many kids struggle at baseball because they are terrified of being hit by the ball when they are in the field or when they are batting.

I get a lot of calls at this time of the year from parents who want their kids to become less scared, more comfortable and more confident when they step on the baseball field.

Here are a few tips to help your son or daughter if they are demonstrating a significant fear of being hit by the ball:

1. It is normal to have some fear of a moving object moving toward your body. Explain this to your child, but also tell them that they can learn how to protect themselves and how to manage the situation. Also, tell the kids that once they develop their baseball skills, they will overcome much of their discomfort.

2. Some children are afraid of being hit when they have a catch. If you can, begin playing catch with your child at an early age. If your child is under two or three, you can start by just rolling a ball back and forth to your son or daughter.

3. As your child grows older, you can start to use a sponge ball and begin tossing the ball softly toward your child from a close distance. Use an underhand toss and arch the ball so it gently moves towards your kid. Demonstrate how to catch the ball for your son or child and give them lots of praise as they learn how to receive the ball. Introduce the idea of greeting the ball with soft hands. I encouraged my kids to say "hello ball," as the would catch the ball to add some additional humor and playfulness to the learning process.

4. Use what coaches call the "sandwich technique." Insert a little instruction in between two phrases which praise and encourage them. ("Great job. Now just watch the ball into your hands a little more carefully. Now you are a star.")

5. As your child improves and gains some confidence in his or her catching ability, you can begin to introduce a tennis ball. Then you can move to a soft ball. Introducing your kids to a harder and harder ball in stages will help them to develop their confidence as they develop their skills. Periodically, toss a ball which will gently hit your child on their arm or leg. This will help your son or daughter to feel less scared of the flying object.

6. At age four to six you, you can introduce a glove to the process. Make sure you get a glove which is the right size and shape for your child. Gloves come in a variety of sizes and there are some that are very soft and easy to squeeze and to manage.

7. Begin with a tennis ball and continue to use the underhand toss until your child gets comfortable catching the ball in the glove. Don't introduce a baseball until your child appears confident and ready. You can use a tee ball as intermediate step in the learning process. These balls are not as hard as baseballs.

8. You need to demonstrate the various ways of turning the glove to accommodate the various spots your child will need to catch the ball in. Stand along side your child as show the four or five various positions.

9. If your child throws right handed, begin by tossing the ball to his or her left side. This is generally the easiest way to begin. Once they can catch a dozen balls in a row on this side, you can start tossing to the center of their bodies. Then, you can start tossing a few soft pop ups where they can be taught to catch the ball above their heads. The ball thrown to the right side of a right handed child is a tough catch, since they need to turn the glove as it crosses their body. This is not a natural act for most kids. (Obviously, you need to reverse these guidelines if your child is left handed.) Interestingly, my son is ambidextrous, so it took a little time to sort out which hand we wanted to use to throw the ball. The first glove I bought him was for a lefty. Then at age four, we shifted to a
right handed mitt.

10. When you teach your kid to field ground balls, tell them to open their glove, keep their head down watching the ball and field the ball in the center of their bodies. Begin with soft grounders and gradually increase the speed and vary the kinds of bounces your child experiences.

11. In order to improve your kids throwing skills. Teach them the proper grip. Many coaches teach a two finger grip where the second and third fingers are on the laces and the thumb is at the bottom of the ball. My daughter named it the bunny rabbit grip.

Have the child point his elbow toward their target and encourage him to place the ball behind their ear and step and throw. Begin with a short distance of perhaps four feet and gradually extend the distance. The step and throw gives the idea of weight transfer which is important in many sports.

Keep the encouragement and the compliments coming. Begin with short teaching sessions of perhaps ten minutes and increase them, if your child is enjoying the throwing and catching. He or she will tell you if they are interested in baseball. When my son began playing baseball, he didn't like it very much. Now he can't play enough baseball.

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. 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.

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

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Can You Play Golf Without Messing Up Your Baseball Swing?
By Christian Bayler

If you're anything like me, the first thing that come to your mind when you ask this question, is a baseball player standing on home plate holding his bat like a golf club. The major concern here, is that switching from golf to baseball on a daily basis will cause you to get out of the disciplined routine of hitting the ball one way or the other. In a perfect world, we would either be good at every sport we played, or we would just choose one and stick with it. However, that is not the case, humans are hyperactive creatures with many interests and hobbies, some we are good at, some we are horrible at. The question here is, can we find a good middle ground? Can we really play golf, and baseball? I believe we can, with practice, discipline, and lots of healthy food.

So how do we do it? It's true that after playing golf, you may add too much upper cut to your baseball swing, very true, but this should only happen if you walk straight from the green, onto the plate. It's true, that if you ever see your favorite player walk into the stadium, and set down his bag of clubs while he picks up a bat, you should probably call all your bets off as soon as possible. But the key here is to play your game a few days before you play baseball, or at least a few hours, and in between, you should get some practice in. Go to a batting cage and practice hitting balls until you get it right again. If you cannot hit any balls, then take the bat out of the dirt, and try to remember that you're not on the green anymore. If the balls are hitting you, stop trying to center yourself with them. Similarly, you should do the same with golf, practice, practice, practice!

There are many people who play golf and baseball such as John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves, Greg Maddux of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Tom Glavine of the Atlanta Braves. If these men can do it, and still maintain a great swing on the field, as well as the green, then there is no reason you can't either. Just remember to keep practicing, on the field, on the green, in the batting cages, or in the house provided you don't break any windows.

But what if you can't do it? What if you can't play golf and baseball while maintaining a good swing? Well, if you are playing either game as a career, pick the one that pays you the most money and go with it, but keep practicing on your days off, because some people just take longer to learn than others. So either way put your baseball bat in your golf caddy and get out there, you have a lot of work to do if you want to become proficient at both games!

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7 Common Traits of Great Hitting

By Mitchell Dowdy

There are numerous hitting methods and styles that exist for baseball. They all claim the same thing: that they are the best; who's right and who's wrong? They all "can" work depending on the ability of the individual. Individual style from how you lace your cleats to the position of your hat and the 400 or so moving parts in between all add up to one result – smacking a round ball with a round bat in the sweet spot of both while getting down the baseline as fast as possible.

Different approaches, stances and swing, wrist speed etc. See what works and doesn't work for you. The consensus is that there are 7 common traits shared among great hitters, no matter what hitting method is used.

1. Comfort – What is there or worry about? Relax, the guy 45 or more feet away is gonna throw a ball at you. You have seen it before, you will see it again. So what if you take one for the team, stay in there and drive it right back at the person who threw it at you. The batter is really in control of the outcome. How many times have you seen players hit the ball when its over their head, way inside or even bouncing off the plate. Calm down, you can put the bat on the ball whenever YOU decide.

2. Confidence – Don't let your mind strike you out before you begin. If you are convinced you can hit the ball, what's to stop you? Believe in yourself and let it happen. Be mindful of the count, when you are ahead, look for the good ones, when behind, smack it! If you leave it up to the Umpire to see it the way you do, chances are you'll be walking back to the dug out. You have tons of time at the batting cages and practice, you can HIT IT!

3. See the Ball Watch the pitcher, does he release the ball from over his head, off to the side, under hand? The key is the ball is in his hand and the release point will be within fractions of an each on each pitch. So, if it always starts in the same place, how does it get all over? Simple, its variation in the motions it takes to get to the release point. But get over all that, when you see where it starts, you can determine where its going and your bat will follow your eyes instructions.

4. The Twitch Your reaction to the ball being released is the twitch, the quicker your twitch, the longer you can watch the ball. If your twitch is slower, start it sooner. I have seen batters wait for half the distance before they start their swing, I have seen others begin their step as soon as the pitcher leaves their balance point.

5. Core Power It really begins with the feet, then torso then hands. But you need to have all three work in rhythm. Power is transferred form the feet to the torso which multiplies the power by expanding the circle and creating speed, which is then transferred into the hands. If any part over-powers the following, you loose the build up of momentum. Work on getting all three to work together.

6. Swing - Keep it short and sweet! You are closer to the plate than you think, so keep the hands inside and let the bat do the work. Step, turn the hips while keeping your hands back, power is loaded and transferred through the core, whamo.. let it all out at once!

DO NOT BE TIMID ABOUT SWINGING AT THE BALL! Swing, Swing, Swing! Remember #2, believe in yourself, you can hit anything! And it does not matter how well it is driven each time, the point of the matter is putting the bat on the ball ::: PERIOD::::

7. Balance – You can't hit well from the ground There cannot be enough said about balance. It allows you to see the ball, transfer power to the ball and get out of the box. The quickest way to learn is hitting soft toss from a teeter board, if you can do it there, there is no question you can do it from the dirt. Learn to swing through the ball with the bat, not your whole body. If your body follows your arms you are taking away from the power sent up from your legs. Bring the bat around and keep your feet. So what does it all add up to? You will hit the ball the way your body, skill and ability sees best for you to assemble your 400 or so moving parts.

Work on the elements of hitting on their own. And remember, batting practice is just that, batting practice! Plan your practice accordingly, some time on each of the pieces, then more time putting it all together. Don't try to do both at the same time, it's a sure recipe for frustration. To commit good habits to muscle memory, do your conditioning first, get the muscles nice and tired; this is the moment you must make every effort to do motions correctly. If your lazy about the particulars when you are tired, it will come out at the game.

You want to train yourself and your body to react quickly and correctly. Only perfect practice can make perfect (to quote from Cal Ripken Sr.) Mitchell Dowdy Copyright 2007 may be reprinted in whole with linksMr. Dowdy is the father of 3 and after re-entering competitive baseball with his oldest that lead to frustration of finding suitable glove, he became an Official Distributor for Kelley Athletic Baseball.Source:www.isnare.com

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Don't Dream It, Do it - Baseball Goal Setting Part I
By Mike Posey
 

Goals and are important for everyone even kids. In fact, you should be making new goals all the time in order to move in a particular direction. As a baseball coach (or parent) you should also help your young person learn how to make goals that are meaningful and implement plans to help them follow through with these goals during the year. How is it done? Let's take a look.

Without goals we will accomplish nothing. I tell my teams that "Goals are dreams with feet and direction".

Dreams become goals when we write them down and make plans to accomplish them.

Here are some ideas to help you keep your commitments this year:

  • Make goals for shorter time periods - like thirty days.
  • Re-evaluate at the end of the thirty days and make adjustments as needed.
  • Add new ones every week or at least once every month.
  • Make short term (daily) goals that can be accomplished by the end of the day.
  • Keep a schedule of your activities. Write them down and prioritize them.
  • Have a plan of attack for accomplishing your goals.

For example:
I plan to lose ten pounds over the next 30 days. To accomplish this I will walk two miles twice each day in order to loose one pound every three days.

I would like to be more appreciative of others. In order to accomplish this I plan to write a thank you note or send an appreciative email to one person daily.

Accomplishing a goal is easier when you break it down into a shorter segment of time.

As a coach, I have short term and long term goals. We have goals for our team to accomplish this season, but they are broken down into three parts:

  • Preseason
  • Mid season
  • Post season

(We even keep this in mind in how we schedule games in the early season, mid season, and late season)

In addition to season goals, we have longer range goals for our program:
Three (3) year, Five (5) year, and ten (10) year goals.

We also have goals for our parents (in building and expanding our program). That's how we built (and paid for) a player locker room, a two story press box, and a 2500 square foot covered hitting facility with lights.

If we don't have goals to accomplish then no one has a direction to GO. Without direction no one is MOVING!

Would you run a race without an idea where the finish line was or how to get to it? Coaches without resolutions for themselves, their team, and their parents will not accomplish much, period.

Don't Dream It, Do It: Baseball Goal Setting Part 2, coming to Ezine Articles soon.

"CP"
Coach Mike Posey
Tips from a championship coach's perspective and experience, offering creative insights into helping others learn the game of baseball.
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See the “Original” Rotational Hitting Machine at BatAction.com. Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to HandsBackHitter.com.

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

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3 Things Every Tee Ball Baseball Batter Must Be Taught When First Learning to Hit
By Nick Dixon
 

It is important that very young baseball players receive proper instruction in baseball hitting mechanics. Young baseball players benefit greatly from top quality instruction and teaching that is easy to understand, simple to execute, and consistent from one lesson to another. Young baseball players experience a higher level of success, satisfaction, and enjoyment when they are taught to "do things right". Here are 3 things that every Tee Ball player must be taught when first learning to hit. 

1. Keep your eyes on the ball. The batter must learn to keep their eyes on the ball from the time the ball leaves the pitchers hand until the ball leaves the bat after contact. If the batter keeps the eyes on the ball, the possibility of the batter having one common flaw, the "pulling of the head", will be eliminated. 

2. Have a proper grip. The proper grip is a grip with the "knocking knuckles" on both hands aligned with each other. This puts the grip of the bat in the fingers and out of the palm. This grip allows for smoothly and quicker hand which will improve bat speed. 

3. Take a short step toward the ball. When kids are very young  they need to learn to shift their weight. They are need to learn to take a shirt stride. Having them take a short step toward the pitch or pitcher is the best way to teach this early.

4. Hit the ball hard. Young batters should learn to swing level and "kill the ball". The harder you hit the ball, the more successful a batter will be. "Soft" contact leads to outs. The emphasis should be for the batter to make good solid contact by driving the bat barrel through the baseball.

5. Keep the head still during the swing. The lower body strides. The upper body will rotate. But the head should remain still, chin down, and with the eyes on the ball as mentioned in #1. The batter begins with his chin on his front shoulder and ends the swing with his chin on his back shoulder. Is you hear someone say go "Ike to Mike", that is what many coaches use to describe this movement of the shoulders.

Check out Blogs4Coaches.com. for a directory of blogs recommended for baseball coaches, players and parents.

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Baseball Parent - Make Your Kid a Major League MVP
By Nick Dixon 

I know that the title got your attention. Everyone knows and respects the Major League Baseball players like Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez. Many parents dream of having their little league player growing up to play college baseball, becoming a college all-American, going to Omaha and play in the College World Series, being drafted in the 1st round of the MLB draft, signing for a 2.5 million dollar signing bonus, being voted to the MLB All-star team, going 3 for 4 in the All-Star Game, having their team win the pennant, wining the league championship, playing in the MLB World Series, leading MLB in RBI, Homeruns, Stolen Bases, Pitching Wins and also being selected as the Cy Young award winner, being named MVP of the MLB World Series, signing a deal with Nike Shoe for 2 million a year to endorse their new line of baseball shoes, and finally getting voted into Cooperstown Hall of Fame on his first vote.  That is the ultimate dream of a baseball parent. But, do you know and realize how small the actual percentage is of little league baseball parents that ever see that dream come true? Now, I need to get to the point. Just helping your kid become a solid little league player that loves and enjoys the game of baseball should be the goal of every baseball parent. Here I discuss what I feel are the major requirements for big time baseball success at every level.

Odds are stacked against the little league baseball player and the youth baseball player when it comes to playing college and major league baseball. Less than 1 out every 15 kids playing little league and youth baseball ever make their high school baseball's varsity team. It is a known fact that less than 10.1 percent of all high school varsity baseball players go on to play college baseball. That figure includes both scholarship and walk-on players. Just 1 out of every 936 high school players is drafted to Pro Baseball each year. What all of this adds up to is this statement that says it all. Less than 1 out of every 15,000 little league or youth baseball players ever make a MLB baseball team. In, fact the percentage may be much lower when you consider the fact that less than 20,000 players have played MLB baseball in its 130+ year history. Chances are good, if your child is playing Little League, Dixie Youth, Babe Ruth or Cal Ripkin baseball, you are expecting your child to try out for the high school baseball team one day. What does it take to make the high school team? The main three things are body build, playing skill, and pure luck.  

THE IMPORTANCE OF BODY BUILD IN BASEBALL

I know that many of you are saying "Body Build" is not very important in baseball. I know and realize that size and height are less important in baseball than basketball and football. You do not have to block or tackle to play baseball. Baseball is not a game played in the rafters of a gym. But, "Body Build" is not all about body size to me. When I talk about "Body build", I mean more than height and size. Body build to me includes all of the results of a player's work and training to build strength, stamina, endurance, power and speed. The players that dominate at each level are the ones that have the dominate bat speed, dominate pitch velocity, and the faster feet.   

THE IMPORTANCE OF SKILL DEVELOPMENT IN BASEBALL

The next important key to becoming a great high school, college or major league baseball player is playing skill development. If you are going to get to the next level, you have got to learn to play the game! Personal instruction by a baseball hitting coach, baseball pitching coach, and great baseball instruction and teaching of baseball fundamentals, early in youth baseball, are so important to baseball skill building. Many advanced players today rely on baseball indoor hitting facilities, year round baseball training and travel baseball that's played all year. These things help, but the main thing is for a player and his parent to take an interest in the game and become students of the game. You have got to do your baseball homework if you are going to maximize baseball skill development. Baseball homework is that extra work you do in the off-season and at home year round. Your baseball homework many include a backyard pitching mound, a backyard batting cage, baseball training equipment, or one-on-one training with a baseball instructor.  

THE IMPORTANCE OF LUCK IN BASEBALL

Many people do not believe in luck. They say luck has nothing to do with winning or success. They say luck is made in practice time. Many others have a different opinion, they say that it is better to be lucky than to be good. I have a different attitude toward luck. I know that we are all lucky to get a chance to grow up in such a great country and to play such a great game as baseball, but I am talking about a different kind of luck a player must have to succeed in baseball. A player must be lucky and get top quality coaching early in life! Fate is a better word for what I am talking about. It is good luck that a player gets chosen on a little league team with a coach that takes special interest in a player and dedicates a great amount of time and energy in making that player better. It is good luck for a youth player to have a parent or coach that knows how to motivate and inspire that kid to keep working and practicing to get better.  Players are extremely lucky to have the right inspiration and instruction during their childhood playing days. The coach they have may be a streak of good or bad luck depending on the attitude and competence level of the coach.  Getting the right coach is a great stroke of luck!   Yes, I believe body build, playing skill and luck are the 3 keys to high school baseball success. Good luck to your child and his or her team. Happy Hitting, Coach Nick.

Visit the Baseball Coaching Digest Blog for daily post and articles on every aspect of coaching baseball. The Baseball Coaching Digest Blog. Check out the Bat Action Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

Baseball Tips on Hitting - How to Safely Get Out of the Way From an Inside Pitch
By Larry Cicchiello
 

If anyone involved in baseball coaching doesn't make this the first thing they teach a player, they are making a huge mistake. Especially, if it is a young player who is just learning the game of baseball.

I can't think of ANY baseball tips on hitting that are more important.

Getting hit by a pitch can be a very serious matter and at times can be downright disheartening.

It should be on the very top of the list of baseball coaching tips.

Unfortunately, many baseball players at all levels of play have not learned the proper way to get out of the way from an inside pitch. Even in the professional ranks, quite often it is not executed properly.

I find it bothersome that anyone involved in baseball coaching would not teach this method BEFORE worrying about batting averages, hitting line drives and home runs. There is no excuse for this.

The Very Simple And Proper Way To Protect Yourself :

  • You take your stride and see that the baseball is coming in your direction.
  • You should fairly easily be able to turn your body a quarter of a turn back toward the catcher.
  • Tuck your chin in toward your chest so your head is lowered and less exposed.
  • It's the fastest, easiest and most effective way to protect your head, face, chest, stomach and groin area.
  • The worse scenario would then be getting hit by the baseball in the upper back, mid or lower back, rear end or the back of your legs.
  • It is absolutely necessary for you to protect your head and the entire front of your body!
  • To keep it simple, tuck your head in and duck, putting your chin against your chest and bend and turn toward the catcher.
When a player gets severely injured when hit by a pitch, it is a sad time for ALL who are involved, especially if it is a younger player. The entire ballpark gets very quiet. Suddenly, it doesn't matter what team you are on, what the score is or who you are rooting for. Managers, coaches, umpires, players, and spectators, including relatives of the injured player will all be devastated. If at all possible, we want to avoid this.

Please learn this technique so we can all enjoy the baseball game itself. If you are involved in baseball coaching, please put this on the very top of your list of baseball tips on hitting, especially with younger players. Let's worry about hitting for higher averages and hitting home runs later on.

Larry Cicchiello is the author of the very informative book "Excellent Baseball Coaching:30 Seconds Away." He is unique in that his site offers visitors several FREE TIPS that are straight from his book. His book covers 320 topics on playing excellent baseball. Baseball tips on hitting, baseball pitching tips, baseball fielding tips, baseball base running tips, baseball coaching drills and more. Your baseball "help desk" will be open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. You will be FULLY EQUIPPED as a manager, coach, player at any level or a parent who wants to help their child improve or overcome any baseball struggles. You will be raising a few eyebrows!

You can visit his website at http://www.larrybaseball.com/

 
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A Field of Dreams - Reviving Back Yard Baseball
By Michael Sakowski
 

When my son David started playing in a youth baseball league, we wanted to get in some extra practice. We live in a rural area far from a park, so we practiced in our large back yard. As batted balls kept rolling into the high grass surrounding our yard, I took action and began mowing the high grass down to minimize the number of balls lost. Mowing led to cutting brush, which led to cutting small trees, which led to installing netting extending 15 feet up to stop hard hit balls. Before we knew it, we had our very own Field of Dreams!

We now had a place where 4 of my kids and myself could play a game of "first base" after supper on just about any summer evening. In the game of "first base", each batter hits the ball, but they only run to first base. They return to home and keep batting until they get 3 outs. Then, the next batter is up. The non-batting kids play first base and outfield. As dad, I am all-time pitcher except for when I am up to bat. Also as dad, I bunt the ball to the pitcher or infield and try to get to first base before being tagged out.

In another game appropriately called href="http://www.youthbaseballbasics.com/two_bases_game.shtml">2 bases, suitable for 6 to 8 players, a regular baseball game is played except 2 bases are used instead of 3 due to the small number of players. Sometimes, I will be all-time pitcher for the kids and also serve as umpire to make a final unbiased ruling on disputed plays. My kids love this game and it even beats out their flashy video games, something tough to do in this day and age!

My father-in-law, visiting friends and family, and neighbors have joined in for these backyard baseball games. These games have been a blast! Our new backyard ball field truly has proven to be a "Field of Dreams".

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

 
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5 Parenting Tips to Help Your Child Get More Exercise
By Beatrice Brown
 

Was parenting easier forty years ago?

As a mom in the new millennium, I dream about the idea of parenting in a world where streets are safe and parents can let their children run freely through the neighborhood, their bodies naturally challenged with the exercise of play.

Instead today, before the slam of the car door fades and the backpack drops on the floor, the TV is switched on and the last few hours of daylight disappear in a haze of video games and over processed snack foods.

Even the concerned, well-meaning parent can often stand helpless, wondering how to compete against marketing genius and instant gratification. Exercise and carrot sticks have a hard time competing with Xboxes, SpongeBob and potato chips.

The proof is all around us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the health of too many North Americans is in danger because of unhealthy lifestyles.

The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older - over 60 million people - are obese. The CDC reports the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980.

My kids aren't obese - why should I be concerned?

Your kids are normal, right? You are parenting just fine. But in a world where walking is limited, school P.E. programs are being cut, and cars, elevators and buses eliminate our chance to exercise naturally, we need to make a concerted effort to make physical activity part of our day and our children's days.

Despite all the benefits of being physically active, most Americans are sedentary. . Inactive children are likely to become inactive adults.

So as parents how can we get our kids moving?

"The American Heart Association recommends that children and adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day."

The great news is exercise comes in many forms and can be a lot of fun! With a little creativity you can easily add some fun physical activity into your parenting style.

1. Lead the way

You need to set a good example. Kids, especially younger children, naturally follow their parents. So make sure you are looking after your own health and making physical activity a priority in your life.

2. Do it together

In today's overscheduled world, we need to make sure we are spending quality time with our children. What better way than to be active together. Since kids can't be alone roaming the neighborhood, parents need to play with them.

3. Make it fun

Put on some music and dance. Play tag. Roller blade. Basically just play. Provide them with toys and equipment that encourage them to be active while having fun.

Bikes, scooters, hockey sticks and baseball bats will get your kids moving and active. For preschool children, ride on toys that get them exercising like pedal cars, big wheels and tricycles are always a great parenting decision.

4. Cheer them on

Create positive reinforcements with encouragement and support. Help them find sports and activities that build their self esteem. Attend their sporting events and let them know you are their biggest fan whether they win or lose.

5. Turn it off

Of course, we need to limit the time our kids watch TV and play video games. But make sure you do it in a positive way. If they are angry that you just turned off their favorite show, they might not be too excited about going out rollerblading with you.

Allow screen time during designated hours, preferably after homework is done and when physical activity is finished, like in the evening or on Saturday morning when tired parents might need to catch a few extra minutes of sleep.

Adding more physical activity into your family's routine will help you all feel better and get you having more fun together. Most importantly, as you model a healthy lifestyle you will help instill in your children lifelong habits and healthy attitudes toward exercise and physical activity.

Beatrice Brown is a clinal nurse,life coach and author, her website is dedicated to everything related to babies, she helps new mothers cope with the everyday stress of life. Visit our website, and claim your FREE ebook by visiting http://www.takecareofbaby.net

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Last Post: oct 14, 2009
 
How to Choose the Right Baseball Bat
 

Are you a beginner in baseball who is in search of the perfect baseball bat to practice with? Is the large selection of bats available in the market confusing you? If so, then you should read this short article. There are many things to take into consideration when choosing the right bat such as what you're going to use it for and how much you are willing to spend.

Since you are just a beginner when it comes to the sport, you do not need to use wooden bats like the professionals to in real baseball games. Wooden bats are very expensive and they break easily. So why do all the pros use them? They have no choice in the matter. But most beginners can use many different kinds of bats.

And most of them choose to use those made of aluminum or composite materials. These bats are more durable than the wooden ones. Likewise, they are also lighter. So you will be able to practice your baseball swing without straining your hands or arms. Moreover, they are cheaper than the wooden bats as well.

Remember that you try swinging the bat a couple of times to make sure that you are comfortable using it. There are bats of varying lengths, so you need to make sure you take this into consideration as well. Taller people usually end up using longer bats than shorter people do. If ever there isn't enough space for you to swing the bat comfortably, you should ask store personnel for assistance.

Do you eventually plan to join a little league or major league baseball team? If so, then you should take a look at the restrictions they put on what kind of bats you can use during official tournaments. Then you will have a better idea of what kind of bat you should be looking for. With this in mind, you should be more than ready to choose the right baseball bat.

Erika Ayala is a very passionate writer. Recently, she has taken an interest in baseball. You can read her website on Baseball Turf Shoes for more information on how to choose the right shoes. Also, you can read her article on buying the best Baseball Batting Gloves.

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Last Post: Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009
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Things Obsessed Baseball Parents Are Curious About
By Brian Schofield 
 

It's hard for some parents to sit back and relax while watching their kids participate in baseball. As long as they don't become controlling and abusive this is usually a positive situation for a kid wanting to succeed. It is true that some parents can get out of control and have selfish desires but when their heart is right and they just want their kid to be the best they can be, here are some of the common questions they will ask.

I want my son to be a switch hitter. How early should I start and when do I say enough is enough?

All kids tend to have strong sides and weak sides but if it is worked on as young as possible, those weaknesses can be made strengths. I wish I would've learned at a young age because with my speed I would've been a great left handed on-base hitter, but instead I waited until I was too old to try to add switch hitting to my skill set. Switch hitting isn't as popular as it once was and has lost some of its luster. I believe developing a talent for switch hitting creates value for players. Take Chipper Jones and Carlos Beltran for example. Both players bring a lot of value to their teams as a result of their dual threat at the plate. For younger players, one thing tends to get in the way and that is success. Most parents and kids for that matter simply don't have the patience for failure. Switch hitting is a struggle because the dominant side will do well while the hand you are learning will be behind. Parents want kids to be on all star teams and so do the kids. If switch hitting is important to you, realize that it is a long term commitment and shouldn't be given up on easily.

My son is afraid of the ball. Can his fear be fixed or is he destined to play outfield?

No, he isn't destined to play outfield. It also depends on how old your son is, but no matter what it doesn't mean he is destined to play outfield. It is very common for players to be afraid of the ball. The ball is hard and when it hits you, it hurts. I grew up extremely afraid of ground balls that were hit right at me. I had to practice and practice to get over that, but it happens eventually. Don't make too big of a deal about it because you don't want to push them away from the sport altogether. Be encouraging and understanding and it will eventually fade. Let me say this, I was a shortstop for years before I was moved to the outfield for my last year of high school and I felt right at home out there. I loved the outfield and was a natural with it. There is nothing wrong with being an outfielder.

My son is 12 years old and wants to start throwing curve balls. I'm a little hesitant about it and I don't know how. What should I do?

This is a very personal situation for most players and their parents. If you have ever watched the little league world series, you will notice that the pitchers will throw fastballs and curve balls at such young ages. How many pitchers do you see that go from the little league world series to the pros? It doesn't happen very often. I personally wouldn't let my 12 year old throw a curve ball. I would look at the big picture and do everything I could to teach him a change up and a fastball or even a cut fastball before anything that involved using the elbow in that manner. I look at the healthiest pitchers like Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and you'll notice that they don't throw curve balls. Maddux throws fastballs, cut fastballs and change ups. Clemens throws mainly fastballs and splitters. Glavine just throws variations of them. My favorite pitcher, Kerry Wood, is the opposite. He throws everything from curves to sliders but he is hurt nearly every season. If you have a son that you believe has a future in pitching, save his arm at 12 so he can pitch well when he is in high school. By doing so, I believe that you are increasing his shot at getting drafted down the road. Again, that is just my opinion on the matter.

Brian Schofield is sr. writer for the baseball training site BigLeagueSkills.com

 

 

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Last Post: Monday, Oct. 12, 2009
 
 
By Joshua Tucker

Read through baseball sports news, blogs, fantasy baseball sites, etc, and if you aren't already aware of how dangerous pitching is to baseball players, you quickly will.

Why exactly is Tendonitis such a problem for Baseball Pitchers?

Managing a pitcher and how active he is major strategy in baseball, especially in Major League Baseball.

Every day I see news reports of various pitchers getting benched, being placed on the injured list, and sent off to surgery and weeks and months of recovery.

It's too bad. All that could be avoided.

Tendonitis is an occupational hazard for major league baseball pitchers, and young men that work hard to join the ranks of a big league team.

Most of this kind of injury shows up in the arm anywhere from shoulder to fingers. Watch a pitcher throw a few times, it's no surprise. Even then pitching efficiently and effortlessly, there is A LOT of force, torque, internal movement of tendons, and muscle contraction happening over and over.

Over time after hundreds or thousands of throws, after muscles firing powerfully and pulling forcefully on their tendons, the muscles get set tighter and tighter. This starts a long Downward Spiral of increasing tightness, then increasing pain and tightness.

Whether a tendon gets irritated or actually has some micro tear to the tissue, the body kicks in an Inflammation process. This enhances the Downward Spiral by making things hurt more, which makes muscles get tighter....which makes things hurt more.

If treated the usual way, injury comes and goes, players lose time and stats to time resting and recovering from surgery. Look at all the players that have had surgery. How many of them are back to 100%, months or years later? How many of them aren't still dealing with tendonitis issues?

Tendonitis can end careers. It is a serious threat to a pitcher and his career. Whether it is Tennis Elbow, Wrist Tendonitis, a problem in the hand, Shoulder Cuff Tendonitis, or something similar, teams work hard to keep their pitchers healthy and able to play.

The problem really isn't pitching.

The problem is that the pitchers aren't doing the RIGHT self care to keep their bodies happy and healthy, as opposed to their bodies getting slowly more and more unhappy, until the pain is enough to stop them from pitching.

Rest, anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, corticosteroid shots, and splints and braces really are not preventative measures. They just don't work. Want proof? Watch sports news for a while.

Tendonitis is a threat to baseball pitchers because it is a natural result of how they use their bodies, how their bodies naturally respond to that kind of ongoing stress, and because pitchers don't do the right kind of self care that successfully reverses the first two factors.

Joshua Tucker, B.A, C.M.T is The Tendonitis Expert. He educates, leads workshops, and trains individuals how to ELIMINATE their Tendonitis related issues like Tennis Elbow, Carpal Tunnel, Plantar Fasciitis, and Wrist Tendonitis. Joshua says "When you have tried all the usual options and they have failed, it's still not to late to become pain free. It's also never too early to start."

For more of the RIGHT information about how to Eliminate your Tendonitis, no matter how bad it is or how long you've had it, visit http://www.TendonitisExpert.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joshua_Tucker
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QUESTION: What is the main benefit of owning a Hurricane Baseball Hitting Machine?

ANSWER: I feel the number one benefit is that the Hurricane Machine gives the player a wide variety of hitting drills that allow a player to perform specific drills designed to target a players individual needs and weaknesses. Each of these drills teaches or reinforces an important fundamental of hitting.

Here are what I consider to be the 3 main benefits and advantages of the Hurricane Battin Trainer:
1. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE makes home practice so fun, entertaining, convenient, and productive that it is called the "Backyard Basketball Goal For Batters"! The reason for this "nickname" is that baseball and softball players love to hit as much as basketball players love to shoot. Having a hitting station in your yard 24-7 allows a player to hit or practice on "impulse" when he is bored and looking for something to do. Wouldn't you rather that your player swing the bat than play "Game Box", play "Horse" or watch TV? The truth is that the average youth player ,with average height and body build, is much more likely to play high school baseball than high school basketball because baseball involves a larger number of players than basketball. So shouldn't you make sure that your player spends as much time as possible swinging a bat? The Hurricane does just that!

2. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE allows your son or daughter to practice under your watchful eyes and to practice alone when you are at work or out of town. How many times has your son asked you to go outside to throw or pitch, but you had other responsibilities that prevented you from doing so? Now, your player can hit or practice alone without your help with the Hurricane Hitting Machine.

3. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE can be used indoors or outdoors and it makes a perfect year-round hitting station in your home or backyard. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE can easily give your player thousands and thousands of more practice swings each year! If you want your player to compete with other kids in the league, you must find a way to get as many practice swings as possible. The competition is tougher than ever because everyone practices and plays almost year round. Buy a Hurricane and give your player an edge over the competition! You will glad you did when your player becomes one of the team's or league's best hitters! With the purchase of a HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE that goal could be reached!

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Things to Know Before You Start Coaching Baseball
By Lionel Cruz
 

There might be a chance that you have thought about volunteering to coach in this season because either you like baseball and would like to teach young kids to play baseball or you would like to spend more time with your own child. You want to be there while he learns the great game of baseball and who better to learn from than his own parent. Maybe the actual baseball league is in the slums right now looking for good coaches to help teach young kids how this game is really played. Normally you would become a coach because you yourself loves the game of baseball, if not because your child has asked you to coach. Maybe you just love working with kids to see them improve. Whatever it may be, this is a good productive way to spend your extra time.

The biggest thing on your mind might be how would you relate to your players, how to get them to like you and how to teach them the skills that you need to play this game. Before you do anything you will need to get to know the parents of the children because the parents do not want to leave their son with a total stranger plus at the same time this will build a better relationship between you and the player as well. You always need to be professional even though it is a baseball game to have fun or no one will ever take you seriously.

Lionel has been writing articles online for nearly 3 years, not only does this author specialize in cooking, religion, and sports, you can also check out his latest website on Batman Party Supplies which has some great tips and ideas for your next party.

The Right Mental Approach to the Game of Baseball
By Bill Bathe
 

What is a mental approach and what is the right frame of mind? You often hear about the mental approach to the game. But some people don't understand what this means. It simply means how you think about the game before actually playing the game. Let's explore it.

Before you even reach the field there is a preparation that takes place. It all starts in practice and even on the drills you are doing before the game. You often hear 'the right frame of mind'. Well, it applies to all aspects of baseball.

As far as practice, it simply means that you are going about your business with a purpose in mind and doing it efficiently. Let's take an example. You are about to do tee work to help your swing. Do you just put the tee up and start hacking? Or do you work on the areas that you need to, like hitting the ball the other way off the tee with you visualizing the outside pitch? You need to have a purpose to what you are doing.

And when you practice, utilize the time to practice the right way. I would rather have 10 minutes of quality, purposeful practice than 20 minutes of practice with no idea of what you are trying to work on.

Same thing goes for batting practice. Are you in the right frame of mind? Are you just wailing away at the pitches. Or are you hitting with purpose and trying to accomplish things? Once again, give me 10 minutes of quality hitting with purpose and not 20 minutes of hooking the ball foul with no idea of what you are trying to do.

These are all small things that carry over into a game. It all begins at this stage of the game. Practice the right way with purpose and you will go into the game with the right frame of mind.

What about the right approach to the game? The mental approach to the game starts with preparation. This means doing your homework and knowing the opposition. What kind of pitcher is throwing today? Is it a sidearm lefthander or an over the top righthander that throws 95 mph? If it's a sidearming lefthander, than maybe in batting practice I will visualize the sinking fastball on the outside corner and really work hard on shortening up and just trying to stroke the ball the other way. If it's a hard throwing flame thrower than maybe my batting practice today will be on being short to the ball and trying to be a little quicker.Do you see what I mean?

Now you are having purpose the right frame of mind, or simply, the right mental approach to the game. By combining the right mental approach with the right drills and practice, you will be well on your way to vastly improving your game.

Bill Bathe- former major league baseball player who played in 1989 world series. Former instructors include Eddie Matthews, Harmon Killebrew, Billy Williams, and Dusty Baker to name a few. To visit his website and learn more just click on
pro baseball drills and baseball equipment to take you there. Also, inspirational stories on his journey to the big leagues.

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