Welcome to the Baseball Parent Guide's Daily Feature Article. We post a daily free baseball article from one of our many
guest authors each day. WE hope you find our articles useful, informative, and enjoyable.
Our free daily articles will help you better help your child learn to play the game of baseball. Make sure
to bookmark or save this site to your favorites for future visits. Thanks for stopping in. Have a great day.
Baseball Coaching Digest - The 4 Keys to Hitting
Success and Helping Your Team Win
Being a successful batter in today's game of baseball requires four things; strength, skill, confidence, and
a proper approach. To improve your game, you must improve your level of proficiency in one of these three areas. This article
explains each of these prerequisites and how each is a key to baseball hitting success.
Strength - Strength in hitting can be described by two words, "BAT SPEED". If you want to
be a more powerful and more dominating batter, you have got to improve your strength to increase the speed of your bat. The
harder that you hit the baseball, the more success you will have at the plate. Improving strength can come from workouts and
growing mass. You need to do your research and fine specific workouts drills that will improve the strength of your arms,
uppers body and lower body.
Skill - Hand and eye coordination is not something that a player is born with. Practice repetition
of hitting a baseball is the absolute best way to improve hand and eye coordination. The earlier a child begins swinging the
bat, the better. Many people believe in hitting small balls and using smaller diameter baseball bats. Regardless of your philosophy
and beliefs, the key is to practice regularly and to make sure that your techniques practiced are fundamentally sound and
Confidence - It is hard to complete when you feel like you are incapable of competing. Players
must have confidence in their skill, ability and knowledge of the game. They must be ready to play and ready to accept the
challenges that the game offers. Practice repetition, game-like practice conditions, and pressure during practice, all serve
to increase confidence levels. The player must experience success in practice and be praised for it, if he is going to have
a high level of confidence. My personal belief is that practice should be so disciplined, so challenging, and so organized
with game like stress situations, that when the players gets in the game, the stress level is reduced or less than it was
during the practice drill.
Proper Approach - Having an approach is basically having a plan when you step into the batter's
box. The players knows the number of outs, the base runner locations, the time of the game, the tendencies of the opposing
pitcher, and the capabilities of one's own self. The player will put that plan into action when he steps into the batter's
box. He will do whatever his team needs at that moment to improve their chances of winning the game. He will not put himself
before his team. He may bunt, hit and run, be patience and try to draw a walk, try to draw at a base on as a hit batter, move
deeper in the box to aid a runner, or whatever else needs to be done to help his team. The best way to learn to have an approach
is to improve one's knowledge of every situation that arises in a game. Knowledge of the game and how it flows is a must for
having a great approach. A great approach really requires the first three things discussed in this article, strength, skill
I hope that this article was useful to you. Thanks for reading it. Have a great day, Nick.
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.
Baseball Coaching Digest - The Swing Looks Perfect But the Batter Always Hits a Weak Ground Ball By Nick Dixon
We have all seen this scenario. The batter has above average bat speed, above average hitting skill and is always
extremely aggressive at the plate, but is simply not getting on base. The swing looks great but weak or poor contact is made.
The batter is in a serious hitting slump. The only pitch the batter seems able to hit hard is the fast ball on the inner part
of the plate. It seems like every other ball he makes contact with is a ground ball weakly hit back to the pitcher. And when
it hits it hard, it is a "worm-burner" back to the pitcher. This article offers reasons and corrections for this hitting flaw.
causes this hitting flaw?
The answer to this question is one word, "timing". The batter is not being patience enough.
The batter is attacking the baseball too quick or too soon. The bat is not making good solid contact with the baseball because
the bat is already through the POWER ZONE before the ball gets there. When the batter attacks the pitch too soon, the bat
has passed through the "level plane" and has started to move upward when it contacts the ball.
Many young batters and
overly aggressive or impatience older batters, want to attack the ball as soon as possible. They often attack it too it early
before the ball reaches the plate. No matter how hard the swing is, the batter is only making contact with the top edge or
third of the baseball. This contact at the very top of the ball is forcing the ball hard downward off the bat, thus creating
a "hard worm burner" back to the pitcher.
How is this batting flaw be corrected?
You may have heard a coach
in the past say, "Let the Ball Get In". What this means is that the batter should let the ball get inside the front foot.
The only pitch a batter should attack before it gets inside the front foot is the fast ball on the inner third of the plate.
Every other pitch must be allowed to get inside the foot before the batter attacks it.
Letting the ball get in allows
the bat to make contact when the bat is on a level plane. The best way to correct the flaw is to do a front toss drill and
making sure that the batter waits until the ball gets inside the front foot before attacking it. Patience and timing are the
two important things batters must learn to use at the plate. Having these two traits are the key to hitting line drives for
I hope that you found this article to be useful and informative. You may find other articles like it at
the Baseball Coaching Digest and the Youth Baseball Digest. I thank you for taking the time to read it. Have a great day.
Recently, I was talking to a friend that works in Major League Baseball. We were having a discussion about hitting
and agreed many instructors say things to hitters that do not actually happen. Here are a few examples:
1. Stay Back
- The hitter does not have their weight all the way back when swinging the bat. What should be said is stay centered. Do not
let your weight come forward too soon. 2. Line Up Your Knocking Knuckles - The knuckles are usually off centered with
the knocking knuckles on one hand and the big knuckles on the other hand lining up. 3. Rotate on Your Back Foot - On hitting
contact the back foot is usually toe down and in some cases off the ground. 4. Hit It Out Front - If the pitch is away,
you will actually hit it farther back on the plate. Out front would be for a pitch on the inside half of the plate. 5.
Extend Your Arms - Extension only occurs after contact has been made with the ball. 6. Roll Your Wrist Over - On contact
the top hand is under the bat. Wrist roll happens after contact.
With all the instruction being given today, one has
to wonder why some of the same mechanical flaws still occur over and over in youth players. Too many expect paid lessons to
be the answer to develop their players hitting abilities.
It might be better to let a hitter develop naturally and
not put a lot of extra ideas in their heads to confuse them. Good hitters will hit alot and develop a feel for their swing
as they grow. Proper instruction can help a good hitter become better. Many have an expectation that paying for a lesson will
somehow cause magic to occur and the good swing appears, "poof", before the next game. Without hours of hitting practice on
their own (outside of instruction) a good swing will never be developed.
Hitting is rhythm and timing, this can only
be developed through live swings. Good hitters hit, Great hitters hit more.
Expert Baseball Tips Baseball tips from a championship coach's perspective and experience, offering creative insights into helping others
learn the game of baseball.
Want to Hit Homeruns? Baseball Players Need an Training Plan By Guest Author: Ricki Camargo
I grew up playing high school baseball in a small town. I was never the best or worst, but I pretty much got by on
athletic ability alone. Then after high school, I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to a junior college. Again, I wasn't
best or worst, but I quickly learned that I had to work at least a little in order to be competitive and get playing time.
a time I realized that players who had less talent than me were passing me by and getting more playing time because they were
working for it harder than I was. Growing up, I had always relied on my innate athletic ability, so I didn't really know what
steps I needed to take now in order to get better. But I did know that I absolutely loved the game; I knew I had to make a
change and no one was going to hold my hand and show me how.
I started to shadow a guy that was starting ahead of me
in center field. I was amazed! I always knew he worked hard, but so much went on behind the scenes - staying after practice
for extra batting practice, taking extra flyballs before practice and on off days, finishing first in every sprint during
practice. It was the little things like that that made him great. After the season was over, I knew that I wanted to come
back as a better player the next year. Now I knew the work that I had to put in, and I had a game plan to reach my goal.
is the best time for high school and college baseball players to improve their skills and get bigger, faster, and stronger.
A big problem (and I was guilty of this also) is that players go into the off season with the mindset of - "I'll take a week
off and enjoy myself and then hit the gym."
But, the GREAT ones go into the off season saying - "I will work as hard
as I can to reach my goal, and no one can stop me or out work me." These are the ones that come back to school in the fall
looking like a new player. That's the attitude to have! They also have a detailed workout plan to get them to their goals.
This is a crucial part of your off season training.
N.Y. Mets trainer Jeff Cavaliere has put together a great program
- that is endorsed by major leaguers like David Wright, Johan Santana and a handful of other Mets players - for any baseball
player that wants to improve their skills. His book, which includes input from former and current Mets players about what
really works for them, lays out the exact sets, reps, and exercises complete with color pictures for each, detailing step
by step how to get the most out of them. You also get access to his blog that's loaded with more valuable tips like nutrition
and injury prevention.
I still give private hitting lessons and incorporate many of the exercises he describes in detail,
so I know first hand that following this program really provides results. If you're a player who knows he/she can get more
out of their ability or a coach looking for individual player workouts or even a parent trying to unlock your child's hidden
potential, Jeff's program is a great place to start.
As a former baseball player and coach, I now train high school
and collegiate players. I review the latest baseball training drills, workouts, and nutrition tips as well as provide places
to go online to read and view some of the best coaching advice in the nation. Refer to my website often for these training
tips and more. http://www.baseballconditioning.us
Many new coaches would like nothing more than to simply jump right in with both feet and begin having their team
play the game without teaching them youth baseball drills. Of course, this can simply be the absolutely worse thing coach
As a coach, it takes hard work and even harder work to come up with a practice game plan. Going in completely
unprepared is basically setting both you and your team up for a big fall. First of all, there are numerous places that a coach
can explore to find drills to teach their team. And, there are many different drills out there that a coach can employ too.
Therefore, specific drills cannot be stressed enough. But, with younger children, especially concentrate on the three main
areas which are namely hitting, catching, and base running.
When using or creating drills that pertain to hitting,
certain aspects will need to be considered. Items such as the player's stance, their swing, and even what they do with their
feet are all equally important and must be addressed.
Keep their stance as wide as their shoulders and this will be
a good start. This will allow the younger player to be able to balance properly as well as comfortably. Show them not only
how to hold the bat, but also explain why they need to hold the bat a certain way.
When exploring these aspects, there
is a drill that can be quite useful. It is primarily a way for both you as well as the player to be able to understand their
swing. Stand on the mound and pretend like you are pitching to the player in the batting box. Go through the wind up and the
pitch. The player is then expected to pretend like they are hitting the ball. All the while, maintain and stress the importance
of the player being aware of how they are actually swinging the bat. This ensures that the player will see where they will
Running the bases can be the fun part of learning the game of baseball. And, it may even allow the
player the chance to get dirty too.
Certain drills are able to teach the finer points of base running. One very good
drill is to have all the players line up at home plate and subsequently run after the coach calls out the type of hit that
was made. For example, by calling out a single, the base runner would be expected to stop at first base. While a double would
have them running to second base and so on and so forth. This can open a door for explaining the importance of how the player
should turn after getting past first base and can even include a sliding drill on the other bases.
Catching a little
white ball is not as easy as it seems, especially for younger players. The youngest players are usually quite afraid of getting
hit with the ball and they will have a tendency to avoid any throws. This problem can probably be solved by one single drill.
Have the player stand a short distance from you and easily toss the ball back and forth. While tossing the ball, explain how
to properly hold the glove and to always watch the ball. Before long, the young player will gain confidence and will eventually
lose their fright of getting hit with the ball altogether. Basically, they will realize that they are actually able to catch
it and they will certainly do so.
Many younger players are quite familiar with the art of playing baseball. But, by using youth baseball drills, this can only improve.
I am Joseph Harrison, a baseball coach since 20 years
ago. I love baseball since I am young, especially the feeling when you know you will absolutely crush the ball. Training your
kid to gain interest in baseball will benefit him from both mentally and physically. In with he will gain team spirit, learn how to cope with
teammates, and at the same time train up his physical, and concentration (to have good eye and hand coordination and the ability
to use both at once). Go through my article and you will know all the benefits of baseball.
It is fun to watch youth baseball games. I enjoy watching the kid on the team with the least amount of talent "accidentally"
catch a fly ball that was hit right to him. Those kids will always remember that time in their life when they were a hero;
at least they felt that way for that moment in time. That is what youth baseball is all about.
I will always remember
(in great detail) hitting my first homerun over the fence in Little League. I was 10; 23 years ago. I remember where I hit
the ball, how far I hit it, how the ball almost hit a green car when it finally landed, who the first base coach was, what
he said to me when I reached first base, how the sun was setting just above the mountains, the excitement rounding second
when I could barely control myself from leaping all the way home, what my third base coach told me just as I was rounding
third, how my teammates surrounded me when I reached home plate and the reward of the hamburger after the game for hitting
a homerun. It was tasty! I also remember that was the only game my parents didn't make it to that year because it was my older
sisters High School graduation night. That is the joy of youth baseball!
As parents and coaches we often forget what
baseball is all about as we focus on winning more than we do developing players on and off the field. The coaches that have
fond memories of playing little league Baseball can be some of the most influential coaches to the youth.
a few things we need to remember when coaching youth baseball pitchers:
Youth Coaching Tip #1: Youth pitchers have
to be taught mechanics with patience and understanding. You shouldn't be aggressive in your teaching style. Most players respond
with a negative attitude and won't enjoy the learning process regardless of how well you think you teach if you are too intense.
Nobody performs well under pressure from coaches when they are overly aggressive constantly yelling or barking at them during
games and practices. They are on the field to have fun learning life's lessons and the fundamentals of the game. Pitching
mechanics take time to learn so parents and coaches need to understand that little league is a developmental league not MLB.
I read once that it takes Tiger Woods 18 months to incorporate a new swing to his golf game; be patient with the youth.
Coaching Tip #2 Most of us are visual learners and need to be shown how to do things. Coaches should take the time first to
learn what they should teach and then practice it themselves so they can physically show pitchers proper mechanics. If the
coach is unable to do that, they should find instructional videos that allow the pitcher to visualize what is being taught.
Coaching Tip #3: During practice explain why a concept is important in the throwing motion. If the student doesn't understand
why they are supposed to do certain things mechanically they have a difficult time retaining the knowledge. They will continue
to do what they have always done.
Youth Coaching Tip # 4: To ensure you know your players understand what is being
taught it is necessary to ask them questions about what they are learning during practice. I always make my students re-teach
what I taught them at the end of the lesson, or many times during, to help me know they get it. Taking it a step further,
have them physically show you what they have learned and have them repeat it time and time again until the mechanics become
a part of their muscle memory. This takes a lot of patience because mechanics take time to develop for any pitcher.
My Favorite Team Fielding Drill - Catching the Fun of Baseball By Jack Perconte
As every baseball coach and parent knows, kids love to hit and pitch. Getting players to practice these skills is
relatively easy. However, many youth ball players do not enjoy working on their fielding nearly as much as they do their hitting
and throwing. Of course, fielding often requires a great amount of physical exertion, which is why players do not enjoy working
on it as much. As I continually tell young players, there is only one designated hitter in a game and that position is usually
reserved for a power hitting player who has little mobility.
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. Continue Reading...
There is an obvious, easy answer to the question of how a ballplayer can make the high school baseball team and that
is practice, practice, and more practice. There is no substitute for players working at their skills from a young age, especially
in populated areas where competition for high school teams is acute. Of course, there are other tips that players should follow
to "cover all their bases," so to speak, to have the best opportunity to make the team.
10 Tips for Making the High
School Baseball Team:
1. Size and strength are crucial when players reach the high school level, so conditioning and
strength training programs should be done.
2. When travel ball is an option for ballplayers, they should play it at
least a year or two before entering high school. The generally advanced competition level makes it worth playing. Coaches
usually look favorably on travel ball players because it shows coaches that players are serious about playing baseball.
Attending the "high school of choice" summer camps before reaching high school age can be fruitful for good ballplayers. This
gives players a familiarity with the coaches and coaches with players.
4. Ballplayers may think that grades are not
important but nothing is further from the truth. Coaches prefer players that maintain good grades because they feel like players
who work off the field will work hard on it. Additionally, if two players have equal ability, the player with better grades
may get the nod because the coach knows that player will remain eligible throughout the season.
5. Players who display
a "coachable" attitude at tryouts, around school, and around the coach give themselves a good opportunity to have a fair review
from the coaching staff. Coaches do not look favorably on players who give the attitude that they already know it all and
6. Game knowledge can make the difference also. Coaches do not like "know it all" players but they
do prefer players who know the finer details and strategy of baseball.
7. Punctuality can make a difference. Players
who walk in late to tryouts and don't take tryouts seriously can be in for a rude awakening.
8. Team players. Coaches
like players who are sociable with other players and who want to be part of the group. They are leery of kids who appear to
9. Be helpful. Players who pick up gear and perform other tasks that coaches expect will enhance their chances
of making the high school baseball team.
10. Hustle and work hard. Players should not give coaches an excuse for cutting
them because they are fooling around at tryouts or goofing off in the classroom.
Finally, players who enjoy other sports
should try out for those too, at least for freshman year. Often, high school coaches work two different sports or talk among
the other coaches and this familiarity could be an advantage for hard working players at decision making during baseball tryouts.
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.
I can write forever about the necessity of good communication for a pitcher with all his teammates. It's not something
that's taught very often but it can affect the outcome of the baseball game.
What can be more frustrating than losing
a game because a catcher got crossed up and missed a pitch because he thought the fastball was being thrown and was surprised
by the curve ball? Or losing a game because an infielder throws the ball away when throwing to a base where he had no chance
of getting the runner anyway? Those are just two examples of breakdowns in communication.
Good Morning to you. I have several baseball articles that I have written for baseball coaches, players
and parents posted below. I hope that you find them informative and useful. Make sure to visit our sponsors, Baseball2u.com and BatAction.com. Thanks for visiting my site. Have a great weekend and good luck to your team! Nick
Baseball Coaching and the Importance of Goals For Team and Player Motivation [Recreation-and-Sports:Baseball] 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.
12 Baseball and Softball Batting Cage Buying Tips [Recreation-and-Sports:Baseball] There are some basic points that you must
know before buying a batting cage. When you buy a batting cage you are making an investment that should provide you with years
and years of top quality batting practice. Here I discuss what I believe are the 12 most important things to consider when
you purchase your home, team, school or backyard batting cage.
Defensive Drills For Coaching Youth Baseball Middle Infielders [Recreation-and-Sports:Baseball] The article outlines 4 Baseball Middle Infielder
Defensive drills for coaching youth baseball middle infielders. The drills are used to improve fielding skill, teach ground
ball fundamentals, build player confidence, and quicker hands.
It's Spring; always a great time of year for everybody! Our customers on the East Coast and the Mid-West are thrilled
because the long winter is finally coming to an end. For the rest of us, we get to be excited because baseball season is starting.
While I always try to be positive, especially with Spring Training going strong and all the youth leagues kicking off their
seasons, for this newsletter I'd like to add a twist and focus on 10 things I hope NOT to hear this season.
You'll hear this at every park you go to watch baseball or softball: "Swing Level". However, it's not possible
to swing level. Think about the baseball swing for a moment. Your hands are held high, close to your head. The ball, if it's
a strike, is thrown between your knees and the letters. So, how can a swing be level? Well, it can't be. A correct baseball
swing is elliptical; it has a downward motion through contact to create backspin on the ball and a high follow through. Great
hitters may each have different planes they swing on, but none of them are ever going to be "level". Let's stop creating this
incorrect mental image for the kids.
2. "Just Throw Strikes"
"Ok Johnny, just throw strikes now; all you have
to do is throw strikes." Any kid who's pitching is doing his or her best to throw strikes. Especially when a kid is struggling
to get the ball over the dish, you can bet anything they're not trying to "paint the black" or "blow it past" the hitters.
All they're trying to do is "throw strikes". Pitching is the greatest pressure cooker in all of youth sports. When a kid is
on the bump, he's all alone and the entire team is depending on them to throw strikes. When a pitcher is struggling, they
may have a basic mechanical flaw or they might be nervous. Stating the obvious and telling them that the sky is blue isn't
going to help them throw strikes. What it will do is make them stop "pitching", change their mechanics even more, and try
to "aim" the ball.
3. "Practice Makes Perfect"
We've talked about this before, but it's worth emphasizing again.
Ask any kid what practice makes and they'll tell you: "Practice Makes Perfect!" Of course, practice doesn't make perfect,
it makes PERMANENT! Repetition creates muscle memory. If you practice the wrong motion over and over again, what kind of motion
are you creating? Breaking a bad habit is very, very hard. It's crucial that parents and coaches spot flaws quickly so that
they aren't repeated. Of course, that means that a parent or coach needs to know the right way to do things. Please, get some
instructional books and tapes (LINK TO INSTRUCTION SECTION). If you're going to volunteer to coach, make sure that you're
not passing along the same bad habits that you learned. It takes about 1,500 repetitions to turn a bad habit into a repeatable
good habit. It's a lot easier to just do it right in the first place.
4. "Bad Game"
Sportsmanship is something
that every kid, parent and coach should be always be aware of. In our baseball league, we've instituted a new Code of Conduct
that requires good sportsmanship and enforces penalties, including suspensions and expulsion, for violations. After the game,
each kid should congratulate each person on the other team. Even in jest, nobody should ever tell another kid: "Bad Game".
As a coach or a parent, if you hear it, please stop it.
5. "Keep Your Back Elbow Up"
Keeping your back elbow
up is neither right nor is it wrong. The batting stance is one of the most over coached aspects of hitting. Think about some
of the unique stances you've seen. Jeff Bagwell, Bobby Tolen, Joe Morgan, Eric Davis, Steve Garvey, Frank Thomas, Don Mattingly
and every other player each has their own unique stance. What all great hitters do have in common is not their stance before
the pitch comes, but getting into the proper position when the pitch is on the way. That means having their hands back, wrists
cocked, balanced and ready to swing down through the ball. So, focus on getting kids into this position and stop picking on
them for everything before the pitch.
6. "Throw From Your Ear"
I really can't believe that anybody teaches throwing
like this - even for really young kids; it's just wrong and it creates bad habits. Putting the ball next to your ear and throwing
creates a pushing motion and costs much of the power a kid has. Get them to extend their arms in both directions - like a
half jumping jack. They should maintain flexibility and bend in their arms. Then just "high-five" to throw the ball. If you're
teaching kids to throw from their ears, get some tapes.
There is a great line at the end of the
movie A League of Their Own when a player is arguing with the umpire about a called strike. The umpire says: "That pitch may
be a ball tomorrow and it may have been a ball yesterday, but today it's a strike!" Umpires do their best and they make mistakes
- lots of them. We can't control the umpires and we need to accept that they are human and that they do their best. Of course,
if they make a mistake with the rules, there is no harm in pointing that out, but judgment calls are a different matter. Disputing
them is a poor example for the kids. Also, there is no need for parents to heckle the umpires from the stands. Coaches need
to proactively make sure this isn't happening every time they hear it.
8. "Charge the Ball"
This is another
baseball myth - that a good fielder "charges the ball". What great fielders actually do is "play the ball" instead of having
the "ball play them". This may seem like a subtle distinction, but it's huge to a kid who is trying to grasp the fundamentals
of fielding. Charging the ball required them to run in at full speed and get to the ball. In contrast, playing the ball means
that you're trying to get it on the right hop to make the play. The only time a fielder really has to "charge" the ball is
on a dribbler or a bunt. Almost every other grounder will require reading the hop and making the play.
9. "Turn Your
I still hear parents and coaches telling their kids to "roll their writs" as they swing the bat. The proper
position for the hands at contact is palm up and palm down. During the follow through, the wrists will naturally turn, but
it's long after the ball has been hit. Just a last note on hitting: kids will swing at bad pitches, including pitches over
their head and in the dirt. There's a time to coach and a time to be a cheerleader. During the at bat, a kid knows he just
swung at a terrible pitch and he doesn't need to hear it from the stands or from his coach. After, you can work on the strike
zone and making sure that the recognition is there.
10. "Keep Your Eye on the Ball"
Of course, it's crucial
to watch the ball, but we try to teach kids to watch the ball with their nose instead of their eyes. For pitching, hitting,
throwing and playing sports in general, keeping the head from moving is a key to success. A player can waggle his or her head
more or less freely and still technically "see" the ball. They just won't be able to hit or catch it. In contrast, coaching
to watch with your nose trains the head to stay still, allowing the eyes to focus. So instead, we say: "keep your nose on
That's the list of the 10 things I hope not to hear this season. I doubt I'll make it past the first week,
but it still sure promises to be a great year so let's PLAY BALL!
Ken Kaiserman is the President of http://SportsKids.com - a leading sports Internet site for kids and their families. In addition to coaching football, basketball and baseball,
Ken serves on the local Little League board of directors and a park advisory committee. Ken and his wife Sheri have been married
for since 1991. They have three children: Benji, Bobby and Rebecca (aka Rocky) who all love their sports!
I recently posted the details about hitting fundamentals (stance, loading, bat speed generation, swing, follow through)
and the feedback was pretty consistent. "Great description, but where are the drills to perfect the swing!" Truth be told,
the drills we do can be found all over the web. The secret sauce is not in some special new drill, but in organizing the hitting
practice to maximize the fundamentally correct swings to develop proper muscle memory.
Before I put together the 60
minutes of drills, let me reiterate that perfect practice makes perfect play. If the players are not swinging with correct
fundamentals all they are doing is reinforcing bad muscle memory. Bad muscle memory means there will be "holes" in the swing,
which translates into offensive outs and player frustration. Perfect practice creates good muscle memory that means more hard
What we do is set up six different hitting stations around the field and divide the team into six groups
(try to keep only two players per group). To get 400 swings in 60 minutes using six stations for one hour allocates 10 minutes
per station. The pitching machine station can only provide about 40 swings in the allotted time. This leaves us with 360 swings
for 5 stations; therefore, you must average 72 perfect swings per station per player.
Here are some example stations:
Overload / Underload practice swings: 5 sets of 10 overload and 10 underload = 100 swings focused on bat speed. Practice swings
without a ball develops a good fundamental swing with good balance.
2. Pitch location tee work: 2 sets of 10 inside,
10 middle, and 10 outside = 60 swings focused on hitting location and driving the ball to all fields. Working off a tee adds
the element of hitting the ball without ball movement so the batter can focus on another element, in this case driving the
ball to all fields. By removing the ball movement a batter can develop good balance and contact point location to be able
to hit to all fields.
3. Semicircle soft toss: coach soft tosses 10 balls from the front, 10 from the side, 10 from
behind, 10 from the side, and 10 from the front = 50 swings focused on hitting the center of the ball. Coach soft toss adds
the element of a slow moving ball with the batter focusing on hitting the center of the ball at the contact point for line
drives into the outfield.
4. One handed tee work: 3 sets of 10 front hand only and 10 back hand only = 60 swings focused
on hand movement through the hitting zone. The front hand guides the bat through the hitting zone while the back hand provides
the power to the swing. This drill isolates the hand movement through the hitting zone.
5. Wiffle ball short toss:
3 sets of 10 inside, 10 middle, and 10 outside = 90 swings focused on putting the whole swing together but with the ball moving
at a slower speed than during the game. At a short distance, the coach can locate the pitch at different positions within
the strike zone to provide additional batting practice for hitting to all fields.
6. Batting practice off a machine:
40 swings focused on timing the swing. By mixing up machine balls from different manufactures, the ball movement and speed
are slightly varied to simulate different pitcher's ball movement. It is very difficult to teach hitting mechanics off a machine,
but can be very effective with batter timing.
There is nothing special about this set of stations other than you can
get a lot of swings very quickly and isolate the individual hitting mechanics. We will use different station drills throughout
the season to provide variety and work on specific skills.
What I want to encourage is that you, as a coach, think
about how to maximize the number of swings per practice by sub-dividing the players into smaller groups and use multiple hitting
stations. What drills do you know that fall into these broad categories? Okay, switch them in for variety.
(http://www.youth-athlete.org) provides insights for parents, coaches, and young athletes around the world. Youth-Athlete
also provides tournament listings (http://www.youth-athlete.org/tournament), suggestions to parents and coaches that enable
a successful season, more on hitting mechanics (http://www.youth-athlete.org/blog/page/Hitting-Mechanics.aspx), and a community for open questions.
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.
Over the years, I have counseled a number of outstanding pitchers who have wanted to take their game to the next level.
These pitchers have been professionals, high school players, minor league players, college players and little league players.
all want to get better and they want to learn how to pitch in the zone more often.
Here are some of the tips that I
have communicated to them.
1. Get some training in self-hypnosis, visualization and meditation. These skills will make
you a better pitcher. Know what you need to do to ease yourself into the zone. 2. Use a pre-pitch routine which builds
confidence, focus and relaxation into your mind and your body. Similarly, know how to use time in the dugout and the bullpen
to stay mentally ready and mentally tough. 3. Study hitters carefully and keep accurate records on what works and what
does not work. Too many pitchers and coaches fail to do this. Use and analyze video and relevant statistics frequently. 4.
If you can learn to deliver the ball from different positions. Being able to throw overhand, side and three quarters can make
you a more deceptive pitcher. 5. Know your strengths and build up your weaknesses. 6. Speed is important, but having
movement, break and variety or pitches are also essential skills for a great pitcher. 7. Decide if you are a strike out
pitcher, a fly out pitcher or a ground out pitcher. 8. Practice throwing balls as often as you practice throwing strikes.
You need to be able to waste pitches and entice hitters into swinging at bad pitches. 9. Work with different coaches,
so you can master different aspects of pitching. 10. Determine if you are better as a starter or as a relief pitcher as
early in your career as possible. 11. Develop a great rapport and working relationship with your catcher, coaches and
and teammates. 12. Erase mistakes from your mind. 13. Believe it or not, you can learn something from every pitch.
14. Every pitch has to have a mission or a purpose. 15. The most important pitch you will throw is the next pitch.
Shop CoachesBest.com for your baseball coaching needs including baseball training aids, training videos, and other coaching supplies. Check out
the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting machine by SKLZ at HurricaneTrainer.com.
See the “Original” Rotational Hitting Machine at BatAction.com. Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to BatAction.com.
An old baseball coach use to say after every practice, "go home and swing the bat 100 times each and every day. If
you want to hit against the high level of competition we are going to be playing, swing that bat 100 times everyday". What
he did not explain to the players was that doing something over and over makes it easier each time. It eventually becomes
natural, second nature. So when that fastball comes flying in, and there is a half second to react, and you know where the
swing needs to go, the muscle memory takes over and the swing comes naturally.
Hitting off the tee is a great baseball
hitting drill. Take a 100 cuts a day off the tee and you will see your batting average start to climb. Another good baseball
drill is soft toss. Here the tosser can change the location and the speed of the ball. Again, a 100 cuts a day of soft toss
will bring improvement to your swing. The old coach used to tell the players that even if they did not have a tee to use,
or no one was around to do soft toss with them, just go out in the yard and swing the bat thru the air. A 100 times a day.
Doing this will get you comfortable with your swing. At game time, you want to be confident at the plate, and comfort brings
confidence. You have swung that bat so many times, you know it is not going to let you down. You are concentrating on the
pitch, not your swing. At just the right moment, you let loose with that same swing you have taken a 100 times a day.
last thing I want to say is very important. You play like you practice. Before you start swinging a 100 time a day, you need
to have found a good batting stance and good mechanics. It will not help you if each one of the 100 swings is different. Each
swing needs to be identical. Find that perfect swing for you and practice it a 100 times a day.
After my many years
of coaching, watching and traveling to out of town baseball games, I decided to share my baseball tips and stories that I have learned and experienced along the way. To check out more articles that I have written, please visit
my website at http://baseballknowledge.info
There are many different methodologies for teaching baseball instruction. When most folks talk about baseball instruction
they talking about three things: fielding, hitting and throwing. I often wondered why there isn't more importance put on teaching
the mental aspects of baseball as well. What I've come to realize it that mental skills are learned, but it is an implied
knowledge, meaning it's found it to be so important that I added my "7 Essential Mental Skills" to my baseball instruction
program. Here they are:
How To Keep Your Cool How To Use Visualization Confidence and Positive Thinking
How to Eliminate Negative Thoughts Stay Focused - No Distractions How o Overcome Intimidation How To Prepare
in pressure situations (like a sacrifice bunt)
1. How To Keep Your Cool One of the most important things you can
teach your baseball players is how to act, both on and off the field. Another hot topic is arguing with an umpire, coach or
another player. Arguing can result in immediate expulsion of the game and possibly the league.
To help players deal
with frustration I teach the "10 second rule". This simply means they count to ten before talking. This is to let the rage
pass. Believe it or not I have seen it work pretty well.
2. How To Use Visualizaion Visualization is simply seeing
things in your "mind's" eye before they happen. Let's say the hitter has a bunt sign. He can step out of the batter's box
and visualize himself successfully executing the sacrifice bunt. Now, when he steps back in the box he has a mental picture,
or a blueprint so to speak, to help him execute the strategy. This is a very effective tool.
3. Confidence and Positive
Thinking Positive Thinking and confidence are an essential part of baseball instruction. Think about the game in general,
think about how many times you fail. I mean a .300 batting average is great but realistically it's being successful only 30%
of the time. Think about how many outs we make, and the errors, and the mental lapses in judgements, etc. etc. There is negative
and failure all around.
To promote positive thinking I use stories of incredible baseball comebacks of the past so
the kids can see it's possible to comeback from a deficit and win. To boost morale and confidence players are encouraged to
root and cheer for each other. It can makes all the difference hearing it from your peers.
4. How To Eliminate Negative
Thoughts Using the confidence building and positive thinking techniques also help to eliminate those negative thoughts.
You can help visualize the release of negative thoughts by breathing in deep and exhaling. At the same time visualize that
negatively exiting with your breath.
5. Stay Focused - No Distractions This is so difficult to do, especially for
kids. Here is a a great fielding drill that helps them focus and avoid distractions. It uses competition as it's catalyst.
glove in hand, have four to eight players make a semi-circle around you. Yo will need a baseball glove and two balls. Now
throw random ground balls and try to keep at least one of the balls active at all times. Any player who misses the ball or
doesn't throw the ball directly back to you sits down and is waits for the next game. Last player left is champ.
How to Overcome Intimidation Sometimes games are won before they even begin. This is because a team's appearance can intimidate
a team so much that psyche themselves into thinking they have no chance. Before each game, pump your players up with accolades
to boost their confidence. Another technique you can use is to huddle and give a real good pep talk.
7. How To Prepare
In Pressure Situations (like a sacrifice bunt) The use of the skills discussed above, combined, will help them prepare
in pressure situations.
Robert Bulka is a former college baseball pitcher and current coach in the New York Metropolitan
area. He has penned 2 books on Baseball Scorekeeping and he manages three baseball related sites. http://bestbaseballebooks.com
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?
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.
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.
- 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.
===================== There is no better baseball training machine for stopping those embarrasijng strikeouts
than the Hurricane Machine by SKLZ and the BatAction Machine by Nedco Sports. Both are 100% Guaranteed to improve batting averages, reduce strikeouts and improve power.
I have heard it said by many an accomplished athlete, that one of the hardest things you can
do in professional sports, is to hit a major league fastball. Or any major league pitch for that matter. Just ask Micheal
Jordan. He may be a living legend in the world of professional basketball, but he only managed a 202 batting average for the
Birmingham Barons (a farm team for the Chicago White Sox). The moral being, it's best to get your little leaguer started early,
if they plan on challenging some of the MLB hitting records.
With that in mind, lets consider a few hitting drills
that the kids can use to get their bats swinging true, and making contact as soon as possible. One of the best drills you
can do with your kids, is simply to grab a bucket of balls, and pitch a few to them every day you can find the time to do
so. It's practically impossible, for most kids to get enough batting practice with the team. There's a limited number of pitchers,
catchers, and backstops for most little league coaches to work with. It's almost impossible for them to get more then a few
minutes hitting each practice. A one on one practice with mom or dad every day or so will really help out.
swinging for the sake of swinging will make you a better hitter, but there are a few simple points you should keep in mind,
to maximize the time put in. Don't harp on these items too much, as they can be a bit technical and boring for kids. Try to
make it fun for them at the same time.
Choosing The Right Bat
Picking a bat that's appropriate for your child's
height and strength can make all the difference. It should feel comfortable for them to hold and swing the bat. If the bat
is slowing down their swing too much, it's probably a little too heavy. There is a simple way to test a bat, even before you
buy one. Simply have your son or daughter hold the bat by the handle, and hold it straight out to the side, so the bat is
parallel to the ground. They should be able to hold the bat steady for at least fifteen seconds. If they can't, or their arms
starts to shake, you should try a smaller bat.
It's important to know where the batters box
is, where home plate is, and where the strike zone is. That way, even little league players, can put themselves in good position
to reach any ball that is passing through the strike zone. Even if your in your back yard practicing, you can mock up a plate,
and batters box. Just use a can of spray paint on the grass to mark out home plate and a made up batters box. Don't worry,
it'll disappear the next time you cut the grass.
Little League Baseball Drills is a great resource for helping your
little leaguer get the most out of his or hers favorite pastime. With a little good training, amateur or even professional
ball players will see a dramatic improvement in the way they play.
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:
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.
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
Hitting the baseball is a very important skill that every baseball player should possess, and if indeed, you are someone
who wants to learn baseball or just want to improve your skills, you can find baseball hitting tips and techniques on how
to improve your game or impress your coach, your friends and your family.
Although practice makes perfect, there are
also certain tips to keep in mind to make you play at your best.
- Condition your mind for your every game. Getting
into sports is not just about strength and energy. An important part of it is in your head. In order to execute the best swing
or hit you need, you have to clear up your mind before getting into the batter's box. Focus and concentration on the game
are essential as well.
- Be patient. It helps to be patient and be focused when you are in the game most especially
if you are in the batter's box. Do not be in a hurry to hit the ball. You just wait for a good pitch and never swing in bad
- Engage in practice and drills that can help you increase your power in hitting the ball. One of the baseball
hitting tips you can do to avoid slowing down your power upon the impact of the ball with your bat is to practice hitting
basketballs, soccer or other heavier balls. This will also improve the strength in your forearms and wrists to be able to
retain the power of your swing or your hit.
- Learn the basics of a good baseball hit. To be able to master batting
the ball, you have to learn how to do each skill correctly, from the swing to the grip and to the stance - you have to learn
each of them and master these skills. By doing so, you have to learn how to stand, how to hold the bat properly and so on
and so forth.
- Do not be afraid of the ball. This may sound commonsense but most players especially those who are
just starting with the sports and for children who are just learning, the hindrance lies in their fear of being hit by the
ball, thus their tendency is move back and may affect the way they execute a good swing as well as giving the ball a good
hit. One practice tip that coaches often do in this case is throw the ball on the other side of the player to prevent him
from backing up.
- Focus on hitting the bottom half of the baseball. This will help in sending the baseball farthest.
Shift your weight from the back of your body foot to the front upon contact of your bat with the baseball so that you can
obtain more power in hitting it.
Start with these baseball hitting tips to help you become a better baseball player.
However, you should not also forget the basic tips on getting the right equipment for you as this can also help in your performance
Carolyn Anderson is a book reviewer, an avid reader and a lover of sports. To master the skill of hitting a baseball,
check out this baseball hitting training manual. Also check out Marathon Training For Beginners, a marathon training schedule and program to help beginners in performing their best in marathon.
The 10 "Must Do's" of Coaching Baseball and Softball By Nick Dixon
compiled my list of the "MUST DO'S", that I feel every coach must coach by! These reflect the duties and responsibilities
accepted when one becomes a coach. Here are my "MUST DO'S":
1. I MUST..."Always remember that I am a role model, on
and off the field, for all players and kids. I must remember that everything I do is observed. Everything I say is heard.
I MUST..."Always remember that something I say or something I do not say can have an profound positive and negative affect
on a player. I am a coach because I care! I care about the game. I care about my players. I must act like I want to be there!
My player will observe and emulate my attitude. My attitude must show my dedication, excitement, and enthusiasm!
I MUST..."Constantly remember that the safety and well-being of my players is my responsibility and the old saying, "An ounce
of prevention is worth a pound of cure", is never truer than when it applies to sports accidents. Youth coaches should apply
a team rule that that at practice no player should swing a bat, unless the coach has given them permission to do so.
I MUST..."Be fair to every player. I will treat every player equally with the same respect. I will always be honest with my
players. I will be mindful that praise is a great motivator. I will at times use constructive criticism but I will always
maintain a balance between correction and praise. I will speak "one-on-one" with every player, every day. This may be something
as simple as the question, "Jon, how is your day going?".
5. I MUST..."Demand and receive respect from every player
at all times. Disrespect will not be tolerated. I will remember discipline is a vital part of the game. Team and self-discipline
is something I must teach and reinforce. Kids expect and love discipline. Many players do not get enough discipline at home."
I MUST..."Dress and look the part of a coach. I will keep a clean and neat appearance at all team practices and games."
I MUST..."Remember that to be a good coach, I must first be a good teacher. It is my responsibility to teach the fundamentals,
rules and skills of the game. I will structure and organize every practice and pre-game ritual so that my players will know
what to do, will know what to expect, will be focused and stay busy." I must remember "idle" time is "trouble" time when one
is dealing with kids. I will always be the first to arrive and the last to leave all games, practices, meetings, and all other
8. I MUST..."Coach the details during the game to help my players learn and perform to their highest
level". I will work hard at all times during practice and games. I will instill in my players the value of hard work and preparation.
I MUST..."Remember that character development and self-confidence are what youth sports is all about. Kids do not have to
play. They play because they want to have fun! I must have fun, know how to laugh, and enjoy every minute along with my kids!"
I MUST..."Remember, that "WINNING is NOT EVERYTHING" but "EXPECTING to WIN" is. I must instill hope and confidence as I prepare
my team for each game!
Visit BaseballCoachingDigest.com for a great selection of Baseball Coaching and Training Articles.
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.
===Advertisement from our sponsor:===== Baseball2u.com/CoachesBest.com is the ultimate online baseball training and coaching store. With over 1400 products organized into categories Baseball2u.com makes finding that baseball training product easy and simple. Order securely online or by phone. Baseball2u.com is a fully licensed company and has a full time staff available from 8:00 to 5:00 CST. Their toll free customer service number
How to Correct
Baseball Hitting Flaws is your guide to identifying and correcting baseball hitting flaws at every level of play inlcuding
youth baseball, travel baseball, high school baseball, and college baseball.
We all know that
coaching hitters involves many actions: 1. Careful analysis of the the present swing's quality. 2. Correction
or elimination of incorrect mechanics. 3. Practicing the desired swing with correct execution repetitively.
4. Instilling patience, confidence and agressiveness.
The following are common mechanical errors that
should be quickly identified and eliminated. There are many more and we will continually add more.
1. Improper Stance Width 2. "Wrapping"
The Bat 3. Looking At Your Nose 4. Poor Grip 5. Overstriding 6. "Hitch" In The Swing
7. "Locking" The Front Arm 8. Opening Up Too Soon
1. IMPROPER STANCE WIDTH
PROBLEM: The batter's stance is to wide or too narrow.
A stance too wide causes a loss of power and prevents hip involvement during the swing. A stance with the feet too close
often causes the batter to stride too far or long. This causes the head and eyes to drop during the stride. This makes the
hitters success ratio drop tremendously. It is hard enough to hit with a "quiet" head or with no movement. Overstriding makes
it even more difficult to see the ball, identify the speed and type or pitch nand to hit the ball where it is pitched. SOLUTION:
Have the batter assume a stance with the feet shoulder width apart. Have the batter take a short stride of no more than
6 inches. If the stance is slightly wider than the shoulders, simply picking the front foot straight up only an inch or two
and putting it down may be all the stride the batter needs.
PROBLEM: The batter has the bad habit
of "wrapping" or cocking the bat behind the head. The batter's bat speed is decreased becuase the batter now has to bring
the bat farther to get to the ball. SOLUTION: The bat should be held at a 45 degree angle to vertical. Refer to the
perfect swing page of this site for more details on proper bat angle.
PROBLEM: The batter does not have the head turned
far enough toward the pitcher. This prevents both eyes from picking up the ball and the batter has difficulty seeing the ball.
The back eye is blocked from seeing the ball by the batter's nose, thus the batter is "looking at his nose". The batter is
basically hitting "one eyed". This is another reason for batter failure. SOLUTION: The batter simply turns the head
toward the pitcher until the batters face is facing the pitcher and both eyes are seeing the pitcher fully. A good saying
often used is "show the pitcher both of your ears". This will always make sure the head is in the correct position.
PROBLEM: Improper grip reduces bat speed and bat control.
Two simple grip mistakes cause this problem. The batter's hands are slowed by a grip that is too "tense" or too tight
or the batter is gripping the bat with the palms rather than the fingers. SOLUTION: The batter should strive to stay
loose with the hands. Effort should be made to reduce tensions and use a relaxed grip. Slight movement of the fingers may
serve to keep the "grip stress" down. The batter should hold the bat in the fingers away from the palms. This grip allows
maximum hand speed and bat control.
PROBLEM: Overstriding is a common mistake. Batters
that often get "jammed" may be in fact cuasing their own problems by overstriding. Overstriding causes the batter's head and
eyes to drop often causing the batter to "loose" the ball during the swing. Tracking the ball visually is made very difficult.
The batter's overstriding can also cause the swing to be long. A batter's wide feet that are too wide tend to prevent hip
involvement during the swing. SOLUTION: Batters should use a short or a "no stride" approach. A short stride of 3
to 6 inches is often enough. In fact simply picking the front foot up and putting it back down is all the stride that is needed.
Batters that have a "hitch" in their swing often have
difficulty hitting the fastball. They often get "jammed" and are often late on medium speed pitches. The batter is not "triggering"
correctly. The batter is dropping the hands before taking them to the "power position" or what is often called the "launch
position". This lowering of the hands causes the batter to be late to the strike zone. SOLUTION: Take the hands slightly
up and then back rather than dropping them.
PROBLEM: The batter "locks" or straightens out the
front arm when the hands and bat are taken back to the "power" or "trigger" position. This flaw causes the batter to be late
starting the swing. It also cause the the bat speed to be too slow and increases the bat's distance to the ball. Locking the
front arm also often causes premature wrist roll. SOLUTION: Keep a bend in the front elbow. Keep the hands together
and working together. Keep the hands close to the body and do not take them back so far that front arm flex is lost.
PROBLEM: The front side is opening too
soon causing the batter's "whole body" including head and eyes to pull off the pitch. This flaw often causes the barrel to
lag and a reduction in bat speed. Much less plate coverage is allowed. Another result of dropping the hands is an increase
in flyballs. SOLUTION: Have the batter strive to keep the "knob to belly button" relationship during the swing. The
belly button rotates with the knob of the bat. On inside pitches the batter will still "open" but the timing will be perfect.
On middle and away pitches the batter will not open or rotate so much. "The belly button to knob" relationship maintains correct
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.
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.
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.
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.
order to become a highly consistent and effective hitter, I prescribe the following "medicinal procedure" to be used away
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
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
Sponsor Links: ===Advertisement from our sponsor:===== Baseball2u.com/CoachesBest.com is the ultimate online baseball training and coaching store. With over 1400 products organized into categories Baseball2u.com makes finding that baseball training product easy and simple. Order securely online or by phone. Baseball2u.com is a fully licensed company and has a full time staff available from 8:00 to 5:00 CST. Their toll free customer service number
In my opinion, there is no sport that requires the whole body skills and concentration that baseball requires. Hitting,
fielding and throwing are all difficult skills to perfect. Inevitably, all players endure disappointing performances at some
point in the season. The most obvious evidence of the difficulty of baseball is that college drafted players almost never
make it to the major leagues without years of continued grooming in the minor leagues. This is different than any other major
sport where the best college players are proficient enough to go straight to the big time.
Because of this difficulty,
great patience is required by all as baseball players develop skills and knowledge of the game from year to year. Disappointment
and frustration can easily set in playing baseball. Additionally, there is very little time between games in a baseball season
so once a slump sets in, the season or career can be ruined if people panic at these difficult times. It is important that
parents and coaches help players get through these times so total frustration does not set in and so players do not get to
the point where they want to quit playing. Unfortunately, many talented athletes leave the sport at a young age because there
is not adequate patience shown and encouragement given by adults.
Following is advice for adults when ball players
1. Encourage kids to have long-range goals so they do not feel overwhelming pressure to do well
each and every game. For example, making the high school team is a good goal for young ball players. A good goal for all players
to have is simply being better at their skills at the end of the season than they were at the beginning of the season; this
is not always a given. 2. Do not show own frustration in front of kids. Stay as upbeat as possible. 3. Give kids a
few days totally away from the game during a rough stretch, if possible, and keep the talk about baseball to a minimum during
this time. 4. Remind hard working players that practice pays off eventually, and remind not so hard workers that good
results only come with hard work. 5. Remind players that you always believe in them and that they are so much more than
what they do on a playing field. 6. A little joke about their play, at the appropriate time, can get them to laugh about
it and release some of the tension. 7. Along the same lines, occasionally reminding them of times they did well is good.
8. Watching a bloopers tape can provide some laughs and help players realize everyone makes mistakes, even the great players.
9. Trying to get players to "smile" when on the playing field can relieve tension and help them understand that they should
not take the game and themselves too serious. 10. False praise is never advised, but trying to point out little things
where the player improved at or did well in a game can be helpful.
Finally, saying "forget about it" to your kids after
a tough game when it was apparent that they played hard can go a long way to keeping it all in perspective. Of course, these
are helpful tips that can be used with athletes of any sport.
Jack Perconte 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. 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.
Chief among the positions in baseball is the position of hitter, which is way more complicated to do than most people
would assume. Many problems could be said to cause a player to not hit properly, and these problems can be very frustrating
until the source of them is discovered. A player's performance can be hindered if they lack proper hitting mechanics, and
luckily these problems can be remedied through learning about the human body and with the use of baseball hitting aids.
way too much on the upper body and neglecting the lower half is a major cause of hitting problems for player of baseball.
Learning about your lower body is a must before you can expect to begin hitting the ball correctly.
Attempting to hit
the ball without knowing what your lower half is doing, is similar to trying to build a house without establishing a proper
foundation, it will fall to the ground.
Shoulder dipping is one of the problems faced by hitters, and it is caused
by collapsing of the player's backside. Other issues include hunching out over the plate, and letting your hands extend away
from your body during a swing. Every one of these problems can result from not knowing enough about how to position your lower
body during a swing.
Shifting your weight onto your back leg before the pitch begins is called loading, and if the
weight does not stay on that back leg it could cause a hitting problem. Many hitters naturally shift their hips forward in
the direction of the pitched during the beginning stage of their swing, and this issue may be the source of many or all of
the problems listed, and this hips shifting problems is called "floating".
The "floating" problem is definitely fixable
once the hitter is able to recognize it as a problem. Videos and books are good examples of useful aids, and they can be quite
easily found. These aids will help one detect and the fix problems with the lower body during hitting, and then you can focus
on the upper body during the swing.
Use of these types of aids can help your coach or yourself recognize which problems
your have when you are at bat, and you will soon be hitting better than you had once imagined possible. These books and video
hitting aids can easily be found at a local bookstore or library, and if those don't pan out you can find many online sources for aids
I am Joseph Harrison, a baseball coach since 20 years ago. I love baseball since I am young, especially the feeling
when you know you will absolutely crush the ball. Training your kid to gain interest in baseball will benefit him from both mentally and physically. In with he will gain team spirit, learn how to cope with
teammates, and at the same time train up his physical, and concentration (to have good eye and hand coordination and the ability
to use both at once). Go through my article and you will know all the benefits of baseball.
How to Overcome Being Scared of the Ball When You're Up to Bat! By Janet K Hansen
As a coach, you can teach hitting mechanics all day and even see players improve by leaps and bounds when hitting
off a tee or hitting pitches delivered by a pitching machine that grooves every pitch into the strike zone. But one intangible
problem often rears its ugly head when live pitching from an uncertain source, like an opposing pitcher, enters the mix-bailing
out of the box due to fear of getting hit by the pitch. How can a fear of being hit by the pitch be overcome? It may not be
easy in some cases, but it is possible.
It Starts with the Proper Batting Stance!
To begin with, teach your
players (or son/daughter) that proper batting stance will help them hit strikes AND shield themselves more effectively should
a pitch come at them. Stepping in the bucket prevents a good swing at any pitch, reducing both power and contact. Plus, opening
the front foot out and away from the plate exposes the face, stomach, and for guys, the external anatomy to the potential
of being hit. Explain that the impact will hurt worse in these locations than if they keep their front foot in place, striding
straight toward the pitcher. Then, if they have to shield themselves, they can tuck in their shoulder and head, twisting towards
the back arm, and take the pitch off the helmet, butt, meat of the arm or shoulder, or back, reducing the sting considerably.
The bottom line is that proper stance is safer and more productive. Here's a key: training your players to get out of the
way properly, or shield the more vulnerable spots, when a ball is destined to strike them will give them confidence when they
head to the plate. Their attitude will be "if I need to, I know how to duck the pitch or have it hit me where it won't hurt
so much." That confidence will translate into fewer worries, and soon, they may not be thinking about it at all!
Fear is Usually Worse Than the Sting!
This is a tough one, but help your players understand that the fear of being
hit is often worse than the actual fact of being hit. The truth is, in a game, or even batting practice, the adrenaline is
usually running pretty high, and adrenaline acts as a natural barrier to pain. Taking a fastball off the leg or hip, or even
square in the back, usually doesn't hurt that bad, if at all. Help your players comprehend this. If you have a pitching machine,
have the players stand at the plate with their gloves and catch pitched balls. When they are in receiver-mode, expecting the
ball at the speed a teammate might throw it to them while they're covering a bag, their perspective changes. They may just
realize "this ball isn't coming that fast! It doesn't hurt my hand when I catch it... it probably wouldn't hurt me if it hit
me." When that realization occurs, the fear problem often vanishes.
Coach Through the Fear and Never Tease Them!
belittle players for their fears. This will only encourage them to quit or to act out of fear even more. When a player gets
hit by a pitch in batting practice or in a game, make sure that they are not injured, and then give them huge kudos if they
don't melt into a puddle. Let them hear "atta girl" and "that's my man" when they shake it off. This will strengthen their
resolve in the future and help the rest of the team realize it isn't as bad as they fear it might be. "Way to take one for
the team!" will boost pride and resiliency, and might even produce the attitude that getting hit by the pitch is a badge of
honor and toughness.
Building Confidence in Practice, Delivers Rewards When it Counts the Most!
during hitting drills and batting practice. Confidence is the key to overcoming the fear of being hit by a pitch. Boost your
players' confidence in their hitting through drills and verbal encouragement, and they'll go to the plate with success on
their minds, looking to get on base or drive in runners already there. The fear of getting hit by the pitch will recede as
their desire to hit the pitch hard grows.
Janet Hansen is a girls softball coach in NC and helps others understand
how to choose the right softball bat for their needs at her softball bat review website, http://www.SoftballBatGuide.com. You can also learn batting tips and join in the discussion along the way!
Exactly what is muscle memory and how do you create it for a specific thing you want your body to learn to repeat?
The term muscle memory is thrown around so loosely, but do those who use the term really know what muscle memory is and how
to create it? So many have just heard the term and simply repeat it because it sounds good. First off let me ask, do your
muscles really have cognitive power in and of themselves? Do our muscles have brain cells embedded in them? I think even those
who throw the term around as if they really understand it would even admit the simple answer to that question. That answer
being No. Our muscles do not have the ability to remember anything. So where does the term muscle memory come from and how
does one actually create it?
Muscles really only have two capabilities. They can either be constricted(to varying degrees)
or they can be relaxed. That's it. So again, where does this "muscle memory" come from? Well, it's really BRAIN memory. The
brain is what is really "remembering" moves or has the "memory" of certain performed activities. The brain sends electrical
impulses to the muscles causing them to either be constricted or relaxed in order for the body to perform what it is being
asked to do. So it's really the brain that needs to be programmed for memory of desired muscle movement not the muscles themselves.
They just perform what the brain tells them to.
So with this in mind that we really need to train the brain not the
muscles in order to learn and repeat a desired athletic move, that begs the question of exactly how to do it. To understand
the answer, just think about the sensory inputs that the brain receives in order to learn. Yes, the senses...Sight, Sound,
Smell, Taste, and Feel(Touch). And of course, that sixth sense, Emotion. The two most important here for programming "muscle
memory" is sight and feel. Sound or Hearing factor in here too from the instruction of what a coach may be telling a player
to do, but hearing by simply being told how to perform an athletic move is a far distant second(if you will) behind sight
and feel in training the brain for muscle memory.
It is important for a player to "feel" what they are doing in their
swing. Feeling the swing as a whole and feeling what different body parts or muscles groups are doing is a powerful step forward
for any player. The ability to feel the "hands" for instance and how they are working in the swing is important. Knowing where
they(the hands in this example) are at each moment of the swing is important. "Feeling" where they are and feeling what they
are doing IS KNOWING their performance in the swing. I tell students a lot to draw their attention to a certain body part
and to "pay attention" to what that part is doing in their swing. Paying attention to it(whatever it is) is to "observe" it
without trying to change it. Pay attention or observe it as I, the instructor, am observing it. Feeling is important and is
a powerful way to make mechanical changes or adjustments and to promote muscle memory.
Then there is sight. Baseball
and softball players being able to see themselves and what they are doing, be it in a mirror or on video is extremely important
as well. Seeing what they are doing helps them to feel what they are doing. However, the players seeing what they are doing
is not the only important visual sensory input to the brain that will help develop the much desired muscle memory. It is also
extremely valuable for players to take in the visual input of other players they want to emulate by watching video of that
player(s) over and over and over perform at their best(or performing their best swing). Don't sell the value of this short.
I'm telling you, it is a scientifically proven fact that watching the best players perform at their best is a great(and in
many ways untapped) way to train a player's brain in their desired athletic endeavor. Remember, it's the brain that is trained
for "muscle memory" not the muscles themselves. The brain stores and recalls this information to send to a player's muscles
when it is time to perform. Does just watching a little bit of video do it? No. It should be a regular "practice" of a player
wanting to train their muscle memory. Just like physical practice isn't a one time(or few times) thing either. Repetition.
Oh yea, that brings me to physical REPETITION. Physical repetition of course is critical. Does
physical repetition train the muscles? No. It trains the brain on the impulses necessary to send to the muscles to perform
the desired athletic activity.
So technically, muscle memory is a myth. It's the brain that one needs to train to perform
the desired muscles memory. Remember that!
Todd Thomas is a Baseball Coach and Professional Hitting Instructor for
Mike Epstein Hitting. Coach Todd's personal hitting website is http://www.HitItHere.net. Coach Todd also enthusiastically endorses http://PlayMyBestBaseball.com as a place where baseball and softball hitters can master the Confidence, Composure, Focus and Consistency of their game
so they can reach their full potential.
Giving good baseball lessons are important for any coach, either you might be following the common workforce plans
or are giving non-public pitching and hitting lessons. And as a player it's best to have high expectations in your baseball
In case you're the coach of a baseball team you may have a lot in your shoulders. Having youthful players
to educate can actually be a whole lot of enjoyable but it surely is quite a bit different than when dealing with grownups.
More than something this implies developing with efficient and specified drills in your baseball lessons. There are a number
of drills particularly that must be included in your baseball lessons.
Having the gamers apply easy throw, catch and
hit drills is without doubt one of the finest ideas. Give each pair a glove, bat and ball and have them practice throwing
and hitting the ball again and forth. Have the group split up into pairs and provides every pair a ball, bat and glove. Another
drill that works to enhance their steadiness and agility is to choose one player as a pitcher and have them throw solely a
certain type of pitch on the players.
You can also arrange a drill in your baseball classes where one participant would
throw only fastballs to the others. The fastball is one of the easiest pitches to strike out on, so this drill might be useful
by instructing the players methods to successfully hit the ball when these pitches are thrown to them. It's also important
to include baseball lessons which can be going to help the gamers with their response time. The aim of this drill in baseball
lessons is to assist players develop their energy and agility.
The way it works is you modify the regular baseball
with a heavier one, so that the players have to strike at the ball with more force. By utilizing a ball that is heavier than
the traditional baseball, the participant will study to swing more durable and as soon as the common weight baseball is used
their hit will go a lot farther. The coloured ball drill helps enhance focus of the gamers and for it you will need a number
of different colors of balls. Once they apply with this for some time after which go to swing at a daily sized baseball, the
distinction in how far they hit the ball might be amazing.
The hitter is just capable of take a swing on the ball if
they see that it's in reality the colour that the pitcher shouted out to them. You need your group to work on these baseball
classes regularly to ensure they're at all times making progress and bettering their skills. You wish to have your players
working onerous and successful video games but in addition striving to be one of the best baseball player. The most important
factor is taking the time to work with every participant and ensure that they're capitalizing on their skills.
are numerous issues that you must discover out about relating to baseball lesson plans. Nevertheless when you understand these things nothing will earlier you again in relation to baseball hitting lessons.
An instructor during my pro days who was teaching me how to hit a baseball told me that if the pitch is straight down
the middle, step forward. If the pitch is outside, step toward the outside, and if the pitch is inside, step inside. The problem
is that against good velocity, there is absolutely no way for a hitter to wait until after he determines the direction of
the pitch before he takes his stride. He will always be late getting to the pitch and will have extreme difficulty with his
Another method made famous by Kirby Puckett, is to raise the front foot in an exaggerated hop-step stride.
Many hitters who try this method struggle because they cannot get the front foot down in time to start the stroke.
8 Hitting System techniques are simple, easy and repeatable.
Here is a very important principle: THE STRIDE DOESN'T
HIT THE BALL. It merely gets us in position to hit the ball. This means the hands are still back at the completion of the
stride. The stride overcomes inertia and supports the hitter against the fastball.
If the pitch is a fast ball, the
action would be "stride-stroke". If the pitch is slower, there would be a momentary pause. Example: "stride-(pause) stroke".
stride is initiated by the large muscle in the upper leg (hip thigh area), which keeps it consistent.
Here are the
rules: 1. The stride travels only 6 inches, directly forward, in the same place every time. 2. It occurs at the time
of pitcher release. 3. It distributes approximately 30-40% of the weight to the front side, and lands on the ball of the
foot, which remains closed, open no more than 45°, which usually happens during the pivot. Some players stride in a "toe tap",
with no significant weight on the front foot. If a player places only 10% of his weight down on his stride, how will he get
90% more of his weight off his back side when he rotates to the pitch? He can't. 4. It happens quickly, getting the batter
into position to hit. Finally, never underestimate the importance of a good stride. It is part of the hitter's timing.
When he's striding, he's deciding.
The hitter must work on his stride in his baseball hitting drills, using either
live or pitching machine practice, so that he can drill "stride and take", just concentrating on technique.
are fully explained in our baseball hitting tips web site for the "Super 8 Hitting System", completely demonstrated in eight
baseball tips which include many tips on how to hit a baseball.
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.LearnBaseballHitting.com/lcp.
Hands down facing the batter, knees bent so the glove gets down (butt down..gets
the hands down and provides good balance). This is perfect if the ball is right to you. But what if the ball is not hit to
you? You have to move your feet!
Get in front of the ball, and you have to move your feet quickly to do that.
coaches we want our players to be in front of the ball because if there is not a clean catch the body still gives protection
of keeping the ball from escaping the infield. I like to emphasize in boys youth baseball to use their eyes also. You cant
catch what you cant see. If you move your feet to get in front of the ball have your glove in front where you can see the
ball come into the glove, the youth player has a better chance of a good catch and making the play.
Fielding a ground
ball to the right or left
There are two methods two catch this ball. One is the Shuffle step. This is used when the
ball is hit just a little to either side and you can quickly get to the ball still in ready position. If the ball is hit to
the left you shuffle step with left foot and the right foot moves quickly after to stay in the ready position.It's the opposite
if the ball is hit to the right. 2 or 3 quick shuffle steps can be done by any youth baseball player in the ready position
to field a close ground ball.
The second method is the Crossover. When the ball is a little farther away to the left..to
move quickly to the ball the right foot will crossover in front of and past the left foot. The opposite is done for a ball
hit to the right. Left over Right or Right over left is used when you need to get to the ball quickly and is far enough away
you cant shuffle to it. A key point in doing the crossover is not to stand up. A good youth baseball tip is to remain bent
at the waist during the crossover to keep from wasting time.
5 Simple Hitting Drills That Will Raise Your Average Overnight! By Janet K Hansen
The best hitters in the game use a variety of hitting drills to improve hand-eye coordination, bat speed, and power.
These drills will have you or your players hitting the ball more consistently and with more power, with the ability to place
shots more effectively. The result will be higher average and better run production in just a week or two of practice.
Ball on a Cone or Tee: Hand-eye coordination is the key to all good hitting, in any game and at every level. Improving your
ability to match what your eyes are seeing with the trajectory of your swing creates the kind of contact that produces more
line drives, and with time, more power. Hitting legend Ted Williams used to practice by using a cue stick to hit bottle caps.
That's not a bad idea, but these drills will serve the purpose, too.
Ball on a cone: Put a traffic cone on the
floor 3 feet out from a mat. Kneel, or have your players kneel, on the mat. Put balls on the cone and have the players focus
on hitting a line drive. Hit 15 to 25 balls in each session, more if time allows - the more the better. The drill emphasizes
contact using just the arms and upper body, which is essential to hitting the ball consistently.
T-Ball: Kids start
in t-ball for a reason - they learn to make contact, plain and simple. Since solid contact is the key to all good things in
hitting, contact drills never go out of style. Pro, college, and top amateur teams continue to use hitting tees to warm up
and find the hitting touch, especially after layoffs. Start hitting practice with a round of tee drills to emphasize keeping
an eye on the ball, with a bonus feature being an increase in confidence. When pitch speed is added, the improvement will
be noticeable. When the game starts, sharper hitting will lead to more base runners and more RBI's. VARIATIONS: place the
tee on the inside, middle, and outside parts of the plate to encourage hitters to go with the pitch, so they learn to drive
balls to all fields. Most hitters try to pull everything, and this will help break that habit.
2. Wiffle Ball: This
drill emphasizes bat speed and a compact, powerful swing. Using either a pitching machine or a live pitcher, stand 20 feet
in front of the plate and use waffle balls for safety. Set the machine to about 40 mph, or gauge your pitch speed accordingly.
Batters have to get the bat around in a hurry. The drill will expose swings that are too long - the kind of swings that keep
pro players in the minors. On the positive side, it encourages increased bat speed to be able to get around on the pitches,
and a shorter, more compact swing that is the foundation of power.
3. Wait and Explode: Many hitters develop the bad
habit of starting their swing far too early. The results are all bad. For instance, the hitter will often stride into the
pitch too early and then have to hold back the upper body waiting for the ball. Timing and hand-eye coordination is thrown
off, plus if contact is made, it's only the upper body involved. The powerful motion of the legs is eliminated. Misses, weak
grounders, and lazy fly balls are the result. Here's how this drill works. Have the batter stand in the box and coach them
not to move at all until the ball leaves the pitcher's hand. Keep it up until the hitter learns to be patient, reserving their
energy until they can complete the swing in one powerful motion. Hitters with good contact skills but poor power will start
driving the ball much harder with this drill.
Another way to encourage a "wait and explode" approach is to use tennis
balls and bounce balls up to the plate. The hitter must not move a muscle until the ball bounces, 6-8 feet in front of the
plate. Patience is learned, and hand-eye coordination is also improved. A short, compact, energetic swing will result.
The Barrier Drill: This drill will teach good mechanics. Have the players stand one back length back from a barrier, such
as a net or string, and take their cut. If they hit the barrier with the bat, they are taking too long a swing, unlocking
their elbows before the shoulders are fully engaged. Point out what's happening and see if they can make the correction, which
will produce a compact, powerful cut.
5. Reward or Run: There's nothing like the possibility of a little physical exercise
to get players to concentrate. Using a pitching machine, or reliable batting practice pitcher, feed each batter 15 pitches.
On strikes only (make swinging at a bad pitch an out, no matter if they hit it or not), count well-struck balls versus misses
or weak hits. If the batter has 8 or more good cuts reward them in some way. If 8 or more bad swings happen, it's time to
run! As the season continues, and the players improve, bump your better hitters up to 10 or 11 quality hits to avoid running.
Tailor the drill to stretch each player to achieve their best.
Each of these drills is used by many professional, college, and top amateurs teams every year. Employ them on your team and start noticing immediate
results in terms of contact and power. You'll enjoy better run production from the first time through the order!
Hansen is a softball coach in NC and helps others understand how to choose the right softball bat for their needs, at her
Softball Batting website, http://www.SoftballBatGuide.com. You can also learn batting tips and join in the discussion along the way!
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.
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.
Great Coaches are great coaches for a reason. They love the game. They love the kids. They love to instruct and teach.
They love to mentor and minister to youngsters hoping that something they do will help that kid become a better person. Great
coaches have an eye for detail and know how to correct players with with a positive approach. They know the game and love
to talk the game. Great coaches simply love to coach.
Above all, great coaches know that there is a time and place
for everything. They know and realize the impact of the words they speak. They know that what they say can have a lasting
life long affect on a player.There is an old saying, If you cannot say something good, do not say anything. That would be
good advice for coaches to remember and live by in certain situations. I have seen coaches go crazy when a player misses a
sign, fails to get the bunt down, or does not get the job done. The coach attacks the players with little or no regard for
his feelings or the impression he is making on his team or league. The feelings of the player are crushed, parents get mad,
and other coaches cringe. What is wrong about this situation? There is nothing that that coach said that could not have been
said in a one on one privately. Simply pull the player aside and tell him what you what he needs to know.
what I consider to be the 6 basic truths and principles that every youth coach in every sport, including baseball, should
1. The people come to the games to see the kids play. People do not come to games to watch coaches
coach. Coaches should not try to put on a show or theatrical performance. Say what you should say. Say what is needed. Know
when to keep your mouth quiet. Knowing what to say or what not to say is crucial. Knowing how to get your message across without
anger is important.
2. Everything a coach does and says is observed by players, fans, umpires, parents and fans. Kids
look up to you. They will always remember your actions and the example you set for them. Be a positive force in their lives.
Remember your behavior on and off the field affects the amount of respect that your players will have for you.
under pressure is a skill that players learn from their coach. If you lose your temper every time something goes wrong, how
do you expect your players to perform under pressure and to have composure?
4. Sportsmanship starts with the coach.
If you show sportsmanship, the team will show sportsmanship. You should preach sportsmanship. If you unnecessarily question
every call, then you are sending the wrong message. If you question a call, make sure that your actions have merit. Show respect
for the officials and do not try to make a scene.
5. Do not have discussions with coaches or parents regarding team
or player issues with players or other people present. If a discussion is needed, schedule it at a proper place and proper
6. Do not use profanity at any time under any circumstances. The duty is a baseball coach is to teach and help
young kids learn the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Good morals are reflected by what you say and how
you say it. Behave professionally with high moral standards on and off the field.
I hope these basic truths are helpful
to you. Good Luck to yu and your team. Nick
===Advertisement from our sponsor:===== Baseball2u.com/CoachesBest.com is the ultimate online baseball training and coaching store. With over 1400 products organized into categories Baseball2u.com makes finding that baseball training product easy and simple. Order securely online or by phone. Baseball2u.com is a fully licensed company and has a full time staff available from 8:00 to 5:00 CST. Their toll free customer service number
Article Title: Sports Psychology and Baseball Hitting Tips - How and Why to Relax at the Plate By Jay Granat
The baseball season is about to begin and I already getting calls from parents, players and coaches who are concerned
about hitting slumps.
Anyone who has played baseball for any length of time has experienced the frustration of an extended
hitting slump. And there are many causes of these performance valleys.
Some of the causes are physical. A breakdown
in mechanics, poor balance, poor technique, a moving head, a tight grip on the bat or an injury can contribute to poor performance
by baseball players.
Some of the causes of hitting slumps are mental. A batter who has been hit by a pitch can be scared
in the batter's box. A player who has been hitting poorly can lose his confidence. A batter who is worried about impressing
his coach, his parents or a scout can become quite anxious. A player who is conflict with teammates may find it hard to hit
to his potential. Similarly, a player with stress related to his or her life off the field can have difficulty concentrating
when he or she steps up to the plate.
Also, it is important to understand that there are many relationships between
the mind and the body where hitting a baseball is concerned. For instance, a nervous player is apt to grip the baseball bat
too tightly. Likewise, a tense player is apt have difficulty turning on a pitch.
Interestingly, some people believe
that our vision gets worse when we are tense and that it improves when we are relaxed.
There are many ways to relax
one's mind and one's body before you get up to bat.
Players can learn relaxation techniques, meditation, visualization
or self-hypnosis. Some players benefit from listening to music in the dugout or before a game. Others do some aerobics before
they take the field as they find that this helps them to relax when they get up to bat.
Tension will work against you
at the plate, so it is important that baseball players learn how to get very comfortable when they face the opposing pitcher.
Each year I work with teams of youth baseball players in teaching them the values of the mental game of baseball.
Just as there are skills needed to develop the physical side of the sport, there are skills necessary to build the mental
side of the game as well. Unfortunately, teaching the mental game is a bit more difficult to teach because the results aren't
necessary visible as quickly. Let me assure you however, if you have goals of playing baseball at the collegiate level or
above, you will need a sold mental game if you are going to excel.
One of the first things I teach kids is set proper
goals. This usually sounds a bit dry and boring, but it's important that a game plan is created in order to form a path to
follow as an athlete. There are three important steps involved in setting goals that are functional. Broad goals, process
goals, and action habits. Let me explain those below.
If we are talking about a season to season focus, broad goals
are essentially what you want to accomplish by the end of the season. These should be something you can measure like batting
average, fielding percentage, stolen bases, etc.
Process goals are the middle level of goal setting. There are the
things you need to solve or improve upon in order to accomplish your broad goals. They should be specific as far as the things
you are going to do daily, but they should be areas in your game that need immediate improvement. So let's say you have a
season goal of hitting .400. A process goal would be to improve on your ability to hit off speed pitches. Or, it could be
that you need to work on what pitches you choose to swing at.
The last part of this goal setting process is your daily
action habits. These are the day to day things that you will do to get better at accomplishing your process goals. Using the
example from above, if you process goal is to get better at hitting off speed pitches, your daily action habit might be to
spend 15 minutes in the batting cage working on hitting a curveball. Whatever you choose to make it, it should be something
that has a time frame attached to it.
Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball designed to improve the mental game of baseball in athletes. Come download a free ebook on dealing with failure and the mental game of baseball.
Open professional baseball tryouts are designed to help scouts determine the physical talents and abilities of aspiring
Though many of the drills that young MLB hopefuls are put through might seem random. This is because
different drills are put to people to test their skills level. While one person trying out might have a killer pitch and he
knows it, a scout might want to see what the person's skill level is with other types of baseball maneuvers.
look for speed, arm strength, glove skills, and hitting skills and overall mechanics. The tryouts are grueling and not like
any version of American Idol you've seen. There is no "nice" judge. Instead, baseball scouts simply call out the names of
those they like. The rest of the players go home, and many of theme eventually give up on their dream.
But not unlike
any talent-based industry, hearing "no" is just part of the game. It is up to you and your trainers to make sure you are getting
all the necessary drills and skill-building exercise to take you to your goal of becoming a professional baseball player.
have compiled some of the best drills for cross-skill development that will give you a leg up in the competition and hopefully
win you the interest of a baseball scout.
AROUND THE WORLD DRILL
The "Around the World" drill is a great conditioning
exercise that will help any baseball player develop physically.
Here's how it works.
Take the players to the
foul pole in left or right field. Then time them from foul pole to foul pole to get a good accurate base time. Then have a
set time that they should complete each of the laps. Some choose seven laps, some others. The number should be based on the
number of innings one would play professionally. A good hint is that coaches should remember to adhere to is to not let a
lap count if it is under time. This will help the player push himself to get it right. There is no "almosts" in pro baseball.
Besides basic conditioning, this drill helps to build the players speed and quickness back to the bag. Also,
it is helpful to work on quickly leaving the bag as well as helping the players to recognize how big of a turn they can make
around a bag to make sure that they get back in case of a throw. Here's how a good Dive Backs drill is set up.
players start out at Home Plate and run around first base, making an aggressive turn, and then dive back into the bag. After
diving back they get up as fast as they can and head to second base to do the same thing. They do this also at third then
slide feet first into home plate to end their round.
A good way to prove the get back theory is to have an outfielder
and a second basemen trying to get a player out every couple of times through. This exercise works wonders for agility and
speed skills which is an absolute necessity to play in the major leagues.
THE GLOVE BASEBALL DRILL
is a grueling task, so some fun elements need to be used as well. A good fun conditioning drill is great because you can make
them the hardest and the fun elements makes it not so bad.
The glove drills starts off with separating players in groups
of 4 or 5. (If you are just with yourself and your coach, find a friend or two to help.) Line the people up and put their
gloves in the outfield at about 25 foot intervals apart, away from them. They start the drill with a ball in their hand and
run to the first glove and set the ball on it and come back to the line and go back and get the ball and come back to the
line and go to the second glove and set the ball down and go back to the line and so on and so forth, until all the players
have gone through and the winners get out of laps at the end of the practice.
SPEED QUICKNESS AND POWER
good baseball training program, player development is a primary concern. As players get older they also raise their level
of function in the game. One of the areas to try to improve is the physical or talent area. If you are at all seriously about
playing professionally you must first be in the talent pool of players. If you can't do the physical levels, no one will look
at the skill or playing abilities.
A well rounded pre-season conditioning program starts when the players get back
from Christmas break. Work should be focused on 3 areas essential to playing baseball at a professionally competitive level
- speed, quickness, and power.
The first day should be spent testing the components of each skills set that are vital
to an overall skill matching assessment. Test items can include:
· 40 yard sprint · 10 yard sprint · Standing
2 footed vertical jump · 30 second dips · 30 second sit-ups · Home to 1b · Bench press · Dot jumps ·
Diamond push ups
After the testing is done, you should have a good two months dedicated to a program that incorporates
exercises, running, and strength training. Once this part is done, practice the test points listed above again. This will
help you accurately measure your progress and where to improve.
THE 60 YARD DASH DRILL
This is used to determine
sheer sprint speed, and it is chosen to determine the athlete's ability to run from the length of two bases. If you decide
to incorporate this for your child, do so sparingly and make sure that your child is warmed up. Also reduce the length from
60 yards to only twice the distance from home to first. Of course, make sure that your child is medically approved to do sprinting.
Keep the number of such dashes very low and GRADUALLY build up over time.
Here is a good pointer:
to hit, scouts do not look at the end result of whether the ball was a hit, home run, foul ball, etc. Instead, they look at
mechanics in order to determine if there is a "loop" in a batter's swing, weight transfer, and the batter's overall approach
to the plate appearance. If you are able to introduce your child to one of the scouts during a break at the tryout, ask the
scout to give you a minute to understand what he likes to see in his ideal batter. You may learn quite a bit.
Pros Store has excellent online deals on baseball equipment, strength training books, and off-season training guides to help
you get into the major leagues in no time! BaseballProsStore.com baseball shop is your one stop shop for baseball bats, gloves,
and training equipment. Plus items are updated everyday so you don't have to waste time driving from sports store to sports
store. Begin your dream of playing professional baseball and visit href="http://www.BaseballProsStore.com">http://www.BaseballProsStore.com
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
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
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
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.
Rollers" can't do:
A. Hit an inside fastball to the pull side (right field as a lefty and left field as a righty).
Hit an outside fastball with any consistency to the opposite field (left field as a lefty and right field as a righty).
Hit line drives with back spin consistently (you know the kind that get over an outfielders head in a hurry for a double).
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?
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.
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