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 Hit2win Coaches Newsletter . Nedco Sports Helping Hitters Improve Since 1999! 
August 2003 
. . . . . . . . .

This issue is our annual "POST SEASON" Issue devoted to OFF SEASON TRAINING! I hope that you enjoy it!

Make sure to visit our sponsor's

in this issue
  • Players Need Positive Role Models
  • Improving Speed in the Off Season
  • Postseason Goals: Active rest to recover, rehabilitate, and maintain fitness
  • SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - Coach Nick Accepts Head Coaching Position

  • Players Need Positive Role Models
    by Coach Nick Dixon

    You and I have read the "bad news" articles giving every horrible detail of how a coach, a league official, a parent, a teacher or a player made the headline "being stupid". League Officials have robbed their league. Coaches have fought and embarrassed their programs. Parents have attacked coaches and officials in anger. Players have assalted umpires. Teachers have abused students physically and sexually. Where does it stop? How do we prevent such "rash and irresponsible" behavior. The answers are simple, 1) HIGHER MORALS, 2) HIGHER ACCOUNTABILITY, and 3) MORE SEVERE PUNISHMENT.

    As a coach and teacher, I have always taken great pride in being a "positive role model" in the classroom, on the field, and in life. I want to really make a "difference". My strong Christian beliefs and high morals standards allow me to "Live the Word"! I chose this profession. This profession did not choose me! I must realize that certain ethics and desciplines come with the job! I have high expectations for my team, my staff, and myself! The following story is one of my favorite related to leaving a "thing or place" better than you found it!


    "Coach, You Are The Carpenter"

    An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the housebuilding business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

    The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and ask if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

    When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you." What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

    So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that, we would have done it differently. Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, "Life is a do-it-yourself project". Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

    Author Unknown

    Read on...

    Improving Speed in the Off Season
    Complete Conditioning for Baseball
    by Pat Murphy, Jeff Forney

    Now that we know what speed is and how it applies to baseball, let's take a look at what we can do to improve speed.

    There are four primary methods to employ when developing speed:

    1. Strength training

    2. Plyometric exercises

    3. Traditional sprint-training techniques

    4. Sprint-assisted methods

    These methods can be further categorized by calling weight training, plyometric exercises, and traditional sprint-training techniques resisted speed-training methods. Basically this means that all of these exercises and drills work to improve the stride length. Sprint-assisted methods fall into their own category of assisted speed training that target the stride frequency.

    Now if we go back to the basic premise that speed is the product of stride length and stride frequency, we'll see that strength and power in our legs are the key factors to increasing stride length. And the stronger and more powerful our arms and torso become, the faster we are able to pump our arms, which in turn leads to increased stride frequency. Overall body strength and power therefore are crucial for improving your speed. And one of the most effective ways of improving your overall body strength and power is through strength training.


    Power is the rate at which work is performed. It is essential to moving faster. The more powerful the muscle fiber activated at the time of explosion, the more force is exerted on the ground, and the faster you go. Given enough time, any person who could run could perform a 40-yard dash. However, we want our athletes to perform this sprint with power and speed. An elephant is very powerful and also very slow moving, while a cheetah creates tremendous power from extraordinary speed.

    The main focus of our weight-training program for speed is on the large muscles used in sprinting: the gluteus maximus, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. The secondary focus is on the arms, chest, back, and abdominals. Again, remember that weight training falls into the category of resisted speed training, our goal being to increase stride length.

    The second form of resisted training is plyometric exercises, which are covered more extensively in Chapter 8. These exercises help improve speed by focusing on the explosive movement necessary for increasing speed. Plyometrics are explosive exercises requiring a great deal of strength that teach the nervous system to fire faster, which in turn results in faster movement. These exercises also help develop good coordination and agility.

    Traditional sprint-training techniques round out the resisted speed training methods. Typically, these techniques include flexibility, proper running form, uphill sprinting, starting techniques, speed endurance, and movement patterns specific to baseball. Because these are the more traditional methods, you may be familiar with most of them and how they work. Some of these traditional methods include running sprints, incorporating ladders and hurdles, and running hills, all of which we've probably done at one time or another. These methods are considered traditional simply because they've been around a long time and are widely used at all levels of the game. We have included a hurdle drill, but for the most part we focus on some of the newer techniques.

    The assisted training methods of speed training include towing training, treadmill training, and downhill running. Recall that the main goal of assisted training methods is to increase your stride frequency. Also included in assisted training methods are overspeed drills, which force the body to move faster than its normal top speed. This type of training causes your nerves to contract faster than normal and trains your body to overcome rejections of faster movement. It helps retrain your neuromuscular coordination to work faster; used regularly, these drills will eventually lead to improved stride frequency, longer strides, and a longer top speed with a more relaxed and controlled running form.

    This article and content is from the Complete Conditioning for Baseball, a year-round conditioning manual.

    The authors, Murphy and Forney are two of the best authorities when it comes to maximizing the performance potential of players through baseball- specific conditioning. Pat Murphy, who brought Notre Dame's baseball program from the bottom to the top, now is at Arizona State piloting one of the country's best college baseball programs. Jeff Forney is the strength and conditioning coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Murphy and Forney present exercises and drills that transfer directly to the playing field for winning performance.

    The book's all-star lineup features:

    105 photographs illustrating correct exercise technique and game action;
    26 tables containing training workouts and programs;
    39 strengthening exercises for building the muscles used most in baseball;
    46 drills for developing greater power, speed, and agility;
    nutritional guidelines; and
    12-week, sample training programs for pitchers and position players, off-season and in-season.

    For more info on the Complete Conditioning for Baseball....Click Here

    Postseason Goals: Active rest to recover, rehabilitate, and maintain fitness
    Today's players train year-round and are rarely out of shape. Trying to play yourself into shape is a waste of valuable time and effort. Time spent on conditioning could be better spent on sharpening your skills. Spring training is the time to hone your playing skills and become game ready, not to build a fitness base. If you report in good shape in the spring, you will have a head start, get the most out of the drills, develop good mechanics, avoid injury, and have more success.

    Your goal for the first three to four weeks after the season is active rest. Give your body time to recover. Stay just active enough to maintain fitness, but don't start formal training until late October or early November. Work and rest are both important, but neither is beneficial without the other. Postseason is also an ideal time to look at your weight and your diet, and to make necessary changes. Table 1.1 contains an overview of the postseason plan, suitable for high school or college players as well as for major-league or minor-league players. It tells you what fitness and performance variables to work on and when to do them.

    College and high school players start the postseason in August. This phase starts the first week in October for major-league teams not involved in the playoffs and one to three weeks later for playoff teams. It starts 1 September for minor leaguers whose teams fail to make the playoffs and those who don't go to instructional league. Minor-league players involved in the playoffs or instructional leagues start the postseason four weeks later.

    This is a three or four-week phase with no formal training that is designed to allow you to recover physically and mentally from the competitive season. It is the bridge from one year to the next, and what you do in this phase will affect how you play next year. You need active rest, not couch-potato rest. Don't stop training completely or you'll lose the gains made in the previous year. Maintaining a general fitness base will help you make quicker improvements when your off- season conditioning program begins and raise the upper limit on how much you can improve before next spring.


    Movement helps your muscles, organs, hormones, and mind unwind, gear down, and recover. Do things that you enjoy but don't have time for during the season. Stretch daily. Stay out of the weight room for two to three weeks.

    Work the muscle groups of the trunk, leg, back, shoulder, and arm that provide balance and support by doing push-ups, pull-ups, step-ups, and lunges. Use tubing or dumbbells for the rotator cuff. Use this time to rehabilitate preexisting injuries and correct deficiencies. Don't begin formal weight training until week 5.

    Warm-Up, Cool-Down, and Flexibility

    Start with general warm-up exercises and then do dynamic warm-up routine #1 to improve strength, endurance, and functional range of motion in the muscles used in running, fielding, hitting, and throwing. Stretch (using the daily dozen) before workouts and cool down after them.


    Concentrate on building strength and endurance in the small muscles that stabilize the shoulder, hip, and legs so that they will be ready to support the larger prime movers in the weeks to come. Use a circuit weight- training (CWT) format. Do CWT #1 for the first two weeks using body weight as resistance. Switch to CWT #2 (if you're a position player) or #3 (if you're a pitcher) in week 3, using dumbbells for resistance. For variety, alternate using body weight as resistance (CWT #1) in one workout and dumbbells (CWT #2 or #3) in the next.


    Maintain strength in the muscles of the rotator cuff and scapula. Do Jobe-type exercises (see chapter 8) with three- to five-pound dumbbells or surgical tubing for the cuff. Strengthen the muscles of the scapula by doing scarecrows, push-ups plus, push-up and reach backs, scapular dips, and modified pull-ups.


    Maintain trunk strength and range of motion by doing at least 100 sit-ups (daily core) three to five times per week. Work the flexors and oblique muscles each training session.

    Running and Conditioning Training

    Jog, cycle, use the Stairmaster, swim, or do any combination of these three to four times per week. Work at a comfortable pace for 15 to 20 minutes per session. Your goal is to maintain, not improve, aerobic fitness. Jump rope for 10 minutes three times per week for balance and fitness.

    This article is from "52-Week Baseball", one of the absolute best training books in baseball.

    "Week by week, in-season and off, 52-Week Baseball Training will show you how to make the most of your natural talent and abilities. Players following this program will be able to compete at a higher level because the book teaches the essential components of fitness and relates everything back to the game."

    Craig Biggio Houston Astros - second baseman

    For More Info on 52-Week Baseball Training ..... Click Here!

    SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - Coach Nick Accepts Head Coaching Position
    In 1999 Coach Nick Dixon retired from his first love, "coaching and teaching", to start Nedco Sports Products, Inc. Nedco Sports has grown from it's humble beginning in the family garage to become one of the most popular training aid companies in the world! Nedco Sports is now operated by Dixon's sons, wife and a staff of dedicated employees.

    Now that the company is doing so well, Coach Nick is returning to active coaching. He has accepted an offer to return as the Head Baseball Coach at Boaz High in 2004. Dixon posted records of 29, 26, and 29 wins at Boaz in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Dixon has assembled an impressive staff for the Pirates. Jason Noles will be Dixon's #1 assistant. Noles coached Ashville High to a 3A State Championship in 2003. Noles is a former player and assistant coach of Dixon. Another fine addition to the staff will be Josh Moon, of Albertiville, a former volunteer coach at Albertville High. Boaz High's Head Football Coach, Drew Noles, will also assist Dixon.

    Good Luck to Coach Nick from the Staff at Nedco Sports!

    A Batting Cage and Pitching Machine Are Major Investments That Should Last Throughout A Player's Career.

    Are Your Thinking of Making Such an Investment?

    Coach Nick advises coaches and parents on a daily basis. He does not sell cages, but he does freely share several key bits of information that can help you make a wise decision!...Call Coach Nick, toll free, at 1-877- 431-4487.

    SPERCIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Nedco Sports has extended their FREE SHIPPING OFFER on all BatAction Machines, for one more week, due to tremendous READER RESPONSE and READER REQUESTS. Readers are encouraged to purchase the BatAction Pro360BP "Miracle Machine"! It makes it so easy and convenient for players to take 500 or 1000 swings a week year round! This machine is 100% Guaranteed to Improve Skill and Bat Speed! We have seen no other hitting machine produce such incredible results!

    Debate: Should Players Specialize in Just One Sport?
    Should high school baseball players play multiple sports? I encourage all of my players to play at least 2 high school sports.

    Too many times I have seen a young player decide that to concentrate on a single sport and later fail to make the high school team. Years and years of time and effort have been wasted. I feel that athletes should play at least two sports to keep themselves in shape, involved, and to help the school.

    I know this message may sound strange coming from a high school Head Baseball Coach. But I am also the parent of two former college players and a current junior high player. My own sons participated in at least 2 sports. I just feel that multiple sport athletes have more opportunities to help themselves and their school!

    Currently, I have a SS on my team playing in the Dominican Republic, a 6'3" LHP playing travel ball for the BOMBERS out of B'ham, and another 6'1" LHP playing travel ball in East Cobb GA. All three of these players also play football or basketball.

    Baseball Work!

    I strongly feel that every player must find the time to do 3 things all year to insure baseball success:

    1. Swing the Bat- Players should swing the bat at least 500 times a week all year to maintain muscle memory and skill.

    2. Throw - Long Toss should be done at least 3 times a week all year to build arm strength!

    3. Weight Training - Vital for Power Develoment. Baseball players should consult a expert or use a recommended baseball workout guide. There are many good ones on the market.


    Burnout can occur at any level. I think it is important to take at least 2 weeks off after your regular season. Do not touch a ball, glove or bat during that time! Set a date to return to training. Honor that date and work yourself back into your year-round routine.

    Join thousands and thousands of Happy Hitters that realize the benefits of OWNING THEIR OWN BATACTION HITTING MACHINE...A Machine 100% Guarnteed to Improve Hitting Skill and Bat Speed! ..... Find out more....

    . News, Updates and Info:

    New Baseball Books & Videos for 2003

    New Products Review - Baseball 2Day Coaching Journal


    Read a Past Issue...Click Here!

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