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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Baseball Hitting Instruction - "Locking" The Front Arm

Good morning, I hope all is well with you and yours. Today, I am talking about one of the most common hitting flaws, "Locking or Barring" the front arm. I have a "left-handed" hitter on my high school team that sometimes has a tendency to bar the front arm. When he does this his swing gets too long and his bat speed drops.

Hitting Flaw: "Locking" The Front Arm

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.

Check out the great selection of baseball hitting videos, books and dvds at

Have a great day, Nick

Monday, July 21, 2008

10 Health Tips Every Youth Baseball Coach Should Know

Hello Coach! I hope you had a great weekend.

Much has been written about preventing and treating baseball injuries. A great article that I always recommend to baseball coaches, particularly youth baseball coaches, is "10 Health Tips Every Youth Baseball Coach Should Know" from Temple University Health Sciences Center.

"The number one tip coaches should remember is that children are not miniature adults and shouldn't be treated as such," says Jim Rogers, a certified athletic trainer in Temple University Hospital's sports Medicine Center.

For the complete article, click here.

Have a super day! Nick

Friday, July 18, 2008

The "Hitch" Baseball Batting Swing Flaw and How to Fix It.

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. has one of the internet's largest and most complete collections of baseball coaching videos, DVDs, and Books.
Category: Hitting

Have a great weekend, Nick

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nolan Ryan - Master of Pitching Inside.

We all know that great power pitchers at any level always dominate the inside half of the plate. One of the greatest fastball pitchers in the history of Major League Baseball is Nolan Ryan. See Ryan's Lifetime Stats and Bio at

After running this morning, I sat down to eat breakfast and to watch Mike and Mike on ESPN. Mike Greeny of "Mike and Mike"was discussing how Nolan Ryan dominated the inner half of the plate and how much he intimidated Major League Baseball Players. Mike Greeny had the priviledge of having a conversation with Ryan Sanberg at the 2008 Major League All Star Game in Yankee Stadium concerning how Sanberg felt about batting off Ryan.

Sanberg made the comment that basically the only pitch he felt that he could "turn-on" and pull off Nolan Ryan was the hanging curve ball inside. Everything else he was just hoping to "punch" into rightfield. Sanberg said that he was intimidated by Ryan to the degree that if he got a hit or got on base that he would not look at Ryan for fear that he will make Ryan angry. Click Here for Mike and Mike's ESPN Homepage.

The "Nolan Ryan Express" is a baseball pitching machine that offers the same great benefits as the "high priced" machines but at a fraction of the cost. Check out the Nolan Ryan Express Baseball and Softball Pitching Machines. You will like what you see.

Have a great Day, Nick.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hands Back Hitter gaining Popularity as a Solid Baseball Swing Trainer

I hope all is well with you and yours. Last nights MLB Allstar game was incredible. I know that you enjoyed it as much as I did. I thought it was going to last all night.

The Hands Back Baseball Trainer is a "Ball Launching Tee" that is gaining respect at all levels of play including Tee Ball, Youth Baseball, Travel Baseball, High School Baseball and College Baseball.

The HandsBack Hitter teaches the mechanics of the perfect baseball swing. It teaches hitters the proper "stride and swing" fundamentals for correctly hitting a baseball.

What do the pros say about the HBH?

"Finally a fun batting trainer that teaches the correct swing."- Mike Epstein, hitting instructor

"We use the Hands Back Hitter to teach separation between stride and swing."Coach Woody Hunt, (Cumberland University) 2004 NAIA National Champs has the HBH.
Good Luck til Next Time, Nick

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

59th MLB All-Star Game - A Classic Night For All Baseball Fans

59th MLB All-Star Game - A special night for all baseball fans!It was appropriate that the 59th MLB All-Star game be played in Yankee Stadium. A special place being retired after 85 glory filled years! It made the night a truly special night for all baseball fans! Visit MLB's Official 2008 All-Star Game Webpage.

Seeing such a great collection of Major League Allstars on the field for the National Anthem will always be a memory that I will cherish.I am proud to have the priviledge to coach such a great game.It was great to Yogi Berra, one of my all time favorites Hall of Famers. The clips of him leaping high into the arms of Don Larson in the 1956 World Series were a special touch to the telecast. For more on the 1956 World Series visit the Baseball Almanac.

I can't talk about Yogi without including three of his famous quotes that I consider to be "classic":

  • "You can observe a lot just by watching."
  • "I always thought that record would stand until it was broken."
  • "Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical."

For More MLB Quotes - Baseball Amanac

As I type this chill bumps are appearing all over my body. "God Bless America" is being sang to a quiet Yankee Stadium in a tribute to the greatest country on earth! God has blessed us! America's is our Home Sweet Home! Makes you proud to be an American and a baseball fan!

Update: The Red Sox's JD Drew just tied the game in the 7th with a 2-run blast off the Red's Edinson Volquez! You have got to love this game! It's was Drew's first All-Star at bat!

Amazing Facts: Yogi Berra originally sined for $500 and $90 dollars a month. Yankee Stadium cost 2.5 mil to build. Now 41 MLB players make more annually than it cost to build that stadium.

Thank you Major League Baseball for a great 2008 AllStar Game. You again proved why Baseball is Truly America's Game!

Make out a written practice schedule every day.

• Pass out practice schedules to your assistant coaches before practice each day. Post your Practice Schedule on the fence or wall of the dugout.
• Post your practice schedule for players to see. Let players know what is going on and that you have a "Practice Plan".
• Make sure to document or write down each drill covered each day. Keep these practice schedules in a book as your "practice log". You can go back to see if you have adequately covered all fundamentals or if you need to put more time into a particular aspect of your game or practice. K
• Keep a log of how many pitches pitchers throw in practice and when they threw. You will also want to make notes on each day's schedule regarding strong points, weak points or any behavior exhibited by a player that you want a record of.
• You may also want to set "TEAM DAILY PRACTICE GOALS" such as...."Every player will take 300 practice swings today!", "Our middle infielders will turn 50 double plays today!" "Every outfielder will field 50 balls today!” These are just examples.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tips For Better Baseball Practices

I am going to post a tip a day for 5 days. The article is

Baseball Coaching: 5 Great Coaching Tips – Do Practice Write!
Tip #1 - Have a practice plan. Organize your practices.

  • Organize your practice into sessions or time periods. Start on time and finish on time. Stick to these times. Have your times down to exact minutes or half minutes and detailed to utilize ever minute of your practice.
  • Have the attitude that "PRACTICE TIME IS EXTREMELY VALUABLE"! It is not to be wasted!
  • Never huddle or use practice time to have coaching meetings or discussions. Have a meeting after or before practice for that purpose to plan your practices.
  • You may want one of your assistant coaches to be the "Timer". Each time a time slot gets down to 1 minute, the coach will let you know. When the drill time segment is over, the drill should end immediately. The next planned practice activity should begin.
  • If equipment is needed for a drill, have it out and readily available. Do not waste valuable practice time, setting up equipment. Use different parts of the field to do various practice activities. Set all equipment up before practice begins. Take all practice equipment down after practice. Have a grat day! Nick

Coach Nick's First Official Post

Hello and welcome. If you like to read about coaching and playing baseball, you may like my blog. I will talk and discuss something that I have a passion for, coaching baseball. I hope that you will find the tips, information, and articles I write useful.