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Friday, January 30, 2009

Coaching Hitters; Stay Back Batting Tee - Stop Bad Habits Before They Start

The Stayback Tee is designed help teach and practice rotational hitting that can increase bat speed. It helps the batter establish the proper axis to launch the swing. It virtually eliminates forward motion after swing initiation commonly called lunging. This enhances balance in the stride landing and allows the hitter to adjust to different speed pitches and maximize the power by leading with hips and turning into the ball.
  • Great for all ages, baseball or softball

  • Made of solid metal construction with replaceable tee

  • Converts to left handed easily and adjusts to any size player.

  • Designed with a safe padded frame so it can be used on any surface indoor or out.

  • Breaks down in seconds to 2'x2'x5", making it very portable.

  • You can remove the tee and use the frame with many other training aids too. and have the Stay Back Tee at a Great Price...Click Here for More Info.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Coaching Baseball Catchers: Tips and Mechanics

Snap Throws to 1st and Throwing to 3rd Base - I have a couple of coaching points that I teach my catchers when making "snap throws" to first. My catchers will make a snap throw to first when it is called out of the dugout. If we feel that we can catch a runner off, we will try it. The first baseman must receive a perfect "tag-shot" throw to get a good solid swipe tag. Our catchers are expected to make a perfect throw. We do not allow our cathers to come up and throw. The catcher simply drops the left knee toward the bag, pivots the shoulders and makes a quick throw to the bag. The catcher will give the firstbaseman a "verbal" signal so that the 1st baseman knows to "bounce"off the bag to his defensive position and then go back to his proper recieving position as quickly as possible. If we have this on, the pitcher must be aware of it, and throw the ball away or slightly off the plate, outside. (to a RH batter).

Throwing to 3rd Base - The catcher will come out of the crouch position, take a short jab step with his right foot behind his left foot. This short, quick step should clear the right handed batter and put the catcher in the perfect position to make the throw.

Good Drill For Catchers - Our catchers warm-up with the team and then go immediately to the diamond to throw "corners". Sometimes our middle infielders also sprint to their receiving position to practice receiving and executing the tag. Most of the time we have 4 catchers throwing to each other. The receiving catcher receives and executes a tag at the plate. We work this drill with a catcher at each bag and the plate. They will throw 6 throws across the diamond with their receiving catcher. (as if throwing
to 2nd base) Next the catchers will practice making throw to 1st and 3rd.
A ball will be thrown 3 times around the diamond to their left, simulating a throw to 3rd, and then a ball is thrown 3 times around the diamond to their right, simulating a snap-throw to 1st base.

I hope these drills and tips are useful to you and your team. Good luck, til next time, Nick

Why Coaches Are Often Remembered As Childhood Heroes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Holding The Runner In Baseball

Holding The Runner In Baseball
By: Jimmy Cox

When playing a runner leading away from the base, any infielder has these objectives-catch the runner off the base; make the runner run the full 90 feet to the next base. The latter objective is very important at 2nd, because it is the spot from which a runner can score on a good single.

The runner leading away from 2nd usually has the second baseman in his field of vision. If the second baseman bluffs a run for the bag, the runner will see him and start for the base. By the same token, if the second baseman doesn't pay any attention to the runner, he gives the runner an opportunity to stretch his lead.

While the second baseman does not always have a good chance to work a pickoff play with the pitcher, he can decoy the runner into such a play for the shortstop. Visualize this:Runner and second baseman on the bag just before the pitcher steps on the rubber. Pitcher stretches. Second baseman moves to his position. Runner leads away. Pitcher waits. Second baseman runs back to bag, runner returns to bag.

As the second baseman turns his back on the runner and returns to his position, the runner instinctively leads off. At this instant, the shortstop rushes to the base, the pitcher whirls and throws. The shortstop is back of the runner and out of his field of vision, thus the runner must rely on the voice signal of the third base coach to realize he's in danger.

If the play works, the defense has an out. If not, it has put enough pressure on the runner to keep him reasonably close to the bag.The second baseman returns to the base after every pitch and does not leave again until the pitcher is on the rubber. Then he should always move to keep pressure on the runner. Cut It!With runners on 1st and 3rd in anything below the high school level of ball the defense has a tough problem. If the runner on 1st breaks for 2nd and the catcher makes his throw to 2nd, the runner on 3rd can usually score.

In college or professional ball, the second baseman can often go to the base to play the runner going from 1st to 2nd. Then, if he sees the runner on 3rd try for home, he probably has enough power in his throwing arm to fire to the plate to catch him.But, in the younger groups, second basemen rarely have that power.

Here's a cut-off play that will help the defense in this situation.The offense, first of all, will probably order the runner to steal on the 1st pitch and have the batter "take" to avoid a double play on a line drive. If the defense expects the play, the pitcher should "pitch out", giving the catcher a good chance to get the ball away to 2nd.The second baseman, instead of going to the 2nd, runs to a spot halfway between the mound and the bag and on a direct line between 2nd and home. The shortstop covers 2nd, the third baseman 3rd. The catcher fires right at the second baseman's head.If the runner on 3rd does not break, the shortstop yells "Let It Go!" The second baseman does and ducks out of the way.If the runner on 3rd is breaking, the shortstop should yell "Cut It!" The second baseman cuts the ball off and throws to the plate. There are these "ifs":If the runner going from 3rd to home stops halfway down the line-charge him.If the catcher's throw is off line, cut it off whether the runner on 3rd goes or not.

About The Author-- Want Baseball Training Tips & Tricks? These Little-Known Secrets Will Have Your Youngster Hitting The Longest Yard Over The Boundary Fence! Click Here For Free Online E-Book:

Baseball Batting Mechanics - Tips for teaching a proper grip.

COACHING POINT: Make sure that players do not line their knuckles up when you are looking and then move their hands to an "ax grip" when you walk away.

One way to teach the benefits of the "finger grip position" is to have the two batters take several swings from shoulder-to-shoulder very quickly using the two grips. Take two batters of similar ability levels and with similar hand speed and do this demonstration. One player uses the "correct grip" and one uses the "ax or incorrect grip". Have the batters take 10 shoulder-to-shoulder swings. See which batter completes the 10 swings first. This shows the kids how much faster the hands move when the correct grip is used.

Note: Make sure to move the batters at a safe distance from each other and from other players when performing this illustration.

Baseball Pitching – “Coaching Pitchers to Succeed”

Baseball Pitching – “Coaching Pitchers to Succeed”
By Nick Dixon

Part 1 – Beginning with the basics – keeping it simple”

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

Balance is Key

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

Knee Lift & Stride

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

Elbow Dynamics

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

Late Break of the Hips

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

COACHING POINT: Make sure that the pitcher finishes low with the throwing arm finishing outside the stride knee. Many young players want to lock the front leg thus “pole vaunting” them up and over. The stride leg should bend slightly. As mentioned before, make sure that the stride foot is not “heeling out” or landing on the heel. This is a flaw that causes jar and control problems. Also make sure that pitchers set up on the pitching rubber in the correct location. We want right-handers on the right of the rubber and left-handers on the left. This makes the ball more difficult to pick-up by the batter because of the increase in angle. It also give the pitcher more plate to work with.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Baseball Pitching Quick Coaching Tips

Our official practice start date was Monday. We had out second day of practice today. Just a few quick coaching points on teaching young pitchers the basics fundamentals. I watched the JV pitchers Bullpen for a while and I saw several flaws that had to be addressed:

1. Make sure that they go through the Balance, Seperation, Stride, and Finish. Make them stay low and get a late 1/3 stride top rotation.
2. Make sure that the let the lift let toe is relaxed and downward and that the lift leg gets to parallel with the ground. They seperate the hands when the leg starts down and then forward, Many young pitchers want to led with the hip, make then have balance and lead with the foot and leg.
3. Make sure that the front foot's landing step is not "heel down" but rather a soft landing on the ball of the foot.
4. Many of them have to much motion,head & body. Some of them show a lot of potential. I was impressed with several of the new younger guys that seem to have real good live arms.

Blake Martin, one of my former players(04), LSU standout and drafted last spring by the TWINS came by after practice today. He is going to start working our with out pitchers, bullpening and coaching them, next week. Jeremy Vinyard, one of my players,(07), drafted and playing in the REDS farm league is also going to start bullpening with our staff next week. Good to see and hear from those guys. Hopefully they will help our young kids learn and improve.

Good Luck, Til next Time, Nick

Friday, January 23, 2009

"The Hitter's Backyard Basketball Goal"

The BatAction Machine is often called the "Basketball Goal" for the Baseball and Softball Players because it is as easy and accessible as your backyard basketball goal. And we all know hitters love to swing as much as hoopsters love to shoot. When you have the BatAction Machine, the player walks up, takes 100 fun swings, and then walks away! The BactAction Machine makes batting practice just that easy!

If you are looking for the machine to give your team an advantage over the compeition, you can stop looking! You have found it! The BatAction Machine is 100% Guaranteed to improve skill and batspeed. We don't sell machines! We sell success.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Baseball Batters Eye Focus and Concentration"

"Baseball Batters Eye Focus and Concentration"
By Coach Nick Dixon

The eyes are the hitter's brain when it comes to hitting. A batter's can know the count, know the situation, know the pitcher, and know how to swing, but if their eyes are weak or fail them, they will more than like suffer defeat at the plate. How many times have we heard a successful batter say that "I am really seeing the ball right now" or an unsuccessful batter say "I am not picking the ball up. I am not seeing the ball". There are many factors that influence a batter's ability to "see the ball". Pitchers motion, light or time of day, and the background in centerfield all can hurt or help a batter's ability to see the ball.

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

Batters should use 2 TYPES OF EYE FOCUS when batting. Batters should start with a "SOFT EYE FOCUS" to ease tension on the eyes, and then go to a HARD EYE FOCUS when the pitcher starts the PITCHING MOTION. The batter begins the soft focus by looking at an area around the pitchers head and shoulders. The batters may soft focus on the pitchers cap. As the pitcher begins the pitching motion, the batter when then converts to a HARD EYE FOCUS on the pitchers pitching shoulder and the pitcher's release point. During this crucial segment of the swing, the batter uses an EXTREME HARD EYE FOCUS technique to pick up the ball. Using the soft to hard focus technique, batters tend to not lose concentration, suffer eye strain, and get too up-tight.

COACHING POINT: Good teams and players read and identify certain tendencies by pitchers as soon as they can. Arm slot and release point should be studied when in the dugout and in the on-deck circle. Knowing the pitcher's delivery motion, timing, and release point will allow the batter to pick or see the ball much quicker out of the pitcher's hand which increases the batter's odds for success.

Good luck to you. Happy Hitting, Nick Dixon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 - You Have Got to Bookmark This Great Resource

Our goal is to provide you with a source of coaching information that you will find useful and interesting. Make sure to "bookmark" the BASEBALLCOACHESDIGEST.COM to your favorites so that you can visit us often. We will be adding at least 12 new coaching aricles every month.

We have articles on every aspect of baseball coaching including coaching baseball hitters, coaching pitchers, coaching defense, baseball practice planning and organization, baseball player motivation, and much, much, more.

Welcome to the Baseball Coaches Digest, one of the internet's largest collections of baseball coaching articles.

Monday, January 19, 2009

RESPECT: Expect it and demand it from your players!

Championship baseball coaches demand the respect of all persons in their program. All players, coaches, and staff members must show that respect when addressing and responding to the coach.
Players are expected to say, “Yes, Sir” and “No, Sir” when a question is asked.

Championship coaches do not expect or accept unmerited responses from players and staff. No excuses are accepted.
This respect must be shown to all coaches regardless of the level of experience, years of service, or level of achievement. Great baseball coaches know that players will not perform for a coach that they do not respect. Respect for authority is one of the pillars which championship programs are built.

Here are a few examples of how I expect my players to show their respect for coaches:
· Answering and responding to coaching instructions with dignity and respect.
· Hustling at all times.
· Dressing properly on and off the field.
· Attending class and maintaining good standing with teachers and instructors.
· Keeping the dugout neat and clean.
· Keeping your locker neat and clean.
· Never walking on the field during a practice or game.
· Looking the coach in the eyes when the coach is speaking to you.
· Being quiet and attentive during team meetings.
· Removing your cap during team meals.Blessing the food before team meals.

Good Luck till Next Time, Nick

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How to Improve Your Baseball Hitting Simply Thru Practice

How to Improve Your Baseball Hitting Simply Thru Practice
by Jack Elliot

Much like everything in life, you get better at things the more times you do them. Baseball Hitting is no different. For this reason, the best baseball hitting advice anyone can give you is to practice your swing. Mickey Mantle was said to swing the bat at least 100 times a day right handed and then do the same left handed.
Also, modern day players like Barry Bonds are said to swing the baseball bat 500-1000 times a day. If this strategy works for the pros, it can also work for you.

Have a great day, Nick - The Ultimate Online Coaches Store has over 1500 products including baseball training dvd, books, and videos, batting cages, and baseball training aids.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What is a Composite Baseball Bat?

Composite baseball bats are here to stay so know them, live them and love them. Stronger and lighter than high-grade aluminum, composite baseball bats are either made of a graphite-fiber composite material or have an aluminum core with graphite lining.

The main advantage of composite is it's lighter than aluminum and hence provides for a larger barrel and sweet spot within the designated drop ratio. Composite bats give a whole lot more forgiveness for the imperfect swing, and have the potential to make the average hitter a clean-up hitter.

Composite bats have been used and accepted in softball for the last ten years. They were introduced in baseball about the same time but were rejected in the baseball community for two reasons. First the early bats were much more susceptible to break and were considered flimsy.

Second, and amazingly more important, was that they do not produce the trademark "ping" of an aluminum bat. We've all become accustomed to hearing the ping that we believe a bat has no pop when we don't hear it. I remember a high school player telling me they're terrible because they sound like a wood bat. Because of this the manufacturers gave up on composite baseball bats.

Fast forward to 2008 and things have dramatically changed. Composite bats were reintroduced into baseball a few years ago and have finally been embraced by the community. They're becoming very popular in baseball and will undoubtedly dominate the bat industry moving forward.

There are some differences you'll need to understand about composite bats. To start off with, composite bats have a much longer break-in period than aluminum bats. You'll need to hit 100 to 150 baseballs to correctly break in the bat (baseballs not batting cage balls). At first, the ball will sound like it came off a wooden bat but with proper effort and care you can break them in to the point where it sounds more like a rifle shot.

Then you'll need to realize you're not swinging a hunk of metal anymore. Composite bats need some tender loving care and are slightly more susceptible to cold weather. Banging them on the concrete and fence posts is not a good idea.

Finally, you need to understand the most expensive bats on the market are composite. So if you want one you'll need to pay top dollar in most cases. Manufacturers have started to offer some lower priced options such as the Louisville Omaha Comp and I'm sure more are on the way.
Composite bats are a great option for today's baseball player from the youth to college level. As mentioned, they're here to stay so know them, live them and love them.

For unbiased reviews of all 2009 baseball bats and an in-depth analysis of composite versus aluminum bats visit Baseball Bat Reviews

10 Things a Batter Must Remember

Every Batter Must Remember:

1. "Think YES, YES, YES, On Every Pitch." Prepare yourself to hit every pitch. Convert to no or "hold off" only when you see that the pitch is a ball.

2. Track the ball from the pitchers hand to the cather's mitt.

3. Expect the fastball, adjust to off speed pitchers. Expect the ball away, adjust to the ball on the inner half.

4. With a runner in a "steal situation" get depth in the box.

5. Move up in the box when the bunt might be on.

6. Never look back at the umpire after a "called" strike.

7. Never speak or exchange words with the catcher.

8. Know the speed and tendencies of the pitcher. They will determine whether you are up or back in the box.

9. Be ready to attack a first pitch fastball. It may be the best pitch that you get.

10. If the color is "green" attack the first pitch that you like. If the color is "red", do not swing until the pitcher throws a strike. "Red" is called when baserunners are needed badly or when the pitcher has walked two of the last three batters.

Good Luck til next time, Nick.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Baseball - The 5 Tool Player

Baseball - The 5 Tool Player

Expert Author: Michael Russell

You hear talk about somebody being a 5 tool baseball player. These athletes are very few and far in between. Five tool players are the highest paid players in the game if you can even find them. But what exactly is meant by a 5 tool player? How do you know when somebody actually fits this description? We're going to present the basic definition of what a 5 tool player is and why these are such a rare breed.

A 5 tool player is one that has great speed, can hit for average, hit for power, a great throwing arm and is excellent defensively. Let's take a look at each of these separately. Players with great speed are hard enough to find. Most of these are usually lead off hitters because they are needed to get on base and steel bases in order to get into scoring positions. Most lead off hitters are mostly contact hitters and don't hit for much power.

So right there, finding somebody with great speed and somebody with power is already hard enough. But then we get to somebody who can hit for average. This is something that can easily be linked together with just about any of the other tools but one, hitting for power. In order to hit for power, you have to either be incredibly strong or swing the bat very hard.

When you do this, it is hard to hit for average because you are more prone to striking out a lot. Most power hitters strike out over 100 times a year. These people usually don't hit for a high average. Then of course there is the person who just hits for power alone. This is not very common by itself. Take a look at the list of home run leaders in the major leagues and you'll see that out of the hundreds of players that play the game the list isn't any more than a dozen or so.

Therefor, finding somebody who hits for power by itself is not an easy task. Finding speed, power and the ability to hit for average is very rare. And that's only 3 tools. Then we come to fielding. Defense is something that requires a lot of practice. They talk about somebody having soft hands. That's a person who catches just about anything hit to him no matter how hard. The great fielders in the game defensively are a select few by themselves.

Now add that to the other 3 tools and the list narrows even more. But we're still not done. Then there is the matter of a player's throwing arm. Most of your best throwing arms are actually pitchers because they need to be able to throw hard to get hitters out. Pitchers certainly don't hit for power. Many short stops and third basemen have good arms but very few of them hit for power, let alone have all 5 tools.

So as you can see, a 5 tool player is indeed a rare breed. So many power hitters are very big and therefore very slow. Tall, thin, fast players don't usually hit for power. And yet, there have been a number of 5 tool players in the game of baseball, including Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Baseball Has a Great Selection of Youth Baseball Training Aids

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Important Aspects Of A Baseball Coach

Important Aspects Of A Baseball Coach
Expert Author: Sintilia Miecevole

Being a baseball coach can be very rewarding. It is a big responsibility, though. You are basically the 'leader' of your team, and how you act will directly affect how the assistant coaches and the players act.

There are some tips you can follow to make yourself a better baseball coach. These tips are:

1. Give everyone on your baseball team a responsibility. Make each and every person on the team feel if they don't do something, it won't get done! Any accomplishments made by a member of the team are shared by the whole team. (It is important to give recognition to individuals, though.)

2. Help everyone on your baseball team make good, informed decisions. As the baseball coach, you need to guide and teach the players to make the good decisions you want them to make. Don't bully the baseball team to do what you want them to do, just encourage them to do what is best.

3. Always treat your baseball team like they are winners! If your baseball players feel like winners, they will be more likely to win.

4. Let everyone on your baseball team know you care. Be interested in every individual baseball player. Encourage them and show them your support. Look at your behavior around your baseball team and evaluate it carefully.

5. Help your baseball team understand the meaning of playing with good sportsmanship! Good sportsmanship is just as important as winning. Make sure your baseball players understand the meaning of fair play from the moment you become their baseball coach.

6. Make sure you motivate and reward your baseball team players. Just knowing the basic skills and strategies of baseball won't necessarily make you a very good baseball coach. Being a baseball coach is truly more than just teaching these things. A really good coach can motivate a baseball team to do its best! Good baseball coaches understand and can empathize with the players' feelings of joy, anger, anxiety, frustration, and pride.

7. Don't make your baseball practices boring or repetitious. Shake up practices by playing games and teaching new techniques and plays. Since only 9 players can play at a time, make sure to keep the rest of the baseball team feeling useful by having them keep score or charting pitching and offence. Make sure to keep each baseball player feeling they have an important role in winning.

8. Make sure you have a plan for your baseball team. Just like a teacher needs to plan for the school year, a baseball coach needs a plan for the season. Having no plan is a sure road to failure.

9. Give your baseball team enough time to review things they have learned. Whether at the end of a practice or the end of a game, give your players time to review what has been learned and what could be improved upon. Keep the review as positive in tone as possible.

10. Make sure you communicate with your baseball team. If you cannot get across to your baseball team what you want, how will they know what to do?

Sintilia Miecevole, host of provides you with baseball information from games, cards and equipment to teams, gloves, pictures and more. Be sure to visit for the latest news.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Be a Better Batter Through Repetition

Be a Better Batter Through Repetition
By: Anthony Stai

All parents want their children to reach their full potential in anything that they do. If you have kids playing baseball or softball then you know that one of the most exciting and difficult aspects is hitting. And since you may only get 3 to 5 at-bats per game then you want to make sure that they count.

Whether your kids are playing baseball or softball, if they can hit the ball like they want then they will enjoy playing so much more. There's nothing worse than watching a player walk back to the dugout dejected and sad.So what can you do as a parent to instill confidence at the plate? The best way to accomplish this is with repetition.

Unless you are willing to pitch to your kids 200 balls a day then they won't get the kind of repetition that will improve their batting. Plus, unless you have Nolan Ryan accuracy, you won't be doing your kids any favors by having them swing at pitches outside the strike zone. And, you'll save your arm for throwing that football in the fall.The best tool for repetition is a pitching machine.

Pitching machines come in a variety of types and costs. Some have large wheels and run on gas motors and can feed up to 12 baseball sized balls. Some are just for baseball and others just for softball. These are usually expensive for a parent to purchase and are bulky and can't be self-operated safely by young batters.The less expensive options are portable whiffle ball pitching machines.

Most of these use the golf ball sized whiffle balls and run on rechargeable batteries so they can be used almost anywhere. Plus, they are just as effective for softball players as baseball players.Many ask, "Why golf ball sized whiffle balls?" The small balls force the batter to concentrate more and to aim for a smaller target. When you can hit a small target consistently then a larger target will be even easier to hit. Plus the small balls are inexpensive and can still be thrown at high speeds.

The whiffle ball pitching machines are lightweight, some hold up to 100 whiffle balls, adjusts from 20 mph to 60 mph, pitch consistently, can pitch curve balls and sliders from both right hand and left hand pitchers.Best of all, the whiffle ball pitching machines are FUN! Kids and adults of all ages have fun hitting from these machine and it truly has the ability to increase the confidence and ability of young and older batters in a matter of minutes.

About The Author-- Anthony Stai is a proud contributing author and writes articles on several sports related topics including baseball. To learn more about the Personal Pitcher and a unique opportunity to get a FREE Personal Pitcher visit Free Personal Pitcher Pitching Machine at for all the details and a personal review.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Baseball Drills - Hitting Problems? - Check The Lower Half First

By Nate Barnett

There are very few things more frustrating to an athlete than than to struggle at the plate as a hitter and not understand where the problem stems from. When I work with hitters, I focus on perfecting the functions of lower body mechanics because of the affect the lower body has on the upper half. Trying to solve upper body hitting mechanics without addressing the lower half first is like attempting to build a house beginning with the second story prior to building the basement - it doesn't work too well.

Some of the common mistakes that can be ironed out with some common lower body baseball drills are:
1. Collapsing of the backside (shoulder dipping)
2. Front side (hip) flying open
3. Hunching over the plate (upper body)
4. Hands extending away from body through swing

Here is what to check for as you work with the lower body mechanics of your athletes during some baseball drills.

As the hitter shifts some weight onto his back leg (the load) prior to the pitch, look to see if that weight continues to stay on the back side as the swing begins. Many hitters have the problem of letting their hips slide forward towards the pitcher during the beginning stages of the swing. This problem (often called floating) can be a major cause of some of the above problems.

Because I understand that visualizing the process I'm referring to in text can be tricky, there are a couple videos posted on my blog that will illustrate a proper trigger and lower body mechanics. Upon entering my blog, click on hitting on the left hand side of the screen and you will be able to view that will illustrate what I've written on.

About the Author
Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at
His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.
Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.

Monday, January 5, 2009

How To Throw Baseball Curving Ball

How To Throw Baseball Curving Ball
Expert Author: M. Awara

The curveball grip is fairly simple and, unlike other pitches, allows a pitcher to maintain a good grip on the ball, and therefore, control, and throwing an effective curveball involves more than just your arm. There is no specific moment when a coach or parent will say it is time now to throw curving ball.

However, the proper age for the player to be able to throw curving ball is 14 or 15 years old. If young players throw curveballs on a consistent basis at younger ages they can cause damage to their elbows and thus hinder the growth process.

The mechanics of throwing a curveball are completely different from a fastball. The path of the ball on a fastball is generally far from your head. In the case of a curveball, the path will be much closer to your head. There are several key elements to the curveball that must be followed in order to throw the pitch properly:

First of all, start out by hiding your baseball in the palm of your glove. There is no need to advertise what type of pitch you are about to make. The same applies to your windup. Do not use it to advertise what you are about to do. Keep the batter guessing for as long as you can. Grip the ball with your middle and index fingers together, with the fingers across the seams of the ball at the widest part (the widest distance between the seams). Keep a tight grip on the ball, especially with the middle finger. Don't let the ball touch the palm of your hand, or you won't generate enough topspin, which is what allows the ball to drop when it gets close to home plate.

Practice developing your speed as you master your form and stance. Speed is a very important factor in your delivery. Curveballs with little speed are easily hit by the batter as any batter that is any good will seek to determine the particulars of the pitch and respond accordingly. The more time the batter has to gauge the speed and angle of the throw, the easier it will be to successfully launch your curveball into the outfield.

When releasing a curveball, your wrist will be hooked and your hand will pull down in front of your body. It is important that you release the ball close to your body (Short Arm). The further you release from your body, the less resistance your middle finger will have on the seam and therefore your rotation will be looser.

M. AwaraYou can read more articles about Baseball and many other Sports different topics, visit

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