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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tips for Little League Baseball Coaches - How to best use your team time.

Wasting time is something that baseball coaches should avoid. There is nothing more precious to a player, to parents, or to assistant coaches than time. Time spent at the baseball field must be considered valuable or constructive time. We are coaches because we love the game and we want to help young players grow up to great adults. We help nuture that process by teaching good morals, good values, and good habits. There is no more important thing for a kid to learn than the value of time and the importance of always being punctual.

The key to showing that you value someones time is to have your team practices, meeting, and other acitivites planned and organized.

Here are my 10 tips for showing the value of time:
1. Be punctual at all times. If a practice is schedule to start at 3:00. You should start it eactly at 3:00. Not one minute arly or one minute late. If the practice is set to end at 5:00, end the practice on time. A coach that is constantly running practices over is showing little regard for time and family life. If you do not end it on time. Why should you start it one time. You running a practice is not different than a player arriving 10 minutes late.
2. Stop drills when the alloted time is up. Do not run over.
3. Do not waste practice time having coaching conference. Have your coaching meeting after practice or 30 minutes before practice.
4. Have a practice schedule. Have every minute accounted for and planned. Use odd minutes in drills such as 7.5 minutes. This emphasizes the value of time.
5. Have agenda for team meetings. If you have a team meeting without a purpose or agenda, you may be wasting time. If you have a team meeting and ramble on and on talking in “circles”, you are wasting valuable time.
6. Have a designated place in the dougout for each player’s belongings. Make sure every players name or number is clearly visible on their glove, batting glove and bat. This saves time when a players has to find a glove, a bag, or a bat.
7. Do not talk through the fence with a parent or friend during practice. Kids should not do it and coaches should not either. You are showing a definite lack of respect for practice time. Make sure that you make it known that you will not have discussions or converstations with anyone during practice time.
8. Set all training equipment up before practice. Do not wate valuable practice time assembling, locating, or moving practice equipment.
9. Always disassemble and pack the training equipment up after the designated practice time is over. Do not waste valuable practice time packing way equipment.
10. Do not talk all night after a game. Set a time limit to post-game or post-practice meetings. If you can not say it in 5 minutes, they are not going to remember it anyway. Younger kids are going to “turn you off” after about 5 minutes. Save some of your talk for the beginning of your next practice.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Baseball Hitting Mechanics - Stride and Swing

By Kenny Buford


Each player has a preference about how big or small of a stride to take on the swing. Batters should do what is most comfortable for them, provided that they do not step on the line of the batter's box, as this will cause them to be called out.

When helping players determine how big of a stride to take, encourage them to experiment. A shorter stride is usually better than a longer one for control purposes, because it keeps the player over their body and does not allow things to get out of rhythm. As speed is a necessary part of batting, a short stride is desirable because it helps batters move to their next element, the swing, sooner.

As the batter is about to bring their hands forward to start the swinging motion, the striding leg should come forward toward the pitcher. The stride should be toward the area in front of home plate to help the batter get into better position.


During the swing, there are also small adjustments that players can make to ensure that they get the best swing possible. When working on hitting mechanics, even the smallest details count.

Throughout the swing, players should keep their back elbow up and close to the body. This allows the hands and the barrel of the bat to swing through completely. Finally, and perhaps most importantly when going through the swing, is to keep the head still. Keeping the head still ensures that you keep proper balance throughout the swing, which is otherwise hard to do because the batter is moving nearly every other part to connect with the ball.

Maintaining a still head also helps with creating a rhythm. If the batter's body has one still part that does not move or change during the swing, that batter will have a better idea of what part of their swing needs work or what part is not synchronized with the rest of the body. Whether in practice or in play, keeping a steady head is extremely important.

As the ball is pitched, batters should bring their hands to meet the ball. This mental picture will help players get the bat in contact with the ball in exactly the right place. At the same time that batters are bringing their hands to the ball, they should be keeping those hands level and still, so that the bat slices through the air on an even plane. A swing with any type of loop or wiggle can cause a dangerous pop-up, which can be detrimental to the team.

Run Drills

Just because a batter has been batting for years does not mean that they will maintain good form. In fact, more experience can lead to poor form because players become complacent and pay less attention to their form than when they were first learning it.

Every so often, at the discretion of the coach, players should go back and work on hitting basics. This means starting from a tee, using a whiffle ball. While some players may grumble about starting at such a fundamental level, you must show them the importance of being able to hit a whiffle ball off a tee, perfectly, every time. If players cannot hit a ball where they want it to go when it is sitting right in front of them, how are they going to be able to hit a ball moving toward them at 50 miles an hour or more?

When players hit a whiffle ball correctly from a tee, it acts like a knuckleball. When players hit is incorrectly, it spins uncontrollably and goes awry. Because of the air going through the ball, players will be able to see their mistakes easier and make adjustments as necessary.

After players become comfortable again with hitting from a tee, remove the tee and have them practice with regular pitches again. They will notice a difference in the way they hold themselves and approach the ball, and you will a difference in their effectiveness.

Kenny Buford is a baseball coach with over 20 years of experience and a founding member of Baseball Inner Circle. Discover the ultimate source for baseball drills, videos, and coaching tips that will immediately improve your players' skills and win more games for your team:
Baseball Inner Circle

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

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

By Nick Dixon

The coaching of baseball pitchers does not require a degree in "pitchingtology". There is no such degree to my knowledge. I just made that up. My point here is that coaching baseball pitching is not rocket science. However, having a basic knowledge of the terms and mechanics is a must. Having a commitment to be attentive to details in instruction and and to have frequent quality practice sessions is a good start toward becoming a coach of a successful pitcher at any level.

Here are the 5 basics elements of pitching success:

1. Beginning with the basics and keeping it simple

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

2. Balance is Key

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

3. Knee Lift and Proper Stride Leg Motion

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

4. Elbow Dynamics

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

5. Late Break of the Hips

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

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

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

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of BASEBALL PITCHING, COACHING and TRAINING DVDs.

Check out the Bat Action Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

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

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Two Confidence Killers that Sabotage Peak Performance

By: Dr. Patrick Cohn

There are two bad habits that many athletes today engage in - and they do it without even thinking about it. The habits I'm talking about are *not* drinking or smoking.

The two bad habits I am talking about, which kill confidence are:
1. Setting unrealistic expectations
2. Engaging in self-doubt

I talk about both of these concepts a great deal in my work, as expectation and doubt will cripple even a healthy level of self-confidence. Here is my conclusion after working with thousands of athletes from many sports:

Strict expectations will undermine and suck the life out of confidence! First, they set you up for a win/lose proposition. You either achieve or fail to achieve your expectations, which is not a good scenario for achieving success.

Second, if you don't achieve your own expectations, it's easy to question your ability that day, either during or after your performance. Essentially, you set yourself up for failure before you even take the field or court.

Here is a typical example: One of my golf students started each round with an unrealistic expectation to hit the ball perfectly every shot. When he hit his first bad or even marginal shot, he would start to analyze his swing mechanics and lose confidence in his ability to shoot a good score.

Self-doubt is the number *one* killer of confidence. Pessimistic or perfectionistic athletes tend to have habitual doubt, which if left to run wild can be a distraction, at the least, and cut off any confident-related thoughts.

Some athletes even start doubting before they get in the game or begin the competition. “How can we win today against this team?“ However, most athletes struggle with doubt after making a mistake or performing poorly in competition.

When you let doubt run rampant and unchecked, it undermines confidence. The goal every day should be to overcome the negative influence of doubt by turning it into statements of confidence.

I teach athletes to learn how to fight the doubt and take back control of their own self-confidence! That is why it’s called *self*confidence.

Confidence does not happen by chance or luck. Confidence comes
from achieving success and thinking in ways that will give the best
chance for success to happen.


About the Author: Want to learn simple, proven mental toughness skills that you can apply to competition? Grab my free online mental training newsletter, Sports Insights Magazine - for athletes, coaches, and sports parents:
Dr. Patrick Cohn is a master mental game coach who work with professional and amateur athletes, sports parents, and teams of all levels. Visit for more information.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Baseball Instruction - Teaching Sportsmanship

By Nate Barnett

Sportsmanship is vital for prolonged success as an athlete. Success as an athlete is defined here as a lasting and positive impact on the sport participated in because of attitude and achievement. In this case, baseball. Sure, there have been players who have made an impact on the baseball world who were not necessarily good sports, however, it's a select few.

The point I'll arrive at with this article is that athletes today cannot afford the same misconduct on (and off) the field as they once could. Technology has transformed our world. It's made communication easier and much efficient. Proper conduct on and off the field must be modeled and emphasized in all baseball instruction for a variety of reasons explained later. Let me begin with a brief story to illustrate.

A couple weeks ago I received an email from a friend which contained a video clip of two baseball teams walking in their lines at the end of the game, slapping the opponents hands, congratulating the other team for a job well done. For the first five seconds of the clip I was wondering why my friend had sent the clip. Nothing seemed unusual, just a friendly exchange between teams after a game had concluded. Then I saw it. The punch was quick and came without any warning. As he was walking through the line, one player pulled back and threw a heavy punch at a player from the opposing team. The blow landed on his lip, requiring some stitches afterwards. After some harsh words and disbelief, the clip ends. I had to replay the tape several times to see if I could find anything that provoked the punch. Nothing. There may have been some issue during the game that led to this outburst, but the viewer of the video is not privileged with that information. Regardless, it was shocking, and totally uncalled for.

I'm sure this sort of thing has occurred countless times throughout the years, so what made this incident different? Simple. It was caught on film. And that is why positive sportsmanship is so much more important in today's technological society if an athlete is looking to be successful with his talents. Here's why.

1. Ease of transmission. Fifteen years ago, the same incident above would not have got the attention it has today. Why? Because the equipment and process involved to capture, upload, attach, and send a video clip didn't exist. Who is to say that the clip doesn't end up in the hands of a decision maker that will affect that particular athlete?

2. Baseball Mania. Not necessarily technology caused (though it has played some role here), baseball has become exceedingly more popular to play in the past ten years. More athletes are playing competitively around the world than even before in the history of baseball. This has allowed teams and organizations at the college and professional levels to be more selective in who makes the team and who doesn't. If you are a talented athlete but are bringing a lot of baggage with you, there will be hundreds of others just waiting for you to do something dumb so they can take your place.

3. Lack of mental maturity. It doesn't matter if unsportsmanlike actions are caught on film or not, poor attitudes and actions demonstrate a lack of mental maturity. Mental maturity will come in handy as athletes progress up through the ranks in baseball. The tougher the game gets and the more pressure an athlete feels, the more mental maturity he will need to achieve and stand out.

Remember, you never know who is watching. Use opportunities during your baseball instruction to work on shaping your athletes into productive players who will leave a positive print on the game of baseball when they are through.

If you'd like to view the video mentioned above, you can see it at Nate's blog at

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.

Buy Nedco Sports Training Equipment at

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Coaching Youth Baseball Pitchers - 4 Common Pitching Flaws of Young Baseball Pitchers"

By: Nick Dixon

4 Common Pitching Flaws of Young baseball Pitchers.

The 4 flaws covered are Not Seeing The Target, Landing on the Heel, Throwing Across the Body, Poor Follow-Through and Finish. Coach Dixon describes each baseball pitching mistake and how to correct each.

1. NOT SEEING THE TARGET - Teach pitchers to "lock in" on the chosen "target spot" during the delivery. I call these targets anchor points. They may be the mitt, knees of the catcher, catcher mask, umpires mask, and other visual points. The "anchor points" vary with the pitch location being thrown. When runners are on, make sure the pitcher "refocuses" on the target after checking the runner/runners and before throwing the pitch. Many beginning pitchers have tendency to look down

2. LANDING ON THE HEEL - Landing on the heel of the stride foot will cause control problems and accelerate fatigue. The pitcher should land softly on the "ball" of the stride foot. Landing on the front half of the stride foot reduces the "landing impact" on body thus helping to improve body control and pitch control. Control the body; control the pitch!

3. THROWING ACROSS THE BODY - This is caused when the pitcher strides to "closed" to allow a smooth delivery and follow through. The pitcher must throw across the body causing a "front hip lock" that prevents proper and adequate front hip movement and rotation. The pitcher should stride into "center zone" toward the plate to prevent this flaw.

4. POOR FOLLOW-THROUGH - The pitcher should finish low with a bent back and slightly bent front leg. The pitcher should strive to finish with the throwing arm outside of the knee and chest over thigh. The emphasis should be on achieving a smooth and proper follow through on every pitch.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Baseball Instruction - The Not So Secret Bunt Defense

By Nate Barnett

Sacrifice bunts are not supposed to be a secret. But somewhere in the entanglement of some (not all) baseball instruction, the sacrifice bunt became as top secret as the development of the Atomic Bomb. Well... not quite, but you get the idea. What evidence do I have for this you say?

1. Batters that square around to bunt as the pitcher releases the ball.

2. Runners who get picked off first because they are trying to get a good jump.

3. Improper butting location on the field because of panic to get the bat in the zone.

There is a good start.

I'm saying sacrifice bunting is no secret. In fact, I used to coach a team who had a tough time picking up signs from our third base coach. So we changed the sign to an audible. It was, "Hey, Johnny, bunt the ball!" We got a few strange looks here and there but it got the job done. Some great high level baseball instruction, huh.

So if the offense knows it is bunting and the defense knows the offense is bunting, where does the offensive bunt the ball?

Scenario #1: Runner on first base only. No outs (don't bunt with one out please)

The batter squares around to bunt as the pitcher gets into the set position. Now everyone in the park knows. Ah, time to relax, the rabbit is out of the hat! The batter bunts (strikes only please!) the ball to the first base side of the diamond.


Because the first baseman will be holding the runner and will not charge unless it's bunted hard. If he does charge this means that the second baseman needs to be moving quickly to get to first base. The third baseman will be coming in when the hitter squares around. Bunting the ball to the third base side is not recommended.

Scenario #2: Runners on first and second base. No outs (don't bunt with one out please)

The batter squares around to bunt again as the pitcher gets into the set position. The batter bunts (strikes only) the ball to the third base side of the diamond.


Because the third baseman will be staying close to the bag in the event there is a play there. The first baseman will be charging as soon as the batter squares to bunt. Bunting the ball down the first base side is not recommended.

And that's it. No top secret baseball instruction, baseball drills, or decoy signs. It's straight up. If the bunter executes a proper bunt, the sacrifice will be a success.

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, March 23, 2009

3 Drills That Make Batting Cage Work More Productive

By Nick Dixon

Batting cage batting practice is a great way to improve batting skill, bat speed and batter confidence. Coach Dixon discusses three Hitting Drills That Make Batting Cage Work More Productive. The three drills are the MOVE UP, COUNT ADJUSTMENT and LINE DRIVE CONTEST. These drills are great ways to get maximum benefits from your baseball teams batting cage workouts. The three drills are:

Move Up Batting Drill

Purpose: Used to improve bat speed, visual concentration, and batter confidence.

Description: The MOVE-UP hitting drill: The batter learns to see and hit the ball quicker out of the machine or batters hand. Before the drill begins, 4 spots are marked on the floor, in measured distances of 40, 35, 30, and 25 feet. The machine or pitcher should maintain a safe medium speed velocity during this drill. The accuracy of your pitching machine must be checked and rechecked during the drill for safety purposes. The spots are the locations at which the batter will take a certain number of swings. The batter hits 4 balls at each spot and then move closer to the machine or pitcher at the next spot.

Procedure: The batter hits 4 to 6 balls at each spot, then moves to the next spot closer to the machine or pitcher. The machine or pitcher should not deliver the next pitcher until the batter assumes a proper stance, triggers or loads to the proper launch position, and has visual focus on the pitcher or machine. The batter starts the drill at 40 feet and hits at all spots until he has hit 4 to 6 balls at each spot, ending with ball hit at the closest spot to the pitcher, 25 feet. Distances can be shortened or made longer to meet the needs of your players.

Coaching Points: Sometimes you may have the player hit two balls at each spots moving toward the machine and then hit two balls at each spot moving away from the machine, until two balls are hit at each location or distance. This process makes the batter adjust to varying changes in pitch speed. This drill is great for teaching batters to stay-back and let the ball in.

Count Adjustment Drill

Purpose: The drill is great for teaching young hitters to make adjustments in their approach at the plate based on the current count. Batters learn to be properly aggressive for the following counts or situations 0-0, 2-0, 0-2, 3-1, runner at 3rd with 1 or less outs, and hit-in-run.

Procedure: We have 5 batting cages at our facility. Batters are always hitting in all cages. In a normal situation, the players would be hitting every pitch that they can reach to a location based on the pitch location. To change the approach, a coach calls a count such as 2-0. For the next two pitches, the batter will be properly aggressive as he would with that count in a game. Of course in this situation, the batter is looking for a pitch in that perfect spot. If the ball is at that anticipated location, the batter attacks, the ball. If the ball is not in that spot the batter will hold off the pitch and adjust to the new count of 2-1 or 3-0. If the coach calls, Runner at 3rd, the batter is looking for a pitch up to drive deep enough for a score or tag and score. The batter will try to lift the ball and drive a deep fly ball to the outfield. If the coach calls, Hit-n-Run, the batter will execute a hit-in-run approach at the plate.

Line Drive Contest Drill

After a session of batting cage workouts, we often end the day with a line-drive hitting contest. An assistant coach will do the pitching. The coach is protected by a L-screen. The player should only swing at great pitches. The contest is to see which player hits the most line-drives in a row. A line-drive is a ball that hits the side walls, back wall, or pitchers L-Screen hard and directly off the batters bat. The hit ball can not touch the top of the cage in front of the pitching protective L-Screen. As long as the batter hits line-drives with each swing, the batter continues to bat and his TOTAL COUNT increases. This drill tends to put pressure on the hitters making them learn to hit under pressure.

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

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Coaching Baseball - Strategies For Facing Overpowering Pitchers

By Nick Dixon

Every one of us has at one time or another, either as a player or a coach, has had to compete against a pitcher that is over-powering, dominate, and almost impossible to hit. The pitcher that has an overpowering fastball and nasty curve ball that intimidates teams. How should a coach prepare his team for such a challenge? What I would like to discuss is some of the strategies that can be used when your team has to face such a pitcher. The most important thing a coach must do in this situation is to have a strategy and make sure that your kids know that strategy. Your team must realize that executing these strategies will give your team a better chance to win. Here are the 4 strategies that you should consider using:

1. Run up the Pitchers Pitch Count The main focus here is to make the pitcher throw as many pitches as possible. Have your kids take pitches, going deep in the count, and battling to foul off pitches with a 2 strike count.

2. Make the pitcher change his rhythm. Does the pitcher like to work fast? If he does, have your players step out, and call time frequently to make him slow down. Your players call time to adjust their batting gloves, clean their glasses, check their contacts, tuck their shirt tail in, or tie their shoe strings. This may seem like a display of bad sportsmanship, but I consider it a legitimate part of having a strategy to give your kids a chance to win. You should only use one of these tactics per inning. You cannot make these things too obvious, or the umpire will become angry.

3. Shake the pitcher out of his comfort zone. Does the pitcher throw better out of the wind-up or stretch? Many overpowering pitchers rarely throw out of the stretch because they rarely pitch with runners on base. Your kids have to find a way to get on base. A bunt for base hit should be attempted. If the pitcher shows any tendency to be wild your kids should try to draw a walk.

4. Speed up your bat speed and adjust your swings. If some of your players simply do not have good bat speed, then you have to take measures to improve on the bat speed that they have. There are 3 strategies you can use to increase bat speed:

A) Use a shorter and lighter bat.

B) Choke up at least one inch on the bat. Make sure that your batters move closer to the plate to insure plate coverage when they use a choke-up grip.

C) Move deeper in the batting box. The farther your batter is away from the pitcher, the longer the batter has to see and hit the fast ball. Swing Adjustment means that your kids are not going to try and pull the ball. They are going to hit a lot of balls to the opposite field. With high velocity pitchers, the main focus is to put the bat on the ball. If your kids can make some kind of contact, good things are going to happen. Defenses that play behind dominate pitchers are used to strike outs and are often not expecting the ball to be hit.

The has a great collection of baseball articles. Check out the Bat Action Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

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

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

HandsBack Hitting Tee Batting Trainer for Baseball Teams

The Hands Back Hitter™ Pro Model is the simplest, most affordable, yet most instructive training aid on the market. And to insure that you will practice often, it makes you a better hitter while you are having fun.

The Hands Back Hitter Pro-Model. (Uses ALL type balls real and plastic; baseball or softball). The unique popper design allows the operator to adjust pitch height for any type ball. The same unit assembles for righties and lefties. It comes with an extra string, 12 medium weight plastic balls, and a CD-ROM training disc. This patented pitching machine/ batting tee hybrid controls the swing sequence for teaching rotational hitting and opposite field mechanics . Extremely durable and used from LL to D-1 Programs. The trainer players love to use.

The Hands Back Hitter™, the affordable, portable, personal batting station that keeps them training and swinging right even when your not there.

1. What do you do for LH batters?
The same unit ASSEMBLES for either RH OR LH.

2. Can you change it over?
You can but it takes about 3-4 minutes and most coaches buy two (2) for team practice because of the price, it just saves time and you can run two stations at once.

3. What balls do I use?
It comes with 12 medium weight plastic balls but you can use real baseballs, softballs, and golf ball wifflesTM too.

4. What powers it?
There is a patented spring popper that allows height adjustment for all weight takes no electricity. You can use it is the rain.

5. Will the string wear out?
We recommend no cleats but strings have not been a problem. Besides they add a second string free just in case.

6. How will I know how to use it?
It comes with a Training CD with about 100 slides with some streaming video. If you do not have a computer, it has pictures with instructions in the assembly guide and coaching tips.

7. What ages and gender?
It adjusts for arm length and the long trigger area allows the batter to move up and away about 14 inches with no adjustment between batters required. Very athletic 6-7 Y.O kids learn well and all payers up to and through college. Most now consider the fast pitch swing to be the same as MLB swing so it have equal application for baseball and softball.

8. How hard is it to assemble?
4 hands tighten knobs and NO TOOLS
the popper is pre-assembled.

9. Do you have to cock it each time?
Yes, we want them to work more slowly, concentrating on balance, stride, and load. Swinging in rapid succession makes for upper body hitters. This is what makes this trainer so good.

10. Why does it make you hit better?
The Hands Back Hitter separates the swing and the stride and forces deeper ball contact. It promotes a hip driven swing that is powerful and adjust for different pitch speeds.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coaching Baseball Baseball - Hitting Flaws and How to Correct Them

The following are common mechanical errors that should be quickly identified and eliminated. There are many more and we will continually add more.
Improper Stance Width
"Wrapping" The Bat
Looking At Your Nose
Poor Grip
"Hitch" In The Swing
"Locking" The Front Arm
Opening Up Too Soon

1. Improper Stance Width
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.
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.

2. "Wrapping" The Bat
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.
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.

3. Looking At Your Nose
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.
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.

4. Poor Grip
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.
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.

5. Overstriding
Overstriding is a common mistake. Batters that often get "jammed" may be in fact causing 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.
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.

6. "Hitch" In The Swing
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.
Take the hands slightly up and then back rather than dropping them.

7. "Locking" The Front Arm
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.
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.

8. Opening Up Too Soon
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.
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 timing mechanics.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How To Throw Baseball Curving Ball

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. Awara
You can read more articles about Baseball and many other Sports different topics, visit - Great batting tee for advanced skills and drills.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Remembering the "Johnny Bench Baseball Batter-Up" Baseball Trainer

My son loved absolutely loved his Johnny Bench batting trainer. It was so simple and easy to use. He would hit that tiny rubber ball with the molded seams and it would wrap around the pole, return, and he would hit it again. Only God really knows, how many times he watched that ball circle that pole. It was the youth hit trainer that made him a great hitter. It made him a major leaguer in his own mind. He would imagine himself being Johnny Bench. With 2 outs, bases loaded, and the World Series on the line, he had a lot of pressure on him for a 12 year old. He would track that ball around the pole as if it was a 90+ miles per hour fastball. He learned to concentrate on the ball and to keep his head still during his swing.

It was tough be a big league hitter in those days. When that ball got to him, he would hit it so hard that he would almost come out of his shoes. Grand Slam, he would yell! Then he would trot around the backyard smiling and basking in the glory that only a World Series title could bring. It was so sweet to be named the MVP of the whole world. Baseball was fun and his Johnny Bench trainer was his pitcher. As an only child and with no neighbors living close by, it was his best friend and his way of having a great make believe baseball game in his own backyard. It was those backyard games that developed the hitting skills he needed to become a great little league all-star, high school standout, and college baseball player.

Back in those days training aid manufacturing technology was a bit behind the times. There were certain things about the JB trainer that were a bit frustrating. The major problem was those confounded rubber bands. They would dry-rot and break. Eventually most people made their own from cut pieces of old tire inner tubes. Eventually the ball broke off the rod and the JB trainer playing days at our house were over. And the big mass of concrete it was mounted in proved to be a major problem to move when wanted it gone.

Years ago I looked at young players and I realized just how much they too needed a good wholesome home trainer that was fun, practical, entertaining, and productive to hit. That need is the reason I invented the BatAction Hitting Machine and the Hurricane Hitting Machine. Both of these patented batting machines have similar ball motion paths, high speed ball movement, and both offer the same levels of fun and excitement. These popular machines feature adjustable ball speeds and height settings for all ages and ability levels. If you experienced the Johnny Bench trainer as a youngster and appreciate what it did for you, you will want your child or grandchild to have the same opportunities. If you are looking for a rotational hitting machine at a good price, I recommend the BatAction and Hurricane Hitting Machines. I know that you will love the results that you see from regular backyard workouts on these hitting trainers. Good luck till next time, Nick Dixon.

CoachesBest has a great deals on the BATACTION HITTING MACHINE. Check out the BatAction Hitting Machine deals on ebay and save big!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Effective Baseball Hitting With Good Training

By Chris Moheno

Baseball is the national American pastime. Many have started appreciating the game by playing in Little League as they were children. Though considered as just playtime, the basics of the sport are inculcated at this early age. There are two aspects of the game that is most notably developed at all levels of the sport, from backyard catching time with another person to the major leagues. These are baseball hitting and baseball pitching. As can be seen in the sport, baseball pitching is the first line of defense that a baseball team against an opponent. But to this can be offset by good baseball hitting.

Effective baseball hitting or baseball pitching can only be achieved through baseball training.

What is considered as effective hitting?

In hitting, the very first thing learned is the batter's stance when up on the plate. The stance determines the baseball pitching strike zone. The zone would be the area with the most probability of getting hit by the batter with the bat as it is within reach of the batter. So having a smaller strike zone by crouching would gain the advantage for the batter since there would be a smaller strike zone and thus more likely that the pitch would be called a ball or it would be hittable into play. But being too crouched would mean being impeded from swinging the bat and hitting the ball.

The second must learn for the hitter would be the correct baseball grip and weight. Baseball hitting is all about being able to swing the bat fast enough and hard enough to hit the ball into play. But if the ball is hit hard enough, the ball may just sail up and over the field fence within the lines and be called a homerun. This is baseball hitting's prized achievement, to make a home run against baseball pitching. With this, the batter is able to score on his own or if others are on base then he can bat them in for the score, hence the statistic RBI for Runs Batted In.

How do you train for it?

The runs scored in baseball hitting determine who wins the game. So grip on the bat and the weight of the bat must be both comfortable and easy, as the bat merely becomes an extension of the arm. When the bat is swung, it must be in one sweeping motion without any wasted movement to generate the speed needed for the bat to hit the ball into play.

A further training issue is the hip swing. This is where the power for baseball hitting is generated to offset the skill of baseball pitching. The hip swing is all about being able to generate force and power to help the bat in hitting the ball. Having the larger muscle groups of the torso does this and the legs create a quick swivel motion to help the arms generate sufficient speed and power for the bat to hit the ball. In essence, the muscle groups of the legs and torso area acting like coiled springs can drive a bat at a much faster rate and a quicker pace.

The do´s and don't s of hitting the ball

An effective baseball hitting technique is through the use of a hung baseball. In this exercise, a baseball is hung using a piece of rope or string. The training commences by studying the bat's angle relative to the height and distance of the pitch from the batter.

Repeating the batting technique several times and each time increasing speed and recoil movement of the batter's body create what sports scientists call as muscle memory. The baseball hitting technique allows the body to remember the exact adjustments that were in place to deliver the same movement and thus generate the necessary speed and power to hit the ball into play. By adjusting the baseball's height and distance, the batter then can see the minute adjustment's that need to be made in order to make contact between bat and ball.

Remember though, not to over train, as this could result to pain and even injury. As much as you may want to hit the ball perfectly every time, learning baseball really does take time.

Perhaps, the best form of baseball training that you could do would be live game play, through either scrimmage or experience in actual game situations.

Baseball hitting can be practiced time and time again through the use of a live pitcher or an automated pitcher to see what needs to be adjusted in the batting stance and swing to generate the optimum set of movements to generate the most power for the bat. It is here where legends are made and hall of fames become immortalized.

Chris Moheno has a long time passion for sports in general and for baseball coaching more specifically.

His goal is to spread the word about effective non-fluff baseball training techniques for both more experienced and young baseball players, to help them perform better during the game.

Discover more about baseball training secrets on

Article Source:

Monday, March 9, 2009

The 5 Steps of Pitching by Barton's Youth Baseball

The 5 Steps of Pitching
1. Baby Rocker Step (4-6 inches)
2. The Pivot
3. Balance Point
4. Stride and Release
5. Follow Through (Extend to plate, finish low)

Read more about these steps at Barton's Youth Baseball... has baseball coaching DVDs, training aids, batting cages and pitching machines.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Coaching Baseball - Two True Base Running Blunders That Teach a Lesson

By Nick Dixon

We all know the importance of good base running. We know that "solid" base running scores runs and wins games. We also know that poor base running can easily cause a team to lose a game. The following two stories are true stories of base running mistakes that cost the team a win. All the team had to do to win was to have the base runner advance to the next bag. These two stories are great stories that you can tell to your players to teach young players two important rules of base running:

1) Always hustle and run everything out and never assume anything when you are running the bases.

2) On a game winning base hit, always advance to and touch the next bag.

Coaching Baseball Base running: The stories of two base running mistakes that teach a lesson

It was a high school game. The home team was batting, down 3-1, with bases loaded and two outs. The #6 hitter, with average speed was at third, #9 hitter, a fast runner, was on 2nd and lead-off hitter, a super speedster, was on 1st. The count was 3-2, with bases loaded and all three runners were moving on the pitch. The #2 batter was the batting for the team trailing by two runs. He was expecting a fastball on the outer half of the plate that and he got "all of it"! He ripped a hard line drive right at the second baseman. The second baseman leaped into the air and the ball hit his glove. The batter seeing the ball go into the glove immediately slumped in disappointment about a 3rd of the way to first. He goes down to his knees with his face in his hands. He was basically "feeling sorry for himself". In the meanwhile, he was unaware that the ball went completely through the webbing of the glove of the second baseman and landed 15 feet behind the fielder. The second baseman had to go get the ball and make the throw to first for the out. The second baseman was quick as a cat so it did not take long. The batter realized what had happened, tried to beat out the throw, but was out by a step at first base.

However, if the batter had he been running, he would have been easily safe at first. The saddest fact of all is that the runners on 3rd and 2nd scored easily what would have been the two tying runs. Plus, the runner at 1st, the super speedster, crossed the plate during the play to score what was the winning run. But, the team lost the game. If the batter had simply run the ball out, his team would have won the game. A hard lesson learned and one that will never be forgotten.

The Great Base running Mistake in Baseball History

The following is the story of what is commonly called Merkle's Boner. It is the most costly mistake ever made by a baseball player running the bases. It happened in September of 1908, in NY City. The Cubs were facing the Giants with the pennant on the line. Each and every game was a must-win situation. The score was tied 1-1, in the bottom of the 9th inning; the Giants had runners on the corners with two outs. Fred Merkle, a 19 year-old rookie, was the runner on first. The next batter lined a single. The runner at third came home. It appeared to be a Giants victory, they had won the game and taken the lead for the pennant, and the cheering fans swarmed the field.

Merkle looked toward home plate and saw his teammate cross the plate. Merkle was startled as he saw the huge crowd pour out of the stands and onto the field. In his excitement, he simply stopped half-way to 2nd base. Thinking the game was over, Merkle sprinted off the field. But, he had forgotten an important rule of baseball; he did not go touch second. With him on first, there was a force out at second if the defense can get the ball to second base before he touches second base. The Cubs retrieved the ball, went and touched second. The game was declared at tie because order could not be restored because the fans could not be removed from the field. The two teams went on to finish the season in a dead tie for the pennant. They had to play a one-game playoff. The Cubs won and went to the World Series. One loss, the loss, that day knocked the Giants out!

Merkle was never forgiven by the NY fans for that blunder. He went on to have a solid career of 14 years and a lifetime average of 273. However, everywhere he went he always was reminded by fans of his terrible mistake on that day of his rookie season. This is a major league mistake that will always be called, Merkles Boner.
I hope these two stories are useful to you. I appreciate your interest and you taking the time to read my writing.

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of BASEBALL HITTING, COACHING and TRAINING DVDs. Check out for more great articles on coaching baseball.

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

Article Source: - The Batting Tee for the Perfect Baseball Swing.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Coaching Baseball: Preventi ng Baseball Injury

Each year, almost 500,000 baseball-related injuries are treated in hospitals, doctors' offices, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers and hospital emergency rooms.

There are 4 areas that coaches must consder to insure player saety:
=Planning for Your Environment
=Dress Appropriately
=Focus on Technique

Click Here tto read this article...

Buy the Hands Back Hitter and other great training products at discount prices when you shop the BASEBALL DEALZ EBAY SUPER STORE.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Baseball Coaching: How do you develop a short, quick, compact baseball swing?

An adjustable dial allows you to increase or decrease the level of difficulty and develop a quicker more compact swing as you improve your baseball hitting technique. The Mauer Quick Swing batting trainer will help you improve reflexes, muscle memory and timing.

--Ideal for hitters of all ages and abilities. Baseball or Softball players!
--New Auto-feed design allows you to load up to 12 baseballs (or 8 softalls) and cycles them out in 5 second intervals.
--Delivers a moving ball downward, forcing you to wait to see the ball and react quickly.
--Adjusts to varying degrees of difficulty.
--Adjusts to varying heights. Portable and durable
--FREE instructional DVD by 2006 A.L. Batting Champion, Joe Mauer, and Hall of Fame inductee, Paul Molitor.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Baseball Swing Secrets to Learning the Right Mechanics Quickly!

By Joey Myers

The perfect baseball swing is like poetry in motion...watching Joe Mauer, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriquez, or Manny Ramirez hit leaves anyone with an awe that is indescribable. They've taken hundreds of thousands of cuts to create such a beautiful swing with such devastating impact on pitchers.

But, do you really have that kind of time with:

The new season coming up?
A big tournament being a week from now? or maybe you
Have to get ready for a big scouting showcase?
What you need is to SUPER-learn the baseball swing, like, yesterday!

Well, this article will go into what it's going to take to do just that. Doing the following will not make your swing perfect , it never will be, but you'll be able to take the information from the Smart Hitting Tips tab on the navigation bar, do what's prescribed here, and have a helluva showing.

Most of the following tips are hard rooted in research based on state-of-the-art Neuroscience and Exercise Science practice & theory...

This isn't a get hits quick scheme either, and will take A LOT of work, 2,000+ reps a week to be exact, but you'll train your brain and body to harmonize, building to successful baseball swing execution.

Ready?? Hold your horses...First,

You must create a time-line...when do you want to accomplish this? In a week (recommended, at least)? or 2? A month? Decide that first, then move on to the following Steps...

STEP 1: Make Small Circles

Start off slow with one concept, two at most, a day and breakdown each and every movement by going in extremely slow motion. You're brain is like a record...the more you do a movement, the more the needle wears the grooves on the surface of the vinyl... the more reps you do, the deeper and more solid the grooves.

Be careful because it can also work against you, by doing the movement wrong, so start off slow the right way, then speed up.

STEP 2: Balancing Act

Using the Balance & Reach Drill a foot or two off the ground will cause your brain to engage more muscles to stabilize the whole body, and the more you engage the Central Nervous System, the more muscles get recruited, and the faster your body picks up the technique.

Also, doing regular swings on an unstable surface, like on a narrow cushiony weight bench, diving board, exercise bose ball, or with eyes closed, the better off you'll be in record time.

STEP 3: Reps Before Bed

Studies have shown going through the motions before bedtime helps to burn them into your brain better. It has to do with the Four Stages of REM Sleep ...major repairs, both physically and cerebrally, go on in the 3rd and 4th Stages of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. If you don't get to the last two stages, then your body doesn't repair itself, which leads us to the next Step...

STEP 4: Set Alarm for 4.5 Hours

In order to speed up the learning process for developing an effective baseball swing, you have to take advantage of two sets of REM sleep. Do your swing repetitions before bed, set your alarm clock for 4.5 hours, wake up and do more reps, then finish off your sleep or the next REM cycle.

What this does is complete one cycle of REM (all 4 stages), then reset your body (by waking up) for another round, deepening those grooves in the brain. By doing this you're 50% more likely to make "stick" the desired technique.

All this can be possible if you...

STEP 5: Do NOT Eat Carbohydrates Past 6pm

Eating enough Carbs to spike your insulin, anytime past 6pm will keep you from getting to Stage 3 & 4 of REM sleep. Our natural occurring human growth hormones (HGH) get released in those stages of sleep ONLY, to repair the body. To allow that to happen, we have to chill out on the Carbs after hours.

And most importantly for your baseball swing, not only will you not repair and heal, but learning is dampened and your immune system crashes.

Last but not least,

STEP 6: Hyper-Computing for Cadence

Once we get a handle on all of the above baseball swing hyper-learning points, now we can speed up our micro processors. By doing this, we train the Central Nervous system by speeding up our motion to get the proper tempo or cadence.

Key point: do NOT attempt this until you have a solid handle on the proper form and movement first.

Speeding up the process of a particular part of the swing helps to deepen the specific movement groove in the brain, so when you engage the correct tempo, the movement is more natural.

You have to exaggerate a technique (in this case, speeding up the cadence), to get the right motion.

This is also great training for combating fast tempo pitchers, who when you step in the batter's box and look up, the pitch is already on its way.

The bottom line about HYPER-learning the baseball swing?

For these 6 Steps to be effective, you have to take between 1,200 to 2,000 repetitions a week...the RIGHT reps. Remember, wearing grooves in your brain can work for OR against you. Keep in mind, with that amount of swings in a small time-frame, you're going to develop blisters and sore muscles. Try and work through them, but if it comes to the sacrifice of good form, then stop, let them heal, and get back on the horse.

To Hyper-Heal sore muscles, do what the Soviet athletes did in the 80-90's, ice the sore spots for 5 minutes, then plunge into a hot bath or spa for 15 minutes, and repeat the process a couple times. This sequence also helps your body release melatonin, which will aid in putting you to sleep.

For blisters, drain them, but don't cut away the whole dead skin blister layer for a couple days...put antibiotic ointment between the dead and raw skin, and cover with a band-aid & athletic tape. They also have blister spray skin toughener, which you may want to look burns like hell for a moment, but makes it so you can hit again with virtually no pain.

We hope you enjoyed this baseball swing article, remember we're always adding content, so please subscribe to the RSS feed, blog, and/or The Dugout Newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest baseball hitting information.

My name is Joey Myers, and I played 18 total years of baseball finishing my career after my fourth year of college (2000-2003) as a Fresno State Bulldog (the 2008 College World Series Champions). I'm very grateful for the success I had at Bullard High School, and getting a scholarship to play at a Division I university, Fresno State, where I started 110 out of the 178 games I played, in the outfield. Now I devote most of my life to baseball swing coaching and personal fitness training. My websites are and

Check out these online baseball training equipment store:
Baseball Dealz Ebay Super Store

Monday, March 2, 2009

What is Mental Toughness and Why Is It Important?

By Mike Posey

Over the years I have had the opportunity to coach many players and one thing I can tell you without reservation is the best players were all mentally tough. It's a hard concept to explain until you see it, but it's obvious when you see a player that has it.

To clarify my point, not all of the best athletes have it. No every big league player is mentally tough and there are plenty that never make it to the big leagues that have great mental toughness. It's not about ability, I've coached many great athletes that didn't have a clue about being mentally tough and would fold under pressure. They could perform well when there was nothing on the line, but when the game was in balance, or the competition was tough, they usually failed.

On the other hand, I've witnessed many players with average skills, but mentally tough, perform in ways no one thought they could perform. A clutch hit, a key bunt, a great defensive play that stopped a rally, mentally tough players get the job done. In fact, the greater the pressure, the better they perform.

One thing I've come to understand with experience is that mental toughness is not an inborn DNA trait, but rather one that is developed over time and exposure to adverse conditions. Preparation in mental toughness begins with experiences at a young age. Parents can play a key role to begin the process of training mental toughness, but they need help along the way. A disciplined educational system with high expectations and good classroom rules, along with tough, but fair coaches (or mentors in other activities) with a positive mind set, is essential to developing a child mentally, whether they are an athlete are not.

This is one of the many reasons why it's important for all children to be involved in balanced organized extra curricular activities at a young age: Karate, gymnastics, ballet, music, scouts, children and youth activities at church, or youth sports will play a part in beginning to instill the discipline and structure that is needed to develop mentally. Notice I said begin to play a part. It takes time and preparation.

Development of mental toughness (and leadership skills) is also a reason that athletes need to be involved in a proper training program by the time they are 14 or 15 years old. A training program not only helps to build power, strength, and agility, but is important in developing mentally. Players should be accountable to a mentor (trainer, coach, etc...) as well as the camaraderie and pressure of a small peer group, even if it's only one or two others.

If a player is involved in a training program earlier than 14 or 15, it should be for the purpose of agility and speed training, along with teaching the proper techniques in strength conditioning without weights. Before any training program is started, please consult your child's physician during their annual physical, as the development of each child is unique.

Defining Mental Toughness
Mental toughness is having the psychological edge that allows one to perform at peak maximum effort and efficiency during the demands that are placed on them during training, practice, or competition. Specifically, when the demands are greatest or the conditions become adverse.
Whenever the demands are the greatest is when the characteristics of mental toughness are the most evident.

Some of the many characteristics that are evident when a player is mentally tough include:

- Self-confidence
- Self-motivation
- Focus
- Concentration
- Composure
- Calmness
- Poise
- Self-control
- Positive Energy
- Determination
- Persistence
- Leadership

Please note, this doesn't mean that the outcome is always a win, in many cases these attributes can show up the most during a loss, especially a close loss to a tough opponent or during adverse conditions. But over time and with careful training, the mental toughness of skilled players comes to light in championships won.

Developing Mental Toughness

To become mentally tough one must practice attributes that lead to mental toughness. I wish there were a formula to follow, but there is not. It takes time and patience under the right leadership to develop mental toughness. Parents, educators, coaches, and other mentors must be systematically involved in the training process.

Also, it takes failure and the ability to bounce back. Many people develop mental toughness through the experience of failure. Good parents do not want their children to fail and I understand that. But today, too many blame others for the failure. Parents are quick to blame the teacher for problems in class or a coach when the child is not excelling in an activity. Mental toughness can not be developed properly when blaming others. In fact, the opposite is the case.

Here are a couple of examples:

"Every strikeout got me closer to my next homerun". Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth grew up in an orphanage. During his playing career he struck out a record 1330 times on his way to hitting 714 career homeruns.

"Failure makes me try harder the next time." Michael Jordan

Jordan was only 5' 7" when he entered high school. Because of his speed and athleticism (and an older brother named Larry that the coaches knew well) he was invited to try out for the varsity, but didn't make it. He was placed on the JV team where he routinely scored 25 -30 points a game. By his junior year, he was 6'4" and made the varsity team. By then, he not only had the skill to play, but the drive and determination to be successful, while demanding the same from his teammates. His older brother Larry had a lot to do also with him developing his toughness on the court.

Edmund Hillary failed three times before finally being the fist to climb Mt. Everest.

Bill Gates and Steve Allen (his Microsoft co-founder) failed at their first business, Traf-O-Matic, which was developed to analyze traffic patterns.

Walt Disney's first animation business in the 1920's failed after only one month, forcing him to take a job from another company at that time. Coaches, you can train your players to become mentally tough but it takes time, persistence, and hard work. But the results are worth it.

Coach Mike Posey "CP"
Tips from a championship coach's perspective and experience, offering creative insights into helping others learn the game of baseball.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Strange Things Baseball Parents Say to Their Son's Coach

Strange Things Baseball Parents Say to Their Son's Coach
The Baseball 2Day Coaching Journal conducted a coaches survey several years ago. here is one of the questions and some of the responses.

What is the strangest thing that a parent ever said to you?

I called a mother to remind her that her son would be catching the next game and he needed to bring a "cup." She replied, "but he brings a water bottle?"

"You're not that good of a coach. I'm going to coach a team next year and kick your ass!"

When Player Did Not Show For Practice: "I thought his Dad would bring him." (from the Mom) "I thought his Mom would bring him." (from the Dad)

"Parents seldom talk to me since Im the 3rd base coach, they save all the good stuff for the head coach!" "I am glad to see the season is over, too much running around." (when that parent only came to two games.) Do we have a game today? (we were at the game with our uniforms on..including her son)

After we beat a team 18-1, a parent on the other team told me it wasn't a real loss because their best pitcher didn't pitch. has one of the internet's largest baseball coaching and training DVD online inventories. There selection of baseball training aids is outstanding also.