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Monday, August 31, 2009

Baseball Training - An Off-Season Plan For Hitters

Baseball Training - An Off-Season Plan For Hitters

By John Peter Pero

1st Things First!

Commit to having a plan. With a plan, you have direction.

With direction, you get more done in less time and are more apt to get results.which makes you want stick with your plan.and repeat it even more.which gets you better quicker.get it?

But.what do I plan?

My summary is to always work on your weak points.but let's mix the fun stuff in as well. It's off season, you know it's important, but this is supposed to be fun. right!

Here's a great idea for this time of year:

Try to hit at a home training station with a batting tee or (for more fun) with a soft toss machine and get into a batting cage as often as you can during the cold and off-season months.

Better yet.use your plan to decide what to practice & how to accomplish your goals ( of your goals is to accomplish more with less time).

It is a game that we are's the game you chose, so why not make up your own practice rules!

Here's some examples & ideas:

Divide everything you do into 10 swings with a purpose.

Round 1 - Begin with hitting to the opposite field.count your successes.out of 10 (this might simulate driving in runners on base)
Round 2 - Take 10 swings up the middle - just for focusing on a target.count your successes.out of 10
Rounds 3, 4 etc. examples Make it up. play games best out of 10. Some examples: * Hitting a long fly ball to score a runner from 3B (how many runs can you drive in. out of 10) * # of hard hit balls. out of 10 * # of ground balls. out of 10 * # of sac bunts. out of 10 * # of clean base hits. all out of 10 swings

Lather, Rinse & Repeat

And, of course, you can have a 2nd round on any of these ideas to see how you improve. Keep your own "scorecard" on a clipboard complete with dates and your results. Add a buddy and compete against each other.make it 9 innings (9 specific "tests" or a World Series best of 7) where the winner of each test chooses the next test.

I'm just making up these examples as I am writing, you do the same.

Just note that the most important points are:

Get a plan (one that is you will want to do it regularly).
Use these games as practice tools.
Compete with yourself or other players.or even Dad.
Make up your own games.and compete, whether it's against yourself, your Dad or a teammate. Just do it right or not at all.

Remember to plan your work and work your plan.In other words, stay focused! It's true in school, business, baseball and life in general.

Baseball tips & youth baseball equipment, training aids & instruction! It's all here for baseball coaching of pitchers & hitters, little league to high school.

Article Source:

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Players develop incredible abt speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at See the world’s most advanced batting tee at

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Baseball Players - Tuning Up Your Athleticism With Plyometrics!

Baseball Players - Tuning Up Your Athleticism With Plyometrics!

By Brandon Richey

If you are a baseball player looking to tune up your athleticism then you need to make sure that you are including plyometrics into your strength and conditioning program. Plyometrics allow you to develop short quick burst of powerful muscular force which is essential in the development of athletic skill and overall performance. Check out the following 2 drills that you can implement to get that power and increase your performance for baseball!

1. Squat Jumps: For this particular drill equipment can be applied, but is not necessary. All you need is a flat open space and the will to work. To begin, simply stand with your feet about shoulder width distance apart. From here perform a counter-movement with your arms by swinging them back as you descend. Lower your body by rapidly flexing at your hips and knees. From here then explosively extend at both your hips and knees and swing your arms back up in front of your body and above your head. When you land on the ground immediately transition into the next squat jump and perform every repetition in rapid succession.

2. Stadium Sprints: For this drill, once again, equipment can be applied but is not necessary. To start, all you will need for this is a set of relatively tall stadium bleachers. You can find stadium bleachers at your local college or high school football stadium. Just make sure that you can gain proper entry. From here you will simply want to start at the base of the stadium. Try to sprint the distance upwards that is equivalent to about 2 stories. Once you sprint up simply walk back down and repeat the process. This is great plyometric training for baseball players to develop explosive leg power and tremendous athletic conditioning!

To learn more about Kettlebells, Fitness, and achieving Total Mind-Blowing Strength come and visit me at:
To be one of my members and to receive more tips on INSANE BODY CONSTRUCTION please visit me at:
I'm Brandon Richey the Strength and Conditioning Pro!

Article Source:

Shop for your baseball coaching needs including baseball training aids, training videos, and other coaching supplies. Check out the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting machine by SKLZ at

See the “Original” Rotational Hitting Machine at Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to

Players develop incredible abt speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at See the world’s most advanced batting tee at

Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit now!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Baseball Swing - Rotational Hitting Explained

The Baseball Swing - Rotational Hitting Explained

By Nate Barnett

It seems like baseball instruction in the area of hitting mechanics is splitting into two different camps. Rotational hitting vs. Linear hitting. If you're new to the baseball world, or are just unfamiliar with the new exciting terminology, let me offer some explanation.

Rotational Hitting

The purpose of the baseball swing is to transfer the most energy into the baseball as possible. In order to get the most energy created, there are specific parts of the body that need to move at the correct time in order for this energy to occur.

A rotational approach offers that the energy used in creating a powerful baseball swing stems from the back side of the body, and more specifically the lower half of the back side. The controlled chain reaction that happens when the back side is moved at precisely the correct time toward the pitch is quite powerful. On the flip side, incorrect timing of the back knee and hip will produce a sluggish bat.

A rotational approach to hitting uses the follow steps to a good baseball swing:

1. A good weight shift to the back leg from the stance position as a hitter is preparing to hit. Make sure that this weight shift is not purely horizontal in motion, since this will create an imbalance.

2. The next step is the trigger. This is the most important movement that separates a rotational hitter from a linear hitter. The triggering process should begin with the back knee turning and moving towards the pitcher (as apposed to simply spinning in place). The back hip will quickly follow the back knee in the rotation process. Lastly, the hands will begin to enter into the hitting zone. It's important that the hands do not begin the swing since the power is stemming from the back knee and hip. Early hand movement would negate any effort to use energy from the back side of the hitter's body.

3. As the bat enters the zone, one will begin to see signs that a rotational approach has been utilized. The common tell tale signs are the balance points. The easiest to explain in writing is that upon contact with the pitch there will be vertical alignment with the inside shoulder joint, the back hip, and the back knee joint. This alignment shows that balance is retained and no weight has shifted forward onto the front foot (more of a linear style).

As an aside, rotational hitting is used by most major colleges and a vast majority of Major League hitters. It provide balance and power to the baseball swing.

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball designed to improve the mental game of baseball in athletes. Learn how to help your game by improving the skill of mental baseball

Article Source:

Shop for your baseball coaching needs including baseball training aids, training videos, and other coaching supplies. Check out the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting machine by SKLZ at See the “Original” Roatational Hitting Machine at Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to Players develop incredible abt speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at See the world’s most advanced batting tee at Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit now!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pitching Machines - Ten Great Ideas For Why Parents And Coaches Should Own One

Pitching Machines - Ten Great Ideas For Why Parents And Coaches Should Own One

By Chuck R Stewart

The following article lists the top ten reasons why parents should invest in a pitching machine to help their baseball players to become better hitters and learn to love the game of baseball. (Read this like David Letterman's Top Ten List!)

1) With pitching machines, the parents will not have sore arms, elbows and backs when they go to sleep at night - do I need to say any more! I have had this problem the last couple of years and the baseball pitching machine has been a wonderful, welcome piece addition to my family and my team. Last year my elbow did not feel right until early fall!

2) Hit the ball for a complete practice session - give each player more than 100 swings each and every batting session. Since batting is the most fun part of baseball, the kids will love having you as the coach and want you back next year. My players all look forward to getting lots of swings in each practice - the first 3 to arrive get to use the machine by being the first group to participate in the batting drills - they all get to practice on-time so they can be the first to hit.

3) When you own a pitching machine, the players can bunt until they get it right. We focus on this skill for an entire hour, just bunting, by setting up a pitching machine and having the players practice suicide, sacrifice and drag bunting techniques. How many games do you watch where a bunt is needed and the play is not executed correctly? With a pitching machine and practice, bunt plays will rarely be an issue for your team.

4) Hitting Technique - get it right. Rather than trying to work on just making contact with the ball, spend time learning to hit the baseball the right way. Our team gets time to actually work on the proper hitting techniques - our strikeouts are down to 1-2 per game against the some of the best pitchers in the league.

Teams with limited access to pitches (through the coach's arms) are thrilled when they get their players to simply hit the ball.

5) The pitching machine helps us to learn to hit pitches to the opposite field by giving us the at-bats required to learn how to do it. We also get to work on hitting baseball where they are pitched and trying to have the players hit sacrifice fly's to the outfield when runners are in a position to advance.

6) We use the Tru Toss Soft Machine , Heater Pitching Machine and the Grand Slam Wiffle Ball Pitching Machine at different stations each practice. Our coaches no longer have to dodge the hit balls coming rocketing back at them, the team gets lots of swings and the coaches get to coach rather than pitch - it is great.

7) Curve Balls - The only way to learn to hit one is to practice regularly. Our team is learning to hit curve balls and our players have the chance to see about 20 of them every practice session. A coach and his arm could not throw that many curve balls without experiencing a very sore elbow for the next several days or even months.

8) Intra Squad Scrimmages - We use the hitting machine to play intra-squad scrimmages. The game just moves faster and the quick pace keeps everyone engaged and having fun.

9) The pitching machines are safe enough for the kids to use without having an adult to watch over them every step of the way. A little common sense is all that is needed to be sure the kids can have fun while you enjoy watching them improve.

10) The local kids will all come and hang out in your backyard , which is a great time for everyone! My wife and I enjoy this aspect of the pitching machine we have the most. During the summer months our backyard is the central hangout place for everyone. We get to serve cold drinks while the kids play home run derby, hit to countless pitches and then go home tired out after a great night of hitting baseballs. I think if I were a kid I would be hanging out right where they are as well.

The above list should help to relieve any doubt about why parents should want to buy their baseball-playing children a pitching machine!

To Your Hitting Success,

Coach Chuck

Coach Chuck Stewart operates a baseball web site called offering baseball training aids and coaching/instructional videos along with lots of free coaching content. The web site specializes in offering pitching machines, and batting cages. Coach Chuck has coached baseball teams for 11 years and enjoys sharing the love of the game of baseball with his players and visitors to the site.

Article Source:

JUGS Small-Ball
Pitching Machine
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-- Runs on 110v AC or Rechargable Battery Pack
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-- Weight 23 lbs.
-- Optional Pitching Machine Cover
-- Optional Rechargable Battery Pack
-- Manual and Automatic Feed
Other Info:
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-- Manual and automatic feed: 25-ball feeder
releases ball every 5 seconds.
-- Safe to use anywhere, including backyards,
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-- Free drill book included
Shipping $20.00

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Baseball Weight Training Program

If you know baseball, you know how hard the training in baseball is and how innovative it is to perform weight training which is incorporated in a baseball training program, you would know how effective this training is in competitions. There are a number of persons though who say that baseball could be a dangerous method in weight training than when you do it slow and accurately in the gym or a fitness center. Many say that most of the coaches commit serious errors that cause traumatic bodily stress or injury in a person who is into a baseball weight training program.

1. Weight training through baseball should take into consideration the limitation of players - Even slight errors in baseball training can already cause injury to an individual. The truth though is that it is not really the training that does not work but it is the coaches who do not understand fully this kind of weight training program. There are many caches of baseball players who just want to increase and increase the strength and stamina of their field players but who do not think of the limitations of these athletes. Often times, the injury comes after severe and successive training in preparation for the upcoming competition. Least they know that their players are already over stressed and over trained.

2. Train but do not strain through overtraining. You should know that overtraining is not good because it not only causes injuries and severe muscle damages on the body but likewise, it defeats the very purpose of an exercise. You should know that like ordinary weight training exercises, the baseball weight training program should observe the same basic principles in weight training such as rest. Rest is as important as exercise and progression. In fact, you cannot progress if your body can no longer tolerate the load that you are putting on it. Challenge is a lot different from damage and that is what you want to avoid.

3. Incorporate variations in the training program. There have be variation in the types of routines that you do and in the intensity of the routines. It would be better to incorporate other exercises that similarly work to strengthen your muscles. Say for example, basketball routines may be incorporated in the baseball routines in order to enhance the flexibility of the body which is much required in the baseball game. There has to be variations as to the speed of your routines in the program. This is one form in which the progression principle can be incorporated in the program.

4. Force = Mass x Acceleration Principle in baseball - Lastly, you should know that the most important aspect in the weight training program in baseball is the force produced. Aside from the strength of the leg muscles and the hand and leg coordination, the program also develops extreme force particularly when one swings the baseball bat. Imagine what huge force you need in order to swing a bat at 90 mph. The very reason why most coaches incorporate weight training in baseball is because force requires mass times acceleration. The acceleration is defined as the speed at which the bar is moved while the mass is the weight on the bar.

This explains exactly how a baseball weight training program will help you achieve - greater force.

About the Author
Want to get stronger, Faster? for more weight training articles, tips and a FREE Newsletter:
Weight Training for Baseball

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Baseball Swing Secrets to Learning the Right Mechanics Quickly!

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

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Monday, August 17, 2009

To Swing Or Not To Swing

To Swing Or Not To Swing

By Joe Brockhoff

Visualize a bat swinging. The club head is moving and arcing as it approaches the ball for contact. This is what most people visualize when they think about "swinging". However, swinging is just not a good idea. It doesn't allow for the hitter to have the best chance for maximum contact.

So, whether coaching youth baseball or older, here's one of our baseball coaching tips: A better idea to teach would be-no arcing or swinging the bat to make contact with the ball. But rather, DRIVE the bat in a straight line to make contact.

In simple words, we do not swing the bat to hit the ball! We should DRIVE the bat to the ball in a straight line to get contact with the ball. We get contact, and then the bat swings! The bat should never arc until after contact. So a better explanation of a pro-type action is that the batter doesn't swing the bat, HE STROKES IT.

The hitter who uses this stroke, which we refer to as the "pro-stroke", sends the bat in a straight line to contact the ball producing better contact and distance.

You might say..."I've seen major leaguers start with their hands away from their bodies. So it must be good".

And the answer to that is -"Major leaguers make an adjustment. Before they direct the bat towards the pitch, they will pull their hands back to their bodies in the shoulder area. We usually don't see this, because it happens so quickly. But research shows that is exactly what they do."

This is what we call the "PRO STROKE" It is outlined in 8 Hitting steps, which we call The Super 8 Hitting System. Those 8 steps are: Stance, Coil, Stride, Drive, Contact, Extend, Extend Again, and Finish.

Former Tulane Hall of Fame Baseball Coach, Joe Brockhoff, fully explains his baseball hitting drills with the Super 8 Hitting System, completely demonstrated with videos and hitting drills to help you hit with more power and raise your batting average.

Article Source:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Baseball Hitting Begins With Proper Balance

Baseball Hitting Begins With Proper Balance
By Jack D. Elliott

Hitting a home run may be the single most exciting thing about Baseball Hitting. The thrill of being able to touch them all is something that all players should get to experience. One thing that can help this become a reality, is having a proper stance at the plate.

Proper weight distribution is very important in Baseball Hitting because it allows the hitter to have more control at the plate. With good balance, a hitter can consistently use all his power to hit the baseball. Also, good balance allows the hitter to recover from being fooled by an off-speed pitch and either foul off the pitch or hit it to the opposite field.

One little known technique to help Baseball Hitting is to develop your body balance by using Tai Chi principles. For those who do not know, Tai Chi is a martial arts that focuses on balance and controlling one's center of gravity. A number of major league baseball players use Tai Chi drills to improve their baseball hitting stance.

One such exercise is as follows:

Stand upright and lift your right leg off the ground where it is perpendicular to the body. (It is okay if the leg is bent).
Place you hands together in a prayer position roughly three inches from your chest.
Hold this position for 1 minute and 30 seconds by trying to stay completely upright.
Then repeat steps 1-3 with your other leg.

As you practice this technique, try to get to the point where you can hold this position for a number of minutes. To make this exercise even more of a challenge, close your eyes during this exercise and move your hands above your head. (The hands should still remain touching each other in this position). This will require you to have even greater control and more concentration. In addition, this training is also very good for improving your baseball pitching motion.

The end result of this exercise will be improved balance for your Baseball Hitting. With an improved stance, you just might be closing in on putting one in the cheap seats.

Jack Elliott, is a former player and fan of the game. To read more tips and techniques like the ones in this article, please click here: or More Baseball Training Tips

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Baseball Strategy Tips For Developing a Solid Pitching Rotation

Throw Max Trainer

Baseball Strategy Tips For Developing a Solid Pitching Rotation

By Jack D. Elliott

Everyone enjoys the excitement of the homerun; however, pitching tends to play a larger role in the importance of a winning Baseball Strategy. Let's use high school baseball as an example. For most high school teams, there are usually only one or two good pitchers on each team. One of the differences between good and great high school teams is how they develop the rest of their pitching staff.

To win at the high school level in the playoffs and beyond, a high school team should develop a rotation of 4 to 6 pitchers. There are several reasons for this Baseball Strategy:

Top pitchers will then get the opportunity to rest their arms during the season.
It provides an opportunity for younger pitchers to develop their skills for future seasons.
The coach has a number of options to choose from for certain game situations. (For example, have a left hander throw to a left handed batter).
May be able to use your top pitchers in other roles. This can be especially helpful if they are a very good hitter as it adds a strong bat to your lineup.
Allows you some additional protection if you lose one of your pitchers to grades or an injury.

Traditionally, pitchers on high school baseball teams tend to be those who throw the hardest and or have done it for a number of years. However, a smart high school coach should be scouting his team every year to look for players who could be turned into pitchers. Some of the skills a coach should look for in a prospective pitcher include:

Left-handed or a unique throwing motion (ex. sidearm delivery).
Strong arm (Fastball is above 80 mph).
Excellent control of throws regardless of fastball speed.
Natural movement on fastball.
Ability to throw a unique pitch (ex. knuckleball).

Once these players are discovered, the coach should have them begin practicing pitching at every practice. Over time, their skills would improve to the point where you could use them in game situations. Then, your baseball strategy could shift from relying on your two top pitchers to letting these prospects start pitching against weaker teams in your district or allowing them to pitch a few innings in certain games.

To help encourage players to want to be a pitcher, the coach should give extra praise to those who are participating and repeat the importance that pitching has on helping the team go far in the playoffs. In addition, a wise coach would recommend these players take additional pitching instruction from quality baseball instructors in the area. With a little encouragement, you can outsource some of this training. This will allow for these players to keep developing their skills and not take away from the team's overall practice time.

The benefits of developing a pitching staff over time should allow for your high school team to move from a good to a great program. Also, who knows, you just might stumble upon the next great ace pitcher.

Jack Elliott, is a former player and fan of the game. To read more tips and techniques like the ones in this article, please click here:

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Baseball - Top Seven Injuries That Will Plague Most Baseball Players

Baseball - Top Seven Injuries That Will Plague Most Baseball Players

By Richard Budnick

Baseball injuries usually do not end a player's career. However, any injury can be a setback. With proper care and knowledge beforehand, the player will know what to look for, and will return to normal activities in a shorter amount of time.

The top seven baseball injuries that will plague most baseball players are described below.

1. Shoulder Injury

Throwing or hitting a baseball utilizes the entire physical body. A shoulder injury is normally associated with an arm and shoulder injury of the pitching or throwing arm and shoulder. In medical terminology, a baseball player's common shoulder injury is a torn Rotator Cuff. Pitchers are most prone to suffer from this injury, but anyone who plays baseball can become afflicted with a shoulder injury.

2. Sprained Wrist

A sprained wrist injury demands special attention so that the swelling and pain can subside. A sprained wrist injury rarely lasts for more than a few days since the wrist is so flexible and pliable. Should a player take a tumble or have to chase a fast dropping line drive hit, he could easily suffer from a sprained wrist.

Sometimes when a player is running for a base, he'll slide into the base and sprain his wrist. It hurts and it will swell, but most likely, the wrist will not get broken. Within a few days after cold compresses have been applied, and the wrist is later soaked in warm water, the wrist will be fine, and the baseball player will be ready to participate in his next game.

3. Dislocated or Broken Fingers

When a baseball player's glove webbing is improperly aligned at the moment when a ball impacts the glove, the player's fingers and hands will sting. However, most players will tell you that catching a ball with an ungloved hand can feel like being shot with a high-powered arrow.

Whenever a finger is exposed at any angle other than in an open and flexed state, the player will feel his finger joints getting crunched, dislocated, or broken. Catchers and infielders are the most common players to receive such finger injuries, but it can happen to any player, regardless of the position they're playing.

4. Hyper-extended Knee

When a baseball player grabs a fly ball out of the air, he is most certainly prone to suffering from a hyper-extended knee injury.

Whenever a player's foot lands awkwardly after he has lunged for a fly ball, the knee joint takes the bulk of the landing. Although he may show the other players that he can walk off the immediate hurt, his knee joint will be sore for days.

When that same player pays attention to his knee's soreness, he will recover quickly. However, if the player aggravates the injury by playing several more innings, or another game within a day or two, the injury will worsen and the pain will reappear.

Another way that a player can hyper-extend his knee is when his spikes get jammed into a base that's fixed into place. The knee joint could twist in the wrong direction, thereby causing the knee to hyper extend.

5. Pulled Hamstring

Even the most in-shape and toned baseball player who appears to have strong muscled legs can be prone to suffering from a pulled hamstring when he's running at break-neck speed to catch a ball or run a base.

Mickey Mantle's entire career and Albert Pujols's existing career have been fraught with hamstring muscle pull problem injuries. The injuries are painful, and the player will most likely need to take some time off to heal, but his career will not be ended due to a pulled hamstring.

6. Sore Elbow

Whenever a baseball player throws a ball hard to one of his teammates, he becomes susceptible to a sore elbow injury the same day or the next day. Sore elbows heal fairly rapidly, so there's no need for medical attention, except to remember to reduce the velocity that a player throws the ball the next time he's out on the field. A sore elbow is caused when the player suddenly stops or slows down the fling. That action is known to cause stress at the elbow's bone joint.

7. Bruises on Legs and Hips

When a baseball player does not wear sliding pads, he is quite vulnerable to receiving big bruises and strawberries on his legs and hips from sliding into a base. The painful part comes when a well-meaning attendant tries to apply any medication that contains alcohol or witch hazel in it. You'll be sure to hear the player's screams from many fields away.

Bruises will change colors and are certainly sensitive to the touch, but they're not the most serious injury a player can receive. So, try to remain tough when you look in the mirror after the game and see raw fleshy spots. Within four or five days, the tenderness will be gone, and most likely the color of the bruise will have faded away.

Next, to view a baseball sports card of Mickey Mantle or Albert Pujols when they were not injured, you can take a look at some of their more valuable cards located at this site:

Baseball sports cards and memorabilia are collectibles that have become a passion and business for sports enthusiasts and collectors around the world. For the latest in mint condition baseball cards, autographs, ticket stubs, and gifts, be sure to shop at stores that you can trust, such as known for their physical store and their online business.

What's on your "Want List?"

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Baseball Players Need Quick Feet Too!

If you play baseball you have to be quick on your feet just like any other athlete. Permit yourself a minute to read and apply the following 2 quick feet drills to speed up your game!

By Brandon Richey

If you play baseball you should concentrate on your athleticism all year long! Agility is a necessary trait for baseball players because you have to have quickness when trying to react to making a play on a ground ball, getting the jump on a pop fly, or making the first move to dive back to the bag when leading off of the base! All of these are hard examples that define quickness and agility. Check out the following 2 drills that you can implement to help you to improve on all of these examples you encounter on the field of play.

1. 3 Cone Shuffle: For this particular drill you will need the availability of 3 agility cones. This is a great quick foot drill for baseball players to improve on lateral agility. To start, set up the cones in a straight line with about 2 feet of distance between each cone. Stand facing the 3 cones in an athletic stance with your inside foot lined up in front of the middle cone and your outside foot lined up in front of on one of the outside cones. From here the objective is for you to make a quick single lateral step shifting the middle foot to line up with the outside cone on the far side, and to bring the foot that was lined up with the outside cone to the middle cone. Remember to stay low and to shift your weight back and forth to the "outside" with each lateral shuffle. Count a repetition every time you shuffle to both sides. Stay low and touch the outside cones with your outside hand each time you shuffle. Perform each lateral shuffle as quickly as possible.

2. 8 Cone Shuffle And Sprint: For this drill you will need the availability of 9 agility cones and some flat open space. Line the first 8 cones up in a straight line and place the 9th cone in line with the first 8 cones with a distance of 10 yards between them. Start the drill by lining up in front of the straight line of 8 cones. Shuffle laterally back and forth between the 8 cones progressing forward as quickly as possible. Once you shuffle around the 8th cone explode into a full sprint all the way past the 9th cone. This is great for improving a baseball player's overall athletic performance and conditioning! Give it a try.

To learn more about Kettlebells, Fitness, and achieving Total Mind-Blowing Strength come and visit me at
To be one of my members and to receive more tips on INSANE BODY CONSTRUCTION please visit me at: I'm Brandon Richey the Strength and Conditioning Pro!

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Aggressive Hitting Strategies That Will Make Your Team Better

Sometimes it pays to turn things up on the opposing defenses. By playing a more aggressive style of baseball, a high school baseball team can put serious pressure on a defense to perform.

By Jack D. Elliott

Here, are some strategies that can help put the opposing defense in tough situations:

1. Take advantage of the 3 and 0 count. Be sure to give the green light to your power hitters when they have this kind of count. Many pitchers will throw a slower fastball right over the plate in order to get a strike. Let your best hitters swing away as an extra base hit would be better than just a simple walk. However, only allows for the top hitters as the weaker hitters should take the pitch trying to earn the walk.

2. Use the Hit and Run when the hitter is a weaker batter. This works especially well in situations where you have either a weak batter or a slow base runner. When the hit and run is executed properly, it is one of the most beautiful plays in baseball. More to the point: it can help you move runners in scoring position and reduces the risk of double plays.

3. Be sure to use sacrifice bunts and suicide squeezes. Bunting may not be the most impressive part of baseball, but it is one of the most effective for advancing runners and scoring runs. Plus, it puts tons of stress on the opposing defense to field the ball properly. In high school, it is not uncommon to see errors made by an errant throw. Keep the pressure on the defense by using bunting throughout the game.

4. Use a lack of awareness against the opposing defense. If there is a man on third and the batter draws a walk, have the runner jog to first then take his turn and run full tilt to the second base. If the catcher throws to second, the third baseman should head for home. This can work well because you can catch a number of defenses' off guard.

5. Use the catcher's arm strength against him. If you are a base runner on first or third and know the catcher has a good arm. Don't be afraid to entice him to throw the ball over to try to pick you off. Often times, a cocky catcher will end up throwing into the outfield on accident.

6. Occasionally use the double steal. If you have runner on 1st and 2nd and the runner on second is fast, consider doing a double steal. This works well because even if the lead base runner is thrown out at third you have kept a runner in scoring position by his stealing of second.

7. Give certain players the green light to steal third base. Contrary to popular opinion, you do not have to be the fastest player to steal third base. Instead, you only need reasonable speed and a good awareness of player tendencies. This can be done by lulling the pitcher into thinking you will not even attempt to steal by beginning to take a small lead off. Once the pitcher does not view you as a threat, he will go into his motion and this is where you start to creap off. If you do it right you will have a great jump and the catcher won't have a chance to throw you out.

8. Runners on 1st and 3rd: have the runner on 1st go run for second on the first movement of the pitcher. This is a classic tactic of little league baseball that can work well in high school especially when the runner on third is fast. Do not be afraid to use it as it also requires the defense to be perfect with their throws.

9. If hitters know that the steal is on, they should swing the bat in an effort to get in the way of the catcher's throwing lane. This cannot be too deliberate, but they need to protect the base runner when they can. This is similar to the responsibility of a base runner taking out the second baseman on a double play.

All of these tips and tactics are designed to put stress and pressure on a defense. The more pressure you put on an opposing defense the better because once one mistake occurs it can be very easy to create a snowball effect. All of these things work great for your team as you continue to play a team that now has a confidence problem.

One caveat: these tips require you to be comfortable with a certain amount of risk. Occasionally, these tactics will not work out as well as you would hope. However, you need to look at it the results cumulatively and not based on any one individual attempt. Your focus is on a building an aggressive mentality that we are going to do everything in our power to score runs and are willing to do anything to make that happen. This is a powerful mindset that can transform your offense into a powerful, proactive bunch. We think you will find this approach will give you more runs and wins over the long haul.

Jack Elliott, is a former player and fan of the game. To read more tips and techniques like the ones in this article, please click here: or Baseball Strategy

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Baseball Bunting - To Squeeze Or Not To Squeeze

All good teams must be able to bunt, but is the squeeze play really a high percentage play? The following article gives talks about the positive and negatives for the bunt squeeze and discusses the best alternative.

By Mike Posey

In 1995, we won our first state championship. We had superior pitching that year with our top two arms going on to play Division I college baseball. During the playoffs that year we allowed only two earned runs and pitched several shutouts. In the finals we won 7-0 and 2-0, finishing the year at 31-4. But we almost lost in the first game of the playoffs. By far it was our most challenging opponent.

The final score in our first playoff game was 2-1. We were down 1-0 until the bottom of the seventh inning when we scored two runs, on consecutive squeeze bunts, to win the game.

Fast forward nine years later to 2004. We lost in the state championship game 2-0 in 10 innings. We hit a total of 41 homeruns that year. We had some outstanding players on that team, including four All State players, one All American, and the State Player of the Year. In the championship game, our starting pitcher struck out twelve opposing hitters in seven innings, but we could not score a run. In fact, that was the only time all year we failed to score a run. (We averaged almost eight runs per game).

Due to our offensive explosion that season, we did not rely much on bunting. In fact, early in the year we we missed a squeeze bunt and popped up into a double play at the plate. The rest of that season we really stayed away from the bunt, especially the squeeze. We had such a good hitting team that one of our players was always coming through with a clutch hit, at least until the championship game.

At the end of that season, our coaching staff decided that we would again dedicate ourselves to the bunt, regardless of our offense. Our teams over the years had been good bunting teams, something we really practiced hard to accomplish. But we did change one thing, we implemented the safety squeeze instead of a straight squeeze.

The safety squeeze is the best high percentage play in baseball for scoring a run. When executed properly the opposing team can not stop you from scoring a run. If the bunt is unsuccessful you will still have a runner at third base.

Here's how we implement the safety squeeze. First, the hitter looks for a good pitch. It's much like the sacrifice bunt, but we have them wait to square after the pitcher picks up his front foot to deliver the pitch. We try to pick out a time when the opposing team is least suspecting it as the element of surprise can really help.

Second, we want the batter to bunt a ball down the foul line (either line). If the pitch is not a strike or either the first baseman or third baseman charges hard, the hitter pulls back.

The runner must have a good walking lead from third base (length of the lead depends on whether the pitcher is in a stretch or wind up). The runner at third reads the bunt down on the baseline and continues to run towards home. If the bunt is not down or towards the lines the runner does not go. Pretty simple, but you have to spend time in practice to perfect the timing and execution.

Our players love to execute this play and it really turns the momentum in our favor. By the way, in 2007 we won another state championship. Down 2-0 in the 3rd inning we scored four runs, on three bunts and one safety squeeze. The defense feel apart.

Mike Posey has been a high school baseball coach for the past twenty-five years, winning multiple championships and coach of the year honors. He is also the creator and owner of Expert Baseball Tips Home of the Baseball eLessons virtual on line lessons to help players improve.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Baseball Coaching - Don't Forget Your Catchers

Catchers require just as much and probably a lot more practice time as any of the other fielders on your team. Work with them to sharpen their skills just as you work with your other players. It only makes sense since they may be the most important player on the field. Don't forget your catchers.

By Chico Reese

There's this certain "thing" about baseball coaching and baseball practices that I've noticed over the years. It isn't just High School teams or just teams in summer leagues…it's a common problem the way I see it. Some teams/coaches can be worse than others when it comes to this, but many times it appears to be much the same story.

If you are a baseball coach, player, or have watched a lot of team practices, you've gotten the idea that repetition is a BIG thing. Repetition is what develops the "Muscle Memory" that allows the brain and body to perceive a complicated task as just an ordinary routine task. Many coaches know this and if you watch a number of different teams practicing you'll see the following things being practiced over and over and over:

Batters hitting off tees
Batters doing soft toss
Batters practicing bunting
Infielders taking ground ball after ground ball until they "get it right"
Outfielders taking fly balls and ground balls
Outfielders practicing cutoffs, throws to third, throws to second and home
Shortstops and second basemen turning double plays
Pitchers throwing and throwing
Pitchers running banana routes
Pitchers throwing over to first...pickoffs to second

Now, think back to these same practices. How many times did you see one of the coaches take two or three catchers and go off somewhere and block balls in the dirt? Correctly, I mean. And not three, four or five balls at the very end of practice. I mean a bucket or two each. In the dirt, center, left and right...correctly. Probably not often, maybe never.

How much footwork did you see the catchers doing at practice? Did you see coaches working the feet? I mean with no baseball or throwing...just, correct footwork. You probably didn't see that or remember just a little bit in the season.

Did you see the catchers fielding bunts down third and first and making the play? Again, not one or two. I mean ten times, like the reps all of the other infielders got when practicing their required skills.

What I mostly see is common...throws to second and a few to third and first during infield practice. That means a catcher might throw down to third three or four times. Big deal. During a practice, a shortstop will field fifteen to twenty ground balls and make the throw to first.

Now, here's the part that's even more funny. During games, now, the coaches have the same expectations of the catchers and their skills as they do their shortstop, second and third basemen. If there is a bunt down the first base line and the catcher throws it away, it's possible he'll get hammered by a coach. But it's also possible that he hasn't practiced that throw since the beginning of the season. I think this is one reason why I see so many balls thrown away at third and first by catchers. There just isn't enough repetition there. No "Muscle Memory."

Seasons start out with good intentions...with a lot of promises. The catchers will do this and the catchers will do that. But guess what? It usually ends up the same way in a relatively short time. The catchers will do a little bit of infield and then go right to the mounds to catch pitchers. All of the pitchers. At the same time, when it's getting dark, everyone's tired, parents are waiting and the coach who is pitching to what he thinks is the last batter turns around and yells, "Who hasn't hit yet?"

Guess who raises their hands? You got it. The two catchers. So they'll bat last. Coach is tired. He'll throw some to one catcher and then some to the other. They'll get half of the pitches that the first five guys got, if they are lucky, and these are sometimes crappy pitches anyway. Sometimes they will get the promise that they'll hit first the next practice...right. Yet, they are expected to hit like the other guys.

I've watched catchers with good size and cannon arms. If someone steals and the pitch is a good one, that catcher nails the runner by two steps. Unfortunately I've watched these same catchers and find that they can't block a beach ball. They'll let the easiest ball in the dirt get by them. I'd see seven to ten balls back to the screen, runners advancing and runs scoring. This just tells me the coach found a guy with a cannon arm and basically did nothing else with him. Happens a lot.

But I've seen some great coaches who have coached their catchers well and boy these guys are great to watch. You can immediately recognize a well coached catcher. They are just fun to watch. Umpires love them.

So coaches, don't forget your catchers. They'll win you for you games if you help them...they'll lose games for you if you don't. They have more skills to master than the other players. That's just the nature of the position. They need time too. Not at the end of practice when everyone's tired and wants to go home, either.

Oh, one more thing...Don't Forget Your Catchers.

Chico Reese has been closely involved in youth baseball, softball and High School Baseball over the last twelve years and enjoys working with young catchers.

For excellent Catching instruction, drills, training and other valuable baseball tips, consider the following sources:

Catcher Instruction, Training and Tips To Make You A Better Catcher

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