27
Oct
2014

Unique Perspective: Muhl Power Balls

Unique Perspective: Muhl Power Balls
A product that is being used by some of the top hitting instructors as part of their training lessons is the Muhl Tech Power Balls. These heavy weight training balls are designed to help develop power hitting. They are rubber coated foam balls that are 20 inches in diameter that weigh 1 pound each. Designed to build strength in the forearms and wrists the Muhl Tech Power Balls have proven to increase "ball exit speed" and encourages hitters to enforce strong hip rotation, a major key to hitting with power and authority. The balls absorb impact without recoil and force hitters to be more precise with contact, which is also a key in developing power in hitting. ...
24
Oct
2014

Unique Perspective: Pocket Radar

Unique Perspective: Pocket Radar
Unless you throw a 100 MPH fastball, changing speeds as a pitcher is critical. It is amazing how many major league pitchers now throw over 96 MPH, but that is not the point of this article! Hitting is all about balance and pitching is all about unbalancing a hitter. The best way to unbalance a hitter is to change speeds. You can make your 80 MPH high school fastball look 85 MPH if you effectively change speeds. When you unbalance a hitter you will get a lot of swing and misses over the top of the ball and a lot of rolling their wrists, which usually means weak ground balls. Now changing speeds as a pitcher seems like an easy concept, but it is a very difficult skill to master. Repetition is the key to success in developing a good changeup. ...
20
Oct
2014

Baseball Equipment Storage

Baseball Equipment Storage
So you’ve invested a fair amount of time and money in choosing and purchasing your baseball equipment, but now it’s nearing the end of the season. How do you store your sporting equipment when it’s not in use so when you go to use it next season it’s still in great shape and easily usable?Caring for your baseball equipment in the off-season can actually make an impact on how it performs when you need it. Don’t reverse any care and customizing you’ve done for your baseball equipment by discarding them without thought during winter months. Baseball BatsMost baseball bats have weather restrictions in order to maintain their integrity. Using a baseball bat in weather cooler than 60 degrees Fahrenheit can end up being very harmful to a bat. The lower temperatures cause the density of a bat to change, thereby causing the bat’s make-up to become more brittle and more prone to cracks and dents. Lower temperatures can also cause baseballs and softballs to become harder, which could also...
16
Oct
2014

Heater Sports Products

Heater Sports Products
The Heater brand of products is known for being an affordable “entry level” product. Trend/Heater provides pitching machines, batting tees, hitting nets, soft toss machines, and a number of other products. Heater products have their place in the market and I caution anyone that is going to purchase a Heater product to make sure they consider what type of usage they will have. If you are a high school level baseball or softball player, purchasing a Heater product is probably not in your best interest. It will not be powerful enough or strong enough material for this level, depending on what you purchase. Heater products however can be a great fit for a younger player trying to explore their interest level in baseball or softball. Heater products are a bit less expensive and good products to use as a parent or player attempting to find out if baseball or softball is a long-term fit for themselves or their kids. There is an exception to this where a high school level player can...
13
Oct
2014

Basketball Hoop Buying Guide

Basketball Hoop Buying Guide
When looking for a home basketball system for you and your family, there are some things to consider to be sure you get the best option for your situation. Your family’s enjoyment, safety and development are key factors, possibly more than monetary investment because with this type of sporting equipment you really do get what you pay for.Some factors to consider when deciding on which type of basketball hoop will be best for your family include how much recreational space do you have available, how do you plan to use the basketball system, what are the ages of the people planning to use the system, and how much money are you willing to invest in this system?Portable basketball goalsThis type of system has a fairly large base filled with sand or water that creates its stability. It takes up more space than an in-ground system. The portable base oftentimes comes with wheels that allows for the players to position the system in the desired location and then put it back to a storage...
10
Oct
2014

When Should I Buy a Two Wheel Pitching Machine?

When Should I Buy a Two Wheel Pitching Machine?
Anyone that has researched pitching machines will quickly realize that buying a two wheel pitching machine will almost certainly double your cost from a single wheel pitching machine. I believe you need to do a lot of research on any pitching machine before you purchase one. I think the most important thing is to know what your specific needs are, even more important than the brand or one wheel or two wheels. Some questions you should ask before making a pitching machine purchase in order to determine the type of machine are as follows. ...
06
Oct
2014

Hitting 101 - The Load and Stride

Hitting 101 - The Load and Stride
The load of a hitters swing is the transfer of weight to the back leg and the stretch of the hands back. The load is a vital part of the hitters swing; it is the start of the swing that builds up our body’s tension to be released on the baseball.As a hitter, we want to start in our stance fairly balanced. Some hitters like to have the weight distributed on each leg at 50/50, and some hitters actually prefer to have their weight already favored on the back foot 60/40. When the weight transfer begins to take place we need to remember a couple things. When the swing actually launches from our back foot, the push is coming from the inside of the back foot, not from the outside. So as we load the weight back, all hitters need to focus on that weight being loaded to the inside portion of the back foot. If a hitter allows the weight transfer to get to the outside portion of the back foot, then the hitter must reposition that weight back to the inside portion before swinging. This ends up...
03
Oct
2014

Catcher Footwork-Throw to Second Base

Catcher Footwork-Throw to Second Base
One thing that you can’t teach in sports is speed. An athlete with speed has huge advantages in any sport, and baseball is no different. One of the biggest keys to winning a baseball game is the ability to take extra bases, and stealing second base is the most common and effective way for fast base runners to try to take those extra bases. As a catcher, we need to learn the proper technique to keep those speedsters off the bases and put them back on the bench.Foot positioning is key when getting ready to throw out a runner. When you have a potential base stealer on first base, we can make a slight adjustment in our feet to get a head start on our throw. Slightly off set your right foot back to get a slight turn in your hips towards right center field. The right toe of the right foot should go back to a maximum depth of even with the left heel. If the right foot gets any deeper then we have significantly lowered our ability to block a ball in the dirt to the glove hand side.The...
29
Sep
2014

Unique-Sports Quiz: You Make the Call

Unique-Sports Quiz: You Make the Call
Test your knowledge when it comes to these in game situations as see how much you know about the game. For each correct answer you receive one point. Answer key is below.10 Points- Major League Manager             7-9 Points- Assistant Coach           5-6 Points-High School Coach3-4 Points- Little League Coach  0-2 Points- First time playing baseball?1)     A right handed batter hits a hard ground ball down the third baseline, into the left field corner. The ball gets lodged between the ground and the fence with half the ball still poking out in play. The left fielder attempts to pick up the baseball and shortly after throws up his hands to declare the ball is dead. What’s the call?A)     It is a live ball             B)     Ground Rule Double ...
26
Sep
2014

Creating a Baseball Practice Plan

Creating a Baseball Practice Plan
Creating a practice plan is the first step towards having a successful and worthwhile practice. There are many youth and even high school coaches who go into a practice with a plan in their own head but not on paper. That’s great for the Head Coach, but then the assistant coaches are left not knowing exactly what to accomplish. When that happens, drills break down and practice time is wasted.The first step of a practice plan is to know exactly how much time you have with the kids. For the example practice plan I will provide, the practice will be an hour and a half long. As a coach, we should also keep in mind what kind of setting the team will be practicing in, whether it is a baseball field, gym or batting cages. Next, we need to figure out what our main objectives of practice will be, and how much time you would like to spend on each of them. The timing of the drills is very important to a practice plan, set realistic goals for your team. For example, don’t give your players 10...

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