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...
24
Sep
2014

Hitting 101- Hitting to Opposite Field

Hitting 101- Hitting to Opposite Field
Hitting a baseball is an art form that has many different strategies that can fit many different players. The art of hitting the baseball to opposite field or “the other way” is what I would like to touch on in this article. I believe there are three factors that go into hitting the ball the other way: timing, strength and mechanics.Timing: To have the best chance to drive the ball the other way, the hitter must wait for the pitch to get deeper into the strike zone. It comes down to strength at contact point. When a hitter has to reach out to the baseball too soon, the arms lengthen out, which decreases strength at contact and also gives less room to extend through the baseball. Best case scenario for a hitter here would be to flip the ball the other way and hope it finds a hole in the defense.The ideal point to make contact on a pitch you are trying to hit the other way is inside the front hip to the middle of the body. Having this point of contact should allow the hitter to be...
22
Sep
2014

Unique-Perspective: The First Team Block Aid

Unique-Perspective: The First Team Block Aid
The First Team Block Aid is one of those simple ideas in a training aid that can help a practice tremendously. It helps practice by making your rebounding or transition drills go much more smoothly. The Block Aid is a lightweight durable aid that is placed in the basketball hoop that doesn’t require the use of tools. It is placed in the hoop using a broom handle and can be removed easily with that same broom handle. This Block Aid is placed in the hoop so the shot is missed and creates a realistic rebound in order to work your drills. ...
19
Sep
2014

Catching 101 - Blocking

Catching 101 - Blocking
Blocking is the catcher’s ability to throw himself in front of an incoming pitch in the dirt, and stop it with their chest, mask or glove. This is the area of catching that repels many players from the position. There are not many players who are willing to take a hit to their body to keep a runner from advancing a base. Blocking takes a player with determination, toughness and pride to do what needs to be done for their team.The fundamentals of blocking a baseball are far more complicated then what most think. There are multiple pivotal movements that need to be done within tenths of a second to ensure the catcher successfully blocks the baseball.The first thing a catcher must do is be in the correct stance. There are two stances the catcher can start from. The first is the primary stance; the primary stance is when a catcher can relax their lower half on their heels with their throwing hand protected behind their back. This stance is used with less than two strikes, or with no...
17
Sep
2014

Benefits of Arm Pitching Machines

Benefits of Arm Pitching Machines
Arm style pitching machines are the “Big Boys” of the pitching machine world. What I mean by this is they are the biggest, bulkiest, and heaviest of all the pitching machines. They typically weigh over 600 pounds and are encased in steel cages. Very durable and rugged and are built to last! They are typically also the most expensive pitching machines on the market. Just because they are the highest price tag doesn’t mean they are the best fit for every situation. ...
15
Sep
2014

Portable Mound: You Can't Afford to Not Have One

Portable Mound: You Can't Afford to Not Have One
Having coached a youth baseball team for numerous years and serving on the board of directors for our youth program I understand completely how expensive portable mounds are and how budgets are restricted. Spending multiple thousands of dollars on a portable mound seems like an insurmountable goal, but it has to be treated like and investment not just an expenditure. ...
04
Sep
2014

Unique-Perspective: Louisville Slugger Pitching Machines

Unique-Perspective: Louisville Slugger Pitching Machines
The Louisville Slugger Blue Flame Series comes in three machines, The Blue Flame, The Black Flame, and The Backyard Pitching Machine. All of the machines are spring loaded and the difference between the 3 machines is top speeds. ...

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