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. ...
02
Sep
2014

Hitting 101- Hitting Stance

Hitting 101- Hitting Stance
For a hitter, the starting positon (stance) can be just as important as the swing mechanics itself. So much of hitting is about the hitter’s ability to make adjustments to the pitcher to have success. As a hitter you will have a very tough time making adjustments in the swing if your stance is not consistent each time you step up to the plate. Each hitting coach will have different techniques they may like to teach you as a hitter. The goal for you should be finding the most comfortable, yet effective stance for you to be ready to attack any pitch in the strike zone. ...
28
Aug
2014

Catching 101 - Receiving

Catching 101 - Receiving
There are many ways coaches and instructors teach receiving a ball from the pitcher, but there is always one constant task that is taught, to be quiet with the glove and to be strong with the glove. To be short, a catcher wants minimal movement from the glove, all the way to the head and feet when receiving the baseball. ...
26
Aug
2014

The Hitting Jack-It Training System

The Hitting Jack-It Training System
From the earliest days of baseball, players have added heavy weights to their bats during batting practice to build strength and, in theory, get more power at the plate. From heavy bats and iron bars to crude lead donuts, players and trainers have tried everything to increase power and bat speed, not always with optimal results. Today’s baseball and softball players reap the benefits of 175 years of painstaking research with the development of the perfect batting practice system – Hitting Jack-It Training System.Professional hitting coaches and scientists now all agree that despite tradition and popular belief, practicing your swing with too much weight on the end of your bat can actually slow down your bat speed at the plate. The introduction of Hitting Jack-It Training System, a progressive, variable weighted training system for batting practice is changing behaviors at batting practices throughout the sport.The beauty of the Hitting Jack-It system is a player’s ability to hit...
25
Aug
2014

Unique-Perspective: Recreational Basketball

Unique-Perspective: Recreational Basketball
Summer is the offseason for most basketball leagues and organizations but as Nike stated in a recent campaign “Basketball Never Stops”. As a former basketball player and self admitted basketball junkie myself, I know this to be true. The basketball season can be a grind for players of all ages and skill levels with the number of practices and games but summer is a time to get back to the basics. A time to enjoy pickup games with friends or simply shooting around in the driveway. ...

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