TeeBall Parent Guide Blog

The Tee Ball Parent Blog features daily posts and updates that provide tball parents with free teeball articles, tee ball drills, and t-ball coaching tips. Our daily posts and archives include hundreds of interesting and informative teeball coaching blogs. Make sure to bookmark or save this site to your favorites so that you can visit us often to gain valuable insight and tips for helping your teeball player learn the game of baseball and improve his skills.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Little League Tee Ball, Planting Positive Seeds

By Marty Schupak

Tee Ball is the most popular youth baseball program in Little League, including other youth baseball leagues around the country, and has the most participants. As the 5- and 6-year-olds whom participate in Tee Ball get older, there is a drop off in youth baseball participation each year. Traditionally the largest drop off of players in most youth leagues occurs after players reach their twelfth birthday. Soccer is almost a year round sport and youth lacrosse is growing, which are both in direct competition with youth baseball. Baseball parents, coaches, and leagues are almost compelled to make the first baseball experience for young kids a positive one.

Youth baseball leagues can develop certain positive philosophies that will maximize the chances of retaining baseball players in their leagues. I’ll touch on just few that I feel most appropriate. First of all, Tee Ball leagues should strive to make it as non-competitive as possible. Some overzealous parents who are very competitive will look upon their own child’s first tee ball experience as the Major League World Series. Leagues must set a standard with this non-competition philosophy. Not keeping score is an option leagues try. But, from my experience with my own kids, as much as parents and coaches try, some of the kids themselves will be keeping score and reminding the coach and the other teammates every time a player crosses home plate. This will also lead to the kids keeping track of wins and losses. One option leagues might consider is to mix the teams up every 3rd or 4th game. This option affords tee ball teams to still have a team concept because they will practice with their team, and 75% of their games will be together. One thing they will have to overcome is two sets of different colored uniforms playing on the same side. Maybe one way to overcome this is to have players come to these games in white tee shirts and the leagues supply cheap colored vests. Maybe we call these games “All League Games”, or another positive term that everyone can accept.

The other part of the game that needs to be addressed is that at the age of 5 & 6, the skill level will vary tremendously. Leagues need to treat the tee ball season as a progression type situation. In a 20 or 25 game season, maybe use a larger ball when hitting off the batting tee for the first five games. In practices, coaches should use a larger ball on a tee early in a season. One thing I did when coaching tee ball is to take a bathroom plunger, turn it upside down and place it into the batting tee. Now a coach can rest a beach ball or a kick ball on top of the tee for the kids to hit.

When teaching fielding, coaches need to make the task as achievable as possible. I used to start the season using a Velcro ball and Velcro paddle to catch a fly ball. The kids love this. On ground balls, teach the players to make contact with the ball with their glove, keep it in front of them, and not necessarily catch it.

On throwing, keep the distance short, spreading the players out very liberally and moving them back after every five throws.

These are just a few ideas that leagues should address, keeping in mind that we must start with baby steps and progress as the season goes on.
Parents must realize that they will have their fair share of competition as their kids move up in age. Tee Ball should be a positive experience in every sense of the word. Skills should be the theme of tee ball and less competition. In the world of youth sports, which includes playing time problems, parental sniping, and on the field arguing, youth baseball Tee Ball should be immune to this problems as much as possible.



Marty Schupak has coached youth baseball for 18 years and is the video creator of "The 59 Minute Baseball Practice", "Backyard Baseball Drills", "Winning Baseball Strategies", "Hitting Drills & Techniques", “Pitching Drills & Techniques”, and author of the popular book, "Youth Baseball Drills". He is a principle with Videos For Coaches and is also President of the Youth Sports Club, a group dedicated to making sports practices and games more enjoyable for kids.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marty_Schupak

CoachesBest.com has teeball coaching books and DVDs. Check out the great selection of tee ball training aids.

Friday, February 27, 2009

T-Ball Batting Drills


By Kenny Buford

T-ball batting drills teach players how to properly swing the bat and make contact with the ball. There are many t-ball batting drills that players can practice to improve their swinging technique. Young players should practice their batting skills repeatedly in order to get the feel for swinging the bat properly, and also to improve their hand-eye coordination.

Improving a Batter's Swing:

The best way to improve a batter's swing is to practice hitting the ball from the tee into the back stop. Try to pair right-handed coaches with left-handed batters (and left-handed coaches with right-handed batters). Have the coach stand on the opposite side of the tee from the player (as if to mirror the player) in order to show proper stance and swing. This t-ball batting drill gives the batters a good visual reference and the coaches can easily make any necessary corrections.

Batting Techniques:

If necessary, use baking flour to make a batters box in the dirt. Set the tee even with the batter's belly button and have them extend their arms fully. Have the player hold this position with arms extended for a few seconds and explain how hitting the ball on the fat part of the bat makes the ball go further.

Teaching Batters to Keep their Eyes on the Ball:

Draw a large black dot on the ball. Then have the batter concentrate on trying to hit the dot and watching the dot until after their swing is complete. This helps players improve their focus on the ball, and also helps hand-eye coordination.

Blindfold the Batter:

Place a blindfold over the eyes of the batter and line them up properly in the batter's box in front of the tee, making sure that all other players are out of the immediate area. When you are safely out of the way tell the batter to swing away, with the intention of making contact with the ball. This will teach the batter how to develop a level swing and with repetition will produce a natural rhythm and a solid swinging technique.

Move the Tee Around the Batter's Box:

By placing the tee in various positions in the batter's box you will allow the player to practice hitting different types of pitches. This will enable players to be able to make contact with all types of pitches, inside and outside. This drill also allows players to practice making contact and hitting the ball into different areas of the field.

See who gets the Most Hits:

A good batting drill is to have each player try to make as many consecutive hits as possible. Foul balls should not count as hits, and every foul ball should count as an out in order to make the drill run quicker and allow more players to get their turn. The one who can make contact and get the most hits in a row wins.

Raise and Lower the Tee:

By raising and lowering the tee players are able to practice hitting balls that are not thrown at their belly button. This is one of the most effective t-ball batting drills for preparing players to move into game situations with pitchers.

Kenny Buford is a baseball and tee ball coach with over 20 years of experience. You can find more of his t-ball drills and tee ball practice plans on his website:

Free T-Ball Drills

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kenny_Buford

The Advanced Skills Batting Tee - The absolute best and most productive training tee on the market today.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

T-Ball University - Batting Drills For Tee Ball Coaches and Parents

By David Comora

Baseball Season is just around the corner, so parents and parent coaches, start digging through the garage for your baseball equipment and begin stretching out those rusty arm and leg muscles. For many communities, children begin their baseball or softball careers playing the lead-up skill called Tee Ball, which is baseball, minus the pitcher. In Tee Ball which is also spelled T-Ball, children learn the fundamentals of batting, fielding and base-running. For the purposes of this article we'll be concentrating on batting. In Tee Ball, batting takes place utilizing a Tee which sits approximately waste high to the hitter. The Tee is a great tool for perfecting a child's swing. When used correctly, a coach can analyze all of the components used in a swing and make subtle or not so subtle adjustments to a child's swing, batting stance, hip rotation and foot work.

It is my opinion after coaching all these seasons that proper footwork is the most important aspect of hitting. If you have the proper footwork, the arms, hips, and head will fall into place with the required timing.

In order to achieve proper footwork, I will place the tee on top of home plate. I will draw a perpendicular line in the dirt with the handle of the player's tee ball bat from the middle 45 degree corner of the tee's base. The line length is approximately 12 inches. Adjust this length accordingly to a comfortable extension of each player's arms with the bat swing. I then will draw a perpendicular line from the first line and parallel to the edge of the tee base going back toward the backstop. Therefore, this line is in the shape of an inverted "L". I will squat down and point with my index finger as to where I want each foot to be placed along the parallel line. Drawing the 12-inch line allows the hitter to extend his or her arms when swinging to comfortably hit the tee-ball with the "sweet" spot of the bat.

I want each child to have a stiff front leg with feet square to the parallel line. The player should be placing their weight on the balls of both of their feet. The square front foot will prevent the front knee from buckling or bending. Imagine a bug underneath the back foot. I want the child to squash that imaginary bug with a pivot of their back foot. Approximately 60% of the player's weight should be on the back foot. This is called the "load" position. This pivot will open the hips toward the pitcher when "squashing the bug". The front foot should remain square and the front knee locked when "squashing the bug" also. The back leg can bend but do not take a large dip with the back leg. (This drill is presented in a short video on our www.tballu.com website, within the "Free Sample Video" section).

Most coaches and parents who played the game when they were young were taught to take a step toward the pitcher with their front foot when swinging the bat. Most coaches and parents remember taking a small step or a large step. I do not want the player to take a step with their front foot when "squashing the bug" since a step will cause the player's head to slightly dip when swinging the bat and therefore, the player's eyes will dip when swinging the bat also. The no-step will prevent an eye dip when attempting to hit a breaking ball (e.g., curve, slider, etc) later in the player's career when he or she advances to high school baseball or softball. Use a series of batting helmets as impediments to prevent the player's front foot from taking a step if they had been previously taught to do so.

Practice "squashing the bug" with a bat situated between the arms and the back's shoulder blades. Have the entire team practice this drill at the same time making sure they are a good distance away from each other. Keep an eye on a stiff front leg and the back foot should pivot on the ball of their back foot. Some players will pivot and raise the heel of the back foot such that the back weight is placed on the toe of the back foot instead of the ball of the back foot. The player's head should stay down while looking in the hitting zone. If the back shoulder does not remain in the hitting zone upon pivot, the head will lift up from the hitting zone and the front foot will automatically lift up as well where the hitter is pivoting on the heel of the front foot. This is called "rolling" the front foot. Repeat this drill 50 times each practice and before each game. The player can also do this drill 50 times daily in front of a full length mirror at home. This will provide the player great muscle memory to ensure a proper swing every time.

After more than ten years coaching youth baseball, it has been my experience that, despite the best efforts of parent-coaches, too many children do not learn the basics of hitting and fielding and develop bad habits from the start. As these children progress to coach-pitch and kid-pitch leagues, this results in coaches spending many hours trying to correct problems, which could have been easily avoided at the Tee Ball or Beginner Baseball level. Coaching children, whether your own or children in your community, is one of the most rewarding experiences you'll have. Watching children learn and successfully apply the skills that you've taught them is tremendously fulfilling. I wish you all the best of luck in your t-ball, baseball or softball seasons.

David Comora
T-Ball University

David Comora has coached Tee Ball and Youth Baseball for over 10 years. He and his partners Steve Polansky, Brian Leuthner and David Kalb have developed the T-Ball University system of coaching to help new parent coaches learn to quickly master the skills of coaching. Their program includes video drills, coaching forms, practice plans, lesson notes and more. Free coaching videos are also available at http://www.teeballuniversity.com.

Make sure to visit our sponsor: CoachesBest.com and BatAction.com

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Coaching Baseball Batters - 3 Common Baseball Swing Mistakes and Corrections

Coaching youth and high school baseball batters requires a watchful eye and close attention to detail. Baseball coaches must identify and correct any flaw in batting hitting mechanics. Players should not be allowed to practice their swing over and over without correcting their mistakes. Good baseball coaches are always on the constant lookout for any bad habits that a young player may develop. Here I discuss three of the most common hitting mechanical flaws and my approach to correcting each. Here are three common mistakes I often see at my baseball camps and when I observe youth games and youth practices. Continue Reading

Monday, February 23, 2009

Three great baseball quotes by Major League Baseball Managers about coaching and players

I thought that you might like to read a couple baseball quotes from 3 of baseball greatest players and managers.

"There are three secrets to managing. The first secret is 'have patience.' The second is 'be patient.' And the third and most important scret is 'patience.'"
Chuck Tanner

"There are three types of baseplayers: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happens."
Tommy Lasorda

"If the guys on the bench were as good as the guys you have out there, they'd be out there in the first place."
Frank Robinson

have a great day, Nick

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Are You A Side-Line Coach

by: Charles French

With spring in the air, flower’s and baseball are in full bloom. As the father of a nine-year old son, each day is spent perfecting the art of baseball. This includes making that perfect pitch to first base, snagging those ground balls and driving those hits when we’re in the batters box. Oh, did I say we, sorry, I meant, when my son is in the batters box.

My son and I haven’t quit practicing baseball since last year. You see, he loves baseball and as many young players, has dreams of growing up to play Major League Baseball. For this reason, I must make sure he’s doing everything right, avoiding any mistakes humanly possible, or should I?

Before my son started playing baseball, we would often go to the ballpark and watch other kids practice and play. One thing I found amusing and often disturbing was parent involvement and sideline coaching to the point of disrupting the entire game. To my dismay, I vowed to never be this sort of parent.

Oh, how we tend to forget those famous words, "I’ll never be that kind of parent". It usually starts out with a simple shout from the stands "pay attention" or "get your head in the game" and then before you know it, your standing on the side, shouting and pointing out every mistake your child makes. Thankfully, I haven’t reached this point, although it has been brought to my attention that my scorning frowns and sideline presence are quite distracting.

It is so important for parents to remember, these are youth sports. These are our children and they need our support and encouragement. We as parents have to let our children have fun and learn at their own pace. My son brought this to my attention when he said "dad, I know when I mess up but it makes me play worse when you look like your mad at me".

Sports play a very important role in teaching children how to function in society and being able to work as a team. As parents support and encourage your children to play sports. Have fun!

About The Author

Charles & Lisa French are active members of the Sports Developement Community. Feel free to contact us and visit our site on Decorating Country Home.

Coachesbest.com sells top quality batting cages at disocunted prices. BattingCagesDirect.com sells complete batting cage packages with net and frame for a low price. BatAction Hitting Machines is baseball's #1 backyard batting trainer.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Dozen Things That I Feel Every Youth Baseball and Youth Softball Batter Should Remember

1. "Think YES, YES, YES, On Every Pitch" Be ready and prepared to hit every pitch. Convert to NO or "hold off" only when you see that the pitch is a ball.

2. Track the baseball from the time it comes out of the hand of the pitcher until it reaches the catching mitt.

3. Expect the fastball and adjust to off speed pitches. Expect the ball away and adjust to the ball on the inner half.

4. When the coach gives the runner or runners a steal sign get deeper in the batter box. This extends distance for the pitch coming in and the throw by the catcher. This slight movement may give the runner a little more time.

5. Move up in front of the batter box when the bunt might be on. Moving up in the batter box gives you more fair territory to work in when bunting the ball.

6. Never look back at the umpire after a "called" strike. Trying to show-up the umpire, or the show of any displeasure at a call, may only hurt you when you come to bat again.

7. Never speak or exchange words with the catcher. You should be concentrating on hitting the baseball when you step into the batter box. Anything else that draws your attention away from that task may cause you to get out quicker.

8. Know if the pitcher has above, average or below average velocity on his fastball. The slower the velocity, the farther you should move toward the front of the batter box.

9. Get ready to hit, now. Look for a first-pitch fastball and rip it. Be ready to attack a first pitch fastball because often times it may be the best pitch that you get.

10. Know the performance history of the pitcher facing the last several batters. If he is having trouble throwing strikes, be prepared to take some pitches. If he is struggling to throw strikes, the last thing you want to do is to go to the plate swinging at the first pitch.

11. Coaches may sometimes call a color to represent the approach they want their batters to have at the plate. Green means swing away, Red means swing only after a strike has been called. If the color is "green" attack the first pitch that you like. If the color is "red", do not swing until the pitcher throws a strike. "Red" is called when base runners are needed badly or when the pitcher has walked two of the last three batters. Green means the coach is giving you permission to swing at will. If you like it, hit it. Red means the coach wants you to take some pitches.

12. Know how tight the umpire is on the strike zone. If he is calling everything strikes, you better expand your swing zone to adapt. If he is calling the zone extremely tight, you may want to look to hit only the perfect pitch down the middle. Teams and hitters should always know how an umpire is calling and adjust.

I hope these 12 points are useful to you.

Good Luck till next time, Nick Dixon

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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.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nick_Dixon

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The baseball players "backyard basketball goal": The BatAction Hitting Machine

The hitter's "backyard basketball goal" makes home batting practice as easy and convenient as shooting a "game of horse"! What could 25,000 more practice swings a year do for your game? Think about it!

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of BASEBALL HITTING, 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.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Youth Baseball Coaching Hitting Drill For Timid Hitters

By Chip Lemin

I'm sure most of you have worked with batters who constantly bail out of the batters box no matter what. It seems that this player will begin his bail out before he even really knows where the pitch is going. Here is a drill to try that may have some impact; I'm not saying it is a cure for this problem. It will get the hitter to look first at least before they start their getaway.

Start out using tennis balls for this drill. Have the batter get into the box, and throw some pitches behind them. This should get the batter to realize that they can't just blindly back out of the box, because in youth baseball, they will see pitches behind them, only not on purpose! This will give the timid batter some level of comfort by making them feel safer at the plate. This will get the hitter to really focus on the ball, which is what we want them to do anyway. Throw lots pitches to them, this is not a quick fix method but it should begin to help. After some time, the hitter will begin to notice that they don't have to duck away from good pitches. They will stay put and try to hit the ball instead.

You can also have the hitter take a bunch of short strides toward whichever side of the field you need them to. Have them over compensate to begin with, because you know when a pitch comes they will most likely start to move back out in to middle which is closer to our goal anyway.
You can also have the batter just stand in the box when you have a pitcher and catcher warming up. Tell them just to follow the ball into the catcher's glove. This will let them relax some with out the stress of having to hit the ball. Learning how to hit a baseball is a difficult skill to master anyway. When your player is afraid of the ball is makes it much harder to learn to hit. Youth baseball players will respond to good teaching techniques when properly applied. Make sure not to embarrass the player, and do not tolerate any other players doing so.

Coaching youth baseball at any level is great privileged, so get all the info you can. Make sure you are kind and patient even if you don't feel like it at the time. I commend anyone would will take the time and responsibility to coach youth baseball, we need more like you.

Thanks Coach Chip Lemin
About Coach Chip
Hello My name is Chip Lemin. I'm a long time youth baseball coach who loves to promote this great game of youth baseball. Promoting sportsmanship in this game of youth baseball is something that really needs I feel. I have a free e-course that will give you some solid coaching information along with great help on the inter-personal relationships we must have to be good youth baseball coaches.Things such as parents, travel baseball, getting parents to help out, how to communicate better to parents and players, just to touch on a few. This course will help to organize practices like an elite coach. How to motivate players and other coaches with your positive attitude. It really is not very hard to be a great coach when you know what to do.Best of all you will learn how to have fun with these great kids that you have the privilege of coaching. Do yourself a favor and check it out, it's free,you will get 1 part every couple of days in your e-mail. Coaching can be fun and rewarding if you have a plan in place first, and you have an idea what you are doing.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chip_Lemin

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Monday, February 16, 2009

How To Develop A Balanced Hitting Base For Youth Baseball Players!

By Chip Lemin

When I see a youth baseball player shooting line drives all over the field, there are certain things I look for in their swing. The first thing I usually notice will be that the player is balanced during the entire swing. Balance in a baseball swing is something that will deliver consistent results for the hitter. The balance in a baseball swing begins with the stance. The player's weight should be evenly distributed on both feet to start. When the player begins the trigger, or start of the swing, some of the weight will then shift to the back leg. These subtle movements were not always clear to me. I learned most of this from watching our team take hitting instruction from a professional instructor.

Click Here to Continue Reading This Great Article at BaseballCoachingDigest.com

Are you thinking about building your own backyard batting cage?

Building a Batting Cage Is Easier Than You Think

Building a batting cage is the ultimate investment in a player's hitting success. There is absolutely nothing else that has a more positive effect and than offers greater benefits than building a batting cage for your player or team.
If you have decided to purchase a batting cage, you have made a wise decision. The money you spend on a batting cage net and frame will provide great benefits and give your team or player a difinite advantage for years and years to come.

Whatever, you do, if you have the money to invest, do not change your mind. Go through with this project. Batting cage construction is not rocket science. It will be easier than you think if you follow our batting cage guide's step-by-step plans and instructions for batting cage construction. You can do this....we can help!

The choices you make concerning your backyard batting cage or home batting cage should be determined by three things.
1) The amount of money you have to spend on your new batting cage.
2) The amount of time and energy you can devote to the project.
3) The amount of space that you have to work with when you install your batting cage nets and frames.

Read more batting cage buying and building tips at BattingCageBuilder.com.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

6 Great Youth Baseball Training products that Produce Incredible Results

6 Great Youth Baseball Training products that Produce Incredible ResultsResultsHere are 6 of the hottest new training products in youth baseball and youth softball. These hit trainers are knwon and respected for producing rasining batting averages, improving hitting mechanics, and teaching the correct fundamentals of hitting a baseball.

1. BatAction Self-Trainer Hitting Machine by Nedco Sports - One of the best known trainers on the market. It is popular because it is simple to use, raises batting averages, and has speed and height adjustments for all ages and skill levels. The unit weight less than 35 pounds, packs away easily and travels in the truck of your car. Price under $200 http://www.bataction.com

2. Target Handheld Hit Trainer - This hitting stick trainer by SKLZ offers easy, portable, inexpensive, and productive batting practice for teeball, youth baseball, and youth softball. The units is lightweight and can be carried to game for pre-game warm-up. Price under $50 http://www.baseball2u.com/prohitrbynes.html

3. Handsback Hitter by Swing Buster - This unique and innovative batting trainer features a mechanical tee that launches the ball into the strikezone. The players learns very quickly to trigger, stay back, and drive the barrel through the baseball or softball. Portable unit that can travel to games and practices. Price under $100 http://www.handsbackhitter.com

4. Stay Back Batting Tee - This great training tee teaches players to stay back, to hit with leverage and power, and to keep the weight and hands back. This tee is simply to assemble and can be used at all ages because it has several adjustments. Portable with a weight less than 25 pounds. Price under $100 http://www.staybacktee.com

5. Advanced Skills Batting Tee - This innnovative new batting tee by Muhl Tech is the one of the hottest selling training products of 2009. The lightweight tee has a unique design and barrier that teached the batter to have a compact, short, and prefect swing. Sells for under $100 http://www.advancedskillstee.com

6. Quick Swing Trainer - This unique batting machine is automated. It produces incredible bat speed and builds batter confidence extremely fast. Lightweight and batter operated for complete portability. This is a great training tool and the cost is under $100. I suggest that you buy the combo that includes the net and machine for $129.95.http://www.quickswingtrainer.com

Have a great day.Nick

Simple Tips For Playing Baseball

By: Robert Michael

Playing BaseballBaseball is a game of skill and for that reason the best athlete is not always the best player. Baseball involves thrilling, pitching, catching, baserunning, fielding, and hitting. If you want to improve in all of these areas and skills then you must practice regularly using drills. Practicing must be fast and include jumping from one drill to the other. A good baseball player must always focus on making the most out of every drill session instead of just going through the motions which can often lead to bad habits. If you want to improve your baseball game focus on top form in as many drill opportunities as you can. Here's some information to help you while work on improving your baseball game.

Throwing the ball

You should grab the baseball with your index finger and middle finger along the long seams of the baseball while keeping your thumb underneath it to provide support. When you throw be sure to square your shoulders with your target and while moving towards the target throw with a 3/4 arm action.

Fielding the Ball

If you keep your feet spread and stay down you'll ensure good balance. You do not want the ball to go between your legs and you always want your glove in front of you so you can block the ball and see it go into your glove.

Catching Fly Balls

If you're out in the outfield you'll want to be striding towards your target and you'll want to be behind the ball. You need to be able to see the ball and you need to be able to quickly get your stride to throw to your target. Finally, be sure to catch the ball above the shoulder with your elbow bent. This will help cushion when catching.

Batting Stance

When batting your stance should consist of your feet shoulder length apart with your toes pointed inward slightly. This stance will help you keep your balance. Be sure to look at the pitcher with your head level.

Base Running

Always run in a way to give yourself the best chance for top speed. For example, if you plan on running more than one base try to time your steps so you hit the base with your right foot as you get less arc and stay consistently striding without losing speed towards the next base.


Good pitchers focus on making consistent strikes with proper mechanics. Proper mechanics will reduce the chances of an injury. If you vary the speed of your pitch the batters will remain confused and their timing will be off.These tips for improving your baseball are just beginning. It is important that you practice on all of these skills if you want to become a well-rounded baseball player.

CoachesBest.com has youth baseball training aids at discount prices.
The BaseballParentGuide.com - Great tips and articles for baseballparents.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Where Does Power Come From For A Youth Baseball Hitter?

By Chip Lemin

Greetings to all coaches,
To help your players develop more power in their swings, you must instruct them to have balance throughout the entire swing. In the previous article,on 2-14-08, I discussed the stance of the hitter. This includes even weight distribution right from the trigger of the swing. In order to generate power, the swing must be compact and short. Yes players with long swings will generate power also, but they generally will not make as much consistent contact.

Many youth baseball players will have far too much hand and foot movement to achieve balance throughout the entire swing. These players could get away with these flaws when pitchers are just trying to throw strikes in younger leagues. As pitchers develop velocity and location these flaws will be exposed.Some young players will resist keeping their hands held up high. They resist keeping their shoulders stacked up over their feet. They may not have a wide enough base in their stance. These players like to stride out at the ball. A small controlled stride is acceptable. Many newer coaches are unaware that a long stride will hamper the player's power base.Many of the top youth baseball hitters will no stride at all. They may use some front foot movement as a timing trigger to begin to "load up' their swing.

I became a student of the baseball swing to learn all I could. When your gets professional instruction (which I encourage) pay close attention,and take notes.Many of the instructors are great sources of knowledge who are willing to help you too. After all, it is in their best interest for your players to improve. It is a reflection on his talent as an instructor.It may mean more business for him.It is the player's responsibility to work on their swing. You can give them the tools and information. You can attempt to inspire them to work harder. Don't feel any guilt about a player's swing if they are not putting in extra work to improve.

Players must look at the pitcher with both eyes. Too often the player's shoulder position will be turned so that both eyes are not on the ball. These batters may have hit the ball well at lower even with these flaws,it may take some strikeouts or weakly hit balls to get their attention. Just be a patient instructive leader. Focus on what the batter is doing right first, then move on to correcting mistakes. Most young players don't get proper extension and follow through on their swings.They may be trying too hard to pull all pitches. This is a common mistake. When players wrap the bat around on their follow through, and it ends up below the front shoulder, it is a sign that they are "pulling off "of the ball. The finish should be up high, with the bat and the hands up near or above the front shoulder.

Power is not always generated just by size. It is a function of bat speed.The quicker the bat head can get into the hitting zone the better. The batter's hands must lead into the zone, and the hips and torso will follow. The player must focus on extension through the entire hitting zone. This will help the player to finish the swing with a nice high follow through. Then the hips and torso will come along also. Professional instruction with a qualified instructor is worth every cent. I believe the coaching staff will get just as much help from it as the players. There will be more articles on hitting for youth baseball players coming up soon. Thanks Coach Chip

Coach Chip

Chip Lemin has been a promoter of youth baseball since they started using aluminum bats. That's a long time. I have witnessed many good people get into coaching without solid coaching skills and it is not fun for them or the kids.Today's newer coaches are also being shortchanged on sportsmanship, like there is none. Visit my site to sign up for a insightful, informational, free coaching e-course at http://www.baseballecourse.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chip_Lemin

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Friday, February 13, 2009

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Coaching Baseball Batters - 3 Common Baseball Swing Mistakes and Corrections

Coaching youth and high school baseball batters requires a watchful eye and close attention to detail. Baseball coaches must identify and correct any flaw in a batters hitting mechanics. Players should not be allowed to practice their swing over and over without correcting their mistakes. Good baseball coaches are always on the constant lookout for any bad habits that a young player may develop. Here I discuss three of the most common hitting mechanical flaws and my approach to correcting each.

Continue Reading This Article....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Preventing Injury to Youth Baseball and TeeBall Players

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

Monday, February 9, 2009

The 6 Basic Steps to the Perfect Tee Ball Baseball Swing

Step 1
Using a "Good Grip"
Using the proper grip allows the batter to achieve as much hand quickness and bat speed as possible. The key to a good grip is positioning the bat in the fingers and not the palms. The bat should be held firmly but not tight that the batter's hand speed is slowed. The batter can assure a great grip every time by lining up the "door knocking knuckles" as shown.

Step 2
Have a Super Stance
The batter should always be taught to use a balanced parallel stance with both feet about shouolderwidth apart with his toes even and slightly facing inward. He should assume his stance about 8-10 inches from the plate. The batter should slightly bend his knees with his weight on the balls of his feet. The batter's front shoulder, hip and knee should be slightly turned forward. A proper stance will allow the batter to react to the pitch with speed, quickness and power.

Step 3
Correct Hand, Arms and Bat Angle

The bat is correctly held at a 45 degree angle. The hands should not be held too high or too low. A medium location is desired with the back elbow down and the hands located 3-6 inches from the body. The bottom of both elbows should be parallel. To assume the most comfortable stance the batter should position his arms and hands so that the upper edge of the top of the hands on the bat is even with the shoulder.

Step 4
Four Keys to a Correct Stride
The batters stride should be short, no more than two or three inches.
The stride should be at a 45 degree angle towards home plate.
The batter should land softly on his front foot as if he were stepping on an egg. The batter should stride and land on the big toe or inside of his front foot.

Step 5
Head Action and Ball Tracking
The batter should turn his head enough that he can see the ball with both eyes. The "IKE to MIKE" method should be taught. The batter,s front shoulder, toward the pitcher, is "IKE", and his back shoulder is "MIKE". The batter should start with his chin on "IKE". During the swing the head does not move. The body rotates and the shoulders switch places with the head finishing on "MIKE". The batter should keep his eyes on the ball and should be taught to "track" the ball from the pitcher's hand to the bat.

Step 6
Swing and Finish
The batter should take a good level swing or slightly downward, He should strive to keep his back foot in position while lifting his heel slightly and then turning his foot towards the pitcher as he starts his swing. He should concentrate on hitting the "top-half" of the baseball. When his front foot lands, he should thrust or turn his hips.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How to Prevent a Hitting Slump - Eleven Baseball Hitting Tips For Players, Parents and Coaches

Last week, I got a call from a baseball player who plays the outfield for a Triple A team connected with a major league club. The man was concerned because he has been in a hitting slump on and off for several seasons. He wants to make it to the major leagues and he feels that time is running out on him.

Yesterday, I got a call from a mother of a college player who is also stuck in a slump. This parent happened to be a psychiatrist. Like many parents who call me for help, this worried mother said, "My son has a beautiful swing. He works with a top hitting coach. He is great in the cage, but terrible once the game starts."

This concerned and worried mother had even tried medication to help her son perform better at the plate.Baseball players frequently call me when they are stuck in a slump. Fortunately,over the years, I have developed many techniques, strategies and tools for breaking slumps.

However, it is useful if players can learn how to start the season with a positive and effective mental approach to hitting. Here are a few tips to help you get your baseball season off to a good start:
1. Learn the strike zone very well and swing at strikes.
2. Know what kind of pitch you like to hit.
3. Be aware of the count and the game situation.
4. Train your mind to think of nothing or have just one thought at the plate. 5. Practice relaxation techniques.
6. Learn how to stay calm, focused, confident and relaxed at the plate.
7. Learn how to stay in the present and the here and now. The most important pitch and swing are the next ones.
8. Watch the pitcher carefully from the dugout.
9. Try to hit the ball into the gaps. You will naturally pull some of these for homers.
10. Keep accurate records on all of the pitchers who you face. Record what they threw, what you did and what you learned about hitting against them in the past. This is extra work, but these data will pay big dividends for you. 11. Once your swing is mechanically sound, you need to master the mental aspects of hitting.

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and the founder of http://www.stayinthezone.com. He has written several books and developed several programs to help people perform to their fullest potential at sports, at work and at school. Dr. Granat, a former university professor, has appeared in The New York Times, Good Morning America, AP, ESPN, Golf Digest, The BBC and The CBC. His books include Zone Tennis and Get Into The Zone In Just One Minute. He is also the author of How To Get Into The Zone With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, How To Lower Your Golf Score With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump and Bed Time Stories For Young Athletes. Golf Digest named Dr. Granat one of America's Top Ten Mental Gurus. He was recently featured in a documentary film on long distance running. Dr. Granat writes a weekly column for three newspapers.
His new program for baseball hitters 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump and a free sport psychology book is available at

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Recommended Baseball Intsructional Blogs for Baseball Parents

Baseball Coaches Digest Blog
BatAction Baseball Blog
Derek Jeter Hurricane Machine Blog
Baseball Batting Cage Buying Blog
CoachesBest.com Baseball Training Blog

Batting Cage Kits - “Build Your Backyard Batting Cage For Less"Batting Cage Kits are a great choice when it come to saving money on the installation of your own backyard batting cage. Batting Cage Frame kits come in various sizes and can fit any budget.
Batting Cage Frame Kit Assembly PhotosBatting Cage Frame Kit Assembly photos shown below illustrate how simple and easy it is to install your won homw batting cage using a Batting Cage Nets and Frame Kit.
Batting Cage Construction TipsBatting Cage Construction Tips offers helpful tips for people considering buidling their own batting cage.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Basics of Swing Building in Baseball

The Basics of Swing Building in Baseball
By John Peter Pero

Build a house or build a swing.it all starts with a good foundation.
You will play as good as you practice!

Writing a single article on something so complex that it causes sleepless nights for the best trained and paid talents in the world is daunting.at least to this coach.

Styles vs. Absolutes
First - I cannot and will not debate hitting styles, though I certainly have my opinion. The reality is that half of the Hall of Fame has an unconventional swing. I will leave this area to you in hopes that you will stay on the straight and narrow and will continue gaining the knowledge it takes to help ALL your players season after season.

Here's a hint
Anything resembling the teachings of Ted Williams or The Mike Schmidt Hitting Study will keep you on the right road.
For every bad swing a hitter practices...it may take three swings to correct!
Here's where I've chosen to start.by making one assumption.
(Be brutally honest with yourself before incorporating the steps below!)

I will assume that your player(s) have a basic working knowledge of good swing mechanics. Players who practice incorrectly not only waste time, but tend to go backwards to the point that it can affect their future success and love of the game. The baseball road is littered with talented players who have been eliminated from the game prematurely when poor youth baseball swing mechanics become overmatched by superior pitching and the improvement of their own teammates.
Let's Get to the Point.And to the Progression

The following are six (6) areas that can simplify this building block process.
many which can be incorporated into a basement, garage or your own backyard.

Mirror Station - Simply put.if a player visually sees what he's doing incorrectly, he will make the adjustments necessary to improve.
I recommend swinging in front of a full-length mirror beginning at 50% power, then 75%, progressing to game speed and maybe even a few swings beyond 100% power.

Be logical about the number of swings depending on the player's age and strength.taking breaks in between. Focus on fewer great swings.less is more!

(yes. take extra precautions when working indoors)
Tee Station - Simply put, you never grow out of hitting off the tee. It is the one station where players can focus on every aspect of the swing.without having to track a moving object. This is critical! Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn said something like, "I do nothing but tee work until January." I wish I could remember the exact quote, but you get the point.

Toss Station - Also known as soft toss or flip drills, this is a basic drill generally done with two players. Balls are hit into a net after being tossed underhand in a short arc and at a 45° angle on the open side of the hitter from a distance of around 6 feet. These consistent tosses (aimed at the hitter's front thigh or hip for straight-away hitting and adjusted for hitting to various areas of the field) incorporate the lessons learned from tee work, adding the skill it takes to hit a moving ball.
This important station allows players to get tons of swings in a short period of time and in a small area. Hitters get tired quickly when the tosser doesn't allow time between swings. Be patient!

Front Toss & Short Toss - This is another important building block in the progression. A coach or player will sit on a bucket behind a screen and toss pitches from directly in front of the player; usually in a cage or on a baseball field. This can be done from a distance of 15 to 20 feet and then from a 35 foot distance. Pitches should be thrown consistently and to particular zones, allowing the player to duplicate each swing as precisely as possible.

Note #1
Make sure your screen is in place and not in need of repair! Players and coaches should all be cautioned and taught to focus on staying completely behind the protective screen during every pitch.
Note #2
When utilizing short toss drills from shorter distances of 15 to 20 feet, balls should be tossed underhand so that the pitch will come in to the hitter at an angle more resembling that of a live pitch. This eliminates the "loopy" throws which encourage the poor mechanics of an uppercut swing.

Dead BP - (Batting Practice) - Dead batting practice is simply the batting practice you see on every field and at every level. You will see great examples of this when you go to a college or pro game two hours before the first pitch. It is thrown from 55 feet (not the official pitcher-to-hitter distance of 60' 6"), generally from a platform or portable mound. Pitches are thrown straight at around 55 to 65 mph.into particular hitting zones. These consistent pitches are designed for the hitter to repeat his swings over and over with consistency; hitting balls hard and to particular areas of the field.
A ball field and a batting cage with or without a pitching machine is all that is needed.

Live BP - (Batting Practice) - Take dead BP and add the battle of pitcher (coaches or pitchers doing the throwing) versus hitter, preferably in game conditions. In a team practice, I find maximum benefit when all defenders are also playing this as a real game.

The backyard version of live BP incorporates a pitching machine and pitching machine with an autofeeder for single player practices or a batting cage with a live pitcher behind a protective L-Screen.

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: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Peter_Pero

Monday, February 2, 2009

Practice Is What It Takes To Become A Complete Baseball Player.

By: Robert Michael

Baseball is primarily a game of skill and therefore the best athlete doesn't always make the best baseball player. This is especially true if they don't have the skills needed to be a complete player. Baseball is a game of pitching, catching, base running, throwing, and hitting.If you want to improve in these areas you must practice, practice, practice. It can be particularly helpful to practice very quickly going from one drill to the other. But you must stay focused on getting the most out of every drill session. If you just go through the motions you're surely develop bad habits. You have to focus on quality practice.Therefore practice as much as you can while seeking quality training sessions.

Here is some information and tips for you to keep in mind while you practice. These will surely help you improve your game.

Throwing the ball

Grab the ball with your index finger and middle finger along the seams of the baseball while keeping your thumb underneath it. As you prepare to throw square up your shoulders, move towards a target and throw with a � arm action.

Fielding the ball.

In order to maintain good balance keep your feet spread and get down. You do not want the ball to go down between your legs. You should have your glove in front of you so you can block the ball and see it go into the glove. Then raise the ball up your midsection to throw.

Catching fly balls

In order to catch a fly ball from the outfield you should be striding toward your target and you want to be behind the wall. First of all, you can see the ball and secondly, you can get into your stride to throw to your target. Finally, be sure to catch the ball above the shoulder with your elbow bent. This will help cushion as you catch.

Batting stance

For the most part, you want to balance your stance with your feet shoulder length apart. In order to keep your balance keep your toes pointed inward slightly. You should be looking at the pitcher with your head level.


A good pitcher wants to achieve consistent strikes using proper mechanics in order to reduce the chances of an injury. Vary the speed of your pitches and you'll keep the batter confused and off timing. You should learn to find the ball inside, outside, up and down.

Base running

You should always run in a way to give yourself optimum top speed. For example, if you're running for more than one base you need to keep your steps so you hit the base with your right foot as you get less arc and therefore you keep a more consistent stride and don't lose speed towards next base.These tips are just the beginning when it comes to learning how to improve your baseball game. Practice, practice, and practice is what it takes to become a complete baseball player.

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