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Thursday, May 28, 2009

BaseballCoachingDigest.com - Free articles for the baseball coach, player or parent

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The BaseballCoachingDigest.com has many categories of baseball coaching articles. Here are a few for you to check out.

Ø Baseball Team Coaching and Managing Tips

Ø Baseball Practice Planning

Ø Coaching Hitting

Ø Coaching Pitchers

Ø Coaching Defense

Ø Coaching Base Running

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coaching Tee Ball - Two Batting Videos on Youtube that You Can learn From

Coaching Little League Baaseball - Two Batting Videos on Youtube that You Can learn From

For more information on the BatAction Machine visit BatAction.com.

Hello and good Wedenesday morning to you. We begin our 2009 summer baseball camp today. I just hope the weather cooperates. Here are two hitting youtube links that I recommend that my players watch. T think that you will find these useful also.
Have a great day,



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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coaching Youth Baseball - Situational Pitching - Squeeze Play Situation

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Coaching Youth Baseball - Situational Pitching - Squeeze Play Situation - By Nick Dixon

We often hear the term "Situational Hitting", but just as important is "Situational Pitching". Knowing what to throw and when to throw it. Here are three examples of situational pitching.
"HIT and RUN Situation" - Most often occurs with the batter ahead in the count and no outs. The most common counts are 1-0, 2-0, and 2-1. The pitcher should know when to expect the "HITand RUN" and keep the ball inside on the hitter to prevent the pitch from being driven to the opposite field.


"DOUBLE PLAY Situation" - The most important point to remember is to keep the ball down. One of the greatest plays in baseball is the inning ending double play. It is not advised to throw a change up or curve ball in a double play situation.

"SQUEEZE BUNT Situation" - There are many things to know and remember in this situation. Here are suggestions on how to have a "pitching approach" when the squeeze bunt may be on.

1. Throw the pitch either "UP and IN" or "LOW and IN".
2. The pitcher should not try to hit the batter, but if the batter is hit, the runner must return to third base.
3. It is more difficult to bunt the low pitch than the high pitch.

1. Throw the ball outside. The pitch is actually a pitch- out.
2. Make sure the pitch is "UNTOUCHABLE".

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Correct Batting Practice Methods For Little League Baseball Teams

Good Friday Morning to You.
I hope all is well with you and your team.
Here is a great article by Marty Schupak that I found beneficial and informative. I hope that you find it useful also.
Have a great weekend!

Correct Batting Practice Methods For Little League Baseball Teams

By Marty Schupak
In my eighteen years of coaching youth baseball, I am always looking for the most efficient practice methods for every aspect of baseball. It took me only a few years to realize that most youth baseball coaches and myself were running batting practice, not incorrectly, but not efficiently. From what I have seen with the typical batting practice, a coach will pitch a predetermined number of balls for each batter with the fielders fielding the hit balls and throwing them to first base. Usually the coach will yell something like “run the last one out”, and the batter does just that. If the ball is an infield hit, they try to throw him out at first. If it is hit into the outfield, he usually runs until he is thrown out. This is all well and good intentioned, but it is wasting valuable time when a coach wants to run an efficient practice.

Here is the most efficient way of running a batting practice that I’ve come up with. First of all, let me say this. Batting practice is just what it is, batting practice. Batting practice is not fielding practice or base running practice. So all youth coaches and parents should really define what a youth batting practice is and what they want to get out of it.

Most of my youth practices do not run more than one hour. Every minute of wasted time will affect all other aspects and time of any other drills or techniques I want to accomplish. The first thing a coach needs to have is an over abundance of baseballs. The league will provide baseballs but I always make sure I purchase a few dozen extras. I try to work with three-dozen and keep an extra dozen in my trunk. And don’t think I’m not frugal accounting for every baseball at the end of practice. I try to make sure we find each one, and after practice, we comb the field to make sure we got them all. Usually we find extras and end up with more than what we started with.

Now, here is the actual logistics and set up that I do about 95% of the time I run batting practice. I’m a big proponent of bunting. I set up two cones on the third base line, about six feet apart, approximately where the bunt is suppose to go. I set up two empty buckets, one about three feet behind second base and the other one at the far base of the mound toward second. I have another bucket with the baseballs on the mound easily accessible to me. Now, this is a key. As a youth coach who wants a well-run practice and a lot of repetitions for the kids, I move up almost to the front base of the mound to pitch. I do this mainly so I can throw strikes consistently. For safety purposes, an “L” screen would be required from a shorter distance for safety. If your league doesn’t have any, make them get them.

I have the first person up at bat with the 2nd and 3rd player ready to go. I have the 3rd hitter (or double on deck hitter) on the outside of the screen hitting balls on a batting tee using pickle balls (plastic) or wiffle balls with another parent feeding the balls on the tee. I always have the number 2, or on deck hitter, ready to hit.

The batter bunts the first to pitches. For each successful bunt, the player receives an extra swing. I usually give a player five swings besides his two bunts. So if a player lays one bunt between the cones, he get six regular swings. If he lays both bunts between the cones, he gets seven swings (the maximum per hitter). Now, there are certain things that have to happen to make this work. Remember there are two buckets strategically located. After the bunts, when the hitter swings away, wherever the ball is hit, the fielder tosses it into the bucket closet to him. If it is hit to the outfield, he will throw the ball as close to the bucket behind second base. If he hits it to the infield, the fielder will toss it to the bucket behind the pitcher’s mound. Reinforce to the players that they must toss to the bucket on one or two bounces or they will tend to play basketball with the baseball and bucket.

Now the point here is that the fielders do not make a play to first and the hitter does not run the last one out. We get more repetitions in a short period of time. The players are always facing the hitter. One might ask, isn’t this boring for most of the players in the field? Well, not really. Because of the amount of balls hit in a short period of time, the ball is usually hit all over the place. And the coach throwing batting practice will keep one or two extra balls in his glove and is ready to pitch the next ball right away. When out of baseballs, have the players in the infield hustle to gather up the balls, combine buckets, and we’re ready to go again. This works great!

Batting practice is a favorite of any baseball player at almost every level. Do not deny batting practice at any practice. And always look for the most efficient, safest procedure to help enhance your whole practice.


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" and author of the popular book, "Youth Baseball Drills". He is a principle for 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

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baseball Training Product - The Advanced Skills Baseball Tee

Baseball Training Product - The Advanced Skills Baseball Tee

1. The forward arm eliminates "dipping" or dropping the hands and trailing shoulder to lift the ball with a "looping" type swing. If you "dip" with the AST, you hit the back of the arm. It forces you to take the bat straight down to the ball, leveling the swing at the point of contact.

2. The forward arm also pivots and rotates to place the ball on the inside or outside of the strike zone. Then, the arm points in the direction to drive the ball based on pitch location (i.e. pull the inside pitch, go with the outside pitch to the opposite field . . . "Hit the ball where it's pitched").

The outside barrier eliminates "casting". It keeps you form swinging "long" and helps you "keep the hands inside the ball". If the bat or arms are extended prematurely the bat head will slap the flexible upright barrier post. For years coaches have set a tee adjacent to a fence or screen to force hitters to compact their swing. The outside barrier does the same thing except it is a lot more effective. It rotates around the tee to accommodate LH or RH hitters and it moves along with the forward arm to help you keep the hands "tight" when you are working on inside and outside pitch locations. With the outside barrier you are forced to rotate the hips and torso and extend the hands only at the point of contact. It produces a "quick" bat and more power too.

The outside barrier can also be placed to the rear of the AST. This will further eliminate a level swing plane and force a shorter more direct swing path to the ball. This will also teach hitters to get more backspin on the ball.

You can even add an outside barrier to make the Advanced Skills Tee the most complete batting tee on the market. Simply slide on an extra barrier to develop the quickest, most powerful and compact swing possible. Eliminate casting and dropping the hands all in one workout!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Hurricane Hitting Machine - Low Investment with High Returns!

QUESTION: What is the main benefit of owning a Hurricane Baseball Hitting Machine?
ANSWER: I feel the number one benefit is that the Hurricane Machine gives the player a wide variety of hitting drills that allow a player to perform specific drills designed to target a players individual needs and weaknesses. Each of these drills teaches or reinforces an important fundamental of hitting.

QUESTION: How long does it take to assemble the Hurricane? Are tools required for set-up?
ANSWER: No tools are required. You should read the owners manual completely from front to back cover before assembling or using your new Hurricane Batting Machine. The first time you assemble your new machine may take 10 minutes. After that, it should take only 5 minutes are less. If you can do so, we recommend setting your machine up in an unused corner or area of your yard. This allows hitters to practice more often or on impulse when they are bored during the day when Mom or Dad may not be at home. Of you must store your machine in a secure spot between uses, it will only take minutes to set up and take down each time you use it. The Hurricane is a totally user-friendly machine when it comes to use and set-up. If you should have trouble during set-up, please do not hesitate to call our toll free customer service number to talk directly to someone that can answer your questions or walk you through set-up. Call 1-877-431-4487.

QUESTION: What is involved in adjusting the height or speed of the Hurricane Machine?
ANSWER: The height is adjusted by loosening the height adjustment knob, raising or losering the machine to the desired height, and tightening the height adjustment knob. This should take less that 20 seconds to do. Speed adjustment is done by added a Powerband to increase speed and removing a Powerband to decrease speed. Make sure to always connect the Powerband to the bottom hook-bar first and then to the top hook. This prevents a Powerband from "popping" you in the face should your hand slip off of it when you are connecting it to the hook. Speed adjustment takes about 2 minutes.

QUESTION: How fast does the Hurricane Machine ball travel? What pitch speeds does the machine simulate?
ANSWER: The Hurricane ball return speed is determined by the power and bat speed of the batter. With two Powerbands in place, and a average high school hitter swinging the bat, the machine's return speed will simulate speeds reaching up to 60 to 65 mph. With younger players, the speeds simulated may average 45 to 60 mph depending on the power and bat speed of the batter. The harder the ball is hit; the faster the ball's speed when it returns to the batter.

QUESTION: Do you hit the ball moving or should the batter let it stop moving before each swing?
ANSWER: The real beauty of the Hurricane Machine is that you can do both. Players love to hit the fast moving ball. Most of the drills outlined in the owners manual are moving ball drills. However, some of the isolation drills that allow the batter to hit specific pitch locations are performed by allowing the ball to stop before each drill. I would say that 90% of the drills and workouts on the Hurricane Machine are fast ball moving drills. These are highly productive when it come to improving skill, building confidence and increasing bat speed.

QUESTION: What is the number one thing I need to make sure my player knows about the Hurricane before he or she uses it?
ANSWER: I would say that there are actually three things that I would tell them. First, they should always make sure no one is near when they are swinging the bat. They should clear the area before they begin to work. Second, they must realize that the Hurricane operates with a "wrapping and unwrapping" action. They must always allow the Hurricane Machine Powerbands to unwrap between bat swings. If they do not allow the machine to unwind before they swing again, they will stress and break the Powerbands. And last, I would make sure that they take time between swings to reset and assume a proper stance everytime. The Hurricane Machine is so easy and convenient that many times kids tend to work to fast. They must make themselves slow down, get in a proper stance, and take a quality swing each time. The emphasis should be on QUALITY and not QUANTITY when it comes to practice swings.

ONE LAST IMPORTANT POINT: Make sure that your hitter has batting gloves. The Hurricane will greatly increase the number of practice swings a players takes each day. Kids will sometimes take 300 to 500 swings a day. Often times they are not used to taking so many swings. Until their hands get used to it, they must have protection. They will get blisters if they do not have a good pair of batting gloves. So make sure your player has a good pair of batting gloves to wear when hitting the Hurricane Machine.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Coaching Baseball - 12 Things That 3rd Base Coaches Should Say to Baserunners

By Nick Dixon

Fewer things in baseball are more embarrassing for a young baseball player than to make a base running mistake that cost his team a run. When a runner gets on base and moves to scoring position, at 2nd base or 3rd base, the momentum and confidence of the team is increased. The team and the player, and the fans feel like they have a good chance of scoring a run. But, to have that chance of scoring removed by a blunder by the runner or coach can be total demoralizing to the team. Here I discuss 12 things that the 3rd base coach should say, convey, or signal to the runners at 2nd and 3rd base.

Here are 12 things often said to a base runner between pitches.

1) Make sure that the runner knows the number of outs and the count on the batter.

2) 2B Runner (Less than 2 outs) "Read the ground ball". The runner should only advance toward 3rd on a ground ball hit to the runners left. The runner holds on a ground ball hit on the third base side of the runner to prevent getting cut down at third.

3) 2B Runner (Less than 2 outs) "See the line drive through". The runner should freeze on any ball hit in the air. The runner only advance toward 3B after the line drive clears the infielders.

4) 2B Runner (2 outs) "Run on contact". On Ground ball hit to third, the runner should read it, not get tagged for the third out at third base. The runner should stop and make the fielder throw the ball to first base.

5) 2B Runner (Less than 2 outs) "Tag on a deep fly to right" The runner will retreat to the bag to get into a position to tag up and advance should the ball to the outfield be deep enough to allow a tag and advance.

6) Runners at 1B, 1B & 2B, or bases loaded(2 outs - full count on the batter) "Make sure the front foot lands" The runners will be moving on the pitch, must hold until the runners make sure that the pitcher is going to the plate and not picking to a bag.

7) Runner at any base. (Any time) Extend your secondary lead. The runner is not getting enough lead extension on the pitch to the plate. The runner should take a proper "primary lead" and then extend the lead on what is called the "secondary lead".

8) 3B Runner (Any time) Take your walking lead...stay out here. The runner will get a walking secondary lead on the pitch and should make sure to be completely in foul territory as the runner walks toward the plate. The runner must be in foul territory for safety reasons and to prevent getting hit by a fair ball.

9) 3B Runner (Pass Ball Situation) you must get a side-to-side kick; straight back will not get it. The game is being played at a field with a close backstop. Any ball going straight back is impossible to go home on. The catcher will go straight back when the ball gets by. Therefore if the ball takes a side-to-side kick off the catcher, umpire, or back stop, the chances of scoring are much better.

10) 3B Runner(Less than 2 outs) Ball hit sharp, you stay. This means if the corners are playing up, the runner will hold at third if he ball is hit to the pitcher or the corners, if the ball is hit to SS or 2B, the runner will score. It is important to play it safe at third with the secondary lead. The reason is if you take a big secondary and get down the line too far, you can get out on a ball hit sharply to 3B.

11) 3B Runner (No outs) Defense is pulled in. See the ground ball through. The runner should only try to score after the ground ball gets by the fielders. The runner will play it safe to make sure.

12) 3B Runner (Anytime). Get as far away from the bag as the 3rd baseball is. Pitcher is throwing out of the stretch.

The runner should take his primary lead based on how far the third baseman is playing off the bag. A normal walking secondary lead is taken. The reason for this is to prevent the 3B runner from getting picked if the pitcher it throwing out of the stretch position.

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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


Monday, May 18, 2009

It's All in Your Attitude in Coaching Youth Baseball

By Chip Lemin

I realize it's fall going on winter, but one can always start thinking
about next year and what you are going to do different do become an
improved coach.

I would like to give attitude a big plug here because it is so vital
not just in youth baseball, it is vital in all areas of your player's
lives. You have a responsibility to impart more than just baseball
lessons to your players if you are truly serious about helping
your players.

As you may already know I'm a big fan of positive attitude from the
coaches as well as the players and parents. I feel there is no place
on a youth baseball club for tearing down of players no matter what
the perceived importance of the situation.

In the little league world series it was good to hear some coaches go
out to on to the field to address their clubs in a tight game and
start off the talk with something positive. Maybe the microphone had
something to with it, I hope not.

Your team will take on your attitude no matter what. You will never
hurt your effectiveness as coach by being positive, patient, and having
some fun out there.

You must be an example to parents and players. It's only a game in the
end. No else outside of a few adults on your team will even care how
your team does, believe me. You need your players to have positive
experiences in youth baseball to enrich their lives. This way they
may pass it on if and when they have a chance to coach later.

Here are a few ATTITUDE ideas I would like to share with you. I will
sending a few more in the coming weeks. Let's call this letter #1 on
ATTITUDE for players and coaches

There are many hallmarks of a well-coached team, disciplined team. They
are clearly evident during practice and games. The following items
are what makes up a solid team.

Players believe in school.
Players believe in coaches.
Players believe in their teammates
Players and coaches are punctual for practices, games and meetings.
Players dress properly.
Players respect their community


Mental attitude plays such a big role in the success of a player. A
player can have great natural talent and ability, but will have a tough
time reaching their potential if they do not develop a good positive
mental attitude and outlook. The player with the right mental outlook
and attitude will make his natural talent come through. What makes up
a proper mental attitude?


All skill levels of players will benefit from having a strong desire
to be the best they can be regardless of how they did this day or
ant other day. You must have a strong determination, a spirited desire
to win, but only by the rules, and without dishonoring this great game.
To become very good at this game, you must be wiling to invest long
hours in practice perfecting your game, because your best opponents
are doing just that very thing.


When you take the field your thoughts should be strictly baseball. You
will have to groom your mind to and body to perform a skill though
concentration. You and the coaches must always be alert and thinking.
For example, when hitting, keep one thought with you, follow the ball
to plate and hit it.


Relaxation is essential in developing skills needed in baseball. Youth
baseball is meant to be fun for players as well as coaches. Everyone
who relaxes will perform better no matter what the task at hand. Con
cent ration and relaxation are like peas in a pod, whether it is throw
ing a ball to a hitter or spearing a line drive at third. You must learn
to control your emotions as a player or a coach. By concentrating on
what you doing, you will remove fear and tension from your mind.
A confident mind and relaxed body are great keys to success on and
off the baseball field.

I hope these tips will help you. I used to think and feel being the
loud tough manager was the only way to get results. Over the years
I have learned that I was missing out on some the best parts of
coaching youth baseball, being a chance to be a teacher and a friend.
We must have discipline on the team, and it comes from example, not by
yelling or tearing down of players. You and your players will have
many good memories to share with others. That is what it is all about

Thanks for your time Coach Chip Lemin 440 465 3337


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


Friday, May 15, 2009

Tips for Coaching Little League Baseball - Pitching Like A Pro, Top 5 Things You Can Do To Be The Perfect Pitcher.

Tips for Coaching Little League Baseball - Pitching Like A Pro, Top 5 Things You Can Do To Be The Perfect Pitcher.

By: Mike F.

You want to pitch like a pro? Want to make people you've been pitching for 30 years? After many years in the college pitching circuit I've found there are 5 things that every pitcher needs to know. These are 5 important tips, however there are many more. I just feel like these would be the top 5:

1.) How to stay cool before you go out to play a game.
2.) Play as much as you can.
3.) How to tune out the world and focus on they job you need to do.
4.) Covering the hit after you throw a pitch.
5.) Keeping base runners from stealing bases.

Before you even step out onto the field you will get some pregame jitters. It's just normal. It's how you handle those feelings that will determine if you win or lose on the mound. To help you get focused, remember it's normal to feel how you feel. Many pitchers are able to transform that energy into positive results at gametime.

If you love pitching you will want to pitch as much as you can. This is good. Play catch with whoever will play with you. When you throw the ball, aim for different areas on your catcher body. Aim at his left arm area and try to throw it there. Have him move his glove around and try to hit his glove without having to move it an inch.

Focus is key in any successful pitching. Being able to block out the world is a hard task. Thinking too much can be a bad thing. If you're mind is racing about what you're having for dinner, and if your jersey is untucked, it will definitely affect your pitching. Learn to breathe deeply. This will certainly relax you and focus you for that next perfect pitch.

Next on the list of successful pitching is what happens after the pitch. You are a fielder like anyone else after you release the ball. After you pitch square yourself with homeplate and be ready for anything that may come your way. It is very important that you remain balanced during play so that you can throw the ball when necessary.

Keeping base runners on the bag is one of things that can keep pitchers unfocused. Don't let them spook you. Hold the ball, and look at the runner when you can. Let them know that you're not going to lose if they challenge you.

Remember that you're a pitcher, and that pitching perfect takes work, and lots of it. Practice anytime you can and don't be afraid to take a break if you feel yourself getting "burned out." Sometimes time does make they heart grow fonder, even with pitching.

Article Source - Reprint Content

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Allowing Failure In Youth Baseball Drills

Allowing Failure In Youth Baseball Drills

By Nate Barnett

I'm sure you have heard the words, "practice makes perfect". Or, "perfect practice makes perfect". And while I enjoy the utopian view that someday I'll get to coach the perfect team, or the perfect player, it's just not going to happen. Especially not in a sport where failure is a common and frequent occurrence. It is vital that our athletes understand failure and be taught how to employ a strategy to use failure as a positive and not as a negative. It takes some rewiring in the minds of athletes, but it's well worth the time spent.

What I would like to explore here is how failure can be utilized during youth baseball drills and during practice in order to create more fundamentally solid baseball players.

For many youth today failure is terrifying. Afraid of messing up a speech in class, afraid of getting an "F" on a exam, afraid of striking out, and afraid of being rejected in this or that. Failure is everywhere and and it is an integral part of our daily lives. The problem I have with the focus on failure is that it tends to paralyze many from attempting to achieve. Let me be clear when I say that I am not trying to do away with things that cause failure, or to shelter youth from experiencing it, I'm simply stating the lens in which we view failure needs to be cleaned.

Facilitating a new angle on failure during youth baseball drills and practice time is actually quite simple. I'll provide one solid example on one aspect of the game of baseball and let you apply the principle to the rest.

A Tangible Example: Batting Practice

When working with hitters, I will watch closely how they approach batting practice. During BP, all hitters want to do well, and why not, it's their time to shine. However, it usually only takes a few missed pitches, a few ground outs, or a few fly outs before the hitter begins to be frustrated and lose focus. This just compounds the problem.

The problem is not the missed pitches or the poor results, the problem is the perceived meaning of the missed pitches. In other words, the hitter sees the missed opportunities as a sign of inferiority. This feeling compounded upon will create a belief that the athlete himself has failed.

Good hitters approach batting practice mistakes far differently. A few missed pitches, repeated ground outs or fly outs simply communicate to a quality athlete that there is something not quite right with his swing. Instead of focusing on the feeling of personal inferiority, a non-emotional response is used and the mistake is not personalized. Upon completion of batting practice, this same athlete can be found in the batting cage or off to the side working on the specific problem.

The key differences with the above examples is how each hitter dealt with failure. In the first example the hitter allowed the mistakes to be an end result. Personal inferiority. The mentally successful hitter viewed the mistake as simply a PART of his offensive game that needed some help. Two drastically different view points.

I would highly encourage during your youth baseball drills to teach and cultivate the following ideas:

1. Failure is just an indicator of something that needs to change.

2. Failure should never be allowed to be related to the person of the athlete

About the Author

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball http://bmibaseball.com and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at http://bmibaseball.com/blog

His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.

Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.

Check Out These Recommended Baseball Coaching Websites:
Baseball Coaching Journal

Baseball Training Equipment Sites:

Online Baseball Stores:
Baseball Dealz

Baseball Blogs for Coaches - Free Training Tips, Coaching Articles and More
Check out these recommended blogs for baseball coaches.
Baseball Coaching and Training Equipment Blog
The Hurricane Hitting Machine - Derek Jeter Series - Training and Coaching Blog
BatAction Machine Baseball Training and Coaching Blog
Batting Cage Information and Know-how: Buying, Building and Using Your New Batting Cage
TeeBall Coaching Drills, Tips and Other Information
Baseball Training Homework For Youth Players Blog
Baseball Parents Guide To Helping a Player Improve Blog
Baseball Coaching, Training and Instruction

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Baseball Drills - Staying Motivated While You Practice

Baseball Drills - Staying Motivated While You Practice

By Nate Barnett

One of the biggest challenges a coach faces is to successfully instill a long-term motivation and vision in practice during the typical lengthy baseball season. It's not uncommon for a high school player to spend February through August doing baseball drills, workouts, training, and of course participating in games. So the question must be asked, how can you create a sense of urgency and long-term focus during the hundreds of hours of baseball drills throughout the season?

This is where goals come into play. Though I will say, be careful how you use the term "goals", the reaction of your athletes may be less than excited. I prefer the term, "road map". Whether it be to play in high school, college, or professionally, you will be much more likely to find your athletes will perform the baseball drills and workouts you create efficiently if you help them continually expand their road map. Without a clear and defined road map, you'll end up wasting a lot of practice time and will most certainly find it tough to help your players stay motivated throughout the duration of the season.

I'm sure you've agreed with me thus far that a road map creation process is vital to the success to an athlete. But let me give you one tangible and practical way to help enlarge the thinking of your players.

Think of it this way. If the goal is to get to the Big Leagues, there are some serious rewards that come with the title of Big Leaguer. One of the benefits of course is economic. Lets say a talented and successful player makes one million++ dollars annually playing professionally. Broken down over a career of practicing and working hard on baseball drills, that's about 20 grand per practice! Obviously it largely depends on the age of the athlete whose dream is to play in the Bigs, but I'm sure you can do the math and figure out the amount of money per practice. Have the athlete deposit the money in his mental bank account only if he's worked hard during his practice.

The mind is an amazing thing. Help your athletes develop it so they may achieve their full potential.

About the Author

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball http://bmibaseball.com and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at http://bmibaseball.com/blog

His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.

Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why Do Kids Hate Playing Outfield?

Why Do Kids Hate Playing Outfield?

By Chip Lemin

Yes, as youth baseball coaches we have to overcome an unfair stigma that outfield is where we hide less skilled players during a game. To some extent that is correct. In youth baseball leagues under 10 years old, there fewer balls hit into the outfield. What a player catches a fly ball in the outfield, it is an exciting and uplifting play for the team, more than a routine grounder can provide.
Click here to read this article at BaseballCoachingDigest.com.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

T-Ball Coaching Tips For Game Day

By David Comora

So, you've survived the first practices, the parent meetings, the fund raisers and the uniform distribution, and now its game day. Many of the questions we receive from new coaches at our T-Ball University web site concern how to handle their team in a variety of game day situations. So, in this article, we'll be discussing some of the most common game day questions, including stretching, warm-ups, pep talks, tips for coaching the game and post-game activities.

What is the first thing you should do when the kids arrive for the game? When players arrive on the field, it's important to make sure their bodies are in the proper condition to play ball. We usually start our children with some simple warm up exercises, such as arm rotations and then a slow jog around the T-ball field. Once their muscles are warmed up, we'll transition to five minutes of simple arm and leg stretches.

Next, we have the players warm up by throwing to the coaches and parents before the game in the outfield on the side of our bench, (you'll need to check with your league rules, since many leagues require any adult who steps on the field to be "certified" by attending a training class). Typically, the home team bench is on the first base side and the visitor team bench is on the third base side. Ground balls from the coaches and parents are then taken in the infield on our benches side of the field. If time is available, we try to take infield and outfield practice with the players in their first inning positions. This usually consists of players fielding ground balls in the infield and throwing them to first base. As the players become proficient with this, I then have the players fielding ground balls in the infield and throwing them to second and first bases for a double play. It may be a long time before they actually turn a double play, but that's no reason not to get them in the habit of trying. Next we hit soft line drives to the outfield with the outfielders fielding the line drives on one or two hops. I have them throw to the appropriate cutoff man (shortstop or second baseman) and then to the appropriate player covering second base (second baseman or shortstop).

We will then have the players come in to the bench for a pre-game pep talk. We usually ask the team if they listened to their parents this week and then ask them if they listened to their teachers this week. If they say yes, which most of the time they do, we ask the parents if their children listened to them this week. This usually generates a look of horror from the players. We tell the team they can play because they listened to their teachers and parents the past week. We try to stress that each player needs to be a good student athlete.

The bench coach has a line-up card and it is their responsibility to have each child sit on the bench in the order they are hitting. Batting helmets are worn on the heads of the first few children, depending on the number of available helmets. Players returning from the field take a seat on the bench behind the players that have not yet batted. It is very important that the bench coach ensures that only one batter is in the on-deck circle taking his or her practice swings. You'll find that you are constantly telling children to "put down the bat", this is normal and it will alleviate two or more players from injuring themselves. You should check on your league rules for on-deck swings as some leagues ban all on-deck practice swings for safety.

Before each inning in the field, have the players gather around you on the tee-ball diamond to receive their position assignments. We try to have as many coaches on the field as possible to assist the players in finding their positions.

We suggest that you let every player know where the next play is going by mentioning the base and the player's name the ball is going to (e.g., Mikey, you're going to Kira at first base on a ground ball, etc). It sounds like a lot of instruction but you and your players will get used to it after a while. This repetition on each play will eventually be retained by each player, so as time goes by, you might not have to remind each player what they should do with the ball if it is hit to them.

You should also have each player call out the number of outs in each inning (e.g., call it out, one out, etc). Have each player raise one of their arms with their fingers pointing appropriately with the number of outs each inning. Prior to a batter swinging, make sure each player is prepped in the ready position to field the ball. An infielder should have knees slightly bent with their "alligator" position showing. An outfielder should have knees slightly bent with their glove and throwing hand resting comfortably on their knees.

If you feel that your players are getting bored and are losing their focus, or there is a lull in the action, yell to the whole team, "who wants the ball?" Each player raises his or her hands responding "me!" Its important for each child to want the tee-ball and be eager to make the play. Its important to work with them so they are not afraid to make a play.

For less accomplished players, we suggest that you have them make the ground ball play to first base. For more accomplished players, you can try to have them get the lead runner out. If a pitcher fields a hard hit ground ball, we try to have him throw to the lead base, whether it is first, second, or third base. We usually have the shortstop take the throw at second base for a potential double play at first base since his or her momentum is directed to first base. If a pitcher fields a softly hit ground ball and they have to charge off the mound to field the tee-ball, I have the pitcher throw the ball to first base only.

We also instruct the fielder covering a base to tag the runner upon receiving the ball, even if the runner is not forced on the play. Its important that you do not take any of the player's knowledge of the game for granted. We always assume that they do not know a thing about the game. We remind the children to tag the runner with the ball firmly held in the glove. Its common to see players attempt to tag the runner without the tee-ball in the glove.

After the inning in the field is over, we yell to them "Hustle in, we're burning daylight. Don't be the last one on the bench!" We belive that no one on the team should be walking during practices and games. Every team member should be hustling at all times.

Here's a safety tip that can reduce a few bruises. During the game, we like to warn the other manager and coaches when we have a good hitter up at the plate. We ask that the coach move his pitcher back in the pitching as much as possible, to prevent any potential injury. We've seen a few well accomplished players hit a parent or coach with a line drive back up the middle through the pitching circle. We've also seen a few instances where the pitcher took a line drive or ground ball in the face. A few steps back can make a big difference.

After the game is over, we stand on first or third base, whichever is closest to our bench, and ask each player to line up behind us. We ask them to extend their right arm and hand and the opposing team does likewise across the diamond. I tell the players to go and shake the hands of the other players and coaches who have participated in the game. We then ask each player to sit on the bench or gather their equipment and sit off to the side of the field, if another game is about to begin. We give the players a combination critique and pep talk. The critique is never really negative but constructive. It is never loud. We praise each player for the positives they performed during the game and reiterate what we need to work on as a team for the next game. The parents scheduled to bring the snacks and drinks distribute them. While they are partaking of their treat, the coaches decide who should get the game ball. We give the game ball on tee-ball level to the player that pays the most attention. We try to distribute the game balls for each game evenly amongst the players that a game ball is given to each and every player before the end of the season.

Here's to a successful Game Day! We hope these Game Day tips were helpful. For more information on coaching t-ball you can visit our t-ball coaches forum and watch sample video drills at our T-Ball University web site (www.tballu.com).

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 our web site.

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

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hints For Baseball Team Players

By Ruth Cracknell

Baseball team players need to recognise the importance of the second baseman on a team. Protecting the bag against the first-to-second base steal is an important job for the second baseman.

When covering the base on steals, the second baseman straddles the base, facing the catcher. His toes are even with the corner that points into center field. Many beginners form the bad habit of standing to the home plate side of 2nd to receive the catcher's throw. Even if the throw is good, he will not have much of a chance of getting the tag on the runner from this position.

Young second basemen are also inclined to move into the diamond toward the throw if it seems to be low enough to hit the dirt. This again is a mistake. He should hold his position behind the base. If the ball bounces with any force, he will have a chance to tag the runner. Like any other fielder, however, the second baseman should forget the base and go after the ball if (a) it's obvious that the runner has the throw beaten, or (b) the throw is wild.

The technique for making the tag is the same for the second baseman as for any other infielder and the same general principles apply. The infielder must never try to hold the runner back with the ball. He ought to make the tag firmly, to be sure, but the tagging hand should ride with the runner's body. Secondly, the infielder should place his feet in such a way as to leave one side or one corner of the base open. By doing so, he encourages the runner to slide to the open spot.

That way, the infielder, as one of the most crucial of baseball team players, can have his head turned away from the runner as he watches the ball and still know, in advance, where to make the tag. His objective is to catch the ball and, with a quick sweep of the arm and hand, lay the ball on the open side of the base, forcing the runner to tag himself out.

The infielder must never try to make a high tag on a sliding runner. The thing to keep in mind is this: to be safe, the runner must touch the base. The base is on the ground-not in the air above it. An infielder, to make this point even clearer, may make a nice tag on a runner's chest, but it does him no good if the runner's feet (the part of the body to arrive first) have already gone by and made contact with the base.

When making the tag, by the way, the infielder will be able to control the ball better if the back of the glove hand faces the oncoming runner. With the palm of the glove hand facing the runner, the runner's feet are apt to strike above the wrist, snap the hand up and cause the ball to pop out.

The second baseman must be one of the most agile and fit players on the team. He must be aware of play at all times, and be able to react with lightening speed. Make sure the second baseman realizes the valuable place he holds among baseball team players.

Guard Your Bases Like The Professionals, With These Useful Tips On Everything Baseball.
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Baseball Coaching Journal

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

10 Tips For Improving the Quality of Your Baseball Practice Time

10 Tips For Improving the Quality of Your Baseball Practice Time

In this article Coach Dixon discusses the value of Time and how it relates to coaching baseball. He discusses Baseball Coaching Time in two contexts; Time is seconds, minutes and hours and Time is also knowing that there is a time and place for everything. Baseball coaches must know the value of time spent doing team activities. Baseball coaches must know that doing the wrong thing at the wrong time will cause team and parent problems that can be a "pain" to deal with.

Read this article at the Baseball Coaching Digest...Click Here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

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