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Welcome to the official blog of the Baseball Parent Guide. Our free baseball articles and daily post provide baseball parents with valuable drills and tips to help improve your home, team and backyard baseball practice. Our archive has hundreds of informative and useful articles and posts related to all aspects of baseball training, practice and skill development. Make sure to save this site to your favorites for future visits. Happy Hitting and Good Luck to Your Team!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Coaching Your Teenagers on the Quest for Good Grades

Coaching Your Teenagers on the Quest for Good Gradesby: V. Michael Santoro, M. Ed.

It is important that as a parent, you create a flexible environment that supports your teen, and provides her with the opportunity to grow into a self-reliant young adult. As a teenager, she will think at times that she has all the answers, and not need you. However, she will be happy to have you as a "safety net" when she realizes she does not have all the answers. This can include how well she is doing in school.

Obviously grades are important but sometimes the quest for good grades can become an obsession, or not taken seriously enough. As parents, we can fall into the common trap of measuring our child’s success solely on grades alone.

Rising to their full potential
What can help is to set the expectation that it is more important to understand what they are learning, as well as rising to their full potential, as opposed to just getting good grades. Grades are not necessarily a true indicator of knowledge acquired. Stress that what they retain and apply, is more important than just obtaining a good grade. Teens need to have balance.

Building their confidence level
It is also important to keep your teenager’s confidence level high. That is, raise or lower the performance bar as necessary, depending upon her abilities and things that may be impacting her life at the time. For example, your daughter may want to achieve a certain grade point average, but is struggling with her Chemistry class. No matter how hard she studies, her grades will vary from a C+ to a B. You may need to coach her that if she is working to her potential in Chemistry, then that is really good. That trying to study harder under those conditions will only cause her stress that may impact her other classes, and/or her quality of life. The best thing to do may be to strategize what she can do in her other courses to accomplish her goal. Have her discuss her concerns and alternatives with her teacher and/or Guidance Counselor. Once she has the information, talk it through with her and allow her to make her own decision about the best way for her to proceed. This approach will allow her to be proactive instead of reactive.

Also, by discussing issues with the appropriate people, she will feel more in control and will discover her alternatives and how to better solve her problems as they arise.

However if there are no alternatives, then encourage your teen to accept that she is doing her best because she is working to her potential. Reinforce that it is more important that she understand and apply what she has learned, than to try fruitlessly to improve a grade.


The best way to coach your teenager with her schoolwork is to understand:
What are her strengths and areas for improvement
That her progress needs to be monitored; and she needs to be involved in making decisions about how she can improve her performance, and achieve her goals.

It is important to learn to discuss a potential problem, and determine solutions as opposed to getting stressed out after the fact.
That your teenager needs to understand, and accept that working to her potential; and understanding what she learns is more important than just trying to get a better grade.

It is vital that your teenager realizes that you don’t judge her by grades alone, and that you value her motivation to improve. If she feels that she can discuss how she is doing and that you will support her if she is making a sound decision for the right reasons; then you are well on your way to becoming best friends with a solid relationship.

About The Author
V. Michael Santoro
This article is an excerpt from the book "Realizing the Power of Love," How a father and teenage daughter became best friends...and how you can too! By V. Michael Santoro, M. Ed and Jennifer S. Santoro. For more information visit their Web site at

Thursday, November 6, 2008

“The 12 Things You Must Know Before Buying a Batting Cage”

“The 12 Things You Must Know Before Buying a Batting Cage”
By Nick Dixon

There are some basic points that you must know before buying a batting cage. When you buy a batting cage you are making an investment that should provide you with years and years of top quality batting practice.

Remember these batting cage buying basics:

1. Batting cages nets come in a variety of sizes but they are all rectangles. The net itself must have square corners to save construction time and cost. The sizes of a cage vary with the length, width, and height of the netting. Be careful about buying cages that are too narrow. These cages do not allow older batters to take a comfortable swing and finish. The greater the width and height of the batting cage, the better sensation a batter has when a ball is hit. The wider and higher cages allow the batter to read the path of the ball when it comes off the bat. A short and narrow cage tends to “smother” a hitter. The higher and wider cages are also safer for the coach, player or parent throwing batting practice.

2. Batting cage netting is most commonly available in three common “twine sizes” #21, #36, and #42. The lower the number the smaller the twine used in construction and the lighter-weight the cage will be. Heavy-duty cages such as the #42 better withstand the elements of time and use therefore they offer more durability and added years of use.

3. Batting cages are most often available in black. The twine is dyed black and UV is added to the netting. Black cages seem to last longer and in my opinion, they look better.

4. Don’t just consider the cost of the cage, but you must also calculate the cost of shipping. Many companies have shipping managers that provide you with an added service of securing the lowest shipping cost possible.

5. All cages require a support structure from which the cage will be hung. The longer the cage, the more support sections that will be required to hold it in place. The smaller and more light-weight a batting cage is, the less support structure it must have. You can depend on putting a support section at both ends and every 20 ft’ if you want your cage to be hung adequately without a lot of droop. So a 60’ batting cage would require at least 4 supports for a heavy-duty net and you may get by with three supports for a light-weight net. You may also need cable or heavy duty rope suspended between your supports to maximise cage support.

6. You can not fit your space to the batting cage. You must fit your batting cage to the space you have available. Step off you or measure the area you have available. Make sure to order a batting cage that will best suit your available space. Do not allow space to deter your commitment to a batting cage purchase. Small cages in the 35’, 40’ and 50’ lengths are laong enough to allow great batting practice work.

7. Your chosen area must be level and it must drain well. If you can afford the additional cost, you may want to add a floor to your cage. There are two materials that make a great floor. Cement or concrete is the most costly. You may want to cover your hitting zone with indoor-outdoor carpet to extend the life of your leather baseballs. If you use rubber pitching machine balls in a pitching machine, they will withstand the abrasive properties of the cement cage floor. Another great floor alternative is to use weather treated 2 x 4’s to build a raised floor. You will border all sides and ends of your batting cage floor with the 2x4’s and stake them into place. You will then fill the inside floor area with a commonly used infield material, crushed stone. This provides a raised dry hitting surface that will offer a safe and less abrasive surface upon which to hit.

8. You are going to need to purchase a “L” protection screen to protect the pitchers throwing batting practice. Make sure that your “L” screen is a “sock” tyle with at least #42 netting to insure that it will withstand the heavy-duty abuse it will be subjected to. A “square” screen is also a great investment to consider if you will be using a pitching machine often. There are screens specially designed to protect the person operating the pitching machine.

9. You will need a plate for batter and pitcher reference during batting practice. The pitcher will use the plate to throw the various pitch locations and the batter will use it to adjust to ceratin situational hitting drills. If your cage has a suitable floor, you may want to paint a plate and batters box to add a much appreciated feature.

10. You will need a power source if you have plans to light your cage and to use a pitching machine. Make sure that you can reach a source with extension cords or run a permanent source if you can do so safely.

11. If you have additional questions or need additional assistance, shop with a company that takes orders by phone. This allows your to ask questions and get answers. Depending on the description and details listed on a website, may cause you to order a cage that is not suitable for your needs. Most reputable batting cage companies have toll-free phone numbers and a staff available during business hours to offer you advice and information before you buy.

12. For many families the best and most “user-friendly” approach to buying a battting cage is to buy a complete batting cage package. These packages contain the nest size and weight of your choice and a “pre-fab” batting cage frame specifically designed to match the net. These packages are easy to assemble. Most of these “batting cage packages” can be assembled by two persons with about 2 hours of work. These “batting cage packages” can easily be taken down in the off-season and stored if there is a need to do so. Many of these packages include everything you need including the “L” protection screen. When the package arrives, all you have to do is carefully read and follow the step-by-step instructions to assemble your new batting cage.

I hope that these 12 points helped you gain a better prospective on how to buy your new batting cage. If you need additional help, please feel free to call our toll free customer service number, 1-877-431-4487. Our friendly staff will be glad to help you anyway they can. Trey and Bill are in the office from 8:00 to 5:00 CST, each day. Our company specializes in “Complete Package Systems” for home, school, team or commercial use.

You may also visit one of our company sites:,,, or

Good Luck in your buying process. See you next time, Nick.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

How to Improve Your Baseball Hitting Simply Thru Practice by Jack Elliot

Much like everything in life, you get better at things the more times you do them. Baseball Hitting is no different. For this reason, the best baseball hitting advice anyone can give you is to practice your swing. Mickey Mantle was said to swing the bat at least 100 times a day right handed and then do the same left handed. Also, modern day players like Barry Bonds are said to swing the baseball bat 500-1000 times a day. If this strategy works for the pros, it can also work for you. Continue reading... - The Ultimate Online Coaches Store has over 1500 products including baseball training dvd, books, and videos, batting cages, and baseball training aids.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BatAction Hitting Machine - A Baseball Hitting Trainer For All Ages and Levels

The BatAction Hitting Machine by Nedco Sports was developed in 1999. It has proven to be a "solid" choice when it come to hitting trainers to improve a baseball players swing quality and hitting mechanics. The BatAction has speed and height adjustments that make it pwerfect for all ages and levels of play including T-Ball, Youth Baseball, Travel baseball, Hithg School Baseball, and Collegiate Baseball.

BatAction Training Machine workouts are some of the most popular training drills baseball and softball players today. Bat Action Machine workouts provide batters with a productive and challenging workout that rapidly improves bat speed, improves hitting skill, and raises batting averages.

The BatAction Hitting Machine is one of the most economics ways a parent can help a player quickly improve their batting average and drastically reduce the number of strikeouts. has great trainers such as the BatAction Hitting machine for discount prices.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Youth Sports Specialization: Beware These 4 Dangers!" by: Tim Kauppinen

"My son wrestled since he was in grade school. Now he is in high school and so burnt out that he didn’t even go out for the team."

"My neighbor plays club basketball year round and is out indefinitely because of stress fractures in her lower legs…"

"All that I’ve ever played is soccer – now I’m not a starter so I’m going to quit. I think it is too late to start another sport now…"

Have you ever heard statements like these? I am sad to say that I hear them all too often. With the media screaming about the Tiger Woods and Venus and Serena Williams of the world, many people are making the mistake of starting one sport at a young – make that very young – age and specializing in it. The lure of college scholarships has also convinced these people that specialization is the only way to become good at a sport.

Before someone decides to specialize, they should consider the dangers involved in participating in only one sport. Here are 4 Dangers of Specialization

Read this entire article at

Monday, September 15, 2008

Should Baseball And Softball Players Participate In Weight Training Programs?

Written by J P

It's baseball season, and you are ready for it. You bought a new bat, dusted off the cleats, and oiled the glove. You drilled, grounder after grounder, only to follow it by fly ball, after fly ball. When the fielding drills were over, you moved on to the batting cages. You have hit so many balls that you could probably tag a slider in your sleep. So, what's next but to hit the field, right? Wrong!

Article Continued at

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Does your son show great potential as a pitcher?

Good morning. If your son has the potential to become a future baseball prospect as a pitcher, there are 3 things that you should consider doing as soon as possible:

1. Finding a one-on-coach for pitching lessons. Many times you already know a well known and respected instructor in your area. Contact your high school coach, he most likely can recommend a couple of instructors. Make arrangements to visit and talk to the instructor about your son's pitching future. If you are comfortable with this instructor, you can set a weekly schedule of pitching lessons. The money spent on quality pitching lesson is money well spent.
2. If your child is under the age of 10, you may consider building your own pitching mound in your backyard. This is an inexpensive way to improve the quality of your backyard pitching workouts. If you can catch your son during pitching workouts, that is best. If not, you may want to purchase a pitching target or toss back trainer as a target for using during pitching practice.
3. Your son needs to build arm strength and power. There are many great device available on the market that build arm strength. Pitching Training and arm strength builders are available at

The Derek Jeter StrikeBack Trainer is a new toss back trainer desig that feature spinning targets that kids love!

Good Luck Till next time!, Nick

Monday, July 21, 2008

Resource For Helping Your Child Learn and Improve

I hope you had a great weekend! There are many great programs available free that encourage and help sports parents help their young athletes.

Liberty Mutual's Responsible Sports program is designed for parents across ALL sports and aims at providing helpful advice and useful resources that can be applied universally among youth athletes. As the parent of a youth athlete (pre-school through high school), you want the best for your child, on and off the field.

  • This website helps you help your children:
    improve on-field performance
  • Learn life lessons that sports uniquely can provide.
  • Today's Topic:

What Is Responsible Sport Parenting?

  • A Responsible Sports Parent fills two key roles:
    Ensuring your youth athlete's safety
  • Helping your youth athlete apply life lessons from sports on and off the field

Click here to visit this great resource site.

Have great day, Nick.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The 2008 Tee Ball All-Star Game on the Whitehouse Lawn. These kids had a ball!

As baseball parents we either have a kid playing Tee Ball or we remember and cherish those days. America could not have MLB Baseball All-Star Week without honoring America's Tee Ball All-Stars,absolutely the most valuable players in the USA!

President Bush welcomed children from all 50 states to the White House's South Lawn for an All-Star Tee Ball game, this past Wednesday, July 16. It was a great event.

It is always refreshing for me to see how much these young kids love this great game. They have so much fun and they really enjoy it! You can access the links below for video hightlights, slideshows, and news coverage.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Arm Care For Young Baseball Players

Good morning. Without a healthy arm a baseball player's playing days are numbered. How should young players under the age of 12 care for their arm? Here are some suggestions:
  • Good mechanics are a must. If a player has a flaw, the chance for injury is greatly increased. There are training aids and products that teach and reinforce this baseball pitching fundamentals.
  • Overuse is the number one cause of arm injury. Pitch counts and throwing logs must be kept to insure that a player does not "over do it".
  • Pain is a sign. If you arm is hurting, not sore, but sharp pain, shut the throwing down and see a trainer or doctor.
  • Proper stretching, warm-up, and post-game running are three things that pitcher must be taught to do religiously.
  • Icing should only be done as an additonal precaution. Do not subsitute icing for running. Always run before you ice.

Young players must learn the value of proper arm care early. There have been many players that walk away from baseball and never go back because of discomfort and pain caused by arm abuse and overuse. Check out the Baseball Parent Guide for More Tips and Information on this topic.

Have a great day, Nick.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Recommended Baseball Newsletter For Baseball Coaches and Parents

If you are not already a subcriber to the monthly Hit2win Baseball Newsletter, you should consider doing so. You may sign up for this free newsletter at the website or at the American Baseball Directory. Make sure to bookmark these two sites because they have a lot of baseball information that you may want to refer to later.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The 59th Major League Allstar Game

What a great day for baseball!

Tonight I was deeply touched by the introductions at the 59th Major League Allstar Game. Seeing such a great collection of Major League Allstars on the field for the National Anthem will always be a memory that I will cherish. This is truly America's game. I am proud to have the priviledge to coach it. Thanks MLB for a special moment. It was great to Yogi Berra, one of my all time favorites Hall of Famers. The clips of him leaping high into the arms of Don Larson in the 1956 World Series were a special touch to the telecast. For more on the 1956 World Series visit the Baseball Almanac.

As I type this Derek Jeter fouls a 2-2 pitch into the right side stands. Count is now 3-2, runners are moving on the pitch, Jeter hits a comebacker, game is over. National League leads 1-0. Rats!

I can't talk about Yogi without including three of his famous quotes that I consider to be "classic":
  • "You can observe a lot just by watching."
  • "I always thought that record would stand until it was broken."
  • "Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical."

Thank you Yogi for the momories! Thank you Major League Baseball!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Coach Nick's First Post

Hello and welcome to my blog for baseball parents. You are in the "prime time" of parenthood! Parenting a baseball players carries with it a wide range of emotions. You are experiencing the "roller coaster" of highs and lows that come with playing baseball. The key is not to get too high, and never to get too low. But, the reality of the situation is that when you kid smiles you smile, and when your kids suffers anguish, pain, and frustration, you hurt like your heart has a "hole" in it.

You have many responsibilities when you are the parent of a baseball player. You must look out for your son's safety, first! Then, you must make sure that your son gets all of the help and instruction needed to reach his maximim potential as a player. I have a passion for baseball. I coach it and I love it. I have 4 kids of my own, 1 girl and 3 boys. I know what you are experiencing right now. I may not have all of the answers. But, I am going to give you as much help as I can. Have a great day, Nick.