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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!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Baseball Coaching and the Importance of Goals For Team and Player Motivation

By Nick Dixon
There are very few volunteer jobs more challenging, time-consuming or rewarding than being a coach in your local league. There are many four letter words used by coaches that I can not use here. Here I want to discuss the 4 four-letter words that can and will determine the amount of success a coach has during the coming season. The four words are Goal, Plan, Work and Time.

Today the four letter word is G-O-A-L:

The Definition of the word Goal is a simple goal can do wonders to drive a baseball toward success. When you set a goal or goals, you accept the challenge to achieve the goal set. With that challenge comes a commitment and responsibility. Setting goals can improve the focus of the team, bring members and staff closer, and unite the groups in a common cause.

If you have a goal or goals to work for, your season will be like a journey to no where. You must set team goals. The setting of goals should be a team effort. It is suggested that team goals be set during a team function, away from the field. Have a team swim party, cookout, and party soon after the draft. Let the parents and players meet each other and the staff. Then let the players suggest what team goals they see as important for the approaching season. The goals should be set before a single practice or workout. The goals should be written down. It is always a great idea to make each player a printed list of the goals. Take a picture at that first team meeting. Use office publisher to make a sheet having the team name, logo, picture, team roster and the list of the team goals. You may also want to put a team motto on the bottom of the sheet.

The players should post the "Team Goal Sheet" in their bedroom. It is also recommended that a few team rules be included on that sheet.

It is suggested that you often mention your team goals during team practices and games. Use the team goals to motivate your players to focus on the practice activity being done at the present time.

It is always a great idea to have a post season meeting to discuss and review the team goal sheet with the team goals that the team set before the season began. You will briefly discuss the goals not met and why your team came up short on them. You will not single out players, plays, or games. You will briefly mention that if you had worked harder, these goals may have been reached.

In this post season meeting you will mostly discuss the great things done and the goals set and met. You should tell the team how proud you are for the team accomplishments. You may also discuss the hard work and great performance level that led to the achieving of these goals.

You may want to give the players a second Team Sheet with the goals achieved, team record, team photo, roster, and maybe a quote or motto you want them to remember in the off-season.

Suggested team goals:

Win the League Championship
Go Undefeated
Score at least 7 runs each game.
Hold the opponent to 3 runs or less each game
Have a team batting average of .375 or better.
Have perfect attendance at every practice.

Suggested team rules:

Never throw an object in disgust.
Never walk on the field.
Never be late for practice.
Answer the coach with a Yes, Sir or No Sir
Never question an umpires call.
Never sit or lay down on the field during timeouts.
Properly warm-up before every practice and game.

Suggested Team Slogans:

Expect to WORK...Expect to WIN!
A Season with a Reason
There is no I in TEAM
Work More, Win More
Work Like a Champion

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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, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal (,, and the Hit2win Baseball Coaches Monthly Newsletter. Dixon has 5 blogs related to baseball training including the BaseballCoachingDigest Blog, CoachesBest Training Equipment Blog, Hurricane Machine Training Blog, Baseball Batting Cage Blog, and the Bat Action Training Blog.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

How to Help Your Child Overcome Their Fear of Playing Baseball - Eleven Tips to Perform Better

By Jay Granat

The baseball season for children in towns throughout the country is starting to get into full swing now that Spring has arrived. It can be a wonderful time of the year for the kids and for the parents. However, many kids struggle at baseball because they are terrified of being hit by the ball when they are in the field or when they are batting.

I get a lot of calls at this time of the year from parents who want their kids to become less scared, more comfortable and more confident when they step on the baseball field.

Here are a few tips to help your son or daughter if they are demonstrating a significant fear of being hit by the ball:

1. It is normal to have some fear of a moving object moving toward your body. Explain this to your child, but also tell them that they can learn how to protect themselves and how to manage the situation. Also, tell the kids that once they develop their baseball skills, they will overcome much of their discomfort.

2. Some children are afraid of being hit when they have a catch. If you can, begin playing catch with your child at an early age. If your child is under two or three, you can start by just rolling a ball back and forth to your son or daughter.

3. As your child grows older, you can start to use a sponge ball and begin tossing the ball softly toward your child from a close distance. Use an underhand toss and arch the ball so it gently moves towards your kid. Demonstrate how to catch the ball for your son or child and give them lots of praise as they learn how to receive the ball. Introduce the idea of greeting the ball with soft hands. I encouraged my kids to say "hello ball," as the would catch the ball to add some additional humor and playfulness to the learning process.

4. Use what coaches call the "sandwich technique." Insert a little instruction in between two phrases which praise and encourage them. ("Great job. Now just watch the ball into your hands a little more carefully. Now you are a star.")

5. As your child improves and gains some confidence in his or her catching ability, you can begin to introduce a tennis ball. Then you can move to a soft ball. Introducing your kids to a harder and harder ball in stages will help them to develop their confidence as they develop their skills. Periodically, toss a ball which will gently hit your child on their arm or leg. This will help your son or daughter to feel less scared of the flying object.

6. At age four to six you, you can introduce a glove to the process. Make sure you get a glove which is the right size and shape for your child. Gloves come in a variety of sizes and there are some that are very soft and easy to squeeze and to manage.

7. Begin with a tennis ball and continue to use the underhand toss until your child gets comfortable catching the ball in the glove. Don't introduce a baseball until your child appears confident and ready. You can use a tee ball as intermediate step in the learning process. These balls are not as hard as baseballs.

8. You need to demonstrate the various ways of turning the glove to accommodate the various spots your child will need to catch the ball in. Stand along side your child as show the four or five various positions.

9. If your child throws right handed, begin by tossing the ball to his or her left side. This is generally the easiest way to begin. Once they can catch a dozen balls in a row on this side, you can start tossing to the center of their bodies. Then, you can start tossing a few soft pop ups where they can be taught to catch the ball above their heads. The ball thrown to the right side of a right handed child is a tough catch, since they need to turn the glove as it crosses their body. This is not a natural act for most kids. (Obviously, you need to reverse these guidelines if your child is left handed.) Interestingly, my son is ambidextrous, so it took a little time to sort out which hand we wanted to use to throw the ball. The first glove I bought him was for a lefty. Then at age four, we shifted to a
right handed mitt.

10. When you teach your kid to field ground balls, tell them to open their glove, keep their head down watching the ball and field the ball in the center of their bodies. Begin with soft grounders and gradually increase the speed and vary the kinds of bounces your child experiences.

11. In order to improve your kids throwing skills. Teach them the proper grip. Many coaches teach a two finger grip where the second and third fingers are on the laces and the thumb is at the bottom of the ball. My daughter named it the bunny rabbit grip.

Have the child point his elbow toward their target and encourage him to place the ball behind their ear and step and throw. Begin with a short distance of perhaps four feet and gradually extend the distance. The step and throw gives the idea of weight transfer which is important in many sports.

Keep the encouragement and the compliments coming. Begin with short teaching sessions of perhaps ten minutes and increase them, if your child is enjoying the throwing and catching. He or she will tell you if they are interested in baseball. When my son began playing baseball, he didn't like it very much. Now he can't play enough baseball.

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and the founder of 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. He can be reached at 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.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Easton Stealth IMX & Synergy IMX Baseball Bat Reviews

By Robert V Nelson

Easton has been the leader in composite bats for the last several years and will undoubtedly continue this trend with the IMX, their new 100% composite bats for 2009. Easton is extremely smart to their approach in manufacturing baseball bats by not putting all their eggs in one basket. They leave no stone uncovered by making top notch models in every category and design. Their top priority is pushing the 2 piece design and flex handle which they pioneered some 6 years ago with the Connection introduction. But they also make and market quality one piece bats with stiff handles that directly compete with manufactures that rely on this design, most notably Louisville and Rawlings.

They say the IMX or Integrated Matrix Technology optimizes composite design, materials and process for maximum performance. With the IMX Easton offers two bats made from the same IMX composite material in two distinct designs. They are the:

Stealth IMX 2 piece bat with a flex handle they say increases the trampoline effect. The flex handle has a rating of 75. This has been Easton's traditional bread and butter design for the last several years.The Stealth IMX has a swing weight (m.o.i) of 90 making it more end loaded than the Synergy IMX.
Synergy IMX 1 piece bat with a stiff handle. Easton added stiff handles to their Stealth Comp bats last year to combat Louisville. They upped the ante in 2009 by making the stiff handle IMX a one piece bat. The handle has a rating of 90. They claim this design provides increased balance and bat control through the hitting zone. The Synergy IMX is aimed directly at the heart of the Louisville baseball bat consumer. As mentioned, an extremely smart move by Easton. The swing weight (m.o.i) is 80 making it more balanced than the Stealth IMX.

Both are quality high grade bats that are by far the most popular new composite bats on the market. You'll see these bats at every age level from youth to college. The Stealth IMX is more popular at the moment which indicates a preference for the 2 piece design. Last year the Stealth Comp stiff handle was more popular than the Stealth Comp flex handle, both Stealth Comp models were 2 piece bats.

The IMX is my top choice for those looking to purchase a high end composite bat.

The Baseall Bat Reviews Blog

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

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

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

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.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

"Baseball - The Same Game Now As Then"

It has been said that baseball is the only game played that has remained the same. In fact, it has been said that you could take a player from 1910 and bring him to "today" and he could still understand and play the game because it is still basically played the same way it was 100 years ago.

As long as there has been baseball there have been errors. We always say that the team that makes the fewest mistakes always wins. Thats not always true. We always say that the best team always wins. However, that's not always true.

I do know however know that one basic true always prevails in baseball just as it does in real life. You always get what you deserve & deserve what you get! This is especially true when it comes to the BIG THREE Rs IN LIFE, R-respect, R-reputation, & R-results.

Baseball is a true reflection of life. You always get out of it what your put in. Baseball is a game of many emotions; elation, satisfaction, disappointment, frustration, and pride. It can be a very cruel game and it can be extremely forgiving.

Have a great day, Nick

Sunday, February 22, 2009

7 Common Traits of Great Hitting

By Mitchell Dowdy

There are numerous hitting methods and styles that exist for baseball. They all claim the same thing: that they are the best; who's right and who's wrong? They all "can" work depending on the ability of the individual. Individual style from how you lace your cleats to the position of your hat and the 400 or so moving parts in between all add up to one result – smacking a round ball with a round bat in the sweet spot of both while getting down the baseline as fast as possible.

Different approaches, stances and swing, wrist speed etc. See what works and doesn't work for you. The consensus is that there are 7 common traits shared among great hitters, no matter what hitting method is used.

1. Comfort – What is there or worry about? Relax, the guy 45 or more feet away is gonna throw a ball at you. You have seen it before, you will see it again. So what if you take one for the team, stay in there and drive it right back at the person who threw it at you. The batter is really in control of the outcome. How many times have you seen players hit the ball when its over their head, way inside or even bouncing off the plate. Calm down, you can put the bat on the ball whenever YOU decide.

2. Confidence – Don't let your mind strike you out before you begin. If you are convinced you can hit the ball, what's to stop you? Believe in yourself and let it happen. Be mindful of the count, when you are ahead, look for the good ones, when behind, smack it! If you leave it up to the Umpire to see it the way you do, chances are you'll be walking back to the dug out. You have tons of time at the batting cages and practice, you can HIT IT!

3. See the Ball Watch the pitcher, does he release the ball from over his head, off to the side, under hand? The key is the ball is in his hand and the release point will be within fractions of an each on each pitch. So, if it always starts in the same place, how does it get all over? Simple, its variation in the motions it takes to get to the release point. But get over all that, when you see where it starts, you can determine where its going and your bat will follow your eyes instructions.

4. The Twitch Your reaction to the ball being released is the twitch, the quicker your twitch, the longer you can watch the ball. If your twitch is slower, start it sooner. I have seen batters wait for half the distance before they start their swing, I have seen others begin their step as soon as the pitcher leaves their balance point.

5. Core Power It really begins with the feet, then torso then hands. But you need to have all three work in rhythm. Power is transferred form the feet to the torso which multiplies the power by expanding the circle and creating speed, which is then transferred into the hands. If any part over-powers the following, you loose the build up of momentum. Work on getting all three to work together.

6. Swing - Keep it short and sweet! You are closer to the plate than you think, so keep the hands inside and let the bat do the work. Step, turn the hips while keeping your hands back, power is loaded and transferred through the core, whamo.. let it all out at once! DO NOT BE TIMID ABOUT SWINGING AT THE BALL! Swing, Swing, Swing! Remember #2, believe in yourself, you can hit anything! And it does not matter how well it is driven each time, the point of the matter is putting the bat on the ball ::: PERIOD::::

7. Balance – You can't hit well from the ground There cannot be enough said about balance. It allows you to see the ball, transfer power to the ball and get out of the box. The quickest way to learn is hitting soft toss from a teeter board, if you can do it there, there is no question you can do it from the dirt. Learn to swing through the ball with the bat, not your whole body. If your body follows your arms you are taking away from the power sent up from your legs. Bring the bat around and keep your feet. So what does it all add up to? You will hit the ball the way your body, skill and ability sees best for you to assemble your 400 or so moving parts.

Work on the elements of hitting on their own. And remember, batting practice is just that, batting practice! Plan your practice accordingly, some time on each of the pieces, then more time putting it all together. Don't try to do both at the same time, it's a sure recipe for frustration. To commit good habits to muscle memory, do your conditioning first, get the muscles nice and tired; this is the moment you must make every effort to do motions correctly. If your lazy about the particulars when you are tired, it will come out at the game.

You want to train yourself and your body to react quickly and correctly. Only perfect practice can make perfect (to quote from Cal Ripken Sr.) Mitchell Dowdy Copyright 2007 may be reprinted in whole with links

Mr. Dowdy is the father of 3 and after re-entering competitive baseball with his oldest that lead to frustration of finding suitable glove, he became an Official Distributor for Kelley Athletic Baseball. sells top quality batting cages at disocunted prices. 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

Two Myths Concerning Baseball Batting Cages

Two Batting Cage Myths that are simply not true are (1) A Batting Cage must be long for it to be usable for all ages and (2) A batter must see 75 miles per hour pitches to receive maximum benefit from cage work. Coach Dixon discusses how many batting cage buyers are mistaken or misled in buying or building a new baseball batting cage. Two Batting Cage Myths that are simply not true:

1. Batting Cage Myth Number One - A Batting Cage must be long for it to be usable for all ages.

This is simply not true. Players of all ages, even the high school and collegiate levels can benefit from batting practice in batting cages that are 35 to 50 feet in length. A batting cage does not have to be 70 feet long for it to beneficial to advanced players. The reason for this is that long-toss, front-toss and various other batting practice drills can be performed at distances under the regular pitching distances. When batters take swings at pitches thrown at 35 feet, the batter is seeing and reacting to pitches that simulate higher speeds at the normal pitching distance. The player must perform the swing with the proper trigger, separate, and load actions. All of these elements of the swing must be done at the same speed, rhythm, and timing as under normal game hitting.

2. Batting Cage Myth Number Two - A batter must see 75 miles per hour pitches to receive maximum benefit from batting cage batting practice.

Most hitters at all levels of play including high school, college, and pros would rather see and hit live arm pitches at 45 miles per hour at 30 feet than pitches thrown by a machine at 75 miles per hour. Live-arm batting practice is batting practice thrown by a person not a machine. We must remember that advanced batters benefit most from seeing pitches thrown by a person. The batter must pick-up the pitcher arm-slot, the pitcher release point and time the speed of the pitch thrown. When a person is throwing batting practice the speed and location of every pitch can be changed. It is also a fact that many people are not adept at throwing strikes at longer distances. However, most people can throw an accurate pitch for a strike from 30and 40 feet distances. The batter gets more work in because more pitches are hittable. Not as much time and effort is wasted by with bad pitches out of the strike zone. The shorter distance makes the workout more efficient.

What does this all mean to you as a batting cage buyer?

You do not have to buy a 70 feet long cage with an expensive pitching machine to get incredible benefits from owning a batting cage. The 70 foot long batting cage is great for team or institutions because it can be divided into two 35 feet mini batting cages that allow two batters to work at a time. So there is a benefit to owning a longer cage if you are buying it for a school or team use. But, for the average home user, a 45 to 55 feet cage is suitable for all drills, batting practice, and applications that you will need for your player to be successful through the high school level. In my opinion, many people become discouraged from buying a batting cage because they feel they must buy a 70 feet cage with a $2000 pitching machine. They feel they must spend $3000 to $5000. This is not true. You can get all the practice they need by buying a batting cage and frame with an investment under $800. If at some time later you decide to purchase a machine, you can always do so. I think it is important to realize that the batting cage you buy will be used for a variety of batting drills. The function of the batting cage is safety, ball containment, and practice efficiency. The batting cage is no better than the parent or coach that dedicates time for its use. If you use it, you will experience incredible results. It will be a wise investment. Kids can not use the batting cage without parental or adult supervision and participation. If you do not have the time to spend with your player in the cage, you would be better advised to buy a self-contained solo-practice device such as the BatAction Seft-Trainer Hitting Machine.

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Check out for top quality batting cages at discount prices. They specialize in complete batting cage kits with net and frame included for one low price.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Remembering the "Johnny Bench Baseball Batter-Up" Baseball Trainer

My son loved absolutely loved his Johnny Bench batting trainer. It was so simple and easy to use. He would hit that tiny rubber ball with the molded seams and it would wrap around the pole, return, and he would hit it again. Only God really knows, how many times he watched that ball circle that pole. It was the youth hit trainer that made him a great hitter. It made him a major leaguer in his own mind. He would imagine himself being Johnny Bench. With 2 outs, bases loaded, and the World Series on the line, he had a lot of pressure on him for a 12 year old. He would track that ball around the pole as if it was a 90+ miles per hour fastball. He learned to concentrate on the ball and to keep his head still during his swing.

It was tough be a big league hitter in those days. When that ball got to him, he would hit it so hard that he would almost come out of his shoes. Grand Slam, he would yell! Then he would trot around the backyard smiling and basking in the glory that only a World Series title could bring. It was so sweet to be named the MVP of the whole world. Baseball was fun and his Johnny Bench trainer was his pitcher. As an only child and with no neighbors living close by, it was his best friend and his way of having a great make believe baseball game in his own backyard. It was those backyard games that developed the hitting skills he needed to become a great little league all-star, high school standout, and college baseball player.

Back in those days training aid manufacturing technology was a bit behind the times. There were certain things about the JB trainer that were a bit frustrating. The major problem was those confounded rubber bands. They would dry-rot and break. Eventually most people made their own from cut pieces of old tire inner tubes. Eventually the ball broke off the rod and the JB trainer playing days at our house were over. And the big mass of concrete it was mounted in proved to be a major problem to move when wanted it gone.

Years ago I looked at young players and I realized just how much they too needed a good wholesome home trainer that was fun, practical, entertaining, and productive to hit. That need is the reason I invented the BatAction Hitting Machine and the Hurricane Hitting Machine. Both of these patented batting machines have similar ball motion paths, high speed ball movement, and both offer the same levels of fun and excitement. These popular machines feature adjustable ball speeds and height settings for all ages and ability levels.

If you experienced the Johnny Bench trainer as a youngster and appreciate what it did for you, you will want your child or grandchild to have the same opportunities. If you are looking for a rotational hitting machine at a good price, I recommend the BatAction and Hurricane Hitting Machines. I know that you will love the results that you see from regular backyard workouts on these hitting trainers. Good luck till next time, Nick Dixon.
oachesBest has a great deals on the BATACTION HITTING MACHINE. Check out the BatAction Hitting Machine deals on ebay and save big!

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.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The BatAction Rotational Hitting Machine: Do You remember the "Johnny Bench Batter-UP"?

Did You remember the "Johnny Bench Batter-UP"? If you had one, you know and realize the benefits of a rotational hitting machine with a high speed moving ball.Did you love your "Johnny Bench Batter Up" Rotational Trainer From the 70's? Looking for similar machine for your player? The BatAction Machine features the same ball movement but with a heavy-duty space age design that offers superior performance and durability!

If you are old enough to remember the Johnny B "Batter-Up", then you will really appreciate what the BatAction Hitting Machine offers your hitters!
The BatAction Hitting Machine features the same high speed ball rotation but in a larger circle!

The BatAction trainer is made with today's "space age" technology to offer a high performance machine that will provide your players with years and years of quality practice! In fact, Coach Nick owned a "Batter-Up" years ago!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baseball Coaching: Boosting Kids’ Mental Game Confidence on Game

We often see kids who excel in practice, but freeze up during games. This can be frustrating and confusing for parents and coaches. What's going on in the young athlete's mind, and what can sports parents and coaches do about it?First, sports parents and coaches should help young athletes understand that they create their own confidence destiny.

If kids begin a game needing immediate results (such as getting the first hit or basket of the game), they're hurting their confidence.It is critical to remind young athletes that they've been practicing to develop confidence for many years. Don't let them lose their hard-earned confidence by worrying about achieving immediate results!

What's more, athletes need to understand that they'll be more successful if they assume full responsibility for their own confidence before competition begins. This is why it's called self-confidence!

Continue reading this article at Here.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Baseball Pitching Tips for Kids

Baseball Pitching Tips for Kidsby: Roger Nelson

Every kid that loves baseball has fantasized about being a great pro pitcher and throwing a perfect game. It’s one of those universal American dreams of little boys everywhere. While dreams like these should never be quashed, its important for responsible adults to teach kids how to pitch a baseball with the correct form and control. Without such guidance, overly enthusiastic children run a real risk of doing damage to their arms, elbows, and shoulder joints when throwing baseballs.

The first thing ever kid needs to learn before he takes the mound to pitch in a baseball game is the correct form. Not only will this give his pitches more power and control, it will also put less strain on the important and vulnerable parts of the body. There are two big keys for baseball pitchers. First, it must be taught to youngsters that effective and safe pitching is powered mainly by the legs, not the arm.

Continue reading this great article at the

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

6 Great Youth Baseball Training products that Produce Incredible Results

6 Great Youth Baseball Training products that Produce Incredible Results

ResultsHere 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

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

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

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

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

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.

Have a great day.Nick

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Youth Baseball Drills - Teaching Younger Hitters A Good Baseball Swing

By Nate Barnett

I love teaching 11 and 12 year olds how to hit. They are still at the age (most of them) where they don't know everything there is about the baseball swing. But, one of the best rewards from teaching youth baseball drills is the excitement on their faces when they figure out for themselves how to crush the baseball.

The first step to teaching youth baseball drills is to understand the part of the swing that will produce the greatest and quickest positive results in a hitter. The faster a coach can reach an athlete and instill some confidence in the skill of hitter, the more receptive he will be for future coaching and baseball instruction. The single most important first skill to teach a young athlete is the ability to properly manage his balance while hitting a baseball.

Here are a few techniques to include into your growing collection of youth baseball drills.

1. Make sure that the stance of the athlete is wide enough. The "shoulders width" suggestion doesn't hold up when one really understands how weight is shifted. The general rule is to position your hitters with their hips inside their knees, and their knees inside their feet. Once a hitter is in this position, and it is difficult to tell if the formula from the previous sentence is in place, he is too narrow at the base and needs to widen his stance.
2. There must be a legitimate transfer of weight onto the back leg as the hitter prepares himself before the baseball is released. Without the ability of a visual here (though I'll have a complete ebook finished on this topic very soon complete with visuals!), make sure the back knee is roughly above the back shoe. If the back knee has moved to the outside of the back shoe, the weight transfer is too great. This whole process of creating a transfer of weight allows a hitter to create power generating from his backside leg and not only his upper body. I cannot emphasize the importance of this point enough.
3. Once the hitter begins his swing, the back leg which is still housing approximately 60% of the body weight will rotate in what is commonly referred to as the pivot. As the rotation occurs, look to see if the weight and the flex of the back leg is still present. One simple way to tell if this has occurred is see if there is an imaginary vertical line running from inside shoulder through the hip, through the back knee upon finish of the swing.
I do realize this is somewhat technical in nature, however, if fully understood it will make all the difference in the world for the consistency of a young athlete. It's worth learning for sure.

About the Author
Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball 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
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.

Friday, February 13, 2009




1. The drill is used to teach a hitter not to step out or "into the bucket". The drill works very well in stopping this common flaw.
2. The batter begins the drill standing farther away from the machine than normal. This starting position allows the batter to take two steps inward before swinging the bat.
3. The batter step first with the back foot and then with the front foot. When the front "lands" the batter attacks the ball.
4. The drill may be performed with the ball moving or in the "still position".
5. The batter takes time to reset and observe all body movement before and after the swing. It is sometimes good to have the hitter freeze after the swing to see if the proper finish position is achieved.
6. The batter should make sure to make contact with the ball component and not the shaft.

This drill can easily be preformed using a hitting stick trainer, BatAction Hitting Machine or Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"4 Common Pitching Flaws of Young Pitcher"

If your son is a youth baseball pitcher or shows signs of becoming one, you will want to read and know the following information. Have a great day, Nick

"4 Common Pitching Flaws
of Young Pitchers"

1. NOT SEEING THE TARGET - Teach pitchers to "lock in" on the chosen "target spot" during the delivery. I call these target "anchor points" . They may be the mitt, catchers knee, catchers mask, umpires mask, and other visual points. The "anchor points" vary with the pitch being thrown. When runners are on, make sure the pitcher "refocuses" on the target after checking the runner/runners and before throwing the pitch.
2. LANDING ON THE HEEL - Landing on the heel of the stride foot will cause control problems and excelerate fatigue. The pitcher should land softly on the "ball" of the stride foot. Landing on the front half of the stride foot reduces the "landing impact" to the pitcher's body thus helping to improve body control and pitch control. Control the body; control the pitch!
3. THROWING ACROSS THE BODY - This is caused when the pitcher strides to "closed" to allow a smooth delivery and follow through. The pitcher must throw across the body causing a "front hip lock" that prevents proper and adequate front hip movement and rotation. The pitcher should stride into "center zone" toward the plate to prevent this flaw.
4. POOR FOLLOW-THROUGH - The pitcher should finish low with a bent back and slightly bent front leg. The pitcher should strive to finish with the throwing arm outside of the knee and chest over thigh. The emphasis should be on achieving a smooth and proper follow through on every pitch. has baseball pitching and training DVDs. Their selection is one of the largest and most complete on the internet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Strange Things Baseball Parents Say to Their Son's Coach

The Baseball 2Day Coaching Journal conducted a coaches survey several years ago. here is one of the questions and some of the responses.

What is the strangest thing that a parent ever said to you?

I called a mother to remind her that her son would be catching the next game and he needed to bring a "cup." She replied, "but he brings a water bottle?"

"You're not that good of a coach. I'm going to coach a team next year and kick your ass!"

When Player Did Not Show For Practice: "I thought his Dad would bring him." (from the Mom) "I thought his Mom would bring him." (from the Dad)

"Parents seldom talk to me since Im the 3rd base coach, they save all the good stuff for the head coach!" "I am glad to see the season is over, too much running around." (when that parent only came to two games.) Do we have a game today? (we were at the game with our uniforms on..including her son)

After we beat a team 18-1, a parent on the other team told me it wasn't a real loss because their best pitcher didn't pitch. has one of the internet's largest baseball coaching and training DVD online inventories. There selection of baseball training aids is outstanding also.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wiffle Ball Baseball teaches pitching and hitting skills and builds confidence

by: Mike Schim

The game of wiffle ball is lots of fun, and teaches many skills that are valuable in baseball and softball. Kids play it because it’s fun and can be played anywhere. You can play in your backyard, in the street, in a field, on a baseball diamond, and even the beach. The wiffle ball itself is lightweight and won’t break any windows, and won’t hurt children if a pitch hits them. The wiffle ball bat is lightweight and can be handled by children of nearly any age.

Children that play wiffle ball are actually building their self-confidence. As a pitcher, the wiffle ball will spin, curve, and wiggle in almost any direction. As a hitter, a child gains confidence in swinging the wiffle ball bat and hearing the crack of the bat hitting the ball. All of these confidence-building skills will help when the child plays baseball or softball. You can find books and videos to learn baseball and softball by visiting and you can also learn by doing: so play ball and enjoy the game as you learn more and become better.

Wiffle-ball baseball pitching mechanics and technique:

A pitcher in the game of wiffle ball can throw the ball with spins and curves, depending on the type of pitching grip. Holding the ball differently will cause the ball to be a curveball, slider, sinker, floater, fastball, or any other kind of pitch. Thanks to the lightweight nature of the wiffle ball, a young player can try different stances and pitching mechanics and techniques. A pitcher can throw side-arm or overhead. The pitcher can even switch and use their non-preferred throwing arm. A right-handed pitcher could try pitching left-handed, and a left-handed pitcher could choose to try being a right-handed pitcher. The simple grip of the ball and the lightweight wiffle ball can allow this experimentation.

Wiffle-ball baseball hitting mechanics and technique freedom:

A child who is up at bat with a wiffle ball bat can swing the bat much faster that he/she could with a much heavier bat. This new-found baseball swing freedom can increase a child’s confidence and boost batting mechanics and technique.

A right-handed baseball hitter could tryout a left-handed baseball hitting stance. Or, a left-handed baseball hitter could tryout a right-handed baseball hitting stance. A child could become a switch hitter!

Baseball fielding mechanics and technique:

The wiffle ball is not only a tricky ball to hit, it is also very tricky to field. When the wiffle ball is hit in the air, it can spin off the bat and thus fly in a surprising fashion. Once the wiffle ball hits the ground, it will react to any tiny tree branch or pebble on the ground. These quick bounces and direction changes are excellent for practicing fielding techniques for youth baseball players. The child is required to keep their eye on the ball at all times, and they must quickly react to any sudden change in direction. The quick bounce of a wiffle ball hit on the ground will keep a child light on their feet and give them lighting-fast hand reflexes for fielding techniques.
Backyard baseball fun anytime:

A game of wiffle ball builds many skills and coordination for baseball players of all ages. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it can be played anywhere!

About The Author
Mike Schim has been a baseball fan for nearly 30 years. As a child he enjoyed playing catch with very old, well worn baseball gloves. He now plays ball with friends and teaches his family and kids how to play ball. You can read more of his articles at and he also writes for Mike hopes that his passion for writing about baseball will help everyone more thoroughly enjoy the game. Top of Form 1

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How Baseball Hitting Drills Will Improve Your Average

By Alan Bryan

Even the most established ball player uses baseball hitting drills on a daily basis to help keep their skills sharp and look for improvement. Hitting baseball, or softball for that matter, is a difficult task. Even a quarter of an inch difference in your swing can result in a weak pop up or ground out back to the mound. There are many baseball hitting drills that can help you refine your swing.

Hitting off a tee: Not just for tee ball players, even major league players hit off a tee almost daily to practice hand eye coordination and tweaking a swing to get the head of the bat through the hitting zone quickly
Short Toss: Practicing hitting off a pitcher from very short distance will help with reaction time and also help with taking out the waste in your swing. If you dance around in the batters box in short toss, the ball will be by you. This is also helps with hip and foot placement

Shorter Bat: Probably a little known baseball hitting drill is to use a bat that is shorter than what you use in a game for practice. What this will teach is getting your arms extended through the swing zone and better hand/eye coordination

Learning some basic baseball hitting drills, and doing them on a daily basis can help you become a most successful hitter on any level. Remember that there is no replacement for hard work and determination. Baseball is a game based on failure. Even the most successful hitters fail almost 70% of the time.

Doing basic baseball hitting drills may seem like a waste of time, but even the most season pro use the same basic drills every day to keep on task. For the best baseball drill videos and techniques. visit

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Baseball Instruction Blogs Recommended For Baseball Parents

Here are a list of great baseball instruction and baseball training blogs for baseball parents, coaches and players.

Baseball Batting Cage Buying Blog Baseball Training Blog
Baseball Coaches Digest Blog
BatAction Baseball Blog
Derek Jeter Hurricane Machine Blog
Build a Batting CageThe "Build a Batting Cage" Blog features tips, know-how and useful information for anyone buying, building or using a baseball or softball batting cage.
Purchase a Batting Cage Only After You Have Considered These 12 Outlines 12 Things You Must Know Before You Purchase a Batting Cage.
Batting Cage Nets and FramesThe Batting Cage Nets and Frames Guide features detailed descriptions of the various types of net materials and design used to build a batting cage. Important batting cage terms are defined.
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 Basebal Coaching Digest - Great Source for Baseball tips, baseball drills, and other baseball strategy

The has the goal of providing their readers with a current and up-to-date source of coaching information that you will find useful and interesting. Make sure to "bookmark" this site to your favorites so that you can visit us often. They add at least 12 new coaching aricles every month.

The has articles on every aspect of baseball coaching including coaching hitting mechanics, pitching mechanics, coaching defense, baseball practice planning and organization, baseball player motivation, and much, much, more.

The Baseball Coaches Digest, one of the internet's largest collections of baseball coaching articles.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Teaching Young Batters to Use the No-Stride Technique For a Good Baseball Swing

By: Nick Dixon

If you watched the College World Series on ESPN SPORTS TV last June, I am sure that you saw, as I did, player after player, use the no-stride technique. The abundance of players using the "No-Stride" technique at the College World Series in Omaha shows how many baseball coaches today teach the "wider stance and no stride approach" to hitting. Here I cover the basics of teaching and coaching the "No-Stride" hitting method.

The "No-stride" technique is simply the process of swinging the baseball bat without taking a big step or stride forward during the swing. The front foot is the stride foot. The back foot is called the pivot foot. The "No-stride" technique allows the batter to swing and keep the head still, the weight back, and the eyes on the ball.

When using the "No-Stride" approach, the batting stance should be wide enough to insure a solid base and wide enough so that the batter can use a "soft or short" stride technique. It is best that the batter simply lifts the front foot up less than an inch and puts in back down in the same place. There is little or no movement forward by the front foot.

A wider base and shorter stride allow the batter to keep the head still and prevents the head from dropping during the swing. When a batter assumes a narrow stance with the feet close together, the batter must take a long stride during the swing. This long stride causes the head and eyes to "fall or drop" during the swing. This is the reason that many coaches teach the no stride technique. Of course, another reason is the fact that when a batters uses a "close stance" and "long stride approach" they often cannot hit the fastball velocity of many pitchers in the game today.

The optimum width of the feet would be slightly wider than shoulder width. The weight should be on the "balls" of the feet and off the heels. The front foot or stride foot should be "placed softly as if it is on a carton of eggs". This softness allows the foot to be lifted and placed back down easily. The back foot or pivot foot is also important during the swing. The back foot should not "move or leak forward" but should turn up "shoe laces to pitcher" when the front foot settles into place during the swing.

COACHING POINT: I recommended an "even toed" stance meaning that the toes of each foot are even when the stance is assumed. A closed stance is one with the back foot farther away from the plate than the front foot. An open stance is one with the front foot farther away from the plate than the back foot.

COACHING POINT: You may actually use a simple demonstration to illustrate how a long stride causes the head to drop and the eyes to move. Have a batter assume a narrow stance. As you face the batter, hold your hand palm down exactly even with the eyes. Have the batter take a long stride while you hold your hand perfectly still at the level where the eyes were when the stride began. A long stride will cause the head to drop and the eyes to drop also. This movement of the head and eyes makes it more difficult for the batter to "see and hit" the ball as it travels through the strike zone.

Make sure to visit the for all of your baseball training equipment, batting cages, pitching machine, and coaching video needs. The BatAction Self Trainer is one of the absolute best training aids for batters of all ages and ability levels. has a great selection of batting cage nets and net with frame complete packages at discount prices.

Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports,, and He is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience.

Dixon is widely recognozed 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,, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and the Hit2win Baseball Coaches Monthly Newletter.

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