- Official Blog

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!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

High School Baseball

Expert Author: Andre Anderson

Both high school baseball players as well as their parents share the same mentality, thinking that reaching to play division 1 baseball (NCAA) is the main goal for any student. However the paradox is that the same players that think this end up being extremely unhappy about the choice they have made, Division 1 not being the best choice.

When Junior College might be the better choice:

1. You are not one of the top brains in high school. Most of 2.5-3.0 GPA high school students believe that to be the easiest way is to attend a junior college.

2. You might be a draft pick, not picked out of high school, wanting to get the benefits of two-year draft eligibility.

3. You're one of the chosen players but you're not good enough to sign a contract and still you would love to play professional baseball. Junior college way gives you the opportunity to either sign or be re-drafted when both seasons-freshman and senior seasons end.

4. You dream of conquering Arizona or Clemson State while you're being offered from only lesser division 1 schools. If you go to a junior college and show them what your abilities are, you will get the opportunity at the college you really wanted to play at.

There is only one thing both players as well as their parents have to keep in mind: finishing 2 years in a junior college and then being transferred to a division 1 college will lead in one direction: receiving a degree that says "Clemson" or "Arizona State", but says absolutely nothing about the junior college.

Let's talk about money now. Almost every division 1 schools (who have 11.7 scholarships for baseball) have to share this money equally with 30-35 players, the player having left a large sum of money to pay. With lower tuition costs and more scholarships (24) many times a junior college can offer 2 free years.

You can save money this simple way: you attend a division 1 school 2 years for free and the next 2 at 50 %, which equals to four years at 75 % savings. All these lead you to a $20,000 save from that 25 % left of every year.

You can also choose a JUCO because of the additional playing opportunities, being able to play against those who are your own age.

Although Junior College sounds good for some of the young players it isn't the right option for all of them. It's almost impossible for a 3.5- 4.0 student, who could attend some of the best colleges as Notre Dame or Duke to even take a junior college in consideration since all these top academic schools don't even consider JUCO transfers.

No matter what the choice is, it's yours and has got to be the right one. Good luck!
My name is Andre. I work at the Neiman Marcus at Lenox Square.

Monday, March 30, 2009

How to Help Your Aspiring Slugger - Dad's Arm Vs A Pitching Machine

By Chuck R Stewart

Buying a pitching machine is essential for any little league baseball team. The baseball machines are overall superior compared to a dad when it comes to pitching. Pitching placement is one of many areas the pitching machine beats the dad. Have you ever seen a child get beamed in the head by a rogue pitch from a dad? It is a common sight at most baseball practices. Many kids are often afraid of batting practice because they don't want to be hit by a baseball. With a pitching machine it hits a certain location every time, ensuring you get the most out of baseball practice. This accuracy will give the child more confidence in his or her batting, and also allow them to hit harder and more accurately.

The pitching machine also wins over the dad when it comes to pitching speed. Not all dads are very good pitchers, and their pitches are often all over the place, both in placement and in speed. This variance in speed can cause stride issues for the kid batting. It also will diminish his confidence if he rarely can hit the dads pitch. Pitching machines will hit a certain speed every time. This accuracy in speed will help to create a confident, strong stride needed to hit the ball well.

These dads who think they can pitch won't walk away with a hurt ego, they will benefit too. Instead of having to ice their arm after a long practice of pitching, they'll be able to relax and not be so sore. The pitching machine never gets tire, it never gets sore. It can go forever. This machine doesn't need ice or a break, only more balls. The pitching machine can launch a ball every 8 seconds. That means your kid can get more hits in batting practice, thus making the team better. If a dad tried to pitch a ball every 8 seconds his arm would fall off. This increase in ball out put will make your team more efficient and overall more likely to win. It's pretty obvious the pitching machines beat the dad in every way.

The pitching machine might seem pretty great; however, you may think it will cost too much. Most pitching machines cost between 200 to 500 dollars. You might think that is a lot, but it's worth making your team better. The memories from a little league championship will far outweigh the costs of the pitching machine. Teams can even share a machine I they practice at different times. This would bring down the cost dramatically. Every kid dreams of being a champion and you could give them that chance.

Overall it's pretty obvious that the pitching machine is a very good investment. It has better placement and speed control than the dad does. You can even change the speed if you need to challenge the players. The dad doesn't have to walk away with a sore arm, and you get more pitches in on batting practice. The price may seem a lot at first; however, when you consider the number of teams who could benefit and the potential to win a championship for your kids, it's a no-brainer. The pitching machine will improve your team.

Coach Chuck Stewart operates a baseball website where training aids such as Pitching Machines including Heater Pitching Machines are available. Coach Chuck has coached baseball teams for 11 years and enjoys sharing the love of the game with his players.

Article Source:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Baseball Pitching Tips for Kids

by: 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.

A good training tip is to have players watch several pro baseball games, paying close attention to the form of the pitchers as they wind up and throw. Have them note how the legs are what propel them, and that the arm is really just a means of directing the ball. Kids arent analyzers, and most of them will attempt to pitch a baseball using all arm strength. This is sure path to injury!

The other crucially important aspect of pitching a baseball that must be taught early is the role of the elbow. The natural tendency, especially in kids, is to simply try to throw the baseball as hard as they can each and every time. Again, this invites injury and can actually rob them of speed on every pitch.

The proper form is to train the elbow to lead the hand. The elbow should stay ahead of hand until just before release of the baseball. This takes some practice, but once a child learns to do it without forcing it, he s on the path to better control, more power, and (most importantly) a safe baseball throwing motion.

Caution: in conjunction with this move, baseball pitchers must learn to keep their throwing arm’s shoulder in close to their body. One of the biggest hazards is letting the shoulder jut forward or to the side early in the pitching motion. The elbow moving ahead will put strain on the shoulder joint if it isn’t kept close in. Again, this takes repeated practice, especially for kids for whom baseball pitching is new and whose bodies are not yet under their full control.

A good idea is to impress upon the young pitcher that speed isnt the top priority in good baseball pitching, control is. This serves two purposes. First, it will help you slow him down in order to ingrain the proper and safe movements outlined above. Second, its generally easier to build up speed after control is learned when throwing a baseball than it is to learn control after speed.

About The Author

Roger Nelson, who began in Little League and coaches baseball players now, knows that getting on base is a key element in winning a game. Pitching machines can help players get that batting practice.Visit

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

Friday, March 27, 2009

Baseball Drills - Creating Bat Lag Vs Bat Drag

Baseball Drills - Creating Bat Lag Vs Bat Drag

By Nate Barnett

Baseball terminology should be a class taught in college. Maybe I'm more aware of all of the different terms because it's a game I'm most familiar with, or maybe there is just an extraordinary amount of verbage to learn. Nevertheless, I'd like to discuss a couple important hitting terms that should be understood as you're working on your various baseball drills. The difference between bat lag and bat drag are immense. And because of the similar sound, they ofter get mixed up. Bad mistake. Let me help explain them both by developing a definition for each.

Bat Lag:

Bat lag is what all good hitters look to develop while hitting a baseball. As the hands move into the hitting zone it's important to throw the knob of the bat at the baseball. You may be familiar with that concept as it's a common phrase (throwing the knob). Doing this produces a result of the hands leading the barrel of the bat which creates whip and bat speed in the baseball swing. When looking at a picture of a hitter nearing the contact position, look for the hands to be in front (more towards the pitcher) of the elbows of the hitter. The barrel of the bat will be remaining significantly behind the hands and enters the zone last.

Bat Drag:

Bat drag has the opposite effect on the hitter's swing as compared to bat lag. This is a common problem with younger hitters who lack strength or proper training. Bat drag is easy to spot when looking at a picture (from a side angle looking at the hitter's chest) as you will quite likely see the hitters elbows "dragging" the hands and bat behind into the hitting zone. In this case, bat speed will be minimal and a sweeping action with the bat will occur. This problem often is accompanied by a collapsing back shoulder.

What's unfortunate about the bat drag problem is that it can be years before a young hitter gets this mistake corrected. Reason being is that some success can be achieved at the younger levels as pitching is slower and the bat has much more time to enter the strike zone and connect with the baseball. The problem occurs when the hitter advances into junior high and high school where pitching velocity is greater. The mechanical failure created by bat drag becomes exploited and often hitters find their batting averages and consistency dropping very quickly.

There are thousands of pictures and video clips of MLB hitters all over the web. The best way to learn what this bat lag and bat drag look like is to observe what big leaguers are doing and compare their hands with those of a younger and less experienced hitter. Then, go to work solving the problem with a focus on some good baseball drills on the topic.

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

Article Source:
Baseball Dealz Super Store

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Speed Training: Arm Action

Speed Training: Arm Action
by: Patrick Beith, CSCS, PES, USATF Lv. II

The arms play a significant, yet overlooked, role in sprinting and speed development. Without specifically and regularly addressing proper arm mechanics within your speed training program, full speed potential will not be realized. Today we will address this issue so that we can continue to make improvements on the athletic field.

The role of the arms is to stabilize the torso so that power can continue to be efficiently transferred through the hips. It is this ability to transfer power effectively through the center of mass that not only improves rate of acceleration, but also facilitates reaching maximum velocity, maintaining those top speeds and reducing the rate ofdeceleration.

So, as you can see, the arms both directly and indirectly influence the ability to run fast.

Now let's get into the specifics of improving our arm action.

When running, it's very important to keep your hands relaxed. Think about holding a potato chip in each hand. No matter how hard yourun, no matter how tired you get, you can't clench your hands so that the potato chip breaks. This is a good way of thinking about howloose your hands should be at all times when running. When you start to clench your fists tightly, that tightness spreads like through your forearms, biceps, shoulders, neck and face. Once you tighten up and lose range of motion in your arms, it reduces stride length, which is difficult to get back without burning a lot of energy.

While sprinting, it is important to get a full range of motion with the arms. Remember, speed is a product of stride length and stride frequency. Stride length and frequency are determined, in part, by the motion of the arms. If you are lazy or passive with your arm action, you are limiting your potential for speed.

Your front arm angle should be between 60-90 degrees at the elbow and your back arm should be between 90-120 degrees, also at the elbow. If your arm angles fall outside of this range, your running mechanics will be negatively affected. In short, you'll run slower and get tired faster. When running, arm swing should be initiated at and through the shoulders. You should think of your elbow as being locked in place.

Elbow angle should only change slightly, as a result of elastic response. Range of motion with the arms should generally be hip to cheek. That is, the hand clears the hip in the back and comes up to about cheek height in front. Much more than that, in either direction, will result in over striding which, as mentioned before, will cause breaking and can lead to strains, pulls and tears in the muscle.

When running, emphasis should be placed on driving the elbows down and back. When runners fire their arms straight back, without first driving them down, it often leads to bunched up shoulders, which causes tightness and limits range of motion. It is important to focus on driving the arms back as they are recovered elastically by the stretch of muscles in the shoulder. So, don't drive your arms up and forward because stretch reflex is going to bring them forward anyway.

Another aspect of arm action is to avoid lateral deviation beyond the saggital plane. What this means is that your arms, when they are brought in front of you, should never cross the midline of your body.

Your right arm should stay on the right half of your body and your left arm should stay on the left side.

When you move your arms laterally, across the midline of your body, you rotate your hips which basically burns much needed energy and makes you run slower and get tired faster, all for no reason other than laziness and lack of concentration. Remember, you compete like you practice, so if you don't correct technical issues in practice, you can't expect them to be fixed in competition.


This drill can be practiced either in a group setting, or alone be standing in front of mirror.

Stand with the feet between hip and shoulder width apart. Bring your weight forward onto the balls of the feet. You should be far enough forward that your heels are slightly off the ground, but not so far forward that your toes curl to maintain balance. It is this slight, 2- 4 degree lean, that is ideal for simulating sprinting.

Start with one arm forward, 90 degrees at the elbow and one arm back, also 90 degrees at the elbow. Perform this drill following the guidelines presented in this article.

Arm action at 50% intensity
2 sets of 30 seconds
15 second rest between sets

Arm action at 80% intensity
2 sets of 20 seconds
20 seconds rest between sets

Arm action at 100% intensity
4-5 sets of 10 seconds
25-30 seconds rest between sets

About The Author

Patrick Beith, CSCS, PES, USATF Lv. II

Patrick Beith is a Performance Consultant for Athletes' Acceleration, Inc and has helped develop the Complete Speed Training System (

To learn more about Patrick Beith or for the latest training tips, programs, cutting edge strength and conditioning news, speed training and much more, visit

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Baseball Hitting Drills: Using Small Baseballs to Improve Hitting Skill

By: Nick Dixon

Hitting a baseball has often been described as the most difficult task in all of sports. It certainly is a skill that requires a great amount of practice to master. Great hitters are not born, they are made. They have a love for the game, they live to hit, and they never grow tired of hearing the reaction of the fans when they drive one off the wall in left-center for a stand-up double. Players at every level including high school baseball, college baseball and major league baseball must commit themselves to a regiment of daily batting practice if they are to maintain their swing and stay at the top of their game. What gives the great hitters the ability to perform so well under pressure and to dominate their game? What is the one common trait of all great hitters other than a great swing? The answer can be found in their eyes. The great hitters have the ability to focus. They have the ability to see the ball better, to pick it up quicker out of the pitchers hand, and to track it into the zone and off the bat.

Batting practice with Small Baseballs is a proven method of improving the ability of a batter to see and focus on the baseball. The small ball concept has been around for decades. The theory is simple, if you practice hitting a ball much smaller than a baseball, then when you actually are hitting a real baseball, it will look bigger and easier to hit. I was skeptical about this movement when it first came about in the early to mid nineties. But, firsthand experience has made me a believer. I purchased 6 dozen small baseballs last season for my players to use in batting drills and the batting cages. I must admit, I had visions of the small baseballs flying through the netting of our batting cages. That concern proved to be unmerited. During months of use and thousands and thousands of batting practice swings, I never witnessed a single small baseball pass through the net.

Players are always receptive to new ideas and concepts. My players are always eager to see what I come up with next. As the inventor of the hitting stick, BatAction Machine, Hit2win Trainer, and ZipnHit, I often use my team practices to experiment with new ideas and concepts. The players loved the small baseball on first sight. I basically gave them access to them to use in our daily batting cage workouts.They quickly developed their own routine and drills. They quickly adopted a 3-stage progression during their daily batting cage workouts. They used the small baseball in two of our 6 mini-cages. When they hit the small baseball, they would take 12 swings with a Livewire brand training bat, a small barreled bamboo bat. Then they would take 12 swings with the Sweetspot brand training bat. Then they would finish with 12 swings with their regular metal batting cage practice bat. After hitting the small baseballs, they would use regular sized baseballs in the batting cages, taking 48 swings in 4 sets. So the small balls acted as a warm-up or prep work before their regular batting cage workout with regular batting cage balls. The small baseball performed great. Soon, all of our hitters used then on a daily basis. The use of the small baseball greatly improved eye focus, batter concentration, and most of all, it improved batter confidence. There was normal wear and tear on the small balls because they were sometimes used in cage with bare cement floors. If you are looking for a new twist to add to your daily practice routine, I highly recommend small baseballs. I am sure that you will see and experience the same benefits that I did with my team.

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has SMALL BASEBALLS at discount prices. Check out the BatAction Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty

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:

Baseball Dealz Super Store - Buy your trainers on ebay and save!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Boosting Kids’ Mental Game Confidence on Game Day

Boosting Kids’ Mental Game Confidence on Game Day
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!

Often, athletes take a back seat approach and wait until they make a couple of plays before they decide how confident they should feel.

If this is how your young athlete thinks, she needs positive results before she feels confident. In other words, she needs to make that great hit or basket before she can begin to feel confident.

If this is true of the young athletes in your life, you can help. Tell them they need to change how they think before entering competition. Tell them not to worry about making that first hit, goal or basket right away!

Instead, they should draw on their many successes even before the game or competition begins.


About the Author: Want to learn simple, proven mental toughness skills that you can apply to competition? Grab my free online mental training newsletter, Sports Insights Magazine - for athletes, coaches, and sports parents:
Dr. Patrick Cohn is a master mental game coach who work with professional and amateur athletes, sports parents, and teams of all levels. Visit for more information. article by doccohn

Monday, March 23, 2009

Training Your Mind For Baseball

By Ray Peters

Baseball is a sport which requires the perfection of body mechanics. A baseball player who is in control of his mechanics dramatically increases the consistently of his performance. Practice is of course the most critical aspect, in baseball, to retaining control over your pitching or hitting mechanics. You can tune your body to perform the way it should through practice, but equally important is to train the mind. The difference between quality and average lies in the mind of the player. A baseball player with a strong mind dramatically increments his chances of performing to the peak of his potential. Here are a few tips to working the mind for better performance when it matters, on the field.

Tip1: Practice Silencing the Mind: This technique is a brainchild of zen. The mindless state. When the mind is still your focus on the present mind increases by hundred folds. A noisy mind is the biggest distraction to performance. It is easy said than done though, to silence the mind is not an easy task. Samurai's were known to silence their mind before they went to war to ensure that they were immune to the distractions of emotional interference. Meditation was their method of silencing the mind. In the modern age of coaching mediation is not a alien from warm-ups. In baseball players are taught to meditate to still their mind even before starting their physical warm-ups.

Tip2: Practice Visualization: Before the actual act should come the imagination of what you want the end result to be. This gives focus and clarity of purpose. In your own mind you might be sure of which pitching lane you want to concentrate on but unless you visualize the process of actually pitching the ball through the angle to go through the pitching lane, it may not succeed. Golfers like Tiger woods are known to visualize the entire shot to the end before going for the putt. Its like playing a picture in your mind about the entire sequence of events. This gives focus to your mind. A calm mind will develop a sense of purpose and execute it to perfection. Many baseball players practice this technique of visualization before taking their pitching or hitting stance.

Tip3: The Art Of Concentration: Silencing the mind is one part of enhancing your concentration the second part is to be aware of your body. When you are playing unconsciously you tend to repeat mistakes of the past. Your mind even if its still would work on subconscious control. When you become aware of your body and the immediate surroundings you create a sense of stillness and awareness at the same time. From the awareness comes the instinct to act. Have you ever seen baseball players who are in the zone, you can feel a force of awareness radiating through them. Baseball is as much a mind game as a physical game.

Tip4: Going For the Kill: Your mind should not be meek before entering the field. There should not be a feeling of dullness or lack of purpose. The sense of a hunter going for the hunt should be the vital feeling present inside your body. Baseball like any other sport is a test of character. There is no space for weakness. With such a mindset you will never succumb to pressure and no amount of distraction from the opposition will ever faze you.

Building mind semantics to conquer sports is like entering the zen in sports. Hope this article helps. If you are into baseball you can check out the wide range of baseball gear available at Sport Diamond

Article Source: - Baseball coaching and training store.

Baseball Dealz Super Store - Buy on Ebay and Save.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Coaching Baseball - Strategies For Facing Overpowering Pitchers

By Nick Dixon

Every one of us has at one time or another, either as a player or a coach, has had to compete against a pitcher that is over-powering, dominate, and almost impossible to hit. The pitcher that has an overpowering fastball and nasty curve ball that intimidates teams. How should a coach prepare his team for such a challenge? What I would like to discuss is some of the strategies that can be used when your team has to face such a pitcher. The most important thing a coach must do in this situation is to have a strategy and make sure that your kids know that strategy. Your team must realize that executing these strategies will give your team a better chance to win. Here are the 4 strategies that you should consider using:

1. Run up the Pitchers Pitch Count The main focus here is to make the pitcher throw as many pitches as possible. Have your kids take pitches, going deep in the count, and battling to foul off pitches with a 2 strike count.

2. Make the pitcher change his rhythm. Does the pitcher like to work fast? If he does, have your players step out, and call time frequently to make him slow down. Your players call time to adjust their batting gloves, clean their glasses, check their contacts, tuck their shirt tail in, or tie their shoe strings. This may seem like a display of bad sportsmanship, but I consider it a legitimate part of having a strategy to give your kids a chance to win. You should only use one of these tactics per inning. You cannot make these things too obvious, or the umpire will become angry.

3. Shake the pitcher out of his comfort zone. Does the pitcher throw better out of the wind-up or stretch? Many overpowering pitchers rarely throw out of the stretch because they rarely pitch with runners on base. Your kids have to find a way to get on base. A bunt for base hit should be attempted. If the pitcher shows any tendency to be wild your kids should try to draw a walk.

4. Speed up your bat speed and adjust your swings. If some of your players simply do not have good bat speed, then you have to take measures to improve on the bat speed that they have. There are 3 strategies you can use to increase bat speed:

A) Use a shorter and lighter bat.

B) Choke up at least one inch on the bat. Make sure that your batters move closer to the plate to insure plate coverage when they use a choke-up grip.

C) Move deeper in the batting box. The farther your batter is away from the pitcher, the longer the batter has to see and hit the fast ball. Swing Adjustment means that your kids are not going to try and pull the ball. They are going to hit a lot of balls to the opposite field. With high velocity pitchers, the main focus is to put the bat on the ball. If your kids can make some kind of contact, good things are going to happen. Defenses that play behind dominate pitchers are used to strike outs and are often not expecting the ball to be hit.

The has a great collection of baseball articles. Check out the Bat Action Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

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, 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:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Coaching TeeBall Baseball: 6 Steps to the Perfect Baseball Swing


Step 1
Using a "Good Grip"

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

Step 2
Have a Super Stance

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

Step 3
Correct Hand, Arms and Bat Angle

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

Step 4
Four Keys to a Correct Stride

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

Step 5
Head Action and Ball Tracking

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

Step 6
Swing and Finish

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

Friday, March 13, 2009

Caocing Youth Baseball: How to correct hitting problems

Overstriding is a common mistake. Batters that often get "jammed" may be in fact causing their own problems by overstriding. Overstriding causes the batter's head and eyes to drop often causing the batter to "loose" the ball during the swing. Tracking the ball visually is made very difficult. The batter's overstriding can also cause the swing to be long. A batter's wide feet that are too wide tend to prevent hip involvement during the swing.
Batters should use a short or a "no stride" approach. A short stride of 3 to 6 inches is often enough. In fact simply picking the front foot up and putting it back down is all the stride that is needed.

"Hitch" In The Swing
Batters that have a "hitch" in their swing often have difficulty hitting the fastball. They often get "jammed" and are often late on medium speed pitches. The batter is not "triggering" correctly. The batter is dropping the hands before taking them to the "power position" or what is often called the "launch position". This lowering of the hands causes the batter to be late to the strike zone.
Take the hands slightly up and then back rather than dropping them.

"Wrapping" The Bat
The batter has the bad habit of "wrapping" or cocking the bat behind the head. The batter's bat speed is decreased becuase the batter now has to bring the bat farther to get to the ball.
The bat should be held at a 45 degree angle to vertical. Refer to the perfect swing page of this site for more details on proper bat angle. sells the Target Hit Trainer at Discount Prices.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why the BatAction Hitting Machine is baseball best youth trainer.

A SHORT 20 MINUTE WORKOUT, JUST 3 DAYS A WEEK, with the BATACTION MACHINE, is all a batter needs to greatly improve.

However, players that own this machine, on the average, hit it at least 5 times a week! That's why some of THE GAME'S HOTTEST HITTERS are BATACTION MACHINE OWNERS. They are good because they love hitting the "Bataction Machine" and it's always in their backyard when they get the urge to hit!

This Machine is a GREAT CONFIDENCE BUILDER! Increases of 100 to 200 points in a player's batting average is quite common once a player begins to regularly workout on this machine. Give your favorite player or team the "Bataction Advantage" over their competition.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Baseball Pitching Know-How - The 30 Cardinal Sins of a Baseball Pitcher

Every baseball team's fortune lies in the hands or the "arm" of the pitcher on the mound.

This can be said for pitching at every level from Little League Baseball to High School Baseball to College Baseball and to Major League Baseball. As I was watching the College World Series on ESPN last June, I noticed that every pitcher did the little things perfect. Every pitcher had basically the same approach to the game. Every college baseball pitcher in Omaha tried to get ahead of the batters, pound the strike zone with good pitches, and let their defense make plays behind them.

Before a pitcher "toes the rubber" there are many things that that pitcher must know. Little things make a big difference when it comes to baseball pitching success or failure.

Here are what I consider to be the 30 Cardinal Sins of a pitcher.

-Not stretching and properly warming up before you pitch.
-Walking the lead-off hitter!
-Not spotting the fast ball.
-Not knowing the number of outs.
-Not knowing what bunt coverage is on.
-Not sprinting to the plate to cover after a passed ball or wild pitch.
-Hitting the lead off batter in the inning.
-Hitting a batter with a 0-2 count.
-Letting a hitter go from a 0-2 to a 3-2 count.
-Allowing the batter to get a 0-2 base hit.
-Hanging a curve ball.
-Failing to cover first base on a ball hit to the right side.
-Failing to back up 3rd or Home on a base hit to the outfield.
-Making an errant pickoff throw to a bag.
-Failing to vary your looks to check runners on base.
-Allowing 2 walks in inning.
-Not knowing who is covering 2B in a double-play situation.
-Throwing a different pitch from what the catcher calls
-Not setting up on the correct side of the pitching rubber. (RH on R, LH on L)
-Allowing a walk with two outs.
-Going 3-ball-count on any hitter.
-Showing negative emotion!
-Questioning an Umpire's Call!
-Not running or icing your arm after the game to prevent injury.
-Not wearing a warm-up jacket in cold conditions.
-Failing to check a runner back to the bag on a come backer hit to you.
-Throwing out of the windup with a runner on 1st or 2nd base.
-Not pointing up in the air at a fly ball.
-Not pounding the strike zone with a 5 or more run lead.
-Not getting ahead of batters early in the count.

I am sure that you can add more. I hope that you find this information useful.

Good Luck till next time, Nick Dixon

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of Pitching Trainers. Check out their huge selection of Pitching DVDs and coaching books.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Youth Baseball - Post- and Pre-Season Conditioning

Here in the Northeast, thoughts are turning to baseball despite the weather. From youth leagues right up through high schools, tryouts for the upcoming baseball season will be taking place in February and March. If you haven't already begun, now is the time for players and coaches to start preparation. Start conditioning easily and work those baseball muscles into shape gradually. DON'T make the mistake of throwing and swinging "all-out" immediately. In many cases young players have not picked up a ball or bat since last summer and overexertion can result in injury. Here are some wintertime tips I recommend before the weather breaks:

Contiue Reading at Barton's Youth Baseball

Buy your Advanced Skills Tee and other trainers at discount prices at the Baseball Dealz Ebay Super Store.

Friday, March 6, 2009

How to Demonstrate Batspeed in a Baseball Recruiting Video

By Mike Liberatore

When you are making a recruiting video for college baseball coaches, the most important thing a player can do is to show their tools. This means, how can you show a coach your ability to hit for average, hit for power, run, throw, and play defense? Some of this is difficult to convey when a coach is watching you on video in a workout format as opposed to in-person at a game. Today, we will look at how to incorporate your batspeed in a recruiting video, and why.

First of all, it is important to realize that many coaches and scouts value batspeed for a hitter in the same way they view velocity for a pitcher. It is that important. As it is with pitchers, velocity is not the only indicator of success or ability, but it shows the coach that a player has the necessary tools to develop their talent. The reason a coach wants to see a players batspeed readings is that it is a good indicator of a player's ability to hit for power (one of your 5 tools) at the next level. Again, this would be similar to a pitcher with higher velocity being likely to have a higher strikeout rate. Players love to send coaches their stats or newspaper clippings, especially those regarding home runs, but if that player comes to a tryout and swings a bat 75mph, their likelihood of being a power hitter in college are very low. It does not mean that the player will not develop into a good hitter, but that they more likely project to a top or bottom of the lineup player as opposed to the middle of the order. Interestingly, batspeed and pitching velocity seems to correlate fairly closely. The majority of high schoolers will swing a bat in the high 70's to low 80's. The majority of college players will reside in the mid to high 80's and the elite players will swing in the 90's and sometimes over 100mph. Batspeed of over 100mph is much more common than pitching velocity in that range, which is basically exclusive to the major league level.

There are a few easy ways to illustrate your batspeed for a college coach, and you really don't need a ton of high tech equipment. You will need a wood bat, a ball, a digital video camera, a radar gun, and maybe a tee if you choose to use one. Most high school coaches have a radar gun that a player could borrow, and worst case scenario one could be rented. In order to get the actual batspeed (as opposed to the exit velocity of the ball), you will want to kneel behind the hitter and point the radar gun at them. Assume the position of the catcher. The camera should be pointed at the player with the radar gun in the frame. If necessary, you can zoom in on the reading after each swing. The player can then hit soft toss or off of a tee. You should attempt to hit low line drives straight back through the back of the batting cage. This will also teach a hitter good mechanics, as they will quickly find that a longer swing will typically have lower batspeed. Remember, it is important to get the reading from behind the player as opposed to off to the side or from a pitchers view. Having the radar gun in those locations will measure "exit velocity", which is different from batspeed. Exit velocity measures how fast the ball travels off of the bat, as opposed to how fast the player swings the bat. Generating great exit velocity is a huge plus, but it will be easier to demonstrate batspeed since exit velocity can sometimes be dependent on the velocity of the incoming pitch.

Please check back for our upcoming articles on demonstrating the other four tools in video format, how to properly edit the video, and how to ensure it is viewed by college baseball coaches.

Mike Liberatore is a former college baseball player, AAU baseball coach, and owner/operator of

Article Source: - Mega Baseball Coaching and Training Store

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Coaching Baseball: The proper batting grip.

Using a "Good Grip"

Using the proper grip allows the batter to achieve as much hand quickness and bat speed as possible. The key to a good grip is positioning the bat in the fingers and not the palms. The bat should be held firmly but not tight that the batter's hand speed is slowed. The batter can assure a great grip every time by lining up the "door knocking knuckles" as shown. and has baseball training equipment, coaching DVDs, and other products for improving practice and play.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A great drill for improving a young baseball pitchers control.

Pitching Drill
Great for developing control

The drill is used to develop great pitcher control by having the pitcher throw strikes at varying distances as shown in the diagram below. The catcher is "c" and each spot the pitcher throw from is marked with an "x".

Note: if you do not have a live catcher a Pitch2win Trainer or other pitching target can be used as a catcher. The Pitch2win Trainer works well because it catches every ball that hits in a 4' x 4' square.

C X--------X-------X-------X-------X-------X-------X

The plate and catcher are set at a stationary location. The plate never moves. The pitcher will move ackward or forward after throwing a set number of pitches at each location. The pitcher should begin throwing at a distance 1/4 of his normal pitching distance. At the close spots the pitcher will throw at 1/2 speed.

You should have 6-8 distance markers with the first being at his starting point and the longest being twice his normal pitching distance. The markers should be at 10 foot intervals and in a straight line with the plate. The object of the drill is to develop control by gradually moving away from and toward the targeted strike zone.

The pitcher is required to throw 1-3 strikes from each marker before moving to the next. The catcher serves as the umpire.

We work a variation of this drill thats has 2 to 4 pitchers working and competing against each other in a timed drill. Make sure that your catchers are far enough aprat to prevent a wild pitch from hitting another catcher. It is also a good idea for catchers to wear full gear when participating in this drill. The drill teaches them to work fast, concentrate, and execute a perfect pitch. Make sure your pitchers are in condition for this drill. They will find that throwing strikes from longer distance requires great mechanics and builds arm strength. Make sure your players stretch and warm-up first.

Nick Dixon - Head Baseball Coach - Boaz High - Boaz Alabama. - Great Deals on the Mauer Quick Swing Machine.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Baseball Parent Attitude - Improve Your Baseball Team's Attitude

By Brian McClure

Ask yourself a question. Do you believe a kill 'em all attitude on the field is beneficial to youth baseball?, or How about this..Youth baseball is a sport that involves a whole team with each child trying their best and learning and improving..and having Fun. Baseball is a game and should be fun. I prefer the second answer. I want my son and teammates to all play, learn and improve..and the opposing team also. There may be a youth on the other team that may very well be in a job with your child someday. Wouldn't it be great if they could work together and compliment each other?

The point is, attitude in youth baseball and all sports can help your child in his entire life deal with teamwork, successes, failures, problem solving and opportunities. What can a parent do to make sure his child is getting the most positive mental impact from playing youth baseball.

First, look at your own attitude toward baseball other players, other teams, and competition. If your son sees you as viewing these as partners in the youth baseball will feed into him. We always compliment good players, teams, and coaches. There is almost always something someone does right. There still might be opportunities that can be mentioned but not dwelled upon. A good game does not always have to be the one you win. There are several opportunities to do something successful such as ..the first run down your team ever executed perfectly and got an out. You may or may not lose..but there was still success. I even compliment kids for being in the ready position and moving to the proper position to back up even if they were not in the play.

Second, I hate to say it, but watch the coach(if your are the coach watch yourself). Talking sportsmanship is not enough. Be careful of your actions and words to foster team building. As a parent if your coach is not doing need to be extra sure you are fostering this environment.

A good youth baseball attitude can be instilled by parents and coaches by respecting other players,teams,coaches, and umpires. Attitude, good or bad) begins with parents and coaches.

Author- Brian McClure Want to learn more about helping your child in youth baseball as a parent or coach?

See our complete list of Topics and articles on youth baseball here

Article Source:

Buy your Baseball Training Equipment at Discount Prices at The Baseball Dealz Enay Super Store.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hitting With Big Barrel Bats in Youth League

By Mike Posey

My eight year old was playing baseball this fall on a coached pitched team. It was the perfect situation for the fall with only one practice every Sunday afternoon from 2:00-3:30. It was a great experience, one in which he learned a lot. He also had a great time with the other kids on the team. We were also playing flag football during the fall, so we didn't have a lot of time for extended fall ball, plus he is only 8 so I wasn't interested in having him involved with a team that was going to play games every week in the fall. I'm not a big proponent of playing year round baseball, but I'll save that for another article.

The coaches decided they would try to play a couple of games and put into action what they had been teaching during the Sunday practices. We traveled about 45 minutes away on a nice Saturday during the mid fall to play a double header with another eight year old team. It was a good experience but I was shocked when I watched the other team hit. Yes, they beat us in both games 20-8 and 17-9, but that wasn't what shocked me, it was the bats they were using - Big Barrel Bats.

Let me back up a little bit first. My eight year old is our youngest. My oldest is 26 (I was 40 when our youngest was born) and we have already went through Little League, Babe Ruth, Summer Ball, etc...with our oldest. Also, as a high school baseball coach I host youth camps every summer and thought I was in tune with what was happening in youth baseball. But the bats I saw the other eight year old team using that day caught me by complete surprise. Every player on the other team was using a big barrel (2-5/8 inch diameter) bat, even though they were only eight years old.

The big barrel bat is designed for senior league play, which is typically 13-15 year olds. I did a little investigation and found that all the manufacturers (Easton, DeMarini, Louisville, etc...) specifically advertised that these big barrel bats are not approved for younger youth league teams. This was reinforced more when I found out that most youth leagues (Cal Ripen, Little League, Pony, etc.,.) do not allow players to use the larger barrel bats. However, I did find it odd that the manufacturers are making -10 to -13 drop bats (the unit distinction between the length and the weight of the bat, such as 27 inches long and 17 ounces in weight). It's obvious that the sale of these ultra-light, big- barrel bats are targeted at youth league players.

Youth league (ages 6-12) aluminum bats are typically 2 ¼ inches in diameter at the sweet spot and usually have a -8 in drop. The idea is to work up as they get older and eventually get to the -3 drop bat that is required in high school.

The problem with using big barrel bats at such a young age is it doesn't reinforce hitting mechanics. When a young hitter swings and misses the sweet spot, this reinforces the fact they need to use their hands to hit instead of their arms. The sweet spot is located 4-7 inches from the barrel end of the bat, located between the bat's trademark and the end of the bat. With aluminum (or composite bats) when the player misses the sweet spot, the bat jars in their hands. With a wood bat (which I think all young players should spend time learning to hit with) if the sweet spot is missed, the ball won't travel very far, maybe a ground ball to second or short. Anyway, it reinforces the need to rotate the hips and use the hands to get the barrel of the bat on the ball. With much practice, a player can become good at making consistent contact on the sweet spot of the bat. Using the hands correctly will strengthen the hands as they get older and allow them to progress in their mechanics as a hitter. Many players struggle with hitting on high school freshman or JV teams because they drag the bat head with the -3 bats that are required by the National Federation Rules. They have been swinging the -8 and -5 bats with their arms and the -3 is even heavier for them to swing. They haven't developed good strong hands from hitting properly.

The problem with the big barrel bats is the extended hitting zones. The player can have a long swing (one that disconnects with the arms getting away from the body) hitting the ball on the area below the sweet spot near the trademark and still get a solid base hit into the outfield. This was what I witnessed that Saturday this fall during the eight year old coached-pitched game. Most of the hitters in the opposing team line up used more arms than hands to hit, but they still had solid shots into the outfield. In fact, the few times they did make solid contact, the ball was sent like a laser to the outfield fences. Several times our players got hit with the ball (one in the head on a line drive to center field) and the coach was also hit by a hot line drive back to the mound. It was a little scary and these young players were not ready to be swinging these bats.

During my research I also found hitting with big barrel bats was common practice for travel league teams during the summer and fall. Most travel tournament sponsors do not have regulations against using larger barrel bats for youth league ages. With the manufacture warnings clearly listed on these bats, this may be a serious spot for litigation. The travel tournament sponsors and teams that use these bats against the manufacture warnings are exposing themselves to potential lawsuits.

From a hitting stand point, players will never understand their hitting flaws. It's like the weekend golfer that uses a monster head driver, one that corrects the flight of the ball if the swing is not perfect. As long as you make contact anywhere on the face of the club, you're in good shape. (I got one in my golf bag) The same is true for the large barrel bats for youth leagues. See, hitting a baseball is difficult and one that comes with much failure. A good big league player that hits around .300 will fail 7 out of 10 times. With young hitters, the failure is what makes them better. Missing the sweet spot on the bat reinforces the idea to use your hands and get the barrel on the ball.

If you're serious about your young player being a better hitter make him use the 2 ¼ inch barrel in youth league. He can also work with a wood bat in practices and scrimmage games. (or summer league play). Use bamboo when they are young (ages 6-9), moving to maple by the time they are 11 or 12 years old. Both of these bats are extremely durable and hard to break. By the time they are 15-16 years old they can graduate to a nice Ash bat. Most big leaguers use either Ash or Maple. All of our high school players have a wood bat in their bag and train with it regularly.

Don't delay the development of your youth league hitter by allowing them to use a big barrel bat. Rotate your hips and use your hands to hit the SWEET SPOT.

Mike Posey "CP"

Tips from a championship coach's perspective and experience, offering creative insights into helping others learn the game of baseball.

Article Source:

Recommended Baseball Sites:
Baseball 2Day Coaching Journal

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Baseball Pitcher Warm-Up and Stretching

Baseball Pitcher Warm-Up and Stretching
by: Mike Schim

Pitching a baseball game begins long before you even step onto the pitching mound. It is important to prepare both physically and mentally for pitching in a game. Below are some mental and physical steps you can do to prepare for pitching on the day of the big baseball game.

When you wake up in the morning, begin mentally visualizing your pitching experience. Start imagining how your pitching will be that day. While taking your morning shower, think about how you want your pitching strategy to be. Do you want to throw many fastballs? Do you want to vary your pitching a lot in the game? Do you want to try and strike every batter out? Or would you want to pitch each batter in such a way as to try to get them to ground out to the infielders on the first pitch? All of this mental preparation can help visualize how you want to win.

During the day, conserve your energy and keep thinking about how you are going to pitch the best game ever. Your positive attitude will help you win. All of the positive thoughts will get you very excited about pitching in the game.

When you are getting dressed for the game, keep a clear head and positive attitude. If you pitching coach gave you advice on pitching strategy, repeat key concepts in your head. Consider the strategies for each batter. If you did research on the other team's players, remind yourself of which batters to pitch fastballs to, and which batters to throw curveballs to. You don't need to quiz yourself, but simply review the concepts in your head.

Before going into the pitching bullpen, gently jog around the field. Get the blood flowing. Gently stretch, and then jog a little more. It's important to loosen up your arms and your legs. Your entire body is needed for baseball pitching, so be sure to warm-up your entire body.

Once you've returned to the bullpen, go to a grassy spot away from other players and gently stretch your arms and arm joints. Focus on your shoulders, forearms, wrists, and elbow.

After stretching for about 5 or 10 minutes, find a teammate to have a simple catch with. Stand about 20 feet apart and simply throw the ball to each other. There's no need to throw any pitches at this point. Just throw the ball. Catching and throwing the ball will actually help you stretch some more before you even throw a single pitch. After a minute or two, extend the distance to about 50 feet apart. After a few more minutes of having a casual game of catch with your teammate, you should start casually going through the pitching motion. Use your legs in throwing the ball. Do a casual wind-up and lift your leg a little bit in the pitch.

Now that you've warmed up, you can start your pitching activities. Have a teammate, preferably a catcher; assume the catching position while you throw some practice pitches. Start with a very slow pitch and practice the pitching motions. Don't worry about speed. Pay attention to your pitching mechanics. The web site has books and videos that discuss the mechanics of baseball pitching. Besides reading and watching videos, you can also watch other pitchers and study how they pitch the ball.

Once you've thrown about 15 simple pitches while focusing on the delivery, start to warm-up your pitching aim. Focus on inside and outside pitching corners. Practice your aim with each of your pitches. Throw a fastball, curve, change-up, slider, and other pitches.

Ask your warm-up catcher and another teammate to go to home plate and practice with you while you stand on the pitcher's mound. Your practice catcher should assume the catching position, and your other teammate should stand in the batters box with a baseball bat in hand. The practice batter should not hit your practice pitches, but simply stand in the hitting stance and occasionally swing very lightly at the pitches. All of this will help you visually prepare for real game pitching.

If you have not already done so, go see your pitching coach and say hello. Ask any questions that you may have. If you don't have any questions, review with your pitching coach any pitching strategies for the game.

Before you enter the game, be sure to go to the bullpen and throw some more warm-up pitches. Also, throw just a few pitches at full speed. Don't throw too many, but throw maybe 3 or 4 full speed pitches.

If you are not the starting pitcher, be sure to keep your body warm and loose. And remember to keep warm and loose in-between innings even when you are the active pitcher.

And of course, enjoy your pitching experience! After all, that's why you play have fun!

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.