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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!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Baseball-Coaching the Youth of Tomorrow

By Bill Bathe

Coaching our youth is a delicate practice that needs to be taken with the kids self confidence at the heart of the teaching. These days, parents and coaches alike want to win so bad, they put undue stress on the kids that can have a negative effect.

We over criticize when we are talking to them instead of building up their self confidence. I once heard a parent yelling at his kid from the stands, "If you don't get a hit, you will not be eating dinner tonight!" Needless to say, I went up and spoke with the parent about this approach. Some people may think this is harmless, and it may have been said in a joking fashion. But think of the kid on the field who is playing in front of all the parents and friends who hears this as he is strolling up to the plate. Talk about stress and the feeling of rejection and humiliation if this kid doesn't come through.

Remember, we are building more than just ballplayers here. We are building people who are going to go out in the world someday. We are building character, pride, self confidence. We do this through encouragement and a nourishing attitude. Not through pointing out failures and humiliation. To learn more about this, visit http://www.pro-baseball-drills-and-equipment.com.

But how do we get them to play better if they can't stand a little criticism? By encouraging them. When your kid takes a swing and misses, the first words out of your mouth should be, "Nice swing! You just missed it, keep trying and you'll get a hit!" That encourages your kid to keep trying. Not only that, your kid will be excited about trying more. This promotes self confidence.

If your kid strikes out 4 times in the game. Put an arm around him after the game and tell him he really swung the bat well and that he will get them next time. And tell him how proud you are of him for trying.

Remember these simple tips:

1- Encourage them through positive reinforcement.

2- Nurture them when times are tough.

3- Be there for them when they need your help.

4- And love them unconditionally.

Remember,help your kids out by encouragement. I can't say this enough. They will believe what they hear and if you are encouraging them all the time, they will feel good about themselves. Not only in baseball but in other things.

And also remember, be patient. They are still learning,so you need to give them time to succeed. Just keep loving them and nurturing them and the rest will fall in place.

Bill Bathe- former major league baseball player who played in 1989 world series. Former instructors include Eddie Matthews, Harmon Killebrew, Billy Williams, and Dusty Baker to name a few. Visit his website at http://www.pro-baseball-drills-and-equipment.com which provides drills, information, and tips. Also, digital online video analysis, equipment, posters, and more. In addition, stories and pictures on the journey to the big leagues.

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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

7 Tips on Becoming a Better Baseball Player


BatAction Hitting Machine - Helping hitters improve since 1999.

By Harry Roberge

There is always something that can make anyone better in anything, from sports to school. Everyone thinks back on something and if there was something they could have done to produce a better result. Baseball is one of those things. Here are seven tips to becoming a better ball player.

1. Strength train. If you lift and become stronger it helps produce a stronger swing, stronger arm, more power, more resistant to injury, and more stamina. Anyone can get stronger and by being stronger you will see better results on the field.

2. Stay Active. When baseball season ends keep yourself active so you don't get out of shape. Whether it is picking up another sport, or stepping it up in the gym and training, everything helps. Some people like to stay away from baseball so they don't suffer from baseball fatigue.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice. If you are in season do drills to better yourself and so they become routine. You can't practice enough. Practice isn't perfection because no one can be perfect, that's why there are errors in baseball. Practice makes permanent. If you practice right and the way you would in a game then it will stick and when it comes to game time you'll make the play like you did in practice.

4. Think ahead. You always have to be thinking what you should do if the ball is hit to you, or if you are on base what you should do according the where the ball is hit or how many outs there are and what base you are on. That way you're not caught off guard and know what you should do in every situation.

5. Watch the ball. In everything you do in baseball, you must keep your eye on the ball. If you are hitting, you can't hit the ball if you are not looking at it all the way in. If you are in the field you can't field the ball if you're not watching it. If the ball is through to you, you can't catch it unless you're watching it.

6. Watch baseball. If you watch baseball, you can pick up things that players do or how players think. That way when the situation arises you know how to react and be smart on the field.

7. Take criticism. Coaches are only there to help you; they want you to be the best player you can be. They will teach you the right techniques and show you how something should be done. They are not trying to make fun of you or if you're the only one having that problem it might be embarrassing but it's for the better.

If you can follow those tips, then you should become better and better every day. It takes time and commitment. Don't get discouraged if you're not better right away but you will over time. You will gain more confidence once you start seeing the results and coaches will complement you and your playing will improve.

Harry Roberge

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


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Prevention is Better Than Cure - Safety Measures For Your Child to Participate in Baseball


By T. Dudson

A Survey in the world says there are more young baseball players from the age of 4 to the age of 15. It is advised that parents and team managers take proper care of the safety measures enforced for these games to avoid any serious injury later. Take your child to your doctor to evaluate the physical condition and injury prone conditions of the kid. Take proper precautionary measures to protect the parts that are vulnerable for high risk as per the doctor's analysis.

If your kid plays as a pitcher, make sure the timings are followed for pitcher in the game. This position of the game causes severe shoulder pains and knee pains cause of continuous heavy throws. If the position is as a catcher, then extra safety measures are to be taken to protect throat, face, shoulders, chest, and shin guards with double thicker gloves suitable for catchers. Make sure the coach insist on safe play as part of the training techniques apart from winning strategies. There are rules for kid games to make sure the game is safe for all the team members. Follow closely with the game organizers to understand the guidelines followed.

Insist your kid on wearing the helmets with eye protectors all time's infield, outfield during the game. Purchase the right brand of comfortable gloves for the players need. Carry first aid always for the practices and game tours with you like Pain relief sprays, prescribed medicines, and extra safety gears. Give enough fluids to prevent the player from getting dehydrated. Make sure your kid is not forced to continue playing with heavy injuries or pain. Worst thing happen immediately take him to the doctor from the play field rather than letting him continue playing.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=T._Dudson


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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Do the Yankees Have What it Takes to Win the World Series?


The Derek Jeter Batting Machine

By Brent Archer

The Yankees are a proud ball club and have always been able to achieve success but for the last few years they have not been able to make it to the World Series. Now is the year 2009 and the Yankees are a few games away from making it back to the World Series. They are currently facing the Angels and are on top 3 games to 2 games. It has been 5 years since the Yankees were in the World Series; if they really have what it takes is a good question that will only be answered once they make it.

Many people wonder how come this Yankee thing has made it to the playoff while the prior teams did not. Well the one key factor to their success now is that they have been able to develop good chemistry with one another. Chemistry in any team is important and it shows how effective it can be in this Yankee ball club.

When you take some time to really watch their games you realize how much fun they are having and how they enjoy being with one another. This is what helps them focus and come together during games in order to win. If the Yankees continue to have this chemistry and continue to have fun they will be able to go all the way and win the World Series.

Their success will depend on chemistry and team unity. They have a good leader in Derek Jeter, the best player in A-Rod and a group of other players that fit the mix perfectly. Also the whole Yankee team has the power of hitting a bunch of home runs. They have been able to dominate their opponents by hitting the ball out of the park.

This is the best Yankees ball club by far and I am sure that not only do they have what it takes to make it to the World Series and win it but they will also be able to repeat and take the trophy next year as well. This is how strong of a bond the team has when it comes to baseball.

Being focus, having fun and having team chemistry is the right recipe for baseball success. The Yankees do have what it takes to win in the World Series but as I mentioned before we must wait until they begin to play and see the final outcome.

Brent Archer has been writing articles for many months and has experience in many areas. His new interests is in his recently new website http://www.CustomBobbleHeadsShop.com where he provides the best custom bobble heads dolls that everyone loves!

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

Monday, October 26, 2009

10 Ways to Maintain a Good Parent-Coach Relationship


The Baseball 2Day Coaching Journal

By Jack Perconte

Most negative experiences in athletics involve tension between coaches and parents of athletes. Most of the time, kids are very content with playing, having fun and being around their friends. Usually, players become discontented only after mom or dad have started grumbling about the way the coach is treating their child with playing time or position played. Once a parent has put this negative attitude in the player's mind they become a "grumbling" player towards the coach. This unhappy attitude can be prevented if parents and coaches develop a good relationship, especially at the beginning of the season. Here is how:

Suggestions for coaches to develop a successful parent-coach relationship:

1. Give team parents background information about all the coaches, especially about playing and/or coaching experience related to the game. (This should not have to be mentioned but honesty about backgrounds is paramount to developing trust.)

2. Express philosophy of coaching. The three ultimate objectives are winning, player development and fun. Specifically state where coaches stand on these three objectives. I suggest a 30, 30, 30 split on these objectives and applying the remaining 10 percent for the area most needed. This 10 percent will be determined by the competitiveness of the team and the league.

3. Explain team goals and individual player expectations for the upcoming season. I believe it is alright to play to win even at younger levels, as long as it is kept in perspective. Remember, developing skills and having fun are always an objective. Having to deal with winning and losing will create many teaching moments that will be important for kids to learn.

4. Discuss philosophy about playing time and positions played. For example, will players have to earn their position on the field or will coaches rotate players equally? Give parents a chance to ask questions, and make sure answers are clearly understood. Be sure to recognize and discuss the objectives of the league and level at which the team is playing.

5. Listen and discuss the parent's objectives for their own kids. Parents who have obvious differences in objectives than the coaches may have to look for another team for their kid if they cannot come to an understanding.

6. Discuss when and how coaches can be approached during the season so there are no public confrontations. Set up a system where discussions are held away from the players, other parents and the crowds. There will be issues that arise from time to time, but letting parents know that disagreements will be handled in a civil way, away from the players, is crucial.

7. Discuss coaching policies when players miss practices or games, so everybody is treated the same and all are clear about the policy.

8. Effective communication is the key to averting problems - make sure parents inform their kids about the coaches' philosophies.

9. As mentioned, troubles begin when parents start to grumble at home to the players about the coach. Insisting that parents approach coaches before getting upset and expressing that displeasure at home is essential to keeping players from becoming unhappy about their coach.

10. Most issues arise because parents do not feel the coach is being fair. It is important that coaches fulfill his or her philosophy that was initially expressed. Changing philosophy in the middle of the season will create problems. If a coach feels a philosophy change is totally necessary, they must discuss possible change with all parents first.

Finally, coaches should be role models and teachers to their players. It is easier to help players develop their skills and enjoy the game when the parents understand the reasoning behind the coaches' philosophies.

Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball hitting lessons advice can be found at http://www.baseballhittinglessons.com/baseball Jack is the author of two books, The Making of a Hitter and Raising an Athlete - his parenting blog can be found at http://positiveparentinginsports.com

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



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Friday, October 23, 2009

Joe Mauer - Quick Swing Batting Trainer For Baseball and Softball

Video shows the Quick Swing Batting Trainer by SKLZ. The QuickSwing Trainer. Ideal for hitters of all ages and abilities. Works for baseball or softball players. Delivers a moving ball downward, forcing you to wait to see the ball and react quickly.



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Thursday, October 22, 2009

3 Hitting Drills Guaranteed to Produce Hits


By Jack Perconte

When a player doesn't hit, frustration sets in for players and parents alike. Hitting can be a very difficult skill for parents and untrained coaches to figure out. The good news is that you don't have to know what is wrong as long as you know how to "fix it." Hitting in its most basic form comes down to doing three things - watching the ball, throwing the hands (bat) at the ball, and opening the hips. The following three drills will make these things happen and can prove a quick exit from the player's hitting slump.

1. Seeing the Ball Drill - In batting practice put an object like a ball glove or empty soda can at the front of the opposite side batter's box. After taking their swing, the hitter should keep their eyes on the placed object for a second or two before looking out to see where they hit the ball. This will prevent hitters from pulling their head out early on the pitch and help prevent them from over swinging.

2. Pad Drill - Place a pad like a sponge, towel or the player's glove under their lead armpit when taking batting practice. The hitter's goal is to keep the glove under the arm until contact and then allow the pad to fall out after making contact. This drill ensures that the hitter is using their hands and forearms to swing the bat in a compact, direct manner.

3. Back Knee Pick-up Drill - Have the hitter pick up their back leg with their back knee turning to point at the pitcher as they swing. This drill will force the hitter to use their front side to pull the bat initially as well as forcing the hitter to open their hips. Both of these forced moves with this drill promote contact, weight shift and power.

There are many hitting drills that can benefit a hitter and it is a good idea to continue with some of them throughout the season. Drills are the best way to develop good fundamentals whereas batting practice is good for the hitter's timing.

Finally, it is always best to challenge hitters during batting practice with game like speeds and speed changes. There is no speed that is too slow or too fast, within reason of course based on the age of the player. Remember, you don't need to know what is fundamentally wrong with a hitter's swing as long as you know how to fix it.

Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball hitting lessons advice can be found at http://www.baseballhittinglessons.com/baseball

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

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How to Teach Throwing to Baseball Players


By Dick Birmingham

In the game of baseball correct throwing mechanics are of the utmost importance. If a player can’t throw with accuracy he does his team little good out in the field. Players must constantly strive to perfect their throwing mechanics. Few players take the time necessary to become really good throwers. Great pride should be taken when a player can consistently throw to a target.

Key Points in Throwing

The Grip

Many young players grip the ball with their fingers too wide apart. This affects accuracy severely reduces velocity of the throw. The fingers should be about ¼ inch apart (about the width of a yellow #2 pencil). The index and middle finger should lay across the wide seams of the ball. This grip is also known as a 4-seam fastball. The pads of the index and middle finger sit on the seam of the ball. If you think of the ball as a clock, the index and middle fingers should rest on either side of 12 o’clock and the thumb would rest straight underneath the ball at 6 o’clock. There should be "daylight" between the ball and palm of the throwing hand. This is the best grip for achieving straight backspin and avoiding any "tailing" of the ball.

Arm Action

Arm action refers to the path the throwing arm travels from hand separation to release-point and follow-through. Baseball throwers must concentrate on breaking the hands and making a big sweeping motion with the arm in order to stay long with the arm going back to a good power position. Power position refers to the position where the player has the throwing arm back, level with the shoulder or higher, and bent at the elbow. The throwing-hand index and middle fingers should be point up forming a "V". The back of the throwing hand should face the thrower while the palm of the throwing hand should face away from the thrower. Practicing a good power position is essential in becoming a good thrower. The front shoulder should always point at the target and stay closed. As the player turns to throw, the glove-side elbow should be as high or higher than the throwing-side shoulder. The throwing fingers must stay pointing up through release to get good straight backspin. When throwing with a partner, young players should imagine painting a vertical line with their throwing hand from the letters on their partner’s hat to their partner’s belt buckle.

Throwing To The Circle

Baseball players should always practice throwing on a downward plane to their target. When throwing with a partner, the player should focus on throwing down into "the circle". The circle is an area from the partner’s hat, right shoulder, belt buckle, and left shoulder. A player who can throw down into the circle consistently is a good thrower.

Note: A player receiving a ball should always have both hands in front of the chest with fingers pointing out and up. This makes a great target in the center of the circle.

Staying On Line

Throwers should imagine a line running from their pivot foot straight through their target. As they throw, they should separate their arms on the imaginary line being careful not to let the throwing arm pass behind the line. The stride should also be on the line. Any variation from the line will decrease accuracy. As the player releases the ball he should concentrate on keeping his body on the line. Many players spin off the line when they throw instead of following-through toward their target.

Note: The chin MUST point toward the target. Where the chin faces the eyes will face and the body will follow.

Squaring the Pivot Foot

The pivot foot (throwing hand-side) needs to be "square" to the target. If the player starts by facing the target when throwing the pivot foot should be opened 90 degrees toward the target to allow for the closing of the front side (hips and shoulders). Failure to do this can result in poor accuracy and velocity. Many young players do not turn their pivot foot a full 90 degrees to their target. Squaring the pivot foot should be emphasized to all players to ensure correct throwing mechanics.

It has been said many time that baseball is a game of catch, and the team that plays catch the best will usually win. As a coach, teach your players the proper fundamentals of throwing and you will win more games and develop your players.

To learn more baseball throwing tips and get more baseball throwing information to help develop your baseball players visit the Dick Birmingham Sports Championship Baseball Drill Book at http://www.BaseballDrillBook.com

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

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to Help Young Players Deal With Baseball Fears and Anxieties

By Mike Posey

Does your child experience baseball fears and anxieties? Do you have a player that fails to perform in a game due to "stage fright"?

In youth baseball players often experience fear and anxieties which cause nervousness and often leave them unable to perform at their top ability. These anxieties can be a combination of fears in several areas such as ?


Fear of getting hit with the ball.
Fear of being injured.
Fear of striking out.
Fear of being made fun of.
Fear of failure.
Fear of being yelled at by adults or other players.
These fears are real to our kids even though we as adults may not recognize them.

The anxieties can keep a young player from relaxing and performing well. I have witnessed players with excellent abilities unable to perform in a game due to their anxieties or stage fright? During practices they are fine and play well, but when they get into a game they become overwhelmed with fear.

What causes this anxiety? Is it the crowd? Is it the noise level? Is it the opponent? Is it the child's perception of adults that are yelling instructions as being critical? Is it the fear of not being accepted?

Coaches and parents should recognize the symptoms of such anxieties and know how to deal with them. One of the problems we have as adults is trying to apply adult rationalization and reason with a younger child. This reasoning seems logical to us as adults, but to a young player, it doesn't erase their fears and anxieties. In fact, it may cause some frustration on the part of both the player and the parent/coach that can not get the child to relax and concentrate on the game.

Learn more about helping your child Overcome Their Game Anxieties and receive a FREE eTips Newsletter.

Mike Posey "CP"
Expert Baseball Tips
Baseball tips from a championship coach's perspective and experience, offering creative insights into helping others learn the game of baseball.

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

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The Categories they have are: Baseball Training Equipment, Youth Baseball Training Equipment, Training Bats, Pitching & Throwing Trainers, Defensive Trainers, Batting Cages, Pitching Machines, Jugs Equipment, Game and Practice Baseballs, Protective Practice Screens and Nets, Portable Pitching Mounds, Baseball DVDs & Books, Clearance Items on Sales, BatAction Hitting Machines, Hurricane Hitting Machines, NEDCO Bataction Replacement Parts, SKLZ Hurricane Replacement Parts and Much Much More! Visit Baseball2U.com today!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Baseball Hitting For the Better


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By Chris Moheno

Once you have stepped up to the plate and starred down the pitcher, there is only one weapon of choice, a big stick. Baseball training, good training, leads to great baseball hitting. We all want to hit it out of the park whether it's at a company picnic or with friends doing the baseball pitching for fun. Swinging and missing just makes the pitcher shiver, there is an art to hitting a baseball. When mind and body connect with the bat and ball, it could be your shot heard round the world.

Swinging a bat takes more than just motion, it takes poetry in motion. Watch any major leaguer and he's not hoping he will hit, he is gearing up to smash it. The main focus on hitting a baseball is transfer of motion. You may have read or heard somewhere that Babe Ruth struck out more times that he hit home runs, it's true, but his RBI stats are seldom recognized. Why? It's because he was known as a home run hitter.

Before you can crush the ball and loosen the stitches, you have to learn what it takes to hit it first. Many people who have played baseball for a team when they were younger practiced a lot, probably more than they wanted to. They hit thousands of pitches and sometimes just making contact with the ball is refreshing enough. But those who want to hit it continuously know that the mind and body have to work together. You've got to train yourself to know where and when to swing.

Text is no substitute for practice, reading about how to hit a baseball effectively will only get you past the first page, but not past first base. To know how to hit you've got to get out there and get a feel for what it takes. Whether it's a pitching machine that's eating your tokens or a real live cannon in polyester, finding out where the strike zone is at means all the difference. You have to feel in control of your swing.

There are several ways to train your eye to see a baseball; you know the standard color is white. You can gauge when it's coming because your eye can see it, but how do you know when to swing? Swinging a baseball bat is like swinging a golf club, you keep your arms straight, and you use a fluid motion to transfer your power from one part of your body, your legs, to your arms. You can also practice with colored baseballs, train your eye to see the ball coming, it's the trajectory that you memorize. Hitting is an instinct; hone it to your advantage.

You can also set up a Wiffleball set in your backyard, continuously repeating the motion of bringing your arms across your body towards the ball will become second nature. Make contact and feel the shift in your hips. It doesn't matter if you bat right or left, the same standard movements apply. Get a good stance that holds you to the ground but doesn't anchor you. The balls of your feet are your spring, don't bounce too much or your upper body will have to compensate. Practice swinging a few times at hitting an imaginary ball, feel the motion that it takes to swing.

Once you have the familiar movement in your mind then you can understand what your body is supposed to do when a pitch is coming at you. When you swing at a pitch it's very important to not take your eye off the ball, of course you can't watch a pitch come all the way down the pike, which defeats the purpose. But you can know your swing will be consistent every time if you practice the motion of hitting. Knowing when to swing is also very important.

The strike zone is measured from the batters elbows to their kneecaps while they are at the plate. If you get down to low then the pitcher is going to throw lower to get you to chase those pitches called "worm burners". If you stand too tall then he'll be throwing "chin ticklers". Bending your legs slightly and resting on the balls of your feet will have him throwing right in your comfortable strike zone. You have to concentrate on your swing more than hitting the ball, if it's in the zone you'll get a piece of it. A hit is a hit.

When you have determined that swinging a bat and hitting a baseball takes the mind and body working together you'll begin to understand the science behind it. Baseball hitting isn't just stepping up to the plate and reacting, it's knowing the motion it takes to hit and achieving the process. There is baseball training that is designed to help you hit the ball with confidence and with power so you can get on base. Or, if you want to hit it out of the park.

Baseball pitching by a machine or by someone helping your practice should trigger your brain and signal your body what stance to get in to. Knowing that the ball is coming into your strike zone and knowing the motion in takes to connect with the ball will help you become a better hitter.

If you are consistent with your stance and know that your shoulders and hips are the real powerhouse you'll be invited back to that friendly baseball hitting in the park every weekend.

Chris Moheno has a long time passion for sports in general and for baseball coaching more specifically.

His goal is to spread the word about effective non-fluff baseball training techniques for both more experienced and young baseball players, to help them perform better during the game.

Discover more about baseball training secrets on baseballtrainingsecrets.

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

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Baseball Parent Guide - A baseball parent's resource cenetr for helping their player succeed.

http://www.baseballparentguide.com/

The Baseball Parent Guide features a daily artilce and categories of articles on every aspect of baseball parenting. Make sure to bookmark this informative site to yout favorites.

Have a great day!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Video Demo of the Hands Back Hitter Baseball Swing Trainer

Video shows the Hands Back Hitter being used. The Hands Back Hitter is a great trainer for teaching the proper mechanics for a quality swing.




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The Categories they have are: Baseball Training Equipment, Youth Baseball Training Equipment, Training Bats, Pitching & Throwing Trainers, Defensive Trainers, Batting Cages, Pitching Machines, Jugs Equipment, Game and Practice Baseballs, Protective Practice Screens and Nets, Portable Pitching Mounds, Baseball DVDs & Books, Clearance Items on Sales, BatAction Hitting Machines, Hurricane Hitting Machines, NEDCO Bataction Replacement Parts, SKLZ Hurricane Replacement Parts and Much Much More! Visit Baseball2U.com today!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why Do Kids Hate Playing Outfield?


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By Chip Lemin

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

As youth baseball coaches, we must build up playing outfield as very important ,because it is. From the first day in practice, we should talk about the importance of how good outfield play can change the outcome of a game. We can also mention how good play in the outfield can shut down the momentum of the other team.

But when the outfielders are not given positive feedback for doing little hustle things, like backing up of bases, or other players, they can lose focus and just stand in their positions doing nothing. When one of my best players, who had been put in outfield for couple innings during a game told me," I like outfield all you do is stand there". I just shook my head, and thought about what the player had said.

The misconception that all you do is stand there is reinforced by many coaches. They ignore outfielders until a mistake is made then they yell out at the player" what happened,or what to do that for"? Then they go right back to ignoring the outfield positions again.

Keeping one coach watching outfielders in youth baseball is a big help. Perhaps it could be rotated among the coaching staff. A good youth baseball coach can keep players in the game by heaping on praise for being ready, proper fielding position, and for hustling to back up on all throws, or other fielders. Positive reinforcement will go all long ways towards improving your team's overall outfield play.

Outfielders will need to be praised often to keep them ready to make an important play. This is especially true in younger age groups. Try rotating the outfield positions if possible to keep interest in the players. Let them know that on every pitch they can still get into the ready position ,and creep in three steps just like the infielders do.

So remember to pay more attention to your outfielders this year ,and heap on the praise, especially for hustle. Outfield is the most underrated position in youth baseball. A good outfield is an additional weapon that can be used to win baseball games. This will not happen overnight. It must start from the first day of practice. So start planning additional outfield drills now for your spring practices, and make a good outfield one of your priorities.

Thanks for your time,
Coach Chip

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

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

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Baseball Tips on Hitting Should Be Mostly About You!

By Larry Cicchiello

Baseball tips on hitting are extremely helpful but very often they are overdone. On the other hand, there are some ideal starting points and guidelines you may want to follow before you decide what works best for you.

Stand close enough to the plate so that when you're bent over slightly at the waist, you can extend the bat and still reach the outside corner of the plate.

As far as your baseball stance, make believe its basketball and you're guarding another player. That's an absolutely great starting point for the width of the feet, the bending of the knees and the bending of the waist. It will also give you a very good foundation to encourage effective baseball hitting. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet and you should be leaning slightly toward home plate.

Relax and let the air out. Tension is a hitter's worst enemy.

Grip the bat where the fingers meet the hands. Not the palms. Use a medium grip because a tight grip will actually slow down your bat speed.

Your chin should be away from your chest. Your head should be facing the pitcher and completely relaxed, just as if you are watching television. Watch the pitcher's cap, as it is a very good point to focus your eyes on because it is close to the height where the pitcher will be releasing the ball. Your eyes will be focused properly and will not have to refocus.

The height of the back elbow should be lined up like you are going to punch a balloon that's about chest high and in front of you. Please don't listen to that old cliché that's been hollered out for decades to "keep your back elbow up." It is one of the worst baseball tips on hitting you will ever hear. To have your back elbow up by your back ear works for very few hitters. The goal is to be in a good, comfortable baseball hitting position and having the back elbow up too high is NOT a comfortable baseball hitting position for most.

When the pitcher breaks his hands apart, shift your eyes from the pitcher's cap to the pitcher's window. (His window is simply where he releases the ball.) Go back and "load up" by cocking the wrists and the hips a split second before the pitcher releases the ball.

As the pitcher is actually releasing the ball, stride forward with your weight about 70% back on the INSIDE of the back leg and about 30% on your front foot.

As the ball is pitched, you must turn your head and follow the ball into the hitting zone. If you leave your head turned and facing toward the pitcher, when the ball arrives in the hitting zone you will be looking at the ball out of the corner of your eye which only makes baseball hitting tougher. It's been referred to many times as "keeping your head behind the swing."

When swinging, keep the front shoulder and front hip closed! The baseball hitting is not taking place by your third base coach if you are a right-handed hitter or by your first base coach if you are a left-handed hitter. Not staying "closed" is a recipe for disaster. If you do not keep your front side "closed," three very negative things will occur that will prevent you from being efficient at baseball hitting:

1. Your head will pull off the ball when your front side opens up early and you will be looking at the ball out of the corner of your eye. Baseball hitting is difficult enough when you do see the ball well.

2. Any power you have will be lost because your body will be in a different spot from where the actual baseball hitting is taking place.

3. Tough low and away strikes will cause many baseball hitting problems for you. It simply will be physically harder to reach the low and away pitch.

Throw the barrel of the bat at the ball. You can break all rules and not follow all the excellent baseball tips on hitting, but if you can consistently get the sweet spot of the bat on the ball, you will be very successful.

Please note that the "load up," "stride" and "swing" are three separate movements. They are separate but they should happen very quickly and be done as smoothly as possible.

Remember that you go back slowly and you go forward quickly. It's called the "calm before the storm."

One of the best baseball tips on hitting you will ever hear is to keep the front elbow pointing downward at the START of your swing. If you don't, you will be a fraction of a second late to the ball because you will have a very slight loop to your swing. A fraction of a second is an eternity when you consider a fastball takes less than a second to hit the catcher's mitt. You must go from point "A" to point "B" in a straight line. The ONLY way to achieve this is by keeping the front elbow facing downward at the START of your swing. The ideal baseball swing is level ONLY at the point of contact and NOT before!

Larry Cicchiello is the author of the book "Excellent Baseball Coaching:30 Seconds Away." Larry is unique in that on his website he offers many of the 320 topics from his book for FREE, including baseball tips on hitting. He would rather have his many customers read the FREE tips first and then decide if they think they may benefit, whether they are a player, manager or coach at ANY level. His book is ideal for any parents who want to help their child improve or overcome any baseball struggles. They can have an excellent baseball help desk that's only a couple of mouse clicks away. It will be open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and always just 30 seconds away!

Check out Larry's FREE tips at http://www.LarryBaseball.com/

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

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fun and Competitive Baseball Games That Help Young Players Develop Proper Fundamentals

By Brian Schofield

Young baseball players should be encouraged to get outside whenever possible to practice their baseball skills. Playing outside is great exercise and it builds hand-eye coordination which is crucial to playing baseball. Playing video games will not build the fundamentals young players need! Kids need to know that there are many baseball games they can compete in aside from an official game that requires 18 players and an umpire. This article explains some of the most classic baseball games kids can participate in with very few participants and in just about any environment.

Over the Line

In over the line, an imaginary line is determined on the field. One player is the pitcher and one player is the hitter. Each hitter gets three outs and nine innings are played. On most fields the infield dirt is decided to be the imaginary line. If a hit ball does not make it past the line, the batter is out. If the ball makes it past the line but doesn't roll to the fence, it is a single. If it rolls to the fence, it is a double and if it hits the fence on the fly, it is a triple. "Ghost runners" are used after each hit. The purpose of this game is to allow the hitter to hit, not strike him out. To make the game more interesting, add fielders to the mix and make the field smaller.

For example, if the hitter hits the ball to the right of center field it is an out. This forces the hitter to pull the ball and hit it over the line to be safe. By adding the fielder, any ball that is caught is an out. In one last twist, the fielder can field the ball cleanly and throw to the pitcher on the fly. If he throws the ball directly to the pitcher, the batter is out; however, if the ball bounces to the pitcher or the pitcher drops the ball, the batter is safe. No hitter can be called out on an error by the fielder. In the case of the sacrifice fly, the hitter must yell if the runner is going to tag up while the ball is in flight to the outfielder. If the fielder catches the ball and makes a clean throw to the pitcher on the fly, a double play occurs. If the throw doesn't make it to the pitcher, or isn't caught by the pitcher, the runner scores. Some of my favorite memories of playing this game are as an adult. It is often difficult to pull together enough people for a game so this is a great way to get your baseball fix with only a few people. Try it and you'll love it.

Wiffle Ball

As kids we would take our mom's mini trampoline and stand it on end to use as a target. The trampoline became our strike zone. If the pitch missed the tramp, we actually had a sheet set up to stop the balls. It worked wonders. Wiffle balls are light and using them teaches a player to learn to read different pitches as well as helping them to focus on different pitch speeds. I encourage younger players to play with the real wiffle ball bat that is skinny and yellow and not the giant, orange-barrel bats. If a player can master hitting with the yellow bat, a real bat will seem easy! You can play this game in teams and include base running if desired.

Home Run Derby

Believe it or not, this game has a purpose. Young players are often trained to make contact with the ball when they should be trained to drive the ball. Too many times as a youth I was content hitting the ball instead of hitting the ball hard. My father was an excellent coach and was constantly encouraging me to drive the ball consistently. It takes a lot of time and encouragement to instill hitting tenacity in young players. Playing home run derby can teach a player to recognize a good pitch, as well as the proper mechanics behind hitting the ball hard. Typical home run derby should be played on a field where everyone involved can hit homers. You don't want it to be easy but you also don't want it to be impossible. The purpose after all is to hit the long ball. We typically play nine innings with three outs an inning to keep the game moving.

HotBox

Before you play hotbox, make sure that you have clearance from your parents. This game will wear out the grass quickly. We had to constantly play our hotbox game in different areas of our yard to avoid turning our parents' yard into a series of trails. If you live near a hill, find a flat place to play so you don't have to chase the ball relentlessly. To play hotbox, you need at least three players and two bases. Don't place the bases too far apart for this game. One player is on each base with the 3rd player being the base runner. The runner keeps track of each base he safely gets to before he is thrown out. The game is simple. The runner must attempt to run the bases before being tagged out by another player. If the players on base throw the ball away, the runner keeps running until the ball is back in play and the runner is out. This will encourage hustle from all players. When the runner gets out, another player takes a turn running the bases. You can create your own winning score. Make sure there are no sprinklers or other objects in the area when playing hotbox. I slid into a sprinkler while playing the game once and it cost me about 15 stitches.

These games encourage healthy competition and love of baseball. I hope your young players build fond memories playing these games.

Brian Schofield is senior writer for the baseball training website BigLeagueSkills.com

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

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Monday, October 12, 2009

The REAL Inventor of Baseball

By Nathan R Park

On June 3rd 1953, Congress officially recognized Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr. as the man who invented modern baseball. Born in New York City on April 17 1820, Alexander Cartwright's first job after leaving school at the age of 16 was as a clerk at a bank. Later on, he became a bookseller and a volunteer fireman. Alexander Cartwright founded the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club in 1842. The Knickerbocker's played a game called the town game.

In 1845 he and a few others from his club started to draw up rules for a newer and better version of the game, to be known as base ball. The old bat and ball game of town ball was about to get a new and exciting new re-vamp, converting this playground game into a more interesting adult sport. He called this sport Base Ball, and the rules of the modern game of baseball are based on the rules Alexander Cartwright drew up all those years ago. Alexander Cartwright moved to California in 1849 and on his journey across the country, he introduced baseball to every town he stayed along the way.

He died in Honolulu, Hawaii on 12th July 1892, aged 72, cause of death...blood poisoning. He will always be remembered as the man who changed history, the man who invented the game of modern baseball...The game all American's from all over the country know and love today. His remains lay buried at Oahu Cemetery, in Honolulu, Hawaii. And to this very day, people lay baseballs and baseball gloves at his grave site. May he rest in peace.

Visit http://www.baseball-brainiac.com for Major League Baseball History, Facts and Information

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

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Friday, October 9, 2009

10 Ways to Increase Your Baseball Batting Average - Besides Getting a Better Swing


www.HurricaneMachine.com

By Jack Perconte

There are many things players can do to raise or maintain a high batting average. Obviously, developing improved baseball swing fundamentals and working on timing the ball are the most beneficial things to do. Beyond that, there are other not so obvious ways to keep a high batting average. This can be the difference between continuing to play and getting a seat on the bench. Dedicated players will look for all means to improve. Improving in the following areas can make at least a hundred point difference in a baseball player's batting average.

1. Improve running speed - the ability to beat out a few extra ground balls a season for a few extra hits will help maintain a good average.

2. Develop good bunting technique - as the previous point, being able to put down a few base hits via the bunt can make a big difference, especially when players are struggling with their swing or timing.

3. Have eyes checked before season - nothing is more important to hitters than their vision. Playing even a few games without great eyesight can be detrimental to a good average.

4. Learn and adhere to the strike zone - chasing bad pitches and not being willing to take a walk will hurt the player's average.

5. Know strengths and weaknesses - hitters who know what pitches they hit best and which they don't will have better success early in the count. (Players should consult coaches for this information if unsure).

6. Study the opposing pitcher - even young players should watch the opposing pitcher during warm-ups and in games to get an idea of their speed, control, etc.

7. Use the whole field - during batting practice players should work on hitting balls where they are pitched. It's a big advantage to be able to hit balls to all fields as opposed to only using half the field.

8. Cut down on swing with two strikes - players who just try to make contact and hit the ball back through the middle with two strikes have a great chance to maintain a high average.

9. Keep a good attitude - hitters that realize their next at bat can be different than their previous failed attempts will succeed. Forgetting bad at-bats is crucial to maintain confidence and belief in oneself.

10. Remember the directions to Carnegie Hall - practice, perfect practice, practice when others aren't.

Finally, good coaches will stress the above suggestions and help players develop these parts of their game. Over time, players will begin to do these on their own and notice how their batting average soars.

Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball hitting lessons advice can be found at http://www.baseballhittinglessons.com/baseball Jack is the author of two books, "The Making of a Hitter" and "Raising an Athlete" - his parenting blog can be found at http://positiveparentinginsports.com

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

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The Categories they have are: Baseball Training Equipment, Youth Baseball Training Equipment, Training Bats, Pitching & Throwing Trainers, Defensive Trainers, Batting Cages, Pitching Machines, Jugs Equipment, Game and Practice Baseballs, Protective Practice Screens and Nets, Portable Pitching Mounds, Baseball DVDs & Books, Clearance Items on Sales, BatAction Hitting Machines, Hurricane Hitting Machines, NEDCO Bataction Replacement Parts, SKLZ Hurricane Replacement Parts and Much Much More! Visit Baseball2U.com today!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

2010 Baseball Recruiting - Make Contact Now and Get a Head Start on Your Competition



www.HurricaneMachine.com

By Gary V Hawkins

As the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year is upon us, it also means the beginning of the 2010 baseball recruiting season is almost here. In fact, for the athletes who want to get an advantage over their competition, the recruiting season is really already here.

Just like every year, the 2010 baseball recruiting season will come to an end next summer with some players who reach their goal of being recruited or signing to play in college, while other players will continue to fly under the radar of college coaches. What makes the difference in the outcomes for these players? The difference between these players usually comes down to whether or not they take responsibility for their own recruitment and make sure they get the attention of college coaches.

Unless you are a blue chip or elite level player who gets more attention than they can even handle, you need to make sure you are getting your name out there in front of college coaches. Instead of relying on your coach or any other unreliable method, you need to make sure this happens by marketing and promoting yourself to college coaches.

Keep in mind that during the 2010 baseball recruiting season, coaches from all division levels of college baseball are looking for qualified players. College scholarships are available at the junior college level all the way up to the elite Division I level. This includes scholarships at the Division II, NAIA, NCCAA (Christian Colleges) levels. The only exception is Division III where athletic scholarships are not offered, but they do offer other types of financial aid.

To give yourself a great chance of being recruited during the 2010 baseball recruiting season, get a head start on your competition and take control of your own recruitment. You need to make direct contact with college coaches at any level of college baseball you feel you can play at. Decide which colleges you will contact and then start making contact with those coaches. The results may surprise you!

Gary Hawkins is a well known recruiting and athletic scholarship expert and the author of a popular 17-page free report titled:

"Five Secrets You Must Know To Get Recruited For Athletic Scholarships"

Head over to http://www.recruitedforscholarships.com/freereport.html to get your FREE copy now!

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Gary Hawkins is passionate about helping high school athletes reach their dream of playing at the college level. In his Athletic Recruiting & Scholarship System, Gary teaches anyone how they can finally get the attention of college coaches and start being recruited for athletic scholarships. Just visit http://www.recruitedforscholarships.com/ and pick up your copy today!

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

9 Top Baseball Superstitions

By John Kochanski

The game of baseball has a long history of superstition. I'm sure you've heard about the curse of the Bambino, players refusing to shave and pre-game routines. Pitchers are known to be the most superstitious of all baseball players. So much so, that the non-pitchers think they are all crazy.
The funny thing about baseball superstition is they can arise at anytime based on good or bad game experience.

Baseball superstitions are fascinating and is embedded deep in baseball folklore. Here are my nine top baseball superstitions. I'm using nine to go with that "superstition" theme - shake a leg!

The Top 9 Baseball Superstitions

1. Not Stepping on the foul line when going on or coming off the field

Pitchers and managers are always very cautious not to touch that foul line.

2. Eating the same food before every game

Wade Boggs, who played for the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees was infamous for eating chicken before ever game.

3. Leaving the Pitcher Alone and Not talking about a No-hitter

This is one of the superstitions that almost every baseball player adheres to. The last thing any player wants to do is jinx his pitcher when he has a No-hitter going. The superstition goes - if you talk about it the no-hitter will be broken.

4. Lucky Bat or Glove

Some players must have there lucky bat and/or glove in order to be successful (in their mind). But what happens when they break their lucky bat?

5. Sign of the cross/pointing up to the heavens

You see it everyday. Players pointing up to the sky to give thanks and players making the sign of the cross before getting in the batter's box.

6.Tapping the bat on Plate

It seems every player does this. I guess it's similar to knocking on wood!

7. Sitting in the same place in the dugout

You may not have heard about this one but it is very, very common. If you watch you're favorite Major League baseball team over the course of the season you will notice that players tend to sit in a specific area in the dugout with the same group of guys.

8. Not Shaving

Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees has make this famous. Earlier in the 2008 season Jason did not shave for a couple of days and then had a big day at the plate. So much so that he grew a mustache. Believe it or not he went on an incredible hitting streak for weeks to come. It became such the rage with fans and media that the Yankee front office actually promoted it with a mustached Jason Giambi Bobble Head Doll day. This is a classic.

9. Going to the Same Restaurant or Eatery Before Every Playoff Game

In the fourth game of the 1998 world series, Jim Leyritz of the New York Yankees hit a three run homer walkoff homerun off Mark Wohlers of the Atlanta Braves. That homerun changed the momentum of the series and it le to the Yankees winning the World Series. After hitting that home run, Jim returned to the same restaurant he had eaten in the day he hit the three run homer. It worked! - the Yankees went on to win four of the next five world championships.

So there you have it, the top nine baseball superstitions that make baseball what it is. The next time you're watching a game and your team needs a few runs to win the game ... Put on your rally caps and become part of the mystique of baseball - maybe your team will win - "Knock Wood"

Baseball Superstition

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


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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Youth Baseball Coaching Drill For Timid Hitters

By Chip Lemin

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

Start out using tennis balls for this drill. Have the batter get into the box, and throw some pitches behind them. This should get the batter to realize that they can't just blindly back out of the box, because in youth baseball, they will see pitches behind them, only not on purpose! This will give the timid batter some level of comfort by making them feel safer at the plate. This will get the hitter to really focus on the ball, which is what we want them to do anyway. Throw lots pitches to them, this is not a quick fix method but it should begin to help. After some time, the hitter will begin to notice that they don't have to duck away from good pitches. They will stay put and try to hit the ball instead. You can also have the hitter take a bunch of short strides toward whichever side of the field you need them to. Have them over compensate to begin with, because you know when a pitch comes they will most likely start to move back out in to middle which is closer to our goal anyway.

You can also have the batter just stand in the box when you have a pitcher and catcher warming up. Tell them just to follow the ball into the catcher's glove. This will let them relax some with out the stress of having to hit the ball. Learning how to hit a baseball is a difficult skill to master anyway. When your player is afraid of the ball is makes it much harder to learn to hit. Youth baseball players will respond to good teaching techniques when properly applied. Make sure not to embarrass the player, and do not tolerate any other players doing so.

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

Thanks Coach Chip Lemin 440 465 3337

Hello My name is Chip Lemin. I'm a long time youth baseball coach who loves to promote this great game of youth baseball. Promoting sportsmanship in this game of youth baseball is something that really needs I feel. I have a free course that will give you some solid coaching information along with great help on the inter-personal relationships we must have to be good youth baseball coaches.

Things such as parents, travel baseball, getting parents to help out, how to communicate better to parents and players, just to touch on a few. This course will help to organize practices like an elite coach. How to motivate players and other coaches with your positive attitude. It really is not very hard to be a great coach when you know what to do.Best of all you will learn how to have fun with these great kids that you have the privilege of coaching. Do yourself a favor and check it out, it's free,you will get 1 part every couple of days in your e-mail. Coaching can be fun and rewarding if you have a plan in place first, and you have an idea what you are doing. I would like to help you.

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

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Monday, October 5, 2009

College Baseball Recruiting 2009 - Making Sure College Coaches Know Who You Are

By Gary V Hawkins

With the start of the new high school season, it's time to get serious about college baseball recruiting 2009. If your goal is to make it to the college level, you have take responsibility for your own recruitment. Don't leave your recruiting hopes to your high school coach, unless you like being disappointed!

The first thing you need to know about college baseball recruiting 2009 is that it's a very competitive process. It always has been, and it always will be. There are thousands of kids playing baseball all around the world who are eligible for baseball scholarships. You must be considered a well above average high school player and have the talent to play baseball at the college level.

Beyond the competition, some players struggle to get recruited because they play at a small high school or in a region not known for producing baseball talent. If you find yourself in one of these situations, you can still be recruited, but you have to take some steps to make sure your name and baseball talents are known by college coaches.

Are you depending completely on your high school coach to promote you during the college baseball recruiting 2009 season? If you are, you are making a big mistake. Most high school coaches don't get active in promoting their players to colleges. This happens because many of them really don't understand the recruiting and scholarship process themselves. Even coaches make the mistake of falsely assuming a player will be recruited by someone if they are good enough to play at some level of college baseball.

The biggest problem is most athletes do not properly market and promote themselves to college coaches. If you have the talent to play at some level of college competition, you must take the initiative to market and promote yourself during the college baseball recruiting 2009 season. You need to send letters and emails to college coaches and let them know about you and how you can help their baseball program be successful.

If getting noticed during the college baseball recruiting 2009 season is your goal, you can make it a reality. You don't have to be an elite level player that every college coach in America already knows about. You can simply be a very good player who becomes excellent at promoting and marketing yourself.

Gary Hawkins is a well known recruiting and athletic scholarship expert and the author of a popular 17-page free report titled:

"Five Secrets You Must Know To Get Recruited For Athletic Scholarships"

Head over to http://www.recruitedforscholarships.com/freereport.html to get your FREE copy now!

Gary Hawkins is passionate about helping high school athletes reach their dream of playing at the college level. In his Athletic Recruiting & Scholarship System, Gary teaches anyone how they can finally get the attention of college coaches and start being recruited for athletic scholarships. Just visit http://www.recruitedforscholarships.com/ and pick up your copy today!

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

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Baseball Creativity in Your Own Backyard

By Marty Schupak

The sporting goods industry is a multi-billion dollar business, and the cost of equipment can be ridiculously expensive. Every family cannot afford the latest and greatest products (and gimmicks). But the old saying that 'the best things in life are free' can also hold true in sports. Before you go out and spend hundreds of dollars on a deluxe glove or equipment to help your kids learn a level swing, you should look around your house and see what you can create, cheaply, that will help your kids improve their skills—and still have fun.

When I was a kid growing up, some of my best memories were throwing around the baseball with my older brother in our backyard. Using our imaginations, we used almost every tree and rock in our yard to create fantasy sports and games.

One of our favorite games was something we called 'error' One of us would throw a tennis ball on the roof of our house—within an imaginary twenty foot boundary—and the other would have to catch the ball before it hit the ground. We spent endless hours playing this game. Other then some yelling from my parents (something about too many balls being stuck in the gutter), this game still sticks in my mind as providing some of the most fun in my childhood.

Rushing forward about twenty five years, I found myself with my kids creating some similar games in our backyard (with my own gutter lurking nearby). Most combined fun with affordability. We made use of almost every part of our property.

Instead of spending over a hundred dollars on a hitting net, we put together a comparable apparatus using a 10X14 plastic tarp along with some bicycle hooks, rope and two convenient trees. And we had fun putting it up. The boys would hit balls into the tarp as I did my best impression of a big league hitting coach giving them tips.

Drills such as hitting off the batting tee and soft toss worked out great, too, with the tarp as backstop, but wacky games were also plentiful. We created a game right on the tarp, putting two squares, one inside the other made out of duct tape. This game we called 'toss ball home run derby'. Doing the soft toss drill against the tarp, a ball hit inside the small square would be a home run. A ball hit inside the large square would be a single. Everything else was an out. Three outs a team. This game combined skill building and having fun.

But I'd been inventing games for years. One of the first things I did with both my sons as soon as they were old enough to hold a bat , was to get one of those large red plastic 'whiffle ball' bats. I then bought a bottle of soap bubbles that all kids love. I would blow the bubbles and have my son hit them with the big red bat. We would run up and down the backyard as he chased the bubbles down and tried to break them. I encouraged him to keep both hands on the bat as he swung but if he didn't, so what—he was having fun.

Another game my kids loved when they got a little older was called the 'dive game’.
I would throw ground balls to either their left or right side, and they would have to dive in front of the ball and stop it. I tried teaching them that the goal was to just stop the ball—like a hockey or soccer goalie—and not necessarily catch it. But it was amazing how much effort they put into trying to catch the ball. Aside from explaining the grass stains to their mother, this game was a real hit with them and I even caught them playing it without me a few times which made me feel great.

Another favorite involved a few tennis balls, a tennis racquet and a cinder block. Laying the cinder block flat, we created a simple version of 'Home Run Derby' Standing next to one of my kids as he held the tennis racquet ready to swing it like a bat, I would bounce the ball high off the cinder block. With the ball on the way down, he would time it and hit it as far as he could. Both my kids could not get enough of this game. We were lucky that our backyard was fairly large but some of the tennis balls did travel into our neighbor's yard. The real beauty of this game is that hitting a tennis ball with a tennis racquet almost guarantees success for the fledgling ballplayer.

Families who live in the inner city can also make use of a lot of what's around them. I remember as a child going to visit my grandparents in Brooklyn, New York. My uncle would take my brothers and me to the back of the building and play numerous games off the huge concrete wall. 'Toss ball home run derby' can be played off a wall, as well as a tarp, with the two squares made out of chalk.

Another game which we played, that was made popular just after World War 2, was called 'stoop ball'. In this game we would throw a ball off the stoop (or concrete steps) and see if the other team would catch it before it bounced on the ground. One bounce would be a single, two bounces a double and so on. Inner city kids who have limited room but love sports can still find just enough to play for hours on end.
Baseball need not cost a fortune. And it doesn't have to be all boring instruction, whether it is on a practice field with twelve kids or in your own backyard with just you and your son or daughter. Keep it cheap, if you can, and keep it fun.

http://www.YouthSportsClub.com

Marty Schupak has coached youth baseball for 18 years and is the creator of "The 59 Minute Baseball Practice", "Backyard Baseball Drills" and author of the popular book, "Youth Baseball Drills". He is also President of the Youth Sports Club, a group dedicated to making sports practices and games more enjoyable for kids.

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



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The Categories they have are: Baseball Training Equipment, Youth Baseball Training Equipment, Training Bats, Pitching & Throwing Trainers, Defensive Trainers, Batting Cages, Pitching Machines, Jugs Equipment, Game and Practice Baseballs, Protective Practice Screens and Nets, Portable Pitching Mounds, Baseball DVDs & Books, Clearance Items on Sales, BatAction Hitting Machines, Hurricane Hitting Machines, NEDCO Bataction Replacement Parts, SKLZ Hurricane Replacement Parts and Much Much More! Visit Baseball2U.com today!