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

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Coaching Youth Baseball - The Mental Game


Coaching Youth Baseball - The Mental Game
By Jake Wyatt

In youth baseball training, often the coach is just trying to make sure the players are able to hit and catch the baseball. Basic skills are taught first. As kids get older and are more serious, coaches, parents and players need to work specifically on the mental aspect of the game during baseball training. Kids need more than an "atta boy" or "nice try, better luck next time" to be able to master their mind.

The mind is constantly providing positive and negative self talk. Usually there is more negative self talk than positive. Even professional baseball players can be affected by negative self talk - everyone has witnessed unprofessional behavior in a major league baseball game.

Here are some ways for coaches to help players work on and improve their mental game of hitting baseballs.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

The more a player practices hitting, the better ball player he will be. The better ball player he is, the more confidence he will have. So when it is his turn at bat, the self-talk will be positive rather than negative, because he knows he is able to hit a home run or a solid line drive. He's done it before in practice. As a player has more success in actual baseball games, his confidence will soar even higher.

MAKE SURE THE PLAYERS ARE HAVING FUN

Don't let them take their turn at bat too seriously. Players should be having fun doing what they enjoy, playing baseball! Every player has struck out at the worst possible time at least once and lived to tell about it, even major league players. Have the kids practice walking out to the batter's box with a smile on their face, even if they have to force a smile. It will help them relax.

PRACTICE VISUALIZATION

Once the player is at the plate, help him go through the swing in his mind. Have him visualize the pitcher throwing a perfect ball and visualize where he will hit it. Tell him to concentrate on the pitcher, and realize he is probably nervous too. Tell the player to keep his mind busy visualizing success. This will help crowd out those negative thoughts.

HAVE EACH PLAYER DEVELOP AN "AT BAT" STYLE TO HELP KEEP THEM CALM

For example, Evan Longoria looks at the left foul pole when he gets upset at bat. This helps him regain his focus, clear his head and calm down. Each player should develop something on their own, such as tapping the plate three times before each time at bat, or putting their hand back. Something simple that isn't too obvious, but that he will know is his signature "at bat" style.

REMIND KIDS THAT WHAT YOU FOCUS ON USUALLY COMES TRUE

If a player is worried that he will strike out, he probably will. Let players know that the more they worry about something, the more chance that it will come true. Have them focus intently on what they want to happen, like hitting a home run or hitting a line drive right past first base.

REMOVE EMOTION

Every at bat should be treated like the first. Encourage players to not let what happened at a previous at bat affect their current swing. Remember, a hitter with a 300 average means a fail 7 out of 10 times! And 300 hitters are paid millions of dollars in professional ball. Tell them that if the did poorly their last at bat, that means their chances of doing better this time have improved!

If kids can control their emotions and mental state, their baseball game will improve dramatically. And they will have more fun!

In order to be the best baseball player you can be, training should happen year-round and be a joint effort between the coach, the player and the parents. Get more free tips to improve baseball performance, reviews of e-products related to baseball, and links to training resources at http://youth-baseball-training.com.

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

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baseball Batting Drill - 3 Pitch Location Drill - On the Derek Jeter Hurricane Machine.wmv



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Monday, November 22, 2010

Defensive Outfield Rules and Priorities

Defensive Outfield Rules and Priorities
By guest author: Steven Michael

Defense in baseball is both an individual and team function. Being a good defensive outfielder requires correct fundamentals and focused practice. Playing good defense also requires that the players on the field work together. Each player must know the responsibilities of his position. They must back each other up and communicate clearly. And they must know the priorities to which each team member is subject.

When the ball is hit out to the field of play, each defensive position has responsibilities. The players must know where to position themselves. They must also anticipate the play and re-position themselves correctly.

As defensive teammates, each outfielder needs to "pick each other up" as the saying goes. Backing-up fellow outfielders and infielders is key. Covering for each other, and covering the field well, requires following assigned priorities. To do all of these things mandates clear and unambiguous communication.

The center fielder is the "field general" of the outfield. He is considered the best fielder in the outfield. He is most likely the fastest runner of the three outfielders too. Lastly, he is in the middle of the field and well-positioned to see all parts of the outfield better than the corner outfielders.

If the center fielder and a corner outfielder both go after a hit ball, the center fielder has priority to it. This rule assumes that both outfielders have an equal chance to field the ball! This qualification is important to note.

Unfortunately, I have seen two problems with stating this rule to players, or of not informing outfielders of the rule. The first problem usually happens in youth baseball. One of the corner outfielders takes this rule a little too seriously. This results in the corner outfielder not aggressively pursuing a hit ball because "you told me the center fielder should take everything". And the ball ends up very close to him without any attempt at catching it.

The second problem of not understanding, or even knowing, this rule is player collisions. Both the center fielder and a corner outfielder run after a hit ball and neither gives way to the other. Nothing good can come from this situation.

The center fielder has priority to catch the ball when both he and a corner outfielder have a good chance at it. In these situations, both outfielders should communicate that they will catch it - they both "call" for the ball.

The center fielder should recognize that they have both called for the ball, and he should continue to call for it. When the corner outfielder hears the center fielder call for the ball, he should immediately veer off and back-up the center fielder.

It is important that outfielders understand the nuances of this rule. It does not mean he center fielder should take every ball hit to the outfield. Further, it does not mean that if a corner outfielder calls for the ball first that he has a "right" to the ball. It means only this: if the center fielder calls for the ball, the corner outfielders should give way and back-up the play.

On fly balls, or pop-ups, behind an infielder, the outfielder has priority on the catch. This assumes that both the infielder and outfielder can reach the ball. How do they know if they can reach it? Both the infielder and outfielder should run to the fly ball, and not quit, until they hear the other player call for the ball.

Infielders are taught, or they should be, to go after pop-flies until they hear an outfielder call them off. If they don't hear the outfielder, they continue to run and attempt to catch the ball.

Now outfielders have to be smart on these plays. Just because an outfielder has priority does not mean he must take the ball. There are many instances where the outfielder has to run full stride to make the catch. Meanwhile, the infielder is standing under the ball in perfect position.

Why is this a defensive rule? It's because the outfielder is running forward and the infielder is running backward, or backpedaling. And remember, it's easier and faster to run forward for a catch than to run backward.

Another reason is back-spin, and/or side-back-spin of the ball. Pop-ups near the middle of the diamond have back-spin. This makes the ball move farther away from the infield as it descends. That means it is moving toward the outfielder and away from the infielder. Much easier play for the outfielder.

Maybe you've seen a catcher try to catch a pop-up in foul ground behind the plate. Once in a while a youthful catcher will start to backpedal as the ball is descending. Did he misjudge it? Did he overrun the ball? Yes and yes. But this happened because back-spin is moving the ball toward fair territory. Experienced catchers know this and approach the catch from the infield side of the ball, not the backstop side.

When a pop-up is hit down either foul line, the ball has side-back-spin. This makes the ball move toward center field as it descends. This is a really tough play for first and third basemen. It's a little easier for shortstops and second basemen. And it's very easy for left and right fielders - if they can get to the catch target.

Steven E. Michael played seven years of professional baseball in the Montreal Expos, Detroit Tigers and Milwaukee Brewers organizations. He played collegiately at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona earning All-Western Athletic Conference, All-College World Series, and Sporting News All-America honors.

His new book, "How To Play Baseball Outfield: Techniques, Tips, and Drills to Learn the Outfield Position" is available at http://www.stevenemichael.com

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

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Teach Kids How To Hit A Baseball


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Teach Kids How To Hit A Baseball
By guest author: Jeffery A Wise

A baseball player will never forget the person or people who taught him how to play. It's a great opportunity for parents to influence their kids in a good way. My dad taught me how to hit a baseball when I was young and it meant a lot to me.

He wasn't just my personal coach, though. My dad coached Little League teams all through my childhood and he even coached my team when I was 14 years old.

My first coaching experience was one-on-one with a friend's son. I thought it would be a breeze. We were both excited, but I didn't realize how difficult it would be. He had been playing organized baseball for a few years so I just briefly covered the basic fundamentals of how to stand, hold the bat and swing. I was confident his dad and coaches had already covered those areas. I could also tell he wanted to bypass the training and get straight to the hitting.

I started pitching to him and I immediately saw the frustration starting to build. I remembered having the same feelings as a kid. Kids want to be able to hit every single pitch and hit it good or they start to get frustrated. Sometimes that frustration leads to lack in confidence.

There are two important rules you should remember when teaching kids how to hit a baseball.


They don't have to swing at every pitch. Train them to swing only at good pitches.
Teach them to relax, be confident and have fun. We all want to hit well but make sure they are having a good time.

If you see them starting to get frustrated, remind them of these tips and then start throwing to them again. Hopefully you will see a change in their attitudes and their hitting. If you don't, it's probably best to take a break from practice or work on other drills. Be patient when teaching kids to hit a baseball. Don't push them to do anything spectacular or place demands on them. They will learn at their own pace and that's okay.

Jeffery A Wise invites you to learn more about youth baseball and teaching kids to hit a baseball. Start learning today on Twitter as we tweet updates that are perfect for youth batting coaches.

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

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Monday, November 8, 2010

How to Hit a Baseball and Stay Back



How to Hit a Baseball and Stay Back
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Baseball & Softball Swing - Confidence Vs Mechanics

Baseball & Softball Swing - Confidence Vs Mechanics
By guest author: Todd Thomas

I was at a high school level ball game recently. Of the two teams playing, one was filled with a group of very cocky players. They were cocky and CONFIDENT. What's interesting is that the players on this team had some of the worst baseball swings I have ever seen in my life. But they were confident as all get out.

It's an interesting phenomenon to observe that a player can have horrible mechanics but have supreme confidence(cockiness is a good word to describe here) and still be able to hit the baseball successfully. Alex Rodriquez successfully? NO! No, as I watched the game none of these players really scorched the baseball but they did swing confidently at it and put the ball in play often finding holes and blooping hits all the way to a 14 to 2 win.

These players' potential to play at higher levels is limited with bad mechanics. Ultimately, they will reach an end to their success(and subsequently their confidence) as they move to higher and higher levels of baseball. These were high school players. Obviously, they are going to have some success at the high school level. Reaching the collegiate level is probably out for most of them because of their technique, but one or two of them may reach that level. Then that's probably it. I once had a collegiate player over for some training and his mechanics were awful, but he was playing Division I baseball. Why? More than likely he was extremely confident up until this point but now was crashing and burning at the collegiate level. He also had a load of natural ability that had carried him this far too. However, he had reached his peak and I remember telling him that if he has sights on playing professionally he needed to change what he was doing mechanically. And he did have the desire to play pro ball.

However, even if a player works on and gets mechanically sound, I believe that any player(no matter what age) will struggle if they don't learn how to be confident. If they are not confident and their new mechanics aren't "working" for them, then they will blame the mechanics or the teacher or both and will keep searching for that "perfect" way to swing to insure success. When what they really need is confidence training in order to raise the game and to be successful.

So is learning the proper mechanics the "answer" to being a good hitter? I teach the mechanics of the best players in the game and I am supremely confident in what I teach. Let's say however that I took a player from the team of confident hitters with bad mechanics and we started working on fixing his mechanics. IF he is able to sustain his confidence, look out. He should excel in a big way.

What if though(and this probably goes higher the younger the player is) the player starts "thinking too much" about executing the proper swing mechanics? What if he starts over-analyzing his swing and trying to hard to make things happen with his new swing? Questions and doubt may start building within him after a bad(weak) hit or a strike out. He then starts asking himself, "Am I doing it right?" "Am I performing my mechanics correctly?" If the results are not there, then the player will assume that he is not swinging "correctly" and there begins the process of over-thinking, over-analyzing, and confidence shrinking. And I believe the downward spiral of his hitting results and confidence will continue to fall.

What's interesting as I think about the team of cocky confident hitters is that I don't think they realize that they suck. Their mechanics that is. They seem to have no idea how "bad" they are and they play as if not to care. They are just confident. On the contrary, they are pretty good because they THINK they are in spite of what they don't know.

So which is more important? Confidence or mechanics? It seems from my observations that confidence with bad mechanics can still have a degree (albeit limited) of success. YET, good mechanics with zero confidence and playing scared seems to have no chance to succeed.

Hmmm?

Todd Thomas is a Baseball Coach and Professional Hitting Instructor for Mike Epstein Hitting. Coach Todd's personal hitting website is http://www.HitItHere.net. Coach Todd also enthusiastically endorses http://PlayMyBestBaseball.com as a place where baseball and softball hitters can master the Confidence, Composure, Focus and Consistency of their game so they can reach their full potential.


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Monday, November 1, 2010

Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine - 4 Important Tips for Hurricane Machine Owners



Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine - 4 Important Tips for Hurricane Machine Owners
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Friday, October 29, 2010

How to Pitch a Baseball : How to Grip a Baseball on Pitches



How to Pitch a Baseball : How to Grip a Baseball on Pitches
expertvillage Learn how to grip a baseball on pitches using the two seam and four seam grips in this free sports instruction video.

Expert: Mike Lumley
Bio: Mike Lumley is the President and head instructor of Lumley School of Baseball and has a very extensive back ground in baseball and baseball camps; two years Scholarship at Eastern Michigan University,
Filmmaker: Melissa Schenk

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Baseball Tips & Training : Teaching How to Hit a Baseball



Baseball Tips & Training : Teaching How to Hit a Baseball
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Customized Sports Wristbands

Customized Sports Wristbands
By guest author: Paul M. Serra

Every day we see many of our favorite athletes wearing sports wristbands. We never think about where they got them from, or how they were made but we think: wow, those are pretty cool. Athletic wristbands are indeed fashionable for sports like the ones listed below.

o Tennis

o Basketball

o Baseball

o Football

o Soccer

o Rugby

o Volleyball

There are many sports other than the one's listed above but this at least give one the idea of how common the sports wristbands. Most athletes have a customized logo on them. The logo is either of their club, number, or something inspiring to them. It's always interesting to see how creative one can get when in the process of designing something that they will wear on national TV.

Professional Wrestling fans - don't worry. We didn't forget that it's a sport. Many of the most famous wrestlers have word sweat wristbands out to the ring. While designing their costumes, sports wristbands are a great thing to have lying around. If they have your logo on it, that is a real plus. This is what I'm going to get into next, this whole idea of how to customized sports wrist bands.

Customization of Sports Wristbands

There are a few different ways to customize sports wristbands. The first, and tough path, is to buy plain sweatbands at the store and take them to your local embroidery shop. They can than put your number or logo on the wristbands. While this may seem ideal or easy - it is not recommended for the best quality.

The best way to customize your bands is to visit someone who specializes in the field of custom embroidered wristbands. Chances are you don't have a shop like this on the corner. So I would advise you to do a simple Google search of "embroidered wristbands". Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of high quality companies that offer this service.

Visit http://www.stbands.com for more information on sports wristbands!

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paul_M._Serra

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Baseball Player - Bryce Harper

The Baseball Player - Bryce Harper
By guest author: David Olmst

As a high-school baseball player, Bryce Harper was 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighed 205 lbs, this is huge for a kid his age. However, that doesn't keep Little League players from looking up to him. "He is a great role model," says one Little Leaguer, "he makes me feel like I can do impossible things like he does." With all due respect, why does this young fellow look up to him in awe? Right now, Bryce Harper will be the number one draft pick in the 2010 Major league Baseball Draft by the Washington Nationals and be part of the select few who will play professional baseball at the age of 17.

We can't just look at these achievements; he is already hitting home runs that are setting records. On record, he hit an amazing 502 foot home run during the 2009 International Power Showcase at the Tropicana field. He had the honor of being on the cover of Sports Illustrated because of his 570 foot home run. Harper is becoming quite popular with middle and high-school students, even gaining support from some parents of young baseball players. Not many parents would support a decision to drop out of high school to train for a hard earned baseball career, but Bryce's parents did. As per with Major League rules, however, he will be finishing his GED before the draft, probably during the summer of 2009.

Bryce Harper began swinging his baseball bat at the age of three. Little leagues from all over the country were scouting Harper to play for them when he was 8; they even offered to pay for hotels and airfare if he would play for their team. The people, who knew Bryce from his childhood, knew he was going to accomplish the impossible. Harper's natural skill with the sport of baseball is undoubtedly incredible, and could be called a "once in a generation" genetic lottery.

In addition to being a role model based on skills alone, he also possesses a determination and dedication to the sport of baseball that should be admired even by veteran players. A lot of coaches who have watched Harper play baseball, say his dedication is that of the old time baseball players; he wants to play well and do his best for the team he is playing for. The parents of Bryce Harper never did any pushing of baseball throughout his childhood. Ron Harper, Bryce's father, is adamant about this.

"We have to do what's best for him. All he wants to do is play baseball. He always has. The best thing we can do as parents is to do what is right for his future."

It could be said that a lot of Bryce Harper's admirable characteristics come from his supportive family. Every strong baseball player needs a support system, and his family seems to behind all of Bryce's choices all of the time. Besides just playing baseball, Bryce Harper does it all such as play football, snowboard and do anything else he wants to do. Bryce Harper's parents state he is still a normal, average Joe, even though he quit playing football. With his amazing proficiency at baseball, inspirational achievements and determined attitude, it's clear that Bryce Harper has the potential to be a strong role model for other young baseball players.

David Olmst has been writing about Bryce Harper since he hit the news years back. Bryce Harper home run is what got David interest in him. David strongly believes in the baseball player Bryce Harper because of his skills.

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

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Monday, October 11, 2010

How To Run A Youth Baseball All Star Team

How To Run A Youth Baseball All Star Team
By guest author: Marty Schupak

You've just completed an exhausting 20-25 game schedule complete with a few rain make-up games at inopportune times. The season had everything including controversies among other teams, your own parents, league board members, and other headaches. Your reward for coping with all of this, and leading your team to the league championship, is to coach the 11-12 year old All Star team. Think your phone rang a lot during the season? You haven't seen, or heard, anything yet. Your first duty as coach is to inform your spouse that your long awaited vacation will have to be postponed because your league needs you. You also discuss putting off the repair of your washer machine because, with All Stars, the laundry room is now on call 24 hours a day.

Picking your league All Star team can be an incredibly emotional time that may result in hurt feelings that extend beyond the season, and sometimes for years. Some leagues have incorporated having the players vote for part of the All Star team. Many leagues have the coaches decide in a meeting run by the league commissioner (or player agent). The first priority is to decide the number of players to draft on the team. If your league charter defines this number, then this is what you have to follow. Otherwise this decision has to be made at this meeting. Issues need to be discussed, such as: is it required by the league charter to have everyone play; and how much are they required to play? This issue can become a headache, as the substituting of players will sometimes be a distraction for the coach in charge during the game. Usually, prior to this meeting, the head coach has his assistant coaches assigned by the league. This can be a problem because sometimes coaches would rather take their regular season assistants than two other assigned head coaches that they have never worked with before. I would prefer the latter even though you are discussing strategies with two other people you might have learned to detest during the season. During All Stars, the coaches on the bench who were adversaries during the year always seem to get along as long as the team keeps playing.

Once the coaches and team are made, it is imperative that the head coach (or manager) hold a parents meeting. This meeting is even more important then your regular season team parents meeting. The meeting should be a requirement and not last more than 10 or 15 minutes. The key points for the coach to stress to the parents are that because your child is an All Star, he is expected to play any position on the field (except maybe pitcher & catcher). The point of this is that many of the players were their team's shortstops during the season and they are asked to play the outfield. You need to assure parents (and even the players) that it is imperative that all nine positions are equally important. Other points that should be discussed should be about playing time. I always told parents that I won't be popular as a coach at the conclusion of All Stars for every family but that the league entrusted me to use my judgment whether they think it is right or wrong. I always stress that I can only guarantee the minimum required playing time and that you should consider this if you are going to cancel vacation plans for these All Star games.

Practices should be run a couple of ways. You will probably have in your mind the batting order and fielding positions. I would urge all coaches to mix things up in the practices and try players at different positions. There will be some minor unexpected absentees and you should be ready for this as coach.

The All Star games themselves can be some of the highest pressured tension in youth sports. Neighboring leagues will be in attendance and players will have expected nervousness. You can cut your regular warm ups short and take the team in the outfield and play any silly type of game you can think of. I have always used a game where I divide the team in half, and with a hard ball for each team, the teammates must pass the ball to each other using only their neck. This meaningless sounding game helps to relax the players, and for 11 and 12 year olds, this might be the best warm up for them.

All Stars are the highlights for some players and leagues. Aside from all of the potential problems and arguing, if your All Star team ends up going on a nice winning streak, there is nothing like it. Getting far into any tournament will require some luck. If your team gets eliminated, this is where, as a coach, you have to give them the "ultimate" pep talk. Now some teams continue to play in other local tournaments, which is great way to end the season.

http://www.YouthSportsClub.com

http://www.VideosForCoaches.com

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

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

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=======================================

Derek Jeter Hurricane Machine Training Blog

HurricaneMachine.com - Links

---15 Reasons To Buy a Hurricane Trainer
---6 Questions Often Asked By Customers
---Message to Parents From Coach Nick
---Hurricane Hitting Machine Drills
---20-Minute Hurricane Batting Practice Workout
---Hurricane Hitting Machine Video Demo Clips

Baseball2u.com has a one of the internet's largest selections of baseball coaching and training dvds

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Baseball Drills for Youth Teams

Baseball Drills for Youth Teams
By guest author: Kenny Buford

Baseball is a game of skill and power that is unlike any other game today. Baseball has subtly to it that is often lost in other team sports such as basketball and football. So when people come together to play this game they need to be ready for any eventuality no matter how unlikely it maybe. That is why baseball drills are so important. Practicing these different scenarios keeps players from being unprepared for what may happen during a game which is very important. Here are a few drills that teach players both the fundamentals and some of the more important drills that can help teams with their weaknesses.

A good drill for all around practice is ironically called the "All Around" drill. This is an excellent baseball drill to teach kids to stop the ball and how to throw in and out of field. It starts with lining up players in groups of three to four at first base, right field, and third base. Each group has a different job, the first base players try to run from first base to third without being tagged and then must slide into third base. As the player runs a coach throws a ball to the right field players. This gives them an opportunity to practice stopping the ball. Then the right fielder throws the ball low to the third base players. The third base players then need to and tag the player that ran. It's a slightly complicated drill but a good one for those that want to make sure that players are familiar with the basics of field play.

Another good drill is called "The Fence" drill. This is another excellent baseball hitting drill. This drill calls for a player to be standing behind some sort of solid wall; it can be made of chain link, cement, or even brink. The important thing is that the player can tell the difference between when they have touched the wall and when they have not. Have the player make their normal stance and stand about a 1-1 ½ feet in front of the wall. Then have the player practice their hitting style, if they continually hit the wall that means that they must tighten their stance. This will in turn help them with a quicker bat swing. Just remind your players that this drill is not about power but precision that way they won't hurt themselves or the bat when they swing to far back and hit the wall.

Finally, a good creative drill to keep players practicing at home has many names but one can either be called rooftop ball or error depending on what players have heard it called. This is a simple drill that does a good job of practicing both fielding, throwing, and stopping the ball. At home, a player throws a ball down their slanted roof and tries to catch it after it rolls down. There is more than a slight chance of a "gutter ball" but it still does a great job of helping players at home practice in a creative way.

These different baseball drills will help players become much better rounded and in turn that will lead to better games. Baseball is a subtle art but much like an artist if a player has experience behind them it is more likely that they will be successful.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Baseball Hitting Drills - "Land the Plane Drill"

Baseball Hitting Drills - "Land the Plane Drill"
By guest author: Joe Brockhoff

This will never allow a hitter to maximize his ability. He will hit lots of ground balls. To correct this, while in contact with the ball, the bottom hand should be facing down and the top hand facing up.

For hitters who use a wrist roll, in order to get the hands to perform correctly, using word pictures, we say that the bottom hand "lands the plane" and the top hand "crashes the plane".

Here is the drill: The bottom hand (lead hand) starts at the shoulder point, palm open and facing down, while in the stance position. Other hand is on hip. Front heel lifts and the player loads. As hips rotate square to the pitch, the hand at the shoulder moves straight to the front of the body, where hands would be while the bat is in contact. Hand remains palm down. This is "Landing the Plane". Do this several times, starting with the hands back at the shoulder in the stance position.

The top hand (power hand) is next. It starts at the same position but with palm open and facing up and forward. As hips rotate square to the pitch, this hand will move to the same location, but with palm up. This is "Crashing the Plane". Do this several times.

Now do the drill again. This time put both hands together, but with the bat added, starting at the shoulder area. Now move the bat into contact. The hands should be in the same position as before. Open them while in the contact position. The top hand should be open, palm up, under the bat. The bottom hand should be open, palm down, over the bat.

Note: The proper action to complete the stroke is that the top hand continues under the bat through contact and first extension. The bat will finally roll as it comes to the second extension position, just before the stroke is complete.

By repeating these baseball hitting drills, with the pictures in mind, hand action is improved. The batter is not swinging to contact. He is snapping at the point of contact. This will increase bat speed, quickness and the ability to make contact with the ball.

Former Tulane Hall of Fame Baseball Coach, Joe Brockhoff, fully explains his baseball hitting drills with the Super 8 Hitting System, completely demonstrated with videos and hitting drills to help you hit with more power and raise your batting average.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

3 Useful Suggestions on Baseball Rules and Regulations

3 Useful Suggestions on Baseball Rules and Regulations
By guest author: Stan E Quin

The official baseball rules are slightly completely different depending on what league you are interested in. Typically the principles are the identical, however you will note that they differ a bit relying on whether it is high school, fantasy league, youth, Cal Ripken or the American league you're looking at.

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played by two groups, and every workforce plays 9 innings attempting to score most runs. The goal of this bat-and-ball sport is to hit the thrown ball with a bat, and score runs by touching the sequence of 4 bases which might be arranged at the corners of 90ft diamond or square. In every inning, the batting staff sends batter or hitter to bat until three hitters get out. When the fielding team gets three outs, the groups change, and each flip to bat constitutes an inning.

Every crew has only 9 players playing within the subject at any given time, but workforce really is manufactured from 25 players. The batter bats on the house plate, and strikes counterclockwise to first, second and third base, and at last back house with a purpose to score the run. The infield of the game is sq., however known as a diamond, and has a primary base, second base, third base and home base at each corner. The gap between each base in ninety feet, and pitches mound is 60.5 toes away from the house plate, in the middle of the diamond.

Baseball has no clock, and to win, the team has to out the last batter. Essentially the most primary rule of baseball is that it's performed by two groups, alternating their turns to protection and offense, and the purpose is to score most runs. If hitter stops on any base, he turns into a base runner, and might advance as soon as next hitter is batting.

There are a lot of different ways to out the hitter resembling flied out the place fielder catches the ball hit by the hitter with out ball getting bounced, strike out the place pitcher throws the ball within the strike zone, put out where fielder touches the runner with the ball when he's not standing on the bottom, and so on. The pitcher stands in the course of the mound, and begins the motion by throwing the ball in the direction of house plate. If the ball just isn't hit by the batter, catcher catches the ball, and if participant hits the ball past outfield fence, it's referred to as the home run. The fields for playing baseball can considerably range in form and size.

Umpires usually work in the crew of four, and take turns to change into the house plate umpire. Every staff must stick to the bating order all through the game. The batter gets three strikes, and when batter starts working after hitting, he or she known as runner who attempts to achieve the bottom the place they will be protected and may keep till the subsequent hitter comes up. In World Sequence, champions of two leagues match up and play the most effective of seven collection with AL rules and NL rules.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Discover Top Baseball Training Fundamentals

Discover Top Baseball Training Fundamentals
By guest author: Matt Dimock

Baseball is one of America's favorite sports. Millions of men have been interested in playing it either as a weekend pastime or semi-professionally. It is understandable that only a handful would go to the pro leagues but nevertheless, baseball has won the hearts of many. You are probably one of them that's why you are interested in this article. Baseball is more than just picking up a bat and hitting the ball or the other way around, picking up a ball and throwing it. So if you want to get better in this sports, there are some fundamentals you should learn first.

It is important for any person who wants to play baseball to first undergo baseball training to help prepare his mind and body for the game. We can't ignore the fact that there will always be people who have natural talent for this sport and that understanding how the game is played and how it should be played will be very easy for them. Nevertheless knowing the basics is still essential as it is the first stepping stone toward being a great baseball athlete.

So here are some baseball training tips that you should follow to help you improve your game. Remember to keep everything in moderation and to never rush your training as it can lead to serious injury.

Just like with any other sports, warming up is the key to avoiding any injury. Stretching is a vital part of this. While some professional trainers will provide you with specific warm up and stretching instructions, in my opinion, any of the typical warm ups will do. Especially those that involve the arms and the legs as you will be doing a lot of swinging and throwing the ball during the game. Just jog in place or for a few meters and you will be good to go.

Most people forget to have a good posture when they are playing the game when in fact standing correctly has a great impact in utilizing your skills. Always stand straight and always make sure that your whole body weight is distributed equally to both of your feet. Your feet should align to the length of your shoulders. As a batter this normal position will give you the stability you need to make that powerful swing.

How should you be gripping a baseball bat? Quite naturally, you should pick up the bat using your strongest hand. Your other hand will be there just to support it. And do not strangle the bat. When you hold a bat very tightly you are releasing unneeded tension which will result to a weaker hitting power. Just let your grip loosen up a bit, allowing for your fingers to move easily. With less tension on your part, you will have greater power to hit that ball.

There are other fundamentals that you probably need to know but for starters the ones listed here will be good enough. Always remember to not overwork yourself and to simply enjoy baseball. That's why it's called a game in the first place.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Teaching Beginner Baseball

Teaching Beginner Baseball
By guest author: Wiley Channell

Teaching baseball to very young players can be difficult because small children can have a real fear of getting hurt by the ball. This is especially the case when it comes to playing in the infield. Coaches and parents need to address this and create a real desire to play the game without fear in order to succeed.

Early baseball teaching can give young players the right techniques and habits so they can have fun without any fear. Getting the desire to win can start at an early age, and will stay with a player for life.

Just because players are young, that doesn't mean the basic rules of the game should be overlooked.

Baseball Fundamentals

In order to get past the initial fear of the game, a coach should take it slow. And to keep it extra safe, start learning the rules of the game with softer balls. You can use a tennis ball, a Nerf or any other kind of soft rubber ball. Have the players learn the rules while slowly getting used to the ball. Coaches or parents should make it clear that if a child is ever hit with the ball, any pain or injury will be short-lived.

Kids should start just throwing and catching the ball, before dealing with the bat. Eventually, work up to hitting and fielding the ball. Regular running will also build up stamina and the muscles needed for base running later on. Endurance is important, but also the ability to sprint quickly. Along with running, more advanced students need to learn how (and when) to safely slide into base.

Between the physical practice, players need to learn the rules of the game, how baseball is scored and some basic strategy when playing. It may seem like a lot at first for a youngster, but he or she will soon be comfortable with the game.

Above all, keep the game fun and help them develop a keen interest in the game. A good competitive spirit and a drive to win is what a young player need to carry him far in the sport.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Baseball Hitting Drills - Using a Tee to Improve Your Swing


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Baseball Hitting Drills - Using a Tee to Improve Your Swing
By guest author: Jack Perconte

Maybe I am old-fashioned, but I still believe a baseball-batting tee is the best hitting aid there is. There are other helpful hitting devices that have come out on the market over the years, but none of those can do all that a batting tee can do. Of course, that is if players and coaches know how to use the batting tee correctly. I believe this because a batting tee allows the hitter to see the actual flight and spin of the ball when hit, when many of the other hitting aids do not allow this. Having said that, it is important to try to have enough space to see this flight of the ball, which is the first tip on knowing how to use a tee correctly. Along those lines, other methods of using a tee to improve the swing and to use a tee correctly include:

1. Knowing where to set the tee correctly in relationship to the hitter and home plate, depending on which pitch location the hitter is working on.
2. Hitting low pitches, set in the middle of the plate, through the middle to make sure hands and hips square up at contact.
3. Hitting high pitches on the tee, without popping up to maintain a compact swing.
4. Hitting balls (line drives or long flies) that have back spin.
5. Moving tee to different locations (inside, outside, high, low), with more emphasis on low pitches for hitters who hit a lot of ground balls and high pitches for hitters who hit a lot of pop ups, or strike out often. Emphasize hitting the ball in the direction of where the tee is placed, with backspin line drives always the objective.

There are a number of other ways to use a batting tee, but often these require proper instruction and observation from a knowledgeable coach. The reason for this is that often a hitting drill can solve one hitting problem, but can create a different problem because of doing the drill incorrectly, or too often. Read more.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Youth Baseball Instruction and Children's Fitness

Youth Baseball Instruction and Children's Fitness
By guest author: Anthony J Pensabene

Would you like your child to be social, stay in shape, and develop healthy habits? These are wishes of many parents. It can be difficult to explain why some activities are more beneficial than others; explaining why taking pitching lessons and batting lessons while the video game controller cools down is a good idea can be a daunting task. Many parents champion and celebrate childrens' sports because it provides an outlet for fun while promoting fitness and health.

Children can find a lot of activities to get into; it may be beneficial to check local Web sites and schools for directories and additional information. A well-structured recreational sport, such as little league baseball instruction, can facilitate weight control; promote bone growth; build cardiovascular strength; and, maintain mental health.

Weight control is a problem for many citizens of the United States. 'Dieting' seems to be a tenacious task on our 'to-do' list. There is not a definitive cure or safeguard from being overweight, yet learning good habits in one's youth can greatly help a child control their weight now and in the future. A person's metabolism slows down as they age, so it is more likely to gain weight, but an adult conditioned to be active is less likely to put on pounds.

You may be fondly entertained by the commercials showcasing a cute child with a milk mustache commenting on wanting strong bones while getting a pat on the head by an approving parent. The commercial mentions an important aspect of child health: building strong bones. Baseball training programs help children build strong bones through continuous and monitored activity. Engaging in physical activity promotes bone growth and helps the child elude conditions such as osteoporosis in adulthood. Read more.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Baseball Practice - Running an Organized Practice

Baseball Practice - Running an Organized Practice
By guest author: Rick J Miller

The key to running an organized baseball practice is planning and consistency so players know what to expect each and every practice. Early in the season practices will always seem less organized but as the players become accustomed to the routine your practice sessions will run more smoothly and the players will receive much more benefit in less time and your players will have more fun.

If you are running a youth practice you may not have assistant coaches but enlisting parents to help will get parents involved giving them more time with their children and build their support. Parents that help must have clearly defined instructions on each drill and clear instruction on being impartial. I have found a preseason meeting with parents with a handout explaining the goals and instructions for each drill is a great way to organize parents and will help you organize your practice schedule.

Having a consistent practice schedule helps organize your baseball practice. Divide your practice time into time slots where you work on different facets of the game and always keep these time slots in the same order just changing the drills. For instance having players show up and start playing catch down one of the outfield foul lines, then go to stretching, then move to team defensive drills, then individual defensive drills then individual hitting drills and finally conditioning. Structuring your practice this way will help players learn a routine and know where they should be and what to expect next.

Dividing your players into small groups during stretching and using a drill station practice organization for individual drills keeps players busy during practice and is more efficient. To give an example of a station practice plan for individual fielding drills would be to divide players into groups of four. Setting up one station for fielding ground balls on the third base line and making throws to first. In right field set up a station for outfielder drills catching fly balls and hitting the cut off man. In left field set up a station for players to work on fielding bunts and making a short throw. The size of your groups should not be more than four, the time spent at each stations and the amount of stations depends on time available, and the amount of players.

Running a station style baseball practice limits dead time for the players keeping their interest. Just as much care should be taken to plan for safety as well as the drills, consider where the balls will be flying and position your stations accordingly. Make sure helmets are available in hitting drills. Practice will seem a little confusing at first but you will find a station type baseball practice will take less time and be much more organized once players have been through the drills the first time.

Rick has been a baseball coach and has experience running a baseball practice for over thirty years. Rick has been fortunate in his coaching career to work with several high major league draft choices plus several division I college players as well as scores of players that have played junior college. Rick has built a website teaching parents how to run an effective baseball practice. Don't worry if you don't have the experience and knowledge to run fielding drills or batting drills doing this is very easy. Visit my website by clicking the links below.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Baseball Tips - Catchers and Catching

Baseball Tips - Catchers and Catching
By guest author: Chico Reese

Every so often I get a request from a parent who tells me that their child is a catcher and that they would like me to help their child "learn some catching things", or "give them some catching tips" or something along those lines. Sometimes I know the player and have seen him catch before. Sometimes I've heard that the player catches. Sometimes the parent says that the child catches and thinks he'd be a lot better with a little help. This last one can be a little scary because I've been told this by parents and once I start working with the player I immediately realize that he has never caught before, or only caught a few times...probably just batting practice a few times.

When I get a request like this from parents, here's what I do:

I first assess what the player has really done or what he can really do. This is important, mainly from a safety point of view. Inexperienced catchers, especially young ones just starting out, can easily get injured by the baseball. So I really try to figure out what I'm dealing with, no matter what mom or dad has told me.

I'll also just talk to the young catcher and try to find out how much he's caught so far in his little career, what he likes about catching and what he doesn't like. You can kind of tell if a player has a real interest in catching or if his parents decided it was a position that he should like. I actually had a nine year old flat-out tell me that he hated baseball. He liked football and golf. He said his dad ( who was the coach) made him play. Catchers need to be motivated kids who truly like, or at young ages, don't mind being a catcher.

I find out more of what I need to know by simply watching how the player reacts to me throwing the ball at him. A young player with very little experience or none at all will almost always have more fear of getting hit by the ball than a catcher who has "been there, done that." This will stand out in his actions when you actually start throwing some balls in the dirt at him, even real slow pitches. Read more.

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Friday, September 3, 2010

How to Get Better at Baseball

How to Get Better at Baseball
By guest author: Jack Perconte

How to get better at baseball? Of course, the easy answer is to play as much as possible. Increased play however does not guarantee that a ball player will get better. The secret lies in the quality of practice and play. Performing a skill numerous times and playing in games without the correct fundamentals only leads to tired ball players. Coaches and parents should stress quality first. Quantity is good only if the skill is being done correctly. Parents may have to search out a baseball coaching specialist in order to find out the correct fundamentals and drills that will help develop correct baseball skills. In my opinion, it is well worth it to get this information at a young age if baseball appears to be their favorite sport. Once bad habits are formed, they become much more difficult to change. Correct fundamentals, formed early in their career, will to give baseball players their best chance at success and reaching their potential. With this in mind following are other suggestions for helping players get better at baseball.

1. Observe - Young ball players should be encouraged to watch fundamentally sound players and picture those good actions in their own mind. Most behavioral experts will tell you how important this "visualization" is to improving performance. Putting a good fundamental picture in their mind and then trying to perform that action can help skill development. Watching good players performing a skill over and over will lead to quality practice time. Read more.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Perfect Baseball Hitting Drill?

The Perfect Baseball Hitting Drill?
By guest author: Jack Perconte

The sign of a good baseball hitting drill is one that forces the correct hitting fundamentals and that over time, causes the correct hitting action when a hitter goes without the drill. With that in mind, some drills are obviously better than others. The drill below does just that. It forces the correct action and works on all the important hitting fundamentals of staying back, compact swing, weight shift, hips opening and follow through.

Because this drill combines all the correct baseball hitting fundamentals into one drill, it makes teaching hitting easier and quicker, as long as it is performed correctly. It is a little complicated and requires some hitting tools that one does not usually have in the basement, or backyard. The local batting cages though will have the things needed - balls, protective screen, batting cage.

Here is the perfect baseball hitting drill:

1. The hitter stands very close (within six to 10 inches) from a net, facing the pitcher with the net being behind the hitter where the catcher stands. The hitters rear foot and hands should both be this distance away from rear net. Make sure a home plate is set and hitters stand their normal distance from the plate.

2. The coach sets up behind a protective screen with a bucket of balls in front of the hitter, beginning at twelve to fifteen feet away.

3. The coach flips balls to the outer half of the plate - firm underhand flips are best from this distance, trying to keep the ball level with no rise or drop on the flipped ball.

Result you are looking for? Because the ball is on the outer half of the plate, hitters should drive the ball to the opposite field by missing the net on the initial portion of the swing but hitting the net on the follow through.

Note: Hitters may graze the net on way forward and come up a little short of hitting net on follow through and this is acceptable.

Why is this the perfect baseball hitting drill? Read more.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Perfect Baseball Hitting Drill?

The Perfect Baseball Hitting Drill?
By guest author: Jack Perconte

The sign of a good baseball hitting drill is one that forces the correct hitting fundamentals and that over time, causes the correct hitting action when a hitter goes without the drill. With that in mind, some drills are obviously better than others. The drill below does just that. It forces the correct action and works on all the important hitting fundamentals of staying back, compact swing, weight shift, hips opening and follow through.

Because this drill combines all the correct baseball hitting fundamentals into one drill, it makes teaching hitting easier and quicker, as long as it is performed correctly. It is a little complicated and requires some hitting tools that one does not usually have in the basement, or backyard. The local batting cages though will have the things needed - balls, protective screen, batting cage.

Here is the perfect baseball hitting drill:

1. The hitter stands very close (within six to 10 inches) from a net, facing the pitcher with the net being behind the hitter where the catcher stands. The hitters rear foot and hands should both be this distance away from rear net. Make sure a home plate is set and hitters stand their normal distance from the plate.

2. The coach sets up behind a protective screen with a bucket of balls in front of the hitter, beginning at twelve to fifteen feet away.

3. The coach flips balls to the outer half of the plate - firm underhand flips are best from this distance, trying to keep the ball level with no rise or drop on the flipped ball.

Result you are looking for? Because the ball is on the outer half of the plate, hitters should drive the ball to the opposite field by missing the net on the initial portion of the swing but hitting the net on the follow through. Read more.

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