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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!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pitching Drills for young baseball players

Pitching Drills for young baseball players
Uploaded by TheStudentAthlete
Jeff Grybish, Buffalo Grove, IL HIgh School head coach demonstrates effective pitching drills for training young pitchers, emphasizing strength, balance and focus. Grybish presented his expertise as part ot The Student Athlete Foundation's coaching clinic delivered to local volunteer youth coaches at no cost as part of TSAF"s mentoring program.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Baseball Pitching Guide for Youths

Baseball Pitching Guide for Youths
By guest author: Jake Wyatt

In order to be a good baseball pitcher, you must practice pitching baseballs regularly, even during off-season. You can't expect to take four or more months off then get on a team in the spring and start pitching well. The greatest baseball pitchers practice over and over, perfecting their techniques. Your coach can tell you the best way to pitch baseballs and guide you through it, but it is up to you as a player to put in the extra time so that you can improve.

The most important step to successfully improving your baseball pitching is to be prepared mentally. This part of the sport does not get a lot of media attention because it can't be "seen." Young players may not realize that pitching greats spend a lot of time getting their mind ready. Pitching baseball can be frustrating at times. Mental toughness will get you through a string of bad innings AND will keep you from getting too excited when things are going well. Self discipline is extremely important; you must be able to make the choice between playing video games on TV or working on your game.

Mastering different techniques through practicing before and after games is what it takes to get ahead of your competition. Find out what styles best suit you and perfect them. No one can throw all types of pitches effectively. Focus on your own style, where your personal strengths lie. Make sure your footing is right, that your body rotation is controlled, and that your arm is in the correct position when pitching.

A benefit of regular practice will be more controlled pitches. You won't have to rely on your "power pitch" all the time. A good player will be able to switch to different pitches, from fastballs to curves, throwing inside or outside. Keeping the batter guessing will increase the chances of a strike. You must practice throwing all types of pitches so that you can choose the proper pitch for the situation and throw it with confidence. Another benefit of regular practice will be safety - with more control, there is less chance you will hit the batter.

You must be in good shape to accurately pitch baseballs. Be sure to have a basic workout for your arms, legs and core. If you are strong and fit, you will reduce the chance of injury to yourself as well as increase your accuracy and stamina.

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

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Monday, October 10, 2011

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.

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.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Coaching Youth Baseball - Tips to Be Successful Without Alienating Parents

Coaching Youth Baseball - Tips to Be Successful Without Alienating Parents
By guest author: J Michael Wright

Every parent wants their child to be successful in sports. Youth baseball is normally the first sport in which a child participates. After all, baseball is "America's Game". Youth baseball presents a unique challenge to those that choose to coach. In addition to the task of teaching young children the sport and its many facets, the coach of a youth baseball team must also interact with the parents of the children on the team.

Children are introduced to this team sport as early as five years of age. Parents often become coaches at this time because they feel their child will get a better opportunity to play. Every parent, whether a coach or not, wants their child to be the team's star player. This will undoubtedly cause conflicts between coaches and parents.

Tips to be Successful Without Alienating Parents

1. The purpose of the coach in youth baseball is to teach children how to play the game of baseball and to work together in a team setting.

2. You should have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the rules of youth baseball and the league in which you are coaching.

3. Treat every child on your team fairly and give each an equal chance to play every position.

4. Do not show favoritism to any of the players on your team, especially your own child.

5. Understand that winning is not everything. It is more important that the children participate and have fun instead of worrying about the final outcome of a game.

6. Always maintain your focus on teaching the fundamentals of the game.

7. Plan your practices and the fundamentals you intend to teach at each in advance and stick to your itinerary.

8. Make your practices educational and fun. You will keep your players attention and help them learn and retain the lessons being taught.

9. Instill a sense of discipline and pride in your players. Teach them to listen, follow instructions and take pride in their accomplishments both on and off the field.

10. Offer encouragement and support to your players when mistakes are made. Keep criticism to a minimum.

Following these tips will help you be successful as a youth baseball coach and will prevent alienating the parents of your team members. Your success as a coach should be measured by the knowledge and appreciation of the game you instill in your players, not by the number of games won. Remember that your role as coach is to educate, promote enthusiasm for the sport and, above all, to have fun. In doing so you will find that conflicts with your players' parents will be kept to a minimum and create a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

(C) J Michael Wright

J Michael Wright is the proud parent of two children, has 12 years experience in coaching youth sports teams and has served on the boards of multiple youth sports organizations.

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