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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!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Baseball Parent Guide: Discussion: Mike Matheny Letter to Parents of Youth Baseball

Letter to Parents of Youth Baseball

By Guest Author: Robert Thomas Brown

Mike is a man of strong character and is sharing his strong ethics with the players that he is coaching. I agree with about 80% of what he has stated in the letter to parents. I will give my opinion on a couple of issues that I think Mike might understand.

When I was in the dirt with my players, I had very few problems with any parents. The ages of the boys that I was given the responsibility of coaching were between the ages of 12-15. Before that I was on a staff of other coaches and worked mainly with my son Jeff.

I had a parents meeting with a handout and I explained the rules similar to what Mike says on the responsibility of the players and the parents. I had my parents directly involved with my program and they were part of the success. The team needed the help on fundraisers and travel arrangements. We were a baseball family and with the help of my coaches and associate coaches we were a formidable bunch. We were not a tryout team like a lot of the travel teams in St. Louis. I had all local boys and we won a lot and were always able to win or compete against the cherry picked teams.

My concern with Mike is on the issue of emotions. I can't see a player that is a competitor that is busting his rear on the diamond cannot show emotion. I would teach my players that when you make a tag, you have to sell it. I am a huge competitor and most young athletes are the same way. If there is a play at second base and the runner is definitely out, for the player to not show emotion is ridiculous! What needs to be done is for the coach to let the players show emotion but not to show up the umpire, by arguing. The players will never argue with the umpires, the player can say "I got him" and then walk away and let the coach take care of the situation. That is what the good coach is for, and he needs to approach the umpire in a firm way and say I think you missed the call. Then smile and listen to what he says and then walk back to the dugout. I think this is the perfect way to run a youth team on this subject.

This level of baseball in my opinion is strictly about player development. I told my players and parents that I was getting my players ready for high school and beyond. I was not as concerned about the umpires' calls as I was more concerned about playing the game the right way. We had a play that my third baseman dived to his left and threw from his knees over to first; the ball was in the dirt but scooped up. The umpire said the runner was safe. My coaches went nuts, I calmed them down real fast and said Ross and Brett did everything the correct way. It was real good baseball!

I can't imagine fans at a baseball game being silent and not yelling support to the players. I would not expect my parents or fans to act this way at a game. What should not be tolerated is any arguing from the stands with an umpire or verbally abusing the other team. When I was in the dirt, I always handled the umpires and always had respect from the men in blue. Head coaches you need to understand you are in charge of keeping your whole baseball family under control. I can't imagine "Come on, let's go, you can do it"adds more pressure to the player. I think this is showing support for the player and team. I can't imagine being at a baseball game and not hearing fans supporting the players.

Mike also writes about the lost of respect because the kids hear their parents complaining about the teachers or coaches. Mike goes on to say that his dad taught him that the coach is always right, even when he is wrong. I do not agree with this at all, I wouldn't want my son to be a yes person robot to not think for himself and agree with a coach that is wrong. I think we need to have more people to stand up and say what is right and what is wrong. I have to say, this is one of the reasons I started this business was to improve the coaching at all levels. I think the game of baseball should be played a lot better, and the reason it is not better, is because of poor coaching. I see so many mistakes at the major league level that should not be happening. I am talking about the little things and also basic stuff that major league players should know. I have a lot of old timers that feel the same way I do on this subject.

In conclusion we need baseball coaches that are hard working, honest, responsible, and really know how to teach the game. Mike is one of these coaches and I just disagree with him on the emotions of the game.

Mike Matheny Letter to Parents

Big Dog Baseball USA will have former Major League Baseball Players as contributing writers. We are looking for players that are in business for themselves, contractors, or to write for a cause. Each player will write an article 1-4 times a month. They will be writing about Teaching, MLB Life, Humor and Numerous other baseball related material. The finished article will link back to the individuals business or cause. This will be a free service to players in order to give them more exposure. We fully expect to have players from all over the country, for the benefit of our readers.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Baseball Parent Guide: Baseball Fielding Tips - Very Common Throwing Problems and How You Can Fix Them!

Baseball Tips - Correcting Common Throwing Problems

By Larry Cicchiello

Here is a list of some common throwing problems, why they are happening and some baseball fielding tips that should solve these problems:

Throws Are Overthrown and Sailing High:

There is a very good chance that you are not raising your throwing elbow to shoulder height. I've witnessed this hundreds of times over the years. Watch closely to replays on TV when infielders overthrow their first baseman and the throw sails high. In almost every case, you will see the infielder did not raise his elbow high enough when making the throw. Just remember, "elbow too low, ball high." In essence, the ball is being "pushed" and not actually thrown. Another possibility for overthrowing your target is you may be releasing the ball before your landing foot hits the ground.

Under Throwing the Ball:

The problem is usually at your release point. If you release the ball too late, your throw will almost definitely be too low. Another strong possibility is that your front shoulder is dipping down below your throwing shoulder. If your front shoulder dips, there is a good chance your throw will be low and short of your target. Whenever possible, make sure that your shoulders stay level throughout the throwing motion.

General Erratic Throwing:

There is no substitute for spending time practicing your throwing. If you throw the ball every day, your throwing will improve. It simply has to. Just remember, every time you throw a baseball you should aim for a target. It's one of the simplest yet most important baseball fielding tips for improving throwing. If having a catch with someone, aim for their left shoulder, then their right shoulder, left hip, right hip, etc. Every time you throw a baseball, aim for something! How can this possibly not help? It has to help and it will help you tremendously.

If throwing erratically, the problem could very well be in your footwork. Not getting their feet set up properly is a very common problem, especially with youngsters. Their feet are not set when they throw the ball because of their impatience to want to throw the ball too soon. Their arm is ready but their footwork is not ready yet. They have no balance or foundation. Like we mentioned above, keep your shoulders level and keep them square to your target. Make sure your front foot is pointing to your target and your back foot lined up like you are pitching and using the pitching rubber.

Once again, every time you throw a baseball, aim for a target. It's one of the easiest yet most important baseball fielding tips. There is no way on earth that this will not help you out tremendously!

Larry is the successful author of several very user friendly eBooks and CD's covering 320 topics on playing or coaching excellent baseball. ANY player, coach or parent who wants to help their child will be fully equipped! Check out some FREE baseball tips on hitting and FREE baseball pitching tips at

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Simple Baseball Tip to Improve Youth Pitching Velocity

How to Improve Youth Baseball Pitching Velocity

By Guest Author: Jake Paul Johnson

Little league and youth baseball in general is an interesting phase of a child's experience. Some kids are naturals, and they adapt to the sport of baseball very quickly. Others may take a little bit longer to develop, and this is not a bad thing.

This article is going to revolve around a tip that can and should be utilized with every little leaguer aspiring to be a pitcher (at this level, who doesn't want to be a pitcher?). As parents and coaches, it is crucial to provide the child with a solid base of information on which to build upon in the future.

If you ask an experienced pitcher what the most important aspect of pitching is, more often than not they will say mechanics. Once proper mechanics are established, increased velocity will often follow.

Mechanics are the foundation of everything that a pitcher does. If mechanics are faulty, pitches won't be as consistent and efficient, and worse case scenario; injury can occur.

It is very important to instill proper mechanics in a child's mind from the very beginning. Teach them how important mechanics are and that they cannot be successful without them.

I'm going to give you a few things to focus on as a parent and as a coach when teaching mechanics to a youth baseball player:

1) Start from the ground up. The lower body is what initiates movement in the pitching motion, and it's what provides the velocity behind their pitches. Begin with the feet. Simplify their wind up by shortening their steps when positioning their feet around the rubber. Then move to the leg kick, which should bring the knee to around belly button height. Then make sure they separate their hands on time and follow through all the way.

2) Next, you want to take a look at their fastball grip. Make sure they grip with two fingers, a nice firm grip but not too tight, and either a four seam or two seam fastball grip. A solid foundation of knowledge is most important at the youth baseball level, and it is what will prepare them for the long career ahead. As the child matures, it is important to give them the proper training and mechanics analysis so they can increase their velocity and develop properly. This will give them all they need to be successful for many years to come.

I hope you found my tips useful and I wish you the best!

Visit the following link for more information on how I built my pitching velocity up from nothing. I was always being overlooked by scouts and coaches, but not anymore. I now have the confidence and training that I need to be successful. Check out for details.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Finding a Good Private Baseball Instructor

Much like if you want to raise your grade at a class in school it is a very good idea to get a private tutor, if you are looking to supercharge your baseball workouts, getting a private trainer may be one of the best steps you can take. I'm not going to lie...hiring a private baseball instructor isn't cheap so you ought to be sure to do your research before hiring anyone to protect your hard-earned cash. This article will show you how to simplify the process of searching for and choosing a great private trainer to suit your needs.

The very first thing you have to figure out in order to get a personal baseball instructor is exactly what you're looking for from this individual as well as what credentials you want this individual to have. If you're just looking for someone to throw some batting practice to you, then a local college player or a neighbor will do. If you're looking for someone to help you to perfect your hitting technique, you'll need somebody far more knowledgable about the specifics of baseball, otherwise you risk getting incorrect information and making your technique a whole lot worse. For this job, a local college coach or assistant coach will work, or possibily another local high school coach. You can also check on the internet to see if there are any retired major league or minor league baseball players in your area which you may be able to get in touch with. Do not expect Nolan Ryan to be teaching you, but perhaps somebody that made it to the AAA minor leagues but had a career-ending injury would be happy to help a young athlete out.

Now that you have an understanding of whom you want to hire, it's time to find the best person to suit your needs. To start, you should try getting in touch with some nearby universities and colleges to see if any of the baseball coaches would be willing to do some extra private coaching with you. If one agrees, not only will you have a good private trainer, but if you end up going to the college or university he coaches at, you will probably have a slight edge in tryouts as he will know already what a hard-working, committed player you are. After you've tried calling colleges, the next thing I would suggest is doing the same thing with your local high schools. An additional way to search is to ask owners of local batting cages and baseball training facilities if they know of anyone. Normally, you'll at the very least get a few references using this method. If all these attempts wind up fruitless it's time to take your quest to the internet. Post some advertisements on classified ads sites like Craigslist and see if anyone with the appropriate qualifications is willing. I have found many people at the very least willing to throw batting practice for a couple of bucks by doing this. Note: Make sure you've got a parent or guardian with you whenever you meet internet strangers the first time!

Now that you have found a person to your liking to instruct youit is time to work out a deal and begin training. Typically for throwing batting practice a reasonable price will be about $20-$25 per hour. For experienced college coaches as a private instructor a fair price would be around $50 per hour. Generally sessions are held 1 or 2 times per week for either 30 minutes or an hour. Figure out a schedule that's good for everyone and get started! If you're not happy after a few lessons, don't believe that you're required to continue. Just politely inform the trainer that you are no longer interested, but ensure that you pay for any lessons you already have had!

Hopefully you have all the information you need to help you locate, choose, and hire a great private baseball trainer! This is really among the best methods to improve your game and gain an edge over the competition!

Thomas Wilson Are you interested in improving your game and being the best baseball player you can be? If so, check out to find more helpful information as well as baseball workouts and training programs for sale that will take your game to the next level!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Baseball Parent Guide Article: The Top Key To Becoming A Promising High School Baseball Prospect

The Top Key To Becoming A Promising High School Baseball Prospect

By Guest Author: Michael J

If you talk to any high school baseball coach that has been a coach for any real amount of time they have seen and experienced enough to be able to make some good observations. This comes after seeing potential baseball players of every ability, shape and size. A general consensus among coaches with this experience is the fact that being the perfect physical specimen is not the number one key to success. We will take a look at what we feel is key component.

Baseball Skill Building

As mentioned in the previous paragraph we will discuss what we feel is one of the biggest criteria that can make the difference between being a worthy high school prospect or not. This can be defined as to the level of skill building homework a player has engaged in before high school. This really comes down to how much practice does a player get outside of regular team practices and the rest of the year outside of baseball season.

Extra Effort

It probably goes without saying but a reliable trend for all of this is the amount of effort that a player has put in over and beyond the minimum needed to make the team. By doing this they ensure that there physical attributes like their throwing, catching and etc are able to work consistently at the highest level. This is done through repetition of course. If a player does not give themselves enough exposure to building strong fundamentals then they are doing themselves a great injustice. That is why we firmly believe that the top performers will make sure they get adequate workouts, practice and instruction time.

On the other side of this are the players who can't seem to find the time to get in extra baseball related activities outside of team practice. With everything else being equal they will remain at pretty much the same skill level as everyone else who subscribes to the same work ethic. This is why the more time and effort you put into baseball at an early age the greater the probability of it paying off later. It is no random coincidence that the outstanding high school players and prospects are also the same players who participate in extra baseball related activities. They tend to have the baseball training equipment at home and in a lot of cases have received coaching by top notch pitching and batting instructors.

The biggest point we want to make in this article is that you will need to do more then the minimum to make it as a big time high school prospect. If you look at all of the great sportsmen in any sport you will find behind every success countless hours in the gym or on the field perfecting their craft. If you choose not to do this then understand that your chances of being the next great one drop to almost nil!

Next, now that you understand the importance of going over and beyond the bare minimal to become one of the great high school baseball prospects []. Are you ready to put in the extra time?

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Youth Baseball: The Secret To Hitting

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

How to Choose the Right Pitching Machine

How to Choose the Right Pitching Machine

By Kim R Caldwell

Choosing the right pitching machine comes down to a few different factors. The first question you have to ask yourself when choosing a new machine is whether it is going to be used in the backyard or for commercial use. Someone who is buying one for their backyard is going to choose a much different type of machine then a coach who is buying a pitching machine for a high school or college.

When it comes to picking a pitching machine the buyer should consider the functionality of the machine they want to buy. This covers the speed that it can throw, the different pitches the machine can throw, the different kinds of balls it can use, and as its ability to use a ball feeder.

There are some that have a set speed that the machine can throw. Most people prefer to buy a pitching machine where the speed is adjustable. Having adjustable speeds on the pitching machine will allow the hitter to practice fastballs of a variety of speeds as well as change-ups. If you are getting one for a child it is recommended that you purchase a children's pitching machine model with slower speeds. Speed is definitely something the buyer should look at when making their decision.

The next step is to take a look at the types of pitches that it can throw. They are all able to throw fastballs, with most having the ability to throw change-ups as well. If they are more advanced they will be able to throw curveballs and other types of pitches. Any machine that has two wheels is able to throw all different types of breaking balls. This is beneficial to any player that wants to practice their hitting without requiring a pitcher to practice with them.

When choosing the right one you also want to check to see what types of balls the it can use. The first step in this process is checking to see if the machine can throw baseballs, softballs, or if it is a combo that throws both. After that, you will want to check to see if it throws real baseballs/softballs or if it is only able to throw dimpled balls or a completely different type of ball. You will also want to see if it comes with a ball feeder. Ball Feeders have the ability to carry dozens of balls and can give a player a good amount of time to practice with only one fill.

The key is to choose one that will work well with your setting. If you are a high school, college, or little league you are going to want a commercial grade machine. If you are buying one for the backyard you can purchase one that is a little cheaper. It all depends on what you are buying it for as well as your budget.

Check out all different types of pitching machines. Pitching Machine Sale offers a large selection of pitching machines from baseball to softball to combo pitching machines. They offer these machines at the best prices with free shipping.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

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