Catching  ♦  Coaching  ♦  Drills  ♦  Health  ♦  Hitting  ♦  Mental Game  ♦  Pitching  ♦  Ask the Coach

Catching

Handling Passed Balls

Handling Passed Balls

It is certain that no matter how good a catcher is, balls will get past him and roll to the backstop. You can call them wild pitches or passed balls, but it doesn't make any difference at the time of the play. The important thing is that the catcher knows how to make...

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Evaluating a Catcher’s Throw to 2nd

Evaluating a Catcher’s Throw to 2nd

A catcher's throw down to second base is usually evaluated by determining the elapsed time from the point the pitched ball hits the catcher’s glove, until the ball hits the infielder’s glove taking the throw at 2nd. This time is known as the “Pop Time.” Much emphasis...

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The Most Wasted 20 Minutes in a Catcher’s Life

The Most Wasted 20 Minutes in a Catcher’s Life

It seems that many players and coaches recognize how little time is allocated during practices for catchers to work on their catching skills, like blocking, exchange drills, pickoff throws, and proper handling of passed balls with a throw to the pitcher covering home...

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Don’t Ever Let Your Catchers Frame a Pitch

Don’t Ever Let Your Catchers Frame a Pitch

I suspect the title of this article might have got your attention. It would seem that I am advocating having catchers stop doing something that catchers have always been told and taught to do. Actually I am advocating having them use proper receiving techniques, and...

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Blocking Is The Easy Part

Blocking Is The Easy Part

It is common knowledge among youth baseball and softball coaches that the one play most responsible for scoring runs is not the blast over the fence or the shot in the gap; it’s the passed ball. As coaches we often find ourselves asking why is it so difficult for our...

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Coaching

Shortstop Tasks and Tips

Shortstop Tasks and Tips

ATTRIBUTES OF A GOOD SHORTSTOP Anticipates all defensive plays that could involve him; ready to throw to right base or home plate. Stays on top of the ball, with most throws. Plants his feet and throws overhand when possible. Works on holding runners close. Charges...

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First Base Tasks and Tips

First Base Tasks and Tips

The defensive skills of the first baseman are often taken for granted. This position is the most under-rated defensive position on a team. The defensive skills of a good first baseman can often make the difference in winning a championship. Set & Ready Position -...

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Improving the First Baseman’s Stretch

Improving the First Baseman’s Stretch

First base is a pride position. First base is a guts position. As the father of a middle infielder, nothing drives me crazier than an infielder making a stellar play, throwing the ball low to first (as I teach them), then the first baseman waves at it, trying to...

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Infield Skills

Infield Skills

FIRST BASE 1. Must be able to handle all types of throws 2. Covers a wide territory 3. Tossing ball to pitcher covering first 4. Throwing to second base on double play a. Back point of second, if throwing from behind baseline b. Front point of second if throwing from...

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Four Runs or Less

Four Runs or Less

Our objective in a nine-inning ball game is to hold our opponents to four-runs-or-less. This goal provides direction for our defense during the course of a game and practice. Once the goal has been established (four, five, six runs or whatever works in a specific...

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Defensive Concepts

Defensive Concepts

DEFENSIVE QUOTATIONS: The following quotations can be heard in every baseball park at any time. These are at the heart of baseball philosophy. Prevent the big inning. "If you hold them scoreless, I promise you a tie" said the offensive coach to the defensive coach! We...

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Drills

Outfield Tips

Outfield Tips

During batting practice shag all balls in your position! The READY POSITION is one of narrow stance with the weight on the balls of feet and the center of gravity relatively high, so that the outfielder can move quickly in any direction. He must be ready to move...

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Third Base Tasks and Tips

Third Base Tasks and Tips

Playing third base requires the player to change his fielding position depending on the situation the hitter is facing. The following guidelines will enable them to be ready and move quickly to take up a new position on the field, as the situation changes. Set...

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Blocking Is The Easy Part

Blocking Is The Easy Part

It is common knowledge among youth baseball and softball coaches that the one play most responsible for scoring runs is not the blast over the fence or the shot in the gap; it’s the passed ball. As coaches we often find ourselves asking why is it so difficult for our...

read more

Health

Injury Prevention For Youth Players

Injury Prevention For Youth Players

For many youth athletes, the start of a new sports season may be right around the corner. Many of these athletes will experience aches, pain, and injuries during the first few weeks of the season. With some helpful hints and preventative measures an athlete can...

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Stress In Youth Sports

Stress In Youth Sports

In many circles, concern about stress placed on youth sport participants seems to be the most frequent topic of discussion when youth sports is mentioned. Is there stress in youth sports? Of course there is! Not only do the athletes experience stress, but so do the...

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10 Health Tips Every Youth Baseball Coach Should Know

10 Health Tips Every Youth Baseball Coach Should Know

It's Little League season again, and if you're a coach, there are 10 tips you should know to help keep your players healthy. "The number one tip coaches should remember is that children are not miniature adults and shouldn't be treated as such," says Jim Rogers, a...

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Not Drinking Enough Water Leads to Problems

Not Drinking Enough Water Leads to Problems

Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day? We all know that water is important, but have you ever seen it written like this before? 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half the world drinking soda pop.) In 37% of Americans...

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Hitting

How To Choose A Pitching Machine

How To Choose A Pitching Machine

How to Choose a Pitching Machine Before we dive into pitching machine features & benefits, allow me a coach's perspective on how I believe ballplayers are made. FIRST... You must learn the proper mechanics! How this long stick is most efficiently wielded from...

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Buying An Arm Style Pitching Machine

Buying An Arm Style Pitching Machine

Which Master Pitching Machine Iron Mike Do I Buy? Probably the greatest tools a team could want that will make the single biggest impact on a team of budding ballplayers, is a pitching machine & batting cage! If the arm style machine is your favorite style (I...

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Bunt Young, Bunt Often

Bunt Young, Bunt Often

Bunting is a very big part of the game of baseball. And when a bunt is laid down the right way, it is very difficult to defend. I have always been big on bunting and feel it can be taught at a young age. There are basically two types of bunts: the square bunt and the...

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Batting Fundamentals

Batting Fundamentals

1.   Don't grip your bat at the very end. Leave, say, an inch or two. Also, leave at least an inch or more space between your hands; that gives you balance and control of bat, and also keeps hands from interfering with each other during the swing. 2.   Take position...

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How to Avoid a Late Swing

How to Avoid a Late Swing

Swinging late is often a problem with young players. One reason for swinging late involves the hitter not knowing where he is supposed to make contact with the ball. Many want to make contact over the plate instead of in front of it. Carrying the ball to the plate and...

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How to Prevent Stepping Out on the Pitch

How to Prevent Stepping Out on the Pitch

Stepping out generally begins because of a fear of the ball and may continue later simply because of habit. To help correct this habit, place a ball glove or something flat to the left of the hitter's stride area (for right-handers), so they know when they are...

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Mental Game

Stress In Youth Sports

Stress In Youth Sports

In many circles, concern about stress placed on youth sport participants seems to be the most frequent topic of discussion when youth sports is mentioned. Is there stress in youth sports? Of course there is! Not only do the athletes experience stress, but so do the...

read more
Teaching the Psychology of Pitching

Teaching the Psychology of Pitching

Pitching is the most important aspect of the game! A dominating pitching staff can make all the difference in determining a team's success. Practice and mastery of the physical elements of pitching will improve the mechanical skills, but developing the psychological...

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Successful Hitters Always Have a Plan

Successful Hitters Always Have a Plan

Here are some thoughts on the above topic from a buddy of mine. The guy's name is Steve Springer. "If baseball is 90% mental, why do we work on it less than 10% of the time?" "You cannot control getting a hit, but you can control hitting the ball hard!" Who Is This...

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Hitting When It Counts: At the End of the Game

Hitting When It Counts: At the End of the Game

Ever notice how some teams who play close games end up winning those games in the late innings at the plate. Good teams who are coached right and do the right things tend to win those close games late. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to teach your hitters on how...

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Tips For A Successful Tryout

Tips For A Successful Tryout

I was recently asked by a friend for some tips about how his sons should approach their upcoming Little League tryouts. They wanted to know how to catch the coaches' eye. The obvious answer is to play well. But there are a few things they should do to insure an...

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Pitching

Change Up: The Pitch for a Strong Arm’s Lifetime

Change Up: The Pitch for a Strong Arm’s Lifetime

I have a vivid recollection of a great coach, John Scolinos of Cal Poly Pomona (CA), teaching our star national team Australian pitcher a change of pace pitch in about one minute. The reason the scene stays with me is because a week later the pitcher beat the World...

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When and How to Throw a Curveball

When and How to Throw a Curveball

When and How to Throw a Curveball Andrew Tinnish - Toronto Blue Jays When running instructional clinics for young players I am often asked by coaches and parents "When should my son or daughter start throwing a curveball?" This is a difficult question to answer. There...

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Having A Pitch Plan

Having A Pitch Plan

How many times within a game do you as a coach ask yourself this question: Why is my pitcher throwing that pitch in that situation? We wonder numerous times throughout games how can pitch selection be so misguided. Therefore, a generic "pitch plan" is important, not...

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Teaching the Psychology of Pitching

Teaching the Psychology of Pitching

Pitching is the most important aspect of the game! A dominating pitching staff can make all the difference in determining a team's success. Practice and mastery of the physical elements of pitching will improve the mechanical skills, but developing the psychological...

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How to Effectively Use Your Bullpen

How to Effectively Use Your Bullpen

As a minor league pitcher and as a coach the difficulties in properly maintaining and managing a bullpen are many. At high school and college levels, the bullpen is often nonexistent. When these players reach a professional level, they are not properly trained or lack...

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Ask the Coach

Looking For A Coach

I’m sure you heard this question many times before, but here goes. First, here’s some background info 10 years old 5’3” 130# Cal Ripkin league- No pitchers mound Average pitch speed 56mph Top speed 63mph Pitched to 103 batters, 77 strikeout, 24 walks,2 hit with pitch...

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Practice In Small Areas

Dear Coach, I am a middle school baseball coach in North Carolina. Early in the season our weather is miserable and often cannot practice outdoors. Being the lowest ranking ball program spacing indoors is rarely available to us. Are there any drills you can recommend...

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Foul Territory

Is it legal for the first baseman to have his feet, one or both, in foul territory while holding a runner at first base? Kevin My rule you must have eight players in fair territory. The rule is really designed to keep a coach from placing a player behind the catcher...

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Tips

I coach baseball at the 13-15 Babe Ruth level. We work hard with our pitchers holding runners on to avoid giving up really easy stolen bases. At this point, I think our pitchers are doing well at this task. I have a question or two about the second baseman and...

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Golf?

I have coached baseball for years and have told my kids that baseball and golf do not mix. A lot of golf can be a detriment to your baseball swing. Am I off base with my teaching? Coach I can't really agree with you, to give the short answer.  I see athletics as all...

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Late Swing

Hello Coach, My question is what can we do about a hitter that is habitually late with her swing? It doesn't seem to matter if the pitch is fast or slow!! Her mechanics and bat speed are great! She will be a sophomore at UW Whitewater this year. If she doesn't correct...

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