Advanced Youth Baseball Training Tips and Techiques

The Advances Youth Baseball Training Blog features daily posts with free articles on coaching youth baseball, advanced youth baseball drills, and advanced tips covering all aspects of youth baseball training. Our posts provide you with free baseball youth baseball hitting drills, youth baseball pitching drills, defensive drills for youth baseball and much more. Make sure to save or bookmark this site so that you can visit it regularly for baseball coaching articles.

Thursday, May 28, 2009 - Your free online source for baseball articles


The has many categories of baseball coaching articles. Here are a few for you to check out.

Ø Baseball Team Coaching and Managing Tips

Ø Baseball Practice Planning

Ø Coaching Hitting

Ø Coaching Pitchers

Ø Coaching Defense

Ø Coaching Base Running

Visit the BaseballDealz Super Store.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coaching Travel Baseball - Two Batting Videos on Youtube that You Can learn From

Coaching Travel Baseball - Two Batting Videos on Youtube that You Can learn From

For more information on the BatAction Machine visit

Hello and good Wedenesday morning to you. We begin our 2009 summer baseball camp today. I just hope the weather cooperates. Here are two hitting youtube links that I recommend that my players watch. T think that you will find these useful also.
Have a great day,
Nick - The ultimate online coaching and training store. Top quality Products - Outstanding Service - Discount Prices

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coaching Youth Baseball - Situational Pitching - Squeeze Play Situation

Visit the today!

Coaching Youth Baseball - Situational Pitching - Squeeze Play Situation - By Nick Dixon

We often hear the term "Situational Hitting", but just as important is "Situational Pitching". Knowing what to throw and when to throw it. Here are three examples of situational pitching.
"HIT and RUN Situation" - Most often occurs with the batter ahead in the count and no outs. The most common counts are 1-0, 2-0, and 2-1. The pitcher should know when to expect the "HITand RUN" and keep the ball inside on the hitter to prevent the pitch from being driven to the opposite field.


"DOUBLE PLAY Situation" - The most important point to remember is to keep the ball down. One of the greatest plays in baseball is the inning ending double play. It is not advised to throw a change up or curve ball in a double play situation.

"SQUEEZE BUNT Situation" - There are many things to know and remember in this situation. Here are suggestions on how to have a "pitching approach" when the squeeze bunt may be on.

1. Throw the pitch either "UP and IN" or "LOW and IN".
2. The pitcher should not try to hit the batter, but if the batter is hit, the runner must return to third base.
3. It is more difficult to bunt the low pitch than the high pitch.

1. Throw the ball outside. The pitch is actually a pitch- out.
2. Make sure the pitch is "UNTOUCHABLE".

Visit the BaseballDealz Store - Click Here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Correct Batting Practice Methods For Little League Baseball Teams

Good Friday Morning to You.
I hope all is well with you and your team.
Here is a great article by Marty Schupak that I found beneficial and informative. I hope that you find it useful also.
Have a great weekend!

Correct Batting Practice Methods For Little League Baseball Teams

By Marty Schupak
In my eighteen years of coaching youth baseball, I am always looking for the most efficient practice methods for every aspect of baseball. It took me only a few years to realize that most youth baseball coaches and myself were running batting practice, not incorrectly, but not efficiently. From what I have seen with the typical batting practice, a coach will pitch a predetermined number of balls for each batter with the fielders fielding the hit balls and throwing them to first base. Usually the coach will yell something like “run the last one out”, and the batter does just that. If the ball is an infield hit, they try to throw him out at first. If it is hit into the outfield, he usually runs until he is thrown out. This is all well and good intentioned, but it is wasting valuable time when a coach wants to run an efficient practice.

Here is the most efficient way of running a batting practice that I’ve come up with. First of all, let me say this. Batting practice is just what it is, batting practice. Batting practice is not fielding practice or base running practice. So all youth coaches and parents should really define what a youth batting practice is and what they want to get out of it.

Most of my youth practices do not run more than one hour. Every minute of wasted time will affect all other aspects and time of any other drills or techniques I want to accomplish. The first thing a coach needs to have is an over abundance of baseballs. The league will provide baseballs but I always make sure I purchase a few dozen extras. I try to work with three-dozen and keep an extra dozen in my trunk. And don’t think I’m not frugal accounting for every baseball at the end of practice. I try to make sure we find each one, and after practice, we comb the field to make sure we got them all. Usually we find extras and end up with more than what we started with.

Now, here is the actual logistics and set up that I do about 95% of the time I run batting practice. I’m a big proponent of bunting. I set up two cones on the third base line, about six feet apart, approximately where the bunt is suppose to go. I set up two empty buckets, one about three feet behind second base and the other one at the far base of the mound toward second. I have another bucket with the baseballs on the mound easily accessible to me. Now, this is a key. As a youth coach who wants a well-run practice and a lot of repetitions for the kids, I move up almost to the front base of the mound to pitch. I do this mainly so I can throw strikes consistently. For safety purposes, an “L” screen would be required from a shorter distance for safety. If your league doesn’t have any, make them get them.

I have the first person up at bat with the 2nd and 3rd player ready to go. I have the 3rd hitter (or double on deck hitter) on the outside of the screen hitting balls on a batting tee using pickle balls (plastic) or wiffle balls with another parent feeding the balls on the tee. I always have the number 2, or on deck hitter, ready to hit.

The batter bunts the first to pitches. For each successful bunt, the player receives an extra swing. I usually give a player five swings besides his two bunts. So if a player lays one bunt between the cones, he get six regular swings. If he lays both bunts between the cones, he gets seven swings (the maximum per hitter). Now, there are certain things that have to happen to make this work. Remember there are two buckets strategically located. After the bunts, when the hitter swings away, wherever the ball is hit, the fielder tosses it into the bucket closet to him. If it is hit to the outfield, he will throw the ball as close to the bucket behind second base. If he hits it to the infield, the fielder will toss it to the bucket behind the pitcher’s mound. Reinforce to the players that they must toss to the bucket on one or two bounces or they will tend to play basketball with the baseball and bucket.

Now the point here is that the fielders do not make a play to first and the hitter does not run the last one out. We get more repetitions in a short period of time. The players are always facing the hitter. One might ask, isn’t this boring for most of the players in the field? Well, not really. Because of the amount of balls hit in a short period of time, the ball is usually hit all over the place. And the coach throwing batting practice will keep one or two extra balls in his glove and is ready to pitch the next ball right away. When out of baseballs, have the players in the infield hustle to gather up the balls, combine buckets, and we’re ready to go again. This works great!

Batting practice is a favorite of any baseball player at almost every level. Do not deny batting practice at any practice. And always look for the most efficient, safest procedure to help enhance your whole practice.

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: - The world's #1 baseball batting machine trainer! - The most advanced and productive tee in baseball. - Great for batters of all ages! - Great trainer that produces great results! - Hot selling trainer is outstanding investment! - Great cages, great prices, great service!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baseball Training Product - The Advanced Skills Baseball Tee

Baseball Training Product - The Advanced Skills Baseball Tee

1. The forward arm eliminates "dipping" or dropping the hands and trailing shoulder to lift the ball with a "looping" type swing. If you "dip" with the AST, you hit the back of the arm. It forces you to take the bat straight down to the ball, leveling the swing at the point of contact.

2. The forward arm also pivots and rotates to place the ball on the inside or outside of the strike zone. Then, the arm points in the direction to drive the ball based on pitch location (i.e. pull the inside pitch, go with the outside pitch to the opposite field . . . "Hit the ball where it's pitched").

The outside barrier eliminates "casting". It keeps you form swinging "long" and helps you "keep the hands inside the ball". If the bat or arms are extended prematurely the bat head will slap the flexible upright barrier post. For years coaches have set a tee adjacent to a fence or screen to force hitters to compact their swing. The outside barrier does the same thing except it is a lot more effective. It rotates around the tee to accommodate LH or RH hitters and it moves along with the forward arm to help you keep the hands "tight" when you are working on inside and outside pitch locations. With the outside barrier you are forced to rotate the hips and torso and extend the hands only at the point of contact. It produces a "quick" bat and more power too.

The outside barrier can also be placed to the rear of the AST. This will further eliminate a level swing plane and force a shorter more direct swing path to the ball. This will also teach hitters to get more backspin on the ball.

You can even add an outside barrier to make the Advanced Skills Tee the most complete batting tee on the market. Simply slide on an extra barrier to develop the quickest, most powerful and compact swing possible. Eliminate casting and dropping the hands all in one workout!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Batting Cages Tips for The Serious Baseball Parent

12 Things You Must Know Before You Purchase a Batting Cage
By Nick Dixon

Purchase a Batting Cage Only After You Have Considered These 12 Things. There are some basic points that you must know before you buy a batting cage.

1. Batting cages nets come in a variety of sizes but they are all rectangles. The net itself must have square corners to save construction time and cost. The sizes of a cage vary with the length, width, and height of the netting. Be careful not to purchase a batting cage that is too narrow. These cages do not allow older batters to take a comfortable swing and finish.

The greater the width and height of the batting cage, the better sensation a batter has when a ball is hit. The wider and higher cages allow the batter to read the path of the ball when it comes off the bat. A short and narrow cage tends to “smother” a hitter. The higher and wider cages are also safer for the coach, player or parent throwing batting practice.

2. Batting cage netting is most commonly available in three common “twine sizes” #21, #36, and #42. The lower the number the smaller the twine used in construction and the lighter-weight the cage. Heavy-duty cages such as the #42 better withstand the elements of time and use therefore they offer more durability and added years of use.

3. Batting cages are most often available in black. The twine is dyed black and UV is added to the netting. Black cages seem to last longer and in my opinion, they look better.

4. When you purchase a batting cage, don’t just consider the cost of the cage, but also calculate the cost of shipping. Many companies have shipping managers that provide you with an added service of securing the lowest shipping cost possible.

5. When you purchase a batting cage, you must also purchase or build a frame for the batting cage net. All cages require a support structure from which the cage will be hung. The longer the cage, the more support sections that will be required to hold it in place. The smaller and more light-weight a batting cage is, the less support structure it must have. You can depend on putting a support section at both ends and every 20 ft’ if you want your cage to be hung adequately without a lot of droop. So a 60’ batting cage would require at least 4 supports for a heavy-duty net and you may get by with three supports for a light-weight net. You may also need cable or heavy duty rope suspended between your supports to maximize cage support.

6. When you purchase a batting cage remember that you can not fit your available space to the batting cage. You must fit the batting cage into the space you have available. Step off you or measure the area you have available. Make sure to purchase a batting cage that will best suit your available space. Do not allow space to deter your commitment to a batting cage purchase. Small cages in the 35’, 40’ and 50’ lengths are long enough to allow great batting practice work.
7. Your chosen area must be level and it must drain well. If you can afford the additional cost, you may want to add a floor to your cage. There are two materials that make a great floor. Cement or concrete is the most costly. You may want to cover your hitting zone with indoor-outdoor carpet to extend the life of your leather baseballs. If you use rubber pitching machine balls in a pitching machine, they will withstand the abrasive properties of the cement cage floor.

Another great floor alternative is to use weather treated 2 x 4’s to build a raised floor. You will border all sides and ends of your batting cage floor with the 2x4’s and stake them into place. You will then fill the inside floor area with a commonly used infield material, crushed stone. This provides a raised dry hitting surface that will offer a safe and less abrasive surface upon which to hit.

8. When you purchase a batting cage, you are going to need to purchase a “L” protection screen to protect the pitchers throwing batting practice. Make sure that your “L” screen is a “sock” type with at least #42 netting to insure that it will withstand the heavy-duty abuse it will be subjected to.

A “square” screen is also a great investment to consider if you will be using a pitching machine often. There are screens specially designed to protect the person operating the pitching machine.

9. You will need a plate for batter and pitcher reference during batting practice. The pitcher will use the plate to throw the various pitch locations and the batter will use it to adjust to certain situational hitting drills. If your cage has a suitable floor, you may want to paint a plate and batter’s box to add a much appreciated feature.

10. You will need a power source if you have plans to light your cage and to use a pitching machine. Make sure that you can reach a source with extension cords or run a permanent source if you can do so safely.

11. When your purchase a batting cage, I recommend first talking to the supplier by phone. This allows you to ask questions and get answers. Depending on the description and details listed on a website, may cause you to purchase a batting cage that is not suitable for your needs. Most reputable batting cage companies have toll-free phone numbers and a staff available during business hours to offer you advice and information before you buy.

12. For many families the best and most “user-friendly” approach to buying a batting cage is to buy a complete batting cage package. These packages contain the nest size and weight of your choice and a “pre-fab” batting cage frame specifically designed to match the net. These packages are easy to assemble. Most of these “batting cage packages” can be assembled by two persons with about 2 hours of work. These “batting cage packages” can easily be taken down in the off-season and stored if there is a need to do so. Many of these packages include everything you need including the “L” protection screen. When the package arrives, all you have to do is carefully read and follow the step-by-step instructions to assemble your new batting cage.

I hope that these 12 points helped you gain a better prospective on how to buy your new batting cage. If you need additional help, please feel free to call our toll free customer service number, 1-877-431-4487. Our friendly staff will be glad to help you anyway they can. Trey and Bill are in the office from 8:00 to 5:00 CST, each day. Our company specializes in “Complete Package Systems” for home, school, team or commercial use. You may also visit one of our company sites:,,, or

Good Luck in your buying process. See you next time, Nick. Purchase a Batting Cage Frame and Net Package From and Save Time, Money and Construction Time.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How Do You Treat Umpires?

By Chip Lemin

Hello Coaches,
You probably know by now that I like to promote good sportsmanship, and player, fan in the game of youth baseball. There has never been more demand for proper conduct in youth baseball than today.Youth baseball coaches should consider themselves as statesman of the game.Youth baseball gets a black eye by the poor choices of a small majority.Please, as a youth baseball coach,please up hold the honor and integrity of our great game by setting strong examples for players,spectators,and umpires by.....
Don't be a bench jockey. This includes constant riding of the umpires,along with any personal comments about them or other players,coaches, or fans.Sounds like common sense.Well, some coaches need a refresher course.
Make sure you know the rules of youth baseball before you run your mouth. I will have further articles on some common rule disagreements coming up in later articles,along with a site to access for rule information.
Please limit discussions with umpires to the rules, not challenging the judgment of the umpire.
Coaches shall actively use their influence to enhance sportsmanship by their athletes and spectators.
Before and after contests, rival coaches should meet and exchange friendly greetings in order to set the correct tone for the game.
Contest umpires will be treated with respect and supported by the coach.
The coach shall not indulge in conduct which will incite players or spectators against the umpires.
Public criticism of umpires or players is unethical.
Coaches should develop and promote a spirit of cooperation among the baseball family, including sponsors and any person connected with the program. Baseball is a game of fun, designed for enjoyment of youngsters, not to be a hobby for adults coaching them.
Youth baseball needs every coach,player,fan, etc.. to conduct themselves in a civil friendly fashion. Even if opposing side is not. Do not allow your team or fans to be drawn into any type of interaction that is not in the best interest of youth baseball. I know I am giving a lecture here, but it is vital to the continued growth of this great game. Think before you act. I'll do my best this year also.
Thanks Coach Chip
About Coach Chip
Hello My name is Chip Lemin. I'm a long time youth baseball coach who loves to promote this great game of youth baseball. Promoting sportsmanship in this game of youth baseball is something that really needs I feel. I have a free e-course that will give you some solid coaching information along with great help on the inter-personal relationships we must have to be good youth baseball coaches.Things such as parents, travel baseball, getting parents to help out, how to communicate better to parents and players, just to touch on a few. This course will help to organize practices like an elite coach. How to motivate players and other coaches with your positive attitude. It really is not very hard to be a great coach when you know what to do.Best of all you will learn how to have fun with these great kids that you have the privilege of coaching. Do yourself a favor and check it out, it's free,you will get 1 part every couple of days in your e-mail. Coaching can be fun and rewarding if you have a plan in place first, and you have an idea what you are doing.
Article Source:

Monday, May 18, 2009

How Would You Like to Run a Fun, Effective Youth Baseball Practice?

By Chip Lemin

Practices in any sport can be boring and unproductive if not planned out ahead of time. Having a clip board with your practice itinerary written out is just a good solid idea.You can keep track of your time slots for certain drills,and keeping these on file, you will know what you have covered.

Keep your practices to 90 minutes when possible. I realize that early pre season practices will likely go over due to weather wiping out some valuable time early on.

Break up the practices with a couple of water breaks, so that you add some instruction as a group.Water breaks are not free-for-alls, they are for listening. Go over what you have been doing so far,and what you going to do next.


Practices can be broken up into different stations.A station is a group of players and 1 or 2 coaches.The term station refers to whatever skill is being worked on at that "station".

Typically you will divide your players and coaches up to best suit the drills you are doing.For example, take 3 catchers and run a blocking drill for 15 minutes.Then take your catchers to home plate and along with 3 middle infielders,conduct a throwing and tagging station.You can also work on back ups at 2nd base,along with pitch out drills for catchers . GET PARENTS INVOLVED!

Obviously you will need help to run these stations. That is why in the parental letter at tryouts or sign ups, you must be clear in asking for help. The parents or relatives do not have to have coaching experience,although it is helpful.

This one good way to get parents to see how much work you put in to the team.Please make it clear who your assistant coaches are right away. NAME them in your letter if possible.Just because someone helps with practice doesn't mean they are now on the staff.

I know some of this seems obvious,but believe me,it must be spelled out to avoid confusion.You will be training the parents as well on how to help with the drills,and they just might work with the player at home also.


My nightmare practice scenario is this.A coach is trying to throw batting practice to 1 batter at a time.The coach can't get it over the plate.There is no on deck batter to quickly help pick up balls at the backstop.The rest of the players and coaches are standing in the field looking very bored.

This is a very common practice,and 1 reason that kids don't like baseball practice. It's too boring. Well I'm here to help you take charge of your team with an energizing practice.

Use your creativity and come up with some different stations.Or just use some old stand byes. Hitting stations,throwing stations,catching stations,fielding stations,or pitching stations.

Rotate your coaches and volunteers to different stations each practice to give them another station to learn. Keep track of which person worked what station so you can them experience at all of stations.



What is stressed at each hitting station is a good balanced stance, starting the swing with your bottom hand,along with a strong hip rotation,and balanced high finish or follow through.

We like to use a drill called the Towel Drill. It is simply placing a folded towel under the back elbow of each hitter.Each hitter then gets several balls soft tossed to them one at a time.Each hitter is then trained to rotate the torso to hit the ball without the towel falling out from under their elbow.They quickly catch on after a couple practices.This is a good drill and inexpensive.

Another drill is balanced beam drill.Using a 60 inch 4x4 flat on the ground,have the players hit a ball off of a tee or soft toss to them to see whether their swing is balanced.It will also show you if they are stepping out of the batters box.

I use soft toss all season long.Try a purchase a hitting net to set up wherever you go during the season.Using soft toss you can look at the player's swings to see whether they are swinging correctly. All of the other hitting stations work a different part of the swing.Soft toss is where you can see the progress of the stations.


Baseball skills are learned with repetition.We must guard against boredom however by keeping station times to 15 minutes. Have players hustle from station to station. While others run the stations, the manager can go from station to station and observe players while heaping praise on them.Stop at a station and interject if needed.

Take a water break after all players have cycled through stations, and go over the fundamentals of the drills again.Also preview what they are going to do next,and praise their efforts on previous drills.Have a coach actually demonstrate the drills coming and what expect.Take questions from players if needed, but don't get off topic.90 minutes goes by fast.

Be sure to praise players who are doing drills correctly for their skill level.Remember not all players have the same skill levels, but all players need consistent praise and encouragement.

90 minute practices do not include 15 minute prepractice meeting and warm up time. Please have parents bring kids 15 minutes early, or if you are really on the ball, just schedule practice time 15 minutes earlier.


Parents will not get players to games and practice early if they see coaches and manager getting there late.Set an example right away!

My son had a coach who would always be there when we arrived and we were usually 30 min early for practice and 1 hour early for the game.We only arrived before him twice,and that was because we left even earlier than normal.There were no issues on that team about latecomers.

Getting to games early also helps to get good dugout sides if they are not marked.You can look at field conditions during uncertain weather.You can do some work on fields if needed or permitted.If it was a difficult place to find, you can communicate that to others by phone so they aren't late.It shows other team that you mean business,it may give you a slight psychological edge.


Practice is set for 12 noon

1150 or earlier - you arrive to get make sure everything is set, bases,pitching rubber,equipment, etc...

1145- players arrive hopefully, put them in parallel lines 20-35 ft. apart depending on age group. Have begin warming up using proper mechanics. Any overthrows are to be picked and run back into the line. This prevents more overthrows from further away.

12 noon Call practice to order. Go over what stations are being set up and which adults are running them.Divide players up as equally as possible,splitting up buddies,and or siblings.

If this is 1st practice using stations,please demo for kids what you want at each station.

Station 1 A drill called Fly

Players line up single file, coach throws a football pass type throw over the shoulder of player on the run to make the catch.Run the ball back to the coach on the outside of the line so there are no collisions between players. do this for 10 min.

Station 2 Fly ball drill with tennis balls

Using a tennis racket, hit fly balls to a single file line of players, one at time. Players must use 2 hands with tennis balls or they will have hard time catching them. do this for 10 min.

Station 3 5gal bucket drill

Set up a 5gal bucket at home plate or anywhere else you want.Put players in a single file line, throw them a grounder or fly ball, using proper throwing techniques, attempt to throw baseball into the bucket. Put bucket at least 100' away depending on age group of course. Do this for 10 min.

Station 4 Cut off man drill

Have the players rotate as cut off man,throw or hit ball past the outfielder,have them chase,then pick up ball,using good throwing form, hit the cut off man.Rotate after each throw. 10 min.


Have a water break,go over how drills went.Kid around with players a little and be very positive. Highlight all the good things you saw first, then maybe touch on what needs work. Above all,stay positive,and fun.


Divide into 2 groups 1 at 3rd,another at 1st. Single file lines Have players field some grounders and pop ups, throwing to coaches or catchers 15-20ft up each baseline. 10 min.


Put players into regular positions or close to it.Bring in 2-3 players to hit. Machine or coach pitch.Give each player 7 swings, then rotate to next batter. Each player hits 2 times, then goes out and shags balls. After hitting for 2nd time,call in another player. Always have 1-2 players ready to hit,and have everyone ready to hustle in and pick up balls between hitters.


Call team together, go over things,and announce next practice or game time.Thank everyone for being prompt,especially the parents.


There are many other ways to run a practice, I have given you a basic format that you can modify anyway you see fit.Just don't fall into a rut of doing the same things over and over. Variety is the spice of life and same is true for baseball.

Sometimes you will have entire practices on fielding or hitting. Schedule as many practices as the team's families will tolerate before the season starts.Once the season starts, have team arrive 1 hour before game time for some hitting and fielding workouts.


Practice will make your team better.Well run productive practices will do even more. When you run challenging varied workouts players will develop their skills quicker. Always encourage working hard on their games.Most important is be positive,and be fun.

Chip Lemin has been a promoter of youth baseball since they started using aluminum bats. That's a long time. I have witnessed many good people get into coaching without solid coaching skills and it is not fun for them or the kids.Today's newer coaches are also being shortchanged on sportsmanship, like there is none. Visit my site to sign up for a insightful, informational, free coaching e-course at

Article Source:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tips for Coaching Little League Baseball - Pitching Like A Pro, Top 5 Things You Can Do To Be The Perfect Pitcher.

Tips for Coaching Little League Baseball - Pitching Like A Pro, Top 5 Things You Can Do To Be The Perfect Pitcher.

By: Mike F.

You want to pitch like a pro? Want to make people you've been pitching for 30 years? After many years in the college pitching circuit I've found there are 5 things that every pitcher needs to know. These are 5 important tips, however there are many more. I just feel like these would be the top 5:

1.) How to stay cool before you go out to play a game.
2.) Play as much as you can.
3.) How to tune out the world and focus on they job you need to do.
4.) Covering the hit after you throw a pitch.
5.) Keeping base runners from stealing bases.

Before you even step out onto the field you will get some pregame jitters. It's just normal. It's how you handle those feelings that will determine if you win or lose on the mound. To help you get focused, remember it's normal to feel how you feel. Many pitchers are able to transform that energy into positive results at gametime.

If you love pitching you will want to pitch as much as you can. This is good. Play catch with whoever will play with you. When you throw the ball, aim for different areas on your catcher body. Aim at his left arm area and try to throw it there. Have him move his glove around and try to hit his glove without having to move it an inch.

Focus is key in any successful pitching. Being able to block out the world is a hard task. Thinking too much can be a bad thing. If you're mind is racing about what you're having for dinner, and if your jersey is untucked, it will definitely affect your pitching. Learn to breathe deeply. This will certainly relax you and focus you for that next perfect pitch.

Next on the list of successful pitching is what happens after the pitch. You are a fielder like anyone else after you release the ball. After you pitch square yourself with homeplate and be ready for anything that may come your way. It is very important that you remain balanced during play so that you can throw the ball when necessary.

Keeping base runners on the bag is one of things that can keep pitchers unfocused. Don't let them spook you. Hold the ball, and look at the runner when you can. Let them know that you're not going to lose if they challenge you.

Remember that you're a pitcher, and that pitching perfect takes work, and lots of it. Practice anytime you can and don't be afraid to take a break if you feel yourself getting "burned out." Sometimes time does make they heart grow fonder, even with pitching.

Article Source - Reprint Content

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Allowing Failure In Youth Baseball Drills

Allowing Failure In Youth Baseball Drills

By Nate Barnett

I'm sure you have heard the words, "practice makes perfect". Or, "perfect practice makes perfect". And while I enjoy the utopian view that someday I'll get to coach the perfect team, or the perfect player, it's just not going to happen. Especially not in a sport where failure is a common and frequent occurrence. It is vital that our athletes understand failure and be taught how to employ a strategy to use failure as a positive and not as a negative. It takes some rewiring in the minds of athletes, but it's well worth the time spent.

What I would like to explore here is how failure can be utilized during youth baseball drills and during practice in order to create more fundamentally solid baseball players.

For many youth today failure is terrifying. Afraid of messing up a speech in class, afraid of getting an "F" on a exam, afraid of striking out, and afraid of being rejected in this or that. Failure is everywhere and and it is an integral part of our daily lives. The problem I have with the focus on failure is that it tends to paralyze many from attempting to achieve. Let me be clear when I say that I am not trying to do away with things that cause failure, or to shelter youth from experiencing it, I'm simply stating the lens in which we view failure needs to be cleaned.

Facilitating a new angle on failure during youth baseball drills and practice time is actually quite simple. I'll provide one solid example on one aspect of the game of baseball and let you apply the principle to the rest.

A Tangible Example: Batting Practice

When working with hitters, I will watch closely how they approach batting practice. During BP, all hitters want to do well, and why not, it's their time to shine. However, it usually only takes a few missed pitches, a few ground outs, or a few fly outs before the hitter begins to be frustrated and lose focus. This just compounds the problem.

The problem is not the missed pitches or the poor results, the problem is the perceived meaning of the missed pitches. In other words, the hitter sees the missed opportunities as a sign of inferiority. This feeling compounded upon will create a belief that the athlete himself has failed.

Good hitters approach batting practice mistakes far differently. A few missed pitches, repeated ground outs or fly outs simply communicate to a quality athlete that there is something not quite right with his swing. Instead of focusing on the feeling of personal inferiority, a non-emotional response is used and the mistake is not personalized. Upon completion of batting practice, this same athlete can be found in the batting cage or off to the side working on the specific problem.

The key differences with the above examples is how each hitter dealt with failure. In the first example the hitter allowed the mistakes to be an end result. Personal inferiority. The mentally successful hitter viewed the mistake as simply a PART of his offensive game that needed some help. Two drastically different view points.

I would highly encourage during your youth baseball drills to teach and cultivate the following ideas:

1. Failure is just an indicator of something that needs to change.

2. Failure should never be allowed to be related to the person of the athlete

About the Author

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at

His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.

Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.

Check Out These Recommended Baseball Coaching Websites:
Baseball Coaching Journal

Baseball Training Equipment Sites:

Online Baseball Stores:
Baseball Dealz

Baseball Blogs for Coaches - Free Training Tips, Coaching Articles and More
Check out these recommended blogs for baseball coaches.
Baseball Coaching and Training Equipment Blog
The Hurricane Hitting Machine - Derek Jeter Series - Training and Coaching Blog
BatAction Machine Baseball Training and Coaching Blog
Batting Cage Information and Know-how: Buying, Building and Using Your New Batting Cage
TeeBall Coaching Drills, Tips and Other Information
Baseball Training Homework For Youth Players Blog
Baseball Parents Guide To Helping a Player Improve Blog
Baseball Coaching, Training and Instruction

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Champions Focus: Mental Toughness Under the Gun

Champions Focus: Mental Toughness Under the Gun
How well do you focus when under pressure? Does your focus wander to the what ifs? What if I don't get it done and blow a lead or embarrass myself?

In my work as a mental game expert, many of my students get caught in the mental trap of thinking too much about the *what ifs* or consequences of the outcome of a performance or game.

Having a clear goal of what you want to accomplish is critical to peak performance, but worrying too much about the end of the round, match, or game can be destructive to an execution-based (in-the-now) focus.

When under the gun during crunch-time, the top players are able to focus more intensely in the present moment. "One of the biggest differences between the top players and the good players is when they are under the gun, they see and hear less than anyone else. "
~Helen Alfredsson, LPGA Tour

What does Helen mean when she says other athletes see and hear less? The top athletes simply are less distracted when they *need to* hit a good shot, make a critical first down, or nail an important routine. They do not get caught up in the moment of intense pressure. Champion athletes are able to go deeper into an execution focus. They are able to focus only on what's important to successful performance.

Somehow the intensity of the moment spurs them to focus better in these situations. If you saw the "Soul of a Champion" series on Versus network, NY Yankee's Relief Pitcher, Mariano Rivera, talked about his ability to focus during a game and not pay attention to the potential distractions.

"I don't worry about things I can't control. Going into a game, I do not worry about 50,000 fans screaming or booing me. I focus on one thing only - get three guys out, "Mariano Rivera said.


About the Author: Want to learn simple, proven mental toughness skills that you can apply to competition? Grab my free online mental training newsletter, Sports Insights Magazine - for athletes, coaches, and sports parents:
Dr. Patrick Cohn is a master mental game coach who work with professional and amateur athletes, sports parents, and teams of all levels. Visit for more information.

Baseball Dealz - Baseball Training Equipment Store on Ebay

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Flexibility for Young Athletes- Q & A with Chris Blake

Flexibility for Young Athletes- Q & A with Chris Blake

Chris Blake, MA, LATC, CSCS, YCS

What is the difference between Flexibility and Mobility?
Flexibility can have two definitions:
1.) The ability of muscle to lengthen during passive movements.
2.) Range of motion about a joint and surrounding musculature during passive movements.

Mobility can also have two ways of being defined. The main definition is the state of being in motion. But this state of motion can be looked at within certain joints (subtalar mobility) or as a physical whole (moving from one position into the next during a run).
Click here to read this article at

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wiffle Ball Baseball teaches pitching and hitting skills and builds confidence

by: Mike Schim

Wiffle Ball Baseball teaches pitching and hitting skills and builds confidence

The game of wiffle ball is lots of fun, and teaches many skills that are valuable in baseball and softball. Kids play it because it’s fun and can be played anywhere. You can play in your backyard, in the street, in a field, on a baseball diamond, and even the beach. The wiffle ball itself is lightweight and won’t break any windows, and won’t hurt children if a pitch hits them. The wiffle ball bat is lightweight and can be handled by children of nearly any age.

Children that play wiffle ball are actually building their self-confidence. As a pitcher, the wiffle ball will spin, curve, and wiggle in almost any direction. As a hitter, a child gains confidence in swinging the wiffle ball bat and hearing the crack of the bat hitting the ball. All of these confidence-building skills will help when the child plays baseball or softball. You can find books and videos to learn baseball and softball by visiting and you can also learn by doing: so play ball and enjoy the game as you learn more and become better.

Wiffle-ball baseball pitching mechanics and technique:

A pitcher in the game of wiffle ball can throw the ball with spins and curves, depending on the type of pitching grip. Holding the ball differently will cause the ball to be a curveball, slider, sinker, floater, fastball, or any other kind of pitch. Thanks to the lightweight nature of the wiffle ball, a young player can try different stances and pitching mechanics and techniques. A pitcher can throw side-arm or overhead. The pitcher can even switch and use their non-preferred throwing arm. A right-handed pitcher could try pitching left-handed, and a left-handed pitcher could choose to try being a right-handed pitcher. The simple grip of the ball and the lightweight wiffle ball can allow this experimentation.

Wiffle-ball baseball hitting mechanics and technique freedom:

A child who is up at bat with a wiffle ball bat can swing the bat much faster that he/she could with a much heavier bat. This new-found baseball swing freedom can increase a child’s confidence and boost batting mechanics and technique.

A right-handed baseball hitter could tryout a left-handed baseball hitting stance. Or, a left-handed baseball hitter could tryout a right-handed baseball hitting stance. A child could become a switch hitter!

Baseball fielding mechanics and technique:

The wiffle ball is not only a tricky ball to hit, it is also very tricky to field. When the wiffle ball is hit in the air, it can spin off the bat and thus fly in a surprising fashion. Once the wiffle ball hits the ground, it will react to any tiny tree branch or pebble on the ground. These quick bounces and direction changes are excellent for practicing fielding techniques for youth baseball players. The child is required to keep their eye on the ball at all times, and they must quickly react to any sudden change in direction. The quick bounce of a wiffle ball hit on the ground will keep a child light on their feet and give them lighting-fast hand reflexes for fielding techniques.

Backyard baseball fun anytime:

A game of wiffle ball builds many skills and coordination for baseball players of all ages. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it can be played anywhere!

About The Author

Mike Schim has been a baseball fan for nearly 30 years. As a child he enjoyed playing catch with very old, well worn baseball gloves. He now plays ball with friends and teaches his family and kids how to play ball. You can read more of his articles at and he also writes for Mike hopes that his passion for writing about baseball will help everyone more thoroughly enjoy the game. Top of Form 1

Looking for top quality baseball training equipment at discount prices? Check out the BaseballDealz Super Store.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How to Be a Baseball Catcher - Fundamentals and Techniques

By Ruth Cracknell

To be a baseball catcher, in addition to learning the mechanics of his job, the player also has to know something about "handling" pitchers. He must get to know their capabilities, what kind of temperament they have, etc. If the pitcher is a very nervous boy and inclined to pitch too fast, it's up to the catcher to hold the ball longer between pitches and slow him down.

If the pitcher gets discouraged quickly, the catcher ought to talk to him and try to keep his spirits up. Most of all, the catcher ought to know which pitch is the hurler's best-is it the fast ball, or the curve? {The "best" on the day he's pitching).

When a new pitcher comes into the game, the catcher meets him at the mound, reviews the signs, the current situation, the number of outs, the score and the next hitter.

Be The Quarterback
The catcher, like the hitter, is within the vision of every defensive player. This puts him in position to "take charge" of the ball club in the field. And "take charge" he must. Part of his assignment is to see to it that every boy is playing in the right position for the hitter. He moves the outfield to left or right; brings the infield up or directs it to play back.

If he's not fielding a bunt, he tells the boy who does where to throw the ball. He decides whether a ground ball is to be played home-to-1st (with bases loaded), or whether the infield is to try for a 2nd-to-lst double play. The infield in particular has to know in advance where to make the play with runners on base. It's up to the catcher to tell them-whether he decides on his own, or gets his orders from the manager.

Wear Equipment Correctly
To be a baseball catcher worth his salt, it's not a good idea for him to let anyone else use his mitt. That's his most important tool and it needs to be in perfect condition at all times. Break it in yourself, catcher, and it will fit your hand. Don't use a sponge unless you have a sore hand. In other words, try to toughen up the catching hand so you won't need a sponge.

Buckle the shinguards with buckles on the outside. That way they won't catch when you're running. When your team is at bat, don't take the shinguards off unless you are among the first three hitters. Don't wear the chest protector loose, it will hamper throws to the bases. Keep it under the chin while catching to protect the Adam's Apple. Always wear it the same way; that is, with the buckle on the same side.

Be sure the mask fits snugly. Keep the straps over the ears to protect against foul tips. Keep the leather of the mask clean. Never go behind the bat without full equipment!

Since World War II, there has been a tremendous change in the makeup and direction of "kid baseball", as it is called. Adults, showing an unprecedented interest in the activity, have initiated and developed programs in thousands of towns across the United States-programs that provide wholesome recreation for millions of youngsters and are often a source of pride and joy to the community in which they exist.

The young player of today is smartly uniformed and fully equipped. He plays on a miniature Big League diamond ruled by uniformed umpires. He often plays before large crowds and occasionally gets his name in a newspaper.

To be a baseball catcher is to be a very valuable part of this great game. Enjoy the wonderful game of baseball!

Learn Everything You Need To Know About Baseball Catching

Article Source: - Online Baseball Coaching and Training Store

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

30 Cardinal Sins of a Baseball Pitcher

Baseball Pitching Know-How
The 30 Cardinal Sins of a Baseball Pitcher

Every baseball team's fortune lies in the hands or the "arm" of the pitcher on the mound. This can be said for pitching at every level from Little League Baseball to High School Baseball to College Baseball and to Major League Baseball. As I was watching the College World Series on ESPN last June, I noticed that every pitcher did the little things perfect. Every pitcher had basically the same approach to the game. Every college baseball pitcher in Omaha tried to get ahead of the batters, pound the strike zone with good pitches, and let their defense make plays behind them.

Click Here to Continue Reading This Article at the Baseball Coaching Digest.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Check out for baseball coaching and training articles

Our goal is to provide you with a source of coaching information that you will find useful and interesting. Make sure to "bookmark" this site to your favorites so that you can visit us often. We will be adding at least 12 new coaching articles every month.

We have articles on every aspect of baseball coaching including coaching baseball hitters, coaching pitchers, coaching defense, baseball practice planning and organization, baseball player motivation, and much, much, more. Welcome to the Baseball Coaches Digest, one of the internet's largest collections of baseball coaching articles.