Saturday, January 30, 2010

The 3 R's of Pitching

By Rick Harig

Realize the basic premise that the pitcher has the advantage. This is the foundation for a successful pitcher. Hitting a baseball is said to be the hardest thing to do in all of sport. The pitcher needs to remember that. "If the swing by a right-hand batter is seven milliseconds (.007) too late, the squarely hit ball will sail foul past first base." - Robert Adair, a Yale physicist who has studied the science of baseball, referring to a 90mph fastball.

Recognize when you, as the pitcher, lose your focus. How do you avoid a big inning? You avoid it by recognizing that you have been taken out of your game and only then can you adjust and refocus to the task at hand. Many pitching plans include some avoidance of "the big inning". It is easy to talk about, but after one of these "big innings" takes place, the pitcher usually only understands it when reflecting back on it after the game and on the chaos that surrounded him while it was going on. The pitcher needs a thought-stopping cue from himself to help recognize that he has lost his focus. It is important to do this so he can pitch in the present and not in the past. The thought stopping cue could be as simple as "STOP", or "play in the now".

Refocus to the task at hand. Once the pitcher "snaps out of it" and concentrates on the present, then he can pitch to his potential and win the situation. The pitcher who analyzes and frets on how all those guys got on base will not be able to refocus into the present to do the job. A routine or mental cue can help with focus. The pitcher needs to let it flow and let the right side of the brain take over. He can only do this if the mind in clear and free of distracting thoughts. Here is an example of how a pitcher can get back into the now by letting his left brain guide him and set his right brain up for the actual pitch. Use the dirt circle of the mound as the positive / negative ground. Whenever he catches himself being negative he goes into the grass. At that time, he can tell himself anything he wants, he can worry about all the runners, the errors and walks that got them there, whatever he wants. However, the second he gets back onto the dirt he is positive and ready to get the next guy out! A routine like this combined with some proper breathing can get the pitcher to stay in a positive, non-distracting mode. Hopefully he spends most of his time in the dirt and stays in the now.

Every pitcher needs a plan. There is not one pitcher in the history of baseball that has gone through his career, let alone a season, or even a game, without adversity. No matter how good a pitcher is he will face dilemmas in games that he needs to have a plan for. It is too easy to say, "Be a bulldog, go get them". Sure successful pitchers have bulldog characteristics and competitive success models built in that they do not even know about, but there is no need to analyze that. It is the pitcher's past experiences, successes, and failures that have given him those built in characteristics. It is the future challenges that the pitcher will face as he progresses to higher levels of competition in his career that he needs the above to help advance his success rate.

Rick Harig
Copyright 2009
Cognitive Advantage Program

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bamboo Baseball Bats - The New Cage Bat?

By Tyler Coughlin

Asia has again made their mark on Baseball in America. Bamboo Baseball bats have become increasingly popular among youth and amateur baseball players in the U.S. and across the globe for that matter. Bamboo bats have yet to receive the stamp of approval from Major League Baseball, and most people think that stamp of approval will not be coming at all.

There are a lot of people asking why Bamboo has yet to be accepted into the MLB? So let's go over the main arguments keeping Bamboo on the outside of Major League Parks.

Here is a Major League Baseball Rule that addresses this particular issue....1.10
(a) The bat shall be a smooth, round stick not more than 23/4 inches in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 42 inches in length. The bat shall be one piece of solid wood.
NOTE: No laminated or experimental bats shall be used in a professional game (either championship season or exhibition games) until the manufacturer has secured approval from the Rules Committee of his design and methods of manufacture.

Bamboo bats are made by laminating a bunch of bamboo strips into a blank, and then turning the blank into a bat. Which makes the bat very hard to break, and obviously violates rule 1.10 (as shown above) which states that the bat shall be one piece of solid wood.

Although that rule seems to be a big part of why Bamboo Bats are not MLB approved, there seems to be a more popular argument used. Bamboo bats are widely considered to be similar to composite bats based on the way they are made. Composite bats are also off limits in the MLB. Most experts believe that Bamboo will never receive Major League Baseball's approval unless the MLB approves all composite bats.

So, now looms the bigger question. How will Bamboo Baseball bats survive in America? Well since Bamboo bats seem to be so durable, many youth and amateur players and teams are using them as Batting Cage bats. More coaches and players are catching onto the benefits of training with wood bats, even if they play in an Aluminum Bat league. Hitting with wood forces the hitter to swing with proper mechanics, while aluminum often delivers good results even when improper mechanics are used.

Maple Bats, Ash Bats, and Birch bats all provide better power than Bamboo, but none of them provide the durability that Bamboo does. That means a perfect match for Bamboo Baseball Bats and Batting Cages.

A player or team can reap the benefits of training with wood, without having to continually purchase wood bats because of overuse. Bamboo bats are becoming a big part of the resurgence of wood bats in America. So in a game where so much has changed, wood is looking like the one constant that doesn't plan on going anywhere soon.

Written By
Tyler Coughlin
VP of Operations MoZer Bats

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Baseball Tips on Hitting - Moving an Important Runner to Third Base

By Larry Cicchiello

With an important runner on second base and no outs, try to drive the ball the opposite way if you are a right-handed batter or try to pull the ball if you are a left-handed batter. You have a much better chance of advancing an important runner on a grounder to the second baseman or even to the first baseman than if you ground out to the shortstop or to the third baseman.

Don't make the common baseball hitting mistake of losing your aggressiveness when swinging and hitting the ball the opposite way. Don't lose sight of the obvious fact that the base hit is always more beneficial than simply advancing the base runner.

Look for a pitch that you can hit to the right side of the infield. You may have to take a pitch or so to get the right one. You have to walk a fine line here if looking for a specific pitch though because you don't want to fall behind in the count. If ahead in the count, you can afford the luxury of looking for that certain pitch.

If needed, adjust your stance. One of the better baseball hitting tips is to move three or four inches farther away from the plate if you are a right-handed hitter or three or four inches closer to the plate if you are a left-handed hitter. Some very good baseball hitters do just that. They are always looking for any possible edge that can help them hit the ball on the right side of the field or improve their baseball hitting in any way.

The opposing pitcher is usually well aware that you may want to hit the ball on the right side of the field to get an important runner to third base with only one out. If you're a right-handed batter, a smart baseball pitcher may very well work you mostly over the inside part of the plate and if you are a left-handed batter, he may very well work you over the outside part of the plate.

Just remember that advancing the runner from second base to third base has its time and place and depends on the importance of that particular runner getting to third base with less than two outs. It also is very important as to who follows you in the batting order. If two very weak hitters follow you in the order, you should be focusing solely on getting a hit to knock the runner in.

Larry is the president of Larwenty Online Enterprises Inc. He is also the author of "Excellent Baseball Coaching: 30 Seconds Away." If you are a baseball player or baseball coach at any level of play, or a parent who wants to help your child improve, you will be fully equipped! His baseball website offers several FREE baseball tips from his very informative and very fairly priced eBooks.

Larry's baseball website is

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Advanced Hitting Drills

By Jack Perconte

There are numerous hitting drills and all have specific purposes. Good hitting drills address a specific area of a hitter's fundamentals. When hitters have practiced basic hitting drills for a time they may be ready for more advance hitting drills. Additionally, these drills can serve to break up the monotony of performing the same drills over and over.

Some drills will actually address a few different fundamental areas at the same time, making them even more valuable. One such drill is the back knee pickup drill that I have written about before. This drill where the hitter swings, picks up the back foot and allows the knee to rotate towards the pitcher is a good multi-use drill that works on using the front side and keeping a firm front side without collapsing the lower half on the swing. It also serves to have hitters transfer their weight and maintain leverage through their swing. This is only a drill and is not the way a hitter will hit in a game, but a drill that reinforces the correct fundamentals for hitters who have specific hitting deficiencies. This drill helps hitters who "step out" with their stride and for those who open their hips or front shoulder too early.

Other advanced hitting drills include the following:

1. The self flip drill is very valuable for advanced hitters. It will force hitters to develop quick hands and strong forearms. To perform this drill the hitter will hold the ball with their top hand as their lower hand grips the bat. The hitter flips the ball up no higher than eye level into the hitting zone. At this time, the hitter will grab the bat with both hands and hit the ball. Obviously, the goal is to hit line drives and in the direction of where the ball was flipped, (middle, inside or outside). Hitters will notice that very quick hands are necessary to hit the ball consistently solid.

2. Another advanced hitting drill is to have the hitter stand a foot or so away from a net, where the hitter is facing away from the net. The goal is to swing and miss the net with the bat going forward, but to hit the net slightly on the follow through with the bat. This drill will reinforce a compact swing and "staying back" at the same time. Hitters should keep their head in throughout the entire swing and not pull their front shoulder out in order to hit the net on the follow through. Once again, this is another drill for advanced hitters only. This drill can be done with a ball on the batting tee or with flip drills for even better results.

3. The two ball flip drill is another advanced hitting drill that is very good for teaching hitters to wait on the ball and to develop a quick, compact swing. Hitters will need the assistance of a coach to flip balls from behind a protective screen for this drill. The coach will hold two balls in the same hand at once and flip the balls into the hitting zone. When the ball approaches the hitter, the coach yells out which ball they want the hitter to hit, either high/low, or even inside/ outside. Obviously, because the hitter does not know which ball to hit until the last moment, they cannot cheat with their swing too early or they will hit the wrong one or miss altogether.

These are a few advanced hitting drills that will help advanced hitters. Many more like these are contained in my hitting book.

Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball hitting lessons advice can be found at

Jack is the author of two books, The Making of a Hitter and Raising an Athlete - and one of his videos can be seen at

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Baseball Recruited Athletes - How to Get Scholarship Offers

By Gary V Hawkins

If you find yourself as a baseball recruited athlete and you don't quite know what to do next, this article can help you stay on track to playing in college. Being recruited is just the beginning of the process and you want to make sure you give yourself the best shot at playing college baseball.

Once you begin being recruited, here are some steps you want to take:

1- Keep The Lines Of Communication Open

Once a coach has made contact with you, you want to make sure that you stay in contact. Send him periodic updates on you and your team. Although you are already a baseball recruited athlete, don't make the coach wonder if you still have in interest in his program.

2- Save Everything

Save all your press clipping and articles and use some of them to update the coaches.

3- Don't Assume Anything

Coaches usually recruit several players for each position. Just because they are showing interest in you don't assume the offers will start rolling in. Keep working hard.

4- Continue To Get Better

Even as a baseball recruited athlete, you want to strive to get better. Coaches want players who are never satisfied with their skills and who are constantly working to get better.

5- Don't Let Your Grades Slip

Coaches will be comparing you to your competition in all ways... including your grades. Don't let your grades be the reason you don't get any offers to play in college.

If you do these five things, you can put yourself in a good position to get offers as a baseball recruited athlete. If you are not being recruited or you want more college competing for your services, I recommend marketing and promoting yourself to college coaches. A simple athletic resume and a personal letter is all it takes to get the process started. If coaches have an interest, they will make contact with you.

Learn more about how to get on the path to playing in college, download our Free Report: Five Secrets You Must Know To Get Recruited For Athletic Scholarships.

Get your free report at:

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Maple Baseball Bats - Passing the Test of Time and Still Going Strong

By Tyler Coughlin

It's been about nearly 9 years since Barry Bonds broke the single season home run record while using a Maple Baseball Bat throughout the season. That magical season in baseball was the showcase year for Maple Bats. Although players like Joe Carter used Maple even as far back as in the late 1980's, maple never really took off until the 2001 season when Bonds crushed 73 home runs to break the single season homerun record in baseball. From that point on, maple surged into more and more hands in baseball...and maple hasn't looked back ever since.

A lot of things in our society turn out to be fads, and never survive the trying times. Maple baseball bats are beginning to silence the critics who have been loud advocates against maple. There have been multiple instances where maple has been the culprit of major injuries in baseball. A prime example was during the 2008 season when Pittsburgh Pirates hitting coach Don Long was hit in the face just below the eyes by a huge chunk of Nate McLouth's maple bat during the eighth inning of a game at Dodgers Stadium. Witnesses say that chunk seemed to be about half of the bat. Just ten days later, another maple bat chunk flew out of the hands of the Colorado Rockies Todd Helton and flew into the stands and broke the jaw of a Dodgers fan.

A lot of players worried about the safety of their teammates, coaches and fans have even switched from Maple to Ash or Birch. Including a few seasons back, when Frank Thomas and Eric Chavez switched from Maple to Birch, and Jason Bay switched back to Ash from Birch.

A 2005 study commissioned by the MLB found that there was no difference in how fast the ball comes off a maple or ash bat. But still maple seems to give hitters a confidence that ash does not. Although the exact number of players who swing maple in the MLB is unknown, it is certain that it is a majority; with some reports estimating the number at 60 to 70 percent.

There also is undoubtedly a longer life span with Maple. Various studies have found that the average life span of a Maple Bat in the MLB is about a month, versus about a week long life span for Ash. So while there are concerns among MLB officials about the safety risks associated with Maple Baseball Bats, Bat Manufactures are working hard alongside MLB officials to create a solution to the safety risks; aside from prohibiting maple bats from baseball.

Throughout all of the issues and controversy and worries surrounding Maple Baseball Bats, the demand is still there, and the popularity is still growing. Maple bats may see some troubling times, but it seems like the new wood bat king is here to stay.

Written By,
Tyler Coughlin
VP of Operations MoZer Bats

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to Take Care of Leather Baseball Glove

By Ryan Beck

The care of baseball gloves varies greatly as it is mainly a personal choice of what each player thinks works best for them. The glove is actually an extension of the players hand and treated as such. The leather should be treated like the skin on the players hand. It is important to first keep the glove leather clean.

This can be accomplished by simply wiping dirt off with a dry cloth. It is important to never wipe leather with any type of water. Simply wait until the mud or dirt dries then wipe it clean. Next the leather must be kept soft.

This is where personal preference comes into the cycle. There are many lotions and creams made specifically that can be purchased for use. Other players use petroleum jelly or foam shaving cream. The player should realize that it is important to use less not more or the cream or lotion of choice.

This is because more will attract dirt and take too long to dry. After these items are applied the player often ties a ball in the pocket and waits 24 hours. Then it is important to play catch. Myths about breaking in gloves that should never be done include baking or microwaving gloves.

Tying a ball in the glove and soaking it in water will also ruin the glove and should never be done. A glove should never be placed in a plastic bag especially for long period storage between seasons. All of these will ruin the leather in the glove and in the stitching.

In review, keep your glove dry, clean and apply small amounts of lotions, oils, or creams. Also just using the glove will keep the pocket in good shape. Just treat your glove with respect and don't throw it around or leave it on the field. Treat it like you would your skin on your hand.

Baseball Glove Depot has a huge Collection of baseball gloves at discount prices.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

How Baseball Gloves Were Adopted Slowly by Players

By Ryan Beck

In the 139+ years that baseball has been played, 139 of those years were played with a glove. The earliest gloves were use more to protect the wearer's hand than anything else, some of the players scorned the use of gloves to show how tough they were.

There is even evidence of name calling and showing off who could play without wearing gloves in those early days. Those days are long gone. The showing off has been replaced by the safety that these gloves provide.

Those early gloves had a padded palm and were not much larger than a workman's glove, the game play of that day was to knock down the ball and then throw it. To that end the baseball glove did not have any fingers in them, either by design or because the user would cut them off, this would make throwing the ball with the gloved hand easier.

Forty years later the baseball glove began to look something like the modern day glove, the glove now had fingers and padding extended beyond the palm of the hand to include the fingers. The over all size of the gloves had not increased much but with the additional padding and the inclusion of webbing between the thumb and first finger they were larger than the preceding years.

Fifty years later and the baseball glove looks much the same as what is being played with now, the space between the thumb and first finger now has a patch of leather the finger tips are loosely stitched together and the end result is a much larger glove.

Your place to get high quality baseball gloves at very competitive price.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Baseball Hitting - The Movement of the Head is Critical

By Larry Cicchiello

It is very important to make sure your head is turned and facing the pitcher to ensure that you get a good view of the pitch that will soon follow. Your head should be totally relaxed and pretend that you are simply watching TV. Make sure both the front shoulder and arm are out of the way.

A good point of focus is the pitcher's cap because it's approximately the same height as where the pitch will be released from. The advantage is that your eyes will not have to refocus on the baseball and will be focused already.

What you do when the pitch is released is very important for being a successful baseball hitter. If your head remains turned toward the pitcher at the point of contact, you will be see the ball out of the corners of your eyes and this must be avoided. It will not work.

If your head is facing half way between the pitcher and the point of contact, you will see the ball a little better. If you turn your head directly toward the point of contact, you will get the best possible look at the baseball and this is what you must do. It's a medical fact that you can not see an object as well when looking at it out of the corners of your eyes.

If it's a medical fact, imagine the importance when trying to see a baseball that takes less than a second to get to the catcher's mitt, may have movement on it and you have to decide if it's a ball or a strike! And all this happens in less than one second so you need to see the baseball as clearly as possible. When it comes to baseball hitting, it is an absolute that you must turn your head if you want to achieve success.

Larry is the president of Larwenty Online Enterprises Inc. and also the author of "Excellent Baseball Coaching: 30 Seconds Away." If you are a baseball player or are involved in baseball coaching at any level of play or a parent who wants to help your child improve, you will be fully equipped! His baseball website offers several FREE baseball tips from his very informative and very fairly priced eBooks.

Larry's baseball website is

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

3 Things to Look For in a Baseball Hitting Coach

By Jordan Koch

There are many guys out there that claim to be baseball hitting coaches. How can you find out who you like and who you might not like? There are three simple steps you can do to find out if you might like a baseball hitting coach or not. You're going to want to check his background, his system, and of course his prices.

When looking into a baseball hitting coach's background, make sure he has played or coached at some of the highest levels of baseball. If he hasn't done at least this you can never be too sure what you're actually getting. Plus, it's a lot easier to teach someone if you have done it yourself and he is going to know how to get you to the highest levels.

Make sure you like his system, or his way of teaching. He might know everything about hitting but if he can't teach he's no good to you. Make sure you can listen and he has a great method of teaching people. This usually has to be done by actually taking a lesson and finding out for yourself. If he doesn't work out make sure to shop around a little bit.

Last, but certainly not least, make sure his price tag fits your budget. There is no hitting coach worth a ridiculously high price. Make sure you know the general price range of coaches near you and compare against that.

Try to follow those guidelines when looking for a baseball hitting coach and you should be pleased with your decision. Of course, work hard and watch your game improve with a baseball hitting coach.

Dominate the Competition and Learn True Hitting Secrets With the Super 8 Hitting System

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

3 Most Important Baseball Coaching Tips

By Jordan Koch

There are a lot of good baseball coaching tips out there, but the great baseball coached really hammer down on three tips. The important tips are running hard, playing smart, and having a plan. If you really promote these three tips at practices you should start to see better practices and better performances on the field.

Hustle, hustle, hustle. We have all heard that before but many coaches seem to be getting away from that. More and more baseball players are walking around at practice and that leads to potentially jogging out ground balls and generally looking sloppy. If you want to keep your team looking sharp at all times, make sure it starts with practice. Keep the players running around and you will see a much better-looking team come game time.

Another one of the great baseball coaching tips is the importance of playing smart. Even the best team in the world has to play smart in order to win. Make sure your team isn't throwing behind runners, and that they are hitting behind them. Cut-offs should be hit and outfielders should be taking the right lines to fly-balls. A lot of the things that go along with playing smart are small little details, but all these details done right will lead to games being won.

The last tip is two-fold, in order to win you must have a plan then execute it. Pitchers need to know how to attack hitters then do it. Hitters need to know what to expect against certain pitchers then be ready for it. Your defense should know what to do with the ball if it's hit to them. This idea of having plan will greatly increase the chance of actually doing the right things on the baseball field.

Good coaches become great when they follow the three important baseball coaching tips and implement them into their system. Start seeing an increase in ability out of your players now by cracking down on these ideas.

Dominate the Competition and Learn True Hitting Secrets With the Super 8 Hitting System

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

I hope 2010 will be a great year for you and your family.

Coach Bob