Monday, October 31, 2011

Learn How to Play Baseball While Playing Football

By Dr. Chris Yeager

Let's discuss some of the best movements (call them drills if you prefer) to help players ingrain a back-arm loading pattern for baseball while playing football. The back arm-loading pattern applies to throwing a football, throwing a baseball and hitting a baseball. It's a universal loading pattern for football and baseball.

So, dad's relax. Your son doesn't have to fall behind in baseball because he is too busy playing football. In fact, it's probably better that you are giving him a break and having him play other sports.

But don't waste your time. Use your time wisely and practice these universal-loading patterns with the football.

Here are some ideas to improve your son's baseball skills while playing football:

1. Walking Rhythm Drill

One great way to introduce the back arm loading pattern movement is to utilize a walking-rhythm with the arm action. The "walking-rhythm" refers to simply stepping laterally (taking your stride) repeatedly down the football field. The back arm will naturally load up as we step. In addition, the "thought" of throwing will naturally develop timing and rhythm within our footwork. We just need to learn to load the arm correctly.

Make sure feet, knees, and waist are set up correctly

-the feet are working straight ahead

-knees bent "one click"

-waist bent "one click"

- and be sure the shoulders drop over the knees.

-The shoulders and elbows should be down and relaxed.

Our feet for the walking drill are set up a little more narrow than it would be for a regular batting session.

2. Use the Football

Because of its size and shape, a football can be very useful in developing an elite level throwing pattern. Remember, this is the same pattern used in hitting a baseball as well. It is easier to see the football turn with the long bone in the upper-arm. As that elbow turns up, the ball turns with it.

This can really help the player feel the turning or the winding up nature from this elite-level loading phase.

Use the same rhythmic lateral stepping pattern moving down the football field saying "load, load, load" as you load the back-arm by turning the bone up and keeping the elbow bent.

3. Isolation Drills

Continuing our focus on phase-one of the back arm, we will isolate the movement for three repetitions with no stride. Then incorporate a live stride for three repetitions, preferably against the live motion. Do this with a football.

We're going to isolate the movement for just three repetitions and really focus on the movement at the shoulder joint as the only action (no step or stride) "load, load, load." Again we're focusing on the out-of-the-glove action, lifting and turning of the long bone in the upper arm with the football.

Next we use a football and simply add a live stride to phase one of the loading phase. Again, the cadence is "load, load, load." As we perform the movement, we want to make sure that the hand stays in front of the shoulder as we turn the elbow up during this loading phase.

The plan is very simple and the movement is easy. It's just going to take some repetitions to make permanent. If you don't get the loading phase of the back arm correct, it's very difficult for your swing or throw to recover.

Go ahead and get better at baseball while you are playing football.

Dr. Yeager is a PHD in human performance and an expert in the physics and physiology of the baseball swing and throw. He is one of the founders of Iso Baseball.
Iso Baseball's mission is to design and develop scientifically based baseball/softball hitting instructional devices/ Please visit to learn more.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

How To Control The Bunt

By Jim Bain

The utilization of the "Bunt" as an offensive weapon is not a new strategy, thus the rule which declares an automatic third strike call on a batter, who has two strikes and bunts the ball foul. The rule was created in order to prevent a player from being able to continue attempting to bunt until he finally got it right.

With the implementation of the rule the ability to successfully lay a bunt down in no more than two attempts, creating a two strike count on the batter, became more important than ever.

There are two distinct contrary philosophies in baseball pertaining to using the sacrifice bunt as a weapon.

1. Earl Weaver, famous manager of the Baltimore Orioles, eloquently expressed one point of view by stating " I only have 27 outs in a game, why would I give one away?" The idea of trading an out for advancing a runner into scoring position, with the hope he can be driven in, did not set well in that day and age.

2. The second thought process is, trading an out for the increased percentage of being able to score a run by advancing the runner, is no different than increasing your odds by bringing in a left handed pitcher to face a left handed batter.

Differences of philosophy not withstanding, one issue on which there is no disagreement on is Giving up an out without accomplishing the intended goal, is totally unacceptable. In other words, if you're going to bunt to move a runner into scoring position, you'd better be successful.

The key to a successful bunt is the ability to place the baseball in a particular area of the field which prevents the defense from throwing out the lead runner, and that ability is created by having complete control of the bat.

Let's exam a few of the skills required in order to become a proficient bunter.

1. Knowing how to hold the bat, which sounds simple enough, is totally different than your normal batting grip. The bat, instead of being firmly gripped with both hands, is cradled loosely allowing for the bat to move in your hands.

A. Your right hand (right handed hitters) will slide up the barrel of the bat, loosely held with the finger tips, never wrap your fingers around the barrel of the bat placing your fingers in the hitting zone. By holding the bat in this manner you allow the bat to recoil in your hand as the ball strikes the bat, which absorbs the ball's energy, which in turn reduces the travel distance off the bat.

B. Your left hand will firmly grip the handle of the bat, because this hand will control the angle the bat is moved in, which controls the direction the ball will be bunted in. Push your left hand out away from your body and you pull the bat barrel backwards, which will push the ball to the right side of the infield. Pull the bat handle in towards the body and the produced bat angle will push the ball to the left side of the infield.

It's the command of knowing how far to angle the bat, and how firmly to grip the bat head, which will dictate the exact placing, direction wise, and distance wise, which is the key to successful bunting.

Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player, who since retiring has dedicated his life to teaching baseball to youth, shares his advice on running baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The New BBCOR Baseball Bat Rule in High School Baseball

By Adam LaGrange The world of high school baseball is changing. A brand new standard for baseball bats will take effect January 1, 2012 for all high schools all over the country. The National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) has ruled that all baseball bats used for high school play will have to be BBCOR certified beginning from the new season. The state of California already had this rule in place for the 2011 season. The NCAA, in addition to the other collegiate associations, also applied the brand new principle for 2011. The acronym, BBCOR, means "Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution." The brand new standard will replace the previous BESR (Ball Exit Speed Ratio) standard that had been in position in the 2011 season. The latter rule measured the ratio of the baseball's exit in comparison to the speed of both the pitch and also the swing of the bat. The BBCOR rating essentially measures the trampoline effect of the bat's walls. I won't bore you with the precise formula for the measurement, but think about the wall of the bat as being a trampoline. When you hop upwards and after that down onto the flexible fabric of the trampoline, it compresses after which it springs back up, so you can leap higher than you would off of a typical floor. The same thing happens using a thin-walled baseball bat. When the baseball hits the bat, the wall of the bat compresses like a trampoline, permitting the baseball to essentially maintain more of its energy and travel farther and a lot quicker away from the bat. The BBCOR standard regulates this trampoline effect, proclaiming that it cannot be over a measurement of.50. All bats shall be forced to contain the BBCOR logo branded on them to be lawful in high school play with the 2012 season. By putting into action this brand new guideline, the NFHS hopes to return the experience more to its roots, when wooden baseball bats were typical. This standard will hopefully bring the overall performance of the bats closer to their wooden cousins. By reducing the speed of the ball, the game will likely be played in different ways. Homeruns will not be as frequent as they have been in recent years. Plus, we'll possibly experience a return to "small-ball." There could also be the chance of hitters to revisit utilizing wooden bats a little more. With the BBCOR bats performing more like wood, batters definitely won't be gaining quite as much when using the non-wooden bats, allowing them to get the personal choice of working with wooden bats again. Safety factors are yet another area the NFHS desires to see a marked improvement with the advent of the BBCOR standard. The lowering of the ball's acceleration should minimize the risk that fielders deal with on the defensive side of the ball, especially for the pitcher. With the gain in safety, it will be interesting to look at how similar leagues follow the NCAA and NFHS. Little League Baseball suspended composite bats last season, but removed the moratorium on specific bats. Will they follow suit and make BBCOR their certification too? Leagues, such as Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, Pony, etc., don't currently have particular prohibitions on bats currently. Quite possibly, they're waiting around to check how the BBCOR standard plays out in the older age leagues before making a conclusion on their side. Obviously, that is pure speculation on the author's part. Overall, the new guideline really should make the sport a better experience for every individual included. No longer should it be just an offensive highlight as it has been in years past. And, the better safety of the sport will likely be a marked improvement for players, coaches, umpires, and spectators. To learn more about BBCOR baseball bats and baseball bat reviews, please visit www.eBaseballBatReviews. Article Source: Article Source:

Monday, October 24, 2011

How To Hold Runners Close To First Base

By Jim Bain

There is a Cardinal rule, especially at the Major League level of play, that a runner steals second base off the pitcher, not the catcher. This rule basically means, by this skill level most, if not all catchers have strong and accurate throwing arms, which makes outrunning the ball to second base nearly impossible. Therefore, the runner must get a good lead off and running start off the pitcher's actions.

Left handed pitchers enjoy a huge advantage over their right handed counterparts when it comes to holding runners at first base, close to the bag. By virtue of their set position, they are looking directly at the runner, easily viewing their lead off, which in itself, limit's the runner's ability to creep too far off the base.

Even without a slide step, a modification to their delivery home, they can freeze a runner by briefly holding their leg lift, a position they can legally throw home or to first base, limiting a runner's attempt to steal second base. A left handed pitcher who does not have a good pick off move to first base is an abnormality, created either by poor coaching or an extraordinary delivery issue which can not be modified or risk negative affects to the entire pitching mechanics.

Unfortunately, for pitchers anyway, most hurlers are right handed, which poses an entirely different set of cat and mouse games between the pitcher and the runner attempting to steal second base. The lefty has a natural advantage, but with a little training and a strong mental game, a right handed pitcher can be just as effective holding runners close to first base as his counterpart.

Timing affects every aspect of baseball. You time your swing when hitting, time your leap when trying to catch a line drive over your head, you time your throw while completing a double play. Disrupt or somehow otherwise throw the timing off and the chances of successfully accomplishing your goal diminished.

Destroying a runner's timing is the first and easiest thing a pitcher can do in order to discourage a runner from stealing, but he must be conscious of what he's trying to accomplish. Pitchers have a tendency, especially if they're throwing well, to establish a pattern in their delivery. When they're in a groove, they want the catcher to get the ball back to them and they quickly go to their pitching position to throw again. There's no thinking, no caution, just get the signal and throw. Runners easily pick up on this routine and can gauge their leadoff and jump, based on the pitcher's pattern of actions.

When a hitter gets on base, and of course they will, the pitcher must make a quick mental adjustment in his delivery. It's important to note here, there's a fine line between being aware of the runner, and being consumed with the runner. The pitcher can not lose track of what he's attempting to do with the batter in an effort to keep the runner from stealing.

Should he make this mistake, he'll either walk the batter, now there's two runners on base, or serve up a fat Home Run pitch. Neither scenario is good.

After receiving the catcher's signal and coming to a set stretch pitching position, the pitcher simply holds the ball a varying amount of time before throwing to the plate. Although that sounds quite simple, it is extremely effective in "taking the legs" away from the runner.

Another method is, from the stretch position, hold the ball, then step backwards off the rubber with your right foot and break your hands apart. By doing this the pitcher can throw to first, fake a throw, pretty well do anything he wants, which forces the runner to retreat back to first base.

As a last resort, or first if it's a planned pick off play, a pitcher can throw over to first, forcing the runner back to the base.

The key to keeping runners close to first base is variance of pitching mechanics which will tend to destroy the runner's timing and limit their lead should they attempt to steal.

Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player, who since retiring has dedicated his life to teaching baseball to youth, shares his advice on running baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to Bunt in Baseball

By Thomas E Wilson

Most baseball players enjoy hitting. Baseball players absolutely love being the one up there at the plate smacking line drives along with the occasional long ball. These players enjoy hitting so much that they may do a huge selection of baseball workouts and hitting drills to improve their game. Unfortunately, simply because we all love batting so much, sometimes understanding the way to bunt correctly is disregarded. Many times, players (mainly younger ones) think that bunting is for players who aren't very good at hitting. That is just not accurate by any means! Bunting is a hugely important skill in the game of baseball, that can make the difference between your team winning and your team losing. It definitely isn't the most glorious thing to do, but it's necessary that you learn how to bunt and when to bunt.

When you bunt, you're hoping to achieve 1 of 2 things. You either want to advance a baserunner to the next base or you want to get a base hit. Occasionally if you're lucky you're able to do both!

Sacrifice Bunting: The objective of sacrifice bunting is to move a baserunner to the next base. When sacrifice bunting, you want to start in your standard batting stance. Before the ball is released from the pitcher's hand you want to square your whole body so it is facing the pitcher. Squaring early on makes it a lot easier for you to see the incoming pitch. Be sure that your weight is on the balls of your feet and you are in an athletic position with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold the baseball bat out over the plate with one hand one third up the baseball bat from the knob, and the other hand two thirds up the bat from the knob, pinching the barrel of the bat with your right hand.

It is extremely crucial to hold the bat parallel to the ground or the barrel end of the baseball bat higher than the knob end of the baseball bat while sacrifice bunting. You should bend your knees if you are intending to bunt a low strike instead of lowering the barrel of the bat with your hands. If the barrel of the bat is closer to the ground than the knob, it's probable that you will pop up the bunt.

Bunting for a Hit: When bunting for a hit, you should use the same exact technique as sacrifice bunting except for a couple of things. The first is you want to surprise the opposing team and reveal the bunt as late as possible. Wait until the pitcher is at least releasing the ball to show the bunt. The later the better. The second difference is your stance. As an alternative to squaring your body towards the pitcher, you should stay in your batting stance and pivot both your feet so your toes are pointing at the pitcher. This allows you to be ready to bunt quicker so you're more likely to surprise the opposing team. Basically, everything else is the same as the sacrifice bunt.

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

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Developing Poor Hitters? Wooden Bats Vs Aluminum

By Jim Bain

The number one fear I have is, Are we developing a generation of poor hitters without realizing it? Are screaming line drives, hit by 70 pound kids, the result of excellent hitting mechanics or the result of the bat he's using? One must begin to consider this scenario as composite baseball bats are beginning to be banned by little league, high school and college levels as illegal because they are becoming dangerous.

It's a scientific fact composite and aluminum bats add 20 to 30 feet of distance to a hit ball. They are very forgiving of a swing which produces "bad contact" or "mis-hits" resulting in a Texas League line drive into right field instead of a soft line drive to the second baseman. True and very knowledgeable baseball people would find it nearly impossible to determine which Pinging Sound was the result of solid contact or a miscue with their eyes closed.

We really don't know for sure what kind of hitters we are developing until they begin hitting with wooden bats.

Looking To The Future: Advise to Coaches

Coaches at the higher age and talent level should take it upon themselves to perform some real soul searching and look at what might be the Best for their players, although it will place the win - loss record in jeopardy.

Players with enough talent to be seriously scouted by Major League Scouts, or college for that matter, should intensely consider switching from an aluminum bat and begin using a wooden baseball bat.

I realize this is a Catch 22 with possibly huge impacts on the player's numbers. A 30 home run season suddenly becomes a 20 or even 18 home run season. Texas league base hits, which add to the batting average, become outs and more than likely the number of Extra base hits go down. High prices to pay when trying to accumulate spectacular numbers in which to impress scouts.

However, there is a positive flip side. Should the hitter discover, by the sound and results of using a wooden baseball bat, his hitting mechanics aren't quite as good as thought, he has time to adjust and correct the flaws before being thrust into a higher level, A ball for example, and suddenly realize he has issues. *** Rookie level Minor League Baseball forward prohibits using anything but a wooden baseball bat. ***

Secondly, Baseball Scouts, although far from perfect, look at how many teams passed by Albert Pujos in the draft, are not stupid people in regards to baseball issues. They see and realize a player using a wooden baseball bat hitting.303 with 12 home runs and 60 RBIs, is a much better hitter than the player hitting.340 with 20 home runs and 80 RBIs while using an aluminum bat.

Bottom line: We don't know what kind of a hitter a player is until he's forced to use a wooden bat.

Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player, who since retiring has dedicated his life to teaching baseball to youth, shares his advice on running baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Basic Skills To Play Outfield

By Jim Bain

Sometimes we attempt to begin running before we totally know how to walk, then wonder why we're struggling so much, such is the case with playing the outfield in baseball. There's a whole lot more to properly playing the position than just catching fly balls.

Since catching fly balls is a main stay of playing the outfield, let's examine the proper method of achieving that goal.

1. You must begin each pitch in the ready position, which is the body slightly bent forward, keeping our center of gravity high, weight on the balls of your feet, both hands up, not down at your side and you begin to slowly walk forward as the pitch is made, putting your body into motion. It's quicker to change direction of motion, than to create motion if standing still.

2. Always run full speed to the ball. There are of course times you'll be forced to make a catch while in a full sprint, but it's easier, if possible, to get to the place the ball will land and wait for the ball. Never get into a habit of trying to look cool by timing your speed to catch the ball while moving. Number one, it ain't cool and it'll destroy proper throwing mechanics after making the catch.

3. Always try to position yourself a couple of feet farther than you judge where the ball will land. By doing this you are able to be moving forward when catching the fly ball, they refer to it as Running Through the ball, which gives you momentum towards the infield, allowing you to make a strong throw back into the infield, with increased accuracy and velocity.

4. When a ball is hit directly at you, which is the hardest ball to determine it's flight, your first reaction should be to turn sideways and step backwards. By making this your first move, you can accelerate should you determine the ball is going over your head, but if you see the ball is shallow, it's much quicker and easier to reverse direction and go forward than reverse to going backwards.

***Plus, if a ball drops in front of you, it's a base hit, but one over your head is most likely a home run.***

5. There will be times where you'll be in a position of either catch the fly ball or the game's over. For example, winning run on third base, two outs and a sinking line drive is hit to your field. If you don't catch the ball for the third out, the runner easily scores and the game's over.

There are two techniques to use in the Do or Die situations, which will increase your chances of catching and holding on to ball and decrease your chances of injury.

A. On a diving catch attempt, as you hit the ground to use a shoulder roll to absorb the majority of the shock of hitting the turf and finish with your glove facing up. The transfer of shock to the body reduces the chance of injury and doesn't produce enough of an impact to knock the ball out of your glove.

B. On a sliding catch attempt, you slide with your glove on the side of the baseball. You don't want to be trying to catch the ball across your body, then use a pop up slide technique to regain your footing. In this particular instance there is no need for further action after the catch, but in others you may have to throw after making the catch and you can't throw from your backside.

Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player, who since retiring has dedicated his life to teaching baseball to youth, shares his advice on running baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Staying The Course In Baseball

By Jim Bain

Arguably, Albert Pujols is the best baseball player playing the game today, if not ever in the history of baseball. His numbers the first the ten years of his career are all but astounding, with Hall of Fame RBI, Home Run and Walk, both intentional and "just a good eye" numbers.

However, the start of the 2011 season have been anything but kind to Pujols. His home run numbers are way down, his strike outs are way up, and he has hit into an incredible amount of double plays. It appeared Albert's magical ride to the Hall of Fame was taking a detour.

Yet, Albert Pujols maintained there was nothing wrong and although his offensive production, which would have been good for 80% of major league players, suffered, his sparkling defensive play never wavered.

The National sports media and the St. Louis local sports all began printing what they considered what Pujols' problem was. Many thought the pressure and distraction of the contract difficulties he was encountering with the Cardinals was the main culprit, while others began to question if his Super Star abilities had somehow waned and prophesized the end of his career.

Yet, Albert Pujols maintained there was nothing wrong with him and simply asked for patience from the media and the fans. The St. Louis fans were not an issue, as they adore Pujols, but he felt the pressure of disappointing them. The media, of course was a different story, as they say "bad news sells newspapers," and they stayed on the story like a shark feeding frenzy.

Being from St. Louis and an avid Cardinals fan since I was six years old, I felt the panic which gripped the city, a city which loves their Cardinals even more than their Busch and Bud Lite beer, and it was disconcerting for me.

I didn't realize until well underway with my investigation, that I had inadvertently became an imaginary Cardinal coach and had taken it upon myself to figure out what was wrong with Pujols. If I was attending a game, I was glued to the big screen television, observing and scrutinizing every little motion of Pujols while he batted.

I analyzed the way he stuck his tongue out while hitting, thinking maybe if he was sticking it out too far, it was throwing his balance off. I would hit the pause button stopping the action and peered at where Pujols would pick his foot up, then set it back down, reasoning that could definitely negatively affect his swing.

For what seemed like months, I watched Albert who never varied anything in his batting stance, including sticking his tongue out. Albert continued to maintain there was nothing wrong, but his performance wasn't quite verifying that position.

It happened against the Chicago Cubs, fittingly enough for the hated Cubbies, Albert proved there was nothing wrong. He had two massive walk off home runs on two back to back days and began a streak of power hitting which quickly had opposing pitchers, who had been challenging Albert, pitching around him.

Albert was in deed right. There had been nothing wrong and he was proving it, but Pujols doing what Pujols does, is not what impressed me about the entire situation. What impressed me, while humbling me for questioning, was the attitude Pujols took through the entire ordeal and it should be a lesson for all ball players young and old.

Albert knew what he had done and how he did it the past 10 years was the proper thing to continue doing. He had proven his numbers were not a fluke, 10 years of consistent numbers is not a fluke. It would have been easy for Albert to have begun tinkering with his hitting mechanics, opening his stance, dropping his hands or a number of other changes which players try to get out of their slump.

Albert held the course because he knew he was right. Young players should pay special heed to this action and courage. If you know you're right, past performance verifies what you're doing works... stay the course. Not until you begin to question your hitting mechanics, and I'm not talking an 0-4 game or even two in a row, I'm talking you feel uncomfortable at the plate, do you begin altering your hitting mechanics.

This is a great lesson in courage and doing what you know what is right.

Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player, who since retiring has dedicated his life to teaching baseball to youth, shares his advice on running baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baseball Pitching Grips

By R. Nelson

Several kinds of pitches are appropriate for the young pitcher's repertoire, including the fastball, curveball, slider, and several types of change-ups. Knuckleballs, knuckle curves, slip pitches, and spitballs will not be discussed - these gimmick pitches are not good for young pitchers because they either injure the arm or do not help develop the arm.

First and foremost, a pitcher needs to develop his fastball. This is his staple, and he will throw 50 to 100 percent of the time. A pitcher also needs a pitch that changes speeds, such as a change-up or a curveball (the curveball also adds movement). When the pitcher masters the fastball and change-up, then - and only then-should he work on a breaking ball.

Once he has mastered the fastball, change-up, and curveball and can throw them with control; these should be all the pitches a young pitcher needs. He can add a slider at a later time, depending on the success of the curveball. It is very difficult to throw both the curveball and the slider because of the different mechanics, so a pitcher should choose one or the other.

The fastball is the first pitch learned and should be used more than any other pitch in the repertoire. Obviously velocity, control, and movement of the fastball dictate how often and in what situations the fastball will be used. When a pitcher is learning to throw the fastball, he should make a conscious effort to learn control and movement first, and then add velocity later. This principle applies even more for the higher-level baseball pitchers.

By slightly changing the basic fastball grips, a pitcher can get various results. Variations of the fastball are four seam, two seam, cut, and sinker. The first fastball to master is the four seam fastball. The pitcher should prove that he has good control of this pitch before he attempts to throw any others.

The two-seam fastball has more movement because of the grip and therefore is harder to control than the four-seam fastball. The pitcher should throw the four-seam fastball until he has proven that he has mastered the strike zone. The two-seam fastball becomes more important to the older pitcher who does not have an outstanding arm and must rely more on movement than on speed. The two-seam fastball moves to the pitching-arm side of the plate. Often it will also sink, producing a pitch that tails away and down.

Place your index and middle fingers directly on top of the ball's narrow seams. Then place your thumb directly on the bottom side of the ball on the white leather between the narrow seams. Grip this pitch slightly farther back in the hand, as this will lead the ball to "back up" and change direction. The additional drag created from the grip generates the change in direction.

The cut fastball moves away from the pitcher's throwing side. A right-handed pitcher's cut fastball moves from right to left with approximately 95 percent of the velocity of the ultimate fastball. In the cut fastball grip, the thumb slides to the outside of the center line of the baseball. With the thumb slid over, the baseball is held slightly off center and therefore does not have a regular top-to-botom fastball rotation. Instead, the ball has

slightly more sidespin and runs away from the pitcher's throwing side. It's a very effective pitch, just ask Mariano Rivera!

The cut fastball and the slider are similar in that both balls are held off center. The slider, however, is held more off center and therefore breaks down as well as away. The cut fastball is excellent training for the slider.

Learn more at Baseball Pitching Grips

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