Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Using Kinetic Bands To Workout


Body strength is naturally associated with being an athlete, from the 98lb. high school wrestler to the 390 lb. offensive lineman, strength is key to success. The question of what method to use to workout, because strength can only be increased by building muscle, without becoming injured, is often hotly debated.

There is no one method to build strength, because the term strength itself is ambiguous. A well built gymnast, an incredibly strength dependent sport, will pale in size and muscle development of a professional body builder, a sprinter will be leaner than a football fullback, although they both run for a living.

One method of exercise which has increased in recent years is the usage of kinetic or resistance bands, as a way to maximize workout results. This is not a new concept as isometrics, basically the same thing as far providing resistance, has been used for years. Springs and large elastic bands have been incorporated into workout routines since the 1900s or earlier.

However, with today's increased technology and the wide variety of synthetic materials available, the kinetic bands which can be utilized have been greatly increased to accommodate nearly every sport we play, baseball included.

The main advantage these bands provide is the ability to provide the benefits of resistance training, while performing the actual physical performance motions you are trying to improve. This serves to not only strengthen the targeted muscles, but re-enforces muscle and neurological memory, which further decreases reaction time, thus increasing performance.

Technique and strength training drills, utilizing kinetic bands, can be incorporated into a training regiment which will increase your speed. For this drill you would need resistance bands connected in such a way as to give resistance when you raise your knees towards your chest.

Sample Drill Procedure: Concentrate more on technique than speed of your sprints. Your upper body should be erect, straight over your hips, do not lean forward. Lift your knees as high as you can towards your chest as you run.

Increasing Range: The first step is always critical in attaining maximum speed as quickly as possible, thus increasing your chances of reaching balls hit deep in the hole or behind the base. The speed and the explosive power of that first step can be enhanced by performing drills while bands are attached to your affected body part.

Sample Drill Procedure: Attach the bands to each ankle providing resistance while you attempt to open your legs wider. Standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder width, shuffle sideways extending your left leg sideways then bringing your right leg to meet it. When finished repeat using the opposite leg going the opposite direction.

This exercise will increase hip flexor strength, a major muscle for increasing lower body quickness, and when resistance is removed, the legs will react quicker, which will also affect the cross over step as it will become explosive allowing more ground to be covered in less time.

Strengthen Legs for Hitting & Pitching:

Sample Drill Procedure: Attach bands to both legs. Perform a normal wind up and delivery as well as a stretch and delivery. Hold at every stage for several seconds (example: leg lift, leg plant) building strength in every muscle required to perform each portion of the windup and delivery, enhancing performance.

Sample Drill Procedure: Attach bands to both ankles. Perform your normal hitting techniques, Starting Mechanism, Stride Forward, Open Hips and follow through with your swing. For maximum performance hit balls off a Tee while performing this drill.
Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player and member of "Baseball Coaches of America" shares his advice on baseball coaching baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Importance of Baseball Drills


Baseball drills are very essential when you are training for baseball. It is of utmost importance that you work on your drills regularly. This is to guarantee that your playing style improves over time and any issues that you may have with your baseball training can be addressed right away. In addition to this, these exercises can not only improve the playing skills of the players, but can likewise teach them self-discipline and concentration.

In training for baseball, determining the areas where you may be needing some improvements won't always be a breeze. This can only be done accurately through breaking down your games into several sections and incorporate drills on each of them. Baseball drills can really help show you what your strengths and weaknesses are, and will help you improve on these areas. No matter what your age is, or whether you are an expert or a beginner in baseball, baseball drills exercises will truly make a big difference on your playing skills.

Moreover, most professional baseball coaches have a variety of drills prepared for their teams. A good baseball coach focuses not merely on winning every game, but also knowing where his players are good and where they are not. This way, he can make a better game plan because he knows exactly what each members of his team can do.

It is very crucial for the team's coach to have a well-planned and organized set of drills. This can save the whole team a lot of time in trying to determine the exercises that can either improve, or pinpoint a player's weak point. Most coaches do have a book for baseball drills, while some have already mastered these exercises by heart through several years of experiences. Because they know the importance of baseball drills, they usually are on the look out for new drills from other coaches for them to use on their own teams.

If you happen to be a coach or a player who wishes to learn more baseball drills, the internet is a great place to start looking for some. There are actually hundreds of websites out there that can give you some ideas about drills, as well as teach you some very effective playing techniques. Most of these websites use illustrations so you could easily follow the drills, or better yet, you can look for those that have video illustrations of the drills. You may also get some nice drills from other players or coaches as you can get several different styles from a number of people.

While you may often see the same old baseball drills in these websites, you might want to check them every now and then for new updates. It should be a constant learning process because as we all know, one can never learn everything all at once. And lastly, performing these skills correctly is just as important as learning new techniques. Thus, make sure that you perform the baseball drills properly to ensure optimum results.
As a former baseball player, I have had an opportunity to try out many different products. As a former catcher, I have wrote articles on Catchers Mitts, and gear such as Easton Catchers Gear.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Scholarships by Sport: Baseball and Basketball


For the thousands of potential collegiate baseball players considering the possible financial opportunities for themselves, there are partial athletic scholarships available, although not guaranteed.

The Myth: Despite what some boasting ballplayers say, college baseball programs don't hand out full athletic scholarships to recruits. In very special situations coaches may package together a combination of athletic and academic money. This too is very rare.

The Facts: The reason no baseball players receive full scholarships is because there are few to give out. NCAA Division I programs are permitted to disperse only 11.76 scholarships per year, and many lower level Division I programs have less because they cannot fund the full allowed amount. Division II schools are allotted even less scholarships, possessing a total of 9. For Division III baseball programs, they are not permitted to grant any athletic scholarships. But, they do offer a good deal of academic money for those players who are eligible.

The Scholarship Breakdown:

There are 287 division I and 246 division 2 colleges that offer NCAA baseball scholarships. That is a total of 5,594 scholarships in the NCAA alone. Scholarship athletes may receive no less than a 25% athletic scholarship

Overall: To receive a scholarship in such a highly competitive sport such as baseball it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. A high school ballplayer may be able to use his talents to partially pay for college. Parents would appreciate this. But, college coaches have the power to divide scholarships however they please.

Other Scholarships: The American Legion awards over 50-$1,000 scholarships to outstanding athletes on their baseball team rosters.


If you are aware of the challenges and hard work that it takes to receiving a scholarship offer, you will have a firm foundation to move forward and be rewarded for you hard work (Please refer to our scholarship article).

The Facts: Basketball is a "Head-Count" sport, this means that sport has a number of scholarships, and they are all full which typically covers the cost of tuition, room and board, course fees and provisions for books. The only two Head-Count men sports are Basketball and Football.
The Scholarship Breakdown-The NCAA allows each Division I Men's Basketball program 13 scholarships and offers only 10 available for Division II.

-For Women's basketball 15 Scholarships are offered in Division 1 and 10 in Division 2.
-There are 329 division 1 and 290 division 2 colleges that offer men's basketball scholarships.
-There are also 328 division 1 colleges and 291 division 2 colleges that offer women's scholarships.
-There are a total of 7,177 men's basketball scholarships available in the NCAA alone. For women's basketball there are a total of 9,285 in the NCAA


To receive a scholarship in such a highly competitive sport such as basketball, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. A high school ballplayer may be able to use his talents to partially pay for college. Parents would appreciate this. But, college coaches have the power to divide scholarships however they please.
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pre-Game Evaluation


You're on the bus traveling to a brand new opponent's ball park, of course you have the normal pre-game jitters, your stomach is queasy and you can't stop tapping your foot. Taking a deep breath to calm the nerves, you mentally go through your first task upon arriving, which if you think is analyzing the opposing team, you'd be wrong.

As soon as you step off the bus and walk to the dugout your senses of sight, and hearing should become acutely aware, familiarizing yourself with the environment. Familiarity, subconsciously, breeds comfort and you want to quickly become acclimated to the environment so you can focus on playing baseball.

1. Prior to beginning your warm-up tosses, slowly and carefully take a wide scan around the entire field, foul pole to foul pole, making a mental note of anything which could come into play that could affect the ball. Ask yourself a few questions as you look.

B. The most important thing to inspect is the playing field, especially the texture and make up of the playing field. Nearly all amateur ball parks have a dirt infield, but every now and then you'll run across a grass infield with sliding pits around the bases. Most importantly look at the outfield grass, is it thick or tall, as this will definitely have an impact on ground balls through the infield, such as you'll have to automatically charge a ball if the grass is high, or you may be able to stretch a hit into a double.

C. Observe the field layout including foul territories and corners. There may be a slight dip or ditch 25' outside the left field foul line, which would most likely be out of play, but if you're running full speed chasing a foul ball fly in that area, you'll need that subconscious note to pull up before falling or tripping in the ditch.
Or you may notice a weird angle at the right field foul pole area created by an awkward connection of fencing of the field and the parking lot, where a ball could get trapped in that area if it bounced a certain way.

Now that you have a mental picture of the playing field and any quirks which may cause a problem, analyze the natural conditions.

A. Wind or no wind today and if there is, which direction is it blowing? A Strong wind to a particular field, or blowing straight out from behind the plate, could cause a high fly ball to travel 10 feet or more further than it normally would, but in the case of a strong wind blowing in towards the plate, it'll hold the ball up longer and decrease distance of travel.

B. Is there a sun problem? Where's the Sun located, which of course will change during the game, but you need to know what affects, if any, the sun plays in the first inning. Is it a High Sky, where I'll need to wear sunglasses or cloudy and overcast.

*** Remember... there's a Huge Difference between Looking and Observing. ***
Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player and member of "Baseball Coaches of America" shares his advice on baseball coaching baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Three Baseball Coaching Mistakes And How To Avoid Them


People who decide to coach a little league youth team, whether it be baseball or softball, are a unique breed of person, forfeiting their time, money and relaxation time. It's a shame many such well meaning people fail so miserably.

Although 90% of coaching failures are simply lack of knowledge of either the sport or people, some are complete idiots which need weeding out a.s.a.p. However, in my opinion, being an elder statesman, today's baseball/softball coach must contend with distractions which weren't present when I coached. Ipods, cell phones, computer games and satellite television all vie for a kid's attention, we only had Popeye and Mighty Mouse cartoons to contend with.

Worse yet is the Speed everything happens today, reducing the word patience to literally an unknown quality. This is where baseball is beginning to lose it's edge against other forms of sports. Kids demand action, their parents demand action and a poorly run baseball practice can't contend with the action soccer, football, lacrosse and etc. provide.

So let's talk about a few coaching mistakes, made with good intentions in mind, but slows the practice to a snail's pace, and see how to avoid them.

Mistake Number One: This first issue is a catch 22. Having your son or daughter on the team opens up a whole array of problems which must be dealt with, however, if you don't have a personal experience of what kid's like or respond to today, you'll have trouble reaching them. It's best to have your own kid on the team.

Coaches who believe they can reach their players by joking with them, being their friend and never challenging them, because you're here to have Fun, will make a lousy coach.

Kids expect to be challenged and by being so they can achieve recognition for effort, hard practicing, a good feeling of getting better, thriving on competition and learning the feeling of being a teammate. Challenge your team with these obstacles while teaching them the proper method of achieving success and you'll positively influence their lives forever.

Mistake Number Two: People learn in different ways, but I'd venture to say if asked whether the person wanted the skill explained to them, or shown them, 98% would say "Show me."
I once observed a coach yelling at his players every time they made a mistake, but not once did he go out and demonstrate how to properly perform the skill. You can tell me I'm wrong all day long, but until you show me the correct way, I doubt anything is going to change.

Slowly and repetitively demonstrate the actions required to perform the skill. Talk and explain what and why you're doing something. If you're old like me and are teaching the shortstop how to jump over a sliding runner, walk him through it and state "Here's when you jump," but if you're teaching how to put down a tag, put that glove on the ground in front of the base showing how it's done.

Mistake Number Three: Some coaches seem to think they're playing professional ball and everything is a secret which must be hidden. If you have parents interested enough to ask your advise on what they can do to help their kid improve, tell them.

However, do it at the proper time, after practice, not during. Talk in positive terms. Don't say "Your kid's a lousy fielder" rather say "He's got the basics down pat, but if you could work with helping him get in front of the ball it'd be great." Believe it or not I've heard horror stories of coaching being so blunt with parents.

Coaching a little league team is a labor of love and those who do it have my greatest respect. So if there's any little bit of information I may give to help, it's free of charge.
Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player and member of "Baseball Coaches of America" shares his advice on baseball coaching baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How to Build a Pitching Mound in Your Backyard


There are a few basic issues about backyard pitching mounds which must be initially considered. The first being, buying a pre-made portable pitching mound is expense, $700 to $1500 + depending on quality and accessories, secondly, to actually build a dirt pitching mound is an enormous amount of work, cost and should probably be undertaken only by a skilled professional due to the slope requirement.

Great, all I wanted was a pitching mound in my back yard which I could practice throwing off and you're telling me I need a ton of money to do it. Oh contraire my friend. If you have moderate building skills, I'm going to show you how to build a perfect practice pitching mound for a mere $200 or less if you have spare lumber around the house.

Finished Size 4' wide - 8' long with 2' top and 6' downward slope.

Required Material:

1. 5 - 2" x 10" x 8'
2. 1 - 2" x 4" x 8'
3. 1 sheet - 4' x 8' Plywood ** There are two factors to consider when buying the plywood, ¾" plywood is much stronger and stiffer than ½" plywood, negating any softness in the platform, but it's also much heavier and more costly.
4. 1 - 4' x 8' piece of Astroturf and contact cement.

Step 1
Place your tape measure on the end of one 2" x 10" x 8' and measure down 2' and make a pencil mark.

Beginning at this 2' mark, which is the edge of your platform base, (top of the pitching mound) begin your marking for your down slope by measuring down 1' - then measure down 1", another foot and measure 2" down, another foot and 3" down until reaching the end of the board.

Step 2
Using a chalk line, hold it at the 2' mark and extend to the bottom, snap a line and it'll mark the downward slope of the pitching mound, which is 1" drop for every foot of slope. Using a power saw, carefully cut along this line, which will give you a template to produce 4 identical 2" x 10" pieces.

Step 3

Lay the 4 stringers out equally spaced apart. Attach a 2" x 10" x 4' to the back of each stringer. Attach a 2" x 4" x 4' to the front of the stringers. I'd advise cutting 2" x 4" or 2" x 10" pieces and attach them in between the stringers at the beginning of the mound's downward slope. You'll have extra wood from the bracing.

Step 4

Cut a 2' x 4' piece of plywood and attach it to the mound's flat area. Use the remaining plywood to cover the slope. Use at least ½" screws placed every 4" apart to secure the plywood to the framing, you don't want any wobbling.

Step 5
Cover top area with contact cement and attach 2'x4' piece of Astroturf. Repeat for the slope using remaining Astroturf and contact cement.

*** You can try to attach Astroturf as one piece, but it's quite difficult to transcend the flat to slope without cutting it.
*** The finished pitching mound will be very heavy, it's suggested you place it where you want it before attaching the plywood.
*** You can install a pitching rubber or a piece of wood simulating a pitching rubber for better accuracy of foot placement, with screws.
This mound, although possibly crude looking in comparison to a $1500 pre-made mound, fulfills every requirement needed to practice throwing off a pitching mound, which is totally different from throwing on a flat surface, and for a possible ZERO cost.
Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player, who since retiring has dedicated his life to teaching baseball to youth, shares his advice on baseball coaching baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:
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Youth Baseball Coaching Techniques That Work


I love and appreciate great coaches in all sports and at all levels. I love to make notes of coaches who think outside the box and take chances. I remember years ago the baseball manager Billy Martin put a game under protest because the pitcher took one extra pitch to warm-up between innings. He was probably the only one in the ballpark who was counting. I remember when they first put in the rule in major league baseball about pitchers going to their mouth in a game the pitch would be called a "ball." The manager Leo Durocher at the time ordered his pitcher to go to his mouth four times when he wanted to intentionally walk a batter. There was a basketball game years ago that Paul Westphal, a player at the time had called a time out knowing his team had none left to purposely get a technical foul. His team was down by one point with one second on the clock and the illegal time out would grant the opposition a free foul shot which they made but it gave Westphal's team, the Phoenix Suns, the ball at half court. So instead of his team trying to get a full court length 80 foot shot in for the win, they buried an 18 foot shot after getting the ball out at half court to send the game into another overtime period.

In all my years coaching youth sports, I have always tried to be flexible and have an open mind learning coaching and motivational techniques from other coaches. It doesn't matter the sport, I am always observing these other coaches and how they speak to their players. I watch football coaches yelling at individual players and make note of how close the coach's face is to the player's. I watch youth coaches and see how they speak to young players getting down on one knee just to be at the same eye level to make a point. The littlest things go the longest way. I learnt long ago that when speaking to my players outside, I make sure I am the one facing the sun. If the kids are facing the sun, chances are they will cover their eyes and maybe half will get the point you are trying to get across. Here are some other tidbits I've learned.

I am one of those people who have a hard time remembering names. Hearing your own name heard is one of the best ways to gain one's attention. At the beginning of each season I struggle just to learn everyone's name as soon as I could. To me it is a little bit of work but well worth it. Also I make sure I tell my players that I am not good at names and to be patient if I call someone the wrong name. This is especially true if I have a brother of a former player. As coaches we must take the time to learn player's names as soon as possible. And once we learn their names, we must learn and be familiar with their parent's name or how they want to be addressed.

A number of years ago I use to give out what I called a Tenth Player Award. The award would have nothing to do with batting averages or pitching performance. The award would be given to the player who exemplified sportsmanship, cheering on their teammates and helping coaches with the equipment. I was sure to make this trophy the largest one given out to any individual even if we won the league championship. This worked great! It motivated the players to be good teammates. It also made for an easier time for the coaches when the players would help with the equipment. If you decide to try this, make sure you are able to give the award to more than one player if there is a tie. I remember one year I had a special team. We won only about half our games but what a great enthusiastic bunch of kids we had on one team. At the end of the season, we coaches decided to give all twelve players a Tenth Player Award trophy. The coaches chipped in but with the size of the trophies we got, it set us beck a few dollars.

Another technique would be to give out extra swings for batting practice. I learned that in youth baseball, the players live for batting practice. So why not reward good deeds with extra swings? If we finished a game and I needed help with the equipment bag and John and Mark are the only ones putting the equipment away, I will yell out.

" John and Mark will get one extra swing each during batting practice tomorrow for helping with the equipment."

I make sure I say it loud enough so the whole team hears me. A lot of times after I say it, a number of other players will also help with the equipment.

Make sure when you do this, you don't say,"Whoever helps with the equipment gets an extra swing at batting practice." You want to be somewhat stingy with the extra swings and only announce it after someone is helping. This adds value to the swings you are giving out and players will help out not knowing if they will get extra swings or not. This works great and when the players take batting practice, the first thing I ask them when they get into the batter's box is, "How many swings do I owe you?" The player might say seven. I'll say we'll use two of those. I put my players on the honor system. This has even carried over from season to season when we are at our first practice of the year, a young veteran will make sure to tell me, "Coach, you owe me six extra swings from last year."

I make sure to make good on those extra swings. When kids are determined to remember something that will benefit them, it stays with them.

As youth coaches many times we will take some of the personality and techniques from the coaches we had as youngsters and in school. The best advice I can give is to take bits and pieces from other coaches but you have to develop your own coaching personality. If you end up coaching over a long period of time you will learn what works to motivate your players and what works when you want to have a little fun.

Just make sure you realize that what might work for one group of kids may not work the following year. Be enthusiastic and be flexible to make changes as a coach! And whatever anyone may else tell you, you are a role model!
Marty Schupak, President of the Youth Sports Club, has coached youth sports for 22 years and has run more than 1,500 youth sports practices. He is the creator of 22 sports instructional videos including the best selling "Hitting Drills & Techniques" and "The 59 Minute Baseball Practice." He is also author of the popular ebook, "Baseball Coaching: A Guide For The Youth Coach And Parent" and the best selling book "Youth Baseball Drills." For samples of his videos, go to Contact him at
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Monday, March 5, 2012

How to Overcome Your Fear of Being Hit by a Baseball


I'll never forget the look of frustration on the young coach's face when he approached me at my team practice. Being the type of coach which becomes totally engrossed in the minuteness of every play, every player's action and re-action on the playing field, I'd have normally delayed talking to him until after practice, but he looked desperate.

He introduced himself as a brand new coach of an Atom I team, the first year of hitting live pitching, and was having an issue trying to teach 2 of his players to hit. The issue was they would not stay in the batters box and try to hit, for as soon as the ball was released, they'd Bail Out backwards out of the box, turn their heads towards the backstop or look down at the ground and not even see the ball.
"I've tried everything I know to do," he said "any suggestions?"

I gazed up at the blue sky, as if seeking Divine intervention, rubbed my chin in deep thought, then asked him a question.

"Have you tried the Hit Them With The Pitch Drill?"

"What do you mean," he asked, looking at me as if were an ogre "actually throwing at them?"

"Yea, kinda," I said. Then continued to explain a drill which I had used through the years which had worked 99% of the time, nothing in baseball is 100%.

Obviously, unless there's an undetected underlying problem, the reason kids bail out of the batters box is they're afraid of getting hit by the baseball, which would hurt.

It's ironic, something we regard as a cowardly act, in the reality of basic human survival instinct, is a lot smarter than standing there in harm's way tempting fate. Therefore, we as coaches must approach this problem as a Reconditioning of a normal instinct issue, not a cowardly or timid act. So how do we accomplish this?

Hit Them With The Pitch Drill.

1. Be sure to inform the parents of what you intend to do in order to avoid any problem with an over protective Mother, or Father for that matter.

2. Get a bucket of tennis balls, 12 to 24 in order to not waste time retrieving them, as you will not use a catcher.

3. Make sure the player has his proper safety equipment, helmet, shoes tied, etc. in place. Talk to him, off by himself as to not embarrass him in front of his peers, in a calm voice. Tell him you understand his issue, Not Fear, about being hit with ball, but you're going to show him it doesn't hurt nearly as bad as he thinks.

4. Throw the first couple of tennis balls down the middle of the plate. There's always the slim chance the coach pitching may encourage him to stay in the box, but don't hold your breath.

5. Assuming the player begins bailing out, start throwing the ball behind him, intentionally trying to hit him, which is the main purpose of the drill.

6. Calmly explain, time & time again if necessary, the basics of staying in the box and watching the ball. The point here is to drive home the fact, backing out is Not keeping him from getting hit with the ball, and staying in and keeping an eye on the ball may be the better option.

7. Don't concern yourself with hitting the ball. The intended goal of this drill is to keep the player in the batters box.

This drill will accomplish numerous things:

A. It'll convince the player he must watch the ball, because bailing out and tucking his head was not preventing him from getting hit.

B. Because you're using tennis balls, being hit will not hurt as badly as he may imagine, which helps reduce the fear of being hit. You never want to totally eliminate the fear of the ball, as there will be times to get out of the way.

C. It won't take long to condition the mind and body, staying in and hitting is the normal course of business.

You may.... Probably... will have to perform this drill several times before its completely successful, although I have had kids which were hitting by the end of the drill.
Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player, who since retiring has dedicated his life to teaching baseball to youth, shares his advice on baseball coaching baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:
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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Coaching Tips For The Big Game


Emotions and sports is a perfect illustration of the familiar proverbial fit of the hand into the glove, representing a perfect alliance or interacting which is beneficial for both. However, when the fit begins to wobble, one side beginning to outweigh the other, it often ends in catastrophic results. How do you maintain balance?

Let's back up a moment and explain the concept of balance between the sport and the emotions created by the sport. For instance, the school's baseball team will play for, it's first ever, StateChampionship and you have the inside track of being chosen the starting pitcher.
Regardless of a player's age, this type of scenario will create waves of raging emotions, from ecstasy to scared to death, all in the same moment, all very normal and human like. It's how we handle the scenario which dictates our well being.

For example, if we allow the swirling, at times chaotic, events associated with a huge sports event to negatively affect our concentration, sleep, work habits or focus, we have allowed the emotional side of the equation to outweigh the game, or it could be argued the game has resulted in forcing an imbalance in emotion vs. game. In any event, regardless of cause, the equation is not balanced and the results are " loss of focus, fatigue resulting from emotional highs and lows and an increasing amount of self doubt, either real or imagined."

Unbridled or misdirected emotional and mental highs have the direct affect on the body and mind as actually playing the game. If you can imagine the physical and emotional drain on the body by playing a critical "Win or go Home" game every day prior to the Championship game day, you begin to realize the damage which can be done.

This exact scenario, because it deals with human behavior, affects Professional athletes as well as young players, so why should we try to reinvent the wheel when the Pros have spent tons of cash to address the problem.

Step One: It's no secret to your players or fans this is a huge upcoming game with severe consequences one way or the other, so don't try to act like it's no big deal or no different than any other game. It is!

The important issue to stress is the elements which got you to the Championship game, hitting, pitching and fielding, are the exact elements which will win you the game. Therefore practices, although intense, must remain normal. You may tweak the practice, put importance on fielding bunts due to your opponent's tendency to capitalize on that tactic, but other than that, normal BP and etc.
Your team must feel they already possess the skills to defeat their opponent, which as always needs fine tuning, but don't risk planting any doubt that perhaps they are weak in an area. Don't openly put special importance on your relief pitcher putting self-doubt into your starter. "Normal" is the word of the week.

Step Two: Although professional sports have dealt with the issue of media exposure, this is relatively a new distraction for amateur sports, but the explosion in media avenues, from normal sports media of television and newspapers to You Tube, the Internet and etc., has created a concern.

Bad mouth taunting through Twitter, texting or a Blog can create an emotional whirlwind within the team, and can destroy an entire years work of instilling emotional control. Warn the team of the possibility of such an attack by their opponents or their fans and issue orders to:

A. Report them to you...
B. Ignore the taunts and don't retaliate, explaining that is the best method for frustrating the other side...ignore them.
These two tips may seem insignificant in the overall scheme of things, but don't underestimate their importance. Professional teams have Closed Practices, Designated Media Exposure Time, Team Rules and Curfews which are designed to keep the team on an even keel.

Why teach a player to field or hit like a professional and not how to handle stress like a professional?
Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player and member of "Baseball Coaches of America" shares his advice on baseball coaching baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:
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