Sunday, December 17th, 2017

FREE eBook and other info to end 2017!

November 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Off-Season

Just a heads up that this post will be the last one of 2017.  It’s been another busy baseball year at Baseball By The Yard!  I hope that all of you are still benefiting from the written posts and the videos tips! Here are a few things to be aware of …   1. The […]

Footwork & timing for advanced infielders

Today’s video tip is an advanced one for infielders.  It involves better timing of the footwork on ground balls. I start by showing how the human body functions when walking forward and backward and then apply that to fielding.  Fielding with this proper timing tends to improve gracefulness and smoothness through the baseball. Practicing indoors […]

Happy Holidays!

November 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Misc

Yes, we’ve reached that time of year again! Thank you so much for being a follower of Baseball By The Yard!  The site is approaching it’s 7th anniversary and I appreciate all your support! I hope you and your families have a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving and winter holiday season!  However, don’t blink because baseball […]

The good news about fear

November 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Mental Side, Off-Season

Fear is one of the basic features of our hard-wiring that has allowed human beings to last as long as we have.  Fear and all the physiological responses to it – increased heart rate, quick shallow breathing, the adrenaline dump, an increase in body temperature, etc. – are all warning signs to us that something […]

The Fence Drill for hitters

November 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching, Hitting, Video Posts

Today’s video tip is a popular drill called the Fence Drill.  As I explain in the video, there are multiple ways to do a Fence Drill.  The video shows how I conduct the drill most of the time. Note: Although I do not mention it in the video, be careful that hitters do not cheat […]

Just don’t be timid

November 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Is there anything more painful to watch than a talented player who is timid on the field or in the batter’s box?  It’s frustrating because usually the timidness does not let the player come anywhere near their potential. The next three and a half months is what you have to get ready for the next […]

Command of your fastball is priority #1

November 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Pitching

Home plate is 17 inches wide.  Baseballs are about 3 inches in diameter which means the strike zone is going to be about 6 baseballs wide.  In reality, it often is 7 baseballs.  At the younger levels one can argue that it is likely to be more like 9 baseballs wide.  For our purposes today, […]

What personality shows when you play?

November 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Make Up

Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken, Pete Rose, Tug McGraw, Roger Clemens, Craig Biggio, and Bob Gibson. Josh Donaldson, Justin Turner, Jose Altuve, Bryce Harper, Yasiel Puig, Dustin Pedroia, and Yadier Molina. The list of older player in the first list and the current players in the second list all have something in common.  Obviously, they are […]

Teaching launch angle is a waste of time

November 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching, Hitting

If you work with baseball players below the AA or AAA level (and 99% of baseball coaches do) then there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to use the term “launch angle” in your instruction. Three stories … I grew up watching a lot of Yankees games and loved to watch Don Mattingly hit.  I remember […]

Like riding a bike

October 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Make Up

Remember when you were little and you were trying to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels?  If you were like most kids, you probably were so concerned with what your feet were doing that you looked down to watch yourself pedal.  You probably remember that looking down was not a good strategy.  […]

The Training Lace

October 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Misc

Hi everyone! I don’t often promote products but the Training Lace from LaceUp is generating a lot of interest inside and outside the sporting world.  It also has a lot of versatility on the baseball side of things.  I have personally tried them in a variety of baseball related drills and I have to say […]

Speak to the track coach yet?

October 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Base Running, Coaching

Who would like to improve their overall running speed?   Answer = everyone. Who would like to get better jumps on steals?  Answer = everyone. Who wants to improve their first and second step quickness to improve their range?   Answer = everyone. Who wants to improve their 60 yard times for showcases? Answer = everyone. […]

Let me see your calendar

October 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Off-Season

You say you are a serious ball player with aspirations to play in college or the pro level?  Yeah? Prove it.  Let me see your calendar. Playing college or pro baseball is not something you can just wake up and decide to do when you are 20 or 25.  It takes a lot of work […]

Embarrass yourself before someone else does

October 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Mental Side

Ever get called out by a coach or a teammate?  Play long enough and every player will have that happen to them at least once.  It could be a teammate who jumps you for not running hard down the line.  It could be a coach jumping you for not trusting your stuff and becoming timid […]

Don’t eat the cheese

October 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Make Up, Off-Season

During the fall, many players and teams use their time (and better weather!) to identify areas where they struggled during the spring and summer and work  to improve upon them.  This is especially true for those who had poor seasons. This time of year, I don’t tend to worry about the players and teams who […]

Do pitchers lead with the hip or the foot?

October 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

There are many debates in baseball that still rage on today.  One of them involves whether it is better for a pitcher to lead with his front foot or whether he should lead with his hip when he starts his movement towards home plate.  The “foot leaders” camp are often described as advocating the “Drop […]

Confidently unorthodox

October 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Infield, Second Base, Shortstop, Third Base

“When you catch the ball, use two hands.”   “On grounders, square up and get in front of the ball.” “Don’t show-off and flip the ball with your glove.  Take it out with your hand and throw it properly.” The comments above are certainly in the “old school” camp of baseball coaching.  You can’t go wrong […]

The way you do anything is the way you’ll do everything

September 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Make Up

“The way you do anything is the way you’ll do everything.“ I heard this quote the other day and I think there is a lot of truth in it when it comes to life and baseball. Human beings are creatures of habit.  How we act and think today is very likely to be the same […]

The Bunting Tee Drill

September 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Hitting, Video Posts

The batting tee is probably the most versatile tool for baseball players.  It can be used for drill work in almost every area of the game.  Today’s video tip shows how you can use a tee to practice two specific types of bunts. Written post for push bunting: http://www.baseballbytheyard.com/the-underrated-push-bunt/ Base hitt bunting footwork for left-handers: […]

Stealing on first-move (Part 3)

This is the final post in a three part series on stealing first-move on a left-handed pitcher.  In Part 1, I explained what stealing first-move is and why it can be an effective strategy.  In Part 2, I discussed a variety of things the offensive team needs to be aware of and do in order to be […]

Stealing on first-move (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series I discussed what stealing first-move means and why it can be a very good option when a left-hander is on the mound.  In Part 2 I wanted to cover some of the little things the offense needs to do in order to increase the chances of the play turning […]

Stealing on first-move (Part 1)

September 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Base Running, Coaching, First Base, Pitching

This is Part 1 of a three part series on stealing second base using the “first-move” method.  Today I’ll focus on what stealing “first-move” means and why a coach/runner would do it. Up first is What does it mean to steal on first-move? Stealing on a pitcher’s first-move involves a runner who breaks towards second […]

The Jam Drill

September 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

When a batter smokes a line drive right at someone, you may hear a coach say “Don’t worry.  They’ll even out.”  What he means is that someday the hitter will get a bloop hit and the two will even out. Never was there a more false statement in all the world.  That’s because they never […]

A better leg kick for pitchers

September 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

Young baseball players who are just starting to pitch typically need to focus on being very efficient and under control to help them throw more strikes.  However, as kids get older and the distances of their pitch increases, there is a need to develop more power in their mechanics.  A better leg kick is one […]

How to jump over runners on double plays

August 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Shortstop, Video Posts

Over the past several years, Major League Baseball has instituted some rule changes about sliding in order to better protect middle infielders on double plays.  However, as I state in today’s video, middle infielders no matter what the level should never assume the runner coming at them is going to follow the rules.  Proper footwork around […]

Two tips for catching low strikes

August 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Catching

One big job for catchers is to help their pitchers get more strikes called on close pitches.  How they receive/catch the ball can play a large role in that.  In today’s video, Coach McCreary shows catchers two ways they can get more strikes called on low pitches.

What sport are you playing in the fall?

August 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Off-Season

Over the past couple decades, specializing in one sport (especially baseball) and playing it year-round has become a popular trend.  It’s a horrible trend in my opinion and doctors, college coaches, and professional scouts agree.   Doctors are sounding the alarm because they are seeing more and more repetitive-motion injuries in young kids.  These injuries […]

The mini wind-up for pitchers

August 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

Learning how to pitch can be a difficult thing for young pitchers.  Bad balance, not staying on their line, and simply bad body control add contribute to young pitchers not being to consistently throw strikes.  Usually less movement is better when instructing young pitchers which is why many coaches recommend young pitchers throw from the […]

Touch the front of first base!

August 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Base Running

Here is a painful reminder why a runner always needs to touch the FRONT part of the bag at first base.  No exceptions!  I’m hoping Harper’s knee injury is not serious. Touching the front gets you to first base more quickly and you don’t land on the slippery part of the bag with your spikes […]

Tip for catchers to help their coach on close pitches

August 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Catching, Coaching

“COME ON, UMP!  WHERE’S THAT PITCH?  LET’S GO!”” Sit close to a field and you will hear a lot of variations of the phrase above.  Quite often, what follows will be the umpire calling time-out, taking his mask off, and telling the coach(es) to pipe down or else they will be watching the rest of […]

Tips on diving back to first base

August 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Base Running

The photo to the right shows a runner properly diving back to first base on either a pick-off by the pitcher or an after-the-pitch pickoff attempt by the catcher.  Either way, the process of diving back to the bag is the same.  I’ll make a future video demonstrating all this but for now, let’s list […]

The underrated push bunt

July 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Hitting

In my opinion, one of the most underrated plays in baseball is the push bunt from right handed hitters.  Someday I’ll make a video demonstrating how to do it properly but today we’ll just get into the benefits and the purposes of it. First, the benefits. It confuses the 1st baseman and the pitcher.  The […]

You only “pitch” when you are in the stretch

July 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Pitching

How many times have you seen a pitcher warm-up before a game or throw a bullpen between starts and never (or almost never) throw any pitches from the stretch?  I lost count. Think about it … when you are pitching in a game and you are in a jam, that means runners are on base, […]

Improve the last warm-up pitch before the inning

July 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Catching, Pitching

We’ve all seen it a thousand times … the catcher yells “Comin’ down!” before the last warm-up pitch by the pitcher.  At the higher levels, the catcher just puts his throwing arm out to the side and doesn’t yell anything.  The extended arm alerts the middle-infielder to be at the bag after the next warm-up […]

Three ways to quicken your transitions from catching to throwing

July 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Infield

The photo on the right is my son about to throw a ball to a teammate in this year’s SE Pennsylvania 10u Ripken State Tournament Skills Night.  The event they are participating in was the Around-the-horn competition.  The ball starts at home plate and is thrown to third – second – first – and back […]

The importance of being aggressive early at the plate

July 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Hitting, Mental Side

As all of my readers know, baseball is a very cerebral game.  The difference between winning and losing & succeeding and failing at the game often is more about what is going on between the ears and not in the physical things you can see.  No area of the game is immune to this either. […]

The shortstop’s priority when holding runners on

July 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Shortstop

There are a boatload of little things that shortstops should do in order to effectively hold runners on at second base.  However, one stands out as the top priority and that involves getting the runner (and third base coach!) comfortable with you being just off the runner’s left shoulder. Unfortunately, many shortstops position themselves here […]

Sometimes you have to pack the parachutes

July 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

I recently heard an inspiring true story from a friend/coach.   It goes like this … Captain Charlie Plumb was a fighter pilot in the 60’s during the Vietnam War.  While on a mission, his jet was shot down.  He was able to eject but unfortunately for him, he had to parachute down into enemy […]

Good outfield jumps are mental

July 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Outfield

One of the things I always stressed to my players, especially the outfielders, is that on every foul ball, I should see all seven fielders behind the pitcher move in the direction of the foul ball.  For example, if the batter fouls a pitch down the right field line, all seven fielders behind the pitcher […]

Happy July 4th week

July 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Misc

Hi everyone! No posts this week.  I hope you and your families have a relaxing and fun 4th of July week!   Next post will be Monday.  Good luck if you are playing this week!   Coach McCreary

If you know a young player, make him watch this

June 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Misc

Young American kids typically wear $80 spikes.  They use $300+ mako bats.  They play on nice fields and they carry baseball bags filled with 20 pounds of other gear.  Some are the best players in their area.  They have dreams of playing professional baseball and assume their previous success in the game will carry well into […]

How to improve your pitching machine

June 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching, Hitting

I’m not a gigantic fan of pitching machines mainly because they are so unrealistic to how a ball is going to be pitched to a batter.  Here is a picture that shows the obvious problem.   No pitch will ever shoot out of a pitcher’s belly button.  The ball will usually be released above and […]

Base running – A yard makes a big difference

June 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Base Running

If you have been a reader of this site then you probably know the story of why I call it Baseball By The Yard.  If you don’t, watch the video on my Home Page that explains the story and the significance. The other day I was working with some older base runners at a high […]

How to rub up a baseball

June 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching, Pitching

As a former pitcher, it bothers me every time a sparkling white, brand new baseball is thrown into a game.  If the game balls are my team’s responsibility then they will always be rubbed up.  It’s just habit. Watch today’s video tip to learn the why’s and how’s of correctly rubbing up game balls.

How to autograph a baseball

June 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Misc

I’m a stickler for doing things right when it comes to the game of baseball.  Right down to how to autograph a baseball. In today’s video tip, I show the wrong way and the right way to do it.  If you are going to do it, do it right!

Pitchers – warm up in the same direction

June 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Pitching

As a pitcher, I don’t think I warmed up in a real bullpen until I got to high school.  And even then I think only one or two fields had them.  Most of the time a catcher and I would find an area in the outfield, walk off about 60 feet, and start throwing.  No […]

Knob to the ball v Hands inside the ball – What’s the difference?

June 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Hitting

I’ve said numerous times on my site that one size never fits all when it comes to teaching baseball.  Everyone plays and learns differently and therefore requires unique methods of instruction.  This is true right down to the phrases that players and coaches use. Two popular phrases in hitting are “keep your hands inside the […]

Proper helmet throwing

June 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

I’m a HUGE Domingo Ayala fan.  In my opinion, this is his best work yet.  Check out all his other videos HERE.  Enjoy!  

Slumps and the common cold

June 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Hitting

Sooner or later, everyone will catch a cold just like every batter will find himself in a rut or a slump.  The two are very similar because no matter what you do, you are going to have both for a few days.  Neither one has a cure and both are a nuisance. Although a common […]

Be on second base!

May 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Base Running

You see it all the time in the big leagues on TV.  A player hits a pop-up, slams the bat down, and runs about 60% to first base.  Most of the time, the fielder catches the ball and the batter trots back to the dugout after half-heartedly rounding first base.  Until the ball drops. The […]

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