Sunday, December 17th, 2017

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

10 reasons to front-toss

April 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching, Hitting

There are several ways to practice hitting.  Live BP and hitting off a tee are popular ones.  All have value but in my opinion and all things considered, front-toss is king.  Here are ten reasons why in no particular order. Safety disclaimer: Whenever you front-toss, please use caution and make sure the screen in front […]

Coaches, be in Code Yellow off the field too

April 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching

In my last post, I wrote about the topic of mindset and presented four color codes that should guide the thinking of players. These codes were based on the work of Colonel Jeff Cooper as described. Once again, the codes are as follows: White – complete unawareness, not paying attention at all Yellow – attentive, […]

Confronting bad body language

March 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching

A player’s bad body language on a field is one of my pet peeves.  Like many coaches, I despise it and do not tolerate it on my teams.  That being said, I also do not jump down a player’s throat when I see it the first time. I tell my students in class that when it […]

Body language matters

March 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching, Make Up

A few days ago, the following video clip of a 2016 Geno Auriemma, head coach of the powerhouse UConn women basketball team, press conference surfaced again and has gone virus through social media.  If you have a young player at home or coach young players then they all need to see this video.  It is […]

Just in time learning for new coaches

March 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching

Entering the coaching world for the first time can be pretty stressful.  You realize very quickly that being in charge of a team is very different from only having to worry about your own performance and growth as a player.  As a coach, you worry about every player’s performance and growth. There is so much […]

Simulated indoor game

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching, Off-Season

Where I am in Pennsylvania, snow blankets the ground and the temperatures are still in the 30-40 degree range.  Not great baseball weather to say the least.  Scrimmages and games are cancelled and players have to make the trek back into the gyms for indoor practices that, although can be productive, are just not the […]

Free video with Four-Week Guide for pitchers ends tonight!

March 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching, Pitching

Happy Friday! The weather where I am in Pennsylvania looks horrible for the next 10 days or so which obviously makes it tough to develop your players, especially pitchers. My Four-week guide for developing pitchers for game #1 can help!  It’s also $2 off! Get it before 10pm (EST) tonight and I also throw in […]

Parents and playing time

February 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching

Ask a coach about dealing with parents and you are likely to get several eye-rolls and a few choice words.  I’m not sure who said it but the best quote about this came from a coach who said “My dream coaching job is at an orphanage.” Of all the issues related to the parent-coach relationship, […]

Do simple better

February 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching

One of Joe Maddon’s many great sayings is “Do Simple Better.“ Spring Training has begun for pitchers and catchers and do you know what drills they are all doing? Answer: The same ones they did last year.  And the year before that one.  And the year before that. Do the basic fundamentals better and you […]

You are your best coach

February 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching

When a player of mine made a mistake on the field, I frequently would ask the following question when he came off the field.   “Do you know what you did wrong?“ For my older players and even some of my little league players, very often the answers were along these lines: “Yeah, I was late […]

Do you have Superman Syndrome?

January 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching

It’s very easy for baseball coaches to get burned out.  Unfortunately, many coaches are their own worst enemy when it comes to having enough of the game.  A big reason for that is “Superman Syndrome.”   Superman Syndrome is a disease that afflicts mostly male coaches.  Symptoms include the following: A need to control the entire pitching […]

How to instantly improve your infield range

January 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching, Infield, Practice

When infielders start out in baseball, they mostly get instructed to charge the ball.  You’ll hear tee-ball, coach-pitch, and Little League coaches frequently say “move in on the pitch,” “move to the ball!” or “go get the ball!”  This is all good advice since young infielders who are just starting out have a tendency to […]

Coach hitters like an economist

January 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Coaching, Hitting

It has been said that the enemy of the dictator is the economist.  The dictator wants to make all the rules.  They also want everyone to like the rules and to not criticize them. “I make the rules, they will work, and everyone will like them!”   Often it’s the economist who is the only […]

2017 Pitch count rules – a warning

December 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Pitching

If you are into sharing posts, this may be a good one. Over the past couple years there has been a lot of debate about the growing number of serious arm injuries at the younger levels.  Of course, most of the debates center on two issues: 1) What is causing them to occur and 2) […]

It’s assessment time!

November 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Off-Season

Early winter is a great time to assess your game. You have a spring, summer, and maybe a fall season under your belt so you should have a lot of information to sort through.  January is typically the time many baseball players and coaches start to gear up for the next year of baseball.  To […]

Hitting Drills: Multivitamins vs Prescriptions

October 11, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Hitting

When it comes to baseball drills, it’s important to know the difference between multi-vitamins and prescription medications. Multi-vitamins are for general maintenance and prescription medications are for specific ailments. Baseball drills work the same way. Hitting drills like tee work, soft-toss, and short toss fall into the category of hitting multi-vitamins. They are for general […]

In the news …

October 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching

Below are two things I saw in the sports section of the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday. Here is the first.  It seems as if Captain Obvious has struck again! I guess tomorrow’s headline might be “Playoff teams focused on scoring more runs than the other team.” Here is the second. This is more proof that just because […]

Principled drills

September 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Practice

There are two different types of drills that we coaches tend to run our players through during practice. The first involves picking a position-based skill that needs to be worked on and designing a drill to target the skill. An example might be underhand feeds by the shortstop on double plays with the second baseman. […]

Donaldson and Trout talk hitting

September 6, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Hitting

Watch both of these videos.  It’s the closest you will get to pornography for hitting coaches. The first is Josh Donaldson and the second is Mike Trout.  If you don’t have a lot of time at the moment, go to the 5:25 point of the Josh Donaldson one and watch the rest later. Now it’s […]

How to teach soft hands on defense

Having infielders who have nice, soft hands on ground balls can feel like a gift from heaven.  The question is, can you teach a player to have soft hands?  I’m sure there is a huge genetic component to all this but I believe there are things you can teach an infielder to help develop softer […]

Mind your BEE’s

July 18, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Make Up, Mental Side

For the last couple years I have coached my young son’s 8u/9u travel baseball team at the end of his rec seasons.  That age group brings many challenges but one of the toughest is trying to get them to move on from the game’s inevitable adversities and stay positive.  Easier said than done because if […]

The cost of college baseball

July 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching

The article linked below has been circulating online recently and I thought I would post it as well.  It’s alarming to me to hear how much money families are spending on AAU / Elite teams over many years only to receive a few pennies when their player gets to college.   Friends have asked me […]

Wherever it takes you

July 11, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Third Base, Video Posts

Today’s video tip is for 3rd basemen and involves a popular phrase you will here coaches say when there are bases loaded or runners on 1st and 2nd.

Know where the gloves are

July 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Infield, Outfield

Here’s a quick tip for helping your team get on the field faster after batting. Keep all the gloves, hats, sunglasses, etc. in one spot in the dugout Nothing slows a team of defenders down faster when it comes to getting on the field than players who for some reason forget where all their stuff […]

Three pitching stats you need to be keeping

June 7, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Pitching

Traditional pitching statistics (hits, runs, earned runs, strikeouts, etc.) can be very misleading and often do not get to the bottom of why a pitcher succeeds or struggles during an outing.  Take earned runs for instance.  If a player gives up 10 runs and only 3 earned runs, does that mean the pitcher’s defense was […]

Can you relate?

May 31, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching

How my vegetable garden would look if I didn’t coach baseball or run a website … How it actually looks at the moment … (yes, this is my actual garden) Can you relate?

The running lane rule

May 19, 2016 by  
Filed under Base Running, Coaching

The job of runners while running to first base is to stay within the two lines that go from half way down the line to the bag at first.  I took the picture on the right at my son’s practice last night.  Can you see the problem with this rule? If the base is completely in […]

Give your pitchers a baseball

May 2, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Pitching

How many times have you told a pitcher to go warm-up and the pitcher walks around in search of a good baseball?  What’s it like when the pitcher on the mound is struggling and you need a relief pitcher to be ready NOW! and he wastes time looking for a ball?  I don’t know about you but […]

Do you recruit or investigate?

April 11, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching

As a Villanova alum, I’m sure you can understand why I’ve had a very good week.  If any of you have seen those YouTube clips of Nova fans going ballistic on the last shot then you now pretty much know how I reacted in my living room. Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright has had a good […]

Tryouts and The Voice

March 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Tryouts

Baseball tryouts are a difficult time of year for all involved.  Coaches are elated that the season is starting but also dread having to tell young ball players that they cannot be on the team.  Egos are bruised and feelings are hurt.   I think it is hardest for the parents.  This is especially true […]

A new season starts

March 7, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching

Baseball where I am (Pennsylvania) starts today at the high school level.  I wish all of you a productive season with good calls and a tremendous bullpen! Below is a prayer I found that was apparently tweaked for coaches.   Best of luck everyone!   BUILD ME AN ATHLETE, who will be strong enough to […]

Seminar – Foundations of Catching and Throwing

February 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Infield, Video Posts

The following is a seminar I recently gave on the basic movements associated with catching and throwing.  The audience was a group of little league coaches.   If you are in the Philadelphia area and would like me to appear at your coaching clinic, contact me at BaseballByTheYard@gmail.com and I’ll see what I can do.

eBook: A 4-week guide to preparing pitchers

February 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Off-Season, Pitching

A couple weeks ago I launched a course/seminar called Game Charts: The ultimate coaching tool for baseball coaches.  Subscribers who purchased the seminar in the first week also got a free bonus eBook called Off-Season Pitching Guide: A four-week plan for developing pitchers for game #1. I received a lot of great feedback about both […]

Seminar: Game Charts – The ultimate teaching tool for baseball coaches

February 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Video Posts

I’m proud to announce my latest project called Game Charts: The ultimate teaching tool for baseball coaches!  If you are a subscriber, you had first access to this seminar all last week (I added a bonus for them also … that’s why you should be a member!). Here is the introduction to the seminar which […]

Add some problem solving to your drills

December 9, 2015 by  
Filed under Coaching, Mental Side

“I am so sick and tired of my players not being able to think for themselves.  They sit back and just wait for me to tell them what to do all the time.” Sound familiar? I’m sure it does.  Every coach deals with that dilemma.  So how can a coach address it rather than just […]

Wake up, families

November 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Coaching

I saw two articles yesterday when I checked my social media accounts.  One was an article about how we are training young baseball players all wrong.  The article said that pro scouts look for 90+mph throwers and if we are not training pitchers to throw 90+, it is basically a waste of time.  Ditto with regards […]

Should you teach young outfielders to step back on all fly balls?

November 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Coaching, Outfield, Video Posts

As I explain in today’s video post, a lot of youth coaches teach their outfielders to take a step back every time a ball is hit in the air towards them.  The reason is a sound one – Prevent extra bases even if you have to give up a few more singles in exchange. As […]

Would your best player do this?

November 11, 2015 by  
Filed under Coaching, Hitting, Make Up

Have you taken the Winter Seminar Survey yet?  It’s only two questions.  Click HERE.  I’d love to get your input! Now back to today’s post! Take a look at this screenshot of a situation from Game 4 of this year’s World Series.  Lorenzo Cain at bat.  Pause here and look at everything.   Got the […]

World Series Game 5 insights

November 2, 2015 by  
Filed under Base Running, Coaching, Infield

The Royals are World Champs!  Unfortunately, because of a bet, I have to make my son’s bed for a week. Clearly the better team won.  If you are a fan of baseball then watching the Royals was a pleasure.  They did everything right.  The Mets? … not so much. Like the previous World Series posts, […]

World Series insights – Game 3 & 4

BONUS SUNDAY POST! These insights from Game 3 and 4 of the current World Series between the Mets and the Royals are in no particular order.  Once again, I provide links to posts and videos I’ve previously done that expand on these ideas.  Enjoy! Game 3: The Met’s catcher made a big mistake and let […]

Video: Thumbs up, thumbs down

May 26, 2015 by  
Filed under Coaching, Video Posts

A few posts ago I wrote about the simple way to teach young players the proper catching and throwing procedure.  I received a request to turn it into a video.  Here it is!  To see the written explanation, click HERE.

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