A while back I wrote a post called Batting cage ribbons where I explained a good drill for hitters when working in a cage. Another similar option is this drill HERE. It appears as if some major leaguers are using these drills as well! Here is an excerpt from an article about the recent success of Orioles hitter [...]
One common goal for most coaches is to convince their hitters to use more of the center of the field when they hit. I tried to promote a left center to right center approach with my hitters. Using the center of the field as a goal gives a hitter more room for error. If they [...]
Growing up, I remember watching major league games and seeing quite a few closed stances from hitters. Mike Schmidt comes to mind. George Hendrix probably was the most extreme example. Today, you rarely see that kind of stance. The open stance is much more the norm in today’s game. The question from coaches is “do [...]
Take a look at the following photographs showing four of the best hitters in baseball. In each photo you will notice that contact with the ball is made when the ball is inside the front foot. One of the biggest challenges young players (and therefore their coaches) face is jumping or lunging at the [...]
Today’s tip is generally not needed at the lower levels. It is more for players at the college and pro levels where there tends to be more scouting of other teams involved. A while back I did an interview with a guy named Steve Springer. If you have not listened to Steve before, you are [...]
I heard this batting practice idea from the current head coach at Villanova University (Joe Godri) and I think it is a great one for a number of reasons. It involves moving the shag bucket(s) to a safer location during batting practice. In the following picture, the red line and star indicate where most teams [...]
As I type this, another snow storm has entered the Philadelphia area. High school and college coaches are no doubt pulling their hair out over the weather so far this spring. For today, if they are able to practice at all, it looks like another indoor batting cage day for hitters. Not ideal but it [...]
There is a great saying in baseball that goes, “baseball is played from the ground up.” What that means is that most everything in the game starts with good footwork. Want to improve your throws? Set your feet better. Want to throw more strikes? Improve your footwork on the mound. In today’s video tip, [...]
This is the last of seven videos from a coaching clinic I participated in at North Penn High School in Lansdale, PA. The clinics were presented to mostly Little League coaches. The purpose was to pass on a basic foundation of the game to all the coaches. Today’s seminar is one that I gave [...]
This is the sixth of seven videos from a coaching clinic I participated in at North Penn High School in Lansdale, PA. The clinics were presented to mostly Little League coaches. The purpose was to pass on a basic foundation of the game to all the coaches. I am posting all of the seminars – [...]
I heard the term “Freebie War” from a legendary coach named Pat McMahon. Coach McMahon is a frequent speaker at national coaching clinics. He has coached at many levels with success and currently is heavily involved with the Yankees developmental academies in the Dominican Republic. I heard him speak at a recent clinic where he [...]
With practices starting up soon in many parts of the country, coaches are well into the process of designing practice routines and schedules for their teams. At least they should be. If you ever had the pleasure of participating in or watching spring training workouts for pro teams, you may have noticed that very often [...]
Throughout baseball, many kids are taught to keep their heads as still as possible. Unfortunately, when you watch good players play the game, they will often move their head quite a bit. The concept of “keeping your head still” has more to do with keeping your eyes level and not keeping your head completely still. [...]
Over the years, I have worked with players from the Tee-Ball level all the way up to the professional levels. No matter what the age or skill level of the player, often small adjustments go a long way. Today’s video tip is one example of a small adjustment I look for early on when [...]
My condolences go out to Cardinal fans on the passing of Stan “The Man” Musial. One of the greatest players but more importantly, a great person as well. With his passing, many news agencies have been showing photographs and footage of his great career. One thing that always jumps out upon seeing the footage is [...]
Without knowing it, many pitchers, if you look hard enough, will tell you what they are going to throw. It could be something they do with their glove and/or their delivery. It could be a hundred other things as well. At the higher levels, especially with video analysis, it becomes very hard to prevent the [...]
For a variety of reasons, a chair can be a great tool for players and coaches to learn some basics of baseball. The video that follows will show some of the ways players on the offensive and defensive side of the ball can use a chair during drill work. If you are looking for an [...]
The winter months are approaching rapidly. Ultimately, that means lots of swings using indoor batting tunnels. These tunnels are terrific to use but can lead to boredom if players just take the same old swing over and over. Of course, for many hitters, this repetitive swing is exactly what they need to develop muscle memory. [...]
Here is the video form of a post I first wrote about and explained HERE.
This drill for bunting was another one done in written form previously. I received some requests for a video so here it is.
I believe the concept of “keeping your hands inside the ball” is one of the most important aspects of successful hitting. In this video I explain what it means and provide four reasons why it’s so important.
In yesterday’s post, I gave some statistics that, in my mind at least, add to the importance of throwing a first pitch strike even more. Today’s post concerns a question that is still debated at every level today. Should a batter swing at the first pitch? Apparently, Ted Williams believed that there were a lot [...]
This title comes from the mouth of Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays. In his own words, the video explains what “start slow and early” means and how that concept transformed his career.
The story of Josh Hamilton and his rise to stardom is a remarkable story that still inspires me whenever I see him play. But Josh is struggling at the plate these days. After receiving Player of the Month honors for May and June, his production has dropped considerably. Nobody is as frustrated as he is [...]
How many of you as a kid pretended you were your favorite major leaguer by copying his stance and signature swing? All of us have. The reason we were able to copy their swing was because we saw the same swing every time they walked up to the plate. The point is, they had one [...]
Base-hit bunting can be a great weapon for any hitter in a line-up. This is especially true for left handed hitters because they have the built in advantage of being a few feet closer to first base. The video below shows the three basic footwork methods left handers can use during a base-hit bunt.
At the levels below pro ball, you may find the pitcher batting anywhere in the line-up. On many high school teams and even some college teams, the pitcher may be one of the best hitters on the team and often is located in the center of the batting line-up. Of course, at the pro level, [...]
As you probably already know, baseball players are some of the most superstitious people on earth. I read a sociological study one time that discussed cultures and their likelihood of being superstitious as a people. It basically comes down to how much “luck” or “chance” the people believe is involved in their success. In light [...]
There are some things in baseball I can’t explain. Here are a few: Two pitchers have the same body type and mechanics. One guy throws 82 and the other 94mph. One pitcher throws the ball straight as an arrow and another can’t throw the ball straight even if he tried. The concept of throwing a [...]
There are times when you are at bat and it seems like there are 15 defenders behind the pitcher. Everything you hit gets caught. Other times, it feels like it’s just you and the pitcher and no matter what he throws, you know the ball will fall in for a hit. The latter example is [...]
In yesterday’s post, I diagrammed and explained a drill that hitters can utilize to practice a slider from left handed and right handed pitchers. Today’s drill is for hitters who would like to become better at hitting the curve ball. The photo above shows the typical soft-toss drill most older hitters have experience with. This [...]
One of the problems older players run into is that more pitchers they face will throw better breaking pitches. But how does a hitter practice hitting a breaking pitch? If your father, brother, mom, teammate, or coach has an ok curve or slider, he/she could always throw some. However, that is unlikely to be the [...]
One of my father’s most popular lines to me growing up was “The ball won’t jump off your bat by itself.” The meaning of that is simple. If you want the ball to be hit hard and go far, you have to make it be hit hard and go far by swinging the bat with aggression. [...]
There are a lot of coaches who want their hitters to lay off the high pitch. For the purpose of this post, a “high pitch” is a pitch that is just above the strike zone (belt to letters). Generally speaking, the more velocity a pitcher has the tougher it is for the hitter to hit [...]
Hall of Famer Wade Boggs once was asked if he felt he had a chance to ever bat .400. His answer was that he could but he would have to get a lot more walks to do it. The question then becomes, should a batter try to get more walks. The answer is NO. Looking [...]
I’m watching highlights last night on the MLB Channel and they get to the San Diego Padres game. With a runner on third and the pitcher up, the Padres manager calls for a suicide squeeze. The hitter was left handed and the pitcher just threw one up and away, almost like a pitchout. No bunt [...]
It’s amazing how good statistics can alter the perspective of announcers and other baseball people. Barry Bonds, although controversial, is one of the all-time greats in the history of the game. However, his swing had a very noticable “trigger” where he dropped his hands and then brought them up before taking a swing. Current Mets first [...]
Here’s another drill you may have done before. It has a number of variations depending on the size of the chair you use. It can help with the following: Prevents drifting or lunging at the ball. Gets the head/eyes used to being closer to the ball Prevents too much “straight up and down” hitting. Helps [...]
Often a lack of hitting can come down to something very simple. I’ve always taken a “ground-up” approach to baseball meaning most of what I teach in terms of the mechanics of the sport begins with the feet. Mess up some of the basic footwork and a player’s performance is going to spiral downward very [...]
There was a very good article on ESPN’s website where David Ortiz was commenting about Albert Pujols’ current slump. Ortiz was comparing Albert’s slump with those of Ortiz’ over the past couple years and how difficult they can be. There are a lot of good tips in the article for young players when they hit that [...]
I attended a local college game the other day and I have to say that the game looks very easy when you are watching from afar. I’m used to being in the dugout so having some distance from the field is a little weird. Anyway, during the game there was a situation where a [...]
In yesterday’s post, I explained the common method used by middle infielders to communicate to each other who is covering second base on a steal attempt. I mentioned that as you go up in levels, it becomes more important for the defense to not allow the offense to know who will be covering. Today’s [...]
In my opinion, one of the least worked on aspects of offense is base hit bunting. I suppose with the introduction of aluminum bats and the emphasis on the home run, it was inevitable that small ball stratgies that included base hit bunting would fall by the wayside. I mean, let’s face it. Nobody is getting a [...]
Roy Halladay is a pleasure to watch on a regular basis. Watch his preparations and his game day performance and there will be a lot of positive things to see and learn from. But there is something that you won’t see that is a big part of his preparation and in-game performance. His pitching journal. [...]
The mechanics of bunting are extremely important to successful bunts. But so is where you bunt the ball. This video clip explains the general rules for where to put sacrifice bunts.
Myth #1: Extend both arms fully out in front of you when you field. No matter what sport you play, there will never be a time when your arms are fully extended in front of you AND you’re in a powerful position. It just doesn’t work that way. The arms are quicker and more powerful [...]