Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

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 […]

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.  […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

FELT goals for baseball success

March 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

Baseball is quite possibly the most confidence and esteem crushing sport in existence.  No other sports punishes players for doing everything right.  A batter perfectly approaches a tough slider down and away and smokes a line drive to the opposite field gap.  Since the shift was on, the outfielder takes two steps and catches the […]

The And-1 mentality

February 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

Kyrie Irving takes it down, he’s looking to get it to Lebron.  He dishes it off to Kyle Korver.  Bounce pass to Kevin Love.  Back to Irving.  He get’s it out to Korver at the 3-point line.  Doesn’t have a shot.  Lebron is fighting for position underneath.  Pass over to Irving.  He drives to the […]

Who are you chasing?

January 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

We’ve all seen many underdog players or teams overachieve.  On the flip side, we’ve also seen many incredibly talented players and teams underachieve.  Both seem to happen so often that there must be a reason. Of course, there is never just one answer but if I had to pick one that stands out the most […]

Two things you cannot teach

January 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Make Up

Baseball By The Yard was designed to teach the game of baseball to as many people as possible. Unfortunately, there are two major concepts that lead to success in baseball that cannot be taught. They are ENERGY and ATTITUDE. Both of them can be encouraged, rewarded, and cultivated but nobody can “teach” an athlete (or […]

Election day: Winners win

November 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Make Up, Misc

Well, it’s election day in America. I stay away from politics on this baseball site but today’s post adds a little to make a point.  After reading, I think you’ll see the connection to winning in baseball both as a player and a team. From scandals and corruption to vulgar language and bad jokes, both […]

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 […]

We’re good, Sir.

April 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

Like many guys, I am fascinated by military special forces.  If I see a book about them, I pick it up.  If one is interviewed in a podcast, I download and listen.  It may be the training.  Maybe it’s the mental toughness. Every time I read or listen I pick up something new that I […]

What is your unfair advantage?

January 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side, Practice

When I was 12 years old, I remember pitching in a game with the winning run on third base with the game all tied up.  There were less than two outs and if the runner scored, the other team would win in walk off fashion.  I decided to go from the wind-up thinking that if the […]

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 […]

Are you asking yourself the right questions?

March 26, 2015 by  
Filed under Make Up, Scouting

  When players self-analyze, they often limit themselves to a few basic questions like … How many batters did I strikeout? What is my batting average? How many HR’s/RBI’s do I have? What’s my Win-Loss record? Unfortunately, most players do not mentally travel past those questions. For a player to more accurately gauge how well […]

A coach’s practice is your minimum

November 25, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up, Practice

One of the toughest things to do in a classroom or on a baseball field is to challenge every single student and player throughout the entire class or practice.  In baseball, every player has unique needs.   However, perfectly tailored instruction for each player during a team workout is virtually impossible.  That’s why it is […]

The three opponents you face every game

November 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

Three years ago I wrote a very popular post called The game is your toughest opponent.  It’s worth reading if you haven’t already because it’s a good message to players about what they should be focussing on during games. But I have to confess that I think I was wrong.  The game is not your […]

A baseball lesson from election day

November 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

HEADS UP!!  A special offer for subscribers of the site is coming within a week!  Become a subscriber if you haven’t already!  Scroll under my photo on the right to subscribe! Now, back to today’s post! As a social studies teacher I take a keen interest in the political process.  When I see the percentage […]

You play for the other coach too

November 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up

My coach doesn’t like me. My coach doesn’t promote me. My coach doesn’t know any college coaches. My coach doesn’t know the game. My coach never talks to scouts. Reason to be concerned?  Maybe and maybe not. Coaches talk.  Always have and always will.  If you feel your coach is not doing enough for you […]

Step by step to smooth

October 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up

When I watch MLB games I am constantly amazed at how easy the players make the game look.  Of course, the game is not even close to being easy.  The reason why it looks so easy is because the players have mastered the step by step micro-processes of making plays, swinging bats, and running the […]

How important is the right gear?

October 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

To answer that question, let me put it this way …. If you want to excel at anything, you have to have these four things: Mindset Tactics Skills Gear And most importantly, they stay in that order of importance! Let’s take each one individually and apply it to baseball. Mindset.  Baseball is a very tough […]

The most annoying thing about private lessons

October 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

For many years I gave quite a few private lessons to players of all age groups every week.  In fact, I look back on my daily schedule of teaching all day and giving private lessons four weeknights per week, all day Saturday, and most of the day on Sunday and can’t understand how I did […]

A player’s Check Engine light

September 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up

Stats are often overrated and never tell the full story.  However, if you are at the lower levels – anything below pro ball – and you are hitting around .250 or your ERA is over 5 or you are averaging an error a game, your “check engine” light is blinking.   A player might say […]

Derek Jeter says he wasn’t great. So what was he?

July 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up

This year’s lead-up to the MLB All-Star Game had several tribute stories about Derek Jeter.  One was an interview where the interviewer described Jeter as “great.”  Jeter responded by saying, “I am not great.  I’ve had confidence in myself and I was consistent.  I also worked very, very hard”   A simple description that says […]

High energy players

July 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up

We are approaching the dog days of summer when the heat and humidity tends to peak.  Most players’ bodies are screaming for a vacation right about now.  Most players’ bodies desperately want a few days off.  Maybe a solid three days of rainouts to let the body rest. I took my son to a local […]

Good news for players with great make-up

July 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up

There seems to be a change happening in baseball.  At least for one team anyway and I couldn’t be happier. We’ve all seen players with incredible make-up (character, work ethic, intensity, energy, optimism, etc.) who were not blessed with incredible physical ability.  Scouts may not drool over these kids but those in the coaching world […]

Five foot what?

June 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up

Just a few players among the MLB stat leaders as of today …  Troy Tulowitzki, 6-3, 215 lbs., currently batting .352 Miguel Cabrera, 6-4, 240 lbs, .325, 64 RBI’s Matt Adams, 6-3, 230 lbs., .328 Mike Trout, 6-2, 230 lbs, 58 RBI’s Adam Wainwright, 6-7, 228 lbs, 2.01 ERA Giancarlo Stanton, 6-6, 240 lbs., 21 […]

Why I still love the Twins

June 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up

I’m watching highlights on the MLB channel a couple days ago and they show the very end of the Twins-Tigers game.  The Tigers won the game on a walk-off sac fly after a botched catch in the outfield put a runner at third base.  As always, when the runner touched home plate the camera showed […]

Baseball Hardware vs Baseball Software

June 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

The 2014 MLB Amateur Draft has ended and hundreds of young men are probably thrilled beyond belief.  I know I was back in 1989.  When I got the call from the Twins organization that they had selected me, I hung up the phone after the conversation and just stood there in silence for a few […]

How to talk to reporters

May 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Coaching, Make Up

About a week ago I was flipping through the sports channels and came across a story about a AA closer who throws it up there around 100mph.  During the course of the interview he basically said the following:  (paraphrased, but not much) “I don’t have to throw my hardest to put it past hitters.” “When […]

What a pencil can teach a coach

October 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Coaching, Make Up

Learning from a pencil has been around for quite a while.  Of course, the same principles would apply to coaches and baseball coaches alike.  Here they are if you have never seen them.   Learning from a pencil 1. Everything you do leaves a mark.  As a coach, never forget that your interaction with your […]

Because you just never know

September 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

Here is a story about a former player of mine that should be a lesson for all young players.  This player had a good high school career but even though he went to a Division I college, it certainly was not a top-teir one.  That’s because he wasn’t the 6’3″ blue chipper with the 90+ […]

Matt Szczur: Score one for the good guys

September 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Make Up

My father always said “sports (especially baseball) makes good people.”  It’s unfortunate but too often the bad guys in sports get all the attention.  Through my time in baseball, there have been so many great human beings that I’ve come into contact with and very few of them have ever gotten the notoriety they deserve. […]

There is no walking in baseball

July 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Coaching, Make Up

Is anyone else aggravated by how many players walk on, off, and around the baseball field?  To me it’s like nails on a chalkboard.  Every summer I usually help out at a couple camps that have kids between about 8 and 15 years old.  One of the toughest things to teach the campers early on […]

Happily ever after

June 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side, Off-Season

One of the hardest things when you get to the top is staying there.  Winning a championship as a team or a player getting to the level they’ve always dreamed of can be thrilling but it’s not without challenges.   First of all, a team that becomes a champion is not going to sneak up […]

It’s not how you start

June 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Make Up

Readers who are not from the Philadelphia area will not recognize the names on this Top 25 list of high school teams.   The list, if you look at the date, is the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Top 25 baseball teams in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania at the very start of the season.  One team, North […]

Enforcing the informal rules of the game

June 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Make Up

Maybe I am officially old school now but I cannot believe what my eyes saw during the Phillies-Marlins series.  Actually, it has more to do with what my eyes didn’t see.  Let me set the stage. To date, the Marlins have the worst record in baseball. Their organization has been blasted for getting rid of […]

Earning the right to fail

May 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

A student of mine had a rough pitching start the other day.  He lasted 1/3 of an inning before being pulled from the game.  Pitch long enough and it will happen to you too.  It certainly has happened to me. For players at the high school level and above, outings like this can be devastating.  […]

The power of defeat

April 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

The game of baseball is designed to wear you down mentally.  It takes special people to handle all the failure that is inherent in the game.  Special people with grit.  Below is a link to a non-baseball article that is right on the money when it comes to the importance of developing grit in children. […]

Pennsylvania baseball

March 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Make Up

If any of you have thoughts about moving to Pennsylvania to play baseball, here are a couple photos taken at a local high school practice over the weekend (3-16-2013).  With weather like this, it would stand to reason that baseball players would not be bred in Pennsylvania to the extent that places like Texas, Florida, […]

I didn’t make the team. Now what?

March 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Make Up, Tryouts

As I mentioned in a post a few days ago, this week is tryout week for most high schools in Pennsylvania.  For players and parents, the week is filled with gossip and debate as to who is showing well and who might make the JV and varsity rosters.  Of course, it all culminates in the […]

Teaching toughness

December 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching, Make Up, Mental Side

Can you teach toughness?  I think the answer is YES.  I will admit that it is very hard, though.  The reason why I say yes is that the military does it every day.  They routinely turn average kids into warriors.  Warriors with a higher tolerance for pain, better drive, assertiveness, and self-discipline as well. I think […]

Action comes before esteem

December 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Make Up

One aspect of our American culture that annoys the older generation to no end (Bobby Knight comes to mind), is the insistence among “experts” that self-esteem must be raised to help kids improve and achieve.  Baseball fanatic and columnist George Will wrote about this in an article called How to ruin a child. A number […]

Being a one percent-er

November 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Make Up

This past campaign season, much was made of the 1% of people at the top of the economic ladder.  One mistake many of their critics make is having the belief that the 1% got to where they are by accident.  Surely some have inherited their fortunes from their ancestors but most got there based on […]

Election 2012

November 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Make Up

People are waking up today to find that the President of the United States has been re-elected in this year’s Presidential race.  On one side there will be cheers and the other tears.  Such is life. As a social studies teacher, I follow politics fairly closely.  What always amazes me is how many people on […]

Lights won’t always be green

October 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Make Up, Off-Season

I’m sure there are players and coaches who are doing some soul searching these days after their long seasons of baseball.  Players who hit .210 and pitchers with an ERA over 6.00 are probably wondering if this sport is really for them.  Coaches who spent a tough year with entitled athletes, critical parents, and maybe […]

Bad body language

July 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Make Up, Mental Side

When I watch games on TV, it is not unusual for the volume to be off.  Often my wife will be reading close by or the kids will be playing in the room making it hard to hear anyway.  It’s actually a good way to watch the game because it forces you to pay attention […]

The 99 percent

June 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Make Up

In the Philadelphia area where I am located, temperatures are reaching 100 degrees.  It’s that time of year.   99% of baseball players: It’s too hot to play baseball. I’m too tired to take the extra base. I wish I were at the pool. I wish I was at the beach with my friends. Why […]

One step up and two steps back

June 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Make Up

There is a player on the Phillies that just drives me insane.  I won’t name him because I’m not into bashing players from afar.  It’s a very hard game and anyone who makes it to the major league level is more talented than I ever was.  That being said, he still drives me nuts.  I […]

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