Sunday, December 17th, 2017

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: […]

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 […]

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 […]

Snap your swings like a boxer

April 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Hitting, Video Posts

Today’s video tip involves a phrase I have been using with my son recently in order to increase his bat speed.  The phrase is “snap your swings.”  As you will see, it is related to the sport of boxing.

A tip to keep the catcher back on sac bunts

March 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Base Running, Hitting, Video Posts

Today’s video tip is a higher level one for base runners. It involves a situation where the batter poorly bunts a pitch just in front of home plate.

A small tip for faster sprints

February 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Base Running, Video Posts

One big problem a lot of young sprinters have is that they cannot get out of their own way. They never allow their body to function at 100% because they use poor running skills that often lead to too much tension. Loosen up that body and the times will come down. Today’s video tip is […]

How to read a hitter’s swing

February 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Hitting, Video Posts

To play infield at the higher levels requires physical talent but also a lot of awareness.  Look around you and you’ll begin to notice a lot of information that you can use to become a better infielder even before the ball is hit.   Today’s video post involves analyzing a batter’s swing before he even […]

What does it mean when a hitter “leaks”?

February 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Hitting, Video Posts

Today’s post was inspired by a reader who emailed me about his son who is apparently “leaking.”  The reader wasn’t sure what the term meant.  The term is also something I have dealt with recently now that I have started to do some private hitting lessons. Note: if you live near Limerick, PA and have a need […]

How to practice Web Gems

I could watch ESPN’s Web Gems all day long.  Having been an infielder for most of my playing career, I have an enormous respect for what MLB infielders are able to do on seemingly impossible plays.  However, Web Gems are not just for major leaguers.  They can happen at any level and age group.  That […]

Managing the 1st and 3rd play: A tip for catchers

January 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Catching, Video Posts

One of the toughest plays for young teams is the 1st and 3rd play.  The runner on first base steals and if the catcher throws it to second, the runner on third scores.  If the catcher just holds it, you know have two runners in scoring position.  Add a rundown in there and all hell break […]

Get some safety glasses!

January 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Off-Season, Pitching, Video Posts

Today’s video addresses an important safety warning and tip for baseball players.  I even threw in a blooper clip at the end!  Other related posts about armband exercises are below the video.    

Get your pitching grip early

January 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

There are tons of different pitching grips out there.  I highly recommend that pitchers tinker with as many as possible to see which ones work best for them.  However, once you find the ones that fit you, be sure to perfect the timing involves with regards to when the grip should be locked in.  Today’s […]

How to throw a safe curve ball

January 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

Oh, boy. I can envision, with fingers shaking, people hitting the ALL-CAPS button to send off some hate-mail over the title of this one. Breeeeeeeeeeeeathe. Today’s video tip shows a type of curve ball that I was taught in high school that does not require the pitcher to do some of the things that can lead […]

Pickoffs: Inward turn vs Spin Move

December 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

Today’s video tip is a reply to a comment from someone who watched a previous video on the “Inward turn” pickoff move from pitchers.  Here was the comment … “just step off and snap throw, its faster and not a balk.” Both types of pickoff moves have value but each one only works in certain […]

The 2nd balance point for pitchers

October 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

Ask most pitchers and coaches “What is a pitcher’s balance point?” and you typically will get back something like “it’s the point when a pitcher gets all his weight back on his rear leg before going forward to throw the pitch.”  And they would be correct. Next ask them “What is the pitcher’s 2nd balance point?” and […]

Wild Card game: Something you may have missed

In the top of the 4th inning of the Wild Card game between the Giants and the Mets, Giants outfielder Denard Span attempted to steal second base.  Replays seemed to clearly indicate that Span was safe on the play.  However, he was called out and after reviewing the replay, MLB officials in New York upheld […]

Should a batter keep his back elbow up?

September 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Hitting, Video Posts

Today’s video is about the controversy over the back elbow of hitters.  It’s a longer video because there are multiple layers to this debate.  As you will see, I don’t believe the problem is with the elbow itself. Feel free to give me your thoughts in the comment section.

What is the proper arm path for pitchers?

September 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

I fully expect some criticism over this video because I think my views are in the minority.  So all you keyboard warriors get your fingers ready! Today’s video explains two things from my point of view: How most kids are taught a proper arm path. What I think a proper arm path should look like. […]

Another option for catchers when blocking

September 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Catching, Video Posts

Today’s video tip is another option for catchers concerning what to do with their throwing hand/arm while blocking.  Getting hit on the throwing hand/arm on balls in the dirt are not much fun.  Typically, catchers are taught to hide the hand behind the glove to protect it. Here’s another option I am seeing more and […]

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 […]

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.

Aggressive through the ball

Some phrases in baseball cover many different aspects of the game.  “Aggressive through the ball” is one of them.  Today’s video explains several ways it applies to baseball players.

How to keep a hitter’s front side from flying open

June 27, 2016 by  
Filed under Hitting, Video Posts

One of the biggest mistakes hitters make at all levels is opening the front side up too soon on the swing.  Here are several phrases, all of which describe basically the same thing: “stepping in the bucket” “flying off the ball” “pulling your hip out” “pulling your head off the ball” “rotating away from the […]

Go back before you go forward

June 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Hitting, Infield, Video Posts

There are a ton of great sayings in baseball.  Some are specific to one area of the game and some transfer to many/all areas of the baseball.  Today’s video explains one that benefits virtually every area of the game.

A base running drill I bet you never did

June 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Base Running, Video Posts

I’m a firm believer that if you expect players to do something in a game, you had better practice it beforehand.  If a player screws something up that we never practiced then I consider it my fault not his.   Today’s video tip is a drill I’d bet rarely ever gets practiced.  As you will see, […]

What’s the best thing I can do for my player?

… get him something to throw into!  A rebounder, a wall, or anything else you can buy/build. The screen in the video is from Burbank Sport Nets and is the best throwing screen you can buy.  Period.  Here is the link: https://burbanksportnets.com/product_display/28  

Blow on the ball to break a slump

Slumps happen in all areas of the game.  Pitchers, fielders, and certainly hitters go through times where things just aren’t right.  It can be frustrating because, mechanically speaking, everything appears normal.  Slumps can definitely be mechanical but often it’s not.  Sometimes it just comes down to breathing. Today’s video tip explains how this can happen and […]

What does a pitcher do with his back foot?

April 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

Today’s video tip explains what a pitcher should do with his back foot after throwing a pitch.  You will see lots of variations of this especially at the younger levels.  In the video, I demonstrate some of the common mistakes pitchers make and what pitchers should do to finish correctly in order to get the most […]

Pitchers: Don’t bend both knees at the same time

April 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

Today’s video tip is for pitchers who want to better utilize the height that they have.  Taller pitchers have an advantage when they are on an elevated mound and throwing properly.  Today’s tip prevents a pitcher from “collapsing” on their back leg and allows them to more effectively throw on a downward plane to the batter. […]

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.

The Throwing X Drill

February 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

When I work with a young thrower (below high school), I usually focus a lot of attention on smoothing up the throwing path of their arm.  Watch a major leaguer throw on TV and it won’t look like they are putting a lot of effort into their throws.  When the radar screen says 95 mph, your mind […]

Getting hitters off their back foot

February 11, 2016 by  
Filed under Hitting, Video Posts

Today’s video tip is actually two versions of a drill that could be used to help hitters address a common mistake.  I see this more often in little kids but it doesn’t mean older players can’t benefit from it either.  The mistake involves never getting their weight off their back foot when they swing “Rotational” […]

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 […]

To the fence drill for outfielders (Part 2)

February 4, 2016 by  
Filed under Outfield, Video Posts

Part 1 of this topic was covered HERE.  I basically covered the concept of getting to the proper side of the ball before you touch it. In today’s video tip, I cover the process after picking the ball up.  Too often outfielders waste time trying to make a powerful throw back to the infield when […]

Pinching the middle for middle infielders – Part 2

January 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Second Base, Shortstop, Video Posts

Today’s video tip is Part 2 of the very important responsibility for middle infielders when there are runners on base.  To see Part 1, click HERE. Today’s tip focuses on a common mistake made AFTER this responsibility is over and how to correct it.

Pinching the middle for middle infielders – Part 1

January 19, 2016 by  
Filed under Second Base, Shortstop, Video Posts

Today’s video tip is about the VERY IMPORTANT and MANDATORY responsibility of both middle infielders whenever there are runners on base. It’s one of the many things a well-coached team will do without being told.

Are you tipping off your pitches?

December 16, 2015 by  
Filed under Hitting, Pitching, Video Posts

I saw the following photo on ESPN.com the other day and thought I would use it as a reminder of something I have talked about in the past.  Here is the photo. Ask experienced hitters at the major league level and I guarantee that they will say that every pitcher tips off their pitches in some […]

How to decoy runners on overthrows

Today’s video tip is for more advanced infielders.  It’s advanced because, as you will see, the player will have to fight their instincts and that is not something you learn to do overnight.

Make the throws easy for the pitcher

December 11, 2015 by  
Filed under Catching, Pitching, Video Posts

“Seriously?  You can’t make an accurate 50 foot throw to the pitcher?” I’ve never actually said that to a catcher … but I’ve darn well thought it!  And don’t lie.  I know you have too. As a coach, the last thing you want to be concerned about is will your catcher make good throws back […]

How to play catch – Sticking your catches

December 7, 2015 by  
Filed under Catching, Infield, Video Posts

Today’s video tip a another little thing that can go a long way in helping young players develop proper catching and throwing mechanics.  Sticking your catches promotes strong hands and helps to prevent a player from being at the mercy of the ball.  It’s great for young kids and even advanced catchers. HERE is the more […]

How to throw a better 2-strike breaking pitch

December 4, 2015 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

This is Part 2 of the “throwing more strikes with your breaking ball” series.  This one deals with throwing them when you have an 0-2 or 1-2 count.  If you did not see Part 1: How to throw more strikes with your breaking pitches, click HERE. Too often pitchers (and I mean all pitchers at all […]

How to throw more strikes with your breaking pitches

December 2, 2015 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

A big problem with pitchers as they get into the higher levels is an inability to throw strikes with their breaking pitches.  From Little League through even the high school level, pitchers can get away with not being very good at commanding their curveballs and sliders.  This is because the hitters are usually not that […]

To the Fence Drill for outfielders

November 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Outfield, Video Posts

After the holidays is usually the start to the indoor workout season for teams in the colder regions.  When that happens, it’s usually outfielder work that gets screwed over do to the limits on space.  But it doesn’t have to be that way. Today’s video tip is the outfielder’s footwork of approaching a ball that […]

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 […]

How to throw the ball back to the pitcher

November 4, 2015 by  
Filed under Catching, Video Posts

Ever have catchers specifically do a drill that just requires them to throw the ball back to the pitcher correctly?  Probably not.  That’s because we just assume they should just know how to do it.   Most older kids just figure out how to get the ball back on their own through trial & error […]

How to quicken your tags as an infielder

October 28, 2015 by  
Filed under Infield, Video Posts

Baseball is a game of inches.  Anytime we can do something a few inches faster, we have a better chance of keeping up with the speed of the game. Today’s video tip is for infielders who want to quicken up their tags at the bases.

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