Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine by SKLZ

Welcome to the Hurricane Hitting Machine Blog for Baseball Coaches, Players and Parents. Our daily posts can help you get the most out of your baseball drills and team practices. Our free baseball articles, baseball coaching tips, and baseball drills can help your baseball player or baseball team improve. Our archive has hundreds of articles related to baseball training and baseball practice.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

How to Become a Complete Baseball Player

By Bob Hines

This is the ultimate goal for a ball player right? Developing the "five tools". It takes commitment and dedication of course, but it also takes a positive attitude towards improvement.

I read a quote yesterday from a college coach that really stuck with me...
"you will never improve a skill or ability if you start out thinking you know everything about it."

Sounds simple enough. Some would say "keep an opened mind" says the same thing but I think there's more to it. My interpretation of this statement is... in order for a person to reach their goals they must be open to learning from others who have been down the road before them. In relationship to baseball it means listening to all advice and finding the good in it.

A baseball player will work with many coaches throughout their career. Youth players generally have different coaches every season. Some more experienced and knowledgeable than others. If you are lucky enough to play for a coach who really knows his or her stuff you will do yourself a great service by opening up, paying attention and taking in everything they want to teach you. You may not agree with everything, but take it in. Then you can balance that knowledge with what you have learned from others. This is how players improve... take the best lessons from the best coaches and put it all together. That's how you become a "complete" player.

For example, my friend's son has played for a coach the past 3 seasons who is VERY knowledgeable about hitting.. he played Div1 ball, was a powerhitter, taught him a lot. This coach also thought he knew a lot about baserunning. He knew some, but another coach this player worked with privately was a base stealing phemon who taught him things that the hitting coach had never learned. However, when the hitting coach gave him baserunning instruction he listened and took it in. Yet he practiced and used most of what the baserunning coach taught him. One day he had a game where he stole 3 bases. After the game the hitting coach said "say, great game today, you seem to have come up with a baserunning technique that really works for you, stay with it". Get the picture?

There are very few absolutes in baseball. While there are general guidelines on how to do things, every player is different. Players learn baseball skills in a way that fits them. That's why when you look at college and pro players, they all have similar elements in their swings, yet every swing is different.

Good coaches know that not all players have the same batting stance or the same load/stride technique, or the same stance when leading off 1st base. A good coach wants a player to get the most of their mental and physical ability.

The best advice to you, the player, is listen to all your coaches and take in the best parts from each. If you do this you will be well on your way to meeting your baseball goals and becoming a "complete player".

Coach Bob
Visit Coach Bob's Youth Baseball Blog @
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

6 Questions often asked about the Hurricane Machine

QUESTION: What is the main benefit of owning a Hurricane Baseball Hitting Machine?
ANSWER: I feel the number one benefit is that the Hurricane Machine gives the player a wide variety of hitting drills that allow a player to perform specific drills designed to target a players individual needs and weaknesses. Each of these drills teaches or reinforces an important fundamental of hitting.

QUESTION: How long does it take to assemble the Hurricane? Are tools required for set-up?
ANSWER: No tools are required. You should read the owners manual completely from front to back cover before assembling or using your new Hurricane Batting Machine. The first time you assemble your new machine may take 10 minutes. After that, it should take only 5 minutes are less. If you can do so, we recommend setting your machine up in an unused corner or area of your yard. This allows hitters to practice more often or on impulse when they are bored during the day when Mom or Dad may not be at home. Of you must store your machine in a secure spot between uses, it will only take minutes to set up and take down each time you use it. The Hurricane is a totally user-friendly machine when it comes to use and set-up. If you should have trouble during set-up, please do not hesitate to call our toll free customer service number to talk directly to someone that can answer your questions or walk you through set-up. Call 1-877-431-4487.

QUESTION: What is involved in adjusting the height or speed of the Hurricane Machine?
ANSWER: The height is adjusted by loosening the height adjustment knob, raising or losering the machine to the desired height, and tightening the height adjustment knob. This should take less that 20 seconds to do. Speed adjustment is done by added a Powerband to increase speed and removing a Powerband to decrease speed. Make sure to always connect the Powerband to the bottom hook-bar first and then to the top hook. This prevents a Powerband from "popping" you in the face should your hand slip off of it when you are connecting it to the hook. Speed adjustment takes about 2 minutes.

QUESTION: How fast does the Hurricane Machine ball travel? What pitch speeds does the machine simulate?
ANSWER: The Hurricane ball return speed is determined by the power and bat speed of the batter. With two Powerbands in place, and a average high school hitter swinging the bat, the machine's return speed will simulate speeds reaching up to 60 to 65 mph. With younger players, the speeds simulated may average 45 to 60 mph depending on the power and bat speed of the batter. The harder the ball is hit; the faster the ball's speed when it returns to the batter.

QUESTION: Do you hit the ball moving or should the batter let it stop moving before each swing?
ANSWER: The real beauty of the Hurricane Machine is that you can do both. Players love to hit the fast moving ball. Most of the drills outlined in the owners manual are moving ball drills. However, some of the isolation drills that allow the batter to hit specific pitch locations are performed by allowing the ball to stop before each drill. I would say that 90% of the drills and workouts on the Hurricane Machine are fast ball moving drills. These are highly productive when it come to improving skill, building confidence and increasing bat speed.

QUESTION: What is the number one thing I need to make sure my player knows about the Hurricane before he or she uses it?
ANSWER: I would say that there are actually three things that I would tell them. First, they should always make sure no one is near when they are swinging the bat. They should clear the area before they begin to work. Second, they must realize that the Hurricane operates with a "wrapping and unwrapping" action. They must always allow the Hurricane Machine Powerbands to unwrap between bat swings. If they do not allow the machine to unwind before they swing again, they will stress and break the Powerbands. And last, I would make sure that they take time between swings to reset and assume a proper stance everytime. The Hurricane Machine is so easy and convenient that many times kids tend to work to fast. They must make themselves slow down, get in a proper stance, and take a quality swing each time. The emphasis should be on QUALITY and not QUANTITY when it comes to practice swings.

ONE LAST IMPORTANT POINT: Make sure that your hitter has batting gloves. The Hurricane will greatly increase the number of practice swings a players takes each day. Kids will sometimes take 300 to 500 swings a day. Often times they are not used to taking so many swings. Until their hands get used to it, they must have protection. They will get blisters if they do not have a good pair of batting gloves. So make sure your player has a good pair of batting gloves to wear when hitting the Hurricane Machine.
Note: If you have a question that we did not answer here, please do not hesitate to call us at our toll free number, 1-877-431-4487. We will gladly answer any other question that you might have.

Remember, we give you a Money-Back Guarantee when you buy the Hurricane Machine from us! You will not get that guarantee in other places. We want you to feel comfortable with your decision to buy by knowing that this is a RISK FREE OFFER. And most of all, we want you to be totally happy with the product you buy!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Be a Better Batter Through Repetition

Note: The following article related to the value of practice and swing repetition in the development of baseball skill. There is no better way to get repetitive swing practice than the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine.

Be a Better Batter Through Repetition

By: Anthony Stai

All parents want their children to reach their full potential in anything that they do. If you have kids playing baseball or softball then you know that one of the most exciting and difficult aspects is hitting. And since you may only get 3 to 5 at-bats per game then you want to make sure that they count.

Whether your kids are playing baseball or softball, if they can hit the ball like they want then they will enjoy playing so much more. There's nothing worse than watching a player walk back to the dugout dejected and sad.

So what can you do as a parent to instill confidence at the plate? The best way to accomplish this is with repetition. Unless you are willing to pitch to your kids 200 balls a day then they won't get the kind of repetition that will improve their batting. Plus, unless you have Nolan Ryan accuracy, you won't be doing your kids any favors by having them swing at pitches outside the strike zone. And, you'll save your arm for throwing that football in the fall.

The best tool for repetition is a pitching machine. Pitching machines come in a variety of types and costs. Some have large wheels and run on gas motors and can feed up to 12 baseball sized balls. Some are just for baseball and others just for softball. These are usually expensive for a parent to purchase and are bulky and can't be self-operated safely by young batters.

The less expensive options are portable whiffle ball pitching machines. Most of these use the golf ball sized whiffle balls and run on rechargeable batteries so they can be used almost anywhere. Plus, they are just as effective for softball players as baseball players.

Many ask, "Why golf ball sized whiffle balls?" The small balls force the batter to concentrate more and to aim for a smaller target. When you can hit a small target consistently then a larger target will be even easier to hit. Plus the small balls are inexpensive and can still be thrown at high speeds.

The whiffle ball pitching machines are lightweight, some hold up to 100 whiffle balls, adjusts from 20 mph to 60 mph, pitch consistently, can pitch curve balls and sliders from both right hand and left hand pitchers.Best of all, the whiffle ball pitching machines are FUN!

Kids and adults of all ages have fun hitting from these machine and it truly has the ability to increase the confidence and ability of young and older batters in a matter of minutes.

About The Author-- Anthony Stai is a proud contributing author and writes articles on several sports related topics including baseball. To learn more about the Personal Pitcher and a unique opportunity to get a FREE Personal Pitcher visit Free Personal Pitcher Pitching Machine at for all the details and a personal review.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Baseball Hitting - Getting the Hands to the Launch Position

Baseball Hitting - Getting the Hands to the Launch Position

"Baseball Hitting - Getting the Hands to the Launch Position"Hitting a baseball is a skill that can be learned and improved with proper coaching and instruction.It may be a difficult task, but with the correct fundamentals and techniques hitting can be one of the most rewarding activities in all of sports. There is nothing that is more satisfing and rewarding than hitting a line-drive in the left-center gap to help your team score the go-ahead run.

Many kids often experience cush a great sense of accomplishment while others suffer the embarrasment, disappointment, and despair of with striking out time after time. They feel that they let their team down and they often feel that they embarrass their coach and parents. The quickest way to achieving hitting success is to identify bad mechanics and correct them as soon as possible.

I will now give a brief overview of 3 aspects of a solid batting stance, swing and finish.

1. The GRIP - knocking knuckles, (not fighting knuckles) should be aligned. This positions the bat's handle in the fingers and out of the palm. This allows maximum wrist quickness and hand speed.Coaching Tip: Have kids check their grip by raising and pointing their index fingers. If they point in the same direction, they are aligned, if the point across each other, the grip is incorrect.

2. The BAT ANGLE at the start position. Keep in mind that the hands will move slightly back and away from the pitcher when the batter loads to the launch position. The bat's angle will not change during the loading process. The bat should be at a 45 degree angle over the shoulder. The bat should not be wrapped or tucked behind the head, this slows bat speed. The bat schoul be no more that 2 to 3 inches off the top of the shoulder.

3. The LOADING PROCESS is a simple and slight movement of the hands away from the pitcher. This is a movement that is so slight that many people do not notice it. The hands are the only things that move. If the batter is noticably shifting weight, moving feet, and moving other body parts, too much movement is occurring. Most times this movement is no move than 2 to 4 inches. It may be more for larger players.

LOADING is getting the hands to the launch position from which the forward swing motion starts. Different players use different loading actions. Some batters simply move the hands straight back and batters move the hands back and up at the same time. The loading process adds power, developes important timing and rhythmn, and allows the batter's body to achieve a comfortable ready position from which to launch swing.

COACHING POINT: Make sure that players do not line their knuckles up when you are looking and then move their hands to an "ax grip" when you walk away. One way to teach the benefits of the "finger grip position" is to have the two batters take several swing from shoulder-to-shoulder very quickly using the two grips. Take two batter's of similiar ability levels and with similiar hand speed and do this demonstration. Have one player use the "correct grip" and one use the "ax or incorrect grip". Have the batters take 10 shoulder-to-shoulder swings. See which batter completes the 10 swings first. This shows the kids how much faster the hands move when the correct grip is used. Note: Make sure to move the batters at a safe distance from each other and from other players when performing this illustration.

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