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.

Thursday, May 28, 2009 - Your free online source for baseball articles


The has many categories of baseball coaching articles. Here are a few for you to check out.

Ø Baseball Team Coaching and Managing Tips

Ø Baseball Practice Planning

Ø Coaching Hitting

Ø Coaching Pitchers

Ø Coaching Defense

Ø Coaching Base Running

Visit the BaseballDealz Super Store.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coaching Little League Baaseball - Two Batting Videos on Youtube that You Can learn From

Coaching Little League Baseball - Two Batting Videos on Youtube that You Can learn From

For more information on the BatAction Machine visit

Hello and good Wedenesday morning to you. We begin our 2009 summer baseball camp today. I just hope the weather cooperates. Here are two hitting youtube links that I recommend that my players watch. T think that you will find these useful also.
Have a great day,
Nick - The ultimate online coaching and training store. Top quality Products - Outstanding Service - Discount Prices

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coaching Youth Baseball - Situational Pitching - Squeeze Play Situation

Visit the today!

Coaching Youth Baseball - Situational Pitching - Squeeze Play Situation - By Nick Dixon

We often hear the term "Situational Hitting", but just as important is "Situational Pitching". Knowing what to throw and when to throw it. Here are three examples of situational pitching.
"HIT and RUN Situation" - Most often occurs with the batter ahead in the count and no outs. The most common counts are 1-0, 2-0, and 2-1. The pitcher should know when to expect the "HITand RUN" and keep the ball inside on the hitter to prevent the pitch from being driven to the opposite field.


"DOUBLE PLAY Situation" - The most important point to remember is to keep the ball down. One of the greatest plays in baseball is the inning ending double play. It is not advised to throw a change up or curve ball in a double play situation.

"SQUEEZE BUNT Situation" - There are many things to know and remember in this situation. Here are suggestions on how to have a "pitching approach" when the squeeze bunt may be on.

1. Throw the pitch either "UP and IN" or "LOW and IN".
2. The pitcher should not try to hit the batter, but if the batter is hit, the runner must return to third base.
3. It is more difficult to bunt the low pitch than the high pitch.

1. Throw the ball outside. The pitch is actually a pitch- out.
2. Make sure the pitch is "UNTOUCHABLE".

Visit the BaseballDealz Store - Click Here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Correct Batting Practice Methods For Little League Baseball Teams

Good Friday Morning to You.
I hope all is well with you and your team.
Here is a great article by Marty Schupak that I found beneficial and informative. I hope that you find it useful also.
Have a great weekend!

Correct Batting Practice Methods For Little League Baseball Teams

By Marty Schupak
In my eighteen years of coaching youth baseball, I am always looking for the most efficient practice methods for every aspect of baseball. It took me only a few years to realize that most youth baseball coaches and myself were running batting practice, not incorrectly, but not efficiently. From what I have seen with the typical batting practice, a coach will pitch a predetermined number of balls for each batter with the fielders fielding the hit balls and throwing them to first base. Usually the coach will yell something like “run the last one out”, and the batter does just that. If the ball is an infield hit, they try to throw him out at first. If it is hit into the outfield, he usually runs until he is thrown out. This is all well and good intentioned, but it is wasting valuable time when a coach wants to run an efficient practice.

Here is the most efficient way of running a batting practice that I’ve come up with. First of all, let me say this. Batting practice is just what it is, batting practice. Batting practice is not fielding practice or base running practice. So all youth coaches and parents should really define what a youth batting practice is and what they want to get out of it.

Most of my youth practices do not run more than one hour. Every minute of wasted time will affect all other aspects and time of any other drills or techniques I want to accomplish. The first thing a coach needs to have is an over abundance of baseballs. The league will provide baseballs but I always make sure I purchase a few dozen extras. I try to work with three-dozen and keep an extra dozen in my trunk. And don’t think I’m not frugal accounting for every baseball at the end of practice. I try to make sure we find each one, and after practice, we comb the field to make sure we got them all. Usually we find extras and end up with more than what we started with.

Now, here is the actual logistics and set up that I do about 95% of the time I run batting practice. I’m a big proponent of bunting. I set up two cones on the third base line, about six feet apart, approximately where the bunt is suppose to go. I set up two empty buckets, one about three feet behind second base and the other one at the far base of the mound toward second. I have another bucket with the baseballs on the mound easily accessible to me. Now, this is a key. As a youth coach who wants a well-run practice and a lot of repetitions for the kids, I move up almost to the front base of the mound to pitch. I do this mainly so I can throw strikes consistently. For safety purposes, an “L” screen would be required from a shorter distance for safety. If your league doesn’t have any, make them get them.

I have the first person up at bat with the 2nd and 3rd player ready to go. I have the 3rd hitter (or double on deck hitter) on the outside of the screen hitting balls on a batting tee using pickle balls (plastic) or wiffle balls with another parent feeding the balls on the tee. I always have the number 2, or on deck hitter, ready to hit.

The batter bunts the first to pitches. For each successful bunt, the player receives an extra swing. I usually give a player five swings besides his two bunts. So if a player lays one bunt between the cones, he get six regular swings. If he lays both bunts between the cones, he gets seven swings (the maximum per hitter). Now, there are certain things that have to happen to make this work. Remember there are two buckets strategically located. After the bunts, when the hitter swings away, wherever the ball is hit, the fielder tosses it into the bucket closet to him. If it is hit to the outfield, he will throw the ball as close to the bucket behind second base. If he hits it to the infield, the fielder will toss it to the bucket behind the pitcher’s mound. Reinforce to the players that they must toss to the bucket on one or two bounces or they will tend to play basketball with the baseball and bucket.

Now the point here is that the fielders do not make a play to first and the hitter does not run the last one out. We get more repetitions in a short period of time. The players are always facing the hitter. One might ask, isn’t this boring for most of the players in the field? Well, not really. Because of the amount of balls hit in a short period of time, the ball is usually hit all over the place. And the coach throwing batting practice will keep one or two extra balls in his glove and is ready to pitch the next ball right away. When out of baseballs, have the players in the infield hustle to gather up the balls, combine buckets, and we’re ready to go again. This works great!

Batting practice is a favorite of any baseball player at almost every level. Do not deny batting practice at any practice. And always look for the most efficient, safest procedure to help enhance your whole practice.

Marty Schupak has coached youth baseball for 18 years and is the video creator of "The 59 Minute Baseball Practice", "Backyard Baseball Drills", "Winning Baseball Strategies", "Hitting Drills & Techniques" and author of the popular book, "Youth Baseball Drills". He is a principle for Videos For Coaches and is also President of the Youth Sports Club, a group dedicated to making sports practices and games more enjoyable for kids.
Article Source: - The world's #1 baseball batting machine trainer! - The most advanced and productive tee in baseball. - Great for batters of all ages! - Great trainer that produces great results! - Hot selling trainer is outstanding investment! - Great cages, great prices, great service!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baseball Training Product - The Advanced Skills Baseball Tee

Baseball Training Product - The Advanced Skills Baseball Tee

1. The forward arm eliminates "dipping" or dropping the hands and trailing shoulder to lift the ball with a "looping" type swing. If you "dip" with the AST, you hit the back of the arm. It forces you to take the bat straight down to the ball, leveling the swing at the point of contact.

2. The forward arm also pivots and rotates to place the ball on the inside or outside of the strike zone. Then, the arm points in the direction to drive the ball based on pitch location (i.e. pull the inside pitch, go with the outside pitch to the opposite field . . . "Hit the ball where it's pitched").

The outside barrier eliminates "casting". It keeps you form swinging "long" and helps you "keep the hands inside the ball". If the bat or arms are extended prematurely the bat head will slap the flexible upright barrier post. For years coaches have set a tee adjacent to a fence or screen to force hitters to compact their swing. The outside barrier does the same thing except it is a lot more effective. It rotates around the tee to accommodate LH or RH hitters and it moves along with the forward arm to help you keep the hands "tight" when you are working on inside and outside pitch locations. With the outside barrier you are forced to rotate the hips and torso and extend the hands only at the point of contact. It produces a "quick" bat and more power too.

The outside barrier can also be placed to the rear of the AST. This will further eliminate a level swing plane and force a shorter more direct swing path to the ball. This will also teach hitters to get more backspin on the ball.

You can even add an outside barrier to make the Advanced Skills Tee the most complete batting tee on the market. Simply slide on an extra barrier to develop the quickest, most powerful and compact swing possible. Eliminate casting and dropping the hands all in one workout!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Hurricane Machine Batting Drills

The Hurricane Machine uses specially designed powerbands to return the ball after each swing. The machines action is a “wrapping and unwrapping” process. The batter must allow the machine to unwind between swings to allow the tension on the bands to release. If the batter hits the ball without allowing the machine to “unwrap” the powerbands will stretch too tight, fatigue, and break. Powerbands should last at least one year.

Drill: Hurricane “BP”

The most common and frequently used drill


The batter assumes a position with the ball-rod directed at the middle of the batters body. The batter starts the drill by hitting the ball the first time from the “still” position.
After the first swing the batter will step one step to the right or left. Right-handers move right and left-handers move left. This puts the batter in a position to insure proper contact is made with the ball component.
The batter continues to hit the ball as it comes by every third pass.
The batter must take the time to reset after each swing to insure proper hitting mechanics and fundamentals are being practiced.
When the ball is hit hard with a level swing, the ball will return level at a good speed.
If the ball is missed or miss-hit, the ball will “bounce or bobble” up and down.
When the ball is bouncing, the batter may wish to stop and start the drill over. The batter may choose to hit the ball as it bounces. This is a difficult and challenging task.
Drill: “Streak Drill”

Build skill and entertains at the same time.


The STREAK DRILL is a competitive drill that allows a batter to compete against the best previous score or against other batters.
The object of the drill is to hit the ball as many times as possible, in succession, without a clean miss. The number of times the batter makes contact with the ball, without a clean miss, is the batters STREAK NUMBER for the competition.
If the batter cleanly misses, the batters “time to hit” is over. It is now time for another batter to hit.
When two batters compete, the players take turns batting and competing to see who can build the longest hitting streak. Any bat contact with the ball keeps the “batters streak” alive.
If a batter touches the ball with a hand, a non-swung bat, or stops the ball in any other way, the batters streak is stopped. It is now the next batters turn to hit.
The batter should make sure to make contact with the ball component and not the shaft.
7. The batter must allow the machine to unwind between swings to allow the tension on the bands to release. If the batter hits the ball without allowing the machine to “unwrap” the powerbands will stretch to tight, fatigue, and break.

Hurricane Specialty Drills

Drill: “Top-Hand”

“One-handed drill builds strength and skill.”

Objective: The “Top-Hand” drill builds and develops arm strength in the wrist, forearms and biceps. The drill is used to improve hand-eye coordination of the top hand.

Procedure: The batter will hit the ball using only the batters top hand. The batter may “step into the ball” and use the lower body, hips and legs to help generate more power with these one-handed swings.

Recommended Number of Swings: Beginners should begin with 10 swings. Each week the batter should add 10 more swings until the batter can take 60 swings with a bat of normal weight. Advanced hitters may wish to use a weighted bat and increase the number of swings taken.

Coaching Point: The bat will always go where the top-hand takes it with the power generated by the bottom-hand. Players perform the “Top-Hand” drill with the top hand in its normal position on the bat grip. There should be an effort made to take a short, compact, and deliberate swing that perfectly hits the “bulb” of the ball. This drill can be performed with a still or moving ball. The batter may wish to kneel and perform this drill on one knee to make the arms muscle work above the shoulder thus building more strength.

Drill: “Bottom-Hand”

“One-handed drill improves bat speed and power.”

Objective: To build and develop wrist, forearm, and muscle strength in the batters “bottom or pull hand.” The bottom hand generates most of the swings power and bat speed.

Procedure: The batter will hit the ball using the batters bottom hand on the bat grip. The batter may “step into the ball” and use the lower body, hips and legs to generate a more powerful swing.

Recommended Number of Swings: Beginners should begin with 10 swings. Each week the batter should add 10 more swings until the batter can take 60 swings with a bat of normal weight. Advanced hitters may with to use a weighted bat and increase the number of swings taken.

Coaching Point: The batter should perform this drill with “pull or bottom hand” in its normal position on the bats grip. There should be an effort made to take a short, compact, and deliberate swing that perfectly hit the “bulb” of the ball. This drill can be performed with a still or moving ball. It is recommended that this drill be performed with the ball set at its highest level possible to make the ball utilize the muscles of the arm rather than using gravity to move the bat.

The ball must be chest high to the batter to maximize the benefits received.

Very tall batters may have to kneel on a knee to perform the drill.

Drill: “Switch Hitting”

“Develops a batters ability to switch hit from both sides of the plate.”

Objective: The batter practices batting from both sides of the plate without having to stop, reset, or adjust the machine. This repetitive practice helps develop a solid swing from both sides of the plate.

Procedure: The batter assumes the regular contact position. The batter takes 5 swings right-handed and then takes 5 swings left-handed. The batter can practice hitting a still or moving ball.

Recommended Number of Swings: Beginners: 3 sets of 5 swings from each side allowing 15 swings from both sides (30 swings total). Advanced players should double or triple this workout as their strength and skill improves.

Coaching Point: The batter must allow the ball to stop and reverse directions when the batter switches sides. “Front-side Closure” and “Triggering Mechanism” should be given special attention when practicing switch hitting. This is a simple closing movement of the batters front side prior to each swing. This “closing” action helps the batter keep the front side in and insures that solid contact is made with total plate coverage. A batter may find it easy and natural to “trigger” from the batters natural swing side. That same batter may need high numbers of practice swings from the “adopted side” of the plate to make “triggering “ from that side feel natural and comfortable.

Drill: “Step-In-And-Hit”

Helps correct the “Stepping Out” hitting flaw.

Objective: This drill emphasizes “stepping into” the ball to generate power and bat speed. This is an excellent drill to help young hitters eliminate the bad habit of “stepping out” during the swing.

Procedure: The batter starts the drill by standing farther away from the machine than normal. This starting position allows the batter to take two steps inward before swinging the bat.

The batter will step first with the back foot and then with the front foot. When the front foot “lands” the batter attacks the ball.

The drill may be performed with a still or moving ball. The batter should take the time to set and observe all body movement before and after each swing. It is sometimes good to have the batter freeze after the swing to see if the proper finish position is reached after each swing.

The batter should make sure to make contact with the ball component and not the shaft.

Recommended Number of Swings: 10 Swings

Coaching Point: The “Step-In-And-Hit” drill is a drill that every coach and parent should be familiar with and know about. At young levels of play we often see a batter “step-out”. The batter may have a fear of being hit. This drill works great in helping break this bad habit.

Coaching Point: If you observe a batter that is popping the ball up or missing the ball completely, chances are good that the batter is “flying open” or “losing the front-side” during the swing. The batter should use a closed stance and make a special effort to keep the toes, knees, belly button, and shoulders square to the plate until contact is made with the ball.

Coaching Point: If you observe a batter that is hitting everything into the dirt with a weak ground ball, chances are good that the batter is attacking the ball too soon. The batter should never have to reach or move the back foot to make contact with the ball. The batter should allow the ball to “come-inside” the batters front foot before attacking the ball to insure that proper contact can be made. This attack timing allows the batter to use the front legs as leverage to generate maximum power. The bat makes contact with the ball on a level plane rather than after the bat starts “arching upward”. This level contact allows the batter to hit line drives.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baseball Hitting - The 3 Basic Elements of the Major League Baseball Swing

By Nick Dixon

The Major League baseball swing is a thing of beauty. The dream of millions of little league baseball players is to become a major league baseball player. Hitting a major league home run is a fantasy baseball dream of every youth baseball player. How do the major league baseball players hit with such power? What makes their swing so powerful, productive, and perfect?

The smoothness, compactness, and timing of the professional baseball swing make it one of the most graceful things to watch in all of sports. Professional players practice and practice the fundamentals of the perfect baseball swing. If you watch it in slow motion, you will see that there are 3 common elements of the swing that that most major league baseball players have in common. Baseball batting practice repetition makes the Major League Baseball Swing consistent with the same 3 basic elements exhibited with every swing of the bat.

Great hitters always have the following swing qualities:

1. Solid and Stiff Front Leg

2. Rotational Swing allowing them to Stay Over Stack

3. Maximum Extension of the Hands and Barrel

Here I will discuss each of these 3 elements of the Major League baseball swing:

1. STIFF FRONT LEG The power hitters in major league baseball use a stiff front leg to give them leverage for their power. When you study their swing, the front leg is firm and at an angle that allows them to stop all body movement forward. The front foot is the anchor that prevents lunging and hip travel forward. Maximum power is generated when the arms are extended and the hips rotate. If the front leg bends power is lost.

Coaching Point: A stiff and firm front leg requires the hitter to have the timing and patience to allow the baseball to get inside the front foot before attacking the baseball. Maximum power is generated when the lower body, hips, and torso spin to generate bat speed. The tendency to lunge at the ball must be avoided.

2. STAYING BALANCED AND OVER STACK This is a term that refers to the spinning motion of a batters body and the process of keeping the head and torso perfect aligned over the back leg during the swing. The head does not move, travel or lunge forward during the swing. The perfect swing is a rotational motion with the body staying back and spinning over the back hip.

Coaching Point: Head travel is a no-no. If the head is moving forward then the batter has too much forward movement. The body must stop all forward movement and spin like a top. This rotational hitting motion generates maximum bat speed and power. A great tool for teaching and training young and advanced hitters this skill is the STAY BACK TEE and HandsBackHitter Trainer by Swing Buster. This innovative tool is a great baseball training aid that forces the batter to keep the correct front leg position during the swing. The STAY BACK BATTING TEE will teach the batter to have a stiff front leg and to stay over stack through the swing.

3. GETTING MAXIMUM EXTENSION THROUGH THE BALL What this means is that when the bat makes contact with the ball, the hitters drive the hands and barrel of the bat through forward as long as they can to prolong the bat to ball contact. They power-drive the moving the hands forward on a level plane as long as possible. This down and through motion of the hands is like the landing of an airplane. The bat travels quickly and compactly to the ball on what is commonly called an A to C swing. But, once contact is made with the ball great hitters have the ability to drive the hands and barrel forward on a level plane to generate and maintain bat barrel to ball contact. The longer the barrel stays in contact with the ball, the more force will be exerted on the ball.

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of BASEBALL HITTING DVDs

Check out the BatAction Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, the "Hit2win Company". Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Dixon is widely recognized as an expert in the area of baseball training, practice and skill development. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of several of baseball and softball's most popular training products such as the Original BatAction Hitting Machine, SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, Original Hitting Stick, Hit2win Trainer, SKLZ Target Trainer, SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, Batting Cage Builder, the American Baseball Directory and the Hit2win Baseball Coaches Monthly Newsletter. Dixon has 5 blogs related to baseball training including the BaseballCoachingDigest Blog, CoachesBest Training Blog, Hurricane Machine Training Blog, Batting Cage Buyers Blog, and the Bat Action Training Blog.

Article Source:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tips for Coaching Little League Baseball - Pitching Like A Pro, Top 5 Things You Can Do To Be The Perfect Pitcher.

Tips for Coaching Little League Baseball - Pitching Like A Pro, Top 5 Things You Can Do To Be The Perfect Pitcher.

By: Mike F.

You want to pitch like a pro? Want to make people you've been pitching for 30 years? After many years in the college pitching circuit I've found there are 5 things that every pitcher needs to know. These are 5 important tips, however there are many more. I just feel like these would be the top 5:

1.) How to stay cool before you go out to play a game.
2.) Play as much as you can.
3.) How to tune out the world and focus on they job you need to do.
4.) Covering the hit after you throw a pitch.
5.) Keeping base runners from stealing bases.

Before you even step out onto the field you will get some pregame jitters. It's just normal. It's how you handle those feelings that will determine if you win or lose on the mound. To help you get focused, remember it's normal to feel how you feel. Many pitchers are able to transform that energy into positive results at gametime.

If you love pitching you will want to pitch as much as you can. This is good. Play catch with whoever will play with you. When you throw the ball, aim for different areas on your catcher body. Aim at his left arm area and try to throw it there. Have him move his glove around and try to hit his glove without having to move it an inch.

Focus is key in any successful pitching. Being able to block out the world is a hard task. Thinking too much can be a bad thing. If you're mind is racing about what you're having for dinner, and if your jersey is untucked, it will definitely affect your pitching. Learn to breathe deeply. This will certainly relax you and focus you for that next perfect pitch.

Next on the list of successful pitching is what happens after the pitch. You are a fielder like anyone else after you release the ball. After you pitch square yourself with homeplate and be ready for anything that may come your way. It is very important that you remain balanced during play so that you can throw the ball when necessary.

Keeping base runners on the bag is one of things that can keep pitchers unfocused. Don't let them spook you. Hold the ball, and look at the runner when you can. Let them know that you're not going to lose if they challenge you.

Remember that you're a pitcher, and that pitching perfect takes work, and lots of it. Practice anytime you can and don't be afraid to take a break if you feel yourself getting "burned out." Sometimes time does make they heart grow fonder, even with pitching.

Article Source - Reprint Content

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Recommended baseball Websites for Baseball Coaches, Players and Parents

Baseball Instruction - How To Add 50 Points To Your Batting Avg Sitting On The Couch

By Nate Barnett

Don't worry, this is not a promo article on some illegal growth hormone, or some attempt to counter all you've ever learned during your baseball instruction about hard work, practice, and dedication. What I'm about to help reveal to you takes different practice compared to going out to the ballpark every day to work on your skills. It takes more dedication than working out in the cold and rain all winter. It won't transform your game over night; but, if the skill is developed, then I'm confident you will experience a serious boost to your batting average.

The concept is called imagery, or visualization. In non-scientific language, it's simply mental weight-lifting. And the reason many of you have heard of if it is simply because rarely does baseball instruction before the collegiate level emphasize it. I'll give you a taste, but it's up to you to search out more on the topic and really chew on it.

I will be writing as if I was providing some mental baseball instruction to an athlete. If you are a coach or parent reading this, just pick up the concepts should you choose to pass the idea on.

Let's begin.

Take a quick trip back to a game where you struck out with the bases juiced. What did you think about in the field the next inning, or the next time up to bat? Whatever your thoughts were about your performance, good or bad, is called imagery. The more you condition your thinking either positive or negative, the more your body will respond to what is familiar. This is why athletes that are in a hot streak have a bad game and then sometimes slip into a little slide, or a full blown slump. It's not because they suddenly forgot the skill of hitting, their visualization was horrible.

The chance of getting to the next level is determined largely by your ability to control your thoughts and feelings and use them to your advantage. This is especially true if you have a goal of playing professionally. The use of imagery is a must-you'll never get there without it. Ok, enough of the philosophical mumbo jumbo, here is how the concept is applied to your game.

Everybody is always looking for the secret for this or for that in baseball. Well here it is, the raw and uncut version of how to use imagery and take your hitting game to the next level... fast.

First and foremost you must admit to yourself that each year the skill level of the players in your league increases. Some are still figuring things out mechanically, but most have a general idea by now. This simply means that there is a good chance that you're not "the man" in your league, let alone your team. If you are, "the man" and you're not using visualization tactics, you'll have some serious competition soon.

Let me put you in the right frame of reference with an illustration we can all relate to, unfortunately. You're up to bat, it's a 2-2 count, and the guy has a nasty curve ball you haven't seen in a while. A quick thought runs through your mind and you wonder if you might see it this pitch. He winds, you ready yourself, the pitch is released, and sure enough it's the big hammer. Strike three looking. You trudge slowly back to the dugout with your head down, teeth clenched in frustration as you grab your spot on the bench.

If you haven't experienced the above scenario yet, you haven't been playing long enough. It will happen a couple dozen times to you. But, the real problem is not the strikeout; the best in the game strike out all the time. No amount of drill training or baseball instruction can prevent it.

The issue is your automatic instant replay system in your head is working overtime for the rest of the inning. It's playing back your strikeout mentally over and over and over for you to think about. Your imagery you are giving yourself stinks. It's programming your body to react the same way the next time you find yourself in a similar situation. The cool part is, you can fully manage your instant replay system with some practice.

If you want to be sure what images are being played through your instant replay mechanism, you have to make sure you've tuned it to the correct mental channel. What do you do when there is a show on television you don't want to watch? Turn the channel. The same applies to your mind in baseball.

You must change your station after you experience a negative result as an athlete. Here is the meat of this concept. If you've spaced out until now, this is the paragraph you'll want to understand. I'll use the previous example of the strikeout looking above. I use this image because it's often an opportune time for your instant replay to run haywire quickly. The key after the strikeout is to take a minute once back in the dugout, or before the next inning starts out in the field, and change your mental channel. Most athletes will replay the strikeout over and over again, getting more frustrated in the process. It's what feels normal, and you're mind will do this automatically. Instead, play the at bat over again in your mind, but this time with a positive ending. Maybe it's a base hit through the hole, maybe it's a double off the wall in deep left, or it could possibly be a bunt base hit. Repeat the at bat multiple times in a row and then give it a rest and refocus on your current task on defense. The next time you're on deck, play the positive result instant replay series again and you'll be fully prepared for your following at bat.

What if you can't control your thinking?

Negative thoughts running through your mind takes up space in your head used for concentration and relaxation. If your main focus is on how poorly you performed in your last at bat then you cannot use that energy for anything productive at that moment or for moments afterwards. It takes time to change your energy and focus. And if you allow your mental replay system to switch channels frequently, you'll soon find yourself not relaxed when you need to be.

What if you can manage your replay efficiently? If you've ever experienced being in the "zone" this is what it feels like to have your thoughts fully under control. Your mind will have 100% focus and concentration on your task at hand without any room for scattered thoughts about what you should have done.

The only catch to this skill development is that it takes time. Just like hitting a baseball takes time and practice to master, so does mental conditioning. But once you get it, the results will be spectacular.

About the Author

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at

His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.

Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.

Check Out These Recommended Baseball Coaching Websites:
Baseball Coaching Journal

Baseball Training Equipment Sites:

Online Baseball Stores:
Baseball Dealz

Baseball Blogs for Coaches - Free Training Tips, Coaching Articles and More
Check out these recommended blogs for baseball coaches.
Baseball Coaching and Training Equipment Blog
The Hurricane Hitting Machine - Derek Jeter Series - Training and Coaching Blog
BatAction Machine Baseball Training and Coaching Blog
Batting Cage Information and Know-how: Buying, Building and Using Your New Batting Cage
TeeBall Coaching Drills, Tips and Other Information
Baseball Training Homework For Youth Players Blog
Baseball Parents Guide To Helping a Player Improve Blog
Baseball Coaching, Training and Instruction

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sports Psychology: Letting Go of Errors

Sports Psychology: Letting Go of Errors
Mistakes or errors occur every day in sports and life, but many athletes stifle their own performance because they simply can't let go of past mistakes.

Missing shots, double faulting, and losing an important game happen often in the sports world and become a thorn in many athlete's mind. In some cases these thoughts continue for the remainder of the competition because the athlete can't stop dwelling on the error or missed opportunity.

I am sure you have made some mistakes in your sports career that you were unable to quickly forget. You carried a critical mistake with you for most the competition. Either you did not enjoy your day, or were too busy beating yourself up to help yourself or your team.

Dwelling on errors is the number one distraction for athletes today. You cannot play in the present moment (a quality of the zone), if your mind is stuck on a missed opportunity or faulty performance.

Rarely do athletes use mistakes or anger to help them perform better, but it does happen. You watch Tiger Woods get angry on the golf course, but he is able to channel his frustration to make it work for him instead of against him. Tiger becomes more focused and determined to make up for the error by refocusing his mind in the present moment.

Why does the mind sometimes want to stay glued to past errors? Making mistakes does not match what you expected of yourself. You want better for yourself and think you should be a better performer. In some instances, you may display your anger or disappointment to others who are watching because you want show them you are actually a better athlete.

Once you begin to dwell on an error and beat yourself up, it is very hard to stop the cycle of negativity. You will try to avoid committing future errors, which is not a great mindset for focusing in the present moment.

The best athletes in the world use mistakes to help them grow and become better athletes. They become more focused, more determined, and are able to let go of mistakes quickly so it does not affect them for several plays or shots to come.


About the Author: Want to learn simple, proven mental toughness skills that you can apply to competition? Grab my free online mental training newsletter, Sports Insights Magazine - for athletes, coaches, and sports parents:
Dr. Patrick Cohn is a master mental game coach who work with professional and amateur athletes, sports parents, and teams of all levels. Visit for more information.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hitting A Baseball - Use The Gaps Please

Hitting A Baseball - Use The Gaps Please

By Nate Barnett

How do you tell if a hitter is creating the correct energy and movement at bat? One simple way (there are obviously more technical ways) is to observe where most of the balls are traveling while hitting a baseball. If a hitter is directing balls into the gaps (regardless if they are ground balls or fly balls) he's on the right track. On the flip side, if a lot of balls are being sliced down the opposite field line or hooked to the pull side, some mechanical alterations are necessary. Two common causes are found here:

1. The most common root cause of hooking or slicing while hitting a baseball is improper control of the front side of the body. A good baseball swing begins with the movement of the back part of the body (specifically the back knee and hip). During this brief period of time the front side of the body (basically all joints on the front side) need to remain relatively unmoved. The purpose of this is so that the back side of the body moves towards the play. If the front side moves at the same time as the back side of the body, momentum is being taken away from the pitch. It is then more difficult for the athlete to keep his bat moving through the zone. Instead, the bat cuts across the zone and creates a lot of side spin on the baseball as well.

2. Another cause of hooked or sliced balls is how the hands enter and pass through the strike zone. The path any hitter needs to take with the hands is a direct and straight path into the hitting zone. Unfortunately, the problem of a weak front side (described in #1) tends to drag the hands away from the body. The end result is hands that progress through the zone in a sweeping fashion. This type of problem only increases the likelihood that side spin will occur while hitting a baseball.

About the Author

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at

His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.

Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Baseball Swing - The Best Way To Hit A Curveball

By Nate Barnett

Good curveballs are tough to hit, period. The best piece of advice I can give for becoming a good curveball hitter is to become a good fastball hitter. Let that sink in for a minute.

Youth pitchers love to experiment with different pitches. Most never get to the point where those pitches can be really truly be called pitches. Most are experimental throws that once in a while find the strike zone. Because of this, pitchers will always revert back to the most reliable pitch, the fastball. So for those of you who are having a tough time with your baseball swing on curveballs, don't worry, a focus on hitting fastballs is your ticket.

I know at first this may seems like I'm suggesting that you run from a problem that will surely come back to bite you later on in your career. This is hardly the case. Here are some truths based upon observation of the baseball swing.

1. The majority of hitters prefer hitting ahead in the count (1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1).

2. The majority of pitches thrown on those counts are fastballs.

3. The majority of hitters far prefer hitting a fastball over a curveball.

4. The majority of pitches thrown in a game are fastballs.

Based on the above, it's far more valuable to get VERY good at hitting the fastball hard when it's thrown in your hitting zone. The more you maximize this skill, the less you have to worry about finding yourself in "curveball counts" where the advantage is more for the pitcher.

While focusing your attention on the fastball is important and your first priority, totally ignoring working on offspeed pitches is not recommended. The single best way to make sure you are putting yourself in the best position for hitting a curveball (other than what has been explained above) is to make sure your lower body mechanics are solid and that you can keep your weight back as you swing.

About the Author

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at

His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.

Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.

Looking for top quality baseball training equipment at discount prices? Check out the BaseballDealz Super Store.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Baseball Drills - Hitting Problems? - Check the Lower Half First

By Nate Barnett

There are very few things more frustrating to an athlete than than to struggle at the plate as a hitter and not understand where the problem stems from. When I work with hitters, I focus on perfecting the functions of lower body mechanics because of the affect the lower body has on the upper half. Trying to solve upper body hitting mechanics without addressing the lower half first is like attempting to build a house beginning with the second story prior to building the basement - it doesn't work too well.

Some of the common mistakes that can be ironed out with some common lower body baseball drills are:

1. Collapsing of the backside (shoulder dipping)

2. Front side (hip) flying open

3. Hunching over the plate (upper body)

4. Hands extending away from body through swing

Here is what to check for as you work with the lower body mechanics of your athletes during some baseball drills.

As the hitter shifts some weight onto his back leg (the load) prior to the pitch, look to see if that weight continues to stay on the back side as the swing begins. Many hitters have the problem of letting their hips slide forward towards the pitcher during the beginning stages of the swing. This problem (often called floating) can be a major cause of some of the above problems.

Because I understand that visualizing the process I'm referring to in text can be tricky, there is a Hitting Mechanics 101 video enhanced ebook I've created that illustrates a proper trigger and lower body mechanics. You can find the ebook by visiting the links below.

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball designed to improve the mental game in athletes. Come download a free ebook on dealing with failure in baseball

Article Source:
Baseball Coaching Journal

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

10 Tips For Improving the Quality of Your Baseball Practice Time

10 Tips For Improving the Quality of Your Baseball Practice Time

In this article Coach Dixon discusses the value of Time and how it relates to coaching baseball. He discusses Baseball Coaching Time in two contexts; Time is seconds, minutes and hours and Time is also knowing that there is a time and place for everything. Baseball coaches must know the value of time spent doing team activities. Baseball coaches must know that doing the wrong thing at the wrong time will cause team and parent problems that can be a "pain" to deal with.

Read this article at the Baseball Coaching Digest...Click Here.

Monday, May 4, 2009 - Free articles for the baseball coach, player or parent

We have articles on every aspect of baseball coaching including coaching baseball hitters, coaching pitchers, coaching defense, baseball practice planning and organization, baseball player motivation, and much, much, more. Welcome to the Baseball Coaches Digest, one of the internet's largest collections of baseball coaching articles.

Our goal is to provide you with a source of coaching information that you will find useful and interesting. Make sure to "bookmark" this site to your favorites so that you can visit us often. We will be adding at least 12 new coaching articles every month.