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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Baseball Coaching Tips - Teaching Players to Have a Good Two Strike Approach at the Plate


Baseball Coaching Tips - Teaching Players to Have a Good Two Strike Approach at the Plate

Good Morning,
I hope the season is going great for you and your team! "Two Strike" hits
are a big part of every team's success. Team that score runs with 2 outs and that get hits consistently with 2 strikes on the batter are the teams that post winning records and win championships. Here are 5 points that I teach to make sure that every player on our team has the same proper "two strike approach":

1. The batter should assume a more balanced stance and take most of the weight off the back foot.
2. The batter will be prepared to swing at "anything close". My saying is that "if it is close enough for the ump to call a strike, it is close enough to hit".
3. The batter should get 3 inches closer to the plate than normal and choke up at least one inch on the bat. This is done regardless of the batter's ability or position in the batting order.
4. I would rather that the batter be late on the pitch than early. What this means is that the batter must keep the hands back and have trust in his or her hand speed.
5. Expect anything! Do not guess pitches. The even stance and "shorter bat" should allow the batter to hit or fight off any pitch location.
6. The batter should fight to saty alive. He or she should battle their butt off to get a hit or stay alive. The batter must win the battle by fouling off pitches, eveining the count, and fighting until the pitcher makes a mistake and throws a pitch that the batter can handle to get a basehit.

Good luck til next time.
Have a great day,
Coach Nick

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HurricaneMachine.com - Links

---15 Reasons To Buy a Hurricane Trainer
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---20-Minute Hurricane Batting Practice Workout
---Hurricane Hitting Machine Video Demo Clips

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How to Create Consistent Hitting Mechanics

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Article Title: How to Create Consistent Hitting Mechanics
By Nate Barnett

I'm sure you know from experience that hitting a baseball consistently for any length of time is one of the most difficult and frustrating things to do in sports. There are two areas of your overall baseball preparation you'll need to develop on a regular basis if you want the most consistency possible as a competitive athlete - the mental game of baseball, and proper hitting mechanics. If you're interesting in learning more about baseball psychology there are quite a few resources online as well as my blog. This article is reserved for teaching a little on the topic of hitting mechanics.

I get the chance to work with dozens and dozens of athletes individually each year. It's truly a rewarding experience much of the time, though at times it can be extremely frustrating to see such talented athletes fail to put in the necessary work to achieve some consistency in their swing. I never have a tough time getting the athletes to work hard when I work with them in the cage. It's when athletes have to motivate themselves to work outside of their practice days when their work habit breaks down.

In order to become a highly consistent and effective hitter, I prescribe the following "medicinal procedure" to be used away from practice:

1. Dry Drills: These are hitting mechanics related drills that are meant to reinforce muscle memory. It is impossible to only put in two to three days on a specific hitting technique and make it stick long-term. The problem you'll run into is that during a game your focus will be placed on the pitcher and not your mechanics. If you have failed to put in the necessary time to build quality muscle memory, you'll revert back to the problems you were initially trying to fix.

2. Mental Rehearsal: The mind is a powerful tool for good or evil. When you use your mind for positive imagery or visualization you will increase your effectiveness as a hitter. If your mind pollutes your body with thoughts of failure, your body will respond in a negative way. Lack of confidence and fear can destroy a good hitter. To make sure you are conditioning your brain in the right way, it's highly important that you replay mental video clips of yourself succeeding offensively. This is easy to do, many of you do it all day long in other areas. Sometimes your mind wanders in church or school and you lose focus as to what is occurring around you. If you can slip into this mode and daydream about your performances, you can truly become a master of the mental game of baseball.

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball. His website is devoted to teaching the mental game of baseball and hitting mechanics. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nate_Barnett

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Monday, March 29, 2010

How to Effectively Use Pitching Machines For Batting Practice


How to Effectively Use Pitching Machines For Batting Practice
By Jack Perconte

I owned a baseball academy for many years which used pitching machines where batters could work on hitting without the fear of getting hit by the ball. The pitching machines consistently threw strikes and hitters often built confidence by using them. Confidence is always good but I am embarrassed to say that the consistency of the machines may have been detrimental to helping hitters. "Why was that?" you ask. Pitchers are not consistent for the most part, with every pitch being thrown with a different speed and location. The problem is that pitching machines are often very consistent, which is not game like. Hitting the same speed pitches with nearly the same location each time may negatively affect a hitter when they play in games, Rarely are two pitches ever the exact same in a real game.

I have seen many hitters' swings and/or timing become "screwed up" because of hitting pitching machines. Hitting a ball continually with the same speed and pitch location for 10 minutes or more can groove a hitter's swing incorrectly and create timing only for that speed pitch. As mentioned, when hitters then go to games and face pitchers who throw nowhere near the same pitch as they hit in the batting cages, this can turn their batting cage use into a negative practice. Does this mean that I do not recommend that players practice by going to the local batting cages? Of course not, but with the possible detrimental issues brought up above, there are certain things that players should do when taking batting practice with pitching machines. Following these guidelines will help hitters most effectively use their time at the batting cages.

1. If there is a faster-slower adjustment on the controls then they should be used often. Likewise, if a coach can change the speeds relatively easily, they should do so often.

2. Hitters should always begin with a no-stride approach so they avoid jumping at the ball. This will help players get used to the speed without lunging, because it is difficult to get a rhythm without the arm action of a real pitcher.

3. Likewise, as long as hitters know correct bunting technique, they should begin with a few bunts to get a gauge on the consistency and speed of the machine.

4. Hitters should move themselves around in the batters box often (even for every pitch).

a. To work on low pitches they may have to get deeper in the batter's box or move up closer to the machine to receive higher pitches.

b. Along the same lines, hitters should move closer to home to work on inside pitches and back away from home to have balls on the outside part of home plate. As with taking any batting practice, it is recommended that hitters always attempt to hit the ball in the direction of where the ball is pitched.

5. It is further recommended that the speed the hitter faces be changed each time they go to the cages; remembering to work on slow pitches when they are having trouble waiting for the ball in games and to face faster speeds when they are continually late in games.

6. It is always recommended to end with slow speeds because it is generally easier to "speed ones bat up" in a game then it is to wait for balls when a hitter's timing is too early on the pitched ball.

Of course, all of this is based on facing pitching machines that are consistent. Inconsistent machines may be more game-like and helpful but caution of being hit by the ball must be observed with inconsistent machines. Finally, hitters should be careful of using their game bat in the cages too often, as wear and tear can damage aluminum bats.

Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball playing lessons, books and advice can be found at http://www.baseballhittinglessons.com/baseball.

Jack is the author of two books, The Making of a Hitter and Raising an Athlete - his positive parenting advice and books can be found at http://positiveparentinginsports.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jack_Perconte

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Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine
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HurricaneMachine.com - Links

---15 Reasons To Buy a Hurricane Trainer
---6 Questions Often Asked By Customers
---Message to Parents From Coach Nick
---Hurricane Hitting Machine Drills
---20-Minute Hurricane Batting Practice Workout
---Hurricane Hitting Machine Video Demo Clips

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Hitting a Baseball - Using the Gaps


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.

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball designed to improve the mental game of baseball in athletes. Learn how to help your game by improving your baseball psychology

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball designed to improve the mental game of baseball in athletes. Learn how to help your game by improving the skill of mental baseball

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nate_Barnett


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Thursday, March 25, 2010

BaseballCoachingDigest.com has the articles that you are looking for!

BaseballCoachingDigest.com has the articles that you are looking for!



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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Little League Team Parents Meeting: A Must for The Youth Baseball Coach


The Little League Team Parents Meeting: A Must for The Youth Baseball Coach

By Marty Schupak
Each year I organize a parents meeting approximately two to four weeks before the start of the season. I prepare a handout of approximately three or four pages. Included is a list of the team with phone numbers and certain philosophies and organizational items.

People might say, "Well this is only youth baseball, it's not high school." This is true, but I have learned over the years that a parents meeting will make for a better run season for the kids, the parents and the coach. The meeting should not go more than ten or fifteen minutes. I leave a fair amount of time for a question and answer period.

I make this meeting a requirement for all parents. I try to lay out my goals and express to the parents about how I run my practices. Also, I tell them that players have to arrive at games 30 minutes before they start and if they cannot make a game, they must call me. It is very important that I let the parents understand I know their busy schedules and that as a coach you go through the same thing with ballet, karate, soccer, car pools, school work, etc.

Probably the most important point I go over is that because of my own busy schedule, I cannot run a taxi service for any players. Parents must be at practice five minutes before it ends. When I first began to coach, I never addressed this and after each practice I had a car full of players to drop off. As coaches, this cannot be part of our jobs for more reasons than one.

I also address any complaints parents may have during the season. I developed a standard policy of not taking any complaints for at least five games. This cuts down on a lot of phone calls and most of the times a complaint by a parent about playing time is taken care of by the sixth game.

Since I began doing this, I have had only a handful of complaints for a whole season in about the last eight years. When I first started coaching, I would go home after the game and there would be two or three messages on my answering machine.

As a coach, there are a lot of responsibilities and I try to cut down on the phone calls as much as possible. One system a lot of people use is the phone chain. This is effective only some of the time. Another system I use which is similar is the buddy system.

At the beginning of each year I ask for a couple of parent volunteers to help with the phone calls. Then I assign each player a buddy. So if there are twelve kids on the team, there are six pairs of buddies. The first thing I tell them is that if there is any question on practice time or location, call their buddy before they call me. And if their buddy isn't home, call someone else on the team list.

If it is raining, I call my two phone volunteers and divide the calls in half. Remember, each player has a buddy so they should never make more than three calls and maybe a call back to me. Any system you try isn't full proof and during the course of the season you can expect your share of calls.

There can be a whole lot of things to address at this meeting. Each coach might have their own pet peeve to discuss. The most important thing is to make sure you have each of the points you want to bring up in writing. This way, you are sure to touch on the points most important to you.

Remember, you are volunteering your time and you have a right to make the season run as smooth as possible for yourself, and that's the way you want it to be for your team as well.

http://www.YouthSportsClub.com

Marty Schupak has coached youth baseball for 18 years and is the creator of "The 59 Minute Baseball Practice", "Backyard Baseball Drills" and author of the popular book, "Youth Baseball Drills". He is also President of the Youth Sports Club, a group dedicated to making sports practices and games more enjoyable for kids.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marty_Schupak

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Baseball Bat Sizing - How to Choose a Ball Bat


Baseball Bat Sizing - How to Choose a Ball Bat

By Ben Theismann

Baseball Bat Sizing is an inexact science with many different variables including body types, size, height, personal preference, and skill set. Buying the correct ball bat can have a big impact on batting average and power numbers over the course of a season whether you are in little league, high school, or college.

Bats are made from many different materials including aluminum, graphite/titanium, and wood. Each of these materials breaks down into various other materials such as different types of wood used to make wood bats. They also bring unique characteristics and advantages to help improve your game.

Aluminum bats is the lightest of the three materials helping you increase bat speed and accuracy. Aluminum bats drive the ball farther than the other two materials. These bats come in double or single layer versions that can offer more durability and power.

Wood bats can be made from maple, oak, and other strong trees. They bring the familiar crack of the bat and are required use in lots of league styles. Long, wide grain wood is the best selection. While wood bats tend to crack or break, the price point is lower and they provide a true sense of skill since hitting is not enhanced.

To find the bat size that fits you best, you should review this chart:

5-7 yrs: 24"-26"

8-9 yrs: 26"-28"

10 yrs: 28"-29"

11-12 yrs: 30"-31"

13-14 yrs: 31"-32"

15-16 yrs: 32"-33"

17+ yrs: 34"

While it is not set in stone, the baseball bat sizing chart helps give you a good idea where to start when selecting a bat. Obviously body type and size will also determine if you should go up in size or down.

Choosing weight comes down to your strength and your hitting style. Average hitters normally choose a lighter weight bat to gain more control while power hitters tend to use heavier bats.

The basic baseball bat sizing information should help you select the best baseball bat for your needs.

Ben Theismann is a freelance writer with an expertise in health, sports, and fitness related topics. Ben currently produces articles, press releases, product copywriting, and other writing assignments for numerous internet companies.

Baseball Rampage is a leading retailer of baseball equipment by Easton, Reebok, Nike, and more. Review and rate baseball gear, follow us on Twitter, or be a fan on Facebook. Baseball Rampage recommends trying a wood baseball bat in competition to feel the true baseball experience. Visit Baseball Rampage to find low prices on baseball bats, gloves, catchers equipment, and more.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ben_Theismann

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The Highly Acclaimed 20-Minute Hurricane Batting Practice Workout
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Derek Jeter CAT 4 Baseball Hurricane Machine

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Level Swing Baseball Or Softball - What Does it Really Mean?

Level Swing Baseball Or Softball - What Does it Really Mean?
By Bryan Ciconte

Alright let's talk hitting! So how many of you baseball or softball hitters out there heard the term of having a level swing. I will, in this article, review the word level in other ways in order to submit this properly. I will use words such as flat or correspond to etc. when it comes being on plane or level. Yes, having a flat swing is vital to becoming a complete hitter whether you play the game of baseball or the game of softball. The concept of achieving this is vital to consistency in your game.

As a baseball player you will have to be on plane with your swing in reference to the pitch that is delivered. What does this mean? If your trying to hit a fastball that is coming to you on a down angle your swing must be adjacent to the pitch in order to hit the ball square at impact. This will in return take out the idea of creating backspin etc... Lets get that word out of your mind. Good square contact is important, not backspin. In addition if you heard the concept of rotational hitting or linear hitting this will also play a factor in your swing plane. Keep these swings in mind when it comes to developing your swing plane. Both result in different attack angles. To further understand what these hitting styles are please do your research for further information.

Some relative factors with swing plane:
If a pitch is up in the zone you will obviously have to relate your swing to the path of the ball. So you may hear the term getting on top of a pitch. In reality this term means leveling your swing up to the plane of the pitch, which in return creates a much flatter swing plane.

If your trying to hit a breaking pitch you are obviously going to have some type of an upswing when it comes to attacking the angle of the pitch properly. If you try to attack the pitch on a downswing there is a good chance that you will either cut the ball and pop up or pound it in the ground.

I just wanted to touch on some of this idea. I have a lot more information on this concept in depth on my website. I hope this short article gave you a basic concept of what having a level swing is all about. Thanks and good luck - Bryan.

Your #1 source for online hitting information! Bryan @ Hitting Made Simple: Hitting Made Simple.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bryan_Ciconte

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The Categories they have are: BatAction Hitting Machines, Hurricane Hitting Machines, Batting Cages, Pitching Machines, Jugs Equipment, Game and Practice Baseballs, Protective Practice Screens and Nets, Portable Pitching Mounds, Baseball DVDs & Books, Clearance Items on Sales, NEDCO Bataction Replacement Parts, Baseball Training Equipment, Youth Baseball Training Equipment, Training Bats, Pitching & Throwing Trainers, Defensive Trainers, SKLZ Hurricane Replacement Parts and Much Much More! Visit Baseball2U.com today!

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

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Youth Baseball Digest - 11 Simple Batting Terms Every Tee Ball and Little League Coach Should Know


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Youth Baseball Digest - 11 Simple Batting Terms Every Tee Ball and Little League Coach Should Know
By Nick Dixon

1. Grip - The first thing every young player must be taught is how to properly grip the bat. The bat is gripped with the "knocking knuckles" on the top and bottom hands aligned perfectly in a straight line with each other. The purpose of this grip is to place the bat handle in the fingers away from the palms of the hands. This grip allows the hands to be move quicker and to have maximum control of the bat. Tension is a batters worst enemy when it comes having a quality swing. Gripping the bat improperly often causes tension throughout the body. A relaxed grip on the bat allows the batter to react with better bat speed and hand quickness. Feeling relaxed at the plate is a key to a batters confidence.

2. Stance - A batters stance is how a batter initially stands in the batter's box to look out at the pitcher. A batter's stance is the position of the hands and feet prior to the start of the swing. The feet should be shoulder width apart with toes pointing toward the plate. The feet should be square to the plate. Square to the plate means that they are an equal distance from the plate. The stance also refers to the position of the hands and the angle of the bat. The hands should be no more that several inches from the shoulder. The stance should comfortable and should allow the batter to look at the pitcher with ease.

3. Stride - The term refers to the batters weight shift or step prior to the swing. The stride should be short and only about three to four inches if the front foot moves. Many batters simply pick the front foot up and replace it without moving it forward. If a step is taken, it should be a little step forward with the toes pointing toward the pitcher. It is important to teach young players that they must stride to get ready to hit. They do not stride to hit, but rather, they should stride to get ready to hit. The batters stride foot should be set before the pitchers front foot lands.

4. Hip Turn - Hip turn refers to the process of a batter generating power by driving the hips through a power rotation. Only pitches over the middle and inside 3rds of the plate allow a batter to get full hip turn. The closer the pitch is to the batter, the more hip turn is needed to properly hit the ball. Pitches on the outer part of the plate require little hip turn to hit. The hitter will rotate his hips open farther on an inside pitch than an outside pitch. The batter should rotate the hips on a level plane. Player should not lean forward over the plate or lean back away from the plate. The batter's back foot must pivot in order to have good hip rotation.

5. Balance - A batter must have good balance to be successful. Balance refers to proper weight distribution prior, during the swing, and at the finish of the swing. Good balance allows the hitter to have more control at the plate. Good balance begins with even weight distribution with a proper stance. The batters ability to control the body during the stride is the key to good balance.

6. Bat Speed - The speed of the bat during a swing. The bat the batter used must be the correct length and weight for a batter to generate optimum bat speed.

7. Squash the Bug - This term refers to the pivot the back foot during the baseball swing. This foot action allows the hips to open up or turn.

8. Shoe Laces to Pitcher - The best back foot action is not a squashing action with downward pressure. The best motion is to turn the back foot with the shoelaces toward the pitcher. This turn should be performed with a "light-weight" pivoting motion with little downward pressure. The batter pushes off from the ball of his rear foot to shift weight to the front side. Putting downward pressure on the ball of the back foot as it pivots and the hips rotate tends to constrict the quickness and power swing.

9. Trigger - Load - Both have the same meaning. Batters must learn to trigger or load to get ready to hit. The loading or triggering process is a batter's final movement of the body and hands to the optimum bat launching position to get ready for the swing. Different batters use different movement as a triggering mechanism. Many batters turn the front knee and should slightly inward. Other batters simply take the hands slightly up and back to what they call their launch position. The loading or triggering action should be a very slight movement.

10. A, B, C Baseball Swing - The "A, B, to C baseball swing" means a baseball swing that is not fundamentally correct. The term describes a swing that is not compact and not direct to the ball. The batter sweeps the bat in a slow long arch.

11. A to C Swing - Used to refer to a sort compact swing that take the bat from the "A" launch position directed to the "C" or contact position. The perfect baseball swing is a short compact "A to C" Swing.

For more articles on coaching baseball visit the Youth Baseball Digest, Little League Digest and the Baseball Coaching Digest.

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of 1400 Baseball Products. 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, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nick_Dixon


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Friday, March 19, 2010

Tips to Practice Good Baseball Pitching and Avoiding Injuries


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Tips to Practice Good Baseball Pitching and Avoiding Injuries
By Connor R Sullivan

Baseball is one game played by every other child as soon as he steps into school. Even better enthusiasm is seen in high school children. However, it is a dire need that one should have a good knowledge about proper baseball training aids and pitching techniques. Many people encounter serious pitching injuries because of limited knowledge about it. Pitching machines are hence a wise idea to select to avoid them.

Because pitching requires a great deal of wear and tear, it is better if you ensure that your body is in a proper shape before you even think about pitching. Arm injuries are one of the commonest of injuries faced by the players. It is also important that you should only start throwing pitches when you reach the maturing age. Bodies that are in their growing phase tend to easily get caught up by wear and tear. There are standard numbers of pitches thrown per day according to your age group and ability. Overuse will cause stress to build up in your tendons and ligaments and may even lead to ruptures in serious conditions.

Next area is of the legs. You should have strong and active legs if you have to start pitching. Training mechanics are usually seen to work out your legs at the primary stage. A tired leg will increase the stress on your arm as you will now happen to drag it once you get tired. This may lead to many leg injuries. Wear comfortable, running shoes to facilitate you while running fast.

Another trivial point is the warm up exercise. Players tend to be a victim of a lot of wear and tear if they fail to warm their body up before starting the game. A relaxed body is more likely to experience injuries. A small warm up exercise for about 5-8 minutes will minimize this problem.

Throw harder! Often baseball trainers deny this as this would cause an added strain on your arm, but this is how you will get used to it. Throwing harder is the only way how you will learn to be perfect at this game. However, you must not throw harder the very first time when you start. Begin with throwing with a little strain and gradually learn to throw harder and harder.

You should learn to stay healthy and eat a well balanced diet. Eat well but do not eat too much. Drink a large amount of water at least six to eight glasses per day to avoid dehydration of your body but do not drink too much water just before the game. Consult your coach or training mechanic to learn more about batting tees, handheld trainers, hitting machines, and soft toss machines. Health is the basic requirement for every game, so make sure you stay healthy and take full assistance from your coach. Discuss about your lacking areas and he will help you for sure. Work on these little areas and who knows, you might become the star player of tomorrow. Good luck!

Connor R. Sullivan owns and operates a top ranking web site to help people find pitching machines to improve their baseball skills. He offers a variety of baseball training aids for youth baseball coaches.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Connor_R_Sullivan


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Friday, March 12, 2010

Two Situations Drills For Little League Pitchers


Two Situations Drills For Little League Pitchers
By John R Di Nicola

Once you have had a couple of practices and have had infield and outfield practice you can venture to the next step working on game situations. You set your 9 players in their positions. Have your spare players as base runners. Have them stand behind home plate and you hit ball. This is so important it enables you to practice your pitchers and position players real situations. You will have to have patience. At first they will throw the ball around and be out of positions. Below are two drills that are very important in teach the fundamentals of defense.

Situations

Backing up 3rd base and home plate.


With nobody on base and ball is hit into gap pitcher should line up in between third base and home plate.
With base runners on first base and ball hit into gap they should do the same and watch and see where the play may be and make their decision which base they should back up.
With men in scoring positions and ball hit into the gap they should back up home. You have to make sure the pitchers have good distance from the foul line so they are not to close and have a good angle to go between third and home. The Pitcher must have depth behind the base so they get overthrown ball.
The mistake they all make is getting to close to base. Explain, they are backing up to get the overthrow. If they are to close they can't make adjustments. This defeats the purpose of them backing up the base.

Covering Home Plate on Pass Ball

This drill is very important because you will have passed balls at this level. Providing the backstop is not to far back it is an excellent way to get what I call a cheap out.
You can have signals for the pitchers to call out to the catchers. Most of the time the catchers will not be able to pick up which directions the ball has traveled.
You can use one, two and three. One being right, once he has turned to retrieve the ball. Two would be middle of backstop. Three would to the left.

Organizing your practice set up your schedule and rotate your days you do the drills. You will find that some of the drills they will pick up quicker than others. The biggest thing is you cannot have marathon practices. By keeping the practices short and crisp you will keep players motivated. I found if you have a practice schedule and post it will show the players approximately how long each drill will be and what to expect.

Practice makes perfect.

By: John R. Di Nicola

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. If you would like further information on this topic or other information you can E-Mail me at:
jdinicola@easypitching.com

You can follow us on Twitter
http://twitter.com/easypitching

Web site:
http://www.easypitching.com,

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_R_Di_Nicola

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Youth Baseball Hitting - How to Fix Your Baseball Swing

Youth Baseball Hitting - How to Fix Your Baseball Swing
By Brian McClure

To hit the ball well takes a lot of practice. Youth baseball is actually easier than for older players because there is only the basics to learn and develop. This makes it easy for as as coaches to improve our youth baseball teams hitting.

We still must do it right. Practice does not always make perfect. The practice must be effective and done correctly or the mind and body will instill the wrong mechanics.

Hitting off the tee - has probably been a lost art. It is however making a comeback in certain circles. I have always started batting practice by hitting off the tee. Yes..all ages. Purpose of the tee is to load the bat and get our weight back. First check that the players hands are in the right place..batting stance should comfortable. Second, Load the bat (Body and hands go slightly back and front foot comes up) Third, short quick swing.

Common mistakes to look for and avoid is the player dropping his hands and and weight back to far which is caused by wrapping the hands around the head. Wrapping the bat and Dropping the hands is usually the youth baseball player trying to hit a hard fly ball. It lengthens the swing and there will difficulty in hitting the ball correctly(popups) if at all, in live pitching.

Soft Toss - My favorite way to practice hitting. A youth baseball coach (or whoever is doing the tossing) can get a lot of control over the ball and watch the mechanics without fear of injury. The most common way I see soft toss done is from the side of the batter. I prefer to use a screen and toss from the front. This better simulates the pitch and the tosser and see the hands, head, and stride better too. Franklin L-Frame Pitching Screen
Work on strike tosses in the middle, inside, and outside... up, down. Toss in a few balls too so the player can work on learning the strike zone also. As you see a lot of work can be done in a short period of time.
If you toss from the side ,it is best to have net to target the balls.

Free Hitting - Turn 'em loose. Pitch or use a pitching machine and let the youth baseball player work on improving his hitting with live pitches without a lot of coaching at this point. Let the player have fun and just hit away. The Tee drill and soft toss is to work on mechanics. Now Focus on the ball and Swing.

These tips and basic batting practice strategy will greatly help your players improve their hitting skills. As a parent you can quickly move your son to the meat of the batting order with these simple batting practice two or three times a week. As coaches we should try and implement some batting practice every practice. The best way is to divide them into groups..some work on tee..move to ..the soft toss..then free hitting and move on to shagging.

Author- Brian McClure Want to learn more about helping your child in youth baseball as a parent or coach? http://www.coaching-youth-baseball.com

See our complete list of Topics and articles on youth baseball here http://www.coaching-youth-baseball.com/topics.html

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Brian_McClure

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Baseball Coaching Digest - the Top 10 Worst Youth Baseball Coaching Excuses of All Time
By: Nick Dixon

If you coach baseball, you are going to hear your share of excuses from other coaches. If you are like me and most coaches, you absolutely hate to hear anyone make an excuse for bad behavior or poor performance. But, it really make me furious when I hear a coach make an excuse. Coaches are in the job of teaching kids to be accountable and responsible. They should never try to justify a mistake or poor team performance by making an excuse.

Most coaches refuse to make excuses. They understand that behavior and actions have consequences. However, there is that small percentage of coaches that are always ready with a reason or excuse for poor team performance.

The Baseball 2Day Coaching Journal surveyed baseball coaches. One of the questions was "What was the worst excuse you ever heard from a coach?"

Here are the top 10 worst coaches excuses of all time:

#10..."I forgot how many outs there were. The umpire should have told me"

#9...."They are only kids... they don not know any better. They are not a very smart bunch."

#8...."You should give up your practice time because I scheduled a game on this field without consulting the field schedule because I helped found this league."

#7...."I Can not get my short stop to come to practice. He has not practiced in 2 weeks." (shortstop started the game and made several crucial errors)

#6...."That kid is not coachable. He knows it all at the age of 12." (When talking of a kid)

#5...."I was too busy talking to my wife to watch that play." (coach missed a great defensive play by his third baseman)

#4...."I was riding around town and I did not know what time it was." (assistant coach missed a scheduled practice)

#3...."I thought the game was canceled because of the rain." (Assistant coach arrived late for the game because he assumed that the game was rained out - it rained at his home, but not at the field.)

#2(tie)...."We do not play good in early games" (youth coach after losing a Saturday morning game)

#2(tie)...."We do not play good in late games" (youth coach after losing a Saturday late night game)

#1(tie)...."I was talking on my cell phone."(Coach of the batting team did not get into the third base coaching box until his team had two outs in the inning)

#1(tie)...."I was texting my wife" (Coach failed to shake hands with the opposing coaches after the game.)

I know that you feel like I do. I feel that many of these guys are wasting their time attempting to coach youth baseball. If their excuses are true indications of their level of commitment and dedication, they need do what is best for the team and resign.

Have a great day, Nick.

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of 1400 Baseball Products. 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, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nick_Dixon

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How to Throw a Curveball

Article Title: How to Throw a Curveball
By Kyle Cross

Being a pitcher in baseball is one of the most stressful, important positions in sport. Everything the pitcher does is analyzed over and over, from the windup to the delivery to the control of the pitches to the fielding stance after the ball has been delivered. A pitcher needs to have repertoire of multiple pitches in order to surprise the opponent, the batter. An imperative pitch in the repertoire is the curveball. This pitch is one that when thrown properly will fool even the best of hitters. The "curve" is slower than the fastball and has a distinct path to the plate in which the ball "breaks" downward. Like all things in sport, the pitch needs to be practiced a great deal to become more and more effective, but learning the pitch can be broken down into seven steps.

1. Hold the ball in front of you so the seams of the ball look like an upside-down "U."

2. Grip the ball with your index and ring finger together on the outside of the ball, but on the inside of the seam.

3. Continue to grip the ball in this was throughout your routine windup.

4. As your arm comes forward, make sure your delivery is identical every time so the batter will not notice a change and expect the different pitch.

5. When you have reached the release point, quickly snap your wrist outwards, putting a good deal of rotation on the ball.

6. Follow through with your release, fully rotating your wrist outward.

7. Releasing the pitch, proceed to position yourself into a good fielding position as most curveballs, if hit at all, will be hit into the ground.

Young pitchers should refrain from throwing this pitch. The release puts a large amount of torque and strain on forearm muscles and elbow ligaments. The arm of a child is not fully developed and thus the strain of consistently throwing this pitch will result in severe injury. When your body is ready, this pitch can be devastating. All of the great pitchers in the history of professional baseball had a dominant breaking pitch or a solid curve to go with a power fastball. The best hitters in the world can hit a pitch going over 100 MPH if the ball is moving straight. The movement of the pitch is what makes it so difficult to make contact with, so repeating the motion is crucial to success.

Kyle Cross is a sophomore at Nichols College studying in the Sport Management program. He strives to work in professional baseball upon graduation.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kyle_Cross

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Hit a Baseball With Power and Crush More Home Runs

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Article Title: Hit a Baseball With Power and Crush More Home Runs
By Rob Bucher

Imagine having the power at the plate to launch prodigious home runs the largest parks in your league can't contain.

If you're a player, coach or parent and are ready to discover the secrets to hit a baseball with power. Stay glued to every word in this article.

It's all possible you know...

...You can pad your power stats and become a complete power hitter, even if you've never hit a dinger before.

Let me explain by revealing the three keys to hitting all batters can use to maximize their power at the plate.


Loading up - In order to effectively add more power at the plate you need to build up kinetic energy. The only way to build it up is by separating the lower half from the top half. As you begin your stride, you should turn your front shoulder in about one or two inches and push your hands back into a good hitting position.
Hips lead the hands - Your swing begins by turning the hips towards the pitcher and pulling the top half of your body into the hitting zone. Most coaches teach players to take the hands to ball first, this is a power draining motion. The hips must fire first and then pull the upper body and hands into the hitting zone.
Contact position - Maximize the kinetic energy in the body by making contact with the baseball at a ninety degree angle. The barrel of the bat must be on the same plane of the pitch at contact. When contact is made you want to have a the correct ball and bat angle to release the energy your body has built up from a proper load.
How to hit a baseball with power happens when you incorporate all three of these mechanics into your swing.

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Because your current mechanics are zapping your power at the plate.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rob_Bucher

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Hurricane Batting Machine Demo Video

Hurricane Video







Check out the Hurricane Hitting Machine: Derek Jeter Series:
Hurricane Hitting Machine - Homepage
15 Reasons To Buy a Hurricane Trainer
6 Questions Often Asked By Customers
Message to Parents From Coach Nick
Examples of Hurricane Hitting Drills
The Highly Acclaimed 20-Minute Hurricane Batting Practice Workout
Hurricane Batting Machine Video Clips

Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine

The Coaches Best Baseball Store has a great selection of 1400 Baseball Products. 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, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nick_Dixon

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Baseball Hitting With Wooden Bats


By Jack D. Elliott

There is no denying the power of an aluminum bat. In fact, one reason they are not allowed in the major leagues is to help protect pitchers from having a line drive take off their head. However, occasionally practicing with a wooden bat in batting practice or the batting cage can definitely fine tune your swing and improve your baseball hitting.

A wooden bat has the advantage of encouraging the batter to hit the ball in the sweet spot. If the hitter hits the ball with the inside part of the bat, he runs the risk of breaking his bat or getting a stinging sensation in his hands. If the hitter hits the baseball with the outside part of the bat, the baseball will not travel very far. For these reasons, a wooden bat will encourage a batter to hit the baseball with the sweet spot. The more repetitions you get hitting the baseball with the sweet spot will translate into better hitting when you switch over to an aluminum bat which has an even bigger sweet spot and is slightly lighter.

One caveat: Wooden baseball bats can break very easily. One thing that can be done to help increase the life of a wooden bat is to wrap baseball tape or electrical tape around the sweet spot of the bat. This should help absorb some of the sting of a baseball when it hits the wooden bat in the wrong area. This is especially important because batting cage balls (the ones with the dimples in them) are a little bit harder on bats than a regular baseball.

Regardless of how you treat your wooden bat, you can expect to break a few wooden baseball bats if you play long enough. The good news is they are cheaper than aluminum bats ranging any where from $30 to $100. Another way one can make lemonade out of these lemons is to use the broken wooden bat for other purposes. Depending on how much is salvageable, you may be able to use the fat end of the bat as a club (miniature bat) for additional wiffleball practice by putting baseball tape on the tail end of it. This would allow you to practice your batting swing with your extension hand. This type of exercise helps with driving through the baseball.

Also, the handle of the bat may be converted into a strength training tool as well. You can create this baseball training tool by:

1. Drilling a hole on the bat handle. Drilling a hole through the handle of the bat and tie a very thin rope to it. The rope should have about 3 ½ to 4 feet of slack.

2. Tie a small weight to the rope. Then, tie a small weight to the other end of the rope. This weight should be under 10 pounds. I recommend starting with a 5 pound weight.

3. Roll up rope using back and forth motion. From here, you will want to hold the handle out in front of you with two hands. It should be in front of your body at roughly chest level. Then, you will want to start using your hands in a back and forth rolling motion to start rolling up the rope and weight around the handle.

4. Reverse the motion to control the decline. Once you are at the top, you will want to do the reverse by controlling the decline of the weight to the bottom again.

5. Do enough repetitions until you get muscle fatigue. You will want to do enough repetitions to get to the point where you have exhaustion in your forearms.

6. Add weight to increase resistance. If after doing a number of repetitions, you find that you are not getting forearm muscle fatigue, increase the weight used. This exercise is very good for improving the strength of your forearms. This will be directly helpful with your swing and help strengthen your throwing arm as it will give you more muscle control of your arms.

In conclusion, wooden baseball bats provide another sound way to improve your baseball hitting. Be sure to make the investment in at least one wooden bat to see if it works for you. You will be glad you did.

Jack Elliott, is a former player and fan of the game. To read more tips and techniques like the ones in this article, please click here: http://www.baseballtrainingtechniques.com/Baseball-Hitting/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jack_D._Elliott

Shop CoachesBest.com for your baseball coaching needs including baseball training aids, training videos, and other coaching supplies. Check out the Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting machine by SKLZ at HurricaneTrainer.com.

See the “Original” Rotational Hitting Machine at BatAction.com. Are you looking for the perfect trainer to teach proper timing and swing mechanics? You can stop looking and go to HandsBackHitter.com.

Players develop incredible bat speed and confidence when they regularly use the Quick Swing Trainer. See it at QuickSwingTrainer.com. See the world’s most advanced batting tee at AdvancedSkillsTee.com.

Are you looking for a great batting cage at discount prices? Are you considering building your own backyard batting cage and training center? If so, you should visit BattingCagesDirect.com now!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Major League Swing and 3 Reasons You Should Be Using it

Baseball Batting Training Machine - Derek Jeter Series

Article: The Major League Baseball Swing and 3 Reasons You Should Be Using it
By Rob Bucher

The Major League swing should be the swing you copy and use with your approach to hitting. Let's forget all about rotational hitting mechanics and linear mechanics for just a minute.

If your a coach or a player and you are not either teaching or using the swing all the best hitters in baseball are using, you're making a mistake...

...And limiting your potential.

Here's three reasons why your should ingrain the swing mechanics of the pros.


A strong position at contact is one of the most important characteristics you should add to your swing. The best hitters in the game keep their hands inside the baseball and usually close to their body. When your arms become extended they become weak. Keeping them close to the body as you swing through the hitting zone will ensure you have a strong contact position.
Major League hitters all turn into the ball or if you want to call it, rotate into the ball. They maximize the bodies full potential by using the lower body to pull the upper body into the contact zone. Make sure you are not staying back and swinging with your arms first.
The best hitters in the game are not trying to hit the top half of the ball to promote backspin. Their goal is to make contact squarely with the ball. The match the barrel of the bat on the plane of the pitch. This allows them to hit the ball with more power.

If you want to become a better hitter than all you have to is start copying the swings the best players in the game.

They all transfer their weight from the back leg to the front leg and rotate over a clean axis. This axis starts at the stride foot and works it's way up the body to the top of the head.

Ready to have explosive power at the plate? Click here - Proper Hitting Mechanics. Because your current mechanics are zapping your power at the plate.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rob_Bucher

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Baseball Tips on Hitting - Hitting Against Power Pitchers


Article Title: Baseball Tips on Hitting - Hitting Against Power Pitchers
By Larry Cicchiello

If a hitter is a real good fast ball hitter who has very quick bat speed, he should not change his hitting style and should get up there and take his normal swing. On the other hand, not all hitters have that quickness in their swing and they should make adjustments to increase their chance for a successful at bat.

Against some flame throwers, many very good hitters cut down on their stride or even omit it completely, especially with two strikes on them. There is nothing wrong with conceding a little bit to a pitcher. The only goal is a successful at bat and it's not important how you achieve that success.

For those hitters who have trouble against "flame throwers," they should remember that it's not necessary to take any stride at all or to swing the bat hard. Some hitters, especially younger hitters, do not get this message. They quite often over swing and take this long, looping swing that is very late on the pitch and have very little if any chance at all. Unfortunately, this sometimes happens over and over again and is quite frustrating for a hitter of any age, whether it is a younger player or an older player. Younger players will not have fun on the baseball field if this continues to happen. If a young player continues to strike out three times a game, in no time at all he will lose interest in playing baseball in the future.

The name of this game, from a hitter's point of view is to get the "sweet" part of the bat on the ball. If you swing the bat so easy that it won't crush a grape, but can somehow manage to get the sweet part of the bat on the ball, you will get your share of hits. If you do the same thing against a power pitcher, you will get more than your share of hits. It's not important how weak a swing you had at the pitch and the weakness of your swing will go totally unnoticed. What will be very well noticed is how you hit the ball extremely hard against a flame thrower who has been striking out a lot of batters.

Leading bat manufacturers spend millions of dollars on research to have batted balls jump off the sweet part of the bats they manufacture. The hitter's chore is to just get that sweet spot on the pitched baseball. Hitter's should let the speed of the pitch do 90% of the work for them.

Against the flame throwers, the hitter who has trouble with the heater should keep it as simple as possible. Start the swing early and no need to stride at all. Throw the barrel of the bat down at the pitch. Remember, even if your swing is so easy that it could not crush a grape, the sweet spot of the bat and the velocity of the fast pitch will do 90% of the work for you. It's no guarantee for success but it will definitely increase your chances for a successful at bat.

Larry Cicchiello is the author of "Excellent Baseball Coaching: 30 Seconds Away." His very user friendly eBooks cover 320 topics on playing or coaching excellent baseball. ANY players, coaches or parents who want to help their child improve will be fully equipped! Some FREE tips are available at http://www.LarryBaseball.com/product/all

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Larry_Cicchiello

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HurricaneMachine.com - Links

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Baseball2u.com has a one of the internet's largest selections of baseball coaching and training dvds.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Baseball Hitting Drills For the Stride


www.QuickSwingTrainer.com

Article Title:
Baseball Hitting Drills For the Stride
By Joe Brockhoff

In our Hitting System, we practice striding during the following batting practice sequence:

o Soft body, no stride, full take
o Load and Stride - Take
o Load - Stride - Pivot

Isolating these three activities by themselves can be performed alone at home without a pitched ball, or during batting practice, like in our Hitting Agenda and Tempo Drills. This builds the stride to the point where it is constant. Here are the rules for the best stride:

o The stride travels only 6 inches.
o The stride lands on the ball of the foot
o The stride goes directly ahead and in the same place each time.
o The stride begins on pitchers release.
o The hands stay home near the back shoulder during the stride and are not released to make the bat contact the ball until after the pivot (rotation of the hips).

Another coaching point: The stride should be initiated in the large muscle mass of the hips. In other words, it is a slight linear push of the hips toward the ball. The front foot merely follows this push, landing on the ball of the foot. When the front heel goes down, this keys the turn of the hips and the weight transfer.

When facing a pitcher with above average velocity, a baseball player must be quick in the hips and rotate accordingly... having the ability to clear his mid section and allow his hands to get out in front makes for better contact with the ball. The stride plays a vital role in developing from linear to rotation for a sinker or four seam fastball for weight through the ball.

Former Tulane Hall of Fame Baseball Coach, Joe Brockhoff, fully explains his baseball hitting drills with the Super 8 Hitting System, completely demonstrated with videos and baseball hitting tips to help you hit with more power and raise your batting average. http://www.LearnBaseballHitting.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joe_Brockhoff

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