Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine by SKLZ

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Baseball Hitting With Wooden Bats

Baseball Hitting With Wooden Bats
By guest author: 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:

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Fun Baseball Drills - Last Man Standing

Fun Baseball Drills - Last Man Standing
By guest author: Geoff James

Looking for some fun conditioning drills to play with your team? Last man standing is a way to help players become individually competitive while still playing as a team. Here's how to run the drill:

Have your players drop their gloves. Using just hands makes the play less aggressive. Have players split into groups of 3 or 4. Each player rolls 5 ground balls to the person to their right. Fielder becomes roller as the players move down the line, and the first roller runs to the end to become the last fielder.

Where does the competition come in? Make it a relay race! The teams rush to finish first, because they get the "safety." Everyone else has to run sprints while the winners watch. Play this a few times to really get your players heart rate up.

Once the kids seem ready to go (and a little tired), switch them to a knock out drill. Have your pitcher throw soft balls at players, who are still gloveless. If they cannot field the ball with their hands they are out. Last man standing, again, gets to sit out the sprint. Players are much more competitive when they know that they can elude sprints, and it's a real reward for the ones that do win.

These drills can be run at the beginning or end of practice as a fun little way to help players condition for quick sprints from standing positions - a key skill in fielding that surely can't hurt a player fight his way to first, either.

At the end of the season get all of your players custom engraved baseball column trophies! These baseball trophies will last for years and will be warm reminders of the 2010-11 season.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Uncommon Baseball Hitting Drills

Uncommon Baseball Hitting Drills
By guest author: Jeffery A Wise

Baseball hitting drills are a necessary part of practice. Players run these drills to improve their skills and get them ready for batting practice and games. There are some common hitting drills, but we're going to talk about one that is not so common. Nonetheless, it is important and should be practiced more often.

The modified broomstick drill is very helpful. You need a broom handle that is cut down to the length of a bat. It will help to sand the end and add batter's tape on the end for grip. Then, ask someone to pitch plastic golf balls to you. These balls can be purchased at any sporting goods store.

The distance between you and the pitcher doesn't matter as long as they can toss you the balls easily. Start with underhand pitches. Then switch to overhand pitches so there is some appropriate velocity on the pitch which simulates a real pitch.

You can work on many different hitting mechanics for improvement, but now let's just focus on your upper body. Relax your shoulders, neck and face. If you are too tense at the plate it is much harder to have a quick, fluid swing. That's what this baseball hitting drill is for.

Also, make sure your front shoulder is lined up to the pitcher and have it closed. Sometimes ball players have an issue with leaving their shoulder open and that makes them open up and start their swing too early. This causes players to pull the ball in the form of a ground out or fly out.

During this baseball hitting drill, keep the shoulder closed and wait for the plastic golf ball to arrive in the hitting zone before taking a smooth, fluid swing. Take turns hitting 25 balls and then rotate. This drill is a lot like playing wiffle ball so have fun with it.

The purpose of this drill is to improve hand-eye coordination and mechanics. You may also want to use this drill to practice hitting harder. Whatever you do, always strive to have fun!

Jeffery A Wise invites you to learn more about baseball hitting drills so that you can hit a baseball better. Start learning today at by reading our information, watching our videos and participating in our blog.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

The SKLZ Hurricane Baseball Trainer - A great investment in a players future!


1. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE makes home practice so fun, entertaining, convenient, and productive that it is called the "Backyard Basketball Goal For Batters"! The reason for this "nickname" is that baseball and softball players love to hit as much as basketball players love to shoot. Having a hitting station in your yard 24-7 allows a player to hit or practice on "impulse" when he is bored and looking for something to do. Wouldn't you rather that your player swing the bat than play "Game Box", play "Horse" or watch TV? The truth is that the average youth player ,with average height and body build, is much more likely to play high school baseball than high school basketball because baseball involves a larger number of players than basketball. So shouldn't you make sure that your player spends as much time as possible swinging a bat? The Hurricane does just that!

2. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE allows your son or daughter to practice under your watchful eyes and to practice alone when you are at work or out of town. How many times has your son asked you to go outside to throw or pitch, but you had other responsibilities that prevented you from doing so? Now, your player can hit or practice alone without your help with the Hurricane Hitting Machine.

3. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE can be used indoors or outdoors and it makes a perfect year-round hitting station in your home or backyard. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE can easily give your player thousands and thousands of more practice swings each year! If you want your player to compete with other kids in the league, you must find a way to get as many practice swings as possible. The competition is tougher than ever because everyone practices and plays almost year round. Buy a Hurricane and give your player an edge over the competition! You will glad you did when your player becomes one of the team's or league's best hitters! With the purchase of a HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE that goal could be reached!

4. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE has height and speed adjustments for all ages and skill levels from Tee-ball to the college ranks.

5. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE's patented design gives the batter instant feedback as to the power and quality of every practice swing. The player immediately knows if a line drive, ground ball or fly ball was hit. This instant feedback is extremely useful for rapid skill and bat speed development! The Hurricane is well known and respected for developing a powerful line-drive swing!

6. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE is fully self-contained and requires no outside power source. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE's power source is its patented powerband system. This allows you to use it anywhere with ample space. Set it up at practice, before games or between games! It is a super pregame warmup!

7. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE is 100% Guaranteed to improve hitting skill and increase bat speed. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE carries a money back guarantee. HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE parts may be purchased if needed. What more could you ask for? Now you see why the Hurricane is one of the best selling training machines ever! It is one of the most popular trainers ever introduced to the marketplace!

8. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE has a travel weight of just over 30 pounds and it comes with a heavy-duty carrying bag. It fits easily into the trunk of even the compact automobile.

9. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE closely simulates real hitting conditions. The ball's large path of movement and speed of movement requires the hitter to really concentrate. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE builds incredible levels of confidence, fast!

10. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE features heavy-duty steel construction and a weather-proof powder-coat metallic paint finish that is designed to withstand the elements in all climates.

11. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE's patented design allows righted-handed and left-handed batters to work out together without having to change or adjust the machine. A single player can easily practice "switch-hitting" without having to stop and adjust the machine. This makes the HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE especially useful and convenient for team workouts.

12. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE does not require nets, screens or any other form of ball containment. The ball is safely controlled at all times by the composite rod.

13. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE assembles in minutes without tools. A detailed and easy-to-follow owners manual is included with each machine.

14. Every HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE comes complete with a detailed and simple-to-follow drill manual. The manual full explains the purpose and procedures for each drill. The manual also conatins the popular "20 Minute Hitter's Workout" for the future prospect. A workout designed to improve every fundamental needed to become a successful hitter at any level of competition. Should you need help with a drill, our staff is eager to help you. Call toll free, 1-877-431-4487.
15. The HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE is the most energy efficient and productive batting trainer ever invented. If you can find a better training machine, I encourage you to buy it! Because I know that there is absolutely nothing better than the HURRICANE HITTING MACHINE. Why would I say that? Because I know that this amazing breakthrough in hitting technology is the absolutely best that money can buy! Nothing else even comes close!


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Check out the Hurricane Hitting Machine: Derek Jeter Series:
HurricaneHittingMachine.comHurricane Hitting Machine - Homepage
15 Reasons To Buy a Hurricane Trainer
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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
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Friday, February 11, 2011

Baseball Batting Coaching Conceptions: How To Connect With Your Players

Baseball Batting Coaching Conceptions: How To Connect With Your Players
By John McDuffy

I want you to think about all the coaches you have ever experienced in your lifetime. What do all the best coaches have in common? Is their overwhelming knowledge of the game, their ability to deal with adversity, or are they just simply the best communicators? I am going to go with the latter. In my experience, the best coaches are always the best communicators. I don't care how knowledgeable you are, if you cannot connect with another human being and help them to understand how to get better, then you are back to square one. If you are like most of us out there, we need a lot of work on our communication skills which is why I wanted to share 7 sure fire communication techniques that will help you become a better communicator in your next batting practice session.

#1: Play the why game. You remember this game as a kid. You ask your parents a question, they answer, and then you ask why? This may be annoying for parents, but asking a lot of questions goes a long way in your baseball batting sessions. The more questions you ask, the more you learn about your players. The more you learn about your players, the easier it is to understand what hurdles are holding them back. What do you feel you need work on? How did that swing differ from the previous one? These are just two powerful questions that you can use to help educate your player on what will take his batting skills to the next level. If you find yourself talking at your player, revert back to more questions.

The second baseball batting coaching strategy revolves around emotion and temper. Player emotions will always run high; it is in their nature. Performance feels very personal and when you?fail? it can be very embarrassing and self-deflating. This is exactly why your relaxed confident nature must never change. If you get frustrated and raise your tone you are only going to add pressure to the situation and fuel the fire. One of the main responsibilities of a batting coach is to ease player tension and get them back to a relaxed state so they can perform at a high level. Keep in mind that your frustration is a result of your lack of ability to help your player make the batting adjustments necessary. If you remain relaxed and positive, so will he.

#3: Change what you say. I was once told that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If this is your fifth baseball batting training session and your player is still struggling to understand what you are teaching, change the words that come out of your mouth. It?s ridiculous to think that repeating yourself over and over again is eventually going to work. If you truly believe that, tape record yourself and play it back every time you meet because it will save you the trouble of talking! Be creative in your approach and find what connects with your player. Every player learns differently. If you find the sayings that connect with him, then you find the key to creating a better swing.

Batting Training Communication Technique #4: Give your players permission to fail. That's right, I said it! To many coaches and players believe that failure isn't an option. To that I say,'Good Luck!' Not only is failure an option, it's going to happen 7 out of every 10 times at the plate. Have fun trying not to fail! The real problem lies in the term failure which is why I want to give you a great quote from Thomas Edison. Yes, the guy who invented the light bulb.?I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.? Get the idea! Every baseball swing, good or bad, is a learning experience. Every failure just gives you a better idea of what not to do and gets you one step closer on what to do. Unfortunately, most people take failure personally instead of using it as a learning experience.

Batting Training Communication Technique #5: It's a two way street. You can improve your coaching by receiving feedback from your players. If you are going to dish it out, you have to be able to take it. Ask you players what you could do better to help them achieve their goals. If you go in with an open mind and take good notes, players will let you know what hurdles they are facing. By exposing any issues that are on the table, you can work together fix any issues. Working together towards a common goal creates a stronger bond and builds trust.

Batting Training Communication Technique #6: Be lavish in your praise, and short to criticize. This is an old sales technique. People like to know that they are making progress and are doing a good job. On the flip side, players hate to be criticized and will resent you for it. It has nothing do with you, it's just the way of the world. If you want to get your players to work harder, be lavish in your praise. Reward your players for the smallest accomplishments in your baseball batting training sessions and they will work twice as hard to get better.

Batting Training Communication Technique #7: Baseball is fun, make a joke or two. A lot of comedic things happen the baseball field. Let your players know that it is okay to laugh when something is funny. I have played for too many coaches who take the game to serious. Players play their best baseball when they are relaxed and enjoy the game. If you find things are getting a bit too tense, add some humor to the situation. After all, the reason you start playing the game is because it is fun.

The best baseball coaches are teachers of the game and learn just as much from their players, as their players learn from them. By using the techniques you have learned here today, you will not only become a better communicator, but will have a more rewarding coaching experience. Bridging the gap of communication will allow you build a much stronger bond with the players around you. If you want to take your players talent to the next level, take your communication to the next level.

Get more effective batting lessons from our blog! When you want to improve your baseball batting skills, you can get the complete information you need today!

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Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine Demo 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
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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.

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

How to Analyze a Baseball Swing

How to Analyze a Baseball Swing
By Jack Perconte

Many people who have a basic knowledge of baseball can look at an inexperienced hitter and figure out what they are doing wrong. Certain things like stepping out, over-striding, swinging early or late, upper cutting, pulling off the ball and taking their eye off the ball are fairly obvious flaws. The solutions to these problems are not as obvious, and certainly not as simple as just telling the hitter what they are doing wrong. Muscle memory can be very tough to change and it is important for hitters and adults to have patience with players who are trying to make changes to their muscle memory. However, I am getting ahead of myself. The swing cannot be fixed until it has been analyzed correctly. Analyzing a swing when the flaws are not as obvious takes a much more experienced coach.

Following are pointers for coaches who are not as experienced to know what to look for when analyzing a baseball swing:

1. The best angle to watch a hitter is the side angle, as from the on deck circle.

2. The main thing to watch from this angle is the path of the bat barrel.

3. The ideal is when the bat barrel settles above the hitter's rear shoulder with the knob of the bat pointing down just as the front foot lands with the stride. A slight tilt of the bat barrel where it settles anywhere between 11 and 1 o'clock is best.

4. From this settled position, the ideal is to see the hands and barrel begin on a downward path towards the ball, while never traveling too far from the hitters head on the path to the ball. This is known as a compact swing.

5. The swing is begun by a break of the back knee allowing the hips to open, and with a pull of the lead hand.

6. The bat barrel starts on a downward path but will begin to level off quite quickly, especially on the lower pitches. As the back knee rotates towards the ball, the back elbow lowers and remains very close to the body on the initial portion of the swing. This prevents the hands from casting away from the body, another common flaw of young hitters.

7. This leveling off is accomplished by the hands forming a palm-up (top hand) and palm-down (lower hand) position before and after contact. The hands will end at about the same level they began the swing, at shoulder level height.

8. After leveling off, good hitters will keep the bat mostly level for an extended period until well after contact when it will begin an upward path till finishing behind the back.

9. As the bat barrel comes through, the hitter's hips have completely opened with the belly button facing the pitcher.

10. The area between the legs should form a capital A at contact, with the hitters head located above the rear hip.

11. The rear foot has pivoted towards the pitcher as the weight has shifted from the rear leg towards the front foot, and the hitter will finish up on his back toe.

12. All of this is ideally done with the hitters head and eyes tracking the ball all the way till contact.

Often, it takes a great deal of observation of the baseball swing to pick up on these little intricacies of the swing. These actions of the swing happen very quickly. Picturing an airplane landing is a good mind illustration that describes the bat barrel swing path. As mentioned, paying close attention to the path of the bat barrel is the key to analyzing the swing. Watching video of good hitters, especially in slow motion, can be very helpful in learning to analyze the baseball swing. Good swings involve excellent balance, even though there is an explosive opening of the hips and an aggressive "throw" of the hands. In all my years of teaching hitting, I found that if I could correct the hitter's bat path, the rest of their problems began to disappear or were much easier to correct.

After watching a hitter from the side angle, it is beneficial to analyze the swing from the angle of the pitcher or directly behind the hitter. From these angles it is easier to notice the hitter's front side, mainly the stride direction and front shoulder. It is important that the hitters stride is towards the pitcher and that their front shoulder stays pointed at the ball until the swing begins; when the front shoulder will start its rotation open.

Obviously, there is a great deal to the swing, as this just covers the basics. I guess it explains why I needed 200 pages to discuss all the aspects of hitting and "teaching hitting" in my book.

Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball hitting lessons, books and advice can be found at Jack is the author of two books, The Making of a Hitter and Raising an Athlete - his parenting blog and books can be found at

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