The Baseball Zone Blog

Ryan Armstrong | Oct 8, 2015 12:02:31 PM

Dear MLB - What is Up With the Blue Jays' Game Times?

Dear MLB,

Am I happy to have playoff baseball back in Toronto? Yes! Am I happy about the start times of the ALDS? No! It would be easy to say that we are being put on the back burner to accommodate big market teams in the US (despite Toronto being a larger market than any of the other cities playing today...I wonder if you know???). But market size impact aside, I truly believe there are other things to be considered.


Topics: baseball playoffs, baseball, canadian baseball, Toronto Blue Jays, mlb, Canada, hockey, Texas Rangers, Texas

Courtney Plewes | Oct 5, 2015 5:23:00 PM

8 Baseball Strength Training Lessons From the Cressey Elite Mentorship

On June 14-16th of this year I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to attend the Elite Baseball Mentorship program at Eric Cressey’s training center in Hudson, MA. For those of you who don’t know who Eric is you can check out his website here. Basically he is THE go-to-guy in the USA for high school, college and professional baseball players.

For those of you who have been to our facility here at The Baseball Zone you will be happy to know that our facilities were almost identical, only opposite in a way! I mean that Cressey’s gym is 15,000 sq. ft. with the majority of his facility being designated for strength and conditioning with two bullpen lanes; while ours is 15,000 sq. ft. with about 3,500 sq. ft. of that being strength and conditioning and the rest baseball.


Topics: warming up, strength training, in-season strength training, baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, off-season strength training, baseball exercise, pitching, speed, speed training, baseball speed, med ball drills, throwing skills, prowler training, prehab, baseball warm up, pitching mechanics, shoulder strength, biomechanics, sprinting speed, explosive strength, mobility, sled sprints, performance training, sports performance, strength and conditioning, elite baseball mentorship, cressey sports performance, eric cressey, athlete assessments, squat, pressing exercises, power, cleans

Kevin Hussey | Oct 1, 2015 6:30:00 AM

Why I'm Bad at Golf and How It Relates to Hitting a Baseball

I'm sure a golf expert would give me a lot of reasons why I'm a bad golfer. But there's one reason in particular that's also a reason why baseball players struggle. The reason I'm so bad at golf is because I look to see where I hit the ball before I actually hit it. As a result of trying to look where the ball goes, I pull my head off the ball causing me to mis-hit it. This concept is the same concept that affects young hitters, but it goes way past just pulling off the ball; it's a mental adjustment that needs to be made rather than a physical adjustment.


Topics: hitting tips, hitting approach, hitting, batting cages, vision, mental mistakes, physical mistakes, golf

Ryan Armstrong | Aug 6, 2015 11:02:49 AM

My Thoughts on Cressey Sports Performance's Elite Baseball Mentorship

I was fortunate enough to have attended Cressey Sports Performance's Elite Baseball Mentorship program this past June in the Boston area along with fellow team members here at The Baseball Zone / SST Mississauga, Courtney Plewes and Rick Johnston (pictured L to R with Eric Cressey). This program has provided me with insight that gave me a better understanding of how the body works from a biomechanical perspective. This particular workshop was focused on the upper extremities, especially the elbow and shoulder, two areas that go without saying are extremely important to pitchers - and all throwers - in terms of performance, injury prevention & rehabilitation.

Here is a brief outline of the program and some of my own thoughts:

Day 1: We examined how the shoulder complex should function by looking at movement and symmetry with various athletes. Later that day we went onto the floor and watched assessments performed by Eric Cressey and Eric Schoenberg. Although this may not be my particular area of expertise I learned more about how the body moves so I can better serve our throwers here at The Baseball Zone as well as share this information with our staff.


Topics: baseball coaching, rehab, pitching, elbow injury, shoulder injury, pitching injuries, injury prevention, elbow strength, baseball warm up, weighted balls, shoulder strength, biomechanics, pitching preparation, sports performance, notre dame, elite baseball mentorship, cressey sports performance, eric cressey, eric schoenberg, matt blake, athlete assessments, boston college, oklahoma state, cape cod league

Kevin Hussey | Jul 9, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Practicing Baseball On Your Own - 3 Ideas For You

Baseball may be known as a team sport but it’s not a sport that needs to be practiced with a team. The best way to enhance your skills is to practice by yourself. Team practice is for understanding things like cut offs, bunt defense, pick off plays and other team activities. Practicing these different plays will help your team get better but will not necessarily make you a more skilled baseball player. To get better as a player it’s important to practice on your own. Here are some ways you can practice on your own or with one other person.

Hitting (Hitting off a Tee)

Everyone’s favorite part of practice is batting practice, where they get to see how hard and far they can hit a baseball. The problem with batting practice is how kids handle it. A lot of kids see batting practice as a homerun derby with the ball perfectly placed each time (or waiting for a perfectly placed one) and swinging for the fences. When you hit off a Tee, your goals can be made more appropriate for trying to become a better hitter and can be made more realistic to game situations when done correctly. The goal of hitting the ball off the tee is to try and square up the ball as much as possible because almost all results will be the same anyways. Hitting off a tee allows you to forget about your surroundings and concentrating on increasing your strength and using proper technique. Placing the Tee in different locations that represent where an actual ball may be pitched to you - raise and lower the Tee, place it closer to you and further away - can help you learn what adjustments your body will need to make to square up on a ball based on the pitch location.


Topics: baseball drills, hitting drills, baseball practice, bunt defense, fielding drills, infielding drills, catching drills, Outfielding drills, pickoffs, pick off moves, team practice, tee drills

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