The Baseball Zone Blog

Rick Johnston | Jun 13, 2017 3:27:34 PM

Fly Ball in the Sun - Yikes!!!

How many times have you been at practice working with your outfielders on tracking fly balls only to have one of them asking the coach to change position because “the sun is in my eyes”? Unfortunately, the game of baseball, if we're lucky, is played in the sun. Believe me, one of the best times for any outfielder to work on tracking fly balls is on bright sunny days, with the sun in their eyes and lots of wind. To work on sun balls, use the sun as a mechanism for a drill. Additionally, on windy days, vary the position in the outfield so that outfielders can work on tracking with the wind at their backs, in front and from side to side with the cross wind. Too often, days with bright sun, high sky and wind are not used to the advantage of working on tracking balls in the air. Coaches, when you have these days, use them to assist the outfielders in turning tough catches into routine catches.

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Topics: baseball, baseball drills, Outfielding, Outfielding drills

Ryan Armstrong | Jan 7, 2017 3:20:16 PM

Drill of the Week Videos - Self Toss & Step Behinds

Hitting - Drill of the Week

 Self toss is a drill we use to promote synchronization and connection in our athletes, in other words getting the parts in the right order. This drill is also useful in creating momentum as well promoting a strong visual process. Self toss is a drill that is used by all of our hitters but is especially useful to our hitters who struggle to get the parts in the right order. 

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Topics: video, hitting, baseball, baseball drills, hitting drills, baseball off-season, Sports, connection drills, connection, sports performance

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.

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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

Ryan Armstrong | Dec 20, 2014 6:30:00 AM

Baseball Drill of the Week | "Pendulum to Pelvic Load"

This week's Pitching Drill of the Week is the "Pendulum to Pelvic Load" drill.

This baseball drill is used to help players incorporate the hips into the delivery. Leading with the hips will help players establish a direct line to the target. Moving our hips toward the target will also help us with rotation. More rotation can result in more velocity and allow the arm to have more room to decelerate, decreasing the overall stress of the throw.

The pendulum aspect of the drill allows players to relax and find a natural spot to lift their leg. The pendulum swing also allows players to stay loose as they begin to move forward. This can be very effective for players who are to tense as they begin the delivery.This drill can be done by anyone who is looking to develop an efficient move forward; it is also effective for player who may lack rhythm and tempo. We do this drill in season and off season and is usually followed by the actual pitching motion.

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Topics: baseball drills, pitching tips, pitching instruction, throwing drills, pitching drills, pitching velocity, pitching rotation, pitching mechanics, velocity drills, delivery, rotation drills, pelvic load

Ryan Armstrong | Dec 3, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Baseball Drill of the Week | "Mariano Rivera Drill"

This week's Pitching Drill of the Week is the "Mariano Rivera Drill" aka the Pre-set Pelvic Load drill.

This baseball drill is designed to help players lead with their hips in their delivery. Leading with your hips can help with velocity, rotation and finish. Using the hips to lead can also promote more of a total body throw. When we lead with the hips we are really initiating rotation starting with the back hip. If we don't do a good job starting rotation it will be very tough to continue rotation when we land. This can lead to more of an upper body throw and may place more stress on the arm.

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Topics: baseball drills, pitching tips, pitching instruction, throwing drills, pitching drills, pitching velocity, pitching rotation, pitching mechanics, velocity drills, delivery, rotation drills

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