The Baseball Zone Blog

Kevin Hussey | Jun 30, 2017 3:47:00 PM

Let Catchers Call the Game

If you go to a baseball game (from Little League to pro ball), there’s a very good chance of you seeing a catcher get into their crouch and look over to their coach for a sign. You might not think anything of it but that catcher is missing out on a development opportunity he will not get back. And that coach may not be putting his team in an advantageous position. Catchers MUST learn to call pitches or they will never develop as catchers. A catcher that calls pitches, takes so much into consideration that they won’t even realize it until they’re forced to think about it. Things like stride direction, bat speed, physical adjustment, mentality, approach, are all things catchers will have the opportunity to assess when they’re calling pitches. Taking that away from them is like taking away their identity. Not only will you be taking their mind out of the game, you’re going to put them at a physical disadvantage as well.

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Topics: baseball strategy, baseball coaching, baseball philosophy, baseball, catching, coach player relationship, coaching, baseball leadership, catching skills, catching tips

Ryan Armstrong | Jan 26, 2017 2:28:18 PM

A Glimpse at The Four Pillars of Baseball - Part III: The Tactical Game

 
The four pillars of baseball performance are Technical, Mental, Tactical, and Physical. If one of these pillars is weak, the structure will collapse!
 
Part III: The Tactical Game
 
  • Pitcher looking in for signsTactical baseball instruction is the implementation and use of baseball strategy to promote athletic success on the field or in training sessions. Tactical training is most often situational as in what do I do and when do I do it? Tactical coaching provides the athlete the ability to use certain skills and strategies as how they apply to specific situations. As an example, you have a right-handed hitter who has just fouled off your best fastball 385ft down the left field line. It is now 0-2. What do we do next? Go back to the well one more time and hope he swings through it?

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Topics: baseball strategy, baseball instruction, mastery, baseball toronto

Rick Johnston | Feb 22, 2015 3:00:52 PM

6 Key Factors Affecting Your Baseball Team Defense

Some baseball team defenses will be fairly standard and universally accepted in how they are deployed. Yes, there could be slight variations or deviations to each defense based on abilities or lack of abilities of defensive players. For example, if one player is more fleet a foot than another, or one has better arm strength or one player lacks lateral movement, then having a contingent plan in the deployment is always acceptable.

However, when deploying a particular defense, such as an aggressive bunt defence or a particular first and third play, an array of variables must be considered before entertaining the defensive scheme for your team. Situations always vary from game to game and indeed, from inning to inning, hitter to hitter and frankly pitch to pitch or count to count. Consider this then, there are numerous ways a defensive situation can change, but largely it will be based on the following influencing factors.

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Topics: baseball strategy, bunt defense, defensive baseball, baseball team defense, team defense, Defense

Rick Johnston | Feb 13, 2014 8:27:00 AM

Baseball Coaching Philosophy - It Is Not Just the X's and O's

In all sports, most people think of a particular coach’s philosophy as the style by which they like their teams to play the game. No matter the sport, each coach typically does have his way of thinking how the game should be played. A football coach may be a high tempo, run and gun, hurry up offensive guy who then finds players that fit the role. A hockey coach might believe more in defense first and deploy a defensive, neutral zone trap and establish this as the type of player he would like on his squad. A baseball coach might believe in big ball, sitting back, waiting for two bloops and a bomb, a la the days of Earl Weaver and the Baltimore Orioles. Absolutely, these are and will always be a part of any coach’s philosophy, but, there is far more than just coaching the X’s and O”s of whatever the discipline is.

Every SUCCESSFUL coach, regardless of what sport they are coaching, has a fundamental, rudimentary approach to the game that most will abide by. Each one of these successful coaches' philosophies involves components that go beyond the realm of these X’s and O’s, and are highly supported by attitude, beliefs, viewpoints and values. These are defining areas of significance, and in most situations, define who they are as coaches and how they impact people, players and staff around them. The philosophy is so impactful, that not only can it define from who they are as coaches, to how hard they work to get to the top, to something as simple as how they handle a player (maybe the best player on team) being late for practice.  The success of the team is generally based on the philosophy instilled. Failure of good teams is not based on talent, it is usually failure based of philosophy. Talented teams, in all sports, have been wasted because of the lack of good, sound coaching philosophy. A coach needs to know what he is going to do before he does it.

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Topics: baseball strategy, baseball psychology, baseball parents, baseball coaching, baseball communication, baseball philosophy, baseball leadership

Mike McCarthy | Nov 15, 2013 11:06:00 AM

Q&A w/ 2014 University of Houston Baseball Commit, Robert Grilli

Robert Grilli (@Grilli1) has been working with us at The Baseball Zone and SST Mississauga almost since we opened 10 years ago. He is currently a student-athlete at Salt Lake Community College in Utah patrolling the middle of the infield for the Bruins in the Scenic West Athletic Conference. He was named as a 2nd team Conference All-Star in his Freshman season with a .302 avg and a .962 fielding pct.

Robert recently committed to attend the University of Houston in the Fall of 2014 for which we'd like to offer him a huge congratulations. 

The Baseball Zone's Kevin Horton had a chance to sit down for an interview with Robert in the Spring of 2012 as he was finishing up his Senior season with the Ontario Terriers (@OntarioTerriers) baseball program and preparing to head to Salt Lake CC. Here are a few of the questions Kevin asked Robert:

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Topics: baseball strategy, baseball strength training, mental performance, Ontario Terriers Baseball, baseball practice, baseball scouting, college baseball, college baseball recruiting, college baseball scholarship

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