The Baseball Zone Blog

Rick Johnston | Nov 1, 2013 3:41:00 PM

14 Mental Errors in Baseball That Get an Offence in Trouble

Many baseball coaches will say that the thinking or the understanding part of the game is the most vital to success for a player. This part of the game is sometimes called the mental pillar and is one of the primary pillars that support the structure of the athlete within the game of baseball (and any sport - these being mental, physical, technical and tactical).

In general terms, a baseball player will commit two types of errors, but one more than the other can have long term effects - mental and physical. Coaches have no problem for the most part accepting physical mistakes; players will clank ground balls, butcher fly balls and look like a bag of hammers searching for a tool box as a hitter. Players will have bad days, where physically all that happens. No problem, we are all human, all make mistakes. In baseball, it is the mental error that has harsh effects both short and long term on players and teams and will often manifest themselves as physical errors (i.e. what looks like a physical error was actually born a few seconds earlier as a mental one).


Topics: hitting preparation, baseball strategy, baseball psychology, baseball coaching, mental performance, hit & run, suicide squeeze, baseball fundamentals, mental mistakes, physical mistakes

Rick Johnston | Sep 4, 2013 3:58:00 PM

5 Differences Between Stealing and the Hit and Run

We recently released our newest eBook titled "8 Baserunning Myths You Can Leave Off the Basepaths This Year" (you can download it here - you'll enjoy even if you don't agree). One reader had asked me to explain the difference between the steal versus the hit and run. I thought the question was excellent but more importantly a question that was not afraid to be asked. It is like coaching your players, no question is a dumb question.

In some of my previous blogs I have actually written on both of these offensive tactics in aspects of who to do them with, when to do them, why it is good or bad tactical judgement, what the general expected results will be, some of the factors that need to be observed and the overall thought processes behind the operation of each of these.


Topics: baserunning, baseball strategy, base stealing, hit & run

Rick Johnston | Jul 26, 2013 9:50:00 AM

8 Helpful Tips for Catchers Calling a Simple Game Behind the Dish

Catching: Calling a Simple Game

Let’s face it - a good catcher makes a better pitcher. A good catcher, who knows how to call a good game, can make average and good pitchers, great pitchers. 

Catchers have many characteristics that stand out from the way they catch and throw to the way they block and control the game as defensive leaders on the inner diamond. However, there is almost no greater characteristic a catcher can exhibit than his ability to call a good game. Hey, look around professional baseball. It is safe to say catching is one of the oldest positions by age. Those younger catchers may have the energy, physicality and overall skill that will jump out at most, but the older catcher is usually the wiser catcher and exhibits traits that go well beyond catch, throw, block and hit.

  • So just where does the catcher become the primary source of information for the pitcher? It begins with every new count, 0-0. It is critical the catcher calls the pitch that the pitcher is throwing most consistently for strikes. The pitcher must start the hitter out by getting ahead in the count. The probability of the catcher calling for a fastball is usually about 70%. 
  • If the pitcher falls behind in the count, it is now up to the catcher to bring that ship back to a neutral count and that usually means staying with the pitcher's best pitch or the pitch that is most consistently in the strike zone.


Topics: baseball strategy, baseball coaching, catching skills, catching tips

Jen Scorniaenchi | Jul 10, 2013 7:04:00 AM

Top 10 Benefits of Sports Psychology



Topics: baseball strategy, baseball psychology, mental training, rehab, baseball communication, mental performance

Rick Johnston | May 29, 2013 9:05:00 AM

The Batting Order by the Book - Who Wrote the Book Anyway?

The Batting Order


Topics: baseball strategy, baseball coaching, baseball philosophy, batting order

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