HEY HITTERS!!! As we've discussed in previous posts, "Show & Go" with no warm up simply does not work. It is a recipe for disaster and injury. The key to an effective warm up is simply this:
"Get Sweaty to Get Ready"
How do we do this? It is actually easier than you would think. Implement a system of exercises to WAKE UP the body and get it ready for action. If you don’t WAKE IT UP, then don’t expect it to be ready for the toughest task in all of sports...hitting a baseball. A sweaty body is a heated body with muscles able to fire. Cold bodies can’t fire with any type of explosiveness. A cold car in minus temperatures when started, barely turns over and sputters. If you immediately drive away, it will sputter until the engine warms up, then presto, it runs like it should... smooth and fluid, just like a hitter's swing should be... smooth and fluid, with no choppiness, sputters or hesitations.
baseball warm up
There are hundreds of small techniques that a hitter can use to their advantage. Some techniques are more important than others but all of them have a purpose. It's rare for someone to know all the proper techniques with regard to hitting, but as long as you know what you're trying to accomplish, you can determine what’s needed to properly execute the skill. In this instance I will be discussing how to prevent pulling off the ball and why that’s important to avoid. A technique necessary for every hitter is to be able to put themselves in a position where they can keep their head and body on the ball as long as possible. Here's how you can make that happen.
The Baseball Zone,
hitting stride issues,
There are many different technical issues that young baseball players have when starting out but some seem to be a lot more common than others. Here are a few problems that are consistent with most kids and what you can do as a coach and/or parent to help steer them in the right direction.
Every person that’s ever thrown a ball has their own technique that is slightly different in some way than everybody else’s. However, even though everyone throws differently, many still have the same problems. The most common problem that I see with kids throwing the baseball is the direction their body is going in when they throw. What typically happens is players will direct their momentum towards their glove side, instead of having it all going towards their target. This can happen for many reasons but typically it has to do with their glove getting away from their body during the throw and pulling them away from their target instead of towards it. Once your glove starts moving away from your body as you throw, it’s likely that your momentum will follow in the same direction. The consequences for your momentum being directed in other places than your target are typically a loss of velocity as well as accuracy. So make sure that your youn baseball players are directing momentum towards their target whether it be a catcher or a teammate in the field.
hitting stride issues
As baseball players, we can all probably use some one-on-one time with a coach now and again. But baseball teams are large and there are many positions--it can be difficult to get personal attention during practice. As a result, there are times when it may be worthwhile to look for a private baseball instructor, whether just for a few sessions or for the long term. But if you're interested in hiring someone for private lessons, how do you choose?
Here are 4 factors you should take into consideration when you're looking for an instructor:
This doesn't just mean experience as an instructor, it also means experience in the particular area in which you're looking to improve. Are you an infielder or outfielder? Pitcher or catcher? Are you going through a bit of a hitting slump generally or having a hard time with a particular pitch?
coach player relationship,
This week's Hitting Drill of the Week is "Self Toss".
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. We love to use it as a warm up drill.
When doing the drill we start the hitter facing their target (which can be the back of a cage or centerfield...or wherever). From here, the hitter simply walks into their hitting position, tosses the ball out in front to roughly their front foot, and swings, all the while continuing movement and maintaining connection and synchronization of their moving parts. It is a great baseball drill with immediate feedback.
Check out Coach Army (@tbzarmy) with a demo below: