The Baseball Zone Blog

Ryan Armstrong | May 13, 2014 8:53:00 AM

Baseball Drill of the Week | "Self Toss"

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

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Topics: hitting tips, hitting instruction, hitting preparation, hitting, baseball drills, hitting drills, momentum drills, hitting mechanics, synchronization, connection

Rick Johnston | Nov 27, 2013 2:00:00 PM

Is Your Batting Practice Senseless?

What a great question! And yes there are numerous occasions during a season when some batting practice is as senseless as a golfer showing up to their tee time to play “show and go” golf!

Let’s now review one of these typical occasions when batting practice is senseless where you can instead put in place a system that will permit a much better utilization of time.

The scenario is your team has 30 minutes to hit and you need to get all the hitters through BP. Assume your team consists of 13-15 players and at least 12 need to hit prior to the game. So what happens...it is simple, each hitter gets a chance to swing the bat 6-8 times, maybe mix in a couple of bunts (to gauge the speed of the pitch and lay down a few sac bunts) and then BP is done. Now they go out and shag. 30 minutes later, BP has been completed and each hitter swung the bat 6-8 times! Wow, what have these hitters really accomplished in this timeframe? If you said not much, you are correct!

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Topics: hitting tips, hitting preparation, baseball practice, practice organization, batting practice, pregame drills, team practice

Rick Johnston | Nov 14, 2013 2:22:00 PM

16 Pet Peeves of Baseball Coaches - Hitter Edition

You guys have issues also!

As I start to wind up on the Pet Peeves series, it is time to adress the hitters and discuss some of the items these guys do that are in most cases not surprising, but often not dealt with. In other words, is it the hitters that are to blame or can some of these be shifted to coaches and their philosophy toward hitting? Hmmm, that is a good question and maybe could turn into a Pet Peeve at some point.

Let’s try and explore more in depth many of the crazes that hitters do to drive coaches nuts and push them over the edge. Now coaches, remember, you may be responsible for some of these, so,as you nod your head while reading, ask yourself if some of these Pet Peeves could be changed if you as a coach spent the time creating an avenue of understanding with each hitter.

So, with this in mind, here we go:

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Topics: hitting preparation, Hitting plan, hitting strategy, hitting approach, hitting, baseball coaching, baseball pet peeves

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).

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

Rick Johnston | Oct 21, 2013 3:51:00 PM

What Should You REALLY Be Doing In The On Deck Circle?

Ok, you are On Deck...What should you really be doing?

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Topics: warming up, hitting tips, hitting instruction, hitting preparation, Hitting plan, hitting strategy, hitting approach, on deck

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