The Baseball Zone Blog

Rick Johnston | Jun 12, 2014 9:13:00 AM

Scheduled to Start? 19 Tips to Help Pitchers Prepare on Game Day

Winning and losing, it is often said, is decided on non-game days and in the off-season, i.e. how you PREPARE to win will decide whether you win or not. We can also add to this thought that how you prepare to win on game day can also affect your success that day.

In this light, here are some tips for pitchers to help them prepare for their next start. I often see players who really have no idea how to prepare, simply expecting to stroll up to the mound and be successful. It is just not that easy and they usually find that out quickly, wondering what went wrong. Well, it could have been any of a number of little, preventable things that contributed to not being prepared.

These tips may seem simple, and it is hard to argue that they are not, however a failure to follow any of them can lead to interruptions, distractions, and ultimately less than ideal preparation and performance:

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Topics: baseball pregame, pitching, pitching tips, pregame drills, pregame observation, bullpens, pitching advice, long toss, pitching preparation

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 | Jun 26, 2013 7:28:00 AM

In and Out Baseball Pregame - Open Up Some Eyes, Infielders!

Someone is always watching

As the game of baseball has progressed, so has the way in which coaches get the most out of their in and out baseball pregame. The purpose of the in and out prior to the game is for the defense to look sharp, professional and enthusiastic as the team makes final preparations for what each player hopes will be high quality performance. Additionally - and maybe even more important as players get older and competition becomes tougher - the primary objective then becomes more of an opportunity to show off the “tools” each player has in their tool box. That means showing off their arm strength and fielding ability to professional scouts, college recruiters, coaches and the opposition.  

One of the most awe-inspiring features of any in and out baseball pregame is watching fluid, sharp and crisp throws being made effortlessly around the infield with extreme pop and accuracy. In baseball, there is truly nothing more stimulating than witnessing perfect throws on line, with carry, promoting a smooth transition from the catch phase to the throw phase, as the ball moves efficiently around the infield. The impact of a brisk, high energy in and out can send riveting meaning to the opposition prior to any game.

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Topics: team Defence, baseball drills, throwing drills, baseball skills, throwing skills, infielding drills, defensive baseball, pregame drills, baseball scouting, in and out drill

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