The Baseball Zone Blog

Kevin Hussey | Jun 18, 2015 6:30:00 AM

3 Tips for Young Catchers on Throwing to Second Base

Throwing the ball as a catcher takes a very unique skill set to be successful. Catchers need to have athleticism, arm strength, and great accuracy to be able to throw successfully. Without these skills, it’s very difficult to consistently throw runners out. Here are some tips that will help young catchers with their time to second.

Moving Forward

A problem that most kids have is that they have a tendency to step out towards their glove side with their initial step. This technique can have a negative effect on two things - accuracy and arm strength. When you start allowing your momentum to move in directions other than the direction you’re trying to throw, you’re displacing the momentum needed to throw the runner out. Your first step should be with your throwing side foot and straight towards second base.

Transfer

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Topics: baseball skills, throwing skills, defensive baseball, catching, throwing power, catching skills, catching fundamentals, catching tips, throwing issues, ball transfer skills, throwing accuracy

Ryan Armstrong | May 8, 2014 6:30:00 AM

Baseball Drill of the Week | "Jump Backs"


This week's Pitching Drill of the Week is "Jump Backs".

Jump backs are a lower body drill that helps to promote a positive, explosive move to the target. This will help with accuracy, velocity, and promote more of a total body throw. They can be used by anyone but especially helpful for players who have trouble directing energy/momentum to their target. We recommend a couple times a week, and we usually implement them closer to the season.

The athlete will start in a stretch position and hop back towards 2B. They will then want to focus on gathering themselves as quickly as possible and ridirect their energy and momentum towards the target.

Please watch Coach Army (@tbzarmy) as he demonstrates below:

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Topics: baseball drills, throwing drills, pitching drills, pitching velocity, momentum drills, throwing power, throwing velocity, pitching accuracy

SST Mississauga | Sep 26, 2013 9:04:00 AM

Baseball Exercise of the Week | "Elbow Supination/Pronation"

The SST Baseball Exercise of the Week is the Elbow Supination/Pronation exercise.

With the Elbow Supination/Pronation exercise our focus is on a stronger pitching elbow. A stronger elbow joint can contribute to both increased velocity, which we all want, as well as injury prevention. To accomplish this we have to incorporate a number of exercises focused around the joint, with the Elbow Supination/Pronation exercise being one of them.

Muscles being targeted are pronator teres, pronator quadratus and supinator. Since the pronator teres attaches at the medial side of the elbow, its strength and endurance plays a role in the prevention of UCL damage and dynamic elbow stabilization (Park, Ahmad, 2004). 

The focus when training the pronators should be strength and endurance for full range of motion. The range of motion is important because of the significance that forearm position plays in the positioning of the wrist for ball release and location mechanics. Altered length can affect the wrist and its contribution to velocity*

Here is a quick video demonstration and some notes below:

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Topics: strength training, baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, off-season strength training, baseball exercise, baseball injury, pitching velocity, elbow injury, pitching injuries, wrist strength, elbow strength, throwing power

Ryan Armstrong | Sep 18, 2013 9:56:00 AM

Baseball Drill of the Week | "Double Crow Hops"

This week's Baseball Drill of the Week is the "Double Crow Hop" drill.

The Double Crow Hop drill is a drill we use to help increase forward momentum (and leading with the hips - as in picture) which will promote both velocity and accuracy as well as a total body throw. Throwing with the body as opposed to the arms or just the upper torso will also help in keeping your pitchers healthier over the course of a long season and their careers.

As mentioned, the Double Crow Hop drill is especially useful for pitchers who might lack momentum toward the target in their delivery, but would also be useful for all players as part of their throwing program, whether that be on their own or with a partner, and from short to long distances.

Here is a quick video where I demonstrate the drill:

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Topics: baseball drills, pitching tips, pitching instruction, throwing drills, pitching drills, baseball skills, pitching velocity, throwing skills, injury prevention, momentum drills, throwing power, pitching skills

SST Mississauga | Aug 4, 2013 2:00:00 PM

Baseball Exercise of the Week - Power Sled Hip Extensions

The SST Baseball Exercise of the week is the Power Sled Hip Extension with shoulder raise.

Baseball players need to generate a great deal of power from their hips when hitting and throwing. The hips are the key link between the upper and lower body extremities. We use a lot of hip extension work in our baseball programs to help strengthen the posterior chain (low back, glutes, hamstrings). This is important for baseball players as this movement will help teach you how to transfer force using the kinetic chain, starting with your feet and ankles, through the knees and hips to the upper body. 

Baseball players need the perfect blend of power, balance and weight transfer to generate the most force out of their body and any weak links or poor synchronization can result in loss of power and/or injury. That's why it's important to have a fitness assessment with muscular imbalance testing, to identify any weak links in the kinetic chain. Once you have strenghtened your weakest links, you can really start to develop as an athlete.  

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Topics: baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, baseball exercise, hitting power, throwing power, posterior chain, hip extensions

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