Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Go To Battle With Warstic

For those of you who like to swing wooden bats. I have partnered with warstic bat company. Warstic Bat Co is an independent Texas based company committed to building a unique brand of wood bat for serious players of any age. We sell Craftsmanship, Design & Performance. Warstic seeks to connect with players who BATTLE.

They believe design matters, craftsmanship isn't a choice, it's part of the job, the only wood is the good wood, and that baseball is better when wood is at the heart of the game. Our Hand Forged bats are made from American White Ash with straight grains, Rock Hard Sugar Maple or Dense Yellow Birch selected for high level performance and durability.  They work hard to offer the finest wood bats that you will ever see or play with because they love to do 2 things: To Play Ball & to Make Things. They get to do both here, so we don't have to much to complain about. They take great pride in making our product entirely in the USA and also supporting US Military Veterans.

Check them out at www.warstic.com. If you see something you like enter the my code at checkout BITTINGERWAR10 for a 10% discount on your purchase.
To download a Warstic Catalog click the click below:


Monday, February 18, 2013

Getting Back At It!

Well we had our first practice yesterday with my pinto team. Going to be a very fun year. I have some new faces but kids that want to learn. It was good to get back to the basics. If you start with the fundamentals and teach them the right way to throw a baseball or the basic set up for a baseball swing it makes your job as coach easier. We started with a drill where I lined the kids up across the gym facing a wall. I called out numbers to them 1. being the arms forming a W or L pointing the glove at the wall. Then 2. was pulling the arm in forming a wing and 3. throwing and following through with throwing hand to pocket. After about 5 minutes I paired them up and had them throw to partners the same way.
When I watched each one to correct what needed correcting I teamed them up the length of the gym in separate line for a throwing relay.



The first person started with the ball and I had them throw to the next one in line. The next person had to catch the baseball as they would if they were catching a throw as a cutoff with the glove pointed toward the next person in line for a quick and accurate throw. If the throw got away that person who missed the ball had to run it down get back to the position and continue. We went down and back the kids loved it.

Practice can be instructional but also fun. Remember fun drills lighten the learning but still practices good fundamental. So have fun but teach
the proper ways and your coaching will become alot easier and give you more time to teach the parents to relax and let the kids have fun as well. Well maybe not the last one.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Game Of Seconds

Baseball is a game of seconds.Whether you are trying to get out of the batters box to beat out an infield hit or trying to throw out the runner that is trying for the infield hit. You only have a matter of seconds to react. You can work on agility and speed drills to make you reaction time faster. You can work on footwork so you don't have any wasted movement. You can do some many things to make you a faster more reactive player but their is one thing as a field you can do that is an easy change. It is as simple as hand position. Where are your hands when fielding or catching a baseball. Yes it is simple but overlooked.

Hand position

If you are quick with your hands you will make it easier on yourself to throw out runners that are trying to advance to the next base. Let's start with fielding a ground ball your hand should be placed above the glove hand when approaching the ball. This allows you to field the ground ball pull the hands in to the body and get to the throwing motion quicker. If your hand are not in position, that fraction of a second it takes to get them there after fielding the ball is all the time needed for the batter to beat out the base hit.

When fielding a fly ball in the outfield hand position is just as important. As you approach the ball you hand should be right beside the glove so that you can transfer the ball to your throwing hand with little to no wasted movement. This gives you the seconds needed to throw out the runners from the outfield.
So work on getting your hands where they need to be to make a quicker transfer of the baseball. a drill that you can do is stand a couple for feet away from a partner. Take a baseball and roll it or flip it to your partner. As you catch the ball work on your hand position and getting the ball to the throwing hand as quickly as possible. Then move to catching ground balls and fly balls and hand position as well. I leave you with this fundamentals is the key to great players. If you are fundamentally correct in every facet of the game you will turn some heads.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Balance Point or 5-7 Degree Leg Angle

Everyone wants to be a pitcher. Everyone dreams of pitching in a big game. I have a child that is wanting to be a pitcher. So as a father I am trying to help. As a coach I am try to teach the proper mechanics easier said than done.

When it comes to teaching pitching mechanics their are so many opinions and not enough facts. I have been reading anything and everything to gain more knowledge of teaching the proper mechanics. The problem is there are so many opinions on just holding the baseball properly. So I am trying to stay positive and this is with I have come up with so far.

In my studying I have watched tons of videos of the like of Justin Verlander, Sandy Kofax, Greg Maddox, Steven Strasburg and Aroldis Chapman. Most coaches teach to come to a balance point before you pitch in viewing the videos a majority of the pitchers do not come to a balance point. They start their windup with a small step to the side or back, tap the pivot toe and bring the front leg up. In a momentum type swing.

As you can see in this video the drive leg is about 5 degrees diagonal to the rubber not coming to a balance point. The momentum created here keeps everything going toward the catcher without stopping. This helps keep all the energy going toward home and not having to regenerate power after coming to a complete stop at balance point.

1. Small step to side or back to start the pitching motion
2. Tap the drive leg toe for rhythm before placing it in front or the rubber.
3. Slightly point the drive leg toe toward home when placing down
4. Bring leg up in a momentum creating swing

 So whether your opinion is to teach a balance point or not. All pitchers, coaches, and parents should continue to learn the game of baseball. I was a coach that taught the balance point before coming to the plate. After reading, listening, and watching I believe that if you can migrate to the 5-7 degree drive leg and keeping the momentum going toward home that you will pitch harder and better success. Remember study the game and always look for areas to improve. Your Competition Is!