Sunday, October 26, 2014

Love Of The Game

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Outfield Can Be Fun!

Being left handed, athletic, and blessed with some speed I played a lot of outfield throughout my baseball career. I coach youth baseball now and everyone wants to play the infield. I hear things like the outfield isn't fun or nobody hits the ball to me. I am here to tell you that if you learn to play the outfield correctly it can be just as fun as the infield.

Lets take a look at the outfield position it is played by some of the best athletes in baseball today. Players like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Josh Hamilton, and Curtis Granderson just to name a few playing the outfield and do it well. Most little leauger's think that playing the infield is where all the action is and no one wants to play the outfield. But how many infielder can rob a homerun to save a game or make a diving catch in the gap and throw a runner out at second. What I am saying is that the outfield is just as important as the infield. Many Games can be won or lost by the way your outfielders play. More outfielders make Sportscenter highlights making diving catches or leaping up the fence to catch a would be homerun. So go play in the grass and follow these steps to make you a better outfielder.

1. Getting In To A Ready Position
2. Proper Footwork
3. Getting Behind The Baseball
4. Fielding The Baseball On The Outside Of Your Glove Foot
5. Getting The Baseball Back To The Cutoff Quickly

Getting In To A Ready Position

Being ready to catch a baseball makes everything easier. If you are ready to break either to your left, right, or straight back to catch the baseball then you have already made things easier on yourself. When the pitcher is starting his windup take two steps and a small hop landing on the balls of your feet, legs slightly greater then shoulder width apart in an athletic position as shown in the picture.




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Proper Foot Work

After you are in the ready position you are able to break any direction for the baseball. The key here is the your first step is opening up fully to the baseball with the lead foot. That way you can run in a straighter line to the baseball. If you take a half set you create a bad angle to the baseball and have a longer run to get to the ball. Once you have taken the drop step you cross over with the trail foot to run to the spot of the baseball. No sideways running, sprint to the spot then catch the baseball.



Getting Behind The Baseball Once you have gotten to the spot now you want to be behind the baseball waiting for it to come down. Your right your thinking I can't get behind every baseball I run down and you are correct. But if you are there waiting on the baseball you want to be able to catch the ball and step in to your throw. Not Catch it and then take the steps to throw. Less time in the glove the better.
Fielding A Baseball On The Outside Of Your Glove Hand Foot We went over the proper mechanics for a fly ball. What if the ball is on the grown rolling toward you. You want to get behind the ball as well so you can field it. As you approach the ball you want to field it off of the outside of your glove and foot. That way if the ball hopes you can still make an adjustment to the ball and not be handcuffed by your body.


Getting The Ball Back To The Cutoff Quickly

Don't start arguing now I know everyone wants to throw out eh runner trying to score or advance to the next base. Or you hold the ball in the outfield to dare the runner to go. We have all been there and done that. If you want to be a good outfielder then if you work on getting the ball whether it was a fly ball or a groundball back to the cutoff as quick as you can then your team has a better chance of making the play. When throwing to a cutoff you want to throw a hard flat throw to the cutoff about head high if done properly the cutoff will let the ball go or cut it and throw a relay to where the play is being made.

If you think your an infielder and the coach puts you in the outfield don't make it the end of the world. As a Baseball player we should learn every position on the baseball field. So look at it as an opportunity to become the best outfielder on your team or in your league. Learning the basics at every position make the game come a lot easier. The best part is if you have the ability to play more than one position than you will have more of an opportunity to play more often. Whether is is the outfield, infield, pitcher, or Catcher. So like I said earlier go play in the grass.



The Hitting Jackit

If you read my posts you know I love baseball. I love finding new ways to improve player performance. I train players to make them bigger, faster, more explosive, and just overall better players. When training player you have to find ways to add functionality to the workout. Using the Hitting Jack-it is one of the easiest ways that you can increase your bat speed. It is a bat weight that can be added to your bat.


That being said in no way am I saying that if you buy this product you don't have to lift another weight. Ultimately there is no quick and easy way to gain the added strength need to be a great athlete, it takes time and dedication. The Hitting Jackit just gives our players another avenue to improve their game.


The Hitting Jack-It is the only variable Weighted Hitting System on the market today. With its patented design the products will help develop proper swing mechanics for the hitter. The 9 oz. size develops bat speed, the 12 oz. works on strength and the 16 oz. develops power. Here is an image of Nathan working hard to improve his strength and bat speed.





The following is a workout that I found on the Hitting Jackit website that you can use to improve your strength and bat speed:


PLAN 1 LIGHT TO HEAVY

1. Stretch out to loosen your entire body. 2. Secure the 9oz (red) HITTING JACK-IT and take 10-15 swings off the tee at about 75%. Remove the 9oz HITTING JACK-IT from bat. 3. Secure the 12oz (blue) HITTING JACK-IT and take 10-15 swings off the tee. Remove the 12oz HITTING JACK-IT from the bat. 4. Secure the 16oz (green) HITTING JACK-IT and take 10-15 swings. Keep the 16oz HITTING JACK-IT on your bat and take 8-10 swings of live batting practice. 5. Remove the 16oz HITTING JACK-IT and take 8-10 swings of live batting practice.

AT ANY TIME IF YOU FEEL TIRED OR FATIGUED STOP AND REST

PAYING ATTENTION TO THE FUNDAMENTALS OF A QUALITY SWING WHILE USING “THE SYSTEM” WILL RESULT IN A BETTER WORKOUT

PLAN 2 HEAVY TO LIGHT

1. Stretch out to loosen your entire body. 2. Secure the 16oz (green) HITTING JACK-IT and take 10-15 swings off the tee at about 75%. Remove THE HITTING JACK-IT from bat. 3. Secure the 12 oz (blue) HITTING JACK-IT and take 10-15 swings off the tee. Remove the HITTING JACK-IT from the bat. 4. Secure the 9oz (red) HITTING JACK-IT and take 10-15 swings off the tee. Keep THE HITTING JACK-IT on the bat and take 8-10 swings of live batting practice. 5. Remove the 9oz HITTING JACK-IT and take 8-10 swings of live batting practice.

AT ANY TIME IF YOU FEEL TIRED OR FATIGUED STOP AND REST

PAYING ATTENTION TO THE FUNDAMENTALS OF A QUALITY SWING WHILE USING “THE SYSTEM” WILL RESULT IN A BETTER WORKOUT

To change up your routine you can replace tee work with soft toss.

SAFETY WARNING

Supervision by an adult is recommended for players under 18 years of age. Always wear your batting helmet when using THE HITTING JACK-IT. THE HITTING JACK-IT is designed for use with baseball and softball bats only.

DAILY PLANS FOR USE OF THE HITTING JACK-IT SYSTEM

Increase Bat Speed Day

1. Stretch out to loosen your entire body. 2. Secure the 9 oz HITTING JACK-IT. Hit 25 balls of the tee working to all fields. 3. With the 9 oz still secured on the bat, take 25 soft toss swings again working to all fields. 4. With the 9 oz still secured on the bat, take 10- 15 live batting practice swings. 5. Remove the 9 oz HITTING JACK-IT from your bat and take 20-25 live swings working to all fields.

Increase Strength Day

1. Stretch out to loosen your entire body. 2. Secure the 12 oz HITTING JACK-IT. Hit 25 balls off the tee working on driving the ball up the middle. 3. With the 12 oz still secured on the bat, take 25 soft toss swings again working on driving the ball up the middle. 4. With the 12 oz still secured to the bat, take 10- 15 live batting practice swings working on driving the ball back up the middle. 5. Remove the 12 oz HITTING JACK-IT and take 20- 25 live batting practice swings working on driving the ball up the middle.

Increase Power Day

1. Stretch out to loosen your entire body. 2. Secure the 16 oz HITTING JACK-IT. Hit 10- 15 balls off the tee. 3. With the 16 oz still secured to the bat, take 10- 15 soft toss swings. 4. With the 16 oz still secured to the bat, take 8- 10 live batting practice swings. 5. Remove the 16 oz from the bat and take 10- 15 live batting practice swings.

Other weighted products on the market today are placed out over the barrel of the bat causing it to become end heavy. Swinging those types of products cause you to cast your bat away from your body developing bad swing mechanics. These product also can't be used during live practice either. For more information and to purchase your Hitting Jackit System click on the button below.