Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fixing baseball swing

I love baseball and I love coaching baseball. I know there are many ways to teach the skill of hitting. If you listen to speakers or watch some lessons most look the same. If you fix a few mistakes it will help a player become a better hitter.

The problem I have sometimes is kids trying to crush the baseball. This causes them to take a huge cut at the baseball. This causes the front shoulder to fly open to soon. This causes your head to pull off the baseball and you swing and miss or hit a weak ground ball. Teaching a kid to keep everything compact is hard to do.  It takes practice to be a good hitter.

How can this be fixed? You have to make sure the hitter doesn't open up.  Start with a old bat and a punching heavy bag or an old tire mounted about waist high. Set up in a regular hitting stance. Start with your chin place on your front shoulder. Keeping feet stationary begin to swing the bat hitting the bag or tire. Notice your hips and shoulder will rotate toward the impact zone at the same time. For the next 10 swings still leaving feet planted shift weight on back leg and then explode toward the bag. Next move to a batting tee with a deflated basketball on it. Know keeping your chin on your shoulder and in your normal stance, take your normal stride and hit the basketball. Keys to check:

Did my shoulder stay closed
Did my head stay on the ball
Did my hips stay closed
Everything should move the same time keeping elbows bent and close to body till contact.

Then repeat for about 10 swings. Finally place a baseball on the tee and continue to hit keeping all the keys in mind. A good thing to do is to get someone to video tape your swings and you can what yourself swinging. Believe me it is a big help to see for yourself what is happening when you swing.

In conclusion practice and hitting drills can only take you so far. If you want to be great you have to put in the work for yourself after practice is over. Study your swing, watch videos of other swings, study the game and become a student. You will see major improvement in your game. Keep the chin down and shoulder in and you will see a difference. Another good way to study your swing is by using the Zepp Baseball Swing Sensor.
Zepp 3D Baseball Swing Analyzer This could be one of the best new baseball inventions. The analyzer attaches to the knob of the bat and syncs with the app form the app store, or Google Play store to display your swings. Then gives you a break down of bat speed, bat angle, hand speed, attack angle, and time to impact. You cam also video your swing and compare it to the pros like Trout, Stanton, and Pence.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015



The Complete Guide to Pitching This book is probably the most comprehensive book on pitching for high school and college pitchers. It does have some information broken down for youth pitchers too.

Complete Conditioning for Baseball A good book for anyone looking to become stronger baseball player. This book gives a comprehensive approach for pre, post, and in season training.

Strength Training Equipment:

Power Systems Elite Power Medicine Ball If you are a baseball player or just someone looking for a functional workout these medicine balls from power systems are a great purchase. Can be used for slams, throws, and lifts.

TRX Suspension Training Home Kit The TRX is one of the best exercise tools you could have in your tool box. Goes anywhere and gives you a great workout using your own bodyweight.

Baseball Equipment

Akadema Inc. Is becoming one of the best glove company in the business. You can find gloves for youth players all the way to the pro level. Akadema also has bats, equipment bags, and apparel. Get your equipment from them today.

Total Control Sports Baseball Size Batting Ball This ball is great for teaching a player to drive through the ball. Also great for tight spaces. Can be use for soft toss, front toss, and tee work.

The Hitting Jackit Can be used on any bat during batting practice for added weight to help strengthen the muscle used for your swing. Can be use in live BP, tee work, soft toss, and front toss.

Zepp 3D Baseball Swing Analyzer This could be one of the best new baseball inventions. The analyzer attaches to the knob of the bat and syncs with the app form the app store, or Google Play store to display your swings. Then gives you a break down of bat speed, bat angle, hand speed, attack angle, and time to impact. You cam also video your swing and compare it to the pros like Trout, Stanton, and Pence.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Baseball Friends And Memories!

Baseball its a childs game that if you are lucky you get to play when you are grown. When it comes down to it the game is about building a relationship. A relationship with your coach, the umpire, and your team. The game can bring you closer to your family whethers it is passing in the backyard, watching a game at the park, or setting down and listening to your favorite team on the radio. Baseball is a way of life. 

Some have the talent to play it at a high level and some just get to play in the backyard with their brothers, sisters, or friends. If you take the time to think about your childhood some of the best time are when you were playing baseball. As a child I was always working on improving my game. As a dad I have tried to show my boys how to improve theirs. 

I am now a coach for a couple of youth baseball teams and I try to keep the love of the game alive in them. As coaches we need to realize that the passion we have for the game of baseball has been instilled in us over the years but the teams we coach need to find that passion for themselves. You can't force the kids to have it. Some do and some don't, but we can show them how to improve each and everytime they step on to the field for practice, or a game. 

The bottom line is baseball is still a childs game don't ruin it for them. Winning is awesome, losing hurts, but growing the love of the game can last a life time.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Baseball Is Back

With the Northeast in a deep freeze and some still under a couple feet of snow with more on the way. Today Mark the start of the 2015 College Baseball Season. There was over 301 college baseball teams playing today.

For the baseball lovers that means we finally have some new games to watch. Some of the talk will be about the new ball with lower laces for better flight. Because since the regulations and bat restrictions the power numbers have been reduced. Now you have MLB saying they are going to make the strike zone smaller for more offence. In my opinion not sure either one needs to be done. Remember offence is good but defense is suppose to win championships.

Which brings me to my next point Vanderbilt won last year's NCAA championship with a great pitching staff and good defense. So what do you think the story will be this year? What team will make a run that no one would pick. Will Miami, Texas, Florida, or South Carolina make it back?

That is one of the best things about a new season you just never now! Here is the list of the top 25 thanks to College Baseball Daily

Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division I Pre-Season Poll (As of Dec. 22, 2014)

1. Vanderbilt (51-21) 494 
2. Texas Christian (48-18) 492 
3. Virginia (53-16) 489 
4. Louisiana St. (46-16-1) 487 
5. Oklahoma St. (48-18) 485 
6. Florida (40-23) 483 
7. Texas (46-21) 480 
8. Houston (48-18) 479 
9. Texas Tech. (45-21) 477 
10. UCLA (25-30-1) 473 
11. Florida St. (43-17) 469 
12. Louisville (50-17) 468 
13. Cal. Poly (47-12) 467 
14. Miami, Fla. (44-19) 465 
15. Oregon (44-20) 462 
16. U.C. Santa Barbara (34-17-1) 460 
17. Cal. St. Fullerton (34-24) 458 
18. Stanford (35-26) 457 
19. Arizona St. (33-24) 454 
20. Mississippi St. (39-24) 452 
21. South Carolina (44-18) 449 
22. Rice (42-20) 446 
23. Liberty (41-18) 445 
24. North Carolina (35-27) 443 
25. College of Charleston (44-19) 440

So grab your favorite college sweatshirt, your baseball hat, and your glove. Pull up a set and enjoy the show.  Baseball is Back and not a moment to soon!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

What is Bat Speed?

Today's post is on the topic of bat speed. What is bat speed? Is it important to have a good bat speed? How can I improve bat speed? What can I use to monitor my bat speed. Lets start by saying that having a solid foundation to work from is the most important thing in a young players swing. Good mechanics and a good understanding on their own swing before you try to add anything else to the mix. Once you have that then you can try to improve the other aspects of the swing.

What Is Bat Speed?
Bat speed is the measure of how fast a bat travels through the zone from point A to point B. Point A is when the bat is in the loaded position ready to swing. As in the picture below.

The speed is measured by how quickly the bat head gets from that position to where it makes contact with the baseball. The faster the bat speed the further the ball will travel to an extent. Meaning if you do not make quality contact with the baseball it does not matter how quick your bat comes through the zone. Which goes back to the previous point of good mechanics and good contact points on a baseball. So from A to B is how speed is measured. 

The greater bat speeds are found around the front stride leg of a hitter and about 40% of their height. The problem with that is we don't always get a pitch that is hips high down the middle of the plate as if it was setting on a tee. So we need to try an strive for bat speeds that are the same from the tee and from a pitch coming from a pitcher.

How Can We Improve Bat Speed?
Bat speeds can be improved with countless numbers or swings from pitcher and off a tee. Also with a quality strength and conditioning plan. one that focuses on getting total body strength as well as lifting explosively. You can expect to lay on a bench press up weights and that transfer to a baseball swing. but that is for another day. You need to preform exercise that mimic a baseball swing using Med Balls, Plyo, Balance exercises just to name a few.

Is Bat Speed Important?
This goes back to everything we have been talking about. If you can't square a pitch up then bat speed is not that important. Though developing bat speed will allow you to wait longer on pitches like breaking balls and changeups. Which will help the batting average if you have learn to hit the ball the other way. Here is a video from Zepp Labs (More Info On Zepp Baseball) that explains bat speed and its importants.

How Can I Monitor Bat Speed?
There are many different tools on the market today that can help you monitor you speed from rader guns to swing senors. Zepp Labs the producer of the video above has created a swing senor that monitors your baseball swing. 

"Zepp is a powerful training platform that includes a multi-sport sensor and free app.You can get started right now by downloading the free app to get access to our new video tools and pros swing features.Of course, these new video analysis features together with the Zepp multi-sport sensor deliver the most powerful platform for capturing your 3D swing data to analyze and improve your game" -- Zepp Labs

In conclusion bat speed is important in a baseball swing because it is one of the major factors in how hard and far you hit the ball. But along with bat speed you have to have the quality mechanics and right bat path to the ball to make solid contact on a pitch. As mentioned in the video bad mechanics, poor pitch selection, and timing are all factors of good bat speed. If you swing out of your shoes to hit a ball and do not square it up bat speed doesn't mean a whole lot!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Getting Ready For The Season

This time of year we have numerous teams getting ready for the upcoming baseball season. Youth Baseball is right around the corner. So what should you be doing to get ready and stay injury free.

Top 5 things to get you ready for the season
1. Sprint Training
We have all seen it in the past were pitchers are running around the outside of the field like distance runner. I am here to tell you to stop wasting your time.
Baseball players should be running game like sprints.
  1. Turn and go sprints
  2. First base sprints
  3. First to third sprints
  4. Second to home sprints

2. Agility and Plyo work
As baseball players you have to stay athletic in doing so you have to run, jump, slide, squat, etc. The best way to do that is with agility and plyo moves.
  1. Forward Backward Bounding
  2. Side to Side Bounding
  3. Squat jumps
  4. Knee with Sprint
  5. Hurdle jumps
  6. Ladder in and outs with med ball

3. Setting up a diet plan
As the season start your energy level will be high and your staying habit will be good. But studies show that as the season wears on eating habits suffer and well balance meals turn in to pizza, burgers, and fries. So why not prepare for the season with a written plan to follow. Making sure to get a good breakfast every morning. Have snacks like protein bars, nuts, and fruit in your bag. Also always have water on hand. You must stay hydrated or you will see a decline in performance. A diet is like anything else with baseball the more it is practiced the easier it is to follow.

4. Time for BP
Time to take swing after swing to get prepared for the long grind. Working on timing, mechanics, and tough hands.  Some equipment that can help with BP drills are:
  1. Hitting Jackit
  2. Zepp Swing Sensor

5. Fielding Practice
Time to get in front of the Jugs machine for some ground balls. You have to condition your body for the betting it take during the season just field a ground ball. Catchers have to strength the legs and back to withstand the season long grind of crouching down in their position as well.

In the up coming posts we will be breaking each one of these steps down and going more in depth for each point. As you can see you just can show up on the first day of practice and be ready to compete. Time to get to work!

Wheeling Wildthings

The Glove Show is a blog out baseball as you can plainly see. We have 501(c)3 organization that is geared toward baseball and basketball called Elm Grove Athletics. We currently have 2 basketball teams 2nd-3rd grade and 4th-5th grade. Our baseball team the Wheeling Wildthings is 10u and will play in the Atlantic Coast Baseball League. We are looking for sponsor that would like to help us grow our programs. If that is send us a message at thebattingtee@yahoo.com all donations are tax deductible.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Baseball Stuff

Zepp Labs has upgraded their free app again to provide their users with Zepp Insights. So what does that mean?Zepp insights are here to provide you with a smarter, more personalized training experience. Every Monday they will analyze at least 90,000 data points from your swings and deliver a detailed report straight to your Zepp Baseball app. Take 30 swings a week, and your personalized Zepp Insights will be waiting to guide you on your journey of improvement.