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1. Lower Body Set-up
• Feet slightly wider than shoulder width
• Toe to toe in a straight line toward the pitcher
• Athletic Stance (i.e. basketball defender, linebacker)
• Toes pointed directly toward other batters box
• No Duck Feet
• Launching pad for back foot
• Knee inside Ankle
• Upper Body Set-up
2. Getting to the Launch Position
• Back arm/elbow at 45 degrees
• Bat angle at 45 degrees
• Front arm/elbow at 45 degrees
• Bat gripped where the fingers meet the hand
• Both eyes flat and level toward the pitcher
• Knob of the bat pointed toward the back of the other batters box
• Chin and shoulder away from one another
• Shoulders downhill toward the pitcher
• Keep a “V” in the front arm and the back arm
• Load to unload
• Begin tempo “A”=slow
• When the pitcher’s hands break, the
hitter must start tempo “A”
• Head stays “still” and quiet
• Small step towards pitcher
• KNEE TO KNEE
o No Stride
o Glide step
o Tap Step
o Leg Kick
• You Step, the weight stays
• Stride Closed and firm
• Stride straight forward
• Lead with the Heel
• Launch Position
4. The Swing
• Begin Tempo “B”= GO
• Head stays “still” and Stable
• Hip explosion
• Butt, Hip, Quad, Calf, Torso
• Hips before hands
• Turn and lift
• Heel to the sky---No “Squishing the bug”
• Knob to the ball
• Stay inside the baseball
• Watch the ball with your eyes not your
• Barrel stays put
• Palm up, Palm Down
• Wrists do not roll over until way after
• Front foot stays closed and Balanced
• Hit the top half of the baseball
• Create backspin
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Stop. Before passing on well-intended advice to your child or team, understand that just because you were taught
something in your little league heyday doesn’t necessarily make it right! Read what some of baseball’s best teachers
recommend to the next generation of players as they challenge the most popular misadvise
1. KEEP YOUR BACK ELBOW UP
Hitters are repeatedly told to keep their back elbow up in an attempt to avoid upper cutting.
Unfortunately, the elevated elbow causes shoulder tension which inhibits bat speed. More importantly, most hitters
quickly unlock the back shoulder and collapse the elbow into the body causing a more pronounced uppercut. The
back elbow up also restricts a hitter’s ability to properly “load “or move the hands slightly back before going forward in
the swing. Comfortable and relaxed are two important yet overlooked components of a proper batting stance.
Position the back elbow at a 45-degree angle (midway between the shoulder level and the hitter’s ribcage) to
create a soft shoulder and room to move slightly back as the swing begins.
2. STEP TO HIT
Hitters mistakenly believe that the bigger the step they take the more power they will have in their swing. The
average stride length of most major league hitters is approx. 4 inches. Compare this to the typical youth level player
with an average stride length of approx. 8 inches. The big step inhibits seeing the ball “smoothly” and forces
premature weight shift. Hitters need to understand that the rotational force of the body creates bat speed. The big
hitting muscles (back, thighs, stomach, and butt) can’t turn if they are moving forward with a big step. Hitters should
use the stride as a small and slow timing mechanism to begin their swing. Most hitters will reduce their
stride length and increase lower body torque by positioning their feet wider than shoulder distance apart
similar to the stance taken by a blitzing linebacker or a basketball player defending the opposition. Remind
hitters that the step starts the swing so that the turning of the body can finish the swing.
3. KEEP TWO HANDS ON THE BAT AT ALL TIME
Players are constantly chastised for removing their top hand from the bat during the swing. If the hitter takes the top
hand off prior to or at contact significant power will certainly be lost. However, many hitters find it easier to hit
through the ball and can avoid turning their wrists over on contact by releasing their top hand once the bat
has cleared the hitting zone. Many older players (high school and older) generate better bat speed and
cleaner contact points with this approach. Hitters that constantly ground out or top the ball should be
encouraged to swing through the ball and release. Name the five best hitters in baseball. One common trait
they all possess is a swing with a high finish followed by a top-hand release.
4. KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN AND NEAR YOUR SHOULDER WHEN HITTING
The eyes, not the head should stay down and focused on the ball. Hitters that overemphasis chin on the shoulder
lose valuable tracking and vision skills by positioning their head and eyes on a slant as the ball approaches. Valuable
upper body torque is also lost as the head on the back shoulder prevents full shoulder torque through the swing.
Driving the head down or near the back shoulder also misaligns the shoulder causing the back shoulder to drop. Most
importantly, the hitter’s ability to swing down to level is reduced if the head is finishing on or near the back shoulder.
Hitters should keep their head square and straight as they track the ball and begin the swing. Good hitters
always keep the chin away from the shoulders throughout the swing.
5. PUSH OFF THE RUBBER WHEN PITCHING
Telling pitchers to push off the rubber typically creates a rushed delivery and reduces the pitchers ability to use the
3. “big muscles” to throw the ball. Pitching, similar to hitting, requires more rotational force than linear movement.
Effective pitching requires a separation from the rubber to allow for a turning of the pitchers trunk (back,
stomach, butt, and quadriceps) to propel the baseball. Rotating the body once the stride leg lands is the most
important component of a pitchers delivery. Advising a pitcher to push off the rubber is akin to telling your
hitters that the bigger step they take in their swing the harder they will hit the ball.
6. CATCH THE BALL WITH TWO HANDS
Fielding gloves have come a long way from the pancake-type models of our grandparents. Young players that
struggle to catch the ball should be encouraged to catch the ball with their glove hand only. It will be easier to
coordinate and control one hand than two. Many players restrict their catching range by moving with two hands to the
oncoming ball. Rest assured, the gloves made today are well equipped to catch the ball without the bare hand. Two
handed catching becomes important when ball transfer and a quick release is necessary. Reminding players to
keep their glove in front of their field of vision not behind their head will immediately improve catching skills.
7. THROW OVERHAND
throwing overhand comes in a variety of ways. As long as the throwing elbow stays above the shoulder to create
leverage, proper throwing is realized. Advising a player to throw “over the top” tightens the throwing shoulder and
reduces the flexibility and looseness needed to throw hard. The arm-style pitching machines should throw overhand,
not players. Remind players to keep their elbow above their throwing shoulder to encourage “overhand
8. PLAYING GAMES DEVELOPS TALENT
Good players balance proper training with game experience. Players don’t eliminate throwing or hitting deficiencies by
playing 60 games in the summer. Exposure to colleges and scouts is important but remember, you have one chance
to make a first impression. Perfect practice makes improved game performance. Find the time during the off-season
and in-season to work on weaknesses. Game playing should be an exhibition for all the hard work done when no one
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• Get Strong Late
• Control the Head to control
• Stay North and South in your
• Hips turn before we throw
• Land Closed
• Hit the gas pedal when the
front foot lands
• Lead With your Butt
• Lead With your Heel
• Knee to Knee
• Rag-loose forearms
• Elbow above the Shoulder
• Elbow before the hand
• Reach and Shake
• Wave Good-bye to the ball
• Thumbs Away
• Head never moves
• Front Shoulder stays on the
• Finger, Wiggle / Power Breath
• Slow/Speed up your Tempo
• Stride Length, Direction
• What are you working on?
• What did you like about that
• See the ball land in my glove
• Think about what you’re doing
• Tell me what you’re thinking
• How did that feel?
• 50 percent first
• Close your eyes and see it
• Power Breath and go
• Eyes closed Delivery to
reinforce Arm Slots, head
• Throw from the back of the
mound to increase arm speed
and feel the on top curveball
• Double Pick-up in Balance
Point to rehearse lift and load
• Rapid Fire Ball Toss
• No Arm Backside Turn,
Southern Drag and Lift
• Mirror Work
• Warm-up with Alt. Changeups
• Game Simulation
• Stretch and Picks to Bases
• Pre-pitch Phrase,
Visualization of the pitch
• Back up against the Net/Wall
5. PRACTICE GUIDELINES
• Keep total practice time under 90 minutes.
• The ball field is a sacred place. No one walks off or on the field.
• Start each practice by telling the team what the practice will entail.
• When possible, carry a clipboard at practice and write down your practice observations and objectives.
• Games are won and lost at 1B and 2B-spend more time throwing to those bases.
• Designate players to oversee drills when conducting multiple drills.
• Avoid one ball, one batter batting practice--Avoid one ball, one fielder practice.
• If you can't hit fly balls or grounders to your team, throw the balls to your team during defense practice.
• Old people jog, young players sprint. All sprinting should be done with a fielding glove on to reinforce
proper defensive running. Bat speed and arm strength will increase with more sprint work.
• Designate one player each practice to stay 5 minutes longer for individual instruction or a quick
• Great hitters are made on the tee and through soft toss. Sell that to your players.
• End each practice at the same place on the field and depart with a positive and confident message.
Young players like consistency and closure to their activities.
• Never underestimate the effect you will have on the lives of every player that calls you "COACH".
Drill: THREE STATION HITTING
Player/coach soft-toss with whiffle balls on 3B line (4 players). Batting tee on 1B line with height change every
three swings (3 players). 4 players at home plate; 4 rounds of 5 swings, coach throwing from 30 ft. Remaining
players in OF only throwing balls to 2B area where ball bag is located.
Drill: RAPID FIRE FUNGOS
Coach hits fungos in rapid succession with fielders catching the ball and dropping the ball to the ground. Coach
hits all the balls in the bag. Players, coach gives each position at least one ball. Coach randomly hits balls so
fielders can't anticipate the hit ball. After final ball, players then sprint to 2B to return all balls.
Drill: PARTNER GLOVE SPRINTS
Pair of players jog the length of the outfield side by side throwing the ball back and forth to each other.
Drill: NO BALL/BAT WORK
All P's in foul territory working on the six steps of pitching without a baseball. Half of the hitters at
home plate taking dry swings without a bat with coach in the middle of the group. Have players freeze
after they swing to check proper mechanics.
Drill: MULTIPLE BALL IF/OF DRILL
SS and 2B practice 2nd
base force plays. Player/coach positioned behind the mound, rolls balls to SS who
tosses/throws to 2B covering 2nd
base. 3B and 1B receive fungos from home plate and throw across the
diamond. 3 OF's break for fly ball with player/coach calling one OF to catch the ball.
Drill: HOT POTATO Team is divided in half with two full lines across the OF. Each line starts with the player
on the foul line facing the line with a ball. On command, each line quickly throws the ball the length of the line
and back. Players are spread approx. 50 ft. apart and are facing the player with the ball. Objective: quick feet
with emphasis on accuracy
6. Drill: COMBO DEFENSE
All OF's in LF working on fielding ground balls with one knee down and then full charge. SS/2B at SS rolling
each other backhands. 1B/3B near 1st
base throw each other short hops from ten feet away. C's at home plate
practice catching pop-ups and also work on framing and receiving.
Drill: BERMUDA TRIANGLE DRILL
Full defense with the coach hitting/throwing fungos into the "gray areas" on the field. Players use double
confirmation and practice priorities within the defense
Drill: BEAT THE CLOCK
Full team is divided between the 3B, SS, 2B and C positions. Coach starts the clock when a ball is hit to the
3B line. 3B quickly throws to the SS, SS throws to the 2B, 2B throws to the C. Next group of players in each
trys to beat the preceding time
12 Player Game
Divide entire team into 3 person teams. Coach pitches to all teams and teams keep rotating in after they get
three outs. Play as many innings as you like. This keeps team active, introduces competition, and has players
playing multiple positions during game
Warm Up before practice
• Increase heart rate to get the blood pumping through the body and warm up the muscles.
• Lubricate your joints, especially those within the hips, spine, feet and ankles
• Activate and elevate the central nervous system to increase reaction time
• Actively stretch your muscles to prepare them for what you'll be asking them for during practice.
• Reinforce great posture
• Hit the ground running with all systems go when practice starts
Stationary Movements –PICK 3 in 3 minutes
• Prisoner Squats X 10 reps
• Jumping Jacks X 10 reps
• Seal Jumps X 10 reps
• Highland Flings X 10 reps
• Low/Quick Pogo Jumps – 2 sets of 20 reps
• High Pogo Jumps – 2 sets of 10 reps
Movement Drills—PICK 4 in 4 minutes
• Front Skips 20 yards down and back (focus on technique)
• Side Shuffle 20 yards down and back
• Side Run 20 yards down and back
• Backwards Cycle 20 yards down and back
• Wideouts X 10 reps for 3 sets (hold 10 seconds between each set!)
• Gateswings X 10 reps for 3 sets
• Walking lunges 10 yards X 2
• Side Lunges 10 yards X 2