Improve Balance in Hitting to Increase Power

When I learned to be more more balanced in hitting my power boosted tremendously. I tell all my athletes that balance equals power, which is true in all sports. In order to generate a great deal of power you must be in a balanced athletic position to start. Think about it; if a boxer where to stand on one foot and fight would he be able to throw effective punches? No, he would absolutely get knocked out. When hitting make sure you have a solid foundation in the batters box. Take your time setting up, you don't want to rush greatness! 

Balance Drill: Hold that Finish (Soft Toss Drill)

  • Have the hitter get ready to hit soft toss.
  • After their first swing have them freeze in their finish fighting to stay balanced. The best way to describe might be to say, "finish in the Ken Griffey Jr. pose".
  • From the frozen finished position, you will say NOW!
  • The hitter will quickly rewind, using the wrists to get the bat back up to their shoulder and not wrapping it over their head to restart.
  • As they get back to restart you will toss the next ball.
  • The hitter's job is to maintain balance, focus, and confidence in order to hit the next ball.
  • Remind the hitter to keep thighs tight, hands loose, and head still on the ball.
  • I usually will do sets of 5 balls before a short break. If the hitter struggles go slower.

I hope you find this helpful when working on being a more balanced hitter. It is important to take the hitter out of their comfort zone to challenge them to fight for improvement. This drill will do just this. Have fun!

 

-Coach Dave

Practice to be excellent!

As I have learned throughout my athletic career and life, practice is the route to being successful in any endeavor! When I say practice I do not just mean to attend your teams practice or do the provided assignments that were given as practice. It takes much more than that to become excellent in something. I can remember as a kid growing up with a younger brother, Coach Stephen, how much we went out and just played baseball because we loved it. It was so much fun to go out in the yard a practice making diving plays, hitting homers, and striking out pretend batters. Practice was FUN which made us fall in love with this great game. In baseball it takes thousands of quality repetitions in all skills of baseball to become a solid player. I kid you not, we went out and practiced everyday we could. We were also fortunate to have access to a baseball field within feet of our house. After school and homework of course, before team practice, after practice, on weekends, and time in between you could find us on that field or in our yard getting our reps in a fun way. We challenged each other to make the plays, shake it off when didn't, and stay focused on the next one always. We celebrated when we made sick plays or smashed one in batting practice. Most importantly our parents never got mad at us if we made errors or didn't get a hit. This allowed to us to be fearless when we played, which made us better players and people for it. I try to encourage every athlete I come encounter with to practice on their own as often as they can or choose to. We all have some extra time in our day to commit to something we love. If you love something enough you must be willing to practice in order to grow. Practice to be excellent instead of trying to be perfect! In baseball and in life you are going to experience a tremendous amount of adversity. Remember to stay positive and always look forward to the next play or challenge. When you make mistakes, take a second to think of how you can do better instead of dwelling on the actual mistake itself. Never give up and focus on doing things the correct way instead of just getting things done. And most importantly always do it because you enjoy it, have FUN!

-Coach Dave

Importance of Playing Multiple Sports

With youth sports becoming so uber competitive these days a lot of kids are devoting all of their time to just one sport. This can be a blessing in the sky or in most cases can be detrimental in their development as an "athlete". I am a firm believer in encouraging kids to play more than one sport throughout their childhood. The reasons being:

  • Specializing in just one sport can actually increase a kids chance of injury, especially in baseball in terms of throwing.
  • Learning different skills in different sports will translate into more athletic movements from your athlete.
  • Teaches kids to be well-rounded. They will learn from more coaches, meet more like-minded people, experience different sports cultures, and have opportunities to compete in different capacities.
  • It will help to keep them from "burnout". I remember as a kid that played many different sports, I was always eager and excited for each new season to come as it brought on a new set of challenges in a different sport.
  • The most important reason I believe playing multiple sports is important in youth development is for the simple fact that sports are FUN! Having fun should always be the focus in sports at the youth level, this will help the athlete to foster a passion for the games they decide they want to play.

I am grateful that my parents encouraged and allowed me to participate in different sports throughout my childhood. It allowed me to develop my athleticism and gave me a taste of everything. I have participated in baseball, basketball, soccer, wrestling, cross country, roller hockey and boxing (just for fun with friends), football, and rugby. I know that because I played multiple sports growing up it absolutely helped me in my development as an athlete and person.

 

-Coach Dave

Baseball is my life!

Hey Guys!

So I thought it would be a good idea to start this blog to share all things baseball. I am going to update weekly, so be on the lookout!

I wanna start by sharing why I am so involved in baseball. I have been playing baseball now for 26 years. It has been a huge part of my life. Teaching me many life lessons and helping to build my skills not only in the game but also in life. The most important reason I haven’t stopped playing since I was 4 years old is simply because this game is FUN! It has always been fun to me to go out and practice so that I would be able to perform at a high level in games. If practice and preparation become fun then the games are that much sweeter. It is fun getting better and that is why practice is so crucial in the development of any skill, especially baseball.

The reaction of others when you hit a home run, make a great play, or strike someone out also fueled me to always give my very best effort. To me there was no greater feeling, it’s that feeling of chills, like when you hear the national anthem on opening day!

If you truly love something then you need to be willing to do whatever it takes to make it a success. Go out and focus on success instead of dwelling over failures. Baseball will beat you up and spit you out if you constantly remind yourself of your failures. Instead try to look forward to the next big hit, game saving catch, or beating out the ground ball to keep your team in the game. And no matter what always have FUN!

 

-Coach Dave

 Photo by Thomas Northcut/DigitalVision / Getty Images

Photo by Thomas Northcut/DigitalVision / Getty Images