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Baseball Balls,Bats and Helmets

December 2016

Baseball Coaching Tips: Eight Ways To Know Your Pitcher Is Getting Tired!

If your pitcher is getting tired, the outcome of the baseball game may be put in jeopardy but the most important thing is the well being of your pitcher’s throwing arm is being put in jeopardy!  Read eight excellent warning signs that all coaches and baseball parents really should know.

I can’t think of anything on the baseball field that’s more important than the well being of my players. Can you? This really holds true when it comes to your pitchers. When they are tiring, the risk of injury to their throwing arm skyrockets. Skyrockets! Hey, let’s forget that the outcome of the baseball game may be put in jeopardy. Of much greater importance is the well being of your pitcher’s throwing arm. Here are eight excellent warning signs that your pitcher is getting tired and at a much higher risk of injury.

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1. Keep track of the number of pitches thrown. There isn’t anyone on the planet that can give me one valid reason as to why baseball coaches at any level of play do not keep a pitch count on their pitchers. In no time at all, you will know for sure at what number of pitches any of your pitchers are starting to run out of gas. It can influence the outcome of the game by leaving the pitcher in the game too long but more importantly it can increase the chance of injury to your pitcher’s arm! It’s one of the easiest things to do on the ball field. You can pick one person on the team to do it. It can be the manager, coach or a player on the bench. If you are not doing this, you really should start immediately.

2. Watch to see if the pitcher’s elbow is dropping down lower than usual. It is a very clear warning sign! Watch carefully to see if the pitcher’s elbow is starting to drop below the point that it is normally raised to, which is usually about shoulder height. When the elbow starts to drop down low, it’s because fatigue has set in and the arm is saying “no” when it’s asked to elevate. Obviously, this would not apply to side-arm pitchers because their elbow is low already. This is one of the best baseball coaching tips that a pitcher is getting tired. It also causes a pitcher to “push” the ball instead of throwing the ball. Usually it will cause the fast ball and off speed pitches to miss high and the curve will flatten out. It will also increase the risk of injury to the pitcher. Your pitcher couldn’t tell you he’s tiring any better if he had a megaphone in his hand. Watch his elbow!

3. Is your pitcher taking more time between pitches? Be very observant if your normally fast worker has slowed down the pace considerably and is taking more time between pitches. Occasionally, the opposite can also be true. A normally slow and deliberate pitcher is starting to take less time between pitches. This is because he knows he’s tiring and wants to hurry up and get the inning over with.

4. Watch for a pitcher who stops following through. The more a pitcher tires, the less he follows through and doesn’t “finish” his pitches. It’s affectionately called “getting lazy.” Remember that the follow through protects the arm from coming to a sudden halt. It’s not good for your automobile if you’re driving 60 M.P.H. and jam on the brakes and it’s not healthy for your pitcher’s arm to be accelerating and then come to an abrupt stop either. When a baseball pitcher stops following through, the risk is not just to the quality of the pitch but more importantly, the risk is to injuring his throwing arm.

5. Watch for any changes in your pitcher’s usual mechanics. Watch everything in general. He may be raising his front leg more, he may be raising it less, he may be turning his hips more or less, he may be leaning back more, etc. He may be consciously or sub-consciously changing his pitching mechanics because he is tired. Knowing your pitcher’s normal mechanics ahead of time will make it easier for you to recognize a change in his mechanics.

6. Is your pitcher striding longer than he usually does? This clearly tells you that the pitcher is trying to use his legs more in order to compensate for his tiring arm.

7. Observe the pitch selection. He may be throwing more of a certain type of pitch and less of another type of pitch. Watch to see if your pitcher hardly ever throws breaking balls and all of a sudden he’s throwing them often. It’s quite possible that he’s tired and finds the breaking ball easier to throw but of greater concern is the fastball may be hurting his arm when he throws it.

8. Is the fast ball losing velocity? If you have a power pitcher on the mound and have watched batters swing late for several innings and all of a sudden hitters are out in front and pulling his fastball, he is running out of gas. You should strongly consider making a pitching change right away.

Take these eight warning signs very seriously and put them at the top of your baseball coaching tips. They can cost you the ball game but the real important thing here is they will lessen the chance of injury to your pitcher! Baseball parents, players and youth coaches, I post a new FREE baseball article on hitting, pitching or fielding every Monday at that you can save to your favorites now. I’m quite sure that you and other baseball people you share them with will benefit! Please feel free to use the links for your website, blog or newsletter to get more visitors or to keep your current visitors returning. I promise you will be raising a few eyebrows!

Click here and scroll down the right hand side of the page to read more FREE Baseball Tips

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Baseball Tips On Hitting: How To Be Successful Against Tough Low And Away Strikes!

Tough low and away strikes can be tough for a baseball hitter but if you’re struggling with them, don’t concede anything and let’s try to improve the situation! Players, coaches and baseball parents should read some very good baseball tips on hitting that should be helpful.

When trying to overcome any baseball hitting struggles, you should always look for the “easy fix” first before getting more complicated. Why get overly involved and complex unless necessary? You simply can’t bombard a baseball hitter with the thirty five things necessary for the so called perfect baseball swing. The finest hitters on the planet only have a handful of perfect swings throughout the entire season. Sometimes less is indeed truly more. Here is a list of things to try if low and away pitches are causing baseball hitting problems for you.

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1) The two most obvious reasons can be you are standing too far away from the plate or maybe your bat is not long enough and you cannot effectively reach the pitch over the outside corner. Like I said, we always start out simple.

2) You may be opening your front side too early, one of the most common baseball hitting problems for baseball hitters at any level. It simply means that you are opening up too quickly and are pulling away from where the hitting is taking place. Staying “closed” is one of the more important baseball tips on hitting. If you are opening up too early, it simply takes you too far away from the pitch, especially pitches over the outside portion of the plate.

3) You can try bending at the waist if you are not bending already. If you are already bending, bend a little more. This will give you better extension and better plate coverage of the outside corner simply because you will be closer to it.

4) You can try striding with your front foot closed instead of pointing straight out across from your body or even worse yet toward the pitcher. In other words, turn the toes on your front foot and point them a little bit back toward the catcher. This will strongly encourage you to “stay closed” and not “fly open” and away from the pitch. You will have very little, if any success at all, against tough low and away strikes if you open up too early.

“Staying closed” is easily one of the most important baseball tips on hitting you can ever learn. Baseball hitting does not take place out toward third base if you are a right-handed hitter or out toward first base if you are a left-handed hitter. Opening up a fraction of a second too early is a recipe for disaster for a hitter.

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Baseball hitting is taking place right in front of you and not to the left or to the right. Stay closed or you and I will no longer be on speaking terms! Baseball parents, players and youth coaches, I post a new free baseball article on hitting, pitching or fielding every Monday at that you can save to your favorites now. I’m quite sure that you and other baseball people you share them with will benefit by reading. Feel free to use the links for your website, blog or newsletter to attract more visitors or to keep your current visitors returning. I promise you will be raising a few eyebrows!

Click here and scroll down the right hand side of the page to read more FREE Baseball Tips

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Baseball Coaching Tips: How Players And Coaches Should Deal With A Hitting Slump

Baseball hitting slumps are a very difficult time for any player. A coach, teammate or baseball parent can and should be very supportive during this tough time period.

Very simply, a baseball hitting slump occurs usually because of something that you are now doing that is mechanically incorrect when swinging the bat or it can be something that you were doing correctly and now you are not doing it. In other words, either you have developed a bad habit or have gotten away from a good habit.

One of the reasons we have hitting coaches is because even the great hitters, some who are professionals, occasionally get off track. No matter how good a hitter you are, it can be a very common problem to fall into the much dreaded hitting slump. That’s one of the reasons a very good hitting coach is extremely valuable.

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Rather than focus on the entire swing, some coaches focus on specific areas to narrow it down as to where the problem is. It’s very helpful to divide a player into two sections, his lower half of the body and his upper half. Use a clip board and block your view of the player’s upper body and focus solely on the lower part, to make sure the hitter’s “foundation” is okay. If all seems okay with the lower half, block the lower half with the clip board and focuses on the upper half. Sometimes changing the angle that you are watching the batter will help also. When advising the hitter, always remember that visual is better than verbal.

Hard work, practice and several repetitions are the best remedies for curing a mechanical slump. Some hitters try different methods to end their slump as quickly as possible. Some try to hit the ball the opposite way. The theory is that they will have to wait on the ball and let it come to them, instead of being too anxious and not “staying back” on the pitch. Some try to hit the ball right up the middle of the field. The theory here is that usually, if you hit the ball up the middle, a lot of things have to be done properly, such as your timing.

Some Possible Causes For Hitting Slumps:

1. Check your swing from Point “A” to Point “B.” Point “A” is where you load up, cocking the wrists and the hips. Point “B” is where you make contact with the ball. Make sure that you are going A to B in a straight line. You must swing directly to the baseball! The slightest loop in your swing causes you to lose a fraction of a second. A fraction of a second is an eternity when it comes to hitting a baseball. The very start of the baseball swing is a downward movement and is not level at all. The back of your bottom hand faces the pitcher at the start of the swing and only at contact should you have one palm up and the other palm facing down.

2. Make sure that your front hip is staying closed and not opening up too early.

3. Make sure you are getting good pitches to hit. When in a slump, it is a very common problem to swing at bad pitches. The very natural tendency is to get a hit and have your slump be a thing of the past. Looking for that all important hit can easily cause you to be too anxious and chase bad pitches.

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One of the better baseball coaching tips to remember is that all players go through hitting slumps. Hey, Ty Cobb was a lifetime .367 hitter and he had his share of hitting slumps too! Hang in there, get to work and you will get back on the right track. Baseball parents, coaches and players, I post a new FREE baseball article on hitting, pitching or fielding EVERY Monday at Feel free to use the links on your blog, website or newsletter, or to share them with any other baseball people you know!

You can scroll down the right hand side of my home page right now to read more FREE baseball tips

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