Be Willing to Put in the Work

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Stop Sqaushing and Start Driving

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Click on the link above to check on the concept of getting the back side through the zone. Notice that many of the hitters are actually using their lower half to torque the rest of the body (hands) through…this keeps our motion on a linear path towards the baseball.

Yes, many of these hitters are power hitters, hence, the homework derby – however – guys like Cano and Ortiz are actually good hitters as well.

Getting the back side through

Everyone says squash the bug…that will work with the little kids but that actually isn’t the concept. The concept is to get the back side through. The back leg can actually come off the ground as the torque is forcing the hands through. Essentially you’re landing back down to balance – that balance allows for the torque to work up against your front side….

Video to come soon!

Getting the back side through

Everyone says squash the bug…that while work the little kids but that actually isn’t the concept. The concept is to get the back side through. That back leg can actually come off the ground as the torque is forcing the hands through. Essentially you’re landing back down to balance – that balance allows for the torque to work up against your front side….

Facing Kershaw – Dickerson Steals Home

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http://www.thehawkeye.com/print/Bees_Loons_5_25

Copy and paste the link above – a cool article I found today.  Runner on 3rd – me at the plate – he steals home on Clayton Kershaw (NL Cy Young).  I actually got a single to left off him.  He was no joke!

Finals Prep

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The never-ending battle between sports and academics goes on and on.  Today I was involved in coordinating a finals prep workshop for ninth and tenth graders who we identified as “support eligible.”  Our marker was for students who held a GPA below a certain number.  It’s encouraging to see such a large presence of student-athletes that have signed up.  I feel like traditionally, they don’t always take advantage of opportunities for their academics like they would if it were sport related.

So what’s the catch?  It isn’t actually the students who are taking the initiative – it’s the parents.  The students with the most in-tuned, involved parents seem to be taking advantage of everything possible.  I don’t know if this is a good thing or not in the long run but I do see that what’s to offer, they have access to.  Parents would like to think that because their child is now in high school, they can fend for themselves.  For many this may be true, but I’m seeing a growing trend of the opposite.  I see kids who don’t check their emails, don’t make their schedules and hardly make their own decisions.  The decisions they do make usually end in them getting in trouble or being told they need to rethink their actions.

I wonder, although these kids have “access” to support and extra means, what are we as parents actually preparing them for?  What skills are we actually teaching our children?  These are things I ponder daily as I work with students.  The discussion I’d like to have is, what skills are needed for them to be prepared for their future.  Their future isn’t that far away from mine…

Outfield Work

Waking up early this AM to beat the weather so we can get a lesson in. The kid today is a travel ball player and right now he is primarily a pitcher. He looks like he can hit a little bit but they haven’t used him much in the field. It looks like he can jockey for time in the OF.

Today before hitting we’ll get our drills in. I like to start with routes to get the legs loose and warm up our body, then we will progress to footwork – reads, coming through the ball and always trying to get into a balanced position for the transfer. Quick accurate release is essential for any good player.

Balance will be the key phrase today!

Learning and the Brain

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Here I am in Boston, Mass at a conference about learning and the brain. I haven’t had the time yet to fully debrief and think about what I’ve been experiencing however it is clear from these Harvard PHD profs that our educational structure (infrastructure) is incredibly outdated and must catch up with the time. As a few noted, we have an industrial system still running to serve 21st century minds. This is obviously highly problematic.

Everyone is looking for answers, sometimes myself included, but what I’m realizing is it’s time to use our devices, our technologies as tools to support learning, not as the only tool. Our minds have changed, our needs have changed, our relevancy is different – this must be reflected in our/with our teaching.

I’m thinking in terms of school and coaching, connecting with my players/students will be essential to forming a cohesive environment where all people thrive. I guess thriving can be relative but my hope is that through differentiated instruction folks walk away more prepared than they started.

All of this comes down to change. We must accept that the way we learned isn’t the way the new youth will or should learn…I mean why should the learn the same? It isn’t the same world they are preparing for…

Think about it…#lb30

Fall Ball – The End

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Yesterday was the last day of the Berkeley Fall Ball clinics. While it’s going to be nice to have some time off – working with them 3 times a week was pretty fun. There’s a couple of players out there…we will see if they put in the necessary work to make something out of their talents…(we have all seen players year after year with talent – but it takes much more).

We decided that we would run our last day as a scout/mock try out day. We kept their times, and discussed with them the mindset of scouts or anyone else assessing you, and what we as players need to be ready for.

After they stretched out – we split them into 3 teams: 1 team ran the 60 yard dash, the second team ran home to first (both times we recorded and they had about 5 minutes to run it as many times as they could/wanted) and our last group soft tossed. Each group had 5-10 minutes and then they rotated so that all players had equal time at each station.

After that round we put them all together and had them do a long infield/outfield where they threw to every base a couple of times. This is always a time that’s rather boring but if in a game you don’t get a ball your way – it’s the only time a coach/scout/whoever can see your arm (let it all go!).

After infield/outfield we put them back in the 3 teams and had them scrimmage for about 40 minutes. Each batter started with a 1-1 count and each team got 4 outs.

As practice was going on each coach took the time to let them know how their mental approach should be at each station. When a group came from soft toss – they needed to take every opportunity to get loose.  Some camps won’t look out for the player’s health and they must learn early to get yourself ready to give %100.  No excuses – control what you can.  Same goes for players who ran to first then had to run a 60.  Good thing is that they’re loose but they may be fatigued — how quickly can you bring your heart rate down…

Our hopes were by getting a glimpse of what it’s like, come spring/late winter, they will be ready for try outs (they’ll know what to expect!).