Detail in CoachDeck Drills

We had customer provide us with some feedback on our baseball drills deck of cards. We thought we would pass it along, as well our response which we feels explains fairly well the essential value of CoachDeck and why our product is so popular in the youth sports community:

I really liked it!  I think its a awesome resource for coaches to have in their “back pocket”.  As a baseball guy the one thing that Id offer is that many of the drills are pretty basic. I was hoping for some clever ways to teach situations or hitting instruction, ect….Really like it though!!
Our response:
While we certainly did intend to address situations and hitting, (there is even a drill entitled “Live Situations”) we understand that he is looking for something more detailed. The balance we had to walk was that we wanted the deck to be something that could be used by all coaches from T-ball to Majors, regardless of experience. Plus, as he can imagine, we cannot put too much detail (verbiage) on a playing card. We tried to design the deck for a rookie coach to be able to run fun hitting, baserunning, infield and outfield drills with the kids instead of showing up and just throwing 90 minutes of BP because he didn’t know what else to do. For the more veteran coaches we wanted it to be a handy reminder of some drills they may have once known but forgotten, and some new ones they hadn’t heard of before. The idea is that they can use any of these drills as a starting point and then add as much additional instruction as they’d like within its framework.”
There are as many ways to teach hitting as there are stances and swings. We did not feel it would be our job to adopt a particular hitting philosophy and use our cards as a forum to instill that method. Plus, coaches of younger players should not be teaching that much intricacy anyway. However, if your players are ready for in-depth hitting instruction and you have the knowledge to impart it, any of our drills are the perfect medium to get that done.
We always appreciate your comments/input/suggestions. Please keep them coming and enjoy your CoachDecks!

How to Throw Pitches

By Dan Gazaway

One of the most enjoyable parts of pitching is learning how to throw different pitches. Admit it! You enjoy making the batter look like a fool swinging at a curveball they weren’t expecting; or lunging three feet forward to try and reach your change. It’s a fun part of pitching and it is a necessary part. Your job as a pitcher is to keep the hitters off balance so they don’t get a good jump on the ball. Great pitchers master this craft.

The three most important things to have in your pitching arsenal are change of speed, movement and location. If you have those three with three great pitches; you will experience success on the hill. You will keep the hitters guessing what’s coming. With this success formula, if you don’t get a ton of strikeouts you will get a lot of pop ups and ground outs. You will also have a better chance of keeping your pitch count much lower which, perhaps, is the biggest bonus.
Here’s the sad fact. Most pitchers that throw off speed pitches run the risk of injury. I have written previous articles and I have been blogging on this very topic all over the internet right now. I think it is very important that young pitchers learn how to throw different pitches because they won‘t have success otherwise (every hitter catches up to any fastball). However, I don’t think it important enough to learn other pitches until they have learned how to throw with correct pitching mechanics first.
Here are some things to avoid when you are learning how to throw an additional pitch:
1) Avoid twisting your arm just before release of the baseball
2) Avoid changing your arm slot “forcing” a better rotation on the ball or downward movement
3) Don’t Change your fastball mechanics: As a pitcher you want to be deceiving. It is very difficult to deceive an experienced batter when you look different each time you throw a certain pitch. You are only informing the batter what to expect.
4) Avoid changing your arm speed to take a bit off the pitch. The only thing that changes is your wrist and forearm angle when you throw a different pitch. Your fastball is thrown with the palm facing home plate, curveball is like a “karate chop” at release and the C Change is when the C is thrown directly toward your 4) Avoid changing your arm speed to take a bit off the pitch. The only thing that changes is your wrist and forearm angle when you throw a different pitch. Your fastball is thrown with the palm facing home plate, curveball is like a “karate chop” at release and the C Change is when the C is thrown directly toward your target. You don’t need to get fancy and start messing around with all of the other “stuff” that is only going to harm you in the long run. My advice is to keep pitching simple while you learn how to throw pitches. Spend time learning all you can about the pitch before you just go out and try throwing it.

Dan Gazaway is the owner of The Pitching Academy  and has been coaching pitchers for over 15 years.  His instructional products have been a valuable resource for many coaches, parents and pitchers of all ages.  His website is Get their FREE pitching grips ebook here (use coupon code thepitchingacademy)

You can make a difference

Are your sons or daughters able to live their dreams playing the sports they love? Are you fortunate enough to have the financial resources to provide them with the equipment, registration fees, travel costs and other expenses they need to be able to compete at the highest level? What if you were not in a position to give them these gifts? There are many young athletes who need help and our partners at the Xprotex Sports Foundation is trying to change that. Go here and make a donation, even a few dollars will be helpful, and help them help others. You can take a look at some of the lives they’ve already impacted here.

Responsibilities of a Team Mom

If you’re a youth sports Team Parent, there is a lot you can do to help ensure the success of the team. Your main duty might be to assist with communication. If you can relieve the coach of the duties of letting parents and players know the time and location of games and practices, that will be a big help. If there are field changes, rain-outs or even messages from the coach, you’re being able to deliver these takes a big burden off the coach of the team. You may also want to set up the year-end team party, arrange team fundraising, order trophies, and arrange for a gift for the coaches. What other jobs can you think of that should be performed by a Team Parent? Let us know!

After yesterday, could we post anything else?

If you haven’t seen this, it is awesome. You know we’re big fans of the NCAA Tournament, and after the most thrilling day in it’s history we had to give you something special. Watch North Carolina State Students go crazy when BeeJay Anya’s last-second shot rolls out…and then back in to beat LSU. This is what March Madness is all about.

Where is truTV?

It can be like trying to find Waldo. You’re looking for that NCAA Tournament game and you know where CBS and TNT are on the dial, but truTV? Well, here you go. Just type in your zip code at their website and memorize that station number. Customers of national satellite/cable companies can locate truTV on Dish Network at channel 8930 and on DirecTV at 246. AT&T U-Verse customers will find games on channel 1164. And, of course, if you’re stuck at work because they still haven’t made the first two games of the tournament a national holiday, you can watch the games live online. Enjoy the Madness today, everyone!

Give so that others may play

Yesterday we were listening to a radio interview with two African-American activists who were discussing the inner-city crime problem in America. One of the participants brought up after school programs and the aspect of kids who are home alone without supervision and nothing to do. He mentioned that many of them would like to play a sport, say football for instance, but that it might cost $400-$500 to be able to play and that many of their parents, not home because they’re working two jobs, can’t afford to pay that. Consequently, these kids fall in with the wrong crowd and end up in trouble.

Our friends at Protex Sports want to do something about just this issue. Their Protex Sports Foundation is a non-profit designed to raise money for underprivileged athletes who need financial assistance. It is one of the best causes we can imagine and hope you’ll not only help, but will get the word out to others as well.


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