True meaning of college athletics?

After watching Kentucky’s entire underclassman starting five leave early for the NBA and seeing the NFL draft this past week, one wonders how much college sports is about student-athletes and how much is about money. However, the LA Time’s Bill Plaschke’s article about Azusa Pacific quarterback John van den Raadt tells a different story that illustrates the true meaning of amateur athletics.

Victory Custom Athletic on OnDeck

Another new OnDeck sponsor we’re proud to introduce: Victory Custom Athletic. They are the top-of-the-line when it comes to baseball and softball uniforms, but they also offer turn-key, affordable, all-in-one packages for youth all-star teams. You can view their different all-star packages here.

The Bench Coach advertises on OnDeck

We’re excited to be able to bring exposure to many new, up-and-coming companies in the sports world via our OnDeck Newsletter. The Bench Coach is another to join the ranks. The Bench Coach dugout organizer is an inexpensive and portable way to store helmets and bats in baseball and softball dugouts. Its great for coaches of teams and for leagues wanting to add a touch of class to, (and subtract clutter from) their field’s dugouts.

OnDeck welcomes new advertiser, Sports Sensors

We’re proud to be associated with another great company –  Sports Sensors, the leader in affordable doppler radars for sports applications. They produce inexpensive training aids and specialty radars for coaches, players and parents to measure speed and improve performance in the following Sports: Baseball–Ball Speed and Bat Swing Speed; Softball–Ball Speed and Bat Swing Speed; Golf–Clubhead Swing Speed and Tempo Time; Soccer–Kick Speed and Accuracy; Archery–Arrow Speed; Paintball–Ball Speed and Burst Rate-of-Fire.

OnDeck Newsletters, April 2012

Our April OnDeck Newsletters have been sent! If you missed them you can download OnDeck for Baseball/Softball, and OnDeck for Soccer. Enjoy this month’s issues!

OnDeck Newsletters go out tomorrow

Our popular OnDeck Newsletters for soccer and baseball/softball will go out tomorrow, Tuesday, April 24th. If you are not on the distribution list and would like to receive one or both, you may view previous issues and subscribe here.

Softball and Football apps now available on the iTunes store!

If you’ve been waiting to pick up the CoachDeck Softball or CoachDeck Football apps for your iPhone, wait no longer! The full versions are up and ready for purchase. We’re still working to get the free, “Lite” versions of these two sports published, but for now, if you just want to see how they’ll look, you can download the Lite versions of baseball, soccer and basketball. We’ll update you when we get the Lite versions of football and softball up as well.

Good for you, Ben

After beating Leukemia for the second time, this Brewers fan decided to attend some of his favorite team’s games – all 162 to be exact. Here’s the story.

Seattle Little League pitcher perfect

We first learned about this on CNN.com. One of our clients, Seattle Little League, experienced a rarity in baseball: One of their pitchers threw a perfect game. In youth baseball, that alone might not be newsworthy, but young Jacob Terao struck out the side…every inning! He whiffed all 18 batters he faced in a six-inning game. Read more about his accomplishments on the Seattle Little League website. Congratulations, Jacob!

Pitching inside with confidence

By Dan Gazaway

Growing up I was instructed by some of the best pitching coaches in the world. I was always told to pitch in to win. I think we have all heard it before, but most coaches never teach this important technique. The fact is, great pitchers find success throwing on the inside part of the plate. I think throwing inside gives the pitcher more of an advantage simply because of the psychological game we play with hitters. We show them we are not afraid to come inside to set ourselves up for our strikeout pitch.

It is important for a pitcher to control the strike zone to be effective. If a pitcher doesn’t utilize the inside part of the plate, the hitter has that much more of an advantage to get on base. If you’re a pitcher you need to get the confidence to have the ability to throw effective inside pitches.

One of the many reasons I like throwing inside so much is that it appears, to the batter, that the ball is coming quicker. The batter has to hit the ball in front of the plate to connect and avoid getting jammed. So, as a pitcher, you are working with distance here. If you throw seventy, it may seem like you throw seventy-two miles an hour because the batter has less time to react to the pitch. Of course, on rare occasions when the hitter steps in the bucket, or is quick, you can avoid the inner part of the plate.

Why don’t more pitchers throw inside? They fear hitting the batter, getting behind in the count simply because they are not confident enough in their ability to control the inside pitch. This thinking happens particularly in Little League and high school levels.

If you have a fear of hitting a batter, maybe you should tryout for another position. Just kidding! But you need to understand that getting hit by the ball is bound to happen and its part of the game.

Dan Gazaway is Owner and Founder of The Pitching Academy (www.thepitchingacademy.com). He has instructed over 2,000 pitchers in the last seven years and received a Bachelor’s Degree as a Health Education Specialist at Utah State University. He is a motivational speaker for topics ranging from attitude, goal-setting and leadership and be contacted at contact@thepitchingacademy.net.