Welcome to the Player Development Center. Below are tips and training videos that can help players develop their skills.
DROP STEP FUNDAMENTALS DRILL- FIELDING
This one covers the Drop Step Fundamentals drill.
It's an absolute MUST for any young outfielder.
The key is to drop step FIRST... then find the
ball... then run with the glove to catch it.
COACH CHAZ CURE FOR DROPPED BALLS, WATCHING 3rd STRIKE, ETC.
10+ Push Ups... also good for arms and upper body!
COLOR BALL HITTING DRILL
It's only a minute long... and definitely worth
You'll learn how to run the "color ball" drill
... a fantastic (and fun) way to develop hand-eye
coordination and bat speed in young hitters.
HOW TO IMPROVE BAT SPEED
One of the fastest ways to increase your team's
batting average and power is to improve bat speed.
The quicker the bat head moves through the hitting
zone, the longer your players can wait and see the
ball - and make a better choice in a swing, no-swing
And when your players strike the ball with more
velocity, it travels further and faster, increasing
the chances of extra base hits.
Here are 3 simple tips you can use with players of
any age to develop lightning-quick bat speed.
1) Train The Core
A powerful core helps your athletes transfer speed
and momentum to the upper body, the arms, and
eventually the bat head.
Here are 3 core exercises you should include in your
your team's in-season and off-season program:
Lie down on your stomach. Lift your body off the
floor with your forearms (elbows at 90° degrees) and
your toes. Keep your body in a straight position
(without arching your back) and hold for 30 seconds
to one minute. Lift one foot in the air for added
* Lying glute pushup
The lying glute pushup targets your butt and back
muscles. Lie on your back with your feet resting on
top of a chair or bench. Push through your heels to raise
your butt off the floor as high as possible. Form a
straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
Hold this position for 60 seconds.
* Twisting crunch
This is one of the most effective crunch workouts,
as it hits all of your stomach muscle fibers at once.
Assume a standard crunch position, raise your torso to
a 45° angle, and then twist from side to side. For an
advanced movement, extend your legs and pretend to
peddle a bicycle while you continue to twist.
2) Build Grip Strength
To develop a quick bat your kids must have strong
hands, wrists and forearms.
Your players can easily build grip strength by using
common objects found at home. Have them spend 30
minutes a day squeezing a tennis ball (they can do
this while watching TV or reading).
Another great at-home tool is the wrist-roller.
Making one is easy. Just take a broom stick and cut
it to about 12 inches long. now drill a hole in the
middle of the cut broom stick and insert a piece of
rope around 4-5 feet long.
Now tie one end of the rope to the handle and the
other end to a brick or five-lb weight.
To perform the exercise, twist and turn both wrists in
an alternating fashion, rolling the weight all
the way to the top. Lower slowly and repeat.
3) Solo Hitting Practice
Simply put, the best way to improve bat speed is
Earlier this season, I stumbled onto a "magic" hitting
machine that allows your batter to get a massive
number of swing reps in only 5 minutes a week.
You can learn more about it here:
Continuous swing repetition builds deeply ingrained
"muscle memory" in your athlete's body...
So, over time, they stop thinking about their bat
speed and swing mechanics.
And - instead - focus on seeing the pitch and hitting
HOW TO AVOID STRIKING OUT
Here are the 3 biggest reasons your players
strike out, and what you can do to prevent
1 - Poor Eyesight.
If you have a player who has a sound swing,
but struggles to make contact, he may be
struggling from poor eyesight.
Tracking the ball from the time the pitcher
releases it is one of the most important
fundamentals of hitting.
Bring this up with the player and his parents,
and gently remind them that athlete's should
get their eyes checked at least once per year.
2 - Heavy Bat.
A heavy bat is difficult to control, and forces
hitters to start the bat forward earlier in
Not only that, it will kill your bat speed and
actually cost you power.
Kids ten and under should use a bat weighing
16-19 ounces (depending on their height/weight)
11-12 year olds should use a bat weighing 18-23
And players 13 or older should use a bat in the
23-30 ounce range.
3 - Overswinging.
Sparky Anderson once said "If you want to cut
down your strikeouts, quit trying to hit the ball
Couldn't be more true.
Overswinging causes players to lose balance and
lose control over the bat. To help, try having
your hitters, choke up an inch or two on the bat.
Or, try spreading out on the stance an extra 2-3
inches, or even eliminating the stride entirely.