Softball Strength Training

Fastpitch players have different training requirements based on the position they play or player type.  Fastpitch athletes execute short explosive movements followed by time at rest, but each position has different amounts of rest time.  Softball pitchers and catchers operate at a different frequency than either infielders or outfielders.  This rest interval difference needs to be taken into consideration during their strength and conditioning program. Many athletes now have specifically tailored fitness programs.  Taking this into consideration, let us look at how a fitness program can be developed for three different groups. More...

Softball Strength and Conditioning

Nearly all softball related injuries are caused by collisions, improper sliding techniques and lack of conditioning.   Unfortunately, due do practice time constraints, many fastpitch coaches do not incorporate strength and conditioning drills into their routine leaving conditioning and fitness drills as the responsibility of the player.  But for the player who wants to be successful on the field, a off-season and in-season conditioning program can produce results within a few weeks.More...

How to Appeal a Play

Have you ever been in the situation where the other team made a gaffe and you needed to appeal the play?  How do you make the appeal?  You have seen it done many times before by other coaches, but you have never done it.   What are the baseball rules or softball rules for asking an umpire to review to the previous play?  Here is how it is done. More...

How to Tag Up on a Fly Ball

I was recently involved in a game at a college showcase where it was late in the game with the go-ahead run on third base.  The batter hit a fly ball to center field.  The runner at third left before the fielder caught the ball and was called out on a base appeal play.  The need to tag on a fly ball happens infrequently enough that most coaches do not routinely practice this situation and, therefore, many times players do not execute it correctly.  Let me briefly describe when to consider tagging up on a fly ball, how to tag up on a fly ball, and then give a five minute tag on fly ball practice drill that you can regularly incorporate into your practice. More...

Softball College Recruiting

The softball recruiting process can be daunting with letters to coaches, trips to clinics, making your skills video, and playing in showcase tournaments all while keeping up with your studies.  The process usually starts your sophomore year with identifying your academic area of study and potential colleges.  The spring of your junior year and fall of your senior year you are trying to get maximum exposure to your interested college coaches.  Finally coming to an agreement with a coach on your short list to play softball on his team the following year.  Below are six articles that can help manage the successful college recruiting experience.  More...

Developing the Art of Bunting

If you want to want to be a complete hitter then you need to master the art of bunting. Based on game situations and a team’s need to manufacture runs, every player can be called upon to bunt. Although many players struggle with laying down a good bunt, with a little practice and proper technique, everyone can learn to bunt the ball to move base runners. Effort during practice and desire to learn are all that it takes to be a good bunter. More...

Creating Your Batting Line Up

A common question I receive from youth coaches is how to put together a batting order. After responding privately a few times, I think this is a big enough discussion for a post. About five or six years ago, I personally spent a lot of energy in putting together my batting lineups, changing them every game or two to "optimize our team’s run scoring potential." I remember being frustrated because every time I changed the order for a game I would have the wrong type of batter up in a key situation and if I had left the lineup like the last game I would be in a better situation. Eventually, I settled on a batting order where I group players by results and then make small changes every four or five games. More...

Coach's Guide To Managing the Coach-Parent Relationship

Bar none, the most emotionally draining element of coaching a youth sports team is interacting with the parents.  Having coached youth teams for over twenty seasons and been an officer in multiple youth organizations, I can personally attest to the fact that parent-coach interaction is important to the team's success.  The mismanagement of the parent-coach relationship by the coach, more then anything else, leads to their demise.  By establishing expectations early in the season, having a conflict resolution mechanism, and managing the disagreement discussion, a coach can reduce the emotional impact to themselves and maintain their team's positive attitude.  More...

Baseball College Recruiting

Whether you are a player, parent, or coach, the process to continue playing baseball after high school getting yourself through the college recruiting process can be daunting.  The majority of the work needs to occur during the spring of your junior year and fall of your senior year in high school, but up front planning during your sophomore year of identifying potential colleges and desired major can help get the college recruiting process off to a good start.  Below are six articles that can help lay the groundwork for a successful college recruiting experience.  More...

10 Benefits and Tips to Using a Pitching Machine for Batting Practice

Using pitching machines for batting practice sometimes get a bad rap because they are used to throw the ball down the middle of the plate or they cannot throw at game speed.  While this may be true, it is not the pitching machines fault - it is just a tool.  In this post I recommend ten benefits and tips to more effectively use a pitching machine during your batting practice. More...