Sport Development Blog

 Concussions
(8/20/2019)
 
 
   

Concussions


Diamond Doc
By Dr. Marc Richard


Dr. Marc Richard, Orthopedic Surgeon at Duke University and USA Baseball Sport Development Contributor, discusses how to define, diagnose and treat concussions. To have your questions answered by Dr. Richard, submit them using #USABMailbag on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.


Marc Richard, MD, is a contributor to the USA Baseball Sport Development Blog, and is an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University, specializing in elbow, wrist and hand injuries. Dr. Richard’s research evaluates the clinical outcomes of fractures of the upper extremity, with a particular interest in wrist and elbow fractures and improving ways to treat elbow arthritis in young patients. He also has a clinical and research interest in adolescent elbow throwing injuries.


 Rundown Between Third and Home
(8/19/2019)
 
 
   

Rundown Between Third and Home 


Monday Manager
By Tom Succow


In this edition of Monday Manager, four-time USA Baseball coaching alum Tom Succow discusses both the baserunning and defensive perspective a rundown between third base and home plate, one of the most momentum-swinging and decisive plays in the game .
Tom Succow, is a contributor to the USA Baseball Sport Development Blog, and is currently the assistant coach at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona. In 2017, Succow retired as the Head Baseball Coach at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Arizona, after 42 years at the helm. Succow accumulated over 700 wins during his tenure, as well as a state championship in 2006 and three state runner-up honors in 1982, 2007 and 2012. Succow is a four-time USA Baseball coaching alum, including an assistant coaching position with the 2003 16U National Team, which won the gold medal in the International Baseball Federation AA World Youth Championships in Taiwan. Succow was honored by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) as National Coach of the Year in 2007 and is a member of four Halls of Fames, being inducted into the Arizona Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2003, the Brophy Hall of Fame in 2007, the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (BCA) Hall of Fame in 2013, and the Arizona High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2016.


 Unifying Leadership
(8/16/2019)
 
 
   

Unifying Leadership


FUNdamental Skills
By Darren Fenster


In the coming weeks and months, teams for all sports and all seasons will begin to take shape.  Experienced upperclassmen will return to college campuses and high school grounds just as wide-eyed newcomers will have no idea what they are in for.  At some schools, veteran players will “welcome” their younger teammates to the club by having them carry equipment bags, pick up garbage, and fill water jugs, along with other forms of initiation, in the name of tradition and paying dues.

Meanwhile, at hopefully many, many more schools, the old will genuinely welcome the new, in the real meaning of the word. 

Back in May, right in the midst of a run to the Stanley Cup Finals, Boston Bruins team captain Zdeno Chara was asked about how his team has blended so well. His answer went viral. 

“No matter if someone is 18 or 40, somebody who has 1,000 games or playing their first game, we treat each other with respect and the same way as everybody else in the locker room. I didn’t like the separation inside of the team between younger players and older players, players who have accomplished something, players who are just coming into the league.  I don’t like to use the word rookie. They are our teammates… Once you’re a team, you’re a team, regardless of the age or accomplishments.”

In a sport with arguably more tradition than all others combined, the captain for one of the NHL’s best teams actively chooses to make his teammates feel, well, like a part of the team.

The best teams in sport aren’t always the most talented, but rather the clubs who collectively work together better than the rest as a cohesive unit, with everyone pulling the rope in the same direction.  Of course, success requires talent. But as history has taught us, success goes beyond talent. Much of this true sense of team is built from a culture whose foundation is set by leaders like Chara with the goal to unify. The toxic sense of selfish individuality that permeates through bad teams is developed in a very similar manner of including… by excluding. 

There is a very simple and incredibly impactful way to create a positive environment amongst old and new: sweep the sheds. 

In the book Legacy, author James Kerr gives an inside look at the All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team who just happens to be one of the most successful sports teams in the history of sports who, at the time of publishing, held a winning percentage of .770. How this club has been able to enjoy so much sustained success is more impressive than their record itself; they attribute their success as much to their culture as they do their talent. 

Part of that culture includes the mantra of sweeping the sheds, where all members of the All Blacks live the tradition that no individual is bigger than the team or those who came before them when it comes to doing their job, both on and off the field. They take as much pride in keeping their locker room clean (sweeping their shed) as they do competing against opposing world powers in rugby.
No one is too good to do something.  When the biggest star or the most experienced veteran are themselves doing the most remedial tasks, like carrying equipment, like picking up trash, like filling water jugs, the newcomers can’t help but notice and will tend to quickly fall in line themselves, just as the All Blacks have done over time.  They are leading by doing the things that no one wants to do, which, ironically, makes everyone else WANT to do them.  This type of leadership bonds and team and its players far better than any words possibly could.

At one point or another, every single player was a rookie. Every single student-athlete was once a freshman. Every single star was the new guy way back when.  For some, it’s an easy transition. For others, it’s an overwhelming one. They ALL want to be a part of the team, sooner rather than later. That team is a simple, conscious decision; an intentional decision made by its leaders, choosing to create that team by unifying one another; new, old, and everyone in between.
Darren Fenster is a contributor to the USA Baseball Sport Development Blog, and is currently the Manager of the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. A former player in the Kansas City Royals minor league system, Fenster joined the Red Sox organization in 2012 after filling various roles on the Rutgers University Baseball staff, where he was a two-time All-American for the Scarlet Knights. Fenster is also Founder and CEO of Coaching Your Kids, LLC, and can be found on Twitter @CoachYourKids.


 Strengthening an Athlete's Decision-Making Skills
(8/15/2019)
 
 
   

Strengthening an Athlete's Decision-Making Skills


In youth sports


Whether it’s making a decision about how to properly prepare for a competition, practice a recovery plan, or stay away from shortcuts, good decision-making, although challenging to teach, is a skill that is critical to an athlete’s success.

According to the Decision Education Foundation (DEF), which seeks to empower youth with effective decision-making skills through curriculum and courses in decision quality, teaching teenagers how to decide is more effective than teaching them what to decide. For example, the popular D.A.R.E. campaign that was implemented in schools nationwide simply told adolescents about the negative effects of drugs and had adolescents sign a pledge to say no to drugs, but it didn’t have a significant effect on actually preventing youth from illicit drug use according to a report by the U.S. General Accounting Office.

Chris Spetzler, DEF Executive Director, recommends helping students understand how to make better decisions as the first step to “increasing their thoughtfulness when engaging their values, creativity, and critical thinking in making and following through on their personal choices.”

As a coach, it’s important to develop an understanding of the decision-making process, as this will better equip you to help shape the way your athletes approach decisions on the field and throughout their lives. DEF explains that there are six elements that must be considered in order to reach a quality decision, including helpful frame, clear values, creative alternatives, useful information, sound reasoning, and commitment to follow through.

Keeping in mind these six foundational elements of a good decision, here are five DEF exercises we’ve tailored for coaches to use at practice with their team to help strengthen an athlete’s decision-making skills:
 
Explain Decisions You’ve Made

Sharing a personal decision-making story of your own can help you build trust with your team, make you more relatable, and allow you to break down the decision-making process with them. Being able to pull from your experience and explain the rationale behind the choices you’ve made will help illustrate the six elements of good decision-making for your team.
 
Case Studies from Sports

Whether it’s deciding who should take the final shot of a game or how to deal the temptation of performance-enhancing drugs, sports come with a lot of decision-making opportunities.
Walking through a sports story that involves decision making is a great way to start the discussion on the topic with your team. Using case studies of athletes who have made poor choices in the past provides your team with the opportunity to dive deep and analyze the situation, reasoning, and outcome of a real decision with real consequences.
 
Interactive Role Play Activities

Inviting your team to participate in simulated decision-making scenarios allows them to critically think and practice the elements of good decisions in real-time.
Have your athletes act out relevant situations, such as deciding how to react to a teammate who consumes energy drinks before practice, to help them evaluate their values and learn how to make more informed decisions.
 
Group Projects

Breaking your athletes into groups and giving them a sport-related challenge to work through is another way you can give them hands-on decision-making experience, while also encouraging them to consider the values and logic of their teammates.
Encourage your groups to share their outcomes and explain how they reached their final decision.
 
Visualization

Many coaches are familiar with the practice of having athletes visualize skills or upcoming games, but you can also apply this technique to your athlete’s decision-making.
For example, practice setting a goal with your athlete and walk through the decisions they would make to reach that goal. Encourage them to visualize their future after achieving their goal and evaluate the steps they needed to take to get there. Would they be proud of the decisions they made to achieve their goal?
_____
Creating a space that encourages the development of an essential life skill like decision-making should be a top priority for the coaches of youth athletes. Continue to encourage your team to evaluate their decisions and take ownership over their actions so they can be proud of the paths they choose.
TrueSport®, a movement powered by the experience and values of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, champions the positive values and life lessons learned through youth sport. TrueSport® inspires athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators to change the culture of youth sport through active engagement and thoughtful curriculum based on cornerstone lessons of sportsmanship, character-building, and clean and healthy performance, by creating leaders across communities through sport.


 El Medio del Cuadro - Ejecutar una Doble Matanza
(8/13/2019)
 
 
   

El Medio del Cuadro - Ejecutar una Doble Matanza 


USA Baseball


El medio del cuadro puede jugar un papel destacado en el éxito global del equipo. Cuánto más se comunican los jugadores del medio del cuadro, más eficaz será la pareja. Ejecutar las doble matanzas requiere no sólo comunicación eficaz, sino también juego de pies y técnicas correctos. La información que sigue contiene los puntos primarios sobre el posicionamiento, el juego de pies y la alimentación para las doble matanzas tanto para el campo corto como para el defensor de segunda base:

EL POSICIONAMIENTO CORRECTO

En una situación de doble matanza, tanto el campo corto como el defensor de segunda base deben moverse hacia dentro dos o tres pasos y hacia la base entre dos y cuatro pasos. Esto reduce la distancia que se necesita para cubrir la segunda base.

ACERCARSE A LA BASE

Hay varios factores involucrados en ejecutar una doble matanza en la segunda base, y todos son igualmente importantes. Para ejecutar una doble matanza con éxito, el jugador del medio 
del cuadro tiene que acercarse a la base correctamente. Aquí se describe la manera correcta:

 Llega a la base lo más rápido posible, poniendo el pie izquierdo en la base.
 Haz un buen blanco para el tirador con las dos manos extendidas y los dos pulgares juntos, casi a punto de tocarse.
 Dobla las rodillas en una buena posición atlética mientras miras el tirador.
 Relaja las manos, manteniéndolas relajadas para recibir la pelota. No te estires para la pelota; vendrá a ti. Anticipa siempre un tiro malo. No empieces a moverte hasta que el tiro esté en el aire.

EJECUTAR LA DOBLE MATANZA – DEFENSOR DE SEGUNDA BASE

Hay varias maneras de completar la doble matanza en la segunda base. Siguen dos ejemplos generales que se pueden usar para completar una doble matanza:

 Estar de pie a horcajadas sobre la base: Este método se usa primariamente si hay una jugada reñida en la segunda base o si un corredor veloz está de turno. El defensor de segunda base llega a la base y está de pie con la base entre las dos piernas. Mientras atrapa la pelota, rápidamente reajusta los pies en la misma locación y hace el tiro a la primera base. Cuando usa este método, el defensor de segunda base debe estar preparado para saltar por encima del corredor que está deslizándose.
 Sobre la base: Ésta es una manera común de enseñar la doble matanza en la segunda base. Mientras la pelota se golpea, el defensor de segunda base llega rápidamente a la base y pone el pie izquierdo en la base. Mientras viene el tiro de la tercera base o el campo corto, el defensor de segunda base da un paso hacia la pelota con el pie derecho. Si el tiro va al pecho, el defensor de segunda base viene sobre la base. Si el tiro va a su derecho, el defensor de segunda base da un paso hacia la base con el pie derecho y se planta antes de que tire a la primera base. Si el tiro va a su izquierdo, el defensor de segunda base debe dar un paso hacia la pelota y sobre la base con el pie derecho. Este método permite que el defensor evite al corredor que se desliza en la segunda base.

EJECUTAR LA DOBLE MATANZA – CAMPO CORTO

Una vez que la pelota esté en camino, el campo corto empieza a moverse.

El tiro del defensor de segunda base: El campo corto da un paso con el pie derecho sobre la esquina exterior de la base, desobstruye suficiente espacio entre él mismo y el corredor, planta el pie y tira.
 El tiro del defensor de primera base: Si el campo corto recibe el tiro del defensor de primera base dentro de la línea de las bases, el campo coro toca la parte interior de la almohadilla con el pie izquierdo, planta el pie derecho y tira. Si viene de fuera de la línea, arrastra con el pie derecho. Es útil gritar “¡Dentro!” o “¡Fuera!” para comunicar al defensor de primera base a dónde debe tirar la pelota.
 El campo corto lo toma él mismo: Si el campo corto fildea la pelota suficientemente cerca de la segunda base, puede que sea más eficaz ejecutar la doble matanza él mismo. Para hacer esto, simplemente da un paso en la base con el pie izquierdo en el medio del tiro, asegurándose de comunicar al defensor de segunda base su intención de hacer la jugada él mismo. El pie izquierdo del campo corto chocará con la almohadilla justo antes de que suelte la pelota, lo cual es mucho más rápido que pasar el pie derecho sobre la almohadilla y tirar después.
 Evitar al corredor: El campo corto debe desobstruir espacio suficiente ente él mismo y l a almohadilla para que el corredor no pueda chocar con él. Después de tocar la almohadilla con el pie derecho, el campo corto puede moverse lejos de la almohadilla o quedarse cerca, dependiendo de la proximidad del corredor.

LA ALIMENTACIÓN DE DOBLE MATANZA A LA SEGUNDA BASE

Campo corto – Hay varias maneras posibles de tirar a la segunda base:

 Por debajo del hombro: Es importante que este tiro a la segunda base sea firme. El campo corto debe ubicarse detrás del tiro lo suficiente para que la pelota se mueva en una línea al pecho del defensor de segunda base. La clave es marcar el movimiento en el tiro. El campo corto debe usar este tiro sólo cuando está suficientemente cerca de la base o cuando está moviéndose hacia la base para fildear una roleta.
 Por encima del hombro: El tiro debe ser siempre en una línea al pecho del defensor de segunda base. Usa este tiro cuando fildeas una pelota que está demasiado lejos para tirar por debajo del hombro en una línea, o en cualquier pelota que te saca de la segunda base.

Hay dos maneras de hacer este tiro:

1. Ponte de rodillas: Fildea la pelota con el pie izquierdo apuntado ligeramente hacia la almohadilla. Ponte de rodilla derecha y haz el tiro al defensor de segunda base. No te pongas de pie para tirar.
2. Da un paso hacia atrás: Fildea la pelota de manera normal. Da un paso hacia atrás con el pie izquierdo y tira a la segunda base. Esto puede ser un tiro por el lado del brazo.

Segunda Base – Hay tres maneras posibles de tirar a la segunda base.

 Por debajo del hombro – Usa este tiro cuando te mueves hacia la almohadilla o cuando estás cerca de ella. Fildea la pelota y tírala por debajo del hombro a la almohadilla mientras el pie derecho da un paso hacia delante, siguiendo el tiro, con el brazo izquierdo girando hacia arriba detrás de ti. Mantén una muñeca rígida, y no dejes que la pelota gire de los dedos. Tira a la mitad frontal de la almohadilla hacia el pecho del campo corto para que el campo corto pueda venir por la almohadilla.
 Por encima del hombro – Éste es el tiro más difícil para el defensor de segunda base. Asegúrate siempre de un out. Fildea la pelota y rota sobre los tercios anteriores de los pies, poniendo la rodilla izquierda en el suelo y apuntando el torso hacia la segunda base. Tira por encima del hombro al pecho del campo corto, haciéndolo avanzar ligeramente.
 Por el lado del brazo – Esto es un tiro rápido al campo corto que se usa cuando un tiro por debajo del hombro sería demasiado lento o cuando la pelota se fildea en la línea de la base. Fildea la pelota, y con la palma hacia abajo, suelta la pelota al final del movimiento lateral del brazo.

LA JUGADA DE TOQUE

En algunas ocasiones con un corredor en la primera base, puede que se haga el out en la primera base antes de que la pelota se envíe a la segunda base. En dichos casos, el out forzado en la segunda base ya no es necesario, así requiriendo un toque del corredor para conseguir el out.


 PRP Treatment and Causes of UCL Injuries
(8/7/2019)
 
   

PRP Treatment and Causes of UCL Injuries 


Diamond Doc
By Dr. Marc Richard


Dr. Marc Richard, Orthopedic Surgeon at Duke University and USA Baseball Sport Development Contributor, answers a pair of viewer mailbag questions by expanding on the effectiveness of Platelet-rich Plasma Treatment and some common biomechanical causes of UCL injuries. To have your questions answered by Dr. Richard, submit them using #USABMailbag on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.


Marc Richard, MD, is a contributor to the USA Baseball Sport Development Blog, and is an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University, specializing in elbow, wrist and hand injuries. Dr. Richard’s research evaluates the clinical outcomes of fractures of the upper extremity, with a particular interest in wrist and elbow fractures and improving ways to treat elbow arthritis in young patients. He also has a clinical and research interest in adolescent elbow throwing injuries.


 Follow Through Swing
(8/7/2019)
 
   

Follow Through Swing 


Tech in Baseball
Presented with Diamond Kinetics


Skill Set: Hitting
Difficulty Level: Easy
Number of Athletes and Coaches: 1-2 athletes and 1 coach, or 2 athletes as partners
Average Time to Complete: 5 minutes
Equipment Required: Bat, tee, baseballs, net or screen to hit into

Goal: Follow through keeping both hands on the bat finishing even with the shoulder

Description of the Drill: 
• Have hitter set up at the plate, or in an open area
• Hitter should swing, focusing on keeping both hands on the bat through the follow through and finishing with the bat even with their shoulders
• Partners switch after 5 swings

Add Difficulty:
• To add a degree of difficulty, hitters can hit a ball off the tee keeping the focus on the follow through

Using Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker Sensor and mobile App - the following metrics and tools can help you measure your swing and see improvement when doing this drill:

Hand Cast Distance
Overview: Hand Cast Distance measure starts when the hitter gets to the load position.  From that point when the bat starts forward acceleration, it measures how far the knob of the bat travels away from that point…measured in inches.  This control metric is important because it shows a hitter’s ability to stay inside the ball instead of swinging around the ball.

Optimal Ranges by Age:
• U10-14 – expect double digit numbers in the teens.
• U15-18 – the batter should try to be a 10 or lower. A good swing

Coaching Insights:
• Hand Cast Distance allows coaches to quantify if a player is staying inside the ball, swinging with his ‘hands back’ and keeping the bat in the best possible position – over the back shoulder – before uncoiling the hands and bat toward the pitched ball.
• Having a large Hand Cast Distance makes it difficult for a batter to hit the fastball, and/or adjust to hitting balls that occupy the middle or inside part of the plate.
• In an ideal swing that results in a minimal amount of hand cast, the hands stay close to the shoulder, with the hands and barrel staying inside the baseball before the barrel gets on plane with the path of the pitch.

Approach Angle  
Overview: Using the Approach Angle metric, hitters clearly know the direction of their swing plane at the moment of impact.  While the optimal Approach Angle is dependent on the type of pitch, it typically needs to be between +5° degrees and +15° degrees in order to hit a line drive and between +20° and +35° degrees in order to hit a home run.

Optimal Ranges by Type of Batter:
• For U10-14 players learning to hit line-drives: +6 to +10
• For U15-18 player who want to hit line-drives: +11 to +19
• For U15-18 power hitters who have strength & ability to hit deep: +20 to +35

Coaching Insights:
• Consider that a pitch is coming “downhill” from the mound at a -6° degree to -8° degree angle. To counter that, a batter should be making contact at an upward angle to “match the plane of the pitch” at a minimum. 
• If you have a kid who is hitting a lot of ground balls – look at the approach angle and work drills to get the point of contact happening at a positive angle. 
• When you marry Approach Angle with Distance in the Zone, you might see why a kid is popping up too much or fouling off. 
• When hitting off a tee or even soft toss, you’d hope to see fairly consistent Approach Angles swing-by-swing, but when doing BP or facing live pitching, you will see a bigger range because the hitter has to “go get” the pitch (and that’s OK). 


Distance in the Zone
Overview: Using the Distance in the Zone metric, hitters can determine when their barrel is entering and leaving the hitting zone.  The longer the barrel stays in the hitting zone, the better chance the player has to make consistent, solid contact.  This is clearly depicted in the 3D viewer as the blue portion of the swing path.

Optimal Ranges by Age:
• U10-14: Good is 29-32 inches
• U15-18: Good is 31-34 inches
• College-Pro: Good is 33-37 inches

Coaching Insights:
• Having a swing that maintains a good Distance in The Zone gives the batter a better chance of making contact with the pitch. It also means the swing is “more forgiving” 
• Having a good Distance In The Zone can account for small errors in timing because there is more “space” for the batter to make contact and still put the ball in play.
• This metric can help coaches identify loopy swings based on how early the barrel enters the zone and if there is a ‘hard-turn’ coming out of the zone.
• Additionally, based on where contact is most often made, it can help identify if a hitter is having issues with timing up the pitch.

For more Tech in Baseball videos, click here.


Diamond Kinetics is the market leader in mobile motion technology and information that enables player development, superior equipment fitting, objective scouting and recruiting, and engagement-driven entertainment.


 RBI Double to the Wall
(8/5/2019)
 
   

RBI Double to the Wall


Monday Manager
By Tom Succow


In this edition of Monday Manager, four-time USA Baseball coaching alum Tom Succow discusses all the ingredients necessary for a hitter to put their team on the board and clear the bases with a deep, RBI Double to the outfield wall.

Tom Succow, is a contributor to the USA Baseball Sport Development Blog, and is currently the assistant coach at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona. In 2017, Succow retired as the Head Baseball Coach at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Arizona, after 42 years at the helm. Succow accumulated over 700 wins during his tenure, as well as a state championship in 2006 and three state runner-up honors in 1982, 2007 and 2012. Succow is a four-time USA Baseball coaching alum, including an assistant coaching position with the 2003 16U National Team, which won the gold medal in the International Baseball Federation AA World Youth Championships in Taiwan. Succow was honored by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) as National Coach of the Year in 2007 and is a member of four Halls of Fames, being inducted into the Arizona Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2003, the Brophy Hall of Fame in 2007, the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (BCA) Hall of Fame in 2013, and the Arizona High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2016.


 El Juego Libre
(8/2/2019)
 
   

El Juego Libre 


USA Baseball 

El juego libre, o el juego deliberado, supone las actividades de desarrollo físico que son intrínsecamente motivadoras, que proveen gratificación inmediata y que son diseñadas específicamente para maximizar el placer. Las actividades del juego deliberado ocurren típicamente entre los 6 y los 14 años e incluyen juegos clásicos del vecindario como el béisbol de jardín trasero y el basquetbol de calle.  Estos juegos normalmente consisten en equipos pequeños con reglas flexibles y definidos por los pares.

¿Por qué promover el juego libre?

El juego libre ofrece muchos beneficios. Estos beneficios incluyen:

 Facilitar una pasión y un amor por el juego a través de la exploración del juego.
 Permitir una motivación intrínseca para el éxito.
 Promover el desarrollo como atleta entero.
 Estimular el desarrollo del cerebro a través de aumentar la resolución creativa de problemas, los procesos de pensamiento, la adaptación y la resolución de conflictos.
 Fomentar el desarrollo social a través de la creación de reglas y del trabajo en equipo.
 Aumentar la autonomía, la motivación y el placer.

¿Cómo pueden promover los entrenadores el juego libre?

Los entrenadores desempeñan un papel importante en la promoción del juego libre.

 Permitir que los jugadores resuelvan sus propios problemas y trabajen juntos en equipo para resolver los conflictos.
 Dar a los jugadores acceso al equipo, y permitir que los jugadores determinen cuál juego van a jugar.
 Dedicar cierta parte del entrenamiento para que los jugadores puedan participar en el juego libre.
 Animar a los jugadores a participar en el juego libre en casa.
 Permitir que los jugadores participen en actividades de juego libre antes de los partidos.

¿Cuándo debe ocurrir el juego libre?

El juego libre puede ocurrir en cualquier momento, sea en los entrenamientos, antes de los partidos o en casa. Los entrenadores pueden planear para que los jugadores participen en el juego libre antes de, durante o después de los entrenamientos como parte del plan completo de entrenamiento. Antes de los partidos, los entrenadores pueden animar a los jugadores a empezar el calentamiento con el juego libre, o pueden permitir que los jugadores se mantengan relajados antes del partido a través de participar en actividades de juego libre. Los  jugadores pueden participar en el juego libre en cualquier momento cuando están en casa.

Recomendación de USA Baseball

USA Baseball recomienda que se permita que los jugadores participen en actividades de juego libre durante los últimos 10 minutos del entrenamiento para promover el placer y el aprendizaje del juego.

Ejemplos de actividades de juego libre
 El béisbol de jardín trasero
 Pepper
 Wall Ball
 Stick Ball
 Sock Ball
 Pickle
 Wiffle Ball
 Vitilla
 Kickball


 Knee to Knee Tee
(8/1/2019)
 
   

Knee to Knee Tee


Tech in Baseball
Presented with Diamond Kinetics


Skill Set: Hitting
Difficulty Level: Easy
Number of Athletes and Coaches: 1-2 athletes and 1 coach, or 2 athletes as partners
Average Time to Complete: 5 minutes
Equipment Required: Bat, tee, baseballs, net or screen to hit into

Goal: Focus on keeping the front leg firm throughout the finish of the swing

Description of the Drill: 
• Tee set up in front of the middle of the plate
• Hitter sets up even with the plate, while partner places a ball on the tee
• Hitter starts with 75% swings
• After hitter makes contact, the back kneecap should move toward the inside of the front knee, touching it, and lifting the back foot off of the ground
• The focus should be on keeping the front leg firm throughout the finish of the swing
• Once the hitter feels comfortable with this movement, they can perform 100% swings with the knee to knee movement
• Partners switch after 10 swings

Add Difficulty:
• To add a degree of difficulty, the hitter can also move the tee to different contact point heights (low, middle, high)

Using Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker Sensor and mobile App - the following metrics and tools can help you measure your swing and see improvement when doing this drill:

Approach Angle
Overview: Using the Approach Angle metric, hitters clearly know the direction of their swing plane at the moment of impact.  While the optimal Approach Angle is dependent on the type of pitch, it typically needs to be between +5° degrees and +15° degrees in order to hit a line drive and between +20° and +35° degrees in order to hit a home run.

Optimal Ranges by type of batter:
• For U10-14 players learning to hit line-drives: +6 to +10
• For U15-18 player who want to hit line-drives: +11 to +19
• For U15-18 power hitters who have strength & ability to hit deep: +20 to +35


Coaching Insights:
• Consider that a pitch is coming “downhill” from the mound at a -6° degree to -8° degree angle. To counter that, a batter should be making contact at an upward angle to “match the plane of the pitch” at a minimum. 
• If you have a kid who is hitting a lot of ground balls – look at the approach angle and work drills to get the point of contact happening at a positive angle. 
• When you marry Approach Angle with Distance in the Zone, you might see why a kid is popping up too much or fouling off. 
• When hitting off a tee or even soft toss, you’d hope to see fairly consistent Approach Angles swing-by-swing, but when doing BP or facing live pitching, you will see a bigger range because the hitter has to “go get” the pitch (and that’s OK). 

Distance in the Zone
Overview: Using the Distance in the Zone metric, hitters can determine when their barrel is entering and leaving the hitting zone.  The longer the barrel stays in the hitting zone, the better chance the player has to make consistent, solid contact.  This is clearly depicted in the 3D viewer as the blue portion of the swing path.

Optimal Ranges by Age:
• U10-14: Good is 29-32 inches
• U15-18: Good is 31-34 inches
• College-Pro: Good is 33-37 inches

Coaching Insights:
• Having a swing that maintains a good Distance in The Zone gives the batter a better chance of making contact with the pitch. It also means the swing is “more forgiving” 
• Having a good Distance In The Zone can account for small errors in timing because there is more “space” for the batter to make contact and still put the ball in play.
• This metric can help coaches identify loopy swings based on how early the barrel enters the zone and if there is a ‘hard-turn’ coming out of the zone.
• Additionally, based on where contact is most often made, it can help identify if a hitter is having issues with timing up the pitch.

Max Barrel Speed
Overview: Using Barrel speed, hitters can know the maximum speed of the bat’s barrel during their swing.  It’s measured in miles per hour, so it’s easy to understand and measure improvement over time.  Higher barrel speed is the main factor in producing high exit velocity after contact so the ball goes further… faster.

Top 10% of Age Groups:
• U10 Players: 49mph +
• U12 Players: 54mph +
• U14 Players: 58mph +
• U16 Players: 63mph +
• U18 Players: 69mph +
• D1 College:   72mph +

Coaching Insights:
• This is the maximum speed of the bat’s barrel during a swing, at a point 20% from the tip of the bat (i.e. the sweet spot). It is the main factor in producing high exit velocity when the ball is hit. It greatly affects both the distance and speed at which the ball travels after impact. 
• Keep in mind that hitters need to “square the ball up” to maximize ball exit velocity.
• Increasing barrel speed is an important goal. Improvement should be measured over time to see if there is real physical and/or swing-mechanic growth. 
• Mechanics are important, but so is size & strength. So when thinking about a kid’s projectability, keep in mind if a player is not done growing yet.

For more Tech in Baseball videos, click here.


Diamond Kinetics is the market leader in mobile motion technology and information that enables player development, superior equipment fitting, objective scouting and recruiting, and engagement-driven entertainment.


 Blending the Old With the New
(7/19/2019)
 
   

Blending the Old With The New


FUNdamental Skills
By Darren Fenster


The baseball industry is in a very interesting place right now. The lens through which players, coaches, and fans now see the game has probably changed more in the last five years than it had in the previous 50. 

In 2015, Major League Baseball integrated Statcast in all 30 if its ballparks, opening up a completely new way to analytically think about the game through this state-of-the art tracking system that collected baseball data was never previously recorded, let alone even thought about. As such, launch angle, exit velocity, and route efficiency were born.  And thanks to a few other devices, spin rate, pitch axis, and attack angle came to life soon thereafter.

These technologies have significantly changed the way many coaches coach, many players train, and in turn, the way many teams play.  Pitchers are throwing harder than ever, where the offensive approach of working counts to get into a team’s bullpen is a thing of the past. Hitters are elevating the ball at a rate that we’ve never seen before, while swinging and missing at a frequency that would drive a little league coach nuts. 

Some argue that Statcast has had a negative impact on the game with a focus on these new metrics rather than the game itself, but that view is short-sighted. For years, coaches have used radar guns and stopwatches as a means to evaluate players. Measurables are not new by any means; there are just far more of them now thanks to the technologies that have developed in recent years.  

Old school coaches often lament at the new technology and those who extensively employ it, sarcastically questioning how players ever managed to get better without every single part of a hitter’s swing or pitcher’s delivery being tracked like it is now. The new school regime of coaches often mock the time-tested coaches and their approach to development by discounting anything that has been done forever, foolishly asserting that the game has passed those others by.

There has never been a bigger disconnect within the game between the old and the new than there is now. But, just like with everything else in life, there needs to be balance.  Discarding something that is productive just because it is “old school” is just as naïve as implementing something new solely because it’s new. Experience can be one of the game’s best teachers. And today’s technologies and analytics can make that experience that much more valuable.

Two years ago at the ABCA National Convention in Dallas, Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch took to the stage and told the group of more than 6,000 baseball coaches in attendance, “if you still coach the same way you did five years ago, someone in your league has passed you by.” But that doesn’t mean you throw away everything you knew and everything you did a short time ago. It simply means you grow and continue to learn the game in an effort to get better.  That growth isn’t new school, and it isn’t old school. It’s the best of both schools. 


Darren Fenster is a contributor to the USA Baseball Sport Development Blog, and is currently the Manager of the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. A former player in the Kansas City Royals minor league system, Fenster joined the Red Sox organization in 2012 after filling various roles on the Rutgers University Baseball staff, where he was a two-time All-American for the Scarlet Knights. Fenster is also Founder and CEO of Coaching Your Kids, LLC, and can be found on Twitter @CoachYourKids.


 Baseball Myths
(7/17/2019)
 
   

Baseball Myths


Cuddyer's Corner
By Michael Cuddyer


Former Major Leaguer Michael Cuddyer draws upon his wealth of baseball experience to dispel a number of common baseball myths. To have your questions answered by Michael Cuddyer, submit them using #USABMailbag on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.


Michael Cuddyer is a contributor to the USA Baseball Sport Development blog, and is a 15-year MLB veteran and two-time All-Star, spending his career playing for the Minnesota Twins, Colorado Rockies and the New York Mets. A member of the USA Baseball 18U National Team in 1996 and 1997, Cuddyer was then named the 1997 Virginia Player of the Year, Gatorade National Player of the Year, and was a member of USA Today’s All-Star team. He was selected ninth overall in the 1997 MLB Amateur Player Draft by the Minnesota Twins.


 Los Beneficios de Hacer Múltiples Deportes
(7/30/2018)
 
   

Los Beneficios de Hacer Múltiples Deportes


USA Baseball

¿POR QUÉ ENTRENAMOS? ¡ESTAMOS TRATANDO DE INFLUIR EN LAS VIDAS DE NUESTROS JUGADORES!

El fin de la temporada de béisbol puede ser triste para todo el mundo. La transición al tiempo más fresco y el cambio de estaciones hasta el otoño pueden ser difíciles para alguien que disfruta de pasar la primavera y el verano en el campo de béisbol. Aunque estos cambios signifiquen el fin de la temporada de béisbol, ¡no tienen que significar el fin de participar en los deportes a lo largo del año!
Hay muchos beneficios de participar en múltiples deportes a lo largo del año.

Evitar el Agotamiento


Hacer el mismo deporte todos los días durante un periodo de tiempo prolongado, como a lo largo del año, puede llevar rápidamente al agotamiento. Agotamiento en un deporte significa cuando un atleta se fatiga mentalmente a causa de hacer un deporte demasiado a menudo. Cuando los atletas hacen un deporte demasiado a menudo a una edad temprana, puede que el atleta pierda el aspecto de diversión en el deporte. Entonces, el atleta querrá dejar de hacer deporte porque está harto de ello, y simplemente ya no es divertido. El deporte se convierte en trabajo, y al atleta le molesta ir a los partidos y los entrenamientos. Jugar en las ligas muy competitivas durante todo el año puede ejercer presión en atletas jóvenes, lo cual les causa volverse resentidos.
Es importante recordar que los niños hacen deportes porque pueden divertirse con amigos, disfrutan de hacer y les gusta competir. Estas tres cosas son las claves de la participación en los deportes juveniles. Demasiados atletas jóvenes se agotan porque el foco en estas claves simples se pierde cuando el atleta hace un deporte durante un periodo de tiempo prolongado. En tomar un descanso de un deporte para hacer otro, los atletas reciben más variedad, además de varias situaciones, y pueden continuar con los deportes porque es más probable que les gusten.

Reducir el Riesgo de las Lesiones Relacionadas con el Uso Excesivo


Las lesiones de uso excesivo y el agotamiento van juntos. Si atletas hacen un deporte a lo largo del año, usan constantemente los huesos y los músculos en edad de crecimiento de la misma manera. Sin variedad en el movimiento y el uso muscular, los músculos y los huesos que se usan a menudo pueden empezar a agotarse por el uso excesivo. La moción repetitiva del mismo deporte a lo largo del año, al hacer los mismos ejercicios, lleva a menudo a las lesiones de uso excesivo, como las fracturas por estrés, las torceduras y los esguinces, e incluso los desgarros en los músculos, los tendones y los ligamentos.
Al hacer una variedad de deportes,  especialmente durante los años de desarrollo, es probable que mejore el rendimiento de los atletas en otros deportes.

Desarrollar Mejores Habilidades Como Atleta Completo

En cuántas más deportes y actividades se involucran los niños a una edad temprana, más oportunidades tienen de desarrollarse como atleta, no sólo como jugador de béisbol, fútbol, basquetbol o fútbol americano. Muchas habilidades y técnicas se transfieren de un deporte a otro y se complementan mientras siguen desarrollar y fortalecer las habilidades preexistentes. Cuando los atletas desarrollan las habilidades tras varios deportes y actividades, es probable que su rendimiento en otros deportes mejore.
Por ejemplo, tanto el béisbol como el fútbol suponen el correr. En el béisbol, se corre alrededor de las bases y para perseguir las pelotas que se han bateado. En el fútbol, se corre por el campo, pasando el balón y tratando de anotar. Mientras que el correr de béisbol usualmente es más explosivo, en distancias cortas durante periodos cortos de tiempo, el correr de fútbol supone más resistencia, en distancias largas durante periodos largos de tiempo. Si un atleta hace tanto el béisbol como el fútbol, desarrollará las habilidades tanto del correr explosivo como del correr de resistencia. La habilidad del correr de resistencia les puede ayudar en el béisbol si batean un triple, y la habilidad del correr explosivo les puede ayudar en el fútbol si tratan de robar el balón del oponente. La combinación de las dos habilidades produce un atleta más completo.

Oportunidades de Desarrollar Más Habilidades Mentales para la Vida

Hacer múltiples deportes puede ayudar a los niños a desarrollar habilidades importantes para la vida, como la resolución de los problemas, el trabajo en equipo, la comunicación y la responsabilidad. Mientras que hacer un deporte imparte lecciones valiosas, hacer una variedad de deportes permite que las lecciones se enseñen y se aprendan en diferentes ambientes, lo cual ayuda a enseñar la adaptabilidad y la actitud receptiva hacia el cambio. Hacer múltiples deportes provee gran oportunidad de exponerse a nuevos papeles en equipo y hacerse jugador completo. Por ejemplo, un jugador que es el mejor en el campo de béisbol puede beneficiar de jugar otro papel en el basquetbol.

Habilidad de Seguir Fomentar la Confianza

El deporte es un gran vehículo de fomentar la autoestima en los jóvenes. En cada deporte, hay varios niveles de éxito que un joven puede lograr. Ya sea realizar un tiro libre o batear un sencillo, cada paso del proceso en el deporte ofrece una nueva oportunidad de lograr éxito. Mientras los atletas logran éxito en los deportes, su autoestima aumenta porque empiezan a entender que pueden derrotar cualquier obstáculo, tanto en el deporte como en la vida.


 Las Furgonetas de Pasajeros
(7/26/2019)
 
   

Las Furgonetas de Pasajeros 


USA Baseball 

El uso de furgonetas de 15 pasajeros para transportar a participantes atléticos ha sido objeto de escrutinio debido a los riesgos documentados de volcar y la responsabilidad catastrófica asociada potencial que puede resultar de heridas graves o muerte de múltiples pasajeros.
La Junta Nacional de Seguridad en el Transporte examinó los datos de colisiones de un solo vehículo de siete estados en los años 1994 a 1997 y publicó múltiples informes y avisos, con el más reciente en 2012. El aviso más reciente ha sido moderado de avisos previos pero persisten preocupaciones aunque los productores publicitan las mejoras recientes de los modelos más nuevos. Los avisos parecen tener un impacto positivo ya que la cantidad de muertes de las colisiones de furgonetas de 15 pasajeros ha disminuido considerablemente.

LO QUE SIGUE ES UN RESUMEN DEL AVISO MÁS RECIENTE DE LA JUNTA NACIONAL DE SEGURIDAD EN TRANSPORTE PUBLICADO EN 2012:

Las furgonetas de 15 pasajeros nunca se deben sobrecargar con pasajeros ni carga, ya que esto puede subir el riesgo de volcar y hacer la furgoneta menos estable en cualquier maniobra.
• Todos los conductores deben licenciarse adecuadamente y ser experimentados en la conducción de furgonetas de 15 pasajeros.
• Todos los pasajeros deben llevar cinturones de seguridad. La mayoría de las muertes han ocurrido con pasajeros que no se habían abrochado el cinturón y se tiraron de la furgoneta.
• Se debe mantener la furgoneta regularmente.
• Los componentes de dirección y suspensión deben inspeccionarse según las directrices del productor.
• Los neumáticos deben ser de tamaño correcto y tener la capacidad de carga correcta. Ve el manual de propietario y el montante de la puerta para más información.
• Se deben inspeccionar los neumáticos antes de cada viaje para la inflación correcta y señales de deterioro por uso. Ve el manual de propietario y el montante de la puerta para información sobre la inflación correcta.
• Los neumáticos de repuesto no se deben usar como sustitución y muchos productores recomienden que neumáticos que tienen más de 10 años no se usen.
LO QUE SIGUE ES UN RESUMEN DE LOS AVISOS PREVIOS DE LA JUNTA NACIONAL DE SEGURIDAD EN TRANSPORTE Y OTRAS FUENTES DE MINIMIZACIÓN DE RIESGOS

• Cuando una furgoneta se carga con 10 ocupantes o más, es tres veces más probable que vuelque, comparado con menos de 10 ocupantes.
• La propensión a volcar se incrementa considerablemente a una velocidad de más de 50 mph y en calles curvas.
• El diseño estándar de la furgoneta de 15 pasajeros no cumple con los requisitos de refuerzo estructural de automóviles de pasajeros o transportes escolares en el área detrás del asiento de conductor.
• Muchas leyes estatales prohíben el uso de furgonetas de 15 pasajeros para transportar a estudiantes de preparatoria hacia y desde eventos escolares. Ve la carta para el estado de las leyes estatales.
• Investigación adicional indica que los furgonetas de 12 pasajeros no salen mucho mejor y que algunos VUD presentan riesgos significativos de volcar.
• www.safecar.gov ofrece información adicional sobre la seguridad de furgonetas.

EN RESPUESTA A LAS PREOCUPACIONES YA MENCIONADAS, SE RECOMIENDA QUE LAS ORGANIZACIONES DEPORTIVAS QUE TRANSPORTAN A JÓVENES DE PREPARATORIA Y NIÑOS MÁS PEQUEÑOS ADOPTEN LAS SIGUIENTES REGULACIONES

1. Requerir siempre que los padres transporten a sus hijos cuando sea posible.
2. Para las organizaciones deportivas que alquilan o piden prestados sus vehículos, las furgonetas de 15 y 12 pasajeros no se deben usar nunca. Mejores vehículos de sustitución incluyen camionetas de siete pasajeros, carros de pasajeros o transportes escolares con propensión mucho más bajo con cargas más grandes.
3. Para las organizaciones que poseen furgonetas de 15 o 12 pasajeros, dichas furgonetas deben reemplazarse con alternativas más seguras como camionetas o transportes escolares lo más antes posible.

SI UNA ORGANIZACIÓN DEPORTIVA VA A USAR UNA FURNOGETA DE 15 O 12 PASAJEROS PARA TRANSPORTAR A PARTICIPANTES, A PESAR DE LOS AVISOS, SE DEBEN TOMAR LAS SIGUIENTES PRECAUCIONES

1. Siempre usar un conductor entrenador y experimentado que no es estudiante. Aunque el conductor de un furgoneta de 15 o 12 pasajeros no tiene que tener licencia comercial de conducir, dicho conductor debe entender y familiarizarse con manejar una furgoneta completamente cargada. El conductor debe estar bien descansado y atento, y no bajo los efectos de drogas. Además, sería mejor si alguien aparte del entrenador sea el conductor, ya que puede que el entrenador esté exhausto o preocupado por el resultado del partido o por problemas de rendimiento del equipo. Se debe hacer un registro de vehículo de motor para todos los conductores para asegurar que no tengan más de dos violaciones menores en los últimos tres años ni delitos graves como una conducción bajo la influencia de alcohol o la conducción temeraria, en los últimos cinco años.
2.Los conductores deben estar consciente de las siguientes condiciones que a menudo resultan en el derrumbe del vehículo:
1. La furgoneta sale de una calle rural y aterriza en una zanja, choca con un terraplén o se atasca en tierra blanda. 
2. El conductor está fatigado, se queda dormido al volante o conduce demasiado rápido para las condiciones. Las furgonetas que se conducen a altas velocidades en que el conductor pierde control muchas veces salen de la calle. 
3. El conductor sobrecorrige la conducción como reacción de pánico a una emergencia o a una rueda que sale del pavimento. Insiste que todos los ocupantes lleven cinturones de seguridad durante la duración completa del viaje. Setenta y seis porciento de los que murieron en furgonetas de 15 pasajeros en colisiones de un solo vehículo entre 1990 y 2002 no se habían abrochado el cinturón de seguridad. Un ocupante libre de ataduras en un furgoneta de 15 pasajeros en una colisión de un solo vehículo es aproximadamente tres veces más propenso a morir que un ocupante refrenado. 
4. Si es posible, mueve a los pasajeros y la carga delante del eje de atrás. Evita poner carga en el techo. 
5. Chequea los neumáticos antes de cada viaje para verificar que estén inflados adecuadamente y que no estén excesivamente deteriorados. La presión de cada neumático debe chequearse cuando está “frío” y ajustarla a la presión recomendada de inflación especificada en el manual de propietario. Puede que sea sorprendente para muchos que la presión recomendada típica de los neumáticos traseros puede ser mucho más alta que la de los delanteros. Las furgonetas siempre deben equiparse con manómetro. 

PREOCUPACIONES ADICIONALES

Bajo la mayoría de leyes estatales, la organización deportiva se puede demandar además del propietario y el conductor del vehículo si hay un accidente de tránsito que resulta en lesiones. Muchas compañías de seguros que proveen el seguro de responsabilidad de automóviles no poseídos o contratados para las organizaciones deportivas excluyen la cobertura de demandas que surgen a partir del uso de furgonetas de 15 pasajeros o del transporte de participantes. Hay que estar consciente de si su póliza contenga estas exclusiones o no.Algunas organizaciones deportivas transfieren el riesgo de transporte en grupo a través de contratar un servicio de autobús. Se debe pedir siempre del servicio un certificado de seguro que indica que tiene una póliza con un límite de responsabilidad de $1,000,000 como mínimo para todos autos poseídos.Por cortesía de John M. Sadler, JD, CIC; miembro del comité consultivo de medicina y seguridad de USA Baseball; Presidente Sadler Sports & Recreation Insurance


 Training and Transfer (Part III)
(7/30/2019)
 
   

Training and Transfer (Part III) 


Coaching Absolutes
By Dave Turgeon


In Training and Transfer Part II, we discussed on how to add layers to the simple applications to take your on-field training to another level by allowing players to engage in deeper learning and more ownership skills. In the final part, we will discuss the final and critical aspects on how to educate our players.

RANDOM VS. BLOCK TRAINING

There was a study done in 1994 by Hall, Dominguez, and Cavazos entitled “Contextual Interference Effects With Skilled Baseball Players” that shows the benefits of Random vs Block training but before we get into it lets clarify what this is. A great example of Block Training is traditional batting practice. You get a set number of same speed and soft pitches out over the middle of the plate. You know what pitch is coming and to a high degree what speed and location as well. If you know what is coming and where it is coming to, the pitch recognition and decision-making involved in true hitting (like in a game) has been eliminated. Basically, the player is on autopilot and it is swing practice as opposed to hitting practice. Another example of Block Training could be traditional ground ball work. The old “5 right at them, 5 to their left and 5 to their right” routine tells the defender where the ball is going and that it is definitely coming to them. The part of having to read a ball off a bat that may or may not come to them and not having knowledge of where or how hard has been removed. The equation of what is the speed of the ball, the speed of the runner, and “where will I go with this ball” has been removed. Essentially it is skill practice of fielding and throwing a ball only. Now, how could we turn each one of these into a random training session? The batting practice can become random by simply mixing in off-speed pitches and changing locations of those pitches as well as throwing balls out of the strike zone on purpose. By this one change, the batter now has to read and recognize the type of pitch and make a decision on whether to swing or not. The one adjustment got the hitter one foot out of the zoo and one foot into the jungle. To turn the defensive segment from block to random, we now hit the ground balls to any infielder at any time, so the fielder has to be engaged even though the ball may or may not come to him. Add to this a stopwatch of runner’s speed now every groundball (balls are hit anywhere and everywhere) has a speed of ball and speed of runner component to it. Decision making and problem-solving as opposed to mindless skill work have now been achieved. We have gone from zoo to jungle with one simple adjustment. The greatest example I have heard on this was laid out by colleague and friend Andy Bass. In a PowerPoint presentation on “Action Reconstruction” (motor learning term), he asked all of us to solve the math equation he flashed on the board. The math problem was 21 divided by 3, to which we all answered 7. He then flashes the same problem 6 more times to which the answers were quick and easy as expected. He then goes to another block of math problems only this time, every problem is different. The problems were easy but each different. Examples like 12 divided by 2, 18 divided by 9, 12 divided by 3, etc. It was blatantly obvious that the speed at which the problems were solved was quick but markedly slower than the first block. The second block of problems forced us to recognize each problem before solving it in a completely random fashion.  Just like the game! Baseball is constant problem solving done with athletic movements, so we need to practice this all the time. The math exercise is actually much easier than the game because we have more parts to the equations in the game and the added pressure of competition, crowds, weather, and many other moving parts that impact the execution of any and all plays. Our training methods will determine whether or not we are developing good problem solvers or not. Now to put some meat on the bone here let’s break down this study I mentioned earlier. 

The study involves 3 groups of hitters. The first group only does block training in the context of the team practice. The second group does block training the same as the first group but is given extra hitting beyond what the first group did. The third group is trained in a random fashion and is given additional training like group 2 but their additional training is random as well. The study showed as follows: Group 1 improved 6.2 percent, Group 2 improved 24.8 percent, and Group 3 improved 56.7 percent. Now given the small sample size and add in the human element these numbers could be skewed in measuring the actual transfer into games. It still jumps out at me so dramatically that it cannot be ignored. It shows there is value in block practice and that you will improve but more importantly it shows we are lowering the bar of transfer if we train only this way. Get out of the zoo and get in the jungle!

OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING 

“Observational Learning” is another way we learn and create the transfer. A great example of this would be how a baby learns how to walk. We do not coach our kids up and comment on their gate or foot strike, we simply encourage them to get back up. The child is building strength and at the same time figuring out how to walk. Classic watch and do learning. I think back at how I learned things in the game I probably “watched” more than I “did.” I had 6 older siblings that I watched and learned from on a daily basis. I watched baseball on television. I was a bat boy on multiple teams. Thousands of visual reps allowed me to learn and eventually transfer my skills to the game. Colleague Andy Bass broke down this concept to me in an interesting study done by Gaby Wulf. They had one group shoot 30 free throws and another group shoot 15 and observe another 15. The observation group practiced half as many shots. When they brought the groups back for retention and transfer testing the observation group was as good as the first group in retention but even better during the transfer test! The study suggests that having athletes observe while also practicing will deepen learning and processing. Now, discussing this with Andy made my creative juices flow. Obviously, this happens organically in batting practice and defensive practice as the off infielders or hitters are watching others perform the tasks. And educating our players will make them more intentional in watching the off reps. I thought we could be more intentional with this, so we came up with bunting and hitting montages with lots of different bunters and hitters for off hitters to watch on a computer between rounds. I found the most difference with the bunters in terms of speed of learning and will continue to push this concept of learning and transfer. Besides all of these benefits, it is also creating reps that will not wear the body down. In a professional season, the reps mount and the energy wanes over a long season. This is a great way to create and deepen skills and create transfer while saving energy.  
 

TRANSFER WRAP UP

How we create and develop skills into our players will largely impact how they are able to let them out in a game setting. Step one for us as coaches is that we will need to surrender some of our thinking to move our training forward. Remember, even after Christopher Columbus discovered the world was not flat and for many years after there were those who went to their grave believing it was flat still. Baseball teachers let’s adopt the mantra “truth over tradition!” There is a ton of low hanging fruit out there that will force players to Respect The Rep such as demanding it and letting players know the goal and expectation of whatever work you will be doing at that time. The next big one would be creating a challenging work environment that in and of itself requires a player to have focus and intent on every rep which will, in turn, create the transfer. Add the layer of competition and scoring will create the focus we are also looking for. This leads us to a huge one of Training to the Truth. This simply means we are training and making decisions at least to the speed of the game with whatever we are doing. Traditional baseball training is famous for crawling and walking in the workday and then wondering why we cannot run well at game time. Which leads us to Training Beyond the Truth. Shrinking down workspaces to create an even faster decision-making process is a great way of speeding up the game in order to slow the game down for them come game time. Although this make gets messy at times, we have to understand how messy learning can look and be ok with this. If the work is clean, they “have it” and need more challenge and different looks! A couple of new techniques that are big on developing a deeper learning and more transfer is having the players teach different parts of the game. I have heard so many times you never really get to know something until you have taught it and this is true. They are so much more engaged in the work it is amazing! The terms of Random vs Block Training are the latest buzzwords out there in our training and without getting bogged down with scientific definitions just think in terms of zoo vs jungle. You really get more of what you train. Observational learning may be the lowest hanging fruit in this whole discussion. Let’s not forget this is how we learn best. That said I find it critical that we educate our players on why we are training the way we are and that it works. The big hurdle you will face is fewer success rates and more messiness in the workday and players not “feeling” good all the time. The simple question I pose to players is this. Would you rather “feel good” in practice every day or “perform” come game time? The answer will be performed of course and then we must continue to educate them on how we learn, what it looks like, and how we are going to train to get them to perform. This education and the selling of the training is all pivotal on one thing. Does the player trust you? We have hit this element before in that the foundation of all coaching comes back to our ability to connect and develop our relationships with our players. 

SOME DIFFERENT IDEAS ON TRAINING THAT CREATE TRANSFER

• Drop ball ground ball work. Groundballs that are hit off a flip from another coach and randomly done. The defender can get rhythm and timing off of the flipper. Add a stopwatch to this you are now training reps where the ball is not hit to them. The 12-15 seconds between reps now comes into play as it does in the game. This becomes a drill in being present for every pitch. 

• Training in 10-minute blocks is something that I have played with more and more. The ebb and flow of offense and defense are like this and I have mimicked this in the training with good success come game time. This is jungle training while training to the truth of the game.

•More low hanging fruit in creating a work environment: Remove the turtle for batting practice. Do we hit with one in the game? Hitting with a helmet on at all times. Practicing in pants/uniform.  Think of how differently you feel wearing shorts and a t-shirt vs wearing a tuxedo to a function? Wearing pants also allows us to include the fundamental art of sliding into our jungle work. What we wear impacts the mind and the environment. Using music to create a more chaotic environment and make them more reliant on their eyes and reading situations rather than verbal communication. It also puts our brain in a better state to learn as well as create energy.
•Baserunning work is done with a complete defensive shell. The machine at home and runners at different bases are given the number of outs and the inning. The machine fires balls into random parts of the field either on a line or high in the air. The defense is forced to be in spots and make reads and the baserunners are making reads based off of information and real jungle environment. Plays are competed, and slides are in play. With all the decisions and reads that are going on this would qualify as a Fundamedley in the Jungle! The possibilities you can add to this are limitless.

•Pitching PFP should be done randomly and with a stopwatch. Instead of doing things in order like cover plays, comebackers, and fielding bunts do all of them out of order and with a different situation called out. You now have reading and decision making as part of the training. Better yet you could have some element of this while performing a bullpen session with counts and a coach in the box with a fungo. Sometimes balls being put in play and a pitcher being forced to run to cover a base or field a bunt and then return to pitch just as they do in a game. The heart rate going up just as it does in the game simulating stress to the work.
Put them in the jungle as much as you can to create a ROBUST learning environment and then, in the end, help them make sense of it. This involves question asking and feedback and allowing them to search for and give answers.

Turgeon is a contributor to the USA Baseball Sport Development Blog, and is the Coordinator of Instruction for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Turgeon played in the New York Yankees farm system from 1987-1990 under Stump Merrill and Buck Showalter after being drafted out of Davidson College. Before playing for the Baltimore Orioles’ AAA affiliate in 1998 he spent eight years playing abroad. From 2000-2001 Turgeon began coaching in the Cleveland Indians organization before entering the college ranks where he coached with Boston College, the University of Connecticut, Duke University and Virginia Tech.


 Decline Swings
(7/12/2019)
 
   

Decline Swings


Tech in Baseball
Presented with Diamond Kinetics


Skill Set: Hitting
Difficulty Level: Easy
Number of Athletes and Coaches: 1-2 athletes and 1 coach, or 2 athletes as partners
Average Time to Complete: 5 minutes
Equipment Required: Bat, pitcher's mound or decline hill or similar slope  

Goal: Focus on hitting against the front leg and keeping upper body and head behind it

Description of the Drill: 
• Hitter sets up in hitting stance on a decline hill or similar slope (like a pitcher’s mound) with back foot at top of the hill and front foot down the hill
• Hitter takes dry swings (without hitting a ball)
• Focus should be on hitting against the front leg and keeping the head and body behind it
• If hitter feels their head and upper body getting out over their front leg, they should move their front leg forward a half inch and repeat until they find a spot where their body and head stays behind their leg (this is the stance they should then use as their hitting stance)
• Partners switch after 10 swings

Add Difficulty:
• To add a degree of difficulty, hitters can hit off of a tee from the decline position
• To add a degree of difficulty, hitters can hit front toss from the decline position

Using Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker Sensor and mobile App - the following metrics and tools can help you measure your swing and see improvement when doing this drill:


Impact Momentum
Overview: Impact Momentum is a combination of barrel speed and the size of the bat the hitter is swinging.  The higher the impact momentum, the better chance a hitter has to do damage with greater exit velocities.  Impact Momentum is a great measure of the power potential of a given hitter.

Top 10% of Age Groups: 
• U10 Players: 13 KG/M +
• U12 Players: 15 KG/M +
• U14 Players: 19 KG/M +
• U16 Players: 24 KG/M +
• U18 Players: 27 KG/M +
• D1 College:   28 KG/M +

Coaching Insights:
• Impact Momentum is a “smarter version” of barrel speed because it takes into account the size of the bat. If a kid swings a bigger bat at the same speed, when contact happens, the ball goes further.
• If you want to understand how improving Impact Momentum translates to the game – for every +1 a hitter adds to their Impact Momentum, it equates to roughly a 1.5 MPH increase in exit velocity. And every 1.5 MPH of exit velo translates to roughly 6-10 more feet of carry, depending on launch angle.  
• If you have a high-school kid playing on a full-size field, the magic Impact Momentum number to hit dingers is 27 + (with the right launch angle, of course). A well hit ball with an “IM” of 24 is caught well inside the warning track. Hit it with an IM of 27+ and it is out of the park.

Max Acceleration
Overview: This is the maximum acceleration the bat experiences during a swing. To be clear, acceleration is not how fast the bat is moving; that’s barrel speed. Acceleration determines how quickly a hitter can reach that top speed. Great bat acceleration is in the DNA of elite hitters.

Top 10% of Age Groups:
• U10 Players: 25 G’s +
• U12 Players: 32 G’s +
• U14 Players: 35 G’s +
• U16 Players: 38 G’s +
• U18 Players: 42 G’s +
• D1 College: 49 G’s +

Coaching Insights:
• Max Acceleration tells coaches & scouts if a player can get the bat up to speed in a shorter time, allowing them to… 1) wait longer to recognize the pitch 2) decide what to do 3) And still have the ability to achieve their goal.
• This is a high-level metric that can sometimes stand apart from Max Barrel Speed and Impact Momentum. Max Acceleration requires all parts of the swing to sequence together, achieving that ‘snap’ of the bat that indicates great acceleration.
• You’ll often hear people say, ‘when that kid hits, it sounds different.” This metric is the science behind that old adage.

For more Tech in Baseball videos, click here.


Diamond Kinetics is the market leader in mobile motion technology and information that enables player development, superior equipment fitting, objective scouting and recruiting, and engagement-driven entertainment.


 Ground Ball to the Third-Base Side of the Mound
(7/22/2019)
 
   

Ground Ball to the Third-Base Side of the Mound


Monday Manager
By Tom Succow


In this edition of Monday Manager, four-time USA Baseball coaching alum Tom Succow discusses the method of securing a ground ball hit to the third-base side of the mound and converting a successful throw to record an out after delivering a pitch.


Tom Succow, is a contributor to the USA Baseball Sport Development Blog, and is currently the assistant coach at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona. In 2017, Succow retired as the Head Baseball Coach at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Arizona, after 42 years at the helm. Succow accumulated over 700 wins during his tenure, as well as a state championship in 2006 and three state runner-up honors in 1982, 2007 and 2012. Succow is a four-time USA Baseball coaching alum, including an assistant coaching position with the 2003 16U National Team, which won the gold medal in the International Baseball Federation AA World Youth Championships in Taiwan. Succow was honored by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) as National Coach of the Year in 2007 and is a member of four Halls of Fames, being inducted into the Arizona Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2003, the Brophy Hall of Fame in 2007, the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (BCA) Hall of Fame in 2013, and the Arizona High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2016.


 7 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Multi-Sport Camps
(7/18/2019)
 
   

7 Reasons to Invest in Multi-Sport Camps 


Consider a multi-sport summer camp rather than a sport-specific one


“Anything we can do to give kids diversity in physical and physiological ways is a win,” says Steve Smith, PhD. Smith is a professor of clinical psychology at University of California, Santa Barbara and focuses on working with young athletes and parents, especially around topics like early specialization in sport. Smith sees multi-sport camps as a great way for young athletes to experience other sports and develop new skills without the pressure of playing for new teams or committing more time during already-packed seasons.

“A multi-sport camp is ideal for helping young athletes avoid early specialization,” says Smith. While tacking on extra sports during the year might be stressful for an athlete and difficult to handle from a time management perspective, a multi-sport camp allows young athletes to explore new sports without adding to an already-busy schedule. 

Here are seven more reasons why you should invest in a multi-sport camp. 

Promote Chances for New Teamwork and Friendships

When young athletes are involved in one sport, they tend to end up with a tight-knit group of friends from that one team. While it’s great to have close friendships, young athletes should be branching out, meeting new people, and learning to work with new teammates. In college, and in life, athletes aren’t always going to be surrounded by teammates they’ve known since kindergarten, so developing social skills is key to long-term success. 

“I work with a lot of collegiate athletes now, and I notice that they travel, practice, and live with their teammates — and if you’re not able to become friendly with those new teammates, you’re going to have a really hard time,” says Smith. “By only knowing one set of teammates, you lose out on interpersonal skills,” he adds. 

It’s important that kids develop their ability to interact with different types of people. A multi-sport camp offers a diverse group of athletes from different disciplines, locations, and backgrounds. Young athletes will have the chance to get outside their comfort zone by participating in a multi-sport camp.  

Learn to Accept Loss and Failure 

In the world of sport, being able to lose is just as important as being able to win when it comes to longevity. If your young athlete has been naturally talented and successful from a young age, it might be beneficial for him or her to experience not being the best on the field. 

“We learn more from failures than we do from wins,” says Smith. "Giving kids the opportunity to be in an environment where they aren’t the best, where they have to step outside of their comfort zone, that’s what teaches them about life and those important life skills.”  

Learn New Skills 

Enrolling athletes in a multi-sport camp can also help them develop in a more well-rounded way. Skills often blend from one game to another: footwork from soccer agility practice may be helpful on the football field and throwing a baseball may make a shot-putter tweak his stance. 

Youth athletes exposed to multiple sports have been shown to be more consistent performers, experience fewer injuries, and stay in sport longer than early-specializers. In a study of 700 professional baseball players, Smith even found that late specializing baseball players were "more likely to get college scholarships and that they consistently practiced more than early specializers.”  

Remember How to Simply Play

"Competition is hard, and it’s hard to be in that place all the time. Young athletes now don’t have a lot of time to just simply play, and camps can offer that,” says Smith. “Taking away the competition and giving a kid an opportunity to just be playful and not results-focused is a huge win.” 

A multi-sport camp can offer young athletes a chance to rediscover the joy of playing, not for a result, just for the sheer fun of running, jumping, throwing and dancing. 

Helps Athletes Get Over Injury

“There’s a benefit to having a horizontal kid—one who can run fast but also play basketball and paint and play an instrument. You shouldn’t be pinning hopes and dreams on one thing. When athletes do that and get injured, it can be devastating,” says Smith. 

A multi-sport camp can offer opportunities for cross-training so that your young athlete can continue to build skills and fitness without pushing an injury. Be sure to talk to a doctor before picking a camp in this case, as certain sports may be better for specific injuries than others.

Find a New Talent or Passion 

Discovering new passions is a great thing for a young athlete. “If a kid specializes early, it increases the likelihood that they’ll get injured or burned out and increases the likelihood of them being sedentary as adults,” says Smith. "That’s not what we want for our kids.” 

Helping children find sports that they can play for life is just as important as winning a championship. Many young athletes won’t go on to be professionals, but they can go on to lead happy, active lives, and finding hobbies outside of that one focus can help them achieve that goal.

Learn Independence

No matter how close you are with your young athlete, it’s important that they get some time outside of your sphere of influence to discover what they are truly passionate about. “You need to let your child figure out who they are, and to do that, you need to separate yourself from the equation,” says Smith. "Letting a child get away from the pressure can be a great thing for them."

_____

Parents and kids are often told that an athlete has to do one sport, do it early, and do it year-round. But as Smith and the research indicate, that’s not always for the best. So this summer, try enrolling your young athlete in a multi-sport camp. 

TrueSport®, a movement powered by the experience and values of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, champions the positive values and life lessons learned through youth sport. TrueSport® inspires athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators to change the culture of youth sport through active engagement and thoughtful curriculum based on cornerstone lessons of sportsmanship, character-building, and clean and healthy performance, by creating leaders across communities through sport.


 El Calendario del Reclutamiento
(7/17/2019)
 
   

El Calendario del Reclutamiento


USA Baseball

 
Los calendarios del reclutamiento sirven para crear oportunidades iguales tras todos los deportes y proteger el bienestar de los estudiante-atletas y los entrenadores. Los calendarios proveen periodos de contacto y evaluación y periodos tranquilos y muertos que definen cuando los entrenadores de la universidad pueden tomar ciertas acciones y cuando no lo pueden durante el proceso de reclutamiento.

Periodos de Contacto

Los periodos de contacto son los periodos en que los entrenadores de la universidad pueden contactar a un estudiante-atleta potencial a través de visitas no oficiales, visitas oficiales, visitas a casa o fuera del campus, cartas, llamadas y comunicaciones electrónicas.  Hay pocas restricciones durante este periodo. El contacto ocurre cuando un entrenador de la universidad se envuelve en una conversación cara a cara que involucra más de sólo un saludo con un estudiante-atleta potencial o su familia. Este contacto se puede hacer dentro o fuera del campus. Los entrenadores pueden observar a los estudiante-atletas potenciales en competencias y visitar las escuelas secundarias durante este periodo.

Periodos de Evaluación

Los periodos de evaluación son los periodos en que un entrenador de la universidad puede observar a los estudiante-atletas en competencias y evaluar sus habilidades. Mientras que este periodo es parecido al periodo de contacto, el periodo de evaluación no permite que el entrenador se envuelva en una conversación cara a cara fuera del campus con un estudiante-atleta potencial o su familia. Los entrenadores de la universidad todavía pueden comunicar a través de visitas oficiales o no oficiales, cartas, llamadas y comunicaciones electrónicas. Los entrenadores pueden asistir a cualquier partido o práctica del estudiante-atleta pero no pueden tener contacto en persona con el estudiante-atleta o su familia en estos eventos.

Periodos Tranquilos

Los periodos tranquilos son los periodos en que los entrenadores de la universidad no pueden observar a ningún estudiante-atleta potencial en ninguna competencia en ninguna ubicación. Estos periodos son más restrictivos que los periodos de contacto y evaluación. Los entrenadores de la universidad todavía pueden comunicar a través de visitas oficiales y no oficiales, cartas, llamadas y comunicaciones electrónicas. Sin embargo, se prohíbe el contacto en persona entre los entrenadores de la universidad y los estudiante-atletas y sus familias fuera del campus. Los periodos tranquilos ocurren típicamente antes del día de firma de la carta nacional de intención. Esto impide que los entrenadores de la universidad tengan contacto fuera del campus con los estudiante-atletas potenciales y sus familias.

Periodos Muertos

Los periodos muertos son los periodos cuando se prohíbe que los entrenadores de la universidad tengan contacto cara a cara con los estudiante-atletas y observen a los estudiante-atletas potenciales en competencias. Este periodo es el más restrictivo en el calendario de reclutamiento. Los entrenadores de la universidad todavía pueden comunicar a través de cartas, llamadas y comunicaciones electrónicas. Mientras que se permite que los estudiante-atletas visiten universidades, no se permite que se reúnan con entrenadores. Los entrenadores no pueden tener ningún contacto en persona con los estudiante-atletas ni con sus familias.

La Carta Nacional de Intención

La Carta Nacional de Intención es un documento firmado por un estudiante-atleta cuando se compromete a asistir a una universidad de la División I o II de la NCAA por un año académico. Los estudiante-atletas pueden firmar una Carta Nacional de Intención durante el último año de la escuela secundaria. Al firmar una Carta Nacional de Intención, el estudiante-atleta accede a asistir a la institución designada, y la institución accede a proveer ayuda financiera al estudiante-atleta por un año académico.
La Carta Nacional de Intención explica la ayuda financiera que proveerá la universidad al estudiante-atleta por un año académico. El estudiante-atleta todavía tiene que solicitar a la universidad, obtener admisión y cumplir los requisitos para recibir la ayuda financiera. La Carta Nacional de Intención es voluntaria y no es necesaria para que el estudiante-atleta reciba ayuda financiera y participe en los deportes.
Tan pronto como un estudiante-atleta firme una Carta Nacional de Intención, el proceso de reclutamiento termina. Se prohíbe que otras instituciones recluten a los estudiante-atletas que ya han firmado Cartas Nacionales de Intención. Después de firmar una Carta Nacional de Intención, un estudiante-atleta puede pedir una renuncia de su contrato con la universidad. Sin embargo, si un estudiante-atleta firma una Cara Nacional de Intención con una universidad, pero decide asistir a otra universidad, perderá un año completo de elegibilidad y tendrá que completar un año completo en la universidad que escoge antes de que pueda competir de nuevo.

Hay algunas ventajas tanto para el estudiante-atleta como para la universidad cuando una Carta Nacional de Intención se firma:

 >Los estudiante-atletas que han firmado ya no pueden recibir contactos y llamadas de reclutamiento.
 Los estudiante-atletas que han firmado reciben una beca atlética garantizada por un mínimo de un año académico.
 El programa puede centrarse en las metas educacionales del estudiante-atleta por enfatizar el compromiso a la institución y al equipo.

La Carta Nacional de Intención es un acuerdo vinculante entre el estudiante-atleta y la institución.


 Bat Behind Hips
(7/12/2019)
 
   

Bat Behind Hips


Tech in Baseball
Presented with Diamond Kinetics


Skill Set: Hitting
Difficulty Level: Easy
Number of Athletes and Coaches: 1-2 athletes and 1 coach, or 2 athletes as partners
Average Time to Complete: 5 minutes
Equipment Required: Bat, tee, baseballs, net or screen to hit into

Goal: Activate the hips into the swing by using only the lower half in the swing

Description of the Drill: 
• Tee set up in front of the middle of the plate at the height of the bat once placed behind hips
• Hitter sets up even with the plate, while partner places a ball on the tee
• Hitter puts the bat behind their back, resting right above their hips with the barrel of the bat off of their back hip and hooks their arms around the bat
• Hitter hits the ball off the tee by firing with the hips and having the hips control the bat to the ball
• If the hitter is pulling the ball to the pull side, they are casting their hands
• Partners switch after 10 swings


Add Difficulty:
• To add a degree of difficulty, the partner can toss the hitter baseballs, either from side toss or front toss.

Using Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker Sensor and mobile App - the following metrics and tools can help you measure your swing and see improvement when doing this drill:

Distance in the Zone
Overview: Using the Distance in the Zone metric, hitters can determine when their barrel is entering and leaving the hitting zone.  The longer the barrel stays in the hitting zone, the better chance the player has to make consistent, solid contact.  This is clearly depicted in the 3D viewer as the blue portion of the swing path.

Optimal Ranges by Age:
• U10-14: Good is 29-32 inches
• U15-18: Good is 31-34 inches
• College-Pro: Good is 33-37 inches

Coaching Insights:
• Having a swing that maintains a good Distance in The Zone gives the batter a better chance of making contact with the pitch. It also means the swing is “more forgiving” 
• Having a good Distance In The Zone can account for small errors in timing because there is more “space” for the batter to make contact and still put the ball in play.
• This metric can help coaches identify loopy swings based on how early the barrel enters the zone and if there is a ‘hard-turn’ coming out of the zone.
• Additionally, based on where contact is most often made, it can help identify if a hitter is having issues with timing up the pitch.

Hand Cast Distance 
Overview: Hand Cast Distance measure starts when the hitter gets to the load position.  From that point when the bat starts forward acceleration, it measures how far the knob of the bat travels away from that point…measured in inches.  This control metric is important because it shows a hitter’s ability to stay inside the ball instead of swinging around the ball.

Optimal Ranges by Age:
• U10-14 – expect double digit numbers in the teens.
• U15-18 – the batter should try to be a 10 or lower. A good swing


Coaching Insights:
• Impact Momentum is a “smarter version” of barrel speed because it takes into account the size of the bat. If a kid swings a bigger bat at the same speed, when contact happens, the ball goes further.
• If you want to understand how improving Impact Momentum translates to the game – for every +1 a hitter adds to their Impact Momentum, it equates to roughly a 1.5 MPH increase in exit velocity. And every 1.5 MPH of exit velo translates to roughly 6-10 more feet of carry, depending on launch angle.  
• If you have a high-school kid playing on a full-size field, the magic Impact Momentum number to hit dingers is 27 + (with the right launch angle, of course). A well hit ball with an “IM” of 24 is caught well inside the warning track. Hit it with an IM of 27+ and it is out of the park.



For more Tech in Baseball videos, click here.


Diamond Kinetics is the market leader in mobile motion technology and information that enables player development, superior equipment fitting, objective scouting and recruiting, and engagement-driven entertainment.