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by Chris Willins | Jun 13 2018 11:42:05 AM| 0 Comments |

I've always enjoyed spending time with my dad on Father's Day.  We've always shared a passion for baseball so naturally this has become our go to for Father's Day themes.  Here are some things we've done to celebrate in the past. 1. Luckily, for any Toronto Blue Jays ...

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by Chris Willins | May 09 2018 15:04:30 PM| 0 Comments |

After a long winter and a rough start to spring, many teams and players are finally getting outside to play games and most importantly PRACTICE outside. After spending many months indoors in a gym or in the batting cages, hitters are anxious to get outside to finally see the ball carry o...

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by Chris Willins | Mar 01 2018 10:08:59 AM| 0 Comments |

2017 was a memorable year of baseball and one of the most exciting in recent history for myself. With 2018 upon us, it also means the Major League Baseball season is just around the corner. We've already had a full week of Spring Training games so it won't be long. The season begins March 2...

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by Chris Willins | Dec 19 2017 15:51:11 PM| 0 Comments |

Christmas was always my favorite time of year. There are many reasons I enjoyed the holiday season and over the years my reasons have changed. Now I enjoy the holidays to spend time with family and friends while over-indulging in meals and chocolates. But when I was young, my focus, like many, was ...

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by The Baseball Zone | Oct 17 2017 21:27:59 PM| 0 Comments |

Goals are an important component to achieving success in any endeavor but especially for athletes. Goals can help give you clear direction, keep you from getting distracted or off track and keep you motivated when things get tough. But how do you set a goal? Setting SMARTT goals is a great place to ...

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by Rick Johnston | Sep 23 2017 20:14:05 PM| 0 Comments |

Don't just be a body out there..... During a game, both the first baseman and third baseman have numerous responsibilities. None more important than being in the right place at the right time for a throw going to the plate. More often than not, corner infielders simply do not get to the proper ...

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by Kevin Hussey | Aug 02 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Everyone has their own regrets when it comes to different aspects of their life. We would all like the chance to go back and redo something for which we now have superior knowledge. Baseball is no different. When you look back on your career, you realize there are so many things you didn't un...

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by Kevin Hussey | Jun 30 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

If you go to a baseball game (from Little League to pro ball), there’s a very good chance of you seeing a catcher get into their crouch and look over to their coach for a sign. You might not think anything of it but that catcher is missing out on a development opportunity he will not get back. An...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Jun 25 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Let’s start with our mission... To be the defining force in developing student athletes who become successful young men on and off the field. Now let’s look at a few of those reasons: Over 95% of graduating Terriers have gone on to play college or pro baseball. This doesn’t happen by ju...

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by Rick Johnston | Jun 13 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

How many times have you been at practice working with your outfielders on tracking fly balls only to have one of them asking the coach to change position because “the sun is in my eyes”? Unfortunately, the game of baseball, if we're lucky, is played in the sun. Believe me, one of the best t...

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by The Baseball Zone | Jun 02 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Choosing a baseball camp in Toronto that is right for your son or daughter can be a difficult decision. Asking the right questions before enrolling in a program can help make this process easier and ensure a quality experience. Don’t be afraid to find out the following: Are the instructor’...

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by The Baseball Zone | May 17 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The old show-and-go is good enough for you? Kind of reminds us of... Driving a race car with the emergency brake on… Writing an exam without studying… Riding a bike with flat tires… you’re just not pumped up! Skydiving without a parachute… only a matter of time before you...

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by Rick Johnston | May 08 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

With the Toronto high school baseball season upon us, are you ready with your hitting approach?  If you’re new to high school ball, you probably need to improve your hitting strategy. Even if you are a high school senior, you might need to work on improving your hitting strategy. Professional a...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Apr 20 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

When coaching, we should always start with the fundamentals or basics, and from what I’ve seen on the field many young players, even at higher "elite" levels, are lacking strong fundamentals. Why does this happen? Well, here are just a few thoughts... Typically practice plans are designed to...

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by Mike Tevlin | Apr 01 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

It's easy to generalize and sound like our fathers and their fathers and... but, let's face it, kids don't play outside like they used to in the "good old days". Why this is the case is not for me to analyse in this short essay. We all know the obvious answers - video games, social medi...

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by Mike MCarthy | Mar 13 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

It is Thursday and typically we offer you one of our "Drill of the Week" installments. However this week we are going to take a step back...way back and take a scientific look at baseball drills, how they are typically conducted and offer up a new way of approaching and delivering them. constrained ...

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by Kevin Horton | Mar 04 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Winter is quickly coming to an end which means March Break is just around the corner and with parents looking for something a little “different” and fulfilling for their kids, why not consider a March Break baseball camp? With a record number of children playing summer baseball here in Canada, ...

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by SST Mississauga | Feb 15 2017 19:55:14 PM| 0 Comments |

Working with mainly male, High School and College age, Baseball players, I get a lot of grief about not including Bench Press in programs. Especially, when they see the Football and Hockey players doing it. When I ask them why they want to bench press so badly I get answers such as; “it’s fun...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Jan 30 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The four pillars of baseball performance are Technical, Mental, Tactical, and Physical. If one of these pillars is weak, the structure will collapse! Part IV: The Physical Game 20160117 Terriers Winter workout 1.jpgHave you ever observed an athlete that cannot complete a movement pattern efficien...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Jan 26 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The four pillars of baseball performance are Technical, Mental, Tactical, and Physical. If one of these pillars is weak, the structure will collapse! Part III: The Tactical Game Pitcher looking in for signsTactical baseball instruction is the implementation and use of baseball strategy to promote...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Jan 22 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The four pillars of baseball performance are Technical, Mental, Tactical, and Physical. If one of these pillars is weak, the structure will collapse! Part II: The Mental Game Head with Baseball Resized.jpgWe have all seen pitchers who have million dollar bullpen sessions but fail to translate the...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Jan 18 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The four pillars of baseball performance are Technical, Mental, Tactical, and Physical. If one of these pillars is weak, the structure will collapse! Part I: The Technical Game baseball-1478289 Resized.jpgThe technical area is where we as coaches teach movements and concepts to enhance athletic p...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Jan 07 2017 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Hitting - Drill of the Week Self toss is a drill we use to promote synchronization and connection in our athletes, in other words getting the parts in the right order. This drill is also useful in creating momentum as well promoting a strong visual process. Self toss is a drill that is used by all...

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by Rick Johnston | Dec 18 2016 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

For whatever the reasons, baseball players have generally taken strength training, or simply getting stronger, for granted. Not sure why? It certainly seems, however, that every one of those players is immensely concerned with the mechanics of their swing, or their pitching delivery, or being quick...

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by Rick Johnston | Dec 06 2016 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Everyone that has played the game and those of us that are still playing the game, will tell you how difficult it is to hit a baseball. In fact, one can argue, it is the most difficult athletic movement to create in sport. Just think of the thousands and thousands of swings that hitters take over t...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 29 2016 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Scott Thorman for a few hours of baseball banter Sunday, Nov 20th  at The Baseball Zone. Scott, was a former first round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves making it all the way to the Major Leagues with that prestigious organization. For the past f...

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by Rick Johnston | Jun 24 2016 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

So, here we are, the end of June, 2016, school is almost out for the calendar year and what is upon most baseball players? What’s upon them is simple... its travel time; tournament time; showcase time...it is for many the best time of the summer. Not necessarily the most important time...

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by SST Mississauga | Jun 06 2016 19:55:42 PM| 0 Comments |

Many athletes do not consider in-season baseball strength training necessary to their baseball success. They mistakenly think that the gains made over the off-season will last through a long grueling baseball season. Well, in this case the old phrase ‘use it or lose it’ rings true; each week wit...

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by Kevin Hussey | Apr 28 2016 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

There are hundreds of small techniques that a hitter can use to their advantage. Some techniques are more important than others but all of them have a purpose. It's rare for someone to know all the proper techniques with regard to hitting, but as long as you know what you're tryi...

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by The Baseball Zone | Nov 24 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The Baseball Zone hosted an exciting day of baseball training on Sunday, November 22nd as Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion arrived with 40 lucky kids of all levels and ages to help raise much needed funding for the youth in his native Dominican Republic. With the help of the v...

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by The Baseball Zone | Nov 12 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The Baseball Zone is excited to announce that it has a new partner in its business operations effective November 6th, 2015. Mike and Nicole Tevlin will be partnering with current Baseball Zone owner Rick Johnston in ushering in the next era of a business that has historically had tr...

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by Kevin Hussey | Oct 16 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

There are only a select few people who know why David Price came into pitch in Game 4 of the ALDS for the Toronto Blue Jays against the Texas Rangers. Everyone has their own theory on why it happened, although most likely no one outside of that select circle will ever know for sure. Now, it all wo...

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by SST Mississauga | Oct 14 2015 19:55:59 PM| 0 Comments |

With the changing of the seasons outside comes a subsequent change in training seasons, where many summer sports are transitioning into their off-season. As athletes start to file in from a long summer of playing the sport they love, a common theme emerges - these athletes cannot move. They have exp...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Oct 08 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Dear MLB, Am I happy to have playoff baseball back in Toronto? Yes! Am I happy about the start times of the ALDS? No! It would be easy to say that we are being put on the back burner to accommodate big market teams in the US (despite Toronto being a larger market than any of the other cities playi...

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by SST Mississauga | Oct 05 2015 19:56:24 PM| 0 Comments |

On June 14-16th of this year I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to attend the Elite Baseball Mentorship program at Eric Cressey’s training center in Hudson, MA. For those of you who don’t know who Eric is you can check out his website here. Basically he is THE go-to-guy in the US...

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by Kevin Hussey | Oct 01 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

I'm sure a golf expert would give me a lot of reasons why I'm a bad golfer. But there's one reason in particular that's also a reason why baseball players struggle. The reason I'm so bad at golf is because I look to see where I hit the ball before I actually hit it. A...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Aug 06 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

I was fortunate enough to have attended Cressey Sports Performance's Elite Baseball Mentorship program this past June in the Boston area along with fellow team members here at The Baseball Zone / SST Mississauga, Courtney Plewes and Rick Johnston (pictured L to R with Eric Cressey). ...

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by Kevin Hussey | Jul 09 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Baseball may be known as a team sport but it’s not a sport that needs to be practiced with a team. The best way to enhance your skills is to practice by yourself. Team practice is for understanding things like cut offs, bunt defense, pick off plays and other team activities. Practicing...

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by Kevin Hussey | Jun 18 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Throwing the ball as a catcher takes a very unique skill set to be successful. Catchers need to have athleticism, arm strength, and great accuracy to be able to throw successfully. Without these skills, it’s very difficult to consistently throw runners out. Here are some tips that will...

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by Kevin Hussey | Jun 03 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Throughout the years in baseball, teams have practiced many different aspects of the game. Most practices consist of the three main components of baseball; hitting, defense, and pitching. Although baseball is based around those three aspects, there are a lot of little things in baseball ...

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by Kevin Hussey | May 20 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

There are many different technical issues that young baseball players have when starting out but some seem to be a lot more common than others. Here are a few problems that are consistent with most kids and what you can do as a coach and/or parent to help steer them in the right directio...

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by Kevin Hussey | May 12 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Some teams do not have the luxury of having a coach at baseball practice for every position. Often times what happens is the coaches will be with the pitchers, infielders and outfielders, while the catchers are stuck catching balls for the infielders. If this is the case, you need to tea...

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by Kevin Hussey | Apr 29 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Physically speaking, the most difficult part of being a catcher is blocking pitches. Blocking pitches can be mentally and physically draining but also very difficult to do well. It’s important to understand how to block a pitch and how to protect yourself. Here are some examples of how...

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by Kevin Hussey | Apr 15 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

When developing younger baseball players, there are different techniques that can help you with different aspects of the game. Here are three tips that may help you with a youth baseball player's development: 1 - Practicing different positions  Most competitive young baseb...

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by SST Mississauga | Mar 18 2015 19:57:12 PM| 0 Comments |

Spring training camps are in full swing, which means baseball season is right around the corner! But don't be too hasty to ditch the gym in place for the field. In-season baseball strength and conditioning is an often over-looked and neglected aspect of a player's in-season routine. BIG MIST...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Mar 01 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

With a runner on second base it is essential to hold the runner close. Holding runners close will serve to decrease the chances of the opposition scoring on a single from second and also serve to give your outfielders a chance to throw them out at the plate if they do indeed attempt to s...

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by Kevin Hussey | Feb 26 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

One of the more frequent requests we get for blog ideas is how to go about building a batting lineup. This is an interesting request as while there are many standard philosophies to building a lineup, there have also been a number of computer-generated simulations that have produced the ...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 22 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Some baseball team defenses will be fairly standard and universally accepted in how they are deployed. Yes, there could be slight variations or deviations to each defense based on abilities or lack of abilities of defensive players. For example, if one player is more fleet a foot than an...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Feb 20 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

In the second part of this series on Controlling the Running Game, we talk about varying looks. Varying looks can be thought of as varying your timing to the plate with runners on base, not necessarily how many times you look at a runner, although that can be considered an element as wel...

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by Kevin Hussey | Feb 17 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

So you made the decision to become a catcher. The catcher position in baseball is a physically and mentally demanding position. A great way to try and deal with the different demands as a catcher is to learn some different aspects of the game and try and learn from other catchers' ex...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Feb 12 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

As players get older and play at higher and higher levels of baseball, keeping runners out of scoring position is even more crucial than at younger ages. This is true because as players get older they typically make less errors and pitchers throw more strikes, thus reducing the number of runs score...

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by Kevin Hussey | Feb 07 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Becoming a switch hitter is a difficult decision that some players will have to make. Before you make the decision to become a switch hitter, you need to be able to answer some questions about yourself. If you're a natural right handed batter, are you willing to bat left handed poten...

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by Mike McCarthy | Feb 05 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

As baseball players, we can all probably use some one-on-one time with a coach now and again. But baseball teams are large and there are many positions--it can be difficult to get personal attention during practice. As a result, there are times when it may be worthwhile to look for a pri...

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by Rick Johnston | Jan 26 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Next to the pitcher, the second most significant player on the field is - you guessed it - the catcher. This is not to say that every defensive player is not important. However, it is simple - without a guy behind the plate that can catch, the game is very difficult to play and have succ...

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by Rick Johnston | Jan 18 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

"Big and imposing" "Shows athleticism" "Long frame" "Broad shoulders" "Thick trunk" "Runs like a gazelle" "Easy and fluid" "Long and lean" "Strong as a bull" These are just a few scouting terms that are constantly used when players are being e...

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by Kevin Hussey | Jan 15 2015 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

High school is obviously very important in terms of creating opportunities and giving yourself a chance to have a good job in the future. The misconception of high school is that its purpose is for kids to learn information you can use in your future. What kids really learn in high schoo...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Dec 20 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Pitching Drill of the Week is the "Pendulum to Pelvic Load" drill. This baseball drill is used to help players incorporate the hips into the delivery. Leading with the hips will help players establish a direct line to the target. Moving our hips toward the target wil...

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by Mike McCarthy | Dec 11 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Learn what strength training can do for your game and what to look for in a program Baseball is America’s past time and it has become the same for many Canadians as well, so it’s no surprise that many young athletes choose to make it their chosen sport to participate in. While s...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Dec 03 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Pitching Drill of the Week is the "Mariano Rivera Drill" aka the Pre-set Pelvic Load drill. This baseball drill is designed to help players lead with their hips in their delivery. Leading with your hips can help with velocity, rotation and finish. Using the hips to lead can also pr...

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by Mike McCarthy | Nov 27 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

There was a time when youth baseball consisted of one or two practices a week and maybe a couple games. If you wanted to get in more work, it fell to you and one of your parents to head out to the diamond. But youth sports has become big business over the last ten years or so. Anymore, i...

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by Kevin Hussey | Nov 19 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Being a catcher is a difficult task for any young baseball player. It’s important to be able to learn from your surroundings and pick up on certain subtleties that your opponent may accidently show you. Learning the different ways an opponent can give you information is crucial for any...

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by Mike McCarthy | Nov 18 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Anyone who plays baseball and wants to achieve as much of their potential as possible should be looking for every possible way to get an edge on the competition. While most baseball players focus on boosting their strength, hand eye coordination and speed, a few have adopted alternative ...

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by Rick Johnston | Oct 20 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Now that the MLB 2014 playoffs are well underway, it is time for every player, coach or parent to start watching the game within a baseball game. Just what does this statement actually mean? In basic terms it means stop watching the pitcher throw the pitch or the hitter swinging the bat ...

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by Kevin Hussey | Oct 16 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

If you’re looking to play college baseball and you plan on emailing coaches, it will always help to send a video of yourself to the coach. NCAA, NJCAA and NAIA coaches are always looking for new players and sending a video of yourself can be very beneficial for them. It’s important t...

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by Rick Johnston | Oct 10 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The headline may seem simple enough. At the same time it may appear as these are the only areas of defense one should focus on. Well, I really wish it was this simple. Unfortunately playing the infield is more than just five areas,. However, the five areas that I will talk about are real...

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by Kevin Hussey | Oct 09 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

I bet you were thinking I was going to list skills like throwing hard, running fast and hitting for power, right? Great skills to have. Even having one of them will open many doors for you. But I am talking about non-technical skills that will not only help get you to a college campus, b...

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by Kevin Hussey | Oct 04 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

College baseball prospects looking to play college baseball have a long list of options they can choose from in regards to which school best suits them. There are over 1600 schools in the US that offer a baseball program. The different types of schools include NCAA D1, D2, D3, NJCAA (Jun...

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by Kevin Hussey | Sep 27 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Academics for a college baseball player can vary depending on their school and major. All students’ schedules will be different but there are rules that every student must follow. It’s important to be proactive with your academics and understand all the guidelines to maintaining your...

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by Kevin Hussey | Sep 24 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

For Canadian athletes looking to play college baseball, junior colleges (or "JUCO"'s) are often disregarded or seen as a backup plan for an aspiring collegiate baseball player. The reason for this is many people are unaware of the benefits a junior college can provide. Junior college...

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by Larry Jusdanis | Sep 22 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Sprinting has been described as consisting of a series of phases: an acceleration phase (typically the first 10 metres); a transition phase; and a maximum velocity phase. For sports such as baseball, soccer, rugby, football and basketball, maximum velocity...

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by Kevin Hussey | Sep 18 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

For those who plan on playing collegiate baseball in the United States, it’s important to understand the college baseball recruiting process and how simple it can be to get on the radar of coaches. Some people believe that in order to get a scholarship as a Canadian player, you need to...

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by Mike McCarthy | Sep 17 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The Baseball Zone and SST Mississauga are really excited to announce that we have brought on board two new full time staff members that bring diverse backgrounds, experiences and qualifications to the team - and ultimately and most importantly - to our customers. Adee Zukier and Kevin Hussey are bot...

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by Rick Johnston | Jun 12 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Winning and losing, it is often said, is decided on non-game days and in the off-season, i.e. how you PREPARE to win will decide whether you win or not. We can also add to this thought that how you prepare to win on game day can also affect your success that day. In this light, here...

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by Rick Johnston | Jun 05 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Good infielders usually spend an inordinate amount of time working on the fundamentals of how to field a ground ball as far as their physical mechanics, footwork, glove action and making the throw. However, what is often left out is the need to work on developing the feel for how an infi...

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by Ryan Armstrong | May 15 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Pitching Drill of the Week is "Rev Ups". Rev Ups is a baseball drill we use to promote a strong arm action and connection to the body. We do this by simulating separation from glove, ensuring we start our action from the middle of the body as opposed to having the ex...

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by Rick Boutilier | May 14 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The SST Baseball Exercise of the week is the External Rotation w/ Elbow Away from the body from our Rotator Cuff Series. Using a relatively light dumbbell, the athlete sets their elbow on the inside of the knee and slowly lowers the weight for 3-4 seconds. It is important to try ...

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by Ryan Armstrong | May 13 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Hitting Drill of the Week is "Self Toss". hitting drill Self toss is a drill we use to promote synchronization and connection in our athletes - in other words getting the parts in the right order. This drill is also useful in creating momentum as well promoting a strong visual proc...

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by Ryan Armstrong | May 08 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Pitching Drill of the Week is "Jump Backs". Jump backs are a lower body drill that helps to promote a positive, explosive move to the target. This will help with accuracy, velocity, and promote more of a total body throw. They can be used by anyone but especially hel...

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by Rick Boutilier | May 07 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The SST Baseball Exercise of the week is the External Rotation w/ Pulley from our Rotator Cuff Series. External Rotation With PulleyUsing a pulley system with relatively light weight, the athlete locks the elbow of their pulling arm at the same hip and externally rotates the pulley ...

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by Mike McCarthy | May 06 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The pursuit of a college baseball scholarship is the dream of many a young boy. The common dream is to see oneself donning, say, the Texas Longhorns uniform in the College World Series and hitting the game winning home run or clinching the big one with a perfect game on the mound for the...

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by Ryan Armstrong | May 06 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Hitting Drill of the Week is "Quarter Turns". Quarter Turns is a hitting drill we use to promote rotation and weight transfer through the swing. We do this by starting the drill in a "quarter turned" position, thereby already getting the hitter into a position on the...

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by Rick Johnston | May 01 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Whether playing defence or running the bases, reading lines drives may be the most difficult skills to master and develop. You hear it all the time and you see it all the time: People talk about how poorly players are at reading the ball flight on the line drive, and worse, what to do wh...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Apr 30 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

One question I often get asked by pitchers here at The Baseball Zone is "I have a practice the day before my next start - what should I do or avoid doing?" This is a great in-season baseball training question. I love when it is asked and will soon share the options that I give to them. ...

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by Mike McCarthy | Apr 24 2014 19:57:53 PM| 0 Comments |

It is with great pleasure and excitement to announce that Tammy Kovaluk will be joining the team at The Baseball Zone and SST Mississauga in May 2014. Tammy brings a wealth of experience and accomplishments with her from Victoria, B.C., that we are extremely excited to be able to share with our athl...

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by Rick Boutilier | Apr 23 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

I wanted to talk about the 60 yard dash test and question why it has become the standard baseball speed test for players of all ages - everyone wants to know what your 60 is, right? I am a strength and conditioning coach for the Ontario Terriers travel baseball team here in Mississa...

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by Rick Johnston | Apr 14 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

What does the verbal communication mean in the infield? Throughout the history of baseball, both verbal and nonverbal signs have been delivered as a form of communication to and from players, coaches and managers from the same team as a way to disguise or hide various types of strat...

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by Jeff Overholt | Feb 27 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This blog comes from our colleague Jeff Overholt, Co-Founder of Golf Performance Coaches and PGA of Ontario 2013 Coach of the Year. This entry was initially published on the Golf Performance Coaches' blog under the title of "'Growing Up' - Acorns Becoming Oak Trees". Please v...

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by Graeme Lehman | Feb 25 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This post comes from our colleague, Graeme Lehman, in Kelowna, BC. Graeme has a great blog which you can find at lehmansbaseball.wordpress.com. If you are from the area, make sure you see Graeme. Quick recap of Part 1 since I wrote it 3+ months ago. This article talked about a study which reported ...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 20 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Theory: If any player were to meticulously heed to the optimal biomechanical principles of hitting they will be successful, correct? Hmmmmm... Certainly following these principles will maximize the chances that a hitter has put the bat on the right path of a pitched ball with m...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Feb 15 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

In case you haven't heard recently, former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady, 34, who last played in the NBA in 2011-12 for the Atlanta Hawks, is attempting to become a professional pitcher. He is reportedly working with Roger Clemens in his hopes to pitch this season for the Sugar Land Ske...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 14 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Baserunning, as most know it, is a skill that is usually left to the end of practice to work on. And often the work done in baserunning is more as a conditioner to complete the practice rather than as s stimulator to actually learn how to run the bases. Since more baserunners get to...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 13 2014 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

In all sports, most people think of a particular coach’s philosophy as the style by which they like their teams to play the game. No matter the sport, each coach typically does have his way of thinking how the game should be played. A football coach may be a high tempo, run and gun, hu...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 29 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

I remember as a kid, getting on my bike, hooking my glove to those old rounded and curved handle bars, jamming my bat under the banana seat and wedging a baseball in between the frame of the forks and the upper bar. Then peddling as fast as I could to the nearby field, school or open area and joini...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 28 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

How many times have you seen this as a coach: A player is working on a specific movement in a particular discipline of baseball (such as hitting or pitching) and the player is asked why he is doing what he is doing. The player replies with “I don’t know, I was just told to do it...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 27 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

What a great question! And yes there are numerous occasions during a season when some batting practice is as senseless as a golfer showing up to their tee time to play “show and go” golf! Let’s now review one of these typical occasions when batting practice is senseless where ...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 26 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Practice…practice…practice. I think it was said over 20 times by a former NBA All Star in a press conference with respect to him not going to a team practice. At that time, this particular player was arguably the best at his position and maybe the best player in the NBA. He was being questioned...

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by Rick Boutilier | Nov 21 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The SST Baseball Exercise of the Week is Med Ball Shot Puts. This is a great exercise that helps baseball players develop rotational power. We really want to focus on transferring weight from the back foot to the front foot while remaining balanced. Just like when we hit, we want to...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 20 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

“Well, he works hard” “He really wants it” “He is a good kid” “He is working on his grades” “Yes, he knows that" "That's what I keep telling him" These are some real life exchanges coaches have with parents all of the time. Let’s face...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 19 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

In establishing the primary lead at third base, the baserunner should almost follow and mirror image the technical elements he would otherwise do at first base, with the exception of the final athletic position. Since the baserunner is only 90 feet from scoring, the movement into the pri...

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by Mike McCarthy | Nov 15 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Robert Grilli (@Grilli1) has been working with us at The Baseball Zone and SST Mississauga almost since we opened 10 years ago. He is currently a student-athlete at Salt Lake Community College in Utah patrolling the middle of the infield for the Bruins in the Scenic West Athletic Confere...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 14 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

You guys have issues also! As I start to wind up on the Pet Peeves series, it is time to adress the hitters and discuss some of the items these guys do that are in most cases not surprising, but often not dealt with. In other words, is it the hitters that are to blame or can some of...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 06 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

How many times do you think a coach has heard this before: Hey coach can you crank it up? Old Pitching MachineCrank it up?! That is exactly what hitters don’t need...a machine set up so fast or faster than what a player really needs to work at to have any type of success. It ...

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by Graeme Lehman | Nov 06 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This post comes from our colleague, Graeme Lehman, in Vancouver. Graeme has a great blog which you can find at lehmansbaseball.wordpress.com and currently works at Inside Performance in North Vancouver. If you are from the area, make sure you see Graeme. This was the main finding in...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 05 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Life is full of so many unique occurrences every day. Events, issues, incidents and matters unfold countless times right before our eyes. Sometimes stranger things occur or are said and instantaneously a light goes on and presto, we react with little or no thought and great things happen or on the ...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 04 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Everyone wants them and everyone needs them. The game is designed just for you guys. You have good pitching, you have a chance to win; without it, it will undoubtedly be a long season. Even with good pitching, most pitchers are creatures of habit and some of these habits are actually pet...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 01 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Many baseball coaches will say that the thinking or the understanding part of the game is the most vital to success for a player. This part of the game is sometimes called the mental pillar and is one of the primary pillars that support the structure of the athlete within the game of bas...

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by Rick Johnston | Oct 28 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Practice the practice of knowing your teammates' throwing abilities An area of the game all players and coaches strive to see improvement is one’s ability to throw and throw the ball with easy, effortless actions that has both great ball carry and life. If all players could th...

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by Rebecca Chambers | Oct 24 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Here is an update on the latest Q&A's on common - and sometimes not so common - baseball injuries, rehabilitation and lingering maladies I've received over the past few months. Hopefully one of them helps you (or someone you know) out, or simply submit your own and I will be happ...

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by Rick Johnston | Oct 23 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Ok catchers, it’s your turn...that’s right; you inspire just as many Pet Peeves as the other position players! As I continue on with some Pet Peeves shared by myself and other baseball coaches, it is now time to reach out to the leaders on the field, the only players on defence ...

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by Rick Johnston | Oct 21 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Ok, you are On Deck...What should you really be doing? Baseball, like other sports, has unique names for parts of the playing surface that are used. Hockey has creases, where the goalie is located defending his net; football has end zones, where touchdowns are scored; curling has a ...

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by Rick Boutilier | Oct 17 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Once again continuing on the theme of elbow strength, health and stabilization for baseball players, especially pitchers, the SST Baseball Exercise of the Week is Weighted Ball Wrist Releases. With the Weighted Ball Wrist Releases exercise our focus is on the wrist and finger joints...

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by Larry Jusdanis | Oct 16 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Agility is a skill which becomes invaluable on the field, court, or diamond! It is often the person who can change directions the fastest that will be able to to get to the groundball, transition quickly to throwing or simply making better moves on the basepaths. Mangine et al (2013) put some scien...

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by Rick Johnston | Oct 15 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

When was the last time you truly saw a baseball player or team actually practice under massive amounts of pressure? In general, I can tell you they spend very little time performing under pressure. Honestly, just try and think back to this past season, whether you were practicing as a pl...

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by Rick Boutilier | Oct 10 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Continuing on the theme of elbow strength, health and stabilization for baseball players, especially pitchers, the SST Baseball Exercise of the Week is Ulnar Flexions. With the Ulnar Flexion exercise our focus is on strengthening the flexor carpi ulnaris for optimal elbow health. Th...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Oct 08 2013 21:21:55 PM| 1 Comments |

EVERYBODY wants to throw a curveball, don't they? And why not? If done well it is a great pitch. It can make a hitter look foolish, which can be fun for a pitcher. It LOOKS cool. And in a purely practical sense, it does a great job at interrupting timing which is what pitching is all...

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by Rick Johnston | Oct 07 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

As previously tapped into, I have blogged on Pet Peeves about coaches, players in general and most recently, infielders. It is time to move on to the players that patrol the outfield; the players that have to cover the most range; the players that people often disregard; the players for ...

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by Rick Johnston | Oct 03 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

We have all coached or worked with hitters and have experienced, tested and tried numerous techniques and styles trying to achieve the ultimate goal of hitting the ball consistently hard. It is also safe to say that during these styles and techniques that we have enlisted upon players, w...

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by Rick Boutilier | Oct 02 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Keeping the focus on elbow strength, health and stabilization for baseball players, especially pitchers, SST Baseball Exercise of the Week is Reverse Curls. The reverse curl is an elbow joint flexion and radio-ulnar joint pronation exercise. This exercise is great for baseball playe...

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by Rick Johnston | Sep 30 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "In baseball, the statistical summary of a game is reported in a box score." That is what far too many live and die by…the dreaded box score. Why? There are a few reasons why, many obvious, but a true box score only measures a small perc...

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by SST Mississauga | Sep 26 2013 20:01:39 PM| 0 Comments |

The SST Baseball Exercise of the Week is the Elbow Supination/Pronation exercise. With the Elbow Supination/Pronation exercise our focus is on a stronger pitching elbow. A stronger elbow joint can contribute to both increased velocity, which we all want, as well as injury prevention. To accomplish ...

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by Rick Johnston | Sep 23 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Awareness, being aware, self awareness...just what does this mean? In life it can mean a vast number of points, items and details. Well, guess what players? In baseball terms it actually means the exact same thing...points, items and details. Check out what Webster’s dictionary says th...

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by Mike Pelino | Sep 19 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This post is from guest blogger and friend, Mike Pelino - an Olympic Gold medal-winning hockey coach, among many other accomplishments. Mike has been a coach for almost 30 years and has coached at all levels from minor hockey to the NHL, and is now in Russia’s KHL where he is an Assist...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Sep 18 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Baseball Drill of the Week is the "Double Crow Hop" drill. The Double Crow Hop drill is a drill we use to help increase forward momentum (and leading with the hips - as in picture) which will promote both velocity and accuracy as well as a total body throw. Throwing ...

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by Rick Johnston | Sep 16 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The previous blog I wrote I devoted to pet peeves of coaches inspired by other baseball coaches. Well, now it is time to pick on players and identify numerous baseball pet peeves that irk coaches to no end, and in spite of these, often times nothing is ever done. While nothing is ever do...

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by Rick Johnston | Sep 13 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

In the two previous Pet Peeve blogs the focus was on coaches and players and some of their pointless or irrational thoughts or actions on and off the diamond. This blog will be dedicated to position players, specifically the infielders and some of the unwise and sometimes ridiculous deci...

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by Richie Schueler | Sep 13 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This entry comes to us from our friends at StudentAthleteWorld.com. If you are remotely thinking of seeking a college baseball scholarship, or a scholarship in any sport for that matter, you need to visit their website and they will take great care of you. Which one are you? Really?...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Sep 11 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

We love the Babe Ruth Drill. We gave it that name as the set up looks like Babe Ruth's and honestly...we hope the result is the same too. Did anyone have more engaged momentum and resulting power in their swing than The Babe??!! We use it to really activate and, even more ...

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by Rick Johnston | Sep 09 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

I would like to voice my thoughts on some pet peeves I have as a coach from viewing other baseball coaches. Yes, other coaches. Not to suggest I am perfect and don't inspire pet peeves in someone else, but these are a few things that really bother me as I don't see them as contri...

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by SST Mississauga | Sep 06 2013 19:59:43 PM| 0 Comments |

This week’s SST Functional Friday exercise is Prowler Sprints. The Prowler is a functional training tool that helps improve an athlete’s speed and acceleration. This can be used by any athlete of any age or ability. We use the Prowler a lot with our FAST camp kids and our Butts and Guts adult c...

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by Rick Johnston | Sep 04 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

We recently released our newest eBook titled "8 Baserunning Myths You Can Leave Off the Basepaths This Year" (you can download it here - you'll enjoy even if you don't agree). One reader had asked me to explain the difference between the steal versus the hit and run. I thought th...

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by Rick Johnston | Aug 30 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

For many a young hitter, taking command of their at bat seems like a monumental chore in itself. When I think about it, I find this to be very peculiar, as by the nature of the game the hitter is on the offense, not the defense. These type of hitters struggling to command their at bat ar...

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by Rick Johnston | Aug 23 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Yep, that’s right; we are destined to fail at this game. I can’t think of any other sport where failure is actually as good as it can be in baseball. As hypercritical as that last sentence is, it is also the truth. As long as you play this game, you will FAIL! That’s right, I will ...

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by Rick Johnston | Aug 23 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Class and Taste Baseball is a game of traditions, superstitions, and for some, unusual behaviors that some may deem to be different or just downright weird. Baseball is also a game that will forever have its comedians, crazies and categorically straight-laced people from all walks o...

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by Rick Boutilier | Aug 16 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week’s Functional Friday exercise is resistance band sprints. Resistance bands, when used properly, can improve starting speed and acceleration. Baseball is played mostly in the acceleration phase of running so this is something to work on for tangible gains!  The highest ra...

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by Rick Johnston | Aug 15 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

No one has ever said hitting a baseball is easy. In fact, it has been said that hitting a baseball may be the single most difficult athletic skill to do successfully. Consequently if hitting a baseball is that difficult without taking into account any direction or field, even for the bes...

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by Rick Boutilier | Aug 13 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The SST Baseball Exercise of the Week is the Prone LYTW Upper Back Series. baseball strength trainingThis is an upper back baseball strength training exercise that is good for all baseball players, especially pitchers and/or any player who has hunched shoulders and poor posture. As ...

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by Rick Johnston | Aug 08 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Often teaching the art of bunting can be tedious and taxing on both players and coaches. Moreover, when players work on the art of bunting they do so in non-competitive situations or situations where there is zero pressure on them. Seldom are players placed under the microscope to get bu...

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by SST Mississauga | Aug 04 2013 20:02:58 PM| 0 Comments |

The SST Baseball Exercise of the week is the Power Sled Hip Extension with shoulder raise. Baseball players need to generate a great deal of power from their hips when hitting and throwing. The hips are the key link between the upper and lower body extremities. We use a lot of hip extension work in...

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by Mike McCarthy | Aug 01 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

I'm not sure if you are a Twitter person or not...what are they called anyway? Twits? (I can say that as I am one of them) But if you type in the following hashtags: #TheGrind #Grind You will see that they are quite popular, with someone out there Tweeting them several...

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by Rick Boutilier | Jul 23 2013 22:03:03 PM| 0 Comments |

Well it is Transformation Tuesday and this week we feature Mississauga North P/SS Varun Kuo. Varun came to us in November looking to increase his throwing velocity, hitting power and speed. Although only 12 years of age, Varun was very serious about his training. He was also very mature for his age...

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by Rick Boutilier | Jul 23 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

It's Baseball Strength Training Transformation Tuesday here at SST Mississauga and this week we feature a young, talented man named Chris Fisher.  Chris was a member of our 16U Terriers team this past season and really dedicated himself to training during the off-season. Not on...

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by Richie Schueler | Jul 20 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This entry comes to us from our friends at StudentAthleteWorld.com. If you are remotely thinking of seeking a college baseball scholarship, or a scholarship in any sport for that matter, you need to visit their website and they will take great care of you. It seems like everyone who...

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by Rick Johnston | Jul 17 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Recently I was watching a MLB game on television and noticed a very heads up, yet simple baserunning tactic that eventually could have paid off in the player picking up an extra 90 feet and scoring run with a flyball out if there was even the slightest defensive miscue.  The play b...

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by Rick Johnston | Jul 11 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

One of the keys to a pitcher becoming a complete pitcher is the ability they have to control the running game of the opposition. At many levels, the control of the running game is often talked about but the talk far outweighs the actual time dedicated to such a task. If pitchers do a poo...

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by Jen Scorniaenchi | Jul 10 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

IMPROVING PERFORMANCE- BEYOND THE BODY. Mental Performance Coaching is the segment of sports psychology that concentrates specifically on helping athletes break through the mental barriers that are keeping them from performing up to their peak potential. By focusing on the mental sk...

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by Rick Johnston | Jul 03 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Catching: Calling a Simple Game Let’s face it - a good catcher makes a better pitcher. A good catcher, who knows how to call a good game, can make average and good pitchers, great pitchers. Catchers have many characteristics that stand out from the way they catch and throw to...

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by Rick Johnston | Jul 03 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Everyone that has ever had a chance to coach baseball has undoubtedly realized that you can’t please everyone. It also seems that these people you can’t please also seem to know more about the game than you do - maybe it is true sometimes, but it can't ALWAYS be that way. However...

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by Rick Johnston | Jun 27 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Physical mistakes are NOT always physical ones As I have written in a few other blogs, the single most critical area of defensive baseball is throwing. Throwing errors contribute more directly to a negative end result, or simply put, more lost games than all other mistakes combined....

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by Rick Johnston | Jun 26 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Someone is always watching As the game of baseball has progressed, so has the way in which coaches get the most out of their in and out baseball pregame. The purpose of the in and out prior to the game is for the defense to look sharp, professional and enthusiastic as the team makes...

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by Rick Boutilier | Jun 25 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Its Transformation Tuesday here at SST Mississauga and this week we feature Ontario Terriers' 16U player, Austin Gomez. As a member of the Ontario Terriers 16U baseball team, Austin has made some huge improvements over the off-season. Austin was very lean and historically had tr...

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by Rick Johnston | Jun 20 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Stealing third base in many instances is actually an easier theft than attempting to steal second base. It may appear as though the steal of second base is easier due to the distance the catcher must throw the ball and the combined times it takes for the ball to get from the pitcher to t...

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by Rick Johnston | Jun 18 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Where is YOUR mind in between pitches??? Baseball is without question very much a game of thoughts and has been referred by some as a “thinking man’s game”. Unlike other sports like hockey, basketball or soccer as examples, there is a tremendous amount of downtime in a basebal...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Jun 13 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Baseball Drill of the Week is the "Derek Jeter Drill" (aka Driving the Outside Pitch). We're calling this one the Derek Jeter Drill as Jeter is widely known as a player who can drive the ball effectively to the opposite field. However there are a vast number of p...

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by Rick Boutilier | Jun 11 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

For this week’s Transformation Tuesday we feature Ontario Terriers' 16U player Daito Kojima. Daito is a Shortstop and Pitcher with the Terriers and has quickly established himself as an elite player in the province for his age group. Daito has been a member of The Baseball Zon...

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by Rick Boutilier | Jun 11 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Like the Loch Ness Monster & Yeti, baseball has its share of myths Baserunning, like other parts of the game, is an area where additional tutoring is needed to ensure players have a clear understanding of its value to an individual's all around game and its importance to run creation for the t...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Jun 06 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Pitching Drill of the Week is "Throwing the Change Up". When pitchers have developed control of the fastball, meaning they have the ability to throw strikes regularly, their next best friend can, should, and ultimately will be the change up. Often young pitchers will...

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by Rick Johnston | Jun 05 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Make it a field or dreams or a field of nightmares (errors) - your choice Spend your time around enough ball parks or indoor training facilities and there is one thing you will soon find out…most kids struggle with playing simple Catch and Throw. Think about this - all defensive a...

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by Rick Johnston | May 30 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Make it Effective or Don't Do It At All! Perhaps the most difficult part of any practice is the organization of batting practice or as it is commonly referred to as BP. It is difficult for a number of reasons in youth baseball, far more so than in collegiate, professional or eve...

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by Rick Johnston | May 29 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The Batting Order Do you realize players on a team are really pieces of a puzzle that you are trying to mold, massage and fit together to work in harmony with each other. No two players are exactly alike and each has a special place where they best fit to help complete the puzzle. E...

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by Rick Johnston | May 28 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The Double Play…a different look The formation of any good team defense is up the middle. The foundation of that defense is usually centered around the combination and teamwork of the middle infielders. When working in harmony together, they will form the backbone of the team defe...

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by Ryan Armstrong | May 23 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Last year we posted a blog by Rick Johnston titled "Developing Infielding Movements Through Playing Better Catch". In it, Rick opined that the number one method of improving natural infielding movements is simply by playing catch. But not the poor "catch" you will see so often at diamond...

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by Rick Johnston | May 22 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

To Do or Not to Do…That is the Question! Believe this - many of the errors that outfielders actually make are not on balls in the air, but instead they are on balls on the ground. Why this happens is very simple - because outfield defense is thought of as second tier in its true v...

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by Rick Johnston | May 16 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Where are all the good catchers (of the baseball)? Infielders take routine ground ball after ground ball working on angles, hops and reads. Outfielders chase down fly ball after fly ball working on simple routes and angles. Pitchers throw bullpen after bullpen to as they try to shar...

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by Rick Boutilier | May 15 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Baseball Exercise of the Week is "Wrist Extensions”  In last week’s blog we discussed Wrist Flexions and the benefits associated with strengthening your forearms. This week we feature Wrist Extensions and the multiple muscle groups in the forearm that are streng...

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by Rick Johnston | May 14 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Big Inning Baseball - Minimize the Trouble For years, baseball has been a sport that many people actually don't like to watch, for one major reason…it can sometimes seem to drag. Unlike many other mainstream sports, such as hockey, football or basketball, baseball seems to get...

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by Rick Johnston | May 13 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

It is more than just idle chatter! How many times have you watched an MLB game and noticed the number of times the camera will zone in on a player or players in the dugout? You may be asking yourself "What is he thinking about?" or "What are they discussing?" I will bet the answer i...

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by SST Mississauga | May 10 2013 20:03:32 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's "Baseball Functional Friday" Exercise of the Week is the "One Legged Plate Push".  The One Legged Plate Push challenges the athlete to stay low and recruit all sorts of strength, power and stability to propel themselves forward. This is a similar demand to various movements that a ...

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by Ryan Armstrong | May 09 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Baseball Drill of the Week is "Short Hops". Who: Especially useful for middle infielders but can be done by all infielders. Short Hops is a drill used to get infielders comfortable with receiving the ball on the short hop. Most fielders tend to want to get a lon...

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by SST Mississauga | May 08 2013 20:06:47 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Baseball Exercise of the Week is "Wrist Flexions”. When you look at some of the best hitters in baseball, especially power hitters, one of the most common physical attributes they each possess is big, strong, powerful forearms. Guys like Josh Hamilton, Mark McGwire and Albert Pujo...

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by Rick Johnston | May 07 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Hitting…Hope is not a Plan To be exceptional at anything, exceptional preparation is an absolute necessity. Without exceptional planning, one should never expect exceptional performance to come out. As a hitter you either want to be exceptional...I mean really WANT IT...or you don’t. If a hitte...

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by Rick Boutilier | May 06 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

If you want to go places in baseball, there are a few key attributes scouts/coaches look for.  How hard can you throw the ball? How far can you hit the ball? How fast can you run?  Don't get me wrong, throwing the ball 90mph, hitting a ball 450 feet or running a sub-7.0 second 60 yard dash doe...

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by Ryan Armstrong | May 02 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This Week's Baseball Drill of the Week is "Wall Transfers". Wall Transfers is a drill used to help develop hand eye coordination and to improve the consistency and speed of transfer from glove hand to throwing hand. Improving this transfer will increase our chances of getting the first out on a...

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by Rick Boutilier | May 01 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Baseball Exercise of the Week is "Med Ball Slam w/ Hip Toss". Med Balls are a great training tool that can be used by baseball players of any age or position. We use a variety of exercises with them and several variations for each one. The Med Ball Slam with Hip Toss combines the sl...

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by Rick Boutilier | Apr 30 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

In this edition of Transformation Tuesday, we have the great success story of 13 year old baseball and hockey player, Nick MacIntyre. Nick and his brother Alex have been clients with us for several years now and over the last two winters the boys decided it was time to get in shape. As we all know,...

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by SST Mississauga | Apr 26 2013 20:07:28 PM| 0 Comments |

This week’s "Baseball Functional Friday" Exercise of the Week is the "Sled Shuffle". Sled Shuffles are a lower body strengthening exercise that challenges the body in the frontal or coronal plane and helps strengthen the hip flexors and improves lateral movement. The lateral shuffle is a common m...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Apr 25 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Drill of the Week is "Defensive Backs". Aren't defensive backs football players, not baseball players? Yes, but there is one thing defensive backs are very good at that infielders and outfielders can borrow from and that is creating a transition, via a drop step and pivot, from ...

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by Rick Boutilier | Apr 24 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Baseball Exercise of the Week is "Straddle Hops". Straddle Hops are part of our speed and agility programming - aka our FAST program. This is a great exercise for any player of any age, especially infielders who need to have quick feet around the bases. This is also a great drill fo...

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by Rick Boutilier | Apr 23 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Hey there, it is Transformation Tuesday and this week we feature high school junior Cory Hayden, left-handed pitcher for the Brampton Royals. Cory first joined our High Performance Fall & Extended Fall Programs this off-season and ultimately decided to join our Full-Year High Performance Program af...

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by SST Mississauga | Apr 19 2013 20:07:56 PM| 0 Comments |

This week’s "Baseball Functional Friday" Exercise of the Week is "Lateral Bounding".  Lateral Bounding is a drill that helps pitchers work on leg drive power and stride length. Generally speaking, harder throwers generate more stride power than low velocity pitchers. Macwilliams, et al (1998) fo...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Apr 18 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Drill of the Week is the "Double Play Drill". The Double Play Drill might not be the kind of drill you are expecting it to be right now. While it certainly can be used for infielders, in this context we are showing it - and use it - as a drill for pitchers who might be disrupting sy...

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by Rick Boutilier | Apr 17 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Baseball Exercise of the Week is "Hip Twists". Hip Twists are part of our speed and agility programming. This is a great exercise for any player of any age, especially young hitters or pitchers who often have problems using their lower half when they swing or throw. You can identify...

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by Rick Boutilier | Apr 16 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

It is Transformation Tuesday again and this week we feature high school sophomore Evan Lawrence, pitcher for the Ontario Terriers 16U program. Evan first joined our program as a participant in one of The Baseball Zone's Winter Clinics back in February 2010. From there Evan moved on to our High ...

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by Rick Boutilier | Apr 12 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week’s "Baseball Functional Friday" exercise of the week is the "W Drill". The W Drill is an agility drill that helps baseball players work on several different variables of athleticism, such as;     Staying low in an athletic stance     Foot speed     Linear and lateral quickness ...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Apr 11 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Drill of the Week is the "Low Tee Drill". A couple of weeks ago we went over the High Tee Drill and this week we want to go over the Low Tee Drill, which is a similar drill...but different, of course. The Low Tee Drill is a postural drill that helps hitters better maintain athletic...

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by Rick Boutilier | Apr 10 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Baseball Exercise of the Week is the "Trap Bar Deadlift". The trap bar, or hex bar, was originally patented in 1985 by a powerlifting aficionado named Al Gerard. Deadlifting, whether it be straight bar or a trap bar, is very beneficial for baseball players as this single exercise ca...

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by Rick Boutilier | Apr 09 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

It is Transformation Tuesday again and this week we feature high school freshman Justin Wamboldt of the Ontario Terriers 15U program and catcher for the Bantam Thornhill Reds. Justin joined The Baseball Zone's Extended Fall High Performance Program back in November 2011. Over the next 8 weeks d...

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by Rebecca Chambers | Apr 08 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Here is an update on the latest Q&A's on common - and sometimes not so common - baseball injuries, rehabilitation and lingering maladies I've received over the past few months. Hopefully one of them helps you out, or simply submit your own and I will be happy to provide you with some profess...

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by Rick Boutilier | Apr 05 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's "Baseball Functional Friday" exercise of the week is the "Pro Agility Drill". The Pro Agility Drill is speed and quickness exercise that helps baseball players make smoother and quicker transitions on the baseball diamond. Whether it’s getting out of the batter’s box quicker, st...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Apr 04 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Drill of the Week is the "One Legged Final Arc". The One Legged Final Arc is a bit of an advanced, yet great baseball drill for pitchers used to direct energy toward the target promoting a stronger, more accurate throw. It can also be used to promote a longer finish and safer decele...

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by Rick Boutilier | Apr 03 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Baseball Exercise of the Week is "Grappler Rotations". Grappler RotationsGrappler Rotations are a rotational power exercise that work the transverse plane of the body where rotational movements are made. There is a great deal of rotational movement in both the throwing/pitching move...

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by Rick Johnston | Apr 02 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Here is the situation. Third inning, the lead off hitter just hit a double, the hitter coming to the plate is right handed, what happens next? Well, in many cases, automatically the employed offensive tactic is a sacrifice bunt. Why? Simple. It is the safest, most conservative method to move the bas...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Mar 28 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

We have a quick little "hitter" (haha) for this week's Drill of the Week - the "High Tee Drill". The High Tee Drill is something we would term as a postural hitting drill that simulates hitting a higher pitch in the hitting zone. This is a pitch where we often see athletes come out an athletic ...

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by Rick Boutilier | Mar 27 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Baseball Exercise of the week is "Ankle Mobs". Whether from disuse or misuse, most people suffer from poor ankle mobility, which typically manifests as a lack of dorsiflexion. In case you aren’t aware, dorsiflexion refers to movement that decreases the angle between the top of the...

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by Rick Boutilier | Mar 26 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Bu Rick Boutilier & Mike McCarthy It is Transformation Tuesday again and this week we feature high school junior Andrew Lonsdale and his incredible 15 month baseball strength training transformation. We first met Andrew back in November 2008 as a tall and lanky 12 year old. His dad enrolled him in...

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by SST Mississauga | Mar 22 2013 20:08:25 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's "Baseball Functional Friday" exercise of the week is a classic - the "Tug of War"! The Tug of War. Is there any strength exercise more natural than this one? Check out the pictures. It is in our nature as animals to fight for something we want. To allow our bodies to organize themse...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Mar 21 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Drill of the Week is the "Half Torque". The Half Torque is a great baseball drill for pitchers, but is especially helpful with younger players aged 9-12 who have a hard time getting body parts in the right order when delivering the baseball. What does getting body parts in the right...

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by Rick Boutilier | Mar 19 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

It is Transformation Tuesday again and this week we feature high school senior Joe Guaragna and his 12 week baseball strength training transformation. Joe first came to us a few winters ago looking to gain muscle and get stronger. Joe was having a hard time keeping weight on, and although he was ge...

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by SST Mississauga | Mar 15 2013 20:08:51 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's "Baseball Functional Friday" Exercise of the Week is the Car Push. The Car Push is one of our favourite exercises as part of our Functional Friday circuits. We use this one a lot during our summer High Performance Academies as it's great for building strength and the athletes lo...

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by Mike McCarthy | Mar 11 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Indoor batting cages may seem on their face to be focused on one use, and that of course is digging your heels in and hitting off a pitching machine over and over and over with that juicy pitch coming right down the middle, belt high. However, there are so many more things that you can do with indoo...

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by Mike McCarthy | Mar 08 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's "Baseball Functional Friday" Exercise of the Week is the "Plate Push". The Plate Push is a great lower body exercise that develops strength and speed.  By pushing the plate along the ground it targets the VMO (Vastus Medialis Oblique), the teardrop shaped muscle above your knee. A ...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Mar 07 2013 22:09:20 PM| 0 Comments |

This week's Drill of the Week is "Turn & Burns (Throwing)". Turn & Burns are a great baseball drill designed to increase momentum, rotation and arm speed in a player's throw and/or delivery. They can and should be used by all players (not just pitchers) that haven't yet been reduced to t...

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by Rick Boutilier | Mar 06 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The Med Ball (or Medicine Ball) Side Toss is a great baseball exercise that helps baseball players develop functional rotational power. We really want to focus on transferring weight from the back foot to the front foot while exploding rotationally through the hips and torso. Just like when we hit, ...

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by Rick Boutilier | Mar 05 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

It is Transformation Tuesday with Oakville A's Midget player, Thomas Radigan. Thomas is one of those kids who came to us with the problem of not being able to put on any weight. As a 13 year old playing rep baseball, he was one of the smaller kids on the team. This age group can be very diverse...

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by Mike McCarthy | Mar 02 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

When searching for top notch baseball clinics, you are likely to find a series of offerings in your immediate area. While the information printed regarding the different clinics sounds rather impressive, it is important to know the difference between the options and find what is actually best for yo...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 16 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

A much underappreciated and often undercoached aspect of pitching is the development of pitchers away from the mound. Most pitchers spend countless hours working on their delivery, adding or deleting a pitch within their repertoire and conditioning their body and mind in the personal development of ...

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by Mike McCarthy | Feb 11 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Strength training for baseball is not a new concept, but it is something that not enough student-athletes, coaches, and parents know about. They know it exists, but way more importantly is that they should know why it is important and how it can benefit baseball players. It has to do with way more t...

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by Rick Johnston | Jan 28 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

How many times have we seen baserunners pop straight up when they take their first step on an attempted steal of second base? How many times have we heard coaches say to these players “stay low” coming out of the steal stance? These are two simple signs that will tell us these baserunners are no...

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by Rick Johnston | Jan 14 2013 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

To be a success at the art of stealing second base, most will say that a particular player needs to be fast. Yes, that is true to a degree, but stealing second base is certainly not solely based on speed and speed alone. Mentality, technique and smarts are equally as important. Yes, one can argue th...

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by Rick Johnston | Dec 15 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The art of fielding a ground ball successfully takes years and years of fundamental practice of learning how to read balls off the bat; creating angles; learning the pursuit speed toward balls; using the feet to take the glove to the ball; manipulating the glove to ensure it is squared up to the bal...

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by Rick Johnston | Dec 08 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Now, you may be wondering what does the power of your comfort zone refer to when it comes to fielding a ground ball?  Simply, the next few times you go out and hit ground balls to one of your players watch the position they go to on the field. Many times you will see an infielder move to a comfort ...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 26 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

We have previously written on the Top 5 Reasons To Use Indoor Batting Cages.  In this blog I would like open up discussions on how to use a batting cage to get the most out of it for swing development.  For many, commercial batting cages are used recreationally and not used for the actual developm...

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by Mike McCarthy | Nov 21 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Baseball is one of the world's favourite pastimes, connecting millions of avid fans from numerous nations to one single, shared passion. Many of those fans are regular players of the sport and spend a large amount of time practicing their skills on the field, but what they might not know is that...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 16 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

We know that hitting a baseball is one of the toughest athletic endeavours to do successfully.  Much of a hitter’s success or lack of success stems from a simple, simple concept that has little or frankly nothing to do with a mechanical movement in their swing. What is really has to do with is on...

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by Rebecca Chambers | Oct 30 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Q & A Subject: Groin injury Date: September 21, 2012 Q: I have a grade 3 adductor groin tear. The Injury occurred on 23 Aug, 2012. What is your advice for rehab? A: A grade 3 tear indicates a fairly significant injury with major macroscopic tearing, if not complete rupture. What this means is that...

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by Mike McCarthy | Oct 26 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

I turned 42 years old this year and I started playing organized sports when I was about 7 years old, so...let me do some math here...that makes it about 35 years that I have been in sports as a participant, coach or administrator. In that time I have seen and heard a lot of speeches, preaching, lea...

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by Larry Jusdanis | Oct 25 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Hey Baseball Parents, do you know why so many people have joined the #1 rated Boot camp workout called Butts and Guts? RESULTS - that’s why! Are you tired of the same old thing at your gym?  Are you tired of feeling like you’re not getting anywhere with your exercise and diet?  Are you feelin...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Oct 10 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

What do the following pitchers have in common? Kyle Drabek Drew Hutchison Luis Perez Sergio Santos Dustin McGowan Jesse Litch Brandon MorrowIf you follow the Toronto Blue Jays, you probably already know the answer; they have each suffered major injuries - some season ending...

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by Mike McCarthy | Aug 24 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

If you are a baseball coach or even just a baseball parent, I am willing to bet that you have never, ever, ever suggested any of these tactics to your players/kids: "Here, go hit with this tennis racquet" "I think you'll field better with this gardening glove" "Pitch with your other...

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by Kevin Horton | Aug 16 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Baseball history was made yesterday when Felix Hernandez pitched a gem and recorded the 23rd perfect game ever.  His perfect game was the 3rd this year which is a Major League record. The first perfect game was thrown back in 1880, and since then 22 more pitchers have accomplished ...

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by Kevin Horton | Aug 10 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

I've been watching the olympics the last couple of weeks and have really enjoyed them thus far.  There have been a lot of great moments not just for Canadians but for anyone that truly loves competition and personal or team achievements. However, with all the excitement around the games there...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Jun 29 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

With Canada Day weekend rapidly approaching it's a good time to reflect on the state of the game in our country. Let's count a few highlights: With the recent success of Canadians like Joey Votto, Brett Lawrie, and John Axford (former TBZ employee), it seems that more Canadians are gett...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Jun 29 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Baseball history was made yesterday when Felix Hernandez pitched a gem and recorded the 23rd perfect game ever.  His perfect game was the 3rd this year which is a Major League record. The first perfect game was thrown back in 1880, and since then 22 more pitchers have accomplished the feat.  If y...

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by Kevin Horton | Jun 26 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

In the Part 1 of this series we talked about how working on throwing accuracy in a baseball summer camp can improve your season, and then in Part 2 we talked about the value of sportsmanship and team play and how a summer camp can help with these skills. In Part 3 we talk about the one thing that a...

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by Kevin Horton | Jun 26 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

In the Part 1 of this series we talked about how working on throwing accuracy in a baseball summer camp can improve your season, and then in Part 2 we talked about the value of sportsmanship and team play and how a summer camp can help with these skills. In Part 3 we talk about the ...

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by Kevin Horton | Jun 18 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

In Part 2 of this series on how a baseball summer camp can improve your season (Part 1 was on throwing accuracy), we talk about the value of sportsmanship and team play and how a summer camp can help with these skills. (And YES, they are skills) Throughout every season players exper...

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by Kevin Horton | Jun 12 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

There are lots of great reasons to attend a baseball camp this summer. But how can attending a baseball camp improve your season?  In Part 1 of this 3 part series we explore Throwing Accuracy. Throwing accuracy is sometimes overlooked, or perhaps more so taken for granted when it comes to develop...

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by Larry Jusdanis | Apr 10 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

I started out my Top 4 attributes of a baseball strength coach with Attribute #1 - Passion! Passion for your work is something that is essential for success, and finding it in a strength coach will do you a lot of good. If you get the sense that your coach is watching the clock, or thinks that work...

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by Larry Jusdanis | Apr 09 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

If you are just getting into the spirit of using a strength coach or personal trainer and want to know what to look for, hopefully I can offer some advice. I have been in this field for over 14 years and have seen a lot. I’ve traded new information with colleagues, and used mentors and libraries o...

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by Jen Scorniaenchi | Mar 31 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

I am often approached by athletes and parents wanting to know how they can “gain more confidence.” Unfortunately, confidence is not something you can buy in a store, get from reading a book, or even by someone else’s praise. Improving YOUR confidence takes work by YOU. The great thing about co...

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by Mike McCarthy | Mar 29 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

High Performance - Is It For You? Our High Performance Program is designed and run with the intent of being more than just another baseball program. We aim to help develop our players not just in a technical sense, but also physically, mentally and tactically, creating a more well-rounded athlete t...

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by Mike McCarthy | Mar 20 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Lake Vista, FL - The 15u Terriers played a wild game in Lake Vista Florida on Tuesday and eventually emerged as 13-11 winners. The competition was the Proctor Baseball Academy from New Hampshire and they jumped out to a early 7-0 lead after just three innings. The Terriers got back into it with a f...

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by Mike McCarthy | Mar 17 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Clearwater, FL - Historic Jack Russell Stadium, spring training home to the Philadelphia Phillies for several decades provided the venue for a 10-1 Ontario Terriers Baseball 15U victory over WI Baseball Academy(FL) on Monday night. Elliott Curtis got his stadium debut as a starting pitcher and was ...

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by Rick Johnston | Mar 08 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

So what is the number one method of improving infielding movements?  Just play catch. That’s it. Throw the ball. Move the feet and catch the ball. How much more simplified can it be than that? Unfortunately playing catch is done at such a poor level that developing and acquiring skills needed for...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 25 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Often when infield play is talked about it is done so with an inordinate amount of technical information regarding angles, hops, fielding position, glove action, etc...This type of information is invaluable to any aspiring infielder in their pursuit of defensive success. However, an area that is of...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 23 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Do you ever wonder why great MLB infielders always appear to make infield plays very routine? Have you ever wondered why MLB infielders rarely get bad hops when fielding ground balls? Have you ever really watched how MLB infielders prepare their bodies to field ground balls? We can talk all we want ...

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by Larry Jusdanis | Feb 22 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

I spend a lot of time in various gyms and I see a lot of things that make me wonder what I'm actually seeing. This is not unusual for me because I'm mostly a kinaesthetic-type learner and I need to try things out before I understand them clearly. Over time, one thing that I've been able...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 21 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Typically when learning how to play the infield, most of the instruction an infielder will receive will be centered on technical areas such as glove position, how far the feet should be spread apart, flexion in the knees and ankles, etc. However, an overlooked area when teaching young pl...

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by Jen Scorniaenchi | Feb 08 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Sport Psychologists often hear from baseball parents who worry about young baseball players who are too hard on themselves. You're likely familiar with these types of athletes. They're perfectionists. Perfectionist athletes criticize themselves for making mistakes, often hol...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 07 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Why not just watch for yourself? Myth #2 Tagging at third base:  The third base coach should tell the runner when to break for the plate The third base coach should never direct the baserunner verbally when to go (but he should give the baserunner information prior to the...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 07 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Would you like fries with that? baserunning myths toronto mississauga ontarioSo to everyone who has taken the time to read this series and/or make comments, I give you a large thanks. We have had agreements on things and some disagreements. (If you have made comments and not been re...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 05 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Myth #3 When on second base, the baserunner is supposed to be responsible for the position and movements of the second baseman Runner at second baseThis is the sole responsibility of the third base coach. In fact, once the baserunner leaves first base and safely reaches second ...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 04 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Perhaps Superman is the exception, but other than him... Myth #4 Sliding into first base: The runner gets there faster There are a couple of instances when a runner should slide into first base, but they do not have anything to do with getting there faster: sliding in...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 03 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Man cannot live on speed alone Myth #5: Your fastest players will be your best base stealers Wow, if only this were true. Certainly when stealing bases if this were the case, then many teams would go out and sign or recruit every track and field athlete that competes in a ...

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by Rick Johnston | Feb 02 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Myth #6: Take a bigger lead than normal at first base when stealing: “if you get a bigger lead, the base will be easier to steal” Bigger or longer leads off first base actually do not produce more stolen bases. In fact, when larger than normal leads are taken, many players ...

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by Rick Johnston | Jan 31 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

We once though the world was flat too Myth #8: Angle turns approaching each base: The angle should be the same for each player This in fact is a myth and players should not be taught to take the exact same angle turn as each other. Why? Simply put, players have differing a...

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by Rick Johnston | Jan 31 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Myth #7: Contacting the base when moving toward the forward base: The baserunner should always touch the base with the left or inside foot Baserunning Myth Left FootScience may prove touching the base with the inside or left foot is more efficient in controlling centrifugal for...

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by Rick Johnston | Jan 24 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Become a better baserunner through observation: Many players simply look at baserunning as just baserunning and what they do during the game. What a baserunner does during the game is a by-product of what they have observed prior to the game (also read this blog post for more on pre...

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by Rick Boutilier | Jan 24 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Now that you're heavily into your off-season it's time to start thinking about your off-season program if you haven't started already. Working on your skills, throwing, hitting and fielding are a must, but getting stronger and faster should also be a priority. The best off-se...

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by Rick Johnston | Jan 14 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

A weapon helping any player to become a better baserunner is the information that can be gathered during the opposing team's pre-game infield practice. One can acquire extremely valuable and useful information that may lead to getting the extra run that makes the difference in a clos...

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by Rick Johnston | Jan 12 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Just being a good baserunner is not good enough. In fact, good is only just good, what each baserunner should strive for is excellence on the base paths. Become GREAT! Just how is this accomplished? Three ways...first, set all expectations high, second, demand excellence and third, never...

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by Jen Scorniaenchi | Jan 11 2012 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

All kids want to win unless they purely participate for the social aspect of sports. Winning is fun. Most baseball parents want their kids to be successful in sports. But do they examine their motivation for wanting their child to be successful in sports? For example, do you wa...

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by Jen Scorniaenchi | Dec 28 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Baseball parents communicate in many ways with their kids through conversation, tone of voice, body language and facial expressions. Baseball, and sports in general, can be an exciting topic to discuss with your young athletes. It's important to be as supportive, empathetic and posit...

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by Mike McCarthy | Dec 21 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Over the years I have seen and played for a lot of different coaches spanning various sports.  Most of us have.  And they can be categorized in many different ways – a yeller versus a quiet, thoughtful approach; more technical versus motivational; organized versus “winging it”; a...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Dec 19 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Can Yu Darvish pitch at the big league level? This answer is without question - YES! Will he stay healthy? Only time will tell. My guess, though, is he will not! Like many other successful big leaguers such as Stephen Strasburg, Chris Carpenter, Shaun Marcum, Darvish exhibits traits that...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Dec 08 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Lower body throwing Have you ever been told things like "You need to use your legs more"? Or heard, "You've got a lot left in the lower body"? If you have, like many other pitchers you are probably wondering what that means? The truth it is it's easy to identify large portio...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 30 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Getting on base in baseball can be challenging enough at times for a young baseball player (or any age for that matter).  No wonder so many players have a hard time being an effective baserunner!  We're not there as often as we would like to be and we spend so much of our practice ...

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by Rebecca Chambers | Nov 28 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

As a physiotherapist, I can tell you that in general, we really like our patients.  We enjoy the time we get to know you, to understand your condition, and ultimately to help you to heal and resume your normal range of activities, including getting back to playing baseball. Having ...

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by Rick Johnston | Nov 04 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Albert Pujols, Todd Helton, Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Teixiera, what do they all have in common? They can all flat out hit, hit for power and are RBI machines. But, what do you not know about these guys? Since 2001 they have a combined 10 Gold Gloves between them. Not too shabby for a han...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Nov 01 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Watch these videos below as our colleague Don Slaught, former 16-year MLB player and Founder of RightView Pro, explains many of the elements of the rotational movement in the baseball swing.  Of particular note to us for this blog are the actions of the back feet of the hitters.  We so often hear...

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by Rick Johnston | Oct 27 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Do Pitchers Pause?  Or not? OK now that we have your attention, we are not talking about driving.  We are talking about actual pitching and whether pitchers come to a complete stop in their delivery (and is often taught) OR whether it is a continuous movement that never really comes...

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by Rick Johnston | Oct 20 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

You might want to reconsider your philosophy I recently got back from a baseball trip to a southern state with a team competing in arguably the top US baseball showcase in the country. Notwithstanding the level of competition that was clearly evident, what was most intriguing was no...

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by Mike McCarthy | Oct 10 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

When you go into a baseball academy across North America, what are you more likely to see from its coaching staff? Coaching of skills? Or coaching of techniques?  “What is the difference?” you might ask. Well let’s use hitting as an example and call the “skill” the abilit...

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by Rick Boutilier | Oct 05 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Obesity in our children is becoming a national crisis.  Research indicates that more Canadian children are overweight and obese than in the past.  In 1978/79, 12% of 2-17 year olds were overweight, and 3% were obese - a combined overweight/obesity rate of 15%.  By 2004, the overweight...

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by Mike McCarthy | Oct 02 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Do you keep score? How? Baseball is a game of vast statistical analyses.  We obviously keep score of games and wins vs. losses.  We have numerous individual & team stats like batting average, ERA, fielding percentage and all of their derivatives all the way to newer stats like OPS...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Sep 30 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Baseball Instruction In Toronto:  Here are few things you need to consider when selecting a training program. 1) Who are the coaches? 2) What do they teach and why? 3) Do your coaches set expectations? 4) Is objective measurement part of the program? 5) Will you...

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by Mike McCarthy | Sep 25 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Time for the dinosaurs to move over It is sad. Very sad. But we have been conditioned to believe that we, the human race, the most unbelievable machine in the history of the world is very, very mediocre. We believe that we are so dreadfully incapable of doing things for ourselves th...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Sep 15 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

How will you know until you KNOW? Let’s face it, most feedback baseball parents and athletes receive from coaches is subjective. Things like “They’re doing great”, “If they work hard they’ll get it” or “They’re just fine”. This is usually followed by some technic...

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by Rick Johnston | Sep 08 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Outfielding: To play deep or not to play deep? Question number one, are more balls hit over an outfielders head or in front of them?  Question number two, do outfielders generally play too deep or too shallow in the outfield?  Well, the answer to the first question is more balls g...

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by Rick Boutilier | Aug 31 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Breaking the Mysteries One of the biggest questions parents ask me is "Isn't strength training harmful for my child?" Strength training is, in fact, healthy and beneficial for your child.  Studies conducted on the subject have been conclusive in finding that a properly con...

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by Rick Johnston | Aug 25 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The Playoff Run So you are gearing up for the final playoff run this year. You have left the physical adjustments behind, as this is not the time of the year for them. You have the first 5 tips that you can grab on to in order to make THE difference for your team. You are almost set...

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by Rick Johnston | Aug 24 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Yesterday I shared with you my belief that this time of the season is not best suited for physical changes. These should be made in the offseason. What you need to focus on now is what is going on upstairs - in your mind! There have been several examples of great playoff contributio...

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by Rick Johnston | Aug 23 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The Baseball Playoff Run The season is quickly winding down. You have all had a chance to showcase your baseball skills and your game awareness throughout the summer. Now it is the make or break time of the year for your team, yourself and possibly for a position with next year’s ...

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by Ryan Armstrong | Aug 16 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

What to do now?!?! Ok so the baseball season is over, now what??? That’s the million dollar question! Well, for some of you who've found yourself struggling at the beginning of every baseball season, you need to reflect on what you could have done differently in the off-season...

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by Kevin Horton | Aug 09 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

As a baseball enthusiast I enjoy watching baseball - period!  Being born and raised in Toronto I was raised to root for the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team!  Over the years they have had some fantastic teams, players, and success, including 2 World Series.  They have also had their fa...

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by Jen Scorniaenchi | Jul 06 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Last Minute Pointers - Helpful or Harmful? Do you have a few last minute pointers for your kid before the big game on hitting that home run? Save it. That's the best way to help your kids succeed, according to Junior Tennis Players' Preferences for Parental Behaviors, a...

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by Rick Boutilier | Jul 04 2011 22:14:15 PM| 0 Comments |

Getting faster for most athletes is one of their biggest offseason goals. I work with a lot of baseball players who come to me every year looking to improve their baseball speed, quickness and agility on the field and basepaths. For athletes looking for scholarship opportunities in the U.S. there ar...

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by Rich Reid | Jun 21 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Do you get up and dust yourself off?  Or not? In the following Blog, I want to dive into the realm of how to deal with an error and how to change the thought process from a negative to a positive! First of all let’s get a scenario to analyze: You're playing shortstop and...

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by Rick Johnston | Jun 08 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

How do you attack this situation? I often am amazed how hitters waste their at bats and simply give away outs over the course of a season. This is especially true with two strikes. Each hitter must learn to develop their own plan of attack when they are faced with a two strike count...

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by Rick Boutilier | Jun 02 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Warming up properly before games is integral to enhancing your performance and avoiding injury. I see kids arriving at their games and the first thing they usually do is pick up a baseball and start throwing along the foul lines with one of their teammates. For a lot of teams that is the...

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by Rick Johnston | May 31 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Have you ever done the math? So, you will play approximately 40 games this year and with each game you will have three at bats. Your total number of at bats for the season will be 120. Now let’s really break down this down into the number of pitches you will see and try and figure...

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by Kevin Horton | May 26 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

With summer holidays right around the corner a lot things go through your mind as a parent.  The biggest of all is “what will my kids be doing?”  If you don’t find something for them to do they will most likely waste away the days in front of the TV or playing those dreadful vide...

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by Ryan Armstrong | May 24 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Do you think the Pros do it because they are bored? Elite level pitchers can and do throw and work out the day before and the day after they pitch. That being said all pitchers - elite to beginner - need work in between outings, including the day before and the day after they pitch!...

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by Rick Johnston | May 18 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Defending the Hit and Run: Let’s walk through a successfully executed hit and run and see where the defence failed to understand what happened. Baserunner on first base, one out, the count favours a fastball. The baserunner breaks on the pitch, the hits a lazy ground ball through ...

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by Rick Johnston | May 13 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

As has been indicated in a previous post regarding the Hit and Run, it is a very high risk offensive tactic and as such there are many cons that can have a glaring effect on its outcome. Now let’s look at some of the pro's of the Hit and Run Helps the offensive team stay...

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by Ryan Armstrong | May 11 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

3 Simple Tips to Throwing More Strikes Consider your glove side. What does it do? Glove side is a major factor in throwing strikes! If your elbows are getting further apart as you release the ball (i.e. tucking or pulling) you will be less accurate and arm stress will increase...

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by Rick Johnston | May 04 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

In my last post I went over some of the elements essential to a successful Hit & Run. But I also warned that it may be a bit overused and not quite as successful as we might think it is or want it to be. Now, let’s look at the why the hit and run is not always a good offensive tac...

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by Jen Scorniaenchi | Apr 29 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Baseball Psychology - T.I.P.S for better performance People are often asking me for tips for better performance. Whether it be nutrition tips, mental focus tips, stress management tips, or tips for putting it all together. This is my job- to be a resource, a guide, a coach to ultima...

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by Rick Johnston | Apr 27 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

The hit and run is an offensive tactic designed for the sole purpose of staying out of the double play, rather than trying to advance a baserunner up two bases to third base which it is often thought to be used for. It is designed for the situations when a slower baserunner occupies firs...

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by Rick Johnston | Apr 13 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

4 Hitting Zones for Success In 1990 George F. Will wrote a #1 New York Times Bestseller titled "Men at Work, The Craft of Baseball". In it, he writes briefly about the famous picture of Ted Williams's colour coded strike zone filled with baseballs, in the book "The Science of Hi...

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by Rick Johnston | Apr 11 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

4 Hitting Zones for Success in Baseball In Part I of this blog we introduced the notion of knowing your own hitting zones and when they apply. We also covered Hitting Zones 1 & 2 which are your best situations for success. Now we cover Zones 3 & 4, which may not be as fruitful for h...

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by Rich Reid | Apr 07 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

1.  Know your limitations, strengths, and weaknesses!! Be realistic with yourself. Are you a Gorilla or a Rat??? If you are a “Rat” (a player who runs fast and hits line drives) why are you trying to be a gorilla and hit the ball out of the park!!!!! Your job is to get on...

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by Jen Scorniaenchi | Apr 06 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

In Part I we: Introduced the term "self-fulfilling prophecy" Discussed the implications of it to baseball players, specifically in its negative from Left you with the question of "Why do we still think negative thoughts as well as believe them??" So......W...

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by SST Mississauga | Apr 01 2011 20:02:24 PM| 0 Comments |

Many coaches do not believe in in-season baseball strength training. They mistakenly claim that, at best, an athlete can only hope to maintain the strength gains they made during the off-season training. I believe strength and power can be increased even during peak season. Why work so hard every o...

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by Jen Scorniaenchi | Mar 30 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Have you ever thought to yourself before a baseball game or practice, "this is going to suck" or “this is going to be a tough one” and then after the game or practice has ended you find yourself thinking "I'm glad that’s over - what a tough one!?"  You MUST be psychic, right??...

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by Mike McCarthy | Mar 22 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

Hitting coaches are often asked how hitters can learn to recognize pitches. The usual responses will include things like "Pick up the release as soon as you can", "Watch for the spin on the ball" (somewhat debatable but that is for another discussion), "The pitcher tips his pitches by do...

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by Mike McCarthy | Feb 24 2011 21:21:55 PM| 0 Comments |

At some point or another a great deal of youth baseball players dream of earning themselves a baseball scholarship. For some, that dream can become a reality and somewhere in between the path will include interaction with a recruiter, often a member of the coaching staff. If you are fortunate enou...

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