Saturday, February 27, 2010

Keeping Hitting Simple

"My theory on hitting is, attack the ball before it attacks you," Hank Aaron

  I think Henry "Hank" Aaron might have been onto something here. 

  I think he may have a little bit of success with that idea.

  Of course, up until a few years ago when a steroid-induced Barry Bonds passed him by, Hank Aaron was the career "Home Run King."

  Now we as players, former players, coaches and fans get caught up with records and statistics there is really one main objective when competing - and that is SUCCESS. This quote gives us a good starting point for any baseball player that will be facing live pitching this season - BE AGGRESSIVE. ATTACK THE BALL. TAKE THE FIGHT TO THE PITCHER.

  There is a certain simplicity that really works toward a baseball player's (or any athlete's) advantage. I believe that is often under-stated. If, as athletes, we do the most simple and basic techniques in an outstanding way - we will be extremely success and in the process, contribute to our team winning. 

  So as all of those involved in baseball get ready to shovel the snow and then take the field, remember "Hammerin" Hank Aaron and attack the baseball.  In my next post, I will give all you hitters a hitting game plan which is based on three simple rules. As you stride into the batters box, stay aggressive out there!

By the way, Aaron is wearing the uniform of the Milwaukee Braves - which is where the team was prior to their current location in Atlanta.  The Braves originally shared the Beantown audience of Boston prior to its move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pitching Wins! Here are the tips to get you going

Toms River High School South - 2010


1. Give me the ball! (want the ball, want to pitch)

2. Set the tempo; work quickly; throw strikes.

3. Help yourself – know our plays (pickoffs); field your position; backup.

4. Take advantage of your strengths and the opponents’ weaknesses.

5. Project confidence – believe in yourself.

6. Work ahead in the count - throw 2 different pitches for strikes; 3 would be a plus.

7. Keep your pitches down; especially the fastball. Change speeds, arm angle & looks.

8. Always a 0-0 game.

9. Shutouts win!!

10. Don’t be a nice guy! Get the hitters down (in the count) and BURY THEM!

(pictured above, St. Louis Cardinal ace Dizzy Dean. It would be interesting to bring back those old pitching motions!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"When I think of a stadium, it's like a temple. It's religious." -Jim LeFebvre, major league outfielder and coach

It is the time of year!  If you aren't yearning for it right about now, you might want to double-check your affinity for baseball! Major leaguers; potential major leaguers; college players they are getting ready and prepped for Opening Day! 

In the photo above of Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium) - the former home of the Philadelphia Phillies and the Philadelphia A's - it makes you feel the summertime,  even by just looking at the picture.

Soon enough pitchers will be throwing strikes and balls. Batters will be hoping for a good one to hit. The tying run, the winning run, just another run will all be in play once the field is taken by the players. The defense will be gunning for outs. Voices will be heard. Dirt will fly. 

This makes all the snow and cold leave my mind. It makes me visualize the spring and summer of 2010!

So make sure you make a mental note to check in with the ballplayers as soon as you are able.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It's About "We"

"A team is where a boy can prove his courage on his own. A gang is where a coward goes to hide." - Mickey Mantle, NY Yankees.

I am a firm believer that we are only as good as the people around us.

Whether it's in life or in sports or in the business world, one is dependent on the concept of "we" not "I." 

I think this Mickey Mantle quote sort of leads us down that road. It leads us to a place where we can contribute to success, not hide among excuses for failure. 

As much as one remembers Mantle for being at the core of the Yankees success in the 1950s and early 1960s, there were many, many, many names that helped him bring the glory and World Series trophies to the Bronx. After all is winning is a team effort. In the 2010 world we live in today, there is too much emphasis placed on individuals and individuality.  If everyone cared about the group or groups succeeding, I think we'd see more success.

Make sure you players understand that individual stats are important, but the success of the team is of the Utmost importance.