Newtown babe ruth baseball Coach’s Instructional Guide
From Bill Ripken’s, Throwing and Catching: Making it Fun
One way to break up any kind of tension is good deep breathing.
— Byron Nelson
Fielding ground balls depend on good mechanics and proper breathing. When we stop breathing, we allow our body to tighten which results in errors. Coaches need to constantly remind infielders to keep breathing to avoid tension. Infielders must work on all aspects of infield play including force plays, double-plays, cut-offs, pop ups, relay throws, backing up, slow rollers, and game situations. This is very difficult for coaches to incorporate all of these skills during practice. Coaches should attempt to teach these things once in practice and reinforce during games. Good mechanics in fielding should be the focus during practice. Newtown baseball uses the Five T’s to emphasize good mechanics in fielding ground balls. The Five T’s should be taught from ages 5 through 18.
Teaching Five T’s (Fundamentals):
Newtown Babe Ruth Fielding/Infield
6. Keep glove open (no flipping).
7. Field ball out in front of body with soft hands.
8. Try to field ball at the top of the hop.
9. When you feel tension in arm…backhand!
10. Point shoulder to target and step to target.
“”Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.”— Bob Packwood
Outfield Must Know
Pitching is a very individualized skill. Few pitchers’ motions are exactly alike. A pitcher's motion will depend on size, strength, height and leverage, co-ordination, flexibility and balance. Therefore, when coaching pitchers, it is necessary to coach within a pitchers own style, abilities, physical potential and limitations. If a pitcher is successful, let him use his natural delivery unless:
After studying many professional and college pitchers on slow motion film, we have learned that while not all successful pitchers throw exactly the same way, most good pitchers use many of the same arm actions through the critical phase of throwing - i.e., from the hand break through the deceleration phase.
We do believe that:
The following breakdown of the pitching motion is meant to be a guide for a coach who is instructing the beginning pitcher, or is attempting to make adjustments with a pitcher who is experiencing problems with his motion.
Basic Pitching Mechanics from the Wind-up Position
To save energy and maintain the visual perception of the plate, the pitcher should just backup on the mound when receiving the return throw from the catcher.
II. ARM ACTION
“The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.” — Bruce Lee
Ted Williams, arguably the greatest hitter who ever lived, once said that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in any sport. You hit a round ball with a round bat and need to hit it square He went on to say that baseball is the only sport where if you fail 70 percent of the time then you are considered great hitter. Newtown Babe Ruth understands the difficulty of hitting a baseball but teaches its players a different perspective. Hitting a baseball is the easiest thing to do in any sport because where else can you fail 70 percent of the time and be considered great! The thread in hitting is a tension free swing. Tension is what kills a swing.
Many coaches are aware that tension destroys a swing but still use terms such as, “kill the ball”, “crush it”, “rip it”, or “Relax!!!”. All coaches have overused the word relaxed. It is used so much that it means nothing to the player. Newtown Babe Ruth coaches must use many different terms and drills to teach what being “relaxed” means.
Coaches must also address the fear of getting hit by a pitch. It is a legitimate fear and does not end in childhood. The first thing a coach should do is teach players the proper way to get out of the way of the ball. This is simply turning your back to the pitcher while bringing your bat straight to the ground. This does three things; protects the face, protects the hands and avoids foul balls off the bat. If the player does get hit, it will be in the fatty part of the body and the risk of serious injury is eliminated.
There is a mechanical piece to hitting which must be addressed. There are certain truths that all good hitters adhere to when swinging. The hitting truths are broken up to three categories; hitting mechanics, psychological aspects of hitting and characteristics of a good hitter. All three will be taught at different levels depending on the player.