Focus

Posted on August 30, 2013

How can I get my team to stay motivated? After two innings we seem to lose complete focus, especially if we're behind. We start to make error after error. These are 10 and 11-year olds. We have been in every game until my players make an error or two and then the team falls apart. Coach Swift answers: If I was able to answer this question definitively and tell you how to keep your team focused at all times I would be the smartest coach in the ...

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Outfield Relays

Posted on August 30, 2013

I am coaching an 11-12 year old baseball team and would like to know the proper cut-offs for hits to the outfield. I have searched the internet and various baseball books but have not been able to find anything on this. Coach Swift answers: For all cut-offs there are a couple of things to consider when a ball is hit to the outfield. Consideration #1 Whether the ball was hit in front of or past the outfielders. If the ball was in front ...

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Helmet Decals

Posted on August 30, 2013

I was thinking about using some helmet decals for my team this year and was wondering what you think about using them as a way of recognizing effort, hits or whatever. What criteria would you use in giving out the decals and how would you do it? Attendance is important as well as effort and paying attention. I will be coaching 7-9 year old boys. Coach Swift answers: This is a good idea, especially for younger players. I would ask you to ...

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Making The Team

Posted on August 30, 2013

I've played travel baseball on a nationally ranked team every year for the last 6 years. I'm in 10th grade and hoping to make Varsity this year for my school. The only problem is the coach. I know I'm good enough to make Varsity and even start. But the coach doesn't really know me that well. I talk to him, but he doesn't say much. I think the other 10th graders who aren't as good will make the team because of their reputation. What should I do ...

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Youth Prodigy

Posted on August 30, 2013

I have a 3-year old son who appears to have a great aptitude for baseball. He now has the Little Tikes pop-up pitcher (we replaced the tee) and he can consistently hit 4/5 right handed and 3/5 left handed and they were going over the 6 foot fence when it was in the center of the yard (even though they are plastic wiffle-type balls it was still 20-30 feet)....and he loves the game. We can do this for HOURS each day, or as long as mom can "field" ...

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Junior College

Posted on August 30, 2013

I am coming back from a recent calf tear and meniscus tear. I'm a junior in high school and going through a tough decision about college. I have the grades to go to a 4-year University but I'm thinking about going to a Junior College to get a better chance of continuing playing baseball. I was wondering what you think I should do. If you know any college coaches that can contact me I would greatly appreciate it. Coach Swift answers: I'm glad ...

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Catcher’s Throw

Posted on August 30, 2013

As a catcher, how can I improve the velocity of my throws to second base? Coach Swift answers: Focusing on good mechanics will improve your throwing velocity. With runners on base, start with your right foot back a little. Then you do not have to make a quick step with the throw.  Get the ball up above your shoulder and back in the throwing position without dropping your arm down to your side.  Step hard and follow though.&...

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Confidence

Posted on August 30, 2013

My son will be turning 12 this month. He really has a great pitching arm and a good potential to be a hitter. At practice he is always on his "A" game, but in a game he seems to let up and only plays a "B" game. His pitching speed drops tremendously and he totally freezes at the plate while facing an opposing team pitcher. What can I say or do to help him prepare mentally for the game? Coach Swift answers: This is a very difficult problem, one ...

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Torque

Posted on August 30, 2013

I am hearing a lot of things about torque. Can you explain to me what torque is and the spots it can be applied to in your swing? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Coach Swift answers: Torque really is just another word for bat speed. We create torque by getting our hips turned out of the way and our back ...

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Left Foot

Posted on August 30, 2013

I have an age old question. I have been teaching my high school aged players to round the bases touching the inside corner with their LEFT foot. I was taught to use the left foot as a child, I have read that one should use the left foot, but I have trouble answering the "why" question. Why should baserunners touch the bases with their left foot? Coach Swift answers: The reason is relatively simple, though I will admit when you're learning to ...

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