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Archive for the ‘Baseball Training Tips’ Category

Baseball Spring Training

Friday, March 9th, 2012

There is nothing more exciting than spring training to start the baseball season. Did you know that spring training is almost as old as baseball itself? It first took place in 1870, when the Cincinnati Red Stockings and the Chicago White Stockings held organized baseball camps in New Orleans. Spring-training was finally established as a baseball ritual by 1900, with most American and National League teams heading out of town so players could train and managers could evaluate.

“People ask me what I do in the winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
—Rogers Hornsby

Increase your Baseball Hitting Power:

Infield Baseball Training Drills:

How to Stretch Your Throwing Arm:

Easton Ultimate Batting Practice

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Here are a couple videos from Easton’s YouTube Channel – eastondreamcrazy. We think they’re pretty awesome. Check them out and let us know what you think.

Summer Softball Drills

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

We receive a lot of requests about how to improve techniques and mechanics for fastpitch softball. To help out we decided to compile a list of videos to help our customers learn how to be better players and improve their game. See hitting drills to help hit more consistently. Watch pitching drills to increase speed and accuracy. Turn into a gold glove caliber player in the field with fielding drills.

Below are videos you can watch to get tips which can easily be implemented on the field or at practice. These drills are great for beginners, indoor, and are lots of fun.

Fielding Drills

Infield Drills: Ground Balls, Back Hands

Defensive Drills

Increase Pitch Speed

After you’ve improved, don’t forget to buy softball equipment online at Softball Rampage.

How Does A Pitching Machine Work

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

The invention of the baseball/softball pitching machine has saved the arms of hundreds of thousands of pitching coaches around the nation. With the ability to adjust speeds along with the types of pitches and various other capabilities, pitching machines can now deliver batting practice to a full team without giving up their ability to improve their hitting skills.

The real question is how does a pitching machine really work? The answer to that question depends on what type of machine you’ve purchased. You can get versions including the scoop pitching machine, wheel pitching machine, and cannon pitching machine.

Each type of machine has positive and negative features and it will normally depend on the user which features they need the most to decide which to purchase. Check out the baseball pitching machine reviews online at Baseball Rampage or visit the softball pitching machine reviews at Softball Rampage to see what people think about various machines on the market.

Jugs Softball Pitching Machine

A scoop machine will use pulleys and hydraulics to propel a pitching machine ball toward the batter. The swinging scoop is very close to a pitchers arm motion. Most scoop machines can be pre-programmed for speed, pitch count, and height. Scoop machines are becoming less common as other technologies have become more prevalent in the space.

A wheel machine uses hydraulics and two wheels to propel the ball toward the hitter. Wheeled machines have also been designed to be used in some defensive drills including ground balls, pop-ups, and line drives. The flexibility of wheeled pitching machines has made them some of the most popular on the market.

Cannon machines are a third type and use a similar design as tennis ball machines. They also use hydraulics but the flexibility of cannon machines is much less than wheel machines. Speed can be designated on cannon machines with distances up to 90 feet in most cases.

Trend Sports Heater Heavy Duty Pitching Machine

You know how they work, now let’s learn more about the types of pitching machines available. Let’s discuss some of the finer points associated with them.

The majority of machines on the market have been designed to use electricity. While most city parks will have readily available electricity, quite a few rural parks may not which is why some battery operated machines are now available. Battery operated machines are normally smaller and may lack the features of electric powered machines.

Loading your pitching machine will vary on the model. Some offer automatic loading while others require hand loading – which should be combined with a net or screen to protect the person loading the pitching machines balls. Unless you’re operating a batting cage, you’ll most likely have to hand load your auto feeder machines as well.

Pitching machine balls come in all types and sizes. Before buying machine balls, be sure to know what type your machine can accept. Machines can use regular size baseball, smaller size balls for training, or softball pitching machine balls. Always know what type can be used by your machine to prevent damage or injury.

Now that you know a bit more about pitching machines and how they work, don’t forget to visit Baseball Rampage for Jugs pitching machine, Trend Sports pitching machine, and softball pitching machines at Softball Rampage. Here’s the best selling machines online:

Jugs Lite Flight Pitching Machine
Jugs Softball Pitching Machine
Trend Sports Heater Jr

Buy online now and receive free shipping on select models including Rampage Sports award winning customer service.

How to Throw Faster Pitches

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Every pitcher from youth to the major leagues wants to increase the velocity of their pitches. While being able to pitch fast can be from physical gifts, there are quite a few things you can do to add several MPH’s to your fast ball.

First, mechanics are a huge part of pitching. Be sure to work with your coach to have the right mechanics from the start including having your non-throwing foot 1-2 inches in front and making sure to land perpendicular to home until right before landing. Always be sure to release the pitch when the front foot plants allowing your legs to help increase the speed of your pitch.

Outside of mechanics, there’s plenty of training points including weight lifting that will help increase the speed of your fastball. Throwing fast is about more than just the strength of your arm. Be sure to increase leg strength through weight lifting and also do core work through crunches and sit ups. Upper body weight lifting should focus on the shoulders and forearms.

Various training methods can help increase speed also. Try pitching long distances starting at 1/3 longer than the distance you would throw in a game and working up to double the pitching distance. Throw in some long toss to help build up the shoulder and back throwing motions. Depending on your age, 200-300 feet should be more than enough length.

Watch this video from eHow to learn a few more tips on increasing your pitching speed.

Now that you’ve picked up a few tips for pitching a baseball faster, check out baseball training aids and pitcher gloves at Baseball Rampage.

Baseball Batting and Hitting Drills Videos

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Baseball Rampage receives many inquiries about how customers can improve their hitting technique and mechanics. Hitting instruction though is based mostly on the individual and what makes them most comfortable at the plate. That doesn’t mean you can’t pick up some baseball hitting tips and training from articles, video’s, and other media around the internet.

Here’s a collection of some the more solid videos out there. Feel free to post your favorite baseball hitting videos in the comments section.

Baseball Stance

Baseball Batting Grip

How to Use Your Legs When Hitting

Post your videos now or shop Baseball Rampage for baseball training aids to help you improve your swing.

How To Break-In A Composite Baseball Bat

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Composite bats can make average hitters good and good hitters great. Breaking in a composite bat that can be a bit tricky for first time owners. Find out how to break-in a composite baseball bat at Baseball Rampage. After you learn a bit more about breaking in your new bat, shop Baseball Rampage for composite bats, premium baseball gloves, and other performance equipment.

Spring Equipment Series 2010

Monday, February 15th, 2010

The Major League Season starts this week with pitchers and catchers reporting to MLB spring training this Wednesday, February 17th. All other players will arrive Tuesday February 23, 2010.

Baseball Rampage will begin covering spring training 2010 with our own baseball equipment series 2010 featuring some of the most popular equipment this season including Easton bats, baseball catchers gear, wood baseball bats, and more.

Not only will we show you the best equipment on the market, we’ll also provide cheap price options and ways to earn even more rewards for the 2010 baseball season.

Baseball Rampage is the place to shop for baseball equipment this season so stay tuned to our blog for some of the best news and prices on gear.

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Softball players aren’t out of luck. We’ll have a separate series running for Softball Rampage discussing new products and additions to the SoftballRampage.com product lineup. We’ll also provide tips and tricks on how to improve your game whether you play slowpitch or fastpitch softball.

The series will run in tandem with the Baseball Rampage series so visit often to find out how you can save on brand new performance gear with Softball Rampage.

Sample Catchers Notebook Page

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

In a follow up to our recent entry, Guest Blog – Catching: Partly Physical, but Mostly Mental, here’s a sample catcher’s notebook:


Guest Blog – Catching: Partly Physical, but Mostly Mental

Monday, April 13th, 2009

This is a guest blog entry - blog.baseballrampage.com Admin.

Have you ever wondered why some teams keep week-hitting catchers in the lineup and yet these teams seem to win the majority of their games. The answer is not found in batting statistics nor in throwing out base runners nor in preventing wild pitches and passed balls. The answer is in the way these “good” catchers develop and use game strategy and tactics.

Preparing for a game begins long before the first batter stands in the box. It begins by studying what your opponent has done in the past. A catcher should review the scorebook of what each opponent player did against his team. Because teams within a league play each other several times, the best intelligence is the past. The good catchers keep book on every player in the league. Collecting and filing this information is vitally important. Recalling it is a must. It’s the difference between winning and losing. Start by using a small 3″x5″ spiral notebook, even one with a little loop to hold a stubby pencil. Divide the notebook into as many teams as there are in your league plus one extra for general information; a small tab can separate each team. Keep this notebook tucked within your chest protector or your back pocket when you’re playing your position. Refer to it between batters if necessary, but work hard to recall the details without having to “thumb through your guide.” Bench time, when the other team is out on the field, is great for reviewing the upcoming batters information.

Calling a Game

Some catchers are allowed to do this while others await the coaches signals. Calling your own game begins with understanding the batters and the game situation tactics. Calling your own game requires you to pay attention to details. Keep notes on hitters, runners, pitchers, as well as opposing team tendencies. Before attempting to call your own game, pay attention to how your pitching coach calls pitches during other games. Why is he calling for certain pitches in certain counts? What is he trying to accomplish? What is the game situation? If you don’t understand something, ask the coach after the inning why he is calling that pitch in that situation. Once, you understand the reasoning for calling certain pitches; incorporate this knowledge into your Catcher’s Notebook.

After your defensive half-inning is over enter data on each player that just came to bat. What stance did each use. What was the position of his hands or what were his warm-up swings like. Did he chase certain “bad” pitches or ignore others? Did he get fooled by certain set-up pitches? Was he bothered by base runners seemingly about to steal? Has he changed anything since the last time you met or when runners are on or off base? All of these things should be noted in the Catcher’s Notebook.

A batter with an open stance will probably be strong on inside pitches (his hips are already pointing toward the pitch and he will tend to be weaker on outside pitches). From a closed stance, the batter will probably hit the ball well into right field because he hits the outside pitch well. So, the pitcher should throw inside to him so he can jam him with good fastballs. A batter with a straightaway stance is capable of hitting to all fields. So, you should pitch to him low and favor the inside of the strike zone until you know more about him.

Besides the stance there are many other mannerisms used by the batter that might reveal his weaknesses. The position of his hands will often expose his weaknesses and his strengths. For example, if he holds his hands high with the bat in a perpendicular position, the batter seems to be indicating that he prefers low pitches. One who holds the bat in a horizontal position shows that he favors high pitches. If he holds his hands tight against the knob he probably is trying to reach out for those outside pitches, usually down low, that he can punch into right-center over the second baseman. Verify these tendencies by noting what he did on a pitch.

Warm-up swings can tell a lot. A level swing may indicate that the batter’s best zone is the one that he is practicing. Practice swings in the high part of the strike zone show a preference for high pitches while swings in the low strike zone may reveal low pitch preferences. But, observations during each pitch will reveal more pertinent information that these general warm-up swing tendencies.

Going after out of the strike zone or bad pitches, especially those that the batter misses or hardly makes contact with, are one of the most important notes that a catcher can keep. This little fact can turn a bad Catcher’s Notebook pitch into a strikeout pitch if the batter has been setup right. If, on the other hand, the batter simply ignores a certain pitch out of the strike zone (i.e. a low outside fastball near the plate) then it probably can’t be used for a strikeout pitch down the road. Knowing what doesn’t work is just as important in knowing what works for each batter to your advantage.

Knowing Your Pitchers

Working with every pitcher on your team, over and over during practice and in games, will let the catcher learn all of their strengths and weaknesses. All game strategies must be based on the pitcher’s abilities and strengths. The one cardinal rule for catchers game calling is that pitcher’s strengths must be exploited rather than a batter’s weaknesses. It does no good to know that a specific batter will chase an outside sinker ball for a strikeout if the pitcher can’t throw one or is not in good enough control that day.

If the catcher is faced with a crucial situation he must rely on the pitcher’s strength, even if it means putting this strength against the batter’s strength. If your hurler’s best pitch is a low fastball and one that he has the most confidence with, then go with the fastball even if that’s the batter’s best pitch to hit. If the pitcher’s best pitch fails, then know that the battery put forth their best effort.

When the pitcher and catcher disagree on what to throw and where, then the catcher should go with the pitcher’s desires. After all, the pitcher has to have confidence that what he wants to throw will succeed. If the pitcher agrees to the catcher’s call but doesn’t feel good about it because he doesn’t want to irritate the catcher, then the two should have a mound conference to discuss why each feels the way that they do. Confidence in getting the job done is key to success. Usually good catchers have their notebook that reveals all of the little facts that works to the pitcher’s advantage. Sometimes the pitchers forget or never learned what tendencies or preferences that certain batters have. But, the Catcher’s Notebook will quite often convince the pitcher that he can be confident in what the catcher called and what the pitcher can throw in these situations. The “notebook” becomes the key in crucial situations more often than not.

Know the pitcher and his capabilities. What are his strengths and weaknesses? What is his best pitch? Is he having trouble throwing a certain pitch for a strike? Is he locating his pitches? Has he faced this team or these hitters before? How did he do and what did he do to get each hitter out? Does he get more ground ball outs than fly outs? How fast is your pitcher to the plate with runners on base? Does he hold the runners well? Does he have an out pitch and is it on today? How does he field his position? All of these things should be a part of the Catcher’s Notebook.

Physical or Mental Notebook

In time the Catcher’s Notebook is something that is referred to only in pre-game discussions between the catcher and the pitcher. The good catchers develop their memory recall and it becomes one of their invaluable assets. Later in their progression from Little League through High School through College and into the Professional Leagues, backstops file the Catcher’s Notebook entries entirely in their heads and there is no need to keep an actual little spiral-bound book.

So, now that you have purchased your mask, chest protector, shin guards and mitt from Baseball Rampage and you have practiced, through extensive drills, all of skills required of the job and you have conditioned yourself to the rigors of the position, it’s time to go out and buy that little notebook and stubby pencil. Having done that you’re ready to start the long journey of becoming a “good catcher.”

Chuck Rosciam
Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers
http://www.baseballcatchers.com

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