Hard Ball Talks
Date: October 12, 2015
Guest: Elliott Finkelstein, Director at Triple Crown Sports. You can learn more about Elliott and the professional events that Triple Crown Sports hosts at www.triplecrownsports.com.
Topic: With an increasing number of youth clubs forming, more and more tournaments and events popping up, it is critical for us coaches and parents to take a more active role in the assessment of finding the right experience for our athletes. Events have the ability to be a contributor to the right experience in youth sports or a deterrent. Elliott took some time with us to discuss sports events, tournament experiences, and his overall passion to improve the youth sports platform.
By Coach Chris Fair
Many of you have probably seen us advertising our new All Skills Camp program that begins April 21st. But what is All Skills Camp? Let me fill you in…
2 characteristics of All Skills Camp are pretty obvious..
- We work on ALL SKILLS (hitting, fielding, throwing, catching, base running, etc.)
- It is CHEAP! Only $50 for 4 weeks!
So why all skills camp??..
At Turn 2 we are always working to develop our area youth athletes. When most people think of baseball or softball “training” the thought that comes to mind is the more elite level athletes that are working towards a higher goal (i.e. the Jr. High player working to make a splash in High School, or the High School player working for that college scholarship). What about the other athletes? What about the 5 year old just getting introduced to the game, or the 10 year old that is starting to get a little more serious about the game? All Skills Camp is for them.
All Skills Camp allows our young athletes to learn multiple aspects of the game in a fun and ever changing environment. Athletes learn in a group setting with players of similar age.
As the head of our baseball department here are Turn 2, I hear so frequently the questions that can be answered by a program like All Skills…..
- My child is just starting out, what programs are out there that will teach them proper fundamentals, but overall make sure they HAVE FUN playing the game?
- My child has been playing for a few years, I can’t deicide if they love the game or not. I would like to put them in training, but want to be sure they have the passion for it.
- My child is already in skill specific training (example – hitting lessons), but I’d like to allow them to learn the other aspects of the game as well.
- My child thinks their team practices are boring.
Our All Skills Camp answers these questions. When athletes are young or starting out, they need to learn the FUNdamentals. The emphasis is on the FUN because that is what it should be about. None of us fell in love with the game at a young age because we were taught how to get our arm to the L-position, or learned how to add extension to our swing. We fell in love because we got to be outside, run around, throw things, hit things, and tag people. That is where it has to start. Athletes want to train because they love the game, not the other way around. Practices should be fun and informative. All these things are what our All Skills Program aims to bring to the youth in our area.
Join us for our All Skills Camp…
Date and Time Options
Ages Days Times
4 – 5 YRS Thursdays 5:00 PM
6 – 8 YRS Tues / Thurs 5:00 or 6:00 PM
9 – 12 YRS Tues / Thurs 5:00 or 6:00 PM
Call 618.346.4646 or Register Here
By Coach Brett Swip
Develop a throwing progression that encompasses things like:
- Stand sideways and get the arm to move in a circular motion ( separate hands in a down and out motion then up to throw) also have them work on shifting their weight to their back leg and then to the follow through)
- Stand sideways and use a shuffle to throw
- Stand normal and learn to “step and throw” (walkthrough version of a crow hop)
- Imagine fielding a ground ball and then incorporate the step and throw
(MOST IMPORTANT FUNDAMENTAL TO CONQUER AT A YOUNG AGE)
- Hand-eye coordination
- No chicken-winging
- Fingers up when catching
- Lots of wiffle balls, tennis balls, and nerf balls with no gloves to start
- Transition to using soft hands paddles to catch with two hands (you can use oven mitts if you don’t have access to paddles)
- Catch barehanded so they can see their elbows stay down and their fingers stay up.
- Let them use their glove only once they’ve master bare hands and oven mitts
- Use softie balls with gloves, then move to regular hard balls when the skill of catching is achieved.
- Assure that they are playing catch at home at least 3 times per week (the ability to throw and catch is where games are won at this age) – the inability to throw and catch is the main reason that kids quit baseball and softball at a young age.
- Getting their feet to the ball before putting the glove up in the air
- Put a helmet on them, throw a wiffle in the air, have them run to where they think the ball will drop and let the wiffle hit them in the helmet (kids love this drill!)
- Then progress to barehands and teach them to catch it with their elbows down and near their chest (allowing their eyes to see the ball over their fingers)
- Then progress to gloves
- Circle Drill – put 5 cones on the ground in the shape of a big circle, have them start at one cone and throw a ball in to the middle of the circle, they run to the middle and catch the fly ball, then they go to the next cone. Repeat at each cone for a series of 5 fly balls from different angles.
Use a progression
- Knees No Gloves
- Stool No Gloves
- Standing No Gloves
- Standing No Gloves Transitioning in to throwing
- Then add paddles or oven mitts
- Then add gloves
- Then add force outs
- Then add tag outs
- Then add throws to bases on the field
Start with bunting to teach them the importance of hand-eye coordination.
This will also teach them where the barrel of the ball is and how to watch the ball hit the sweet spot. Then progress to swinging.
As you can see, I’m a believer in progressions 🙂
- Tees with bottom hand only with small bat
- Tees with top hand only with small bat
- Tees with both hands with small bat
- Tees with both hands with regular bat
- Soft toss with bottom hand only with small bat
- Soft toss with top hand only with small bat
- Soft toss with both hands with small bat
- Soft toss with both hands with regular bat