Descriptions & Progression of Instruction

 

BATTING

 

Overview

The titles of the classes ‘I-III’ do not refer to a player’s level of skill or experience.  They refer to the steps in Baseball Positive’s Comprehensive Batter Development Program.  Even an experienced and accomplished player begins with Batting I, which teaches the entire swing (see details in Class Descriptions below).

 

Batting I (The Swing)

Comprehensive teaching of the swing.  Covers all aspects of an efficient, powerful and productive swing.  Players with years of experience, as well as novice batters, start with Batting I.  It is critical for players to master the skills taught in this clinic in order to be prepared to advance to Batting II. 

Clinic teaches fundamentals that lead to sound body control and balance throughout the swing.  Unnecessary movement in the swing is eliminated and players are trained in simple and efficient swing actions.  Players learn to utilize the strength of their entire body in the swing and to direct that energy to, and through, contact with the baseball/softball.  A major component of the class is gaining a sense of how their body works to produce the swing. 

It is strongly suggested that players who took Batting I in the past repeat the program to retrain their muscle movements.  (It is important to understand that learning physical skills is much different than cognitive learning.  The brain retains information fairly well, while muscles need to be constantly retrained.) 

Novice players would benefit from taking Batting I more than once; mastery of the swing does not come in five weeks (but they’ll get a great start!)

 

Highlights of what the batters learn:

  • Balance and posture throughout the swing
  • Anchoring the swing
  • Controlling the lower body turn to maximize power, bat speed and accuracy in the swing
  • Path of the hands in the swing - a key to a quicker swing and greater acceleration through contact.  Mastery of the path of hands is critical for advancing to, and excelling in, Batting II.
  • Applying the swing to hitting a live pitch and making consistently solid contact with the ball
  • A simple, easy to follow and comprehensive set of drills, for work at home, is provided during the program in an illustrated handout.  Videos are also provided to support the principles taught.

 

Batting II

Introduction to hitting the ball to all fields.  Strike zone awareness and recognition of pitch location is taught.   Advanced drills are added to the foundational drills learned in Batting I.  Players are introduced to the concept of having an ‘approach’ to live batting.  An additional focus of this phase is extension through contact point to maximize power and consistency of contact (‘staying through the ball’).  Swing discipline during the batting workout is also a major emphasis.  Fear of the ball is addressed as well as how to get hit by a pitch safely. 

 

Batting III

Mastery of driving the ball to all fields is the primary emphasis.  The fundamentals of the swing are further engrained.  Greater discipline is demanded of all participants in their work habits and approach.  Translating a disciplined and consistent swing from drill work to live pitches is a major focus.  The mental and emotional aspects of the batter-pitcher confrontation are addressed.

 

Batting IV

Maintenance and Fine Tuning in a ‘batting workout’ format.  Players learn how to work on their swing and to have a purpose for each swing during a workout.  Each player receives a detailed handout with drills and direction for focused and productive batting workouts, on their own, away from the team practice setting.

 

 

FIELDING

Fielding I^

  • Throwing mechanics and footwork
  • Receiving throws
  • Groundball footwork and fielding technique
  • Fly ball footwork and skills
  • Skill Building Drills

 

Fielding II^

  • Infield arm action
  • Intermediate ground ball footwork, including:
  1. Transfer technique (from fielding to throwing)
  2. Corner infielder footwork
  3. Footwork around the base: tag plays
  4. Throwing on the run
  • Relay Footwork and Communication
  • Rundowns
  • Skill Building Drills

 

^Fielding I and II can be modified to better accommodate specific age groups i.e., ages 8-9 and ages 10-12

 

Fielding III

  • Advanced ground ball footwork, including:
  • Reading Hops
  • Backhands
  • Slow rollers
  • Footwork around the base: force plays
  • Double Plays
  • Cuts-Relays: positioning, communication, advanced footwork
  • Defensive tactics and concepts: Bunt situations; 1st & 3rd situations

 

Fielding IV (Fielding Workout)

Fast paced with massive reps and fine tuning instruction.  Players and coaches learn the structure of highly effective and efficient drills, while establishing objectives and focus points of each activity.   A clear and effective approach to teaching is central to all activities.  (Content to be discussed in a direct conversation.)

 

Other Topics for Specialized Fielding Clinics

  1. First Basemen - position specific
  2. Pitchers Defensive Responsibilities & Drills
  3. Team Defense & Communication

 

 

PITCHING

Fastpitch Softball

Fundamentals of the fastpitch delivery.   Players learn how to properly utilize their entire body in order to maximize velocity and accuracy.   The entire action is taught through a simple to follow, step-by-step, building block teaching approach.

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Overview (Baseball Delivery)

The titles of the clinics ‘I, II, III’ do not refer to a player’s level of skill or experience. They refer to the steps in Baseball Positive’s Comprehensive Pitcher Development Program. An experienced and accomplished player begins with Pitching I, which teaches the entire delivery (see details in Class descriptions below).

Structure: Pitchers must bring their own adult catcher with them to each session (All players pitch simultaneously). This should be their coach, parent or an adult they work with at home.

 

Pitching I

Covers all aspects of an efficient, powerful and accurate delivery.  Participants learn the three components of the delivery and gain an awareness of the 'feel' of an effective and sound delivery.  The pitcher also starts on their way to establishing a consistent Release Point, which is the foundation for throwing effective off-speed pitches and eliminating the possibility of ‘tipping’ their pitches to their opponents. 

A central focus of the instruction focuses on techniques to reduce pressure on the shoulder and elbow, minimizing the potential for sore arms or injury.  The Change-up and Two Seam Fastball are introduced.

A simple, easy to follow, and comprehensive set of drills for work at home is provided during the program in an illustrated handout.

 

Pitching II

The Change up and Two-seam Fast Ball are taught in detail, including grip variations.  The Cutter (a breaking pitch that is a safe alternative to the curve ball) is introduced.

The fundamentals of the delivery continue to be a focus in this class.  Pitchers develop a greater understanding of the delivery and develop greater discipline in their actions.  Advanced teaching, for maximizing power and accuracy, is taught.

Warm-up, stretching and a pre-game/pre-pitching routine are taught.

 

Pitching III

Learning to throw breaking pitches (curve ball and slider) safely and effectively is the central focus of this clinic; Also:

  • The Change-up, Cutter and Fastball are developed further with an emphasis on location mastery
  • Advanced teaching and drills for maximizing power and accuracy
  • Fundamental fielding skills for the pitcher position  
  • Mental approach to game competition
  • Pitching Plan for attacking a batter and an entire line-up
  • Shoulder (rotator cuff) strengthening and maintenance exercises are taught
  • Conditioning program for the pitcher - simple and age appropriate

 

Pitching IV

Maintenance and fine tuning in a ‘bullpen’ setting.  Players learn warm-up and stretching drills to properly prepare their bodies prior to picking up a ball to pitch.  Each player receives a detailed handout with instructions for a productive bullpen session. 

 

 

 

 

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