Be Brilliant at the Basics: A Baseball Spin-Off

June 15, 2011

Joe Breen, Director of Baseball Operations, RBI Baseball Academy

Recently, renown Strength Coach Mike Boyle re-wrote a previous article from Performance Enhancement Specialist Dewey Nielson called “Be Brilliant at the Basics.”  The piece is only 5 short paragraphs but dishes some very valuable information.  It discusses how he receives so many questions about what type of training he uses with elite athletes comparing things like kettlebells vs dumbbells, lifting from the floor or from a hang position, etc.  His argument is that “it doesn’t matter” saying that if the athlete you’re training cannot perform the fundamental basic exercises that make up the foundation of a strength & conditioning program, then the rest doesn’t matter.  My favorite quote from the article is “The thing that separates a novice from an expert is the ability for the expert to perform the basics extremely well.” 

That quote and the article as a whole has such a degree of truth to it in the baseball skills training world as well.  As a group we train thousands of kids each year in various ratios including one-on-one, small group (3-6:1), and team (8-12:1) so we have an opportunity to design programs that cater to either that one player or the general skill level of the group and/or team.  If there is one complaint from youth players/parents we ever get on a consistent basis, it’s that the drills are too easy or that they already know how to do a certain skill or drill.  In our opinion, many of the times parents and players overestimate the ability of the player but regardless whether they are right or wrong, the biggest thing to understand is that “it doesn’t matter!”

No matter what the age of the player, the basic fundamental drills done in baseball need to be done extremely well before we begin introducing too much variation and even at that point, you still include the basic fundamental drills to compliment the new variations.  We understand that kids’ attention spans sometimes don’t allow for the same exact drills all the time, but the truth is that is what they NEED at that age.  They need to not only learn HOW to do something, they need to learn how to be BRILLIANT at it.

A perfect example of this is hitting off of a tee.  The tee is part of every baseball players first playing experience in their town tee-ball league or even in the back yard.  As soon as kids “graduate” from tee-ball to coach pitch leagues, they feel as though they never want to see a tee again because “it’s for beginners.”  This couldn’t be more untrue.  The tee still stands as one of the best training tools in any sport because it allows the player to work on the basic fundamentals of their swing without having to worry about timing…and best of all it can be done by yourself!  If the player does not display proper technique when hitting off of a tee, then what in the world makes you think that it will be better when you have someone pitching trying to get you out? 

No matter what age or skill level you are, remember that the basic fundamentals of the game don’t change.  It is those who are “brilliant at the basics” that tend to become the best players on the field at every level of ALL SPORTS.


Why Players with Good Arms Pitch Slow

June 7, 2011

My co-worker Chris Welch recently wrote a great post on how too many youth baseball players swing for contact rather than swinging to “hit the ball as hard as you can.”  I thought it was definitely something that needed to be shared with our readers as many of you out there are also coaches in the town leagues too.  After reading Chris’ post it made me think of how many youth pitchers, to a degree, do the same exact thing when on the mound. 

Many pitchers spend all winter working on improving their pitching mechanics and trying to make them muscle memory.  The reason we do this is so that when the player goes out on the field for the spring and summer, his mechanics are sharp and he can think more about things like “what pitch to throw”, “what the hitter did last time he was up”, and “what to do if the ball is hit to me” to name a few.  A big thing I see with pitchers, mainly 14 years old and younger is that they pitch in games at practice speed because they either don’t trust their mechanics, haven’t practiced enough at game speed, or are wild with their control (which is typically a mechanical issue anyways).  Regardless of the reason, the pitcher will try and “guide” the ball TO the catcher’s mitt rather than “driving” the ball THROUGH the catcher’s mitt.  This type of pitching mentality can lead to lots of dirt balls (from shortarming), high pitches (from arm dragging), and low pitch speed (from slow arm speed). 

Moral of the story:

1.  Improve mechanics/muscle memory

2.  Practice both at sub-maximum speeds and maximum speed

3. When you’re in the game TRUST YOUR MECHANICS!

With that said, coaches also have to deal with pitchers who when they do try to explode through their motion can’t throw a strike.  Coaches usually tell the player to “slow down” which then leads to the guiding of the pitch which may temporarily work, but coaches have to realize that the reason the kid can’t throw a ball near the strike zone at full or game-speed is more likely a mechanical issue that the player has not fixed yet and not “because he’s overthrowing.”

Have a question you’d like me to answer related to this post?  Email me at jbreen@rbiacademy.com!


Stop Swinging For Just “CONTACT”

June 4, 2011

Chris Welch, General Manager, RBI Baseball Academy

This morning I was at the Booth Complex in Foxboro to see Paul’s team play (the mighty Red Sox).  Many of the players on the field (9 and 10 year olds) were players that I see at RBI all the time hitting and some were players I’ve worked with myself.  One thing that stuck out to me this morning is how SO many hitters at younger ages (and many at older) swing to simply make contact.  Players weren’t at the plate with the goal of hitting the ball HARD, they were at the plate with the goal of hitting the ball.

            Now I’m certainly not suggesting that contact isn’t crucial, but contact without any form of power is almost always a recipe for a walk back to the bench at the end of your at bat.  As I’ve mentioned before, how hard you hit the ball (force) is a combination of three things:

 

1.)    Mass

2.)    Bat Speed

3.)    Contact

 

            By only focusing on contact you are forgetting about two very critical parts of the force driving the ball.   Mass is something that you can control when you’re in the box.   Obviously it’s tough to gain weight between the on deck circle and the batter’s box, but by controlling your balance you can help maximize how much of your mass goes into the ball.  Bat speed is something that can certainly be maximized on every single swing by taking a proper (direct) bat path to the ball, being flexible, being balanced, and having a proper grip (amongst many other things).   Proper contact is also something that can help maximize your force behind the ball, but without any form of the other two what does it get you?  I’ve been playing baseball for a long time and I don’t remember a time where the bench exploded in excitement when their hitter grounded out to the pitcher.  But he sure made contact!

            In our lessons, clinics, and programs we will dive into many ways of becoming a better hitter.  We’ll talk about countless ways of improving your stance, your grip, your balance, your flexibility, your timing, etc.  But let’s not forget that when you get into the batter’s box SWING HARD!!!

            Swinging HARD can get you on base even when you don’t make great contact.  Especially at younger ages when defensive players aren’t as sure handed as when you get older.  At 12 years old and younger, when you hit a ball hard your odds of getting on base are extremely high.  Even if it’s a groundball.
            Players should also never confuse swinging hard and aggressively with swinging “wildly and out of control”.  Creating a great swing takes a lot of practice.  Training the muscles to do the right thing is difficult as a hitter, but once you have trained yourself with proper muscle memory it’s time to concentrate on mentally having an aggressive approach to the ball.

            As a coach/parent trying to help a player out of a hitting slump try to get a general sense of their swings while they’re at the plate.  Are they swinging to “make contact” or are they swinging to drive the ball?  If you feel as though they’re swinging to simply make contact explain to them that they should have a goal in mind of hitting the ball hard.  Make their at-bats easier by telling them to not think about anything but hitting the ball hard.  I am willing to bet that simple mental adjustment will pay off for them. 

            If you have any questions on this, please don’t hesitate to email me at cwelch@rbiacademy.com. Thanks and always remember to practice perfectly!


Transitioning To The -3 Bat Size For 9th Grade

May 27, 2011

Chris Welch, General Manager, RBI Baseball Academy

           For many 7th and 8th graders the question of, “What size and weight of bat should I use so that I’m ready for the -3 that is required for high school baseball?” is something that requires a lot of thought.  It’s a very valid question and something that I would like to share my opinion on and hopefully help a couple hitters out.   The hitters I am focusing on here are the hitters that are no longer in little league/cal ripken baseball but aren’t quite in high school yet. 

            In recent years, senior league bats (big barrel) are being made in a variety of different sizes and weights.  The most common length bats being used for 7th and 8th graders are 31” and 32”.  When it comes to length I always recommend asking a professional their opinion on which length bat is right for the hitter.  Many people have general rules of thumb such as holding the bat out in front of you and seeing if you can hold it up, or holding it down to your side in your hand and having it touch the floor etc.  Now while these rules of thumb can be helpful, there’s nothing better than getting an experienced coaches opinion when it comes to length.  An experienced coach will take into consideration the player’s swing, what kind of hitter they are, and what have they used in the past to determine what the proper length is.  All of these considerations can also be used to help determine the weight of the bat for the player jumping up to the big diamond for the first time.  Some hitters may want swing a lighter bat (a drop 10, 9, or 8.5) because they themselves haven’t quite hit a growth spurt or because that’s what they feel most comfortable with.  Some hitters may want to swing a drop 5 because they feel as though the extra few ounces gives them more power without sacrificing bat speed too much.  I will happily dive deeper into Newton’s Laws of Motion at another point, but simply remember that mass, acceleration, and contact are the three big keys to the force that impacts the baseball from a hitter.  Basically, get as much bat speed and as much weight into the ball as possible, and hit is square.   So yes, a heavier bat will help you as long as you don’t sacrifice bat speed.  From my experience, the majority of youth hitters will have more success with a lighter bat because they will sacrifice too much bat speed by using a heavier bat.

            So, back to the point of my article.  When you are in 7th or 8th grade (mainly an issue for 8th graders) what’s the best weight that you should use to be best prepared for high school baseball.   For this I will refer again to the “drop” which for those who don’t know is the relationship between the length and weight of the bat.  For example a 32” length bat that weighs 23 ounces is known as a drop (or minus) 9.  A 33” bat that weighs 30 ounces is known as a drop 3.

            While most hitters are looking to answer this question of what they should use, the most simple answer I can give them is that if you are a hitter that works hard and plans on training during the fall and winter of your freshman year then don’t be overly concerned about what size you are using the previous summer.   What I mean by this is that regardless of whether you use a drop 9 or a drop 5, you will be giving yourself PLENTY of time to acclimate yourself to the new drop 3.  Now, if you feel as though a drop 5 gives you a better chance of success in the months prior to becoming a freshman, as I mentioned before that’s a different story.  For a hitter that is hard working and is going to be training in the fall and winter of their freshman year, they will be taking countless swings in the six and a half months that they are freshman prior to high school tryouts in New England.  This gives them PLENTY of time to get used to the drop three bat.  Most hitters that are looking to prepare themselves properly will be spending much of those months swinging a wood bat anyways and most wood bats now are about two ounces lighter than length (drop 2).

            From my experience, if a hitter is even thinking about the question of what will best prepare them then they are usually the type of player that will be putting in the time and effort into their training.

            We operate a 15U wood bat league at RBI that is designed for 8th and 9th graders .  It’s a seven week schedule and even in those seven weeks I see hitters getting used to the added weight of the wood bat.  I also see a lot of hitters that utilized a drop 5 bat the previous summer purely to make the “transition” to the drop 3 bat easier for them. Unfortunately because they used a drop 5 they probably sacrificed some performance on the field because they should have been using a drop 9 or 10.  To me that’s a giant waste, especially for a hitter that works hard and would’ve had plenty of time to acclimate themselves to the drop 3. 

            If you are a hitter that probably won’t put in the time to get ready for high school tryouts in March, then maybe you have more to worry about than the size of the bat unfortunately.  Preparing for hitting in March, even for multisport athletes (which we love here at RBI), isn’t really that time consuming.  Taking 100-200 swings in a week during those football, basketball, hockey, cross country, etc seasons isn’t difficult when you really think about it.  A couple hundred swings in a week from November to February will take you approximately 30-60 minutes out of your schedule per week.  Then gearing up your training in the three or four weeks prior to the season will certainly add to your regiment.  For single sport athletes that simply play baseball, the first thing I would recommend is to find a good training regiment for yourself, and then working on your hitting for at least two hours a week.  In both of these scenarios a hitter has more than enough time to get used to the new weight of the bat. 

            So in the end, put your current season ahead of the next one when it comes to bat length and weight and in the off-season.  Maximize your performance on the field NOW because in New England you have plenty of indoor months of training ahead of you to get ready for next year.

            If you have any questions on this, please don’t hesitate to email me at cwelch@rbiacademy.com. Thanks and always remember to practice perfectly!


What to Eat Between a Doubleheader

May 26, 2011

Joe Breen, Director of Baseball Operations, RBI Baseball Academy

Doubleheaders are becoming more and more common in Youth and Babe Ruth baseball with the increase in AAU/Travel teams and tournaments.  One thing I hear a lot is how different teams play from Game 1 to Game 2, both good and bad.  Sometimes a team comes out in Game 1 with all sorts of energy and enthusiasm and then by the time Game 2 starts they come out with heads down and lack of alertness.  In my opinion, one of the keys to both an individual and team’s success to play with energy and alertness over what could potentially be 6 hours of baseball (usually 20-40 mins between games) is nutrition.

I didn’t participate in a doubleheader until college so I was very unfamiliar with the process.  I was a freshman pitcher at Stonehill College and it was our first spring doubleheader.  About the 6th inning of Game 1 there was a very familiar smell in the air…burgers and hot dogs!!!  Apparently it was a tradition at Stonehill that the senior parents would organize a cookout between our Saturday games.  As soon as that first game ended and coach addressed the team, we headed out to the cookout and all I can say about this spread was WOW!  There were burgers, hot dogs, meatball sandwiches, cookies, brownies, gatorades, granola bars, and so much more.  At this time I was about 10lbs into gaining my freshman 15 and with little to no chance of pitching in game 2 I went straight for the unhealthy options.  I may have had 2 burgers, a hot dog, and 4-5 cookies at least.  By the time Game 2 started all I wanted to do was lay down in the bullpen and soak in my own gluttony.

That following summer I worked my rear off to get in great shape and learned a few things about nutrition and how to properly feed my body for performance.  The following years, there were still ridiculous cookouts between games but I made healthier choices and my performance (and mindset) were both in a better place. 

The title of this post is “What to Eat Between A Doubleheader”; however, it is crucial to have a 24-hour plan in place to maximize your between game meal.  With that said, here is a sample of what to eat and when to eat it on a day that you have a doubleheader.  Let’s just say you have games on Saturday at 11am and 2pm. 

Friday night: Be sure to have a well balanced dinner including roughly 40% slow-digesting carbohydrates, 40% protein, and 20% fat plus drink plenty of water.  Athletes should be drinking 48+oz of water each day and most players over the age of 13 should be taking in 60-120oz.

Saturday:

8am Breakfast (Options: Egg whites w/ vegetables, whole wheat toast, yogurt, fruit, cottage cheese, protein shakes, all-natural peanut butter)  Be sure to get your carbohydrates from whole wheat/grain sources.  Avoid: white bread, heavy amounts of cheese (like in an omelette or bfast sandwich), fatty meats such as sausage/ham.  Be sure to have water with breakfast NOT FRUIT JUICE which is overloaded with sugar.

9:30am-10:45am Pre-Game (Warm-up, stretch, throw, infield/outfield, batting practice).  Keep hydrating with both water and Gatorade.  I try to water-down my Gatorade a bit if it’s not an intense pre-game but if it’s really hot and I’m losing a lot of sweat, I’ll use regular Gatorade.

10:45am Snack: This is a MUST as you will not have much of an opportunity to eat until between games and you want to make sure your blood-sugar levels don’t get too low which is when you start to lose energy, alertness, and overall enthusiasm.  I would suggest either a low-sugar protein bar or a hand-full of mixed nuts, something that you can eat on the bench without causing a distraction.  Be sure to get water as well.

1:00-2:00pm Between Games: Depending on when Game 1 ends and Game 2 starts you want to make sure you don’t waste time especially if you are starting Game 2.  This is not time to lay down and socialize, IT’S TIME TO PREPARE!  As soon as your coach dismisses you for the time alotted before next game begins, you need to do 3 things:

#1: Eat/Hydrate – My suggested between game snacks are a light sandwich (on whole wheat bread), piece of fruit, protein/granola bar, mixed nuts.  My personal favorite choices are:

Sandwich: 1/2 Grilled Chicken Sandwich on Whole Wheat bread with avocado, lettuce & tomato

Fruit: Banana w/ All-Natural Peanut Butter

Protein/Granola Bar: Low-Sugar Detour Bar (30g Protein!)

# 2: Warm-up…Again! – You need to prepare your body after some down-time.  Just some light jogging, high knees, butt kicks, carioca, arm circles should do the trick.

#3: Skills – Depending on what position you are playing in Game 2, you should either take some soft toss, take some groundballs/fly balls or if you are in relief, do some light throwing.

Hopefully this helps all of you weekend warriors out there who spend every weekend from April – July in the doubleheader/tournament circuit!


5 Ways of Managing Base Runners From The Mound

May 25, 2011

Chris Welch, General Manager, RBI Baseball Academy

            As a pitcher, I always tried to pride myself on managing a runner once he got on base.  I spent a large amount of time working on how to keep runners close on the bases so that the other 8 players on the field with me always had the best chance of getting that runner out.  Obviously it’s a pitchers job to keep that runner close so that in the event of a stolen base attempt the catcher has the best chance possible of throwing them out. But don’t underestimate the importance of keeping that runner close so that the base runner can’t take the extra base on a hit, or be called safe at a close play at 2nd or 3rd on a fielder’s choice, etc.  It’s truly important to keep the runner close so that you give all 9 positions the edge on a close play. 

            I break “Managing the Runner” down into 5 areas.  Everything you can do to manage that runner can be found in one of these 5.  When I teach these I break them all down into their two word titles.  Here they are:

1.)    Step Off – Stepping off is a very valuable tool for a pitcher to use whenever he isn’t 100% confident in something.  Marc DesRoches (RBI Instructor and Director of the Hawks Travel Program) calls it the “ultimate reset button” and that’s a perfect way of looking at it.  As a pitcher, if you are unsure of a.) the runner, b.) your fielders positioning, c.) your pitch selection, d.) anything else, hit the RESET button by stepping off.  Stepping off is simply taking your throwing side foot from the engaged position on the rubber and stepping behind the rubber towards 2nd base.  Once you step off you can disengage the hands if they were engaged and now for the most part you are considered an infielder and can do anything an infielder can do (with a couple of exceptions).   For instance, if a runner starts running early, step off.  Then you can run right at them or throw to an unoccupied base just as if you were a shortstop.  While engaged on the rubber you are considered a pitcher and must throw to an occupied base and all of the “Balk” rules (will discuss in another blog) will apply.

2.)    Throw Over – Most commonly referred to as a pick-off move.  This is a very effective way of showing the runner that you know he’s there and are keeping an eye on them.  Throwing over is something I strongly recommend discussing with a pitching coach.  For me to describe how to properly throw over in a blog would overload the wordpress website.  After a game I had pitched poorly in one time (but won) I had the opposing coach tell me, “You really pitched like XXXX, but man you had a good pick-off move and kept our runners close and that cost us the game”… they were definitely a running team and after the ultimate backhanded compliment he gave me I said thank you and was proud that I was able to take away that teams strength even though I wasn’t pitching very well.  But here are a couple of major points you need to consider when you throw over. 

a.)    You do NOT have to step off to throw to a base.  Most Junior High coaches believe you do, they are wrong.  Stepping off not only slows up your pick-off attempt, but as I mentioned earlier, it makes you an infielder.  This means that if you step off to throw to 1st base and throw it away (woods, over a fence, or into a dugout) that runner advances 2 bases instead of 1, so now he’s at 3rd base.  If you made the same mistake from the engaged position they would only be awarded 1 base. 

b.)    Mix up your moves, don’t always go to your A move.  Have some different moves so that you don’t develop a pattern with them. 

c.)    Practice them, then practice them, then practice them some more.  A good pick-off/throw over can be a HUGE way of getting that big out you need desperately.  If the opposing team has a rally going and you can successfully pick a runner off, it will deflate the other team and severely hurt any momentum they have.

d.)    Not every throw over has to be a pick-off attempt.  Just by throwing over you can successfully accomplish what you are trying to do, which is keeping that runner close and managing them. 

3.)    Mix Looks – To me this is the single most important aspect of managing a runner.  Mixing up your looks means that you need to change the way you look to the runner.  This is accomplished by mixing up/changing the timing of your set as well as head movements.  Most pitchers (especially when they aren’t pitching well) will develop a pattern in how they deliver from the set.  They will get to the stretch, come to the set, wait one second, then pitch.  And they will do that every single time they come set.  As a base runner that pattern can be vital to getting the all-important first step on the pitcher.  To me a pitcher developing that pattern is similar to Tom Brady using the same snap count every time he is under center.  It would give the defense a huge advantage in the timing of their first step.  By changing snap counts, the defense cannot cheat on their first step.  By mixing up the timing of a pitchers set, they will help keep that runner from cheating on their first step.  When a pitcher comes set he should mix up the amount of seconds he holds the set for.  Sometimes going with a one count, next a three count, next a two count, next a five count, and so on and so forth.  Changing the amount of times they actually look over to the base is important too.

4.)    Mix Steps – This is somewhat similar to #3 but it has to do with your leg kick/leg step towards the plate.   To me, there are 3 types of leg kicks/steps towards the plate:

a.)    Full Leg Kick – most commonly used, this is when the pitcher brings their knee up to waist high or above.

b.)    Slide Step – this is when a pitcher doesn’t life his lead foot much more than an inch off of the dirt and simply slides it towards the plate.  When a pitcher utilized this step it is important for them to make up for the quickness of the step by breaking their hands quicker.

c.)    Anything In Between A and B –  this simply means that pitchers will utilize half kicks, pseudo-slide steps, knee-to-knee kicks so that they are still quicker to the plate than a full leg kick but aren’t going to the slide step so that they can still maximize their power properly.  These should be practiced often so that the pitcher can find what works best for them.

Combining the mixing up of looks with the mixing up of steps will create dozens of different “looks” to the base runner.

5.)    Pitch Out – This is almost never utilized but can definitely be a valuable tool for a pitcher/catcher battery.  A pitch out is when the pitcher intentionally throws the ball out of the strike zone (high and away from the batter) so that the catcher can get somewhat of a running start towards the throw down to the base.  Legally the catcher cannot leave the catchers box until the pitch is released by the pitcher (but catchers always cheat, and so don’t I).  A pitch out is most commonly signaled to the pitcher by the catcher making a fist instead of throwing down any fingers for the pitch.  When utilizing a pitch out the pitcher should always utilize the slide step.

            Next time you throw a bullpen, work on these 5 ways of managing the runner.  It will ultimately make you a more confident pitcher and will allow you to deliver the pitch knowing you helped out your team as best you could.   As always, contact me at cwelch@rbiacademy.com with any specific questions and always remember to practice perfectly!


3 Reasons NOT to Specialize in 1 Sport

May 23, 2011

Joe Breen, Director of Baseball Operations, RBI Baseball Academy

The growing epidemic of “sports specialization” has made me completely sick to my stomach. The cut throat world of youth sports have pressured many kids and parents into making a decision on whether they should give up sports that they “are not that great at” or “have the best chance to succeed.”  As someone who played 3 sports all the way through high school (football, basketball, baseball), I have a lot of feelings on this subject so limiting it to 3 will be tough but here are some of my initial thoughts on this subject.

1.  It’s the parents, not the child making the decision.  In the parent’s opinion, this is the sport that the child has the most ability at regardless of whether the child has any passion to play and/or to become better.  This results in lack of interest or desire to improve down the road especially if the decision is made too early.  Many parents did not achieve the athletic prowess that they wanted in their youth and now they are forcing their children to live their own dreams and not that of their child’s.   

2.  Loss of competitive edge.  I’ve seen players who quit football, soccer, basketball, and hockey so they can “concentrate” on one specific sport.  There is no substitute for intense competition.  I know when I’m on the mound in the bottom of the 7th with one out to go to win the game, I’m not thinking back to an indoor bullpen I threw in mid-January.  I’m thinking back to the defensive stop I had to make with 3 seconds left to go in the basketball game to prevent the other team from scoring the winning points.  The “competitive edge” is something that all great athletes need to have and is only attained through experiencing competition in various scenarios.   

3.  Loss/lack of total athletic development.  Imagine if Rajon Rondo had a great glove or Jerod Mayo could square up a baseball?  The movements repeated in sports like basketball and football help a developing athlete become quicker, more explosive, more agile, and possess the ability to change directions on a dime.  These are all qualities of some of the most elite baseball players who play at the highest of levels.  If you are a developing athlete and you never experience any of these types of movements, you will never possess the athletic ability needed to take your baseball skills to the next level.

While I am a true believer in playing a different sport in every season, I also promote training for your upcoming sport in the off-season.  Young athlete’s schedules should not be overbooked with all sorts of practices/games/training activities but I believe there is a sensible way of fully committing to one sport each season as well as some form of off-season skill training.  I see lots of players being fully committed to 1+ teams in 2+ sports PER SEASON!!!  That to me is not only overstressing the athlete but it doesn’t allow the player enough time to perfect their craft.  For example, there are a few kids I work with personally who are playing baseball for their town as well as spring soccer and or lacrosse.  So that means they go to 1-2 baseball practices, 1-3 baseball games, 1-2 private baseball lessons, 1-2 soccer/lacrosse practices, and 2-3 soccer/lacrosse games ALL IN ONE WEEK! 

To me, the spring is meant for your 1 Spring Sport!  You should be fully committed to developing your skills in that sport.  When I go watch high school games, I still see 3-5 errors or misplayed balls in the field per game.  Is this because they aren’t good players OR is it becasue they don’t or didn’t spend enough time taking groundballs/flyballs on a daily basis during their developmental years.  While it is tough to scientifically back that answer up due to lack of research, I think you get my point. 

I could go on all day long about this topic but hopefully those of you reading understand what I’m trying to say.  If anyone has any specific questions, I would love to talk or exchange emails.  In the age of social media,  you can reach me in any number of ways including:

Phone: 508-543-9595 x301, Email: JBreen@rbiacademy.com, Facebook: Joe Breen (RBI) or Twitter @JoeBreenRBI

I look forward to our discussion!