Here’s my clarion call to youth and high school coaches to start emulating what successful baseball colleges are doing to be efficient with their practice time. This is a significant change to how you run your practices, but I think the benefits will be worth it.Read the full article
2020 may have been a crazy year but there were still youth baseball lessons to be learned. Host Rob Tong looks back on 2020 and distills many things he learned into eight lessons that he shares in this episode.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about whether 8U kids should give verbal pre-pitch defensive reminders. Show notes
Youth baseball has been around since kids ever knew about the game of baseball. But organized youth baseball as we know it today is wrong in three critical ways, according to Steve Ferroli. Is the sport of youth baseball—and the millions of kids participating in it—in serious danger? Does youth baseball need to be saved? Can it be? This is part two of a two-part interview.
Plus Rob (and Deven Morgan, the Director of Youth Baseball at Driveline Baseball) answer the Question of the Week about whether it matters if kids pitch from flat ground instead of raised mounds. Show notes
What can the Science of Hitting teach you about hitting, and can you improve on the Science of Hitting? Steve Ferroli, the personally-chosen successor to Ted Williams’ theory of hitting shares some of his thoughts in part one of a two-part interview.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about what travel teams can do in-between games at tournaments. Show notes
Learn from one of the best as Tom Griffin breaks down more advanced basics for catchers with the finer points of receiving, blocking and throwing, plus strategies, in part two of a two-part interview.
Plus Rob (and Nick Esposito) answer the Question of the Week about how to help nine-year-olds build strength for pitching. Show notes
If receiving, blocking and throwing are the fundamental aspects of the catcher position, what are the key teaching points of those aspects? What information goes beyond the basics for your catchers to give them more of an edge? Tom Griffin shares some helpful tips in part one of a two-part interview.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about how many practices per week a 7U rec team should have. Show notes
Practice planning is one of the most frequently asked topics for youth coaches. With so many topics (hitting, pitching, fielding, throwing, baserunning, the mental game, the catcher position, team defense, situational defense, situational offense, bunting, rundowns…and those are just the main categories, not to mention the many subcategories within), how do you know what to work on, and when? Bo Ashabraner has some helpful advice to help you to plan smarter, not harder, on your practice plans in part two of a two-part interview.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about the benefits of batting lefty instead of righty. Show notes
Do you have a plan when you start your team? Or when you start a new season? Aside from what drills you want to run, what philosophies do you have for your team—or as Bo Ashabraner puts it, what philosophies do you enforce or tolerate? Bo is here to help us break down some things you may want to consider for your team or season in part one of a two-part interview.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about whether a 27-foot home indoor batting cage will be adequate to help a 9-10U hitter who’s struggling. Show notes
Taming a wild swing in your youth hitters? The Swing Whisperer is in. Giving advice specifically targeted at the youth and high school level, Doug Latta, aka “The Swing Whisperer”, is back to help calm those free-spirited hitters in this finale of a three-part interview. (Missed part 1? Click here Missed part 2? Click here)
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about whether the travel baseball landscape for 7-8 year olds has improved since the early days of this podcast. Show notes
When it comes to hitting, we can talk about timing, pitch recognition, game-like reps, strike zone recognition, vision training and more. But at some point, we’re going to have to teach hitting mechanics to our kids if the kids are going to advance to the next level of hitting. But for every Chris O’Leary or Bobby Tewksbary, there are at least a thousand others who give misinformation on hitting mechanics. Doug Latta, aka “The Swing Whisperer”, returns to help give us some insight on hitting mechanics that could literally be game-changers in part 2 of a three-part interview.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about how to teach timing when hitting live pitching for 7-10 year olds. Show notes
There is no shortage of hitting advice, particularly on the internet. Some good. Some not so good. And some just plain awful. Confused by what is information and what is misinformation? Doug Latta, aka “The Swing Whisperer”, helps us sort out some of the information from the misinformation in part 1 of a three-part (yes, three part!) interview.
Plus Rob (and Austin Wasserman) answer the Question of the Week about what age to teach kids to pronate when pitching, especially with a change-up. Show notes
Mental health is declining for more young people than ever before, thanks to digital technology (and possibly also relating to the chaos surrounding COVID-19). Is there anything youth baseball coaches can do to help young athletes? Or is this only a problem for counselors? Previous guest David Klein returns to give tips on how to help our team grow closer together and improve their mental health. in part 2 of a two-part interview.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about whether kid pitchers should be more conscientious about hitting batters with pitches or to not worry about hitting batters. Show notes
Video screens (video games, mobile phones) are probably one of the last things we consider when it comes to baseball. Yet screen time leaves a bigger footprint in our kids’ lives than we think—yes, even on the baseball field. Former guest David Klein returns to discuss this important yet under-recognized aspect of our kids’ athletic lives in part 1 of a two-part interview.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about how two competitive tryout rejections in a short span might affect an 8-year-old, and how to prepare. Show notes
As we start the new year and the new season, you can make significant strides by remembering to avoid mistakes (and repeating successes) you made in the past. Rob Tong shares lessons learned from several members of Edge Nation, as well as two lessons learned from the esteemed Pete Caliendo, host of the Baseball Outside The Box podcast, plus three lessons Rob learned in 2019.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about what tee to buy for a four-year-old.Show notes
Most high school players are not showcase-type players. What must these players do to get to the next level? Do they have any chance? Joshua Band, founder of PlateCrate, addresses these issues and more in Part 2 of a two-part interview.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about what one product a middle school coach on a limited budget should purchase.Show notes
What must a top high school baseball prospect do to get to the next level? What is important in a player promo video? Joshua Band, founder of PlateCrate, shares his thoughts on how players & parents can help propel towards playing college baseball in Part 1 of a two-part interview.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about whether a full-time travel program is better than a rec-based travel program.Show notes
Do you or your coach tell your kids their goal is to “hit the back of the batting cage”? If so, you’re feeding your kids misinformation in the cage. Why is this wrong? And what can be done to make it right?Read the full article
With so many baseball products and ideologies competing in the marketplace, how do you know which ones work and which ones don’t…or even worse, which ones make you worse? Are things like long toss and weighted baseballs just hype by their promoters? Are things like the Core Velocity Belt, Rope Trainer or the Durathro sock just hype by their inventors? Dr. Chris McKenzie, a board-certified sports & orthopedic physical therapist, discusses some products & protocols in Part 3 of a three-part interview.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about how to help a team when kids have quit on themselves and their teammates.Show notes
When we help our kids learn to pitch, how much does tightness and flexibility play in the kids’ ability to pick up what we teach? Dr. Chris McKenzie, a board-certified sports & orthopedic physical therapist, discusses these issues in Part 2 of a three-part interview.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about whether the catcher position wastes an athletic kid’s talents and degrades his knees and athleticism.Show notes
What is the kinetic chain? How does it work with pitchers? Is it important to know? What do we need to know about it? Dr. Chris McKenzie, a board-certified sports & orthopedic physical therapist, goes over these concepts in Part 1 of a three-part (yes, three part) interview.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week about drills for helping a 7-year-old work on his swing with a tee and net setup.Show notes
Diagnosis of a catcher back picks drill to see if it is well or not; if not, what can we prescribe to make the drill healthy?Read the full article
How to help a 9U team stuck in a rut striking out looking? When should tryouts start? What to do when skilled players talk negatively about themselves after a mistake? Rob Tong devotes this entire episode to answering these and other Question Of The Week submissions.
Plus Austin Wasserman has the Wass Strength Tip of the Week on mastering the basics of strength training and 3 things to watch out for.Show notes
How to help a 9-year-old having trouble with inside pitches? What do players in the Dominican Republic do to train for baseball? How to balance pitch recognition with being aggressive at the plate? Should errors be recorded at the 9-12U level? Rob Tong devotes this entire episode to answering these and other Question Of The Week submissions. Show notes
How do you help develop competitive toughness in players who aren’t by nature that way? There’s no silver bullet but Milwaukee Brewers minor league pitching coordinator Jake McKinley shares some pro tips to help us help our players be more competitively tough.
Plus Austin Wasserman has the Wass Strength Tip of the Week on kettle bell front rack reverse lunges. And Rob answers the Question of the Week about whether it’s worth trying to hold runners on at third base. Show notes
Is competitive toughness a genetic trait or a developed trait? If it can be developed, how? Milwaukee Brewers minor league pitching coordinator Jake McKinley answers these questions and more regarding competitive toughness.
Plus Austin Wasserman has the Wass Strength Tip of the Week on single leg RDLs. And Rob answers the Question of the Week about how to help hitters who adjust to umpires making bad strike zone calls. Show notes
Do details matter? This is baseball, not science, right? Doesn’t focusing on details suck the fun out of the game or practice? Highly successful high school coach Trent Mongero of Glyn Academy (Ga) explains the detail he goes through. The talk focuses on infielders but details are everywhere in baseball.
Plus Austin Wasserman is back with the Wass Strength Tip of the Week on managing athletes with Osgood Schlatter’s Disease. And Rob answers the Question of the Week about how to help hitters use their legs more in the swing. Show notes
The siren call of sexy-looking drills is a temptation to many a coach. We wouldn’t want to be called “the boring coach”, would we? In this episode, Trent Mongero, the head coach at Glyn Academy (Ga), encourages us to focus on the fundamentals and shares his foundational drills with us—drills he uses even with college players.
Plus Rob answers the Question of the Week regarding what to do when a batter’s back foot comes off the ground slightly during the swing and the back foot is on the toes after the swing. Show notes
When we think of improving hitting, we don’t typically think “use ground forces” or “leg-to-leg transfer speed”. We usually think swing mechanics, which we usually do by analyzing swing video. Justin Stone of Elite Baseball Training explains key concepts to help you help your kids improve their hitting. This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Show notes
When we think of improving power in the batting swing, how often does “ground forces” come to mind? Probably never, for most people. So does that mean it’s not important? If it is important, how do we tap into it? Justin Stone, the Cubs’ biomechanical hitting consultant and head of Elite Baseball Training, shares what he’s learned regarding ground forces and how to teach it. Show notes
In with the new, out with the old. But before we truly say goodbye to 2018, it’s important to take stock of any lessons learned over the past year as a youth baseball coach. I share some lessons learned by two respected coaches as well as some lessons I learned. Show notes
We’ve heard about the mental game but how do we actually apply it to our baseball coaching? How do we make the concept of mental game more practical? Brian Cain, #1 international best-selling author, speaker and coach, helps us with exactly that. Show notes
When one of your players doesn’t feel confident on a particular day—or even throughout a particular season—what do you do? When a kid isn’t having the results he wishes he had, what do you do? When you are looking for team leaders, what do you do? Brian Cain, a #1 international best-selling author, speaker and coach, helps answer some of these mental game questions and many others to help you give your team the edge. Show notes
Last time, I gave several small tips that can yield big improvements. They were small in the sense that they are minor changes to what you already do for your team. In today’s show, I give several big tips that can yield big improvements. This round of tips is “big” in the sense that they will change the culture of your team or program and generally will require a long-term vision and implementation. Show notes
Did you know that if you are traveling from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. and are off-course by just one degree, you’d end up in Baltimore? Small changes can sometimes have big consequences. And sometimes that applies to coaching youth baseball as well. Many times we’re looking for that magic bullet that will make our kids enormously better—yet sometimes we just need to make some small, fine-tuned adjustments. Rob Tong shares seven seemingly minor changes coaches and parents can make to help kids make big improvements. Show notes
Can pitch recognition skills separate the good batters from the great batters? Can pitch recognition training help overcome some common hitting flaws? Peter Fadde, author of “The Sixth Tool: Training Baseball Pitch Recognition”, explores this and other topics related to pitch recognition. Show notes
If your youth baseball pre-game routine consists mostly of your kids playing catch to warm up, with a simple infield drill and/or outfield warmup drill, then you may want to consider making over your pre-game routine.Read the full article
What is “pitch recognition”? How is it different from “vision training”? How do you recognize pitches anyway? Peter Fadde, author of “The Sixth Tool: Training Baseball Pitch Recognition”, shares his thoughts on these questions. Show notes
How do you become an ump in youth leagues like Little League? How do you become a high school ump? College? Pros? What makes a good ump? Brandon Jackson, a long-time and well-respected collegiate umpire, shares his thoughts on these and other umpire-related topics. Show notes
Ever wonder what an umpire’s thinking? Here’s your chance to find out. Brandon Jackson, a long-time collegiate umpire, explains umpiring philosophies and goes through some commonly misunderstood baseball rules that you might need to know someday.
Plus, Justin Stone answers the Question Of The Week about whether the tennis swing will ruin a baseball swing. Show notes
How is the health of your relationship with your baseball-playing child? How would you know? Is pushing your child always wrong? Rob Tong addresses these questions and introduces the Open Baseball Journal. Learn ten questions you should ask your player(s) after each season that will help keep your relationship with your player(s) on the right track—or to get on the right track if you’ve been derailed.
Plus, Justin Stone answers the Question Of The Week about helping players who always short-arm their throws. Show notes
If you had $5,000 to spend on youth baseball, what would you spend it on? Pitching coach? Hitting coach? Travel teams for exposure and experience? Strength training? High tech gear? Ben Brewster, founder of Tread Athletics, explains why strength training should be the majority of your budget. This is Part 2 of a two-part series.
Plus, Justin Stone answers the Question Of The Week about healing rifts between the better players on your team and the weaker players on your team. Show notes
It seems everyone’s singing the praises of competitive games and drills in practices. But be warned: you have to use them wisely. Find out why and how in this post.Read the full article
YBE has devoted several sessions to strength training. But how important is strength training anyway? Ben Brewster, founder of Tread Athletics, explains why strength training can help you bust through your current limitations. This is Part 1 of a two-part series.
Plus, find out who won free YBE swag! Show notes
Does your hitting practice primarily consist of you pitching, one kid hitting and everyone else standing around in the field…while you tell the batter to swing level? Josh Rodrigues, assistant coach at Salve Regina University, talks about modern hitting terminology and some practical ways you can have your kids hit better. This is Part 2 of a two-part series.
Plus Justin Stone of elitebaseball.tv answers the Question Of The Week about how to help kids know how to end plays on defense. And Austin Wasserman of WassermanStrength.com introduces us to offset squats. Plus, this is your last week to enter a giveaway for free YBE swag (hint: listen to YBE Session #100)! Show notes
What are the hitting philosophies you teach your players? How did you come to embrace those philosophies? And what evidence do you have to support your philosophies? Josh Rodrigues, assistant coach at Salve Regina University, talks about modern hitting philosophies that’s backed by stats and research. This is Part 1 of a two-part series.
How does brain training for athletes differ from, say, doing a bunch of Sudoku puzzles? John Kennedy, founder and primary neuroplastician of Combat Brain Training, explains more about brain training and how it can benefit athletes. This is Part 2 of a two-part series.
You’ve likely heard of the mental game of baseball—especially on this podcast. But you may not have heard of brain training, which is different from the mental game. John Kennedy, founder and president of Combat Brain Training, explains what brain training is and how it can benefit youth baseball players. This is Part 1 of a two-part series.
Plus Justin Stone of elitebaseball.tv answers the Question Of The Week about lunging during the swing and handling parents who offer unhelpful tips. And Austin Wasserman of wassermanstrength.com discusses first baseman training protocols in the Wass Strength Tip Of The Week.Show notes
In this latest in my series on Baseball Dads, Rob Friedman, the Pitching Ninja, shares how he helped influence his son Jack’s development, as well as the high school team that Rob helps coach, without needing to bark commands and make demands. This is Part 2 of a two-part series.
The latest in my series on Baseball Dads, Rob Friedman, the Pitching Ninja, shares how he helped his son Jack to get a baseball scholarship to Georgia Tech, a Division I college baseball team. This is Part 1 of a two-part series.
Plus Justin Stone of elitebaseball.tv answers the Question Of The Week about machine pitch vs. coach pitch. And Austin Wasserman of wassermanstrength.com shares a forearm strengthening tool and exercise in the Wass Strength Tip Of The Week.Show notes
Getting started with strength training for youth players? Nick Esposito of espositostrengthclub.com gives some thoughts on functional movement screens, planning workouts and whether certain familiar warmup routines are helpful or hurtful. This is Part 2 of a two-part series.