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Whiffles are a staple of my practices and pre-game routines. It helps warm up batting eyes and refining batting movements without needing a lot of field space. At 24 whiffle balls for $12 (50¢ per ball), this is a great price, and 24 is a good number of balls. Just put them in a Home Depot bucket and you’re good to go.
Picture may look the same as the regular whiffles, but these golf whiffles are much smaller, requiring the batter to concentrate more during their swings to hit these. Do NOT make the mistake of lightly tossing them during practices or pre-game; throw them with pretty good velocity instead. Because they get easily lost in the grass after being hit, buy 2 packs of these to have a good supply handy.
Perfect complement to the mini whiffles. The Lightning Rod is thin, making hitting the mini whiffles doubly difficult. And the Stick is light so kids can swing it a lot and not get fatigued. Bonus: comes with 3 mini whiffles.
Driveline Baseball recommends using these to help train youth arms pitching mechanics without hurting arms through constraint training and general arm care. The heavier balls are useful for naturally decelerating the arm. Driveline has a program that uses these pylocare balls for 9-13 year olds and high schoolers.
General coaching philosophy
Book by Daniel Coyle
Is talent an issue of nature or nurture? Coyle makes a strong case that it’s nurture: if you practice hard enough and smart enough, you can be world-class. I found this book to be very inspirational in nurturing kids of all skill levels on your team. For coaches in house/rec leagues, this book will be one of your all-time favorites.
Book by David Epstein
In the nature vs. nurture debate for sports talent, Epstein takes a decidedly nature stance. There’s even a chapter on baseball. This book won’t exactly inspire you as you coach your kids but it will certainly give you food for thought…which ultimately is my job here. And that is why this book is on my “Recommended” list.
Book by Jeff Passan
If you want to know tons of info about Tommy John surgery and not just that “it’s an epidemic”, this is required reading for all youth baseball coaches. If you prefer the Kindle ebook, it’s cheaper.
The Talent Code is a great book but it’s more theoretical. This book gives 52 practical tips for applying the theory. It’s not baseball-specific, so you’ll have to use your creativity to apply these tips to youth baseball. But it’ll get your coaching juices flowing. And it’s a short book, so you can devour it over a couple short sittings.
Online baseball instruction
In an era when ‘squish the bug’ and ‘swing level’ are still taught, trust Justin Stone for top-notch baseball teaching. Check out the site’s entire catalog of content for 48 hours free! If you like it, it’s just $13/mo or $97/year, which is still a bargain.
Online baseball instruction
Do you know how to do baseball-specific strength and conditioning for your players? Kyle Nelson has plans that are proven with his own players. Bonus: they’re already pre-made and organized for you; just print and go!
Indoor baseball training facility
If you’re in Chicago, neither rain nor sleet nor snow is a good excuse to not get in some baseball training, or take classes with Justin Stone and his Elite Baseball Training staff here.
Creating your own web site
A Small Orange hosts your site on screaming fast SSDs, and independently confirmed by Cloud Spectator to be faster than Blue Host, Go Daddy, Host Gator, etc. (ASO was also tops for uptime at 100%). Top customer service too: knowledgeable, responsive…and U.S.-based! Starter plan is just $2.92/mo. I host three web sites on ASO and couldn’t be more satisfied.
UPDATE: I no longer endorse A Small Orange. The inadequacy of their technical support is appalling. In 4 of the last 5 support sessions, they were unable to resolve my issue in the same session. Further, the level of technical ignorance was shocking (when I know more than the support rep, something’s wrong). What a fall from a company that was once a rock star in technical support.
Gorgeous, mobile-responsive, SEO-ready, secure, HTML5-based themes that are built on the super-flexible foundational code of the Genesis framework. I’ve tried other themes but StudioPress themes rocks it. I use StudioPress on all my web sites. Check out their themes; there’s sure to be one you’ll love.
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