Sunday, March 29, 2009


The running dialogue you have going on in your head (even when you aren't reading) is called your "self talk."
In fact, although you have thoughts you can't fully express verbally, you could say that thinking is talking to yourslef. Thus, you do it all the time. What do you say when you talk to yourself about your ability to play baseball?
Remember that what you think often determines how you play. Your thinking consists of your self-talk, along with your imagery. Thus, the words you say to yourself impact how confident you feel, making self-talk a pretty important topic. We are not always aware of what we are saying to ourselves. That's a good thing because if we were aware all of the time we'd go crazy. However, this is also dangerous because you may be trash talking yourself by saying "I stink," "I can't hit," or "I may never get anyone out" but you aren't aware that you are doing it, you won't tell yourself to stop saying it!
Because of all the failure that is built into baseball, alot of players spend a great deal of time talking negatively to themselves. Your self-talk is something you need to be aware of, at least to some degree. Most important though, make sure you choose to talk to yourself in an encouraging, confidence-enhancing way. In short, talk to yourself the way you'd talk to your best friend.
Figure out what you are saying to yourself when playing your best baseball will help you use self-talk to your best advantage. Say that to yourself whether you feel that way or not.
Here are a few examples of self-talk statements you can repeat to yourself anytime:

-"I am totally focused on each pitch"
-"I have paid the dues and I am trusting my ability."
-"It is my time."

-"Hit it hard"
-"Attack the ball"
-"Be aggressive"
-"Use the whole field"
-"See the ball"

-"The ball is going right there."
-"I'm the man."
-"Let it go."
-"Focus on the target, hit the target."

-"Hit it to me."
-"I can make any play."
-"Stay down."
-"Quick as a cat."

Friday, March 27, 2009


Discipline is what you do when no one else is looking! It's being considerate of the other person. Having good personal habits - you are polite, on time, and take care of business with pride. We must be disciplined as individuals first, and then as a team.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Volquez Changeup

Here is how Edinson Volquez of the Cincinatti Reds throw his change up.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Josh Hamilton on mechanics

Josh Hamilton with SC Coach Tanner on hitting.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


We have spent time at practice speaking of the importance of making the routine plays and making our opponents earn each 90ft they get. Here is a great article from Creighton pitching coach Rob Smith about free bases.

If you look at Football, the number one statistic that announcers and coaches talk about is the turnover margin. The team who does better in this category will tend to win more games. Why? It’s simple. The more times you give the other team the ball, the more opportunities they have to score.

In baseball, a free base does the same. If you give a team a free base with out making them earn it with a hit, then you are in a sense increasing their chances to score runs they may not have otherwise earned. What is a free base? It is any base that is given to the opponent that they did not otherwise earn.

There are seven free bases that you can track and follow to see where your team stands in the area. They are as follows: Base on balls (Walk), Hit by pitch, Balk, Wild Pitch, Passed Ball, Error, Stolen Base Allowed.

Two other possible free bases are catcher’s interference and trail runners allowed to advance.

The top three teams in all of major league baseball two years ago at FB/9 were (in order)Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, and Boston Red Sox.

Interestingly enough, the two teams that tied for the best overall winning percentage in all of baseball last season were the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox and Rockies played in the World Series.

The key to winning baseball: NO FREE BASES! Make them earn it!

Here is the link to the article with more info and statistics:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Make them earn it

The key to a successful defense is making your opponent earn every 90 feet that they get. It goes back to the defensive principal of making your opponent get three HITS to score. It goes back to our goal of 5 or fewer free bases. Here is a great article about the Husker baseball team and some of the things they are trying to improve on with their pitching.

Huskers Hope to Avoid Ball 3 (and Ball 4)

LINCOLN - Nothing bothers Nebraska pitching coach Eric Newman like a walk.

"Walks kill a team," said sophomore Casey Hauptman, a well-trained Newman student.

Husker pitching coach Eric Newman has issued a challenge to his staff. Don't let walks enter the equation. Avoid three-ball counts. After all, you can't walk anyone without pitching in a three-ball count.

Nebraska pitchers have issued 58 walks through 10 games, including 10 against North Dakota last week and two games with eight walks. Last year, NU reached eight walks just once in 58 games. The Huskers are walking 5.4 per nine innings - on track to rank as the highest figure at the school since 1994 - and up over 3.3 per nine innings last year.

"We want to be a pitching staff that makes everybody earn everything they get," Newman said.

Statistically, in the major leagues, Newman said, 19 percent of plate appearances reach a three-ball count. The Huskers set the same figure as a goal for this week. They're off to a good start. Wednesday in an 11-2 win over South Dakota State, NU walked three, including two by true freshman Nate Kerkhoff in his ninth-inning collegiate debut. Starter Casey Hauptman and reliever Sean Yost recorded only two three-ball counts over eight innings against 28 hitters (7 percent). For the game, it was 15 percent. The root of the control issues involves inexperience. Of the 13 Huskers to pitch this season, seven made their Nebraska debuts and many of the others are competing in much-expanded roles. "I was like a lot of the young guys at the beginning," said freshman reliever Kash Kalkowski, who has pitched in four games. "I was high nervous. But in high school, I was a strike thrower, so I just had to think about it more. "The key for me is just to throw it down the middle. See if they can hit it. "If you make pitches, it's going to take care of itself," Nesseth said. "It's about hitting your spots and making quality pitches."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

You have to control your emotions!


After watching Kyle Kendrick throw up his hands after giving up two hits in an exhibition game against Team USA, Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee, 51, called time out, hustled out to the mound, and "laid into his 24-year-old pitcher."
"He threw his arms up like, 'Poor me,' and that doesn't show control of your emotions," Dubee said after the Phillies' 9-6 loss to Team USA. "Sometimes, during the course of the season, you're going to face adversity. That's not acceptable behavior, it really isn't. He still needs better body language, better presence. He looks a little frail at times. That's showing the other team you're scuffling, and you don't ever want to let your guard down. . . . We've got to get over that hump, focus, and make another quality pitch."

Friday, March 6, 2009

Do you really want to win?

great post from

Wanting to win as long as I can keep doing what I want to do
Saw a clip where former Dallas receiver Terrell Owens said, "I just want to win."Then I thought about something Doc Rivers said last month:

"I hear so many times guys say they want to win... I want to be a winner, but what they're really saying is they want to win so long as it's comfortable for them. What they're really saying is, 'I want to win it as long as I can keep doing what I do."

Owens talks about wanting to win, but his actions say otherwise. He's putting conditions on it. What he's really saying is that he wants to win "as long as I can keep doing what I do." That's not how it works. Yes, you might be able to keep doing what you like to do or what you're comfortable doing and the team has a good season. After all, when Owens was with the Cowboys they won lots of regular season games. But when it comes to winning championships, it often boils down to who is willing to sacrifice the most in order to win.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Love for the game!

Kudos to Coach Joe Cooley on sending this article to me. It is a great article on Twins' player Matt Tolbert. I have posted an article on this guy before and I will admit some of his practice techniques are quite extreme. However, his work ethic and love for the game are something to be admired.

The Twins value Matt Tolbert's dedication, but he could get caught in a roster squeeze.
By JIM SOUHAN, Star Tribune

FORT MYERS, FLA. - Twins teammates have seen Matt Tolbert, the perpetual-motion infielder, waiting for a pedestrian light on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, then breaking from the curb as if to steal second base.
They've seen him turning pillows into bases in his apartment; taking full swings with a bat in the team's spring training shower; and practicing his baserunning outside in hotel hallways, and even outside a convenience store when his minor-league bus stopped during a road trip.
"I really don't think about it a lot, but they say it's crazy," Tolbert said. "I'm just trying to get myself ready, so when I look back I can say I did everything I could to try to get better, to be the best I could be, so I wouldn't look back and say I could have done more.
"That's what's going on inside the ol' dome."
With that, Tolbert taps his head and smiles.
In that he wears No. 20 and makes his teammates laugh, Tolbert could be nicknamed "New Lew," in honor of Wrong Way Lew Ford. While Ford drove his teammates and manager crazy with his mistakes, Tolbert works on his fundamentals at all hours, earning confused looks from passersby and affection in the Twins clubhouse.
"Matt is all baseball, all the time, in a very good way," said pitcher Kevin Slowey, who roomed with Tolbert in the minors. "He's never satisfied with how well he's done or how far he's come. We would watch baseball all day. Sometimes, I'd have to sneak something else on, just for a break.
"There is no turning it off for him. You follow him around for a day, he does things off the field that most people do on the field, in terms of practicing and preparing. He can't control his love for the game. It's awesome."
Tolbert bats lefty and righty and wishes there were more options. He can play anywhere in the infield and outfield.