There are times in life when what you do on the front end affects the outcome on the backend. As you begin to tryout for new fall baseball teams and get selected, here are three questions you should ask your fall baseball coach before accepting a spot on his team:

  1. Why did you select me?
  2. What can you guarantee me?
  3. What do you see as my full potential in baseball?

Parents and players definitely are cringing at the thought of asking a new coach these three questions after being selected on a new team. Some of the same parents and players also will be upset near the middle and end of the fall season if their expectations aren’t met.

In my opinion, asking these questions isn’t an example of arrogance. On the contrary, they signal you want assurance considering you’re investing time and money into the team.

1. Why did you select me?

My wife Kelli of 20 years is beautiful. I didn’t marry her solely because of her beauty. Kelli is a focused woman who wants to become the best version of herself. She wants the same for me.

Some coaches will pick players because of their athleticism, physical appearance, strength, etc. That isn’t enough, considering it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to develop a skill, according to Malcolm Gladwell.

A coach who is responsible for the development of your child must use words like development, habits, values, standards and accountability.

When I ask a coach why he selected my son to play on his team, this is what a coach can and should say to me to get me excited because of the love and care I have for my child:

“Thank you for asking. I selected your son because I believe development can be measured. I will make sure he’s assessed in the beginning and end of the fall season, proving to you his development beyond his batting average. I will help him develop habits that will convert his current talent to skills in the future beyond playing for my team. We are a team that’s governed by core values. Each parent, player and coach will be held accountable for meeting and/or not meeting those standards.”

A coach who is responsible for the development of your child must use words like development, habits, values, standards and accountability.

2. What can you guarantee me?

If a coach can clearly explain to you why he selected you, he should also be able to guarantee you a specific minimum amount of at bats.

It can be stressful wondering if you’ll get playing time. The only way to develop is by getting opportunities to fail and make adjustments.

On average, a fall season is 15 to 30 games. That’s 45 to 90 at-bats if you get three per game. Trust me when I tell you that a coach who understands development should have no problem guaranteeing you a minimum amount of at bats.

A minimum number is a decision. The “let me think about it” answer needs to result in a decision within three days, or it becomes a no for me, especially considering I must guarantee to pay fees and work the concession stand during games.

3. What do you see as my full potential in baseball?

This is an important question, because affirmation leads to hope. It is a great feeling to have a coach believe in your current ability and have him speak to you about what your future can be.

Coaches who can’t see into the future may downplay this question by saying it’s best to focus on the here and now. But we don’t have that mindset when it comes to our travel program. As travel ball coaches, we’re always looking into the future in order to remain relevant and solvent.

Your full potential, according to your coach, may be high school baseball and that’s it. It may be college and it might be the pros. Unfortunately, it’s taboo for coaches to talk about the pros to young players, mainly because the success rate isn’t high.

On the contrary, I believe the success rate of Major Leaguers is low because coaches can’t see that far, and thus can’t communicate it to their players. It’s also difficult for us to discipline ourselves to a development experience that allows players to fail, because we have to win to remain relevant and solvent.

Ask your new fall baseball coach these three questions to determine if what I’m saying is the truth or a lie.

Remember: Intelligence tops being smart.

For more information, visit www.diamonddirectors.com today. Also, check out our Digital Magazine.

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C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an area scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, CJ has more than 12 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and track record of success that can work for you.

 

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The highest quality of thinking can’t emerge without learning. And learning can’t happen without making mistakes. What mistakes are you not allowed to make on your baseball team?

As we know, baseball is the ultimate game of failure. That statement has been said so much that it often times doesn’t have an impact anymore.

It is, in fact, a true statement.

Coaches unintentionally can create an environment that stunts learning for our players because of our own ignorance. I’m raising my hand high to this statement, because I was the king of “faking it until I made it.”

These were my three mantras as a young, inexperienced and developing coach:

Scream and Dream – This is when you scream at kids the things to do at the plate knowing full well you haven’t really prepared them for success.

Hit and Get – This is when you give kids tons of reps and expect them to get a hit every at bat simply because they had tons of reps.

Hope and Cope – This is when your hope for success for your players is stronger than your baseball coaching acumen and you lean on the “we’ll get em next time” philosophy to cope with the failure.

One of the best things a good or even bad coach can do that will allow your players to develop is to simply allow them to make mistakes until they fully develop to our coaching acumen.

  • Ask
  • Capture
  • Remind

We should ask our players before the game what’s the one thing thing they need to work on in the game that could lead to a base hit. Don’t tell them a thing. Simply ask the question, trusting that because you selected them to play on your team they’ll commit to executing that one thing.

Capture
Practice prepares you for games and games prepare you for the next practice. The game is the testing ground, so why are you barking instruction to kids during the game. Instead of barking, capture the most important things they must work in with regards to hitting. And as a coach, if your practice time won’t allow you to give your hitters the thousands of reps they need to develop a habit, enlist their private hitting coach if they have one. Between practice with you and a private hitting coach, your hitters will be headed in the right development direction.

Did you know that it takes 21,000 hitting reps to build a habit? And another 21,000 to convert the habit to a skill and another 21,000 to maintain to skill.

  1. Stance/Load x 3,000 reps
  2. Timing x 3,000
  3. Tempo x 3,000
  4. Tracking x 3,000
  5. Approach x 3,000
  6. Contact x 3,000
  7. Extension/Finish x 3,000

Remind
Remind your hitters that development is a journey, not a sprint. Be to them what you had or wish you had as a baseball coach when you were their age. Great hitters can be developed just like fighter jet pilots, brain surgeons and coaches can.

Remember: Intelligence tops being smart.

For more information, visit www.diamonddirectors.com today. Also, check out our Digital Magazine.

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C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an area scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, CJ has more than 12 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and track record of success that can work for you.

 

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Hope without action is a dream. Add action to your hope and you have faith.

How does this quote make you feel? “We have met the enemy and it is ourselves.”

By the millions, baseball players of all ages are hopeful they’ll sign a college baseball scholarship and/or get drafted by their favorite Major League Baseball team. Many young players will hit the batting cages for hours, several days a week.

But they must remember – there are seven parts to the swing. It takes 3,000 reps to build a habit. That’s 21,000 reps to build a habit and another 21,000 to convert the habit to a skill. And you must add another 21,000, to maintain the habit. Here’s the formula:

  • Stance/Load x 3,000
  • Timing x 3,000
  • Tempo x 3,000
  • Tracking x 3,000
  • Approach x 3,000
  • Contact x 3,000
  • Extension/Finish x 3,000

The summer is the Maintenance Phase (May-July) for my hitters. It requires 21,000 reps.

If you want to gauge the ROI of your investment, there are ways to do it. For example, if you want to see who’s winning, you look at the scoreboard.

Do you have a scoreboard to track the reps you’re taking this summer?

From my experience as an amateur and professional baseball player, and as a professional coach scout, I’ve discovered that a lack of skills under stress forces players to complain, blame and/or feel shame.

Developing a skill requires action, because hoping for it isn’t enough.

Here’s my challenge to you: be honest with yourself about the hitting skills you have. If you need my help beyond this blog, schedule a 90-minute Onsite Hitting Lab Assessment so that we can ensure you’re progressing on the right track.

Remember: Intelligence trumps being smart.

For more information, visit www.diamonddirectors.com today. Also, check out our Digital Magazine.

___________________________________________________________________________

C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an area scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, CJ has more than 12 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and track record of success that can work for you.

 

 

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Watching your child compete in a sport feels like a sport to me. My daughters, ages 16 and 10, play tennis and are pretty good. I thought that baseball required grit, until I experienced their training and competition schedule.

A typical tennis match is 90 minutes or so. Before the match, I ask my daughters for the one thing they’re focusing on. And then before that first serve, I start my stopwatch for 30 minutes.

I watch without interruption for 30 minutes, and then step away for 15 minutes, before coming back for the remainder of the match.

I don’t say much, because I don’t know much about tennis. However, I do know a lot about baseball development.

If I had a son, I’d do three things on game day:

  1. Ask
  2. Capture
  3. Remind

Ask
Prior to the start of the game, I’d ask him to make one guarantee for today’s game. The guarantee would be something within his control based on his training, but also one that makes him stretch.

  1. Dad, I guarantee I’ll be on time with my load 50 percent of the time today.
  2. I guarantee I won’t strike out looking.
  3. I guarantee I’ll hit the ball hard at least once today.

These guarantees ultimately can lead to getting hits. I’d offer an award for him meeting the guarantee expectation.

This is beneficial, because going into a game focused on getting hits when you aren’t prepared only causes unnecessary stress. It’s about like being disappointed you can’t fly an airplane if you haven’t met the criteria to do so.

Did you know that it takes 21,000 hitting reps to build a habit, and another 21,000 to convert the habit to a skill and another 21,000 to maintain to skill?

  • Stance/Load x 3,000 reps
  • Timing x 3,000
  • Tempo x 3,000
  • Tracking x 3,000
  • Approach x 3,000
  • Contact x 3,000
  • Extension/Finish x 3,000

Capture
If I had a son playing baseball, I’d have to focus on a task during the game or else I would find myself complaining and blaming.

My Diamond Directors’ clients have the option of capturing their sons and daughters swings using the Dartfish Express app. They’re able to upload the swings to my private Diamond Directors TV channel, which allows me to make audio and written analysis.

Stat sheets and verbal game summaries are good. As a Master Level Hitting Coach, I want to see video, because the red Dartfish eye doesn’t lie. Click here if you would like to join me in my Online Hitting Lab.

Remind
At the end of the game, when the time is right, I’d remind my son to personally commit to his promise.

To avoid the crazy expectation of getting a hit and trying to change his swing during every at bat, I’d challenge him to commit to one way of hitting for sets of 10 at bats, regardless of the outcome.

So, if a coach, or even me as a parent wants him to try something different, he can respectfully decline until the 10 at bats are complete. Be all in for 10 at bats.

Ask. Capture. Remind. This undoubtedly, truly can allow parents to be effective teammates for their children, many of whom already feel the pressure of performance in baseball.

What are one to three things you’d do to keep under control as a parent at your child’s baseball/softball games?

Remember: Intelligence tops being smart.

For more information, visit www.diamonddirectors.com today. Also, check out our Digital Magazine.

____________________________________________________________________________

C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an area scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, CJ has more than 12 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and track record of success that can work for you.

 

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I can just about enjoy a 20-ounce Dasani bottled water anytime of the year, and especially in the summer time in Hotlanta.

May through July is the “Maintenance Phase” for my Diamond Directors’ hitters. We’re maintaining the skills they developed February through April. Here is their mantra:

  • Talent is what you do well.
  • A habit is what you do well repeatedly without thought.
  • A skill is what you do well repeatedly without thought under stress.

If you can’t hit well repeatedly without thought under stress, you don’t have a skill. Many people confuse talent for a skill because they don’t know the definition for either. Bat speed is a talent and driving off-speed pitches from MLB Draft prospect pitchers in the presence of 200-plus scouts requires skill.

Of course, you can get lucky every now and then. There’s luck and then there’s skills.

Imagine a 20-ounce Dasani water bottle being used to trap your skills with the water being your skills.

  • How much of the water bottle would be filled?
  • Besides your batting average, how do you know if you even have hitting skills?
  • What hitting drills do you do and how often do you do them to develop a skill?

I maintain the skills of my hitters May through July by screwing the green top on the Dasani water bottle. Because if I don’t, the skills will spill out.

Here’s one of my favorite Skill Build Drills.

  • How does your coach help you develop your hitting skills?
  • What time of year does he focus on developing your skills?
  • How and when does he focus on maintaining your skills?

There are seven parts to the swing. Remember, it takes 3,000 reps to build a habit. That’s 21,000 reps to build a habit. Another 21,000 is required to convert the habit to a skill. And another 21,000 is needed to maintain the skill.

  1. Stance/Load x 3,000 reps
  2. Timing x 3,000
  3. Tempo x 3,000
  4. Tracking x 3,000
  5. Approach x 3,000
  6. Contact x 3,000
  7. Extension/Finish x 3,000

“We have met the enemy and it is ourselves.”

How does this quote make you feel?

The summer is all about maintaining skills. This is what the rest of the year looks like every year. There is no off-season for training or complaining.

  • August-October (Assessment) x 21,000 reps
  • November-January (Build Habits) x 21,000
  • February-April (Convert Habits to Skills) x 21,000
  • May-July (Maintain Skills) x 21,000

Remember: Intelligence trumps being smart.

For more information, visit www.diamonddirectors.com today. Also, check out our Digital Magazine.

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C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an area scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, CJ has more than 12 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and track record of success that can work for you.

 

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A slump is a prolonged fall in performance and being in a hitting slump sucks. Imagine that a hitting slump was a 500-pound boulder that you had to push to the baseball field everyday. Heavy, right?

Now imagine you had a large wrecking ball that could be used to bust that boulder.

The wrecking ball is discipline, and hitters by the millions lack it. Discipline is doing what needs to be done even when you don’t want to do it. It requires discipline to complain and blame when things aren’t going your way.

But it also requires discipline to get the thousands of reps required to build a habit, convert the habit to a skill, and then maintain the skill so that at least you have a good attitude when you’re slumping at the plate.

How much time are you willing to give to train to get more hits?

There are seven parts to the swing. And, as we know, it takes 3,000 reps to build a habit. That’s 21,000 reps to build a habit. Another 21,000 is required to convert the habit to a skill. And then another 21,000 to maintain the skill.

  • Stance/Load x 3,000 reps
  • Timing x 3,000
  • Tempo x 3,000
  • Tracking x 3,000
  • Approach x 3,000
  • Contact x 3,000
  • Extension/Finish x 3,000

“We have met the enemy and it is ourselves.”

How does this quote make you feel?

The summer is all about maintaining skills, and this is what the rest of the year looks like every year. There is no off-season for training or complaining.

  • August – October (Assessment) x 21,000 reps
  • November – January (Build Habits) x 21,000
  • February – April (Convert Habits to Skills) x 21,000
  • May – July (Maintain Skills) x 21,000

Remember: Intelligence trumps being smart.

For more information, visit www.diamonddirectors.com today. Also, check out our Digital Magazine.

___________________________________________________________________________

C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an area scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, CJ has more than 12 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and track record of success that can work for you.

 

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C.J. Stewart began hitting with Andrew McCutchen at age 13.

Instinct is more important than intelligence. Instincts is a way of thinking in response to something and great baseball players have great instincts. Unfortunately, thinking isn’t a given for many of us.

My expertise is developing hitters, so that’s the focus of this blog with respect to the need for instincts.

There are seven parts to the swing and it takes 3,000 reps per part to build a habit. It takes another 3,000 reps per seven parts to convert the habit to a skill.

  • Stance/Load x 3,000 reps
  • Timing x 3,000 reps
  • Tempo x 3,000 reps
  • Tracking x 3,000 reps
  • Approach x 3,000 reps
  • Contact x 3,000 reps
  • Extension/Finish x 3,000 reps

Do the math. That’s 21,000 reps to build a habit and another 21,000 reps to convert a habit to a skill. That’s 42,000 reps.

Learning what you need to learn about hitting is easy if you’re a good listener and athletic. If you have commitment and can make adjustments, you’ll be able to put what you know to action.

Before we can get to the need for instincts you got to know something and be able to do it. This is what intelligence is. Instincts is more important than intelligence – like having a brain is more important to living than having a foot.

  • Intelligence + Instincts = Action
  • Intelligence – Instincts = Luck

Some people may say that instincts can’t be taught, but I disagree. It can be taught by first recognizing you don’t have it, and then forcing you to do things that require it.

Ever feel someone coming up behind you? You don’t see them, but you feel them. Ever look for a fastball, and then “stay back” on an off-speed pitch with great tempo, as if it was a fastball? That’s instinct.

If you can’t stay back on an off-speed pitch like you do with a fastball, you might not have good instincts. How do you get there by instinct? You develop your timing, tempo and tracking.

Build Habits

Convert to Skill

Tennis Ball Drill x 3,000 reps

Remember: Intelligence trumps being smart.

For more information, visit www.diamonddirectors.com today. Also, check out our Digital Magazine.

BIO
C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an area scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, CJ has more than 12 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and track record of success that can work for you.

 

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As a coach, fall baseball (August-October) is the best time of the year. Why? Because it’s the beginning of a new baseball development season. Remember the quarterly breakdown of our training sessions:

  • August – October (Assessment)
  • November – January (Build)
  • February – April (Convert)
  • May – July (Maintenance)

And while fall is all about trying new stuff to determine what doesn’t work and what does work, summer quarter (August-October) is where you start maintaining.

Like you, my hitters always want to hit for a higher average and produce more power. In the fall, they commit to trying new things with their stance and load that will improve their timing, tempo and tracking. This ultimately will allow them hit for a higher average and produce more power.

So, what do we need to do now this summer to prepare for the fall?

  • Be quiet
  • Be patient
  • Be committed

Even if you don’t have the world’s greatest coach, he will say something that helps you realize what you need to focus on to rebuild your swing. Listen more to your parents and teammates, too. Listening leads to learning, and learning leads to earning.

You want to earn a college baseball scholarship and professional baseball contract, right?

Patience means to wait without anger. I know you hear your coaches, parents and teammates tell you to be patient all the time. And I’m sure it annoys you most of the time when you hear it. The key is to wait without anger.

Also, remember, it takes 21,000 reps to build a habit and another 21,000 reps to convert a habit to a skill (see, “4 Drills You Can Use to Build Habits and Skills – Are you ready?”). There would be no need to be angry if you’ve put in the work.

If you haven’t, you will lack patience.

Commitment requires you to first count the cost. It’s going to take at least 42,000 reps annually before you can expect the results you dream about. Above all, my clients crave structure from me. I can get into the weeds with the best coaches teaching the content of hitting.

But, remember, context (why you want to be great) must come before content.

Remember: Intelligence trumps being smart.

For more information, visit www.diamonddirectors.com today. Also, check out our Digital Magazine.

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C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an area scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, CJ has more than 12 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and track record of success that can work for you.

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Among the various components of fitness and conditioning as applied to the baseball player, strength and endurance have important roles in the big picture of a long season. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a freshman in high school or a rising star in Major League Baseball.

Here, we’re going to discuss three different types of workouts (tubing, physioball and mini-bands) that positively affect both your ability to maintain muscular strength over a lengthy period of time, if done regularly, 2 to 3 sets per exercise, and approximately 2-3 times per week.

Here’s a look at the workouts and how you can get started:

Tubing
(focusing on shoulder & scapular muscles involved in throwing)

The four “rotator cuff” muscles – Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor and Subscapularis – are involved in throwing the baseball.

Because the shoulder joint is freely movable in any direction, it’s very susceptible to injury. This tubing workout will help protect these muscles, and can be done just about anywhere.

Tubing can cost anywhere from $7 to $20, depending on the quality.

Do these all in standing position (10-15 repetitions each):

1. External Rotation (90 degree angle) – Shoulder
Facing the fixed position of the tubing, position both arms with elbow bent at a 90 degree angle, palms of hands in a face down position. Rotate both arms upward until they are straight up vertical. Do not move the elbow up or down. Repeat the sequence through the desired number of repetitions.

2. External Rotation (Elbow in tight at hip) – Shoulder
Using one arm at a time, make a quarter turn, and position your elbow in tightly at your hip. Keep the arm straight while pulling the tubing across your body. Repeat the sequence through the desired number of repetitions.

Y’s – Scapular

3. Y’s – Scapular
Facing the fixed position of the tubing, position both arms straight, thumbs up,and raise the arms straight up like the letter “Y” (approximately a 45 degree angle). Your elbows should remain locked out straight. Squeeze your shoulder blades (scapular retraction) as tight as you can for 2-3 seconds. Repeat the sequence through the desired number of repetitions.

T’s –Scapular

4. T’s –Scapular
Facing the fixed position of the tubing, position both arms straight, thumbs up, and move your arms straight out to each side of the body, like the letter “T.” Just like with Y’s, your elbows must remain locked out straight. Squeeze your shoulder blades (scapular retraction) as tight as you can for 2-3 seconds. Repeat the sequence through the desired number of repetitions.

W’s – Scapular

5. W’s – Scapular
Facing the fixed position of the tubing, position both arms straight up and down, elbows at a 90 degree angle, palms facing each other. Rotate each arm directly outward to the side, resembling the letter “W.” Squeeze your shoulder blades (scapular retraction) as tight as you can for 2-3 seconds. Repeat the sequence through the desired number of repetitions.

Physioball
This air-inflated ball presents an unbalanced environment. It is a next level progression in the exercise chain of command, and not for a beginner. The cost of a ball can range anywhere from $15-75 approximately, depending on the texture of the surface of the ball. Make sure you purchase an anti-burst labeled ball. Make sure it fully inflated. It is somewhat portable and can be used almost anywhere.

1. Hamstring Curls – 10-20 repetitions
Laying flat on your back, legs straight, heels on the ball, toes straight up, and lift your lower back off the ground. Curl the ball in and out (knee flexion and extension) from heel to toe with both feet. This exercise focuses on the hamstrings as well as the lower back muscles.

2. Low Abdominals – 10-20 repetitions
A bit more advanced, lay on the ball in a flat to decline position (from head to toe), knees bent. You must be able to hold onto a sturdy object that can fully support your body weight. From there, raise your bent knees up together, contract your lower abdominal area, and then lower. Repeat the sequence through the desired number of repetitions.

3. Supine Ball Balance – 5-10 second per leg x 5 each leg
From a sitting position, walk yourself down on the ball until you are laying flat on your back. Make sure your lower back and glutes are off the ball, and only your upper back is holding you up. From there, raise one leg up at a time, balancing on the other leg for the desired time, alternating between each leg. Great for your glutes, lower back, and hamstrings. For best results, perform this near a wall or something that will help you balance during the exercise. Repeat the sequence through the desired number of repetitions.

Mini-Bands
These durable rubber bands are used primarily in the leg and hip area. They are extremely portable and can be absolutely anywhere. Certain sporting good stores sell these in packages of three (light, medium, and heavy tension) and cost about $20.00 per package:

Monster Walks

1. Monster Walks – Mark off a 5-10 yard area
Place the rubber band around either the hip (just above the knee) or around the ankles. Feet shoulder width apart. Exercise options are: forward, backward or side to side walking, always keeping a constand tension in your rubber band. Your knee angle can be slightly bent, or for more advanced users, try these with straight leg walks and even add a 2nd rubber band (you’ll have 1 above the knee and 1 at the ankle). Emphasized are the muscles of the front outer thigh, hips, glutes, and hamstrings. Repeat the sequence through the desired number of repetitions.

Side Lying Clamshells

2. Side Lying Clamshells – 25-50 repetitions each leg
Lay on a floor mat on one side of your body, knees slightly bent, and place a rubber band just above the knees, around the hips. Move the leg that is off the ground, outward as far as the rubber band will allow. Great for all outer quadriceps and glute muscles that surround the hip joint. Repeat the sequence through the desired number of repetitions.

Resistive High Knee Running

3. Resistive High Knee Running – Mark off 5-10 yard area
Work at a high intensity with some added resistance. Place the rubber band just above the knees and progress from slow to fast high knee running. Keep your time limit from 10-15 seconds maximum per exercise, when at highest intensity level. The rubber band will shift position on your thigh muscles throughout, so you will adjust it as needed. Great as a warm up or incorporate into your speed training session. Repeat the sequence through the desired number of repetitions.

The Wrap
To wrap this up, according to research from the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), SLEEP, though not a workout, is also critical to maintaining strength and performance in athletes as a recovery component. Lack of sleep can lead to such things as “poor performance, reduced motivation and arousal levels as well as reduced cognitive processes.”

This can result in “poor attention and concentration and heightened levels of perceived exertion and pain perception.”

Take this into consideration, as well as some of the workouts discussed above. It’s now time to put it all into motion.

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Roger A. Scott, MS, CSCS, RSCC, is the founder of the Atlanta Sport Science Institute, a former Strength and Conditioning Coach in the Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, and Chicago White Sox organizations. If any questions regarding these or any other baseball training exercises and programs, contact him at 404-803-0222 or at roger.scott2626@gmail.com. Our website is www.dynamicsportsystems.com.

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I have talked a lot in my blogs about the importance of understanding the essential times in building your hitting acumen. As a reminder, they are as follows:

  • August-October (Assessment)
  • November-January (Build)
  • February-April (Convert)
  • May-July (Maintenance)

In order to maintain something, you must first build it. There are seven parts to the swing and it takes 3,000 reps per part to build a habit. It takes another 3,000 reps, per seven parts, to convert the habit to a skill.

It’s May, so it’s time to maintain what you have:

  • Stance/Load x 3,000 reps
  • Timing x 3,000 reps
  • Tempo x 3,000 reps
  • Tracking x 3,000 reps
  • Approach x 3,000 reps
  • Contact x 3,000 reps
  • Extension/Finish x 3,000 reps

Which of these seven parts of the swing do you feel are the most important to build and turn into a habit, and then convert to a skill?

For me, timing, tempo and tracking are the three most important. So, if you don’t feel like you have a habit or skill in either, let me challenge you with these “Skill Build Drills,” which you can starting maintaining it this summer:

Build Habits
Timing x 3,000 reps
Shuffle Drill x 3,000 reps
Track Attack x 3,000 reps

Convert to Skill
Tennis Ball Drill x 3,000 reps

Do the math from what I have laid out above. That’s 21,000 reps to build a habit, and another 21,000 reps to convert a habit to a skill.

It requires building a solid work ethic to be the best. Being lucky also is an option.

Remember: Intelligence trumps being smart.

For more information, visit www.diamonddirectors.com today. Also, check out our Digital Magazine.

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C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an area scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, CJ has more than 12 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and track record of success that can work for you.

 

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