“THE CLUB” THE OFFICIAL NEWS LETTER OF FULL COUNT BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL Program News
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Waladyka Baseball combine to form NJ ELITE, The Best Scout Team in New Jersey for College Prospects . The 3rd Annual Spring Break Camps are Set week 1 April 2,3,& 4 Week 2 April 19,20 &21
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Full Count , The North Jersey Cardinals and Joe
Full Count Announces 2011 Full Count 14u Softball Club
INSIDE THIS ISSUE: 6th Tool Aaron Eyler
Hitting with a purpose. MSU BASEBALL
March Pitching Mike Korneski
Finally; It’s here Spring Baseball!
The Sixth Tool: Above the Neck by: Aaron Eyler You are born to be a certain height, weight, and [within reason] a certain muscular structure. Players of all ages from all over the country spend countless hours taking rounds of batting practice, lifting weights, and doing what they can to maximize their physical potential. Often times, these efforts are fruitless and a waste of valuable energy because they circumvent the real problem at hand. The goal of this article isn’t to suggest that you stop working towards your physical potential. It’s to urge you to be more reflective and conscious of the bigger picture. The bigger picture that, for lack of adequate research, is either ignored or not understood by most players, coaches, and parents. Despite the cliché that baseball is a "thinking man's game", it's fascinating to see how little people focus on the thinking component. How many times do players experience a slump for a pro-longed period of time and run to the cage for more batting practice? Perhaps the reason this player isn’t hitting has more to do with pitch selection and concentration, ergo, their efforts to hit batting practice fastballs is wasted effort.
Then comes the comment that always cracks me up: “I took a bunch of rounds of batting practice after the game, and I was hitting the ball really well. I don’t know what’s happening.” That’s fantastic, but I’ve never seen a situation where the pitcher has yelled down to the hitter that he’s going to try and groove one down the middle of the plate from 30 feet away at 40 miles per hour. Here’s my point: there comes a time when we all need to be honest with ourselves and realize that we’re not pushing intrinsically to reach our “mental potential”. It isn't something that can be turned on or off. The only way to develop it is to practice this way, every day. Regardless, there are players who think that (come game day) they will be able to act in a certain way that is superfluous to the way they work in practice. Here’s a question: if that's the case, then why practice anything ever? Why take six hundred swings a week if the ability to see pitches can be turned on and off with the flip of a switch? We have this ridiculous belief that physical
development comes with repetition and mental development comes as a byproduct of that physical ability. Our actions prove that we think that there is little to no mental ability required when Alex Rodriguez hits a four hundred foot home run. I'd surmise that A-Rod would probably be genuinely insulted at such a suggestion. So how do we utilize this realization to benefit our level of play and create an advantage? Next time you’re in a slump, ask yourself how well you are “seeing the baseball”. When you swung at the 1-0 pitch in the dirt, how well were you tracking the baseball in from the pitcher’s hand? Now that you’ve identified the problem, work on this by acting as a batter during a pitcher's side session. This is as much an act of physical ability as it is mental, but too often players view this as "grunt work". Even better, you can bet there are coaches somewhere in the country who believe that. Any coach who calls down to their freshman level to perform this action is guilty as charged. Watching baseball games of all levels and "playing coach" to understand the
“Being a big-time player is all about the tools. | Just don’t forget that the most important one is above your neck”
rhythm of the game also helps stimulate mental development. You can improve just as much by watching a game Tony LaRussa is coaching, as you will at practice PROVIDED you take that knowledge and transfer it in game situations. As with everything else, if you don’t transfer the knowledge you gain in practice to a game then it’s all a waste of time. Simply having conversations with other baseball players of levels at or above yours will greatly aid your baseball IQ. Everyone wants to hit, but almost no one puts in as much effort into the mental aspect of hitting. Imagine you spent as much time talking and thinking about hitting counts and approach as you did taking swings. The reality: sometimes you'd be better off just staying home rather than taking the same swing, at the same pitch, regardless of how well you are making contact. You can have the best mechanics in the world, but you can't hit anything with a blindfold on. A coach can work your hitting mechanics to resemble that of Ted Williams, but it doesn't mean anything if you are swinging at 2-0 pitches in the dirt. Make sure you visualize the proper way to do things. Everyone wants to hit like Albert Pujols, but you should also want to run the bases like Paul O'Neil.
So how, and why do most players, coaches, and baseball enthusiasts avoid this? Players avoid maximizing mental effort because it takes more time to develop with less visual rewards. You can automatically see a hard hit ball in the cage during batting practice. You can't automatically see turning a single into a double when you read the outfielders throw 15 feet over the cutoff man's head. This is all despite the fact that I would surmise most coaches would be most impressed and appreciative of the latter. Now some coaches might read this and retort that "a player's physical ability still dramatically trumps his ability to prevent mental mistakes." They would rather have the player who hits .400 with 25 doubles. That's fine. So long as they realize that 1% of 1% of players in the entire country play baseball in the major leagues. At some point, you're playing days run out, and for most people, our legacy in baseball resides in our ability to teach our kids or coach other people's kids the proper way to play the game we love. Ask yourself: how many "physical mistakes" do you make that are really "mental" mistakes created from a lack of focus and maximizing effort? How many times do you miss a cut-off man because you didn't adequately prepare
to concentrate throughout your entire motion? How many times have you set yourself up for a poor at-bat because you took the 1-0 pitch down the middle for a strike and then swung at the 1 -1 pitch in the dirt? Being a big-time player is all about the tools. Just don’t forget that the most important one is above your neck. Coach Eyler was two time NJAC OF conference selection at Ramapo College. He has served as an assistant varsity coach at South Brunswick, Edison and was just named assistant varsity coach at Metuchen HS. He also serves as Assist general manager of Full Count baseball Clubs and Head Coach of the 16u Club
Skills and proper techniques for improvement and Execution written by: Leon Shade; Hitting Coach Montclair State University Sacrifice Bunting -Move in and up on the plate. (this keeps the bat fair) -Square around early to give yourself up. -Make sure you have bat balance with the placement of your hands. -Flex your knees and work from the top of the strike zone to the bottom. -Position the knob of the bat which positions the barrel.(3rd or 1st Angle) -Work to bunt the top half to middle of the baseball. -The force of the bunt will be determined by where your top hand is placed. Hit and Run -Prepare yourself mentally for what you need to do. (what must be done to execute) -Take a 2 strike approach to the hit and run.(ready to cover the plate and handle any pitch type) -Work to execute not hit a homerun. -The runner is moving on the pitch and must be protected - Hit the ball ON THE GROUND. (away from the middle of the field because the runner is moving to second) Hitting with 2 Strikes -Do not panic when you have 2 strikes on you. -Prepare yourself mentally to handle the speeds and the locations of the pitch ( do not guess) -Look Hard to soft(fastball to off-speed) Out to in ( Protect the outer half of the plate to the inner half of the plate= Location. Down to up( Bottom half of the strike zone to the top of the strike zone= Location. Nothing above your hand!!! Score the Runner From 3rd -It takes work to get a runner to third with a chance to score. So don’t throw away your chance to drive him in. - Have a plan before you come to the plate. Where the infield is playing (in or back) will determine what you should be trying to do with the ball. -Be ready to swing with runners in scoring position. The first pitch might be the best pitch. It must be a pitch you are looking to handle. Infield in- The infield is up so a weak ground ball will not bring the run home. Look to drive the ball to the outfield(must be deep enough) or hard groundball that will be tough to handle. Infield back- The infield is giving you the run. Take the gift! A simple ground ball will get the run home in this situation. Do not pop the ball up. Work to put the ball in play effectively. Corners up Middle Back- The corners (1st and 3rd) are close and the shortstop and second baseman are back at normal depth. Work to produce a hard ground ball to the middle of the field. (SS or 2B) If you hit the ball in the direction of 1 st or 3rd, it must be hard enough to get by them. Don’t forget, the outfield can be used, but the ball has to be hit deep enough. Coach Leon Shade has been the Hitting and Outfield coach at Montclair State University for the past three years. Prior to the position he was the hitting coach for European championships in Amsterdam. He was a scholarship outfielder at Rutgers University, Captain of the 2003 squad and was a member of two Big East Championship Teams under legendary Coach Fred Hill.
“Prepare yourself mentally for what you need to do!”
March Pitching; Continue Preparing the Right Way by: Mike Korneski, Pitching Coach, Bishop Ahr High School
As a pitcher, it is natural to want to show your coaches your "best stuff" ...
As a pitcher, it is natural to want to show your coaches your "best stuff" when throwing your sides early in the preseason. However, it is important to continue rebuilding arm strength gradually while taking care of your arm if you want to be at your best for big games later in the season. Since the level and intensity of winter workouts varies greatly from player to player, it is critical that each pitcher is honest about where they are starting from and begin building up from there. Once you know what days you will be throwing you can plan appropriate drills and workouts to go along with your throwing schedule. One important component of your
Full Count Baseball Clubs will start completeing the rosters for it’s second summer season. While we are excited about that, lets not forget the spring season coming up for our program players. For many of them it is a culmination many years of hard work and living out the best memories of their athletic career. The big senior year, being a captain, winning the championship or just being a veteran player that leaves it out on the field for their high school. While those upperclassmen are waging
preseason workouts are drills to fine tune your mechanics. Be sure to constantly work on your balance position, the separation of your hands, and the extension on your follow through. Between bullpens do your short work or "lead up drills" once or twice to gain the feel of your mechanics and the proper release points for your pitches. Finally work hard to improve your conditioning by doing a medicine ball routine, jump rope, pickups, a shoulder exercise program, and running after your bullpens. While you are preparing for the regular season remember to always protect your arm. Have long sleeves and a jacket, do your running after throwing to
competition across the state, that eighth grader is now no longer the big “A” team player in town. He is trying to cut the freshman roster and looks up to those big varsity players in anticipation of being them one day. The high school baseball season is here again. All those workouts in the winter, batting and pitching lessons, and finally getting out from the snow!. It is here!!!! Full Count would like to acknowledge all those seniors that have already made their commitments.
speed up your recovery, and complete elastic cord or dumbbell exercises two to three times a week. Preparing the right way will have you on the mound and at your best for the important games late in the season. Coach “Korn”, was an All State and All County selection as a pitcher out of Edison HS. He was a Captain for Fairfield University and starter for three years , as well a member of The MACC Conference All Acedemic Team. He is The Pitching coordinator for Full Count Baseball Clubs
(See Full Count home page www.full-countbaseball.com)We
would like to remind them, in your wildest dreams, it never gets any better then this for you as a player! Enjoy it, don't get caught up in your stats, wins or losses. Play hard, and get better. You are either getting better or getting worse, there is no in between. Don’t forget to be a leader to those little freshmen. In 5 months you will be the little college freshman carrying water and getting bags of helmets and bats.—Matt Belford
Mission Statement â€œOur mission is to educate and improve youth baseball and softball players in the fundamentals of the sport using professional curriculum and evaluative methods by experienced teachersâ€?
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