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The Proper Swinging Technique

One of the hardest things to do for nearly any athlete is to hit a baseball. Some of the greatest sports heroes ever, couldn’t put the bat on the ball no matter how hard they tried. Even players talented enough to make it professionally, have an on-base success rate of less than 33%.

Hitting a baseball is difficult, but consistent contact can be made if you swing properly. Here are some three tips on how to swing a baseball bat correctly, great suggestions for any level of competition.

 

Solid Foundation

 

A good baseball swing starts with your base. You need a good foundation to productively make contact with a baseball. When your foundation is unstable, your swing will be erratic; as well will be the results. Work on stable stance that establishes a solid foundation. Establishing a solid foundation does not dictate what type of stance you choose.

Hitters use closed stances, open stances, or other odd looking variations. The component they all have in common is sturdiness. Feet are spaced approximately twice the width of your hips, with slightly bent knees and your body weight shifted towards the balls of your feet.

 

Open Your Hips

 

This is one of the more difficult aspects of properly swinging at a baseball. When your hips open too soon, you will be behind the pitch. Opening your hips too early will cause you to swing over the ball, or be too far out in front.

Rotating your hips at precisely the exact instant the bat makes contact with the ball is how to generate the most power from your swing. The most accomplished hitters refer to this concept, as launching your hips. The stance and hip rotation are where a hitter’s power is generated.

 

Can’t Hit What You Can’t See

 

Tracking the ball is one aspect of hitting a baseball. It cannot stop at any point during your swing. If your eyes drift, so will your head. When you pull your head off the ball, you will compromise your swing. You will not make solid contact, and frequently miss the ball completely.

Most of the time you’ll miss the pitch completely, or at best make poor contact. To keep your head down and locked, never take your eyes off the ball. The best hitters profess to actually seeing the ball make contact with the bat. Good hitters insist, you cannot hit what you cannot see, so focus on the ball to help keep your head down.

The proper baseball swing begins with the stance. Once a solid foundation is established, you will be able to generate power behind your swing by launching your hips. Throughout this entire process you must keep your eyes focused on the ball. Practice these three valuable tips to help perfect your baseball swing.

Published on FrankLoBue.net

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Best Pitcher’s In The 90s

The 1990s saw some great pitchers in Major League Baseball. Some of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game pitched in this era. There will always be arguments and discussions as to which pitchers were the best and in what order. However, in the era of the 1990s, these five pitchers stand out.

Dennis Eckersley

Dennis Eckersley began his career as a starting pitcher with the Cleveland Indians before moving to the Boston Red Sox. While a good starting pitcher who pitched a no-hitter, Eckersley achieved his pitching fame as a relief pitcher.

During his time with the Oakland A’s in the late 80 through the mid-90s, Eckersley had great numbers. In 1992, he won the Cy Young Award and League MVP. He was named to the All-Time MLB Team roster.

David Cone

David Cone played his career with several teams most notably with the Kansas City Royals, the New York Mets, and the New York Yankees. He was a dominating pitcher who won 20 games on two occasions. Cone was a Cy Young winner who had a great career ERA.

Randy Johnson

Randy Johnson was an imposing presence on the mound. His nickname was the “Big Unit”. During the 90s, Johnson played for Seattle most of the time. He led the league with the lowest ERA twice in the 90s, and he was the strikeout leader for four years in a row. He won the Cy Young Award twice in the 90s, and he won the award five times in his career.

In the 2000s, Johnson would continue his great career with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He would retire with over 300 wins.

Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux was part of one of the greatest starting pitching rotations ever when he played for the Atlanta Braves. He helped lead the team to multiple playoff appearances.

Greg Maddux won 355 games in his career, and he won the Cy Young Award four times in the 90s. He was a great fielding pitcher winning 18 Gold Glove Awards.

Roger Clemens

Clemens had notable years with the Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Yankees. He is a seven-time Cy Young Award winner and five-time strikeout winner.

Roger Clemens finished his career with 354 wins. He was on two World Series Championship teams, and he was voted to the MLB All-Century Team.

Published on FrankLoBue.net

Top 6 Pitchers of 2017

Another year of baseball has come to pass. Another year in the books means another year of evaluation. The closing of 2017 has amped up the lists and opinions of who the top players were for all positions for the year. A more critical position, the pitcher, is a difficult category to break down to claim who the best was. Here is a list of pitchers that I believe were the top ten in Major League Baseball in 2017.

Clayton Kershaw – Dodgers

A popular name among best pitchers of the year and rightfully so. Kershaw suffered a short back injury but was back at it with the same enthusiasm he had before. He is projected to enter the Hall of Fame later in his career and continually shows that he is worth the consideration.

Max Scherzer – Nationals

Scherzer played an amazing year with the Nationals keeping a 31.5 percent strikeout rate. His strikeout rate was a career high for him and also ranked as the highest strikeout record pitched in 150 innings besides Jose Fernandez.

Noah Syndergaard – Mets

Syndergaard throws an impressive fastball at a speed of 98.2 MPH. That kind of speed has led him to some problems with his throwing arm that required surgery. The surgery did not affect his pitching skills, and we see constant improvement from the newbie each year.

Chris Sale – Red Sox

Sale, known for his funky delivery when pitching comes in at number four. Some skeptics say that his delivery won’t last him over the long haul, but his massive stack of games pitched at Chicago say otherwise. He recently moved to Boston where he will be getting better pitching and fielding advice to further his career.

Corey Kluber – Indians

Pitching over 200 innings in a season should be impressive enough to have a pitcher on the top 6 list. Critics talk about Kulber’s “off” year in 2016, but he still accomplishes some impressive feats. His curve/slider is a killer for players and is a promising prospect for upcoming seasons.

Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants

Bumgarner pitched a four-hit shutout against the Mets in the NL Wild Card game which is one example of the skill he has to an all-time great. Bumgarner, now 28, is reaching the peak of his career and serves as a trustworthy pitcher for the Giants.

published on: franklobue.net 

The Benefits of Coaching In The Workplace

The business world is constantly changing, and leaders and managers should ensure the organizations stay competitive. Regular training is one way that companies equip their employees with knowledge on what is trending in their line of business. However, the leadership and management of organizations need to go a step farther and incorporate coaching to impart the knowledge acquired from training.

What is Coaching?

It is a process that gives the employees an opportunity to develop themselves and be the best they can be. Coaching enhances creativity, self-reliance, and performance leading to growth, achievement, and development of employees. It leads to the creation of the best practices, use of skills and resources. One cannot exhaust the benefits of coaching in the workplace. What are the major benefits of coaching?

Employee Retention

Coaching gives employees career development skills making them feel valuable and satisfied. Satisfaction in the workplace reduces turnover and organizations are able to tap and retain talented individuals in the company. Leaders who take their time to improve employees’ skills gain their loyalty and are willing to learn more from their superiors. Coaching gives the leaders an opportunity to teach employees necessary skills to avoid gaps when people retire.

Increased and Improved Performance

Coaching allows workers to fully develop themselves and influence their strengths and abilities to maximize their performance. It boosts their morale and makes them committed to their tasks’ outcome and achievements of the company’s goals. Spending time developing the staff gives them motivation. The employees not only work towards fulfilling their career goals but also align their goals with the company’s needs.

Adding Value to the Organization

Coaching fosters positive attitude in employees towards their colleagues, leaders and their responsibilities. Allowing the workers to thrive in their uniqueness enhances team, and group performance as every individual brings their creativity to the organization. It provides an environment for feedback as employees give their opinions and receive advice from the managers. A good relationship between coworkers adds value to a company and enables individuals and the organization to reach their maximum potential.

Competitive Organization

As mentioned above, coached employees perform better and hence allow the organization to have a competitive edge. The employees adapt quickly to the changing environment as coaching supports quick shifts that are necessary for a business to remain on top. Creative and better-performing employees come up with ideas that increase the productivity of the organization. Coaching bridges the gap between educational theory and the practical business. It helps new employees learn fast and adjust to the company’s culture, procedures and policies.

Published on: franklobue.org 

Life Coaching Exercises

Life coaching can be helpful for everyone. Some people may have a misunderstanding of what life coaching is exactly. Life coaches can help point clients in the right direction to achieve their goals. Life coaches develop a personalized plan for their clients that will be most effective in guiding them along in life. This article will talk about exercises life coaches can use to get the best information from their clients.

Wheel of Life

The wheel of life is a typical exercise used by many life coaches. The wheel includes eight sections in it. The eight categories are Health, Friends and Family, Significant Other, Personal Growth, Fun and Leisure, Home Environment, Career, and Money. The client would draw a line in the eight sections based on how satisfied they are with each category in their lives. This will give you a visual of how satisfied your client is with all different aspects of their life. This exercise can serve as a starting point in formulating a plan to reach higher levels of satisfaction in each area.

Big Rocks

This common exercise can be used to identify what your client’s values are. Big rocks represent the things your client values most. Smaller rocks and sand represent things they value less and less. The object of this exercise is to identify lesser valued things that may take up more time in their daily life. The client will have a better understanding of what they want to put more time into and what to avoid.

Spheres of Influence

This exercise is designed to help clients understand things they can and cannot control. Although many things are out of our control, we always have control of ourselves and how we react to events that happen. Guide your client through making a list of things they can and cannot control. This will help them accept the things they cannot control and learn to create efforts to influence the things that are within their control.

Journaling

Private journaling can help in many different ways. Journaling is a method of self-reflection and can initiate helpful advice from themselves to better strive towards their goals in life. Encourage your clients to carry a journal with them wherever they go and to keep a writing utensil handy. Set a goal with your client to journal every day for a week, or maybe a month. Soon it will become a habit, and they can gather more information to bring to you during your coaching sessions.

Originally posted on franklobue.org 

Components of A Good Training Program for Baseball Players

Baseball players have steadily shown evidence of increased strength and power equating to improved performance on the field. The need to maintain flexibility and agility is critical to a player’s skill set. Implementing a training program for baseball players that improves each of these physical components is the objective.

Core Strength

An important place for any training program to begin is with core development. A pitcher’s body momentum and the torque of a hitter’s swing center on their core. Developing strong abdominal and oblique muscles will increase body control.

Since injuries to this part of the body can be debilitating to a baseball player, this is the place to begin building a program. Core strengthening exercises can be done on a daily basis. However, always stress core flexibility to equally counter strength exercises.

A Powerful Lower Base

Even though many baseball moves use the upper body, everything benefits from strong leg muscles. Building a powerful base is critical for pitchers and hitters. Pitchers, who have a weak lower body structure, inherently experience a higher risk of arm injuries. Good hitters appreciate that the torque in their lower body initiates the power in their swing.

Lower body development for baseball players, especially pitchers, is enhanced by running. Sprints build speed and leg power. Strength exercises to build the quads, hamstrings and calf muscles help improve lower body power. It’s critical that a baseball player’s leg training program include rigorous stretching.

Upper Body Training

Baseball players often forego upper body training. There isn’t the same need for brute upper body strength in baseball like there is in other more physical sports. However, baseball players who properly add arm, chest and shoulder training can dramatically improve their game.

The most important cautionary recommendation is to never lift before a game or practice. Lifting weights, or other types of strength exercises, are helpful to build muscular power. Problems can occur when joints are tired from lifting, then baseball moves are performed.

Players should never weight train on pitching days. This can weaken the structure around the shoulder and elbow creating a higher risk of injury. A blend of weightlifting and exercises that use a player’s body weight are excellent ways to supplement a training program. Since hitters benefit from full arm extension when connecting with the ball and pitchers suffer from bulky arm muscles, intense stretching of the upper body post-training sessions is critical.

A training program for baseball players can benefit from strength building exercises. It is best to focus on core development first, and then make sure a powerful base is established. Even upper body power can improve performance on the field. Above all else, remember that joint and muscle flexibility is critical for playing baseball. Augment every training program with flexibility and agility work.

Originally posted on franklobue.net

Biggest World Series Upsets

As upsets go in sports, baseball has long been known for its parity. Major League Baseball plays a season double the length of its closest rival the NBA. With 164 games spread across seven months, baseball enthusiasts appreciate that any team can beat another on any given day. However, when it turns October and its playoffs season, the landscape for upsets changes.

Short, five-game series have been known to produce an occasional win by the underdog. More often than not though, the best teams earn the right to move on. The ultimate stage for the MLB in the World Series. A seven-game slugfest, back and forth until one team wins the fourth game. Over the history of baseball, there have been a few times where the underdog prevailed.

The Unlikely Senators – 1924

The Senators, with abysmal recent history, went head-to-head with a team making its fourth consecutive appearance in the fall classic. Oddsmakers had the New York Giants as overwhelming favorites. Most felt that New York would potentially sweep the Senators.

This was not the case. New York would struggle during the middle games of the series. One win away from their third title in four tries, the Giants would ultimately be unable to close during game six. Washington would win during game seven and upset John McGraw’s highly-favored Giants.

Cincinnati Has a Bash – 1990

In 1990, there hadn’t been a World Series upset for over two decades. There wasn’t anyone who thought the Reds would change that trend against the Oakland A’s. Oakland had the charismatic Bash Brothers leading a cast of superstars.

In fact, the A’s were one of the top favorites in years; some fans projected a four-game sweep. It turned into a sweep alright, but for the underdog. Cincinnati was backed by an elite bullpen including a trio of relief pitchers known as the Nasty Boys.

They made the highest scoring team in the league that year look like befuddled little leaguers. Cincinnati’s pitching allowed Oakland a total of eight runs in four games, four of those in a 10-inning game. As heavily favored as Oakland was, the 1990 upset is deemed the biggest in World Series history.

Over the years there have been other World Series upsets. The young Florida Marlins franchise took out the legendary New York Yankees in 2003. Baseball purists will never forget how Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski shocked the world with his ninth-inning walk-off home run in 1960.

The New York Mets defeat of the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 was considered an upset. However, the Mets actually won 100 games during that regular season. There have been a handful of World Series upsets out of the more than 100 Fall Classics. The improbable turnaround season of the 1924 Senators and the Reds stymieing of the 1990 Oakland A’s have to be two of the most memorable.

Originally posted on franklobue.net