Reno Baseball Blog

Reno Baseball Blog

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Simple Batting Tee Drill

From Gamer Baseball's Coach's Corner.

This is a great way to stablize your young players head for better vision of the ball and form through contact.

Here is an excerpt....

"The player will hit off the tee keeping their head
behind the tee and baseball while also keeping
their nose pointed at the tee throughout the entire
swing. The cues I use are “Look at the ball, then
look at the tee.” They should focus on seeing the
ball and the mechanics of their swing… "

Gamer Baseball

Todd Coburn is doing some great things over at Gamer Baseball.

A local baseball product and graduate of Wooster High, he has built up his loyal following by providing leadership and mentoring to hundreds of local kids.  Oh yeah, he also teaches baseball skills through lessons and camps.

Here is his bio from

  • Founder & President of Silver State Sports Camps, Gamer Baseball & Gamer Softball
  • Certified Personal Trainer (IFA)
  • Professional instructor at the Kelley Athletic Training Center
  • National On-Field Coordinator for America's Baseball Camps
  • Former Professional Player with the Philadelphia Phillies Organization (Catcher, 1st Baseman, 3rd Baseman & Outfield) (1995 & 1996)
  • Former Professional Player for the Saskatoon Riot Independent Professional Baseball Club (Catcher, 1st Baseman, Outfield) (1994)
  • Former Collegiate Player & Division II College World Series Participant at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • Former All Conference Catcher at Butte Junior College (1991-1992)
  • Former Assistant Coach at Cuesta Junior College (Catching & Hitting) (1998)
  • Former Assistant Coach at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (Catching & Hitting) (1999)
  • Former Assistant Coach at College of Southern Idaho (Pitching & Catching) (2000)
  • Former Head Coach of the San Luis Obispo Blues Collegiate Summer League Team (2000)
  • Former Program Development Coordinator for Velocity Sports Performance (Nationwide sports performance training franchise) (2003-2004)
  • Masters Degree in Kinesiology with a focus on Coaching & Teaching (Cal Poly, 2000)
  • Co-wrote book - The View from Behind the mask - "Everything you need to know about Catching and more"
All private, one-on-one workouts are conducted inside the Kelley Athletic Training Center located at 4056 Kietzke Ln in South Reno (The Crossroads
Center at the corner of Kietzke and Peckham).
Please print out the NEW CLIENT INFORMATION PACKET by clicking HERE. Bring
the completed information sheet to your first lesson
One, 30 minute lesson = $40.00
Two, 30 minute lessons = $75.00
Three, 30 minute lessons = $110.00
Four, 30 minute lessons = $140.00

Small Group Instruction: Two kids = $45.00 each per hour, Three kids = $35.00 each per hour
One of the biggest compliments I can receive is you referring a friend or teammate to me. For that, every referral you send my way = ONE FREE, 30 MINUTE LESSON! You will receive your FREE lesson once your referral has scheduled and paid for their lesson or lessons. Thank You!
During the Summer and Spring or, when the weather permits, I can come to your home field for a workout. Prices vary due to miles traveled so contact us for more details.
GUEST COACHING - I can also be a guest coach at your teams practice! Cost is only $10.00 per player (10 player minimum) for up to a 2 hour practice. I will come to your fields or you can bring the team into the training center. Call or e-mail for details.

For parents and kids, visit his site

For Coaches, Todd has released an expanded version of his book "The View From Behind The Mask".  The new format allows for coaches to carry the book in their bag to quickly review while on the field.  Packed with training tips, teaching drills and practice schedules, it should be a staple for every coach who is grooming the next High School or College recruit.  Definitely a great value.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reno Softball Signups and Clinics!

RENO FASTPITCH is seeking girls age 4 to 8 for T-ball and girls and women ages 8 to 23 for softball. Online registration is available at or in person at Absolute Graphics, 3545 Airway Drive at the following times: noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6 and 13; from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 10, 17 and 24; and noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 20, 21, 27 and 28. In-person sign-ups also are planned at Reno Fire Station No. 11, 7105 Mae Anne Ave. at the following times: 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday; noon to 2 p.m. Feb. 6 and 13; and 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 19 and 24. Details: 775-376-0555.

SIERRA GIRLS SOFTBALL LEAGUE is seeking athletes who were between ages 5 and 14 as of Jan. 1. Online registration can be completed at Cost: $95. Details: 775-750-8443

GAMER SOFTBALL hold tryout preparation clinics for players ages 8 to 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. daily Feb. 13-15 at Kelley Athletic Training Center, 4056 Kietzke Lane. Cost: $100 per player ($90 per additional sibling). Details: 775-997-9541 or
WOLVERINES GIRLS FASTPITCH now holding tryouts for 16U. For additional information call 775-772-7069 (run through March 2010)
Babe Ruth Softball & t-ball sign ups for spring are under way. Registration for softball players age 8 and older prior to March 1 is $85. T-Ball for girls ages 4 to 7 is free. Details: 775-378-3531 or
STEALTH HD 12U girls fastpitch tournament team is looking for players who are athletic, and have a good attitude and committed parents. Details: Mark Cooper at 775-745-8115.
The 18u-16u Rampage girls softball team is having tryouts. Details: 775-846-1052 or 775-378-9110.
An 18u competitive softball team is looking for two or three players to complete the team. Pitcher and catcher preferred. Experience necessary. Details: 775-378-9110 or 775-673-8796.
The Nevada Fire is looking for two impact players, preferably a pitcher or catcher but other positions will be considered. Details: Kristie or Gary Keller 775-219-8592 or 775-359-3496.
The Lady Aces 10U girls fastpitch softball tournament team (formerly the Nevada Wildcats) are holding tryouts for the spring tournament season. Details: Troy Batastini 775-233-9306.
Nevada Lightning 10U tournament girls softball team is looking for girls interested in competitive traveling fastpitch softball. Details: Eric Stroshine 775-232-8911.
Pack 96 is having tryouts for its 14U fall/spring team. Looking for players born in 1995 or 1996. Tryouts on Sundays, call for location and time. Details: 775-338-8528 or 775-343-5559.

Nevada Lightning 18U is looking for players. Details: Jim Miller 775-721-7056.
Nevada Lightning 12U girls fastpitch softball is looking for players born in 1997, 1998 or 1999 to play in the upcoming tournament season. The Lightning 12U team provides outstanding coaching covering all the aspects of tournament level softball. Details: Chris Wessel 775-762-4272 or Brad Betker 775-450-9000.
Nevada Lightning 18A/Gold: For information, call 775-721-7056.
Carson Valley Hurricanes 16U team is looking for several players. Details: Andy Mitchell 775-690-5561 or Ted Thran 775-783-9373.
Sparks Storm is looking for girls who want to play at a competitive level, but also have a fun time playing tournament teams. Looking for two-three players to finish filling rosters for two 14U teams. Details: Johnny Collier 775-691-7843 or Phil Brown 775-425-6512.
The RENO HEAT 12U fastpitch softball team is looking for an experienced travel ball pitcher to complete the spring/summer 2010 roster. Interested players should contact Don Angotti 775-690-7330 for a tryout.
The North Valleys Babe Ruth fast-pitch softball league is looking for girls ages 4 and older. Games take place at O'Brien Middle School, 10500 Stead Blvd., and Mayors Park, 12000 Mt. Charleston St. Details: 775-379-9861.
Reno Rage 14U team looking for competitive tournament players, specifically an experienced pitcher and a utility player. Details: James Walker 775-378-9342 or Keith Mull 775-772-3722.
Team Mojo is looking for multi-sport athletes. For more information, log on to and select the "contact us" tab, or call Joe Martini 775-247-3234.

Baseball signups are in full swing.

Every Wednesday the local sports signups are in the Reno Gazette Journal.  Funny how they aren't under the "Sports" section and only under the Communities...
RENO NATIONAL LITTLE LEAGUE is holding registrations for players ages 5 to 12 for the spring season. In-person sign-ups are from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday and Feb. 6 at Swope Middle School, 901 Keele Drive. Cost: $85 for T-ball and $95 for rookie-major. Bring copy of birth certificate and proof of residency. Details:

SPARKS BABE RUTH holds sign-ups for 13- to 15-year-olds from 6 to 8 p.m. today and Feb. 17 at Round Table Pizza, 550 E. Prater Way in the Baring Village Shopping Center. Other in-person registrations are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Feb. 13 and from 6 to 8 p.m. March 3 at Tommy's Grand Stand, 830 Merideth Way. Cost: $140.00, players new to the league must bring an original birth certificate. Details: 775-846-0949 or
GAMER BASEBALL holds tryout preparation clinics from 9 a.m. to noon for players age 8 to 12 and from 5 to 8 p.m. for players age 13 to 15 each day Feb. 13-15 at Kelley Athletic Training Center, 4056 Kietzke Lane. Cost: $100 per player ($90 per additional sibling). Details: 775-997-9541, or

RENO AMERICAN LITTLE LEAGUE is accepting registrations through March 1 for the upcoming season. In-person registration is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Reno Fire Station No. 11, 7105 Mae Anne Ave. Boys and girls ages 5 to 12 as of April 30. Games are played at Terrace Sports Complex, 2525 Robb Drive. Details: 775-747-3323
CHALLENGER DIVISION of Little League Baseball, a league for special-needs youth, is accepting sign-ups until March 1 for the spring season. For ages 5 to 21. Fee: $25. Details: Kathy Crawford 775-853-4065
TOMMY'S GRAND STAND, 830 Meredith Way in Sparks, is collecting new or gently used baseball equipment, such as cleats, bats, socks, belts, mitts and equipment bags, for children ages 4 to 14 whose families can't afford to buy it. The business/restaurant also has baseball/softball instruction, batting cages and tunnel rentals by appointment. Birthday, business, team parties no facility charge. Also, there's a $6.95 special for students ages 5 to 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, which consists of a meal selection, beverage, batting cage tokens, project tables and arcades. Children must be supervised by an adult. Details: 775-355-7323 (facility information) or 775-830-8252 (donation information).

Friday, January 22, 2010

6 steps to a sweet swing

This is a video from the makers of a fast swing hitting system. But it is broken down into simple elements that are repeatable for any age.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Little League Coaches Clinic

Coaching Clinics

Regional Coaching Clinics are back.. Register now!
With the help of our partners at the Baseball Factory, MVP Bands and the Positive Coaching Alliance, Little League is providing coaching clinics in each of our Regions for 2010. The clinics are designed to cover every aspect of Coaching from creating a great learning atmosphere to fielding ground balls to performing practice and pre-game exercises.
CClinic9053_400pxThis one day clinic is designed to enhance any baseball coach's goal in providing young athletes the opportnity for a positive, character building experience, to performing thorough practice and pre-game exercises as well as developing skill levels and increasing their overall enjoyment while playing the game of baseball.
At the Little League Baseball Coaching Clinic you will learn all that you need to improve your coaching ability, to reach the players you're coaching and to make the league a great place for children and parents alike.
No matter how many years you've been coaching, the Little League Coaches Clinic will have something for you.
Reservations are limited and payment must be received to guarantee your reservation(s).  The clinic will include all materials and lunch
Tentative Itinerary:
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM - Registration
9:00 AM -10:30 AM - Positive Coaching Alliance - Little League Double Goal Coach Workshop
10:45 AM -12: 15PM -MVP Powerbands - Arm Strengthening and Conditioning/Throwing Mechanics
12:15 PM -1:15 PM - Lunch
1:15 PM - 3:30 PM - Baseball Factory - Fielding / Catching Techniques, Progressions and Drills.
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM - Baseball Factory - Hitting / Pitching Techniques, Progressons and Drills.
We offer an informative and enjoyable clinic.  Please encourage all coaches and managers to attend.
For more information on the regional clinics, please click below:
Southeast Region - Warner Robins, GA - February 20th, 2010
Southwest Region - San Antonio, TX - February 27th, 2010
Central Region - Indianapolis, IN - March 27th, 2010:

CClinicBBFLogo2_200px                CClinicPCALogo_200px           CClinicMVPLogoBlack_200px

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Multiple Sports Athletes

Are you a parent that only lets your kid play one sport?  Until high school, that's a mistake.

Chris Drury, Little League Baseball World Series Champion, Captain of NHL’s New York Rangers, to Play for Team USA in 2010 Winter Olympics

Chris Drury pitched Trumbull (Conn.) National Little League to the 1989 Little League Baseball World Series championship as Little League celebrated its 50th anniversary season. Now, more than 20 years later, Mr. Drury hopes to be a part of another golden celebration as a member of the USA Men’s Hockey Team competing in the XXI Olympic Winter Games.
On Jan. 1, Mr. Drury was chosen to the 23-man roster that will represent the United States in Vancouver, B.C., Feb. 16-28. Mr. Drury is one of three players with past Olympic experience, having played in the 2002 and 2006 Winter Games. Mr. Drury’s teammates with prior Olympic experience are: Detroit's Brian Rafalski (2002, 2006) and New Jersey's Jamie Langenbrunner (1998).
One of 12 forwards selected to the USA Men’s Hockey Team, Mr. Drury is a 10-year National Hockey League (NHL) veteran, spending the last two seasons as Captain of the New York Rangers. Since 1996, Mr. Drury has played in a several international ice hockey tournaments as a member of Team USA, tallying 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 46 games, including the ’02 and ’06 Winter Games.
In South Williamsport, Pa., on Aug. 26, 1989, 12-year-old Chris Drury went to the mound at Howard J. Lamade Stadium to pitch the Championship Game of the 43rd Little League Baseball World Series versus Far East Region Champion Kang-Tu Little League from Chinese Taipei. With a 6-5 win, Mr. Drury and his Trumbull National Little League teammates ended a five-year losing streak for the United States, which included three straight defeats to teams from Chinese Taipei.
In the 1989 Series, Mr. Drury collected two pitching wins; and was 4-for-7 at the plate, with three singles, a double and three bases on balls.
Mr. Drury, who was enshrined in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum Hall of Excellence during the 2009 Little League Baseball World Series, played baseball throughout high school, graduating from Fairfield (Conn). Prep in 1994. During this time, he also was developing into an elite amateur hockey player, winning a youth championship at the age of 12, and later a state title while at Fairfield Prep.
Drafted out of high school by the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques, Mr. Drury elected to attend Boston University (BU), where in 1995, as a freshman, he helped the Terriers win the NCAA Division I Ice Hockey National Championship. By the end of collegiate career, he was the first BU player to eclipse 100 goals and assists (113 and 100, respectively). As BU’s captain in 1998, Mr. Drury was recognized as the Hobey Baker Award winner.
Mr. Drury is the only player to be selected as college hockey’s best player and the NHL’s top rookie. Following the 2007 NHL season, Mr. Drury signed a free agent contract with the New York Rangers and chose to wear No. 23 in honor of his childhood hero, former New York Yankees first baseman, Don Mattingly. In October 2008, Mr. Drury was named Rangers’ Captain, the 25th in team history, and only the second U.S.-born player to be so honored.
The USA Men’s Hockey Team will begin its quest for a gold medal on Feb. 16 when it faces Switzerland at 3 p.m. EST. The team’s remaining pool games are scheduled for Feb. 18 against Norway; and Feb. 21 against Canada.
Ron Wilson, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is the head coach of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team, with Scott Gordon, head coach of the New York Islanders, and John Tortorella, Mr. Drury’s head coach with the Rangers, serving as assistant coaches.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Little League division!

Reno has a travel / local tournament for this aready but most people don't know about it.

Little League International Introduces New “50-70” Pilot Program

By Communications Division


January 11, 2010

Ever since Little League debuted baseball for teenagers 50 years ago, the standard infield has featured a pitching distance of 60 feet, six inches, and base paths of 90 feet – the same size as a professional baseball infield.

The program grew over the years to its current status as the largest teenage baseball program in the world. A few years ago, Little League added the option of allowing 12-year-old players to “play up” in the Junior League Division for Regular Season and Tournament Play.

Now, in an effort to further ease the transition from the standard Little League field size (46-foot pitching distance and 60-foot base paths), Little League is offering a pilot program for league age 12- and 13-year-olds. The pilot program will be conducted on fields that feature a 50-foot pitching distance and 70-foot base paths. The pilot program will be available to all Little League programs worldwide for the 2010 season.

“We have seen more requests for the intermediate-size field recently,” Patrick Wilson, Little League Vice President of Operations, said. “We are constantly looking for ways to provide more flexibility and to respond to the needs our local leagues. For those leagues with the ability to create a new field for this program, or to modify an existing field, we hope this will be another way to provide an enjoyable experience for the families in their community.”

Additionally, base runners will be permitted to lead off in the 50-70 Pilot Program (requiring pitchers to hold runners on base), runners may attempt stealing at any time, and head-first sliding is permitted. In the Little League division, runners cannot leave the base until the ball reaches the batter, and sliding must be feet-first unless the runner is retreating to a base.

Also for the 50-70 Pilot Program – unlike the Little League division – the batter becomes a runner on a dropped third strike, the bat can have a diameter of 2 5/8 inches, and the on-deck batter is permitted.

Each league wishing to participate in the 50-70 Pilot Program is required to enroll with Little League International prior to initiating the program. At the conclusion of the regular season, each participating league will be required to complete a post-season survey detailing the benefits and challenges.

“We will take the information gathered, work with the leagues and districts, and make a decision on how to move forward in 2011,” Mr. Wilson said. “If the 50-70 Pilot Program proves to be successful, our plan is to offer a full range of tournament play.”

For 2010, there will not be a separate level in the International Tournament for the 50-70 Pilot Program. However, local leagues and districts that are participating in the program will be able to organize tournaments using a Special Games Request Form.

Any player who participates in the pilot program during the regular season will be eligible to participate simultaneously in the Little League Division (for players ages 9-12) or the Junior League Division (12-14). Such a player will be eligible for selection to either age-appropriate International Tournament Team.

However, a player who participates solely in the 50-70 Pilot Program also will be eligible based on his/her age for selection to a team participating in the International Tournament under guidelines established for player eligibility.

Here are some additional details:

Leagues will be allowed to operate under interleague play and combined teams. However, players will only be eligible for tournament in the league where they reside.

Leagues will be allowed to structure the 50-70 Pilot Program so that their typical season is conducted, for example, on Monday through Friday. Then on Saturday and Sunday, leagues could offer the pilot program to players who wish to participate. All pitching guidelines apply.

Participating leagues (and districts with participating leagues) will be permitted to organize tournaments using a Special Games Request Form for players in the 50-70 Pilot Program. Players may participate in both Special Games and the International Tournament under guidelines established in the Baseball Rulebook.

Later this month, Little League International will provide leagues with the procedure for participating in the 50-70 Pilot Program.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Great article and product

This a link to a baseball blogger Lisa Winston who has been writing / covering and living Minor League baseball for over 13 years.

Check out the link and the iPhone application. 

I'm setting up that app for my team this year for sure.  Just need someone to bring their iPhone to the games!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Common Mistakes

This is a post found on  Please visit there for hitting tips and products.

Casting the Hands

This is one of the most common flaws in hitting. One of the reasons is that a 
lot of other mechanical flaws will result in a cast. You can recognize a cast by 
watching a hitter from behind as he hits off of a tee. If the barrel of the bat is 
flying away from his shoulder on the initial approach, then he is casting his 
hands. This action results in a long, slow and weak swing path. It is very 
difficult to catch up to a good fastball with an approach like this.

This approach will also prevent a hitter from staying 
inside the baseball
Instead, the barrel is wrapping around the baseball. This makes it virtually 
impossible to hit a ball the other way. Casting also causes the bat to travel 
around the hitting zone opposed to through it.

Why do hitters pull their head off of the ball???

As coaches we preach, “Don’t pull your head out!!” However, I have come to 
the conclusion that hitters do not intentionally pull their head off of the ball. 
Instead, if you want to cure this problem, teach the proper swing-path.  When 
a hitter casts his barrel around the ball his momentum is moving him in a 
twisting motion. The force behind this motion will cause not only his trunk to 
twist, but his head will also go along for the ride as well. Keep in mind, this 
improper swing path can be caused by two things: 1) Casting the barrel away 
from the body too soon, or 2) not opening up the back hip to allow your hands 
to work toward, or inside the baseball.

CORRECTIVE MEASURE: Spend a lot of time drilling the outside pitch. Make 
sure that your hitter is seeing the ball 
deep into the zone. This will allow him to 
hit the ball the other way. Use a tee and front soft toss to drill this concept. 
This will assure that the ball is in the correct location.

Asking your hitter to hit the ball the other way is one of the best things you can 
do to help him learn to use his hands correctly. It is almost impossible to hit the 
ball the other way without staying inside of it.

Little League Challenger Division for physically challenged youth.

Organization: Little League Challenger Division is a program for mentally and physically challenged youth, helping them to enjoy the full benefits of Little League participation in an athletic environment structured to their abilities.

The value of the Challenger Division is found in the proven therapeutic and socialization benefits of participating in sports, the strengthening of participant's self-esteem and the disciplines of teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play.
Director: Kathy Crawford
Mailing address: 3920 Bellingham Drive, Reno, NV 89511
Phone/E-mail: 775-853-4065

Gray youth baseball pants: (elastic waist with drawstring), sizes extra small (5), small (6-8), extra large (18-20), extra-extra large (22-24)

Baseball socks: Youth and adult sizes; red, navy, royal blue, black, purple, green, aqua and burgundy colors.

Eight equipment bags with wheels

Two batting tees

Eight first-aid kits

Two Igloo water coolers with cups

Sponsor a child's fees ($25)
How to donate: Call 775-853-4065 to make arrangements.