Reno Baseball Blog

Reno Baseball Blog

Thursday, February 25, 2010

David Wright in 2001..

What a ridiculous swing. So balanced and compact. Timing is crazy. (Amazingly soft hands.)

The is a place for kids to get recruited and noticed for the upper levels of baseball. But it is worth the visit just for the videos of current pros when they were in high school or just out.

Check it out.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Stretching and equal strength to add MPH.

You want to add a few MPH to your fastball without doing anything special?

Stretch. Yep, get your flexibility equal in each leg and hips. This simple trick will allow you to be balanced and more fluid when your hips rotate creating better torque and keeping you online.

Lie on your back. Place one leg flat on the ground and have a partner stretch your throwing side leg back. Keep your leg straight and notice how far that leg can stretch backwards. Now switch legs. I guarantee they will be different.

Get these equal and you'll see a performance enhancement in most of your playing. And you'll add MPH to your pitching without even trying.

This tip was in the first video available from the

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tis the season!

It's go time for many leagues this weekend!!

Visit our new store on Amazon!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Hands inside the ball"

"Keep your hands inside the ball".   Every hitting coach stresses this technique. I"m 40 years old have have no idea what that means.  I see students in lessons nod in agreement but they have no idea what it means.

Just what does this mean?  How does one change their swing to "keep your hands inside the ball"?

My suggestion:  Through instruction teach how to lead with the hands and knob of the bat NOT the barrel.  Start the swing with your weight transfer and hip rotation and then the KNOB of the bat.  You'll find that the younger players will naturally break their wrists in front of the plate creating bat speed and maximizing the time the barrel is in the ball path.

This will help with kids who drop their hands before the swing, kids who roll their wrists during the bat path, and have longer swings.

The power V concept of the elbow is confusing.  Emphasizing leading with the hands and the knob is a concept that the younger kids can understand.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

This is what its all about right?

The (page on interviews a Reno Aces player or coach weekly.

While reading this weeks',  Here,  with Manager Brett Butler I saw this question and answer..

"RA: Many young fans wanted to seek your guidance on becoming a Major League player someday. What advice would you give to the young kids out there who are dreaming to reach the level at which you played.

BB: The advice that I would give to any young person wanting to play Major League Baseball, is that if you have that dream, do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do it. If you do not believe in yourself, then nobody else will believe in you! Go for it!"

Isn't that what it's all about?  Encouraging those who love the game to play and believe in themselves?  Whether baseball, soccer, music, academics..  shouldn't we all be teaching confidence and pride as much as their chosen activity?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Expert Village and eHow

Are Expert Village, now eHow, good for the game or destructive?

I tend to think the latter.  Anyone, and I mean anyone with a computer, can upload a video to eHow and viola, they are an expert.  Or at least it's presented that way.  Do any search on "hitting a baseball" or "fielding a baseball" on youtube and you are flooded with Expert Village videos.  They have flooded the market with bad technique and the majority of the readership should go back to Oprah..

Your thoughts?

Tournament "Teams" and the destruction of baseball.

Paul Reddick of the ""  nails it.   Watch the full video and comment.  Problem is, this completely falls on deaf ears if you are a the target of his comments.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Baseball / Softball signups in the paper

Each Wednesday the RGJ posts the local sports signups.

RENO NATIONAL LITTLE LEAGUE is holding registrations for players ages 5 to 12 for the spring season. Cost: $85 for t-ball and $95 for rookie-major. Bring copy of birth certificate and proof of residency.
SPARKS BABE RUTH holds sign ups for 13- to 15-year olds from 6 to 8 p.m. 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 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
SOUTH RENO BABE RUTH is holding sign-ups for baseball players will be between ages 13 and 15 prior to May 1. In-person registrations are from noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 21 and 28 and from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 24 at Kelley Athletic Training Center, 4056 Kietzke Lane. Games are played at Jack Tighe stadium, 325 Burris Lane. Cost: $155 per player, new players must bring an original birth certificate. Details: 775-843-0695.
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 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday 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. 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 or
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 at 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).
ENVY 18U TRAVEL SOFTBALL holds tryouts for the upcoming season Feb. 21. For more information, call 775-842-7292 or 775-378-9110.
RENO FASTPITCH is seeking girls ages 4 to 8 for T-ball and girls and women ages 8 to 23 for softball. Online registration is available or in person at Absolute Graphics, 3545 Airway Drive at the following times: noon to 2 p.m. Saturday ; from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 17 and 24; noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 20, 21, 27 and 28. In-person sign-ups are also planned at Reno Fire Station No. 11, 7105 Mae Anne Ave. at the following times: noon to 2 p.m. Saturday and 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 19 and 24. Details: 775-376-0555.
GAMER SOFTBALL holds tryout preparation clinics for players ages 8 to 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday 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.
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 775-745-8115.
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.
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 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. In-person registration is scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday at O'Brien Middle School. A food drive for Evelyn Mount community outreach is also planned then. Games take place at O'Brien, 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.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bat Speed vs. Bat Weight

My son is doing a science experiment for school and his chosen problem is "What has a greater effect on hitting a baseball for distance. Bat speed or bat weight?"

In researching this for him, because I had to reach way back to my physics classes for this, I came across some great findings...

Remember this when buying your equipment this year.


Bat Weight and Batted Ball Velocity

To see the effects of bat weight and bat speed, here is a summary of an experiment that I found summarized in a 1980 high-school textbook, Physics of Sports developed by Florida State University.[6] For this experiment, the ball mass, pitch speed, and bat swing speed were all kept constant. Only the bat mass was changed. The data shows that a heavier bat produces a faster batted ball speed. This makes intuitive sense since a heavier bat brings more momentum into the collision. Doubling the mass of the bat results in an increase of almost 12mph. So, using a heavier bat should result in faster hit balls, which means the hit ball will travel farther. If a player can maintain the same bat swing speed with a heavier bat, the heavier bat will produce higher batted ball velocity and an increase in distance.
But, any player who has experimented swinging bats with widely different weights knows that it is easier to swing a light bat than a heavier bat. Put another way, it takes more effort to swing a heavy bat with the same speed as it does a lighter bat, and most players cannot swing a heavy bat as quickly as they can a bat which is half the weight. So, we need to see how the batted ball speed depends on bat swing speed.

Bat WeightBatted Ball Velocity
20oz (0.57kg)68.5mph (30.6m/s)
25oz (0.71kg)73.0mph (32.6m/s)
30oz (0.85kg)76.2mph (34.0m/s)
35oz (0.99kg)78.6mph (35.1m/s)
40oz (1.14kg)80.4mph (35.9m/s)

Bat Swing Speed and Batted Ball Velocity

A similar experiment (from the same 1980 high-school textbook Physics of Sports developed by Florida State University[6]) changed the bat swing speed while the the ball mass, pitch speed, and bat mass (30oz) were all kept constant. The data shows that a faster bat swing produces a faster batted ball speed. Doubling the swing speed of the bat results in an increase of almost 22mph. So, it would seem that swinging the same bat faster is more beneficial than swinging a heavier bat at a the same speed. Ideally, the best result would be to swing a heavier bat faster. But, as I already stated, it is harder to swing a heavier bat with the same speed, let alone swing a heavier bat faster.
So, it looks like we have two different effects (increasing bat weight and increasing bat swing speed) which both result in faster batted ball speeds. However, it does not seem possible to get both effects at the same time. In fact, increasing bat weight might decrease bat swing speed. So, we need to see how these two parameters are related before we can answer the question "what is the final batted ball speed?"

Bat Swing SpeedBatted Ball Velocity
20.5mph (9.2m/s)62.0mph (27.7m/s)
27.3mph (12.1m/s)68.8mph (30.7m/s)
34.3mph (15.3m/s)76.2mph (34.0m/s)
41.0mph (18.3m/s)83.8mph (37.4m/s)
47.9mph (21.4m/s)91.4mph (40.8m/s)

Bat Weight, Swing Speed, and Batted Ball Velocity

Anyone who has swung a bat knows that it is easier to swing a lighter bat than it is to swing a heavier bat. More importantly, it is possible to swing a lighter bat faster than a heavier bat. Exactly how the bat swing speed is related to bat weight for a given player is a little harder to determine. Terry Bahill[2,7,8] and his colleague have extensively studied the relationship between bat swing speeds and bat weights for a wide variety of players. Bahill developed the Bat ChooserTM machine to measure bat swing speed, and uses the results to determine the Ideal Bat WeightTM for an individual player. This device has been successfully used by numerous players who have greatly increased their batting averages after correctly choosing an appropriate weight bat, as well as by several college teams who have gone on to win championships after finding their correct bat weights. His data shows definitively that players cannot swing heavy bats as quickly as they can lighter bats, and the details vary somewhat from player to player and vary more considerably depending on the technical playing ability of the individual.

Both plots show that the batted ball velocity initially increases as the bat weight increases until the bat swing speed drops below a certain level after which the batted velocity begins to decrease again. This results in an "optimum" bat weight for each player, indicated by the black arrows in the plots. This optimum bat weight is the bat weight which will result in the fasted batted ball velocity for each player. The optimum bat weight for the professional power hitter is about 41oz, and about 16oz for the Little Leaguer.

Perhaps a pertinent question is why a major league power hitter would choose to use a lighter bat (say 32oz) when an optimal 41oz bat would produce a higher batted ball velocity? Two possibilities come to mind. First, the fact that you can swing a lighter bat faster means that you can wait just a little bit longer before committing to a swing. For a professional, the ability to wait even 1/10th of a second longer to watch a pitched ball can result in a considerable improvement in the chance of making contact. Secondly, most hitters can control a lighter bat more effectively than they can a heavier bat. Bat control affects the location of the bat as it crosses the plate, and more control over bat location is definitely a good thing when the pitched ball crosses the plate considerable variation in height or distance from the batter. Notice further, from the plot for the major league power hitter, that for bat weights in the range of 35oz to 45oz there is very minor change in the batted ball velocity. Using a 33oz bat instead of a 41oz bat will only very slightly reduce the batted ball velocity, but it will have a significant affect on the bat swing speed and the resulting swing time. Based on such a trade-off between ball speed and bat control, Bahill has defined the Ideal Bat WeightTM as the weight at which the batted ball speed drops 1% below the speed of the optimum batted ball speed bat weight. As shown in the plot, the Ideal Bat Weight for the power hitter is about 32-33oz. This is right in the weight range used by most professional players.

The results for the Little League player are quite different. The optimum bat weight, for maximum batted ball speed, is about 16oz, and the Ideal Bat Weight is about 12-13oz. As was shown in the table at the top of this page, most available 30-inch wood and aluminum Little League bats weigh between 20 and 26oz, which is well above both the optimum and ideal weights for this player. From the plot we can see that if this player used a 23oz bat he would have a much lower bat swing speed and a significantly lower batted ball velocity. Most young players are forced to use bats which are heavier than the ideal bat weight because light enough bats are not available. Only this year (2003) have composite bats become available that begin to approach 16oz for a 30-inch bat.

Rules of Thumb for Recommended Bat Weights

The plots above were obtained by using the Bat ChooserTM machine to determine the Ideal Bat WeightTM for a specific player. The data proves the point that bat weight affects both swing speed and batted ball velocity. But, how does an amateur player, without access to this machine, estimate his/her optimum (or ideal) bat weight in order to get the best batted ball speed and still maintain control over the bat? Using the results of a large database of measurements* from the Bat Chooser instrument, Bahill and his colleagues have come up with up set of basic rules of thumb which can help any player estimate the recommended bat weight he or she should be using in order to obtain the highest performance possible. If you want more detailed rules, or information about how Bahill and his colleagues arrived at these rules of thumb I would strongly recommend reading his book.[8] (Note: For calculating bat weight from the formulas in the table, use height in inches, weight in pounds and age in years.)

Conclusion:  Reno Baseball and Sparks Baseball little leaguers should concentrate on lighter bats to increase bat speed and focus on their form.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Little League Practice Plan

UPDATED:  This post on Check Swing won me a fungo bat from Superior Bat Company!!!

Visit CheckSwing

Coaching the Little League A, AA and AAA divisions (ages 7-10 and some 11's), here is a great practice drill that covers alot for every player on the field.

Line up 8 players at C, 1b, 2b, 3b, ss and 3 OF's.. Even though the A and AA levels play with 4 OF's..

Take the remaining players and they are batting and runners.

Batters are doing tee work from home plate. This gives one on one instruction for hitters.
Runners are treating each tee hit as a live ball and running. Fielders are playing live action.
Batter hits 10 times.
After each batter, everyone rotates positions. Batter to OF, and around until 1b comes in to run.

No pitcher for safety...

3 outs resets the runners normally.

This creates rapid opportunities for all situations.
Infield fly rule, shots to the fence for cut offs and backups, runners picking up base coaches.
Hitters get 1 on 1 instruction for swing tweeks.
Runners get practice for choosing routes to round bases.

Don't forget to move the tee inside and outside to spray the ball around the field. Many of you probably have the tees with multiple positions on the base.

You can make games out of it by counting the runs that each batter produces, or outs for each batter.

In less than 45 minutes, every player gets to play every position for 10 "game situation" hits. And every batter gets 1 on 1 instruction for tee work.

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