GameChanger and Little League team up.

http://www.gamechanger.io/about/littleleague

Back in January I was getting ready for the 2010 season and downloaded GameChanger.  Wrote about it here.  Still available for free and once you get used to it, a great tool.  It was hard to keep up with the lineup changes in Little League, but if you know that going in, you can drag and drop players.

Well Game Changer have teamed up with Little League and branded the same product.  They also added the “viewer” function as it’s own app so you don’t have to go to the web for your little Johnny’s updates!

For iPhone/iPod users.  Who keep score for their managers or just themselves,  I highly recommend the product!

Great banner from webpage

Check out the header image on www.backbackback.com  (Associated with Parker Training).

Check out the commonality of all these shots.  Really emphasizes the power V of the back arm taught in rotational hitting.  Pujols was fooled on that pitch, but still keeps most of his form.    You can quickly show this image and explain how a long arm swing is slower and generates less power.

Love quick drills

As a parent and coach, I constantly look for quick, simple to implement drills that can quickly correct common mistakes.

I just came across one on Jack Perconte’s site www.jackperconte.com.  Here’s Jack’s quick bio from his site

 “Jack Perconte played professional baseball for 12 years and compiled a .270 lifetime major league batting average. Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jack also played for the Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox. Jack grew up in Joliet, Illinois and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Murray State University.”

This is a great tip for the teaching of keeping your hands inside the ball.  Easily executed and anyone can teach.  Perfect!

Helping a Player
Hi Jack, 
     I stumbled on your website and thought it was excellent.  My son is 9 and has always been a good hitter.  This year he is hitting the ball hard but always grounders to shortstop.  He can’t get the ball on a line or in the air and is getting frustrated.  Any drills or suggestions to help him would be appreciated.  Thanks, 
Jack’s Response
     This is a trick question and answer because most people think that ground balls are from hitting down (chopping) at the ball. In reality, most ground balls are hit because the hitter’s bat is coming up and continually hitting the top portion of the ball, thereby producing ground balls. It is important to note that very few hitters actually chop at the ball. Some hitters give the appearance of chopping when their front elbow flies up, leaving the bat to trail and then having to roll their wrists early to hit the ball.     Two things can solve the problem:
     First, place the player’s fielder’s glove under their lead armpit and set the ball on a batting tee at the knee high level. Have player swing repeatedly until they can hit the ball solidly in the air with the fielder’s glove flying out after contact is made. This drill will force hitters to take their hands to the ball and give them a nice high follow through on their swing, eliminating many of the constant ground balls.     Second, lower the hitter’s hands and widen their stance so they have a better chance of getting to the bottom of the ball and not the top as when they are hitting ground balls.

Please visit Jack’s site and get his book, subscribe to RSS feeds, and ask questions!

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=renbasblo-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002PDK5L4&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

50-70 leagues for 2011

From Little League corporate..

“50-70 Pilot Program to be Offered Again in 2011

By Communications Division
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa.
September 27, 2010

Little League International has completed its assessment of the 50-70 Pilot Program that was made available to local leagues beginning in January 2010, and will offer more options for local leagues in 2011.

“By all accounts, the program was successful,” Patrick Wilson, Vice President of Operations at Little League International, said. “Survey results overwhelmingly showed that many local leagues that participated embraced the concept of a division of play that provides a bridge between the standard Little League Baseball field and a conventional baseball field.”

For the 2011 season, the 50-70 Pilot Program will be revised and expanded, based on the input from local league and district volunteers.

Each local league will have a choice to offer the 50-70 Pilot Program in one of the following age groups for baseball:

“Transitional” 50-70 Pilot Program for 12-13 Year-Olds

Uses Junior League Baseball Rules and Regulations, with the exception that age groups are limited to 12-13 only.
“Supplemental” 50-70 Pilot Program for 11-12 Year-Olds

Uses Junior League Baseball Rules and Regulations, with these exceptions: 1. Age groups are limited to 11-12 only, and; 2. Bats must meet the specifications for bats in the 12-and-under divisions.
A local league could choose to offer both of the above pilot programs, but not in combination. In other words, 11-year-olds and 13-year-olds could not be in the same 50-70 Pilot Program.

The Application for Charter/Insurance Enrollment Form for 2011 will not include a space where the local league can list the number of 50-70 Pilot Program teams. To add teams to the league’s charter, the local League President should simply go to: http://www.LittleLeague.org/50-70

If a league chooses to operate a 50-70 Pilot Program, it MUST open the opportunity to try out to ANY child who is of the appropriate league age above, and who has residence within the league’s boundaries. The league also should publicly announce the opportunity to register for the 50-70 Pilot Program, in the same manner that it publicizes registration for other programs.

Here are the stipulations that apply to each age group with regard to participation in the 50-70 Pilot Program in 2011:

Any 13-year-old who participates in one or more games in the 50-70 Pilot Program for 12-13 Year-Olds:

May also participate in the Junior League Division during the Regular Season.
Will be eligible for selection to the Junior League Division Tournament Team if he/she participates in at least 60 percent of the Regular Season games in either the 50-70 Pilot Program for 12-13 Year-Olds or the Junior League Division, as of June 15.
Any 12-year-old who participates in one or more games in the 50-70 Pilot Program for 12-13 Year-Olds:

May also participate in the Junior League Division during the Regular Season.
Will be eligible for selection to the Junior League Division Tournament Team if he/she participates in at least 60 percent of the Regular Season games in either the 50-70 Pilot Program for 12-13 Year-Olds or the Junior League Division, as of June 15. Note: A 12-year-old player who participates for one or more games during the Regular Season in the Junior League Division is not eligible for selection to the Little League (Major) Division Tournament Team.
Will be eligible for selection to the Little League (Major) Division Tournament Team ONLY if he/she participates in at least 60 percent of the Regular Season games in the Little League (Major) Division. (See note above.)
Any 12-year-old who participates in one or more games in the 50-70 Pilot Program for 11-12 Year-Olds:

May also participate in the Little League (Majors) Division during the Regular Season.
Will be eligible for selection to the Little League (Majors) Division Tournament Team if he/she participates in at least 60 percent of the Regular Season games in the Little League (Majors) Division, as of June 15. (Participation in the Pilot Program does not count toward this.)
May also participate in the Junior League Division during the Regular Season, but by doing so would no longer be eligible after that point in the Little League (Majors) Division. Such a player would be eligible only for selection to the Junior League Division Tournament Team (not Majors), and only if he/she participated for at least 60 percent of the Regular Season games in the Junior League Division.
Any 11-year-old who participates in the 50-70 Pilot Program for 11-12 Year-Olds:

May also participate in the Little League (Majors) Division, or the Minor League Division, during the Regular Season.
Will be eligible for selection to the Little League (Majors) Division Tournament Team if he/she participates in at least 60 percent of the Regular Season games in the Little League (Majors) Division. (Participation in the Pilot Program does not count toward this.)
Will be eligible for selection to the 10-11-Year-Old Tournament Team if he/she participates in at least 60 percent of the Regular Season games in the Little League (Majors) Division or the Minor League Division. (Participation in the Pilot Program does not count toward this.)
Field Availability

One of the most common challenges in establishing a 50-70 Pilot Program in 2010 related to field space. Many said they do not have a field in their boundaries that could accommodate a 50-70 division.

However, they may not realize that the field is not required to be inside the league’s boundaries to be usable. For instance, if only one field is converted to 50-70 play in a given area, any chartered Little League could use that field to play 50-70 games, provided certain conditions are met as noted below.

The field does not need to be owned or operated by the local Little League. As long as the field meets Little League standards, the owner of the field permits the use, and the local Little League Board of Directors approves the use of the field, it’s acceptable. (In this case, Little League accident insurance would be in force. The owner of the field may ask to be named as an additional insured on the liability policy, but this is not required by Little League International.)

That would allow, for instance, some or all of the leagues in a given district to charter for the 50-70 Pilot Program in 2011, and play those games on a single field.

Another solution may be to convert an existing “standard” Little League field (a field with 46-foot pitching distance and 60-foot base paths) to a 50-70 field, but to allow that field to be used for BOTH divisions.

Such a conversion is possible. Little League International has provided a step-by-step tutorial on converting a field for dual use. It can be downloaded at: Converting a Field For Dual Use

Of course, a local league also can convert a conventional baseball field to the smaller 50-70 size. However, doing so would require two separate pitching mounds. (A portable pitching mound can be used in regular season, but not tournament play.)

Other Conditions

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. A combination involving teams from the “Transitional” 50-70 Pilot Program for 12-13-Year-Olds and the “Supplemental” 50-70 Pilot Program for 11-12-Year-Olds is not permitted.
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/or Sunday, leagues could offer the pilot program to players who wish to participate. All pitching guidelines apply. (Regulation VI.) Pitchers will follow proper day rest by age to determine pitching eligibility.
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.
The 50-70 Pilot Program will not include an International Tournament element in 2011. However, as noted above, leagues and districts may organize Special Games tournaments if approved.
The fence distance in the 50-70 Pilot Program is up to the local league to decide. It is recommended that the distance be at least 200 feet, but not more than 300 feet.
In the 50-70 Pilot Program, the height of the pitcher’s plate, in relation to the level of home plate, is eight inches.
The maximum diameter of bats in the “Transitional” 50-70 Pilot Program for 12-13-Year-Olds cannot exceed 2 5/8 inches. The maximum diameter for bats in the “Supplemental” 50-70 Pilot Program for 11-12-Year-Olds cannot exceed 2 1/4 inches.”

How to drive through the ball.

This is one of the better explanations I’ve seen on how to drive through the ball. I’ve always taken baby steps with my teaching. Kid who arm swings, teach how to swivel the hips. Long swing, hands inside the ball as your hips rotate.  Knowing full well that they really need long term training with proper technique. 

Here is a video that explains how to rotate, when to, and why.

http://www.youtube.com/v/FSz81T86p1I?version=3

How to drive through the ball.

This is one of the better explanations I’ve seen on how to drive through the ball. I’ve always taken baby steps with my teaching. Kid who arm swings, teach how to swivel the hips. Long swing, hands inside the ball as your hips rotate.  Knowing full well that they really need long term training with proper technique. 

Here is a video that explains how to rotate, when to, and why.

http://www.youtube.com/v/FSz81T86p1I?version=3

Winter Skills Program

Over at the Muckdogs website they are having a Winter Skills Camp  December 30, 31 & Jan 2nd.  Click the link and check out the flier.

While on the Muckdogs site, I saw this..

Congratulations to the 2010 19U Muckdogs baseball team for going undefeated in the 2010 Joe DiMaggio League World Series. A great team effort headed by Manager Ken Camel and assistant coaches Bret Pagni and Matt Rutledge.
Tip your hats to the tournaments Most Valuable Pitcher Tyler Osborne and Most Valuable Player Chris Stocker of the Muckdogs Baseball Club.
The Muckdogs organization would like to send a Thank You to family and fans for all of their support this year. With hard work and dedication we have met this year’s team goals.

That is really impressive!  Looks like Bret and Ken have some awesome things going on over there.

For all things Muckdog related, head on over to www.muckdogsbaseballclub.com.   For all training and other services, check out Bret’s Baseball Academy and their indoor facility off Glendale.

Thanks everyone!