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Development in the Dugout

Baseball's 10th Man: Dugout Development

Baseball player development doesn't just happen when a player takes the field. What if I said that player development happens even inside the team dugout? Meet Baseball's 10th Man; a position that some parents that have a youth baseball player may not properly value. Let's talk about what makes dugout development an important aspect of baseball learning and player development.

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Pitch Grips

Best Pitch Grips for Baseball Pitchers

Youth Pitchers often experiment with pitch grips by what they see on YouTube, TV, or just what "looks cool." Despite their best intentions, youth pitchers that play around with their pitch grips can significantly hurt their chances of throwing strikes or possibly their arms by not utilizing the correct grips and delivery.

These are the five most common pitch grips that youth pitchers (with pitch grips 4-5 below being more for advanced, mature pitchers) should master (both from how they throw the pitch to the spin direction of the pitch when it's released per diagram below) before taking the mound.

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DREAM Team Practice

Baseball Practices Focused on Skills Development

DREAM Team Baseball values Team Practice very highly; Practices are built upon core concepts and learning building blocks so that every player can not only work within the team structure but also develop players skills that will help them grow in the game. The game of baseball (and the level of versatile skills it requires to play it at a high level) is a tough sport, it's called the toughest sport to play by many. As Baseball Scouter puts it, "Some people think baseball looks easy, because the players spend much of the game standing in place or sitting in the dugout. However, baseball requires just as much athletic prowess as any other sport, as well as many other skills and abilities. Baseball is undeniably hard to play, and there is a reason that those who do possess the skills to succeed at baseball can have long and lucrative careers."

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Pitching Blog Velo

Ways for Youth Pitchers to Increase Pitch Velocity

A youth pitcher should be always looking for ways to increase velocity, but it should be done under the guidance of good coaching and instruction geared around the pitcher increasing their throwing efficiency. Chasing higher velocity isn't the end-all-be-all, but when a youth pitcher naturally builds a better delivery they will in turn gain velocity. Yes, strength has something to do with it, but gaining separation and rotational efficiency does even more to build sustainable, effortless velocity. Throughout baseball history and even today, pitchers with higher velocity are revered, but faster is only better when it's sustainable and controllable. That being said, here are some ways that youth pitchers can naturally increase their pitching velocity.

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10 Pitching Tips

Top 10 Tips Every Youth Pitcher Should Know

1.) Be an athlete and GFF (Go Forward Fast!). Ask yourself this simple question, “When does a player throw harder; pitching or with a crow hop from the outfield?” The obvious answer is with a crow hop from the outfield because you are more athletic and are able to create more momentum. The key to maximizing your velocity on the mound is creating a similar momentum while keeping your direction moving towards the target (the catcher). Dr. Tom House says, “When the whole body gets moving forward and the front foot hits, that weight transfer turns into energy translation, and that energy is going to travel up the body, into the arm and into the baseball,” House also says, “The arm is just along for the ride. But if you don’t get moving forward as quickly as possible, you’ll recruit strength out of sequence, or have movement out of sequence, the energy is not going to be efficiently transferred from your body into the baseball.”

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Arm Care Time

5 Ways To Develop A Pitching Routine

1. Transition from a passive state to an active one; “feeling ready!” Per Driveline Baseball, "In amateur baseball, starting pitchers generally transition from lengthy spans of time sitting whether in a classroom, car, bus, or on a couch – before arriving to the field before the game. The pre-game routine serves as a means of getting out of this sedentary state and into an active one." Muscles that are dormant for a long car ride or by prolonged sitting must be "woken up" to help the pitcher get into an active state in "controlled, progressive manner."

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Pitch Grip

Importance of Pitch Location and Pitch Type

Crucial to the art of shutting down hitters is the ability to locate pitches in the zone and make balls look like strikes (and vice versa). At the advanced level of baseball, control is more than just throwing strikes. Control means being able to pitch to a scouting report and locate pitches. Pitch location is the most important. No matter how a pitcher feels any certain day, location will win more times than not in the battle against the hitter. Most of the time, a pitcher will not be able to improve velocity or “life” during a game, but he can always fix the location on his pitches with a good mental approach and sound mechanics. As former big leaguer Mike Sweeney said, “God blessed each pitcher with a certain amount of ability to throw a ball." Locating pitches however is the most effective means of getting hitters out.

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