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John T. Reed’s baseball-coaching blog

No one should learn how to switch hit

Posted by John Reed on

I oppose switch-hitting as much as I oppose batting right-handed. I discussed this with my neighbor, Tony LaRussa, a Hall of Fame MLB manager. He agreed with my batting-left-is-better article in Baseball Coaching Digest, but he said he disagrees with me regarding not leaning how to switch hit. He’s wrong and here’s why. Higher batting average against opposite-handed pitchers The rationale for switch-hitting stems from one statistic: Batting averages are higher against opposite handed pitchers than same handed pitchers. In other words, right-handed batters do better against left-handed pitchers and vice versa. Switch hitting is mainly left-handed batting But attributing...

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No one should ever bat right-handed

Posted by John Reed on

My oldest son Dan and I were discussing left-handed batting today at lunch. I say no one should ever bat right-handed, including switch hitters. I think there should be no “right”-handed batters box painted on the field. Batting right handed should be outlawed. It’s like one sprinter out of six lining up for the hundred-meter dash with his back to the finish line. Closer to all the bases The left handed batters box is closer to first, second, and third bases as well as home plate. Duh. If you are going to get in a race to first, why would...

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Too many overuse injuries among youth baseball pitchers

Posted by John Reed on

There is a long-overdue article about youth baseball pitchers’ arm and shoulder injuries in today’s Wall Street Journal: “The Rise of Overuse Injuries in Youth Baseball.”.Youth sports have what I call stage fathers—the male counterpart to the stage mom. That is a parent who is overly determined to see the child become a star, sort of the performing arts equivalent of the more academically-oriented Tiger Mom..I coached about 20 youth baseball teams and was player-manager of a couple of semi-pro teams. I also wrote two books about youth baseball coaching. http://www.johntreed.com/…/john-t-reed-s-baseball-coaching-….I also have a broad web article on the outrageous...

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The pitcher-cover-first play

Posted by John Reed on

One of the recurring themes in my how-to books is there are a lot of things in life that can be accomplished by everyone—no talent required—but most people can’t do them because they take the attitude that since everyone can do it, no one need practice it. That’s wrong. And in many cases, the number of practice repetitions needed is minimal. For example, in football, if you give your kick returners practice giving the fair-catch signal, they will learn it in only about two or three repetitions. But if you give them NO practice reps, they will probably screw it up...

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Most baseball coaches are incompetent, especially at practice content

Posted by John Reed on

Baseball season is about to start. The vast, vast majority of youth coaches use the same horrible practice format: 45 minutes of “hitting infield and outfield” (get one, get two) and 45 minutes of batting practice in which some coach throws relatively low fast balls the catcher while each player takes a turn batting. The remaining players stand around in the outfield typically chatting in small groups, occasionally dispatching one guy to field a nearby ball and throw it back to the pitcher’s mound..You gotta be kidding me!.You know how much total practice time there is in a Little League...

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