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5 Basic Tips for Little League Practice Drills

Posted on June 01, 2017 by David Morgan

baseball-tips-1The basic little league practice drills are taught with a great focus on fundamental aspects of baseball training. The most encouraging thing about baseball is that by implementing these basic practice drills into your training regime at any age will assist in creating exceptional baseball players. Practicing these basic practice drills on a regular basis will result in great learning and performance of the game of baseball.

It is greatly important to use baseball drills as fun games and competitions, especially with younger players, to make it highly enjoyable. Children love some good competition and will enjoy drills thoroughly if they have a fun and competitive element. Competition will also encourage players to learn the skills needed for the game to improve and ultimately win these ‘mini’ competitions.

Additionally, it is vital that you know all of the little league rules, regulations and policies, in order to be an effective little league coach. In order to be a little league coach for children, it is essential to know all of the current rules and policies. Being up to date on the latest rule will aid your coaching abilities and ensure your players become world-class little league players.

Children are unique to train, so here are some general thoughts that can help your training sessions:

  • Use training stations. For effective training with children, implement stations and group the children into groups of 4 or 5 children each. This is great to reduce idle time when one child is on the pitch. Engaging the children and letting them move around from one stations to the next will ensure they have fun while training to be a great baseball player.
  • Get an assistant coach. Assistant coaches play an important role in training children. It may be difficult for a coach to conduct all training drills on their own and require the help of an assistant. It is highly recommended that you appoint an assistant coach to help you train a world-class team.

Five basic tips for little league practice drills

Drill Tip 1: Fielding on the Knees

Learning to field a ground ball can be done quite automatically at a point player bends to kneel on the ground. Firstly, the kneeling position allows the player to keep their hands out in front. A common problem for children learning to play baseball, is missing the ball when trying to field it deep inside with their open feet. A player should field a ground ball using their hands and keeping them out in a front direction. This allows the player to easily keep an eye on the ball that reaches their glove.

Additionally, this drill teaches players how to read hops better, as well as when to change from the forehand and backhand positions. It is important to teach young players that a fundamental practice in baseball is to have their glove out in front. Read the rest of this entry →

5 Once In A Lifetime Sporting Experiences To Tick Off

Posted on June 01, 2017 by John Harris

5-Experiences-1Being a sports fan comes with passion, dedication, heartbreak, and ecstasy. It is a lifestyle littered with the unpredictable. But no matter who you support or what sport you play, there is one thing all sports fans can agree on; live events always offer up the best experiences you’ll ever be apart of. That’s why we have compiled a list of some absolutely must-have experiences every sports nut should soak up in person, with your own eyes; your heart beating so hard you can see it through your shirt.

5-Experiences-2The Kentucky Derby

Being in the infield at the Kentucky Derby is one of those rare experiences that you are likely to never forget, and yet may not remember either. The atmosphere, the booze, the suave suits and crazy hats and the big bucks get thrown down. It is electric. Yes, there is something nice and fancy about being in a suite, but nothing beats being in the middle of drunken horse-racing fans, cheering and jeering their horse with the dreams of leaving a little richer. Read the rest of this entry →

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Chris Evert Was Hard to Beat on Clay

Posted on May 30, 2017 by Dean Hybl
Chris Evert won a record seven French Open Women's Singles titles. The first two came back-to-back in 1974 and 1975.

Chris Evert won a record seven French Open Women’s Singles titles. The first two came back-to-back in 1974 and 1975.

With Serena Williams not competing in the 2017 French Open due to her pregnancy, the women’s field is wide open and includes only two past champions (2009 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova and defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza). It is a far cry from the 1970s and 1980s when every year you knew there was one female player who would be pushing for the title.

With the possible exception of Rafael Nadal, who is aiming for his record 10th French Open title, no tennis player, man or woman, in the modern era of tennis has been more unbeatable on clay than Chris Evert.

Between August 1973 and May 1979, Evert won an amazing 125 consecutive matches on clay while losing only seven total sets.  After losing a third set tiebreaker to Tracy Austin in the semifinals of the 1979 Italian Open, she rebounded to win her next 72 matches on the surface.

She won seven French Open Championships and three of her six U.S. Open titles came while the tournament was played on clay.

Even though Evert was particularly tough to beat on clay, it wasn’t like she didn’t also display dominance on other surfaces.

Easily the most consistent player in women’s tennis history, Evert won at least one grand slam title in 13 consecutive years. She reached at least the semifinals in each of her first 34 grand slam appearances and 52 times out of 56 total appearances in the four biggest tournaments in tennis.

While her total of 18 total grand slam singles titles is tied for fifth in women’s tennis history, it is likely she would have won considerable more titles had she participated in all four majors every year during her career.

Instead, Evert participated in the Australian Open only six times (winning twice).  After winning the French Open in 1974 and 1975, she skipped the tournament for three years before returning to win the title five more times between 1979 and 1986.

Her overall career singles record of 1,309-146 (.900) ranks as the best of any player in professional tennis history. Read the rest of this entry →

Memorial Day Remembrance: Nile Kinnick – American Hero

Posted on May 29, 2017 by Dean Hybl
Nile Kinnick won the 1939 Heisman Trophy representing the University of Iowa.

Nile Kinnick won the 1939 Heisman Trophy representing the University of Iowa.

In honor of Memorial Day, we remember a former Heisman Trophy winner who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and was more than just a football hero; he was an American Hero.

In 1939 with war starting in Europe, but the United States still two years removed from entering the war, Nile Kinnick Jr. led the Iowa Hawkeyes to an improbable run into the national Top 10.

A talented all-around athlete, Kinnick had been a Junior Legion baseball teammate of Bob Feller. He also excelled in both basketball and football first at Adel High School in his hometown and then, after the family moved to Omaha following his sophomore year, at Benson High School.

Choosing to return to his home state and attend the University of Iowa, Kinnick played both football and basketball as a sophomore in 1937.

He earned All-Big 10 and third team All-American honors in football. On the basketball court he ranked 15th in the Big 10 in scoring.

Following an injury-plagued junior season in which he earned honorable mention honors on the gridiron, Kinnick decided not to continue his basketball career and instead looked to concentrate on his senior football season for the Hawkeyes.

After posting a 2-13-1 record on the football field during the two previous seasons, the Hawkeyes and their senior leader looked to change their fortune in 1939.

Dubbed the “Ironmen” because most of the starters played both ways and rarely came off the field, the Hawkeyes posted a 6-1-1 record, finished second in the Big 10 and were ranked ninth in the final AP Poll.

Kinnick was the unquestioned star of the Hawkeyes in 1939.

Known for his late game heroics, Kinnick scored the game winning touchdown against Notre Dame and threw late touchdown passes in wins over Indiana and Wisconsin.

Playing primarily at left halfback, Kinnick rushed for 374 yards and five touchdowns. Though he attempted only 31 passes, he totaled 638 passing yards and 11 touchdowns. He also served as the punter and placekicker while also returning punts and kickoffs. Read the rest of this entry →

2017 NBA Finals – No Surprises Here

Posted on May 29, 2017 by Dean Hybl
LeBron James and Steph Curry will be meeting in the NBA Finals for the third straight year.

LeBron James and Steph Curry will be meeting in the NBA Finals for the third straight year.

Finally. After a month and a half of preliminaries, the main event that every basketball fan has been waiting to see is finally upon us. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will be meeting in the NBA Finals for a third straight year.

After splitting the first two meetings, this one promises to provide more excitement and at least for now some clarity on which team can claim the title of being the NBA’s most dominant.

While this marks the first time that two franchises have met in the finals for three straight years, the fact that neither the Cavaliers or Warriors are among the big-market marquee franchises of the NBA has made it a bit harder to garner the type of excitement past NBA rivalries have enjoyed.

However, what the cities may not be prime time, both have marquee superstars.

Leading the way is LeBron James, who is without question the best player of this generation and is now in the conversation when discussing the best players in NBA history. Counting his four-straight appearances (and two titles) with the Miami Heat, James is making his seventh straight NBA Finals appearance.

Last year James finally accomplished his longtime mission of bringing an NBA Champions to Cleveland. While there isn’t the same sense of urgency as a year ago, winning another title would be another high mark on James’ career resume. Read the rest of this entry →

Sports Careers: How to Break into Broadcasting

Posted on May 29, 2017 by Eileen O'Shanassy

broadcastingThere are plenty of ways you can become the next great broadcaster, as well as other areas and careers into the wonderful world of sports. This piece will break down how one can potentially break into these lucrative sports careers and get more involved in a career in the sport spotlight.

Sports Broadcaster

There is a specific path that one should go if they plan to become the next Joe Buck, Mike Breen or Al Michaels. Sports broadcasters work as analysts or play by play announcers for major sports networks or specific teams. Individuals that pursue sports broadcasting careers will need to get a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting or communications. Anyone looking at this job should also make sure that they take courses that will help them to familiarize themselves with the production process that surrounds a broadcast. They should consider courses in audio production, broadcast journalism, and mass media. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, aspiring broadcasters usually hone their skills via entry level opportunities at small or local radio stations before advancing to do television coverage. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Paul Blair: Defensive Whiz
      May 30, 2017 | 9:21 pm

      Blair-OriolesMore than 40 years before current stalwart Adam Jones first patrolled centerfield for the Baltimore Orioles, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month roamed the field with grace while also providing the Orioles with timely hitting for more than a decade.

      On a team that built its strength through pitching and defense, Paul Blair fit perfectly. He is one of seven members of the Orioles from that era who won at least three Gold Gloves and is tied with Mark Belanger for the second most in team history.

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