Sunday, January 31, 2016

Open Hitting Sundays at The Baseball Barn

Sundays 12 Noon to 2PM

Come in and get a great hitting workout with our staff throwing soft toss in our hitting tunnels. A great way to get swings in for a very low cost!

Open Hitting is limited to 30 people per day. Cost $10 per session.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Importance of Developing Proper Movement Patterns at a Young Age

Let’s face it, making movement pattern changes can be difficult and very frustrating especially if proper movement patters weren’t developed at a young age.  Think about the first time you started throwing a baseball, whether you were 5 years old or 12 years old, you probably watched someone else do it and tried to copy what they were doing.  As you continued to throw over the years you started developing habit patterns as far as the way your body moved.

It’s just like learning how to run, everybody develops their own style and it becomes unique to you as an individual.Now someone who learns how to run but doesn’t have good posture or form is going to eventually start having aches and pains.  In order to get rid of those aches and pains in their joints they will either have to stop running all together or change the way they run.

Same with throwing a baseball, except throwing a baseball is a much more complex movement and therefor more difficult to change depending on how old you are.  Anytime you are having aches and pains it’s a signal from your body that something isn’t right.  Or if you aren’t having any pain but you feel like your velocity is much less than what it should be, you most likely aren’t moving efficiently and don’t fully understand how to use your body.

This is why it’s so important for kids to be active at a young age.  I love when kids are playing multiple sports rather than just one because it allows the body learn different types of movements.

When I was a kid, after I got home from school I was straight out the door and on my skateboard riding around the neighborhood with friends.  This is completely belief based and maybe kind of funny but I really think riding a skateboard gave me better hip strength and flexibility later in my life.  I would use both legs to push off from when the other started to get tired.The neuromuscular system is developing in young kids so it’s a crucial time for them to activate certain movements athletically.

For example, let’s say there’s two 21 year olds.  One is gifted athletically but for whatever reason has never thrown a baseball in his life.  He might be a running back or a point guard and is on a higher level than his peers.  The other one has ability but not nearly as gifted as the other 21 year old and from the time when he was 12 to 16 years old played baseball and pitched for a little while.

Take both of these kids at their current age of 21 and have them throw a baseball, the kid that played for those four years is going to be able to throw much more effectively than the athletically gifted kid because his neuromuscular system is going to remember that even though he hasn’t thrown a baseball in five years.  The athletically gifted kid doesn’t have that pattern stored in his body and it is completely foreign to him.  Obviously there are exceptions but for the most part this would be the case.  Think about when you watch a basketball player or a boxer throw out the first pitch at a major league game.  A lot of the time it is comical because they’ve simply never done it before but the fact that their throwing out the first pitch implies that they excel at their sport.

In baseball and more specifically pitching, it is extremely important to focus on skill development from a young age.  The life span of an athlete is much shorter than other professions and if you wait too long…well then it can be too late.  Kids these days are spending too much time playing games and not nearly enough time on skill development.  In my opinion baseball is way behind in this aspect.  You don’t get better playing games you get better practicing and developing your skills.  Baseball is a skill sport and that’s what makes it great, you don’t have to be the biggest fastest most athletic kid to have success.  And when you are competing against athletes that are more naturally gifted you can separate yourself by having exceptional skills.

I was watching an interview with Freddie Roach who is Manny Paquiou’s trainer.  If you don’t know who Manny Paquiou is then you either live in a cave or are disconnected from society.  If you’re reading this article then most likely that’s not the case but he is a boxer.  Anyway, Freddie was asked at what point he knew Paquiou was going to be a star.  His answer was it happened in one fight.  All of the sudden Paquiou was starting to put punching combinations together like it was second nature, he just started reacting without thinking and all of the hours upon hours in the gym started to show itself.  Everything they had worked on for years in the gym out of nowhere just clicked and it has changed the boxing world forever.  I am writing this article before the Maywether fight but win or lose he will go down in history as one of the best boxers to walk the face of the earth.

My hope in writing this is to raise the question in your mind about how you are going about  yours or your son’s development as a baseball player.  Just like a doctor or a lawyer needs to develop skills in their profession so doesn’t a baseball player need to develop the necessary skills at a young age in order to compete at a high level later on.  Sometimes you have to think outside the box and do what everybody else isn’t instead of following along with the crowd.  Less games more practice.

To your success,

Ryan Mills

Article Source:

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ian Desmond On The Benefit Of Playing Multiple Sports

Did you know pro baseball shortstop Ian Desmond was a great soccer player growing up? Find out how his skills on the pitch help him today on the diamond.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Ian Desmond: Training For The Present And Future

During his time with Washington, shortstop Ian Desmond made a name for himself as an elite shortstop. As he moves forward in his career, find out how he trains to stay ready for whatever happens next.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Hips & Power/Timing: How Do the Hips Create Bat Speed and Power?

Coach Rich discusses and demonstrates how the hips are involved in the kinetic chain creating bat speed and power. Coach Rich also discusses how the hips are just a part of the whole that creates bat speed and power.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

13 Questions You Should Ask Your Pitching Instructor About Mechanics

Most pitching instructors have good intentions.  However, good intentions will get your son nowhere as a pitcher unless your son’s instructor has deep knowledge of mechanics and the ability to videotape and explain to you and your son exactly what is going on with his delivery.

Unfortunately, 95% or more of instructors do not videotape regularly. Most, never. They simply rely on what they have learned or try to pass on to you how they pitched.

That, of course, never works for very long.

If you expect your son to continue to improve his performance, then videotaping must be a large part of his training.  Not only does the instructor need feedback to see what is going on but the student needs feedback as well.

The Most Important Questions

Here are some important questions you should ask your instructor about your son’s mechanics. These questions are extremely important if you hope your son to maximize his velocity and his overall performance while reducing the risk of injury:

1.  How is my son’s back leg action?  Is he collapsing?

2.  What about his posture?  Does he keep his trunk upright?

3.  How about his weight shift?  Does he let his front hip carry his lead leg out or does he let his lead leg down first?

4.  Is he moving sideways or rotating early?

5.  Does he break his hands at the right time and in the right position?

6.  How’s his arm action? Does he make a nice pendulum swing doing down, back and up in alignment with his trunk or is he wrapping his arm behind him?

7.  Is his throwing elbow getting to shoulder height at landing? Does he have a low or high elbow?

8.  Does he use his lead arm and glove to help accelerate his trunk rotation?  Does he get his lead arm at the right time while his throwing arm is still down and back?

9.  Does he land at his height and does he brace his front leg and hip or are his hips too low and he continues to drift forward?

10. At landing, is his head in the center of the triangle formed by his two feet?  Or is his head and trunk too far forward? Does he have some trunk tilt toward his glove side or are his shoulders level which means he is not using his lead arm?

11. When his arm lays back into maximum external rotation (arm lays back when ball is facing the sky) are his hips and trunk completely facing home plate? Has his trunk flexed forward?

12.  At ball release, are his head and shoulders positioned out over his landing knee  or are they positioned back behind?

13.  Does he finish with a near flat back showing the back of his shoulder to the hitter while his throwing arm finishes down and back behind his landing knee?  Make sure his arm does not finish at waist height when viewed from the back.

You do not have to have him answer all these questions at one time, but pick 4 or 5. That will be enough for you to make a judgement about him.

If your instructor is knowledgeable he should be able to answer all these questions. If he is not he will blow you off saying this is not that important or we’ll get to that or some other vague answer.

Always be asking WHY?

Always ask him to demonstrate what he is telling your son to do.

If you want your son to maximize his performance and reduce the risk of injury, then your instructor is responsible as long as you are paying him.

Ask him why he does not videotape the most complex and fastest human motion in all of sports. He will say he doesn’t need to because he has experience. Well so don’t eye and that is exactly why I videotape as often as I do.

If you want to learn how to help your son maximize his mechanics, his velocity and his overall performance while reducing the risk of injury, then this is all you need to use during the off-season if you want your son to improve.

Article Source: