SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2013
Rico Gloves was started in August 2010 by Tony Ross Maddi a former professional baseball player in the Houston Astros system. (Pictured to the far right is Tony Ross Maddi (Rico owner) with Pro Player Jimmy Mojica)
Today, we are going to interview the owner Tony Ross Maddi about Rico Gloves.
Why did you start Rico Sports, LLC aka Rico Gloves?
Tony: I started Rico Gloves because I wanted to try to make the best customized glove available at a reasonable price. I think we have a great customized pro glove at a great price compared to other brands that do custom gloves. Another reason I started Rico gloves was because I never had been an entrepreneur. I was an athlete and a teacher so I never thought I could start my own business. I really admired entrepreneurs who have taken the chance to start something from the ground up. It's a big risk. I really believed that I could start a business even if people doubted that I could do it. I just believed I could do it. I knew gloves from my background in pro baseball and knew a custom glove company could work intially with the right leather, glove patterns, logo, name, and price point. The customer service would also be top notch because I would be the one answering customer questions. The third reason I started Rico Gloves was to stay involved with baseball at the professional and amateur levels. Baseball is a game I love and if I couldn't play then the next best thing to playing is owning a glove company. Coaching at the professional level would also be cool too.
How did you decide on the name Rico ?
Tony: Honestly, I was looking for a 4 letter name that would look good on a glove. Something that was a short and catchy name that appealed to the general American public but also had a Latin flavor to it. I knew that a long name on the wrist of a glove would not show up very well. I was thinking through a lot of names and Rico came to me and fit the 4 letter criteria. Rico also happens to be my mother in laws maiden name. I am very happy I chose Rico for the name and have no regrets. I think it stands out and means rich or high quality in Spanish which also fits perfectly with the gloves that we make.
Who made the Rico Logo? It seems to be fairly simple but attractive.
Tony: I actually made the Rico logo on my computer with logo maker software. I had the Rico name and went through all the fonts until I found the perfect font that I liked. I showed the font to my daughter Maria who was 16 at the time. I knew she would be honest with me about liking or disliking it. She told me that she really liked it and I could tell by the look on her face that she thought it looked good. I added the star over the i in Rico and left it alone.
Who has helped out the most with Rico Gloves? Did you do this by yourself?
Tony: If it wasn't for all the people that have supported Rico Gloves then we would be nothing. Yes, we have a good product so that helps tremendously. I have not done this alone. I owe a lot of thanks to Jeff Kelso and a lot of customers like Jeff Grego, Stacy Paul, KC Longhorns, Rico Rangers, Mac and Seitz Royals, MNS Red Sox, and I can't name them all. I just want to thank all the people that have supported Rico Gloves in the past and going forward. I really appreciate it and THANK YOU!!
Did you make the Rico website? If not who does your website?
Tony: In the very beginning I did my own website then I realized my website creation skills were lacking. lol. A friend of mine that I knew told me about a program that would give me the ability to control what I wanted on my website so it was user friendly but would also make it look professional. Michael Zambelli's runyourwebsite.com is great way to run your website without knowing a lot of html and you can change things yourself as you go. I actually have gone further with him building an awesome website with the design and glove customizer. I want to thank Michael Zambelli and Lowell who have worked on my website. I really don't want people to know about them because I want to keep them busy for the Rico Gloves website. lol :) Just being honest.
What kind of leather is used in Rico Gloves?
Tony: We only do pro grade leather. That means we don't do any plastic or synthetic gloves. We only do leather gloves that would be most suitable for pro players. Top Grain Leather, Steer Hide Leather, or Kip Leather. We are getting into Kip leather more now and we are improving this area as we go along with the company. You won't see any lower end plastic or synthetic gloves from Rico Gloves while I am the owner or anytime soon. :)
Who is your right hand man with Rico Gloves?
Tony: My right hand man and person I talk the most with about Rico Gloves is Jeff Kelso. Jeff is a former pro ball player with the California Angels. Jeff's Dad Bill Kelso drafted me to play pro baseball. Jeff is a good friend and has helped promote and sell Rico Gloves. He loves baseball and gloves. Jeff knows a lot of people because he owns and operates Kelso's pizza in North Kansas City, Mo. He also has a great personailty and is very outgoing. Mr. Kelso will always have a place with Rico Gloves and I will repay the favor when the time comes for all the time he has helped me. My right hand woman is my beautiful wife Tara who helps out a lot when we go setup at games and tournaments.
What are you doing with Rico bats?
Tony: We have decided to take a step back from wood bats and concentrate on what we do best. If we get back into bats it will probably be a top quality aluminium alloy bat. We want to make sure all Rico products from gloves to bats are the best quality and don't want to start a line of products that doesn't live up to the Rico name. Our wood bats were good quality but we didn't want to take away time from our custom glove line.
What does the future hold for Rico Gloves?
Tony: Time will tell but we have many goals still to accomplish. We want to continue to market and make our brand more recognized. It takes time but with social media the word spreads fast. I think we have done well in this area. I think our next phase is to get more exposure in person at tournaments, and baseball facilities. We have a plan to distribute gloves more nation wide. A plan is in place to accomplish all the goals we have set and we look forward to the challenge!!
Posted At 10:01 PM
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 01, 2012
Posted At 06:08 PM
SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2012
Former Kansas City T-Bone and Kansas City, Kansas Community College player Jimmy Mojica of the Laredo Lemurs is currently second in batting average in the American Association of independent professional baseball with a .360 batting average. Jimmy Mojica isn't new to professional baseball and has been playing since 2006. This is his 6 year in pro baseball. Mojica has had a few opportunities with affiliated Major League Teams. Mojica was first signed by the Milwaukee Brewers as an undrafted free agent in 2007, Mojica has also played in Double A with the Seattle Mariners in 2009. This shows how difficult it is to play professional baseball. Mojica is tearing up the American Association batting .360 and has yet to receive another opportunity to play in affiliated MLB minors in High A or the Double A level. Last year, Mojica hit .303 with 12 homers, and 20 stolen bases. Really good numbers for a shortstop or for that matter any position.
I got the chance to talk with Jimmy Mojica and ask him some questions.
Rico: How did you become involved in baseball? Who got you started playing?
Jimmy Mojica: My Dad got me started playing baseball when I was only 3 years old in Puerto Rico.
Rico: When did you know you wanted to play professional baseball? Did you ever want to do anything else?
Jimmy Mojica: I knew I wanted to play professional baseball when I started playing baseball in High School. At one time I wanted to work for an airline.
Rico: What do you think the average fan doesn't know about professional baseball?
Jimmy Mojica: The average fan doesn't know about the dedication to the game. The workouts, infield, ground balls, weight training, sprints. The off-season program to get ready to play the game. The grind in the summer.
Rico: When you were growing up in Puerto Rico what other sports did you play?
Jimmy Mojica: I liked to play basketball and volleyball.
Rico: Tell us something about Jimmy Mojica that the fans probably don't know?
Jimmy Mojica: I am a very simple guy. I like to work hard and care for others. I also like to help people.
Rico: What do you recommend to a High School player that wants to play pro baseball? Do you have any tips for them?
Jimmy Mojica: I recommend to them to follow their dreams and always work hard. Also, to respect the game.
Rico: What should a player do in the offseason from baseball? Any workout programs or advice?
Jimmy Mojica: The off-season I recommend getting into a good weight lifting program combined with baseball activities. Make sure you take the time to keep your body in shape and be healthy.
Rico: I want to thank Jimmy Mojica for his time answering questions for www.ricogloves.com.
We wish Jimmy Mojica the best of luck for the rest of this year and hope to see him playing professional baseball for years to come.
Posted At 08:07 PMby Tony Ross Maddi
THURSDAY, JULY 12, 2012
PART 2 of Life as a minor league professional baseball player.
My name is Tony Ross Maddi. I am former career minor league player that played in the Houston Astros organization for 6 years. I also played in Italy professionally for a few years. I did have some interest from some readers that want to know more about playing professional baseball. Tonight, I will touch on one topic that I am familiar with in professional baseball.
In professional baseball big money is involved. General managers, and scouts are paid to select the right players. When an organization selects a player in the MLB Draft in the first five or even ten rounds. These players are given a fairly good signing bonus and are thought of highly or the organization wouldn't have selected these players. The baseball politics comes into play because sometimes MLB organizations are incorrect in the evaluation of certain players. Scouting and evaluating isn't an exact science. Its hard to project what a player will do against the best competition and how the player will develop. Baseball politics comes into play because usually a top 10 round pick will be guaranteed playing time for at least a year or two unless he fails miserably. So that means if your a 32nd round pick or a free agent competing with a 2nd round pick for playing time at second base. Who do you think is going to get the playing time from the start? Yes, your right the 2nd round pick. I have seen free agents and later round picks play better than the top picks in hitting, fielding, etc. Not in every case but it happens often and the 32nd round pick and free agent better work there butt off to try to earn some playing time because it won't be given to them. The reason the 2nd round pick gets the playing time is for obvious reasons. Number one is the money that was given to the player. Number two the GM and scouting department took this player number two in the draft and want this player to make it to the BIG Leagues so they can look like a genius and to keep the job that they have. I have seen 5th round picks hit miserably and be penciled into the lineup everyday. The extra guy off the bench hitting and fielding better than the 5th rounder and not getting the starting time regularly because the investment in this particular player is lower. It has always been this way and I don't know if it will ever change. The guys that make the big leagues that were 30th round picks or free agents had to earn the way to the big leagues from the beginning. So I give those guys all the credit for overcoming the odds and perservering through all the baseball politics involved in professional baseball. This article is mainly touching on baseball politics at the lower levels in the first few years in the minors. After 3 or 4 years and your tearing it up as a free agent or late round pick then the organization gets interested in you. Then its easier for them to give the player the benefit of the doubt regardless of the draft status or money involved. Don't misundertand if your really good then you have a shot at making it to Major League Baseball regardless of baseball politics or spot you were drafted.
I hope you liked the article about pro baseball politics. If your interested in knowing more about professional baseball or life as a minor leaguer then please let me know and I will write more. Thanks!!
Tony Ross Maddi
Posted At 11:07 PMby Tony Ross Maddi
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 01, 2012
My name is Tony Ross Maddi. I am former career minor league player that played in the Houston Astros organization for 6 years. I also played in Italy professionally for a few years. Many times I have been asked by people outside of professional baseball what it was like to play professional baseball in the minor leagues. I have wanted to write about the life of a minor league baseball player for a long time. The only reason I haven't written about it was because I didn't think anyone would want to read about it. I have realized that some people are very interested in the life of a pro minor league baseball player and I think that I have something interesting to share. I am going to cover a few categories of interest. Pay, work schedule, travel, days off in the minor leagues for part 1. If readers show interest I can go into social life, workout routines, baseball politics, supplements, etc in future articles.
Pay of a minor league baseball player
The pay in the minors usually goes by a set schedule set by each MLB team. For example, a Rookie/first year player will make a certain amount of money. A second year player willl make a little more, so on and so forth. The pay is usually just enough to feed the player and be able to rent an apartment with a few teammates. Nothing high end either. Just enough to eat and get by. If you watch your budget enough then some of the players would be able to send a few bucks home to there Mom or girlfriend. This is just a normal salary contract for all the minor league players during the year. This is separate from a signing bonus that a player might of signed in the year they were drafted or signed as a free agent. The only exception where a player in the minors makes a little more money is if he has been playing over 5 years and has made it to higher levels like Double A or Triple A. The salary schedule goes up by level and years service in the minors. The higher the level and more years service equals more pay but its not even close to a Major League Baseball salary.
Bonus Baby term
The term bonus baby in the minor leagues refers to a minor league player that received a large signing bonus to sign with a particular MLB team. In 2012, Bubba Starling would be called a bonus baby. Its not a bad term to be called a bonus baby. Its good if you live up to the potential and money that was given. It could be perceived as bad if the bonus baby is struggling. It basically just means you got paid a lot to sign.
Minor League Work Schedule
The overrall work schedule for a minor league player is pretty much year round especially if you want to stay in professional baseball for as long as possible. For position players, an off-season conditioning program is pretty much mandatory to stay up with the competition. Working on hitting at least 5 days a week is ideal for a pro baseball player during the off-season. Core training, lifting weights, and working on baseball specific movements is really the only way to improve. The daily work schedule during the season is about 8 hours or more a day. I think this is suprising to most people because I think many people think pro ballplayers show up around 6 pm for 7:15 game. Most of the time players show up around 3 pm for 7:15 pm game. Many times earlier than that to get treatment on various injuries. Most teams do a 4pm or 415 pm stretch, followed by some fundamentals (during early season), batting practice, pitchers run and do bands, and throw bullpens if needed. Most games are 3 hours or more on some occasions. So most of time players don't get out of the baseball complex until around 11pm if they aren't getting worked on in the training room. Some players like to lift weights after games so it might be another 30 minutes to an hour before the last player is gone. This makes for at the very least an 8 hour day. On many occasions its a lot longer than 8 hours.
The travel in the minor leagues varies from league to league. Some leagues have some brutally long road trips. I remember a 16 hour trip from Jackson, Mississippi to Wichita, Kansas in the Texas League. The Florida State League doesn't have terribly long road trips. The Midwest League and New York Penn League wasn't that bad either. I have heard some horror stories from other players playing in different leagues. Most organizations provide meal money for road trips for the players and coaches. I think the average person would think "wow" the players get money to eat out while they travel around the country and play baseball. Yes, its fun playing ball and minor league players are fortunate to be paid to play even if its not a lot. The meal money is very low and basically most minor leaguers diet is fast food. The four food groups for most minor league players is McDonalds, Pizza, Taco Bell, Subway, etc. You get the idea. Some of the bonus babies are eating this food. :) It doesn't make sense for the team to spend so much on signing a player then have them eat a diet of fast food. This happens all the time. It makes me scratch my head.
Days off during the season
Days off during the season average about twice a month. It's okay that the baseball schedule is this way until about July because most guys can handle it. The heat starts setting in during the summer and the temperatures get over 100 degrees. During the middle of July it hits some players. Some players production goes down and they struggle in the last quarter of the season. But its not every player. Some players actually play better in the heat for whatever reason. I peronally liked to play in the early season weather but I grew up playing in a colder state of Missouri. Its a grind for everyone the last 3 or 4 weeks of the season. Playing over a 100 games in a short period of time in the heat. A lot of pitches have been thrown and many swings have been taken during the season. Its survival of the fittest.
I have enjoyed writing about the experience I have had in the minors. I would love to write a lot more but I will see what the interest is before I continue to write about the life of a minor league baseball player. Please give me feedback.
Posted At 05:02 PMby Tony Ross Maddi (Rico Sports, LLC)
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
Do Titanium Necklaces or Phiten necklaces really work?
This is a question that I receive often because my company Rico Sports, LLC sells Rico Titanium Necklaces in three braid, single strand, and double strand.
These necklaces are pretty cool and they look good. Baseball players like to wear them because its sporty and is different. The claims are that these necklaces give you energy, improve your circulation, and enhance your overrall health. So do the necklaces really work is the question I receive all the time. The Rico Titanium Necklaces we sell are made the same way as the Phiten necklaces. I do believe that if you think the Titanium necklaces work then they could be beneficial because the mind is a powerful thing. In my honest opinion I don't wear the titanium necklaces for any of the health claims even if they do improve my health. I wear the titanium necklaces because I like the way they look. Something to note: There is no scientific studies that have proven that these Titanium Necklaces work for health enhancing benefits. I think the best thing to do is leave that up to the customer to believe or not believe in the titanium necklace health claims. Our company Rico Sports will continue to sell the titanium necklaces because they look good and we love them. :)
Posted At 12:09 PMby Tony Ross Maddi (Rico Sports, LL
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 08, 2011
Dear Big 12 Conference,
Please get your house (league) in order! Quickly ! The fans want to concentrate on there favorite football team. They don't want to worry about where there team will be playing next year.
I normally write about baseball but I couldn't resist writing about the Big 12 drama going on. I find myself checking the internet to get more news on the developments of the Big 12, SEC, and PAC 12 realignment. It's getting ridiculous. I love the Big 12 and would like it to stay together. I think its better for these schools because of tradition, and regional rivalries. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State aren't Pacific coast schools. Why would they want to travel to the west coast? Missouri in the Big East or SEC? What? Please Big 12 get it together. Keep at least 9 and go get BYU or Louisville to make 10. Sounds like a plan that makes since for TV money but first we need everyone in the conference to commit.
Here is my top 5 list with issues I have with this Big 12 drama.
1. Oklahoma make a decision already. We all know you have been contacted by various conferences. We all know you are big stuff. Get a meeting together with all your important people and either stay in the BIG 12 or go to the PAC 12. DON'T drag Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas State, Kansas, Texas Tech, and to a lesser degree Missouri through this. If you go be prepared to be sued because you agreed to stay and accepted the TV money deal.
2. Texas make some kind of concession of money from your Longhorn network to the pool of money in the BIG 12. I know Texas you don't have to give any money from your Longhorn Network that you started but it would be wise to give 10% or 15% to the BIG 12 to split between the other schools. At least something or relations aren't going to get any better between you and the other Big 12 schools. I doubt this will happen but Texas needs to get relations improved or problems will resurface. TEXAS make a PEACE offering to the other schools that can't stand you.
3. Please tell David Boren of Oklahoma to be quiet. He keeps making statements. WHY? If your Oklahoma why not lay low and do things behind the scenes (out of the media). It seems like he wants personal attention. My favorite statement he made was, "Oklahoma will not be a wallflower". Okay, well thats fine but if you implode the BIG 12 conference don't be suprised if lawsuits come your way.
4. I want to believe Dan Beebe Big 12 commissioner is doing his job but its hard to believe. How can we have this BIG 12 Drama come up twice within a year? Can we get every school to sign a three year deal ? Then have a clause in the contract that if you leave before three years you have to pay a sum of money to the Big 12 that would be so much no one would leave. I am not a attorney but I think that would make sense.
5. Why did it take so long for Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas, Missouri, and Tech to band together and take issue with Texas A&M leaving the conference? These schools could of done this from the very beginning and said to Texas A&M I would think twice before just leaving our conference and causing financial hardship to all the schools your leaving behind in the BIG 12. These schools have some very intelligent people and I would think they would have thought of this before A&M had one foot out the door.
I am happy the underdogs like Baylor and Iowa State are standing up for themselves. They need to look out for there best interests. All the media every talks about is what Oklahoma or Texas needs to do because they have all the power and prestige in the Big 12. Not eveyone is a Texas or Oklahoma fan in the Big 12. If the Big 12 does break up then I feel sorry for the underdogs because they may have problems finding a good conference to call home. At least these 6 schools are doing something about it. These 6 schools in the Big 12 aren't being wallflowers. Thanks for the quote David Boren.
Posted At 06:09 PM
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2011
Welcome to Rico Gloves!
My name is Tony Ross Maddi with Rico Sports. We are going to talk about Baseball Speed Training.
We have some do's and don'ts for Baseball Speed Training !!!
The Do's for Baseball Speed Training!
- Get a qualified Speed and Agility Coach. (with background in track, baseball, and trained by NSCA or USA Weightlifting)
- Dynamic Warm-up should be done in the beginning of the program. (Stretching through a full range of motion)
- Work on starts from base stealing position. Technique on best way to steal. Work on technique for best jumps in the infield and drop steps for outfielders going back on balls.
- Train for speed doing Sprint work. You can't train 100% Speed doing 5 mile runs or 300 or 400 meters runs. Training should be from 30 meters (Approx Home to 1st) to no more than 100 meters. Running the bases is great too because your training your body to make the turns on the bases. Make sure you get your baserunning coach to show you the proper route to run the bases.
- Use an agility ball to work on fielding and getting in front of the ball. Great for agility and relates to baseball.
- Plyometrics should be included in the program. They should be appropriate for the age. Younger youth players should not over do it on the plyometrics because there body isn't developed enough for this.
- Olympic lifts are the secret ingredient that I wish I did when I was playing. Hang pulls, Dead lifts, Hang Snatch, etc are a great way to build explosive power in the hips. Also, great for fast twitch muscle fibers and overrall body strength.
- Core training is good for baseball. And especially good for sprinters. You can do this on an off day from sprinting.
- Static stretch after a workout (this is the traditional stretch most people know)
The things you should avoid when Baseball Speed Training!
- Avoid long slow 5 mile jogs. You want to train your body to be explosive in quick all out explosive movements. Avoid running for distance. Its great for your heart and lungs but doesnt help a baseball player be explosive. Running a mile or two as a warm-up is perfectly okay before a speed workout. If you have to pick between running 10 to 12 (60 or 100 yard) sprints or running 5 miles. PLEASE pick 10-12 Sprints.
- Avoid training just doing hill work. I made this mistake. Hill sprinting is great but it puts greater work on the quadriceps and could lead to an imbalance of the Quadricep muscle and Hamstring Muscle. This can lead to more Hamstring injuries because the Quadricep is stronger than the Hamstring causing to big an imbalance. Train mostly flat ground that you will be running on for baseball. Use a parachute for adding power to your sprinting. You can train hills occasionally for more power.
- Avoid over training. I have done this many times and I am speaking from experience. I believe in working hard. But with speed training you can't sprint everyday with all out sprint workouts. Your body and CNS (central nervous system) breaks down and needs a day or two to recover especially if you did some hard sprint workouts the day before. No more than 3 days a week should you tackle all out sprint workouts. You can include core training on the off days from sprinting. You can jog a mile or two on the offdays from sprinting. But AVOID sprinting to let your body and CNS system recover until the next sprint workout.
These are just some things to think about before doing Baseball Speed Training!
Tony Ross Maddi, M.Ed
Certified Sports Performance Coach- USA Weightlifting
Posted At 10:08 AMby Tony Ross Maddi (Rico Sports, LL
TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011
Hey this is Tony Ross Maddi with Rico Gloves. I wanted to share some great information about glove conditioner to put in your baseball gloves. At Rico Gloves we are endorsing a new product called Oakwood Leather Conditioner for use in our Rico Gloves. This Leather Conditioner is awesome. Its light and not heavy. It absorbs into the leather after about 5 minutes letting it stand on the leather. Read below to the advantages. We (Rico Gloves) have this leather conditioner. Its a high quality conditioner and we only put the best conditioners on our Rico Gloves.
These are the advantages of using this Rico approved Leather Conditioner.
- Softens and reconditions the leather.
- Repels water.
- Doesn't make glove heavier. Its light.
- After absorbing it isn't greasy on leather (like vaseline). Just wipe off excess off after 5 minutes.
- Doesn't mess up your clothing.
- Conditioner doesn't permanently darken the leather.
- Also for use on horse saddles and bridles, All motorcycle leathers, leather jackets, For use on smooth leathers.
- Not to be used on aniline leathers, suede, or nubuck.
Ingredients of the Rico approved Leather Conditioner.
- Australian Bush Tree Ingredients Tea Tree & Eucalyptus Oils (Its a light mixture-will not weigh your glove down)
- Emu Oil
First, I played pro baseball for 8 years. I have had a lot of gloves and used a lot of glove conditioning products. Mink oil, vaseline, shaving cream. Personally, I believe that this Rico approved Leather Conditioner by Oakwood is the best product that I have ever used. Mink Oil weighs the glove down and darkens the leather. Not something I wanted. Vaseline seemed okay but I knew there had to be something better. I know this product is better than anything that I have ever used before. It conditions the leather and softens it at the same time. It absorbs into the leather without permanently staining it darker. You don't have to use a lot of this conditioner. Start by using a small amount and work it into the leather. If anyone needs any glove conditioner for there gloves please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This conditioner is the only thing I recommend for any kind of baseball glove and Rico Baseball Gloves.
Tony Ross Maddi
Posted At 04:07 PMby Tony Ross Maddi (Rico Sports, LL
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2010
Welcome to www.ricogloves.com !
My name is Tony Ross Maddi. I am former minor league player in the Houston Astros Organization for 6 seasons and also played in Italy for 2 seasons. I learned a lot in pro baseball and I want to share my knowledge to help others become the best baseball players they can be.
I want to briefly outline some ways to improve hitting for any age in one season.
1. Practice hitting!!! (daily if possible) Wow, you say thats genius. Well it is because many parents with kids from 8 to 12 miss this. Many kids at this age can be at a big disadvantage if they arent practicing hitting on regular basis. (regular meaning at least 4 days a a week) Practice, practice, practice the skill of hitting.
If you can get someone to throw batting practice to you or your child then that is ideal but not always feasible. The other good options are below and can be done.
Tee work when you arent able to have someone throw (can be done in a garage). Also soft toss from directly in front is also good if BP throwing isnt possible. (Use L-screen)
Use a good Iron Mike Pitching machine to train the hitting eye for higher speed pitches. (The reason sometimes Batting practice pitchers dont throw very hard and we train are eyes at a slower speed) (The machine allows us to see a ball moving faster-we learn to adjust). I think using a BP pitcher and a machine is ideal for off-season practice.
2. Get a knowledgeable Coach! This is very important because if your practicing the wrong way to swing then you are limiting your overall potential to get better. There are a lot of coaches out there for baseball. Baseball is a popular sport but talk to a lot of people in the area and talk directly with the coaches. Ask the coaches what they think is important in hitting mechanics. Some of things they should say are: Good stance (have them display it), hands back, elbow close to 45 degrees down, need a small load with hips, rotate back leg for power, heel up on turn of back leg, head down, etc. Do your due diligence. Also, a pro or college playing background is recommended for finding the right coach with experience coaching hitting.
3. Physical Conditioning! Practicing the skill of hitting is the most important thing in becoming a better hitter. That is true. But a way to maximize that is to be in better shape than your competition and the other players on your team. A good strength and conditioning coach that has experience working with baseball players is ideal. I can briefly give some ideas on what to do but this is just some general ideas. (this is not a workout plan)
Work on hip strength- Clean pulls, squats, dead lifts (great), some Olympic style lifts (Clean pulls work the upper body and lower body too) (Power move great for baseball)- The kids no weight lunges, no weight squats, pushups, a speed and agility program (dynamic warm-up) with some plyometrics tailored to there age.
Upper body strength- Do Dumbbell Incline press. Good upper body strengthening exercise for hitters. You dont need to go crazy with the flat bench barbell press. I think it can cause more problems in my opinion. Increase on the DB incline press if you want. Some curls are fine and some shoulder presses with DB are okay. And also some triceps extensions.
Do some band exercises for throwing especially for pitchers but I recommend all players do bands.
Core training is HIGHLY recommended. USE medicine balls, stability balls, balance boards.
I like russian twists for hitters and medicine ball twists. Bridges, lunges (part of core stability), Pelvic Thrusts, Squats, Crunches, Deadlifts, etc.
Benefits of Core Training are below:
Greater efficiency of movement
Improved body control and balance
Increased power output from both the core musculature and peripheral muscles such as the shoulders, arms and legs
Reduced risk of injury (the core muscles act as shock absorbers for jumps and rebounds etc.)
Improved balance and stability
Improved athletic performance!
This article briefly went over what is important to improve hitting in one season. I would say getting a good coach and hitting regularly are the most important. The conditioning is recommended if you want to really take your game to another level.
If you like the blog then please let me know and I will continue to post new articles.
Tony Ross Maddi
Posted At 09:12 PMby Tony Ross Maddi