Sunday, December 29, 2019

Online Hitting Academy


Online Hitting Academy for players that can't come into The Baseball Barn for face to face hitting lessons - Richard Lovell-Epstein Hitting Online Academy.

A Customized Training Plan, Based on Your Specific Needs, And Managed by Your Very Own Personal Epstein Hitting Master Instructor, Rich Lovell, Will Show You How To Become the Best Hitter You Can Be!

Click HERE for more information

Looking for more information on baseball and fast pitch hitting? Are you part of a team, or Organization that would like to schedule a mini-camp/clinic or seminar for your players and coaches? and receive pertinent, professional instruction that includes video analysis of your players swing flaw?

Richard Lovell and The Baseball Barn are Epstein Hitting certified with Rich being 1 of only 8 Master Certified Instructors go 700+ instructors in the Epstein Hitting System.

Rich is available for individual, small group and team instruction to include clinics and seminars. Does your player, or team need expert evaluation to improve their swing?

Schedule an evaluation, or clinic/seminar with Rich and begin your swing transformation before the next season. Schedule your evaluation through our online scheduling system at The Baseball Barn, contact Rich directly at rjl41061@gmail.com, or if you are out of the area, through Rich's Online Hitting Academy (http:bit.ly/BaseballBarn)

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Hitting Metrics | How To Use Them Effectively | The Baseball Barn


Coach Rich Lovell goes over how to use metrics effectively and translate them into drills that improve the swing. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Friday, December 20, 2019

Twitter Response - Keeping Angles To Maintain Power & Consistency - Baseball Barn


Coach Rich responds to a viewer question from Twitter about angles to maintain power. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Marlon Byrd on the Importance of Communication Amongst Outfielders


An outfielder needs to be vocal in the field. Having a strong line of communication can help outfielders in their pre-pitch setup as well as their game awareness. It doesn’t matter your position: left field, right field or center field; you need to be communicating with your squad. Follow along with these tips from former pro Marlon Byrd and find your voice this season.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

MLB's FASTEST pitches of 2019 | MLB Highlights


Watch Jordan Hicks unleash the FASTEST pitches of the 2019 season! The Cardinals flamethrower had the 10 fastest pitches of the MLB season!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Marlon Byrd on the Benefits of Knowing Your Opponent in the Outfield


Knowing the opposing batter can be a valuable resource in the outfield. Having a good idea of your opponent’s tendencies can allow you to set up more efficiently in the field. Former pro outfielder Marlon Byrd outlines some keys to knowing your opponent in this Pro Tips breakdown.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Attacking A Weak Top Hand/Arm - How To Instruct Your Hitter | Baseball Barn


Coach Rich with the Baseball Barn shows some great techniques to instruct your player and drills to help them improve. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Last Baseball-Glove Maker in America


Nokona baseball gloves are made in Nocona, Texas using a number of different leathers including kangaroo, cowhide and buffalo. From hot stamping, to embroidering, to lacing, Nokona has been handcrafting ball gloves since 1934.

Video by Brian Schildhorn

Monday, December 2, 2019

How To Set Up A Hitting Lesson Based Hitter Level | Baseball Barn


Rich with the Baseball Barn shows what equipment to use and set up depending on the hitting level of your player. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Friday, November 29, 2019

Marlon Byrd on What Goes into a Clutch Performance


Coming up clutch can take plenty of mental toughness. Having the game rest on your shoulders can break some players and fuel others. There are a few techniques that can help you keep your cool when the stakes are high. Follow along with former pro Marlon Byrd as he gives some baseball tips on what goes into a clutch performance.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Fine Tuning A Players Swing: Extension After Contact | Baseball Barn


Rich goes over how to fine tune a players swing. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Stabilizing The Head: What To Look For and How To Correct - Coach Rich Lovell - Baseball Barn


Coach Rich talks about how to stabilize the head of your player. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Marlon Byrd on Balancing Control and Player Development


As a coach you want to get the most out of your players. But you need to understand that errors will occur; athletes won’t be automatic in their development. You need to find a rhythm when it comes to balancing control and growth. Former pro outfielder Marlon Byrd has a few tips to help find that groove. Use these baseball Pro Tips to take your athletes to new heights.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Attn: Parents and Coaches - What To Say, or NOT Say To Players During Games


Coach Rich goes over what to say to players during a game. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Longest Home Runs of the 2019 MLB Season!


Check out the 15 longest home runs from the 2019 season according to Statcast! Get ready for some monster home runs

Friday, November 8, 2019

Staying In Your Legs and Centered At Launch To Improve Hand and Bat Path - Coach Rich Lovell


Coach Rich goes over how to stay low and prevent a player from standing up during his launch. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Batting Practice with Bryce Harper - Baseball Pro Tips


Being the best at your game doesn’t happen overnight. Every great athlete has a routine they follow in order to train and perfect their craft. All-star outfielder Bryce Harper stresses the importance of keeping a rhythm in how you structure your batting practice. Watch as the baseball pro shares how he fine-tunes his approach at the plate with these hitting Pro Tips.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

When Not To Make Swing Changes? Build Confidence Before Big Games - Coach Rich Lovell


Coach Rich gives a great tip on how not to make swing changes right before a big game. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Best Month of the Year: MLB Postseason 2019


Let's look back at the greatness that was the 2019 Postseason. Congrats to the Washington Nationals!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Using A Mirror To Improve Swing Movements - Coach Rich Lovell - Baseball Barn


Coach Rich shows how using a mirror can really help a player identify what they are doing and how to improve. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Online Hitting Academy


Online Hitting Academy for players that can't come into The Baseball Barn for face to face hitting lessons - Richard Lovell-Epstein Hitting Online Academy.

A Customized Training Plan, Based on Your Specific Needs, And Managed by Your Very Own Personal Epstein Hitting Master Instructor, Rich Lovell, Will Show You How To Become the Best Hitter You Can Be!

Click HERE for more information

Looking for more information on baseball and fast pitch hitting? Are you part of a team, or Organization that would like to schedule a mini-camp/clinic or seminar for your players and coaches? and receive pertinent, professional instruction that includes video analysis of your players swing flaw?

Richard Lovell and The Baseball Barn are Epstein Hitting certified with Rich being 1 of only 8 Master Certified Instructors go 700+ instructors in the Epstein Hitting System.

Rich is available for individual, small group and team instruction to include clinics and seminars. Does your player, or team need expert evaluation to improve their swing?

Schedule an evaluation, or clinic/seminar with Rich and begin your swing transformation before the next season. Schedule your evaluation through our online scheduling system at The Baseball Barn, contact Rich directly at rjl41061@gmail.com, or if you are out of the area, through Rich's Online Hitting Academy (http:bit.ly/BaseballBarn)

Monday, October 21, 2019

Weight Shift vs Hip Turn - The Basics To Improve Body Movement - Baseball Barn


Coach Rich goes over the the importance of weight shift vs hip turn. Two different movements that should be treated as such.

See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Friday, October 18, 2019

Driving the Ball with Bryce Harper - Baseball Pro Tips


Baseball scenarios can change pitch by pitch. That’s why your hitting approach and mindset need to be in sync every time you step into the batter’s box. All-star outfielder Bryce Harper says understanding your role and approaching the plate with confidence can help you determine how to drive the ball. Find out how the baseball pro caters his swing to the situation in this Pro Tips rundown.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How To Use Metrics and Video Analytics Properly To Improve Swing - Coach Rich - The Baseball Barn


Coach Rich goes over using video analytics and metrics to properly improve a swing. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

What Causes Casting Of The Bat? - Coach Rich - The Baseball Barn


Coach Rich talks about the items that cause casting of the bat. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Fielding Flyouts with Bryce Harper - Baseball Pro Tips


Outfielders need to be on their toes and in the know with every batted ball. Baseball pro Bryce Harper knows that once the ball is hit toward the outfield, he needs to get his mind moving.

As you’re tracking the fly ball and practicing your outfield fundamentals, be sure to think through your play. Answer the questions: Who is on base? How many outs are there? What is your route? Where is the next play going to occur? Understanding what to do after catching the ball is necessary because it can increase your on-field efficiency. A quick throw can give your team a better chance of getting runners out on the basepaths. It’s pivotal, though, that you remember to make the first out with a secure catch. You cannot advance in your technique without that first out.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Does Head Movement During Stride Affect Eyeline, Tracking the Ball and Swing Path? - Viewer Response


Coach Rich responds to a subscriber TSJWahoo about your eye line, tracking the ball and swing path. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Monday, September 30, 2019

Work Ethic with Bryce Harper - Baseball Pro Tips


To achieve success on the field, you need to put in the work. A strong work ethic can be a great quality for an athlete. Hard work and dedication can be the perfect boost to get you to the next level. Baseball pro Bryce Harper knows what it takes to reach the highest caliber of competition. Learn how the all-star outfielder stays passionate on and off the field with these motivating Pro Tips.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Fall Into The Frontside or Fall Away From The Backside? - Coach Rich - Baseball Barn


Coach Rich talks about how phrasing can help your player understand better. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Austin Hays robs Vlad Jr! | MLB's Top 10 Plays of the Week (9/16 to 9/22)


Austin Hays incredible homer-robbing catch on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. highlights the Top 10 Plays of the Week for the week of 9/16.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Is It Ok For A Player To Try Things You Don't Teach?? - Coach Rich Baseball Barn


Coach Rich has a player that is trying different things. See how he works with the player to make it all work. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Plate Discipline with Bryce Harper - Baseball Pro Tips


The strike zone is an important part of the game for batters to understand. Knowing it can help you extend at-bats, force walks and improve your on-base percentage. Baseball pro Bryce Harper walks through his hitting approach when it comes to selecting and waiting for the right pitch. Knowing balls from strikes — as well as sticking to his approach, regardless of the pitcher — is vital to his batting success. Find out more in this Pro Tips breakdown for improving your plate discipline.

From Rich Lovell - The Baseball Barn: 
Many pros/elite hitters may not completely understand ‘how’ the swing actually works, but when it comes to approach, they are the best in the world. Listen and learn how to approach an AB from Bryce Harper. Great advice on looking for your pitch. I’ve used a similar phrase and approach when working with my hitters since teaming up with Epstein Hitting 10 years ago; “Get your pitch and hit it hard!” Be a student of the game.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Friday, September 13, 2019

Baseball Catching Skills: The Line Blocking Drill


The line blocking drill can be an effective tool to improve your backstop capabilities this baseball season. Find out how this catching training exercise can emphasize the keys to a successful block with these tips from DICK’S Sporting Goods.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Subscriber Response - Does Eye Line Affect Tracking Of The Ball? - Coach Rich - Baseball Barn


Coach Rich responds to a subscriber TSJWahoo about your eye line, tracking the ball and swing path. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Friday, September 6, 2019

Common Faults & Fixes Series - The Back Knee Straightening - The Baseball Barn


Rich continues the Common Faults and Fixes series with addressing the back knee. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Baseball Catching Skills: Hip and Ankle Flexibility


Being flexible as a catcher has a few perks when behind the plate. Find out how having proper hip and ankle flexibility can affect your game with these catching tips from DICK’S Sporting Goods.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Online Hitting Academy


Online Hitting Academy for players that can't come into The Baseball Barn for face to face hitting lessons - Richard Lovell-Epstein Hitting Online Academy.

A Customized Training Plan, Based on Your Specific Needs, And Managed by Your Very Own Personal Epstein Hitting Master Instructor, Rich Lovell, Will Show You How To Become the Best Hitter You Can Be!

Click HERE for more information

Looking for more information on baseball and fast pitch hitting? Are you part of a team, or Organization that would like to schedule a mini-camp/clinic or seminar for your players and coaches? and receive pertinent, professional instruction that includes video analysis of your players swing flaw?

Richard Lovell and The Baseball Barn are Epstein Hitting certified with Rich being 1 of only 8 Master Certified Instructors go 700+ instructors in the Epstein Hitting System.

Rich is available for individual, small group and team instruction to include clinics and seminars. Does your player, or team need expert evaluation to improve their swing?

Schedule an evaluation, or clinic/seminar with Rich and begin your swing transformation before the next season. Schedule your evaluation through our online scheduling system at The Baseball Barn, contact Rich directly at rjl41061@gmail.com, or if you are out of the area, through Rich's Online Hitting Academy (http:bit.ly/BaseballBarn)

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Baseball Infielder Skills: Picking a Hop


Find out how to better judge oncoming ground balls and make fielding easier with these helpful tips from DICK’S Sporting Goods. Learn which hop to field ground balls on for maximum efficiency, along with a useful drill for training.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Why Kids Need Baseball More than Ever


To hear its critics describe it, baseball is too slow, too dull and too outdated for youngsters raised on the instant gratification and non-stop mental stimulation of smartphones, video games, and TV clickers.

But while such criticisms may be accurate, they also mask an important truth: that what ‘ails’ the sport is precisely why kids need baseball more than ever.

“Baseball matters,” writes Susan Jacoby, “because it provides genuine nourishment rather than junk food.” And by junk food, no doubt she means the passive consumption of mindless ‘entertainment’ via social media.

A lifelong baseball fan, Jacoby, like others, worries that kids hooked on digital entertainment are missing out on a sport that “requires intense, sustained concentration” – the very traits, mind you, that adult relationships, jobs, and everyday challenges will demand of kids as they transition into adulthood.

The 6 Baseball Secrets Every Parent Should Know

Baseball, of course, isn’t alone in its struggles. Just about every youth sport is losing participants. Baseball is unique, however, not just as ‘America’s Pastime,’ but in the many critical lessons it teaches kids – lessons that will help them long after they set aside the bat and glove.

The good news: MLB great Cal Ripken Jr., a special adviser tasked with creating new strategies for growing interest in youth baseball and softball, just this month rolled out ‘Hit and Run Baseball,’ a modified version of the sport that delivers more action for kids at a faster pace.

“It’s not trying to teach kids how to play the game faster,” Ripken told the Associated Press. “It’s a way to get more reps. To present the game that’s more fun. To get to make it more interactive for kids. It’s a teaching opportunity. There’s a lot of value in there.”

All true, and we salute the efforts by Ripken and MLB to bring in more kids.

But lost in these conversations is the many lessons baseball can teach both children and parents alike. Lessons such as:

#1: Baseball Teaches Patience and Focus. For seven players on the field, every baseball ‘play’ begins with inaction. Yet each player, a specialist based on his or her location, must be ready to spring into action and work together for a single purpose.

Players learn to focus, in order to be ready to make the right play at the right time. And they learn to be patient – to wait for their opportunity to act – without just standing around and losing concentration.

Which brings us back to the slow pace of the game. If a child can master the twin arts of being patient and focused, of knowing what to do when circumstances demand it, don’t you imagine these will serve him well later in life? Can’t you picture the twin virtues of patience and focus helping her raise a family or progress in her career?

#2: Baseball is an Equal Opportunity Sport. I have played and coached a lot of sports and most face at least a few participatory limitations. But baseball doesn’t require a child to be especially tall, powerful, fast, or agile. I have yet to meet the kid that could not play baseball.

Side note: Did you know that even kids with disabilities can play baseball? My disabled son played in a Challenger Baseball League designed for kids with all sorts of motor disabilities. There is a field named after the guy who taught those kids the game.

#3: Baseball Teaches Linear Thinking. Baseball has long been known as a ‘thinking man’s game’ because it requires a unique, linear mode of thinking and teamwork. In football, for example, the quarterback on offense and linebackers on defense do most of the thinking for the team. In basketball, the point guard does the thinking. And so on.

Baseball, however, requires every player to be intimately aware of what he or she is supposed to do under a variety of circumstances. This kind of sequential thinking is why board games are considered good for kids’ cognitive development.

Consider that before each pitch, a player must know what to if:

  • The ball is hit toward him
  • The ball is hit toward any of the other eight players on the field
  • There is a player on a particular base

Players also must understand the particular strengths and weaknesses of the batter (does she hit deep?) and any base runners (is he prone to steal?) and teammates (is the second baseman slow? does the right fielder have a weak arm?).

Once the ball is hit, in order to get a batter out, players typically must work together to execute a sequence of coordinated activities among two or more team members.

For example, a ball is hit deep to left where the outfielder scoops up the ball and in an instant must gauge, based on where the ball is fielded, the speed of the runner(s), the score of the game and inning being played), whether to throw to the cut off man, to third to force an out, or to home to stop a score. That is A LOT of critical thinking to be executed in an instant. And again, every other player faces the same potential sequence of events on every play.

What other sport demands teamwork, order, timing, and logic from all nine players at any moment of any game?

#4: Baseball Balances Participation, Skills. No one player can dominate a game. There is the innate sense of “balance” in baseball. Unlike most any other team sport, baseball does not allow one really good player to dominate and win a game. In basketball, one good or one very tall player can be the difference between winning and losing. Hockey – the winner usually has the best goalie. Football, a good read-option quarterback or lightning-fast running back can be impossible to stop.

In baseball, sure, a really good pitcher can be tough to beat, but he can’t pitch every day, and pitch counts limit him from pitching entire games. On top of that, you can’t ‘hide’ a weak player in baseball and keep him out of the action. On any given pitch, a ball can be hit to any fielder. And every player has to bat.

#5: Baseball Builds Friendships. Most of the great movies based on team sports focus on baseball. And for good reason – baseball builds friendships like no other sport.

I’ve coached a lot of sports and it is precisely because Kids spend so much time together on the diamond and in the field that they develop such close and abiding friendships.

Contrast baseball with basketball. This is not to say that basketball players don’t become friends. I’m just saying that an hour-long contest versus two or more hours – plenty of that spent in the dugout or on the field together – creates a camaraderie that’s difficult to beat.

For parents, I know those shorter games can seem like a blessing. But what about the kids? If the point of team sports is to keep your child active and socially engaged, baseball stacks up pretty darned well against other sports.

One of the great joys of coaching baseball is listening to the chatter in a dugout. I’m routinely astonished at the amount of game knowledge these kids absorb and share with each other – skills particularly important in a sport where one player’s physical superiority cannot determine outcomes.

Before we complain about how much time a baseball season requires of our busy schedules as parents, maybe we should ask ourselves this question: Wouldn’t a baseball team be a great place for our kids to spend time?

#6: Baseball Teaches Kids How to Fail. Human language is filled with baseball euphemisms. ‘Three strikes and you’re out.’ ‘ The batting average for most marriages today is 50%.’ He ‘knocked that one out of the park.’ And so on.

This is because more than any other sport, baseball is a game of individual and team metrics. And when it comes to baseball, most of those metrics are bad. By design.

Consider that even the best batters are going to fail roughly 67% of the time. So the job of a baseball player is not, in fact, to expect to get a hit or to whack one over the fence. His job is to expect to fail most of the time, and to accept that fate with equanimity as well as a can-do attitude to try again, and again, and again.

Which is why baseball is a fantastic way to teach kids how to fail. Because life is filled with failure and, as so many adages go, it isn’t whether we fail but how we step back up to meet the next challenge. Every child development expert will tell you that learning to fail is a prerequisite to any successful childhood.

Bringing Home the Rewards

Yes, baseball, like all youth sports, has its challenges. But I hope I’ve offered a nice set of positives as well. I’d like to add one more ‘unofficial’ advantage that you won’t see in any child development textbooks or sports essays.

Baseball is unique in that, in between pitches, a child can stand there in the field or sit there in the dugout and simply marvel at the game itself. That ‘slow pace’ gives kids a chance to feel the grass beneath their feet, the sun on their faces, and the wind in their hair. They can talk to their friends, plan in-game strategies, and for an oh-so-brief stretch of time enjoy being kids.

If you’ve never played baseball, you likely don’t know what I’m talking about. But trust me, your child will never forget his or her days playing baseball (or softball). If you have played before, then you already know what I’m talking about. And you’re probably smiling at some of the memories.

Article Source: https://kidzu.co/sports-athletics/baseball/why-kids-need-baseball-more-than-ever/

Monday, August 19, 2019

Top 10 Plays of the Week | MLB Highlights


Check out some of the best plays of the last week! Featuring Fernando Tatis Jr, Kevin Kiermaier, Bryce Harper and more!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Common Faults & Fixes Series - Back Leg Movement - The Baseball Barn


Rich with the Baseball Barn talks about a common fault with back let movement and how to correct it. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Baseball Baserunning Skills: Never Making the First or Third Out at Third Base


Sometimes, being aggressive can land you in hot water on the basepaths. Avoid these momentum-killing blunders with these helpful baserunning tips from DICK’S Sporting Goods.

Friday, August 9, 2019

What Constitues a Balk?


When is a pitcher committing a balk? When is he not? Former MLB pitcher Ryan Dempster and former stolen base champ Harold Reynolds discuss in Studio 42.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Baseball Baserunning Skills: Working as Hard Backside as Frontside


When running the bases, it’s not a one-directional journey. Find out how to plant, pivot and retreat to the previous base with speed and quickness with these baseball tips from DICK’S Sporting Goods.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Baseball Baserunning Skills: Always Advancing


Stay aggressive on the basepaths and push the limit of your game with these helpful Pro Tips. Watch and learn how to keep the hunger in your baserunning approach for maximum success.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Online Hitting Academy


Online Hitting Academy for players that can't come into The Baseball Barn for face to face hitting lessons - Richard Lovell-Epstein Hitting Online Academy.

A Customized Training Plan, Based on Your Specific Needs, And Managed by Your Very Own Personal Epstein Hitting Master Instructor, Rich Lovell, Will Show You How To Become the Best Hitter You Can Be!

Click HERE for more information

Looking for more information on baseball and fast pitch hitting? Are you part of a team, or Organization that would like to schedule a mini-camp/clinic or seminar for your players and coaches? and receive pertinent, professional instruction that includes video analysis of your players swing flaw?

Richard Lovell and The Baseball Barn are Epstein Hitting certified with Rich being 1 of only 8 Master Certified Instructors go 700+ instructors in the Epstein Hitting System.

Rich is available for individual, small group and team instruction to include clinics and seminars. Does your player, or team need expert evaluation to improve their swing?

Schedule an evaluation, or clinic/seminar with Rich and begin your swing transformation before the next season. Schedule your evaluation through our online scheduling system at The Baseball Barn, contact Rich directly at rjl41061@gmail.com, or if you are out of the area, through Rich's Online Hitting Academy (http:bit.ly/BaseballBarn)

Friday, July 19, 2019

What Do I Teach During My Lessons?


See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Rich Lovell discusses what he covers in every lesson he gives to create maximum bat speed and power.

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Baseball Baserunning Skills: Hard 90s


The term “Hard 90s” refers to never taking your foot off the pedal and hustling hard through the bag no matter the circumstances. Find out how applying this mindset to your baserunning persona can benefit your game with these helpful tips.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Baseball Baserunning Skills: Four Basic Rules


Every athlete has a unique approach to baserunning, but there are four key elements that can help take your game to the next level. Learn more about these four basic rules with these baserunning Pro Tips.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Creating Bat Speed and Power with GRF (Ground Reaction Force)


See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Rich Lovell discusses how to create more bat speed using the principles of ground reaction force.

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Baseball Hitting Skills: Where to Set the Hands


Perfecting your swing but still trying to locate that natural hand placement? Use these hitting tips from DICK’S Sporting Goods to help you set your stance and prepare for anything an opposing pitcher throws at you.

Friday, June 28, 2019

What’s Your Pitching Currency


“Your faith is your fortune”.
~ Neville Goddard

Do you have value as a pitcher?

When we think about currency we usually think in terms of dollars or money but those are just mediums of exchange.

What I’m talking about is what creates or what gives value to the medium of exchange and that is your very own energy.

The atomic energy that resides in every cell of your being which really has no limit to it’s value, especially when it’s directed towards your desire.

So what I’m asking you, to ask yourself, is what is your value as a pitcher?

I can tell you this, it has a lot to, actually everything to do with what you believe about yourself.

And if you don’t believe in yourself that you have value as a pitcher, then you are more likely to be allowing of letting other people tell you what your value is.

As within so without.

In this day and age it’s easy to think that if you don’t throw 90+ that you don’t have value.

It’s easy to give your authority away to a high school or college coach because they tell you something critical.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be open to constructive observation, but I want you to understand that what you believe about yourself deep down will be reflected back to you… by outsiders like coaches, parents, and other players alike.

Then and only then will you will stop giving your power away and start empowering yourself.

We’re too concerned with what other people tell us about ourselves rather than actually going inside of ourselves and actually developing our own value based on what we’re individually good at.

Especially watching something like the All-Star game and every guy is throwing upper 90’s with ridiculous breaking stuff.

It’s easy to be seduced by watching those games and wanting to be able to throw like those guys but realize it took A LOT of hard work to get to where they are now.

They didn’t start out like that I can promise you that.

Look it takes a lot of courage to be your authentic self, to not follow the crowd and believe what everybody else believes.

My dad told me when I was in high school, “When you do what everybody else does you get what everybody else gets…mediorcracy”.

So maybe at this point, you don’t throw as hard as you think you should but don’t let that take away from all of the other aspects of the game that you are good at.

And don’t just let what any coach tells you to become a limiting belief about yourself just because it came from a coach.

I’m pretty sure Chris Sale was told he was too skinny a time or two as he was growing up and I’m pretty sure he didn’t listen to any of it.

I’m pretty sure they told Jose Altuve at 5’3” he was too short to play in the big leagues and I’m pretty sure he didn’t listen to any of it.

Zach Greinke doesn’t top 91mph very much but he knows how to pitch and keep hitters off balance.

I’m not saying that velocity doesn’t matter and I’m not saying you can’t improve it because you can.

What I am saying is that velocity has become such a focus for most that it’s taken away from so many other aspects of the game like creativity and being true to yourself.

Don’t let someone else tell you what your value is.

Become the value that is inherent in you and believe in the power of the unique human being you are.

Your faith is your fortune.

Article Source: https://www.pitching.com/blog/whats-your-pitching-currency/

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

How to Shorten Swing by "Shallowing" Your Barrel Out


See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Rich Lovell discusses and demonstrates going from a high hand position at Launch to a lower hand and barrel position into the short Approach position to shallow the barrel for a shorter, more compact powerful swing.

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Baseball Hitting Skills: Having a Routine


Having a well-rounded routine at the plate can help build confidence and comfort. Dig into the box with these tips from DICK’S Sporting Goods to find your rhythm and swing.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Online Hitting Academy


Online Hitting Academy for players that can't come into The Baseball Barn for face to face hitting lessons - Richard Lovell-Epstein Hitting Online Academy.

A Customized Training Plan, Based on Your Specific Needs, And Managed by Your Very Own Personal Epstein Hitting Master Instructor, Rich Lovell, Will Show You How To Become the Best Hitter You Can Be!

Click HERE for more information

Looking for more information on baseball and fast pitch hitting? Are you part of a team, or Organization that would like to schedule a mini-camp/clinic or seminar for your players and coaches? and receive pertinent, professional instruction that includes video analysis of your players swing flaw?

Richard Lovell and The Baseball Barn are Epstein Hitting certified with Rich being 1 of only 8 Master Certified Instructors go 700+ instructors in the Epstein Hitting System.

Rich is available for individual, small group and team instruction to include clinics and seminars. Does your player, or team need expert evaluation to improve their swing?

Schedule an evaluation, or clinic/seminar with Rich and begin your swing transformation before the next season. Schedule your evaluation through our online scheduling system at The Baseball Barn, contact Rich directly at rjl41061@gmail.com, or if you are out of the area, through Rich's Online Hitting Academy (http:bit.ly/BaseballBarn)

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Friday, June 14, 2019

Nastiest Pitches of the Week!


Check out the nastiest pitches from the past week all around Major League Baseball

Monday, June 10, 2019

Baseball Infielder Skills: The Shortstop Double Play Standard Feed


Learn how to give your second baseman a proper feed for another successful double play with these infield tips from DICK’S Sporting Goods. Find out which standard feed method works best for your game by watching the above video.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Do Mechanics and Technique Matter? - The Baseball Barn


Rich talks about using technique and mechanics to set up the foundation for a consistent and powerful swing. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Baseball Infielder Skills: The Second Base Double Play Underhand Feed


Second basemen need to be sure of their double play feeds, too. Find out how to deliver a quality underhand feed for two with these baseball infield tips from DICK’S Sporting Goods.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Tee Work - How To Use A Tee Effectively - Baseball Barn


Rich gives some great coaching tips on using a tee when coaching a player. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Baseball Infielder Skills: The Shortstop Double Play Underhand Feed


Rolling two begins with an efficient feed to the bag. Find out how to give your teammate a clean underhand toss with these infield double play tips from DICK’S Sporting Goods.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Baseball Infielder Skills: The Second Base Double Play Backhand Feed


Twice is nice when it comes to recording outs in the infield. Find out how you can kick off a clean, efficient double play from second base with a strong backhand feed to the bag. Use these tips from DICK’S Sporting Goods to learn more.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Why Teach Players To Hit Ground Balls? - Rich Lovell - Baseball Barn


Coach Rich talks about the importance of teaching your players how to hit ground balls during practice can be critical during a game. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Friday, May 17, 2019

Online Hitting Academy


Online Hitting Academy for players that can't come into The Baseball Barn for face to face hitting lessons - Richard Lovell-Epstein Hitting Online Academy.

A Customized Training Plan, Based on Your Specific Needs, And Managed by Your Very Own Personal Epstein Hitting Master Instructor, Rich Lovell, Will Show You How To Become the Best Hitter You Can Be!

Click HERE for more information

Looking for more information on baseball and fast pitch hitting? Are you part of a team, or Organization that would like to schedule a mini-camp/clinic or seminar for your players and coaches? and receive pertinent, professional instruction that includes video analysis of your players swing flaw?

Richard Lovell and The Baseball Barn are Epstein Hitting certified with Rich being 1 of only 8 Master Certified Instructors go 700+ instructors in the Epstein Hitting System.

Rich is available for individual, small group and team instruction to include clinics and seminars. Does your player, or team need expert evaluation to improve their swing?

Schedule an evaluation, or clinic/seminar with Rich and begin your swing transformation before the next season. Schedule your evaluation through our online scheduling system at The Baseball Barn, contact Rich directly at rjl41061@gmail.com, or if you are out of the area, through Rich's Online Hitting Academy (http:bit.ly/BaseballBarn)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Saturday, May 11, 2019

ProTips: Catching - Catching the Ball


Defense is catching and throwing but it's not always that simple. We need to spend some time on the catching part and make it a priority.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

ProTips: Catching - Catching the Ball


Playing catch - an important point that'll carry over to the game to play better defense.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

How to Shorten Swing by "Shallowing" Your Barrel Out


See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Rich Lovell discusses and demonstrates going from a high hand position at Launch to a lower hand and barrel position into the short Approach position to shallow the barrel for a shorter, more compact powerful swing.

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

McHugh Pulls Off INSANE Move to Avoid Baseball


Astros pitcher Colin McHugh avoids the comebacker with a Matrix-type move against the Athletics

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Fastest Pitches of the Week


Check out some of the fastest pitches from the past week around Major League Baseball.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Weirdest Plays from Opening Week


Check out the wildest plays and moments around the league in this edition of Oddities of the Week

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Friday, March 29, 2019

ProTips: Hitting - Stance


There are many different kinds of stances and setups that we see from good hitters but the common things are that they're all comfortable, they're relaxed, and they're balanced. That's what we want our young hitters to do.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Using the Lower Body to Create Bat Speed and Power in Your Swing


See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Rich Lovell discusses in more detail how the lower body plays a role in bat speed and power.

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Online Hitting Academy


Online Hitting Academy for players that can't come into The Baseball Barn for face to face hitting lessons - Richard Lovell-Epstein Hitting Online Academy.

A Customized Training Plan, Based on Your Specific Needs, And Managed by Your Very Own Personal Epstein Hitting Master Instructor, Rich Lovell, Will Show You How To Become the Best Hitter You Can Be!

Click HERE for more information

Looking for more information on baseball and fast pitch hitting? Are you part of a team, or Organization that would like to schedule a mini-camp/clinic or seminar for your players and coaches? and receive pertinent, professional instruction that includes video analysis of your players swing flaw?

Richard Lovell and The Baseball Barn are Epstein Hitting certified with Rich being 1 of only 8 Master Certified Instructors go 700+ instructors in the Epstein Hitting System.

Rich is available for individual, small group and team instruction to include clinics and seminars. Does your player, or team need expert evaluation to improve their swing?

Schedule an evaluation, or clinic/seminar with Rich and begin your swing transformation before the next season. Schedule your evaluation through our online scheduling system at The Baseball Barn, contact Rich directly at rjl41061@gmail.com, or if you are out of the area, through Rich's Online Hitting Academy (http:bit.ly/BaseballBarn)

Thursday, March 21, 2019

ProTips: Hitting - Lower Half, Stride


When the majority of hitters take a stride it's really used for timing but we need to make sure that accomplishes a couple of things.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Most Iconic Windups Throughout Baseball History


From Dontrelle Willis' high leg kick to Mitch Williams' twist, these are some of the most iconic windups in baseball history

Friday, March 15, 2019

ProTips: Hitting - Running to First Base


After making contact, it's very important that we become a great teammate and run hard down the line.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

What Equipment I Use For Various Hitting Levels - Coach Rich Lovell - Baseball Barn


Rich talks about what equipment he uses as a player progresses. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Saturday, March 9, 2019

AMAZING Barehanded Play Reel


Check out some of the best barehanded plays made all-time on the baseball field

Sunday, March 3, 2019

ProTips: Athleticism - Athletic Stance


The athletic stance is probably a term you've heard often and we're going to clarify what that means.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Monday, February 25, 2019

Some of the Most Insane Infield Grabs Ever!


Legends of the Infield: Watch Omar Vizquel, Derek Jeter, David Wright, Javier Baez and many others make insane infield grabs.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Common Faults & Fixes Series - Poor Head Movement - The Baseball Barn


Rich continues the common faults and fixes series with addressing head movement. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

ProTips: Throwing - Grip


The four-seam grip provides straight carry, accurate ball flight, and true angle to your target.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Common Faults & Fixes Series - The Back Knee Straightening - The Baseball Barn


Rich continues the Common Faults and Fixes series with addressing the back knee. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Jaw-Dropping Infield Throws


From Derek Jeter to Andrelton Simmons, check out some of the most insane infield throws ever!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Common Faults & Fixes Series - Back Leg Movement - The Baseball Barn


Rich with the Baseball Barn talks about a common fault with back let movement and how to correct it. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Thursday, February 7, 2019

ProTips: Throwing - Direction


One of the main aspects of playing catch is having our body aligned with our partner.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Work Out like a World Series Champ with J.D. Martinez


Go behind-the-scenes with All-Star hitter J.D. Martinez as he shows off his offseason workout, from agility drills to lifting to getting in the cage.

Friday, February 1, 2019

What Equipment I Use For Various Hitting Levels - Coach Rich Lovell - Baseball Barn


Rich talks about what equipment he uses as a player progresses. See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

ProTips: Throwing - Arm Action


Arm action can vary by a player or by position. This video focuses on fluid and continuous arm action through a target.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Top 10 Nastiest Pitches in MLB (Voted by Players)


Check out the Top 10 nastiest pitches from the 2018 Major League season, as voted by MLB players.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Slump? What Do Elite Hitters Think About If They Aren't Hitting Well?


See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Coach Rich discusses hot be successful at the plate instead of worrying about your next hit...

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Art of the Double Play


It's called the pitcher's best friend for a reason; nothing changes the complexion of an inning more than a double play

Monday, January 14, 2019

ProTips: Throwing - Concentration


Often times during catch play our players will waiver off and start to make mistakes. It's important our players maintain the concentration during their catch play that way it translates into their game play and practice play.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Online Hitting Academy


Online Hitting Academy for players that can't come into The Baseball Barn for face to face hitting lessons - Richard Lovell-Epstein Hitting Online Academy.

A Customized Training Plan, Based on Your Specific Needs, And Managed by Your Very Own Personal Epstein Hitting Master Instructor, Rich Lovell, Will Show You How To Become the Best Hitter You Can Be!

Click HERE for more information

Looking for more information on baseball and fast pitch hitting? Are you part of a team, or Organization that would like to schedule a mini-camp/clinic or seminar for your players and coaches? and receive pertinent, professional instruction that includes video analysis of your players swing flaw?

Richard Lovell and The Baseball Barn are Epstein Hitting certified with Rich being 1 of only 8 Master Certified Instructors go 700+ instructors in the Epstein Hitting System.

Rich is available for individual, small group and team instruction to include clinics and seminars. Does your player, or team need expert evaluation to improve their swing?

Schedule an evaluation, or clinic/seminar with Rich and begin your swing transformation before the next season. Schedule your evaluation through our online scheduling system at The Baseball Barn, contact Rich directly at rjl41061@gmail.com, or if you are out of the area, through Rich's Online Hitting Academy (http:bit.ly/BaseballBarn)

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Our Children Become the Messages They Hear the Most


By John O’Sullivan, Changing the Game Project

Picture the young baseball player stepping onto the mound in the final inning of the championship game. What is he thinking in that moment?

Visualize the soccer player, stepping up to take the deciding penalty kick. What is going through her head?

Think of the basketball player, standing on the free throw line needing to make two free throws to send the game into overtime. Is he thinking about making the shots, or worried about missing them?

Each of these athletes has a voice in her head, a voice telling her she is strong enough, she is calm enough, she is brave enough, you ARE enough for this moment.

Or, that voice may be saying something completely different. That he is not enough. That he is not prepared. That he chokes in big moments. Who determines what that voice is saying?

We do. In a recent podcast interview with us, Dr. Jim Taylor, world-renowned sports psychologist and author of the fantastic new book Raising Young Athletes: Parenting Your Children to Victory in Sports and Life, gave us some great advice. In decades of working with world champion and Olympic athletes and their parents, Taylor has found that the voice in their head is often an echo of the messages they hear the most from the parents and coaches in their lives.

IN OTHER WORDS, CHILDREN BECOME THE MESSAGES THEY HEAR THE MOST.

“So many of the messages that kids get in youth sports and popular culture are not healthy,” says Taylor. “Parents need to think ‘what kind of messages am I sending my kid?’ Because a lot of times we send messages that we know are not right but we do them anyway because we have our own baggage and our upbringing and we say ‘well my dad said that to me so I am going to say that to my kids.’ And a lot of this is unconscious. But the messages that so many kids are getting these days from youth sports are not healthy. One of the scariest things for me is to sit on the sideline of youth soccer or lacrosse or poolside and listen to the things parents say to their kids. I am sure if I videotaped them, they would be appalled.”

Taylor continued “I see kids heading to the starting line wearing a metaphorical 50lb weight vest because of the things their parents say, and then parents wonder why their kids can’t perform.”

Did you know that according to research, the average person says between 300 and 1000 words a minute to himself? 300 to 1000 words a minute! Can you imagine how different an athlete may perform if those words are saying “I can do this, I just need to keep working” instead of “I am just going to disappoint everyone again?”

Our messages become the voice in their head that is either a positive, affirming message that allows them to breathe easier, relax, and perform up to the level of their training, or makes them tense and tells them that they are a disappointment and a failure.

There is a lot of research emerging about the importance and performance enhancement caused by positive self-talk. In his book Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science of Why Everything You Know About Success is Wrong, Eric Barker talks about the dilemma facing the U.S. Navy Seals at the turn of the century. Each year, more Seals were needed for conflicts across the globe, yet the attrition rates from BUDs training approached 80 to 90 percent. The Seals recognized that they could not lower the standards, given the difficulties faced by Seals in combat, but they also needed to graduate more Seals. That was when they happened upon the importance of positive self-talk. By teaching their candidates how to be mindful, how to breathe in high stress situations, and techniques to change their inner voice from a negative one (I can’t do this, I am ringing the bell and going home) to a positive one (I can do this, I will not quit on my team) they nearly doubled the number of candidates who made it through each class.

Same standards, twice the graduates, all by changing the inner voice.

We can do that for our own children, simply by being aware of the messages we are sending them and being intentional about sending the right ones. As Taylor discusses in his book, those messages should reinforce four core areas: healthy values, sense of self, ownership of the experience, and a sense of perspective. How can we do that?

Here are Five Great Messages That Athletes Need to Hear the Most:

  1. I Love Watching You Play: our children should never think that our love of them depends upon the outcome of a competition. If we get upset, sad or angry when they lose, our kids see that and perform worse. Regardless of whether they win or lose, whether they play well or poorly after competition tell them “I love watching you play.” That’s it. These simple words help remove the fear of failure and expectations of success, which is a paralyzer for many young athletes. I spoke about this in my TEDx Talk in 2014, and I get more phone calls and emails about these words than any other. People usually say “I thought that was too simple, but it has changed my relationship with my kids.” Others tell me it saved their relationship with their kids. I have had people stand up in public at our speaking events and share their story, often tearing up in the process. If you just tell your kids “I love watching you play,” everything changes for the better.
  2. The Power of Yet: this is the title Stanford Researcher Carol Dweck’s TED talk on Mindset, and how individuals with a growth mindset consistently outperform those with what she calls a fixed mindset. Fixed mindset athletes believe their abilities are fixed, and that effort and application mean nothing. Dweck has found that athletes and students perform better with a growth mindset, for they know that their abilities can be changed with effort and practice. I may not be good YET, but I can be. In her research, Dweck has found that often a fixed mindset emerges when we praise children for outcomes (you are so talented, you are a winner, you are so beautiful) instead of praising the process (you are a hard worker.) Help keep the focus on the process of improvement by praising the process and the effort, and your athletes are more likely to perform better.
  3. Talk about the process, NOT results: When we focus on results, and consistently critique mistakes, we create perfectionism in our kids. Perfectionism cripples performance, because perfectionists are focused only on outcomes, and they fear failure. Our kids know that results matter. Our society makes that abundantly clear. As Taylor says, this situation is a paradox. “Parents think that when they get their kids to focus on results, they are more likely to get those results, but it is just the opposite. By talking about results, it decreases the chance that they will get those results for two reasons. First, when does the outcome of competition occur? After it is over. If they are focused on the end, they are not focused on what it takes to get that outcome. And second, what outcome are kids usually focused on? Failing. And this causes doubt, worry, stress, they get nervous and tense, they stop breathing, and they lose coordination, which most likely results in failure. If parents would just focus on the process and say ‘what do you need to do today to be successful’ our athletes will focus on those things and that gives them the best chance of success.”
  4. Praise good behaviors and habits: Early success in sport is usually a result of early maturity and winning the calendar lottery – the relative age effect – yet long-term success is highly dependent upon ownership, enjoyment, and the intrinsic motivation to do all the little things it takes to be great week after week, year after year. We too often focus on outcomes and ignore poor behaviors such as lack of effort (because they can still succeed at 80% effort), being uncoachable, lack of commitment, refusal to work on weaknesses, lack of resilience, and being a poor teammate. An athlete’s habits today will be a far greater determinant of their outcomes in the future, for as we wrote about recently when it comes to youth sports, “Performance is a Behavior, Not an Outcome.” Praise those behaviors which determine long-term success.
  5. Sports are what you do, not who you are: Many athletes, especially those who join highly competitive and specialized sports experiences at a young age, end of up with identity issues because of sports. Instead of soccer or swimming being something that they do, their entire identity becomes “I am a swimmer” or “I am a soccer player.” We have had recent examples of top athletes such as Olympian Michael Phelps and NBA star Kevin Love battling depression during transitional moments in their careers. When they get injured, when they get cut from a team, when they age out of a sport or reach a level they can no longer compete at, children can lose their entire identity and sense of self, and develop severe psychological issues. This does not mean that an athlete cannot be very committed and competitive in a sport, but we must be sure if we want a healthy human being at the end of the sports journey, their sport cannot become their sole identity. Help them find and pursue other interests, find things outside of sports they do well and point those out, and remind them that sports NEVER define them! They are always enough! 

Next time your child steps on the field, what will the voice in their head be saying? Will it be a high-performance voice or one of self-doubt? Parents and coaches, we have a lot of input into that voice, if we are aware and intentional of the messages we send to our young athletes.

Our children become the messages they hear the most.

Our children become the messages they hear the most.

Our children become the messages they hear the most.

Pass it on!

Article Source: https://www.littleleague.org/news/our-children-become-the-messages-they-hear-the-most/

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Master Tip: Creating Power-It Isn't All in the Hips; Sequence, Ground Force, Torque


See more at http://www.vvbaseballbarn.com

Rich Lovell discusses important parts of the swing other than the hips to generate bat speed and power.

Click Here for Online Hitting Lessons, Video Analysis, Hitting Camps and lessons before 4p.m. through my Epstein Online Academy Page: https://www.spladap.com/epstein-hitting/vvbaseballbarn-trainer.html

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Dives, Snags, Leaps and Throws Make Up the Best Defensive Plays of 2018!


Enjoy diving catches, slick snags and home-run robberies as you check out the best defensive plays of 2018 for each team