Blog

When I'm not coaching or giving private baseball and softball lessons, I like to share baseball/softball related tips, stories, and activities for baseball and softball fans throughout Arizona. Please enjoy my blog posts below!

The Stanford Daily Softball Article on Leah White

posted Feb 14, 2015, 10:41 PM by Evan W

Back in late January there was a great piece in The Stanford Daily about my sister Leah White and Stanford softball! She has worked her tail off and I am so proud of her! Here is the link to the full article in The Stanford Daily.

Here is a little excerpt from the article:

Leah also talked about the role that her brother Evan, who gives hitting lessons to youth baseball and softball players, has had on her development.

“During high school, he would try to help, but I wasn’t always so open to receiving help from him,” she said. “However, once I got to college, I would go home over break and summer, he definitely became a valuable resource.

“We don’t always get along when we are practicing. That is a very common thing when practicing with parents or siblings, but he is definitely a lot more patient and forgiving than he should be when I am not so open to criticism.”



Bunting Tips

posted Feb 12, 2015, 10:08 PM by Evan W   [ updated Feb 12, 2015, 10:08 PM ]

Check out my recently released video of the bunting basics. Bunting in a game can be the difference between winning and losing. Check out my tips to learn how to bunt! Hope to see everyone out on the field soon!

Bunting Tips

Time Lapse of Private Baseball/Softball Lessons

posted Dec 14, 2014, 8:51 PM by Evan W   [ updated Dec 20, 2014, 12:22 PM ]

Are you interested in find out what goes on during my baseball/softball lessons? Watch these two videos to get a better idea of my private baseball/softball lessons in a cool time lapse!

Softball Time Lapse



Baseball Time Lapse


Why the Kansas City Royals are in the World Series

posted Oct 22, 2014, 10:20 AM by Evan White   [ updated Jul 11, 2017, 10:06 AM by Evan W ]

The Kansas City Royals are in the World Series for the first time since 1985!!! Do you know one of the reasons for the Royals getting there? THEIR HITTING!!! In this first video (below) you can see Eric Hosmer crank a home run vs. the Angels in the 11th inning of game 2 of the ALDS. After you watch this video, watch it again and look for things that Eric did correct. 



Were you able to see what he did right?

Is this screenshot below, I have marked some areas below that I thought that Eric Hosmer did a great job with in his swing. The first thing I noticed was his front knee. By “popping” your front leg straight, you are able to get your hips through the ball; this allows you to hit the ball harder. The next thing I noticed was his head was right down on the baseball. Like I always say, “if you’re not watching the ball, it’s going to be MUCH harder to hit it!” The third thing I noticed was that Eric stayed inside the baseball. If you look at his left arm, you can see that it forms an L, which is a strong hitting position. The forth thing I noticed was that he drove his back leg down towards the ground. In this swing, he is getting a TON of power from his back leg. Lastly, Eric rotated his back foot, allowing him to use his hips and legs for power.



 Check back for new blogs coming soon!!!






Where Should Baseball/Softball Players Stand in the Batter’s Box? Part 2

posted Oct 12, 2014, 10:51 AM by Evan White

A frequent question that my students ask me during my hitting lessons is, “is it better to stand closer, or further from the pitcher?” As with many questions, the answer is “it depends.” However, in this blog I will help explain some reasons why players should stand up or back in the batter’s box when hitting a baseball/softball. If you haven’t already seen Part 1 of Where Should Baseball/Softball Players Stand in the Batter’s Box check it out!

Does anyone know why in this image Buster Posey is standing so far back in the batter’s box? Once you think you know, see the answer below!


The answer is that Buster wants to have a longer time to see the baseball, so he can make a better decision if he should swing/not swing on the pitch. The extra few feet make a HUGE difference when a pitch is coming at him at speeds sometimes over 95 miles an hour.

So GENERALLY, the faster the pitching is, the further back one stands from the pitcher. Sometimes when a pitcher is throwing more curve balls or off-speed pitches, a batter can move up towards the pitcher. This will help the batter make contact before the major break in the pitch (which can be hard to hit)!

HOWEVER, with this being said, I like to tell my students to just keep it simple when going up to the plate. Don’t get caught up in moving around the batter’s box too much. There will be times when batters will have to make small adjustments at the plate, because of umpires calling more outside pitches/inside pitches for strikes.

As in the picture above, I usually have my students standing with their front foot even with the middle of the plate

Enjoy,  good luck hitting, and check out my hitting videos!

Where Should Baseball/Softball Players Stand in the Batter’s Box? Part 1

posted Sep 27, 2014, 1:51 PM by Evan White

One of the first things I notice at the beginning of my one-on-one private baseball/softball lessons at The Cages or The Scottsdale Batting Cages is where the player stands in the batter’s box. Most times at the beginning of my lessons, I notice that the player stands too far away from home plate.

Standing too far away from home plate can cause two major issues:

    1.        When a player is swinging at a ball, he/she will hit the ball at the end of the bat, causing it to be hit weakly. Most importantly, that player will feel a strong vibration in his/her hands, which will cause stinging in the hands.
    2.        The player will swing and completely miss the ball, as the ball will be too far away from the bat.
 

However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, standing too close to the plate can also cause problems. The biggest problem that batters will face is that they will get jammed. This is when the batter hits the ball too far down on the bat (towards their hands). It is also known as “hitting it off your hands.” This will make the bat vibrate strongly again, resulting in more stinging pain! The ball that is hit will once again be hit without much power. Many times batters will not be able to extend through the swing.


Now that we know that standing too far or too close can cause issues, where do we stand?  A good way to tell (which I show in my private lessons) is to reach out your arm (holding the bat), and touch the opposite side of the plate. Make sure that your back is relatively straight when doing this. IF NOT, this will make it appear that you are close enough to the plate, while in reality you will be too far.

This should give you a much clearer idea of where to stand in the batter’s box. Remember, you still need to feel comfortable where you are setting up to hit!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Where Should Baseball/Softball Players Stand in the Batter’s Box, where I will explain whether it is better to stand closer or further from the pitcher! 

The Baseball/Softball Frisbee Drill (to Prevent Rolling Over on the Ball)

posted Sep 8, 2014, 1:58 PM by Evan White   [ updated Sep 8, 2014, 3:33 PM ]

A common mistake that many baseball/softball players make during my private baseball/softball instruction is that they “roll over” on the ball. This means that when a player is swinging, his/her top hand (left hand for righties and right hand for lefties) rolls over too early on his/her swing. This causes the ball to be a weak ground ball, usually hitting right in front of home plate.

A few tips to help avoid this:

    • Hit inside the ball (meaning the batter should pull his/her hands and knob more towards the pitcher and not towards 1st base for righties, and 3rd base for lefties)
    • Make sure that the batters arms don’t get extended away from his/her body (don’t want to hit around the ball)
    • When the batter is making contact with the ball, remember that the punching part of one’s hand is facing the pitcher

The Frisbee baseball/softball drill helps to avoid this. My video below with help explain how to do the Frisbee batting drill properly.

This drill helps the batter:

    • Practice extension on his/her swing (short to the ball, and long through the ball)
    • Works on keeping the batters head down during the swing (if the batters eyes look up towards where they think the ball will be going, they will get underneath the ball and won’t make solid contact)
    • Get into the habit of staying balanced throughout the swing (and not falling away from the plate)

Frisbee Drill

Check out some of my other hitting videos here!

Gamification in Baseball/Softball Practices

posted Sep 6, 2014, 10:33 PM by Evan White   [ updated Sep 6, 2014, 10:40 PM ]

One of the buzz words in today’s business world is gamificiation. Gamificiation is applying gaming techniques and gaming elements into non-gaming contexts. Some of the largest companies today use gamification for their workforce and customers. The reason for this is that gamificiation engages and motivates people to achieve their objectives in a fun, competitive way. While there is no real need for gamificiation during real baseball and softball games, gamification is a great way to get baseball and softball players motivated during practices and private batting instruction.



One of the most common issues I see with baseball and softball players during my batting lessons is they struggle to keep their head down once making contact with the ball. If a player is batting and gets in the habit of watching where the baseball/softball is hit, s/he will end up pulling his/her head up too early and will usually miss or pop-up a ball. To help with this, I use my mini basketball (which was mentioned in my last blog.) However, sometimes just telling my students to look at the basketball when they are done swinging is not enough. To help players become better baseball and softball hitters, I use gamification. I assign points for things during their swings. For instance, every time they keep their heads down, they get a point. However, if they DON’T keep their heads down, I am the one that gets a point. The instant difference of using gamification is amazing!

Some other ideas for practice using gamification can be found here.

Baseball & Softball with a Basketball?

posted Sep 3, 2014, 9:54 AM by Evan White   [ updated Sep 3, 2014, 10:07 AM ]

One item that has always accompanied me during my boys’ and girls’ hitting lessons is my mini basketball. This basketball has been through hundreds (if not thousands) of hits from 4 ½-year-old kids to high school aged students. It is a great tool for anyone trying to improve their swing.

Usually, when I bring out the basketball, my baseball/softball students have no idea what the ball is going to be used for.  I first ask them to describe what they see and notice about the ball. Most of my students during my batting lessons notice that the ball is indeed a basketball, a little flat and that it’s heavier than a baseball/softball.

There are two main uses for the basketball:

1.       The first purpose of the mini basketball is to help remind my baseball/softball students to keep their head down. One of the biggest mistakes that most players make during my private instruction is pulling their head up. Doing so makes them get underneath the ball, popping it up. The best place to put the basketball is in the front of the opposite side of the batter’s box. You can even play a game with the softball and baseball players to help them work on keeping their head down. This is part of ‘gamification’ which I will explain more in a later blog post. 


2.       The second use of the basketball is to hit it off the tee. THE KIDS LOVE DOING THIS! While this drill is fun, there is a reason for hitting the basketball. Driving through a baseball or softball is important to have the ball fly off the bat. Using a heavier object allows my students to learn to drive through the ball. 

Check out my video below to see it in action!

Hitting a Basketball Drill




Why is Using a Batting Tee Important?

posted Aug 29, 2014, 1:36 PM by Evan W   [ updated Aug 30, 2014, 10:15 AM ]

One of the most overlooked things in improving a baseball or softball swing is a batting tee. Many kids that I work with on hitting think they don’t need to use a tee. One particular student around seven years old once told me that, “I already did t-ball” and that “I don’t need to use a tee.” Hitting is one of the most difficult things to do in any sport, but using a tee can help improve baseball and softball players' swings.

Every private batting lesson that I do starts with a tee. It is a great way to get warmed up but, most importantly, it provides INSTANT FEEDBACK. If a player swings and misses in a game, it is difficult to realize what he or she is doing wrong. However, when using a tee, the players can see exactly what is happening. There are three main things that can happen:

1.       The player swings below the ball and hits the tee

2.       The player swings above the ball and whiffs on it (missing the ball completely)

3.       The player swings and makes solid contact with the ball

After one of the above things occur, the baseball/softball player (or coach) can learn and adjust for the next swing. As one of my coaches use to say, “Practice doesn’t make perfect but PERFECT practice makes perfect!” There are tens of different drills that can be done on a tee and I am excited to share some of these hitting drills (that I use during my baseball and softball instruction in Arizona) with you!

Keep reading my blog to learn more about hitting, fielding, and enjoying the games of baseball and softball! 


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