American Baseball Camps — 6.5 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Kid In A Summer Camp

Apr 08, 2019 by Nick Rotola CEO of American Baseball Camps in  baseball camps Fun Baseball Camps summer baseball camps summer fun Youth Baseball Advice
6.5 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Kid In A Summer Camp-min

Yeah… A lot has changed since you were a kid. Obesity is also up, anxiety is way up, and even though kids are more connected than ever before, they are proven to be more lonely.

Not good, right? It gets worse. A recent study shows that kids spend an average of 6.5 hours in front of a screen each day & growing!

That is why we have compiled our 6.5 reasons why you should get your in a summer camp for kids.

#1 Happiness

study performed by students at Northwestern revealed that there is a “dark side” to media, and that your kid’s social media consumption should be monitored. Even though they may not intend it to, children being exposed to the wrong messages often enough can be desensitized, more aggressive, and less happy. Spending time outdoors, however, raises levels of Vitamin D, promotes social skills, and develops athleticism. Leaving you with an overall better-developed & happier camper.



#2 Social Skills

study from New York Behavioral Health finds that too much media for your kid could inhibit his/her social skills. They highlight significant risks associated with too much media, such as: cyberbullying, social skill reduction, and “facebook depression”. All-in-all, they find that the more your kid communicates with friends outside, rather than on social media, the better his social skills will become.

#3 Obesity Rates

Childhood obesity rates have maintained around 17% for the past ten years. Statistics by kidshealth.org show that children who consistently spend more than 4 hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight. They also recommend that parents place limits on screen time, which includes TV, social media, and video games. Media should not take the place of being physically active.

#4 To Face Challenges

Camps like American Baseball Camps provide fun and challenging games and activities that help kids persevere and conquer challenges. We believe that when kids are encouraged, and treated like they are great, they tend to rise to the occasion and play better. Either way, facing tough challenges at camp helps kids to find their creative/competitive/athletic side.



#5 To Try New Things

New activities that take kids out of their comfort zone can have remarkable benefits! We find that the kids that come into our camps, sometimes timid, leave happy and outgoing!

#6 Developing Friendships

Developing friendships is a big part of what you get with camps like American Baseball Camps. Being able to socialize is one thing, but being able to quickly develop friendships is another! We at American Baseball Camps preach being a team player. We find that working together as a team is a much better lesson to teach than trying to do it all by yourself. Teamwork is important in baseball and in life. We see this as having multiple applications for the child’s academic life, sports life, and home life.

#6.5 Making Memories

Camps can be the highlight of your child’s summer! Great camps create memories that stick with a child for a lifetime! Enough with all the media. Encourage your kid to put the phone down, and get outside and make memories that he’ll never forget!

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To sign your kid up for one of our camps — Check out our camps here!

Blog provided by American Baseball Camps — ABC’s mission is to make baseball fun again so they provide great summer fun camps for kids ages 12 and under. If you will share this blog post and use coupon code: “blog” at checkout, you can receive 20% off your order!\




Two Strike Approach - American Baseball Camps-min

What Is A Two Strike Approach & How Do I Teach It To My Son/Daughter?

Sep 17, 2020

A two strike approach is a plan a hitter executes when they have two strikes on them at the plate.

Many at-bats get to two strikes in youth baseball, so it is important to have a strategy when the time comes!

Know that hitting with two strikes is significantly harder than hitting early in the count, which is already hard.

Below is a table of MLB statistics in each count, note that the two strike counts are the lowest.

This graph doesn’t tell the whole story, however.

There are a lot of things really good hitters do with two strikes that help the team tremendously but don’t count toward batting average!

Also, this graph is for the MLB. We’re talking about much harder pitches to hit with two strikes and much better defenses. Your results from reading this blog are going to be much greater than theirs, because your son/daughter is going to know things that the pitcher on the 12u team your playing doesn’t know yet.

Here’s the list of positive, non batting average, things that come from a good two strike approach:

  1. Walks
  2. Ground balls where you get out but the runner scores from third
  3. Fly balls where the runner tags up and scores or advances one base
  4. Errors inflicted from putting the bat on the ball and making the defense make a play
  5. Limits strikeouts
  6. Improves on base percentage
    1. Improves steals
    2. Improves runs scored
  7. Makes the pitcher throw more pitches
    1. Tires the pitchers out earlier
    2. Tires the defense out
  8. Makes you one of coach’s favorites

Those are some pretty great things that happen when you have a great plan with two strikes, now let’s jump to the plan.

 

Step 1: Get Up On The Plate

9 out of 10 youth baseball pitchers will try to throw outside when the hitter has two strikes on them at the plate. This doesn’t change when you get older, in D1 and Pro-Ball it’s still like 7 out of 10.

1a. Make It Easier

When you know the ball will likely be outside, you can take that pitch away by scooting up on the plate. You’re making an outside pitch look like its down the middle – making it easier to hit.

1b. Take The Umpire Out Of It

Pitches that seem outside when you are up on the plate are going to be really outside, limiting the amount of times you get screwed by an umpires bad call on the outside corner (big plus! & sorry for the language!).

1c. Make The Pitcher Nervous

Have you ever tried to play catch with someone, when someone without a glove is standing right by them? Isn’t it a lot harder than when that person is standing further away? Same concept with pitching to someone that is standing close to the plate, it sucks. Want to get in the pitchers head and have more success with two strikes? Get on the plate.

 

Step 2: Don’t Be That Parent

I think we probably touch on this point in every single blog post, but gah-lee it doesn’t help your kid at all to yell at him during his at bat.

Learning a two strike approach is something that happens in the off season, in a practice, at home. It’s not a matter of yelling get on the plate when your son has two strikes on him.

If you don’t trust my opinion as a former D1 & Professional ballplayer & founder of this company, then let me hit you with the science here:

  1. Hitting a baseball is the hardest activity in any sport.
  2. Males have smaller corpus collosums, making them worse at multi-tasking than women. What does this mean? We can’t focus on hitting when our parent is yelling orders at us. It seems like it makes it better, it’s actually much worse.
    1. More on this: “The corpus callosum is the fiber tract that joins the left and right hemispheres in the brain and is often cited as one of the regions that show robust sexual dimorphisms: Women tend to have larger and more bulbous corpus callosa than men. This finding has been interpreted as showing that women have more communication between hemispheres, and think more holistically.” (Great Courses Daily)
  3. Confidence is the most important factor in hitting. Confidence is challenged by doubt & worry. Both doubt and worry are inflicted when you yell at a hitter during his at bat.

Instead: sit back, relax, and trust that your son/daughter will do what you have worked on. If not, it’s no big deal. Like every good manager says, he’ll get em next time.

 

Step 3: Practice It

Did you ever wonder what they do at most youth baseball practices? Play catch, ground balls, fly balls, hit, maybe base running at times.

Coach does not have the time to develop every player like they should.

Also, not to offend people, but honestly – you get what you pay for with a youth baseball coach & no one cares about your son/daughter like you do so don’t expect him to.

I will say, if your son/daughter is tough to get out with two strikes – coach is going to love him!

 

So as a parent, how do you practice a two strike approach? Oh crap, hadn’t thought of that. Just kidding, here’s a list:

  1. Wiffle balls are cheap, he already has a bat. Throw a glove on the ground that’s your plate.
  2. Tell him: lets work on your two strike approach, this is what you do when you have two strikes on you at the plate: 0-2, 1-2, 2-2, or full count.
  3. Help him with the setup.
    1. Scoot closer to the plate
    2. Choke up about 1 inch on the bat
    3. Widen his stance – this limits movement, most specifically head movement. Head movement can make it hard to make contact!
    4. Tell him to swing at anything close, and to be ready for an outside pitch.
  4. Throw him outside a lot and get him used to hitting balls just off the plate.
  5. Mix in balls often and instruct him not to swing at them. Sometimes kids can get carried away with the phrase ‘swing at anything close.’ So reinforce pitch selection, and only swinging at pitching you can hit.
  6. Have him explain what a two strike approach is back to you that way you know he knows it.

Work this into your backyard routine, as you should be doing as often as he is up for it.  Remember, getting better and becoming a great baseball player needs to be his dream, not yours! Don’t be overbearing, but do everything you can to help him!

Thanks for taking the time to read about the game your son/daughter loves so much.

 

This blog was written by Nick Rotola, Founder of American Baseball Camps. Nick played D1 ball as a SS/CF at Oral Roberts, a powerhouse in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nick played two seasons in AA American Association where he played outfield and hit leadoff/ninth. Nick is the author of  many of our blogs, and of the e-book: At Home Baseball Program – Click Here To Download That Book

American Baseball Camps — 5 Ways to Encourage in a Game of Failure

Apr 18, 2019

5 Ways To Encourage In A Game Of Failure

 

#1 Build Self-Esteem

In D1 Baseball we learn about the importance of self-talk and how it can translate into better success on the field. This is something I wish I would have known when I was growing up in youth sports. Self talk is so important — Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake.

It is important in self-esteem building to not compare yourself to others in baseball! So many of the complaints we hear from baseball parents have something to do with some other player on their team and “special treatment.” Jealousy and comparisons with teammates are not healthy thought to be going through a youth baseball players’ head. Parents don’t compare your kid to others on the team.



 #2 The Power of the Bribe

A great way to encourage in youth baseball is with the good old-fashioned bribe. Coaches and parents, pick up a pack of helmet stickers at a local sporting goods store for around $5-10. With these stickers you can interchange hits or home runs with numbers on the back of his helmet. This way you can encourage his success while incentivizing him to be successful.

#3 Positive Reinforcement > Negative Reinforcement

In an already negative game (especially when you get older) extra negativity should be avoided. We already talked about negative thoughts and comparisons with teammates. But there are other areas where positivism and encouragement can overcome negativity. Smiles are better than stern looks when a child looks at you during a game. Smiles are so powerful. They always tend to make others smile. Rather than getting on to your kid when he messes up in baseball try phrases like: “so what” or “get em next time.”



After all, it is just a game. A game that is much more fun when you are encouraged along the way!

#4 Seek Encouraging Instruction

There are two types of coaches out there, the one that encourages, and the one that screams at kids because he’s stuck in 1997 when he played. Seek out those coaches that are knowledgeable enough to know that kids play the best when they have high self-esteem and believe in themselves. Find coaches that cultivate that kind of mindset at the baseball field.

#5 Sign up for a Fun Baseball Camp

The best and most encouraging baseball summer camps in the country are American Baseball Camps. D1 instruction from the D1 Players with an emphasis on encouragement: Phoenix AZ | Wichita KS | Kansas City MO| Tulsa OK

 

– Guest Author: Nick Rotola Professional Baseball Player

Shop Upcoming Youth Baseball Camps (Ages 6-12)

American Baseball Camps Home Page

 




American Baseball Camps — Three Reasons Hitters Must Make Adjustments

Apr 01, 2019

Why should baseball players make adjustments?

Let’s start with a story, because stories help people remember things.

Let’s take Jose Bautista for example, he’s not the only one that made a crucial adjustment, but lets just use him as our example.

#3 Jose Bautista’s career changing adjustment



This picture was taken during Joey Batts’ infamous home run and bat flip in game 5 of the ALDS. Now let’s talk about his journey and the adjustments that got him to where he is now.

Between 2004 & 2009 Jose Bautista was traded and moved around and never hit more than 16 home runs in a season. He was never a special player.

Until 2011.

When Jose Bautista went from dud to stud hitting 54 home runs when the next highest in the league was 40. He followed this up the next year by hitting 43 in 2011.

So what was the switch? What did he do to as the New York times put it “start putting up Babe Ruth numbers circa 1927.”

His adjustment was to start his swing earlier and easier. He made a conscious decision to relax more and start his leg kick earlier. He was starting so late that in order for him to be on time he had to be quick. Starting earlier and easier helped him to relax his hands and pick up off speed pitches better. Being quick and late with your swing makes you tend to tense up and struggle picking up off-speed.

He had heard coaches tell him this adjustment lots of times during his career but he said it wants until he actually practically made changes and watched video that he was able to make the change.

#2 Hall-of-Fame advice



Check out this video of three great hitters talking hitting and the importance of adjustments in baseball:

#3 A bad plan/approach will always be a bad plan/approach

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That is kind of how hitting without adjustments can be. If you are a young player, and you don’t make adjustments to your approach or swing, you just may drive yourself nuts in this game.

It’s not fair to yourself in a game dictated by numbers to not give yourself the best chance for success every time you step up to the plate. There is no reason to just keep going to the plate with the same plan that has been giving you frustrating results.

Your ability to make adjustments can make or break you in this game. And you’ll have a lot more fun playing this beautiful game if you can do it.

 

– Author Anonymous (The NCAA doesn’t allow me to disclose which historic baseball program I play for)

 

Blog posts provided by American Baseball Camps – the first camp with primary instruction from active D1 players. ABC’s mission is to make baseball fun again! They do this by providing the most fun baseball camp in America where they encourage players to have fun and help them to play their best. Summer fun camps are coed, and for kids ages 12 and under. They feature slip n’ slide wiffle ball, pitching dunk tanks, and many many more fun baseball games and drills.

 

 

 




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