The Importance of Hitting Every Day

Most people say hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in all of sports.  That being said, you’re given a lot of room to work with, you only have to get a hit 30% of the time and you’re an all star.  When I go to the batting cages, sometimes I’ll see a young player with his dad, and every time he hits the ball, his bat bounces backwards and his dad will be telling him the mechanical things he needs to do differently… Parents… if your son can’t swing all the way through the baseball, that is all you need to focus on.  Keep it as simple as possible.  Make him or her hit bigger, heavier balls and build up their strength so that when they hit baseballs there’s something behind it even if it’t a ground ball or pop fly.

I’m not going to try to teach you how to hit through words on a computer screen, that’s impossible.  But I do want to share how absolutely, unavoidably imperative it is that you hit at least every other day.  Now that I’m in college, I hit almost every single day.  I will usually take one day a week off, then after a few months I’ll take a few extra days, then right back on the grind.

However you are practicing, whether it’s off a tee, front toss, live, off a machine… you are getting better.  Especially if you’re in high school, those who practice everyday get rewarded, period.  You will get better, your coaches will know you as a grinder, and college scouts love grinders.  People will always tell you how many people are working harder than you, but if you do an hour of extra batting practice after everyone else is done every day, I’m here to tell you that yes, there are still people working harder, but you are working harder than MOST high school ball players.

Once you get yourself in the cage, it’s not just about hitting the ball; work on something.  Pick one thing to work on and do it until you don’t have to think about it anymore.  Don’t make it a mind game; pick just one thing so you don’t confuse yourself and mess up your swing.

TRUST ME, I’VE BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT.  THE PEOPLE WHO WORK ON THEIR CRAFT MORE THAN THE OTHERS ARE THE ONES WHO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL

With just a tee and a net you’ll have what you need to hit in your back yard whenever you want.

Tanner Tee

Pop-Up Net

All Hustle Baseball Approved Products

On the All Hustle Baseball website you can find the “All Hustle Baseball Approved” category on the left sidebar.  This is what makes the website unique.  I have used and personally endorse all products in that category.  Any questions you have about these products can be answered by me based on experience, coming from a baseball player, not a salesman.

If you have any questions you can ask via email @ customerservice@allhustlebaseball.com, you can contact me through our Facebook page or leave a comment on any one of the blog posts.

Click here if you’d like to shop All Hustle Baseball Approved Products

 

Choosing a Travel Ball Team

This post is for players that are in high school.  If you’re not in high school yet, don’t worry about getting recruited, focus on becoming a better ball player.  Learn to love the game of baseball because that is the best way to learn how to play with heart, and in the end, college coaches love players who play like they love the game.

That being said, once you’re old enough to start looking for a college, getting yourself on a great travel team is crucial to getting recruited.  There are a few things you need to think about when choosing a team.

1. Get on a Good Team

Scouts want to be away from their players as little as possible so you’ll notice that the majority of them start to show up when playoffs start.  They assume that the good players have made it to the playoffs.  If you find yourself on a team who can’t make it to playoffs, you’re not going to get seen by most scouts.

2. Find a Coach Who’s Goal is to Get You Recruited

There are tons of teams these days that are just trying to take your money.  My coach had been coaching and getting kids recruited for years so he had relationships with plenty of coaches.  You want to find someone like that, and there are plenty like that.  If you find yourself with a coach who at any point is unsure of what the next step is, you are with the wrong coach.  You want someone who can guide you through the entire process and don’t be afraid to go out and find someone new.  Your coach should be there for you, not for money.

3. Associate Yourself with People with the Same Goals

If you surround yourself with people who want to succeed you will be pushed to succeed.  Also, if you play on the same team as guys who are just playing for fun, that looks really bad in front of scouts and they will immediately discredit you.  Scouts are looking for guys who want to win and want to be pushed, guys who don’t care are a cancer to the team.  If you find yourself on a team like this, leave immediately because if a scout sees you as a cancer that is a hard first impression to shed.

What College Coaches Are Looking For

Now that I’ve spent two years in college, I can really see what our coaches love in some of our players, and what they wish they could change.  My freshman year I was doing outfield drills with the other outfielders and our coach got pissed because one of our guys complained about how we do the same drill over and over.  The coach told this guy, who was a junior at the time, that they recruited him because they thought he was a hard nosed, tough dude who would be able to lead the team.  He continued to say, in front of everyone, that he doesn’t know if he was even worth his scholarship since he’s always complaining and isn’t the tough guy they recruited.  Not once did he say anything about his skills.  He wasn’t one of our better players and the coach never made mention of that which he easily could have done.

Yes, coaches care about how well you play, I’m not saying that’s not important… because it obviously is.  Be real with yourself, if you’re a division two recruit right now, I am telling you.  If you are tough, hard nosed, you hustle on and off the field, don’t let anything rattle you, and just play your best baseball, scouts WILL notice and they will give you a chance at the division one level.

I first got seen at a tournament in Arizona, and I truely believe that the way that I played at that tournament got me recruited.  Something got into me and even though it was a hundred plus degrees, I was hustling all over the place and was extremely enthusiastic; into the game from the first out to the last.  Not only that, and probably more importantly, your coach knows what kind of player you are, and no matter how chummy you are with him, he’s not going to put his reputation on the line for you.  If you want your coach to say good things about you, prove to him that you deserve it.  My scout team coach knew I was one of the harder working players on our team and I know he told every coach he talked to.  That goes a LONG  way coming from a well trusted coach.

My senior year, I had already committed and my scout team had a banquet and my coach was the keynote speaker.  He talked about a player he had and basically how great he is.  Not because he’s their best player but because he knows that he never has to worry about how hard he’s working.  College coaches have a LOT on their plates; if you can take the edge off for them, then they’ll love you.  Work your butt off and they know you’re reaching your maximum potential and there’s not much more they need to do for you and pass your classes and they donn’t have to worry about getting your grades up.  Be a good players coach and show them that you won’t be a pain to coach.

The Hack Attack

How this product has effected my game for the better.

The Hack Attack and the Hack Attack Jr. are the best tools I have used in my entire 16 year baseball career.  Before going to college I always had to go to some batting cage and pay to get some kind of live arm.  I’m sure over the years that got really expensive and I never saw anything but fastballs.  I have nothing against that.  In fact, now that I’m at home and don’t have access to the hack attack we have at school, I’m back to doing that; driving 15 minutes to get to a iron mike and I have to pay ten dollars every time to get an hour of work in.

At school we have both the full sized Hack Attack and the Hack Attack Jr.  We use the full size Hack Attack for every single team practice, not only for hitting, but also for outfield work because that machine can absolutely send balls, it has a ton of power.  And the catchers are always using both machines for receiving drills and fly balls.  These machines are easily our most used tools.

When we don’t have team practice but I want to hit, I do one of two things.  If I can get other guys to the field who also want to hit, we bring out the full size machine.  The smaller machine can give you some good velo, but the big machine gives you a better arm angle and can challange you a lot more.  Also, the full size machine is heavy so it’s very difficult to set up by yourself, but with two people its no problem.  While I only need two people to set it up, I will only take it out if I don’t have to put it back because its quite a bit of work to set up and take down.

If I can’t get more than two people to the field, it takes me about five minutes to set up the Hack Attack Jr with some kid of screen protecting most of it from balls off my bat.  It’s easy for one person to set up and take down and requires very little effort.

To set up either machine it is exactly the same, just scaled down for the jr.  They come with three legs that are detachable and wheels attached to the motor and wheels so it is easy to move around.  Once you wheel the machine to the desired location, you put all of the legs on while the machine is on the ground and using the two front legs as a lever, lift it up on to the third leg so that it is now standing up.  There is an elevation control screw and it should be locked into place so you must turn it to lower the angle to unlock it, then turn it the other way to raise the pitch angle.  There is a way to turn the machine to change how far inside or outside you want the pitch to be, but usually, I just move the back leg and it will do the same thing.  On the machine there are instructions on how to set the knobs to throw what kind of pitch you want.  I love to mess around with the knobs because it tells you how they’re supposed to be for a fastball, curveball and slider, but sometimes I mess around so I can see cutters, sinkers and two seams.  This machine can throw pretty much whatever you want it to.  I still haven’t gotten the perfect knuckleball, but I’m sure it’s possible.

I really do love these products, in fact, I am currently saving up to buy a Hack Attack Jr for myself.  If you have just one friend or parent who would be willing to feed the machine, you could fit the machine in any car and drive it down to a field that has some kind of outlet, and as long as you have an extension cord and some kind of screen to protect yourself from comebackers, you can hit live on any field, any time.  Not only that, its FUN!  Perfect for a home run derby because it can throw any speed, and believe it or not, IT’S CONSISTENT.  Way more consistent than any other machine I have used.

Here are the links to each product:

Hack Attack

Hack Attack Jr.