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Cover: pitching: a plan for developing speed & control in the bullpen
Pitching: A Plan for Developing Speed & Control in the Bullpen

with Chelsey Barclay,
University of North Carolina Associate Head Coach/Pitching;,
former Cal Poly Pitching Coach and Marshall Assistant Coach; ,
played collegiately for University of Illinois-Chicago and Oklahoma State University,

In this video, Chelsey Barclay introduces a series of pitching drills and training approaches for advanced level pitchers that can provide ideas and guidance to any coach coach working to develop the skill level and competitiveness of their staff.

Coach Barclay's presentation is from the perspective of a pitcher and what works to refine skills to the level needed to compete at the higher level of collegiate softball. Unlike many learn-to-pitch videos targeted at the basic mechanics of pitches, the drills introduced by Coach Barclay work toward mastering the critical elements of throwing each pitch so they are effective.

This video will help you understand techniques for training in three specific areas:

Development of speed through the proper control of body position and resistance. The drills taught by Barclay integrate the use of training aids such as a bosu ball and radar feedback into a training regimen. The drills included are unique, but simple ways to train pitchers to effectively use their lower half to generate speed.

Control of the key aspects of each of the major pitches (change-up, drop, rise, curve and screw) and drills to enhance the execution of these pitches. These drills are pitch-specific and work on refining pitches for spin, speed, location and break point as appropriate for each pitch. The drills clearly demonstrate step-by-step methods for improvement.

Group and team drills to build competition and add game-like pressure to pitching workouts that will pitchers translate performance in practice to game performance.

Each of the drills are demonstrated by 1-3 pitchers, allowing excellent insight into real life performance in a training situation where not every pitch is perfect. Of particular note, the drills for mastering the proper 12-6 spin for rise balls and maintaining the needed body positioning are both unique and excellently presented.

Overall, this view into pitcher training at a high level collegiate program will offer you fantastic insights into practical methods to build and improve your pitching staff. The techniques and approaches of Coach Barclay's drills can be extended and adapted to build a repertoire of bullpen practices. This video is not a "how to pitch" video and is best intended for the knowledgeable pitching instructor or coach working with advanced high school, older travel ball or collegiate players.

90 minutes. 2019.

DVD
Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: mastering the art of hitting
Mastering the Art of Hitting

with Mary Jo Firnbach,
University of North Carolina Associate Head Coach;
helped lead UNC to the ACC Championship and Regional Finals in 2017;
former Texas A&M University Associate Head Coach;
2008 National Championship game appearance;
former Syracuse University Head Coach (she was the school's first coach in softball ever);
team captain as a player at Southern Illinois University in 1991

University of North Carolina's Mary Jo Firnbach provides an overview and perspective on the hitting training program utilized by the Tar Heels. She includes more than two dozen drills designed to build better hitters, shows how to use isolation techniques to help athletes improve in specific areas, and endorses the value of batting practice on the field so that players can see the flight of the ball off their bat.

Hitting Drills

Firnbach begins by showing a progression of tee work to front toss that promotes hitting from the ground up. Every drill has a purpose, and Coach Firnbach explains the "fix" that each drill offers so that you can identify swing flaws and immediately address them. This section will detail how to help your hitters build strength that translates into more base hits, enhancing your offense overall.

Isolation Techniques

Coach Firnbach uses short bats to isolate and improve the front arm and back arm for a better full swing. Bats of various weights are also incorporated to promote faster bat speed. Firnbach's training includes how to use ramps under the front or back foot of a hitter to improve balance and consistency at the plate.

On-Field Batting Practice

The flight of the ball gives instant feedback to the hitter, and Coach Firnbach makes sure to use drills that force players to hit into certain zones of the field as a great teaching technique. You'll learn how the flight of the ball can communicate the effectiveness of contact points, as well as how to make adjustments that allow players to hit to all fields. As an added bonus, Firnbach gives you competitive drills to use with your athletes to make sure they get comfortable performing under pressure.

This video from Coach Firnbach provides a solid progression of drills that will help softball players of any skill level get better. Don't miss your chance to learn from one of the game's best instructors!

76 minutes. 2019.

DVD
Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: keys to becoming a complete slap hitter
Keys to Becoming a Complete Slap Hitter

with Donna Papa,
University of North Carolina Head Coach;
Distinguished member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Hall of Fame (2012);
5x ACC Coach of the Year; over 1,200 career victories

Tired of watching videos that don't cover the aspects of slap hitting you are looking for? If you need more help teaching your players the art of slap hitting, this is the video for you. Slapping can give any offense a unique weapon, and University of North Carolina head coach Donna Papa is one of the best teachers of this skill in the game today!

Slap Hitting Philosophy

Coach Papa guides you through UNC's complete slap hitting philosophy; in this video, you'll learn:

  • How and why to put pressure on the defense.
  • How to increase your opportunities to put the ball in play.
  • Skills for reading defenses.
  • Methods for better bat control.
  • How to improve foot speed.

The drills that Papa presents can make the difference between limited success and complete domination. She includes her perspective on when to use different slapping techniques, including the drag bunt, chop, soft slap, hard slap, and power slap.

Flaws and Fixes

At some point, your players will get into a rut and will require the knowledge of how to fix their slapping technique. Papa includes common mistakes and fixes for:

  • The Stance - How to alter your base, posture, hand positioning and grip.
  • Footwork - Including the difference between a one step and two step approach.
  • Load - The proper positioning to "do damage" as a slapper.

Improving Timing

With more than two dozen drills, this video is loaded with ways to get better and be comfortable in the batter's box. You'll see how isolating pieces of the swing can help you diagnose weaknesses and turn them into strengths. Additionally, Papa explains how to create a progression plan that helps players feel proper slap hitting techniques.

This video represents an opportunity to learn from a Hall of Fame coach. If you want to churn out elite slappers, you'll find everything you need inside!

94 minutes. 2019.

DVD
Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: the ultimate infield practice plan
The Ultimate Infield Practice Plan

with Mary Jo Firnbach,
University of North Carolina Associate Head Coach;
helped lead UNC to the ACC Championship and Regional Finals in 2017;
former Texas A&M University Associate Head Coach;
2008 National Championship game appearance;
former Syracuse University Head Coach (she was the school's first coach in softball ever);
team captain as a player at Southern Illinois University in 1991

Do you want to ramp up your defensive practices? Are you looking for ways to incorporate conditioning into more of your workouts? This video featuring University of North Carolina's Mary Jo Firnbach will show you how to add more drills into your training regimen to improve your team's defense.

Infield Philosophy

Coach Firnbach shows how she develops athleticism in her players by using drills that force athletes to charge the ball, take control of the situation and put themselves in position to make a play. She focuses on building from the ground up, beginning with footwork in order to cover more ground and make more plays. You'll see how drills that emphasize a quick first step can help your players take away hits that would have otherwise gotten through to the outfield.

"Everyday" Practices

Next, Firnbach shares drills that can be done regularly to help your infielders be confident and poised. Exercises include:

  • Short Hop Series
  • Line Drill
  • Throwing Slots
  • Ladder Drills

You'll see how to get your players to make more plays on the run, ensuring that the speed of the game is never an issue. Additionally, you will learn how foot quickness and reaction drills can make your defense a force to be reckoned with on the diamond.

Drills and Techniques

In the Catcher Throw Down Series, every infielder receives throws, makes tags, and delivers the ball to a new target. It's a great drill to work all of the catch play that infielders need to master. Firnbach's "Crossfire" is another great drill that will adjust athletes to the speed of the game.

Constructing a complete infield is your first step to defensive domination. Allow Coach Firnbach to help you do just that in this all-encompassing instructional video!

76 minutes. 2019.

DVD
Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: developing a championship pitching staff
Developing a Championship Pitching Staff

with Bob Ligouri,
Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Head Coach;Iowa Girls Coaching Association (IGCA) Hall of Fame;
6x NJCAA World Series appearances;over 950 career wins;has coached 15 All-Americans;
as a High School coach (Dowling Catholic HS - Iowa) - 2x State Champions, 2x State Champion Runner-up

Good pitchers oftentimes have a grasp on certain physical elements of pitching, but in order to become a great pitcher, they must possess a little something more. It's not about just having a pitch - it's about knowing when and where to throw the pitch for optimal results.

In this video, Des Moines Area Community College head coach Bob Ligouri and assistant coach Thana Heller will help you make sure you can bridge the gap and mold your good pitchers into great pitchers.

Development Drills

A fundamentally sound pitcher has an advantage against the competition. In the heat of battle, their pitches won't fail because of a mechanical inefficiency. In this section, Coach Heller gives you a few of the drills that have helped her develop numerous top-tier pitchers.

Critical Success Factors

Learn to take a "thrower" and teach them how to be a pitcher with Coach Ligouri's seven critical success factors. These factors include:

  • Location
  • Pitching sequences
  • Making adjustments
  • Controlling timing
  • Developing accountability
  • Situational awareness
  • Pitch development

Pitchers who are able to master and execute all of these factors are guaranteed to have success on the mound. You will learn how to teach your pitchers to set-up batters, leaving them nearly powerless against your hurler.

Developing the Mental Game

During a game, the pitcher is in the middle of the field, all alone within the circle. With the game on the line, the pitcher will have the ball in her hand, and she alone is charged with throwing that ball past a powerful batter. You'll hear some of DMACC's pitchers discuss confidence, how it is developed and sustained, and what you can do as a coach to help strengthen your own athletes' mental game.

The concepts taught in this video by Coach Ligouri and Coach Heller are a link between the physical and mental side of pitching. You will walk away with new drills to help you link the physical to the mental and strategic side of pitching. Boost your players' effectiveness on the mound and watch their confidence soar!

77 minutes. 2019.

DVD
Buy at Championship Productions


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