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Cover: putting pressure on the defense: slap hitting & base running
Putting Pressure on the Defense: Slap Hitting & Base Running

Caitlin Lowe,
University of Arizona Assistant Coach;
member of the 2008 US Olympic Team (Silver Medal); 4x All-American (and only one of two players in Arizona history to be named 1st team All-America 4x at Arizona);
part of 2 NCAA Championship teams, winner of the adidas Golden Shoe Award (for the nation's best base-stealer);
Arizona's all time leader in stolen bases, 2nd all time in career batting average (.446), 4th in hits and triples and 7th in runs scored;
played for the USSSA Pride for 6 seasons, 3 National Pro Fastpitch titles, 2012 Player of The Year & USSSA Hall of Fame (2106)

Over the years, one thing the University of Arizona has been known for its speed. Former Wildcat great-turned-coach, Caitlin Lowe, shows us the mentality and skills that helped make her one of the best ever.

Lowe shows you what to look for at each base for base running, and then dives into slapping mechanics, types, and strategy.

Slapping Mechanics

Knowing where to stand in the box and having good footwork is important to minimize time to first base after hitting the ball. Coach Lowe shows you the footwork that will keep you on-line, but allow you to move quickly out of the batter's box. Learn the bat path and contact point that will keep your bat in the zone as long as possible to increase the chance of making contact with the pitch. Lowe also offers advice for how to get to first base faster - every slapper's ultimate goal!

Types of Slaps

Give your slappers the tools they need to make the defense wrong and improve your chances of getting on base. Lowe discusses and demonstrates the different "weapons" a slapper can utilize during an at-bat. The drag bunt, soft slap, chop slap and hard slap are all discussed, demonstrated and taught.

Lowe also shares what to look for in the defense to know when to use each type of slap. She also covers situational slapping and how you can use each type of slap strategically depending on where runners are on base

Base Running

Proper base running techniques are often overlooked and under-practiced. Smart, aggressive base runners are a commodity, and win you more games. Lowe shows how you can incorporate base running practice into your batting practice to get more done in a shorter amount of time

Base by base, Lowe shows you how to anticipate and react to the situation. As demonstrated by the Wildcat players, runners start at first base and react to the batted balls. Learn when to be aggressive and when to be a little more conservative at second base, and how to be aggressive with a down angle at third base, as well as the philosophy behind what type of leads to take at each base.

Use Coach Lowe's tactics to turn your offense into a nightmare on the base paths for the opposing team!

44 minutes. 2017

DVD
Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: indoor skills and drills for better infield defense
Indoor Skills and Drills for Better Infield Defense

with Randy Ward,
Loyola Marymount University Assistant Coach;
in 2016, the Lions led the nation in doubles (106) and doubles per game (2.00)

Small practice space? Doesn't matter! Randy Ward shows how you how to run a complete defensive workout for your infielders, all within the confines of a smaller indoor space.

Coach Ward provides a walk through and demonstration of fielding, throwing, and receiving progressions that are designed to build a solid foundation in defensive mechanics. He presents over 30 drills designed to reinforce best practices in order to improve the quickness and overall success rate of infielders.

Simplify Throwing Mechanics

Coach Ward implements a 3-step throwing technique to establish the proper positions of the glove, hand, elbow, feet and fingers in the throwing motion. This will help you and your players easily find and correct throwing flaws while decreasing errant throws.

Throws and Flips

To be able to throw out a runner, fielders have to have as many tools as possible. Coach Ward walks you through the basic checkpoints of throwing from all levels and angles, as well as the best situations to use each one. Throws include:

  • Routine throw - For most infield throwing situations
  • Dart throw - For throwing in rundown situations
  • "Tilt" throws - Ideal for quick release on low bounce balls
  • Underhand flips - Focus on receipt of the ball, quick transfer, clearing the glove behind the body and exposing the ball to the receiver during the throw.Glove flips - Can be the fastest delivery of the ball depending on the scenario, by eliminating a ball transfer while delivering the ball.

Receiving a Throw

Footwork and glove position are paramount to recording an out. Learn how jab steps, shuffle steps, and body spins help to position the feet and lower body in a way that maximizes the use of the legs and throwing mechanics to field and deliver the ball quickly.

Ward demonstrates the unique characteristics of receiving throws in force plays versus tag play situations. You'll learn three ways to get outs on a force play at the base, including how to pick a throw that bounces short of the base and the best way to transfer into a throwing position. He also explains when and how standard tags and swipe tags should be applied based on the throw.

Increase your chances of achieving the elusive double play. Ward demonstrates how to improve footwork around the bases when receiving the ball from different angles, as well as decreasing transfer time by ensuring the feed is in the right place at the right time.

Fielding Any Type of Ground Ball

Players need to understand how to not only field a ground ball, but how to do it quickly and in the best position to throw the runner out. Ward breaks down each situation and provides you with a step-by-step solution for any circumstances you may encounter. Because softball is not a game of perfection, he also shows your fielders how to recover from bad hops and booted balls to make the out in poor conditions.

Additionally, ard shows you a pre-pitch routine to get your players prepared to move in any direction with the most range as the batter makes contact with the ball. They'll get to the ball faster and create more outs.

Drills to Maximize Practice Time

In practice, time is of the essence. Coach Ward introduces drills that allow you to focus on fundamentals of both the thrower and receiver and increase the effectiveness of your practice. The Mini 4 Corners Drill allows you to involve four players at a time and teach them throwing and receiving all different throws.

Coach Ward shows you how to make the most of your space and time spent with your infielders.!These drills are perfect for those cold or rainy days when going outside to practice on a field isn't an option.

100 minutes. 2017.

DVD
Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: developing championship outfielders
Developing Championship Outfielders

Caitlin Lowe,
University of Arizona Assistant Coach;
member of the 2008 US Olympic Team (Silver Medal); 4x All-American (and only one of two players in Arizona history to be named 1st team All-America 4x at Arizona);
part of 2 NCAA Championship teams, winner of the adidas Golden Shoe Award (for the nation's best base-stealer);
Arizona's all time leader in stolen bases, 2nd all time in career batting average (.446), 4th in hits and triples and 7th in runs scored;
played for the USSSA Pride for 6 seasons, 3 National Pro Fastpitch titles, 2012 Player of The Year & USSSA Hall of Fame (2106)

Outfielders are often an overlooked aspect of the game, and this video allows you to see how a commitment to these players can help develop world-class technique and solid and repeatable performance of your athletes.

Caitlin Lowe takes you through the full slate of outfield training activities used at the University of Arizona. She offers 10 drills, plus a 4-step rolling progression and a 9-step throwing progression, to build an outfielder's physical skills. She also addresses the mentality and anticipation that separate good outfielders from great ones.

Characteristics and Philosophy

Learn the mentality every outfielder needs, as well as the pre-pitch preparation needed to be in the right position. Lowe explains five characteristics of a good outfielder, and also explains her philosophy on outfield play. Outfielders must have certain physical tools to be successful, but they also must embody several mental characteristics, like fearlessness. Learn to instill the fearlessness necessary for your outfielders to aggressively and intelligently make the routine and big plays.

Throwing Progression

One physical tool great outfielders must possess is a strong and accurate arm. The outfielders at Arizona demonstrate a 9-step throwing progression to help improve throwing mechanics, arm strength, and simulate some of the throws they may make during a game. Learn how to get rid of the ball quickly to get a force out, or run through a do-or-die and crow hop for more strength on a longer throw.

Drills

Coach Lowe begins with the outfielders gloveless and catching tennis balls, then incorporates a 4-step roll progression before hitting balls to the outfielders. She also introduces a drill series to practice robbing home runs over the fence. In one particular Fly Ball Ladder Work drill, the outfielders must use quick feet to step through an agility ladder, then sprint out and gather themselves as they round a cone and catch a fly ball. This helps teach outfielders to get behind the ball, which will help them avoid drifting and allow them to make a stronger and more accurate throw.

Great outfielders make the game look easy because of their pre-pitch preparation and anticipation skills - they always seem to be in the right spot at the right time.

From throwing out a runner rounding third and heading home to robbing a home run over the fence, Coach Lowe shows you the skills and drills that help great outfielders make difficult tasks look easy!

71 minutes. 2017

DVD
Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: lsu softball skills and drills series
LSU Softball Skills and Drills Series
SVD-04344A: with Beth Torina, LSU Head Coach;
former Head Coach at Florida International; 2x Sunbelt Conference Coach of the Year; Head coach of the USSSA Florida Pride of the National Pro Fastpitch League

Join LSU Head Coach Beth Torina as she teaches and demonstrates the pitching mechanics and drills that have helped the Tigers rank among the nation's best in ERA on an annual basis.

Coach Torina's program starts at the ground level with the initial push to create forward motion and then moves into the stride, front side resistance, the arm circle and the wrist snap.

Initial Push and Forward Motion
With proper use of her legs, a pitcher will be more explosive in creating speed and drive toward the plate. And she will take stress off of her arm.

Are you creating timing issues and "hip hitting" with your coaching? Coach Torina breaks down the forward push and the mechanics of loading the legs and driving forward. You'll see six drills she uses to practice the load and drive.

Torina also talks about the forward motion and how to avoid "hip-hitting" with the arm circle. She shares the drills you need to perfect timing and to get your pitcher's arm in the slot so they can effectively execute their spins and pitches.

The Stride and Front Side Resistance
Improve your pitcher's power and control! Coach Torina offers three drills to perfect your pitcher's power line, stride length and improve explosiveness and accuracy.

You will also see three drills to develop front side resistance and learn how to troubleshoot pitchers who lean forward or backward. With optimal front side resistance, your pitchers will create more power from their stride, allowing them to throw harder.

Arm Circle and Wrist Snap
The pitcher's arm circle should be loose and relaxed to create fast circles and maximize whip. Coach Torina introduces six drills you can use to get great whip from the arm and wrist. The arm circle and wrist snap are essential for producing that final burst of speed on a pitch and for maximizing movement on your pitches.

From Bullpen to Live Game
How do you transfer practice fundamentals to a live game? Pitchers often struggle transferring what they practice into game situations. Torina offers ideas to make bullpen practice more game-like and competitive. She also offers ideas on how to teach your pitchers to make location adjustments and control the game.

It is easy to see why Beth Torina is one of the best pitching minds in the game. She offers an extensive knowledge of pitching mechanics, but also has a vast array of fun and innovative drills to practice and perfect these fundamentals.

53 minutes. 2013.



SVD-04344B: with Beth Torina, LSU Head Coach;
former Head Coach at Florida International; 2x Sunbelt Conference Coach of the Year; Head coach of the USSSA Florida Pride of the National Pro Fastpitch League

LSU and USSSA Florida Pride Head Coach Beth Torina gives you the tools necessary to stifle opposing batters with two pitches that look enticing, but jump out of the strike zone with late breaking movement - the Drop Ball and the Rise Ball.

Coach Torina fully explains the mechanics of each pitch and demonstrates drills that coaches and athletes alike can use to perfect these pitches.

The Drop Ball
The drop ball is safe for young arms, because it has a similar spin to a fastball. It also keeps the ball in the ball park. The drop ball is great when you need a ground ball or to keep the ball in the infield.

Getting the drop ball to spin correctly is critical, since the spin dictates when and how the pitch will break. In this segment, you will learn three ways to release the drop: the peel, turnover, and half turn. These options will allow your pitchers to select the drop ball that works best for them.

To ensure success, the drop ball should break late, right as it

DVD
Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: developing championship hitting
Developing Championship Hitting

featuring Mike Candrea,
University of Arizona Head Coach;
8x NCAA Champions, winningest coach in NCAA Division I Softball history (1500+ wins);
4x National Coach of the Year; named the Pac-12 Coach of the Century;
Distinguished member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Hall of Fame (1996);
2x US Olympic Softball Coach (Gold in '04, Silver in '08)

If you want to be the best, study the best! Mike Candrea has been a successful hitting coach for more than three decades, and he shows you how he's done it in this video! Candrea opens up about his hitting philosophies, the mechanics of the swing and all of the required elements for hitters to develop, nine of his favorite drills that will help any hitter achieve a consistent and successful swing, and how his teachings have changed over the years.

Three Measures of the Swing

How do you know if a swing is successful? Coach Candrea begins by identifying three measures of the swing: force, the hitting zone, and efficiency.

  • Force has three factors and he explains how your "gears," bat speed, and square contact put together create the force needed to hit the ball well.
  • He demonstrates how a short hitting zone can occur and why it's important to get the bat to the correct position to have it in the hitting zone for the longest amount of time.
  • There's little time to swing the bat, so being efficient in your swing is critical. Candrea demonstrates a common error of "bat rap" and how to correct it.

Simplifying the swing by focusing on the major categories instead of the minute details increases confidence, which will increase consistency.

Candrea acknowledges that players have many different stances. He identifies three things to look for: an athletic stance, plate coverage, and a rhythm. He explains each of these areas and also shares what to look for in the front knee and how it should move back and in toward the pitch. He demonstrates what this looks like, and, what happens when it isn't done correctly.

Lower Body Mechanics

Candrea offers three drills to put the lower body in the correct position to drive the ball and how to get into the front side longer to hit off-speed pitches more effectively.

Upper Body Mechanics and Connection

Candrea offers three drills to help any batter release the bat head to and through contact. In one drill, he shows how to use a rubber mallet to train the correct hand path. The key to an effortless swing is connection, adding the forces from the lower body and upper body together at the right time. Candrea shares his favorite connection drill, as well as an independent hands drill.

The video concludes with Coach Candrea's 9 Absolutes of Hitting and 10 Characteristics of Successful Hitters; these represent decades of experience working with and developing some of softball's greatest hitters. These will help you to recognize natural talent, develop missing elements, and produce better hitters for your team!

This video is essential for anyone who is coaching softball at any level. Coach Candrea uses common terms while demonstrating what to look for as a coach and what to do as a player to be a successful hitter. Mike Candrea offers something for everyone!

60 minutes. 2017.

DVD
Buy at Championship Productions


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