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Coach Andy's Hitting E-zine, #29 - Championship
May 26, 2006

All about Winning a Championship

For many of you it's championship season. Either your league is having championship playoffs or you enjoy watching the NCAA playoffs for either the Women's College World Series for fastpitch softball or the Men's baseball.

In this newsletter I want to talk about my observations on what championship teams do differently than other teams and how you might duplicate these things in your games to help your team win more games.

Winning teams certainly have good pitching and timely hitting, but there is a common thread that seems to differentiate championship teams from the other teams that are good.

That one common theme is aggressive baserunning. Players that know how to slide so they are fearless going to the next base and always looking to get to the next base, whether it's getting there on a passed ball or wild pitch or just straight stealing. They also get there looking for opportunities within the plays to stretch singles into doubles or watch when a fielder isn't ready to guard their base or to be able to throw.

My son's team has one of these types of runners. In little league you can't lead off until it's almost in the catcher's glove, so it's pretty hard to do a straight steal, but he looks to get a big lead and if the catcher throws it lazily back to the pitcher he'll take off to the next base instead of returning to his former base. Many of you might recognize this as a delayed steal. Just another weapon for agressive baserunning and winning teams.

This same kid did much better than that though as he took third on a passed ball (from 2nd base) but he noticed the catcher was mad that he had let it go by so when he fielded it off the fence and threw it back to the pitcher he was still making faces near the fence and as the pitcher walked back to the mound this runner saw that home plate was wide open and he took off. Great play, but you have to constantly be looking for these opportunities.

For more on aggressive baserunning, check out these resources from the University of Tennessee's baseball coach, Rod Delmonico and there's another one from UCLA head coach, Sue Enquist, on baserunning for the young players

Another area for learning how to be a champion is to watch good teams compete for the championship .

What a better time than these next 2 - 3 weeks when the NCAA championships are going on in baseball and fastpitch softball.

ESPN has done a favor for all of us by putting on many of the games in the regionals, super regionals, and the championship series. Check out my page for the women's college world series. which I'll be updating so make sure you're signed up to get the RSS feeds on that page or check for a full listing on ESPN's site.

Learn from these things and you too may just be competing in your own championship game very soon.

If you have any other questions you can write to me via e-mail.

If you missed any of my past newsletters where I discuss all sorts of hitting issues, go to the past issues of my hitting newsletter page.

Welcome to you who are new to my hitting e-zine.

Thanks for reading and talk to you next time.

Coach Andy

6801 Dove St. Ventura, CA 93003


Coach Andy Collins has been helping players achieve their goals in softball and baseball for over 30 years. He's an advisor to national teams and can help you be a better hitter. He has recently published a hitting video on the benefits and differences between the rotational and linear hitting styles that can be found on his website and he offers free e-mail hitting lessons there as well.

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