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Coach Andy's Hitting E-zine, #31 - Sandlot Baseball
July 12, 2006

Sandlot Baseball

and other ways to get better at baseball or softball

Today's e-mail is about setting up a sandlot baseball game to help your kids be better at baseball or softball. I also have other resources for softballers to become a better catcher or a better outfielder (or to learn the position if they'd like to try them next year).

There is an article on why and how to I'm setting up a sandlot baseball game, along with an article on using the summer to learn new skills, and finally, if you missed it a reminder on how you can get private lessons from me via video. So read all the way through to get you or your players to be the best ball players they can be.

Just added at the end of the newsletter, late breaking news about fastpitch softball on TV this month - the World Cup of Softball.

Hope everyone enjoyed the All-Star game and Home Run Derby on TV the past few days.

Why I started a sandlot baseball game in our area

If you've ever seen the movie The Sandlot, then you know how I spent my summers growing up.

(As an aside, if you haven't seen or heard of that movie, it's a great kids' baseball movie. Definitely one of my favorites. Right up there with Little Big League.)

Well I was reading Cal Ripken's new book, Parenting Young Athletes the Ripken Way: Ensuring the Best Experience for Your Kids in Any Sport, which is a great book for any of you that are wondering how you can balance sports and raising great kids. In it, it talked about why so many kids are playing "travel ball" or on "elite teams". One conclusion was that we no longer played like we did in our childhood where we'd play 2 hours a day on our own at the playground, school yard, sandlot, beanfield, street, or where ever we could. So to get experience playing, many kids use these organized ways to get as much experience as we used to.

So what I did with this information was to set up a Saturday game every week at 3 p.m. where I invite a number of kids of comparable skill and tell them to invite their friends to do the same. Our goal is to provide a place where they can just play baseball with no real organization, just play with kids who love the game.

The only thing I've added, was teaching them the good old games of "Pickle", "Three flys up", "500", "Hit the bat", "Over the Line" in case they run short of 18 kids. We do add an occasional water balloon toss (or they can hit the water balloons) and home run derby or hit and throw for distance.

Try it, it may just save you hundreds (or thousands) of dollars and save your marriages in dedicating so much time to traveling around the country, especially for the young ones (our group is targeted for 8 - 11 year olds). There will be plenty of time to travel as they get older.

It's never been my goal to develop the best 10 or 12 year old players. (I didn't even start my son until he was 8 and now 2 years later he really loves it and is working to be a really good 10 year old next year).

I want to see them loving the game and being good later on, in their teens and for the fortunate few into their 20's. (Then maybe they'll love it enough as old dad does, and play softball way into his 40's and beyond).

Private Lessons from me via video

In case you missed last month's announcement. (I'm getting lots of signups, so read it and respond now.) Here it is. ----

With all of this technology available to us now and my ability to record and store lessons for you there is now no need to hunt down a local hitting coach who's maybe been coaching only a few years.

Now you can train with me personally. I'm taking reservations right now, because I have a feeling I may end up with too many requests.

Now is the season to get better while everyone is taking a break. You wouldn't want to miss out on your player hitting better would you? I've even included a bonus lesson for free just for filling out the simple reservation form.

Using the summer to learn new skills

Summer can be a perfect time to develop a new skill to take your game to a new level before fall ball or the following season.

In addition to my video, I now have access to 7 hitting videos from Sue Enquist of UCLA for fastpitch softball and 2 hitting videos from Rod Delmonico of the University of Tennessee for baseball and 1 hitting audio CD from Phil Bruder, 12 time ASA national championship coach. These are at .

If you or your player is into fastpitch softball, Coach Sue Enquist has also produced video's on her former position, Outfielding, and Catching, along with her video on Catching drills, .

I also have a special DVD from an Olympic champion, telling about her position at catcher as well. Read all about Jenny Topping.

Some of you already knew about these videos by signing up for the RSS feeds and announcements at my website.

I write many of my new pages or re-write existing pages each month before I get out this newsletter. So if you too want to get the jump on everyone else when you visit my website, notice on a number of the pages there are links to "My Yahoo" or "My MSN" or "My Google" or "RSS/XML". These allow you to learn as soon as I create a page or change an exiting one rather than waiting for the newsletter to announce it (or possibly miss it completely, if I fail to mention changes to the website).

World Cup of Softball on TV

For all of my International readers here is some good news. Scroll down for channels in your area and just convert the time from Eastern time zone in the US to yours.

The World Cup of Softball is also making its debut on television in Europe with live coverage of five games throughout Europe on Eurosport 2. “Softball has been a legitimate global sport for over 40 years and deals like this authenticate our position,” ASA head Ron Radigonda noted.

The ESPN networks are the exclusive domestic home of the World Cup of Softball and feature over 12 hours of live coverage on ESPN and ESPN2 highlighted by multiple prime time windows including the Championship Game on Monday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET. All broadcasts will be done in HD and available on the respective ESPN HD channels. The complete domestic ESPN telecast schedule is below:

Date Game Time (Eastern) Thursday, July 13 USA vs. Great Britain 7:30PM (ESPN) Friday, July 14 USA vs. Canada 7:30PM (ESPN2) Saturday, July 15 USA vs. Australia 12:00PM (ESPN) Saturday, July 15 USA vs. China 8:00PM (ESPN) Sunday, July 16 USA vs. Japan 1:00PM (ESPN) Monday, July 17 Championship Game 9:00PM (ESPN2)

The following is a breakdown of the international distribution partners of the World Cup of Softball presented by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes:

Territory is listed first, followed by Network Africa ESPN Atlantic Canada TSN Europe Eurosport 2 Japan J Sports South America ESPN Latin America Central America ESPN Dos Middle East ESPN Atlantic Pacific Rim ESPN Australia Pan-Asia ESPN Star Sports

The World Cup of Softball presented by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, a six-team tournament sanctioned by the International Softball Federation (ISF), will feature the best fast pitch softball players in the world competing for their respective national teams. The six teams invited to participate in the event will compete in pool play from July 13-16. The top two teams from pool play will be seeded into the Championship Game on July 17 while the remaining teams to battle for third and fifth place respectively. Japan defeated the United States last year to claim the inaugural Championship.

Again, if you have any questions you can write to me via e-mail.

For other hitting learning, 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 offers free information on his website and through free e-mail hitting lessons and has just introduced a new hitting video discussing and demonstrating how to hit great with either the rotational or linear hitting methods.

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