Brian O’Connor on culture and competing

summer16The head coach at the University of Virginia since 2004, Brian O’Connor is a five-time ACC Coach of the Year and three-time national coach of the year. In addition to bringing the 2015 NCAA title to Charlottesville, O’Connor boasts the third-highest winning percentage of all current head coaches in Division I baseball and the 14th-best mark all-time. O’Connor is the second fastest ACC coach to reach 500 career wins and has ushered a boatload of talent into professional baseball, including the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, Sean Doolittle, and several others.

He came to Virginia after nine years at Notre Dame (1995-2003) under current LSU coach Paul Mainieri, where he was named the 2001 National Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Baseball America and was AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2003.

Inside Pitch recently visited with the Cavaliers’ head coach to talk about how he manages his clubs, his staff, and the winning culture he has developed at UVA. Continue reading

Bulldog Tough

Bryant University photo

Steve Owens/Bryant University photo

Bryant University is fast becoming a Northeast power

article by Douglas S. Malan

Bryant University head coach Steve Owens knows the realities of building a mid-major program in the Northeast – the limited resources, the outdoor practices in 35-degree January weather, the early-season road trips.

But he also knows the benefits of the grind, as he has created a national presence on the campus of this Smithfield, Rhode Island, school with 3,500 students. Continue reading

Louisville Slugger introduces its most innovative wood bat line yet: MLB Prime

sluggerLine Features New, Proprietary EXOARMOR™ Finish; Ink-Dot Symbolizes Highest Quality Wood

Continuing its longstanding leadership in innovative, high performance wood bats, Louisville Slugger has introduced its most advanced wood bat line to date, the all-new MLB PRIME. This line of bats represents the brand’s most premium wood bat offering, and was designed to enhance the performance of today’s most advanced athletes and pro players.

Each MLB PRIME bat features a new proprietary finish called EXOARMOR™ and an ink-dot to signify the bat is constructed from the highest quality wood available today. Only ink-dotted bats that meet slope-of-grain standards are approved for play in Major League Baseball® (MLB). Continue reading

Congratulations are in order…

article by Publisher Keith Madison

article by Publisher Keith Madison

Most high school baseball teams’ seasons are in the record books; travel baseball teams have issued equipment for summer competition; and tournaments at the college level are either complete or currently wrapping up.

Congratulations are in order for every athlete and coach who competed on a field and to every parent who endured called third strikes, extra inning games, freezing early season temperatures, dirty uniforms, rainouts and too many fast food restaurants. Even with multiple challenges, baseball continues to be the greatest game.

Let’s face it, baseball is an American sub-culture. We have our own unique uniforms, a very interesting diamond-shaped playing field and even our own language. Recently, I was watching a college game on television; while listening to the color commentator, I laughed out loud thinking about what a “non-baseball person” must think about some of the terms used to describe the action during the game. Have you ever listened to a professional baseball scout describe a player’s abilities? It’s comical to think about how a “civilian” may react to the baseball “lingo.” It’s a great game.

Continue reading

The Time Is Now…

year round throwing manualThe time is now to jump into Alan Jaeger’s latest passion- the Year Round Throwing Manual.

After more than two decades working alongside countless amateur and professional baseball players, Jaeger put pen to paper and developed a detailed throwing plan that is applicable for pitchers of all shapes, sizes and ages.

“The inspiration for writing this was twofold,” said Jaeger. “First, we wanted to put all of our research and experience in one place, where a player, coach or parent could have as many questions answered as possible. Secondly, in response to the dramatic increase in arm injuries, we felt it was important to put information out there that could make a huge impact in the reduction of arm injuries and provide guidelines to help optimize the health, endurance, strength and recovery of the arm.”

The manual outlines a year-round plan for arm training, maintenance, rest and protection by detailing Jaeger’s time-tested protocols for arm training, keys to training the arm, how to ‘listen’ to the arm, and the role of long toss. Pre- and post-throwing arm care is also discussed. The Manual also discusses when the best time of year is to start a player’s ‘throwing cycle,’ along with how to approach the throwing cycle. Continue reading