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Summer Instruction Series: Throwing Drills

Summer Instruction Series: Throwing Drills

Throwing Game-LikeBy CHARLIE GREENE
Special To Collegiate Baseball

MIAMI, Fla. — Practicing to throw in game-like drills has long been needed in baseball to allow players to maximize their throwing skills.

The typical practice routine involves two players throwing the ball back and forth in order to build up arm strength and develop some degree of accuracy and quickness. However, the game requires wide variety of throws, few of which are found in just playing catch.

At the Major League level, teams rarely take “infield” anymore, and as one longtime Major League coach confided in me, “I can’t find four guys who want to.”

This has led to a decreased level of throwing skill. It is my opinion that players do not want to re-warm their arms when batting practice has been completed for both teams, and therefore are inclined to skip infield drill.

Starting in the early ‘80s our teams started to take infield immediately after warming up, and before batting practice at home games.

The advantages of having a freshly maintained field and the players properly warmed up were obvious.

No longer did the players have to be alerted to prepare for “infield in a few minutes” and rush to warm up their arms, sometimes insufficiently. Injured arms were often the result.

I would like to propose a series of throwing drills that involve the use of a various sized square formations, each providing a chance to practice game-related options. Groups of four in square formation can be set up near each foul line.

Getting sufficient repetitions is the basis for all acquired skills and throwing is no exception. Start out slow before picking up the tempo. Insist on proper footwork and arm action.

20-Foot Square
Four players form the corners of a square 20 feet apart and execute short throws in a clockwise, counter clockwise and diagonal direction.

The two types of throws are the underhand toss and the arm side “flip” where the player extends his arm while pronating (thumb down).

The coach can call out clockwise, counter clockwise, diagonal or allow player options.

Reminders: The underhand toss should be executed with a firm wrist extended directly at the receiver’s chest.

The arm side extension is best executed when the fingers also extend to the receiver’s chest. Both types of throws should be completed with a walking follow through.

60-Foot Square
Four players form the corners of a square 60 feet apart and execute overhand throws, also in a clockwise, counter clockwise, diagonal and player optional direction.

The emphasis at this distance is quickness.

Proper footwork will almost automatically occur, something that is missing in just “playing catch.”

Catch ball close to body. Don’t get quick until you secure the catch.

120-Foot Square
The enlarged square give the players a chance to stretch out their arms in the same directions as the smaller squares and will make the 90-foot infield dimensions seem easier.

90-Foot Square
This regulation distance is a test for the effectiveness of the other drills.

Coaches may want to use a stopwatch to objectively measure how much improvement is taking place.

Drills afford increased opportunities for needed repetitions. Footwork will come naturally with an occasional reminder from the coach.

Use all four drills each day or place emphasis on one or more. Skills are difficult to store and should be reviewed often.

The square formations provide an efficient method to duplicate game-like throwing challenges.

They are particularly effective for infielders and catchers, but pitchers and outfielders can also benefit.

(This story is part of an ongoing Summer Instructional Series Collegiate Baseball newspaper will be running in July and August. Please check back for more great ideas on playing baseball from top coaches and players. To subscribe to Collegiate Baseball, CLICK HERE.)

Summer Instruction Series: Catcher Communication

Summer Instruction Series: Catcher Communication

Coach/Colorado Rockies

Catchers must always be in communication with defensive players.

Here is how I suggest they work with pitchers, umpires and infielders.

To Your Pitchers
1. Subtle body language mechanical reminders.

2. No more than one simple verbal cue.

3. Positive reinforcement whenever necessary and appropriate.

4. Remind the pitcher before the pitch to get over to first base with a left-handed pull hitter up.

5. Get pitcher off the mound whenever the ball is hit. It’s especial important on balls hit to the right side. (“Get over there” loud and early.)

6. Make sure that the pitcher knows who he is working with on come backers. Make sure that the pitcher is reminded to throw to second on a come backer with runners on first and second with less than two outs or to second with runners on first and third with one out.

With runners on first and third and no one out, the dugout should tell you where they want a come backer to the pitcher thrown. It’s usually to second unless it’s late in the game. Just find out before the pitch.

Occasionally the dugout will want you to come home with one out and runners on first and third base on the running speed of the batter-runner or on a 3-2 count when the runner on first will most likely be running.

You must help the pitcher react to this situation if the runner from third does not break and there is no play at second.

Make sure that the pitcher stops the runner at third before he throws to first base.

1. Make sure the pitcher knows when the first baseman is playing behind a runner on first.

2. Remind the pitcher to stop especially with a runner on third and he is pitching out of the stretch. This should be a subtle sign or verbal so as not to heighten the umpire’s awareness and lead to a balk being called.

Use something other than “make sure to stop” or hold your hands at your waist.

1. When the pitcher is winding up with a runner on third, remind him to look the runner back at third before starting his windup.

2. Bases loaded and less than two outs remind the pitcher to come home on a comebacker.

3. With a runner on third or a runner on second and less than two outs, remind the pitcher to look the runner back before throwing to first base.

To Your Infielders
1. Give the infielders the outs frequently both verbally and visually.

2. Remind the corner infielders when base hit bunters are up.

3. Let all the infielders know when there is a plus runner at the plate.

4. Tell corner players to throw home or to second with the bases loaded and less than two outs.

5. Check “no doubles” positioning and make sure infielders have told the outfielders to keep the hitter off of second base.

6. Make sure that the defense is not way out of position based on the pitch call.

7. Give the infielders a dive reminder with a runner on second.

8. Three-two count and two outs and the force one, remind infielders to throw the ball to first base.

9. Subtle hand signal to middle infielders to heighten their awareness to delay without alerting the offensive team that you are ready for a delayed steal.

10. Remind third baseman that you’ll be at third base if he fields a bunt with a runner on first.

11. Remind first and third basemen of their cutoff and relay responsibilities.

12. When there is no possible play at the plate, go down the fence line and help the corner infielders on foul pops down the lines and near the fence.

To The Umpire
1. Non-confrontational discussions regarding pitches. No one should be aware of your conversation. (Do not turn around and don’t change your body language. Call him by his first name, never “Blue.”) If you show up an umpire, he’ll eventually win and you’ll lose. Umpires share information within their fraternity, so an overly aggressive confrontation with one umpire or umpiring crew is known to all.

2. Remind him to make sure the batter-runner is in the running lane the last 45 feet to first base when the bases are loaded and there is a potential force play at home.

3. Ask for an early and loud call when there are runners on first and third or first and second and there is a three ball count on the batter. The exception would be a 3-2 and 2 outs. So you are not needlessly throwing to second base or third base on a close pitch.

There is a fine line between community and over communication. If it slows the game down or people stop listening, you are probably over communicating.

(Since summer is a time to improve and work on your baseball skills, Collegiate Baseball is offering a special instructional series for coaches and players. Various top coaches from around the country will share information on all aspects of playing the game.) To subscribe to Collegiate Baseball, CLICK HERE.


UCLA’s Savage Named Coach Of The Year

UCLA’s Savage Named Coach Of The Year

UCLA Head Coach John SavageUCLA Head Baseball Coach John Savage has been named National Coach of The Year by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.

One of the most respected coaches in college baseball, Savage led the Bruins to their first national baseball championship at the recent College World Series with an 8-0 win over Mississippi St.

The Bruins, 49-17, rolled through the NCAA Tournament with a 10-0 record and finished 5-0 at the College World Series.

UCLA faced possibly the most difficult gauntlet of teams in history during its undefeated run to the national championship. The Bruins started off by beating two ranked teams in Cal. Poly and San Diego in Regional action along with San Diego St.

Then UCLA travelled to No. 4 ranked Cal. St. Fullerton and eliminated the Titans two straight.

At the College World Series, UCLA knocked off No. 1 ranked LSU, No. 5 N.C. State, No. 2 North Carolina and then swept Mississippi State two straight in the Championship Series.

Incredibly, the Bruins’ pitching staff only allowed four runs over five CWS games against these elite teams.

That achievement is especially relevant because Savage is also the pitching coach at UCLA and one of the best in the business.

In the 67-year-history of the College World Series, only one national champion has given up fewer runs than UCLA this year as California allowed three in 1957.

The Bruins were the first team in CWS history to allow one run or less in each of the five games they played.

UCLA only surrendered one run in two games played against hard-hitting Mississippi State in the Championship Finals. The lone run is the fewest ever given up by a team in the Finals.

UCLA’s pitchers only allowed 14 runs in 10 games during Regional, Super Regional and College World Series games.

The core of every Savage team has been the remarkable pitching staffs he has molded.

The top three starters on the 2013 staff included Adam Plutko (10-3, 2.25 ERA), Nick Vander Tuig (14-4, 2.16 ERA) and Grant Watson (9-3, 3.01 ERA).

The bullpen was incredible with All-American closer David Berg (NCAA record 24 saves in 51 appearances, 0.92 ERA, 78 strikeouts, 11 walks), James Kaprielian (34 appearances, 1.55 ERA in 40 2/3 innings), and Zack Weiss (43 appearances, 2.25 ERA in 40 innings), among others.

Pitchers posted a 2.55 ERA and struck out 457 batters with only 163 walks.

The staff, along with catcher Shane Zeile, only allowed 42 stolen bases in 64 attempts over 66 games and just one stolen base at the College World Series.

UCLA’s team ERA the last four years has been remarkable thanks to the tireless work of Savage.

  • 2010 (3.00 ERA).
  • 2011 (2.44 ERA).
  • 2012 (3.13 ERA).
  • 2013 (2.55 ERA).

Never in the history of UCLA baseball has the pitching been so good for so long, and that is a direct reflection of Savage who teaches every aspect of pitching to his hurlers, including the vital mental and emotional side.

Over his nine years, Savage has produced some of the nation’s top drafted pitchers, including Gerrit Cole (first overall pick in 2011 Draft by Pirates), Trevor Bauer (third overall pick in 2011 draft by Diamondbacks), David Huff (first round supplemental pick in 2006 by the Indians) and Rob Rasmussen (second round pick in 2010 by the Marlins), just to name a few.

Savage has guided the Bruins to the post-season in seven of the last eight seasons

He became UCLA’s first head baseball coach to lead the Bruins to the finals of the College World Series in 2010, guiding UCLA to a 51-17 record that year in a second place national finish to South Carolina.

Savage has also led the Bruins to their third College World Series appearance in four years and guided the Bruins to a top three Pac-12 Conference finish in each of the last eight seasons, the only Pac-12 team to do so.

UCLA has had 65 players drafted by professional baseball since Savage came on the scene

Previous Collegiate Baseball National Coaches of The Year include:

• 2012: Andy Lopez, Arizona
• 2011: Ray Tanner, South Carolina
• 2010: Ray Tanner, South Carolina
• 2009: Paul Mainieri, Louisiana St.
• 2008: Mike Batesole, Fresno St.
• 2007: Pat Casey, Oregon St.
• 2006: Pat Casey, Oregon St.
• 2005: Augie Garrido, Texas
• 2004: George Horton, Cal. St. Fullerton
• 2003: Wayne Graham, Rice
• 2002: Augie Garrido, Texas
• 2001: Jim Morris, Miami (Fla.)
• 2000: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
• 1999: Jim Morris, Miami (Fla.)
• 1998: Mike Gillespie, Southern Calif.
aaaaaaMike Batesole, Cal. St. Northridge
• 1997: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
• 1996: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.,
aaaaaaAndy Lopez, Florida
• 1995: Augie Garrido, Cal. St. Fullerton
• 1994: Larry Cochell, Oklahoma
• 1993: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
• 1992: Andy Lopez, Pepperdine
• 1991: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
• 1990: Steve Webber, Georgia
• 1989: Dave Snow, Long Beach St.
• 1988: Larry Cochell, Cal. St. Fullerton
• 1987: Mark Marquess, Stanford
• 1986: Jerry Kindall, Arizona
• 1985: Ron Fraser, Miami (Fla.)
• 1984: Augie Garrido, Cal. St. Fullerton
• 1983: Cliff Gustafson, Texas
• 1982: Ron Fraser, Miami (Fla.)
• 1981: Jim Brock, Arizona St.
• 1980: Jerry Kindall, Arizona

UCLA, Mississippi St. Seek First National Title

UCLA, Mississippi St. Seek First National Title

UCLA's David Berg Has 23 Saves, 0.96 ERAHistory will be made when UCLA and Mississippi St. square off in the best of three championship series at the 67th College World Series.

Both teams will be gunning for their first national baseball championship.

Heading into the championship series, UCLA has won nine in a row. The Bruins finished third in the Pac-12 this season with a 21-9 conference record behind Oregon St. and Oregon.

Mississippi St. finished fifth in the SEC regular season with a 16-14 record and caught fire in the NCAA tournament by winning eight of its last nine games.

Ball clubs from these two powerhouse conferences have won seven of the last eight CWS titles. Overall, current Pac-12 teams have won 27 national baseball championships.

SEC teams have won nine College World Series The UCLA-Mississippi St. championship series matchup will be the fifth time in CWS history that the Pac-12 and SEC have squared off in the finals (other years being 1977, 2000, 2010, 2012). It is the sixth straight year an SEC team has made it to the CWS final.

Both teams rolled through their 4-team brackets with 3-0 records and feature All-American closers in David Berg of UCLA (23 saves, 7-0, 0.96 ERA) and Jonathan Holder of Mississippi St. (21 saves, 1.24 ERA).

Here is a quick look at both teams:

UCLA: The Bruins’ pitching and defense rank No. 1 in the College World Series. UCLA has given up only three runs in three games(1.00 ERA) as the pitching staff has struck out 18 batters with six walks and only allowed 17 hits in 27 innings. On defense, the Bruins have only committed one error in three games for a .991 fielding percentage and turned two double plays while not allowing a stolen base. On offense, UCLA ranks dead last at the College World Series with a .182 batting average after three games. But the team has been resourceful in scoring eight runs on 16 hits. When batters do get on base, they are usually sacrifice bunted into scoring position. And a timely hit brings those runners home. UCLA beat LSU 2-1, N.C. State 2-1 and North Carolina 4-1 in their bracket to advance to the championship series.

Mississippi State's Jonathan Holder Has 21 Saves, 1.24 ERAMississippi State: The Bulldogs lead all College World Series teams with a .297 batting average after three games with five doubles, one home run and 14 runs scored. The pitching staff has a 2.33 ERA after three games and only allowed seven earned runs. But the bullpen has been special as it has only allowed two runs in 14 1/3 innings. The defense has committed three errors in three games with four double plays and only allowed one stolen base. Mississippi St. came from behind to win its first two games of the College World Series in its bracket (5-4 over Oregon St., 5-4 over Indiana) but never trailed in a 4-1 win over Oregon St.

Power Outage At College World Series

Power Outage At College World Series

Offenses sputter at College World SeriesBy LOU PAVLOVICH
Editor/Collegiate Baseball
© 2013 Collegiate Baseball

OMAHA, Neb. — A staggering downturn in offense has taken place during the past two College World Series because of the BBCOR specification bats which have been required since the 2011 season.

The lowest amount of home runs in 38 years were hit the last two championships. In addition, batting averages have plummeted as well as runs scored which also are the lowest in 38 years.

During the 2011 College World Series over 14 games, only 9 home runs were hit as the eight teams batted .239 with 101 runs scored (average 3.6 runs per team per game).

The 2012 CWS offensive numbers were just as anemic.

Only 10 home runs were hit in 15 games while the batting average was .234 and only 107 runs were scored (3.5 runs per team per game).

The numbers the last two years closely mirror the wood bat era in college baseball which took place up to the 1973 season.

Aluminum bats first started being used in 1974. Over time, the alloys were refined to the point that the balance of the game shifted.

With thinner and thinner bat barrel walls being manufactured, which had a dramatic trampoline effect on balls coming off bats, more and more home runs were hit.

The 1998 season featured the highest offensive numbers in NCAA Division I history as 273 teams set records for batting average (.306), scoring (7.12 runs per team per game), home runs (1.06 per game) and earned run average (6.12 per team).

The College World Series that year featured a home run derby of sorts as an all-time record 62 home runs were hit over 14 games.

In all, 62 homers were hit by 42 different players which was an all-time high. The batting average for all eight teams was .318 while 225 runs were scored.

The championship game saw Southern California beat Arizona St., 21-14 in what many thought was an abomination considering both pitching staffs had elite hurlers.

Nine home runs were hit by eight different players in that game, including Arizona State’s 5-foot-10, 170-pound shortstop Michael Collins who had only hit three home runs all season long heading into the CWS.

The 62 homers that year eclipsed the old standard of 48 hit during the 1995 CWS.

Louisiana St. and Southern California each hit 17 home runs to set a new record. The two teams combined for 34 home runs which would rank as the third highest total in College World Series history for one ‘Series. Only the 48 hit in 1995 and 35 belted in 1996 would rank higher.

During the 1996-1998 seasons, no team practiced “gorilla ball” better than LSU as the Tigers hit 131 homers in 1996, 188 in 1997 and 157 in 1998 for a staggering 3-year total of 476 home runs!

After the 1998 season, the NCAA Rules Committee put a stop to high performing bats and ultimately worked with physicists to utilize a new bat specification protocol (BBCOR) that would bring the game more in balance as metal bats performed closer to wood bats.

Now teams are fortunate to hit 40 home runs during an entire season.

More On This Story: Find out how college coaches feel about changing the bat or ball to infuse more offense into the game. ABCA Executive Director Dave Keilitz explains surveys he has taken from coaches, the potential issues involved in a possible change to a hotter ball and why Clemson’s Jack Leggett feels more offense is vitally needed in the college game with a hotter baseball. To obtain this issue of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe, CLICK HERE.

NBC Changes World Series Format

NBC Changes World Series Format

NBC 2013 World Series LogoWICHITA, Kan. — The National Baseball Congress and the City of Wichita have made several major changes to the NBC World Series.

The changes are effective immediate and will apply to this year’s tournament. The 79th edition of the NBC tournament will be divided into two one-week periods that will be played consecutively from July 26 through August 10.

The top two teams from the first week advance to a 16-team championship week. The championship week bracket will be comprised of the champions from the 10 most successful leagues over the tournament’s last 10 years, two at-large clubs determined by NBC officials, and the previous summer’s national champion and runner-up. Both weeks events will follow a double-elimination format.

“We considered many things when coming up with the new format,” Tournament Director Casey Walkup said in a press release. “We wanted to accommodate the many wishes of local teams, traveling teams, fans, and the tournament’s history and tradition. Our number one goal is to get the NBC World Series back on the right track. We hope this format will allow us to seek more affiliates outside of our geographic locations, which in turn, will increase the quality and presence of our great tournament.”

The compensation pool for the teams has been increased from $62,200 to $65,300, including a $1,000 raise for both the national champion and runner-up. Additionally, the two teams advancing to Championship Week from the first week will earn $5,000 each.

Also ticket prices for all sessions will be lowered and specific nights will be “Buy-Out” Nights providing fans free general admission vouchers during both weeks of the new format.

John Scolinos Taught With Amazing Passion

John Scolinos Taught With Amazing Passion

John ScolinosBy LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball
© 2013 Collegiate Baseball

CLAREMONT, Calif. — I really miss John Scolinos.

He was possibly the greatest human being ever involved in college baseball and passed away at the age of 91 in 2009. 

He led Cal Poly Pomona to three national championships (1976, 1980 and 1983) in 30 years and retired in 1991 as the winningest coach in NCAA Division II history.

Scolinos was named NCAA Division II Coach of the Century by Collegiate Baseball for not only his coaching ability but the influence he had on thousands of baseball coaches across the nation and athletes who played for him.

Prior to becoming Pomona’s head coach, he spent 14 seasons at Pepperdine University where his teams went 376-213. His all-time record in 44 years of coaching was 1,198-949.

Scolinos’ overall record is highly misleading since his teams always played the best teams in Southern California and Arizona, including all the top NCAA Division I teams.

This giant in the profession influenced more coaches than possibly any skipper has in the history of the game with the way he broke down the game during clinic sessions — often in front of standing room only crowds at American Baseball Coaches Association conventions with audiences approaching 4,000.

And after almost every presentation, he would be given a standing ovation from the crowd.

Here are some of those priceless lessons coaches learned from Scolinos through the years that Collegiate Baseball has collected.

“On days when nothing goes right, I call them ‘jock games,’ ” said Scolinos.

“That’s when all the defense does is throw their jocks out there, the hitters get faked out of their jocks, and the pitchers get their jocks knocked off.

“If a team gets in a jock contest, they don’t have a chance.”

About the type of ball players there are in the game:

“There are a lot of puppy dogs and hot dogs with a few bull dogs scattered among the group. We want the bulldogs.”

Possibly the greatest moment I have of Coach Scolinos was as at the 1990 American Baseball Coaches Association Convention in New Orleans where he gave a clinic in front of thousands of coaches discussing the finer points of hitting. He sternly told coaches in attendance they should never allow players to have their heads in their jocks.

To demonstrate the point, he quickly pulled a jock strap over his forehead. Every coach in attendance howled with laughter. But Coach Scolinos made his point.

This legendary skipper has always been a fascinating person to study at baseball clinics. Most coaches over the age of 50 have a set system for teaching all aspects of baseball and rarely change. But every clinic I ever saw Coach Scolinos at, he was always sitting in the first row gleaning information from hundreds of clinicians over the years. Even at the age of 72 during the 1990 convention in New Orleans, he was learning from others in the game.

Years ago, I interviewed former Cal. Poly Pomona assistant coach Steve Osaki who explained in detail Scolinos’ other legendary clinic sessions.

“At clinics, he was well known for giving his talk on handshakes to demonstrate fielding mistakes,” said Osaki.

“The first one was the halitosis handshake. Coach Scolinos and another coach would each shake hands but turn their heads away to demonstrate how a fielder turns his head away from the ball. The next one was the political handshake. Coach Scolinos would walk up to another coach on stage and extend his hand.

“Just prior to a handshake taking place between the two, Coach Scolinos would slip his hand back and flip his glove.

“The third demonstration was the mafia handshake. Two people were shoulder to shoulder embracing each other in a handshake as Coach Scolinos says, ‘Let’s make a deal.’

“Then comes the Japanese handshake. Two people walk up and bow to each other signifying the player who lets the ball roll through his legs.

“The final one was the best way to field called the American handshake. You look your opponent right in the eye with arms not locked and shake.”

To read more about the amazing John Scolinos, purchase the May 17, 2013 issue of Collegiate Baseball by clicking here. A detailed rundown on his favorite clinic moments are explained.

Hanson Explains How To Conquer Slumps

Hanson Explains How To Conquer Slumps

Editor/Collegiate Baseball
© 2013 Collegiate Baseball

TUCSON, Ariz. — One of the most frustrating things that can happen to a baseball player is being in a prolonged slump as a hitter or completely lose command of pitches as a hurler which is commonly called the yips.

Both conditions cause embarrassment for the athlete because he can’t perform at the level he is accustomed to and endures many sleepless nights and anxiety as he prepares for his next outing.

The affliction is all consuming and a nightmare which doesn’t usually go away unless professional help is obtained.

Few coaches really know what to do to tackle this horrible condition that has derailed too many careers in baseball.

After studying the athlete’s hitting or pitching mechanics, giving them continual positive reinforcement and exhausting every common sense approach to bring these players back to the level they once were, the coach ultimately has to move on and bench these athletes.

Dr. Tom Hanson, co-author of Heads Up Baseball with Ken Ravizza, came out with a book called Play Big which explains a tapping technique which helps many athletes bounce back.

“Having the ‘Yips’ or being in a prolonged slump is a mind set,” said Hanson.

“Our mind is constantly creating programs that we call beliefs. It takes individual experiences and generalizes them into a belief so we can process information quicker. For example, we look at a house and understand that it is a house. So we don’t check to see if it is safe to walk into.

“Our mind is doing that all the time. What happens in a slump is that you have a bunch of experiences where you fail or don’t feel good. Then your mind bundles them into a belief that you can’t hit or not hitting well. Then the hitter acts on those beliefs. And then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“So you must break that pattern. My way of doing it is to go over each at-bat that the person hasn’t liked while using the tapping technique that my book Play Big discusses in detail. And it actually changes the memory of what happened for the batter. It seems a little far fetched, but this is how the technique works.

“For example, I just worked with a player the other day. He was really struggling, and we went through each at-bat that he didn’t like. And using the tapping technique that I teach, we went through and changed him. Then he hung up the phone feeling like a million bucks.”

Tapping Explained
For those who aren’t aware of what the tapping technique is, Hanson explains.

“You literally tap with your fingers on different spots on your body which are acupuncture points and on meridians from the Chinese medical model. Tapping is only about 20 years old and is a combination of Western and Eastern philosophies. You also have a lot of Western psychology involved.

“It has evolved from Dr. Roger Callahan. He initially worked with a person who had a water phobia. Her stomach would tighten up when she saw any type of open water. Dr. Callahan remembered that just underneath the eye is a spot on the meridian for the stomach. So he had her tap on that area for several minutes. And amazingly, she didn’t feel so queasy with her stomach.

“She felt she could go in the water, and she walked right into the water after suffering for years from this phobia. This led to the tapping technique. While you are tapping, the traumatic events from your past that has created some emotion for you is being changed by the tapping. A signal is sent to your mid-brain saying, ‘It’s OK…it’s OK.’

“As a result, the brain shifts how it remembers those traumatic experiences. The big thing is that the past is over. And the only way that it exists is in the player’s mind and how the player’s mind is representing it. So if we can go into how his mind is representing his past failures, then he can free himself to hit or pitch with the freedom we want.”

To read more about how to solve the yips and prolonged slumps, you can purchase the May 17, 2013 issue of Collegiate Baseball by clicking here. Tom Hanson goes into detail about how his techniques can reach struggling baseball players.

Kris Bryant Named National Player Of Year

Kris Bryant Named National Player Of Year

Collegiate Baseball National Player of Year Kris BryantBy LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball
© 2013 Collegiate Baseball

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Kris Bryant hit more home runs than 223 out of 298 teams in NCAA Division I during the 2013 season as he belted 31 circuit clouts in 58 games.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound third baseman from the University of San Diego, Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of The Year, is tied for the 16th highest single season home run total in Division I history.

He led NCAA Division I players in eight offensive categories during the 2013 season, including:

• Total home runs: 31
• Home runs per game: 0.53
• Runs: 78
• Runs Per Game: 1.34
• Slugging Percentage: .860
• Total Bases: 185
• Walks: 62
• Walks Per Game: 1.07

Bryant has accomplished these staggering numbers with the new BBCOR bats that have reduced offenses across all of college baseball since they were introduced for the 2011 season.

Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press wrote a story recently which mentioned that if Bryant had used the higher performing BESR certified aluminum bats of the past that allowed Pete Incaviglia of Oklahoma State to hit a record 48 homers over 75 games in 1985, Bryant may have delivered 68 homers in 75 games.

San Diego statistician Mark Kramer crunched the numbers which were acted on by a theory from USD broadcaster Jack Murray.

Bryant put up numbers so astronomical that he eclipsed San Diego’s single-season home run record by 13. He also owns the career record of 54 set in three seasons. The old standard of 43 was set over four seasons.

San Diego Head Coach Rich Hill simply could not believe what Bryant did in 2013.

“Adjectives don’t describe what Kris has done this season,” said Hill.

“Teams weren’t pitching to him, so we started having him hit in the leadoff spot in the batting order. Then teams had to pitch to him at least once a game.

“Kris very rarely hit a home run with one of our guys on base because nobody would pitch to him. That makes his season total of 31 home runs even more remarkable. He also had over 60 walks this season. When you look at the amount of homers, his on-base percentage and many other stats, it was a season that won’t be forgotten in a long time.

“Frankly, I don’t know if a player has ever had an offensive season like this in college baseball history when you consider the BBCOR bats being used.”

To read more about Kris Bryant, his hitting philosophy, and the amazing year he has had, purchase the May 17, 2013 issue of Collegiate Baseball by clicking here.

Bill Holowaty Forced Out By Administrators

Bill Holowaty Forced Out By Administrators

Bill HolowatyBy LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball
© 2013 Collegiate Baseball

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. — Bill Holowaty, one of the most successful coaches in NCAA Division III history, was forced out of his job in late April after serving Eastern Connecticut State for the past 45 years.

The Hall of Fame skipper led the Warriors to four national championships as he stepped down with an overall record of 1,404-525-7.

Holowaty posted the most victories of any coach in any sport in New England collegiate history.

According to The Hartford Courant, five charges of misconduct were leveled against Holowaty by Eastern Connecticut St. administrators, and he was suspended for three weeks starting in late April and was eligible to return to his job May 13.

The charges included complaints of alleged public cursing and abusive language, failure to comply with directives from his supervisor in a timely manner, failure to follow financial procedures as articulated in the department manual, failure to comply with a Feb. 7 agreement that dealt with proper documentation of department funds and throwing a helmet into the bleachers after a recent game.

After careful consideration, the 68-year-old decided to retire instead of fight the administration over these charges “even though they were trumped up to get rid of me,” said Holowaty.

The legendary skipper, who is contemplating a lawsuit against the school, said his problems began when Jeff Konin was hired in July of 2012 as the school’s athletics’ director.

“What was done was evil and sinful,” said Holowaty in an extensive interview with Collegiate Baseball.

“It all started when a new athletics director was brought in (Jeff Konin), and we didn’t start off too well. A whole bunch of situations happened with different sports, and he came in right in the middle of it. During an August meeting, I said to him, and I probably shouldn’t have said it, that one of the problems in our department is that everybody is afraid to say something to you because they have no tenure and can be removed very easily. I am the only person with tenure, and that is why I have been the spokesman for all our coaches.

“The next day, he comes into my office and tells me that your tenure will not protect you from me. It was a direct threat. From that day on, it has been hell on wheels, and there has been a constantly choreographed plan to go after me. He got the school president (Elsa Nunez) to change her opinion toward me, and it went down hill from there.

“As an example, I was only given 17 days to raise $32,000 for our 2013 spring trip to Florida. And I raised about $26,000 during that short period of time. I was then told that since the total amount was not raised that we couldn’t go on our spring trip. Over the 45 years I had been at Eastern Connecticut State, which included 15 years as the athletics director, I had raised approximately $3 million during that time, if not more. So raising a few thousand dollars more for the spring trip was not going to be a problem.

“I routinely raised between $50,000 and $75,000 a year.”

Confidential Information
Holowaty said what concerned him a great deal was confidential information about him being leaked to the media.

“Elsa Nunez (President of Eastern Connecticut St.) allowed confidential information to be distributed to the media illegally. And then she made the comment, ‘We thought we had him before, but the witnesses did not come through. Now we have all the witnesses we need to terminate his employment. This was said to the papers while the investigation was going. It was handled totally improperly.

“Our president was also quoted as saying, ‘There had been other allegations through the years. And every time we got close to where termination was possible, a witness would not come forward.

“This whole thing was well orchestrated. It was me versus the administration. I wasn’t aware of what they were doing. It was a witch hunt that got out of hand. I approached the administration a week before resigning and told them that what was going on is totally wrong for me and the university.

“Let’s stop and reevaluate the whole situation and go forward with logic. One of the Vice Presidents called me and said this was not about my job. A few days later, this individual told me that he was wrong. Things have changed.

“This was a witch hunt that was planned last year probably in August and has been carried out this entire year. I was set up to fail.”

Holowaty, who also served as the athletics’ director at Eastern Connecticut State for 15 years (1974-1988) during his career, carried the torch for other coaches at the school.

“What bothers me is that I built the athletics program at Eastern Connecticut State. When I became the AD here, we had no women’s sports. Now we have more women’s sports than men’s sports. We had no outdoor facilities for our women. And these were all things we accomplished during my 15 years as athletics’ director.

“I ultimately was asked to choose between being a full time AD or baseball coach in 1988. I choose to be the full time baseball coach and stop being the AD.

“The current president at Eastern said that I have never liked our ADs that have come along. And I said that’s not true at all. The former AD and I got along very well and called me recently asked if she could help me. So this has been a witch hunt, and I don’t know where it went sour for me and the president of the university. Prior to the new AD coming aboard, we were on solid ground.”

Lets Assistant Go
After last season, his assistant coach for 36 seasons, Bob Wojick, was let go.

“I told him that it was time to part because we just were not good for each other. He couldn’t stop talking about me behind my back to anybody who would listen on campus for a period of time. He was always questioning my decisions. I have been told that when he talked to administrators, he said ‘Holowaty is not the same’ and this and that. I gave him a year to change his ways because we had been together for so many years. I owed him that. But he didn’t change. So a year ago in May or June, I told him that we had to part. I told him that he did a hell of a job for many years. But I just couldn’t put up with it any more.

“I was told by a vice president that the talk behind my back by Bob was going on for the previous 3-4 years. When he left my office that day, he said, ‘You will never hear the end of this. Since then, I have had 3-4 hearings by the university for me being accused of stealing money or me doing this or that with the source being him.

“None of the allegations were proven to be right.”

Holowaty said that another situation came up involving his son Jared.

“I knew after the 2012 season, I was going to retire in one or two years. And I thought it would be great to have my son Jared with me as an assistant coach to finish off a great career. He would not be paid a cent and would be a volunteer. He previously was a volunteer for our program during the 2003 or 2004 season. Then he left to coach at College of New Jersey, the University of Maine and Whitman College.

“He resigned at Whitman (located in Washington) because was not happy being so far from home and wanted to come back and help me out on the basis that Bob Wojick would still be here. Jared would not take anybody’s position and would simply volunteer his time and help me out.

“I was happy as heck that I had the chance to finish my career with my son next to me. We went through the entire summer of 2012 with no answer from the president of the university if this was going to be allowed. Then in August, I wrote a letter asking for an answer. And she (Elsa Nunez) wrote back that I had a hard time handling volunteer workers at the university, and she wouldn’t allow this to happen.

“I didn’t handle the answer well. The new AD got involved. This just set the tone for the rest of the year. Jared left and went to Montclair St. to coach with Norm Schoenig and has enjoyed his experience. I hired new assistant coaches, and they did a heck of a job.”

More Problems Erupt
The problems Holowaty had with his president and AD didn’t stop there.

“Since the school year started, I have been accused of causing social media problems. Being an older guy, I had no idea what social media meant. And the AD called me a liar.

“Then I handed in my budget the same way I have done for the prior 44 years. It was hand written in ink. But it wasn’t done to the AD’s specifications. He wanted it typed.

“Then he gave me 17 days in November to raise $32,000 for our spring trip. I raised $26,000 in 17 days. And then I mentioned to him that it would be appreciated if he let me raise money beyond this 17-day window because on Jan. 1 I would have over $40,000 for the trip. He said no. And he refused to allow us to go on our annual spring trip because I couldn’t meet this 17-day deadline.”

In the 45 years Holowaty had been at Eastern Connecticut State, no AD had ever put up a road block to a spring trip as Konin was alleged to have done.

“I had a survey given to NCAA Division III schools at the 2013 American Baseball Coaches Association Convention, and not one Division III school had their money raised before the spring semester started. In our league, the earliest a team had all their money in was Feb. 1. The latest was the middle of March. And one school didn’t have a deadline.

“This guy (Konin) required this 17-day deadline so that I would fail. In the mean time, our women’s softball program had an organized, type-written budget that he thought was appropriate, and it was approved. They didn’t have their money raised until the middle of February.”

Holowaty said that he then had to scramble to complete his 2013 schedule with a chunk of games now being played in freezing weather instead of the sunny weather of Florida.

“Since our AD refused to allow us to go on a spring trip, I lined up games in Long Island, New Jersey, and other locations. We played over 60 percent of our schedule in 30 degree weather, if not colder.”

Holowaty was asked if any of his players suffered injuries because of the cold weather.

“We lost three catchers and our shortstop, but our kids have done a heck of a job battling through all of the cold weather they had to endure.”

Player With DUI
Holowaty explained another situation that cropped up during the season.

“One of our ball players was arrested for DUI on a Thursday evening. Friday morning, he called me to tell me about the situation. I suspended him indefinitely and took away his honor of being a captain. And he did not dress with his teammates for games the whole weekend.

“Then I told him that I would see the athletics’ director on Monday. And we would talk and then make a decision. So I saw our AD that Monday morning and had a game that afternoon against Wesleyan. I told our AD that our player would do this and that. I said that he should be let back on the team. However, he would not start today but would dress.

“We travel to Wesleyan. I had to keep 3-4 kids at home because they had class. Another 3-4 kids were at home because there was a JV game there. So we traveled with a skeleton crew. Our shortstop in pre-game stepped on a pipe and sprained his ankle. So I am left with pitchers outside of the DUI guy to play. So I started the DUI guy because I had nobody else. I didn’t want to see a pitcher get injured playing a position they weren’t used to.

“In retrospect, I probably should have put a pitcher out there for one inning or one out and took him out. Then there wouldn’t have been a problem. Our AD came down for the game to see how I would handle everything. He called my cell phone during the game, which I didn’t have on, to talk to me about the situation.

“This AD has never coached in his life. He is a former trainer. Here I am once again being questioned. And he wrote it up in my file that I did not follow orders. And then he accused me of winning at all costs.”

Holowaty said that in early February, Konin suggested that he assign an assistant coach to help him out with financial matters.

“I told him (Konin) that one of my assistant coaches is a volunteer coach who drives 1½ hours one way to help the program. My head assistant runs three big restaurants in Hartford. My other assistant had to get a full time job because he was getting married, his girlfriend was pregnant, and he was buying a house. Then I mentioned that three people were turned down as office workers.

“I was told my son couldn’t volunteer his time to be with the program. Second, we had an assistant equipment manager for a long time who was told he couldn’t coach with me. Third, I trained a student for two years to do all my work in the office to help me out. And I was told he couldn’t work for me. Now is this helping the baseball program or deterring the baseball program? I was set up to fail once again.”

Helmet Tossed Into Stands
One of the allegations by the administration was that Holowaty threw a helmet into the bleachers during a game this season.

“Administrators said they did an investigation into this situation, and I was never asked my side of the story. Here is what happened. It was probably 30 degrees, and there was virtually no one in stands. We have a team rule that batters are not allowed to throw helmets in frustration. We want batters to walk back to the dugout and put their helmet away properly if they make an out.

“One of our players, a senior, has grown up tremendously over the years. But he had a helmet throwing problem every once in a while when he got frustrated. In this situation, he throws the helmet, and he knows the rule. I probably should have just kicked him out of the ball game at that point. But I didn’t. I picked the helmet up and looked in the stands above the dugout. Nobody is there, and I threw the helmet up there in disgust and to show how childish his antics were.

“The President at Eastern Connecticut State (Nunez) responded by saying, ‘I am a grandmother, and I have children. If somebody threw a helmet at my child, I would sue. Once they saw he threw a helmet in the stands, it was over. This was egregious. I can’t have anybody do that. It is just unacceptable.”

Holowaty said that nobody at the school has asked his side of this story until Collegiate Baseball inquired.

“We’re all about student education. And I was trying to show this young man that throwing a helmet was simply not acceptable. I wasn’t angry at the kid. But a point had to be made about how horrible it looks to throw helmets. Like I said, nobody was in the stands because it was 30 degrees.”

Holowaty said his AD constantly wrote negative things in his file.

“I dropped by the AD’s office one day to reschedule a game, and I headed out to practice shortly after that. The next day, I was talking to kids all day because that is what you do at a university. I didn’t have a chance to look at my e-mail.

“So I run by the AD’s office before I go to practice and ask him if he decided what was going to happen with the rescheduled game. He then tells me that he spent a lot of time e-mailing me an answer. Read your e-mail! We rarely had meetings because he can’t go in front of people and talk to them properly.”

Holowaty said another allegation brought up against him was being abusive to a ball player during the 2013 season.

“This is what transpired. After a ball game I was sitting in the dugout, and nobody was around. I have my hands on my chin. One of our players comes by and tells me that he wants to hit.

“I told him that he should go home and rest. Then he repeated that he wanted to hit and then started to mouth off. Then I used several swear words to tell him to go home. Then he takes his ball bucket, throws it on the ground and dislocates his shoulder. He hasn’t played since.

“After that, he goes home and tells his mother that I was verbally abusive. Guess what? I have gotten in kid’s faces. I have never had any intention of harming anybody. This is what happened, and nobody at the university has ever asked what transpired with this kid. Nobody.

“My final conclusion with all of this is that it is extremely difficult to be a leader in our society now. You have principles, and you must follow those principles. I am an educator first and foremost. If you are a good coach, you are an educator, period.”

Law Broken
Holowaty said confidential information was released to newspapers from his personnel file.

“This is never supposed to happen unless approved by court order. Yet when I was suspended by the university recently, I was not allowed to talk to anybody or go on campus. While I was muzzled, the President of the University (Nunez) was quoted in The Hartford Courant that there had been other allegations through the years about me. But she said, ‘Every time we would get close where termination was possible, a witness would not come forward.’ This is called fishing in the newspaper.

“She was quoted as saying, ‘The bullying and abusing (by Holowaty) are being investigated. That may go on past May 13. If it does, he (Holowaty) would not go back to coaching.’

“She said that the investigation may show that two people come forward or 42 people. And we have to talk to them all by law.”

Holowaty said that this “fishing” expedition in the media was disgusting.

“She then said, ‘If he did something wrong, he should be terminated. If not, we owe him an apology.’ ”

Holowaty said that an open message was addressed to Nunez following this ordeal.

“The person who wrote the message said: ‘If cursing in public and throwing a baseball helmet are grounds for termination, then what are the consequences for discussing in public pending unsubstantiated allegations and throwing confidential documents into the public forum?

“To Coach Holowaty: This process was not evil and sinful. It is illegal. To Connecticut State Board of Regents: This wasn’t a personnel matter for Elsa Nunez. It was a personal matter.”

Holowaty said he woke up the morning of April 25 and rolled over to see his beautiful wife Jan with tears streaming from her eyes.

“This year has been nearly unbearable,” said Holowaty.

“And my wife, who is one heck of a lady, has been abused by these statements by administrators. They are totally out of line, totally illegal, and I just couldn’t put up with it any more. So I had to resign so she wouldn’t suffer any more.

“I just wanted to be treated properly and fairly. And this is not that. There is not one time in my entire career that I purposely did anything to hurt someone. My thought all the time was to try and motivate, teach and excite players to be better in whatever they do. And yes, I yelled at kids at times and also got in their faces. Did I hurt them? No damn way.

 “Hundreds of former players from all over the country have come to my aid during this tough time. Being 68 years old, I was going to retire soon. This just hastened it. I am extremely disappointed at how this university treated me when I was someone who had been loyal and dedicated for 45 years.

“I have contacted a lawyer and am not sure if I will file suit against these people or not. My union is involved in this matter, and I don’t know where that will go. My good name and family have been dragged through the mud unnecessarily. And I have been slandered without any regrets.”

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