Sports Love & family

Learning Life's Lessons through Sports

5 Baseball Drills Using Stations

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Here are 5 drills that Todd utilizes at baseball practices to keep everyone involved and productivity maximized. Lots of reps to work on mechanics, athleticism and adjustability.

Drill 1: Soccer Ball Load Stride – This drill works on turning back to load, instead of swaying back to load, as well as, weight transfer on the swing.

Drill 2: 1 Bounce – This drill works on adjusting to a variety of pitch locations and being athletic, as well as, bat angle, shoulder and pelvic tilt.

Drill 3: Live Hitting – Allows players to have multiple repetitions through game type play.

Drill 4: High Tee – This drill works on hitting pitches that are high in the strike zone.

Drill 5: 90 Degree Tee – This teaches the player to have hip and shoulder separation to generate power in the swing.


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Sample Baseball Practice Plan

Below is a practice plan that Todd uses for his baseball teams. This is just a sample to get you started to make sure you’re using your time and players wisely. Remember, long lines of kids standing around, accomplishes nothing. In this plan utilizing stations you can get a lot done in 2 hours. Have fun and let us know how you use this plan or others like it!

Practice Plan

Date: _____Time: ______

2-3 Minutes: Pre-Start Meeting – Today’s Points to Emphasize:

25 Minutes:  Dynamic Warm-Ups, Throwing Progression, Warm-Up Activity (ex. Baserunning)

Warm-Up Activity Described:

Drill/Activity 20 Minutes Total:

Drill/Activity #1:

Drill/Activity #2:

Drill/Activity #3:


Drill Layout Diagram







Defensive Stations

15 Minutes (Rotate Players with Multiple Positions):

Position Specific Group #1:

Position Specific Group #2:

Position Specific Group #3:


Drill Layout Diagram








Hitting Stations

30 Minutes (10 min. stations) (3 Groups):

Hitting Station #1:

Hitting Station #2:

Hitting Station #3:

Whole Team Activity

20 Minutes

Review: 2-3 Minutes

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Ask Yourself, Can You Commit?

So your kid wants to try out for the [insert sport here] travel team? Is your family ready for the commitment? Do you have what it takes? Does your kid have what it takes? This is something at Sports, Love & Family we feel very strongly about. It’s one of the strongest life lessons we’re teaching our kids.

Before you jump on the travel team band wagon there are some things you should ask yourself and your child. First, are you as a parent ready for this commitment? If you are not willing to drive your child all over the county for practices or games…you are not ready. If your social calendar is booked every weekend…you are not ready. If you don’t enjoy spending hours watching sporting events…you are not ready. If you purchased a vehicle based on seating availabilty and trunk capacity…you are ready. If you seek out sport events even if you don’t know any players…you are ready. If you are not ready for this type of commitment then there’s no point of asking your child if they’re ready. It begins with you. If you can’t give it your all, then don’t bother. The goal is to be an example to your child and if you can’t fully commit, then don’t do it.

Once you know you can commit, now you need to discuss what the commitment looks like with your child. Make sure you’re being honest with your child when you talk to them. Let them know how often practices are, how long and far away game days may be. Let them know how long the season is and if it interferes with other sports or activities they like to do. Because, parents, let’s face it, this is their first commitment they will make and how you handle this sets the stage for later in life.

At Sports, Love & Family we are fully committed.

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Sports Vacations, Pick #2: Baltimore, MD

So, we love sports. But, we really love baseball. Todd and I fantasize about our retirement and traveling the country going to major league baseball stadiums. We are a baseball family. Our number two vacation pick is Baltimore, Maryland. What is better than the birthplace of George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr? To a baseball family, not much!

Again, it was easy to get there, about a five and half hour drive. We stayed in Downtown Baltimore, not far from the Inner Harbor. We loved walking around the harbor area and of course, we visited the National Aquarium while there. Definitely a must see while in Baltimore. After we exhausted ourselves with walking around the harbor we went to rest.

The next morning was our tour of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I’m a firm believer that your tour guide makes or breaks your tour. Just like at Louisville Slugger, our tour guide at Camden Yards was phenomenal. He was a retired teacher and clearly loves baseball history. Even if you’re not a baseball fan the history of Camden Yards is impressive. It’s so cool how the frontage is the old B&O Train warehouse (yes, the monopoly one), now office space (could you imagine working there?). Each component of Camden Yards was designed with other stadiums in mind, essentially they took the best parts of cool stadiums and put them into the new stadium.

One of my favorite parts of the stadium is the plaque baseballs in the ground, or on the wall of the warehouse for the farthest hit homeruns (there’s only one on the wall and it belongs to Ken Griffey, Jr.) It was fun trying to find our beloved Indians players. There’s a nice space past the outfield with player statues, just like at Progressive Field. If you’re a fan of Babe Ruth, Baltimore is the place for you. Our guide told us all about The Babe’s life. It was cool to look out past the city and see the boy’s home that he stayed in and a few blocks over was his home and now the Babe Ruth Museum. Where second base now sits was the bar that his parents owned. His mother didn’t want The Babe born above the bar, so she moved in with her in-laws a few blocks away (the museum site).

After the tour we walked around the stadium and to the Babe Ruth museum. The whole walk over was fun because they have baseballs guiding you. We didn’t take the tour of the museum, but we walked in the store. I definitely think I’d like to go back and do the tour.

When we got back to our car we grabbed a bite to eat and headed to Washington, DC. And if you learned anything about our family, sports (especially baseball) was involved in that adventure too! Stay tuned…

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I Argued with an Umpire

By now you probably get that we advocate appropriate behavior at sporting events. Certainly arguing with an official is not something we advocate. But, we are guilty of doing it. It’s not one of our prouder moments, but we did it and then we learned from it. It’s a motto we’ve been telling our kids since they were babies. When you make a mistake, own up to it, learn from it, and move on from it. We talk about this a lot in our house and Todd and I walk the walk as best we can.

Todd will tell you that as a coach he will argue with an official, and he’s ok with that.

“I will argue over a rule infraction or player safety. It is important to stand up for your players. Other than that you’re just being confrontational and a bad example.” – Todd Deutsch

As a coach and a parent our goal is to keep our children safe. On this particular day the situation arose where there was a play at the plate. I don’t know about you, but I hold my breath at these moments. Our team was on defense, so it was their runner versus our catcher. When it came time for the runner to make a decision of sliding or continuing to run, he chose to jump over. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but it was scary to watch. Todd immediately ran to argue the play with the umpire. In his mind this was both a rule infraction and an issue with player safety. The baseball rule book states that “…jumping, hurdling and leaping are all legal attempts to avoid a fielder as long as the fielder is lying on the ground. -note: diving over fielders is illegal.”

Of course this particular umpire didn’t like that Todd was letting him know he didn’t know the rule. He proceeded to eject Todd from the game. My husband is non -confrontational and not a yeller. But, put a child in danger or break a rule, he’s all over it. He never got belligerent with the umpire, and in fact I was pretty proud of the way he handled it. Nonetheless, he was ejected…for the very first time in his 17 year coaching history. I proceeded to “discuss” the rule infraction and even showed the umpire the rule book. Again, he was not too happy to have someone point out that he didn’t know the rule, so he kicked me out too.

So, here we are. Both of us leaving the field area. One child on the field playing and the other two in the stands. After our anger subsided, embarrassment set in. Not from our behavior, but what it looked like to our kids. Our kids didn’t see us fighting for something we believed to be right, our kids saw their parents arguing and subsequently being told to leave. They were embarrassed.

We’re sharing this story with you to let you know we all make mistakes, we’re all human. But, it’s what we do after that mistake that defines who we are. This event was a turning point in our sport-parenting. This event was a catalyst to change. Make no mistake, I was in no way an obnoxious fan; but this did make me realize how I don’t want to be perceived by my children. They are the reason I’m at these sports events and they are the reason I’m now a more silent supporter.

7 Ways How Yelling at Officials is Hurting Children

We’re all human and we make mistakes

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Sports Vacations, Pick #1: Louisville, KY

By now you’ve probably figured out we love and live sports. Why wouldn’t our vacations be the same? It’s not like we’re always jet setting some where, who has time when your kids play every season! But, we do like little get aways and they usually involve sports. We’ve put together a list of our favorite sports vacations to start a new blog series.

One of our most favorite trips was to Louisville, Kentucky. Friends of ours went and told us that we needed to go because we love baseball, so we planned a trip over spring break.

Getting there was easy, it was just over a five hour drive. We stayed in Downtown Louisville so as to be by all the attractions we wanted to see. The first thing we did was walk around the city. We were impressed with it’s cleanliness and walkability. It’s not a giant city so most things were within walking distance, or short drives. Many of the areas we were in are historic and well preserved…and super cute! Funny eye-candy if you’re into that!

Baseball was our main reason for this trip, but our first attraction was Churchill Downs. We had a tour of the grounds and walked the museum on our own. Churchill Downs itself is gorgeous, did you know the original structure dates back to 1875? You could feel the history there. It’s so much bigger than I expected. We were there a little before the horses begin their races so there weren’t very many roaming around. To my surprise, our kids really enjoyed it. There was a really nice kids area that they loved.

Our next stop was the Louisville Slugger Museum…or as we call it, our heaven.  I’m not sure who of the five of us enjoyed it more, we all had a blast. It’s a small museum and seems like you should be able to get through in about two hours, but our family ended up staying for hours! We of course, took the bat factory tour. It was so cool seeing how they make bats and the history of the process. Because of the time of year we went it was neat to see all the major league player orders being fulfilled. They also had on display the bats from the Indians and the Cubs since they were the last teams in the World Series. We loved seeing that! I’m pretty sure we read each sign, took pictures with each statue and got up close and personal with all the memorabilia. Braeden even got in the batting cage to swing a wood bat for the first time.

While we were there one of the displays was a traveling Lego display. Each was an amazing work of art. We also got to see up close what it’s like to see a 90 mph fast ball, it’s insane that anyone hits that! After we saw every square inch of the factory and museum we spent more time in the store. We couldn’t leave empty-handed! Each kid got a gift, the boys got wood bats and Bailey got a sweatshirt. We got a custom engraved bat for our family that says “Family First, Baseball Second”. Pretty much our motto.

While in town we walked past the KFC Yum Center and took pictures in front of it. We also ventured by the Louisville Bats stadium; we would’ve went to a game but they were out of town. It wouldn’t be a family vacation of ours if we didn’t see a baseball game, so, we went to see the University of Louisville Cardinals play. It was really exciting because while we were there, they were ranked number one and playing really well (they finished #5). We drove around campus first to take it all in. It’s a very nice campus. Then we went to the baseball game. The stadium was so nice, it was like being at a minor league game. It was still pretty cold, but thankfully we’re used to watching games like that!

We packed in a lot of sights|sites in just a couple of days. It was a great sports-family get-away that we would recommend to anyone! Let us know your favorite sports destinations, we’re always looking for more places to visit! Our next pick features a very famous baseball player…stay tuned.