The USSSA 7U Coach Pitch Baseball field is marked differently than a regular diamond. Several of the lines are for player and coach safety. The other lines are for 7U baseball specific game play. Below you will see a diagram of the field and the line markings. I know as a coach I always needed this diagram to share with other coaches because most everyone coaching 7U have no experience with the game and field. I hope this helps get your team going. Check out the rest of the Hot Feet Sports 7U offerings and follow the link to our Store on Baseball Rampage for the gear you will need to have a successful season.
The 30′ Safety line is the primary safety measure for players and coaches. No one is allowed inside of the line. I have personally seen line drive hits by 7 year olds that could take a coaches head off. Many of my fellow coaches have been lucky to barely get out of the way in time to avoid being hit.
Game play markings are as follows
The halfway lines show if a runner gets to advance to the next base on a dead ball or if they have to return to the previous base. This is very important as runs can be scored this way.
The 20′ arc is for foul balls. Any ball touched or stopped in this area is considered foul.
10′ pitchers circle requires that the child playing the pitcher defensive spot has one foot inside of the circle before the ball is hit.
I hope this diagram is helpful to all of you coaches out there. Good luck on your seasons.
Tis the season to get out there and show what you’ve got. While the college guys are hitting up all star bowls and the NFL combine. The High school seniors are showing off their talents at the Under Armor All American and and the Army All American games as well as some states do their all star games early. The rest of the high school and JH world are hard at work trying to show early and often that they can compete against national talent. That is what this is all about in today’s day and age where sometimes its hard for a stand out athlete to prove that they are stand out because their only venue is 8 man football in small towns across the country. Since you are not attending IMG academy or, Bishop Gorman where can a guy go to compete. We have 5 chances for that comparison to happen.
1. Local D1 Camps –
These camps will attract players from across the state and the country depending on who is invited. Remember though to bring your A game and don’t be offended if you don’t get a lot of attention. People have their favorites, ranked kids and their own children at these camps. You coming in as a barnstormer looking to prove your self may not get the love you are looking for. No worries prove them wrong on the field.
2. Nike Opening
The Regionals schedule has been posted but don’t run and sign up right away. Your first task is to get the hudl app. Problem being that for some sort of contract reason they only did it with IOS. Oh well so you have to find a friend with an IOS device then get your testing results loaded on to hudl. When that is done you are evaluated via the app. I am pretty sure they already have the analytics to alert them when a user has a top 200 score. The actual regional is now an invitation only party. So get yourselves in shape, practice the testing events, grab the app and show em what you got. One reason this camp is rated number 2 is because they don’t rely on HS coaches to do the work for you. This is an athlete centered process. Best of luck. https://www.theopening.com/
3. Rivals Camp Series
Rivals camp series is of course the competition to the Opening. Rival companies rival everything rival kids participating and battling for recognition. What is interesting about this camp is that it would allow students to self nominate. There is not a huge emphasis on testing data, it seems more focused on game film and coaches. That being said, this is another national select event. You need some recognition to get an invite. With Rivals camp registration is online but you also need to get that film sent over to them. They would like you to send an email to them. Check out the FAQ and get registered you could be the next big thing. https://n.rivals.com/news/rivals-camp-series-presented-by-under-armour-2016-schedule
4 FBU Top Gun Showcase
The FBU top gun showcase is a young camp in comparison to the others but it has a middle school twist to it. As more and more kids are working hard to improve skills the recruiting and getting noticed game has moved to middle school. This area is no longer reserved for the coaches kid that would get a scholarship offer when he is in eighth grade. Get out there and get noticed. http://footballuniversity.org/other-events/top-gun/
5 NUC Camps and Combines
The NUC guys have been around for years and have a growing offering of camps and combine events. They are pushing the 7 on 7 world forward and helping kids get noticed across the country. If you are looking for an introduction to the competitive world or can’t travel that far NUC is a good alternative. http://nucsports.com/recruiting-events/
Sports Trainer Index is the name and helping kids land over 4 million dollars in athletic scholarships is the game. Lets recap the numbers shall we. I said over 4 million dollars in athletic scholarships for kids in all sorts of sports. The man behind it all is named Evan Turkish, he has engineered the contacts and alliances that are needed to even be relevant in the world of recruiting. Sports Trainer Index is not a big fish by any means. However, they are growing and growing fast.
In my interview with Evan, he explained that the original goal for the company was to provide a knowledge base of training resources in every city. His goal was not to build a recruiting service. It was to build a network of sports trainers that would help kids work toward their goal of playing at the highest level they possibly could.
With the goal in mind Evan put a strong list of training organizations together all over the country. He then started using the list to refer kids that were interested in working to getting better so they could be recruited.
The best things in life are free but training and recruiting are not. So lets look at the numbers and see why this affordable service is a great steal for families that are looking for help and guidance but don’t want to get caught up with hidden fees.
Your package fee is a one time fee that encompasses the relationship you have with STI. Things like phone conversation coaching or email response reviews all come with the base fee. What I have found through all of my research is that if you are thinking to start these processes in Junior year you would be miles behind. According to Evan “These things start around 8th – 9th grade. By junior year summer we are showcasing you in camps that match your goals”
Everything I have observed about STI has been solid support of the athletes and families that have signed up with them. I hope what I have seen stays the same as they grow. It is easy to lose sight of the primary goals when things get hectic. People start racing for profits and lose the point that it was about helping youth find a path to education.
I received three Inferno’s by Hot Feet Sports in the spring of 2016 and we put them to use immediately with our athletic population. I have seen a massive improvement in the general footwork of all our athletes who have participated in the our strength program, and the addition of the Inferno by Hot Feet Sports has been a major contributor to this process.
The inferno has the ability to be used in multiple manners, while being unique in its own way. When laying flat on the ground the grids can be used as you would an agility ladder. When elevated it can be used much like agility hurdles. These two things together in one is a definite benefit.
We began using these in the winter of 2015/2016, and I could see a rapid improvement in the footwork of our athletes. The 5×5 grid pattern allows you to run 3 athletes through while working on basic linear foot speed and ground contacts. The same can be applied sideways, working with athletes on staying square, taking proper steps and not crossing over.
Once we got the basics of footwork down, we started combining the drills, running one athlete through the grid in a desired pattern. The ability to have athletes move forward, backward, and side to side while maintaining proper footwork has made the Inferno a mainstay in our speed and agility program.
Once we were able to train outdoors we took the Inferno with us. We elevated the Inferno, which then forced the athletes to not only move their feet quickly, but to pick them up and set them down quickly. Not only are we teaching quick feet, we are developing knee drive. This also creates a plyometric effect, teaching the kids the quicker and faster they get their feet moving, the quicker and faster they move through the drills. Another great feature of the Inferno would be the ability level. Drills can be designed for beginner to highly experienced athletes without time loss. I can have a senior in high school and a seventh grader in the same line.
The Inferno also has the ability to teach kids how to move both feet. Most younger athletes are dominant with one foot, and the ability to step forward with the other foot can be very difficult to teach and learn. The Inferno allows us to train opposite foot first training very easily, and repeatedly. As a strength coach this tool is highly valuable to me. It is easy to set up, its highly efficient, and it produces results. We used these in the beginning as a learning tool, but as we began to see results in foot speed and quickness we started using the Inferno for competitive purposes as well. It has aided us as a way to learn to compete.
The Inferno develops foot speed and quickness. Foot speed and quickness are very important tools for an athlete’s success. The ability to train those skills with one piece of equipment saves us a lot of time, and we get the same if not better results. I highly recommend it to any strength coach that needs to develop foot speed and quickness.
We will continue to use the Inferno, it has been a very valuable training tool. I am most excited about starting an offseason and have full use of the Inferno. We will continue to use it once or twice a week, and we can continue to develop new drills. The only limiting factor with drills in the Inferno is your creativeness.
During my entire career I have watched teammates fall victim to poor hydration. They would say things like “Too much water will slow me down”. You know what slowed them down, was the heat illness and cramping. Lets be for real about this. I have seen top tier athletes have to get IV fluid pumped into them because they were not properly prepared for practice and became dehydrated. You walk into the locker room and you see your friend looking like a marshmallow man all puffy and looking sad.
As a coach of youth I take staying hydrated very seriously. I will always have that one kid, when it is mandatory time for water they will walk around like I told them to go drink the kool-ade or something. (I am from Guyana so I am allowed to use the reference.) I will calmly walk over to them and loudly inform them that the water break is not a suggestion it is a REQUIREMENT.
So for all of you parents out there who might think I don’t know what I am talking about even though I have given you this very cool back story here is a slide from my USA football training showing that it is important to have your child hydrate “BEFORE, DURING and AFTER” practices, games, walk through, or any other type of activity in the heat.
Happy practicing and playing and one more note. Don’t stay thirsty stay hydrated my friend.
Iowa City West High School athletes Oliver Martin and Caden Fedeler, and Solon High School athlete Kendrick Harris burning up the Inferno by Hot Feet Sports. Way to focus fellas and great job moving those feet with some purpose!!
#fastfeet #quickness #pitterpatter
We pulled out the Inferno® by Hot Feet Sports today and will be incorporating it more for the remainder of our Summer workouts! Emphasizing mechanics, knee drive, foot positions and arm swing with these guys today! I want to wish three of them Cody Schroeder , TJ B and Ethan O. Good Luck at State Baseball this weekend! Go hard and make a statement!! SportsTrainerIndex.com Iowa Baseball Iowa Pediatric Dental Center Iowa City Press-Citizen
I think just about everyone loves the new 4 team college football playoff. In its first 2 years it has already produced multiple games that have been thrillers. Including its inaugural 1 vs 4 matchup in which Ohio state upset the title favorites the Alabama Crimson tide. It also produced another thriller last year in the national title game in which the afore mentioned tide beat the Clemson Tigers. It is inevitable that the playoff will expand at some point but how many more teams will be given the opportunity to fight for a national title?
Ultimately I believe that the college football playoff will expand to 8 teams. However, I believe that we are still at least 10 to 15 years away from that. So for the foreseeable future I see the playoff expanding to 6 teams. This may not make sense to some but let me explain. The number 3 seed would play the 6 seed in the first round and the 4 would play the 5. The number 1 and 2 seeds will be given byes in the “first round.” The number 1 seed will play the highest seed left after the first round, so if the highest seed after round 1 was the 4 seed then they would play the 4 and the number 2 seed would play the number 3. If an upset were to happen in the first round the number 1 could end up playing the number 6 in the second round. I know this seems like a lot of scenarios and numbers but trust me, it’s not that complicated.
One of the problems people will have with expanding the playoff is the number of games played. They will argue that the wear and tear of more games will cause more physical burden on the athletes. I think that if you were to ask the athletes they would be open to playing more games. Especially when the stakes are that high. Others will argue that if you open the playoff to more teams then the quality of football will go down. That I completely disagree with. No matter if it is 4, 6, or 8 teams every single one of them will have the same goal and that is to be national champions.
Opening the playoff up to 6 or 8 teams would also give the mid majors a legitimate spot at making the playoff. Now with the 4 team format not even all of the power 5 conference teams can get a team in the playoff. For example the big 12 failed to make an appearance in the first year just as the pac 12 did this past year. Not only would expanding the playoff allow for all power 5 conferences to get a team in the playoff but it would also allow either a mid major team or another viable power 5 team to make the playoff.
Opening up the college football playoff to 6 and eventually 8 teams is something that WILL happen, it is not a matter of if it is a matter of when.
2016 looks to be a great year for the Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes return over half of their starters from offense and defense. Today I will be discussing who I believe the key contributors will be on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
The obvious and really only reasonable choice at quarterback is CJ Beathard. Beathard will be back for his senior season in a Hawkeye uniform, and is looking to build to an already stellar resume which includes an all 2nd team big ten choice last season. I look for Beathard to take another big step forward this year. Beathard will be healthy to start the season and that is huge for Hawkeye fans everywhere. With Beathard healthy that will bring back his great mobility from the quarterback position. If CJ can stay healthy all year I see all of his stats going up, rushing yards, rushing TD’s, passing yards and passing touchdowns. I also expect CJ’s turnover numbers to remain fairly low. There is no doubt that Beathard is the unquestioned leader of the Iowa offense.
At running back, I see a minimum of 3 contributors to the offense. The top 3 would be Leshun Daniels Jr., Akrum Wadley, and Derrick Mitchell, in no particular order. All three of these players had an impact last season. Now with Jordan Canzeri gone, it is up in the air as to who will be the workhorse running back. It will most likely be running back by committee with coach Ferentz and offensive coordinator Greg Davis going with whoever has the hot hand. That being said Leshun Daniels will be the short yardage back, and Mitchell will most likely be the 3rd down back. Last year in Mitchell’s first season as a running back he excelled at picking up blitzes and catching the ball out of the backfield. Then there is Akrum Wadley, everyone in Iowa City knows he has the talent, but will ball security continue to be an issue? I see the coaching staff giving each of these 3 guys every chance to prove themselves.
I’m grouping the receivers and tide ends together. We know what we have in George Kittle and Matt the meerkat Vandeberg. But outside of those two many questions surround who CJB will be throwing the ball to in 2016. I look for two young guys to step up at the receiver position in 2016. Those two guys being Jerminic Smith who showed great flashes in 2015 as a true freshman. And the other being redshirt sophomore Jay Scheel. You can make the case the Scheel is the most athletic guy on the team. Scheel, who is a former high school quarterback, I look for him to burst onto the scene as a big play receiver in 2016. Jameer Outsey is listed as the second tide end on the two deeps although he was mainly used in blocking situations last year. I think Dowling Catholic alum Jon Wisnieski will get a fair amount of playing time this year. He has all the talent and potential but health has been a problem for Wisnieski since he stepped on campus.
The offensive line faces two departures of the five starters from 2015 in Austin Blythe and Jordan Walsh. However, I do not see the offensive line being an issue in 2016. All five starters listed on the early season two deeps saw a substantial amount of playing time in 2015. With only one senior (Cole Croston) this is a group that will be solid for years to come.
On the defensive side of the ball you have work horses in Jaleel Johnson, Josey Jewel, and Desmond King, these guys also have a pretty good supporting cast. Who else will step up on the defensive side of the ball in 2016? I look at a guy in outside linebacker Aaron Mends to have a huge year. Mends started seeing his playing time increase later in the season last year when Iowa used their “Raider Package” defense. I think Mends is the type of player that can reek havoc in the opponent’s backfield. Parker Hesse stepped up big last year in the absence of Drew Ott, I look for him to improve even more this year. Matt or Anthony Nelson will also have to take steps forward to see their production increase this year. The Hawkeyes are solid at the linebacker and corner back positions with the likes of Desmond King, Greg Mabin, Ben Niemann, Josey Jewel, and Aaron Mends. Miles Taylor will be back for his second season at the starting strong safety position, I only see positive progress with him. As for the strong safety position Brandon Snyder looks to be the starter. If he can just hold his ground, I see this Hawkeye defense being one of the tops in the Big Ten and the entire country.
The hawks have all the pieces to succeed in the 2016 season, the only question is whether or not they can put the pieces together. I believe that if the Hawks can stay fairly healthy in 2016 they will do great things for a second year in a row.
Kirk Ferentz has been turning 2 and 3 star recruits into NFL caliber players during his entire 17-year tenure at the University of Iowa. So usually I don’t bat an eye when I see that Iowa has the 11th or 12th best recruiting class in the big ten. So when I see that the 2017 Iowa football recruiting class is 11th in the NATION. I would say that’s a pretty big deal. Ferentz has proven he can turn guys without All-American talent into all Big Ten caliber players. So what will Kirk be able to do with the likes of Eno Benjamin, Tristan Wirfs, and AJ Epenesa?
Chad Greenway is the prime example of an unheralded recruit that coach Ferentz got the most out of. Greenway was wait for it, an unrated recruit coming out of high school. Greenway went from unrated recruit to first round pick in the NFL draft. Greenway has continued his success in the NFL as 2 time pro bowler.
Ferentz has proven that he can get the most out of middle of the pack recruits as well. Especially the offensive lineman. Brandon Scherff for example was a 3-star recruit coming out of high school. Coach Ferentz turned Scherff into an all American player and a top 5 NFL draft pick. Ferentz has proven time and again that he’s got what it takes to produce elite NFL caliber talent out of his offensive lineman. Marshall Yanda is widely regarded as the best offensive guard in the NFL. Yanda, Riley Rieff, Scherff, Brian Bulaga, and Robert gallery are just a few other NFL offensive lineman that coach Kirk has produced. I think that Tristan Wirfs of Mt. Vernon will follow in these lineman’s successful footsteps.
Eno Benjamin, a 4-star running back out of Texas and AJ Epenesa, a 5-star defensive end out of Illinois are both regarded as two of the highest ranked recruits that Ferentz has ever had in Iowa city. So should Kirk coach these guys any different? The simple answer to that question, no. If any of these highly coveted recruits are not ready to play right away, then they should be red shirted. I am not saying that they will not be ready. I am saying that if they are not then redshirt them and save them another year of eligibility. The bottom line is Kirk knows how to coach, no matter the personality or the talent Kirk will get any player to buy into the system and play for the team.
The 2017 recruiting class will benefit the Iowa Hawkeye football program exponentially. When Kirk gets that kind of talent and then instills them with the hard nosed Hawkeye work ethic, only good things can come from that combination. All you have to do is look at the track record of what Kirk has done with the talent he has had. It can only get better. The product on the field can only get better with more talent and continued good coaching. The 2017 recruiting class will be the first of many classes to come that are lined with prized 4 and 5 star recruits at the University of Iowa.
In many ways the 2015 season was one of the, if not the, greatest season in Iowa Hawkeye football history. 2015 was the first time in the Hawks’ storied history that a team had finished the regular season undefeated. They were a 9 minute Michigan State drive away from crashing the college football playoff party. The Hawks return 14 starters in 2016 including cornerstones in Desmond King on the defensive side and C.J. “sunshine” Beathard at quarterback. The question Hawkeye fans everywhere are asking, can Iowa repeat its success from 2015?
Many early pre season polls have the Hawks ranked anywhere between 15-20 but I don’t pay to much attention to that. If you take a look at the 2016 schedule for the Hawks all of their toughest games are at Kinnick stadium. Those games include: Wisconsin, Michigan, and the fighting Harbaugh’s of Michigan. Home field advantage should pay dividends in these games. However, the Hawks still need to show up ready to play in these crucial games because their opposition will be ready to pounce on the Hawks if they are not. A prime example of that would be the rose bowl, from the very beginning I thought Iowa came out flat and the Stanford Cardinal and standout running back Christian Mccaffrey made the Hawks pay from the get go.
One home game that I’m going to put Iowa on upset alert will be the Iowa state game. Upset alert is a game that the Hawks should win but could lose. Iowa State’s new coach Matt Campbell will be looking to make a statement early in his career and nothing would do that more than a road win at their arch rival Iowa Hawkeyes. If Iowa simply plays up to their potential there is only one game that I can see the Hawks losing, and that would be to Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines. This November night game will be a classic hard hitting Big Ten brawl. The Michigan Wolverines have more talent than just about anyone in the Big Ten and in the country. Jim Haurbaugh’s arrival has resurrected the program from mediocrity. Almost the same as “New Kirk” has for Iowa.
I have the Hawks winning the Big Ten West once again this year and going back to the Big Ten Championship where they will meet back up against Michigan and avenge their only blemish on the season. From there, it’s a toss up. With that resume at 12-1 and Big Ten Champs I would think that the College Football Playoff Committee would have no reasons to keep Iowa out of the four team party.
The answer to the question I asked before is yes. The Hawks will live up to the hype in 2016 and it is something many players are embracing. Desmond King’s decision to forgo the NFL draft and come back for his senior season will prove to be huge for this bunch. King is the first EVER Jim Thorpe award winner to come back to school, all other winners of this award have either graduated or chosen to declare for the NFL draft. This Iowa team knows that the target will be on it’s back this year, I believe it is something that they will embrace. They can’t play the underdog role as they did last year but they don’t need to. 2015 proved to the players and fans that the Hawks have what it takes to succeed. The confidence built last season will boil over into this year, while these Hawks will still be hungry and strive to better themselves after the way the 2015 season ended.