USSSA 7U Coach Pitch Baseball Diamond Dimensions

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.

USSSA 7U Baseball Coach Pitch DIamond Field Layout

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.

 

2017 Camps and showcases round 1 Football top 5

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 –

College Football Fan Map

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

this is the 2016 image, 2017 schedule not out yet

4 FBU Top Gun Showcase

FBU Top Gun

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/

NUC camp event

Recruiting 3: A Different Kind of Recruiting Company

sports-trainer-index 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.

evan-turkishIn 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.

sti_featured sti_standardThe 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.

The web site for them is www.sportstrainerindex.com.  Best of luck with your recruiting journey.

Clear Creek Amana Strength Coach Kyle Stoner Sees Rapid Foot Speed Improvement With the Inferno

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.

Got great work in this am w/ the Inferno from @hotfeetsports Great tool for all athletics! #hfmakeplays #playmaker pic.twitter.com/PWbIw1DQbQ

— Kyle Stoner (@KStoner45) February 5, 2016

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.

HYDRATE it is not a suggestion it is a REQUIREMENT

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.

USA Football Hydration chart
USA Football Hydration chart

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.

Hot Feet Inferno In Action at Strength U

Great hot feet inferno videos from The Strength U

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

Recruiting 2: High school coaches – Its about the Relationships

Honestly speaking my assumption when I started this research project was that the role of a high school coach was diminished.  All of the communication methods that allow direct contact with the athlete made them irrelevant.   Essentially, the gap between schools and players was closing with technology and the high school coach is the odd man out.  To the contrary,  what I found is the job has become more complex,  enhanced and more about relationships than ever.

I talked to Tarig Holman, head football coach at Randolph High School in New Jersey.  This guy has been exceptional his whole life and it shotarig holman addresses the teamws in his coaching.  Tarig’s approach to his high school team is what he terms “College Bound”.  “I want our student athletes to understand that we are a college bound program” said Holman.  This sparked my interest because it was a different focus than most high school programs that I have come across.  At Randolph coach Holman has made it clear that he wants his players looking to further their education regardless of the level of football they play or if they play football at all.  The focus is more academic.  The reason for this is the numbers says Holman, who is realistic with his players.  A D1 safety at Iowa in his time, he understands that D1 talent doesn’t just happen every day.  “You have to build a relationship with the athletes so they believe you have their best interests in mind when you make suggestions” he said.  Sometimes the reality that you are not a D1 athlete is hard to take but then seeing where your academics make you attractive at other levels opens up doors for you.  Holman said, that the only way you can be real in that conversation is with a relationship.

tarig holman iowa number2Our conversation quickly moved from talent to relationship.  It’s all about the relationship for a coach today because there are many people lining up to be that support for a price.  Holman has relationships with players, other high school coaches and of course college coaches that he can keep in touch with when the dust settles from the previous season’s college football coaches carousel.  A unique relationship building activity that I learned of was kind of an introduction night for athletes and schools.  The event incorporates athletes from several area high schools,  High School coaches and College coaches, or recruiting coordinators.  When Tarig explained that they did this activity for sophomores to seniors I remembered other conversations about recruiting starting at a younger age.  He said that it was all part of his goals to remind his players that the program is a “College Bound” program.

What do you make of all of the technology out there, I asked to see if he was up on the latest communication methods.  Tarig was not even phased by the question.  He has seen it all as it becomes popular then falls off.  “Today people can reach you or find a way to reach you without you ever meeting them” he exclaimed.  That difference has him also working as a sort of media / social media guide for his players as well.  “We try and remind the guys that what you put out there is available for everyone to see”.  With so much air time and broadcast yourself out there athletes quickly forget that it is a dangerous world out there where people are looking for anything to make a story of.

Although the role has some new wrinkles in it I like what Coach Holman had to say which reminded me greatly of the men that guided me and probably most of us back in the non-social era.  It is still about a personal relationship that can impact the lives of young people.  “If  a coach is doing his job his players know his heart for them.  I love my job”, Holman said.

Stuff to take away from this story

  1. Be open to a relationship with your coaches that would allow them to guide you and even share their knowledge and contacts with you.
  2. Find out about the things that your school does to help students find a college.
  3. Your success in playing at the next level helps the program as a whole.

Recruiting 1: Small World Big Competition In The Social Age

Tyler Schamel #14 of Norwalk HS applying a stiff arm to a defender
Tyler Schamel #14 of Norwalk HS applying a stiff arm to a defender.

A long long time ago I was recruited to the university of Iowa to play fullback for the Iowa Hawkeye football team from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  I had no clue who the coaches were, where the school was, what Iowa was famous for, and the list goes on baby.  Even with all of that going for me, I decided to play for coach Hayden Fry who had a legendary 20 year run as Iowa’s Head Hawk.  When I say this happened back in 1994 most peoples jaws drop through the floor.  They don’t understand how a kid from Canada could be recruited without tweets, grams, vines or hudls.  Even then, resourceful coaches were working in the background collecting information from sources all across the world to find the next “Diaper Dandy” as Dick Vitale endearingly referred to great freshmen players.

Today, for Tyler Schamel a 5’10” wide receiver at 3A state runner up Norwalk high school in Norwalk, IA who has a profile on the web showing his picture, 4.65. 40 time and brainy GPA, the world is even smaller and the competition for the attention of coaches is even bigger.  Think about the changes in just finding out about a school.  In 94 there were no websites listing the coaching staff.  There were no email addresses and the fastest way to send a message across the wire that was not a phone call was this old dusty technology called a FAX.  In my chat with Tyler, he shared that he is smarter than your average high school kid.  Why, because Tyler uses the same type of email marketing tools that big companies use to analyze the effectiveness of a message to buyers to assess the interest of a coaching staff.  “I can see if they open the message and if I get a response”.  He excitedly noted that it was not challenging to find the email of a coach by using the recruiting service.  He said the recruiting services have really helped him reach out to coaches.  So what role does that leave for your friendly neighbor hood high school coach.

When I asked if all of the services and film have diminished the role of the high school coach.  Tyler laid it out there, “our coach is amazing and even more important today than ever!” He shared that, his coaching staff have supported his goal to continue playing football after high school.  Tyler is primarily a D2 to D3 prospect so it’s not like he does not have to compete for the interest of coaches.  His high school coaches help him and his teammates with visits, collecting assignments,  and coaching him on how to connect with perspective schools.  He couldn’t say enough about the support he has received from the staff.  The big difference today, is that the film, if you want to watch it is online and available with a simple search for Tyler Schamel.

  • http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2468017/tyler-schamel
  • http://www.ncsasports.org/football-recruiting/ia/norwalk/norwalk-community-high-school/tyler-schamel
  • http://www.maxpreps.com/athlete/tyler-schamel/29U9zxTiEeOZ5AAmVebBJg/videos.htm

There is something to be said for having a strong team that believes and achieves.  Norwalk is that school and Tyler is one of the keys to their success.  There is nothing like winning to make people listen and Tyler found that out right away.  “Before getting to the state championship game you have a few coaches that will talk to you.  When we hit the championship game there were many other coaches contacting me and asking about my film”.  The Warriors, like other teams to finish in the state finals, has a few kids that are being watched and offered by Power 5 conferences.  What coaches know is that the talent on the team does just stop at those players.  With any team to get to the finals they need horses in the stables that can catch 5 touchdowns.  Coaches are always on the lookout for that kid that might have not had the biggest stats or all of the data from testing combines but show up on the big day in a big way.

Intangibles are factors like speed, strength, agility, height that although measurable beat out most other factors when looking to recruit a player.  Talking to a recruiter from the Green Bay Packers last year made that absolutely clear.  The intangibles for a player are the first things looked at.  You can’t beat those with training.  You can’t train 7 feet tall,  stamina that doesn’t quit, leadership, or a fastball that is effortless.  Whatever those traits are, the recruit must highlight their intangibles before anything else even your team or individual record.

At the end of the day some how years ago with no technology this world was huge and coaches still found me in the frozen tundra of Edmonton, Alberta.  Today with some smarts and tools that are out there it is easier to communicate who you are to coaches, and recruiting coordinators.  Tyler’s advice to all the juniors and sophomores out there that are getting started in their quest to continue playing the game that they love is “Get to camps where people can see you live, it makes a big difference”.  Just remember that the opportunity you have is available to kids all around the world.  The communication is easier now but the competition is a whole lot harder.  Someone is working, don’t guess as to who it is, KNOW it is you.

Best of luck to 14 Tyler Schamel and thank you for taking the time to enlighten us.

Next in the series, I talk to several high school coaches about how their role has been adjusted in this ultra connected world.  After that an interview with a good friend of mine who’s daughter just finished her senior season of volley ball and son is a top high school football prospect.

Hot Feet Make Plays so keep em hot and be a play maker.

 

Hot Feet Make Plays

Hot Feet Make Plays!!!! Hot Feet is a big part of many sports.  Everyone wants to be the playmaker the BMOC or BWOC  that people cheer for and love.  Make the plays you are supposed to make, and be in the position to make plays that others would not even think of, then rinse and repeat .

hot feet