Friday, March 14, 2014

On Deck Sports Training Tips: Hitting

On Deck Sports Training Tips continue, this week we step into the batters box. For our hitting tips we spoke with Ben Blaisdell, an On Deck Sports sales representative and current coach of RBI Hawks Travel Baseball.

Blaisdell played collegiate baseball at Curry College in Milton, MA. He also currently teaches lessons to young hitters at RBI Baseball Academy in Foxboro, MA.

Stay relaxed - A common misconception when hitting is telling players to get their "elbow
Photo By: Jeff Bernstein Photography
up." As a hitter being as relaxed as possible prior to explosion is key in maximizing your explosive movement. When the back elbow is up the first thing your body is going to want to do is drop that elbow to become more relaxed to explode through the ball. This will generally result in the bat head flattening out and a longer path to the baseball. The quickest way from one point to another is a straight line, so as a hitter you always want to be as short as possible. Always check the player's grip on the bat to ensure they have the bat in their fingertips, which will help to bring that elbow down and maximize explosion through the ball.

Be soft on the front foot - Whether you have a big kick on your stride, or just lift your foot an inch off the ground and put it right back down, one thing stays the same; you need to land softly on the front foot. The biggest muscles in our bodies are in our lower half, so by getting all you can out of your legs, you are going to generate more power. When you get heavy on the front foot, your weight will no longer be behind the baseball at the point of contact and you won't be able to transfer that energy you have built up in the back side into the baseball. I always encourage younger players to have a shorter stride, as the bigger the stride, the more difficult it is to land down softly.

Finish your swing - One thing I see all the time in younger players is that they get about 3/4 of the way through the swing and all of a sudden stop. Every player should let that bat fly through
Photo By: Jeff Bernstein Photography
the zone and not stop until in comes around and hits them in the back. When a swing is stopped 3/4 of the way through the process, you are essentially slowing the bat head down during the most important part of the swing, the point of contact. The muscles in your arms alone are not enough to bring the bat to an abrupt stop without any kind of deceleration, meaning unless an object that isn't going to move is what stops the bat, it is not moving a fast as it possibly can. In order to transfer as much energy as possible from the bat into the baseball and maximize bat speed, don't let the bat slow down until it hits you in the back.

For more tips, check back each week!

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Friday, March 7, 2014

On Deck Sports Training Tips: Arm Strength

Welcome to the On Deck Sports blog. Each week in March we will be releasing helpful training tips from our set of former pro’s, coaches and trainers. For week one of our training tips the focus is on arm strength. For that we asked Justin Gordon, former professional pitcher and current On Deck sales representative for his tips.

Gordon was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1999 MLB June Amateur Draft and pitched six years as a professional. Gordon currently coaches and trains aspiring baseball players.

Gordon’s tip on developing arm strength is:

“A healthy arm makes for a great season. Take the time to concentrate on the muscles in your shoulder during your workouts.  Develop a plan for your shoulder using light dumbbells or surgical tubing.“

In order to do this, you can do these three exercises as part of a complete exercise program using training products from On Deck Sports.

Internal & External Shoulder Rotations with Band:

       - Secure resistance band around waist height. Standing with your shoulders perpendicular to the
         door, grab the handle of the resistance band with your inside hand for internal rotations or your
         outside hand for external rotations.
       - Press your upper arm and elbow against your side. Place a pad or rolled towel between elbow
         and side for increased comfort. Bend elbow to form 90-degree angle in front of you.
       - Stand with band slightly extended. Keep elbow anchored to side. For interior rotation, pull hand
         towards opposite hip, over your stomach. For external rotations, pull band away from body.
         Make sure to keep elbow anchored to hip at all times.

Lateral Deltoids Raises:
       - Hold one dumbbell in each hand with arms extended at side.
       - Keeping arms extended, raise weights out to each side while keeping palms facing the ground.
       - When weights are just below parallel with shoulders slowly return to starting position, always
          keeping palms facing the ground and arms extended.

Resistance Band Pull Apart:
      - Grab resistance band with each hand, grab at shoulder width.
      - Extend arms in front of you with your palms facing the ground.
      - Keeping arms extended, pull arms to the side until they are perpendicular with your body.
      - Slowly return to starting position.

Adding these three workouts to your workout program will help strengthen your shoulders, and will also increase arm strength to help you add velocity to your throws. Check back next week for another On Deck Sports training tip. Also check our collection of strength and conditioning products at

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Fort, Home of Soldierfit

On Deck Sports recently supplied Soldierfit in Frederick, Md., with nearly 10,000 square feet of PM34 turf, as well as 5,500 square feet of 6 mm black rollout rubber flooring.

Described by co-founder and ten-year U.S. military veteran Dave Posin as a "fitness facility, gym and functional fitness boot camp," Soldierfit provides a variety of high-energy classes with unique exercises and drills. Posin has also spent over ten years as a personal and group trainer, and has managed and owned other facilities in the area.

The Frederick facility, one of seven Soldierfit locations in the Washington, D.C., metro area, is the first one dedicated exclusively to the Soldierfit program. In addition to the artificial turf field, the Frederick location includes a 3,000 square-foot functional fitness gym with a TRX station, monkey bars, free weights, bikes and more.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2013 ABCA Best Of Show

On Deck Sports is proud to have won 2 'Best of Show' titles at this year's ABCA convention in Chicago, IL.  We would like to introduce the PVTee and the Foul Ball Return Station

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Come to Sweat

Justin worked with Come to Sweat in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey to install used University of South Dakota turf in their indoor training facility.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Diamond

Bryon worked with The Diamond, a multipurpose facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky to install the PM34 turf, netting and many training aids including; batting mats, the designated hitter, and golf mats, to produce this top notch facility.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Facility Profile: Dirt Dawg Sports, Canton, Mass.

Seven miles from the company’s headquarters, On Deck Sports worked alongside the owners of Dirt Dawg Sports in Canton, Mass., to develop and furnish their facility, which opened in October.

The complex has sixteen batting tunnels and eight 90-foot pitching tunnels, which include adjustable pitching machines, A-Screen pro pitching screens, and ProMounds indoor pitching mounds. Three of the batting cages feature coin-operated pitching machines, which throw baseballs and softballs at a variety of speeds, and are open to the public on a walk-in basis any time the facility is open.

The netting between the cages can be moved and rearranged to create any size tunnel necessary, giving ample space for pitching, hitting, baserunning and defense lessons. Tunnels can range from 45’ x 15’ to a 90-foot infield or full-size youth field.

With cold weather’s arrival in the Northeast, Dirt Dawg has a busy schedule, featuring baseball and softball clinics over Thanksgiving and Christmas school vacations. A 6-on-6 indoor softball league is already under way, and the facility hosts drop-in dodgeball on Friday and Saturday nights for middle- and high-schoolers. Players looking to come to the complex on a consistent basis can purchase monthly or yearly memberships, while private lessons are available in both baseball and softball.

The 17,000-square foot facility was developed by owners Don Connors, Rich Jasmin and T.J. Fisher, longtime American Legion, Babe Ruth and youth coaches in neighboring Stoughton. With a limited number of months conducive to outdoor instruction and playing time in New England, the three conceived the idea of building an indoor facility 10 months ago.

Construction began after the owners visited over a dozen other training centers, and met with their operators to learn about the successes and challenges of running similar facilities. Once plans were developed, the build-out of Dirt Dawg was well-supported by members of the community, who donated their time and skills to do electrical and carpentry work.

Dirt Dawg’s operators will also be overseeing a new AAU team; players receive a 20% discount on baseball activities at the facility, and the full range of training and coaching from its staff.

With the main area complete, Dirt Dawg Sports’ future plans include an apparel shop and a strength and conditioning area within the building, as well as more flexibility for indoor games.

Based in Brockton, Mass., On Deck Sports is the leader in designing, installing, and supplying indoor sports facilities throughout North America. For more information, visit the Facility Portfolio page on

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