Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Coach Greg Quinn: The Power Of The Brain

Many athletes seeking to get to that next level seek, out hitting instructors, pitching coaches, fielding specialists and speed and conditioning coaches. Yet many overlook the most important  “muscle” of all....the brain! While technically not a muscle, it clearly can be exercised, trained and strengthened through proper technique.

In no way am I saying the other things are not important, but that the brain is just as important. If you look at any of the things you do in any sport, your brain controls all of it. Even the decision to improve your skills is done with the brain as a starting point. In fact all real change first occurs in the brain.  But so many people never look at it that way. 

 One of the first things a great athlete learns to do, is how to speak to themself. Wether they realize it or not, they have made a decision not to accept anything less than championship effort. Great athletes also speak to themselves in positive reinforcements only. They avoid phrases like “I can’t” or “I’m no good at it.” They also never try to push responsibility off to other people or things for their failures. Wether consciously or subconsciously, they decide that phrases like “I won’t quit til I get this right” or  “I’m not great at it YET” are far more likely to get them results, than giving up or blaming someone else, because they ARE IN CONTROL.

I’ll give you an example. If a player says

Monday, February 26, 2018

Coach Greg Quinn's bat speed routine

Swing strength workout

  1. Heavy bat, sledge hammer, or Dirx warmup bat
  2. Wiffle ball bat or broom stick approximately the same length as your bat
  3. Your game bat

  1. Take 20 swings back and forth with the heavy bat being sure to keep the end of the bat chest high. Do not drag or drop the end.
  2. Take 20 swings with the wiffle ball bat as fast as you can swing.
  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 three times.
  4. Swing 20 times with your game bat as fast as you can. 

This should be done three times a week and add reps and/or sets as you get stronger.

Other exercises to add into your workout:

Triceps push downs, push-ups(fast up-slow down), box hops or hop stairs.

Coach Quinn: Currently the hitting coach for a baseball program that is nationally ranked. He calls baseball and softball “Family Sports”. He has over 40 years playing and coaching experience. His wife was an all state and all met pitcher, and his oldest daughter was a high school fastpitch player. He has a stepson who played college baseball and making an appearance in the Collegiate World Series and has now gone on to be a college coach himself, and his youngest daughter is a short stop who wants to be a college fast pitch player playing in a nationally known program and is being recruited by several schools as a high school sophomore. Coach Quinn has been at his current school for 12 years where they have won two conference championships, and two state championships. As a player he was a catcher ,and third baseman. Coach Quinn and his wife are also in the Washington Metro Area Slowpitch Softball Hall of Fame as players.

Coach Quinn has provided hitting instruction to the Firebirds organization over the 2018 season and can be reached at

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Coach Greg Quinn: Working With A Purpose

We've all seen it, a kid with a bat in their hands and a parent or coach chucking as many balls at them as they can, just to get to the next kid standing on deck. But watch closely, is it batting practice for refining a players swing, or is it assembly line hitting, with the main goal being to get as many players through the line as possible? To make matters worse, many of the same people throwing those bad pitches in batting practice are the first ones to tell a kid to stop swinging at pitches out of the zone in games. Isn't that what you've  been teaching them to swing at? 

Working with hitters should include several key things to be successful. One of the first things I do when working with a new hitter is to let them know batting practice is all about them. No one else gets the blame when they fail or the praise when they succeed. When I tell hitters to work with a purpose, I'm telling them to work smarter. Successful hitters know that what they don't swing at, is just as important as what they do swing at. Would you be bothered by a player swinging at pitches out of the strike zone in a game? Work towards throwing better pitches. Work on specifics at the tee. The low pitch, the high pitch, inside and outside. Tee work is critical, but not just "set and forget" tee work. I have cut down tees, so the ball can be set at the very lowest possible height but would still be called a strike. I also have made tees taller so they are at the top end of the strike zone for players. The low strike seems to be the one most hitters resist working on. I hear " Coach, that's way too low!" Or " "I can't hit that!." Many times I'll ask one of my catchers to come set up behind a hitter and tell the batter what they think. The answer is almost always the same from the catchers. " Coach,I'd be mad if the ump didn't call that a strike." So,  we work to hit pitches that would be called strikes and laying off any pitches out of the zone.