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Oradell Coaching Clinics

Oradell, NJ Baseball Association has hired Jim Romeo, Director of the Spartans Camp to conduct their annual baseball coaching clinics.  Jim will do hands on demonstrations to the many coaches in the towns over 4 weeks starting in March.  The clinics will be videotaped and shown on Oradell's local cable television station!

  

Spartans Baseball & Men's Health Magazine

The editors of Men's Health Magazine, the largest men's fitness publications in the world recently asked Jim Romeo to help contribute to an upcoming article.  Men's Health has an Ask Men's Health section where readers ask various questions to the editors.  One reader asked how to hit a curveball.  Jim was interviewed on the various techniques he uses to teach his students how to better hit a curveball.  Topics covered included pitch recognition, swing plane and rotational mechanics.  The piece is in this month's issue (July/August issue).


 

Spartans Baseball Appeared on

ABC TV's 20/20 Friday, October 3rd

 

The producers of the ABC television show 20/20 asked Jim Romeo, Director of the Spartans Baseball Camp to offer batting and throwing advice for actor Charlie Sheen.   Sheen best known for his roles in Wall Street, Platoon and the Major League movies is an avid baseball fan and still loves playing the game today.  20/20 is featuring Sheen in an interview and he wanted to keep it in a casual setting so Sheen and the producers decided to work his love of baseball into the interview.  Charlie wanted to take batting practice and wanted an experienced player / coach to help him out so the producers of the show asked Jim Romeo to throw batting practice to Sheen as well as give some hitting instruction along the way.

 

Romeo also threw batting practice to 20/20 reporter Chris Connelly as well.  During the interview, Jim was asked to evaluate Charlie's throwing technique and offer any advice.  Originally set to take place at Yankee Stadium, a last minute scheduling conflict forced the production to be moved to The Great Lawn at Central Park in NYC. 

 

The show ran October 3rd and you could see Jim Romeo throwing pitches to Sheen.

 


RNN Cable Television Interview

Jim Romeo appeared on cable network RNN this past June.  The topic was steroid use in baseball among major league players.  Also interviewed were Mets players Mike Piazza and Mike Stanton, Frank Thomas of the White Sox, and Yankee announcers Jim Kaat and Suzyn Waldman.


Jim Romeo Named Louisville Slugger Coach of the Year

Jim Romeo was honored at the National Coaches Convention in Atlanta as the Louisville Slugger Coach of the Year.  In 1998, Romeo led the St. Thomas Aquinas College Spartans to their best finish ever.  They were CACC Champions, won the Dominican College Fall Tournament and finish 3 wins shy of the NAIA College World Series.  That year Romeo coached 3 All Americans, 5 All Conference Players including the CACC Player of the Year.  Along the way the Spartans were ranked as high as #2 among all NAIA schools in the Northeast.  The Spartans finished at an impressive 25 - 11 record.


How to Raise Your Batting Average 100 Points

An article written by Jim Romeo has been featured on the leading baseball instructional website BeABetterHitter.com.   The website features articles from coaches such as Rick Down - NY Yankee Hitting Coach, Dick Williams - former Oakland A's World Series Manager and Marty Barrett - former Boston Red Sox All Star 2nd Baseman.

Here is a copy of the article.

How to Raise Your Batting Average 100 Points

As a former college coach who now runs a baseball camp year round, I spend a lot of time talking and teaching the skill of hitting a baseball.

Too many times players and coaches are too concerned with the mechanics of the swing and forget about the mental side of hitting. We can spend hours going over swing mechanics and even players with beautiful swings may still only wind up batting .250.

I'm amazed whenever I ask a player, "What's your favorite pitch?" I get all types of answers from "curveball on the outside corner to fastball low and away" but most of the times, it's a question that kids of all ages have no answer for. Most players answer the question with, "I like strikes." The plate is 18 inches wide and the strike zone goes from the 'letters' to the 'knees' now that's a pretty big area for which a strike can be called.

It's important for players to learn and understand which pitches they hit the best. After all, if you don't know what pitch you're looking for, you will most likely wind up swinging at bad pitches and not waiting for 'your pitch'.

Over the course of a season, the difference between batting .250 and .300 is only one more hit a week! That could be a seeing eye base hit or a bloop over the first baseman's head! More importantly and perhaps even easier is making one or two less outs a week by not swinging at bad pitches. I see plenty of baseball games and I'm amazed at how many players swing at a first pitch curveball. Most of those players wind up making an out. I'll ask the player, "Why did you swing at that pitch? Were you looking for a curveball?" 99% of the players I ask that question to respond with a no. When I ask why they swung, they said because the pitch was a strike. Once you explain to them that you shouldn't swing at a pitch that you aren't looking for with less than 2 strikes, you can see the light bulb go on over their heads! Ask yourself how many times you've swung at a bad pitch and made on out and you'll be surprised at how many times you can recall doing that.

Most kids are afraid to hit with one or two strikes on them. I tell players it's better to be 0-1 in the count than 0-1 in the game. If you take a pitch that you aren't looking for, the next pitch you see may be 'your pitch' and that increases your chances of getting a hit or at least getting a good swing.

It's also important to get yourself ready for each pitch. Too many kids swing defensively. They wait too long and swing tentatively. You must assume that each pitch you are about to get is 'your pitch'. If you assume it's your pitch you'll be ready for it. It's much easier to have the mindset of yes - yes - yes - swing!  If instead you think in the batters box, maybe - maybe - maybe - yes - swing, then you aren't being aggressive. It's much better to think yes - yes - yes - no, that's not my pitch than to say maybe - maybe - yes that's my pitch.

At the Spartans Baseball Camp we spend a lot of time on swing mechanics with players and an equal amount of time on helping kids learn what their favorite pitch is and then being disciplined and aggressive so when they see their favorite pitch they get a good aggressive swing at it.

About the author: Jim Romeo was the former Head Baseball Coach at St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill, NY. At 25 he was the youngest Head Baseball Coach of any 4-year varsity college program in the country. He was also the youngest coach to win the CACC Coach of the Year Award as well as Louisville Slugger Coach of the Year award. He recruited and coached 12 All Conference Players, 3 All Region and 3 All American Players in his 3 years at St. Thomas Aquinas College. He also had 4 players sign professional contracts during that time. Before resigning to run the Spartans Baseball Camp on a full time basis, he led the St. Thomas Aquinas Spartans to their best year going 25-11 and winning the CACC Championship and finishing 3 games shy of the NAIA College World Series. He is the Director of the Spartans Baseball & Softball Camp which is held in Bergen County, NJ and Rockland County, NY. The Spartans Baseball & Softball camp just celebrated their 11 Year Anniversary this past July. They offer year round camps and clinics as well as private instruction in all aspects of baseball & softball. You can visit their website to learn more at www.baseballcamp.com or call (201)568-7802.
 


What All Great Hitters Do

By Jim Romeo, founder and director of the Spartans Sports Camp and Spartans Sports Academy

An article written by Jim Romeo has been featured on the leading baseball instructional website BeABetterHitter.com.   The website features articles from coaches such as Rick Down - NY Yankee Hitting Coach, Dick Williams - former Oakland A's World Series Manager and Marty Barrett - former Boston Red Sox All Star 2nd Baseman.

Here is a copy of the article.

What do Derek Jeter, David Wright and Albert Pujols have in common? They all let the ball get ‘deep’. What does that mean you ask? Letting a ball get deep in the strike zone means simply hitting the ball later. Too many young hitters are told to ‘go get the ball.’ In our training facility we teach all our hitters how to hit to the opposite field. Players think if they don’t get the ball early they’ll get jammed. That is simply not true. If you lunge or chop down on the ball you are taking your hands away from your body and creating a swing that is simply too long. If you learn to rotate your body instead of going forward you will keep your hands ‘inside’ the ball and you won’t get jammed. No matter what pitch you swing at, you must keep your hands inside the ball to be successful. How does Derek Jeter hit so many inside pitches to right field? He pulls his hands inside the ball.

Look at your son or daughters swing. Do they get jammed a lot? As a right-handed hitter do you hit a lot of groundballs to the shortstop? Can you hit the ball to right field at will, and with power?

Learning how to go to right field will increase your bat speed. By allowing the ball to ‘get deep’ in the strike zone, you are learning to hit the ball later, getting better rotation with your body and increasing your bat speed and power. This type of training will allow you to better turn on an inside pitch as well. We conduct over a thousand batting lessons a year for players of all ages from little leaguers to advanced college players. We teach each player how to hit the ball the other way.

Advantages of hitting the ball to the opposite field…
You get fooled less often since you are seeing the ball longer and committing to it later, you have more time to react.
You hit more balls fair.
You get jammed less often.
You keep your hands inside the ball.
You get increased bat speed.
You strike out less often.
You can now hit behind the runner in certain situations thus helping your team.

Derek Jeter is a right field hitter. Albert Pujols spends all of spring training ‘not pulling the ball.’ David Wright is trying to drive the ball the other way each time up. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t pull the ball. We’re simply trying to teach you skills that will allow you to play at a higher level. We don’t mind our hitters looking for a pitch that they can pull when they’re ahead in the count or in other situations. We want our hitters to be well rounded and no player’s swing is complete unless they are proficient at hitting the ball the other way.

You simply cannot reach your potential as a hitter unless you learn to hit the ball to the opposite field. Next time you take batting practice, take the first 5 pitches the other way. Do that every time you take batting practice. If you want to be a great hitter, do what great hitters do, learn to hit the ball to the opposite field. Some parents or coaches will argue that a player will lose power if they hit the other way. If you’re a little league parent, ask yourself how many kids in your league hit the ball over the fence last year. Was it one or two or maybe even five times? The truth is, some kids will never have homerun power. But we still teach all our players whether they are power hitters or not to be able to go with the pitch. It will increase your batting average, make you a tougher out for the pitcher and will improve your bat speed which gives you more power!

About the Author: Jim Romeo, 37, is the founder and director of the Spartans Sports Camp and Spartans Sports Academy. The camp will celebrate their 15-year anniversary in 2007. At the age of 25, he was the youngest head baseball coach of any 4-year college in the country. As the former head baseball coach at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, NY, his teams averaged over 20 wins a year. In only 3 full seasons as the Head Coach, he recruited 12 All Conference Players, 3 All Region Players and 3 All Americans and was the youngest coach to win the Louisville Slugger Coach of the Year Award. Major League Baseball has drafted 4 of his players. He has been featured in Men’s Health Magazine for his piece on ‘how to hit a curveball’ and appeared on the ABC Television Show 20/20 helping actor Charlie Sheen with his baseball swing. This is his second article for the website BeABetterHitter.com. You can contact Jim through his website www.baseballcamp.com.


Parent Paper Article

The leading children and parent's newspaper in NY and NJ did an article on sports camps and they chose to mention the Spartans Baseball Camp as a camp that parents and kids should check out!

 
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