Astros coaches Strom, Albert highlight November clinic

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Oct 22, 2013

Learn how to pitch and hit from the best – Major League Baseball coaches Brent Strom and Jeff Albert of the Houston Astros at the fourth annual Professional Baseball Clinic Nov. 8-9-10 at the Dome.

This is Alaska’s only opportunity to get hands-on training from MLB coaches, with Strom being Houston’s pitching coach and Albert the team’s roving hitting instructor. Both coaches were with the St. Louis Cardinals organization in 2011 when the team won the World Series.

“Jeff is among the best hitting coaches in professional baseball,” said Strom, A former big-league pitcher who has been involved with professional baseball for 40 years. “Both of us are solid mechanically in our concept and solid communications. Both of us are learners, continually looking for ways to help pitchers and hitters stay healthy and perform.” 

The Professional Baseball Clinic is sponsored by Alaska Airlines and the Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska.

A free preview of the clinic is Friday, Nov. 8, where you can meet the pros and hear their pitch first hand. Don’t strike out on this opportunity.

HITTING with Jeff Albert

Albert brings six years of professional coaching experience. He believes the basic hitting principles are to learn the strike zone and develop an efficient swing.

“I’ll cover all aspects of hitting – plate discipline, swing mechanics, pitch recognition, practice drills,” he said. “My professional background helps because I see players of different ages and levels. Players learn and develop at different rates so working with a wide range of players requires flexibility and creativity in order to communicate effectively.”

No matter the level, confidence is vital.

“It’s good if young kids think they can hit,” he said. “Confidence is important, but so is the ability to listen and learn. We are in the business of player development and the best players are constantly growing and improving their skills.

PITCHING with Brent Strom

If you were going to teach your kid how to pitch, what is more important: velocity or control?

Most people say control.

That’s the wrong way to go,” Strom said.

He would know. He has made a living in professional baseball since 1972.

Strom is in town this weekend to talk about the grip-it-and-rip-it theory, among other things.

He also urges coaches to promote versatility over specialization.

“At a young age it is important to have a well-rounded teaching and playing model,” he said. “We don't know how a player’s ability will move forward, at what pace and in what direction. Much like we advocated playing other sports, young players should not specialize ... being able to compete at whatever you play or do will help one in ways not only on but off the field.”

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage.