Great Gear #3: Bedtime Stories for Young Athletes

Since it is the Holiday Season (all traditions are included here), here is Great Gear Recommendation #3:  Bedtime Stories for Young Athletes by Dr. Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. This is an age-appropriate sports psychology resource which is fun for kids to use and should absolutely be on the giving list for any DirtDog Baseball parents this year!

One of the greater challenges in preparing youth athletes for participation in high-level competition involves “head games” which can contribute as much to success or failure on the field of play as do physical skills. Adults know that success depends as much on a confident state of mind as anything else (hence the booming industry of self-help and motivational materials available today), and kids also need to discover this as they grow. The emotional development and temperament of youth athletes along with their ability to constructively handle stress are unique concerns requiring active mental and spiritual conditioning.

Bedtime Stories for Young Athletes is a unique program developed by world-reknowned sports psychologist Dr. Jay P. Granat (psychotherapist and founder of which is designed to help young athletes perform to their fullest potential. Using this program which consists of 23 short, inspirational bedtime stories on 2 CDs, kids can learn to develop their mental “Zone” and stay calm, confident, focused and optimistic. Each engaging segment is just 6 minutes long, and is meant to reach kids at bedtime when they are relaxed and their imaginations are open to new ideas and ways of thinking, performing and competing. Your youth athlete can simply listen to one installment a night and learn how to get into their “Zone” and stay there. The short segments can also be re-played as pre-game mental preparation.

I can speak from experience that my own 12 year-old DirtDog son Matt has found these stories very enjoyable, and carries them with him on his IPod. A complimentary copy of Dr. Granat’s book Get Into The Zone In Just One Minute is also included.

“Every day, I get calls from athletes, parents and coaches who want to improve performance. The callers tend to be frustrated, lacking in confidence, choking, stuck in a slump or losing to players they should beat. I teach them how to be calm, focused, confident and optimistic. I show them what they need to do get into the zone…” –Dr. Jay P. Granat.

About the Author:

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and the founder of He has written several books and developed several programs to help people perform to their fullest potential at sports, work and school. Dr. Granat is a former university professor and has appeared in the New York Times, Good Morning America, AP, ESPN, Golf Digest, The BBC and The CBC. He can be reached at His books include Zone Tennis and Get Into The Zone In Just One Minute. He is also the author of How To Get Into The Zone With Sport Psychology and Self-Hypnosis, How To Lower Your Golf Score With Sport Psychology and Self-Hypnosis, 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump and Bedtime Stories for Young Athletes. Golf Digest named Dr. Granat one of America’s Top Ten Mental Gurus. He has been featured in a documentary film on long-distance running and writes a weekly column for three newspapers.

To Order:

Follow this link to learn more and order a copy of Bedtime Stories for Young Athletes:

As always, DirtDog Baseball receives no promotional renumeration or consideration for making Great Gear Recommendations. All products recommended here are strictly based on first-hand experience.


Developing Speed #3 by Roger White

Things Learned from an NFL speed coach…

I became a speed coach almost by accident. I had an interest in exercise as a young kid and loved playing sports. I became addicted to speed and began to get books and videos on the subject. From the early beginnings, I increased my knowledge and then put it into practice. In college, I began training a college basketball player. I learned a lot of lessons then. I heard the quote to be successful, find someone who has the results you want and find out what they do. That is exactly what I did. I found one early on. He is the off-season speed coach for an NFL team. From him I learned a lot of interesting theories and concepts involving speed and sport performance.

Things Learned from an Olympic sprint coach…

 This coach had a group of 30 teenage kids from one city and 8 become world class sprinters, reaching the Olympics. How many coaches do you know have done this? This coach has had a large influence on my training programs. In fact, Part #1 of this article series was a result of his influence. One of his teachings is to put athletes into the correct position without coaching them to do so.

Powerful Speed & Acceleration Exercise #5: Medicine Ball Throws

One way to do this is medicine ball throws. Medicine ball throws provide athletes with the ability to improve explosiveness and first step quickness. I recommend younger kids perform 10-30 throws a workout using a 4-6 lb. ball, while older kids will perform as many as 30-50 throws using an 8-12 lb. ball.

Simply by knowing and applying these little-known Powerful Exercises you’ll be 99% ahead of any competitor. Here’s to your success!

Author Links
This series is reproduced with permission by Roger White M. Ed., C.S.C.S.  For more information on developing athletic speed please visit

Developing Speed #2 by Roger White

Here is some advice on how to improve foot quickness.

Powerful Speed & Acceleration Exercise #3: Power Speed Drills

Power speed drills simply take skips and high knees and incorporate a light weighted object, such as a medicine ball.

  • Hold the ball (between 6 and 12 lbs) while performing skips and high knees. Focus on the foot landing quickly from the ground. Perform 3-5 reps for 20 yards and rest about 1-2 minutes between each rep.

Powerful Speed & Acceleration Exercise #4: Power Agility Ladder

Power agility ladders take the “power” concept above and incorporate them into ladder drills.

  • You can choose any drills and keep the focus on the foot moving quickly off the ground.

Author Links
This series is reproduced with permission by Roger White M. Ed., C.S.C.S.  For more information on developing athletic speed please visit