Baseball is a game of honed eye and hand coordination. In baseball, you also need to be able to cover the ground at speed to chase down a ball in the out field or sprint to the next base. Fingers crossed, you’ll be running through on a home run! To take the guess work out of the game, every athlete needs to train and practice for their sport.
Let’s start with the baseball training techniques that will keep your physique not only looking good, but will give your body stamina and fitness for the long days out in the diamond.
Endurance training needs to be a part of baseball training. Two or three days a week, going for a good half-hour jog will increase your stamina and fitness levels. Obviously, pre-season will show your fitness wanting. It’s good to incorporate these jogs into your weekly training routines at least three weeks before the game season starts. You can increase the distance out to 45 minutes as the season wears on, or drop the runs to two days a week and employ some cycling and swimming sessions instead. You might like the variety, and each of these activities help to build your endurance up nicely.
Along with stamina, your baseball training techniques need to incorporate speed drills. These are sprinting drills that work your muscles in an explosive manner at 100% for short periods at a time. An ideal training schedule for short baseball speed drills would incorporate:
- Sprint 10-15 sets of 30 meter distances at 100% full speed. After each sprint, have a 3 minute second stretch or walk in between each sprint.
- Sprint 8-10 sets of 40 meter distances at 100% full speed. After each sprint, have a 4 minute stretch, walk or jog in between each sprint.
- Sprint 8 sets of 60 meter distances at 100% full speed. After each sprint, have a 6 minute stretch or walk in between each sprint.
- Sprint 5 sets of 75 meter distances at 100% full speed. After each sprint, have a 7-8 minute walk or stretch in between each sprint.
Sprint drills for baseball athletes are an excellent way of conditioning your body to run at top speed, and they are a great way of working on your body to perfect the art of the sprinting technique – so that your ability to cover the ground is enhanced.
What you can’t forget, is that practising baseball training techniques help you to pitch the ball, hit the ball, throw the ball, catch and run the entire game period at your maximum level. What practising does is teach your body to act in a certain manner reliably time and time again.
So, your baseball training techniques will include catching practice. Catching practice does need to vary how the catching is done. Make sure that you have long and high outfield catches that mimic a big hit. Have middle distance catches that are both flat and high. Then have the catches that are up close, and coming quickly. Fielding practice will include the catching, but will also incorporate the pick up of a ball that has been hit along the ground.
Throwing practice needs to incorporate long outfield throws, and hard and flat infield throws. It’s great if you can have catchers for the balls as well.
Now for the real fun bit – hitting balls! As you might guess, this is my favourite baseball drill. Practice swinging the bat in a controlled through-swing. The bat should be swung with a fast and flat swing. Your head needs to remain still and level for the entire duration of the pitcher pitching, the bat swinging and through to after the point of contact. Keeping the head still ensures that both eyes are seeing the ball as clearly as possible. Try to have both eyes equal distance to the pitcher. Practice makes perfect, so the more practice you do the better you will be. Batting practice needs to have pitched balls that mimic varying speeds and trajectories that are common to a game situation.
Finally, your baseball training techniques need to include the practicing of the ball being pitched. Obviously, this only applies to the pitchers in the team. Again, practice makes perfect, so the more practice you do the better you will be. You will need to have curve balls, drop balls flat balls…etc in your pitching repertoire if you aim to keep the batter guessing – so practice these. Having a batter handy is a good idea, or set up a target that you need to pitch to that is exactly the same distance as a batter would be on game day.
Baseball is a top game. With your natural gifting combining with good baseball training techniques, you could easily become a great player – if you aren’t already.