Baseball requires fitness training. And essential to the training repertoire should be genuine speed training drills that are fun, and beneficial, to a player’s overall skill level. Base ball speed drills will help his or her speed around the diamond, and in the outfield. Baseball speed drills are a necessity for the professional player looking for that extra edge over their opponent.
Baseball speed drills essentially train an athlete’s body to develop power and speed for game time. The better you are at covering the ground explosively, at speed, the greater chance you will have of beating the opposition when it counts.
To improve speed, an individual has to concentrate on improving strength and power. Developing an efficient sprinting technique, and increasing the overall stride length, will improve speed. The baseball player, during the game, has times when explosive sprint speed is required at 100%. Maybe it is running between bases or chasing a ball. Training, therefore, needs to mimic this. And, an ideal training schedule for short baseball speed drills would incorporate:
- 15 sets of 30-metre sprints at top speed. After each run, take a thirty second stretch or walk.
- Next, do 7-10 sets of 40 metre distances at 100% speed. Stretch, walk or jog for a minute in between each sprint.
- Ten sets of fifty metre distances. Your recovery break should be 90 seconds this time.
- Five sets over seventy-five metres. Walk briskly around the track or back to the start then stretch gently to recover in between sprints.
These baseball speed drills must be developed so that they fit into an overall weekly training schedule of baseball practice and endurance running. Gym work is also necessary so that you can become as fit an athlete as possible.
A key feature that baseball speed drills needs to include are explosive sprint work drills that have a duration of between one and seven seconds. These times should be extended gradually over time, but should never be too long. The intensity of work performed during the baseball speed drill should be at 100%, and the duration of recovery is best kept to around 30–45 seconds before another maximum level of work is done. Sprint repetitions need to be carried out until the performance of the baseball athlete starts to deteriorate.
Variety is the spice to life, so creating effective baseball speed drills that remain appropriate to training the right muscles could include tow sprinting, downhill sprints, bungee supported acceleration drills, sprinting between forty and one hundred meters, and stepping through a ladder at speed. Each of these activities will be beneficial baseball speed drills that strengthen and ready the athlete’s muscle for controlled, explosive response come game time. Each of these skills aim, initially, to teach the player to run correctly, and then run quickly.
As you get used to the baseball speed drill activities, your technique for speed running improves. Over time, the physical development of maximal leg speed is vastly improved, and come game time you will be at the top of your running speed.
Certainly, you will need to combine the baseball speed drills with your batting, throwing and fielding practice – which are essential for keeping the hand and eye coordination up to scratch.
Baseball training techniques
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 thirty metre distances going hard out. After each run, take a thirty second stretch or walk in between.
- Sprint ten sets of forty metre distances. Walk or jog in between each sprint to recover.
- Sprint ten sets of sixty metre distances as fast as you can. Your recovery period should be about 90 seconds of walking or stretching.
- Sprint five sets of seventy-five metre distances at 100% full speed. After each sprint, walk back around the track to recover.
Sprint drills 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.