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baseball tips

Baseball players, no doubt, go through long and frequent season schedules and so every fitness coach has to determine whether they are undertraining or overtraining. There is a delicate balance between the two and being able to maintain this balance will affect how well your team performs in the games. In order to have a balance, there are two aspects that need to be focused on. One, the workload that the players perform in the gym must be enough to cause a change in homeostasis so that it drives adaptation, yet it shouldn’t be in excess such that it leads to unmanageable levels of physical stress. Two, there should be sufficient recovery to enable adaptation, but not too much that it negatives affects the next workout. What to aim for:

  • Recovery

For baseball players, they should have at least two consecutive recovery days every week if they can be implemented into the training schedule. Back-to-back days have proven to be effective as they offer the body a chance to naturally “reset” before the player can embark on the next week of training. These two days will transform practice from an endless continuation of a mind-numbing activity into a fresh start.

  • Training volume

There is no disputing that the training volume of baseball athletes is normally very high in the hours that are put in every week. However, lots of training time does not always equate to effective training. With the right elements put in place so that a balance is struck, you should be able to spot undertraining such as in strength and conditioning. Measure effectiveness against training volume to spot possible under-training of athletes.

  • Setting a training goal

If you are exerting too much stress on the body that it is unable to adapt enough, it may lead to exhaustion.  Instead, in every training session, the goal should be to enable the player to become the best athlete they can become. During in-season, baseball players should train with good intensity though not maximum intensity. By pulling the reins on intensity as a coach, you should be able to cut on exhaustion levels that often result in overtraining. Set measurable goals, and track the successes of each player.

Cooldowns are essential when wrapping up a baseball workout or bringing to an end an intense practice session. A cooldown is an important transition between your active and non-active self. It is what brings intense exercise to a halt and ushers in rest. This helps avoid complications such as blood pooling, fainting, dizziness as well as a spike in stress hormones. As one should warm-up before intense physical activity, the cooldown afterward is just as important.

CoolDown and Physiology

Pursuing high-level baseball training has many demands and it causes the body to undergo numerous internal changes to meet these demands.

One, considering the activity level involved, expect your breathing rate and heart rate to be highly elevated compared to when you are in a rested state.

Two, expect the rate of blood flow to be higher as well as blood content in the muscles that are at work.

Three, your body is going to contain a high concentration of the by-products that are linked to fatigue in your muscle cells that include H+ and lactate.

Four, you are still going to be psychologically alert at the end of the session and this means that there will be neurotransmitters and hormonal shifts in the body. All these are reasons why it is important for an effective cooldown.

Furthermore, there are other benefits to be gotten from having a cooldown. For instance, a cooldown can be leveraged to work on the things that are essential that cannot be catered for in the warm-up or the workout. Take, for example, static stretching. When performed during exercise, it has been shown to cut on power output. However, this doesn’t mean that it is of no use. It is especially effective in cutting down on the levels of stress hormone to aid in recovery. It also improves in mobility or flexibility of the target tissues.

Another benefit to a cooldown routine is that you can improve on highly technical drills on sprinting that you may not be good at. Activity that leads to this include backpedals, cariocas, butt kicks, shuffle variations among others.

Coming Up With a CoolDown

The cooldown session should begin immediately after the last exercise. It should last between 3-5 minutes. The activity should aid in bringing the body to a resting state. Activities include light exercise, deep breathing, and tissue-specific mobility routines that target your weaknesses.

In a bid to get better at the game, baseball players may have an exercise regimen that they’ve used for years. Whether in the gym or on the track, it’s always best to engage in exercises that help in skill development – and geared specifically to help enhance performance in your given sport. However, there are some training mistakes that as a baseball player you may be engaging in that might actually be working against your performance in the game. In this piece, we are going to identify three common baseball training mistakes:

Bodybuilder training

There’s a great difference between weight training and bodybuilding though most people are not aware of this. The principles that govern both practices are very different. One thing to understand is that having big muscles will not automatically mean that you will perform better or even stronger in the sport. It’s building muscles that perform in the game that will help improve your role. Baseball is not about being the biggest guy on the field but being a great player. As such, training tailored to baseball aims at increasing one’s baseball performance- and the bodybuilder training can work counter to this objective.

Powerlifter training

Although this training is not as bad as the bodybuilder training, it still misses the point of baseball training. In order to excel in baseball, you will need speed, conditioning, endurance, strength, explosiveness, agility and you’ll need to be able to exude all these qualities throughout the game. On the other hand, powerlifters are only required to maintain the skills specific to their sport for under 5 secs per lift. Another reason why powerlifting is bad is the sum volume of the heavy lifting required in order to attain the strength of a powerlifter. This may have adverse effects on the joints and may leave one prone to injury. Powerlifting may not be overly bad but should be followed with caution and specific to the benefits of baseball play.

Generic cardio

Of course cardio has its benefits but going for a leisure run does not activity benefit general baseball conditioning. A good conditioning plan will help achieve the needs of a specific athlete and also achieve the specific sport’s needs. Taking part in generic cardio may not meet these two objectives. You need cardio that is tailored to meet your needs on the field and in play. Sprinting, focusing on high energy boosts, for example, could be a great cardio option for baseball.

Bottom line is to try and keep most of your training specific to what your sport calls for. Augment that with general exercises, and you can build your body to meet the needs of most any sport.

It’s important for every player to complete a “pre-exercise” before they undertake a full exercise session. Stretching helps cut on soreness as well as injury. However, as we all know, every sport has its particular muscle groups that it utilizes. In baseball, the muscles in use include most of the body, with heavy usage on the arms, legs, and shoulders.  For this reason, stretching is advised before a full-fledged workout and even before and after a game. Here are some basic, yet important tips.

Warm up

You can get your body warmed up by engaging in a brisk jogging or walking session for 5 to 10 minutes. If you are operating in limited space or indoors, you can choose to jog or march in one place with high knees.

Shoulder exercises

There are numerous ways you can get the shoulders limbered up. A common way is holding your arms out to your sides and then making circles. Start off slowly before enlarging the circle size till you get to windmills, that is, your arms almost turning vertically. Go with this activity for a minute or so before changing directions. Additionally, you can also hold your arms down to your sides and then embark on shoulder circles where you move just the shoulders forward, up and back for a minute before going in the opposite direction.

Loosening the body

For better-throwing flexibility, you want your body to be relaxed and loosened and torso stretches are a great way to do this. Start off by crossing your arms over the chest and spreading your feet a little wider than shoulder width. Next, turn the body from the waist to the farthest you can go on one side and then do the same on the other side. Do this for 30 to 60 seconds. Next, lie down on your back with your hands outstretched while your feet on the ground and the knees bent. Twist your body from your waist in order to lower the knees to the ground on one side. Revert to the original position and then do the same on the other side. Do this for one minute.

When an exercise session comes to an end, do some static stretches. Get into a stretch position and then keep at it without bouncing. Do this for half a minute and repeat at least three times. Ensure you stretch the shoulders and your legs, as well.

Augment these ideas with your own stretching techniques. It doesn’t take a lot of time to warm up your body with stretching, and the benefits are well worth it!

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If a baseball team, whether in Little Leagues or in the Majors, is to succeed, it has to have a solid training program in place. Considering that teams perform differently regardless of the league, chances of getting positive results are highly dependent on how good the training/practice program a team has, among other things. So what makes for a good training program? As a coach, let’s take a look at the must-have items:

  • Should be specific

Specificity means coming up with training activities that produce specific results exclusive to baseball athletes. It means crafting exercises that get as close as possible to simulating the target activity. However, it is not confined to the exact movement that one is trying to mimic – which is something many coaches strive to achieve. Activities such as Bulgarian split squats and single leg hip thrusts have been found to contribute immensely to a player’s running speed yet they are miles away from actually running. For this reason, a training program should incorporate all exercises that help improve specific movements in the playing field to be most effective.

  • Training should be pain-free

The injury rates in baseball games are somewhat high, so why should we add to the problem during practice? For this reason, it is paramount that training is free from pain. Training is supposed to make a player better at the game, add endurance, and strengthen the body. Pain limits the range of motion and amount of load that a player can place on his/her body. A good training program should focus on working around pain and not through it.

  • Progression

Progress is achieved in different forms. It encompasses less pain, heavier loads, faster movement, more confidence and of course better technique. Plus great coordination is also what you’d list down as good progress. When you focus on all these objectives when designing a training program, it should lead to performance enhancement and better player stats.

  • Great technique

This is a must-have in every training program. Without great technique in movement, it won’t be able to achieve proper progression due to poor motor patterns and bad habits while in the gym. For this reason, focus on nailing down the proper technique. Excellent technique tends to beget excellent results.

 

The coach of every baseball team regardless of the league they are in plays a huge role in the success of the team. For this reason, every coach should learn how to communicate effectively with the players, other coaches, and trainers. What meshes a team together is communication, both verbal and non-verbal. When everyone has accepted and respects the coach, it leads to success. For this reason, here are a few helpful tips that every coach should focus on:

  • Be strategic with your knowledge

This is arguably the best advice you’ll receive in coaching school (if there’s such a thing). Good coaches place a priority on the context and not on the content they have. This means that a good coach chooses to be purposeful in their communication and not try to show how knowledgeable they are each chance they get. They focus on asking questions to hear what the athlete wants when asking for advice and provide direction as needed. Good coaches realize that in many cases if an athlete has too much information to work with, they may struggle to make sense of it all. Be strategic in the content and quantity of instruction you give your athletes. Keep it positive, but constructive.

  • Body language

Many coaches are not aware that they pass messages to their athletes non-verbally. However, this communication is just as important when trying to build a real coaching relationship with the team. As such, every coach should be aware that how they carry themselves and how they communicate often speak louder than the actual words themselves. Movement, posture, the tone of voice, eye contact, how one looks and listening ability speak volumes and help determine how others see you. These non-verbal clues help instill respect and confidence in your coaching abilities.

  • Being effective vs being informative

It’s not all about the information that you have, but rather how effective you deliver that information. Instead of using drawn-out explanations on the field, why not simplify it? Telling long stories to make your point don’t tend to foster understanding. Keep your information simple and to the point. Ensure that you explain to the team in a way they can understand. Information will not be effective if you cannot communicate it effectively. Remember that clarity results in the desired action while complexity can bring confusion.

Exude confidence and leadership. Players will follow and adopt those same positive characteristics to use throughout their lives.

 

Baseball is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and adrenaline generating games in sports. Everyone including the players, coaches, analysts, and fans anticipates the next game. The top players have certain attributes in common. Here are but a few, which can help turn a good player into a great one.

They include;

  1. Adaptability and Flexibility

Certainly, every time a player takes the field they expect a win. That is the internal drive of the competitive spirit. A person once said, “If the object of the game is not to win, then why keep score?” However, even with a well-played game, victory is not always ours. A true sportsperson can adapt to failure and be flexible enough to learn and change their game in order to improve greatly over time.

  1. Resilience and Self-discipline

Work ethic and preparedness are must-have traits for anyone who wants significant success in baseball. As a player, practicing high levels of self-discipline is paramount. Consistency in proper diet and exercise along with smart training are key components to achieving your athletic goals. Have the resilience to play/train or adhere to your daily routines even when times are difficult – whether personal or on the field.

  1. Stay Focused and Concentrate

As a successful baseball player, you cannot afford to create room for distractions. This game demands instant decisions and lightning reflexes – in practice and in the game. Committing errors as a result of lack of concentration and focus can drastically sabotage your baseball career, even for seasoned professionals.

  1. Be Competent and Confident

There are many other players fighting to earn their time in the game. There will always be “bad days in office” opening the door for you to get replaced. However, it’s what you do after a bad performance that counts. Don’t get down because of a blunder or two. Simple get even and maintain your absolute confidence that you are more competent than ever to get back on track with your normal stellar performance.

  1. Stress Management

Great baseball players like Sanders didn’t make it to the top by mistake. Making it big requires a player to learn to manage stress effectively. Baseball is highly competitive, making it impossible to win every game. It’s okay to be majorly disappointed in a loss or a poor performance. Occasional failures happen – period. Learn to manage your personal or professional stress through exercise, yoga, or other means that best work for you.

  1. Consistency in Learning

Show consistency in everything you do and be ready to learn from your coaches/trainers, teammates – and from yourself, both on and off the field. This helps keep your mind sharp and adaptable.

Learn to adopt these attributes and become the best ballplayer you can be.

 

Most all of professional baseball players can attest to the fact that hitting a fast-approaching 90 mph baseball can be quite challenging. To hit well, you must be well-prepared and receive good training. An ideal hitter should be sharp minded, quick, and agile, along with perfecting basic and correct hitting techniques.

Here are 6 highly effective techniques to emulate:

  • Minimize your movement

Playing high-level baseball requires strength, quick reflexes, and tremendous vision. For consistent and effective batting, you should consider minimizing your movement. The more the movements the higher the possibility of making unnecessary errors. Keep your swing simple and compact.

  • Stay focused on the Baseball

Every successful hitter understands the importance of having high levels of concentration. You should have the ability to track and see the fast-approaching baseball. Never allow unnecessary distractions to interfere with your ability to focus on the pitch and ball flight.

  • Get the Grip right

How you hold your baseball bat matters. As a hitter, grip the bat lightly rather than tightening up on it. The reason for this is that tight grips tend to fatigue your fingers thus leading to ineffective swings. A tight grip also hinders fluidity of motion and reaction speed.

  • Improve your hand positioning

For effective and consistent swings, learn to relax your back and front elbow, move your weight forward, and focus on connecting with the ball. Try to position your hands on the bat the same way every time, and work with your coach for the best hand positions for your stance and hit strategy.

  • Pick the Right Bat

The baseball bat you choose will impact whether you will become a successful hitter or an inconsistent one. Baseball bats differ in terms of size, weight, quality, and length. Consult your coach for advice before buying your baseball bat. For effectiveness and consistency, invest in a quality bat. An ideal baseball bat for a beginner hitter should be light, comfortable to grip and easy to swing. There are also some great Training Bats on the market today, which help hitters identify their “perfect swing”.

  • Power

Opt for proper and effective ways of improving your upper-body and arm strength including press-ups, sit-ups, and weight lifting. Don’t underestimate the importance of lower body strength. A powerful swing requires powerful legs, as well. It truly is a full body movement. Technique is everything, as is proper and consistent practice.

Embrace the above tips and take your baseball game to greater heights.

Speed is a primary ingredient to big hitting. Bat speed is one of the most fundamental items on a baseball player’s checklist. Interestingly, bat speed is a fundamental skill that is tough to teach. However, there are various speed drills that can assist a player to improve on it. They include:

  1. Weighted bat and a light-weighted fungo bat

This is a speed drill which aims at creating resistance in a swing and it forces a hitter to swing the bat harder – just like the pro boxer training with heavier gloves. Once you take a few rounds with a weighted bat, take some rounds (normal rounds) minus the weight. One of the reasons you ought not to take more rounds with the weighted bat is to ensure you don’t train yourself to make slow swings. After batting sessions with the weighted bat, take a few swings using the light-weight fungo bat. The ultimate goal of this speed drill is to help you train your muscles to always swing very fast as well as developing a muscle memory to attain an amazing bat speed.

  1. Resistance swings

Complete slow motion swings as your teammate holds on to the bat with some resistance throughout the entire swing. Resistance swings make for a good exercise and help build strength in all your swing muscles.

  1. Medicine ball wall punches

You can achieve this speed drill by standing five feet from a wall in your batting stance. Hold the medicine ball in your hands in a similar manner you hold a bat. Consider the wall a pitcher, and then throw the ball off the wall as you rotate your core to mimic a swing.  Make sure you take 10 reps.

Additionally, to achieve speed, stay loose and ready. Always relax your muscles as this prepares your body to move freely. Avoid tensing and bunching up. When you’re relaxed, you tend to move faster with more agility.

In conclusion, it is fundamental to have good bat speed as a baseball player. The above-mentioned speed drills are significant and when practiced efficiently, they will ultimately yield good results. For more blogs, visit our website http://www.followthrubat.com/.

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