When I look back on my years of playing baseball, I wonder what would have happened if I had followed a properly designed conditioning program? My conditioning program consisted of running 2-3 miles per day and a machine circuit. I speak to numerous coaches and athletes from around the world who still practice this type of regimen.
Guess what? This type of training protocol will do little to enhance your performance as a baseball player. In fact, it will probably prove detrimental. Below I have provided some basic tips in regard to sports conditioning for baseball.
Practical Implications In Regards To Baseball Conditioning
- Do not over emphasize aerobic endurance.
- Develop a basic aerobic foundation in early training stages.
- Utilize numerous strength-training tools (kettlebells, sledges, dbs, mbs etc.)
- Prioritize rotational power and range of motion
- Develop multiplanar strength
- Minimize the use of machines
- Incorporate the Olympic movements and their derivatives into your regimen
- Grip strength endurance and shoulder integrity are important for baseball players
- Practice numerous quickness and agility drills
- Learn basic sprint mechanics
- Core strength is a golden attribute
- Perform drills to enhance body awareness (tumbling, eyes closed calisthenics, jump rope etc.)
- Develop solid GPP levels (utilizing weighted and non-weighted methods)
- Speed strength (producing force in a timely manner) is more important than absolute strength
- Never neglect skill training. The best conditioning in the world is worthless if your skill set is weak.
Bonus - Conditioning Tips & Drills For Baseball!
This tip is a very good conditioning drill that will allow your player to develop physically.
Take the players to the foul pole in left or right field, time them from foul pole to foul pole to get a base time. Then have a set time that they should complete each of the laps. I use 7 laps because of the number of innings we play. I require that all team members finish under the time required to make the lap count.
For me this helps toughen my players for game and competition.
The players start out at home plate and run around first base, making an aggressive turn, and then dive back into the bag. After diving back they get up as fast as they can and head to second base to do the same thing. They do this also at third then slide feet first into home plate to end their round.
Besides basic conditioning, this drill helps to build the players' speed and quickness back to the bag. Also, it is helpful to work on quickly leaving the bag as well as helping the players to recognize how big of a turn they can make around a bag to make sure that they get back in case of a throw.
A good way to prove the get-back theory is to have an outfielder and a second baseman try to get a player out every couple of times through. I usually only make the players do this drill twice before they are finished.
Everyone hates conditioning, so we try to make it as fun as possible. Our favorite, yet hardest conditioner is called the glove drill.
We split up the players in groups of 4 or 5 and they line up and put their gloves in the outfield at about 25-foot intervals, away from them. They start the drill with a ball in their hand and run to the first glove and set the ball on it and come back to the line and go back and get the ball and come back to the line and go to the second glove and set the ball down and go back to the line and so on and so forth, until all the players have gone through and the winners get out of laps at the end of the practice.
About Coach Hale
Coach Hale is the owner of Total Body Fitness, Winchester Golden Gloves Boxing and MaxCondition Sports Conditioning. He designs comprehensive training programs for coaches and athletes worldwide. He is the author of Optimum Physique and contributor to numerous exercise and sports publications. Coach Hale is an official member of The World Martial Arts Hall of Fame in recognition of his strength and conditioning work with martial artists. He also serves as vice-chairman for the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame. To learn more about coach Hale visit his website.
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