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 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 recognize how big of a turn they can make around a bag to make sure 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 apart, 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.
Speed Quickness And Power
In our program, player development is a primary concern. What I mean is, that as players get older they also raise their level of function in the game. One of the areas we try to improve is the physical or talent area. We tell our kids if they are serious about the game they must first be in the talent pool of players. If you can't do the physical levels, no one will look at the skill or playing abilities.
Our pre-season conditioning program starts when the players get back from Christmas break. It is a voluntary program for those non-winter sport athletes. We focus our work on three areas we consider essential to play baseball at a competitive level - speed, quickness and power.
The first day we test the components of each we think are reliable predictors of each. Our test items are:
- 40 yard sprint
- 10 yard sprint
- Standing 2 footed vertical jump
- 30 second dips
- 30 second sit-ups
- Home to 1b
- Bench press
- Dot jumps
- Diamond push ups
After the testing is done, we have a 6-7 week conditioning program that incorporates exercises, running, and strength training. We work out 3 days each week. At then end of the training period we post the tests.
As a result of this over a period of years, we have built a database of physical ability levels that we have been able to use to identify levels of function by varsity, reserve and non players. We have also divided it into infielders and outfielders to see if there are physical factors that define levels of function. We now have more than 250 players in our database, ranging from horrible to professional players with all 3 levels of college play included. What we are trying to do is tell the kid who really wants to be a player where he stands, and what he needs to do to get where he wants to go if he isn't at the level yet.
We also want to be able to project with some reliability where each kid can reasonably expect to peak in the various physical areas essential to baseball. We do that by taking his tests and progress along with the number of workouts between pre and post tests and insert them into the growth rate equation. I would be interested in comparing and sharing data, exercises and ideas with others interested in this type of player development.