“Baseball is a simple game, and to GET GOOD you simply must work!”
Talent + Preparation(Passion) = Success
The last lesson of learning is said to be repetition. In all endeavors of learning one must prepare by repeating certain drills and actions in order to master the skill/skill sets. Baseball is both a physical and mental game that requires an extraordinary amount of practice in order to master the game, as well as to maximize the fun. Many young players will just play and practice when the team meets or their father/mother, et al will “play with them”…generally, this will not suffice and the player will become frustrated and lose the motivation to play the game.
The passionate and committed player will work hard to develop proper “muscle memory” and the skill sets needed to prepare him/her for success on the diamond. Below are the simplest drills that can be utilized to improve hand-eye coordination and to practice without anyone else being involved. GET GOOD!!!!
Throwing/Pitching “SIMPLY ALONE”
1. Throw the ball against a wall, tree, or other. Use the 4-seam grip.
2. Throw the ball up in the air and catch it. Helps with both throwing and catching.
3. Flick the ball, wrist only. Against a wall or barrier. Move wrist only.
4. Use a small towel to practice the 9-12-6 and follow throw portions of proper throwing/pitching mechanics. Reach out and snap it to exaggerate the correct motion.
5. Find a large mirror(usually full length in Mom’s room) and breakdown the mechanics of throwing/pitching while watching in the mirror.
6. Use a wall or fence and practice the mechanics without hitting the wall/fence.
7. Do balance and agility drills. Do balance point pitching drills.
8. Put targets on the wall or other barrier and throw/pitch. Create your own game and goals. Record your results. Use different sized targets to improve focus and accuracy.
9. Do hand, wrist and forearm strength drills…”squeezie balls”, rice and hand stretches, roll-ups, pushups(all the various types), etc.
10. Work on visualization drills and simple vision drills to increase focus.
11. Run and work on your CORE exercises. Stretch your am!!!!
Hitting “SIMPLY ALONE”
1. Use a full length mirror to view your hit mechanics and stance/load.
2. Outside in an open area: Take your bat and waffle ball/light flite/etc. ball and simply throw the ball in the air and swing at it! Focus on “hands inside” and watching the ball. Shag it yourself!
3. Do the Hit Progression Drill at least 3-4 times per week perfectly!
4. Do the “Shadow Drill” outside. Take your bat, assume the proper load position, and then find something 45-50 feet away. Visualize that object as the pitcher. Focus on the pitcher releasing the ball and you hitting it for a good solid base hit. NEVER Make an out…always see the ball go in the gap for a double or more!
5. Do hand, wrist, and forearm strength drills and repetitions. See Pitch/throw.
6. Take 20-25 swings per day. Start with simple, perfect swings and finish with hard, quick ones. Focus on “hands inside” and the perfect follow through.
7. Make a simple tee and hit waffle balls into a net or hanging sheet. Use different size balls.
8. Do vision drills.
9. Run and work on your CORE exercises.
10. Read baseball books on the great hitters and their “secrets”!
Fielding “SIMPLY ALONE”
1. Play catch with a wall or tree. ALWAYS 4-seams!!!
2. Throw the ball up in the air and catch it. Straight up and also, throw and go get it!
3. Throw/roll a ball up hill and then go get it! Work on proper fielding mechanics.
4. Set up a target, field a ball, and throw to the target on the move.
5. Do glove drills to increase your “soft hands” and ability to glove any ball.
6. Use a “reaction ball”(sporting goods stores have a variety of choices) and do the repetitions.
7. Do stretching exercises and cross over running drills.
8. Play the “Card Toss” or “Flip” game.
9. Do finger-tip push ups to increase hand strength…also, “squeezie” balls, etc.
10. Watch professional players field the ball…grounders, pop ups, fly balls.