The Lending Coach

Coaching and teaching - many through the mortgage process and others on the field

Search results: "baseball" (page 1 of 6)

Baseball Coaching Drills for Youth Teams

I’ve been coaching youth/club baseball with my friends Matt Palmer, Kevin Bacchus, Brian Beltramo, and Bret Prinz for many, many years.  We’ve had a blast together…and we have been given the opportunity to coach some fine players.

Matt and I were talking the other day, looking back at some of the great times and great teams we’ve been fortunate enough to coach.  We reminisced about how our practice plans were extremely simple – and that the skills we were instilling helped our players win more than a few ballgames.

Not to say that the practices were unscripted or easy (they were neither) – but we relied on a handful of drills to help develop proper fundamentals and simulate game situations.

Interestingly enough, in a little under 2 hours a few times a week, we essentially did the same, relatively simple team drills with all of our players. 

We would take the last 45 minutes or so for batting practice and bullpens…so that left us 75 minutes for all of our defensive related drills.

We did these drills EVERY practice.  Here are our 4 favorites:

Bare Handed Ground Balls

We would line the players up in either one or two lines and roll them ground ball after ground ball.  Our focus was to have the players not rely on their gloves, but have soft hands, and field the ball out in front of them in a proper fielding position.

Then they would consciously watch the ball all the way into their hands, then gather the ball with their eyes still on it, and step-and-throw.

Triangle Drill

We would put one third of the kids at shortstop, a third at first, and a third behind the plate.  The coach hits a ground ball to the shortstop, who fields and throws to first, and the first basemen throws to the catcher. 

Each player then follows his throw to the next position (short to first, first to catcher, catcher to short). 

Not only are we working on fielding, throwing, and catching – we are working on team play and endurance.  Don’t underestimate the cardiovascular workout with this one!

4-Corners Drill

We would place players at all 4 bases and throw the ball around the horn – home to first, then to second, next to third, and finally to home for starters. 

We would then switch directions…and the players would switch positions on the field so everyone would have a chance to play all positions.

Sometimes they would be force plays, other times, we would have them catch-and-tag.

Relay Drill

We put the players in 2 or 3 groups (depending on the number of players) – and space them out about 60 feet apart in groups, essentially two or three long lines of players from foul-pole to foul-pole.  The ball would start at one end and be thrown from player to player until it reached the other end.

We worked on game simulated relays in this fashion, focusing on body positioning and feet movement.

At the end, we would hold a competition or “race” to see which team could perform the task the quickest and most effectively.  If a team drops the ball, they pick it up and keep going. 

As you can imagine, the most proficient team with the fewest or no drops would always win, regardless of the speed of the transition from one player to the next.

I can’t stress more strongly the need for these types of drills, especially with younger players.  Our teams were fundamentally strong, for the most part, and they were able to execute team plays quite effectively…even at age 10.

If you’d like to find out more about practice planning for young players, do feel free to reach out, as I’d be happy to share more.

Visualization – A Great Baseball Mental Exercise

I’m linking to a fantastic article from Geoff Miller at The Winning Mind regarding visualization and it’s fantastic capabilities to help baseball athletes prepare.

What is Visualization?

Visualization is the widely used mental technique of “seeing” your performance in your mind.

The technique is generally done by closing your eyes and imagining a play or action.  It can also be used as a primary training device to take the place of actual physical activity when a player is unable to practice.

You can read the entire piece here…and here’s a little bit about Geoff Miller and The Winning Mind:

Geoff is an expert in baseball psychology and manages sport programs at Winning Mind. Since 2005, Geoff has provided mental skills coaching services to the Pittsburgh Pirates (2005-2009), Washington Nationals (2010), and Atlanta Braves (2010-2014.) 

Why Does Visualization Work?

Per Miller’s article, visualization is effective for two primary reasons:

1. “It strengthens neural pathways, the roads that our brain uses to send out messages to our bodies. A strong neural pathway is like an exact route you know to get from your house to the airport, the mall, etc. The more you picture yourself executing your skills, the stronger your neural pathways become until eventually you feel so comfortable playing your game that the movements feel automatic.”

2. “Our brains see real performance and imagined performance the same. We experience this phenomenon often in our dreams.  For example, you might dream that you are falling and wake up bracing yourself or dream that you are in a panic and wake up sweating.  When you’re awake you might experience a real feeling if someone describes that light, tingling you get that resonates from the bat all the way down your arms when you connect with the ball on the barrel or the stinging in your hands when you get jammed on a ball.”

How Do You Do It?

Miller continues: “When practicing visualization, you should describe the sounds and feelings that go along with swinging the bat, fielding the ball, and throwing pitches. In comic books, Batman and Superman would beat up the villains by punching them, but to get added effect, the artist would draw in a big POW and BAM. When a bomb went off, you’d read KABOOM! These words strengthen our pictures and make our visualization exercises more effective.

Pitching words: fastball ZIP, curveball DIP, slider WHOOSH, POP into the glove

Hitting words: CRACK, SLAM, WHAM, CONNECT, LIGHTNING, POW

Fielding words: GLIDE, REACH, STRETCH, SCURRY, LEAP”

In Conclusion

The biggest issue that many players have with using visualization is not that they can’t imagine the details of their performance, but that they can’t see themselves succeeding.

If this is the case, I’d highly recommend that you read the complete piece here.

The goal we are trying to reach in using the mental game is to know what to do without thinking about it. As Miller says, “using visualization helps us practice our skills so we are more familiar with them and we feel like we’ve already “seen” our performance happen when it does.”

Off-Season Baseball Strengthening and Flexibility

I’m linking to a great article from COR (a California based physical therapy firm) that outlines specific, baseball related strengthening and flexibility exercises.   

Baseball is unique in that many typical weight training exercises can be counterproductive, as players really need to stay flexible, but strong at the same time. 

Doing bodybuilding type work can actually be detrimental, as you can’t play baseball effectively if you are muscle bound!

Many of these exercises shown in the COR sequence are similar to what Jordan Zimmerman uses with his ZB Velocity and Strengthening program – and you can find our more on that here…

Here’s their concept:

Let’s explore what makes great exercises for baseball players. You need to know which exercises are blunders so you can pick the best for your performance and your body. Great exercises for baseball players do the following:

  • Train the entire body
  • Improve explosive power
  • Strengthen and protect the shoulder
  • Improve mobility of the thoracic spine
  • Improve ankle, trunk, and shoulder mobility

What exercises should not be are painful. Don’t shy away from soreness, but don’t fall victim to the ridiculous myth – “no pain, no gain.”

Baseball players need to focus on balance, explosive power, agility, and rotational power. Strength-training helps baseball players achieve these results, but only if the exercises are done properly and with the mechanics of the game in mind.

What baseball players need to avoid are exercises that exhaust only certain muscles, such as muscles in the shoulder. Doing so causes significant imbalances and leads to injury instead of success on the field. Baseball is a full-body sport, so the greatest exercises for baseball players must address all the muscles, not just a select few. 

I highly recommend that you go through this link and take a look at the exercises and make them part of your routine. 

Daily Mental Practice For Baseball Players

I’ve consistently pointed out that the mental part of baseball is an undervalued and lesser taught piece of this great game.  Sure, mental toughness and “having a good approach” are buzzwords used by coaches every day…but what can you do to teach it?

Well, I’m linking an article by Alan Jaeger regarding some specific advice on “mental practice” every day.

Here’s’ the link to the full article – and I highly recommend that you read the entire thing!

Here are some of the key excerpts…..

Addressing The Mental Game: Prioritizing Your Practice Plan

Practice plans have been passed down for generations, and they of course have plenty of merit. But at what point (and what cost) are we going to continue to center our practice plans around physical preparation when we know that between the lines, the game is at least 90 percent mental? Hitting, throwing and running bases are all indispensable, as is bunt defense, pitchers fielding practice and first and third run downs.

But this is the 21st century – times have changed.

The good news is that society is changing for the better. More than any other generation in the past 50 years, this generation is privy to the reality that Mental Training is not only a credible field, but it’s application to sports and life is a essential. Which begs the question — what are you doing to act on this reality?

Done as a precursor to practice each day, each coach will be given enough information to lead his players through a 10 minute, mental training exercise or session that revolves around breath work.

Ultimately, whether we call “mental practice” relaxation, meditation or mental focusing time, the application of these exercises on a daily basis will have the greatest and most profound effect on your players minds. For without practice how can you expect any skill to be developed and maximized.

Understanding Where We Want To Be: The Zone, Locked In, Unconscious

Having a great mental game is as much about understanding where we want to be, as where we don’t want to be.

When things are going well it seems like the mental game is simple. And when things aren’t going so well the game can be very frustrating and complex. Understanding “how” we go in and out of these states of mind is extremely valuable.

In sports, we actually have many terms for this “optimal” state of mind. It’s been referred to by many names, including “The Zone”, being “Unconscious” and being “Locked In.” The technical term for this state of mind is called a Peak State, and has very specific attributes, including:

  1. The absence of thought
  2. A complete immersion with the action
  3. A sense of being process oriented
  4. A sense of calm or peace
  5. A detachment from the outcome.

By understanding the components of a peak state of mind, we can better understand ways to train the mind in order to put it in alignment with this ideal state.

Breath Work: The Core Ingredient Of Your Mental Practice

Mental Practice is a very broad field that includes breathing exercises, imagery, visualization, affirmations, and so on.  You can also get forms of mental practice from among other things, Yoga, Martial Arts and being in Nature. Anything that brings the mind into a state of “presence”, a state of peace and quiet can be categorized as mental practice.

But the most common element that I’ve found in mental practice revolves around the breath.

There are many reasons why the breath is at the center of mental training exercises universally, including several physiological benefits (relaxation, lower blood pressure, oxygenation), but some of the other profound benefits may be more subtle. For example, the breath is always happening now, which symbolically, can be extremely helpful in teaching the mind how to be present.

The breath is not a thought, thus, the more time you spend with your breath, the more time you are training your mind how to be in a “no-thought” state. Again, the absence of thought and being present are two major characteristics of a Peak State of mind. Thus, the breath alone can be a catalyst in changing the mind from a result oriented default, to a process oriented default.

Other benefits that can often be associated with breath work include calmness of mind, improved concentration, focus, patience, discipline and inner trust. Inner trust, which is similar to the term confidence, is a by product of spending time in a relaxing and comfortable space each day, and getting to know your self and your inner workings. Considering that your breath keeps you alive 24 hours a day, it’s safe to say that a lot can be gained simply by spending time, appreciating and understanding our breath.

Looking where to begin?

Control your breath.  Learn how to take deep breaths, in your your nose, out through your mouth.  Let your belly expand, not your neck.  Try this during your practice sessions and see how you feel.

Want to Learn More About the Mental Game of Baseball?

Here’s the link to Alan’s book that talks about his approach.  It’s called “Getting Focused, Staying Focused: A Far Eastern Approach to Sports and Life.”  

Weighted Baseballs – Velocity Silver Bullet or Front Row Surgical Ticket?

Weighted baseball training has been a widely debated prescription for increasing throwing velocity since the first research on it was published in the 1960s, though it has gained greater attention in the last twenty years.

Why Weighted Baseballs?

These types of training programs utilizing weighted baseballs continue to rise in popularity for pitchers of all levels.  At the same time, scientists are not entire sure about why they may improve velocity, the long-term effects on the body, or the most appropriate program to perform.

From Mike Reinold at Elite Baseball Performance:

There has been a recent increased emphasis on pitch velocity within the amateur and professional levels of baseball.  According to Pitch/FX data, the average fastball velocity in MLB has gone up each year since tracking began in 2008, from 90.9 MPH to 93.2 MPH in 2017.  Previous studies have shown both a correlation between increased pitch velocity and increased elbow stress and elbow injury rates.   Thus, it is not surprising that injury rates continue to increase in a nearly linear fashion with increased average pitch velocity.

One Side

From Brett Pourciau at TopVelociy on a recent study:

Yes, weighted baseball training causes serious injury. It is a hard reality, but anything that tries to force a physical gain in a short period of time, in a sport that already has a pattern of throwing related injury, usually comes with serious consequences. The problem today is, either people are ignorant of this or they don’t care. 

You can read the complete article here….

Brett is a biomechanics specialist and a consultant with Major League Baseball

The Other Side

From Driveline – a big proponent of weighted baseballs:

Research backs up the use of underload and overload training in various forms, and it’s no surprise that it works for baseball pitchers as well. Dr. Coop Derenne is the foremost expert in this field and has published a number of research papers that indicate that weighted baseball training creates a significant increase in velocity for those training with underweighted and overweighted baseballs. His most popular paper is Effects of Under and Overweighted Implement Training on Pitching Velocity, which concludes that training with either underweighted (4 oz) or overweighted (6 oz) baseballs improved pitching velocity when compared to simply throwing normal baseballs.

What’s Next

Well, if you are coaching young players, do your research first.  There seem to be two sides of the coin here, but my take is to be extra conservative with the younger set.  Their bodies are not physically mature and they can injure easily.

Don’t be that coach/dad that pushes your player so hard that they break down prematurely.

Great Christmas Gifts for the Baseball Minded

Paul Petricca’s Hitting With Torque

This is a fantastic read – not only from the physical adjustments that must be made, but to the mental side, as well. Get in your ready hitting position early, players!

Paul is the hitting coach at Wheaton College in Chicago, and I know him pretty well. He works with both softball and baseball players to maximize their power from the ground up.

Ken Ravizza and Tom Hanson’s Heads-Up Baseball 2.0

Two of my favorite and “go-to” mental guys in the baseball world are Dr. Ken Ravizza and Tom Hanson.  I’ve mentioned them before – and I’d highly recommend that you read their book and take it to heart.

Steve Springer’s Quality At-Bats “Mental Side” CD

Steve Springer is the former mental hitting instructor for the Toronto Blue Jays and one of the best instructors out there.  I’d invite you to visit Quality At-Bats site to find out more about him. His “Mental Side” CDs are fantastic and can really help a player learn how to find the right mental state prior to competition.

Jeff Passan’s The Arm

For three years, Jeff Passan, the lead baseball columnist for Yahoo Sports, has traveled the world to better understand the mechanics of the arm and its place in the sport’s past, present, and future.

Totally worth the read for parents and players

Zepp Baseball Swing Analyzer

The Zepp product helps players by giving information on everything imaginable From hand speed to the amount of time it takes to make an impact, this device provides a wide variety of data. It can even help by pairing to the camera on your phone or tablet to create HD videos that players can use. Hitters can compare their videos to the 3D models that the tracker makes.

This device can create custom training programs to help the hitter figure out what they need to do to improve.

Summer Baseball and Scouting: A Primer for Players and Parents

If you don’t follow The Arizona Diamond Report and Ron Benham, you really should. Ron is one of the “go-to” guys on the prep baseball scene here in Arizona and beyond.

His site exists to give college coaches a reliable source of player information. The majority of the area’s MLB scouting personnel also frequent The Diamond Report.

His site is one that I visit regularly, and I recommend that you do, too.

His recent blog post is called Here Comes the Summer: A Primer for Parents and Players”. It’s a must read – please do click on the link and read the entire piece.

With that said, here area a number of key items that stand out to me – and I really hope players and parents follow this advice:

Players

First off, if you expect to get much bang for your buck at these tournaments, you will hopefully have been communicating with colleges beforehand. If not, you won’t be on a follow list, and you generally become background noise.

This is so cliché, yet at the same time so true: You never know who’s watching.

Even at an event that has few to no college coaches, there may be someone in attendance who can have an impact on your future. The baseball world is a small place, with relationships that stretch across the country. Don’t make the fatal mistake of taking pitches off.

Catchers: I say this every year, and yet this remains one of my biggest pet peeves. Please show me your arm in between innings. You may not have a live game opportunity to flash that hose, but in between innings we are paying attention. Chuck that rock like your life depends on it.

This also goes for infielders. We don’t see you in pre game like in high school, so in between innings show off that cannon.

Please run out ground balls. It’s amazing to me that in an event that is supposed to be a “showcase” , I continually see players half-assing their way down the line as I stand there stop watch in hand. Running times are a vital piece of the evaluation process, don’t ignore this.

Body language is another incredibly important piece of the puzzle. Remember, baseball is a game of failure. Players that fail in MLB 70% of the time are called All Stars. The key is how you respond to failure. Throwing your helmet, tossing your bat in disgust etc, are sure ways to get your name crossed off by coaches.

Pitchers: it’s inevitable that you will encounter an umpire with a postage stamp sized strike zone. It happens in college too. However, the worst thing you can do is to react negatively to a questionable strike zone. Treat it like it is a part of the game and show that you are in control of the situation. 

Act like you are serious about the game. College coaches have a job to do. Their job is to win baseball games. They are looking for players who can help them do that. If you look like you are not a serious player, coaches can’t treat you seriously. Don’t goof off in the dugout. Many of you look like you are only out there to hang out with your buddies and have a good time. Play the game and conduct yourself like you mean business.

Parents

It’s amazing to me how things have changed in regard to ballpark decorum. I watch the way parents interact with their players during games and I just shake my head.

If I were to design a baseball field, it would have dark shades from dugout to dugout to prevent parents from placing their chairs right next to the on-deck circle. Unfortunately, virtually all the fields in the summer are wide open, and mom and dad have been sitting there for tournaments for the better part of a decade.

If you insist on being that close to the action, please try not to interact with your son during the game. He doesn’t need coaching. He doesn’t need you to break down the pitcher for him.

Your player should be mature enough to ensure that he has proper hydration for the game, so you shouldn’t have to hand drinks and snacks to junior in the dugout. It’s just a really bad look.

Don’t be that parent who constantly complains about balls and strikes and questions every call on the field. We will find out who you are and who belongs to you.

Finally, acting like a fool during a game puts unneeded stress on your young player. Baseball is a very difficult game to play. It becomes almost impossible when a player is nervous or stressed out. Don’t contribute to this.

A Baseball Must for Pitchers: Command and Establish The Fastball

When a pitcher has control that means he pitches in the strike zone.

But when a pitcher has command, that means he can hit spots within that strike zone.  And it’s the fastball that he must command, first and foremost.

Following his third spring training start, David Price said,

“It’s part of the process, continuing to go out there, command my fastball the way that I did today. If I can do that, it just opens up everything that I want to do with all my secondary stuff.”

“That’s always a big emphasis on me, just making sure I’m hitting spots with that fastball—two-seam, four-seam, both sides of the plate, moving it in, up, down.”

As a pitcher that throws a lot of fastballs, Price understands how difficult it is to hit.  He understands that fastballs in different locations thrown with a two-seam and four-seam variations can make life difficult for hitters.

The key is location.

For a great read on fastball command, read Doug Bernier’s article here….

Why The Fastball?

All great pitchers usually have something in common: a good fastball. Having command of your fastball should be the main focus of every pitcher at every level of the game, yet that’s too often not the case.  Too many pitchers (of all ages) tend to spend far too much time on learning how to throw secondary pitches, such as breaking balls.

The fastball is the singularly most important pitch.  If a pitcher has plus command of it, they can cause all sorts of havoc with a hitters mind with the location of that pitch.

Everything works well if you can establish the fastball and put it where you want it.

Having a great fastball means you can get out of most situations, (sometimes) even with a lack of feel for the pitch.  Those who understand this fact know what it’s like when you can’t get a good feel for your breaking ball on a particular day.  The curve ball is a “feel” pitch and can be difficult to throw for a strike at times, especially for younger players.

Having a great fastball also means you can then develop and utilize a secondary pitch with much more effectiveness – like a changeup to simply throw the hitter’s timing off.  This can be killer combination, as many times the hitter can’t recognize the difference out of the pitcher’s hand.

Deception & Perception

If you ever take the time to watch batting practice, you will see how many times hitters don’t square up the baseball.  The hitters know every pitch that is coming and the coach is trying to throw it where they can hit it hard, but still many hitters don’t hit the ball on the barrel of the bat.

Imagine how much harder it gets when they DON’T know what pitch is coming.

  • Inside/outside – After two inside fastballs, a 4-seamer on the outside corner tends to look further outside than normal… even though it is a strike.
  • Speed – The speed differs by 2-3 mph but that is just enough for my contact to be off the barrel if I am timed up for the two-seamer velocity.
  • Up / Down – Moving the ball up and down changes the eye level of the hitter and can produce swing and misses especially with two strikes.

A well located fastball is the most difficult pitch to hit consistently.  The hitter has less time to react, and the further the ball is away from the middle of the plate the more difficult it is for the hitter.

Learning from David Price

Pitchers and coaches might want to take a page out of David Price’s book and throw more fastballs.

As a pitcher, you know the hitter is thinking “once I have to compete against fastballs located for strikes on both sides of the plate and changing eye levels, the secondary stuff becomes much, much nastier to hit.”

As a hitter, when a pitcher establishes the location of his fastball and is not afraid to come after them, it makes hitting that much more difficult.

Adding Another Pitch to the Mix?

For those looking to “add another pitch”, you might want to reconsider, until you’re comfortable with fastball location.

Instead, evaluate what you’re currently throwing, and ask yourself these questions: “do I truly command these pitches?  Can I spot a fastball where I want, anytime I want, with movement?  Can I throw a four-seamer for a strike with my eyes closed?”

Only after you’ve honestly answered “yes” to all three, then consider adding another pitch to your repertoire.

Pitching to Contact

Many pitchers are afraid of “getting hit”, or they try to make the perfect pitch every time.  As a result, they end up throwing balls out of the strike zone,  walking hitters, or pitching from behind in counts.

Unless they throw 100+ miles per hour, they really, they’re trying to control the inevitable – that the batter is going to make contact. Interestingly, pitchers with great command like Greg Maddux or Tom Glavine want them to hit the baseball.  And they don’t worry if a hitter ends up reaching base.  Their attitude is, “That’s fine. I’ll get the next guy.”

In Conclusion

Let’s be clear, if you don’t have good command of your fastball, you are not a good pitcher.  That’s the reality. If you want to improve your game, improve your velocity or command, not add a new pitch to your arsenal.

Work on it.

Baseball Parenting the Wrong Way

What’s wrong with the picture above?  Looks like a fun 9 or 10 year-old baseball game here in Phoenix, right?

Check out the dad behind the screen.  Do I see that correctly?  Is he really holding a radar gun?

I’m absolutely sickened by this image.

There are just so many things wrong here.  Please pass this post on to everyone you know in the baseball community.  I’ll attempt to break down just a few of the disasters here – and try not to rant too long.

The Radar Gun

First of all, with all of the things we now know about young pitchers and arm injuries, the last thing any young pitcher needs to be concerned with is radar gun velocity.

Dr. James Andrews is arguably the world’s most famous and best orthopedic surgeon, and he has saved the pitching arms of some of the greatest professional baseball players on the planet.  To the right is an image of what actually takes place when doctors have to rebuild the joint and the ligament.

So when he has a request for the game he loves the most, we should be wise and listen to his request — especially at the youth and high school level.

“I think they should outlaw the radar gun,” he said. “Young pitchers, coaches, scouts and parents put so much emphasis now on throwing hard that these kids are hurting their elbows and their shoulders because they’re trying to throw 90 mph.”

The radar gun, Andrews says, is one of many injury risks at the youth and high school level in an age of baseball that is seeing more and more teenage athletes on the operating table instead of the pitching mound.

You should read more from Dr. Andrews here…

You should read more from Major League Baseball and PitchSmart here….

The Complete Lack of Perspective on Youth Baseball

What in the world is this dad thinking?  How does measuring the velocity of a 9-year old pitcher have anything to do with what is important in a 9-year old baseball game?

Baseball is one of the most difficult games ever invented – it’s a self-esteem destroyer on it’s own.  We need to be encouraging our kids at the youth level, not measuring the exit velocity of the fastball, for crying out loud.

The goal at the end of every 9 year-old baseball game is that the kid wants to come back and do it again.

I’ve got to turn it over to Steve Springer here so you can see his video on what’s important….a must watch for all baseball parents.  Like Spring says, take the kid out for ice cream after the ballgame.  Tell him how much you love him and how much fun you had watching him.

Also, see Brian Regan’s comedic take on youth baseball that will give you some insight on how many kids view the game.

The Singular Lack of Perspective on Pitching

Youth pitching is completely about having fun and learning to handle yourself on the mound.  And that, by the way, isn’t easy.  It’s also about learning proper pitching mechanics and throwing strikes. Period.

There is absolutely no way that any kid’s baseball future can be determined by how hard he throws or how effective he is when he’s 9.

With that said, there’s absolutely no way you can determine a kid’s baseball future in any way when he is 9 years of age.

The Absolute Unawareness of His Position in the Stands

Dude.  Assuming that your son is the pitcher, he really needs to be concentrating on the catcher’s glove.

Not you right behind home plate holding that radar gun. I bet you give him the thumbs up when he throws a good pitch, too.

You know and I know (and I’m sure his coaches do, too) that he’s looking at you half of the time – and that’s not at all how it should be. 

Secondly, you are more than likely blocking the view of other parents, grandparents, other family members, and friends at that ball game.  You are taking up prime viewing real estate to get the 51 MPH reading, man.  I’m also sure they are really impressed that he’s breaking 50 MPH from 46 feet.

Well, that’s what I’ve got for now – I can’t take this much longer.  Please, please parents, encourage your youngsters.  They need someone there for them after they fail – and they will in this game.  Again, I ask that you share this post with anyone you know in the baseball community – let’s make sure we are encouraging and protecting our young players and pitchers.

 

Baseball Pre-Season Workouts

The high school baseball season is less than 6 weeks away here in Arizona – and there’s still time to make sure that your body is ready for the season.

I know I talk more frequently on the mental side of the game, but your body must be ready to handle the ups-and-downs of the condensed 20 game season.

I’ve compiled a number of links that the baseball minded will find worthwhile and I highly recommend that you check them out.


The first is a piece with accompanying video from Stack.com regarding a 6-week pre-season program. Their program utilizes medicine balls to build baseball specific strength.

“Developing stronger baseball-specific movement patterns comes with a bonus: it helps to prevent injuries. By improving often-hurt areas like shoulder and back muscles before camp starts, you’ll reduce your chance of breaking down over the course of a long season.”

http://www.stack.com/a/6-week-baseball-workout

From the HSBaseball web – they talk specifics about particular muscle groups that get used more than others. During pitching and batting, it’s the chest and shoulders, particularly the rotator cuffs, pecs and triceps. Players also need good torso strength, i.e., a strong back and abdomen – and leg power will get you going with those bursts of speed needed to run bases.

Jeff Holt, a fitness trainer and owner of Personal Health and Fitness Inc. in Hendersonville, says a training regimen for softball should focus on improving overall strength and flexibility.

http://www.hsbaseballweb.com/pre_season.htm

Here’s a great PDF from WPA Baseball for both players and parents.

Youth baseball has become increasingly competitive over recent years, joining other sports in which athletes are frequently exposing themselves to overuse injuries.

They state that pre-season conditioning should start 8-12 weeks prior to the start of your season and give a great outline of what that training program should look like.

http://www.wpabaseball.com/files/SportsPerfArticles/Conditioning(1).pdf

Finally, here’s a great Sports Illustrated article on Evan Longoria that highlights his specific pre-season workout regimen.

“It’s taken a lot of years for me to understand what my body needs,” says Longoria. “I don’t want to put 500 pounds on my back and squat because it doesn’t translate for me on the field. My workout program is tailored to being baseball strong.”

It goes into very specific detail that is eye-opening for those who think baseball players aren’t in great shape!

http://www.si.com/edge/2015/03/18/training-evan-longoria-workout-rays-third-baseman

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of American Financial Network, Inc

« Older posts

© 2019 The Lending Coach

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑