Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Top 5 Baseball Drills to Improve Your Baseball Game

By Kendra L Fagan

Open professional baseball tryouts are designed to help scouts determine the physical talents and abilities of aspiring baseball players.

Though many of the drills that young MLB hopefuls are put through might seem random. This is because different drills are put to people to test their skills level. While one person trying out might have a killer pitch and he knows it, a scout might want to see what the person's skill level is with other types of baseball maneuvers.

Scouts look for speed, arm strength, glove skills, and hitting skills and overall mechanics. The tryouts are grueling and not like any version of American Idol you've seen. There is no "nice" judge. Instead, baseball scouts simply call out the names of those they like. The rest of the players go home, and many of theme eventually give up on their dream.

But not unlike any talent-based industry, hearing "no" is just part of the game. It is up to you and your trainers to make sure you are getting all the necessary drills and skill-building exercise to take you to your goal of becoming a professional baseball player.

I have compiled some of the best drills for cross-skill development that will give you a leg up in the competition and hopefully win you the interest of a baseball scout.

AROUND THE WORLD DRILL

The "Around the World" drill is a great conditioning exercise that will help any baseball player develop physically.

Here's how it works.

Take the players to the foul pole in left or right field. Then time them from foul pole to foul pole to get a good accurate base time. Then have a set time that they should complete each of the laps. Some choose seven laps, some others. The number should be based on the number of innings one would play professionally. A good hint is that coaches should remember to adhere to is to not let a lap count if it is under time. This will help the player push himself to get it right. There is no "almosts" in pro baseball.

DIVE BACKS

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. Here's how a good Dive Backs drill is set up.

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.

A good way to prove the get back theory is to have an outfielder and a second basemen trying to get a player out every couple of times through. This exercise works wonders for agility and speed skills which is an absolute necessity to play in the major leagues.

THE GLOVE BASEBALL DRILL

Conditioning is a grueling task, so some fun elements need to be used as well. A good fun conditioning drill is great because you can make them the hardest and the fun elements makes it not so bad.

The glove drills starts off with separating players in groups of 4 or 5. (If you are just with yourself and your coach, find a friend or two to help.) Line the people 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 any good baseball training program, player development is a primary concern. As players get older they also raise their level of function in the game. One of the areas to try to improve is the physical or talent area. If you are at all seriously about playing professionally you 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.

A well rounded pre-season conditioning program starts when the players get back from Christmas break. Work should be focused on 3 areas essential to playing baseball at a professionally competitive level - speed, quickness, and power.

The first day should be spent testing the components of each skills set that are vital to an overall skill matching assessment. Test items can include:

· 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, you should have a good two months dedicated to a program that incorporates exercises, running, and strength training. Once this part is done, practice the test points listed above again. This will help you accurately measure your progress and where to improve.

THE 60 YARD DASH DRILL

This is used to determine sheer sprint speed, and it is chosen to determine the athlete's ability to run from the length of two bases. If you decide to incorporate this for your child, do so sparingly and make sure that your child is warmed up. Also reduce the length from 60 yards to only twice the distance from home to first. Of course, make sure that your child is medically approved to do sprinting. Keep the number of such dashes very low and GRADUALLY build up over time.

Here is a good pointer:

When asked to hit, scouts do not look at the end result of whether the ball was a hit, home run, foul ball, etc. Instead, they look at mechanics in order to determine if there is a "loop" in a batter's swing, weight transfer, and the batter's overall approach to the plate appearance. If you are able to introduce your child to one of the scouts during a break at the tryout, ask the scout to give you a minute to understand what he likes to see in his ideal batter. You may learn quite a bit.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kendra_L_Fagan

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Those seem like some really effective drills for for helping young players improve their skills. I stumbled across several instructional hitting videos by Don Mattingly on LockerBlogger.com. In the videos, Mattingly breaks down his routine at the plate. They seem to be very informative and useful for anyone looking to enhance their hitting technique. I've posted a link in case anyone is interested. http://www.lockerblogger.com/videos/donmattingly/mattingly-sports-hitting-quick-clips-7-mental-approach-bat