Let's discuss some of the best movements (call them drills if you prefer) to help players ingrain a back-arm loading pattern for baseball while playing football. The back arm-loading pattern applies to throwing a football, throwing a baseball and hitting a baseball. It's a universal loading pattern for football and baseball.
So, dad's relax. Your son doesn't have to fall behind in baseball because he is too busy playing football. In fact, it's probably better that you are giving him a break and having him play other sports.
But don't waste your time. Use your time wisely and practice these universal-loading patterns with the football.
Here are some ideas to improve your son's baseball skills while playing football:
1. Walking Rhythm Drill
One great way to introduce the back arm loading pattern movement is to utilize a walking-rhythm with the arm action. The "walking-rhythm" refers to simply stepping laterally (taking your stride) repeatedly down the football field. The back arm will naturally load up as we step. In addition, the "thought" of throwing will naturally develop timing and rhythm within our footwork. We just need to learn to load the arm correctly.
Make sure feet, knees, and waist are set up correctly
-the feet are working straight ahead
-knees bent "one click"
-waist bent "one click"
- and be sure the shoulders drop over the knees.
-The shoulders and elbows should be down and relaxed.
Our feet for the walking drill are set up a little more narrow than it would be for a regular batting session.
2. Use the Football
Because of its size and shape, a football can be very useful in developing an elite level throwing pattern. Remember, this is the same pattern used in hitting a baseball as well. It is easier to see the football turn with the long bone in the upper-arm. As that elbow turns up, the ball turns with it.
This can really help the player feel the turning or the winding up nature from this elite-level loading phase.
Use the same rhythmic lateral stepping pattern moving down the football field saying "load, load, load" as you load the back-arm by turning the bone up and keeping the elbow bent.
3. Isolation Drills
Continuing our focus on phase-one of the back arm, we will isolate the movement for three repetitions with no stride. Then incorporate a live stride for three repetitions, preferably against the live motion. Do this with a football.
We're going to isolate the movement for just three repetitions and really focus on the movement at the shoulder joint as the only action (no step or stride) "load, load, load." Again we're focusing on the out-of-the-glove action, lifting and turning of the long bone in the upper arm with the football.
Next we use a football and simply add a live stride to phase one of the loading phase. Again, the cadence is "load, load, load." As we perform the movement, we want to make sure that the hand stays in front of the shoulder as we turn the elbow up during this loading phase.
The plan is very simple and the movement is easy. It's just going to take some repetitions to make permanent. If you don't get the loading phase of the back arm correct, it's very difficult for your swing or throw to recover.
Go ahead and get better at baseball while you are playing football.
Dr. Yeager is a PHD in human performance and an expert in the physics and physiology of the baseball swing and throw. He is one of the founders of Iso Baseball.
Iso Baseball's mission is to design and develop scientifically based baseball/softball hitting instructional devices/ Please visit http://www.isobaseball.com to learn more.
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