Two Rules For Training Every Baseball Player Should Know
The preparation for baseball season is as vital to a player’s success as their execution on the field. Generally, the more you train, the better chance you have for increased performance. Since baseball is a skill-specific sport, it is ideal for players to train year-round to maintain their skills. However, this is not always possible. Playing under several high school and college coaches, we’ve learned two rules when gearing up for a new season.
The first rule is “foundation before acceleration” (or background before peaking). Prior to throwing or hitting at 100%, you must first be able to throw and hit with ease. If you attempt to throw your hardest from the start, an injury becomes more likely. Background training should start by increasing the volume of your workload gradually for several weeks. When you feel ready to start peaking, decrease your work volume and increase your work intensity. So, you should play easy catch every day, and when batting, try to hit the ball with rhythm and precision. It is also a great idea to include high repetition band work for the rotator cuff on a daily basis. For conditioning, you should also jog slowly before running fast. After a few weeks, you should be ready to ramp up training.
The second rule of preparation is “stress and recover.” Following a day when you throw harder, hit with power, or run faster, rest, or train with a moderate-to-easy intensity. Continue to have easy days for all three specifics until your leg and arm muscles feel fresh again. Then begin once more with the intense routine. On hard training days, you may throw every fifth pitch hard, followed by four easy throws, or hit the ball hard once every five swings until your muscles start to feel sore. Once that occurs, conclude your workout so as not to over-train.
Since baseball players rarely sprint more than 100 yards, your running training should include 40-yard dashes. Sprint for 40 yards at maximum effort, then rest until you feel strong again. Repeat this cycle until your legs feel stiff or out of energy. By doing these workouts once or twice a week, dramatic improvements can be expected. If you take it easy every day or only play baseball, your improvement will be minimal.
So when preparing for your season, remember these two rules: 1) foundation before acceleration; and 2) stress and recover. Good luck!