Baseball has become an indispensable American sport. In the history of development from the past, over time, baseball seems to always shine, is typical of the United States. Until now it is still The Country’s Leading Sport. The article below will help readers learn how to practice to become a good baseball player.
The article below will help readers learn how to practice to become a good baseball player.
- I) Beginner baseball infield drills tips
- II) Baseball pitching tips:
- III) Baseball hitting tips:
I) Beginner baseball infield drills tips
Baseball pitching drill tips for beginners :
The first time, you should know the basics rules of a baseball game.
The pitcher plays a very crucial position in baseball. Knowing how to play correctly in this position is essential to all baseball players. Following the tips below will help you perfect your skills as a beginning pitcher and also know how to remain unharmed when playing.
Start by mastering the fastball
The fastball is the master of all pitches. Anyone who is able to make a fastball pitch that is fully controlled always ends up mastering all the other pitches quickly. Start with perfecting your fastball pitches and advancing will remain easy for you.
The elbow position
The elbow of the hand throwing the ball should always remain on top of your shoulder. When making a throw, the elbow should always remain higher than your shoulder for you to be able to fully control the ball. This position of the elbow also helps you totally avoid side arm throws.
Your glove should point at the target
You should always remember to point your glove to the target. The glove should remain hiding the ball from the batter and only uncover it when you are about to release it. After uncovering the ball, tuck the glove under your armpit.
Stretching your arm
Never short arm the pitch that you are about to make. This is a common mistake made by most beginners and should be avoided. The arm that is throwing the ball should fully be stretched back. This maximizes your pitching power and gives you an extra bit of a second to think about the pitch.
The follow through
Follow through is so important when making a pitch. It helps you fully exert all your strength to the ball when releasing it. This way of maximizing your potential is necessary and always helps you make an effective fastball. Getting into the correct fielding position is important for your complete follow through when pitching.
Hitting drills for a beginner :
Before getting into the action as a baseball player, you have to first learn how to do everything. Practicing within the rules allowed helps you perfect easily. After grasping everything necessary on how you should play as a batter, everything else comes in easily. Repeated practicing helps you permanently keep all the basics in mind. The following tips are essential when playing the baseball batter position.
Wearing the correct body gear
Before you get in position and hit the ball, you should ensure and enhance the safety of your body. Start by having a good clit to help you remain strong and stable on the ground when playing. Gloves, baseball helmets, and cleats should also be considered especially because you are a beginner. The gloves give you a better and safer grip of the bat, the helmet ensures that your head remains unharmed by the ball in case it lands on it and the cleats protect your feet, improve power for your leg in the home run, catch a fly ball, etc..
Using the correct bat
The experts in this game would feel okay playing with any kind of a bat. For you the beginner, a light bat would function perfectly. A bat doesn’t have to necessarily be expensive for it to be the best. You can land on a cheap bat that maximizes your hitting abilities more than the expensive ones. Starting with a wooden bat is good enough. The bat not only comes cheap but also helps you remain comfortable with any other bat so long as you have totally mastered using the wooden one.
You have to get inside the batter’s box and get ready for a pitch. You should be in such a position that one side of your body points the pitcher’s mound. If you are left handed, stand on the left side batter’s box and if you are right handed, take the one on the right. Standing in this position helps you have a better sight of the oncoming ball. Acting accordingly also remains easy when in this position.
Determining your eye dominance
In normal occasions, you right or left handedness aligns with your eye dominance. If you are right handed, it is so likely that your right eye has dominance over the left one. To determine this, place something such as a baseball tee 6 meters in front of you. Look at it and block your view with a thumb, having you stretched straight out. Then close one eye and see if the view of the object remains. Use the other eye too and check the object. The eye that retains the view of the object with your thumb still blocking is the dominant one. When positioning yourself, make sure the dominant eye remains in more contact with the ball.
Keeping the correct posture
To begin with, you have to gain the total balance of your body. Do this by keeping your feet apart, but not exceeding the length of your shoulders. Also, maximize your striking impact by keeping your feet in such a position that they remain to point the plate. Knees can as well be bent a little for you to have maximum power when playing. Your head should be facing the pitcher all the time.
Gripping the bat
Your bat needs to be held in a slanting manner. Your hands should not completely touch at the grip. That hand that least performs should hold the bat some inches from the base, followed by the one. The hands and the elbow in front should remain at the level of your chest. This will make the bat slightly slant and not stand at a completely vertical angle. A distance of about 6 inches should be maintained between the bat and your upper body.
Maintaining the eye contact
Your eyes should always remain in contact with the pitcher. They should then follow the ball immediately a pitch is made. Immediately the ball starts flowing, look at it and retain the contact throughout for a better chance of successfully batting it. Predicting the pitcher’s strategy can be easy provided your eye contact remains unchanged. Your weight should remain on the back foot for you to be able to quickly shift.
Swinging the bat
As soon as you pick the ball’s contact with your eyes, start swinging the bat. The swing should not be so hard but rather fluid and nice. Also step once in the direction of the pitch when swinging the bat. Remain in total control of yourself by shifting all your body weight to the front. The back leg should remain on toes and the dominant palm should point upwards. There should not be a big distance between your body and your elbow.
Maintaining hitting momentum is the key here. The bat should continue flowing even after coming into contact with the ball. It should flow in a circular manner and almost reach the shoulder. This follows through maximises your hitting power and results to full control of the ball. The mistake of not following through is common with beginners and should be avoided. Make sure that the feet always remain on the ground when swinging through.
The hitting power
The ball needs to go as far as possible. This is important because your objective is to get the ball away from the defenders. You should not forget this when batting. Always use your arm strength correctly to attain this. Proper timing is also important and practicing helps you learn this quickly. Batting drills can be used to help you gain enough hitting power. You should also learn to use your most comfortable standing position as it is necessary for perfecting your hitting power.
Running after the hit
This is an important move that must be made after the batter successfully hits the ball. A good hitter only drops the bat without necessarily throwing it away. This enhances safety and also helps in reserving body energy. After dropping the bat, make sure to run as fast as possible and only stop at the first base. You should not forget to do this at your fastest speed as you have to be there in time.
Overrunning the first base
The batter has to run to the first base using the running lane. He has to keep his feet within the lane to avoid making a foul. The batter has to also try as much as possible not to overrun the first base. In case overrunning happens, he should get back to the base as fast as possible. The runner should not try to advance to any other base after reaching the first one
II) Baseball pitching tips:
Tips of pitching drills for youth baseball & softball players :
Improving arm strength
Having strong arms is important and helps you throw powerful pitches. The much-needed strength can be acquired through various exercises. Long tossing, tubing and light dumbbells are some of the exercises that can be used for improving arm strength.
Having strong legs
Strong legs help pitchers to have a sustained stamina that is useful in quickly gaining and maintaining velocity. Consistent training is needed for the improvement of the legs’ strength. Training is important as it also enhances fitness.
Confusing the runner
Repeated throws to the first base always creates timed chances for the runner to run back. Some complexity in pitching would be useful in ensuring that the runner is not able to guess your release time. Changing your hold times and observations confuses the runner and makes it hard for him to gauge you.
Avoiding early body openings
Many young pitchers find themselves in the position of always opening their hip or front shoulder too early. To help yourself with this, always try to move your shoulder close to your front-side chin whenever you are delivering home and separating the glove.
Missing the plate corners
Consistent misses on either of the corners on the plate is common and should be avoided. To improve on this, some shifting would be needed at the pitching position. A shift to the other side or to the middle of the pitcher’s rubber can help on avoiding the corner misses.
Avoiding more than two hits
The pitcher should always try to avoid more than two hits by the batter. Every known strategy should be used as an advantage to ensure that pitches remain as much unhittable as possible. The pitcher should always remain as much unpredictable as possible.
When you catch the ball
Every time the ball is hit back to you, never remain stuck. The pattern that you need to follow is easy; catch the ball, turn it, stand firm and throw it after some quick observations. When the runner is at first or a double throw play is made to the second, the pattern you should follow when with the ball is the same.
Tips on pitching grips in baseball
Four seam fastball
The four seam fastball is the best grip for throwing a controlled and momentum-sustained fastball. In this grip, the two first fingers have to be placed across the ball’s wide seams and remain about the three-quarter inch apart. The ball should rest on the thumb’s first joint. The ring finger should be folded in the palm and slightly support the ball with its second knuckle.
Two seam fastball
A two seam fastball grip helps the pitcher throw a fastball in a unique manner. In this grip, the two first fingers are placed close together across, inside or along the ball’s narrow seams. The thumb supports the ball from below and leaves it sinking deep into the hand. The ring finger slightly supports it with the second knuckle.
This grip helps in throwing a slower pitch that involves the same arm speed and action as in fastball. The change up involves various ways of positioning fingers but leaves the ball deeply sunk into the hand. The ball should be held in a balanced but loose position.
The curve ball
A curve ball pitch requires a large grip for it to be successfully controlled and released. A curve ball involves various grips. The grips are however similar because the ball is tightly held by the thumb and the middle finger only, with the index finger only riding along.
This is the third fastest pitch after the two fastball pitches. The slider is held in the same manner as the two seam fastball and only remains different because it is not totally centered in the grip. When releasing the ball, the pitcher should let it come off through the thumb side of the index finger.
How to throw a baseball properly : 3 ways
The horizontal throw
This is a unique motion of throwing a baseball where it follows a low axis that is approximately horizontal. The motion may also be referred to as sidearm. The arm of the pitcher rotates around a long horizontal axis and this makes it hard for the batter to predict the releasing point.
From the bottom up throw
This is a baseball motion where the pitcher starts swinging his arm from a low back level and leaves the elbow swinging horizontally around the chest. The arm flows all the way to the front and creates several points of release. If the batter manages to hit the ball, a fly ball is commonly expected.
This pitch is characterized by an underhand release. The ball is released just above the ground and afterwards drops down rapidly. The shoulder of the pitcher rotates at an almost horizontal axis since the torso remains bent at an almost perfect right angle. This pitch is totally unique as it moves differently from all the others.
From the top down throw
In this baseball motion, the pitcher’s hand starts to flow from above and curves downwards. The hand does not necessarily start with a totally vertical axis. It makes a diagonal movement across the body. The pitch is always fast and is hardly predicted by the batter.
This is a very complex throwing motion. The motion involves the whole body and a series of connected movements from the legs, through the pelvis and the torso is seen following the arm in a ballistic manner. The pitch made through this motion always remains fast and accurate.
Tips for improving throwing power: how to throw faster in baseball.
The 45 degrees plain out front exercise
This is a very useful exercise for strengthening the front side of the shoulders and the rotator cuff. The exercise requires you to pull up and down two power resistant bands while standing and having your arms fully stretched and spaced in front. The hands should only be lifted to shoulder.
The lateral raise exercise
This exercise strengthens the rotator cuff. It requires you to step on your resistant power bands and then stretch them with your arms outwards up to the shoulder height. A T motion is formed through the exercise and the deceleration should take 3 seconds. Your body should remain balanced.
The empty soup exercise
Empty soup is an important exercise for properly aligning the shoulders. This exercise requires you to stretch your power bands, with your arms in front, up and down with your palms remaining inverted. The pinkies should face up and the thumbs down. You can step on the bands with one or two legs which have to be straight.
The external rotation exercise
This exercise helps in strengthening the rotator cuff. To get started, you’ll need to attach one end of your power band to a mount in front of you at the height of your stomach. Place the hand that is not working out under the armpit of the other. Stand straight and start stretching the band with the other arm in a rotational manner. The forearm is the only one that should be stretched out. The shoulder of the tucked arm should face the mount.
Strengthening the forearm muscles and the triceps
The flexor muscles in your triceps and your forearms are always useful and vital when pitching. Exercises that help in strengthening and making them flexible should be given a priority. Triceps’ extensions and backward barbell curls are safe exercises that can be used for the flexor muscles.
Strengthening your core
Legs, hips and abdominal cavity play a big role. Most of the power used when pitching is derived from these parts and that is why they should always remain as strong as possible. Rotational throws with a medicinal ball and bicycle crunches are useful exercises for those body parts.
Your grip needs to be great for you to be able to pitch perfectly. There are various grips that can be used when pitching. You should begin by choosing the one that you are more comfortable with and perfect in it. After that, you can then start training on the other grips and also perfect in them.
The lunging motion made when pitching generates so much power. The momentum gained from the forward falling of your body after lifting the step leg generates that pitching power. To perfect your stride, you should determine your most comfortable spot of stepping and then train yourself to always step on that same spot whenever you are
Concentrate on the pitch
You should not concentrate so much on the aiming. Throwing the ball to the target is important, but should not make you forget to make perfect pitches. Always concentrate on your motion and let the aiming come naturally.
Accuracy and velocity are always lost whenever the pitching motion is lost immediately the ball is released. Follow through is important and even helps you avoid getting some injuries. The pitching hand should always follow through the ball and end up close to your hip on the other side of the body.
Every pitcher needs to be as much flexible as possible. He should be able to move without straining. The much needed flexibility can be acquired through training. There are various exercises that can help the pitcher remain flexible and comfortable when playing.
Perfecting on the throwing mechanics
Proper pitching brings effective results. Every pitcher should try and improve on his mechanics as much as possible. This improvement brings good results and also helps in gaining more throwing power. Proper training and practicing is useful and should be done correctly.
Always remain calm
When making a pitch, always remain calm. Never throw the ball hurriedly. Start by observing and noticing where your better chances of successfully pitching lies. Missing a target is worse and only creates a chance for the runner to advance. Take time to study and comprehend your target.
Pitch within your ability
Pitchers tend to panic and make hasty moves whenever they find themselves dragging behind with the scores. Remaining calm is always important and helps in avoiding forced throws. Throwing a ball more than you should only make you lose accuracy and creates chances of you getting injuries.
III) Baseball hitting tips:
How to improve baseball hitting swing speed: 10 tips
Training for the swing
The batter should be able to start his swinging with the lower body, continue with the core and finish with the upper body. This results to a very powerful swing that is accurate. A batter should make sure that his training does not affect his swing mechanics. Guidance is important during training.
Read my article How to Have Perfect Swing for more information.
These exercises are highly effective and important but do not follow the baseball systems of movement. Exercises such as deadlifts and squats are helpful in strengthening the hips. Wrist curls and rice grabs exercises, on the other hand, helps in strengthening the shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
Specialized preparatory Exercises
Specialized exercises help in improving your speed. Your swing mechanics should not be forgotten during the workout session. Specialized exercises fill the gap between field work and weight room. Some exercises such as those done with med balls are a good example.
The power of relaxation
Your relaxation helps you remain calm and loose. This makes your swings more powerful and accurate. You are able to perfectly control the bat and move quickly when relaxed. A focus is also gained and enables you to predict the pitcher.
All moves involved in batting needs flexibility. Flexibility brings the swinging speed and also boosts the reaction time. Dance classes and yoga helps in gaining flexibility and also builds the strength of the core. Such exercises should be done regularly for you to be able to move freely and quickly.
Using a super balanced bat
The bat in use can greatly affect the results of a hit. A good batter should be able to choose a bat that will maximize his hitting abilities. A balanced bat gives the batter a better control and moves faster and easier. The end loaded bats are many but cannot give better results than the balanced ones.
Practicing with a heavier bat
Getting used to practicing with a heavy bat helps you gain swinging strength. It makes you feel more comfortable when in game with a normal playing bat. The normal bat feels light in your hands and makes you do quicker swings.
Smoothly moving your body
When swinging, it is important to move body weight smoothly. This helps you generate and transfer swinging power effectively. Always remain balanced when swinging. Make sure that your weight moves forward smoothly when swinging.
Position your hands correctly
Your hands need to remain close to your body no matter the type of the swing you are doing. Most of the bat control is done by the hands and the wrist and an extension of them from the body results to bat deceleration. The generated power drops as it is not fully directed to the ball.
You should let your swing remain smooth. The swinging power generated from the wrists and hips should flow through your body freely and end up on the ball. Over-swinging may harm you or make you swing past the ball. Controlling the swing helps you make light muscles which are always fast and accurate.
Baseball drills to improve hitting power: 15 tips.
Cable rotations with a stability ball
This is an exercise that helps in increasing the strength of your core. The hitting power is generated at the core and thus requires the whole core to be strong enough. This workout allows you to move the same way you move when hitting the ball and thus helps you perfect your moves.
Push outs with a cable rotation
This is a great power exercise that helps in strengthening the upper body and improving the lower body stability. With this workout, the elbows and the body are moved in the same way they move when swinging. This helps in strengthening the muscles used when swinging.
The oblique muscles are the target of this exercise. The muscles are responsible for generating rotational power which results in quicker and stronger hits. This exercise helps the batter make strong hits without straining. The hitting power gained is also sustained through the batting process.
Rotational throws with the med ball
This exercise helps a batter create a stronger rotational force and a quicker bat speed when swinging. Using a med ball, you are able to generate the strongest power through full baseball swing motion. This ability to generate power is then sustained and applied when hitting the ball.
Pall of hold while half kneeling
This is a tough exercise. It helps in improving the strength of the core components that helps in rotation. The exercise is useful in preventing core injuries. It also improves hitting power generation from the core. Coaching may be needed during the exercise.
Equal hold of the glute bridge
This exercise is easy but has a great impact on the posterior component. It strengthens the anti-flexion component. This is part of the core and strengthening it produces a greater hitting power. For total effectiveness, you may need to hold the position for some time.
It is the work of the upper body to control the hitting power. Keeping it fit and strong is therefore important. Pushups create a very big impact on the upper body even if they are easy. Doing a good number of pushups is important for you to make a significant improvement.
Powering through a bag
Developing swing power is important. In this exercise, the swing power is developed through the batter hitting through a heavy bag. The bag is placed on top of a batting tee and then hit through with a bat. Some deceleration may be experienced when hitting through.
Hitting a ball off a tee is also useful in increasing your hitting power. A tee is a practice tool that is so powerful and gives maximum results. It helps you develop leveled swings that are strong enough. Use a ball that is not full blown and make sure to follow through when hitting.
Batting to the opposite field
This is a slightly difficult but important drill for strengthening your baseball hits. In this exercise, the batter has to try and bat to the opposite field. This means that if the batter is right handed, the ball will go to the right field. This also helps you to be able to control your hits.
Circular hand motion
The circular motion of the hands increases the bat’s speed. This increases the hitting power. As the body rotates, the hands also have to move in a circular manner so as to transfer the power to the bat head. When playing, always ensure that you make the correct movement of the hands so as to train them.
What you do when training is what you will always do when in the game. Follow through maximizes the hitting power and also helps you decelerate the hands safely. Getting used to always following through helps you gain enough power to successfully control any pitch no matter its speed.