Training to be good at baseball takes work. But are you working on the right things?
What do you think makes a great baseball player? What do you think scouts are looking for?
- A 95 m.p.h. fastball?
- Tree top power?
- Top notch glove work defensively?
Yes, of all these are tools that will get you noticed.
But speed impacts both offense and defense that is certain to increase your chances in a baseball game.
If you can get to a ball, you can make a play.
On the bases, instead of safe, you’re out.
There are 5 tools scouts look for:
- Arm strength
- Glove strength
- Batting average
- Batting power
Of the tools, speed training gets pushed down to the bottom of most players’ list when it really needs to be at the top.
Players spend 75 to 80% of training on hitting and weight lifting. Speed gets less than 10% of our attention.
Hemo’s Recommended Training & Gear
- Hitting Courses
- Catching Gear
- Training Gear & Coach’s Gear
- Tiger Stick
- Heavy Bag
- Practice Net
- Tanner Tee
- Atec Tee
- Total Control Baseballs
- Pitching Mound
- Pocket Radar Gun
- L Screen
- Baseball Cart
Speed Training = Better Athletes
How do I know speed training is a great way to become a better baseball or softball player?
I know this because I’ve seen it from all sides- player, coach, & scout.
First of all, a team can only carry so many players.
And speed could easily be the deciding factor.
Think about it. If two players are pretty equal across the board, speed can make all the difference.
Speed is part of what made me a 1st round draft pick in the MLB. It allowed my manager ( Tony La Russa, ) to play me at all the other positions (except pitcher).
While my primary position was catcher, I could play wherever the team needed me, whether it was in the infield or the outfield….or as a pinch runner. That is a luxury for a manager!
I was 2nd in the Southern League in stolen bases (45 as a catcher).
I had the A’s record for a single season “Most Stolen Bases as a Catcher” going back to Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Oakland (over 100 year old record).
Speed Takes You to the Next Level
Speed allows us to:
- Take the extra base
- Beat infield balls out
- You can steal bases more effectively
- You can go 1st to 3rd
- You can score on a single from 2nd
- You can tag and score or move up.
- Bunting for a base hit
- Range on defense…getting to balls that others can’t
- Pressure on the defense…If you’re fast it makes the defense have to hurry or rush…which makes fielders more likely to make mistakes.
The transition from little league and intermediate fields to the 60-90 field can be a career ending move for many young players. The size of the field, and the new demand for speed and range, filters many players out.
If you’re competing for a position, you may hit and field evenly with another player, but speed, explosive power, and agility are the differences that will separate you and could keep you from being left behind.
SPEED DOESN’T SLUMP!
If you don’t have speed, your limitations show. If you’re struggling offensively and that’s the only part of your game that keeps you on the field, what now?
You can find smaller ways to impact the game by utilizing your speed and range.
Improving Your Baseball Workouts
Are you like most players that tend to avoid working on sprinting because it is such a strenuous workout? Sprinting works so many muscles in the body.
Have you every seen a sprinter that’s not absolutely “jacked”.
Players tend to want to do upper body work outs because you can see the results, it makes you look good and strong, and you feel like the upper body is where you hit from.
It’s important to realize that lower-half strength is so important. And how much fun is it to work on the lower half?
Let’s face it, running stadiums and doing speed work is boring and monotonous.
You’re “gassed” and exhausted. It’s the last thing you want to work on and is the last thing you do work on. It’s no where near as fun to speed train as getting out to hit and field baseballs.
Best Exercises for Speed Training
So how do you train for speed?
Start by incorporating activities into your daily training routine that work fast-twitch muscle fiber like jumping rope, skipping, bounding, speed lunges, high knees and form running.
It is also helpful to over-speed train. Try running down hill…and don’t forget running up hill and running stadiums.
Jumping boxes, broad jump, poles and speed ladder training can be so improve your explosive power and reaction time.
The weight room is a great place as well, just remember the lower half! Don’t forget to stretch! Stretching lengthens muscle fibers and is so important!
And don’t forget to think fast. Training your brain to be fast is just as important as training your body.
The Hard Truth For Better Performance
If you are serious about reaching your full potential as a player and want to improve your overall athleticism… you’ll have to add more to your training regimen than you think! Yes, you have to work on hitting and fielding….but that isn’t enough…not if you want to get the most out of your talent and this game.
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