In-Season Training For Baseball

Hey Guys,I hope you are doing well and enjoying what’s left of the summer!  I just enjoyed my 11th Anniversary weekend with my wife changing diapers on our 2 month old and potty training our 3 year old… What can I say, I’m a hopeless romantic.

Anyway, I received a great question via email the other day and I wanted to share it with everyone instead of responding privately because I think it’s something that most coaches struggle with. The question was:How do you combine the anaerobic, aerobic and strength training In Season with the techniques-tactical? Well, let’s get the simple part of the answer out of the way first… we don’t do aerobic training in-season… or pre-season… or off-season… so we don’t have to worry about fitting a 30 minute jog of bike ride into our training/practice sessions.

anaerobic and strength training

We incorporate at least 5 minutes of high intensity anaerobic work into just about every practice session & weight room workout.  These are circuits or primarily body weight exercises (sometimes medicine balls) that can be done anywhere and all you need is a stop watch. Arrange your exercises as follows:

Explosive Power (Squat Jumps, Split Squat Jumps, Medicine Ball Slams, Sprints, etc)
Lower Body Strength/Endurance (Speed Squats, Alt. Lunges, Rotational Lunges, Med Ball Overhead Squats, etc.)
Conditioning Drill (Mountain Climbers, Jumping Jacks, Jump Rope, Ladder Drills, Cone Drills, etc.)
Upper Body Strength/Endurance (Push-Ups, Medicine Ball Throws, Pull-Ups, etc.)
Full Body Conditioning (Squat Thrusts, Burpees, Up Downs, etc.)

Each exercise combined with its rest period will take 1 minute.  5 exercises = 5 minutes and you’ve got a great anaerobic workout completed. The work:rest times will vary depending on the age & conditioning level of your ballplayers. Begin with the shorter work:longer rest and progress to longer work:shorter rest according to your guys abilities.

In-Season Strength Training for baseball players

One thing that I absolutely can not stand is when guys tell me that they are too busy with games & practices to get into the weight room.  That’s like saying you have to far to drive to fill your car with gas.  It just doesn’t work and something is going to break down! I’m not suggesting that baseball players need to spend a few hours in the weight room each day. 

In fact, the opposite is true.  I have my guys in & out of the weight room in 30-45 minutes with our warm-up & cool-down included. Our weight room time is focused entirely on 2 things: Recovery & Progression.

The first thing that our guys do is take care of their muscles with the foam roller & light stretching (10 minutes).  Once the muscles are cared for we warm them up with some movement drills geared toward either acceleration or agility (5-10 minutes).  Now that we are warmed up we get busy with a circuit of 3 exercises focused on strength & power (low reps, heavy weight) for lower body, upper body pushing, & upper body pulling (10 minutes).  Then we finish off with another light stretch for 5 minutes and kick them out of the weight room.

The lifts that we do are all big compound movements where you will get the most bang for your buck.  Where else do you think you are going to generate all that power from…your baseball bat? We do a lot of lunging (forward, backward, lateral, walking, dumbbell, barbell, you get the idea.  With all of the variations it’s easy to keep the guys interested in the workouts.Our upper body pushing is really anything that you can think of other than shoulder presses.  We do shoulder presses off-season but not in-season.  We also favor dumbbells over barbells for pressing movements for a few reasons.  First, they allow your body to move more freely.  Second, they encourage right/left symmetry.  Third, they are a lot faster than having to load/unload/change weights on a barbell.Our upper body pull is always the opposite of our upper body press.  We look at the angle of the press and pull in that same path.  If you are going a flat press (bench press, push up) we will do a rowing type movement (DB row, seated cable row, inverted row).  If our press is an incline we will do more of a vertical pull (pulldown, chin up, pull up, etc.).

We also vary the grips on our upper body from pronated to supinated to neutral grip to change the shoulders involvement in the movements.I hope that helps give you some insight into what we do with our guys during the season.  To be perfectly honest, I just kinda brain dumped my info here and it all makes sense to me, but if you have any questions, comments, or snide remarks don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments section down below.

Throwing Mechanics

Are you new to baseball? If so you will quickly learn the most important skill to have is throwing. Everything in the game of baseball revolves around throwing the ball. It doesn’t matter if you are 5 or 55, throwing a baseball starts with building a solid foundation. Its all about the fundamentals. When you learn how to throw the right way not only will your game improve, but you will also protect yourself from injury.

Anytime you throw the ball it will place strain on your arm. However, you can limit the risk of injury by learning proper mechanics, warming up before you throw and limiting how much you throw. Below we will focus on how to grip the ball as that is the first step to throwing a baseball the right way.

How To Grip A Baseball

The first step is to find your grip. For best results, especially if you are a beginner, focus on the four seam grip. With this type of grip all four seams will rotate once you release the ball into the air. While each grip is different and will provide different results, the four seam grip usually allows you to throw the ball with greater speed and straighter than most other grips.

How To Execute The Four Seam Grip

This grip is relatively easy. Pick up the ball and notice how the seams are designed. They look like a horseshoe. Now take your middle finger and index finger and place them across the horseshoe shaped seams. Your thumb should be below the baseball. If you are a young player chances are your hands aren’t yet big enough to properly execute this grip. If that is the case just use your ring finger for added support. This will help stabilize the ball making it easier to grip.

You are now ready to throw the ball. When throwing the ball the most important thing is to make sure you release the ball with your fingers on top. When it comes to release points, you ultimately have to do whats most comfortable for you. Try to throw as close to directly over the top as you can. Doing so will put less strain and stress on your elbow.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Your natural throwing motion will be different than the next persons. That’s because we are all created different. No matter what your natural throwing motion, as long as you know the basic mechanics you will be just fine. The key is to keep practicing. Practice how fast you can throw the ball as well as how far you can throw it. Knowing the basic mechanics of throwing will allow you to get better at both. On the opposite side of things practice is also incredibly important.

When you practice always use proper throwing techniques. This will help prevent injury to your shoulder and elbow. It will also translate into a real game.

Throwing a baseball will be easy for some and more difficult for others. Either way, it is a skill that anyone can learn if they put in the time. It is quite important for the catcher position as well. You should make it a point to play catch everyday. Pay close attention to your mechanics. Eventually you will be throwing like the pros. If you are looking for the best way to hit against the best of the best, you may want to check out this 2015 baseball bat reviews website. You can see brands like Easton, Demarini, and many more.