Conditioning drills for baseball should focus on strength, agility, speed, and of course – baseball skills. Most great baseball players know that their conditioning training should never take a break, no matter if it's the off-season or on. For a true baseball athlete, there is never an off-season. Besides the skills it takes to be a great baseball player and the love of the game, an athlete needs to be conditioned for all situations the game throws at them. Strength, power, speed, and confidence are key types of drills to becoming a winning player. Here’s a breakdown of those drills.
Power Conditioning Drills for Baseball
Conditioning yourself for great power in baseball starts by strengthening your core; plus training your upper and lower body muscles for explosive movements. For example, if you can learn to focus all of your power into your upper body – you’ll become a true power hitter. If you can learn to improve the power in your lower body, you’ll bounce up quick from a slide and be ready for the next run, not to mention stay stronger in any squatting or kneeling positions. Your overall core strength is crucial for keeping your power up – this improves your hitting, swinging, running and endurance.
Power Hitting Drills:
- Power Batting Drills (hitting larger balls off the tee, like this exercise)
- One-handed Hitting (top hand, then bottom hand, like here)
- Cable Rotations with Stability ball (use a cable pulley system & stability ball to perform batting swings)
Power Running Drills:
- Base running drills (sprint/walk intervals around the diamond)
- 20-40-20-40-20 yard sprints (set up cones for the distances and run!)
- Shuttle runs (bring out your inner elementary school kid, no erasers needed)
Power Core Drills:
- Alternating (standard and side) Plank Holds
- Glute Bridge Holds
- Medicine Ball Shot Puts
Baseball Speed Conditioning Drills
Speed conditioning is similar to power running conditioning, as you will need strength and power to get your speed up. But, endurance is also a great part of your overall speed, and will help you stay strong for a longer amount of time. When conditioning for baseball speed, you’ll want to focus on running intervals (walk/sprint between the bases) and building your strength. Some great workouts for speed strength are sled pushes and drags. Load a sled in the gym with some heavy weights and build up your leg strength. If you load your sled with lighter weights, you can train up your speed. After these drills, running without a sled in front or behind you will be a breeze.
Strength Conditioning Drills
Along with power training, strength-conditioning drills focus on your upper and lower body strength, as well as your overall core strength. For the most part, strength drills can be done off the field, and are great for the off-season and on rainy days. In the gym, you can build up your muscle strength by working on bench presses for your chest. Push-ups are a classic and great for your arms, chest, and core. Lateral pulls and shoulder raises on the machines help to build up your arms and shoulder muscles while classic free-weight drills (curls, extensions, wrist rolls) will pump up your arms to improve your hitting, pitching, and throwing. Don’t take your gym time for granted. Time OFF the field is just as important as time ON the field.
Confidence Conditioning for Baseball
I know it sounds cheesy, but having strong confidence in yourself and your game will improve your overall performance. By training your strength, speed, and power – you’ll automatically increase your confidence in your skills. Other drills such as teamwork exercises, strategy meetings, and recognizing good sportsmanship are great for confidence conditioning. Working independently can only take you so far. If you can condition your entire team to build their confidence and rely on each other during the baseball game, you’ll have a winning group.
Strength, power, speed and of course confidence are key to baseball conditioning. Working in the off-season or on-season, you’ll improve your personal skills and increase your abilities. Working as a team, you’ll improve your overall success and increase your wins. So get up and start conditioning for this baseball season. Happy Spring Training!