So you don’t want to play baseball year round but you don’t want to come back rusty…
Well here’s five ways you can train without even stepping on a field.
1. Wall Ball or “Butts Up”
A wall and a tennis ball… that’s all you need. You can either do this as a serious drill, or as a game with your friends.
Throw the ball against the wall and try to get yourself some short hops. Work on picking the ball with one hand. You can do this to work on footwork or to work on soft hands.
- Don’t move your feet – work on seeing the ball into your hand. When you don’t move your feet, it requires your hands to work better – if your footwork is good, you’ll always get the good hop so don’t use your feet and work on those tough hops.
- Move your feet – You should never get a bad hop. Come through the ball and get that short hop.
A Game with Your Friends
Even though it’s just a game, you work on your footwork and your soft hands. Also, to win, you have to have an accurate arm to give your opponents a tough ball to field so you’ll also be working on your throwing accuracy.
A fun way to work on the two most important things for a young ball player – the ability to catch and throw the ball.
2. Go to the Batting Cage
It’s the off season… your time away from baseball. You don’t have to go three times a week. But taking a long time away from hitting can have negative consequences.
Go to the batting cage once every week or two and just hit until your swing feels good. That way, when you come back you don’t feel so rusty.
3. Play Catch/ Long Toss/ Work on Arm Strength
Whenever you have free time, go outside and play some catch. It will help your arm strength and durability… not throwing for a long time and jumping back into it right away can have negative effects.
Keep working on your arm health… If you’re a pitcher, taking time off definitely helps. But you can be proactive in your time off, do arm care exercises.
Here’s a video with Angel’s pitch Garrett Richards on long toss
4. Work on your Speed
This doesn’t even have to be extra work! If you’re playing another sport, whenever you do speed or agility workouts, just remember – speed translates to the baseball field.
Work extra hard when you do these workouts because it’s not just for the sport you’re training for – it’s for ALL the sports you play.
If you don’t play another sport, here’s an exercise you can do every day.
5. Ball Recognition Drills
Pitch recognition is one of the hardest things to learn in baseball. Usually the best way to practice is by playing or by taking batting practice with someone throwing multiple pitches.
Since you’re in your off season, you don’t want to hit too much so here’s a way to keep your vision sharp without tons of batting practice.
The video below shows how using different colored balls can help…
You can take this to the batting cage or you can just do it at home. You don’t need to go out and buy new balls. Instead, grab two sharpies and make big different colored marks on each ball.
Have someone softly toss you the balls from not too far away and have them tell you which one to catch.