Make 2022 your best season yet. We've created a list of the top off-season training tips that will help both hitters and pitchers get ready for the season ahead. Gear up for Opening Day with our top tips, drills, and training recommendations to make you more explosive at the plate and in the field.
Tips & Drills to Get Ready for Tryouts
If you are looking to break out at the plate this year, then now is the time to start putting in the work. You'll need to create a regime and be disciplined in your practice to see actual results on the field. The following hitting tips will help you get ready for the season (but it's also essential to keep up all aspects of your game to ensure you become a well-rounded player that scouts will be forced to take notice of).
Older, more experienced players should regularly indulge in some form of weight training. It will strengthen your body and maximize your power potential at the plate. These workouts can range from low intensity, bodyweight exercises such as pushups and situps all the way up to high-intensity dumbbells and bar lifts. Be sure to get clearance from your coach and/or parent(s) before starting a weight lifting routine.
Recommended weight training exercises for ballplayers include:
- Jump Rope
- Lunges (Forward & Backward)
- Ladder Drills
- Box Jumps
- Split Squats
- Wrist Curls
- Bench Press*
- Incline Bench Press*
If you need any inspiration, here's a quick video showing the weight training done by Bryce Harper during the offseason.
Run, Run, and Run Some More
Baseball and softball are games played through the legs and the core. There's no better way to help strengthen both of these naturally, like running. Distance running helps to increase muscle mass and decrease body fat. It also circulates blood throughout your body and improves your lung capacity.
But if you don’t want to run for miles and miles at a time, make sure you are running sprints. According to The Marathon Handbook:
“Sprints allow [athletes] to push their body to a maximum level and increase their overall endurance. Sprinting burns fat, helps to build more muscle mass, increases heart health, and increases metabolism.”
Be sure to push yourself while maintaining a safe speed setting. If you are limited to running on a treadmill, perform your sprints for 20-second intervals, with walking intermingled in between. Try to do ten sets of sprints before leaving the treadmill.
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You are never too old to hit off a tee. Most (if not all) professional baseball players hit from a tee regularly. Tee work allows you to slow down your mind and concentrate on your swing. Work the tee in all areas of your strike zone. Focus on hitting the ball "where it is pitched," meaning you drive the outside pitch to the opposite field, the inside pitch to the pull side, and the pitch right down the middle; well, you know what to do with that one.
Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles did an awesome video with MLB Network breaking down his routine on the tee.
It can be nearly impossible for some of you to get outside during the cold months of winter. However, try to find a way to play long toss at least once every couple of weeks leading up to tryouts.
Long toss offers a multitude of benefits for players of all positions. It promotes natural health to your arm, increases your arm strength, and improves your throwing accuracy and feel. You certainly don't need to play long toss every day during the off-season, but the more consistent you can be about it, the better.
Here’s a fun video of Trevor Bauer’s ridiculous long toss routine before games. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.
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Recommended Reads for Hitters:
- Best Youth Hitting Drills
- Fastpitch Hitting Tips
- The Best Weight Training Exercises for Baseball Players
- Offseason Baseball Workouts
- 5 Exercises the Pros Recommend