There are several exercises and drills you can do at home to hone your hitting and fielding fundamentals. You don’t necessarily need to be out in the field to improve your game.
Whether you’re concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic or just looking to find ways to improve your baseball game from the comfort of your own home, the following exercises will help you stay in playing shape:
1. Swinging exercises
Swinging exercises can feel repetitive past a certain point, but they can help you be conscious about proper form while batting. To put things in perspective, Major League Baseball players do roughly 500 swings every day during the offseason.
To start, grab your baseball bat and practice swinging it for about a hundred times per practice session.
Be aware of your body as you go through the movements. Check your initial stance if it’s stable, ensure not to over-stride, and maintain an excellent follow-through. Take note these are empty swings and that you shouldn’t be hitting baseballs just yet.
Make it enjoyable: After putting in the reps, you might be looking to make it challenging with a pitching machine. Have the latter throw baseballs at you at slow speed. Focus on accurate and consistent hits before you move on to practicing powerful swings.
2. Pitching exercises
It’s not just about throwing a ball at the opponent. You have to aim for a specific result for every pitch (e.g., produce a ground ball, hit a batter with a fastball, etc.). Mastering your pitching technique can help achieve that result at will.
To start, you need to set up a target area where you can throw the baseball. Whether it’s a solid wall or a piece of thick cloth hanging over a line, a hard or soft surface will suffice. Work with what you have in your home.
When going through your pitches, prioritize good aim. Find a spot where you want to baseball to hit, and don’t worry too much about speed. It’s
Make it interesting: If you have someone to practice with, having them act as a catcher on the other end to help you retrieve the ball faster. If it’s someone familiar with baseball, they can help you simulate in-game scenarios.
Additionally, if you’re interested in knowing how fast your pitches are, investing in accurate baseball radar guns is a good idea. Find ones that suit your budget and your need for certain features (e.g., mounts, companion apps).
3. Fielding exercises
Quick reactions and rapid hands are essential in baseball. It’s critical to put that quickness to good use in anticipating and catching the ball.
Find a wall or any solid surface where you can safely bounce the baseball. Next, stand about four to five yards away from the wall and drop into a fielding position.
Start throwing the ball against the wall. If the ball bounces towards your right side, use a backhand catch. If it veers towards the left, use a forehand catch.
Make it interesting: If you want to develop quicker reaction times, move closer to the wall and do your best to catch the baseball every time.
Alternatively, if you have someone to help you practice, have them throw the ball towards the wall. This can make it challenging since it’s more challenging to anticipate the ball trajectory initiated by another person.
These are just a few ideas on how to keep sharpening your baseball skills at home, but you can find more exciting and challenging exercises from MLB professionals themselves. Check them out, and you might learn a thing or two. Have fun and stay safe and healthy!