Whether you’re just a baseball enthusiast and occasional participant, a dad or mom trying to teach kids to play, or an avid player yourself, you want to be the best you can. Baseball requires patience, and it involves the right techniques and strategies. You’re about to learn some advice that can propel your game to a whole new level.
Sliding is an important skill that many baseball players do not know how to do. You cannot be afraid of the dirt. A perfect slide involves timing. You want your foot to hit the base as quickly as possible. Practice sliding daily until you can accurately judge when to begin your slide for maximum distance.
Whenever you hit the ball in fair territory, run at full steam. Even if it appears like an easy out, you’ve got to give it your all. It may be that the opposing team misplays the ball, or it may take a tricky bounce giving you just enough time to reach base.
When pitching, it’s a must to know how to best hold a ball and pitch the ball. As a starter you need to place the middle finger of your hand on the middle seam. Then, place a thumb on the opposite seam. This gives you the proper grip to throw the ball with maximum speed, distance and improved accuracy.
Always wear protective equipment when playing baseball. Just like any sport, injuries happen in baseball. Especially when batting, you need to protect your head. That means you need to wear a helmet whenever you enter the batter’s box. One poor pitch can mean a fastball hitting you in the noggin. That’s at minimum a ringing headache with the potential for a concussion or worse. Be safe.
Hustle hard! Try to be the player other players look to for inspiration and example. People who lead by example have a much stronger presence in the clubhouse. Always be a leader.
Always have solid and reliable practice schedules so your players are setting and meeting their goals. Generally speaking, a good baseball practice should consist of a ten minute warm-up followed by twenty minutes of team and individual hitting drills. Have the team run the bases for the next 5 minutes, followed by situational and team defense drills for another 10. Complete the practice with a ten minutes of position-specific defensive drills and a cooling down period. Finish with a team meeting and you have completed your workout.
Practice sliding during every practice session. Sliding is one of the harder skills to master in baseball. For those that aren’t well-practiced, a slide can look very awkward. It can even be downright dangerous, not only for you, but also for the defender. Take the time to become a pro at it for the safety of everyone involved in the game.
If you are beginning baseball player, try to avoid using an uppercut at the end of your swing. This is a swing that starts low and ends high. Beginners should use a level swing that betters their chances at making contact with the ball. When your skills get more advanced, you can start re-introducing a little bit of the uppercut for some lifting action for a more powerful swing.
When swinging a bat in baseball, make sure that you follow-through with your swing. Your bat’s momentum, whether or not there is contact, helps you follow through. Without following through, there won’t be much power since the swing may slow down prior to making contact. This is why the follow-through is essential.
To field a ground ball properly, make sure that you start with your glove on the ground. Shuffle to one side or the other to get the ball in front of you, and then move the glove up if necessary. If you start with the glove up, the ball is likely to go under it.
Practice bunting, even if you are a power hitter. Bunting is a bit of a lost art in baseball. The idea is to simply tap the ball into play, taking the infield, pitcher and catcher off-guard. This is a smart tactic to move a teammate over from first to second or to even score an infield hit. A power hitter bunting is so unexpected that it really can be effective.
Befriend your team even after practice. To become a real ball club, you need to find common ground with everyone on the team. You need to build real friendships. So find time to go to the movies together, or grab a few slices or pizza or a burger. The friendships you build will translate to the field.
When pitching, you have to remember that focus is everything. As soon as you are going into the kick position to pitch the ball, you must absolutely remember that you never take your eyes away from the catcher’s glove. This is to ensure that you have proper aim when releasing the ball.
To keep the bunted ball from going directly to the pitcher if you’re right handed, point the bat’s handle toward third base, or you can point the bat’s head toward first base. If you primarily use your left hand, switch up those bases. This bunting technique keeps the ball from rolling straight to the pitcher while keeping it in play.
Baseball bats come in a variety of lengths, weights and sizes. Consider your height and strength when choosing a bat. A longer bat gives you more reach, while a heavier bat adds power. The size of your hands can help you determine the right diameter for your bat. Swing a few different baseball bats before deciding which one feels the most comfortable for you.
Well what do you think about what you’ve read? Are you itching to get out there and play some ball? Surely the advice has motivated you to really step up your game. Baseball is a very fun and entertaining sport, and you can now be a bigger part of the game!