How To Practice Baseball Most Effectively
As baseball players head to the cages, to their personal trainers, to camps or clinics or any other training ground it's important to optimize the training. Time spent training is not always time spent improving. In fact, we've seen plenty of players take strides backwards in baseball practice.
The human body often behaves like a computer algorithm. The more input of one thing that it gets the more likely it is to spit that back out when it's asked to perform. The input in a baseball player's case is his training. The type and quality of training you put in today will determine your output on game day.
In a hitting round of one hundred swings then, what percentage are the type of swing you want to have show up when it counts? Too many players waste too many reps, and so our advice in this article (many more to come) is to place QUALITY over QUANTITY in every baseball practice.
What About Offseason Baseball Practice
Our options are limited in the winter. Often times we can't get on a field and a lot of us can't even really get into any great batting cages. So a lot of players fall into a routine of doing the one or two things that we can do, a lot. Maybe that's hitting off a tee, maybe it's a pitching machine, or maybe it's throwing grounders off a bounce back screen in the garage.
Whatever baseball practice that you can do over the winter, make sure that you don't "overdo" it. What I mean by this, is simply that there are a number of swings off a tee that will help you, and there is such a thing as too many as well.
It's not live pitching, nothing but live pitching is. So if you take a thousand swings off a tee over the winter with no pitching mixed in there, you risk losing parts of your swing. Your timing, changing your load or leg lift, rotating too much into the ball, or other things that a tee allows you to do while you may not even notice you're doing it.
If a batting tee is all you have here is some advice for hitting off of it that should help a lot.
The Bottom Line
I'm not going to run down every specific thing that could go wrong this offseason, I would rather help you understand this; 30 great swings are MUCH better than 100 mediocre ones. 20 mechanically great pitches are MUCH better than 60 sloppy ones.
Sometimes when we have a lot of time to hang out in an unstructured setting, we develop some bad habits that we don't really see ourselves. So be careful, and make every rep meaningful and correct.
Don't treat swinging like a workout, treat workouts like workouts and work hard with medicine balls, weights, running, and whatever else. Baseball workouts are something we talk a lot about here and we encourage you to check out this awesome resource from Eric Cressey that we've used for years.
Baseball practice should be fun and should make you better every single rep you take. Place quality over quantity to ensure that remains true and follow us on Twitter to make sure you're always updated!