Making Baseball More Intense Is Smart
Making a baseball practice more intense is very important to develop players who are mentally tough and ready to compete at a high level. This is part two in our series of how to do it.
If you missed our first entry in this series on using "timing" to make your baseball practices more intense, here it is:
Tip #2: MAKE IT A GAME
The best way to practice competition, is to compete. This may seem like a no brainer, but many coaches don't do it enough or they do it the wrong way.
Anytime there is a sense of competition in a drill, it increases the intensity, importance, and excitement.
It forces the players to focus more and puts them in a more game like atmosphere. Their brains must be engaged and switched to “compete” rather than just “practice”. This is an extremely different mindset, and one that will prepare the players to perform much more effectively in real games.
It's important to understand that this doesn't just mean scrimmage. It means to insert competition into every aspect of practice, and not just against other players. Your baseball players should be competing against the clock, against their teammates, against their own goals, against their last rep, competing in every way possible during practice.
In our first article about making baseball practice more intense we talked about timing the drills and exercises your players are doing. This is also an awesome way to add competition to your baseball practices. Use the times that you're gathering for your infielders or baserunners or anything else, and set up challenges among the positions or among the whole team.
Times provide concrete numbers, and numbers lend themselves very well to goals, which we've written a lot about on this blog as well.
Goals are one of the best ways there is to add elements of competition to every practice throughout the year, here's an article on creating goals for your baseball players.
Look for ways to add this element to more aspects of your practices and you'll end up with a much more intense baseball practice.
“You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.”