Summertime is full of fun and exciting distractions. So, whether you are gaining momentum into your summer practice schedule or fighting to stay faithful to a softball or baseball training routine, it is important to keep in mind that if you apply yourself in the offseason, you will get results. To make the most of the time you spend in the gym and on the field this summer you may want to focus on these 4 areas to make next season your best season:
1.) Training For Consistent Power At The Plate
Most softball or baseball players with high batting averages hit the ball hard and often. To increase your ability to hit for maximum contact, you will want to add balance training and core work to your fitness program. To generate consistent power at the plate, lower body training is essential. The waist down is responsible for over 80% of power and bat speed. Training that focuses on the hips and other lower body areas will help encourage proper baseball swing mechanics. The proper hitting stance and weight distribution gives the hands a clean path to be able to keep the barrel working through the hitting zone longer. When the lower half spins, the upper half will spin and the bat will work in and out of the hitting zone. When the lower half (back knee) drives toward the pitcher, the upper half (front shoulder) stays closed. If done properly, the back side naturally knocks the front side out of the way allowing the hands to work independent of the body. Nothing is more important than staying inside the ball, behind the ball and through the ball. This is an absolute of all good hitters and requires core training.
2.) Include Baseball Speed Training
Speed and quickness are important for both base running and running down balls on defense. On the field, enhance foot speed and body control by integrating ground and fly ball drills. To increase speed you will want to incorporate a lower body workout as well as resistance running drills into your weekly training regiment. Lateral Strength Exercises and Sliding Lateral Lunges are perfect. Performing exercises that improve your ability to maintain a tight core during running can have a tremendous impact on your sprinting speed. Make sure your routine emphasizes hip and glute activation. The hips and glutes are critical areas for increasing your speed.
3.) Maximize Batting Practice With Baseball Training Aids
The best thing you can do for your swing is to keep batting practice simple. Work on fine-tuning your swing mechanics during batting practice with fundamental hitting drills using baseball training aids like the LineDrivePro Trainer. The correct angle at which the bat/barrel enter the hitting zone is crucial to consistent hard contact. When line drives are launched up the middle using our baseball training aid, the hitter knows that the angle is correct. It’s as simple as that.
4.) Develop A Strength & Conditioning Training Plan
To help make tough plays look easy at any position, concentrate on agility and upper body strength training. Plan and stick to a routine to make sure you’re hitting the gym at least 3 to 4 times a week. It’s no secret that the best players on the field are the first and last players in the gym. Segmenting your weekly workout schedule will help reduce boredom and allow you to rest certain major muscle groups without avoiding the gym. On the days when motivation is lacking, try to keep in mind that developing a routine over summer and sticking to it is your best opportunity for seeing serious improvement before next season.