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3 Tips to Accelerate Baseball Development
The game of baseball is one of the most challenging sports to master, especially for the developing athlete. With young players' busy schedules it's important to get the most out of your time spent training. Here are 3 quick tips to accelerate your baseball development.
- Make Training Competitive: Adding competition to your training environment takes your time at practice to the next level. Utilizing skill based games and competitions enhances focus and makes your time in the cage or at the diamond more enjoyable. Find balance between instruction, competition and repetition to get the most out of training.
- Utilize Relevant Training Technologies: There has been more progress made in the use of technology and sport science in the last 10 years than in the first 100 years of baseball. We still enjoy and old school approach to allowing kids to play the game and have fun while doing so, but the proper use of constantly improving technologies can vastly enhance development. Video Motion Analysis is one of our favorite tools to teach the game as it allows players to form a connection with what they feel, what they see and what is actually happening. Every player learns differently and video should be staple for anyone working to improve movement patterns and mechanics.
- Use Process Based Goals: There are so many things that occur in the game of baseball that are outside our control. It doesn't make sense to set outcome based goals when we often have little to do with what happens on the diamond. Focus your energy on things you can control and work to make progress and improve everyday. Concentrating on the process will make you a more effective player, help you enjoy the game and will result in better outcomes over the long run
5 STEPS TO BECOMING A BETTER HITTER
Hitting a baseball is arguably one of the most difficult things to do in sports. Developing players working to improve their ability to hit a baseball often become frustrated with the process and complicate their swing and approach at the plate. Iowa Baseball Academy is holding Spring Training Camps for Youth and High School Players in April and May to help players improve skills in all aspects of the game.
Here are 5 Tips to Improve Hitting Skills this spring:
- Get Your Feet on the Ground - Keeping your legs underneath you while trying to hit a baseball is absolutely key. Simplify your stride to get your feet on the ground early and give yourself a better chance to get your barrel on the ball. Using balance boards and drills that emphasize staying in your legs should be a part of your work everytime you step in the cage
- Keep Your Barrel in the Zone Longer - Hitters that perform consistently over the course of a season invariably keep their barrel in the hitting zone longer than others. Develop a swing that works downhill to get flat in the hitting zone and stay there as long as you can. When you stay flat longer you increase your chance of squaring up a ball regardless of timing. Challenge yourself to stay flat and keep the ball off the ceiling when you're in the cage. Work to hit low line drives and hard ground balls up the middle to improve success over the long run.
- Have an Plan in the Batters Box - As hitters get older it's important to develop an approach and improve your understanding of situational hitting. Understanding your goals in different counts and game situations improves your ability to produce productive quality at bats (QABs) and makes you more valuable to your team's offensive approach. Work on situations and approaches in the cage to feel more comfortable and confident when you step in the box in games.
- Use Video to Make Adjustments - Players learn and develop their swings differently. Some hitters learn auditorily, while others learn kinesthetically (by feel). All players should utilize video to help connect what they hear and feel with what is actually happening. Many players have problems making mechanical adjustments because they can't feel their swing. Use video analysis to help bridge the gap and improve understanding of what's actually happening in your swing.
- Improve Your Understanding of the Zone - Good hitters swing at good pitches to improve opportunities for success. Use drills in the cage that make you more aware of the strikezone or ask a partner to provide feedback during BP or front toss drills. The better you understand the zone, the more likely it is you'll swing at good pitches. Below is the famous zone that Ted Williams created for himself identifying which pitches he felt gave him the best chance for success. Understand the strikezone, understand yourself and work for better pitches to hit.