Today, we’re going to talk about a variety of baseball drills that you can run with your team to improve your players’ strength, quickness, and power.
Let Go’s Drill
For this drill, you’ll need a partner. Have one player hold on to his partner’s arms. The second player should start standing tall with good posture.
He should then fall forward with the core of the body and hold this position for about two to three seconds; then the first player should drop him and let him go–the second player will burst off into a sprint.
This is explosive acceleration. Gravity grabs the body and pulls it forward. The athlete has to really focus on good run technique–knee up, heel up, toe up.
Step down to the ground aggressively. Hold a good solid core. Don’t bend over at the waist. Keep the head up and look right down the base path. Drive the elbows back, suck in the belly button, and tuck in your back. Maintain a good solid upper body. Step down to the ground for greater acceleration and speed.
Now let’s do our let go’s with a little bit of resistance followed by an explosive acceleration run. Fall forward, hold onto him, then explode into a full sprint. After about three to four steps, let him go. We want to build up a little bit more muscle recruitment and then turn it loose to go free.
Down and back is one repetition. Do three sets of five repetitions.
Resisted Arms Drill
For this baseball drill, we simply need a hand weight or a little dumbbell–two to three pounds is sufficient. Now we’re going to do a sprint for about 15-20 yards with the weights in our hands. We want to use good arm technique.
Keep the arm at approximately 90 degrees. Drive the elbow back so that the hand goes back to the butt cheek. That aggressive action helps to generate greater force at the ground with the legs.
It’s 15-20 yards resisted, down then back. Then drop the hand weights and do a free sprint. We’ve recruited more muscle tissue, now we want to turn it loose and let it go free.
Down and back, one free, is one repetition. Do three sets of three to five repetitions.
Box Jumps Drill
Let’s go to box jumps to start with–depth jumps. You have to start from the top of the box. We drop down, respond to the ground, then get right back up on the box. This puts a stretch reflex into the muscle so they work like rubber bands to be explosive off the ground. Vary the height of box according to the athlete’s ability.
That’s the key to your plyometrics. It’s not start from the ground and jump up and land back on the ground; that’s the opposite of what we want. Start from the top, drop down, explode off the ground. It’s quick, and lift those hips as high as you can.
Cone Jumps Drill
Here we want to do two-foot jumps directly over the cones. Bring the knees up and explode off the ground. These are repeat touch-and-go jumps. Don’t spend any time on the ground. Make sure both feet are working at the same time.
Start with five jumps. Build up to where you’re doing three sets of 10.
Are you excited to try out these conditioning drills with your players–or do you think you’ll skip them? Why? I’d love to know what you think!