Today we’re going to talk about a handful of conditioning workouts that are perfect for improving your kids baseball team’s skills.
Backward Power Exercise
The focus here is not speed or quickness; the focus is in really getting a good drive off either leg as you go backwards.
We’re going to get into a defensive back mode, and we’re going to work backward. We want the players to really pump their arms, but we’re going to really try to lengthen the stride out some.
We don’t need a whole lot of repetitions at this. This is a very taxing drill, but it’s still going to allow us to begin to derive some power from the legs and the hips, and really have us work the arms. The hand comes up to chin, elbow back behind the hip.
We’re going to get a little leg extension with what we call a glute kick. We’re going to work hard on lifting our heel up to our tail-end, making sure we get still a good focal point, but really getting some pump and some drive with the feet.
We can get three or four repetitions depending on the length of the field that you’re working on. If it’s 40 or 50 feet, you want to get four or five. If it’s a longer distance, just a couple will be fine.
Jump Rope Routine
We’re not going to get so technical that it becomes very difficult for your players. However, we do want to make sure that we work our foot quickness, and the jump rope is a great cardiovascular workout as well.
The first jump rope exercise we’re going to do is keeping both feet together and letting the players work at the wrist.
The second exercise we’re going to do on the jump rope is just right foot only. Try to come up and down in the same spot or very close to the same spot. Then we’re going to switch to the left foot.
The next exercise, we’re going to run in place along with the jump rope. This is a great workout for coordination and ability to be able to move under some duress.
The last one we’ll do is to work a little bit of lateral quickness. This is what we call a side to side. Your player will be going from right to left.
Baseball’s often a game filled with spills and tumbles. One thing we want to try and help our players with is teaching them how to get out of what could be a bad situation and resulting injury by teaching them how to tumble both forward and backward, on the right shoulder and left shoulder.
We’re not trying to go for speed here–what we’re after is some technique. To make sure that we keep our hands inside our body, keep our legs up and underneath us.
Have your players do two forward rolls and hesitate in between each.
Our second rotation will be the backward somersault. It’s the opposite of the forward, obviously. Keep the hands up and underneath us, and try to keep the legs tucked.
You see an outfielder in this situation periodically where they’ll go back on a ball and maybe backpedal a little more than he should and end up going head over heels. Again, we’re just trying to help ourselves get out of what could be a bad situation with regard to an injury.
Our third tumbling exercise is our right shoulder roll. This is a little more along the lines of what you’d see in the outfield if an outfielder actually dove for a ball.
Depending on which way the ball went, to his left, to his right, he’d dive on the shoulder. We’re just going to take a look at the right one.
We follow up our right shoulder roll with the left shoulder roll. For a right-handed player this is a little more difficult, just like a right shoulder roll would be a little more difficult for a left-handed player.
But if you work at it just a little bit, get two or three repetitions every workout, it won’t be long until you’ll be equally adept at both.
Next is our dive roll. We’re going to speed up the process a little bit from a normal forward roll or a somersault, and we’re going to dive out just a little bit and try to imitate what it would be like if we were in the outfield and had to come running across the outfield to dive for a ball.
The feet go up, but your player should still have the nice tight tuck right there at the end, and his feet should come underneath him. We’re trying our best to get our feet underneath us so we can get back on our feet in a hurry.
How important do you think conditioning workouts and drills are for your kids baseball team? If you think this conditioning workout is useful, don’t forget to share it with your players and coaches on Facebook!