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Baseball Conditioning

When it comes to conditioning, you should consider the specific demands of the sport you're training for.  For youth athletes, hopefully they're participating in several sports throughout the calendar year.  Multi-sport athletes will naturally perform different types of conditioning simply through playing each sport, and will reap the benefits in their other sports.  However, when it's baseball season, here are some things to consider regarding how to properly condition:

 

1.  Baseball is largely an ANAEROBIC sport.  As opposed to an aerobic activity, anaerobic activities are shorter, faster, and more intense.  Baseball involves a lot of standing or sitting around until it's your turn to hit, or you get on base and have to sprint, or the ball is hit to you in the field and you have to quickly react.  These intermittent quick bursts of activity within the duration of the game indicate to you that you should train in a similar manner. 

2.  Position matters.  Pitchers and catchers typically require the most general endurance because they're involved in every pitch while in the field.  If you or your child plays these positions, a slightly different conditioning method may be preferred.

3.  Baseball is a power sport.  The power equation is (force x distance) / time.  The shorter the time it takes to do something, the more powerful it is.  A quicker swing that covers the same angular distance, for example.  How fast your arm can rotate while throwing, is another.  Everything happens relatively quickly in baseball. 

 

The third point hints at weight training concepts of developing power through the legs, hips and core.  But you can also apply this to the type of conditioning you do.  Everything should be short burst, max speed training.  Sprint intervals are the most common example.  For outfielders and infielders, agility drills useful to improve footwork.  These types of drills should be done at max speed while maintaining the proper footwork.  Pitchers and catchers can benefit from all of the above, plus some longer distance running to improve their aerobic capacity. 

Sprint Intervals:

120ft - 20s rest x 2, 120ft - 30s rest x 2, 90ft - 45s rest x 2, 90ft - 60s rest x 2

Cuts: (around the infield dirt)

Shuffle-shuffle-go from RF foul line, build up sprint through LF foul line, jog back.  These are good warmups for baserunning.

Bases:

H -1 (run through) x 2, H - 1 (round base), 1-3 (round) x 2, H-3 (round) x 2, H-H (HOMERUN!) x 1

Poles: (Pitchers and catchers)

From foul pole to foul pole: Sprint one way, jog back.

Bow and arrows:  Jog from foul pole to foul pole following cut of warning track, sprint the straight line between poles through the outfield.