How to Become a Better Baseball Player
According to Malcolm Gladwell, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master any skill. The same principle goes for playing baseball. You may not be born with the ability to hit homers like Albert Pujols or have the blazing speed to steal bases like Rickey Henderson, but you can increase your skills with a few steps and become a better baseball player.
1. Dedicate yourself to become a better baseball player
In order to excel at anything, you need to have a passion for it. Spend time watching baseball, reading about baseball, watching helpful tutorials, and learning the basic rules of baseball. This will give you not only a better baseball brain but a better drive to improving your game. It will also give you the drive you'll need to keep going with all of the other, less-fun parts of working at your game.
2. Practice every day to become a better baseball player
Practice every single day. Drills aren't just for when you're with your team; you can practice solo drills any time on your own. Throw a ball up in the air, then catch it. Throw a ball against wall or a stoop. Play catch with a friend or sibling. Throw into a net and simulate different scenarios to field. By doing the most mundane of skills over and over again, you can master the basic skills needed to become a solid baseball player.
3. Use a tee to become a better baseball batter
While many associate batting tees with tee-ball, using a batting tee can help you straighten out your swing. Even major leaguers will still practice off a tee in order to perfect their swings and it allows you to focus on your swing mechanics instead of the pitch coming your way.
4. Become a stronger baseball player
To become a stronger baseball player, you should talk with a coach or a trainer to develop a strength-training routine. Strength training is recommended for every athlete from about age 14 on, and a good coach should be able to help you find a regimen that will be right for your size and the position you play.
After a few weeks or months of lifting, you should be able to see a noticeable improvement in the power and velocity of your hits, as well as in your endurance. Not only will you see improvement in hitting, you'll see improvement in throwing strength and other important baseball skills.
5. Use your competition to become a better baseball player
In amateur baseball, its tempting to take the easy route and play against easier competition. Resist the temptation to stay on a team where you are the oldest, biggest, most experienced player. Instead take the opportunity to “play up” and join a team where you may find yourself one of the younger, smaller, less experienced team members. Strengthen yourself by playing with and against stronger players.
- Sports Fitness Advisor: The 12-Month Baseball Strength Training Program
- Fundamentals of Coaching Youth Baseball and Softball; Gary Weinstein
- Kirby Puckett's Baseball Games; Kirby Puckett