While it is true that there is no substitution for hard work and practice, this should not limit you to only putting in work on the field. As baseball players, there are times we may be unable to use a real diamond, so we must find ways to keep improving our game outside of the field. These are just a few quick, easy drills that you can do at home to keep your game sharp and polished.
This drill is useful for all positions, but especially for infielders and pitchers. For this drill, you will need a rubber ball of some sort (preferably a rubber baseball or something similar in size) and a glove. Find an area inside or outside your home that has an open wall and position yourself squarely to the wall. You will then throw the ball against the wall and practice a variety of different ground balls. Depending on the speed and location of the thrown ball against the wall, you can work on such comebackers as: long hop, short hop, high bounce, slow roller, etc. This drill is a super easy and effective way to practice your fielding, even when you can’t use a field.
This drill can be applied to all positions when it comes to baseball. For this drill, all you will need is an open space and a mirror. Baseball is a very visual game. Some of the best learning is done just watching the mechanics, rather than trying to listen to a description and then trying to recreate it. Whether it’s watching yourself swing in the mirror and trying to diagnose any problems you may see, or watching your pitching motion and picking up on any flaws you may have, watching yourself in the mirror allows you to physically see how your body moves. Don’t be afraid to watch videos on players you idolize and watch how they move. Then, you can try to emulate it in the mirror. Repetition and muscle memory is key in baseball and watching yourself do basic movements in a mirror is a great way to get your reps in.
Much like the mirror drills previously mentioned, visualization is hugely important when it comes to success in baseball. Visualizing yourself being successful is monumental for gaining confidence. Confidence is what makes great baseball players stand out. If you ever find yourself at home, unable to use a baseball field, take a few minutes to sit or lay in a quiet area and just visualize yourself succeeding. It could be making a great pitch in a pressure situation or driving in a run in a critical point in the game. Whatever it may be, it’s important to see yourself making those plays, so when the time comes in real life, you are confident because you’ve seen yourself do it before. Some of the greatest players to ever play baseball have talked about the importance of visualizing success, so the next time your practice or game gets rained out, take a few minutes to envision yourself making great plays.
While it is ideal to practice on an actual field, these 3 drills and techniques can be just as effective when they're done at home to help sharpen both your physical and mental skills. To share your at-home drills, or for more tips and tricks to improve your game, visit our Nike Baseball Camps!