Friday Conditioning Tips
First, some of these are with tongue in cheek, as they may be impossible sells to young players, but worth a try.
Serious baseball players realize that conditioning and strength gaining baseball exercises are a necessary and constant thing. As players move to the higher levels of baseball, they should consult with a professional trainer, or at least the high school trainer, for advanced conditioning programs. Most people think of baseball exercises as being just to build physical strength, but they are for mental strength, as well.
When I performed baseball exercises on my way to major league baseball, I constantly thought of how little things could help me to hit, throw, run, and field more efficiently. Additionally, the household work helped me develop the confidence necessary for mental toughness.
Many baseball exercises can be set up right in everyday life, as when watching TV. Coaches or parents should teach kids the following ways to work on strength and conditioning while doing everyday living things, as the following. Of course, I say teaching players, I should say convincing them that the following household things will help their baseball playing. Parents must remember, all you can do is try.
Hand, wrist and forearm strength comes from squeezing things when taking a bath or shower, squeeze the water completely out of the washrag after using. Along the same lines, have kids wring out completely the wash before putting into drier.
Leg strength develops by picking up clutter from their room (please), players do so by squatting to pick up things with knee bends, instead of bending over with the back with legs straight.
More leg strength develops when climbing stairs in one's house, do so by going up two steps at a time (or three), instead of one at a time.
Upper body strength and agility develops with resistance work by pressing hands against the wall for the length of TV commercials or by washing, drying and waxing the car by hand, (good luck with that one). Along the same lines, shoveling snow and raking leaves are great for flexibility and upper and lower body strength.
Whole bodywork is necessary with a household cleanup day where garage and basement moving requires lifting boxes and climbing stairs.
Feet and ankle strength develops with toe raising, so have players wash house windows, especially the higher parts where they have to go up on their tip toes to reach the higher sections, or hang pictures just high enough where they have to be on tiptoes.
OK, I realize some of these are impossible sells to young kids, but other things to try may be more fun, as family yoga day, family stretching day, family trot to the neighbor's house the possibilities go on and on, all in the name of baseball conditioning. Good luck and remember, you did not hear these "baseball exercises" from me.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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