Friday Conditioning Tips
I am a big believer in using the overload, under load theory for baseball training drills. This baseball training drills method has players practice with a slightly heavier baseball tool, followed by a slightly lighter object. The theory is to increase bat speed, throwing speed, and running speed by alternating weighted objects, believing that heavier objects build strength and power, while lighter objects develop greater speed. The body incorporates this overload, under load usage into increased speed and power, when it goes back to the regulation weight object.
As an example, players throw a baseball at full speed with a 6-ounce ball for a designated number of throws, followed by the same number of throws with a 4-ounce ball, before throwing a regulation ball. Over time, players build increased arm strength and speed. Of course, the key words are "over time," as these type baseball-training drills are necessary for a good amount of time. A minimum of eight to ten weeks, three times a week is necessary to see the desired improvement. It is worth noting that using weighted objects that are more than slightly heavier, ( for example, a batting donut)or too light,(a whiffle ball bat, for example),do not achieve the desired goal of speed increase.
Before batting practice each day - Players use a bat a few ounces heavier than their normal bat for twenty swings, followed by twenty swings with a bat a few ounces lighter than normal, before taking their normal days' batting practice with their regular game bat.
* It is important that players swing at 100% on all swings. Use of a wood bat is great for the overload one and saving a year or two old bat from the past works great for the under load one.
In pregame warm ups, after a little running, stretching and a few tosses with regulation ball, players use the slightly heavier ball for the first twenty throws, followed by twenty throws with lighter ball. Players should throw a few balls with regulation ball and then have normal days throwing during practice using the regulation weight ball.
* Setting regulation ball in water for a second or two, but not for too long, adds an ounce or so to it, when it dries and then is good as the overload one. Using a safety ball that is lighter than the normal weighted one is good for the under load baseball training drill.
This one is simple, as players run up a slight incline for ten sprints and then down the incline for ten sprints.
Sticking with these baseball-training drills for overload under load baseball practice, year after year, should show great dividends. Finally, often, over load/under load training does not work because players give up on it too soon.
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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