Getting proficient with the game of baseball does not happen overnight. You also need to be armed with the right techniques and knowledge. To become better educated on all aspects of baseball, take a look at the tips that follow.
You can practice alone. A pitching machine allows you to set the speed of the ball. By loading several baseballs into the machine, you can practice hitting without needing a pitcher. This electronic machine is perfect for those who wish to practice baseball alone. Pitching machines can be picked up at your local sporting goods store.
Learn how to use cut-off men when playing the outfield. With your adrenaline pumping, you may feel like you can throw that ball clear to home plate, but cut-off men are typically the better choice to make. Getting the ball back into your closest infielder will give your team a better shot for an out. The shorter throw means a more accurate throw.
If you’re into stealing bases, practice taking leads off of bases. Taking leads means you need to know not only your own speed, but also the speed of the pitcher’s pick off move, the speed of his delivery to the plate, and the speed and accuracy of the catcher’s arm. There’s a lot to consider that’ll affect how much lead you take.
While in a comfortable batting position, keep your arms away from your body. Your elbows should be up and away, practically parallel to the ground. Hold the bat at shoulder level and make sure you don’t drop your rear elbow. Practice your stance in front of a large mirror to ensure that your elbows are properly positioned.
Be your team’s biggest hustler. You want to set an example for your team to encourage them to follow suit. That’s the kind of leader in the club house that changes the game. Aim to be that type of person that others look to as a difference maker.
If you are beginning baseball player, try to avoid using an uppercut at the end of your swing. This is a swing that starts low and ends high. Beginners should use a level swing that betters their chances at making contact with the ball. When your skills get more advanced, you can start re-introducing a little bit of the uppercut for some lifting action for a more powerful swing.
Learning how to change directions is important for outfielders. If you are playing the left side of the outfield and need to run towards centerfield, cross your right foot across your left foot and power through the step. This technique will help you gain the maximum burst of speed from the beginning of your run.
To help you stay focused on the ball when running towards it, run on your tiptoes. If you run and allow your heel to hit the ground, you will jar your body. This jarring will make your eyes lose focus on the ball. To keep this from happening run on your tiptoes.
If you are playing shortstop, you must learn how to stop ground balls. The technique that works for this type of ball is to place your baseball glove perpendicular to the ground. This allows you to scoop up the ball in one smooth action. Gently squeeze the glove as the ball hits your glove to catch it.
You never want to reach across yourself in order to get a ground ball. Shuffle one way or the other to ensure the glove is right ahead of the ball. If you don’t, the ball could bounce off your glove’s side.
To throw a curve ball, place both your index and middle fingers along a seam of the baseball. As you throw the pitch, slide your fingers down toward the ground in a clockwise direction if you are right-handed (counterclockwise if you are left-handed). This motion gives the pitch its curve.
Make sure that your warmup routine includes some sprinting. Baseball requires great sprinting ability. When a ball is hit, the fast sprint is down the base line to first. If you run fast, you will become a better baseball player.
Build repetition into any practice drills that you are doing. To get good at anything, you need to repeat it. In baseball that means repeating at bats over and over. It means shagging fly balls again and again. It means running a double play drill until you dream of it. Only then will you begin to master the skills.
Listen to your coaches, even if you feel like they’re wrong. Your coaches are your leaders. They are the people looking at the big picture. You need to trust that they know best more often than not over the course of a game. Be willing to give up control when on the ball field.
If you are constantly grounding out, be careful that you aren’t chopping at the ball. When you chop at the baseball, you are giving it downward force, which of course leads to ground balls. Worst, they are normally slow rollers with high bounces, or what some call “easy outs”. Work into changing that swing so that you get some lift under the ball.
Exercise is an important part of any baseball program. Baseball players should especially take time to stretch before each practice and each game. Stretching the muscles and loosening them up before a game or practice can help prevent injuries. After you have stretched, warm your muscles up by doing some calisthenics.
You should now be ready to gather your bat and glove and head out to the field for practice. Always continue to learn and find out the many ways you can improve your game. Put the above advice to use and amaze others with the plays you can make.