Getting Ready for the Spring Baseball Season
It’s the time of year where little one’s take to the field for another season of baseball. Fields will light up with the smiles of these children as play begins. It’s a great time of year and I’m sure you parents and coaches are looking forward to it.
To maximize the experience for these young players I feel it’s important to ensure they are getting good fundamental coaching so they are properly prepared prior to the start of games.
We, at the Baseball before We Knew It have a preseason training program that we take our travel team through starting in December and running through mid March; however it’s not necessary for everyone to have that much preparation.
Recreational players should begin a program with their parents or coaches about 3-4 weeks before the start of games. This should get them prepared for recreational league play.
Here are the top 10 things you can do to prepare your kids for the season.
- Schedule regular time to practice. This could be with mom or dad or with a coach of the team. Practice a minimum of 3 times a week leading up to the start of games. This could be one practice with a team and a couple other practices at home with the parents.
- Know the fundamentals of throwing, hitting and fielding before you teach any child how to do it. I know you are volunteering your time but if you teach the fundamentals incorrectly you are putting your child at a big disadvantage as they mature. Baseball is hard enough and having to correct fundamental faults at later ages is very difficult. You don’t have to be an expert coach, just do some reading and learn the basic fundamentals.
- Set a practice plan for your players or child and stick to it. Break them down in small groups of throwing, fielding and hitting drills.
- There are no quick fixes or magically aid that players can use to instantly be a great player. You are going to have to have the players drill the fundamentals over and over to be successful.
- Long toss should be the first thing you do with your player or child. Teach them throwing fundamentals and then line them up to throw. Keep them close together and make sure they are throwing to their partner’s chest. Once they are able to throw accurately move them back 5 years at a time. Once they get far apart and cannot get the ball to the partner in the air have them bounce it in front of them but still remain accurate.
- You get into baseball shape by drilling the fundamentals over and over again. Just make sure the fundamentals you teach are correct.
- Provide your players with some speed and agility training. Get your players running an agility ladder and running some cone drills. If you don’t know how, Google speed and agility training or check our site for speed and agility drills. Speed can be improved on just about anyone and will make a big difference for you child or players.
- Work on the player’s strength. Here is a tip you can use or share with your team’s parents. Young children under 12 should not be lifting much weight but a great way to improve their strength is to wheel barrow them around the house and/or up to bed every night. Have them get down in pushup position and grab their ankles as the child walks around the house. I personally do this with my son every night and he goes up our stairs to his room. Once we get there I hold his feet and he does 25 or so push-ups. He’s 7 and really enjoys it. Over the last two years of doing this he has really gotten stronger and enjoyed spending time with his dad doing something he thinks is a game.
- Remember arm strength and bat speed are only developed by repeated practice. You as the parent or coach must consistently do this if you want your child to show improvement.
- Make it fun. Remember, have fun, teach good fundamental skills and then worry about winning.
I’m sure you can think of many additional tips to use with your child or players in your preseason routine. Be creative, have fun and teach fundamentals over and over again. That is the only way to improve the results of your child or team.