As for many sports, conditioning for baseball has evolved into a year-round activity. Incorporating conditioning drills helps to maximize performance and minimize injuries. When preparing for a long season of baseball, concentrate on drills that improve speed, strength and agility. Focus on repetition and incorporate short rest periods in between drills.
Sweet Sixteen Sprinting Drill
This drill helps to increase speed and acceleration. Start off by making a mark 90-feet away, which is the distance from home plate to first base. Set a timer for 60 seconds and try to run back and forth between the line 16 times. Record the number of times you reach the line to track your progress and set future goals for yourself. This drill is done most effectively after regular practice and just before your final stretch.
Baseball Specific Plyometric Exercises
Jump lunges, squat jacks, broad jumps and mountain climbers are vertical gain exercises that improve lower body strength. Vertical gain drills increase your ability to explode forward. This is particularly necessary when making lower body movements during certain plays. These workouts should be incorporated into your weekly routine two to three times per week. Allow yourself days in between to rest and prevent over-use injuries.
Baseball Half-Moon Fielding
This drill increases agility by allowing you to practice proper positioning. Set up five cones in a half-moon shape and stand in the center; run to each cone and field the ball that is rolled to you by a partner. Use a low and wide stance and work each side by moving to your left and right, return to the center after fielding one ball and repeat. Use hockey stops to effectively change directions. Complete this a total of six times, three times on each side. Do this drill once a week.
This drill emphasizes speed, agility and the ability to change direction quickly. Start in a two-point stance while straddling the start line, start to your left or right and sprint five yards and touch the line. Then turn and sprint 10 yards and touch the line again. Finally, turn and sprint five yards to the finish line. Perform this drill two to four times with a one-minute rest in between each rep. Do the drill twice a week.