Baseball may be a team sport, but that doesn't mean that you need a whole team to practice. Working on your own to hone individual skills -- such as speed sprinting, throwing accuracy and precision hitting -- can make you a better performer and athlete when it comes to game time. Using everyday items, you can do some simple activities at home and on your own that can improve your skill as an athlete.
Moving quickly is an integral part of baseball. Getting to the bases, moving to the ball or running for a quick out are all dependent on being able to move short distances as quickly as possible. An easy way to increase your speed is to do at-home sprint workouts. Measure and mark off a distance of 90 feet -- the distance between bases on a field -- and get moving. Grab a stop watch and time yourself sprinting from one side of the mark to the other. Practice turning in, as you would to proceed to the next base, and running through, as you would for a single.
Another way to practice by yourself is to work on your throwing arm. Being able to hit your target from a variety of distances with pinpoint precision is key to field work, and that skill set only comes from practice. Find a tree, a fence or a piece of plywood that others won't mind you throwing against and, using any type of visible tape, "X off" a few targets at various heights. Practice picking the ball up from the ground and hitting your marked spots from various distances, consciously correcting errors as you go.
No matter your position on the field, every member of the team needs to be able to be a strong batter. Using the same setup that you designed for throwing practice, try to hit the ball off of a baseball tee and straight at your previously marked targets. Pay attention to how the ball flies depending on where you make contact with the bat and your stance. Then make adjustments to learn to control where the ball goes with your hit.
Online Resources and Watching Games
If getting outside for practice isn't an option, consider using online resources to learn plays and get performance advice. Websites like MyCoachOnline and Baseball-Tutorials.com offer a full line of how-to's and drills for players of all ages and skill sets. Additionally, consider watching a professional game to gleam insight into how the pros play, paying attention to stances, plays and teamwork skills.
- Baseball Playbook; Ron Polk