There are many valuable youth baseball conditioning techniques to increase your players’ abilities by maximizing their strength, range of motion, and flexibility. Just as a car can only travel as fast as its engine will allow, in like manner, baseball players can only perform to the degree that their bodies will allow. If coaches, parents and mentors ensure that their players are involved in recommended youth baseball conditioning training, they will be increasing their players’ chances to fulfil their maximum potential.
Here are some advised youth baseball conditioning techniques that are recommended for youth baseball coaches for the development of their players:
Pitching Better through Swimming - Swimming can actually strengthen the shoulder muscles and enable pitchers to throw the baseball harder while protecting pitchers from devastating shoulder injuries. It is recommended that pitchers swim in free style for two minutes with a series of 4 repetitions. If the player can not swim, then the pitcher can stand waist deep in water under adult supervision and push the water away from the body with a hard thrust and fingers spread apart. This should be repeated for 2 minutes at a time.
Sprint to Success - One of the traditional youth baseball training programs remains the best. Players need to build up their endurance in order to play the entire game with strength and energy. Wind sprints are the best way for youth baseball players to build up their endurance and, at the same time, bond with their teammates. If your players run wind sprints as a team or in bunches, such as pitchers, catchers, infielders and outfielders, you will be building up their endurance and the team will become closer as a unit. Ten 60 yard sprints are a good way to start, and you can lengthen the distance and repetitions over time.
Squeeze that Ball - Another simple youth baseball conditioning exercise can be done everywhere from the ball field to the schoolyard and even to bed. Baseball players can increase their wrist strength by squeezing a rubber Spalding ball. Yes, these pink balls are still of infinite value to baseball players – pitchers, to increase the speed of their pitch; hitters by increasing their bat speed and, therefore, the distance of their drives; and fielders by increasing the strength of their throws.
Stretch Before Games – Stretching and warm-ups are a key element of baseball conditioning training protocols to prevent injuries. Prior to every game and practice, baseball coaches should lead their team in a regular series of stretching and warm-up exercises for at least 10-12 minutes. Before the players begin playing baseball, make sure to cover all major muscle groups including shoulders, legs, arms, hips, and back.
Of course these are just a few, simple youth baseball conditioning exercises among many. Baseball coaches should be familiar with a wide variety of exercises and should weave these into a more holistic conditioning training plan that is appropriate to the age of their players.
Combined with a variety of baseball drills that make the game fun and build the fundamental skills needed to play, a strong baseball conditioning training regimen will ensure that players reach the top of their game and avoid unnecessary injury.
By Trevor Sumner who works for Weplay.com, a youth baseball community dedicated to providing parents, coaches and athletes the tools and information they need to celebrate the love of the game. Weplay has one of the most comprehensive baseball drill libraries in its active baseball community.