A lot of you players are looking for a way on how to get better at baseball. I know personally that one of the ways that you can enjoy the sport more is by getting better. It is more fun when you can be confident in your skills and know that if the ball comes your way, you can react to it in the best way.
In this article, I’ll break down some of the techniques that some of the best baseball players use (even the pros) that can help you get better.
Whether you are just looking to get good or have the drive to be the best that you can be, I know that you will take some benefit to these simple steps that I’ll break down for you.
Before we begin, I want to make something really clear to everyone reading. You will not see any change unless you are consistent and believe it will work.
If you want to just read this article and say that none of these tactics work without trying, go ahead. The real winners out there know that success in anything takes time, and practice.
I’m going to start this off with a very motivational story that I experienced first hand on hard work paying off in the end.
My other brother was a Junior on Varsity during high school. The new coach called him up so that he could pitch for them. As we were all excited, there was still some setbacks that he had to face.
One was that he was new to the extreme competitiveness of varsity baseball, and would get nervous before a game that he was pitching it. He didn’t trust in the skills that he had and this showed when he went out to the mound.
Once a big hit like a home run was cracked off him, everything fell apart and he had to get taken out in the earlier innings. This destroyed him and me, as I saw how hard he worked to get where he was, and I knew he wasn’t about to let that go by him.
As time went on we had our usual practices where all of the pitchers went out and practiced with each other. While others who were naturally good were fooling around, he was trying his hardest to get as good as he possibly could.
His opportunities started getting smaller and smaller as coach found his 4 favorite pitchers, and used them every game instead of rotating all of the pitchers. My brother barely got to see the game as he sat on the bench along with the others that didn’t make the cut since they weren’t naturally good. These kids had to put in as much work as they could so that they could be average.
Being down like that motivated my brother, and beast mode started to kick in. After our long practices after school, he would tell me to catch for him, with only the streetlights showing me where the ball was. It was dark and getting cold, but he had to succeed. He knows it was all up to him if he wanted to be something great and prove coach wrong.
After staying after for an hour every day, getting home late, and then spending even more time on the weekend, he started to get more confident in his pitching abilities. He looked up strategies on how to practice inside when it was rainy and made me catch for him when it wasn’t. It was grind time as the end of the season approached.
He didn’t get one opportunity to pitch in the playoffs, which the team lost. Therefore there were a couple of games that did not count at the end of the season. These did not matter so coach started putting in kids that didn’t play as much, like my brother.
In an attempt to break down his courage and work ethic, the coach started my brother against the top 8th team in New Jersey. These kids would play all over the world and win. This was one of the scariest moments he ever faced, but since he knew he worked for this, he made it happen.
He knew that the coach was just trying to break him down and make him stop playing baseball. This was his opportunity to prove them wrong.
Long story short, he came out on top. This Junior who was considered one of the worst pitchers on the Varsity team was played to fail, and won. There was one earned run the whole game, and he pitched the entire game with 78 pitches. His team managed to score a couple of times so because of him, they came out on top.
The whole town was talking about this win, and everyone started to be on his side again. His practice worked out for him after all, and has one of the greatest accomplishments I will ever witness in my life. I consider him a real-life Rocky for what he did that season.
From going from one of the worst pitchers who sat all the time, to proving his worth by getting a win over the top 8th team in New Jersey. Mind you they are better than hundreds of baseball teams in this state alone and better than thousands of teams across the nation. This underdog followed the steps I laid out and got what he wanted.
If you want to read the short article on the win click here. His name is Jason Moskowitz.
After this game, the whole team was excited for him. The best players were congratulating him in excitement, and some were even disbelief. The terrible coach came to my brother after the game and then acted as if he was on his side the whole time. He called him a son he never had I kid you not.
Moments like this, anyone can achieve, so why can’t you? Why can’t you go out and work your tail off to achieve your goal like he did?
So if you want to up your game and finally be able to start having some real fun in this sport, follow these steps. (P.S. This type of information usually isn’t free, so take advantage of it.) I believe in you!
Practice As Much As You Can
I know that this is an obvious one, but let me explain. Take into recognition the amount that you actually practice right now.
Ask yourself how many days a week do you practice? How long do you practice? When do you stop practicing?
Here’s one of the main problems nowadays with baseball players that I see. Just going to games twice a week or showing up to practice will not make you better. You have to go out yourself, and put the hard work in. I know that it might sound harsh but you will not become a better player unless you practice as much as you can.
Here are some tips for practicing that I’ve found useful over the years:
Just Do It
That might sound a lot like the Nike slogan because it is. They were right when they tell their customers to just do it, because that is what you need sometimes. One motto that I go by is that nothing great ever comes from your comfort zone.
A good rule of thumb to go by is if you don’t want to do something, just go ahead and do it. This is because it is probably because it is going to make you uncomfortable, which mostly gives you the best results. Eleanor Roosevelt says “do something every day that scares you,” which is what I am trying to tell you. I promise that if you really don’t feel like practicing, and you go out and get something done, you will increase your skills every time.
The other aspect that comes with just doing it is increasing your willpower, which is needed to say consistently to a practice schedule. Usually the more that you increase your mental strength, the more that you can go out and practice without absolutely dreading it.
One tip is that you need to really want to get better. You will have those days where you have to really force yourself to get up off the couch and go outside in the cold to go hit off the tee. In those moments you have to sit there and really dig deep and think about why you want to get better.
Another great tip to make sure that you try to utilize is to find a practice partner.
Having A Practice Partner
So many players take their teammates for granted and try to get better by themselves. Sometimes I feel like you can get out there and make some progress with a tee and a ball but having a partner brings so many benefits.
One benefit of having a partner is having someone to push you to get better. I remember I was starting to go to the gym and as I was motivated at first, it started to dip away. A lot of days I found that there was no reason to go and get better until I started going with my brother. Many days I just didn’t want to go, but I had a reason bigger than myself, which was to take him. After getting there I found that it was easier. The moral of the story is that having someone else that’s depending on you going really motivates you to not let them down.
Another benefit of having a practice partner is having someone to push you. When I was doing bad in practice, I would stay after with my brother to get a couple extra reps in. Just having someone there to support me when I was having bad days really made a difference in the way I practiced and how I practiced.
The last benefit of having a partner in practice is to have someone to grow with. Once you have someone to compete against, you will get better at an exponential rate. There is another reason for you to go out, and you have someone to base your progress on.
Moral of the story, having a practice partner will not just make it more favorable and comfortable for you. It will almost automatically make you better since now you have someone to base your progress off of and someone to help you get better.
Do Your Research
I know that you might think that you don’t need to research baseball to get better, but it will greatly help you if you do.
I remember one offseason, my Dad started showing my brother and I some videos breaking down Miguel Cabrera’s swing. We would watch these videos over and over again and talk about what he does to have such perfect form.
In addition to this, at work, my Dad would research articles (like this one) telling you how to get better, and show my brother and me what he found. Putting this all together, we added this to our practice.
We had this SKLZ hurricane tee in the backyard where you would hit the ball, and it would come right back to you. All I had to do was set it up and start hitting. My Dad made us go out in the back and use all of the practice skills we learned to hit off of that tee.
Trust me, it was hell since he made us do 200 swings a day in the backyard in the heat of the summer in New Jersey. What made it even worse was that he recorded out swings sometimes or watched us, and broke down what we were doing wrong according to our research.
We did this every day for a while and tested it out in fall ball the next season. I am being 100% honest with you when I say that I had my best hitting season ever once I did that. Every single game I got up to the plate with confidence, which I never had before. At least twice per game, I hit a solid line drive in the gap. I was so smooth and perfect. The feeling of having that much fun and being that great I will never forget.
I credit all of that to researching and practicing what I found. If I can do it, I know that you can do it as well.
Workout To Get Stronger
One of the things that increase your confidence and performance is to work out. It doesn’t have to be anything big either, just make sure that you get your cardio, and leg and core strengthening in and you’re good. Anything is better than nothing.
Here are some tips for working out that will get you stronger, faster:
Increase Your Protein Intake
We all know that muscles thrive on getting the protein that they need to rebuild after a workout session. That means you have to make sure that you feed your muscles the right amino acids to make sure that you see progress.
One way of increasing your protein intake is by drinking whey protein. Whey protein is quick, easy, and affordable. I get this whey protein powder from Walmart that tastes like cookies and cream for about $20 which makes a lot of shakes for you to have. One protein shake with two scoops is 32g of protein, which means that you are already a third of the way there for the day.
Another way to increase protein intake is to measure it. There are so many apps or websites that track your diet and you can see how much protein you have in a day once you plan it. Some awesome protein sources are:
- Peanut Butter
- Protein Shakes
- Protein Bars (Cliff Bars are the ones I get)
Get A Gym Membership
All you need is a Planet Fitness membership which is $10 a month. They have cardio, weights, and machines to work out, which is all you need. It’s also really clean and they have nice showers and such so that’s a plus as well.
Always remember to warm up, and you can look up how to do these exercises on YouTube
Workouts for Chest:
- Smith Machine Chest Press: 4 Sets of Heavy Weight (6-8 Reps) / 4 Sets of Light Weight (6-8 Reps)
- Pushups: 4 Sets (Until Failure)
- Chest Press Machine: 4 Sets of Heavy Weight (6-8 Reps) / 4 Sets of Light Weight (6-8 Reps)
- Incline Chest Press: 4 Sets of Light Weight (6-8 Reps)
- Flys: (You can use the machine or Barbells) 4 Sets of Medium Weight (6-8 Reps)
Workouts for Legs:
- Leg Press: 4 Sets of Heavy Weight (6-8 Reps) / 4 Sets of Light Weight (6-8 Reps)
- Calf Raises: 4 Sets of Heavy Weight (15-25 Reps)
- Dumbbell Lunges: 4 Sets of Medium Weight (10 Lunges Per Leg)
Workouts for Core: (Do all of these for 30 Seconds)
- Ab Machines
- Hang on Pull-up bar and lift legs to chest
- Flutter Kicks
After working out these parts, your body will get accustomed to how it feels to work out and be sore so that it gets easier over time.
The purpose of working out is to make your muscles stronger, so you can hit the baseball farther, and throw harder. Always keep that in mind to motivate you when you really don’t want to work out and practice.
Get A Partner
The same thing applies to working out as it does to practicing. If you have a partner, things can go easier and smoother than it usually would.
Some benefits of having a partner are:
- They could have more experience than you do which can speed up the process
- You have someone to gain progress and results with
- You now feel that you have to work out even if you really don’t
If you didn’t read the section about practicing, I talked about how my brother was the one to keep me going to the gym. Once I started I had that motivation and drive to go, it was so easy for me to get up and work out. About three months in I was feeling it was getting harder and harder for me to get up off of the couch so that I can go work out my muscles.
Once he started going, I had someone to go with, someone to share success with, and someone to push me to go on days that were hard. Because I had a partner to go with, there was no stopping me from going to the gym.
You have to make sure you pick the right partner go. If you have someone that is not as motivated as you, then you have to choose someone else because your motivation will soon turn into theirs. A teammate, sibling, or good friend are all good examples of people you can choose as partners for the gym.
One last thing to add is that you probably shouldn’t work out at home. The action of going to the gym gets you in the mood to work out, but after a while of being at home, you’ll become numb to working out. If you stir up the amount of motivation that you need to get to the gym, you’ll work out once you get there, since there is nothing else to do.
Now get off of your lazy butt and get big!
Have The Right Mindset
Do not just skim over this section, since if you master this, you will be able to master your practice skills and habits in order to make you better. None of what I talked about matters unless you get your mindset right.
Know That All Of Your Baseball Stats And Habits Are 100% Up To You
Yes, that’s right, there is no blaming anyone else for your failure or success. You have to realize that every single thing that happens to you is a result of something you did, no matter how big or small.
If your parents won’t pay for a gym membership, fine. Go out and run, do push-ups, borrow a friend’s set of weights. Can’t afford a gym membership or a new bat? Get a job and work towards it.
There is always something that you can do that can bring you around an obstacle, and get you towards your goal.
For example, when I was 16 I wanted a new baseball glove since mine was too short for the outfield. I got a crappy job at my town’s summer camp and didn’t spend a dime of it until I got that glove. It took many hours and had its challenges, but I wanted it so bad and didn’t want my parents to pay for it so I did what I had to do.
Plan For Victory
What would happen if a pilot took off from the runway and had no destination or flight path to go to? They would just wander around until they found a runway in the middle of nowhere when they ran out of fuel. It is only when they have a flight plan and destination when they do their job successfully.
What you have to do is write down what you want your stats to be this season, or what you want your goal weight to be, and envision it. See yourself slapping a line drive to the outfield while everyone’s cheering, or see yourself get faster and lift heavier than all of your teammates.
With that in mind follow the next steps:
- Have what your goal is written down somewhere
- Set a date for you to achieve this goal by (Next baseball season, 3 months, a year…)
- Write down 3 smaller goals that you need to accomplish first in order to reach the big goal
- Break down those 3 smaller goals into 5 smaller goals that you can work on easier
By doing this, you make it extremely easy for you to achieve the impossible. This is what some of the best baseball players or just successful people in general do. This is exactly what I do to achieve my goals.
Thanks for reading guys and I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.