Given the variety of social and physical distancing guidelines in place, it's vital to have some handy drills and home equipment to keep your skills sharp.
While it is difficult to recreate the brotherhood and support of being together with the team, the following drills and exercises will help you do your part to stay on top of your game, no matter your position or specialty.
According to MLB analyst Harold Reynolds, working on your swing at home shouldn’t be an issue. Reynold's recommended batting routine involves choking up on the bat and taking five or so one-handed swings in a specific part of the strike zone.
Following each repetition of 10, switch hands and areas of the strike zone, taking two normal swings to finish the set. Repeating this process is the key to building a quick swing, strong hands, and forearms.
Most infield drills only require a glove, ball, and a partner. According to Mariners prospect Joe Rizzo, his go-to drill involves a partner throwing him a ball six times -- three times to the left, three to the right.
The key here is to work on your drop step and keep your glove in front of you. Repeating this exercise inside, outside, or even in the rain will undoubtedly keep your coordination sharp.
Another makeshift fielding drill that you may have unintentionally practiced as a kid is the ol’ tennis ball on the roof. Find a part of the roof angled at a slope. Throw a tennis ball up to a point where the ball quickly bounces back down the same side, hidden from sight. Reacting immediately as the back comes into sharpens quick reflexes and foot speed keeping you ready for those fly-ball angles lost in the sun.
According to MLB Network analyst Ryan Dempster, there is an endless amount of at-home pitching drills that can work to improve different aspects of your throw and form. Start by practicing different pitch grips on the couch or in bed. Perfect the essential grips for your four-seam fastball, two-seamer, slider, and changeup.
Working on balance in building a strong foundation on the mound is an equally important aspect of pitching. Dempster suggests “getting into the set position (as if a runner is on base) and going through the first part of your pitching motion by lifting your front leg -- and then holding it in place once perpendicular to your torso before bringing it back down in place.”
Running through multiple sets of 10 to 15 reps, holding each rep from 5 to 30 seconds, will build the strength you need to throw faster and more accurately than ever before.
Hopefully, the following at-home training tips will inspire you to find new ways to work on perfecting your game. For the best baseball lifestyle, apparel, and training gear visit the Rake Baseball Company store. Shop Good Vibes Only or No Days off collection today.