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Maximize Your Winter Workouts

It is important to work on your game during the winter months. It is even MORE important to work-out correctly. Here are some basic ideas and information to help "maximize your winter workouts." This will be the first in a series of articles about "off-season" strength and conditioning.

Getting yourself prepared for the spring season can be difficult for many reasons:

  1. Cold weather prohibits outdoor training

  2. Facilities are hard to find and are expensive for the time you have.

  3. Many baseball players also play fall and winter sports.

Whether you live in sunny California, balmy Florida, frigid Minnesota or snow bound Vermont, young players all face challenges when preparing for the HS and summer season. Here are some pointers to help your maximize your time!

  1. Plan your practice schedule far in advance- in high school you usually know your schedules far in advance which enables you to arrange baseball practice time in advance as well and be more likely to stick to the schedule. Also, schedule a partner for each session as well. A partner will maximize the time you have, motivate you, and keep you from canceling the practice.

  2. Set a specific goal for each session. Know what you are working on before you get to the practice site, even if it is your own back yard cage. Example: Batting Cage time-instead of just taking hacks at the ball, create imagined hitting situations to work on. Try hit and runs, advancing the runner, opposite field hitting, sac. fly, sac bunt, etc. Example 2- Pitching and bull pen work. Focus on just the stretch position and pick off moves one day, spotting the fastball in and out on another, and on hip/torso rotation on another.
    Since you are limited in time know what you want to do before, so that you do not waste time thinking about it.

  3. Use Imagery. To make up for the lack of physical repetitions you have, make up for them in your mind. Visualize your swings in game situations, see that perfect pivot turn on a double play, you can visualize any part of your game and what surround it. Not enough players do this, usually just the great ones!

  4. Arrive early to warm-up before your cage or mound time starts. Why waste the time stretching (not that stretching isn't important; it is!) but you have cage time to hit!

  5. Invite feedback and analysis. You are practicing to improve. You will improve more when you have someone watching and making suggestions, and offering advice on what needs work.

  6. Focus on your main weaknesses. We all know it is easy to work on what we are good at. Save that for later, with limited time you can best maximize it by focusing on the weaker points of your game.

High School Baseball Web has a great listing of "training centers" from all over the U.S. and Canada. Follow this link: Training Centers

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