No matter how talented you are, practice will always be an essential part of your improvement as a player. According to athlete and sports psychologist Jim Taylor, in an article for the Huffington Post, though training makes you mentally and physically ready for competitions, you may still end up doing poorly. This is because you might be unintentionally practicing bad techniques and habits.
Whether you’re an athlete practicing alone or a coach who wants to train a breed of future MLB players, these routines, straight from the pros themselves, may help you up your game.
Find Your Niche
Some players, like Madison Bumgarner, can do great at more than one role, but focusing your training on one position is the best strategy for most athletes. This is called specialization, and it takes some time to figure out.
First, you should find a role you enjoy the most and one in which you are naturally great. These two things may be separate. While you may be a talented outfielder, you may not enjoy it as much as pitching. In contrast, as much as you enjoy pitching, you may not be naturally adept at throwing curveballs.
Keep playing all of the roles ’til you’ve narrowed them down to one position that you want to focus on for your career. Take your time in doing the entire process. The National Strength and
Conditioning Association states that limiting yourself to a particular position – or even a single sport – may burn you out.
Repetition is Essential
Now that you’ve found your specialization, you may start focusing all your training on that position to improve it further. For batters, it means hours in the batting cage with a pitching machine. Pitchers often spend their days trying out different speeds and angles with a high-speed camera and a stalker radar.
This process is known as deliberate practice, and it’s used in all kinds of professions. It may not be as enjoyable as real games, but it’s the most consistent and organized way of improving your sport. The skills you repetitively learn in deliberate practice become engrained in both your brain and muscles.
Start it Early
Most teams start their practice drills early, whether it’s before a match or just a free day for training. In an article by former Texas Rangers pitcher Michael Schlacht, he recalled starting practice six whole hours before the game. It gives them time for exercises, pitching, and batting practices. Yes, even pitchers get to practice slugging the ball.
These pre-game training sessions keep players conditioned and warmed up for the match. Some players, such as minor league pitcher Randy Newsom, also do workouts after their games. When it comes to dedicated practice days, you gain more time in the day to hone your skills.
Sports practice isn’t a one and done path to excellence. Every athlete needs to first focus on one role before they pour in hours into training for this role. After all, it’s better to be excellent at one thing than to be average at multiple ones. When it comes to the sessions themselves, you should be ready to wake up early and put in hours of monotonous and repetitive practice; you’ll be striking out the competition in no time.
Track Your Progress Using Professional Radar Guns
For pitchers, it’s essential to track how fast your throws are to land the perfect fastball or eephus pitch. Here at Radar Sports, LLC, we’ll help you monitor your shots with our professional radar guns. We carry renowned brands like Stalker and Phantom, so you’ll get accurate readings with every throw.
Contact us today to start your journey to making precise pitches.