Any athlete knows that in order to enhance their performance, they need to do more than just spend more time at the gym or at practice. There are plenty of other things that greatly affect how well they do on the court or the field. This includes things like response accuracy, visual perception, and reaction time. This is especially true for baseball, which is a sport that requires players to not only be physically fit, but also mentally sharp. Here are some tips to help you improve your athletic performance on the mound:
Make use of a radar gun
Baseball radar guns can tell you a lot about your performance and what needs improvement. They’re particularly useful for pitchers and batters. When you’re practicing your pitching and hitting, make slight adjustments on your grip and pressure. Have someone record your speeds for several pitches and different grip and pressure adjustments. From this data, you’ll be able to see which combinations work best for you. Having this data will help you identify the proper form, grip, and pressure you should be incorporating into your performance.
Practice strength training
Baseball is a sport that requires a lot of power and flexibility. If you aren’t training your body adequately, it will show in your performance. The most important parts of your body to work out are your hips, legs, and core. These are all power generators, especially for the kinds of movement that baseball requires you to do. Powerful hips, legs, and a strong core allow you to reach your maximum potential as a position player or pitcher. Some good exercises to strengthen your lower half include box split-squats, walking lunges, squat and touches, and RDLs. Once you’ve mastered your form, you can add resistance. To keep your core healthy and strong, do planks, crunches, sit-ups, and dead bugs.
Watch your nutrition and diet
A healthy diet allows you to function at your full capacity. You’ll need to stock up on a balanced diet which includes eating lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and fresh fruits and vegetables. You can get the recommended serving of protein from things like turkey, fish, shellfish, and chicken (either grilled, roasted, or broiled) which are also all low in fat. For vegetables, beans (either pinto, black, garbanzo, or kidney) are a good source of protein. Meanwhile, you can’t go wrong with just about any fruit or vegetable, as long as you prepare it properly. This means you can eat them raw, steam, sautee, or microwave them, but you can’t fry them or drizzle them with unhealthy condiments. When it comes to carbs, go for whole-grain pasta, bread, and oatmeal.
Focus on locking on to your target
When you’re practicing hitting in the batting cage, train your eyes to lock on to the ball by using balls with two different markings on the outside. Focus on hitting the balls with one specific marking while letting the rest of the balls with the other marking go by. This will help you sharpen your visual concentration when batting so you get more accurate hits.
Baseball is an incredibly demanding sport that requires strength, flexibility, and agility. These simple tips will help you play to the best of your ability.