Develop your baseball skills and improve your fitness by playing games with your friends.
Summer training shouldn’t consist solely of traditional weight room workouts. Instead, gather a group of friends and play some games. Here are two games that not only provide a fun break from your regular routine, but can also help you achieve your baseball performance goals.
Coordination and reaction
1 home plate marker, 1 foam/Wiffle ball bat and 1 foam/Wiffle ball
Pepper is commonly used by baseball and softball players as a warm-up. The object of the game is to become the batter and hit as many ground balls as possible before being retired.
Designate one athlete as the batter and the others as fielders.
Set up with the batter facing the fielders, who line up approximately 10 to 15 feet away.
The fielders take turns pitching to the batter, who attempts to hit the ball back.
The batter is retired when he or she fails to hit a ball tossed in the strike zone (over the plate and between the lower portion of the chest and knees), or if one of the fielders catches the ball in the air.
The fielder who catches the ball becomes the new batter. All other fielders rotate left, and the batter assumes the fielding position furthest to the right.
Agility, quickness, hand-eye coordination and reaction
Deck of playing cards
Players take turns being the thrower or one of the catchers.
The thrower tosses the playing cards toward the catchers, one at a time.
Each card has a different flight pattern, forcing the catchers to move in multiple directions.
The catchers try to grab as many of the 52 cards as possible.
Player who fails to catch a card must perform Push-Ups or another type of exercise.
Play one-on-one, which is also a great basketball drill.
More Performance-Improvement Games
Find more enjoyable games to supplement your traditional sports training at the following links. Most of them can be adapted to deliver a total baseball training session.
Source: Dawes, Jay, and Chris Mooney. 101 games and Drills for Conditioning Athletes. Monterey, Calif.: Coaches Choice, 2006.
Mark Roozen, STACK’s senior content editor, has been in the strength, conditioning and performance field for more than 28 years. He holds a Master degree in exercise physiology and several certifications as a strength and conditioning coach, including CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT and FNSCA.