Warming Up
There is nothing in baseball that will set a player back any more than a sore arm. That is why adequate time must be spent warming up your arms properly. During the early part of training, the arm must be protected from stress that would slow down a young persons progress. Players must be discouraged from throwing full speed without a graduate build up program.

It is natural for a baseball player to show off a good arm, many times before the arm is properly conditioned. Early season defensive drills should not require a person to throw full speed unless the player has built up his arm to stand this possible stress.

Players should be encouraged to spend at least 7-8 minutes every practice day warming up their arms prior to any type of defensive work. They should plan their arrival time on the field to allow them enough time for stretching and throwing before they are involved in a practice session or game.

During these throwing sessions players should be encouraged to work on good throwing mechanics. It is so important that a baseball coach impress upon his players that these warm-up sessions can be used to help themselves not only strengthen their arms, but also, to work on their mechanics and throwing accuracy. The players should be encouraged to throw with players who play the same defensive position. In this way the players can warm up at distances that reflect the position they play.


STRETCHING EXERCISES

Exercises For All Players (in this order)

1. 10 rolling of arms backward and forward.
2. 10 fingertip pushups (hitters only)
3. 20 regular pushups (hitters only)
4. 10 toe touches with full stretching overhead
5. 5 toe side touches each toe
6. 5 toe to back ground touches
7. 5 groin stretches each way
8. 2 sit down toe touches – holding five seconds
9. 5 hurdle stretches both legs
10. 1 backward flip, open legs touch to ground and hold for 5 seconds.


Exercises For Pitchers Prior to Throwing in Bullpen (in this order)

1. 10 rolling of arms backward and forward
2. 10 toe touches and full stretching overhead
3. 5 toe touches each toe
4. 5 toe to back ground touches
5. Series of arm pulling techniques (10 pulls each)
1) Across chest
2) Behind back
3) Over head
4) Pulling thumb
6. Medi-ball exercises (10 each)–To be done before and immediately after throwing
1) Circle leaning over
2) Forward and backward leaning over
3) Sideways leaning over
4) Forward and back standing up


Batting Practice

-The batting practice phase of practice should take up about 60-70 percent of a practice day. If organized properly many things can be accomplished during batting practice to keep everyone busy along with getting additional fundamental skills refined. Detailed below is what can be done in a batting practice session:

1. Batting cage – The batting cage is practically a necessity in order to have an organized and highly structured batting practice session. Not only does the cage keep most foul balls from leaving the field of play, but also, it enables the fungo hitters to hit ground balls to the infielders without having to worry about getting hit by a baseball off the bat

Softball vs. Baseball hitting

Much has been written on the perceived differences in the fast-pitch softball swing and the swing mechanics for baseball. Softball coaches proclaim that the pitchers reverse release point creates a different ball trajectory to home plate forcing the softball hitter to digress from the “baseball” down to level swing plane. However, the same forces that affect the movement and location of a pitched baseball are acting upon the pitched softball. Specifically, horizontal movement (caused by finger/grip variations) and vertical movement (a function of velocity deceleration and gravity forces) affect both the pitched baseball and softball. Proper sequential body movements are universal for both the softball and baseball swing in order to maximize bat speed at point of contact.

Due to the shorter distance between home plate and the pitchers mound, the softball hitters pre-swing mechanics and visual skills must be more efficient than baseball hitters.

Starting the swing early and seeing the pitched softball sooner is a must for the advanced softball hitter.

Crucial to the continued development of a softball hitter is incorporating proper visual skills (binocular set-up, ocular tension awareness, personal routes and focus points to the release point, etc.) as the velocity and variation of pitches are presented.

Training baseball and softball hitters requires a combination of physical, visual and mental topics. Without all topics presented, a hitter ability to reach his or her full potential is doubtful.

FLY BALL COMMUNICATION PRIORITY SYSTEM

DEFENSIVE POSITION
HAS PRIORITY OVER ON
A FLY BALL
HAS NO PRIORITY OVER ON
A FLY BALL

FIRST BASEMAN
CATCHER AND PITCHER
SECOND BASEMAN, THIRD BASEMAN,
SHORTSTOP AND RIGHT FIELDER

SECOND BASEMAN
FIRST BASEMAN AND PITCHER
SHORTSTOP AND ALL OUTFIELDERS

SHORTSTOP
SECOND BASEMAN, THIRD BASEMAN,
FIRST BASEMAN AND PITCHER
ALL OUTFIELDERS

THIRD BASEMAN
CATCHER, PITCHER AND
FIRST BASEMAN
SHORTSTOP AND LEFT FIELDER

CATCHER
PITCHER
FIRST BASEMAN AND THIRD BASEMAN

PITCHER
NO FIELDER
CATCHER AND ALL INFIELDERS

LEFT FIELDER
ALL INFIELDERS
CENTER FIELDER

CENTER FIELDER
LEFT FIELDER, RIGHT FIELDER AND
ALL INFIELDERS

RIGHT FIELDER
ALL INFIELDERS
CENTER FIELDER

Note: If the second baseman and third baseman were to ever be in a position to go after the same ball, the third baseman would take priority over the second baseman. We have just listed those positions that would ever have a chance to come together.