It is no mystery why baseball has long been such a beloved pastime for so many. However, there are some aspiring players who really could do with a bit of guidance when it comes to playing the game well. The piece below is intended to serve precisely that purpose and make better players of each reader.
Learn how to hit a ball without chasing it by using a batting cage. A batting cage allows you to hit the ball as hard as you can without worrying about an errant ball going through a window. The batting cage has mesh sides so the ball is easily recovered.
Practice your defense. Sure pitching and batting get all of the glory, but being a great defensive player is worth just as much to your team. The ability to save a run is just as valuable as the ability to create a run. Both are needed to win ball games.
Batting helmets are essential for safety. The reason you need a helmet on is so that you don’t injure your head. The greatest batting helmets have shields that protect your face from badly pitched balls or foul ball hits.
For kids in baseball, make sure they their hands are placed properly for hitting. The top hand on the bat needs to be sitting near the same height as their rear shoulder, about 3 to 6 inches from that rear shoulder. Their rear elbow needs to be around 45-degrees. The front elbow needs to be lower and about even with the back elbow.
Always follow the signs given to you by your manager or base coach. Remember, baseball is a team sport. It’s not just about your statistics. Sometimes the coach may give you a sign you don’t like, but trust in the fact that it’s likely the best move given a lot of different factors.
Before stepping in to face a new pitcher, take a couple of practice swings while he’s facing another batter. Use the time to measure the pitcher’s timing. This will give you a better opportunity to have a quality at bat against the pitcher. Otherwise, you may be outclassed pretty quickly.
When batting, don’t be afraid to take a few pitches, especially against a pitcher you are less familiar with. Those pitches will give you an idea of the pitchers speed and the ball’s action to the plate. Plus, the additional pitches will help wear out the pitcher over the course of the game. A tired pitcher makes more mistakes.
Don’t let a losing streak get to you. Losing streaks happen in every sport, but in baseball luck can play a very big factor on any given day. Losing streaks can be prolonged over many games. Never let it get you down. Approach each game with an air of self confidence and soon you’ll beat that slump.
When fielding a ground ball, square up on the ball before catching. Many young players go for a side glove catch or a one-handed grab, but with each you are increasing your chances for an error. If you’ve got the time to get in front of the ball, do so. Use both hands and bend at the knees to help block against a bad hop.
When the ball is pitched, you must be in a position to run. This means that you should be standing with your knees slightly bent and your feet shoulder width apart. This stance will ensure that your are ready to take off as soon as the bat makes contact with the ball.
Practice throwing the baseball every day. It may seem obvious, but some ignore throwing for the call of the batter’s cage. They think baseball is all about the big hit. It’s about much more, and a strong arm can mean a lot of runs saved over the course of a season.
The way the grass on the field has been mowed can affect ground balls. The lines in outfield can alter the baseball’s course when it rolls on the ground. When learning how a ball reacts when rolling along the lines, you can get it to where that ball stops.
When playing the outfield, practice both calling for a fly ball and backing off if a fly ball is called for by someone else. Miscommunication in the outfield has led to more dropped balls than you can ever imagine, even in the pros it happens. So get your outfield team together and shag flies with the goal of getting your communication down.
Don’t ignore the baseball uniform. Every team has a uniform that they wear. It’s an important aspect of the game. Don’t ignore the tradition and team atmosphere by refusing to wear certain aspects of the uniform. This can lead to bad blood not only between you and your coaches, but also between you and your fellow teammates.
When throwing a knuckleball, grip the ball’s seams with your fingertips. This lets you release a ball without spinning, which allows the ball to follow the wind current while turning and dipping to frustrate that hitter. The pitch is a success if the batter swings and misses.
As a catcher, practice your throw to second base over and over. You’ve got the incredible hard job of stopping base stealers when you’re behind the plate. It’s one of the toughest things to do. It all begins with a quick release and an accurate throw. Practice both, and you’ll see that soon potential base stealers will respect that arm of yours and stay put.
The allure of baseball really is the stuff of legend. Kids and grown-ups alike have long appreciated the skill and excitement embodied by this terrific sport. Those interested in learning more about the game and refining their own skills will hopefully find the advice found above to be a useful reference going forward.