Baseball is a game played by a team of nine players that includes pitchers, catchers, hitters, and fielders, and all of them have a different role to play in the game. Usually, a team practice involves a mock playing match with fellow team members, but a player can also practice on their own.
However, it’s quite difficult to practice baseball alone. Isn’t it? The big question is how you can get better at baseball by yourself?
Well, this article will help you to perform any drill whether it’s hitting, pitching, fielding or even catching by yourself.
Best Ways to Practice Baseball Alone
Baseball requires an entire set of skills which includes sprinting, batting, hand to eye coordination, right swinging, and good fielding. All these sets of skills can be developed by regular practice, drills, and exercises.
Despite being a team sport, it is not entirely necessary for a player to always practice with the team. There are various techniques, methods, and exercises that would help baseball players to develop their skills and physical strength by themselves at their comfort place. Perfection in these skills would definitely lead you up to the pro baseball player level.
Each and every player in the game need a different set of exercise techniques and approaches to improve their particular skill required in the game on their own.
How can Practicing by Yourself Benefit the ‘Pitchers’?
Improves Throwing Skills
Baseball game involves a lot of throwing around, especially since you are playing the role of a pitcher. Throwing a ball hard and perfect in a line requires rigorous and repetitive practice without which you would stand in an awkward position in the game. You need to strengthen not only your forearm muscles but also your lower body as it also comes into play while you throw.
Pitchers can practice the throwing ball techniques at their own comfort place by using a tree or a wall as a target. This would simply ease the whole process and keep your aim focused. The pitchers should try different throwing positions by continuously increasing their distance from the target.
The constant practice of this drill would ultimately improve your throwing skills and offer you the ability to make a precise throw.
Better Hand-Eye Coordination
Along with being better at your throwing skills, a pitcher also needs to be best at hand-eye coordination as it is impossible to become a good baseball player without it. This is because you might not be able to throw a ball and hit a target at a perfect point with poor hand-eye coordination.
The best approach to improve your hand-eye coordination on your own is through tossing the baseball high up in the air and catching it using only one hand at a time 100 times a day. You can also bounce the ball into the wall in one hand and catch it with the other at a time.
With continuous practice, it becomes quite simple to manage your hand-to-eye coordination and with time it kind of develops into automatic coordination.
Enhances Hand Drills
Hand drills are extremely easy to practice on your own as you only need a surface like a wall and a ball. You need to work on your different forms and styles including long and short hops as well as forehand and backhand throws. Hand drills can also be practiced with the help of a partner like a family member or friend.
These indoor baseball drills also allow you to spend more quality time with your family and friends.
Refines Pick Offs Skills
Pitchers should have a fielding skill to be proud of otherwise their value decreases in the game. Pick-off skills are another set of skills a pitcher needs to be mastered on and the easiest way to develop this skill is to practice on a regular basis.
As you practice your pick-off skills, other skills like quickness, swiftness, and location skills also improve to make you a perfect pitcher. This leads you to become a pro and accomplished pitcher with exceptional fielding skills and capabilities.
The best approach to practice these skills is by hoisting a bucket at your convenient height and aim to throw your pickoffs in the bucket. This helps you to understand that pick-offs are quick pitches often with a limited action of the arms.
Therefore, you need to accurate and prompt to make an excellent pick off in the game.
How can Practicing by Yourself Benefit the ‘Hitters’?
Every baseball player especially the hitters should know how to bat perfectly, correctly, and precisely. A hitter can use a pitching machine or a hitting machine to throw balls at them as this would make the whole process of practicing baseball yourself easy and convenient. These types of baseball drills at home also help you to bond with your family.
The hitters can use the same setup as pitcher sets to practice throwing a baseball; the only difference would be instead of a wall, a pitching machine will be in use. This pitching machine will keep throwing balls at the hitter, and the hitter will have to hit the balls.
This not only develops your hitting skills but also improves hand-eye coordination while practicing. It also allows you to understand the path of your ball based on your stance and be more attentive. These observations will enable you to make adjustments and improvements on your ways to hit the ball.
Boosts Swing Techniques
If you are a hitter, then you need to be best in your swinging style and form otherwise it would hamper your game. However, a perfect swing does not come to you instantly; you need to practice hard on a regular basis to achieve the perfect swing.
The swinging practice also develops and molds your body mechanics so that you can make a calculated move without being in an awkward position. The best way to practice swinging is to hit the machine-throw balls or pitching balls that are thrown at varying speeds. This particularly aims to develop your targeting and accuracy skills.
You can also use ‘Swingrail’– a training aid that helps you to fix common swinging flaws and work on your techniques.
All these methods allow you to understand and identify the part of the bat you are comfortable with.
The baseball players, especially the fielders, need to practice tag plays frequently to improve their accuracy and aiming skills highly required while running out a player. The tag plays can be performed by throwing the baseball at a vertical surface such as a wall and catch the returning ball and then tag it to a plate or base you have marked.
This practice should be done on a repeated basis to make quick and accurate tag plays consistently. It can be made more fun-filled by assuming a player running behind you as you are making a tag.
A fielder requires a set of skills that plays an integral part in their role in the game. One of the most critical skills or activity is sprinting as ideally a fielder, whether an infielder or outfielder needs to move promptly from one point to another, such as to the bases. They need to keep running across the plates and catch the flying balls.
Sprinting can be practiced using the timers to time yourself about how long it takes you to cover a distance between two bases. The base distance should be marked according to the game rules and game ground to have a better approach towards practicing.
This helps you to know your speed and improve accordingly.
How can Practicing by Yourself Benefit the ‘Catchers’?
Increases Arm strength
The catcher in a baseball game needs a stronger and durable arm as they are the essence of the game by serving as the defenders. The main job of a catcher is to catch the pitches effectively and call the game. Therefore, it is quite crucial for a catcher to be able to throw hard and perfect with ease.
Arm strength practices would help a catcher to develop a stronger and healthier arm that possesses high power. The only thing you need for this practice session is a ball and a wall to throw at. Keep on throwing as much as you can by changing your positions and distances from the target.
This exercise helps you to build your focus on the target and enhance your throwing power.
Improves Hand Drills
The hand drills that include exercises for the arms, as well as the entire body, are the best way to practice throwing and catching the balls all at once. This also helps you to develop your arms and make them stronger.
You can practice different techniques like long and short hop or forehand and backhand throw.
To become a pro baseball player, you need more than just to understand the rules and concepts of the games. An athletic and well-built body is necessary to excel in this field as it makes you appear and feel more energetic.
This is the reason you need to take up the exercises to have an athletic and well-built body while practicing baseball by yourself. A few of the exercises include a straight sprint, plyometric, steal starts, and adder work. The most important aspect of these exercises is that they do not require any kind of fancy equipment to practice on.
However, while you are practicing indoor baseball drills solo, you need to use necessary resources such as online coaching videos or expert advice from professionals and experienced players to know how to practice in the best way possible.
In this era of 2020, there are also a lot of tutorials available on youtube that you can refer to if you are new to baseball.
Benefits of Practicing Baseball Alone
Practicing baseball alone at home or in your own comfort space allows you to get better at baseball by yourself. There are a lot of benefits involved in practicing baseball by you indoors at your home, garage, or personal ground space. Some of the advantages have been listed below.
Baseball is more about the team than an individual player, although each player has its role in the game. Every time a player gets up to the field, they play for their team rather than themselves. As baseball is a game that is also popular among young players; hence they learn at a very young age the value of a team and teamwork.
They learn to work together and cheer each other on their victories. They understand the fact that being a part of a team is more important than being the star player. As a player practices baseball alone, they understand the value of a team and teammates.
As you practice by yourself indoors along with your family members or friends you are constantly encouraged to keep on trying and never give up. This boosts the player’s self-confidence and helps them to improve at a large scale in their game as well as form.
Enhances Motor Skills
Sports are the best way to enhance and develop your gross motor skills, especially baseball. It helps to build your core muscle strength, leg muscle, and upper body strength, whether you are a younger or an adult player. This helps the players to become stronger and gain balance and control over their bodies, which improves their skills and leads to success through continuous practice even of the fields.
The enhancements of gross motor skills help the players to prepare for other sports as well.
The baseball game is a tiring and stressful sport as a player needs to give their 30% of their time at-bat to be considered a skilled player. Therefore a baseball player needs to be patient at all times and wait for their turn in the game.
If you play baseball by yourself along with your younger brother or sisters, it also helps to build patience in these young kids, and eventually, this patience helps them to excel later in life.
Improves Focus and Attention
Baseball is more of a slow sport than a fast-action game most of the time. A baseball player has to either stand at their outfield or infield position, waiting for their turn to hang in the dugout while they are not running the bases. The players not only have to wait patiently for their turns but also give their full attention and focus on the ball to know when they need to catch, throw, or steal.
The baseball game depends totally on the attention to detail to successfully win the games. Hence baseball helps to develop the focus and attention power of players in all aspects.
Refines your Motor Planning
Baseball involves a set of skills that deal with motor planning as the players need to know where to hold the bat, how to balance it and swing it as well. It requires a great deal of strength, concentration, and motor planning. In order to master the skill, a player needs a significant amount of practice and determination even off the field.
Practicing baseball alone by yourself can be lonesome and tiring as well, but it can also be a lot helpful to you as you are not dependent on anyone. This would also boost your self-esteem and self-confidence, allowing you to understand your weaknesses and capabilities.
Playing baseball by yourself also gives you a chance or opportunity to develop your relationship with your family members and friends other than fellow players. We hope that this article helps you to build your skills and forms by yourself at home.