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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Want to Hit Homeruns? Baseball Players Need an Training Plan

Want to Hit Homeruns? Baseball Players Need an Training Plan
By Guest Author: Ricki Camargo

I grew up playing high school baseball in a small town. I was never the best or worst, but I pretty much got by on athletic ability alone. Then after high school, I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to a junior college. Again, I wasn't best or worst, but I quickly learned that I had to work at least a little in order to be competitive and get playing time.

After a time I realized that players who had less talent than me were passing me by and getting more playing time because they were working for it harder than I was. Growing up, I had always relied on my innate athletic ability, so I didn't really know what steps I needed to take now in order to get better. But I did know that I absolutely loved the game; I knew I had to make a change and no one was going to hold my hand and show me how.

I started to shadow a guy that was starting ahead of me in center field. I was amazed! I always knew he worked hard, but so much went on behind the scenes - staying after practice for extra batting practice, taking extra flyballs before practice and on off days, finishing first in every sprint during practice. It was the little things like that that made him great. After the season was over, I knew that I wanted to come back as a better player the next year. Now I knew the work that I had to put in, and I had a game plan to reach my goal.

Summertime is the best time for high school and college baseball players to improve their skills and get bigger, faster, and stronger. A big problem (and I was guilty of this also) is that players go into the off season with the mindset of - "I'll take a week off and enjoy myself and then hit the gym."

But, the GREAT ones go into the off season saying - "I will work as hard as I can to reach my goal, and no one can stop me or out work me." These are the ones that come back to school in the fall looking like a new player. That's the attitude to have! They also have a detailed workout plan to get them to their goals. This is a crucial part of your off season training.

N.Y. Mets trainer Jeff Cavaliere has put together a great program - that is endorsed by major leaguers like David Wright, Johan Santana and a handful of other Mets players - for any baseball player that wants to improve their skills. His book, which includes input from former and current Mets players about what really works for them, lays out the exact sets, reps, and exercises complete with color pictures for each, detailing step by step how to get the most out of them. You also get access to his blog that's loaded with more valuable tips like nutrition and injury prevention.

I still give private hitting lessons and incorporate many of the exercises he describes in detail, so I know first hand that following this program really provides results. If you're a player who knows he/she can get more out of their ability or a coach looking for individual player workouts or even a parent trying to unlock your child's hidden potential, Jeff's program is a great place to start.

As a former baseball player and coach, I now train high school and collegiate players. I review the latest baseball training drills, workouts, and nutrition tips as well as provide places to go online to read and view some of the best coaching advice in the nation. Refer to my website often for these training tips and more.

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