High-Performance Baseball Training


High-Performance Baseball Training

Baseball is a unique sport. There isn’t constant running/movement like the other major sports and the body mechanics that the sport requires are also unlike any other sport played. With that being said it is really easy to sell gimmicky baseball “specific” training to young athletes and parents who are unaware they are being taken advantage of. For instance, does an 8th grader who can’t do 15 quality push-ups, can’t be explosive in 3-Dimensions (or one dimension for that matter), and rarely sprints need a weighted ball and/or “velocity” program? We tell parents that baseball players need development on their mechanics and good training that is personalized, comprehensive, and robust.

Here’s how we deliver a high-performance baseball training experience and the one thing we encourage coaches and players NOT to do.

1. I said to a parent once that we often assume that since kids are “lifting” it is being done well and in a way that moves the needle. That is a big assumption. The reality is that young athletes often do not know they are lifting poorly or ineffectively. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. They collapse on their squat, big time round on their deadlift, don’t go all the way down, or neglect any significant single-leg strength. Many are receptive to feedback and coaching. Others just want to keep doing what they have been doing. The bottom line is that baseball requires strength to excel. You simply can’t hit or throw with force without being strong. In a game at this level, you’ll never be able to catch up to the fastball or put enough force into the ball to be a legitimate threat. 

2. Reactive speed is very important. This can be considered in two buckets. One bucket is the ability to react quickly to a ball hit towards you. What makes baseball unique is that it truly is a game of inches. Your ability to hear the ball hit, initiate instincts to push and propel you in the right direction quickly, and then stop on a dime is key to making plays that win ball games. Also, being explosive makes it easier to make plays like this because you get there quicker and with more control versus having to stretch. The second bucket is your initial acceleration has to be mechanically sound and strong. This acceleration has application when getting a jump base stealing or making plays defensively. Athletes need to learn how to directional step, rip their arms to open their shoulders, push, and become a “straight-line” sprinter as fast as possible. Both buckets of reactive speed will make you a threat and more dynamic of a player. 

3. Improve your top-end speed (peak MPH). During a game I went to see, a player barely missed a fly ball over his head that could have changed the game. One player stole second base and then scored on a passed ball. Many coaches and parents think that since you rarely reach true top speed because the distance isn’t long enough it isn’t important. This isn’t true for two reasons. The first is top speed creates a speed reserve and builds a more efficient athlete. If I player can sprint 20 MPH he can run better at 17 MPH versus a player that can barely hit 17MPH. Think of it in race car terms, a race car that can go 200MPH is better at racing at 120 than a Honda Accord that can only top out at 130MPH. This same principle applies to athletes. Another factor for top speed in baseball is that you do hit it. Stretching out a double, going from 2nd to home, going from 1st to 3rd, and chasing down a long fly ball are all instances when you are knocking on your top speed. Bottom line, train to sprint. 

4. Baseball is a game of rotational power. Developing rotational power is a skill that takes time and can be trained specifically. I’ve seen countless athletes really struggle to get “into their hips” and connect the movement together so that it is clean AND powerful. There are also levels to it. D1 Baseball player Justin Bosland from Roxbury drives immense power from our Keiser machine using 50 pounds of air resistance doing explosive Cable Whips and Cable Bar Rotations (shown below). The more high school athletes that get to 30 pounds of air pressure and beyond the more it will impact their game. I am glad to see that medicine ball throws have become more popular in baseball circles but even that is just scratching the tip of the iceberg. The bottom line, learn how to develop and express rotational power in ways that create new personal bests. I guarantee it will carry over into the game.  

One of our favorites to develop rotational power.
Another one of our favorites for rotational power.

5. STOP CONDITIONING! You shouldn’t do traditional conditioning. On the flip side of all of this strength, speed, and power is the dreaded conditioning. Coaches running their players into the ground with endless gassers and “poles” are hurting their teams chances of being at their best. Young athletes are able to withstand these methods because they are young, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t diminishing their strength, speed, and power. If I were to test an athletes rotational power on the Keiser as the season progresses they would probably have lost quite a bit from their pre-season numbers. I am going to put together a complete blog article on this topic but the bottom line is that you don’t need to condition baseball players. Spend the vast majority of your time developing speed, strength, and power! 


The big takeaway is that a baseball player is an athlete and all athletes need a complete approach to development. They don’t just need rotator cuff work with bands, or special exercises, or to be treated like delicate flowers. They need good, solid training that considers the demands of the sport and challenges them to build athletic qualities they will need. Yes, we do include some unique exercises for baseball players but they are included within a complete program that accomplishes a lot. Become the best baseball player you can be by moving the needle on these athletic qualities and you’ll be more dangerous on the bases, at the plate, and in the field. That’s the name of the game. 

Athletes of all ages experience speed, agility, power, and strength improvements because our program never skips steps, is completely comprehensive, and we keep tweaking the recipe to maximize improvement. With sports being more fun and more competitive than perhaps ever before, Driven is the home for the athlete who desires to reach the next level. You can learn more by filling out the form on this website.