Going, going …gone. Even though baseball is a game of singles, every player secretly wants to blast a home run into the center field seats every time they step up to the plate. Hitting for power has always been baseball's premier play. Even more exciting than base stealing, double plays and the suicide squeeze.
Everybody knows it takes strength, power and eye-hand coordination skills to excel in baseball and softball.
Second only to golf, accurate eye-hand coordination makes or breaks the skill level of baseball players. Whether it's hitting, fielding or base running, the ability to coordinate eye-hand movement and eye-foot movement with power separates the good from the best at every level of the sport.
The problem is you also need to have good balance combined with a minimum core strength and power baseline for balance stability. Like anything else that's built solid. You have to build it from the ground up. It has to start off balanced and each additional layer has to be strong enough to support the structure above it. The same is true for baseball players as well as athletes in every sport. Without core balance stability, true power and eye-hand coordination is likely to be flawed.
Vew-Do Balance Boards make a couple of balance training tools that fit the balance, power and eye-hand coordination needs of baseball players. The Flow is a dynamic balance trainer that also gives its rider the ability to hone intermediate heel/toe balance recovery skills. The Zippy is also plyometric ready. When paired with the Vew-Do Plyometric Rock Training System™, the Zippy morphs into a plyometric power training tool.
Below are some basic balance, power and eye-hand coordination drills for baseball players.
Eye Hand Coordination Drills:
Soft-toss hitting - The same drill you've been doing for years, except now you'll add balance stability to it. Using a bucket of wiffle balls and a fence as a backstop, balance on your Vew-Do and have a teammate or coach soft-toss pitch them as you practice hitting.
Ball-to-glove drills - Balance on your Vew-Do Balance Board while you catch and throw to a teammate. Or practice throwing and catching solo by bouncing a tennis or rubber ball off a solid wall.
Balance Training Drills:
Lateral & heel/toe balance recovery - Mount the board comfortably with your feet placed slightly outside shoulder width. With your knees slightly bent, Put the board in motion laterally by alternately weighting and un-weighting from one side to the other. Practice heel/toe balance recovery by pivoting your ankles from heel to toe. Remember to keep your hips centered in relation to your body and the riding deck of the board.
Hip rotation - Use the same stance as the lateral exercise. Keep your lower body stationary as you rotate your upper body at the hips. Using a teammate or coach, add a live catch and throw step to each rotation for additional eye-hand coordination drilling.
Balance Board Strength & Power Drills:
Perform lunges, squats, push-ups etc, using weights, resistance bands or your own body weight. Increase the intensity by increasing the speed and frequency of the exercises.
Plyometrics - Increase upper and lower body power using lateral and vertical jump training drills or plyometric push-ups.
Adding these balance board drills and exercises to your training protocol will not only help improve power, balance and coordination, but will also stimulate and recruit additional stabilizer muscles not normally trained during conventional workouts.
By: Rick Contrata