Most players hate to condition, and physical conditioning in youth baseball training is usually just a small part of baseball practices. Players would rather do hitting, pitching and fielding drills as these are much more fun.
However, there are major benefits to regular physical conditioning. The coach should encourage players to condition every day, outside of regular practice. Parents can help the coach, and their son, by ensuring the coach's conditioning requirements are met. Many kids today have led a sedentary lifestyle and may not be in very good shape. By enforcing physical conditioning, not only will the boys be better baseball players, they will be healthier overall!
Physical conditioning involves such activities as running (sprints and long distance), stair stepping, weight lifting (age appropriate), core conditioning, pushups, pullups, and situps, etc. The coach should create a schedule for each day, and have the players keep track of what they are doing in a journal that can reviewed.
Here are five benefits of physical conditioning:
1. It encourages mental toughness – by sticking to a routine and a schedule, kids are demonstrating their commitment.
2. It helps to prevent injuries – a strong body will withstand the rigors of base sliding, pitching and batting better.
3. It will increase stamina – this is especially important for pitchers.
4. It will increase speed – faster runs around the bases, quicker (and more successful) steals.
5. The boy will be a better player overall, improving his confidence.
As a coach of youth baseball, requiring your players to adhere to a physical conditioning program in addition to their regular practices will help lead your team to success.