For many of us, when the calendar turns to December we all start thinking ahead to the holidays. The weather has turned colder, Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror, and we are all ready to gain a few pounds over the next few weeks. Baseball is the last thing on our minds. Fall seasons have wrapped and we are ready for a break from organized baseball. And you know what I say to that? TAKE IT! Here are 4 things you can do this month that don’t involve organized baseball that will help your players.
Let the kids play
I laugh when I think about this phrase and how it defines some generational differences in MLB players. For this blog topic, it is spot on. Our players are involved in an ever-increasing amount of organized activities, from baseball to music lessons. I’m a huge believer in getting kids outside with minimal adult direction. Jump on the trampoline. Play whiffle ball. Get a game of HORSE going in the driveway. This allows kids to be creative and develop confidence in themselves in a completely different way than organized activities.
Use Standout at home
If your player just can’t stand being away from the game, our Training Library is a full of baseball drills that can be done in your backyard, driveway, or even your living room. We have dozens of low impact drills that focus on movements over power, such as the LVI Throwing Drill, or the Backhand Variations, or the Slo-Mo and Reverse. These drills help players slow down and repeat movements that improve performance. It also allows those arms and knees to ….
Whether you are 5, 15, or 55, your body needs time to rest and heal. Baseball is demanding on joints and small muscle groups, and taking a break gives these parts of our bodies a chance to heal and get stronger. Trust me, my knees now wish I had taken more time to recover when I was a young player. Even major leaguers take up to a month off from baseball activities to give their bodies a chance to recover from the grind of the season.
Play other sports
The debate on this on social media is endless, but I will stand firm that younger players especially need to develop a variety of skills that don’t all involve hitting a fastball. You may think your 10 year old is the second coming of Mike Trout, but he hasn’t even hit puberty yet. Kids involved in a variety of activities develop new skills, and maybe most importantly, they may find new interests. It also minimizes the chance for burnout on a single activity, which we see all the time. I love this quote from Giancarlo Stanton on the topic:
“I played basketball, baseball, and football. I never had much downtime. But I think playing multiple sports helped tremendously in my baseball career. I have the agility of all three combined into one.”
— Giancarlo Stanton
Our mission is to enable youth players to achieve success in baseball and life by gaining confidence in what they do on the ballfield. Baseball ends for all of us, but what we learn from the game carries on for the rest of our lives.