Baseball is an exhausting game that requires holistic athleticism and mental focus. A large group of young children if not all dream of becoming a baseball player, and most want to pursue a career so they start playing at a young age.
What are the skills needed to become an excellent baseball player? Let us analyze each skill and validate how it is essential in playing bat and ball.
Throwing is an essential skill in baseball that requires coordination of the whole body. Each throw needs to be quick and accurate in order to hinder the opposing team from scoring.
Balance, stability, strong arms and perfect timing is vital in throwing a baseball. When a player throws a baseball, he needs to efficiently control his body movement and maintain his center of gravity allowing him to generate strength and move precisely.
With proper training and conditioning, strong arms will allow a player to throw fastballs past the hitter. Lastly, with continuous practice of throwing, a player can intuitively perceive when is the perfect time to throw the baseball fast enough for the opponents to miss.
The main goal of the players who hold the bat is to hit the ball and drive it away, far away from the fielders. By hitting the baseball hard enough, the fielders will be running after the baseball giving the hitter ample time to run from the plate to the first base.
Confidence, hand-eye coordination, timing, strong arms and good grip make a good hitter. Hitting itself is a battle on its own. A hitter is in limbo whether to wait for an easy pitch or start a hitting spree not to mention, pressured that it will only take three strikes and he is out.
That is where confidence comes into the picture, if a player is confident with his ability to hit the ball, he can combine both his mental focus and physical strength to hit the baseball with accuracy and strength.
Hand-eye coordination enables a player to coordinate what his eyes see to guide his hands and accomplish his task, to hit the ball. An excellent baseball player works very hard to perfect his rhythm and timing by continuously practicing his timing drills.
When the opposing team is batting, the fielders support the pitcher in the field. The fielder is any defensive player whose goal is to protect his base and secure the flying baseball in his hands and hold it as firmly as possible.
Fielding requires strong arms as baseball requires a player to catch and throw the baseball all the time. No matter what a fielder’s position is, agility, good rate of motion, mobility and leaping ability are vital skills needed to perform their tasks.
Adequate practice and exercise will help a baseball player achieve the level of sharpness he needs. Moving swiftly and jumping high are essential in catching the baseball thus speed, mobility and leaping ability goes hand in hand as the elements of strength required are very much alike.
The catcher has the most physically and mentally draining task among the players of baseball. Making split-second-game-changing decisions, the catcher is considered the coach on the field.
A catcher needs to know the game of baseball by heart, the way a coach needs to know the game.
Catching is also the most physically demanding compared to other positions on the field. In order to become a quality catcher, a player needs to be agile which can be achieved by rigorous training; he needs strong arms for catching, mental awareness to remain focused and knowledge of the game to come up with tactical plays.
One of the vital skills that are often overlooked in a power game like baseball is base running. Mobility and speed are the crafts that need to be honed for runners not just in baseball but also in other sports.
Running helps strengthen the muscles and with continuous training, a player can endure hours of running on the field.
The tactical part of baseball is base running. Fielders are compelled to throw the ball to another base if the opposing team has skilful base runners that arrive quicker than they expected.
In order to become an ace in base running, a player needs to practice drills religiously in order to help them keep their eye on the ball, have great footwork and build stamina.
Eye – Hand Coordination
Eye-hand or hand-eye coordination is a crucial skill a baseball player needs. During a game on the field, a batter needs to quickly process visual information in order for him to measure how he will hit the ball and the amount of force he needs to exert.
Fielders can avoid the mistake of being caught off-balance. A base runner needs to focus on the baseball while running. Eye-hand coordination is a motor skill that can be improved by practicing vision-based exercises regularly which will improve a player’s alertness, concentration and focus.
In conclusion, the skills needed to become an excellent baseball player are the results of combining physical agility and mental focus. An excellent baseball player needs to be strong mentally and physically, work hard and exert consistent effort in order to achieve his career goal.
Baseball is a stressful game and too much stress can sometimes result in poor performance. With positive self-talk and visualization, a player can make use of that stress to encourage himself and reflect on which skills need focus and further training.
Working hard teaches a player to learn discipline and build his character. As long as a baseball player is passionate with what he does, he will be successful.
An excellent baseball player has to have the heart to passionately love the game, the agility to endure the physical pain it may cause, the consistency to perfect his skills and the determination to succeed.