Friday Conditioning Tips 

Non-Traditional Alternative Sports for Great Baseball Shape

I credit much of my ability to hit major league pitching, and for playing major league second base, to the following alternative sports.

Traditionally, baseball players turn to basketball and football as alternative sports to play in the baseball off season. Soccer has turned into another one of the common alternative sports options for baseball players, too. Any sport is usually good for conditioning of players to get into baseball shape, as they help build the speed, agility, and aerobic energy, necessary in baseball. Alternative sports playing also gives kids a mental break from playing baseball year round, a necessary thing at the youth level.

However, other options exist that parents might want to consider for youth ballplayers. The following three alternative sports options are nontraditional ones for kids, but help develop the speed, strength, agility, and conditioning to help players become better athletically and for helping athletes into great baseball shape. In addition, the case could be that they are a much safer alternative to football, soccer, and basketball, sports that are known to create possible long lasting injuries; but that is a story for another day.

Alternative Sports Option 1 – Racquetball for Baseball Shape

Perhaps no sport helps baseball players more than racquetball does. Of course, it is becoming more difficult to find places that have racquetball courts, but for those who can find a court, no sport helps for getting into baseball shape more than this one. Racquetball requires speed, agility, footwork, aerobic energy, body control, and the hand eye coordination necessary to hit the ball squarely, ingredients necessary for baseball. As an added bonus, racquetball helps players learn to read balls for defense, as they must be prepared to move in all directions as in baseball, as well as for reading angles and speeds for batting, as with hitting fastballs, curve balls, and change ups. Of course, no sport is immune to injury, so players should wear protective eye goggles when playing to avoid any possible eye injury, somewhat common for beginning racquetball players. 

* Tennis is another sport that provides many of the same benefits as racquetball and it is much easier to find court to play on, of course.

Alternative Sports Option 2 for Baseball Shape – Martial Arts

Martial arts provide many of the same conditioning benefits, as it requires speed, strength, timing, discipline and body control, all needed for great baseball shape. Martial arts also helps players learn to concentrate and focus, necessary ingredients for baseball players.

Alternative Sports Option 3 for Baseball Shape – Yoga

A conditioning activity for home use is yoga, which provides many strength training and exercise movements that are necessary for baseball shape. It is another activity that builds the mental aspect of sport also, which leads to better concentration and focus for athletes. More and more professional athletes, including baseball players, incorporate yoga into their training regimen.

Performing the skills of boxing, punching the heavy bag and hitting the boxing bag, also helps players with baseball shape. These are just a few of the alternative sports possible for getting into and maintaining great baseball shape for kids not interested in the more traditional sports.

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