Baseball Training Aids
Baseball is simple game. Pitch the ball. Hit the ball. Catch the ball. Throw the ball. But mastering baseball is not as simple as it seems. It is a competitive sport and everybody is trying to be the best so they can make their high school team, then snag a college scholarship and finally live the dream of being a millionaire pro athlete with their face on a baseball card.
Which means the aspiring ball player needs to get any edge he can. Baseball training aids can improve a player’s chance at greatness by honing their skills. Here is a list of baseball training aids that have proven to be beneficial in player development. Some you will recognize and others you may be learning about for the first time. They should all be available for purchase either online or at your local sporting goods store. (Make sure to comparison shop for price before you buy.)
Baseball netting — netting inside a solid frame — is used for various practice purposes. Batters can hit balls into them, either from soft toss or from a tee. Pitchers can pitch into them to hone their technique and location. Fielders can use “return” netting to practice their fielding. They can also be used as portable backstops during live pitching practice. While some baseball nets serve all of these purposes, others are more specialized.
No tees aren’t just for tee-ball. The are also an important baseball training aid. By having older hitters use a tee coaches can work on their swing in a controlled environment.
These automated ball throwing devices allow players to train without a coach or pitching. The more advanced ones can also throw the type of pitches a player might face in games but are difficult to produce on demand in practice. Pitching machines can be quite expensive although you can find more rudimentary models for less than 100 bucks.
Cousin to pitching machines. (In fact most pitching machines can be used as fielding machines.) They fire off grounders, line drives and pop ups for players to practice their fielding.
A fungo bat is a specially designed bat for a coach to use as he self hits balls to fielders during defensive drills and warm ups. Because it’s lightweight the fungo bat has excellent control. Nobody really knows why it has such a ridiculous name.
A reaction ball is a six sided rubber ball that bounces unpredictably when thrown against the ground. This helps baseball players with their defensive reactions and develops hand-to-eye coordination.
A batting trainer is a tee-like base with an arm coming off of it. A baseball ix connected at the end of the arm. With the baseball hanging over the plate the batter swings at it with his bat. Batting trainers can be adjusted to different resistance levels and some can simulate pitches. They are mainly used to work on bat speed.
Used to record pitching speeds. There are also baseball with built in radar records but they tend not to be as accurate.
Bungee based hitting tools.
This is a ball with straps through the middle that is propelled toward the batter while the strap is both anchored to the ground and being held by the coach. Since the ball remains attached it it stays close after the batter strikes it. It can also be easily manipulated to “throw” pitches like curveballs.
Arm resistance trainer
A baseball attached to a bungee with a hooking device on the other end. Used to develop wrist, rotator cuff, shoulder and forearm strength in pitchers.
One handed training bat
At about two-thirds the length and weight of a full-sized bat, this training aid can be used to work exclusively on either your top or bottom hand during soft toss drills.
Not baseball exclusive, but a useful hardball training aid.
Device used to count pitches. Usually comes with more than one counter to track multiple pitchers (or home and away) at once.