So you’ve played a lot of little league and youth baseball and you want to continue playing as you enter high school. You may still be a few years away but you want to be ready when the time comes for tryouts. What are some things you can do to get yourself ready?
Well, we have put together some things that we think can help. You may be surprised the find that although many of them are related to how you play the game, there are few that aren’t.
Here you go…
Know Your Fundamentals
It seems like we always come back to this but that’s because it’s so important for a baseball player at any level. Knowing and practicing your fundamentals is crucial to your current and future success. It will be even more important when you get to a high school baseball tryout.
So whether you do extra work in the batting cages to perfect your swing, or work on your speed and footwork, practicing your fundamentals can make you stand out. As an outfielder you want to work on catching fly balls the proper way and making quick and accurate throws using the correct form. As an infielder, practice your footwork, charging the ball and making strong and accurate throws.
Pitchers will want to work on their fundamentals as well. Everything from your balance, grip and stride are things you can work on to show you have mastered these important skills by the time you get to the high school level.
High school coaches will be able to see very quickly which players have a good grasp of baseball fundamentals and which ones don’t. It’s one good way to make sure you stand out from the crowd quickly.
No matter what your skill level, a player with hustle and determination is a player coaches love. It’s shows that you’re willing to work hard and learn. Players will still need baseball skills to be a part of the team, but learning and showing improvement are valuable too. Be the first one to practice and the last to leave, and make sure you show an interest in always wanting to improve.
Be a Smart Hitter
Here are a few things hitters should know how to do before reaching the high school level.
1) Bat control – You should be able to drive a pitch on the outer half of the plate to the opposite field. High school coaches will emphasize hitting “behind” a runner at first or second base in order to move him over into better scoring position
2) Bunting – The ability to manufacture runs at the high school level is important. Many high school teams, however, must manufacture runs with well-placed singles and sacrifices. Learn to lay down a sacrifice bunt, and be willing to give yourself up for the sake of the team. Know the difference between a sacrifice and a drag bunt, and the appropriate game situations for using each technique.
3) Selective Swings – Learn how to be a patient hitter. Practice how to wait for a quality pitch to swing at, and be ready to “pull the trigger” when one comes their way. Know when to take a pitch, e.g., late in the game when your team is behind. Be just as skilled at taking bad pitches as you are at hitting good pitches!
Show Your Defensive Skills
And not just your skills, but your knowledge of the game.
1) Cuts & Relays – Learn what to do with runners on base, outfielders must be able to hit their cut-off men, infielders must be able to turn a quick relay, pitchers must be able back up third base or home, and catchers must be very vocal about what to do with the ball.
2) Throwing Accuracy – It’s not just pitchers who must throw strikes. From a distance of at least ninety feet or more, you should be able to throw the ball within a couple of feet of any target. If you can’t, this is something you should begin practicing. Generally, throws need to arrive about chest high so the receiver can see the ball clearly.
Have a Great Attitude
No matter how talented you are, there aren’t too many coaches who are happy to have a player on their team with a poor attitude. Be positive and show your confidence. Ask your coaches if there is anything you can do to get better or to help the team. Show a willingness to do whatever it takes to help the team win. Having a great attitude can’t do anything but help.