MATT HARVEY UCSD - ASSISTANT COACH
Off-season / Winter time for a high school baseball player can be some of the most productive months for individual development. With the current format of the high school baseball circuit, players rarely get time to develop their game.
From a coaches perspective, playing in games is irreplaceable – if you are paying attention on every pitch and taking advantage of all of the learning opportunities, you will develop a baseball savvy and awareness. At the same time, being able to work on the skills of the game – ground ball technique, swing mechanics, arm strength and health – is equally important. If players are continuously playing the next tournament and with the next team, they are missing out on chances to improve their skills.
I recommend committing time – certain days of the week or certain months of the year – to work on your individual skill set. You could think about this as building a bigger, better or more efficient motor. Not only could you develop baseball skills, but you could also be working in the weight room on your strength, power, explosiveness and speed.
To do this, players need a plan mapped out – it is easy to say “I am going to work on my baseball skills”, it is harder (but more beneficial) to say “Monday is 30 minutes of ground ball work, Tuesday is long toss to 250 feet, etc.”.
Play your games, have your fun, but have an actionable plan to improve!