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As the winter months start to come to an end, high school coaches and players across the country begin to get excited about upcoming baseball tryouts. In order to make the biggest splash at tryouts, players should take a focused approach in preparing.
There is no one way to train for high school baseball tryouts, but there are some general steps that every player can follow to get themselves prepared.
To prepare for tryouts, high school baseball players can reflect back on their performance in the previous season, get on a workout regimen, get on a throwing program, and take plenty of reps in the batting cage.
In this article, we will talk about some of the specific things players can do within each of these general steps.
4 Steps on how to Train for High School Baseball Tryouts
Step 1: Reflect on the Previous Season.
Oftentimes, players get so excited about the upcoming baseball season that they forget about the previous one. This is one of the most important steps in the process that should not be skipped.
High School players should reflect on their performance in the previous season because it allows them to see where they are and know what they need to do to improve for the next season.
One way a player can do this is to look back at his statistics from the previous year to see where he struggled. This allows him to see which aspect of his game he needs to improve and where he should focus his attention.
Another way to do this is to talk to the coach and get his evaluation on the player’s performance from last season. This gives players an objective view of where they need to get better.
Many players choose not to take this approach because it puts them in a vulnerable spot to hear about some of their weaknesses. However, this can be one of the most beneficial ways for players to understand where they are and where they should focus their attention.
All in all, in order to have a more productive preparation, it is important for players to think back to where they were successful and unsuccessful in the previous season.
Step 2: Get on a Workout Regimen.
Going into a tryout out of shape is one of the biggest mistakes a player can make. On the contrary, showing up in better shape than the season before is one of the best ways to make a great first impression.
High school baseball players should get on a workout regimen several months before tryouts to both prepare them for the upcoming season and to impress their coaches.
Ideally, this workout routine would happen year-round, but for many high school players, that is unrealistic. Starting a workout regimen at least 2-3 months prior to tryouts gives players time to get back in shape and add strength before the tryout date.
Some players like to hire personal trainers to give them baseball-specific workouts to make them better players. Some players are fortunate that their high school coaches provide workouts for them leading up to tryouts.
Whatever training methods that athlete chooses to follow, it is important to know what the high school coach expects of his players when tryouts take place.
Does he value weightlifting, running, or a combination of the two? Does he expect his players to run for distance or does he value sprints?
At the end of the day, players need to find a workout regimen that allows them to show the coaches that they are ready for the season and that helps them become better baseball players.
Step 3: Get on a Throwing Program.
As important as a workout regimen is to get the body in shape, getting the arm in throwing shape is just as important for players.
High school baseball players should get on a throwing program before tryouts in order to prevent injury early in the season.
Players should begin a throwing program about 4-6 weeks before their tryout date. The throwing program should ideally consist of a long toss protocol that allows them to gradually gain distance each time they throw.
This throwing program should be geared mostly to getting the arm back in shape to handle the volume of throws that players will make both at tryouts and early in the season, not necessarily gaining arm strength.
It is important for players to choose a throwing program with the end of the season in mind. Coaches understand that players’ arms may not be in midseason form at tryouts, but it is important for players to have several weeks of throwing under their belt before practice begins.
Step 4: Take Plenty of Reps in the Batting Cage.
Being in midseason throwing shape may not be essential for players, but it is important for a player’s swing to be as close to midseason form as possible heading into tryouts.
High school baseball players should take plenty of swings in the batting cage months before tryouts because their hitting ability will certainly be evaluated.
Coaches understand that it is difficult to get live game reps during the winter months, but they do expect their players to work on their swings and take plenty of reps off the tee, in front toss, and in batting practice.
At the very least, players should get some work in on the tee to work on their swing mechanics. Coaches often look to evaluate what a player’s swings looks like in tryouts to try and project what type of contact the hitter may make in a game.
For many coaches, those who can hit will find a way in the starting lineup. Defense is valuable, but whoever scores more runs always wins, therefore it is important for players to work on their swing heading into tryouts to earn a spot, not just on the team, but in the starting lineup.
How can multi-sport athletes prepare for high school baseball tryouts?
Many young athletes play multiple sports which many high school coaches encourage. Multi-sport athletes should follow the same steps as much as possible minus step 2. These athletes are already on a workout regimen by playing another sport. These players should still try to get on a throwing program and take some swings in the cage as much as possible to knock off some rust before tryouts.
Should high school baseball players take private lessons heading into tryouts?
Private lessons can be a great way to prepare for high school baseball tryouts, but it is important to make sure that the instructor has similar views and philosophies as their high school coach. Having two coaches teaching two different things only causes more confusion for the player.