By Dave Bagley, Founder - Peak Performance Sports
Baseball is a sport where not only do you have to train to keep your body in shape during the offseason, but you also have to maintain and improve your skills of the game. There are many different ways people train, but as a position player, I like to focus on these.
Physical Strength and Conditioning
Make sure you are on a good offseason training program for both strength and speed focusing on your legs and core. Finding a trainer who has experience either training for baseball or training baseball players is very important. What works for other sports, may not be the best exercises for baseball players. Also make sure you are on a good diet given to you by somebody with experience with athletes.
Maintain and improve hand eye coordination. Fielding fly balls/ground balls on a consistent basis is important in keeping your eyes and body sharp. Using the SKLZ Reaction Ball is a great way to improve hand eye coordination.
Hit often. Hitting is one of the most difficult skills in any sport. You can't take months off at a time and expect to jump right back into your old hitting form. The tee is the best hitting tool out there. Try to hit 2-3 buckets of balls every day focusing on different locations in the strike zone. Remember, quality and not quantity. Take your time and focus on keeping a consistent swing. Do not jump in there and see how many baseballs you can hit. The SKLZ Travel Tee is a very convenient and durable tee that is easy to set up and break down. Whenever you can hit a moving baseball whether it is soft toss or live batting practice it will be beneficial in keeping your timing sharp.
Maintaining a healthy arm is very important. Make sure to take time off, as you don't want to overuse your arm. Maintain a steady throwing program with a good pitching or throwing coach to increase arm strength and prevent injury.
Stay focused in the offseason. When your coach isn't making you show up to practice or games and you don't have a set schedule, it's easy to get off track. Set goals and set a training schedule for yourself which includes your weights, running, diet, fielding, hitting, and throwing routine.
Following the above points during the offseason is what helped me be successful at the high school level, Division 1 college level, and professionally in the minor leagues.
Dave Bagley was drafted in the 7th round (211 overall) of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his first season, Dave finished 5th in the Pioneer league in batting average (.337) and On base percentage (.442). He earned All-Star honors and was a part of the Pioneer League champion Great Falls Dodgers. Dave played for 3 seasons in the minor leagues before a shoulder injury ended his playing career.
Dave earned a baseball scholarship to the University of San Diego and played there for 2 seasons. As a sophomore (final season), Dave hit .406 in the regular season with 12 home runs earning 1st team All Conference and All Region honors. USD won the conference that year for the first time in school history.
Dave returned to USD after he was finished playing to complete his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration which he received December 2007.
Dave graduated from Rancho Bernardo High School in 1999. As a senior he earned 1st Team All-County, CIF, and State honors. He led the team with 15 home runs while hitting .511 and was MVP of the #1 ranked team in the country. In his senior year, RBHS won the Division 1 CIF title for the first time in school history.