Note: From a baseball perspective, spring officially arrived two weeks ago. We’re re-posting this blog article to encourage you to get the most out of this year’s spring training games and drill work. If you haven’t already, we strongly suggest you search and browse #STdrills on Twitter for a wealth of knowledge on the way the best players in the world get ready for their season and prepare for games.
Right now, spring training is in full swing. If you can, you should check out some of the games on TV or online. Here’s 3 reasons why.
- You’ll get to see young players get a lot of playing time. Many teams are giving their up-and-coming prospects a chance to prove what they can do in big league camp. Some of these guys are only a few years older than you. Some will have been drafted out of high school, many from college, and others from other countries. They’ll start the season anywhere from Rookie Ball to the big league club. Watch them. If you see a 23-year-old in the field, think about how you might try to improve your game over the next few years, through high school and college, so that you can reach that skill level. Even more importantly, see what the young players are lacking that established big leaguers do naturally. Some of the things you see rookies struggle with in spring training might be the same things you struggle with now or in the future. Take note and get to work!
- There will be mistakes. It feels good sometimes to see that these guys aren’t perfect either. They’re going to make errors, both physical and mental. They’re going to make situational mistakes on the mound and at the plate. It makes your goal of playing at the next level seem more attainable when you don’t put pro or college players on a pedestal. After all, they were once the same age as you are now. Watch them and learn from what they do well, as well as their mistakes.
- You get to see what skills the coaches have their players work on. If you see a player who has the same type of skill set you have, watch and see what he’s asked to do during the game. For instance, if you’re a slick fielding shortstop with a mediocre bat, and a big league manager is asking his shortstop, who is the same type of player, to sac bunt and hit-and-run, then you’ll know that that might be an important skill set for you to work on. One of the great things about spring training is that it’s often a time when coaches and players are testing things out without regular season repercussions. This means that you are likely to see more action, a wider range of skill sets, and some pretty interesting situations. Watch, learn, and enjoy!
Spring training is a time for the players to not only get sharp but also learn their teams’ systems. The young guys will be new to this and their growing pains will be obvious. They’ll be expected to make mistakes and they’ll be expected to learn from them. There’s no reason you can’t learn from them too.