There are exactly three keys to becoming a good baseball player, and make no mistake, there are no shortcuts here. You absolutely need all three of these if you want to excel.
Know The Rules!
The first, of course, is a complete understanding of the rules of the game. You can’t be any good if you have no idea how to play the game! That should go without saying, but you’d be amazed at the number of people (parents and kids!) who just show up on the field one day expecting to jump right in and play AND be good at it!
The second essential is simply time. Practice. You need to experiment (and work with your coach) to figure out what position you’re best suited for, then when you’ve figured that out, stick with it! Practice relentlessly. Daily if you can! This is pivotal though, for three reasons.
Practice boosts confidence. You’re more certain what to do if you’ve already rehearsed it hundreds (or even thousands!) of times before.
Muscle memory. You know how sometimes stuff just seems to “come naturally” to people? What you’re seeing there is the miracle of muscle memory! These people have practiced so much that what they’re doing just seems like a natural extension of themselves. They ARE what they’re doing, and it shows. You can’t fake that, and you can’t take a shortcut to get it. The only way you’ll get there is practice – the more the better!
Improved skill. You can’t help but get better at something, the more times you do it. You could start right now, by going into your kitchen and grabbing some big cans of soup and “curling them” until your arms hurt. Once you can do that a couple hundred times without your arms hurting, upgrade to cans of paint. Then upgrade to five gallon buckets filled with something (sand, water, or whatever). You might not see or feel the difference at first, but before you know it, you’ll look in the mirror and you won’t even recognize you! Stay with it. You’re getting better all the time, even when it doesn’t feel like you are!
Have the Right Gear!
You’ve heard the phrase that “the clothes make the man?” Same thing applies here. If you’re not a decent player to start with, no gear, no matter how expensive or fancy, is going to magically up your game. If you’re starting from a solid foundation, then the right gear can give you that slight edge and your own skills you’ve been developing can turn that slight edge into a compelling advantage.
In terms of baseball, there are three essential pieces of gear to consider. The right baseball bats (and you’ll want at least two), the right glove, and good shoes. Shoes can make or break your running game. The right glove, well broken in and fitted to your hand can improve your ability to catch, especially when trying to make those long, reaching saves. Of course, the right bat (of the proper weight and length for you) can give your swing that little extra nudge to take you from being an average hitter to knocking one out of the park! Don’t skimp! Buying cheap baseball bats won’t wreck your game, but it surely won’t help it either!