Baseball Batting Cages - Winter Workout

I had a note from Doug Sarant, an old guys goalie from Texas, where he mentioned doing goalie work with a baseball pitching machine.  I thought about it and how hard it seems for me to get someone to shoot on me, so I checked it out.  I talked to Derrick, owner of Maryland Baseball Academy (Rockville, MD -- they have indoor batting cages/pitching machines) to see what was possible. Later that day I did a rigorous workout against the big mechanical shooter (pitching machine).  This one did 15 balls in a row with a short amount of time between pitches/shots (enough to get reset, but not enough to whine about what you did). The machine pitches the ball down the middle and the staff can set the height for you.  I did about 50 shots high (top of the goal, top of my helmet) by getting on one side and stepping to that shot.  I alternated sides to work on stick side and off-stick side action.  Your really have to be on your toes and watching the ball or it goes on by (surprise).  I had the machine set around 70+ MPH so at the plate it was relative easy initially (18 yards away).  When I got going I moved closer to the machine (12 yards) and the workout was harder.  Next I had him adjust to just below belt high and I worked about 20 shots stick side and the about 20 shots off side.  To get the step and the save I really had to get my butt down, play on the balls of my feet and step to the ball with the ball side foot followed by two reset steps(no surprise).  The workout, especially off stick side was hard and really helped me on those saves.  Then I had them adjust the machine to have the ball bounce a yard in front of my feet and I did 20 bouncers between my feet and the 20 outside my feet.  This really makes you aware of driving your hands and stepping at the same time. 


As you can see I am enthusiastic about this -- mostly because all the shots are fast, so you don't get to be lazy. All this in 30 minutes.  At Derrick's suggestion, instead of just buying tokens and working, I rented the area for that time and no one was upset or waiting until the time was over.  The staff adjusted the machine and that worked great.  If you aren't getting your 100 shots a week, try this out, it is baseball, so maybe there is some good in baseball after all.  But, be prepared to coach yourself - quickly analyze what you are doing and step up your game on each shot.

Weston Lacrosse 10-29-08