Baseball Training + Sleeping Enough
In baseball, what you do for yourself off the field can be just as important as what you do for your team on the field. As a matter of fact, the two are directly related. As a player, there is a balance to your batting stance, your fielding position and your pitching motion. And, as a player, there also must be a balance between your training, what you eat and drink, and the amount of sleep you get. Cutting corners works well on the base paths, but not when it comes to how you take care of yourself off the field.
For school age players, it can be tough to control the amount of training you do, what and when you eat, the demands of school, and time with friends -- there’s a lot on your plate. I see it especially with high school athletes who are really hoping to maximize their classroom and on-field performance as they prepare for college. But, there is something you can control which makes everything else work so much better, and that’s the amount of sleep you get each night. It applies in season and during the off season.
The full benefits of the great work you do to train for baseball is diminished if you don’t get at least seven (ideally 8 or 9) hours of sleep each night. It’s not just about feeling tired the next day. Say you had a great training session: stretching, agility, sprints, some lifting, core work, or some throwing and hitting. You feel great about the work put in. Later, when it should be time to turn out the lights and allow your sleep to repair and build muscle from your workout, you cut it short with more smartphone or video game time.
The natural Human Growth Hormone (yes, the legal kind) you produce during a deep, good night’s sleep is not maximized. That equates to less size, less strength, and less power gained from all of that training time and effort. Even if you are doing a great job with your nutrition, you still need that extra rest time to give yourself the best chance of maximizing your training efforts and ultimately, your potential.
Keep a great balance between training, nutrition, and sleep and your baseball skills will take care of the rest.