One of the biggest obstacles when it comes to strength and endurance training is equipment. Whether it’s a lack of familiarity with the equipment that makes your athletes wary of trying them out, or, in most other cases, just a general lack of equipment, getting your entire team into the gym to workout can be tough.
That’s why I like to put my players through the following series of softball conditioning drills, all predicated on simply repeating a certain movement in relation to a small box. There’s a huge variety of exercises available, where you can work on everything from quickness, agility, and top end speed.
For this exercise, have your players stand up on a box. Any box about 6 inches off the ground will do the job — even a phone book works great if you can’t find anything else!
Your player should be standing on the edge of the box, with the balls of their feet on the box and their heels up in the air. The exercise is simple — from there, they’ll jump off down onto the ground backwards.
Now here is the key part. For plyometrics to work best, the emphasis has to be on a load, and explode. By that I mean that as they come down on to the ground, the balls
of their feet should come into contact with the ground first. Now they will load their weight onto their heels and explode back upwards.
Usually I recommend 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions.
This is a very similar exercise — your players will be using the same load an explode principle, but instead of starting with both feet up top, they’ll start with one foot on the box and one on the ground.
Here however, instead of loading and exploding both feet at the same time, they’ll
apply the same principle to one foot at a time, as they switch and explode each foot back and forth.
Same number of sets and repetitions.
If you’ve got a whole bunch of boxes, this is a great drill. Set up an entire course, anywhere from 5-10 boxes, and have your player line up at one end.
The concept from here is simple. Using the same plyometric principles, the player will jump up onto one box, and then over it onto the ground, and repeat until they’ve gone through the entire course. This works a different set of muscles than the Box Drops, and will help improve your balance and ability to explode forward even more.
If you found these drills helpful, we’ve got a whole page full of softball conditioning drills! Make sure to check it out!