Coronavirus has put many aspects of our everyday lives on halt, including the game of baseball. Major League Baseball is on an indefinite hiatus, the World Baseball Classic postponed qualifiers, and the NCAA cancelled all college spring sports. Baseball teams, programs, and facilities internationally are shutting down and laying low until the world has weathered the Coronastorm. Likewise, most people around the world find themselves under limited-movement bans, stuck mostly in their house and backyard, or under complete quarantine.
So for players, coaches, and fans of the game, one question remains…. “How do I stay active in baseball during the Coronavirus pandemic?” While the ability to play or watch a live game is slim, it is not obsolete if you know where to look. Moreover, until baseball and normal life resume, there are a plethora of fun, easy, and creative ways to make sure you get enough baseball to brighten your daily life. In this post, Michael Varga International Coaching will explore our Top 7 Ways to Stay Active in Baseball During the Coronavirus Pandemic.
1. Use Your Imagination with Limited-Access Drills, Games, and Workouts
Just because the local baseball field, batting cage, or park may be closed for the time being doesn’t mean you have to close your glove, swing, and arm too. For those fortunate enough to have a backyard, the options to keep your skills sharp are endless.
A bat, a tee, a net and some balls means unrestricted ability to work on your mechanics. A family member and some wiffle balls allows for some live hitting. A Blitz Ball adds for a bit more spin and a great challenge too. If you don’t have the resources than a stick and some nuts, bottle caps, or even crumpled up paper works too. Remember… the smaller the object and the smaller the hitting surface the more challenging and difficult hitting becomes. If you can hit a bottle cap with a broomstick you can hit a baseball!
Defensively, if you lack a good fungo hitter, a solid wall and a tennis, lacrosse, or field hockey ball is perfect for some self-fielding drills. A Skillz reaction ball enhances the level of reflexive needs. Without a wall, a family member can roll and bounce balls, and a speed ladder, cones, or chalk on the pavement can be used to work on footwork and speed.
On the mound, a strong wall and some tape creates a workable strike zone and target to throw too. Simulated long toss can be achieved by adjusting your throwing angle at a wall or net, the higher up on the backstop you throw, the longer the simulated distance. Pairing throwing activities with towel throws, weighted balls and resistance bands can ensure your arm is healthy and primed for when practices and games do finally resume.
2. Stuck Indoors? Get Creative with Inside Baseball Activities
Completely stuck indoors? Don’t worry, you can still manage some great inside baseball drills. A full-body mirror is a perfect way to visually tune your swing, pitching delivery, fielding footwork, or catcher’s stances. Wiffle and tennis ball drills are still easy options (check with mom first) as are resistance band, towel, and cone exercises.
Don’t forget to keep your body in shape! There are hundreds of home/body-weight exercises to create an efficient, challenging, and fulfilling workout schedule. Emphasize recovery too. Dynamic stretching, yoga, movement patterns, or a mixture of all three are key in opening up your body’s range of motion, developing a player’s self-awareness, and keeping athletes injury-free and on the playing field. Trust us, when that opening day game finally does arrive… the last thing you want to be doing is watching from the bench, injured.
3. Watch some Korean Baseball Live
Believe it or not, there is some live baseball still being played! Club members of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) are not allowed to play preseason games, and their season opener has been pushed from March 28 to April 20th. However, intra-squad games are permitted to be played and streamed live to online audiences. You can watch teams like the Lotte Giants running out base hits with a mask on as they play practice games against each other. More information can be found on the KBO website: http://eng.koreabaseball.com/
4. Catch Up on Some Baseball Classics
If you are still longing to catch your favorite Major League Baseball team in action, hope is not lost. The MLB recently launched its “MLB At Home” initiative, which saw games from all 30 teams streamed on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in accordance with the cancelled, but annual celebration of Opening Day. Games like the 2004 ALCS Game 5 between the Red Sox and Yankees, and Roy Halladay’s postseason no-hitter during the 2010 NLDS are still available to watch on YouTube.
MLB will continue its streaming service with a daily, 7:00PM EST broadcast of classic Major League Baseball moments. In addition, MLB.TV subscribers have the entire 2018 and 2019 regular season at their fingertips to re-watch, reminisce, and enjoy.
5. Flip a Page and Read Up on the Game We Love
Need a break from staring at a screen? Try flipping through the pages of a great baseball book. If your personal library is a little scarce, there are still many online book stores open for purchase and delivery, not to mention eBooks. The Big Fella is a more recent and acclaimed publication exploring one of baseball’s all-time heroes: Babe Ruth. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game highlights the game’s transformation towards a data-driven sport. Baseball Card Adventures and Matt Christopher classics like, The Kid Who Only Hit Homers are fantastic reads for younger ages. No matter what the age or level of reading enthusiasm, there’s a baseball book out there to fall in love with. And there’s no better time than now to get started!
6. Have a Movie Marathon and Watch Baseball’s Best Films
Baseball movies are some of the best sports films ever made. Cinema like The Sandlot brings out the giddy notion of childhood dreams, innocence and bliss in all its viewers. Some, like Field of Dreams, guarantee to make even the strongest baseball fan shed a tear. Moreover, films like Bull Durham, The Rookie, and For Love of the Game perfectly capture the essence of baseball’s beauty, richness, and compliment to human spirit. Regardless of what baseball movie you start to watch, there’s bound to be some sense of satisfying substance. In need of a recommendation? Look out for Michael Varga International Coaching’s Top 10 Baseball Films, coming soon on our blog!
7. Subscribe to a MViC Program, including The Corona Crusher
Michael Varga International Coaching recognizes that times are a little tougher, a little more uncertain at the moment. But we also know the power of sports like baseball to provide entertainment, relief, and a sense of community, traits that are critical during times like these. Baseball will return again soon, and we want to make sure players are ready to go, appreciate, and enjoy this great game to the best of their abilities! That’s why we’ve put together The Corona Crusher, a reduced rate, limited-time program that incorporates individual players quarantine, isolation, or social distancing situations. Click on the link below to sign up for The Corona Crusher today, as well as view our other personalized, in-depth, content packed programs!