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Monday, January 3, 2011

All you need is a ball and a wall

My elementary school playground.
There is no telling how many hours I
spent there practicing by myself.
I was fortunate to grow up in a house right next to an elementary school.  Anytime I got bored I would walk up and throw a ball against one of the brick walls that were part of the school.  The picture to the right shows two of the walls I would use.  With the amount of balls that I threw up against those bricks, it's amazing the walls are still standing.  Hugh Alexander, a famous scout, once said the best thing a father can do for his son in terms of baseball is to build him a wall to throw against.  I could not agree more.  I mentioned in a previous post that a friend of mine at Mississippi State created a video called Wall Ball.  In it are suggestions and drills for using a pitch-back screen.  Below are some advantages to using any type of wall and also tips to getting the most out of it.


A great indoor option if you have
access.  Do not hurt the wall
or the floor with the balls!
  • You can practice by yourself
  • Every position on the field can be practiced - just use your imagination
  • Develops arm strength
  • Not much space is needed
  • Develops pitching accuracy
  • If there are lights (mine did), you can throw day or night 
  • Can practice year round.  A few times I brought a snow shovel!

Perfect!  Even has a strike zone.

Tips to using a wall:

  • Throw at varying distances - short toss to long toss if space permits
  • A rubber pitching machine style ball works best.  Leather balls get torn up.
  • Use different sizes and types of balls to develop soft hands, quick reactions, and eye-hand coordination. Tennis balls, racquet balls, super ballsSuper Pinkies, and golf balls are all fair game and work great against a wall. 
  • Use your glove and just your bare hands at times too.
  • Use a training glove or pick up a paddle at the dollar store to develop proper two-hand fielding.
  • If you are able to use an indoor gym wall, be sure to use balls that do not mark up the wall or the floor.
So if you are looking for something to do that is productive, challenging, fun, and FREE ...  go find a wall!

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