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Combat’s Scott Brown with Bryson Baker
By Scott Brown
Hello again LPS readers, Scott Brown again, coming at you with our next installment of articles. I want to introduce Bryson Baker from Dan Smith/Team Combat. Bryson is the type of player that you build your team around. He does it all and has all the tools.
Bryson plays both infield and outfield and has the power of a home run hitter, the accuracy to hit for average, speed in the field and around the bases, and he has a cannon for an arm. Bryson is a great ambassador of the game and has been a solid addition to the Combat Sports family. He is definitely a “5-Tool Player.”
Bryson Baker here. I’m with you today to talk about being a “5-Tool Player.” Today’s game is much different than it was 10 or 15 years ago. It’s not just 10 catchers and DH’s with unlimited home runs. It’s now 8 to 10 athletes with one or two catchers and DHs, with limited homeruns. For me, and I’m sure for many, it makes the game of upper level softball a lot more fun to play and watch.
First off, let me talk about “DEFENSE” which is one of the most important things you need to work on to reach the upper level of softball. In today’s game, this is definitely something everybody should work on improving during the off season, whether it is ground balls for infielders or fly balls for outfielders.
I usually take ground balls before I take batting practice. Since I’m already going out there, I might as well do it all at once. I take 30 to 40 ground balls, 10-12 right at me, 10-12 to my right side which is my back hand and then 10-12 to my left which is my glove side. Depending on how I feel I’ll also take some to work on my range a little.
It is also good to work on throwing while you’re taking ground balls just to keep your arm strength up. Every once in a while I will take fly balls as well, while somebody else is hitting just in case I get called to the outfield to fill in.
The next thing is “OFFENSE” and at the upper level of softball, it’s not just home runs anymore. You have to spray the ball all over the field.
The first thing I like to work on is hitting for average because to me that is harder than hitting for power, especially with the bat technology of today. After I get warmed up with 15-20 balls with my heavy wood baseball bat, I take about 15-20 balls to right field trying to keep the ball off the infield. Then I hit about 10-12 balls to the right side but I try to find the holes in the infield to keep the ball on the ground. After that I do the same routine but pulling the ball to left field.
After this I work on hitting for power. I typically hit about 20-25 balls, working on spinning the ball to make it travel farther.
The last thing I work on is “SPEED” and to do this you need to go to the gym and work your legs as well as the rest of your body. To work your legs, you need to do cardio and weight training. I also like to run stairs as this will help with strength and endurance. If you do all of these things, it will help you become a “5-Tool Player.” Keep training and best of luck.
Every player should take notice of what Bryson has done, considering his accomplishments as a top level player. Today’s game is not just about hitting home runs. You have to learn to play several positions, make the plays you are supposed to and work within the rules given to us in the game.
If you get a chance to come out to the Dudley Classic this year, make sure you watch Bryson play the game. You are going to walk away saying, “Wow, he is an all-around tremendous player.”
Please tune in to the next article for the Dudley Classic, where I will be talking about what it means to play in such a tremendous event and how you should prepare yourself for the rest of the season. Please check with your local retailer for the new Bryson Baker Combat Gear Virus. It is a bat that you will want to have in the batter’s box. Until next time, train hard and play hard!