The grip is a very underrated attribute in athletics. The ability to squeeze an object is indicative of muscular endurance and overall strength. So, how does an athlete develop this imperative prowess? Practice, of course.
There are many different ways to develop a strong grip. Go to any gym and there will be numerous grip and forearm exercises to utilize. The “Rice Bucket Drill” is another excellent option. However, the opportunities to get a good squeeze don’t end there.
Legend has it that Ted Williams always had a racket or tennis ball in his hand while growing up in San Diego. Rocky Balboa was notorious for bouncing and squeezing a rubber handball in the earlier Rocky movies. A quick Google search of “grip strengthener” offers endless viable options. Any one of these devices will generate the desired result - the building of strength between the elbow and the upper portions of the forearm bones (ulna and radius), along with the thumbs and fingers (phalanges).
Be creative and have an open mind. This exercise can be done anytime, anywhere - while someone is reading, on the phone or watching television. If given the okay by their respective educator, a student could even work on their grip at school. Imagine if an individual utilized all these possible opportunities - it would lead to some very impressive paws and one heck of a hand shake. Nobody is messing with a guy who has a pair of Paul Bunyan mitts.
This is an excellent drill for athletes of all ages and can be exercised at any time; however, athletes should be cautious of overexerting themselves before a training session, practice or a game. To be safe, avoid any physical training approximately four hours before engaging in baseball activities. This will permit an athlete to maintain their peak athletic potential during baseball related activities.
With that being said, don’t forget that the most effective way to garner bat speed is by utilizing a loose grip - like your letting sand slip through your fingers. At the point of contact, the grip should tighten, but only slightly and momentarily, before reverting back to a more relaxed grip during the follow through.
When many of us leave the house, we check our pockets for three things - cellphone, wallet and keys. Aspiring athletes should consider incorporating a fourth item into their arsenal - a grip strengthener to improve their grasp on the go. Who knows? Maybe you’ll start a new fad - it worked for the Splendid Splinter and The Italian Stallion.