Indoor Soccer and Pitching

I’ve been playing baseball and pitching for nearly two decades (with some hiatuses). About two years ago I started playing recreational indoor soccer and have been utterly impressed with the effect it has had on my pitching. The full speed sprints and ball handling (footwork) in the weekly games have noticeably increased my lower body strength.

If anyone is looking for a great way to improve your pitching performance and add flavor to your off season work outs, I highly suggest looking for a local indoor soccer league.

Anyone else out there do the same?

When I coached football I could pick out the soccer kids almost right away. Their change of direction and cutting ability was so much more advanced along with better body control and balance. Now, this was youth football (up to 14) so these were not developed, highly conditioned players. But, I believe from that experience soccer can be great for developing change of direction skills and balance.

I think you would be more impressed with the results if you trained specifically for baseball. I.e. lifting, sprint/explosive work, throwing program, arm care, etc.

I don’t see how playing another sport is going to be a good option for a high school player who is trying to make it to the next level. This is just from the perspective of someone who wasted two years of high school trying to run cross country and play baseball. Dropping the other sport helped my pitching more than anything and allowed me to begin training specifically for my sport year round.

For a young player <12 years old, exploring a bunch of different sports is a great idea, but once high school comes around a decision needs to be made about if college sports are a realistic goal and specializing is usually the best way to achieve that goal.

Though good soccer training/conditioning focuses a lot on interval sprinting and lower body strength, this is usually not the case in most high schools - distance running and long aerobic conditioning tend to be the norm. As such, these are incompatible energy system development goals when compared to baseball.