Instructional Baseball Books

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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There are shelves upon shelves of useful instructional baseball books at stores like Barnes & Noble and Borders as well as independent bookshops. For those content to keep these books for a week or two at a time simply to brush up on tips and skills, the library is also a resource that many people overlook. Most libraries have an entire section dedicated to sports history and instruction that gets little use.

Hardcore baseball fans will probably prefer to buy their own instructional baseball books so that they may feel free to draw diagrams, underline passages, select favorite quotes and observations from players, and dog-ear their pages. Some of these books are great season-long companions that make for absorbing reading on bus rides to "away" games or at tournaments and beltway league games. Even kids with fundamentally sound approaches to the game can benefit from reminders on everything from tracking fly balls to working off pitch counts.

What Instructional Baseball Books Can Impart

The wealth of knowledge contained in instructional baseball books is staggering. Lessons may guide players on pulling off double steals, pick-off plays, defensive shifts, and squeeze bunts. The best books not only illustrate their examples, but also give insight into their situational use. A sacrifice bunt, to take one example, is strategically much different from bunting for a base hit, and yet each requires expertise, precision, and lots of practice.

Instructional baseball books can also offer tips on intangibles such as good sportsmanship and mental toughness. Like golf, baseball is a game that tests the mind's faculties almost as much as it does the body's. Those who scoff at this need only spend an afternoon in the outfield standing on his or her own feet for four hours at a stretch waiting to spring into action with each pitch.


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