Believe it or not, there are still some people out in the baseball community that see strength training as the devil when it comes to baseball players. Fortunately for me, I really don’t run into too many of these people. While running a full time training facility, where the majority of my athletes are baseball guys (who are looking to make it to the highest level), I get to see the guys and parents who already understand what is involved in advanced, off-field baseball training. They get it! And honestly, in this day and age, I think most of the serious parents and players know it is important. However, the real problem that keeps occurring with a lot of players and parents is finding the time to train off-field. Tournaments, showcases, constant travel ball, hitting coaches, pitching coaches, etc… take up almost all of the time for these young players.
It comes down to what is most important. A lot of guys get caught up in playing year round and forget how important it is to take care of their bodies. Continuous, on-field playing is good for some skill development, but at the end of the day, the player is only getting physically weaker, less mobile, and slower… and will most likely develop injuries. There is a balance and that balance is essential for proper development! If a guy TRULY wants to make it to the next, or even the highest level, proper strength training is a must.
I have had the pleasure and honor of training some of the best high school and college baseball players in the South Jersey area throughout the last 10 years, and before that, some of the best guys in the Southern Arizona area...and all of them had proper balance and all of them strength trained. They got stronger and better. Most stayed injury free, and most continue to play.
It’s important to find a good coach or trainer that has experience training athletes, specifically baseball players and even more so, experience in strength training. I am a strength coach, and I will never pretend to know enough to teach a kid how to throw a proper curve ball….I leave that to the experts. Make sure you find a coach that has real-world experience in the strength and conditioning field and has experience with baseball players.
Find the time, find the balance, and you will find a lot more success!