Strength and Conditioning Tips in Baseball

Baseball is a sport characterized by sprinting, swinging, and throwing. So it should come as no surprise that strength and conditioning play such a large role in the sport. Baseball depends on split-second performances. As such, a stronger and more powerful athlete will always outperform their less athletic competitor.

This has led to the widespread use of weights and power training, as well as the use of strength and conditioning coaches throughout baseball seasons.

Likewise, more and more attention is being paid to nutrition as a means of fielding training and performance. It's also being used as a means to boost recovery between training and competition to further boost performance.

But perfecting a training and nutrition program can be tough. This is because many strength and conditioning coaches or nutritionists will generally lean towards certain methods or programs. This can create an imbalanced routine which may increase the risk of injury or reduce progress and performance.

So, we decided to put together a few tips for you when carrying out a strength or nutrition program for baseball. Hopefully, this will help you get the most out of your training and nutrition so you can perform at your best on the field.

Have a comprehensive (but adaptable) plan

Despite how many baseball athletes are now doing strength and conditioning, you'd be surprised how many have no set plan. Yes, even those with strength and conditioning coaches.

A lot of athletes often free-wheel their training and think that just doing something extra to normal training will be enough.

But these guys are leaving a lot of gains on the table, not to mention leaving themselves open to injury.

This is because structuring certain exercises and routines according to how close you are to competition can be immensely beneficial. In fact, research shows that structured programs consistently outperform unstructured for athletes.

In terms of how to structure your program, this is something that should be discussed with your coach. But, generally, strength and injury prevention is the focus in the offseason. Then, power and speed training is carried out immediately before and between games. This helps create a base during the offseason and help you peak your fitness for games in time for your most important matches.

Likewise with nutrition. Different types of training will require different nutrients to optimize your results. So your diet should change according to your training.

Another important characteristic of your plan is that's it's adaptable.

Injury, illness, family emergencies, all of them can act to disrupt your training and nutrition plans. So it's key you can change your plans to account for these disruptions.

This is also something that should be discussed with your coach. But usually it will consist of prioritizing exercises and workouts to make sure a certain number of key workouts are done.

Don't neglect certain muscles

This leads on from the above tip on having a comprehensive plan. A lot of athletes tend to focus on the muscles they're primarily going to use in their sport. Even worse, some will focus on what they think are the muscles that are used in their sport.

This can mean an over-reliance on single-joint exercises, like triceps extensions. Many forget that pitching or swinging a bat is a full-body movement.

This means you have to train your legs, core, and upper body accordingly.

You should also take care to exercise the opposite muscles to those used in your sport. This will help reduce muscle imbalances and prevent injuries down the road to keep you playing better for longer.

Include recovery routines

A colleague of mine once said, "sometimes, one of the best exercises an athlete can do is playing with the remote."

It's true that many athletes often underestimate the importance of recovery in a program. What these athletes miss is that recovery is the goal. Recovery from training is what makes an individual fitter and stronger. It also prevents exhaustion and overtraining.

So a comprehensive recovery plan should also be put in place alongside your strength and conditioning program. This may include strategies like napping, using water therapy, massage, or compression garments. This is in conjunction with appropriate nutrition strategies and supplements like whey protein to aid recovery.

This should be especially emphasized when in-season to keep performance high during each game.

Record everything!

Not all training programs will produce the results you want or expected. Meanwhile, some programs will shock you with the results they provide.

This is why it's key to record everything in your program. This would include your training, diet, how you feel, and how much sleep you get. This can help you identify key elements in your more successful programs to implement in the next training cycle.

This will help keep your progress consistent and allow you to customize your program to your needs for optimal results.

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