Importance of Strength and Conditioning
Strength and Conditioning is one of the most overlooked aspects in youth baseball. Sure, fixing some mechanical issues in a pitching motion or hitting swing can result in one throwing harder and hitting farther. But what happens when that velocity plateaus or those power numbers aren’t there? Have dreams of playing college or professional baseball? Let’s be honest, coaches everywhere are looking for bigger, faster, stronger. So what do you need to do to get to the next level? GET IN THE WEIGHT ROOM!
When it comes to youth training, parents get the common misconception that because their children bodies are not fully developed, they shouldn’t participate in a strength and conditioning program. I always tell them there are many different ways to improve strength and overall athleticism. Whether it be in the form of resistance bands, medicine balls, or even using the body weight as resistance.
Traditional lifting and training practices should not always be used for baseball players. So what should baseball players focus on when it comes to training you ask? To answer that question, try to think of the movements the players perform on the field. Throwing? Hitting? Sprinting (running the bases)? Well what do these movements have in common? They are all quick and explosive movements. So why not translate that to the weight room.
The ability to exert force (power) and amount of time it takes to exert that force (rate of force) are both important in the development of bat speed, exit velocity, and throwing velocity. As baseball players, we want to not only just lift the weight but move it fast. As weight increases however, the velocity at which we lift the weight decreases. Only using heavy weights or just getting through the movement does not always produce the best results.
As baseball players, the objects we use to perform movements on the field are of lighter weight (a baseball is 5oz and a bat is 29-35oz). Focusing on lighter weight, proper form, and the velocity of the movement being performed can produce greater results on the field.