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Thursday, July 2, 2009

If You Are a Baseball Player Are Your Priorities in Order During the Off-Season?

By Brandon Richey

If you are a serious baseball player then you should improve your game year after year just like any other athlete. Now I have talked about my frustrations involving misconceptions on training towards other athletes and trainees, but for the sake of this article I am addressing baseball players. It amazes me that in this day and age that a lot of baseball players still have an incorrect mindset when it comes to their off-season training. Note that I did not say "all" baseball players, just a lot of them!

You see the one thing that amazes me is that several baseball players do not generally put a lot of emphasis on strength and conditioning. With the MOST successful athletes it is known that their off-season strength programs are fierce. The goal should be to get bigger, faster, and stronger. If a baseball player is not concentrating on these elements, which several don't, their training is flawed and their priorities are mixed up. You see here are the facts. The batting averages for the entire major league baseball ranged from .292 on the low end and .364 on the high end. These averages were gathered from all of major league baseball statistics in 2008. Now why am I showing you these? Well, whether or not you are a little league player, high school, collegiate, or in the majors more than likely you will not obtain an average better than .364 and I don't care how many hours you devote inside the batting cage. Realistically you won't even hit around .290 consistently. So knowing this and knowing that baseball is a multi-skilled game why do so many baseball players spend so much time in the cage?

The problem is in a false mindset. I have trained many athletes for years including baseball players and I have always had to battle this old mindset. You see the truth is that a committed baseball player will retain the necessary skills of hitting, throwing, and catching by practicing on a consistent basis, but the real way to improve these is to become a better athlete! Athleticism is underrated in baseball. Many of the players that I trained for an extended few months prior to the season went out the next year and had record numbers. Many other studies have been done to prove the effectiveness of strength training and athletic performance training in baseball players among other athletes as well. Yes, getting bigger, faster, and stronger does apply to baseball players. If you don't believe me then look at Barry Bond's numbers. Oh, and don't give me the whole spill about him being on steroids. He may or may not have used a performance enhancing substance, but if he did and did not apply the proper training it wouldn't have made a difference. Trust me, had he used an anabolic steroid and spent the majority of his time in the "batting cage" he wouldn't have gotten a bit stronger.

I would like to close by saying that if you are a baseball player young or old then you should be working in an athletic performance program in the off-season. If you are a mom and dad that is currently throwing a lot of money out the window for batting cage time then that is your choice, but if you want your kid to have a break out year then I would recommend that you take that money and use it on getting him professional help to get stronger and faster! Strength means he'll have greater bat speed and speed means that he'll be better able to chase down a fly ball or beat out a throw to get a base hit instead of an out. That's the difference!

To learn more about Kettlebells, Fitness, and achieving Total Mind-Blowing Strength come and visit me at:
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I'm Brandon Richey the Strength and Conditioning Pro!

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick