Answering the Why?
For baseball players, maximizing your potential in baseball is important. As a sports performance trainer, understanding and communicating the “why” for strength training exercises or baseball drills is equally vital.
At Strike Baseball Sports Performance, each one of our trainer’s values the time taken to decide what training exercises to put our athletes through and why.
When I was still finishing my undergraduate degree in kinesiology and training for my second year of professional baseball, I worked out with an old high school friend, John Roy. He asked about my chosen career field after I finished college and my playing days. Indeed, my passion for competing at the highest levels of baseball dictated that sports specific training would be a strong component of my future career in baseball.
John’s response, “You have to be able to answer the why? If you can’t answer why you are prescribing a certain exercise or baseball drill, there is no reason to be doing it.” I will never forget his response, as those words have continued to resonate throughout my time training players to become better pitchers, hitters, and overall athletes.
At Strike Performance, we are committed to staying on the cutting edge of how to train baseball players in every aspect of the game. All of our trainers start a first lesson saying, “we teach some things differently than most”, but, in everything we teach, there is an answer to why we are performing each movement.
On the hitting side, teaching specific movements within the swing that allow players to be in a more balanced and athletic position throughout the swing. Understanding why every hitter from the recreational athlete to the pro must have pillars to their swing that are constant, yet can still be modified into their own individual piece of art.
On the pitching side, we coach athletes through patterning and drills to allow them to get into safer and more efficient positions throughout their deliveries. Understanding where there are mechanical breakdowns, and being able to fix those issues to help with fastball velocity and injury prevention. As trainers, we can address some of the controversial discussions about using plyocare/weighted balls during our warm-ups, velocity, and recovery work. Our trainers are exhaustive in our research and developing sound rationales toward proper pitching mechanics, while still increasing a pitcher’s velocity.
In our weight training routines, we start with assessments and corrective exercises to help baseball players move better throughout a full range of motion. From there, our focus turns towards getting stronger in those ranges of motion and being able to get more explosive in baseball specific movements.
It is a must to understand the body and how it works during the violent movements of hitting or throwing a baseball. We make sure that athletes are able to control weight before we allow them to increase weight during an exercise. We even detail the risk/reward of why we don’t do specific lifts with weight training routines for baseball players.
There is always a “why” to be answered in baseball training and the corresponding weight programs that complement them. The best part I have found about working with our Strike Performance group of coaches is we are determined to research, understand, and be able to explain the why to any of our athletes. This is our mindset at Strike.
In future baseball and weight training discussions, we will provide more depth in our training regimens and provide more strength training information toward making you a better baseball player.
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Written by Aaron Corwin – Strike Performance Strength and Conditioning Coach