Strength Training is not a new concept. However, in recent years, many baseball players from Little League to the Majors are looking to gain a competitive advantage through a strength training program.
As with any new endeavor, there can be a lot of misinformation and misunderstandings of what an effective training program for a baseball or softball player entails. It takes a lot more than just lifting weights and bulking up…you need to have proper muscle recruitment and control, stability, power, agility, mental toughness and more to be successful.
A well designed Strength Training Program for baseball or softball needs to take into account the athlete’s history and background, injuries, position, time of year, a personal movement and stability assessment, other field time/pitching/throwing/hitting, etc to be safe and effective.
Strong, powerful baseball players have a much higher chance of being successful. Strong athletes are injured less frequently, recover faster, perform better and can resist the fatigue of a long season.
Here are 5 of the most important reasons strength training needs to be a part of baseball player’s lives.
- Injury Prevention – This is probably the most important reason for anyone to participate in a properly programmed and coached strength and conditioning program. While it is impossible to eliminate injuries, strength training for baseball has been proven to reduce the likelihood of you experiencing an injury. It does not matter how fast, strong or powerful you get if you are watching from the bench all season. It is especially important for overhead athletes to minimize their risk of injury.
- Speed and Quickness – Baserunning and Fielding both rely on speed and quickness in order to be successful. Regardless of genetic potential, everyone can improve their speed by getting stronger (so you have a larger reserve to pull from) and more efficient (training your body to be more coordinated and recruit more muscle fibers in a shorter about of time). Just like throwing or hitting, running is just a series of forceful movements, directed into the ground, and is directly affected by strength.
- Power Output – Becoming stronger and more powerful will result in hitting farther as well as a stronger arm and delivery. We frequently see athletes beginning to turn base hits into doubles and home runs from the extra power and speed. Things only go as fast as the force that is transferred into them. If Power = Force x Velocity, than as you get stronger and/or faster and your Power Output goes up.
- Endurance – Baseball is different than many sports in regards to peaking. Instead of preparing and being ready to perform your best on a single day, baseball players have to perform consistently over the course of a whole season and at their best when the playoffs roll around! Strength training plays a huge roll in performing well and staying powerful through a whole game and a long season.
- Longevity – Taking endurance to the next level, Longevity is your ability to stay healthy and progress from season to season and enjoy a long and successful career. Strength training and a healthy diet will take you far in both baseball and in life as well as set you up for a positive lifestyle. Don’t make excuses, stick with it!
Strength training for baseball is vital and has many other benefits including making athletes tougher and more confident. We highly recommend every player get in a properly designed program that begins with an individual assessment.
If you need guidance or have been looking for a Strength Coach, look no further!
Email Caleb@peakstrengthandfitness.com to Schedule your FREE Athlete Assessment