The following information refers to the Year 1 training program that I designed and presented to the Washington Nationals in preparation for their 2017 major league season season. However, this information is applicable to the development of any major league baseball athlete – or any baseball player – who is in year one of their development. That means the information is most relevant when the trainee has little experience in strength training.
Though most professional athletes recognize strength training as valuable today, high quality sports-specific training remains an elusive service. This is because sports performance training is to great extent informed by trends in fitness, rather than accurate needs analysis. The last twenty years of sports performance training have been too influenced by bodybuilding, power- and Olympic lifting, and most recently, CrossFit.
Mind you that I am not criticizing these sports disciplines. They all make their contributions to the world of fitness training. However, it is important to keep the primary task in mind, which is the development of baseball players. As such, I think there is currently a need in the sports performance industry to return to the basics, and perhaps even to visit them for the first time. This was the case with the Washington Nationals.
It is my own professional opinion that major league baseball is about ten years behind the cutting edge of sports performance preparation. In that climate, it is counterproductive to focus on multi-joint lower body pulls, box squats, or squatting patterns common to powerlifting, when athletes have not even demonstrated an ability to master fundamental movement.
My method is not the only way to do get things done properly. I do believe that it is the most efficient. It teaches both coaches and athletes to focus on first things first; it employs economy of training; and it omits errors in the training process. This is because at every stage, movement quality moves in sync with movement quantity.
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