Welcome to the first installment of the Sports Performance category here on www.travishashfitness.com! Today’s topic is in-season training for baseball athletes. Should we train during the season? Should we train hard or tone it down?
Training during the season is essential to maintaining the improvements made during the off-season and pre-season phases of a baseball strength and conditioning program. With that said our training will not be the same during the season, as it was during other phases of our periodization model. It’s not so much the intensity that changes; we still want to work our athletes hard. The changes will be more in frequency, volume, and exercise selection.
Depending on the athlete’s game and practice schedule, the frequency and volume of heavy strength workouts may need to change to ensure that the athlete is properly prepared for an upcoming game and not feeling the effects of a workout. This does not mean that we completely eliminate heavy strength training altogether during the season. Eliminating strength training from your program will result in the athlete losing a significant amount of the strength gains that they made over the off-season. Yes, some loss of strength over the course of a long baseball season (especially at the professional levels) is expected. With that said, we still want to maintain as much strength as possible. It is also important for coaches to remember that your athletes should not be leaving your workouts feeling completely exhausted. The athlete should feel worked but also should feel somewhat refreshed.
Along with the changes in frequency and volume, we also want to alter our exercise selection. During the season, athletes are doing a great deal of sport specific movements in their actual sport participation. In order to keep the athlete from overtaxing their body in-season, we want to be less sport specific with our exercise selection. Doing weighted ball and rotational medball exercises during the season when the athlete is already doing a lot of throwing and twisting motions could overwork the athlete and lead to decreased performance or even injury. Our sport specific movements will be done with the highest frequency in the late off-season and pre-season phases as the season is approaching and we are preparing the athlete to handle the stressors that they will face in-season.
Thanks for reading my first sports performance blog! Below I added a basic periodization chart that illustrates the changes in intensity, volume, and technique throughout a strength and conditioning program. Feel free to comment below with any thoughts or questions and subscribe to the free newsletter so you can stay up to date when new blogs are posted!
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