Dear Baseball Dad,
So many of you say "My Son is in Three Baseball Leagues… He’s Going to be the Best". I know you all want him to be the best. Playing ball all year round will make him good at best and at worst it’ll make him hate it.
Now it is true the more your son plays baseball the better he will become, until your son needs to be a better athlete to be a better baseball player. You see, baseball itself does not make a player strong, it does not by itself make a player flexible, it does not make a player more powerful, it does not make a player run faster. Yes it helps specific balance, coordination and accuracy and they are important skills in baseball but the athletes that go on to the next level must spend time being athletes not just baseball players.
Athletes routinely work on becoming more well conditioned, stronger, faster, more flexible as part of their off season and in season routine. There are many ways to do this and the most effective way is to use constantly varied, functional movements executed at high intensity. That challenge an athletes endurance, strength, stamina, speed, power, agility, accuracy, coordination and balance. A lack of purposeful training in these areas will lead sooner than later to a deficit in which the athlete will plateau and cease to advance.
So when considering how many teams, leagues or games an athlete should participate in… you need to consider 1st their development as an athlete then as a ball player. My recommendation…
Off season- 3-6 months depending on age. As an athlete approches 18 years old their off season may shrink as small as 3 months.
4-6 active days a week working on general athleticism outside their primary sport. Working on improving their overall fitness across the 10 general physical skills.
Pre season- 1-2 month, 2 months before first compeition athletes go into pre season mode their training adjusts to accomodate sport skills before official practices start.
2-3 sessions of low risk hard training in which general athleticism improvements are continually being made. the other hours should be spent practicing sport related skills that improve accuracy, coordination, agility and balance requirements of position.
In season- 4-8 months, for ages 16 and below there should not be more than 6 months in season in their primary sport. Other sports are considered part of off season training.
2 sessions of low risk maintenance training in which all of the major range of motions of all joints are being used and maintained. The main emphasis is focused on advancing sport specific skills off of the base of fitness that has been established.
This is just the tip of the iceberg… start your son with being the best athlete first then the best players second! Their careers and arms will thank you for it.
Ready to become a better athlete?
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