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Upper Deck Power, Part 7

Posted in: Articles by ProSource, Training Articles
By John Davies, Founder of Renegade Training | Jan 18, 2010

Upper Deck image
One peculiarity of Baseball training may simply be that of all the major team sports, it lags well behind with respect to off-season preparation approaches. While that may be an inflammatory comment, all too often notions that have little to do with improving performance in the sport have crept into general practice.

The reason for this is primarily based upon the lack of education in the sport training area and a odd status quo that has somehow convinced coaches and athletes that training equipment is the "secret" as opposed to a well designed exercise regime. Again, though it will not be popular in the training business, specific implements whether they are kettlebells or any number of items in the market place, are not a panacea for training and could quite possibly lead the athlete far away from their goals.

While anecdotal in nature, I have long felt that more athletes are either de-trained or trained for failure rather than success in their sport. Baseball, with its unique skill demands, has been the harbinger of quirky off-season training ideas and pieces of equipment that seem to only exist because they are a unique product in a market place looking for "secrets". Yet the true "secret" to Baseball training is not a specific training device but in-fact a broad array of generalized training measures that the very intense skills can be developed on.  This must be stressed because while the market place is rife with those that make the claim you can develop "big-league ability" in the weight-room, everything must be built around a endless year-round commitment to skill work. For ball players and coaches alike, the soundest advice I can give you is to always respect skill work and never lose sight of it despite all the well-positioned marketing efforts you are subjected to.

While an athlete must follow the standard guidelines within Renegade Training of developing a strong foundation of overall athletic development, representative of all attributes of the Wheel of Conditioning™ that does not eliminate "sport specific" movements. Borrowing upon my Hockey book, "More than a Game", with regards to sport-specific training:

"While this is a highly simplified manner to express such a complex issue it is important for an athlete to develop a solid base of generalized athletic ability and then once these baseline abilities have been solidified, highly specialized strengths (as well as skills) can be built upon. Yet "sport specific" training must directly mimic the sports actions with precise joint angles, muscular contraction as well as the same range of motion. This quite obviously raises the suspecting eyebrow to training mediums (that can have tremendous value but are not “sport specific) such as nonconforming objects (i.e. tire flipping) or the all-too-common twisting action on cable machines or balance balls."

For coaches and trainers this should be a resounding statement that Baseball training starts with a program that recognizes the physical attributes of the "Wheel". Along with the very specific needs of the sport with "rotational" flexibility, explosive strength of the legs, hips and trunk, the athlete must show patience in their development and ensure skill development never lags.


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Disclaimer: The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.

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