Injuries have become a prevalent part of the game of baseball in today's day and age as is evident by the increasing number of Major Leaguers who spend time on the disabled list during the course of a season. This trend is alarming enough for the grown men on big league rosters but what is even more distressing is the growing number of injuries to adolescent baseball players.
Has your favorite song ever been blasting from the speakers as you're on the mound warming up and you feel electric, as though the ball is jumping out of your hand into the catcher's mitt? You are all linked up and then the song is turned off and the batter steps in and you lose that feeling as your first pitch barely floats over the plate. Or how about a time when you felt completely gassed, you thought you had no more energy to get through your workout and then a great song starts bumping through your headphones and you catch a second wind?
Objective measurement. Those two words are extremely important if you are seeking to enhance your skill and ability in any sport. What do I mean by them exactly? I'm talking about athletes measuring and recording everything they do. This idea is certainly nothing new in regards to athletics. For decades coaches have been timing 40 yard dashes, recording the amount players are able to lift in the weight room, and all sports keep statistics. However, this is only brushing the surface of what I mean by measuring.What I am referring to is measuring more than just an athlete's performance in games, or a player's speed or strength once every few months. I mean keeping a daily recording of any and all activities an athlete does in preparation for their sport. How do you measure all of the different activities an athlete does in practice and workouts? Its not as difficult as you might think.
There have been several questions from readers of this blog regarding the amount of time it takes for the body's ATP energy system to recover after an exercise. This is a very important question and yet one of the most difficult to answer precisely. Most research on the topic shows the rest time for full recovery of the ATP energy system to be approximately 2 minutes. However, there are a number of variables which affect the amount of time needed for recovery.
I want to stay on the theme of athleticism and explosiveness and address what is killing many athletes' ability to become athletic. It often boils down to the fact that too many coaches are "over coaching" their players. This is something that has been happened in baseball for many years now.
Coaches are breaking pitching and hitting mechanics into many tiny parts and teaching each of these micro positions individually hoping the athlete can piece them together to create an athletic, explosive 90 mph fastball or a screaming 400 foot line drive. This is not the right way to go about producing it.
Giant flat band resistance loops are fairly common in the sports and conditioning world. However, many people do not know just how versatile these bands can be. They can be used to assist stretching hamstrings, groin, hips, glutes, and quads. Others use them in the weight room as they wrap the bands around the ends of weight bars while doing exercises such as bench press and squats.
These past couple of posts may be a complete revelation to you or it could be something you've been incorporating for years just from intuition. A little over a year and a half ago it was a total eye-opener for me. I had been seriously training since I was about 17 years old and yet my world changed at age 23 in terms of training. I had just arrived home from playing in the Appalachian League and met with my pitching coach/trainer Ron Wolforth (of Pitching Central and The Baseball Ranch) to talk about the upcoming offseason. He gave me a short lesson on the body's energy systems (much like my last article) and how we needed to target the ATP system.
Because my focus is on baseball players, both pitchers and hitters, the ATP energy system is the one of greatest interest and importance. However, if you are involved in any sport which requires explosive movements then this should be the system of greatest interest to you as well. As I said before, it is possible to specifically train the ATP system by engaging in short, high intensity repetitive bouts with proper rest intervals. Remember the ATP system provides energy during the first 12-15 seconds of activity and has the highest potential for power output. Using this knowledge, lets look at how it is possible to incorporate different areas of training with the goal of improving the ATP energy system (and as a result your explosiveness as an athlete)
The majority of elite athletes today train using methods which simulate the vigor their bodies will be exerting during competition. The reason for this is due to a realization by top athletes and trainers that peak performance can only be achieved by fine tuning the bodily processes which control their ability to perform. Success in many sports requires brief but maximal effort: a baseball swing, throwing a pitch, a 100 meter sprint, the long jump, and nearly every person involved on the football field once the ball is snapped.
I'm going to be writing articles in the coming weeks about a variety of different topics. Some might be about equipment from Oates Specialties, while other articles may highlight certain coaches', schools', or academies' use of our products and the results they have witnessed. My purpose for these articles is to connect with you, our clients and prospective clients, so you can learn as well as share your stories about equipment and workout regimens that most benefit your athletes. Feel free to comment on the articles or anything on your mind. I want this to be a free flow of information on how to best train our athletes to be as explosive and athletic as possible. I will also be on twitter as @oatesspecialty, so follow me there to see if I may be in your area during my travels or for other information that I run across. I will primarily be up and down the east coast this spring visiting with a number of coaches and I would love to meet up and talk baseball or conditioning with anybody interested.
Oates Specialties is a family owned and operated business. Since starting the company in 2003 with baseball as its primary focus, Robert and Gloria Oates, along with their son Brian, have worked diligently to develop a line of quality athletic conditioning tools that is unparalleled. We hope you enjoy our product line, videos, and blog. Contact us if we can help you in any way!