Pre-Season Baseball/Softball Training

Like most strength coaches, I've been lucky enough to get 5 weeks of training in before the season starts.  We just finished a 4 week cycle with Baseball and Softball.  The fifth week will be a true deload week.

My goal is to have them feeling as good as possible.  They will get on a bus Thursday, travel for 5-7 hours and then sleep in a hotel room for the first time this season.  That nonsense takes its toll.

For the most part, I've been able to stick to the plan with the exception of 2-3 days where they just felt like death.  I could see it in their eyes and their body language so I adjusted accordingly.

As we start the season I'll drop Baseball Training Maxes from 90% to 85% and Softball will go from 100% to 90-95% (depending on the athlete).  Side note: I've found better success training female athletes with their max, as opposed to a training max in the off-season.

The previous four weeks looked like this:

  • Main Lift
  • Supplemental Lift/Back
  • Metabolic Circuit (3-5 rounds)
  • Arm Care
  • Abs

In-Season will look like this:

  • Main Lift
  • Metabolic Circuit (3-5 rounds)
  • Arm Care
  • Miscellaneous
  • Abs

My goal with the Main Lift and Circuit is to keep as much strength and muscle on them as possible.  The rest of the workout is to keep their arms happy and their hips/backs mobile.

This worked well with Football in the Fall and during Fall Ball.  So, it stands to reason, it will work well, now.

The only "change" to this basic set-up (for pitchers) is the addition/option for Speed Work (Dynamic Effort).  I experimented with my senior pitchers this fall and they really liked it.  Their plan will look the same as above, but with this change:

Heavy (day after an outing)

  • Main Lift (Squat or Trap Bar - they're choice): work up to percentage.  If they feel horrible they can stop at their first work set (FSL weight) and do 5x2-3 and turn it into a Speed day.  If they feel good they can go for 3-5.  Or, if they feel really good (which does happen) they can go for 5-8 (sort of like a PR Set)
  • Feel like crap: 5x2-3 (speed work)
  • Feel good: 3-5 (normal work)
  • Feel Great: 5-8 (sort of PR Sets)

Speed (1-2 days before an outing)

  • Main Lift (opposite of their Heavy choice) most guys Squat Heavy and Trap Bar for Speed (5x2-3).  All sets are done from a dead stop.

I also give them a choice of how they want to use the Bench Press.  They can follow the percentages or they can opt to do DB Work.  I encourage and they do a great job of changing angles all the time.  Our DB Benches have 5 adjustments (not including a true Seated Shoulder Press adjustment).  They use all of them.  I think it's good to vary the angles all the time to try and avoid overuse issues beyond what throwing causes them.

Everything else is a crap shoot.

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