Archive for May, 2013

If you train with me, or you are a regular visitor to this site, you already know that I talk a lot about the importance of hip extension during sprinting.¬†Powerful extension of the hip is what propels runners forward, so my athletes spend a lot of time developing their glutes, which control hip extension. However, one important aspect of our training that I haven’t talked much about yet is hamstring strength. If your hamstring strength isn’t up to snuff, all the glute strength in the world won’t help you run fast.

When sprinting, your goal should be to put as much force into the ground as possible to move forward as quickly as possible. This action is driven by hip extension, but in order for the force generated by the hip to reach the ground, it needs to travel through the hamstrings first. This means that in order to run fast, sprinters need to have strong hamstrings that are capable of absorbing and transmitting huge amounts of force effectively and without injury.

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Bel Air High School stomped on Patterson today in the first round of the playoffs, winning by slaughter rule 14-4.

Brendan Yetter, one of the athletes I train at the Bel Air Athletic Club, contributed heavily to the lopsided victory, going 2-for-2 with a single, triple, and a walk, 2 RBI, 3 runs scored, and 3 stolen bases. Brendan, just a sophomore, is one of the better athletes I train and he will likely have college coaches kicking in his front door at this time next year.

brendan yetter

I get that lots of people are completely fine with going to the gym day after day, doing the exact same program for years, and never changing a single thing. People are creatures of habit, and change can be intimidating. But if you’re going to spend the time and money to go to the gym, you might as well be improving yourself while you’re there. Going in every day and doing the exact same exercises, with the exact same weight, for the exact same number of sets and reps is not only tedious, it’s not really beneficial after the first couple of months. If your program doesn’t change, your body won’t change. And you might actually start to regress once your body adapts to your current plan.

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One of the biggest gripes I had while playing baseball in college was that our in-season training program was trash. By the time May rolled around everybody was skinny, weak, and threw a good 4-5 mph slower than at the beginning of the season. I noticed this during high school ball too, but I didn’t understand why it was happening. I figured that if you trained all offseason, that strength would just stay with you during the season. But unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

Once I got to college and started learning about the body and training, I realized that improper training methods during the season were what was causing this steady decline in performance over the course of the year. That, combined with a hefty dose of long-distance “conditioning” runs.

Here’s 3 big mistakes that people often make when training in season. I’ve omitted “Doing Nothing” because frankly, that should be common knowledge by now.

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Even with all the strength training my athletes do in the offseason, I always tell them the most effective way to develop throwing velocity is just throwing a baseball (or softball). That’s not to say that strength training isn’t important; building strength in the offseason allows players to exert more force and minimize injury risk during the season. But all the leg, core, and rotator cuff strength in the world will do you no good if you can’t figure out how to apply your strength properly when throwing. Enter: long tossing.

In my opinion, if you’re a baseball or softball player and you’re NOT long tossing, then you’re stunting your development as a ballplayer.

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