November 23, 2011 by Gary McCoy
What are you doing this winter? Some players have their feet up on the couch- others are hard at it- preparing for the rigors of the 2012 season right now. But what is the right plan? Where do you start on the process of conditioning for next season? Are you hurting through workouts already? Pain is not always a sign of doing the right work.
Strength Coaches have long looked at “periodization” models for the process of planning peak performance. Periodization models are necessary, and should be built around peak performance times (over the course of a baseball year) and also around the philosophy of how to “build an athlete”.
As an NASM (National Academy of Sports) practitioner and recently, a curriculum advisory board member, I prefer the “under utilized” (in baseball) Optimal Performance Training (OPT) model. This begins with stabilization of the athletes frame. In this case- we need to initially off-set the imbalances that baseball creates.
Once complete- we move into strengthening the skeletal system. The focus here is on joint integrity – ensuring the ratio of strength- from front to back and each side of each joint segment, has the strength to sustain work.
The next Phase of training is the power sequence- depending on the seasonal length for the athlete- this begins late december- early January and runs all the way to spring training.
The focus now is the analysis and understanding of high speed movements in joint compressive and distraction profiles , that TRANSFER to the field of play. No transfer- No deal. Transfer meaning: support for the baseball movement- including force production- force reduction- muscular power endurance (not an oxy-moron) and metabolic recovery.
It’s a system that has worked for me for 6 years A system and methodology that optimizes the athlete for peak performance, and during a 162 game season- reduces the opportunity for soft tissue injury.
When a better system or method is exposed- I’ll use it. As mentioned in the prior post on Kaizen- Staying open minded- and each season looking for new ways to impart science upon the athlete is the key.
The old adage “No Pain – No Gain” may be better presented as “No Brain No Gain”. Be smarter in your training approach- the yield?
Your athlete evolution.