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“Winter Training, Developing at Home, and Nutrition”
In this episode of Scout Book we tackled 3 topics. They are different in nature but what makes them common is the timing. They all help kickstart the offseason.
As a coach and scout I always valued Winter (Off season) training. Often you see a player who has ability but many things that you would like to see improved. If you want to gain 10 lbs of muscle or re-work your swing, it’s probably best not to try to so that in season. The offseason offers you a chance to make changes while not worrying about having to perform in a game that week. I’ve also found the player will put more focus into these topics during the off season because this may be the only baseball activity he has. The focus can be fully devoted to the task at hand. Players have to make a list of goals they want to achieve during the off season. They have to make a schedule that reflects those goals. I’ve found that most players spend most of their off season hitting, and skip work on the other tools. I’ve found the #1 goal for the off season should be to get stronger. A stronger player is a better player.
Developing at home was something that came up due to the COVID 19 Pandemic. However, I always encourage players to have a good home workout routine. It can be especially valuable for younger players- they don’t have to find a ride to gym or cages. Baseball strength and conditioning has changed over the years. It has become much more technique specific. It’s more poly balls, Medicine balls, and stability. Players no longer need hundreds of pounds of weights or a full home gym system. My advice for at home hitting is to keep it simple. You don’t need to build an at home batting cage. You can easily set up a tee and hit into a net, or you could hang a bed sheet to hit into. If that isn’t an option, you can hit tennis balls. Players can get all of their sprint work done at home also. From my experience the best part of a home workout routine is that it is more likely to be completed.
Nutrition is a wide-ranging topic, and I am not a Nutritionist. The goal is to get baseball players to be aware of nutrition and how it relates to athletics. There are several websites that offer nutrition plans that are specific to baseball. They offer cheat sheets with what to eat the night before a game, or what to eat on game day. It also has a list of foods to avoid. People in general tend to view nutrition in terms of weight loss. We want players to use nutrition as a performance tool. A lot of players want to gain weight or get stronger. You need protein to gain muscle. If a player is engaged in a strength program but doesn’t have any protein in his diet, his muscle gain will be minimal. I encourage players to keep a food journal. Keep a list of everything you eat. This will help the player count how many grams of protein he takes in per day. It can also help him realize when his diet needs more protein added. A lot of players use protein powder to help boost their intake. Please consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
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