Baseball speed

I’m looking for ideas for developing periodized programs for baseball speed with athletes ranging from 10 years of age - high performance. Trying to incorporate a baseball track concept. Baseball is a demand skill sport, which requires high levels of power and speed, so how much time needs to be balanced with the development of speed/power vs skill development (primarly position players).

Anyone have info on this?

I will only say from experience that atheticism vs skill is not nearly as important in baseball as it is in football. While improving speed and strength is definitely beneficial and something you should persue with all your athletes, it should take a back seat to skill development, including situation awareness. How much of a training program should be alloted to this end I can’t say, but baseball is much more a skill sport than football, or possibly even basketball.

Agree and disagree.

Ones ability to display skill are still dependent on athletic qualities, and will be limited by the importance of these qualities. These’ are what we refer to as limiting factors. In baseball, acceleration-throwing-hitting power are at a premium. Athletes who posses lower outputs of these qualities will limit their opportunity to advance in the sport.

This is why we see many athletes in this sport using banned substances. athletes recognize that an improvement in these athletic qualities (acceleration-throwing-hitting power / and high levels of MxS) will have an immediate impact on their performance.

One area where I often see problems in baseball is the inability to tolerate going from waiting around to sudden explosive movements. This can be better tolerated if a program with extensive tempo is in place.

By ‘tolerate’, do you mean avoiding injuries, or something else?

For the field position player would you do any heavy bench press work/presses. I know LSU has everyone performing cleans, snatches, jerks, pulls, squats etc.

It’s a power sport- so sure, weights and very short speed work and I’d use tempo just like with the sprints

I was curious because I remember Joe Defranco saying he prefer to drop the bench press and do pullups, chinups and maybe db work for his baseball players. Also I may be wrong but I think James mention there QB’s don’t do any bench press work.

Dan John has also said throwers don’t need to bench. One can see how it could induce internal rotation of the shoulder as well as tightness inhibiting ROM.

You don’t have to be fast or strong to field a ball, throw a ball, or hit a ball. Some of the fastest pitchers, best hitters, and best fielders I ever knew or saw did not have good speed or quickness and were not strong. Had they been quicker, faster and stronger, they would have probably been better. But taking too much time away from skill training to work on conditioning is risky, especially since we’re talking about working with individuals as young as 10y.o. What will make or break a young ball players is skill with the glove, the arm and the bat. Power is great, as is quickness and speed. Those who possess power and speed, and who also have the skill, will be more likely to succeed. But unlike football, or even some positions in basketball (i.e. power forward) you can’t overcome a lack of skill with power and speed. Skill domintates baseball, and that should be the focus in any young ball players training program.

there are ROM issues to consider for throwing but I still like to work in all directions, though the percentages will vary.

Its a given that baseball is a demand skill sport, however the limiting athletic factors are acceleration speed, and hitting and throwing power

Only a well designed and well rounded program will allow athletes the best opportunity to develop and advance in the game of baseball

I think the danger of the bench press is when it is used to promote hypertrophy as apposed to CF’s methodology which would be a CNS stimulus for the upper body.

As strength is developed exposure to high rep totals can be kept very low and the stimulus very high. This will minimize overuse concerns and ROM issues.

So how would a offseason baseball strength program look like?

Well it would depend on age / level / position
training phase?

Sr in Colllege. Outfield. Summer/Early offseason.

You can use any color you want, but your basic assumption quoted above is your problem. The limiting factors in being able to catch, throw and hit, have absolutely nothing to do with acceleration, speed and for the most part, power. As I’ve said, these athletic qualities improve the athletes ability to the these things, but they are NOT the limiting factors in developing a sound ballplayer.

Real world example. Go into any D-1 football fieldhouse and get the strongest, fastest, most powerful atheltes you can find. Choose those that haven’t played baseball since little league. Have them play a descent high school baseball team and watch them get dismantled. It will be embarrassing. All that speed, power and athletic prowess will get them nowhere. What does this tell you about the limiting factors in baseball?

I’m assuming then that you have some baseball experience. Can you give me what you think would happen with their hitting and their fielding?

Yes, D-1 experience. My point is that normally, unless you have the kids for at least a few hours per day several days per week, very little time should be used for anything other than skill acquistion and situation awareness. Within that context, you can add drills that work on speed and endurance. But to take a few days working on a CF style accel/speed program combined with a weight program, you’ll end up with a Velocity type program that spends an inadequate amount of time on skills and situations.

Again, speed and power are great, but this isn’t football…the time necessary to improve speed and power to any significant degree can easily cut into the time needed to build, refine and maintain skill. And for a 10y.o., skill and situational awareness development are much more important.

Furthermore, and Charlie may correct me here, you can take a 15-16y.o. and bring him up to95% of his potential speed and power within a year to two, but it takes many, many years to fully develop top tier baseball skills. So for any athletes under the age of 15, I would suggest that acceleration work be built into base running drills, and power development be limited to swinging weighted bats and “home run derby” practices. They can hit the gym later.