Friday Conditioning Tip
Why Other Baseball Conditioning is not everything
Major league player, John Kruk once said, “I’m not an athlete, I am a professional baseball player.” That funny line may have had meaning at one time, but now, professional baseball players use baseball conditioning tools to become supremely, fine-tuned athletes. However, there is still some truth to what John Kruk says. Not all the baseball conditioning speed and strength work in the world makes a ball player.
I often tell young players that if strength and speed were what made players, all the major league players would be football players and sprinters. Of course, they are not, because baseball involves the most difficult, fundamental skill development of any sport.
Sure lifting weights and running sprints make players better athletes; essential for reaching full potential, but that is not enough to be a good baseball player, at any level. Baseball success comes from hand eye coordination and fundamental efficiency in the skills of hitting, throwing, and fielding. The faster one can do all those, combined with strength, keeps players advancing up the baseball ladder.
That brings us to the question of what is the best way to increase the speed and strength of doing those skills?
- Get an understanding of the correct skill fundamentals
- Perform repetitive drills of those fundamentals
- Swing, throw, field fundamentally correctly first
- Once fundamentals are correct, do them more at each practice, more days of the week and more months of the year. Each fundamentally correct skill performance leads to increased speed and strength necessary to improve baseball conditioning.
Baseball Conditioning is Found in Baseball
Simply put, there is no better baseball conditioning than performing repetitive actions of baseball skills fundamentally correctly. Of course, it is important to understand the dynamics of strength gain – takes time, rest days need to be included and additional cross-training devices to enhance the baseball skills – that help to achieve maximum baseball conditioning. As players’ bodies naturally mature, jumps in speed and strength follow to reach one’s maximum baseball potential.