Question: I workout a couple of days each week but I haven’t in a while because I have been working out with the baseball team. I haven’t felt like I was training hard enough but we do work on ball skills. Should I make more time to train before the season starts or keep working out with the team?
Answer: Oh, it’s a big jump to go from recreational working out with the team to actually being an athlete. There are lots of people with athletic ability but far fewer athletes. An athlete possesses willpower and self-discipline in order to train to make continual improvements. The upper level athletes in any sport spend time away from the game to improve themselves and their abilities. Work on your athleticism, speed, strength and flexibility while you have time during the off season. Training with the team does more to team-build than it does to help individuals. It only takes 40 minutes if you’re willing to challenge yourself and move with a purpose. Get core work done up front and then use large multi-joint exercises to train back, chest and shoulders on the first day. Work on speed and conditioning on the second day. More core and leg training with an emphasis on hamstring work makes up much of the third day. On the fourth day, it’s more conditioning and speed work. On the final day of weight workouts you’ll focus on explosive exercises and more core work. After each workout you need to stretch the muscle groups you’ve trained. Once you begin the season, you’ll need to train two days a week to maintain the strength levels you worked towards.
Most upper level athletes train regularly during the season to assist in keeping themselves healthy and injury free. You can’t become more athletic just by working on skills. You need skill work but at your age, 15, your body is growing and changing so ignoring the athletic portion of workouts and off-season training is impeding you ability to progress.
God bless and keep training,