The Importance of Strength and Speed Training

Many young players spend countless hours developing their specific baseball skills, going to camps and clinics, individual training for hitting and pitching.  However, baseball skills training is only part of the equation for success.  One essential  aspect of becoming a successful baseball player is to dedicate significant time to athletic performance training (strength, speed and explosive movement).  We have seen so many players take their game to the next level with dedication to a structured athletic performance program.  Many young players know what a great swing or pitching delivery looks like, but they have to train their body to move more explosively and control the rotational movements needed for baseball success. 

In the same light, a big challenge for student-athletes is finding the right program to train sufficiently while balancing school and other sports schedules.  We have seen many players fall behind in their strength and agility training because they do not have a flexible enough schedule to consistently see a trainer, or attend a group training class during the week.  

Our philosophy of success with our players at Woodall Baseball Academy is to “take the excuses away”.  If you agree that strength and speed training is important to your baseball career, and your baseball success is important to you, you can find a way to get it done.

With that in mind, we would like to provide a few different options for our players to choose from depending on their needs and availability.  As you will notice, there is not an option for “I am too busy and cannot find a way to incorporate a strength training program into my schedule“.  

Option 1:  Hire a Trainer
This is still the best option for an athlete looking to receive customized training for their body type and current needs as an athlete.  

Advantages:  In a private or semi-private class, a trainer will teach the player correct movement patterns, modifications for each player’s body type, and customize a program based upon the athlete’s needs.  Most importantly, the group and the trainer will provide the motivation to train harder and smarter than any other option.   Attending a strength and speed class 2-3 times per week will develop the athlete as well as any other option.  

Limitations:  Lack of flexibility and cost.  Player must attend the class during class times, which may conflict with other sports schedules and activities after school.  Personal training provides more flexibility but the cost increases per session with personal training.  

One hybrid solution that some training businesses offer is remote training, which includes minimal on site training with “home workouts” that the athlete can complete at his/her convenience.

Option 2:  DIY- Health Club or Home Gym
For players with schedule challenges or otherwise are not able to attend athletic performance training regularly, purchasing a gym membership is the Do It Yourself option.

Advantages:  Great flexibility and freedom to fit any schedule.  There are many options close to home that are convenient.  Resources for training equipment at a health club are extensive.  

Limitations:  This option requires a great deal of self motivation, research, and ability to create (or research and find online) a successful training program.  Most players who try this option either eventually stop training from a lack of structure or plan, continue to train but fall in the typical pattern of doing the same exercises nearly every session, or develop a less than productive program compared to other options.

Option 3:  Home Based DVD/App Workout Program
If hiring a trainer is not an option, our recommendation is a hybrid of the first two options.  Bring the trainer to your house through your TV!!  There are many different programs packaged for home workouts to guide those who are not able to attend personal training or group classes.  It is one of the fastest growing segments of the training industry so there are a growing number of options available to all levels of athlete (and their parents!!).  One of the pioneers in this space is Beachbody, home to the popular DVD home workout programs P90X, Insanity, or Hard Corps 22 Minute workouts.  These programs provide structure, diversity of movement in strength, cardio, and flexibility options packaged in a 6-8 week program.  Workouts can be done at home as well as provide the athlete a checklist and timeline of workouts to adhere to each day.

Here are a few programs to consider that require minimal investment and provide a very structured well rounded workout to increase strength, agility and flexibility for the young athlete.

P90X3 (Ages 14 and Up- Moderate to Advanced Experience)
This program is a great solution for the high school athlete looking to increase strength and athletic movement.  All workouts are only 30 minutes in length and may be used with an agility or med ball warm-down to provide a very balanced workout.  Also comes with flexibility, core, and agility workouts.  Minimal investment in equipment- Pull Up Bar, and a few sets of dumbells.

Information and Purchase:  PURCHASE P90X3

P90 (Ages 13 and Up- Beginner to Moderate Experience)
P90 is the “prequel” to the P90X series.  This program sets the foundation of movement and strength for the more advanced P90X3 workouts.  Movements and exercises are less complex and workouts are slightly less intense for the athlete looking to gain strength but is just getting started or has not trained for strength in a while.  Equipment:  Pull Up Bar, Dumbells.

Information and Purchase:   PURCHASE P90

Insanity- Asylum (Ages 13 and Up- Beginner to Advanced Experience)
This is a program for agility and sports conditioning that is a great complement to the strength programs above.  Great for winter agility and conditioning when we cannot get outside or are not active in a sport season.  

Information and Purchase:  PURCHASE INSANITY THE ASYLUM

Players Just Starting Out (Ages 9-13)
Players in the younger age group, 9-13 that want to learn more about athletic performance training will adhere to a more motor skills and body alignment program.  One option is Fusionetics.  Fusionetics is an App based program that is geared for the athlete getting started with weight training, or to be used as a complementary aspect of an advanced strength training program.  This is a comprehensive program that includes stretching techniques, hip mobility, and “prehab” exercises to prevent injury in combination with strength workouts.  Workouts become more advanced as an athlete graduates each level.  App includes workouts, video examples of movements, and workout log to keep track of program on your phone.

Information & Purchase:  Contact brad@woodallbaseball.com for more information on this customized program.

Med Ball Circuits (Compliment Add-On to Strength Workouts)
Med ball exercises are a fantastic compliment to any baseball training program.  See below for a samples of med ball circuits that can be used in conjunction with any strength and agility workout (3 x per week recommended)

Program 1

  1. Squat Chest Press
  2. Single Leg Squat Chest Pass
  3. Standing Rotation from Hitter’s Stance
  4. 1-Hand Alternating Wall Throws with mini squat (lighter ball)
  5. Reverse Turn Throws (Standing facing 45 degrees away from wall)

Link to Video:  MED BALL PROGRAM 1

Program 2

  1. Single Leg Scoop Throw
  2. Cross Behind Push Throw
  3. Quick Skater Scoop Throw
  4. Shuffle Away Scoop Throw
  5. Overhead Slam to Push Throw

Link to Video:  MED BALL PROGRAM 2

Med Ball Options- Needed for Med Ball Workouts

4lb – 6lb – 8 lb — LINK TO PURCHASE

**8lb ball recommended for high school players.  4-6lb ball recommended for ages 12-14

CONTACT BRAD WOODALL for more information and suggestions for strength programs and nutritional products.