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Thread: Weight Lifting For Young Athletes

  1. #1
    Bowl MVP dreammachine's Avatar
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    Default Weight Lifting For Young Athletes

    I was speaking to a high school baseball coach the other night at a JV Football Game and he spoke about a certain kid being a very good baseball player and a vital part of his teams success, but yet at the same time expressed a dismal view of this kid not lifting weights enough to suit him. I ask him what his workout training was for baseball players and he stated "it was the same for all sports at the school - they come in and lift on all days required". This statement caught me off-guard as I have coached baseball for a long time and know that "yes baseball players need to get stronger each year - but it is a different type of weight training they need per what a football player needs". Baseball players need flexibility and strength in their core areas - which includes bat speed/throwing speed/and getting faster in running the bases. Football players need to gain strength and add weight to get better and bigger. Baseball is another world in itself.


    Any baseball coaches or sports trainers that are baseball oriented out there to discuss this issue. I think that there is a serious misunderstanding of what needs to be done to these young players and maybe not being educated enough and budget play into these decisions, but if I had a son playing baseball I would be seriously involved in what type of weight training they were getting at their respective schools.

  2. #2
    2nd Team All-SEC Gamecock303's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weight Lifting For Young Athletes

    let me preface this by saying I have no training or formal education in any type of strength training related field, I do read a fair amount about the topic because it is an area of interest of mine but that is as far as it goes.


    First I think you have to consider the fact that there are very few high schools that have dedicated strength and conditioning coaches and even fewer that have the type of training (or facilities needed) to effectively design programs for all of the various sports offered at a high school. Most places that I know of the weight room is run by a football coach(es) who do their best to accommodate training other athletes. Add to that dealing with multi-sport athletes and in some places the lack of ability to train during the day (no strength training classes or the lack of sport specific classes) and what you end up with is a very generalized strength program primarily centered around improving overall athleticism. This is all predicated of course by the student being lucky enough to go to a school that has some sort of strength program as many schools still don't and many others only have "programs" opened to specific sports where their coach makes the weight room a priority and arranges to do so for their sport (often with no additional compensation).



    Secondly I think you have to consider that the vast majority of high school athletes are going to benefit greatly from getting stronger in general no matter what sport they are playing. Would some players get more benefits from a "sport specific" program, sure but again that is not possible at a lot of places. Can baseball players achieve improvement in all of the things you mentioned from a strength program that is aimed at improving overall athleticism...absolutely in my (uneducated) opinion, particularly if said program places significant time and effort into improving lower body strength. Every sport that is played on your feet starts with the ability to produce power from the lower body.



    There are probably very few high school athletes out there who are going to suffer any negative effects from any kind of strength program provided they are properly supervised (technique and weight). Very few kids are going to get anywhere near the point of building enough muscle mass that it limits their ability to play their sport. Are there certain lift I wouldn't want a baseball player doing on gameday (or olympic lifts anytime really) sure but a general weight program should not be an issue, even if they are lifting on gamedays (for the most part).

  3. #3
    Walk On Tanner1218's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weight Lifting For Young Athletes

    Yes there are very few schools that have trainers.Some of the coaches here do try to do some type of lifting program.One of them is spot on.He likes to do small group session but will work as may that show up.He started working with my son at the beginning of this year.He's a big boy already at the age of 13 he's 6'0 240 lbs..since starting to workout he's went from benching around 80 lbs to almost 200..Curls 100lbs...is around 300 on squats...but he also works on flexibility...I've really like what I've seen so far hes got he's got him working on his 40 times... vertical jumps..and jump rope for movement...Time will tell...I wish more schools would lean towards maybe like a CrossFit program

  4. #4
    Bowl MVP dreammachine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weight Lifting For Young Athletes

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamecock303 View Post
    let me preface this by saying I have no training or formal education in any type of strength training related field, I do read a fair amount about the topic because it is an area of interest of mine but that is as far as it goes.


    First I think you have to consider the fact that there are very few high schools that have dedicated strength and conditioning coaches and even fewer that have the type of training (or facilities needed) to effectively design programs for all of the various sports offered at a high school. Most places that I know of the weight room is run by a football coach(es) who do their best to accommodate training other athletes. Add to that dealing with multi-sport athletes and in some places the lack of ability to train during the day (no strength training classes or the lack of sport specific classes) and what you end up with is a very generalized strength program primarily centered around improving overall athleticism. This is all predicated of course by the student being lucky enough to go to a school that has some sort of strength program as many schools still don't and many others only have "programs" opened to specific sports where their coach makes the weight room a priority and arranges to do so for their sport (often with no additional compensation).



    Secondly I think you have to consider that the vast majority of high school athletes are going to benefit greatly from getting stronger in general no matter what sport they are playing. Would some players get more benefits from a "sport specific" program, sure but again that is not possible at a lot of places. Can baseball players achieve improvement in all of the things you mentioned from a strength program that is aimed at improving overall athleticism...absolutely in my (uneducated) opinion, particularly if said program places significant time and effort into improving lower body strength. Every sport that is played on your feet starts with the ability to produce power from the lower body.



    There are probably very few high school athletes out there who are going to suffer any negative effects from any kind of strength program provided they are properly supervised (technique and weight). Very few kids are going to get anywhere near the point of building enough muscle mass that it limits their ability to play their sport. Are there certain lift I wouldn't want a baseball player doing on gameday (or olympic lifts anytime really) sure but a general weight program should not be an issue, even if they are lifting on gamedays (for the most part).



    I agree with many points that you have made here. I did some checking into what many major sport trainers think about "sport - specific - training" and the vast majority of them state that "if you are going to play baseball - then you need to do something that is structured towards building the body to play baseball - in other words, "one size does not fit all in weight lifting for a specific sport and baseball is a sport that requires a lot of lower body training to increase flexibility, strength, and hand/arm speed".


    I think if I had a son or grandson that could be seriously considered to having the talent to be a very good baseball player in high school - with a chance at playing at a higher level - then I would hire my own sports trainer that was deeply entrenched in the fundamentals of baseball and what it takes to get your core group muscles and body parts into better shape and stronger.


    I do understand that each public school district is bound to have to deal with it's budget and many things such as being a "baseball specific training" would simply not pass the smell taste or either the athletic director at the school would most likely consider the "one size fits all scheme" and that is the end of the story.

  5. #5
    Evil...It's the new Good Antiochus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weight Lifting For Young Athletes

    Baseball has actually been lagging behind sports science but has more recently begun to catch up. A lot of the old school coaches who believe in lots of distance running are being replaced by guys who believe in sprinting and weight training. Baseball is a game that is 90 percent standing around followed by short bursts of explosive activity. Jogging is something that never occurs in baseball. A program that features lots of low intensity conditioning is a program that contains weaker and less explosive athletes at every position.

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