Friday, August 29, 2008

Youth Baseball Training

RT Staff Note: On the eve of the Labor Day weekend, we thought we would introduce another article about another kind of labor...working out, from Jon Doyle. If you want to see more articles on Jon Doyle, go to his web site at Baseball Training Secrets

By Jon Doyle - MA, CSCS

Youth Baseball Training is a simple, yet very complex topic. The information floating around these days leaves little to be desired. The goal of this article is to teach you how young athletes should train for maximum effectiveness, optimal performance and utmost safety.

Obviously, the term “youth” is very broad. The term can refer to any individual 18 years or under. The scope of this article will cover the ages of 6-18 years of age.

When an athlete is a beginner he/she needs to learn proper movement patterns. Overlooking this crucial element is the biggest mistake I see with youth baseball training. Everyone wants to put a barbell, dumbbells or medicine balls in the hands of these individuals before they have learned proper movement patterns.

What’s the point of doing a squat with weight on your back before you have learned how to squat correctly with just bodyweight? Why would anyone bench press before they have learned the proper movement and built up strength in the pushup? These two scenarios make absolutely no sense but I see it happening everyday.

The key is learning proper movement through specific movement patterns. Everyone and anyone can benefit greatly from these movements. If you don’t have a copy of “The Ultimate 7-Minute Dynamic Baseball Warm-Up” I suggest you pick one up immediately.

Not only will this DVD teach you how to move properly, but it serves as a form of strength training. In order to have strength, power, speed and flexibility that transfers over to the baseball diamond the body must be taught to move properly.

It does not matter what age the player is. Age 6 or 18, these movements serve as the foundation. If these basic fundamentals are not developed an individual will never even come close to their potential. The great thing is this all can be done in 7 minutes per day.

Also, for those athletes that are certainly too young to start a strength training program with barbells and dumbbells these movements will build strength, power, speed and flexibility through what is called neurological adaptation. Basically this means that the connection between the brain and the muscles will work much, much better. Common improvements that occur are increased overall body coordination, more fluid movements, the game “slowing down” as well as aforementioned strength, power, speed and flexibility.

After these basic movements have been learned the individual can move to classic strength training. The best movements to use are what we refer to as “Focus Lifts. They are as follows:

• Power Clean
• Power Snatch
• Squat
• Deadlift
• Bench Press
• Push Press

These should be taught first because these are the lifts that have the most carryover to the diamond and everyday life.

To learn how to do each Focus Lift in extreme detail check out the Power/Speed Development Series. Here you will learn the specifics and how to teach each Focus Lift quickly and easily for a price that is less than one personal training session with the kid down at the local gym.

If an athlete learns how to move properly and then is taught the Focus Lifts he/she will be a force to be reckoned with!

Proper youth baseball training will make all the difference in the world for your young athletes.

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