Baseball Pitching Velocity Training

hesterBy Kurt Hester
Last week the Assistant GM for the New Orleans Hornets called me about implementing a core strength and flexibility program for the team. My reply was not taken well by him because I laughed. After I regained my composure I explained that if you have a well thought out strength and conditioning program, core strength and flexibility components are built in and done on a daily basis. I felt it was a waste of the teams time for me to go in once a week for thirty minutes to train explicitly on core and flexibility work. Needless to say; he was not very happy with my reply.
This conversation did trigger a host of thoughts about past training concepts, present training concepts and future training concepts. I remember the days when strength coaches had a background in either power lifting, olympic lifting or bodybuilding. Then high intensity training became the fad of the day. That was followed by sport specific training. Sport specific training gave way to core and stabilization training, which gave way to functional training. What do all these training methods have in common? A lot of books and videos have been sold. Yes, I am jaded and sarcastic by nature. I just want to know; what ever happened to a basic well thought out training cycle? I think coaches and athletes are so impressed by the latest line of training equipment and the latest training fad that they forget about the basics of performance: power, strength and speed. This is not an indictment of training philosophy, but an article to provoke thought.
I incorporate some faction of every training philosophy in my training cycles. I pride myself on being able to steal from the best and worst programs. If I can find one thing to make my training cycles better than my athletes are getting better. When it comes to training I do not dismiss anyone or any system. I will learn from anybody, anywhere, anytime.
Now if you employ this technique when writing a training cycle things still have to mesh and it has to be logical. I have seen training cycles thrown together that made absolutely know sense. There are facets of training programs that you can use to enhance your training cycles. For example:

Bodybuilding - a ridicules repertoire of exercises
that can be performed.
Power lifting - absolute strength lifts, max effort
lifts and dynamic effort lifts.
Olympic lifting - explosive power and speed lifts.
HIT - lifting for muscle hypertrophy, endurance
and volume.
Core/Stability - building your athletic foundation.
Functional Training - isolateral and balance training.
Rehab -joint stability work.
Sport Specific Training - there are few exercises that truly mimmick sport. This has always been a catch phrase that I have true distain for. If you're an athlete who is getting stronger, more powerful and faster then your getting better athletically.

You can take bits and pieces of different training philosophies and mold them into a coherent and concise program. Do not pigeon whole your athletes into one training system. Let your guard down and absorb knowledge form non traditional sport training areas. Don't be swayed by entire training systems that come around every two to three years. Stick to your basic philosophy and enhance it with sound practices of other philosophies.