Aspiring baseball players often come into the sport with a limited understanding of how their bodies need to develop throughout their training. Because of this, players often think they can just jump right into a competition phase of training which only leads to failure and injury. You must go through the necessary developmental stages based upon your age and experience level. In this article, I want to discuss the importance of proper development in baseball and how to identify where you are in the process.
Active Start: Zero to Six Years Old
The early stages of a child’s life are crucial in learning how to move around and play. In the sport of baseball, this phase involves developing fundamental movement skills, such as balance, proprioception, speed, agility, jumps, and strength. Children aged zero to six are in the Active Start phase, where they learn these essential movement skills that serve as a foundation for their future baseball training. However, it is essential to note that these fundamentals are not enough to develop into an elite athlete, and it is vital to progress through the subsequent stages of development.
Fundamental Stages: Six to Nine Years Old
From the age of six to nine, children continue to learn fundamental movement skills in a more structured setting. They begin to understand the concepts of movement, balance, proprioception, speed, agility, jumps, and strength on a deeper level. It is during this phase that players start to gain experience in different training routines, such as plyometric training, speed and agility training, Olympic lifting, general strength and conditioning, and sport-specific training like pitching, throwing, or hitting. This stage is crucial in developing a broad understanding of training and techniques, setting the stage for the next level of development.
Learning to Train: Nine to Twelve Years Old
Between the ages of nine to twelve, players are in the Learning to Train phase, where they continue to gain experience in different training routines and understand how their bodies respond. However, one of the most pressing concerns I have is the vast amount of players that come to me between the ages of sixteen to eighteen, that are still in this phase! It is essential to understand that proper development is not based on age but experience. If you haven't gone through all the developmental stages, you are setting yourself up for failure or injury. It is imperative to start developing the proper mechanics and techniques as early as possible to maximize performance once you get into the high school age range.
Train to Train: Twelve to Sixteen Years Old
Between the ages of twelve to sixteen, players move to the Train to Train phase, where they begin to build their base level of strength, power, speed, mobility, and motor control. This phase is crucial in developing their athletic foundation, preparing them for the next level. It is essential to understand that proper development takes time, and it is crucial to go through the necessary stages to ensure success in the long run. Sadly, as I stated previously, a vast majority of the players that come to through the Top Velocity Camps have missed out on this developmental stage. While this in no way means they will not see success, it does mean they have to show a much higher level of dedication in order to see results.
Train to Compete: Sixteen to Twenty-three Years Old
Players in the Train to Compete phase have built their athletic foundation and are now ready to take their training experience and knowledge to the next level. At this point, they should have a broad understanding of training and techniques and can start to apply this knowledge to reach elite levels of performance. This phase is where players take everything they have learned to this point and apply it to achieve elite measurements, velocity, consistency, and recovery.
The components of this phase must not be overlooked as they are essential to maintaining the progress made. This is by far the most fun phase for baseball players, as they are maxing out their potential and achieving their peak velocities!
Training to Win
Training to Win is the ultimate goal. This phase is the hardest part of training and requires players to maintain the foundation built in the previous stages. Maintaining and even building on top of what you achieved in the “train to compete” phase is tough, but by now you should have a good idea of how your body functions and how to train to maintain your velocity. Having dedicated coaches and training facilities to back you up can play a significant role in ensuring you maintain everything you have worked so hard for.
Your complete development program for elite velocity
Do not let this opportunity to enhance your game and bring out the best in your pitching ability pass you by. Join us at the 3X Velocity Camp, where our experienced instructors and trainers will show you how to increase your velocity without increasing the possibility of getting injured in the process. At the camp, you will receive instruction on the most cutting-edge techniques, exercises, and strategies for enhancing your pitching mechanics, boosting your velocity, and extending the amount of time you spend on the field.
Don’t delay! Make the investment to develop the baseball career you want and dominate the competition for the duration of your career. See you at the camp!