Posts Tagged ‘working out’

It seems like every sport is a year-round-sport now. Ten-year-old kids are playing similar schedules to professional athletes. The mentality seems to be if you aren’t playing on three travel teams and your school team, then you are falling behind.

Parents read about Bryce Harper playing 100 games per year and having teams fly him to tournaments at a young age and think that’s the blueprint for little Johnny to be the next phenom.

Harper SI Cover

The thought of taking time off the primary sport to play a different sport or to focus your time and effort into training is ludicrous. How will the scouts see your child if he/she doesn’t play on that special 12u team?

The shame of it is most athletes would benefit immensely from some sort of off-season strength program. It doesn’t do any good for a right-handed pitcher that is a high school junior and tops out at 80 MPH to play on a fall travel ball team and go to showcase events. Any college or professional scout will put their gun away and cross him off the list after 5 pitches. Trust me, I’ve been there. That athlete would be much better served spending 6 months getting after it in the gym and utilizing a long toss and/or weighted ball program.

Baseball Scouts

On the flip side, some athletes do need to spend more time practicing their particular skill. For example, if there is a pitcher that throws 98 but can’t find the strike zone, improving his deadlift probably isn’t the answer. Or if you have a golfer that crushes the ball but can’t putt, their time would be better spent on the putting green rather than doing medicine ball throws.

We have seen athletes on both ends of the spectrum. Sometimes we have to encourage athletes to leave the gym and go practice. Most of the time we are trying to educate the parents and the athlete that time spent in the gym now will lead to better results later.

There is a fine line for every athlete. It is very easy to get caught up trying to be the best right now, but foolish to do so when that hinders the future. It is important to realistically evaluate yourself every so often and make sure you are improving your weaknesses. Parents, have a trusted coach assess your child to prevent any bias from getting in the way of constructive criticism. Taking a break from competition to train may be the best decision you could make for your athletic career.