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02
23
2011

What it Takes to Compete at the Highest Level – Strength Training!

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My business partner sent me a pretty interesting link – The Average Mariner May Surprise You. Consider this:

How big? The team wrapped up their physicals earlier this week and some of the data is in. The average height and weight for the Mariners? 6’3″, 226 pounds. For the visual, the closest to average, I repeat average, is Felix Hernandez.

“Without a doubt,” Zduriencik answered when asked if this club’s physical makeup was an indicator of the direction he wanted to go in putting together his organization. “The one thing that I thought was important, and I said it to all of our guys, is we need to get physical. Obviously you need baseball players and you need athletes and there are certain positions on the field where size is going to be what it is but I believe that physical players, that guys when you come in and look at this group and go, ‘Hmm. OK, I see it,’ I think it is a reflection of what we are trying to do.”

Zduriencik stressed to me that they are not just going after size, but athletes as well, and it goes beyond signing. It has to be developed.

Great stuff here in this interview, and there’s plenty more, so go give Shannon’s blog a read.

Eric Cressey and Kevin Youkilis were featured in a NESN video this week as well, detailing their off-season workout protocols:

What do you see Kevin doing in the video?

  • Trap-bar deadlifts with chains (heavy resistance training)
  • Prowler sagittal pulls (metabolic conditioning, mobility)
  • Vertical Pallof presses (core stability)
  • Medicine ball tosses (power development)
  • Sledgehammer overhead strikes (metabolic conditioning, power development)

And yet, as I detailed in My Beef with Select Team Training, I see so-called “advanced” teams forbidding weight training and recommending long distance running instead. They tell their kids not to “get too tight” by lifting weights and that “being too big” is a problem.

Well, as Shannon pointed out, the average Mariner in Spring Training is the size of Felix Hernandez at 6’3″ 226 pounds. Kevin Youkilis is listed at 6’1″ 220 lbs, which conveniently enough is as big as I am. (You probably won’t find me at first or third base for the Red Sox, though.)

The truth of the matter is that athletes in high school and college need to be strong and train properly to mitigate injury risk and to get their best out of their bodies. Professional teams look for these factors when they’re projecting guys – they want to know someone has the work ethic required to make it at the next level. Your body has to be strong enough to endure 150+ games on the road, in a bus, usually with subpar nutritional offerings for days, even weeks, at a time.

If you play select-level baseball and take batting practice 2-3 times per week and field grounders or throw bullpens, you can find time to train in the weight room for three sessions to increase your power, strength, speed, and agility. If you’re interested in looking like and training like professional athletes, that is.

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