Whatever level you playhigh school, college or probaseball season is one of the most intense, with tons of games and plenty of travel. Hectic schedules can make prepping for the killer season tricky. To help you out, we asked Tim Maxey, Cleveland Indians strength and conditioning coach, to lay down a few solid thoughts about baseball conditioning.
STACK: What are some common misconceptions about conditioning for baseball?
Tim Maxey: The biggest problem is that people think they need to run long distances to build endurance. If you analyze the sport, it's work with rest periods; so don't run long distancesyou'll develop the wrong energy system.
STACK: So what's a better way to condition for the season?
TM: Interval conditioning is important, because it emphasizes sprint conditioning. Our position players typically have two conditioning days per week during spring training, which include Gassers, Half-Gassers and Cut 60s. Cut 60s are nothing more than sprinting 30 yards up, and then back. We perform reps equal to a total of 500 yards on a conditioning day, using a 3:1 rest-to-work ratio.
STACK: How do you work on conditioning in season?
TM: Position players condition with position-specific movements. For everyday players, like Jhonny Peralta at shortstop and Josh Barfield at second, those guys work at game speed during practice with our infield instructor, Luiz Rivera. During drills, we give adequate rest so they don't begin to fatigue, because fatigue causes technique to slip. We prefer they keep good fielding mechanics and focus on the quality of movement versus the quantity of repetitions. This way, we can ensure that they maintain position-specific speed and conditioning.
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