I got started up with a Club baseball team this last week and I wanted to discuss a couple thoughts on my template. We will treat it like a case study.
Number of Athletes: 14
Age: These kids are a 50/50 split of 15/16 years old.
Average Athletic Ability: Intermediate. This is a pretty high level club, and the kids are pretty talented.
Regardless of the age and ability, I always treat the first two session as 85% teaching. I am never super worried about the reps and sets of anything. Instead, whether we are on the turf or in the weight room, I want to introduce and expose them to drills/movements/exercises we will be using. I want to get a lot of our teaching done now, so that things are more fluid and smooth in the near future.
During these first two sessions my checklist consists of.
On the turf:
- Basic acceleration and sprinting mechanics. (Balls of our feet/knee drive/forward lean/pushing hard/arm swing.
- Introduction to explosive work. (snapping into athletic positions/Line hops,/foot positions/squat jump/broad jump/skipping)
- Basic agility technique for shuffling and plant and cut work. This is KEY. A big part of our movement work going forward relies on mastering different shuttles. Sprint/Shuffle/Sprint. Sprint/Plant/Cut. Crossover running.
In the weight room:
- This is an age determined question. This group of boys is 15/16.
- Bi-lateral and uni-lateral squatting and hinging patterns. These are also addressed in the warm up. Athletes need more unloaded exposure to these movements.
- Fwd/Bwd/Lateral lunging patterns.
- Rowing/Pull up patterns
- Loaded core work. Wgt planks/Side Plank/Anti-Rotation work/Fall Out patterns/Farmers Walk
- Banded and dumbbell upper back work.
If I can get all those things taught in 2 one hour sessions during week one, then I am in a good place going forward. This team is committing to two days per week from now until the season starts in March. That puts me in a pretty good place. So, now lets help these kids.
Each day is going to break down to something like this:
- Warm up- 10 minutes
- Accel/agility/shuttles – 10 minutes
- Plyo/Explosive work -10 minutes
- Strength training-20 minutes
- Fitness/Work Capacity/Stretch – 10 minutes
Each Athlete will have a strength training card to follow, so we can track load and reps and not be guessing at what weight to use each week. their sheet will look something like this Club Baseball 2014 Weights.
We will finish each day with some sort of high intensity fitness work. I will use a lot of variety here, but with such a large group, I am somewhat limited in the tools I can use. Our biggest staples will be running 50/100/150/200 yard shuttles and every in between. I will make these competitive, we will race, relay race/ect. Don’t let the sprinting/agility techniques get sloppy just because they are running hard. Drill that stuff and coach it up.
A couple quick thoughts on those first few sessions, and I can not stress this enough. Even if it feels slow, even if the kids seem a little disengaged at the start, you have to treat those first few sessions like an investment for the future weeks. Teach everything. Introduce those techniques and coaching cues that you will be using. It makes everything a lot smoother and the athletes seem to catch on a lot faster into the process.