This article is written about college baseball workouts, but the theory could be true of any sport. Why is it that some college teams always seem to have great seasons, and others just the opposite.
We all have an idea why, the good teams recruit well. That might answer part of the question. Yet one other thing seems to always ring true with the great programs.
Much emphasis and analysis is put on the actual games and whether those games are won or lost. But what does it take to be successful in those games and ultimately be a winning team and player?
The answer truly lies within the offseason program.
As many of you probably already know, I am the son of the author of this website. I am a right-handed pitcher for Jefferson College who competes in NCJAA D1 athletics.
One of the reasons
I decide to come and play at Jeffco was their winning record year after year
and their numerous trips to the Jr. College World Series.
Before making the
switch from high school athletics to college athletics, I never truly
understood what the offseason meant for teams who are successful year in and
year out. I didn’t realize what kind of college baseball workouts they ran. But
I sure learned fast.
By the time the
offseason hits for college baseball players, most will have been playing all
spring, all summer and the fall ball games that are played upon arriving at
school. Fall games and showcases in our part of the country typically will go
through the month of October.
After the fall
season comes to a close, there is usually a week span where a coach gives his
players completely off of baseball. During this time, it is essential for a
player to take advantage of the rest that is being given to them. During my
freshman year, I definitely would have taken this rest more seriously if I knew
what I had coming for me in the OFFseason…
To kick off the offseason, the first Monday
after our week off, we were greeted with a morning workout at 5:30AM. This
morning workout consisted of 18 different lifts that had a set weight scattered
throughout the weight room.
Each player had a partner and one player
would do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then their partner would hop
in for 30 seconds and do as many reps as possible.
After that, we had 4 seconds to get to the next lift. The pace and intensity in the room was incredible. Unfortunately, when pushed this hard, many of the players got sick and had to make the dreaded trip to the bathroom.
Not only did we do this on Monday, but also
Wednesday and Friday. Even though we are pushed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
mornings, there is still work to be done in the afternoons. For pitchers, we
also have afternoon practices on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
During these practices, there is absolutely
no throwing. As a matter of fact, we don’t even bring our gloves to practice.
These afternoon practices consist of agility drills, band exercises and
medicine ball throws. On the other hand, hitters also hit in the afternoon five
days a week. This is the beginning of the hardest college baseball workouts.
The term “grind” really comes in to play
around the end of November and the beginning of December. Day in and day out
you are essentially doing the same thing, but are expected to continue to get
better at what you are doing no matter how monotonous the days and exercises
Showing up to practice everyday and having
the focus and mentality to do everything 100% is the true battle in the
offseason. It is easy to go through the motions everyday because it is hard to
see the light at the end of the tunnel, which is when the season finally
So, for all parents and kids out there, It’s not just the recruiting class that makes a great team. It's the college baseball workouts. The offseason is where championships are truly won.
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