The four pillars of baseball performance are Technical, Mental, Tactical, and Physical. If one of these pillars is weak, the structure will collapse!
Part IV: The Physical Game
Have you ever observed an athlete that cannot complete a movement pattern efficiently, no matter what he tries? Have you ever considered that they are not strong or flexible enough to accomplish the desired skill? Think of a pitcher who throws great on flat ground but looks very different on a mound. With the slope of the mound, they may not be strong enough to translate forward momentum into rotation. Or think of a pitcher who does not decelerate or finish well. Maybe this is due to poor hamstring or hip flexibility. The fact is most of the athletes we encounter are not physically equipped to handle challenges at the next level. We have been to countless tournaments where our skill sets match up well, but our physicality does not.
The other side of the coin is injury prevention, and many times strength and conditioning is the missing link. Take for instance a young athlete who has poor posture, shoulders rolled forward, scapula (shoulder blades) protruding from their back. This is an athlete who could probably do with some upper back work to sort out imbalances. The upper back in throwing is primarily responsible for deceleration (or brakes); if our brakes don't function well or are weak, the arm is at a higher risk of injury.
Nutrition is also an essential component of strength and conditioning and is often overlooked. If our athletes are not fueled properly, performance will suffer and risk of injury will increase. Whether they are not eating the right things, or not eating enough, or not supplementing properly, it all adds up.
Remember strength and conditioning issues are keys to success for any player and they should be tackled by a certified professional. I am a baseball coach and know that strength and conditioning is not my area of expertise; I also know the value of having these people on my team.