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Old 05-08-2011, 07:03 AM   #1
Clayton Lee Chandler
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Question baseball crossfit training

I workout at crossfit valdosta ga. with trebor marple have been training for almost 6 months my family has lost over 150 lbs with crossfit. Now i want to use crossfit to train my son for baseball he pitches and is left handed 13 yrs old already lost 35 lbs at crossfit plays 1st base and hits pretty well . Does anyone have suggestions for training tips or exercises we can work on to improve velocity and speed and arm strength? Maybe a week long series.Are any professional ball players using crossfit? any suggestions will be appreciated.. thanks clayton chandler
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:44 AM   #2
Michael E Tancini
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Re: baseball crossfit training

Crossfit is great for baseball players. I am a former college baseball player and we did "crossfit style workouts" at my last school (BTW we were # 7 in the nation). My friend, who is a guy at my Box, is actually a former pro (just gave it up this year, he was AAA with Tampa Bay) his trainer actually recommended crossfit for his off season training. I know of a former pro at another local box as well.

Im assuming you do strength work at your gym as well as WOD's, which is what needs to be done.

Some baseball specific things:
For Arm Strength/velocity, long toss, long toss, long toss. Find a good long toss program and incorporate long toss into warming up for practice on a regular basis. As your son grows he will naturally get stronger and his velocity/arm strength will improve but long tossing on a regular basis I feel is important in building arm strength.

Speed - As your son grows (or as anyone grows) one thing that slows kids down is coordination. I worked with a speed coach for a few years where we worked coordination aspects of running, running form, pulled sleds, parachutes, resistance bands, worked drilled, speed ladder, stride ladders, hurdles, shuttle runs, plyo-metrics, and the list goes on. Try and find a speed/agility specific trainer in your area. My trainer was great, he was a ex track/football player at syracuse. I was never slow but I give him credit in helping me ultimately run a 6.65 sec 60 yard time. Crossfit will help this as well, as your sons core strength/leg strength increases he will gain speed. A lot can be said for learning the correct running motion though and working specific drills for running.

I know you didnt ask but i thought id include a few other things:

Hitting: I cannot express the importance of hitting off a tee. Learning to get on the same plane as the ball for the longest time possible (keeping the barrel in the hitting zone for the longest time possible) while being short and quick to to the ball. At contact drive through the ball learning to generate backspin to all fields. tee work will help with this.


And one more thing:
I cant express the importance of having fun doing what ever he is doing, having fun and enjoying what you are doing is one of the most import things to being successful. Going into Highschool if he played football/other sports in middle school and enjoyed it, encourage him to play them in hs. I ultimately gave up ball because I was simply burnt out. He will only go through hs once and if he is thinking about giving up other sports bc he feels thats the best way to play baseball in college, tell him to play every sport he can. Once his time passes he wont be able to get it back and if he gives up another sport for the reason of "focusing on baseball" I feel he will regret it down the road. He will only live once. Looking back on it I wish I would have played football and basketball through hs.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:47 AM   #3
Clayton Lee Chandler
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Re: baseball crossfit training

thanks man sounds solid i am starting with speed coach this week i appreciate ur response
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:30 PM   #4
Michael E Tancini
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Re: baseball crossfit training

no problem, hope it helps.
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:53 PM   #5
Michael E Tancini
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Re: baseball crossfit training

Also, as growing up in the baseball training atmosphere you here a lot "dont go overhead...go light weight overhead..." As a former baseball player i trained with this philosophy. But, looking back on it, i kind of have a different view on it. Yes, i still believe you have to be careful with the shoulder, considering it is the lifeline of a pitcher. But, I do believe that you need to build strength in it. The key thing would be to do mobility shoulder work on a regular basis to keep the shoulder joint flexible. The fact is he is 13 years old, he is going to have to build strength in the shoulder, biceps, and wrist/forearm. Crossfit I feel will be good for that. In crossfit the athlete must be flexible in the shoulder, and it is a sport to where a bulky individual will have trouble doing certain lifts. This parallels the baseball mentality I feel because a baseball player NEEDS to be strong and flexible in the shoulder joint. Strength and flexibility in the shoulder/back combined with proper mechanics will help a player maximize his potential (velocity) and help him prevent injury. Like I said before, you should combine crossfit and strength work with long toss and an arm care program. As well as ice and run after bullpens and game appearances for arm care.

As a 13 year old your son should just worry about gaining strength, quickness, and proper mechanics. Crossfit combined with the affiliates strength programming, speed training, and focused work on learning the game and working on mechanics will provide a good foundation for his future. You mentioned he is also a first basemen, so just work on him being an overall good athlete which crossfit emphasizes.

Do:
Strength work = full body, do not shy away from any part of the body. Legs, core, back, shoulders are all important.
Speed work = this helps a lot with coordination, speed, and quickness.
Mechanics and baseball training = self explanatory.
Most importantly HAVE FUN!!! This is the point of the game, once the fun is gone the game might as well be gone with it.
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:47 PM   #6
Tom Whalen
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Re: baseball crossfit training

Josh Everett wrote an article in the Feb. '07 CF Journal about his experience training a college baseball team via CF. Not sure if it addresses your questions, but you might find it interesting.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:18 PM   #7
Todd R Miller
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Re: baseball crossfit training

Also check out the CF Journal article "The Marlins Go Crossfit"

http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf...er_Marlins.pdf

WFS
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:35 AM   #8
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: baseball crossfit training

Check out Eric Cressey's stuff, especially if he is an aspiring pitcher.

CF for baseball may be suitable for position players but you need to be careful about shoulders and elbows for pitchers.
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:40 PM   #9
Mark Boyle
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Re: baseball crossfit training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair Robert Lowe View Post
Check out Eric Cressey's stuff, especially if he is an aspiring pitcher.

CF for baseball may be suitable for position players but you need to be careful about shoulders and elbows for pitchers.
I agree with this. Eric Cressey makes his living training mainly baseball players from HS all the way up to the pros.
http://ericcressey.com/ (wfs)

How serious is your son about baseball? If he's serious, he shouldn't be doing crossfit but rather a baseball specific program. If its one of several sports he plays or he just plays for fun then crossfit is a good idea IMO.

Here are Eric's comments on the matter (wfs):
http://ericcressey.com/crossfit-for-baseball

But really, this should be a no-brainer. People training seriously for a sport should have a plan specifically for improvement at that sport. They should be specialists. Crossfit is, by definition, not specific. It's GPP. To optimize sport performance, a significant amount of training time should be SPP.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:40 PM   #10
Michael E Tancini
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Re: baseball crossfit training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Boyle View Post
I agree with this. Eric Cressey makes his living training mainly baseball players from HS all the way up to the pros.
http://ericcressey.com/ (wfs)

How serious is your son about baseball? If he's serious, he shouldn't be doing crossfit but rather a baseball specific program. If its one of several sports he plays or he just plays for fun then crossfit is a good idea IMO.

Here are Eric's comments on the matter (wfs):
http://ericcressey.com/crossfit-for-baseball

But really, this should be a no-brainer. People training seriously for a sport should have a plan specifically for improvement at that sport. They should be specialists. Crossfit is, by definition, not specific. It's GPP. To optimize sport performance, a significant amount of training time should be SPP.
I agree/disagree with you. I did baseball specific training all my life and when I started crossfit after I gave up the sport I thought to myself "damn I wish I knew what crossfit was when I was playing". CRossfit works the muscles baseball players need the most.

(not in a specific order)
Wrist, we do many exercises/wods where grip strength gets tested.
Back, Very important to a baseball player
Shoulders/arms, self explainatory
Core, This is a huge part of crossfit ~KB swings, squats, cleans, gymnastic work, GHD's, Situps, tire flips, and the list goes on...
Legs, Very important for any baseball player and very important for any serious crossfitter. Squats, Cleans, Wall balls, deadlifts, ect...
Endurance work - pitchers need to be able to go late in games, why do you think pitchers run so much at the college and pro levels?
Speed - In some ways it will help speed - sled pulls, squats, box jumps, pushing the sleds(whatever they are called)...ect...I would recommend a speed specific coach on top of crossfit.
Flexibility - Extremely important for any baseball player
Coordination - double unders, olympic lifts....ect

College coaches look for talent and skill, but also look for athletes. Crossfit will help him become a better athlete. It will also put him in a competitive nature where he has the ability to learn how to push himself and work hard.
I say he needs to be on a baseball skill specific training working on fundamentals of the game on top of crossfit. Such as a baseball Academy of some sort, this will help with the baseball skills/baseball knowledge part of the game. At my school our strength coach and our baseball coach put us through "crossfit style workouts". "helen", "death by burpees", Flipping tires, and much more. I even learned kipping pull ups form them. Also worked a lot of kettle bells. Baseball is a sport of explosive, quick movements. Hitting, throwing, sprinting, are all explosive movements. Crossfit I feel works quick explosive movements in basically almost every wod. I feel crossfit is an excellent training tool for baseball players of any age, why do you think some pro players work crossfit in the offseason? I feel kids in middle school/high school are at a higher risk hurting themselves throwing too many breaking balls with incorrect form than doing over head lifts. In college we did many over head lifts, push press, thrusters, military press, snatches, and some others. Like ANY weight program though, correct form needs to be learned and the correct weight needs to be used to prevent injury.

just my .02, I have lived through the baseball training process, the recruiting process, and the college level training/playing process. Are people going to see certain things I said differently, sure, but I am sure that anyone who has played at a high level can look at crossfit and say, "yea, that will help a 13 year old, or hell any player, develop his game"

Last edited by Michael E Tancini : 05-10-2011 at 07:46 PM.
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