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Why do baseball players not train like olympic athletes?

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  • Why do baseball players not train like olympic athletes?

    Watching the olympics I have seen many great stories about training. A lot of those athletes train 6 hours every day and they train very hard and with newest scientific methods. often they do it for very little money.

    In baseball however there are some guys who are that professional but a lot of them don't train at all during the off season (dunn stated he didn't start to train at all till january). this would be really unthinankable for an olympic athletes. many baseball players are out out shape and fat.

    a lot of them also use very dated training methods and don't even use biomechanical analysis (still think they swing down, extend the arms and start with the hands in the swing). on the other hand biomechanical lab analysis is standard with olympic athletes.

    I think professional baseball could be so much better if athletes would train 4-6 hours a day under the guidance of sports scientists and with new methods during the off season. why is that not happening and clubs still allow their players to enter camp fat and out of shape? I mean this is a billion dollar business and a lot are still using methods from 40 years ago. that makes no sense.

    especially with all the inujuries we see. the game is getting faster and harder all the time. but the athletes conditioning didn't catch up. I think this is also one of the reasons for the all time high of T surgeries. I read an article that baseball already has like 50 TJ surgeries this year.

    Do you also believe this could be reduced with more professional conditioning? I'm not trying to hate on MLB. I have great respect for them and I'm nothing as a player. But if I see how a 50yo like roald who doesn't get a penny for his sport trains and then I see guys like andruw jones (I love him but they way he bloated up at age 30 is just...) or bartolo colon who make millions I think they should be ashamed.

    Don't get me wrong there are athletes like pujols who work their butt off (maybe even he could train more professionally and scientifically but at least he trains hard) but baseball should get to a point were everyone works like this.
    Last edited by dominik; 08-05-2012, 03:38 AM.
    I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

  • #2
    I don't really care that a player gets heavier and less mobile. Maybe a younger player with better skill takes his spot sooner. That's the way the free enterprise system works. Did you want Ted Williams to bulk up like Pujols or is it OK he only hit 521 HR?

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    • #3
      Maybe you would if the baseball season were like the Olympics: 17 days of intensity. 162 games is a long time.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by The Uncoach View Post
        I don't really care that a player gets heavier and less mobile. Maybe a younger player with better skill takes his spot sooner. That's the way the free enterprise system works. Did you want Ted Williams to bulk up like Pujols or is it OK he only hit 521 HR?
        ted williams was a very professional athlete and frequently criticized his lazy teammates. being professional doesn't always mean bulk up.

        there are nowadays some players who take it more seriously and that number is increasing (see verlander or bauer) but also still fat slobs like CC or bartolo.
        I believe one day all athletes will be forced to work like verlander, pujols, arod or bauer but unfortunately baseball is not there yet.

        you are right this is a free system I hope someday the level of the MLB will be so high that no fat athlete has a chance to compete. I think the day is coming closer. but right now you can compensate for a lack of fitness with superior talent if you are good enough.

        they are still very good of course but I think a lot of injuries could be avoided. some athletes miss 30 games every year. a lot of value is lost there.
        Last edited by dominik; 08-05-2012, 07:49 AM.
        I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dominik View Post
          ted williams was a very professional athlete and frequently criticized his lazy teammates. being professional doesn't always mean bulk up.

          there are nowadays some players who take it more seriously and that number is increasing (see verlander or bauer) but also still fat slobs like CC or bartolo.
          I believe one day all athletes will be forced to work like verlander, pujols, arod or bauer but unfortunately baseball is not there yet.

          you are right this is a free system I hope someday the level of the MLB will be so high that no fat athlete has a chance to compete. I think the day is coming closer. but right now you can compensate for a lack of fitness with superior talent if you are good enough.

          they are still very good of course but I think a lot of injuries could be avoided. some athletes miss 30 games every year. a lot of value is lost there.
          It doesn't take a skinny guy with muscle to throw the ball 100 mph. Babe Ruth was not skinny and hit how many home runs? Hitting a baseball is something that requires advanced skill. It does not require one to be in olympic shape. What do you have against fat people? Did you see Tony Gwynn towards the end of his career? Jim Thome certainly isn't svelt these days and he's still hitting jacks. Pray tell what your comments have to do with the actual game as opposed to what is pleasing to your own eyes? If a guy can hit the ball, MLB doesn't care what he looks like. That will never change.

          As for working out and not getting injured....all it changes is what injuries may occur.
          Last edited by The Uncoach; 08-05-2012, 08:07 AM.

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          • #6
            Dominick, I agree 100%. You see how science has changed so many other sports, but baseball has always been behind. It took a long time before players were even allowed to lift weights, let alone encouraged to do so. And only recently have pilates and other core exercises become common for hitters and pitchers. It's also disappointing to see the number of hitting coaches who still don't understand how the body works. Even on this board I think there are some who see that every elite hitter does something, but they don't understand how it's done or why. I'm surprised with the technology that's available more MLB teams haven't invested in using computer analysis to create more efficient hitter and pitchers.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by The Uncoach View Post
              It doesn't take a skinny guy with muscle to throw the ball 100 mph. Babe Ruth was not skinny and hit how many home runs? Hitting a baseball is something that requires advanced skill. It does not require one to be in olympic shape. What do you have against fat people? Did you see Tony Gwynn towards the end of his career? Jim Thome certainly isn't svelt these days and he's still hitting jacks. Pray tell what your comments have to do with the actual game as opposed to what is pleasing to your own eyes? If a guy can hit the ball, MLB doesn't care what he looks like. That will never change.
              hurt
              As for working out and not getting injured....all it changes is what injuries may occur.
              I know baseball is more a game of skill. but having the fitness ON TOP of the skill certainly can't hurt. I know a lot of players already do that but still quite a few don't.
              I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think professional baseball could be so much better if athletes would train 4-6 hours a day under the guidance of sports scientists and with new methods during the off season

                I disagree that MLB could be "so much better" if ......

                IMO, because of the unique mental demands of the pro game, many players benefit from low-keying it in the off season.
                Skip

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                • #9
                  I disagree with what many suggest... Every MLB team has exercise specialists (Many with Ph.D.'s or master degrees) guiding the teams. These are athletes who are among the best in the world THEY DO train and train hard. Losing an edge - of any kind- can mean your career is over.
                  "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                  - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                  Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dominik View Post
                    I know baseball is more a game of skill. but having the fitness ON TOP of the skill certainly can't hurt. I know a lot of players already do that but still quite a few don't.
                    How much better do you think Sabathia could be if his circumference around his waist was a bit less? How many wins would that translate to? Better curveball? More velocity? He just pitched a complete game yesterday at age 32. How much more "fitness" does he need?

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                    • #11
                      MLB'ers are ELITE Athletes (regardless of what you consider 'good shape'), but not ALL ELITE Athletes can play baseball...

                      As Uncoach said this is an advanced skill sport... 75-80% of the game is spent standing around or sitting, what does scientific training have to do with that?

                      The skills required have nothing to do with how Olympiads train or prepare... How many Olympiads throw anything the equivalent to 100-120 pitches per outing...?

                      TJ surgery is needed because of improper mechanics, wear and tear and/or heredity... Not because of a beer-gut.
                      I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                        I disagree with what many suggest... Every MLB team has exercise specialists (Many with Ph.D.'s or master degrees) guiding the teams. These are athletes who are among the best in the world THEY DO train and train hard. Losing an edge - of any kind- can mean your career is over.
                        many do but still we see a lot of fat or out of shape guys. wouldn't they do better if they trained better?
                        I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't believe that equating "appearance" with "fitness" is the most accurate of barometers of one's physical abilities.

                          Having spent 29 years in the fire service, and having run and participated in many a "physical agility" testing process....I can assure you that not all "fit" guys are agile, and that all "fat" guys are slow and out of shape.

                          One of our fastest times on record through the course is held by a guy that just by looking at him, you'd say that he was definitely "fat and out of shape".....yet he breezed through the course and had the foot speed, strength, and agility above and beyond most that have run the course.

                          I've also seen many big, strong, "Adonis looking" guys fail to even complete the course in the allotted time, with even some of that appearance, dropping out before even reaching the final event or two.

                          So simply judging a person's training regiment, and fitness quotient on appearance alone, might be a bit short-sighted and incorrect......again, JMO.
                          In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dominik View Post
                            Watching the olympics I have seen many great stories about training. A lot of those athletes train 6 hours every day and they train very hard and with newest scientific methods. often they do it for very little money.
                            I see the merit on both sides of this issue. But take a guy like Miguel Cabrera. Arguably, he's the best hitter in baseball-he is right up there. He makes several million a year. Apparently, his training regimen consists of sleeping late, eating a lot, and drinking to a stupor. He could trade that for an Olympic regimen, but either way he'll still be making millions.
                            Major Figure

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dominik View Post
                              many baseball players are out out shape and fat.
                              1. How many?

                              2. Body Fat is not always an indicator of fitness. There are plenty of lean out of shape people in this world.

                              I think professional baseball could be so much better if athletes would train 4-6 hours a day under the guidance of sports scientists and with new methods during the off season.
                              Why do you think this?

                              Is there some plague of injuries that are affecting most every player?

                              Are there performance issues that do not reflect the best of previous decades?

                              What is the issue that players need to address through tripling their training to be like olympic athletes?

                              Baseball is PRIMARILY a skill sport, more alike to golf than basketball. Baseball players generally spend a lot of time on the skill aspects.

                              especially with all the inujuries we see. the game is getting faster and harder all the time. but the athletes conditioning didn't catch up. I think this is also one of the reasons for the all time high of T surgeries. I read an article that baseball already has like 50 TJ surgeries this year.
                              Maybe training 4-6 hours during the off-season instead of resting and recovering would lead to MORE injuries. Olympic athletes peakfor certain events because no athlete can go all out all the time. But what you seem to want is for baseball players to train twice as hard during what should be their "recovery period". It's either really arrogant or really naive.

                              Do you also believe this could be reduced with more professional conditioning? I'm not trying to hate on MLB. I have great respect for them and I'm nothing as a player. But if I see how a 50yo like roald who doesn't get a penny for his sport trains and then I see guys like andruw jones (I love him but they way he bloated up at age 30 is just...) or bartolo colon who make millions I think they should be ashamed.
                              The problem is that you're "selling jeans". You care more about how an athlete looks rather than how they perform. Bartolo Colon threw very well last year. If he walks around at 12% bodyfat, does he throw better? How do you know?

                              Don't get me wrong there are athletes like pujols who work their butt off (maybe even he could train more professionally and scientifically but at least he trains hard) but baseball should get to a point were everyone works like this.
                              Interesting choice of example. Pujols was only drafted in the 14th round because scouts didn't know where the fat shortstop could play in professional baseball. They also questioned his work ethic because he didn't have a "good body".

                              Gabe Kapler is a physical specimen, a real Adonis. Gabe Kapler sucks at baseball.

                              IMHO, Gabe Kapler should spend less time working on his build and more time working on his skill.

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