Balance Bat Academy
Our approach to training is one of supporting each athlete to improve their game-day adjustability and explosiveness. We do this by training and testing:
- Initial Baseline: You need to know where athletes are at so that we can create the most efficient training program. Today’s best players learn to train, train to train, and then train to compete. The training cycle has windows of opportunities and we look to maximize the window. Our goals focus on:
- Position Players: arm strength, body control, strength/power, mobility/joint stability.
- Hitters: exit velocity, pitch adjustability, strength/power, mobility/joint stability.
- Training Load: Refers to developing a training program that will allow the player to learn how to get strong while developing confidence.
- Retest: Players have to know where they are; if they have achieved their goals, and how they stack up against others. Retesting uses a player’s baseline metric to determine progress.
Our Training Day
- Dynamic Warm-Up – Warm up the body
- Speed & Agility Circuit – Speed, quick feet, and body control are a high priority for players. The speed and agility circuit will vary with both drills and sequences.
- Main Lifts – The Main Lifts are done with the heaviest amount of weight as possible. Usually the lift should be between 60 – 80% of the player’s maximum effort or the max out weight. Our lifts will include, but not be limited to:
- Squat Variations
- Deadlift Variations
- Olympic Lifts
- Auxiliary Lifts – Auxiliary Lifts are exercises that coincide with either the main lifts or circuit lifts and the hit the same muscle groups. These exercises are done at 30 – 50% of max effort. This means lighter weights with more reps.
- Circuit Lifts – The circuit lifts consist of multi-movements that activate the entire body. Lifts are done one after another with no rest, varied reps, varied time, and varied rounds.
The Balance Bat Academy uses eccentric, isometric, and isokinetic (constant velocity of motion) muscle actions to train young hitters. Our goal is to teach and train young hitters to understand their body patterns as they are their best coaches. The following areas of focus guide our training process:
For 6 to 10 years olds the following should be considered:
- Movement patterns – Physical limitations
- Visual stimulation
- Spatial Awareness
- Reaction Time
At the age of 6 to 10, the initial preparation stage begins for players. This stage is more about developing athleticism and not baseball-specific body patterns. Although this is widely accepted, Balance Hitting believes that baseball-specific body patterns do neurology develop during this stage and should be integrated into the player’s program.
For 10 to 12 years olds the following should be considered:
- Strength – Flexibility – Mobility
- Movement patterns
- Spatial Awareness
- Reaction Time
A readiness to learn is key to this stage of development. Players will begin to understand how their bodies perform a certain task and therefore, begin to teach themselves how to maximize their potential with a skill or task. The concept of ‘repetition’ begins to be a focal point of the player’s development plan.
For 12 + year-olds the following should be considered
- Absolute Strength
- Absolute Speed
- Flexibility & Balance
- Spatial Awareness & Responsibility
At 12 + years old, the player’s body system must engage in more complex stimuli to achieve great goals. When the player, body begins to adapt to increase volume and loads the player’s overall skill-specific patterns fine-tune and become innate. An increase in baseball-specific achievements does correlate with the player’s motor abilities.
Balance Hitting has a simple approach; to run faster, then run faster; to throw far, then throw far; to swing faster, then swing faster. Balance Hitting develops a player’s overall force production by training ground reaction force. Such training will improve a player’s vertical leap, broad jump distance, hip and shoulder mobility, and hip and shoulder separation.