BaseballTo Train or Not to Train, That is the Question

By Greg Brown

I just finished watching “The Tragedy of Macbeth” on Apple TV starring Denzel Washington (I must confess that I had to have the subtitles on to keep up with the dialogue).  The movie was artistic and fueled by powerful acting and simplistic sets that allowed the words to be the driver of the story.  These words that have inspired many over the last 5 centuries, still resonate in our modern world with the struggles of the human condition.  To think of the master of his craft that William Shakespeare was is inspiring.  How much focus he must have had to be able to articulate his thoughts into words and pen masterpieces.

Although Macbeth is the story of his rise to power, it made me think of the famous quote “To be or not to be, that is the question” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  Another story of tragedy by Shakespeare, but a focus on the inner reflections of King Hamlet who contemplates many of life’s conundrums.

For our context, it is “To Train or Not to Train”.   

Our conundrum as athletes is:

  • What do I want to achieve?
  • What we need to focus on?
  • What is the optimal way to train for me?
  • What resources are available to me to help me achieve this growth?
  • How can I seek expert teachers/coaches to lead me?

If you are asking these questions, then “To Train” is obvious.  The how, not so much.  

The goal of the Florida Baseball Ranch is for us to be able to bridge that gap and bring pertinent information to our athletes, parents, and collaborating coaches that help answer the follow up questions.  We want to create an environment that allows for athletes to learn on their level whether that is through visual demonstrations, written word, or webinars (to name a few).  Additionally, we as coaches are constantly looking to grow and expand our knowledge base by bringing in experts to collaborate and present.  

The hard truth is that it is up to the individuals to take advantage of the learning environment they must be motivated to engage. 

I often use coaches from other sports to learn about training methods and how they design practice.  One thing that is very common within our sport is that in-season, baseball players tend to train less than their counterparts from other sports.  Take football for example–each week plays are being added to play books, player progressions are being monitored through objective measurements and guiding the training methods, and gameplans are being tweaked to take away the opposition’s strengths and give their team sometime of competitive edge.  All of this is a result of being able to review where they are at from the film from the week before.  They study film to learn.  They study film to adjust.  They study film to improve.

Baseball players tend to use less review from previous performances.  The process of development is often stifled by the lack of manpower, resources, or knowledge.  Just think of the coach to player ratio in baseball compared to football.  It is really hard to be an expert of 35 players on a roster with a three-coach staff.  One has all the pitchers, one has the hitters and one does the recruiting.  In football you have a head coach, offensive/defensive coordinator, and then each position has a specialist coach overseeing them (i.e., Linebackers Coach).  This enhances the ability to focus on the details.

How does this relate to you?

Most of your teams do not have highly skilled catching coaches with robust staffs (number of coaches) that dedicate time to your individual development.  However, they still expect you to perform and improve.

It is up to you to train.  It is up to you to seek the information and find ways to improve beyond the traditional practice.

We are proud to provide you with the opportunity to engage and grow.

Trust me when I say, we are all striving to make you elite.  Therefore, the answer to the question, “To Train or Not to Train” is simple.

Win Every Pitch.

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