A lot of people outside of professional baseball believe that a Strength and Conditioning Coach spends their entire day in the weight room, and their job is finished once the games begin. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Baseball Strength and Conditioning Coaches do much more than monitor the weight room. People outside of baseball do not realize what all goes into a game day. For example, a 7:00pm game, players usually get to the field around noon to 1:00pm. Therefore, the Strength and Conditioning Coach better be prepared for that day’s activities prior to the first player that shows.
You may be asking yourself, “Why do the players get to the field that early?” The best way to explain it is like this; unlike high school or even college, professional baseball players have a game almost every day of the entire summer. They will play approximately 140 to162 games in a span of about 6 months, and this is not including the 20 to 30 games in Spring Training or the Playoffs. They do not have 3 or 4 days off in a row as most high school and college teams do. Those off days are typically when the high school or college teams are able to practice their skills. Well, Professional Baseball Teams do not have that option. Their only option is to practice, and sharpen their skills earlier in the day, prior to their game. With saying that, it is the Strength and Conditioning Coaches responsibility to have their players ready and prepared for their practices and games. In Professional Baseball, the Strength and Conditioning Coach is typically the first staff member with a team that has the opportunity of working with the players (if healthy). You may ask, “Why is that?” Well, prior to doing any on-field baseball activities with the baseball coaching staff, the Strength and Conditioning Coach will run the players through an organized warm-up/stretch. After the stretch, not only does the baseball practice begin, but the Strength and Conditioning Coach will also have guys that will need to condition to stay in the best physical shape as possible. The Strength and Conditioning Coach may also have certain players that need to strength train at this time.
Often times, the question “Does the Strength and Conditioning Coach have to travel with the team?” gets asked. The answer is, absolutely. Almost in every situation, The Strength and Conditioning Coach will travel anywhere that their team travels. It is important to point this out, because it shows that a Strength and Conditioning Coach in Professional Baseball also has to adapt to environments that may not be the most suitable for their players to workout in. For example, when a team goes on the road for 8 days, and there is not a weight room at the stadium they are traveling to, then that Strength and Conditioning Coach must adapt and finds ways to get the work done that his players need.
A Strength and Conditioning Coach is also required to be experts in many different fields related to Sports Performance. These areas include Kinesiology (Human Movement); Biomechanics, Sports Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, Stretching/Warming-up Techniques, Conditioning Programs, Recovery Procedures, as well as Strength Training Principles. It is essential that he or she stays up-to-date with the current knowledge and education regarding to Sports Performance because the profession of a Strength and Conditioning Coach is forever evolving!