“The PBSCCS is the leading authority on information for players, parents, and coaches. We focus on long term athletic development, durability, and individual physical improvement. The Society’s membership includes strength coaches from all organizations of Major League Baseball.”
The PBSCCS is a society of Strength and Conditioning Coaches composed from both Major League and Minor League baseball teams. It is committed to raising awareness about its role in professional baseball. Moreover, it is focused on the implementation of proven Strength and Conditioning principles & philosophies, community youth awareness programs, and long term skills promoting performance and health. Through these programs, the PBSCCS will empower its coaches with the knowledge, skills, ethics, and competency to continue to increase the credibility and recognition of its coaches.
The Society and the Professional Baseball Strength and Conditioning profession, as it stands today, has experienced significant changes since its beginning in 1993. In the beginning, there were a small number of Strength and Conditioning Coaches in Major League Baseball. During this time, it was considered new and the profession was received with heavy resistance. The accepted training principles consisted of long distance running and basic shoulder maintenance programs. These two areas had been accepted as the norm for reducing injury and maintaining performance levels. During the 1993 off-season, the Strength and Conditioning Coaches that were in the game, decided to meet at a well-known National Strength and Conditioning Convention. They decided to create a group, which would consist of approximately 5 Major League Strength and Conditioning Coaches. This group would become known as the Professional Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society (PBSCCS). Their immediate goal was to unite the profession of Strength and Conditioning in baseball with the application of proven Strength and Conditioning principles. In order to achieve this goal, many of the standards below needed to be their main area of focus:
- To have a Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach with every Major League team
- Establish the Professional Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society (PBSCCS)
- Create a meeting place where all Strength and Conditioning Coaches could meet on an annual basis
- Put together a Board of Directors for the PBSCCS
- Create Bylaws for the PBSCCS
- Provide a dialog of their own to discuss:
- strength and conditioning philosophies
- issues and problems pertaining to strength and conditioning
- communication problems pertaining to strength and conditioning
- jobs / salaries / benefits
- Educate players about the dangers of steroids use
- Create an educational forum for our society members
- Develop internships for young Strength and Conditioning Coaches at the Minor League levels
- Earn recognition within Professional Baseball
- Gain better vendor support
- Develop a better working relations with the athletic trainers
- Create working relationships with other professional coaches outside of baseball
At this point in time, these goals were considered to be out of reach because there were only a few current Strength and Conditioning Coaches, therefore it would be very difficult to achieve these high of standards. However, overt time these goals have been achieved one at a time.
As it stands today, the PBSCCS is a legal Non for Profit Organization that has an active membership of more than 60 members. This membership is comprised of every Major League Strength Coach (30), as well as every Minor League Strength and Conditioning Coordinator (30). The organization is next looking toward inclusion of Minor League Affiliate Strength and Conditioning Coaches to continue its growth.
The Society is represented by 4 Board Members who are responsible for the advancement of the society : President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. In addition, each league is represented by an American League and National League representative at the Major League level and American League and National League representative at the Minor League level.
Annually, the PBSCCS meets in person at the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings. This event is held every year in December at a different but predetermined venue around the country. During this 3 day period, the society will use this event for several reasons, but the two main reasons are:
- Continuing Education
- Society and Professional improvement
Education is a major focus for the meetings. Lectures will be given by our own society members, as well as, outside experts on many areas. These topics can range from performance enhancing protocols, recovery and nutrition tactics, updated research programs, or many other subjects that pertain to Strength and Conditioning. The second area of focus is the society’s improvement. We use this time to discuss and assess immediate to long term improvements of the society and its members. Specific decisions will be made on Board Member Leadership, Community Outreach Programs, and nominations for internal awards will also be given. This will be the final in person meeting of the group prior to the beginning of the following season.
Roles and Responsibilities
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 to 162 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!