Professional Baseball Strength & Conditioning

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PBSCCS Strength Coach of the Month

Luis Rios Reyes – Milwaukee Brewers

DSL Strength and Conditioning Coach

Luis Rios Reyes is the first strength and conditioning Coach from the DSL to be recognized as PBSCCS Coach of the Month.

Luis was also recently named 2021 Co-Minor League Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) by the PBSCS. A native of Manati, Puerto Rico and raised in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, Luis has been a strength and conditioning coach for five years, almost all as a Strength and Conditioning Coach in the DSL for the Brewers.

He graduated from the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy and High School in 2011. The Academy was established in 2002 as part of MLB’s Urban Youth Academy Program that produced two MLB first-round picks in 2012, Carlos Correa (Astros) and Jesmuel Valentin (Dodgers) as well as Cristian Vazquez (Red Sox) and Vimael Machin (A’s).

As a player, he represented Puerto Rico in an International Baseball Tournament in Sinaloa, Mexico in 2008, was a member of the 2009 Palomino League All-Star Team and Participated in the 2011 Tournament of Excellence in 2011. After high school, Luis played baseball for Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, AL (2011-2012), Garrett College in McHenry, MD (2012-2013) and Barry University in Miami FL (2013-2014).

Luis graduated from the University of Sagrado Corazon in Santurce, San Juan, PR in 2016 with a BS in Exercise Science and Health Promotion and is currently pursuing a MS in Performance Coaching at Setanta College in Tipperary, Ireland. His first experience as a strength and conditioning coach was as an intern for the men’s and women’s volleyball, basketball and swimming teams at the University of Sagrado Corazon in 2016. He followed that experience with a second internship as a strength and conditioning coach with the Professional Women’s Volleyball Team, Las Orientales, in Humacao, PR in 2016-2017.

He started his career in pro baseball as a seasonal strength and conditioning intern with the Brewers in 2017 and was later promoted to DSL strength and conditioning specialist by the Brewers in 2017. In 2017 and 2018, he worked with a Co-op team made up of players from the Brewers and Indians. The Brewers promoted him to Head DSL Strength and Conditioning Specialist in 2018 and to his current position as Latin American Strength and Conditioning Liaison / Minor League Strength and Conditioning Specialist in 2019.

Louis is a certified (CSCS) and registered strength and conditioning coach (RSCC) by the NSCA and holds additional certifications in CPR by the Red Cross and hitting and pitching by OnBase University.

His entry into strength and conditioning was not unlike that of many others in MLB. As a kid, he dreamed of being a Major League player and spent his high school and college years hoping to be drafted.  Fortunately, his high school coaches emphasized that there were other ways to make it to MLB. Luis listened, worked hard in his college classes and learned English to help him pursue his goal of working in MLB.

Luis enjoys the challenges of coaching in the DSL. He is often one of the first contacts that many young Latin American players have in professional baseball. His role involves coaching, teaching and advising young players who have had limited or no experience in strength and conditioning, structured workouts, sports nutrition, psychology, and personal responsibility. He helps them develop effective, sustainable daily workouts, training programs and performance routines. He also helps players develop and achieve their in-season and off-season goals. The achievement of off-season goals is sometime more difficult because once players return home, many have limited access to equipment, qualified strength and conditioning coaches and optimal nutrition.

Luis believes that in order to be successful when working with young DSL players, a coach must:

  • Be patient, confident and passionate. Players are young and many have not been away from home and on-their-own before. Every player has a different background and different needs. Coaches must understand each player’s unique circumstances, be confident in their ability to communicate, provide effective training and be passionate about the game and their role in it.
  • Be able to find different ways to get and maintain player attention. The days of finding local baseball fields filled with young players from daylight to dark in the DR are decreasing. The popularity of cell phones and the internet provide young players with many of the same options and distractions as youngster in the US. DSL coaches have to be creative and find ways to get players to listen, follow instructions, reman passionate about the game and be accountable about their development on and off the field.
  • Keep things simple, be creative and insist on quality of movement. Many DSL players don’t have much experience in the weight room. Explain the how and why of each lift, but don’t get too technical. Build a good work ethic, get players to move well, maintain body control and perform basic movement patterns needed to enhance performance reduce the risk of injury.
  • Know your players. Know where they come. Ask about their family; parents and siblings. Understand their training background, strengths, weaknesses and injury history. The more you know about a player the easier it is to build a strong relationship of mutual trust.
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