What a weird season it's been, but I know here in Colorado we've made the best of it and we got a good amount of game time and practice time in!
Now that the off season is upon us I get asked a lot about what the off-season should look like for a high school baseball players, so here are a few things I recommend committing to this off-season.
No throwing for 3 months
I know this is hard for young players to understand, especially when their arms feel fine. But let's not wait to take care of our arm until after it hurts! If you can successfully manage your throwing arm so it hardly ever hurts, that's the goal. And taking time off from throwing helps do that! Rest allows the arms muscular and fascial tissues to recover, if you can incorporate massage and a good exercise program to deal with muscular imbalances you'll be fresh and ready for the season when spring rolls around.
2. Hit the gym
Strength directly relates to throwing velocity; I'm always amazed at how many baseball players skip off season workouts because they "don't want to get bulky". You can gain a lot of strength while maintaining mobility if you have the right training program, if you don't know how to do that, hire a professional. But skipping your gym time in the off season is a big no no! Along with building strength, emphasize your speed and mobility. A lot of our athletes are sitting around most of the day, whether they are at school or home. Mobility can become an issue when it isn't worked on with intention.
3. Skill Work
Outside of throwing, work on all your skills. For my catchers that means we are still focusing on all the same in season drills for blocking, receiving, and footwork. A few of my high school guys will be working on feeling comfortable in different receiving stances and becoming efficient with kick stand blocks (one knee down). Infielders can be working on footwork drills, receiving ground balls, and short hop/long hop drills, outfielders can work on their routes; pitchers since most of their drills are throwing related should be focused in the gym.
4. Enjoy the off-season
For those of you who are putting in the effort, remember to enjoy the off-season! The off-season has a bunch of family holidays, breaks from school, and if you're in Colorado, it's a great time to hit the mountains for skiing. Enjoy your time at the gym, find someone who wants to go to the gym with you and get your work in but have fun doing it. If you don't enjoy the off-season it will start to feel like a grind, if it's too much of a grind you'll get tired of it. Hopefully your baseball career is very long and you get to play at the level you want. One of the biggest things I noticed as I played with better and better ball players is that the guys at the top are able to have fun and know when to turn on competitive mode.
Good luck this off-season! Pack on the pounds, work hard, and have fun!