During the second summer session each year I get to welcome the newest athletes to East Carolina Baseball. It has been made a priority by our Head Coach to get our new players on campus early and allow them to adjust to the demands they will undergo in the Fall. Today we will take a look into what our freshman and junior college transfers will learn throughout these next five weeks the summer which I consider our incoming baseball player orientation.
I believe this can be considered every strength coach's dream: Having five dedicated weeks to teach new athletes not only the movements, but the program's expectations, is a luxury that I do not take for granted. By the end of the second summer session, these athletes will know how to execute every exercise they will encounter in the Fall which allows our training sessions to be much more efficient during team-wide training later in the year.
Over the course of the first few days of this orientation, our new baseball athletes will be introduced to three components of our strength and conditioning program: The Warm-Up, Speed & Plyometrics and Exercise Technique. The Warm-Up is simple and efficient at preparing the body to lift and/or play baseball. Our athletes will also use this warm-up and variations of it throughout the year on the field.
Crawl Forwards and Backwards
Serratus Wall Slide
Back To Wall Shoulder Flexion
Single Leg Glute Bridge
Bent Trap Raise
Speed& Plyometrics is a category that allows these young athletes to learn the most basic movements our program uses to increase speed and power.
Speed & Plyometrics
High Knees Forwards and Backwards
3 Count Pose Chop Forwards and Backwards
Pogo Hops Forwards
Pogo Hops Lateral
Exercise Techniques is the third pillar of our orientation program. These are basic strength training movements and the goal during this component is to teach proficiency in executing these movements so that they can be performed on their own come time for team training.
Single Arm Row
After mastering the exercises above, more advanced exercise prescriptions are then administered. The goal by the end of the summer session is, again, to have these young athletes quickly participate in team-wide training come the fall semester. As this blog is being written, our program is currently in the third day of orientation and the athletes have responded very well. During the first week, our position players will be exposed to a clean complex. RDL, Clean Pull, High Pull, Hang Clean. 5 reps at each, we did 5 sets. We will also add Front Squat to that complex during that first week. More specifically, the program will emphasize Back Squat, Clean and Bench Press for our position players here as well. However, if those movements are not the best for a certain person, we make sure to regress the athlete or change the exercise to fit their individual needs.
Our coaches will progress the majority of the athletes' movement proficiency by simply increasing the load. As expected, a few athletes will still need to master these movements before increasing load. And this is exactly why this time is so special to our program and especially myself as the performance coach. This orientation window allows me to progress and regress new athletes based on their individual needs which will be a huge benefit to our program come beginning of the season and affords me a luxury that may not otherwise be available had this orientation phase not been endorsed by the head coach.
If you have any comments or questions, please reach out, I would love to hear from you. Below is a video series from the three components of our baseball orientation phase.