Fastpitch Softball Conditioning Training

Sport specific strength training or game speed practicing are not new concepts, but often overlooked is the unique workout needs of fastpitch position players. Softball athletes execute short explosive movements with varying rest intervals. Softball pitchers and catchers operate at a different frequency than either infielders or outfielders. This rest interval difference needs to be taken into consideration by their strength and conditioning program. Many athletes now have specifically tailored fitness programs. Taking this into consideration, let us look at how a fitness program can be developed for three different groups.The Power Hitters:The power hitters are players whose greatest asset is their ability to generate bat speed through the strike zone. Power hitter's can hit for high average and/or home runs. Defensively, power players will typically play as the catcher, corner infielder, or right field. For this group, the strength and conditioning program emphasizes the lower and upper body and core strength development. Conditioning sessions put added emphasis on incorporating medicine ball plyometrics for trunk torque and power development and improving speed-endurance for under 40 yard conditioning. The Speed Players: The speed player is defined by her ability to accelerate quickly and maintain a high maximum running velocity. This group of players is typically grouped together as slappers and base stealers. Defensively, this group is usually your middle infielders and outfielders. Even though speed player's training emphasizes speed and agility, they can also be some of the strongest players on the team. Speed player's typical strengthening routine involves full body exercises like lunges and squats, with less of an emphasis on upper body strength. Agility can be enhanced through cone drills, ladder drills, and short shuttles. Finally, the speed endurance focuses on acceleration and running distances of less than 40 yards through form running and resistance sprints. The Pitchers:The pitcher is the most influential player that effects the game's outcome. They need to be explosive on every pitch, withstand long innings, and pitch multiple games per week. This requires their lower body and core to be exceptionally strong and have a wide range of motion. Like speed players, pitchers strength training focuses are full body workouts with a slightly greater emphasis on lower body strength. Pitchers also need to do extra grip strengthening work and as hip flexors and adductors to improve lower body mobility.Final Training Considerations:Off-season and in-season fitness training sessions have dramatically different emphasis. In the off-season, a strong emphasis is placed on muscle building and injury prevention. Conversely, in-season training is for maintenance, fine-tuning, and injury prevention. While the majority of each groups training is essentially the same, the number of sets and repetitions differ depending of the areas of emphasis. All groups include full body strength training, injury prevention exercises, and strength endurance training. Over the course of the week, the athletes have covered all the strength and conditioning development areas, but with varying amounts of time based on their emphasis.By: Bruce SmithArticle Directory: http://www.articledashboard.comLearn more about softball conditioning from Fastpitch at Youth-Athlete http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness-fact/11/strength-and-resistance-training/ - http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness-fact/11/strength-and-resistance-training/ -