Baseball infielders need to develop a unique set of physical skills in order to achieve success. For one, baseball infielders have got to start low and stay low while approaching and fielding ground balls. When I say start low, what I mean is, infielders have got to use their legs to reduce the distance between their baseball glove and the ground.
Take a look at the photo to the right. Pictured in the photo is the owner of Georgia Personal Training center, Matt Lein. At the time this photo was taken, Matt was in his freshman year at Wofford College. He had won the starting third base job for the Terriers and was already having a great year, fielding and hitting. As you can see from the photo, Matt learned at an early age to start low and to stay low all the way through fielding the actual ground balls that were hit his way.
Matt started working with a personal trainer when he was 13 years old. At the time, the trainer we had Matt working with trained lots of baseball players. This particular trainer understood the importance of designing a fitness program specific to infielders. He knew that developing lower body strength, flexibility and muscle endurance was critically important. Matt will tell you to this day that the reason he landed a college scholarship was due in large part to the fitness training he did as a younger player.
When Matt finished his playing career at the University of South Carolina, he came home and opened a 24 hour fitness center and later started Georgia Personal Training center. Fitness is his passion. To this day Matt works out anywhere from 3 to 4 hours each day. Matt created a sport specific fitness program designed for Baseball Infielders. He has incorporated many of the strength and conditioning exercises that he learned during his time at Wofford College and with the Gamecocks at South Carolina, into the fitness program for baseball infielders. Given his first hand experience with the infield, Matt is uniquely qualified and knowledgeable of the specific physical demands of the infield position. He has devoted years of his life to developing those physical tools. That dedication lead to Matt being named Southern Conference Freshman of the Year and ultimately to the Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American team.
When a baseball player comes in to meet with us about fitness training, one of the first questions we ask is what position they play. Knowing their position is really important in terms of building the perfect training program for that player. Playing infield, outfield or pitching will place certain demands on each player. We strive to ensure that each ball player in our fitness program is physically prepared for the demands of the job they will fill. Being prepared to do your job is a responsibility that each player on the team has, to every other member of that team. When you play a team game like baseball, you quickly realize that the team is only as strong as it’s weakest link. That said, we train players with the idea in mind that we want our athletes to be the strongest, fastest, more agile and best prepared players on their teams.
If you play infield on your team, the fitness program we have you performing will be different than the program we have the pitcher on your team doing. As an infielder, we are going to work to develop your core body strength. You need a strong core body to be effective at your position. We will also work hard on developing your lower body strength and flexibility. Having strong and flexible leg muscles will not only help you be a better fielder, your new found core body and lower body strength will translate into speed and power. Some of the lower body work we do will be focused on building strength. We have other exercises for you to do that will develop muscle flexibility and endurance.
The length of the fitness training program sessions we ask you to do will relate directly to your maturity level. With younger players, we tend to keep the sessions to approximately 30 – 45 minutes in length. Again, whether you train for 30 minutes or 45 minutes will be based on your age, maturity level and the length of time you have been in our program. The longer players train with us, the more advanced their training programs get. Once you start training with us, you will quickly realize that our program is designed to push you to improve. The training program for players who have trained with us for a year is more intense than a program for a player just getting started. As your fitness level improves, we will expand the intensity level, as well as increase the diversity of the exercises we ask you to perform. Our experience has taught us that using this approach will ensure that your muscles continue to develop and your fitness level will continually improve over time.