Apr 6, 2018
Better Together, Part 3
Barry Lippman

In restructuring its baseball conditioning, Coastal Carolina had four goals. Here’s a look at goal number two: Develop effective, individualized sports performance plans for each athlete.

Part 1 of this article can be found here.

Part 2 of this article can be found here.

Individual plans are especially important for baseball because the game involves the fastest motions in sports, which affect each player differently. For example, the athlete who has decreased hip, shoulder, or thoracic spine range of motion can’t have the same goals as the athlete with an unstable shoulder and a lack of core control.

Likewise, athletes need to be taught and cued individually in the weightroom. If we blindly yell to the full team to squat lower without any consideration of players’ unique ankle mobilities or femur alignments, we are inviting lower-back problems.

In the past, the biggest obstacle we faced in attacking each player’s needs was time constraints. Developing plans for 35 to 45 players was tedious and took a while to complete. However, our new model enables White and me to combine our strengths of player assessment and goal setting and then take a holistic approach to the program.

Together, Strength and Conditioning Coach Nick White, MS, CSCS, USAW, and I determined which players should do which exercises by putting them through a multijoint and multimovement evaluation. Then, we developed an Excel workbook that relies on formulas to automatically insert exercises into each player’s unique workout sheet, organizing them by experience level, injury history, and position. This lets the computer do as much of the organizational work as possible, eliminating the hours that White or I would have had to spend planning and discussing workouts. Before our change in organizational structure and philosophy, we did not have this opportunity. We also share a Dropbox file that sends alerts when changes are made to the plan.

Barry Lippman, MS, ATC, CSCS, is Associate Athletic Trainer/Director of Rehabilitation for Coastal Carolina University athletics, where he oversees athletic training for Olympic sports and works directly with the baseball team.

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