Been discussed somewhat before but still a little confusing to me. My 14u is taking Fall baseball off(first time in 8 yrs) and running cross country for the first time. Little guy(under 95lbs) but blessed with a very strong arm and lot of success pitching so far. We are going to do a long toss program in November and really focus on functional strength training for the first time. Any harm in cross country for several months regarding fast twitch muscles and losing velocity?

I run cross country too because my coach recommended it over football. I think it’s all good.

There is no right answer here. Everyone’s body responds differently. I would like to think that athletic performance training would be the much better option because it will increase stregnth. I used to have to run a fair amount when I was playing (and I wasn’t even a pitcher), but that started changing later in my career. Went more to weights and sprints. Power definitely went up, but can’t remember what happened with the arm as I wasn’t paying attention. With all the guys throwing uppper 90’s now, I would do what they are doing if he’s looking for more velocity. As for arm health, I would do what those guys are doing as I don’t know the stats, but it seems the surgeries are down all the sudden. Maybe someone will correct me on that one…good luck to you son. I wish him the most success.

Ha, I remember my first fall season in Juco. I wasn’t sure if I was on the baseball team or cross country team. Pitchers were required to run a 6 mile course every day at the end of practice. Luckily during the spring, we only ran it twice a week. Long distance running will help his wind and leg endurance. Don’t stop working on mechanics for pitching. Towel drills and 20/25 pitch bullpens will keep him tuned up.

The best thing for baseball performance is to get bigger, stronger and more explosive. In terms of hours spent, calories expended and time lost you have to weigh the opportunity cost vs activities that will add weight and strength. Pitching in particular is a short duration explosive movement. The days of distance running pitchers are going away as more science is applied to developing the pitcher’s body.

Just eating enough to sustain his current weight will be a challenge with the running load, much less trying to add new mass. If he is all about getting ready for baseball, XC seems counterproductive.