The terms ‘old school’ and ‘new school’ get thrown around all of the time in the athletics world, but what do they really mean? Do you consider yourself ‘old school’ or ‘new school’? Neither one is really right or wrong, or a positive or negative description. When it comes to being on the field, being called ‘old school’ is often a complement. The Dustin Pedroia-typed players are often called ‘old school.’ However, as we have covered many times here on the Recruiting Cycle, there are some areas of athletics where the ‘old school’ no longer applies, and if you don’t get with the times you will get left behind. The two most obvious of these are recruiting and training. The college recruiting process for young players is not even what it was 5 years ago, and whether it is new NCAA Rules or the emergence of tournaments and showcases such as Perfect Game, the way coaches recruit is changing continuously. The same can be said of sport-specific training. If you aren’t dedicated to getting better in the gym, in addition to on the field, through strength training, speed and agility, and conditioning, you are going to be physically way behind the curve compared to those players that are.
Here is a great quick article from BaseballStrengthCoach.com summing up this Old School vs. New School comparison and how it relates to baseball training:
Growing up as baseball players in various parts of the country, and being surrounded by many different baseball players, coaches, and programs, it is very apparent that there is blatant disregard for the development of the athlete in most environments. A few bright shining spots can be found (BSC being the trailblazer) where baseball coaches, schools, and programs understand this concept. The old school approach, which is still most prominent in baseball, adhere to the thinking that by simply playing the game, the players will work themselves into shape. Take more hacks, throw long toss, take ground-balls, shag fly-balls, throw bull-pens, mix in some long distance running “because it’s good for your arm,” and keep the weight training to a minimum because it will make you bulky. Sound familiar? We hope not. Change is oftentimes difficult for the good ‘ol boys of baseball, but as with most sports nowadays, the athletes are bigger, stronger, faster, and the competition bar has been raised. You either adapt, or you ride the pine. If your coach’s or parent’s reasoning behind why they do what they do begins with “back when I played…….” you may have to simply humor them by acting like you are listening, but chances are that’s the “old school” thinking that needs to go.
So….what is the new school?
View the rest of the article and their 7 suggestions for young players to follow here.