Head coaches wear many hats. They have to manage fundraisers, lineups, discipline, practice schedules, bus schedules, communication (parents, players, administrators), and not to mention managing the actual games. Conditioning is put on the back-burner at times, especially for pitchers. It’s really easy for a coach to draw a number out of a hat and send pitchers to run poles. Why? It’s easy and has been the means of conditioning for years in baseball. In fact, professional baseball teams still have pitchers do long distance running. If you are a coach that continues to follow this ancient model of running poles, please refer to the links below and consider implementing sprint training between pitchers’ starts.
Eric Cressey on Long Distance Running
Joe Meglio’s Take on Distance Running
There is still much to be debated in regards to a proper model for pitchers between starts. Below is a basic model for pitchers that I used during my days at Lexington High School.
I am a firm believer that you have to be able to justify what you implement into a conditioning program. If you are a coach that implements long distance running because that was how you conditioned 20 years ago during your collegiate days, consider that times have changed.