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November 12, 2022

Softball Off-Season S&C-Part 2

How to Program When Your Athletes Lift at School During the Day

Q: "Coach, when the  girls are lifting during the day in class, what are things we as coaches should be doing or not doing during our after-school conditioning workouts?" A: Great question!I try to work opposite muscle groups or pushing/pulling of what the kids are doing at school. Most programs are completing some variation of squats, bench, and hang cleans. Lots of forward movement and pushing. In addition, the reps/sets of these are usually geared toward achieving a heavy 1 rep max. This style of lifting produces slow, thick, stiff muscle activation (think powerlifter)--NOT a bad thing, persay, just not something we want to spend a lot of time doing as a softball player.My recommendation for strength is to work opposite muscle groups and focus on staying within the 65-75% range of lifts, for 2-3 sets of 4-6 reps.Lifts I like programming in this situation for strength are:

  • Single leg squats or deadlifts and Isometric holds with dumbbells--complete 3 heavy single leg bulgarian split squats followed by a :10-:20 second lunge hold at the bottom, complete on both sides, then rest 1-2 minutes and repeat.


  • Cossack squats (side squat) with dumbbell at the chest --focus on moving through a full range of motion on both sides (2 x 6)
  • (Many variations of rowing)—Single arm dumbbell bear row 2 x 6 reps,  2 x 10 wide-stance rotational row, 2 x 20 banded rows in split stance

Cue: "keep back flat like a board, NO C's in the low back"Core stuff is all anti-rotation focused--we have to create stiffness first!—> 2 x 6 Paloff press, Paloff sidesteps, anti-rotation trunk twist or med ball tosses. Paloff Variations:

Cue "stick and hold the landing" 

Conditioning workouts I like programming are:

  •  1-2 days of Zone 2 aerobic conditioning--30-45 minutes of ruck walk or slow bike, row (should be able to breathe through the nose the entire time)--I tell the girls to do this on their own time, send me a pic of proof! :)
  • 1-day of Med Ball Drills: Power heaves, split stance slams, bilateral slams, rhythm drills--I cue the girls to complete 4-8 reps as smoothly as they can, going for speed--we will repeat these rounds 3-4 x
  • 1-day of 5-10, 10-20 meter sprints--we time these for intent. These can be done from a straight start or from kneeling, face down, skip start, etc.--be creative!

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