Florida Marlins strength and conditioning coach Paul Fournier brings CrossFit to Major League Baseball players.
CrossFit’s three fitness standards provide general physical preparedness for everyday athletes, but they also prepare professional baseball players for the demands of their sport.
We can all see how the 10 physical skills apply. In short, the list comprises everything athletic. In a highly skilled sport such as baseball, not all are athletes, but the good players are certainly athletic, and most were multi-sport athletes prior to being professional baseball players. Baseball players also utilize all three metabolic pathways, though a player’s position will affect which energy system is dominant and when. The game, of course, is ever-changing and presents infinite scenarios.
My role is to improve Florida Marlins baseball players athletically or enhance performance, but it’s also one of injury prevention. You can certainly understand the importance of keeping healthy players on the field, and isn’t a “fit” player a healthier player? I feel the answer is yes, especially if we are using the definition of fitness that CrossFit has provided.
A general physical preparedness type of program will equip the player for whatever he may in encounter on the field of play, and if a baseball player is adequate in all three of CrossFit’s fitness standards, he will have a better chance to be injury-free and perform to his best ability throughout the long 162-game regular season—plus playoffs, hopefully!