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Napoleon Pichardo – Texas Rangers

Name:  Napoleon Pichardo

Or­ga­ni­za­tion:  Texas Rangers

Title: Minor League Strength and Conditioning Coordinator

Years working in pro­fes­sional base­ball strength and conditioning:  Thirteen seasons including one spring with the Yankees, one year with the Blue Jays and eleven years with the Rangers.

Total years in strength and conditioning: Fourteen starting as a conditioning coach / intern at the University of South Florida. (more…)

History of Strength and Conditioning in Professional Baseball Part 4: The Turn of the Century The Emergence of the “Strength Coaching” Profession in Baseball

The emergence of the professional baseball strength and conditioning profession started in 1993 with three American League strength coaches, Fernando Montes (Cleveland Indians), Steve Odgers (Chicago White Sox) and Bob Alejo (Oakland A’s). Montes, who was a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) while coaching at Stanford, came up with the idea of creating an educational-based organization dedicated to developing, improving and evaluating training techniques and protocols for professional baseball players. Montes met with Odgers and Alejo when their teams played each other. He also met with other AL strength coaches when they played the Indians to discuss the role and scope of the proposed organization and solicit input. During the off-season, five major league strength coaches met during the 1993 NSCA Sport Specific Conference and decided to create a Society of professional baseball strength and conditioning coaches whose primary purpose was to unite the profession of strength and conditioning in baseball with the application of proven strength and conditioning principles.

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Job Posting : Texas Rangers

Organization: Texas Rangers

Job Title: AZL Strength and Conditioning Intern

Job Description: Texas Rangers are looking for a self-motivated professional strength and conditioning coach. Applicants must posses a high knowledge of anatomy and the human body. They must also be able to adhere to the Texas Rangers strength and conditioning principles and be versatile. Applicant must be committed to strength and conditioning. Spanish speaking is a plus.

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History of Strength and Conditioning in Professional Baseball Part 3: Into the 90s – The Emergence of “Strength” in Baseball

Strength and conditioning emerged as a priority activity among Major League players in the late 1980s and early 1990s. You could see the change in player size and body structure in the clubhouse and on the field. More clubs were hiring strength and conditioning coaches and more clubhouses had weight rooms, some even for the visiting teams. These rooms were equipped with free weights, barbells and dumbbells. When it started, dumbbells went up to 50-pound sets, then to 70 and finally 100 pounds and guys were using them. This era also saw some players hiring personal trainers with backgrounds in bodybuilding and football, all emphasizing the use of heavier weights and prolonged workouts. The challenge for the strength and conditioning coach became how to separate what was needed to be successful in baseball from the muscle building programs that were being advocated by outside influences.

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History of Baseball Strength and Conditioning in Professional Baseball Part 2: The 1980s, the Nolan Ryan Influence and the Era of Acceptance and Innovation

Nolan Ryan joined the Houston Astros prior to the 1980 season as the highest-paid player in MLB, earning 1.1 million dollars a year. I received a phone call from the GM, Tal Smith, informing me that we had signed him and inviting me to a reception to introduce him as the Astros’ newest member. Prior to the reception, I had never met Nolan. I had watched him pitch in the 1979 MLB All-Star game on TV and I knew that he lived in Alvin, Texas about 20 minutes away from my home in Clear Lake.

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History Strength and Conditioning in Professional Baseball Part 1: The Beginnings (1976-1980)

My first experience in strength training for professional baseball occurred in the spring of 1976. The minor league field coordinator for the Houston Astros had become a marathon runner. When the organization brought the top minor league prospects to Florida in September for an additional six weeks of Instructional League training, he had them run 5 miles per day for conditioning. His thinking was that if he could run 15 miles a day at age 40, a 20 year old should be able to run five. After 3 to 4 days, the players were so sore that they couldn’t practice. The organization had spent a lot of money to bring these kids into Florida but couldn’t do anything with them. The general manager, who had also become a distance runner, instructed the field coordinator to get some help from someone outside the organization. The field coordinator called one of his college instructors and he recommended me.

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Fournier and Castellano, All-Star Game Strength and Conditioning Coaches

Paul Fournier and Perry Castellano were selected by MLB to serve as National and American League strength and conditioning coaches, respectively for the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis. Fournier is only the third NL strength and conditioning coach to be invited to participate in the MLB All-Star Game. He has 17 years of experience in the field including stints with the Phillies, Marlins and Expos. Paul became the Phillies Major (more…)