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Strength and Fitness
by Rick Stassi

[ Questions and Answers | Increase your Velocity ]

My name is Rick Stassi and I run my own training business. I was the strength coach for Cal State Fullerton baseball team for 10 years. I am the strength consultant for UCI's baseball team. I used to work for the Seattle Mariners for two years and have trained over 200 professional 1500 collegiate and high school baseball players. Last year 6 kids received division 1 scholarships and one kid was the Dodgers first pick in the draft. This year four early signees. I have a masters degree in Kinesiology. Please feel free to submit any questions regarding strength and fitness by email at STRENGTHCOACH03@YAHOO.COM or call me at 949-552-6295.

This web page was set up for the purpose of educating parents, coaches, and athletes on strength, conditioning, rehabilitation and sports medicine. The group of people that I am involved with will be able to answer any questions that you may have on training and proper care for the athletes. I want to thank you for the responses because there are some very intelligent questions. I have emailed the answers back to the people. I want to share the questions and answers with everyone on the web site. So I will be up dating this site with answers to questions emailed or phoned in to me.

The people that I work with are a sports medicine, rehabilitation, and training group. Since the seasons are about to begin there are going to be a lot of soreness and injury incidents. I cannot tell you how important it is to get the right care for the young athletes. We cater to athletes. If you need to see a doctor or a therapist you can call that day to be seen. The doctors group are three non-surgical fellowship trained sports medicine physicians. All three are comfortable treating all the needs of young athletes from medical illnesses to sports-related injuries. They share office time in irvine and can be reached at ( 949)-754-1344. Dr. John Chang and Dr. Sam Sunshine are family physicians who have a practice in aliso viejo and can be reached at ( 949)-360-1069. Dr. Chris Koutures is a pediatrician with an office in Anaheim Hills and can be reached at (714)-974-2220. The physical therapy group that I send my athletes to is A.C.I.C Physical Therapy. The owner Ken Yoshino was on the 84 Olympic training staff. They have all licensed physical therapist as well as nationally certified athletic trainers. They take great pride in getting athletes back to action as soon as the athletes are capable. They can be reached at (949)-754-1344. If you need care all you have to do is call the numbers listed and tell them that you are an athlete and they will get you in. Good luck and the care that you receive will be with the utmost professionalism.

Rick Stassi


Questions and Answers

When should a pitcher lift?

During the season a pitcher should have a routine to help them maintain strength. A pitcher after a game should massage their arm then stretch it out for about 5 to 10 minutes. Ice therapy should follow for 20 minutes for both the shoulder and the elbow. If they can they should ride a bicycle for 20 to 30 minutes at a low intensity. This will help promote blood flow and help flush the arm of lactic acid. The following day should be a hard workout with weights. Then do a combination of sprints and distance running. Two days later the pitcher should do a light workout with weights. You have to set your weight schedule according to your pitching schedule. You should always have a day off before you pitch so plan accordingly.
How to increase bat speed?
Bat speed is a product of how quick your nervous system responds.  Some people are genetically gifted with a quick nervous system.   To increase bat speed you should work with a lighter bat and do a series of 10 swings very fast.  As you get stronger you should increase the weight of the bat and do the same thing.  If your swing slows down then use a lighter bat.  If you can increase your quickness and your strength then you will increase your hitting power.  Another great thing to do to increase hand speed is hit a speed bag.  Do these things 3 times a week and you should see some improvement.
Why do plyometrics?
Plyometrics should be done for all athletes who have to move in their sport.  The way I do plyometrics is with low impact.  i want my athletes to move as quick as possible.  So I use a lot of different quick feet movements to help the athletes move in all directions.  If you do this properly it will enhance an athletes performance.  if athletes can combine a program of plyometrics and weight training they will get the maximum benefit of their genetic capabilities.  Every study that i have read that combines plyometrics with weights. Gives the athletes better results than just doing plyometrics or weights by themselves.
Should you lift weights during the season?
If I had a nickel for every time I have been asked how to put on weight for young athletes; I would be a rich man. Here is the answer to that question.

Young athlete will put on weight when their bodies are ready for it. You cannot change genetics. I have a saying; you cannot take a donkey and turn it into a quarter horse. You can have a fast donkey but it will never beat a quarter horse. You cannot speed up the genetic process. Some kids will put it on faster than others but for the most part the kids will put on weight between the ages of 17 to 23. Between the ages of 13 to 17 they will probably put on 30 to forty pounds but you have to let nature take its course. What you concentrate on is endurance strength. The athletes can become very strong without putting on weight. I had one pitcher whose strength was 10 times what it was when he started and a year later he only gained one pound. One thing you can do is making sure they get the proper nutrition so their bodies can recover, repair and grow. You need to give them balanced meals of protein, carbohydrates, and fats 5 to 6 times a day. This proper balance of nutrients will allow the athletes muscles to grow and give them the stored energy they need to sustain their training and competition.

Again I want to thank you for your responses and I will be posting more answers to questions very soon. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Take care,


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