Friday, February 17, 2006

Cubs look to stay healthy

From the Trib:

New direction

The two most valuable employees this spring may be strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss and trainer Mark O'Neal. After two injury-plagued seasons, they're in charge of helping the Cubs avoid a three-peat.

It's not a repeat of Mac Newton, the controversial, new-age conditioning guru of the Don Baylor-era. But the spring training conditioning program will include what manager Dusty Baker called "more dynamic stretching and different flexibility" exercises.

"We're going to change our fitness program a little bit as far as working out after [practice] rather than before," Baker said. "For many years, most of my teams have done most of their work before. So we're just going to try something different and see if that works."

Notice the "working out after rather than before" part.

It surprises me because it's something my coach in Guatemala, one Duglio Gómez, would stress over and over and over every time we practiced. If you stretch out after practice (as well as before, that much is obvious) you'll be less sore the next day, which seems even more important if you're playing every day, as in MLB.


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