CARLSBAD — North County is well-known for producing professional athletes. As competition among peers is fierce, student athletes need every boost possible to get ahead. One local baseball coach is ensuring his team has every opportunity to make it to the big leagues.
Carlsbad High School assistant freshman baseball coach Elliott Williams recently launched an extracurricular training program for his players to help them perform at their full potential. He developed the Baseball Agility Training Sessions program, or BATS, to help student athletes progress, become more nutritionally conscious and become smarter about recovery.
“It’s really about trying to get them ready to play the next level of baseball, whether it be JV, varsity, college or the Majors,” he said.
Modeled after a New York Yankees training book, Williams independently created the BATS program, which focuses on improving an athlete’s agility, speed and conditioning. The weekend training is held both in and out of baseball seasons, offering players a revolving chance to improve their skills.
“The kids have the drive and want to play better — that’s what sets champions apart from the rest of the pack,” Williams said.
Current sessions are held on Saturday mornings at Ponto Beach in Carlsbad. The sand training includes running on the beach and up flights of stairs. The conditioning exercises challenge players to improve their endurance and footwork.
“It works us hard,” said freshman pitcher and catcher Jacob Kendra. “It shows that our team has the drive to win, not just to go off pure talent but to actually put forth the effort.”
Williams and freshman head coach Jet Cook have seen their players greatly improve since the current session began. Not only are they improving physically, but the extracurricular training has also helped the 19 freshman players grow together as a team.
“They’re getting stronger, and at a freshman level, it’s hard to teach that,” Cook said.
Williams’ program also provides nutritional advice to the players to help their diet complement their training efforts. Glycemic index charts and carbohydrate diagrams allow the players to see where their nutrients come from and encourage them to eat healthier.
“At this age, 15 and 16, I gave it to them more to give to their parents,” Williams said. “They aren’t cooking for themselves!”
Although Williams solely focused on Carlsbad High baseball players for his first round of sessions, he is looking to expand and provide the training to Carlsbad Youth Baseball players. He is also hoping to open the upcoming summer session to players ages 13 to 19. The summer session will be less grueling than the in-season training and it will focus on building strength, weight training and conditioning.
“In North County, there’s such a pool of talent that if you don’t do something like this, you’re going to be a small fish in a big pond,” Williams said.
For more information on the BATS program, visit www.carlsbadbats.com or contact Williams at [email protected]