2018 Preparation Begins! Winter Workouts

Long view of Harvard "Bubble"

On a Sunday morning in January (Jan. 21st to be precise), when most sports fans in New England focused their attention on the AFC Championship between the Patriots and the Jaguars, another New England program began preparation for the 2018 baseball season.  More than 75 Ruffnecks awoke well before dawn, some traveling as far as 100 miles.  The destination… “the Bubble” at Harvard University where Ruffnecks spring training officially begins.  Promptly at 6:00am warm-ups began.  The two hour workout incorporated two full infield diamonds, an outfield station, a pitcher’s station for flat ground and balance work, and a base running station.  20 Coaches served the 75+ players in a crisp, repetitions-based workout.

One of the features of these early workouts, is the program-wide orientation for drill work and training.  The Ruffnecks only field one team at each of five age classifications (13U thru 17U), with players in the class of 2019 considered “seniors” in the program.  The first winter workout brings the youngest Ruffnecks together with more experienced players.  Virtually all the drill stations mix players from the various rosters, ages, and graduation classes.  Still, the tempo and the structure of the drills are geared up to a level appropriate for January and the most experienced of Ruffnecks players.  “There is a programmatic mentoring that takes place during these workouts,” says one Ruffnecks coach.  “The older players do a great job of showing leadership for the younger players.  And the younger players do a terrific job keeping up and learning from the speed and expectations of the drill work.”  Most importantly, the Ruffnecks Winter Workouts at Harvard are a privilege for players who want to kick off the cobwebs and get into some baseball routines with dedicated coaches.  With under a 4 to 1 Player to Coach ratio, there is plenty of instruction and attention to details… without slowing down the pace of the workouts.  Two hours evaporates quickly…  but the preparation for 2018 is under way… with plenty of time to get home and watch another New England team that sets the bar for preparation.