COLUMBUS, Ohio – Believe it or not, baseball season is here to stay.
On the eve of Ohio State’s first practice, strength and conditioning coach Dean Hansen directed the team’s final offseason conditioning workout Thursday afternoon at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. We caught up with coach Hansen, who is in his fourth season with the program, and he shared his thoughts as the 2016 season lingers closer to first pitch.
Q: What are the Baseball Buckeyes like during the offseason?
DH: Coach Beals and the rest of the coaching staff do a great job of bringing in very talented athletes that are also great kids. This makes this group very fun to work with and their focus makes them capable of great things.
Q: What’s the mindset of the group heading into the first practice tomorrow?
DH: The team is absolutely chomping at the bit ready to get after practice. They are have been lifting and conditioning hard since the start of school and are physically and mentally ready to compete on the baseball diamond.
Q: As a strength coach, what type of workout plans do you create for the student-athletes?
DH: During the off season everyone’s program is different. It is tailored for them to become the best player they can be. Although there are varying versions, there are three categories I put everyone in. 1s-Guys that need to get bigger and stronger, these are mainly freshman. 2s- Guys that have solid foundations. They don’t need as aggressive of program as the 1s to get to where they need to be. Finally, 3s- These are the guys that are already big and strong. The goal for this group is to improve our strength relative to our bodyweight to make us the most dynamic on the field that we can be. Beyond that everyone is a little bit different, the end game is to have a healthy, strong, game ready baseball player, but everyone’s road there is a little different.
Q: What’s been the progress of guys like Troy Montgomery and Ronnie Dawson this offseason?
DH: Troy Montgomery and Ronnie Dawson came in the same year on completely different ends of the spectrum. Monty weighed 155 pounds and Ronnie was closer to 235. They both have put in a lot of time and now Monty comes in at 185 and Ronnie a clean 220. They took different roads, but through hard work are both stronger and faster than the day they came in.
Q: Who has impressed in the weight room?
DH: It’s tough to pick out certain guys that have impressed in the weight room, there are a ton. Jake Brobst hit a 405lb front squat right after break which the most in my time here (you can watch that here). Captains Jalen Washington and Nick Sergakis probably pound for pound the strongest guys on the team, although Montgomery would probably have something to say about that. Freshman Matt Carpenter took summer classes so he could train with us over the summer and he doesn’t even look like the same kid. He has worked very hard and it shows.