During baseball’s offseason, athletes have a bit more time to reflect and focus on the year ahead, making it a busy time for Seattle Mariners director of sports science Kate Weiss. .
Here, Weiss doubles with Bodybuilding and fitness to talk to us about what this pivotal role means for his team and why the offseason is a critical time to build foundations. We also discovered how Weiss applies these lessons to her own fitness lifestyle.
“The offseason is the best time to make improvements because athletes have more time to train, sleep and recover,” Weiss says. “The start of the offseason is the best time to take stock of performance and create a plan for improvement in needed areas. There are a number of ways to improve both throwing and hitting skills. with specific exercises such as underload/overload training with both balls and weighted bats or training in the weight room The aim is to improve movement, speed, strength and the power.
Kate Weiss is a human movement student
“Growing up, I always loved human movement,” says Weiss, 36, born in Los Angeles. “I started coaching gymnastics at the age of 12 and continued until I entered university. I was also in a dance company and decided to majoring in kinesiology at the University of Southern California. While at USC, I worked full-time as a personal trainer and Pilates instructor, as well as an intern for the head football strength coach. loved working with athletes and studying, and knew I wanted to keep learning, so I applied for graduate school and got a scholarship from Ball State University to study biomechanics.
There, I worked as a men’s tennis strength coach, as well as a research assistant. I found the information we gathered from the lab very valuable, but I knew it was unrealistic to have athletes constantly coming in to collect data. So I started looking for PhD programs that would allow me to do applied research outside of a lab, and I got a scholarship to study sports science and biomechanics at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. The program there was amazing, and it allowed me to collect data with their professional men’s basketball team and get hands-on experience on the court. After graduating, I knew I wanted to gain experience working in different sports, so when I was offered a baseball position with the Los Angeles Dodgers, it was meant to be. Now I am entering my fifth season in baseball and my third season with the Seattle Mariners!
As the first Scientific Director of Athletics for the Mariners, Weiss is able to work as a team. “We all collaborate daily to help athletes perform at their best,” she shares. “My job is to help make more informed decisions by providing coaches and staff with the relevant data needed to do so.”
The details are in the data
“I provide daily reports to coaches and staff, noting things like changes in performance or workload,” she says. “Whenever we see high workloads accompanied by signs of poor recovery, we strive to adjust what the athlete is doing on a given day to help them improve their recovery and mitigate as much as possible the risk of injury. This has helped us manage the increased risk of injury and provide athletes with the tools they need to improve their recovery and feel better. It is an ongoing process that has served us well in terms of support to athletes.
Collecting and evaluating data is a passion for any great sports scientist. “There are several methods that can be used to collect data,” says Weiss. “We use everything from in-game camera data to force rigs (to measure ground reaction rates). We look at things like workload, sprint speed and distance, pitch metrics, mechanics, and body composition. Workload data gives us information about what an athlete is doing and how much they are doing. How much physical stress are they under? Performance and injury data give us insight into how they respond to workloads. If an athlete experiences a spike in workload, followed by a subsequent decrease in performance, or even increased pain or an overuse type issue, we can use this information to reduce the workload. We can then edit things like their workout in the weight room, their conditioning, or recommend a day off.
Kate Weiss practices what she preaches
For her part, Kate Weiss certainly practices what she preaches, when it comes to maintaining our bodies and seeking to improve physical boundaries. “I love bodybuilding,” she shares. “I started high school with my mom and haven’t stopped since. I lift heavy weights, and adapt my training to suit my schedule and my recovery. I also love Pilates and dancing. I try to fit them in when I can too. Weiss understands that the fuel you put into your body is critical to achieving your personal goals. “I’ve been a pescatarian for 18 years,” says strength coach and NSCA Certified Conditioning.” I have found that my body feels better when I eat this way. I do my blood work every year to make sure everything looks good, and I adjust as needed based on that. Given the amount of commuting and the long hours my work requires, it is essential that I maintain a healthy diet so that I can perform at my best and that my sleep and recovery are as good as possible.
Besides the physical, Weiss understands that baseball players also need to take care of their mental health. “Cognitive health is extremely important in elite sports,” she says. “Athletes must react within milliseconds to their opponents or the ball, execute plays and manage distractions during performance. There are several easy-to-use and accessible tools to help you focus. These include meditation, ice baths, breathwork, sleep, and healthy eating; all great ways to support individual cognition and focus.
Weiss tells M&F she was thrilled to be part of the Seattle Mariners’ journey to the playoffs last season, and is passionate about applying lessons learned through data collection and observation. performance on the field, to help the team rise even higher. This year.