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Exercise of the Week: Prone External Rotation End-Range Lift-off to Internal Rotation

If you're involved in any sport that requires a lot of precise control of the extreme external rotation position (as in throwing), here's an advanced progression that you could benefit from trying. Many rotator cuff exercises focus on building strength/motor control/timing in positions that aren't specific to the throwing motion, but this one forces athletes to be proficient in positions that really matter.

If you're looking to learn more about how I assess, program, and coach at the shoulder, be sure to check out my popular resource, Sturdy Shoulder Solutions.

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Should Pitchers Take Time Off From Throwing?

For this week's podcast, I'm flying solo as I tackle a commonly debated question in the world of developing pitchers: should pitchers take time off from throwing? This is something I've pondered a lot over the years, and my position on it has evolved considerably.

A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you’ll receive a free 10-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today – 10 FREE travel packs – with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I’d encourage you to give it a shot, too – especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

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Making Sense of the Cressey/Proteus Power Report

I published some articles (here and here) last year about how we were digging in really deep on using Proteus Motion not only as a training initiative for rotational power and arm care, but also as a way to test power and acceleration in rotational sport athletes. The culmination of a lot of collaborative work with Proteus is the Cressey Power Test. We used it all last offseason with a lot of professional, college, and high school athletes to build out a large sample size, and now it's being rolled out to facilities where a Proteus unit is housed. Check out this webinar to learn what the test tells us:

You can see the components of the test in the following video as well:

It's still a bit of a work in progress, and our data set is getting larger and larger with each passing day, but we're super excited about the findings thus far and - more importantly - how they're impacting the way we train our athletes. You can learn more at www.ProteusMotion.com.

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: The Reconditioning Roundtable

For this week's podcast, I'm joined by Rob Friedman (the Pitching Ninja) and renowned pitching consultant Alan Jaeger for a discussion on the importance of true reconditioning programs for pitchers after interval throwing rehabilitation programs. If you work with injured pitchers - or are one yourself - then you won't want to miss this discussion.

A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you’ll receive a free 10-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today – 10 FREE travel packs – with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I’d encourage you to give it a shot, too – especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Jose Trevino

We're excited to welcome Texas Rangers catcher Jose Trevino to the latest podcast. In this episode, Jose discusses his background as a multi-sport athlete and how it facilitated his switch from infielder to catcher. Building on that, he shares insights on the challenges that went with learning the new position, as well as what the preparation of a MLB catcher includes. This was honestly one of my favorite interviews that we've done for the podcast; Jose is a great guy who has really worked for all the success that's come his way, and he has a lot to teach.

A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you’ll receive a free 10-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today – 10 FREE travel packs – with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I’d encourage you to give it a shot, too – especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

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Exercise of the Week: Half-Kneeling Wall-Press 1-Arm J-Band Trap Raise

Today's guest post comes from Cressey Sports Performance - MA coach, Ethan Dyer.

The Half-Kneeling Wall-Press 1-Arm J-Band Trap Raise is a new variation we’ve been using a lot with our more hypermobile (loose jointed) and/or younger athletes here at CSP. We get the same value as a traditional J-Band trap raise, but with a small tweak that can be a huge difference maker for certain athletes.

Important Coaching Cues:

Make sure we nail our half-kneeling position. Any postural issues down the chain will create interference up the chain. Undue lumbar extension and/or "hip hike" on one side needs to be taken care of before we can worry about the rest of the exercise.

Our wall press needs to be aggressive enough to make a difference. This is what separates this exercise from a standard J-Band trap raise or "Y." By actively reaching with our off hand, we push our rib cage back - allowing for better scapulothoracic (shoulder blade on rib cage) congruency and ideally more effective retraction/upward rotation. Reaching against a hard surface gives us even more stability in that position, and this is particularly useful for our looser, floppier guys (you know who you are).

As we perform the trap raise we need to be careful not to lose our initial posture. If we allow compensatory movement in the lower extremity or the torso, we are no longer isolating the desirable posterior tilt and upward rotation and end up performing what is essentially a full-body exercise.

To progress this, stand the athlete up (short-split or split-stance). Removing the wall will make this more difficult but may dramatically change the stimulus depending on the athlete.

We love the J-Band "Junior" resistance for this exercise; the traditional resistance J-Bands will bury a lot of people here. As with other J-Band drills, we get a lot of value without asking our athletes to grip anything (think high throwing volume or return-to-throw).

This variation is probably most useful in the 8 to 12 rep range, with a varying number of sets depending on its location in a program (part of a warm-up or movement day, or accessory work during a lift).

About the Author

Ethan Dyer serves as a Strength & Conditioning coach at Cressey Sports Performance. He started as a client at CSP and eventually went on to intern at CSP-MA. Following another internship at Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training, Ethan joined the CSP-MA team. He was a pitcher at the College of the Holy Cross before transferring to Endicott College to complete his undergraduate work with a major in Exercise Science and minor in Psychology. A Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Ethan has been a volunteer with both the Miracle League and Special Olympics, and has a passion for working with young athletes to help them fall in love with training while avoiding injury. You can follow him on Instagram at @Ethan___Dyer.

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5 Lessons from a First-Round Draft Pick

In last week's Major League Baseball Draft, Cressey Sports Performance had 15 athletes selected - including three of the top 30 picks.

Among of those three, Frank Mozzicato, was selected 7th overall by the Kansas City Royals - making him the highest draft pick we've ever had out of 185 draft picks since our business opened.

Given that Frank's selection so high surprised so many people, many articles were written about his rapid rise up draft boards. In an article in "The Athletic," Alec Lewis wrote:

Fahy first saw Mozzicato in the summer of 2020. The 6-foot-3 lefty threw 85-86 mph. Fahy jotted down notes, at the very least expecting Mozzicato to be a good college pitcher. Then, in late February, a few of his scouting friends started talking: People are watching this kid; he threw really well.

What Fahy would later find out is how much Mozzicato had committed himself in 2020. Mozzicato, a multisport athlete growing up, road-tripped up to Cressey Sports Performance, where he further focused on pitching. This meant better nutrition and more specified lifts. Each contributed to an uptick in velocity, which Fahy noticed when he first watched him this spring.

It was early March, and Fahy observed a Mozzicato warmup in the bullpen at East Catholic High School.

“You take notice of the kid’s body and athleticism,” Fahy said. “That’s what stood out. Lean frame. You could project on him and say he’d be physical. His arm worked well. And right away, he spun his breaking ball.”

These paragraphs yield several invaluable lessons:

1. Many great players are late bloomers.

I know loads of MLB players who were barely recruited out of high school, but thrived when they got to college. Defining "upside" on 16-17 year-old players is difficult not only because bodies can change dramatically in just months, but also because most haven't yet learned how to work hard and compete.

2. Failure is a great teacher.

Frank didn't make an Area Code roster last summer, and it motivated him to get after it to improve. Jesus Luzardo didn't make his, and he was the big leagues at age 21. Tyler Beede was cut from Team USA and became a first rounder. Scouts often admit that they're wrong more than they're right. One reason is that you can’t predict how someone will respond to being overlooked. Some guys whine about it, and others get to work.

3. Sacrifice optimizes buy-in.

Many guys say that they "want it," but aren't willing to give up other things that they also want. Cressey Sports Performance - Massachusetts is 80 minutes from Frank's high school in CT, and he made that trip a lot. He drove past facilities on the way that couldn't deliver the expertise and environment that we delivered, and sacrificed time with family and friends to make it happen. If everything is easy, athletes may falsely assure themselves that everything will come easily, too. Sometimes, putting additional skin in the game is a way to the commitment to working is real.

4. Multisport athletes are primed for gains when they eventually specialize.

These gains aren't conferred to the same degree if you specialize at age 12, though, because the foundation isn't build broadly enough and the injuries are extensive. Frank had a clean injury history and movement foundation, so we could progress quickly instead of putting a broken body back together.

5. Coordinating efforts across strength and conditioning, nutrition and skill instruction is key.

Synergy is a big differentiator for us at CSP; we make sure all these pieces fit together. Those entities require expertise and seamless integration.

Interesting in learning more about our baseball development offerings? Check out CSP-Massachusetts, CSP-Florida, or our online training offerings.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Current Concepts in Performance Training with Dan Pfaff

We're excited to welcome Altis Performance Coach Dan Pfaff to the latest podcast for a discussion of the key principles that enable coaches to have success regardless of the sport in question. Dan reflects on his beginnings as a teacher, and speaks to the areas that are the "next frontiers" for us to learn about as an industry. We ponder the question, "How strong is strong enough?" and also reflect on how training loads and time of year impact muscle vs. tendon injuries. We couldn't have come up with a more fitting guest for our 100th episode, as Dan brings a ton of experience and a wealth of knowledge.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 10-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 10 FREE travel packs - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

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Random Thoughts on Sports Performance Training – Installment 37

This edition random thoughts from around the field of health and human performance is long overdue. Because of this week's sale on my Medicine Ball Master Class (30% off at www.CresseyMedBall.com), we're going to hone in on medicine ball work.

1. Above all else, medicine ball work is awesome because of the crazy frequency at which it can be trained.

One of the overlooked features of medicine ball work is that it's almost purely concentric in nature. Aside from a bit of quick preloading, there isn't a ton of deceleration work involved - and that means it's extremely rare for athletes to be sore after participating in medicine ball drills. To that end, you can train rotational power very frequently and athletes won't feel banged up.

In many ways, this parallels what you see with tennis players, baseball players, soccer players, and football quarterbacks, and a host of other rotational sport athletes. They can participate in high velocity rotation almost every day and not break down. All we're doing with medicine ball work is moving a bit further up on the force side and down on the velocity side of the force-velocity curve - and that probably actually makes it safer.

2. If the technique looks terrible, the first step is to lighten the weight of the medicine ball.

Let's get this out of the way: throwing medicine balls isn't lifting weights. You don't get bonus points for going heavier; rather, the intent is to move a given load as fast as possible to optimize power output. For most folks, in the context of rotational power work, the appropriate load is 4-8lb. Very rarely will you see someone throw a 10- or 12-pound medicine ball really fast. The reason is simple: gravity creates a vertical path for the resistance (up/down), while we're trying to project the ball horizontally (this is one key advantage of Proteus, but that's a conversation for another day).

Beyond just the plane/load mismatch, you'll often see athletes' technique falter when the load gets heavier. Rotationally, the head often dives in front of the body as the center of mass is projected away from the load (and outside the base of support) as a way to counterbalance the load of the medicine ball. This prevents us from staying back ("head behind the belly button"), which is key for us to work into the front hip. If the head has already drifted too far forward, front hip pull-back can't take place.

In overhead stomp variations, you can typically work much heavier with medicine balls without compensations - especially with bilateral variations. Once a staggered or split stance goes into place, though, athletes will often "run away" from the med ball: they laterally flex the spine away from the medicine ball. In doing so, they make it impossible to work into the front hip.

3. Experiment with "layering" your medicine ball drills.

An approach I’ve used more in the past year is “layering” medicine ball drills. Essentially, you transition from basic to advanced over the course of a few sets. Each progression builds on the key competencies fine-tuned in the previous sets. In this video example, the progression is:

1️⃣ Rotational Med Ball Scoop Toss

2️⃣ Shuffle to Rotational Med Ball Scoop Toss

3️⃣ Change of Direction to Shuffle to Rotational Med Ball Scoop Toss

4️⃣ Double Play Rotational Med Ball Scoop Toss

The possibilities are endless as long as you know where to begin and where you’re trying to end up - and you appreciate which athletes are actually ready for the progressions. Additionally, you can improve them even more by working in fillers between sets to address whatever movement limitation is the bottleneck to their performance.

If you're interested in digging in deeper on the topic of rotation, I would strongly encourage you to check out my new Medicine Ball Master Class. I created this new resource in collaboration with Athletes Acceleration and it includes over 50 exercise demonstration videos, as well as my rationale for including them. Just visit www.CresseyMedBall.com to learn more. It's on sale for 30% off the normal price through Sunday at midnight.

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Daniel Ponce de Leon

We're excited to welcome St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon to the latest podcast. Daniel speaks to his wide-ranging college baseball experience, reflects on the minor league development that brought him to the big leagues, and tells the story of a life-changing head injury that occurred on the mound (which is also the subject of his new book, One Line Drive).

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 10-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 10 FREE travel packs - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
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