Home Baseball Content (Page 3)

Join the CSP Family from Afar: Online Training Now Available!

Since we opened Cressey Sports Performance in 2007, we’ve offered distance-based, online training. However, we were sticklers for quality control, so we only made it available to those who’d first visited one of our facilities for an in-person evaluation and some technique coaching. In short, we didn’t want to water down a product of which we were extremely proud.

Over the years, we’ve created systems that have allowed us to work from afar with folks all over the world. These clients range from Cy Young Award Winners, to Olympians, to triathletes, to weekend warriors. Of course, the majority are baseball players, our most well-known area of expertise.

Recently, we’ve toyed with the idea of expanding our online offering, but were waiting for the right time to offer it. And, given the circumstances surrounding the current pandemic, it would appear that the time is now.

You see, with all the cancellations and postponements in the baseball world over the past few months, we’ve been fielding hundreds of inquiries from players, parents, and coaches who are seeking direction as they prepare for uncertain baseball futures. And, in many cases, they do so with very limited equipment availability. We’re here to help.

With that said, you can now work directly with Cressey Sports Performance coaches via online consulting. To learn more and see if it’s the right fit for you, please reach out to us at csp.trainonline@gmail.com and tell us about yourself. We’re very confident that we can meet you where you are – and help you get to where you want to be.

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Tommy John Timelines with Stan Conte

We’re excited to welcome physical therapist Stan Conte to this week’s podcast for a detailed discussion of expectations surrounding Tommy John surgery. Stan is not only an experienced clinician, but also a prolific researcher in the baseball sports medicine world. With the prevalence of ulnar collateral ligament injuries in today's game, this podcast is a must-listen.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • How Stan’s career in professional baseball has evolved from the clinical setting into more research based work
  • How Stan was a part of the group that began the Health and Injury Tracking System (HITS), the first injury surveillance system in Major League Baseball
  • How the disabled list had long been utilized as more of a roster management tool than an injury prevention system
  • Why DL data is still nonetheless relied upon when analyzing medical history in pro baseball
  • What studies Stan has been a part of regarding Tommy John surgery, and how this research is shaping the way players are managed
  • How the increase in pitching velocity throughout the game of baseball has redefined the pressure put on prospects and led to throwing injuries in younger arms
  • Why no one really knows how long it takes a UCL graft to mature and what conclusions Stan has drawn from research and working alongside rehabilitating athletes
  • When the best time to begin throwing after Tommy John surgery is
  • Why having pain when throwing during Tommy John rehab is not normal and what protocols players can look to when setbacks arise
  • When flat grounds, bullpens, and simulated games should fit into a return from TJ throwing program
  • When Stan recommends the reincorporation of off speed pitchers in return to throwing programs
  • What the true success rate of UCL reconstruction surgery is
  • What common Tommy John perceptions are actually myths
  • Why the number of Tommy John revisions is rising and how long post-op are the majority of these revision surgeries occurring
  • What the difference is between UCL repair and UCL reconstruction, and when each is an option for patients
  • Despite the high success rate for pitchers with TJ surgery, why catchers see the lowest success rate from Tommy John
  • Where Stan would like to see more research done in the baseball performance industry
  • You can follow Stan on Twitter at @StanConte.

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 - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - 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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Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Beyond Pitch Design with Mark Lowy

We’re excited to welcome Cressey Sports Performance - Florida associate pitching coordinator and strength and conditioning coach Mark Lowy this week’s podcast for an in-depth discussion on how we create comprehensive development programs for our professional pitchers. Mark flies under the radar, but he's a tremendous asset to our offerings at CSP-FL and has built a loyal following of elite arms.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • How Mark Lowy and Brian Kaplan have expanded analytics in the off-season preparation of pitchers at CSP-FL
  • What work the CSP-FL pitching staff is doing to create individualized pitching reports for their pitchers
  • How Mark approaches collecting and compiling each pitcher’s pitching report and what makes CSP’s model and application of evaluating pitchers unique
  • How Mark’s role at CSP involves the translation of data and biomechanics into simple, understandable recommendations
  • Why Mark aims to be subjective before objective and apply a human element to his coaching and analysis of pitchers
  • Why you can’t make pitch design or pitch usage recommendations based purely off data
  • How understanding a pitcher and their approach influences how data is applied to their game
  • What is Mark’s primary focus when developing pitching skills with younger athletes and why building pitchability should evolve from what an athlete’s body allows them to do and what their delivery does for them
  • Why coaches need to appreciate pitchers’ unique attributes and avoid coaching towards average
  • How a player’s movement capabilities influence their mechanics and why appreciating how a player moves can explain the authenticity of their throwing motion
  • What aspects of the delivery impact horizontal and vertical release points in pitchers and how identifying and understanding specific release point trends can lead to the proper mechanical fixes
  • What vertical approach angle is and how it impacts how a hitter perceives a pitcher
  • When diving into player analytics, what are some numbers that blew Mark’s mind and caught his attention to look into further
  • How coaches need to appreciate how a pitcher’s arsenal plays uniquely to hitters
  • Why synergy between skill development coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, and sports medicine professionals is differentiated at CSP and how Mark uses his resources to create the best experience for his pitchers
  • What high school and college pitchers can do to best prepare themselves for success in baseball
  • You can follow Mark on Twitter at @Mark_Lowy and on Instagram at @CSPFL_Pitching.

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 - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - 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
Email
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Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Helping Hitters to Higher Ground with Doug Latta

We’re excited to welcome renowned hitting instructor Doug Latta to this week's podcast for an awesome discussion on hitting set-up, mechanics, and approach. Doug's one of the best in the business and he shared some tremendous insights in this discussion.

In lieu of a sponsor for this episode, we've got an exciting announcement. With this being our 50th episode, we're running a $50 off sale on my popular resource, Sturdy Shoulder Solutions. You can get the discount through this Sunday at midnight by heading to www.SturdyShoulders.com and entering the coupon code podcast50.

Show Outline

  • Why Doug was one of the pioneers for hitting the ball in the air and what resistance he faced as he advocated for this approach
  • What the misconceptions are about hitting the ball in the air in the hitting community
  • How coaches should reevaluate their methodologies and practices to ensure athletes are practicing swings that “play” in game scenarios
  • How the use of data in hitting instruction has brought a more outcome focused training approach
  • What hitters can do to stay on top of the revolutionary work in pitch design
  • Where the world of hitting is headed and where the industry is falling short for hitters
  • How Doug defines the concepts of getting to 50/50 and having balance in a swing, and why these concepts are so important
  • Why telling hitters to stay back is terrible advice and how players can create a backside-driven swing without compromising their balance
  • What coaching cues and interventions Doug utilizes to change old habits that are hindering a hitter’s ability to swing the stick
  • What key characteristics are non-negotiable for having an elite swing
  • Why the solution for movement patterns is often in the set-up, and how this principle relates to creating dominant hitters
  • What are some of the physical roadblocks Doug encounters in players’ movement profiles that limit their ability to get into the proper positions in the batter’s box
  • How a good swing looks consistent from younger levels all the way up to the big leagues
  • Why age 13-14 is a critical time to receive good coaching
  • Why young hitters should spend less time buying tokens and practicing their swing in a cage and more time mastering their set-up and move into their swing
  • What parents of young hitters can do to put their kids in the best position to be successful as a hitter
  • How 90% of what you do to become a good hitter doesn’t involve swinging a bat
  • What resources and professionals Doug recommends checking out for those interested in taking their knowledge of hitting to the next level

You can follow Doug on Twitter at @LattaDoug and learn more about him at www.BallYard.net.

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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Arm Care: Why Are We Still Talking About “Down and Back?”

Today's guest post comes from Eric Schoenberg, the physical therapist at Cressey Sports Performance - Florida and a great resource to the entire CSP team. Enjoy! -EC

To get right to the heart of what I'm covering today, I think it's best that we start with a video:

So, as you can infer, the reason we're still talking about "down and back" is because we need to! Athletes are coming into the gym every week after multiple surgeries or drops in performance with postures and movement patterns that are faulty and easily correctible.

Obviously, the down and back concept is not the only reason for this, but the idea of driving our scapulae into maximal adduction (retraction), downward rotation, and depression is certainly something that we can control and improve upon.

To set the record straight, the only time an athlete should receive this cue is when their arms are by their side (Deadlifts, farmer’s walks, heavy dumbbell holds for lower body lifts). Once the humerus starts to move away from the side more than 20-30 degrees, the scapula needs to start moving in the appropriate direction to keep ball on socket congruency and reduce mechanical stress to the neighboring soft tissue structures (labrum, rotator cuff, neurovascular structures).

On the performance side of things, the “down and back” posture (scapular adduction, downward rotation, and depression) limit the ability to get the hand out in front or overhead. This has obvious implications in overhead athletes.


 In the case of throwers, the difference in extension at ball release can vary by 3-4 inches depending on the position of the scapula. (as you can see in the comparison pics above and the video below).

When we don’t get full extension at ball release, any variety of downstream stresses can occur (aggressive elbow extension, lack of full pronation through the baseball) that result in increased injury risk and decreased performance.

As mentioned in the introduction video, we are bringing bad cues to good programming and it continues to result in faulty movement and injury. Even worse is when this “down and back” cue is brought into the rehabilitation setting and athletes that have already had surgery continue to experience symptoms similar to their pre-surgery presentation.

In conclusion, let’s continue to look at our cues and consider where the arm is in relation to the body when we decide to cue down and back. When the arms are by the side, then go ahead and cue the scaps down and back. However, when the arm is abducted to the side, overhead, layed back into ER, or out in front at ball release, we need to cue a degree of upward rotation and elevation to make sure the joint is aligned for success.

About the Author

Eric Schoenberg is a Physical Therapist and Strength Coach and the Owner of Diamond Physical Therapy located inside Cressey Sports Performance – Florida. Eric’s approach is to help athletes move more efficiently to reduce injury and improve performance. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @csp_physicaltherapy, or email him at eric@diamondphystherapy.com.

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: March 2020 Q&A with Eric Cressey

For this week's podcast, in lieu of a guest, I'm going to do a Q&A on a collection of baseball training questions that were submitted by listeners.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Marc Pro. Head to www.MarcPro.com and enter the coupon code CRESSEY at checkout to receive 10% off on your order.

Show Outline

  • How bullpen arms can arrange their lifting schedule to optimize their performance and feel prepared for each outing
  • How hitters can mitigate the stressors placed on the lead shoulder of their swing
  • What recent history and research says about bicep tenodesis and recovery and what baseball players should be aware of when considering this procedure
  • What high school coaches can do to best prepare their pitchers for week one of spring season

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Marc Pro, a cutting-edge EMS device that uses patented technology to create non-fatiguing muscle activation. Muscle activation with Marc Pro facilitates each stage of the body’s natural recovery process- similar to active recovery, but without the extra effort and muscle fatigue. Athletes can use it for as long as they need to ensure a more full and quick recovery in between training or games. With its portability and ease of use, players can use Marc Pro while traveling between games or while relaxing at home. Players and trainers from every MLB team - including over 200 pro pitchers - use Marc Pro. Put Marc Pro to the test for yourself with their new "Try Before you Buy" program, and use promo code CRESSEY at checkout at www.MarcPro.com for 10% off on your order.

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
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Aaron Civale

We're excited to welcome Cleveland Indians pitcher Aaron Civale to the latest podcast. He shares some awesome insights related to pitch design/execution, competitive mentality, and the benefits of strength and conditioning.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Marc Pro. Head to www.MarcPro.com and enter the coupon code CRESSEY at checkout to receive 10% off on your order.

Show Outline

  • What type of pitcher was Aaron in high school and how earned a spot at Northeastern University
  • What the biggest adjustment Aaron had to make as he transitioned into a college pitcher was
  • Why Aaron chose to embrace the natural cut of his fastball instead of fixing this unique trait that allowed him to put away hitters
  • How Aaron stumbled upon the feel for a slider mid-game
  • What adjustments Aaron had to make as he transitioned to pro ball after three years at Northeastern
  • How Aaron’s approach of pounding the zone and eliminating walks is contradictory to today’s baseball world
  • How Aaron arrived at his 6-pitch arsenal and how he has worked to differentiate each pitch
  • Why Aaron has always felt more comfortable throwing his two seam fastball and what work he has been doing this offseason at CSP to improve his four seam for 2020
  • How Aaron ended up finding a more comfortable slider grip while playing around with his two seam grip
  • How Aaron has developed a natural feel for spinning the ball from a young age and what he has done to ensure the differentiation of his two breaking balls
  • What traits Aaron thinks helped to give him immediate success at the Major League level
  • How possessing a process-oriented mindset and unwavering demeanor has inspired confidence in Aaron and provided the trust in his ability necessary to be dominant at any level
  • What made working with CSP-FL physical therapist Eric Schoenberg so impactful while rehabbing from a lat strain in 2018
  • What Aaron’s 5-day throwing and training routine looks like between starts
  • How Aaron’s game day routine is structured

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Marc Pro, a cutting-edge EMS device that uses patented technology to create non-fatiguing muscle activation. Muscle activation with Marc Pro facilitates each stage of the body’s natural recovery process- similar to active recovery, but without the extra effort and muscle fatigue. Athletes can use it for as long as they need to ensure a more full and quick recovery in between training or games. With its portability and ease of use, players can use Marc Pro while traveling between games or while relaxing at home. Players and trainers from every MLB team - including over 200 pro pitchers - use Marc Pro. Put Marc Pro to the test for yourself with their new "Try Before you Buy" program, and use promo code CRESSEY at checkout at www.MarcPro.com for 10% off on your order.

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: Bounce Drop Heiden with Medicine Ball

The Bounce Drop Heiden with Medicine Ball combines two of our favorite Heiden (frontal plane plyometric drill) progressions:

1. Dropping from elevation to increase eccentric overload (and increase storage of elastic energy)

2. Holding a med ball as a counterbalance to improve hip loading

Some key coaching points:

1. Don't let the knee slip into valgus (knees collapses in) on landing. A strong sagittal plane landing position should be following by power production laterally. You're loading the glutes in the sagittal plane and then unloading them in all three planes (especially the frontal plane). Don't put the knee in a vulnerable position to get these benefits.

2. The arms should not be rigid. In other words, holding the medicine ball shouldn't restrict a fluid arm swing.

3. Don't race through ground contact. The goal is to use the increased eccentric pre-loading to enable you to produce more force. There is a happy medium between spending too little time on the ground and shortchanging yourself vs. spending too long on the ground and wasting elastic energy. This video demonstrates that sweet spot well.

4. This is a late offseason progression for our advanced athletes. Don't give it to an untraind 14-year-old who's never lifted weights. They can start with regular Heidens (no elevation) and other landing and jumping progressions.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Tim Collins

We're excited to welcome Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Tim Collins to this week's podcast. Tim has a great story of not only getting to pro ball, but ascending to the big leagues at the height of 5-7. He's been a Cressey Sports Performance athlete for 13 years now, so it's a great discussion of long-term athletic development as well. 

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Marc Pro. Head to www.MarcPro.com and enter the coupon code CRESSEY at checkout to receive 10% off on your order.

Show Outline

  • How Tim transformed from a 4-7, 82 lb high school freshman into a 5-5, 120 lb MLB high school senior
  • How deception, great stuff, and dominance on the field earned Tim a draft spot out of high school with the Toronto Blue Jays despite being undersized
  • How impactful strength training and attention to detail in the kitchen were for Tim’s progression from a low 80s high schooler to a mid 90s pro arm
  • How Tim navigated minor league baseball as he climbed the ranks of the Jays minor league system
  • How being exposed to Alan Jaeger’s throwing philosophies in his time with the Blue Jays allowed him to appreciate the value of long toss, build arm speed, and recover adequately between outings
  • What the average person doesn’t understand about the minor league baseball lifestyle and how most players journey to the big leagues is far more difficult than most can comprehend
  • How pitching fearlessly and understanding he had nothing to lose propelled Tim through the minors and gave him the consistency he needed to keep advancing through the ranks
  • What differentiated Tim as a minor leaguer and what he did to “stick” in Major League Baseball
  • How young talent comprising the Kansas City lineup provided a unique chance for Tim to play a major role in 2011
  • Why developing a changeup was such an key factor in Tim’s MLB success, and what strategies he implemented to find consistency with this pitch after years of struggles
  • What mechanical changes Tim made between ’11 and ’12
  • How Tim developed the ability to spin the baseball and throw an elite curveball
  • What Tim’s mental cues are when throwing his curveball
  • After enduring the longest season of his career, a World Series run with the Royals in 2014, why Tim chose to have a nagging hernia repaired and what the implications were for this decision heading into the 2015 season
  • How recovering from hernia surgery into the 2015 season forced him to have a quick ramp up into 2015, resulting in a torn UCL in his first outing of spring training
  • After rehabbing for 12 months, why Tim had to undergo a UCL revision surgery
  • Why Tim quickly learned to appreciate that every rehab is different and how understanding to listen to his body over the experiences of other athletes turned out to be vital to his rehabilitation process the second time through
  • How Tim’s arm responded to the rigors of professional baseball after being completely out of competition for two years
  • What struggles Tim faced in 2017 as he climbed through the minor leagues again
  • What impact Mark Campbell, director of mental conditioning for the Washington Nationals, had on Tim’s return to the big leagues in 2018
  • What the biggest lessons Tim has learned from his injuries are

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Marc Pro, a cutting-edge EMS device that uses patented technology to create non-fatiguing muscle activation. Muscle activation with Marc Pro facilitates each stage of the body’s natural recovery process- similar to active recovery, but without the extra effort and muscle fatigue. Athletes can use it for as long as they need to ensure a more full and quick recovery in between training or games. With its portability and ease of use, players can use Marc Pro while traveling between games or while relaxing at home. Players and trainers from every MLB team - including over 200 pro pitchers - use Marc Pro. Put Marc Pro to the test for yourself with their new "Try Before you Buy" program, and use promo code CRESSEY at checkout at www.MarcPro.com for 10% off on your order.

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
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: February 2020 Q&A with Eric Cressey

For this week's podcast, in lieu of a guest, I'm going to do a Q&A on a collection of baseball training questions that were submitted by listeners.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • Why pitch counts are important, and how that importance relates to the SAID (specific adaptation to imposed demand) principle
    ● What coaches should consider when incorporating vertical pulling exercises with athletes who have a history of lat injury
    ● What the best exercises are for strengthening the deceleration muscles of the throwing motion
    ● What professionals should assess in an athlete when personalizing an arm care program

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 - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - 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
Email
Read more
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