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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Reid Detmers

We welcome Los Angeles Angels pitcher Reid Detmers to this week’s podcast. Reid is one of the most talented young pitchers in the game today, and you'll quickly realize in listening to this podcast that it's no accident. He's taken a very calculated developmental path from which many players, coaches, and parents can learn. We discuss his transition from college to pro ball, how his pitch mix has evolved, and - of course - his recent no-hitter.

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.

 
 

You can follow Reid on Twitter at @RDetmers and on Instagram at @ReidDetmers.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s a NSF-certified 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: Key Considerations Across All Sports with Mike Robertson

We welcome strength and conditioning coach, author, and speaker Mike Robertson to this week’s podcast. Mike's a long-time friend from whom I've learned a ton, and in this chat, we discuss commonalities across all sports in terms of assessment, programming, and coaching. We talk about training young athletes, developing coaches, and the never-ending pursuit of "better" in a dynamic industry.

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.

You can follow Mike on Twitter at @RobTrainSystems and on Instagram at @RobTrainSystems. Or, visit his website, www.RobertsonTrainingSystems.com.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s a NSF-certified 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 Movement Better: Positions vs. Pressures

About 15 years ago, I attended a two-day course with Dr. William Brady, a well respected chiropractor and manual therapist in the Boston area. During the event, he said this:

"Biomechanics is a combination of physics and biology. Put another way, it is the study of load applied to human tissue."

It was the most succinct and encompassing definition of biomechanics that I'd heard, so I frantically scribbled it down in my notes - and I've had it in the back of my mind to this day each time I've evaluated movement.

Assessments are very important. However, they're always limited in their scope, especially when an assessment is scaled back to a quicker "screen."

Just because someone has good passive range of motion on a table doesn't mean that they'll be able to pick that ROM up actively or demonstrate it in a weight-bearing athletic movement at higher speeds with higher forces.

Further, just because they look good at higher speeds with higher forces doesn't mean that there isn't an element of stress in the system that we can't appreciate.

And finally, that stress may be highly variable based on a wide variety of factors, both intrinsic (e.g., accumulated fatigue, growth spurts) and extrinsic (e.g., environmental conditions, terrain).

Tons of athletes can get to positions like this, but how many can do so safely - and repeatedly?

When I talk with athletes and review video, I always make sure that I'm discussing both positions and pressures. Range-of-motion is part of the discussion, but ground reaction forces and how we create stiffness via airflow/intra-abdominal pressure, neuromuscular recruitment, and the fascial system can't be overlooked.

This is why the industry-wide trend toward more comprehensive information gathering is invaluable. We've always had our classic orthopedic posture and ROM tests, usually paired with less-than-functional dynamometer strength measurements and some provocative tests to rule out the bad stuff. Now, though, we've got things like force plates to look at how we interact with the ground. And we've got the Proteus, which I've called a "rotational force plate" to help us determine how those ground reaction forces eventually work their way up the chain.

We've got far more tools for evaluating body composition, sleep quality, heart rate, fatigue status, workload, and much, much more. So, it's a very exciting time - but only if we appreciate that both positions and pressures matter.

Many of these principles are espoused in Mike Reinold and my Functional Stability Training series, so I'd encourage you to check them out if you'd like to dig deeper.

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Random Thoughts on Sports Performance Training: Installment 39

It's time for this month's installment of my random thoughts on sports performance training. In light of this week's $50 off sale (ending Sunday night) on Mike Boyle's outstanding resource, Complete Youth Training, I thought I'd focus this edition on the training of young athletes.

1. Warm-ups are important in youth sports, too.

If you've read this blog over the years, you've surely appreciate that I'm a big advocate for high quality warm-ups as a means of optimizing subsequent performance and reducing the risk of injury. However, I have to admit that most of my writing in this regard has been focused on more advanced - and older - populations, whether it's in baseball, strength training, or any other athletic discipline. Meanwhile, some of the youth sports warm-ups you'll see are far from comprehensive - and that's if they're actually present at all.

Fortunately, I now have a chance to correct this oversight by highlighting a recent meta-analysis, "Effectiveness of Warm-Up Intervention Programs to Prevent Sports Injuries among Children and Adolescents." You can check out the full text HERE. The brief synopsis of a ton of hard work by Ding et al. is that across 15 meticulously-selected studies of 21,576 total athletes (ages 7-18), a 15-20 minute warm-up reduced injury by 36%.

Beyond the obvious benefits of staying healthy, what's interesting about this outcome to me is that a variety of different warm-up initiatives worked to deliver this injury reduction. In older, more trained populations, more of the benefits are likely coming from increases in body temperature and, in turn, tissue extensibility. Conversely, in a younger, more untrained population we see in this meta-analysis, you're probably getting more chronic protection from injury because the warm-ups are delivering actual training effects: improved balance, added strength, optimized landing mechanics, and a host of other factors.

This makes me think that we can always benefit from "microdosing" important training initiatives with our athletes, and warm-ups are one avenue through which coaches can do so. It's interesting to consider whether the benefits would have been as pronounced if the drills were done at different times, but adaptation is adaptation, and the warm-ups are probably the best way to guarantee accountability in the group environment.

2. Ground-to-Standing Transitions may be the lowest hanging fruit for young athletes.

One of my closest childhood friends grew up on a farm. I'll never forget the first time I went to help him with baling hay; we basically walked/rode around a giant field for six hours, picking up and stacking these on the back of a truck.

I didn't bother to look up the weight of each until now, but apparently it ranges from 40 to 75 pounds. And, it would explain why my entire body was sore for about a week. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that same friend was a good three-sport athlete and state champion in wrestling. Obviously, the farm taught him how to consistently work hard. However, I can't help but think that the fact that most of those physical tasks - from baling hay, to feeding animals, to digging - all involve low to high force transfer - which isn't much different than a lot of athletic endeavors. If you don't live on a farmer, what are some good ways to challenge this dynamic in training beyond just the Turkish Get-up?

As you can see, these patterns can be trained at low and high speeds, with and without external load.

3. Global strength can be a means to accessing other patterns and reducing injury risk.

In another recent study, Relationships between Hip Strength and Pitching Biomechanics in Adolescent Baseball Pitchers, Albiero et al. delivered some interesting findings that aren't altogether surprising. Now, please keep in mind that I don't think that some non-weight-bearing dynamometer strength tests provide the most accurate reflection of functional carryover to performance, but in this particular study, they help to verify things that we probably already know:

a. Improved hip extension strength in throwers (shockingly) improves hip extension in the pitching delivery.

b. More hip extension strength is correlated with increased hip-shoulder separation.

c. Good hip-shoulder separation helps athletes translate pelvis rotational torque to the upper extremity.

d. Not surprisingly, previous research has demonstrated that increased hip-shoulder separation has previously been associated with higher pitching velocity and decreased humeral rotation torque and valgus elbow load.

The take-home message? Young pitchers need to get strong into hip extension to throw hard and stay healthy - and this benefit is likely delivered through hip extension's impact on "setting up" hip-shoulder separation. There's definitely a point of diminishing returns on hip extension ROM/strength and these benefits won't be further conferred on advanced pitchers, though.

Closing Thoughts

I could go on and on about lessons learned in training young athletes (and I might, at a later date), but in the meantime, I'd strongly encourage you to check out Mike Boyle's resource, Complete Youth Training. I loved this product as both a strength and conditioning coach and a parent. Mike did a tremendous job of outlining the problems in the current youth sports landscape while also including practical solutions to these concerns. You can learn more - and get $50 off through Sunday at midnight - HERE.

 

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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Contralateral vs. Ipsilateral Pressing and Rowing

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

The current sports performance training meta as it pertains to unilateral pressing and rowing exercises is to lean on contralateral variations as the default. This is because contralateral activities generally allow for greater force production due to the extension bias associated with those movements.

A problem with this is that cable exercises will always be harder to load than most pressing and rowing where dumbbells or kettlebells (and, of course, barbells) are involved. So, if 90% of the time we assume that cables are a poor choice when prioritizing load, what can we really use a cable press or a cable row to accomplish? I would argue that putting a dent in hip range of motion to allow for improved on-field movement is the best answer.

With a split-stance contralateral cable row, for example, the concentric portion of the movement is going to bias external rotation at the front hip. The actual activity of rowing is pulling us away from our front side. The flip side of this is when we find internal rotation on our front side during a split-stance ipsilateral row; the preponderance of concentric activity pulls us into our front hip.

The same logic applies to pressing. During a contralateral split-stance cable press, for example, the activity carries us into our front hip (IR), whereas an ipsilateral press is going to carry us out of our front hip (ER).

Now that we’ve established what we can accomplish with these movements in terms of rotation, we can make programming decisions based on the athlete we have in front of us. It’s important that we base these decisions on their task and performance as opposed to strictly looking at table range-of-motion measures (which may or may not tell us how they’re going to move on the field).

If we have a left-handed pitcher who struggles to find IR at their glove-side hip after front foot strike, a left-side only contralateral press and a right-side only ipsilateral row can be useful weapons. If we have a receiver or an attacker who struggles to juke and change direction at higher sprint speeds, leaning on contralateral rowing and ipsilateral pressing to get/keep them out of a hip can be a useful strategy.

Besides the obvious programming implications here, there is an important overarching rule that should be appreciated as well. It’s fine to have multiple priorities - qualities that you are training for - within a program, but we get in trouble when we try to use an exercise to target multiple or all qualities at once. Cable rows and presses are perfect examples.

[bctt tweet="When we use an exercise to improve both force production and range of motion, we end up doing neither to the extent that we desire. We'd be wise to learn from the Latin writer Syrus, who said “To do two things at once is to do neither”."]

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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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Packy Naughton

We welcome St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Packy Naughton to this week’s podcast. I've known Packy since early in his teenage years and seen his development as a high school, college, and professional pitcher. In this conversation, he shares some great insights on the Tommy John rehab process, and what young players can do to take ownership of their careers.

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.

 

You can follow Packy on Instagram at @Packy_Naughton.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s a NSF-certified 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: Barbell Drop Split Squat

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

The Barbell Drop Split Squat is a lift we’ve been using with some of our stiffer athletes this time of year (transition from spring to summer season) at CSP. While it can be done with a safety squat bar, goblet set-up, or back squat position, this video depicts the anterior loaded (front squat grip ) version:

A majority of the high level arms we see are stiffer through their lower bodies, especially in terms of internal rotation. This is usually fine if they have adequate external rotation elsewhere - allowing enough range of motion on the mound to get into and out of positions and produce velocity/spin, ideally without mandating undesirable consequences up the chain (i.e., excessive spine or shoulder motion).

The athlete in this case doesn’t have the ROM to get into the bottom of a split squat or reverse lunge without discomfort or suboptimal mechanics, so we use the drop squat instead. By momentarily unweighting the pelvis on the front side (relative to the backside), he finds a position of IR at the bottom that he otherwise wouldn’t be able to. This is a great example of how we can still work on traditional output qualities without compromising on positions.

An ancillary benefit here is finding a jump from eccentric to concentric orientation and from ER to IR as quickly as possible, which we otherwise don’t see a ton of in the gym - especially with classic "lower body" lifts. Additionally, an athlete has to work to quickly develop force - which typifies the front hip pull-back that takes place with hitting and pitching.

All of this comes together to make the drop split squat a great choice for baseball players this time of year. We can effectively work around dramatic ROM issues that would otherwise take months to clean up (save it for the offseason), while keeping our guys athletic and letting them get into and out of important positions with load/velocity in the gym. If you have someone who’s in-season or a few weeks out, stick to 3-4 sets of 3-4 reps per side.

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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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: June 2022 Q&A

It's been a while since we featured a Q&A on the podcast, so in this episode, I cover three questions from our audience:

1. A while back, I heard you mention that you’d rather have an athlete be too tight than too loose. Can you please explain why?

2. Is the high-low model useful for position players in-season? Or are there better strategies?

3. You spend a lot of time talking about training on the podcast, but what about recovery? Anything in particular that you’re high on?

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 an exclusive discount on your order.

 

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 and use promo code CRESSEY at checkout at www.MarcPro.com for an exclusive discount 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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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Navigating Youth Baseball Development and College Recruiting with Walter Beede

We're excited to welcome baseball dad, coach, author, and consultant Walter Beede the latest podcast for a multifaceted conversation on a wide variety of topics that are essential for baseball families to understand. I've known Walter for over 15 years, and in addition to having more passion for baseball than anyone I've ever met, he's also helped a ton of families navigate the travel ball and college recruiting landscapes. Walter's new book, The Process, is must-read material for all families who have kids who play this great game.

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 an exclusive discount on your order.

 

You can follow Walter on Twitter at @BaseballLifer11.

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 and use promo code CRESSEY at checkout at www.MarcPro.com for an exclusive discount 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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Email
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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Boosting Athlete Buy-in with Brett Bartholomew

We welcome author, speaker, and strength and conditioning coach Brett Bartholomew to this week’s podcast. While many coaches have focused exclusively on the minute details of sets and reps, Brett has done a great job outlining the importance of relationship-building in the overall training process. In this discussion, he talks about strategies for improving athlete buy-in, approaching hard conversations, and developing long-term sustainable rapport. I really benefited from this chat, and I'm sure you will, too.

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.

You can follow Brett on Twitter at @Coach_BrettB and on Instagram at @Coach_BrettB. Or, visit his website, www.ArtofCoaching.com.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s a NSF-certified 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
Email
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LEARN HOW TO DEADLIFT
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