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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Safer Sprint Training with Derek Hansen

We’re excited to welcome sprint training expert Derek Hansen to this week’s podcast for a great chat on fundamental of sprinting training, his unique approach to managing hamstrings injuries, and much more. Derek shares some general principles as well as specific applications to baseball preparation. CSP-MA Director of Performance John O'Neil takes the lead as a guest host as well.

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 Derek has become the speed-focused coach he is today and how he has become involved coaching national and professional sports teams across multiple sports
  • How Derek designs return to play programs for hamstrings strains and what success he has found transforming recovery times from 3-4 week to 7-10 days
  • How his atypical, acceleration-based program works to not only recuperate the injured hamstrings but build resiliency from future setbacks
  • What warnings Derek has for athletes overzealous to speed through a hamstrings recovery program
  • How Derek recommends to specifically integrate and progress sprinting into hamstrings strain rehab and why he prioritizes stride frequency over stride length early in the rehab process
  • Why Derek emphasizes stride frequency when training his athletes for speed and what tactics coaches should avoid and implement to encourage quality stride frequency
  • What the “10x10” is and why Derek utilizes this return-to-play program as the foundation for all his rehabilitation work
  • How coaches can best manage the volume of their athletes’ speed work
  • How baseball players can preserve their speed qualities in season
  • How the perspective of running has been tarnished in the recent history of sports performance and how Derek is working to transform the perspective on running
  • Why sprinting and lifting are not competing entities and how coaches can manipulate running dosage to elicit training effects regardless of an athlete’s current circumstance
  • What Derek’s advice is for athletes just beginning to utilize sprint work as their primary training approach
  • How mastering the initial acceleration of sprinting and training short bursts of 5-7 strides can go a long way in the development of an athlete
  • Where long distance sprinting (30+ yards) fits into the training of baseball players
  • Why 100% effort does not necessary mean 100% performance and how relaxation plays a role in moving at high speeds
  • What drills or cues coaches can use to teach being loose and relaxed as opposed to tensed and rigid when performing high-speed movements
  • How sprinting distance influences the specific demands of placed on an athlete
  • How sprinting can be programmed to address the different demands placed on baseball players by position
  • Why running technique and communicating effort of exertion are crucial for maximizing speed work in any population
  • What Derek’s coaching philosophy is and how he has learned to adopt a process-oriented approach for simplifying movement for his athletes
  • How coaches and educators can maximize the retention of their training interventions and encourage self-awareness and learning that will stick beyond a single training session
  • What common flaws Derek sees in baseball players’ running technique
  • What technical landmarks Derek is looking for when evaluating an athlete’s running mechanics
  • How posture directly influences an individual’s ability to put force into the ground
  • What role the arms play in efficient running mechanics and how focusing on the upper extremities can create positive change throughout the entire gate cycle
  • How coaching the hands can be used specifically to improve tempo and rhythm in the running motion without overcomplicating an individual’s thought process
  • Why a lack of strength is a poor excuse for avoiding speed work with young athletes and how Derek integrates speed-focused, power drills into youth population’s training
  • You can follow Derek on Twitter at @DerekMHansen and Instagram at @DerekMHansen.

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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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Avoiding Injuries When Baseball Restarts

We're back with Episode 61 of the Elite Baseball Development Podcast. In this solo episode, I speak about considerations relating to injuries as the baseball world opens up across multiple levels.

A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Rawlings. We’re ecstatic to announce a new partnership between Rawlings and Cressey Sports Performance, and they’ve set up a 20% off discount code on select products for our listeners. Just head to www.Rawlings.com and enter coupon code CRESSEY20 and you’ll receive 20% off on your order. Certain items are excluded, but there’s still a ton of great baseball training gear to make you a better player and coach.


Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Rawlings. If you want to develop faster, and train better, you need the best gear. Well, we have some good news for you. The #1 baseball brand in the world, Rawlings, has partnered with Cressey Sports Performance to make getting the best training gear for you more affordable. Simply head to www.Rawlings.com and use the code, CRESSEY20, at checkout and you’ll save 20% off your order! This offer is only valid on select items, but there’s a ton of great gear you’ll save 20% on that will help you become a better player, so shop now!

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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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 5/22/20

I hope you've had a good week. Here's a little content from around the 'Net to kick off your weekend on the right foot.

EC on the Just Fly Performance Podcast - I joined Joel Smith for a discussion on skill development, shoulder training, how our philosophies at Cressey Sports Performance have evolved over the years, and how I view/manage asymmetries in athletes.

Coach to Coach - This new book from Martin Rooney is a quick read, but one that includes several profound messages for coaches. I'd highly recommend it not only for young coaches looking to "find their way," but also veteran coaches who need to rediscover why they became coaches in the first place.

Michael Lewis: Inside the Mind of an Iconic Writer - I really enjoyed Tim Ferriss' interview with Michael Lewis, best known in my world for authoring Moneyball. He provided some cool insights on the origins of his research into baseball, and also intrigued me at some of the practices he's employed to develop as a writer.

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Here's a cool visual of the subscapularis, the largest of the rotator cuff muscles. In this video, you'll see its ability to internally rotate the humerus. More importantly, though, you have to appreciate what isn't seen here: the pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi muscles. You see, these powerful internal rotators (and others) attach further down on the humerus, which means that they don't have any direct control over the head of the humerus as they create that internal rotation, whether it's in a throwing motion, dumbbell bench press, or some other IR movement. The subscapularis absolutely has to be the largest of the rotator cuff muscles because it has to "keep up with" the largest muscles of the upper body to maintain keep the humeral head (ball) centered on the glenoid fossa (socket) during internal rotation. If it doesn't do its job, the humeral head glides can glide forward and irritate the structures at the anterior aspect of the joint: long head of the biceps tendon, glenohumeral ligaments, nerve/vascular structures, etc. 👇 This is a perfect illustration of arthrokinematics (subtle motions at joint surfaces: rolling, rocking, gliding) vs. osteokinematics (larger movements between bones: flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, ER/IR). Every gross movement of the body relies heavily on a finely tuned interaction between these two kinds of movement - and you'd be hard pressed to find a better example than subscapularis. #Repost @dr.alvaromuratore @get_repost_easily #repost_easily ****** El músculo subescapular esta ubicado en la cara anterior del hombro, su función principal es la rotación interna. En este preparado anatómico se puede ver al subescapular realizando rotación interna , además se observa la apófisis coracoides con el ligamento coracoacromial y el tendon de la porción corta del biceps. En El húmero se observa la porción larga del biceps cubierta por el ligamento transverso.

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Lou Trivino

We're excited to welcome Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Lou Trivino to this week's podcast. Lou is an awesome story of a minor league breakout player who quickly became an impact player at the MLB level.

A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Rawlings. We’re ecstatic to announce a new partnership between Rawlings and Cressey Sports Performance, and they’ve set up a 20% off discount code on select products for our listeners. Just head to www.Rawlings.com and enter coupon code CRESSEY20 and you’ll receive 20% off on your order. Certain items are excluded, but there’s still a ton of great baseball training gear to make you a better player and coach.

Show Outline

  • How being a three-sport athlete in high school impacted Lou’s early athletic development
  • How Lou ended up at Slippery Rock University out of high school
  • What transformed Lou from a Division 2 arm into an 11th round draft pick in 2013
  • Why Lou was unimpressive initially in pro ball but soon found himself as a transitioned from a starter to a reliever
  • How getting more rotational in his sparked a jump from 89 mph to 96 mph overnight
  • How Lou’s reason for coiling is rooted in maintaining counter rotation and feeling tension, and what thought helps Lou to coil effectively in his delivery
  • How Lou managed the switch from a starter to reliever
  • Why Lou has decided to showcase five pitches out of the pen, and what type of flexibility affords him
  • Why Lou cut back on throwing his cutter early in his professional career
  • How Lou reincorporated the cutter back into his game in 2017, at a higher rate than years prior, and how this pitch has defined his game since
  • Why he utilizes his cutter to gauge how in sync his delivery is, and how throwing an effective cutter is impacted by the movements earlier in the chain
  • How Lou taught Blake Treinen to throw his cutter and how a quality cutter is less about the perfect grip, and more about the approach behind the pitch and feel for the ball out of the hand
  • Why Lou oddly throws his 2-seam faster than his 4-seam fastball and how he has learned to differentiate these pitches
  • What Lou’s routine is for getting hot in the pen
  • How Lous structure his throwing in-season to remain prepared to throw in-game any day of the week
  • What Lou’s recovery process between outings and daily training sessions is
  • How Lou attacks strength training in-season without compromising his performance on the field
  • Who Lou’s favorite player to watch is
  • You can follow Lou on Instagram at @LouTrivino.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Rawlings. If you want to develop faster, and train better, you need the best gear. Well, we have some good news for you. The #1 baseball brand in the world, Rawlings, has partnered with Cressey Sports Performance to make getting the best training gear for you more affordable. Simply head to www.Rawlings.com and use the code, CRESSEY20, at checkout and you’ll save 20% off your order! This offer is only valid on select items, but there’s a ton of great gear you’ll save 20% on that will help you become a better player, so shop now!

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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Progression Strategies for Back Hip Loading

Today's guest post comes from Cressey Sports Performance - Massachusetts associate pitching coordinator, Jordan Kraus.

Skill coaches are often faced with the challenging task of addressing mechanical problems that are actually underlying movement inefficiencies. This is especially true with respect to different aspects of the pitching delivery, and today I will be discussing the back hip load. We place a lot of emphasis on mastering this initial move in the delivery because of the many of downstream effects it has. Simply put, if the first move in the sequence is poor, the subsequent moves won’t be very good, either.

The biggest challenge stems from the fact that pitching is a unique skill, and the movement patterns associated with it become very ingrained. It is very difficult to change these patterns within the confines of the mound and baseball in hand, so stepping away from the specialized task of throwing to create context for a new movement pattern can expedite the process.

Efficiently loading the back hip can be challenging because of the different planes of motion involved and the speed associated with a pitching delivery. The three movements we look for in the back hip are flexion, adduction and internal rotation. It’s important to note that not everyone’s load will be the same, but all will have varying degrees of each of these movements.

The following movements can be used to help facilitate positions we want to replicate on the mound. For simplicity, they are broken down into four categories: unloaded, loaded, dynamic, and skill-specific. Within each of the first three categories, the movements progress from sagittal, frontal, to transverse plane movements. The goal of the sagittal plane movements is to control hip flexion while shifting weight posteriorly. Next, we are progressing by shifting our weight posteriorly while moving laterally in the frontal plane. The third movement in each category combines all three planes of motion as we learn to control flexion, adduction and internal rotation. The final category is a medicine ball series that will help bridge the gap between movements in the weight room and the throwing motion.

1. Unloaded: RDL/1-leg RDL > Lateral Lunge > Bowler Squat

2. Loaded: KB RDL/1-leg KB RDL > KB Lateral Lunge > Rotational Landmine Press/Rotational Row

3. Dynamic: Drop Squat 2:1 > Low Box Shuffle w/Stick > Lateral Lunge w/ Fake Medicine Ball Chop

4. Skill-Specific: Rear Foot Elevated Medicine Ball Shotput > Step-Back Medicine Ball Shotput > Knee-to-Knee Medicine Ball Shotput

It’s important to note that there are plenty of other movement options and the progressions for these are not linear. Additional load or increased speed of a movement can sometimes produce a more favorable outcome, so there will always be a level of coaching required for exercise selection. Selection will depend on a variety of factors, including strength, athleticism, mobility restrictions, and individual compensation strategies. Once these movements become proficient, the next step would be to blend the new loading strategy into plyo drills, catch play, and ultimately to the mound. Changing the task can drastically improve motor learning, so don’t be afraid to have pitchers step away from the mound to create better movement patterns.

About the Author

Jordan Kraus serves as a Pitching and Strength and Conditioning coach at Cressey Sports Performance-MA. You can follow him on twitter and Instagram at @_JordanKraus_, or email him at JordanRKraus@gmail.com.

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Exercise of the Week: Bowler Squat to J-Band Y

This week's exercise of the week is the brainchild of physical therapist Eric Schoenberg, who works out of Cressey Sports Performance - Florida. When I first saw him implementing it with a patient, I immediately thought, "How have I never thought of it?" You see, this drill actually combines two of my favorite exercises: the bowler squat and the J-Band Y. In doing so, we get an awesome arm care exercise that integrates single-leg balance and hip mobility.

The bowler squat component delivers a triplanar challenge to the glutes, as you have to eccentrically control hip flexion, adduction, and internal rotation on the way down - and it's actually overloaded in the transverse plane by the pull of the band. Here are some coaching cues and notes:

1. The upper arm should be at about a 135-degree angle to the torso so that it's in the line of pull of the lower traps. The upper extremity action should actually be driven by scapular movement into posterior tilt.

2. Most athletes should start with a J-Band Jr. before proceeding to a regular thickness J-Band.

3. As the athlete approaches the bottom of the movement on the lowering phase, he should try to get more hip motion than upper back motion. Although both are necessary, we've seen a lot of athletes who jump dump over into thoracic kyphosis (rounding) when they start to struggle. In other words, use the hips to deliver the hands.

4. The head should remain in line with the body to preserve a neutral cervical spine.

5. I generally prefer this to be done barefoot or in minimalist sneakers, like I'm wearing. It can be helpful to cue the athlete into "tripod foot" or tell them to "grab the ground like you're trying to picking a basketball with your foot."

6. We like this as a warm-up exercise or "filler" between sets of medicine ball work. We'll program it for sets of 8-10 reps on each side.

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Kolten Wong

We're excited to welcome St. Louis Cardinals second baseman and 2019 Gold Glove Award Winner Kolten Wong to this week's podcast.

A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Rawlings. We’re ecstatic to announce a new partnership between Rawlings and Cressey Sports Performance, and they’ve set up a 20% off discount code on select products for our listeners. Just head to www.Rawlings.com and enter coupon code CRESSEY20 and you’ll receive 20% off on your order. Certain items are excluded, but there’s still a ton of great baseball training gear to make you a better player and coach.

Show Outline

  • How the culture of Hawaiian baseball played a role in Kolten’s development
  • Why Kolten chose to attend the University of Hawaii instead of signing professionally out of high school
  • Though known as a second baseman, how Kolten became recognized as a talented catcher in high school, and why he transitioned to play center field his freshman year at Hawaii
  • How Kolten seemed to smoothly transition through the ranks of professional baseball and into the big leagues
  • How straying away from his strengths and trying to be someone he’s not led to an underwhelming first month as a rookie and a trip back to AAA
  • What hitting adjustments Kolten made to bounce back from his initial setbacks and return to major league baseball to earn the NL Rookie of the Month in May 2014
  • After being sent down again in 2015, how Kolten’s experience as an outfielder at Hawaii and his willingness to be versatile allowed him to return to MLB as the Cardinals’ center fielder
  • Why he returned to the infield as a second baseman in 2016 and how Kolten has progressed to eventually become the outstanding defensive second baseman he is today
  • How critical self-evaluation and seeking out advice from knowledgeable veterans helped Kolten turn a corner in his game and develop an edge defensively
  • How understanding details of the game defensively has elevated Kolten games to a new level
  • What Kolten’s pre-pitch defensive routine is, and how did he come to find this optimal pre-pitch set up
  • How defensive training fits into his offseason schedule
  • How Kolten has come to be passionate about teaching the game of baseball to the next generation of players
  • What foundational skills and fundamental lessons Kolten always tries to pass on when working with a young ball player
  • Why getting in front of the baseball is not always the right move defensively, and how having the ability to field with one hand is an overlooked skill in the game if baseball
  • What Kolten’s glove care routine is, including: how often he replaces his glove, how he goes about breaking in a new glove, and why the glove is simply an extension of the hand
  • How Kolten trains to remain healthy and durable through the daily demands of being a position player
  • Why Kolten has shifted to incorporate more yoga into his training recently and how these difficult bodyweight positions are advancing his game physically and mentally
  • What Kolten believes is the best defensive play of his entire baseball career
  • You can follow Kolten on Twitter at @KoltenWong and on Instagram at @thewongone808.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Rawlings. If you want to develop faster, and train better, you need the best gear. Well, we have some good news for you. The #1 baseball brand in the world, Rawlings, has partnered with Cressey Sports Performance to make getting the best training gear for you more affordable. Simply head to www.Rawlings.com and use the code, CRESSEY20, at checkout and you’ll save 20% off your order! This offer is only valid on select items, but there’s a ton of great gear you’ll save 20% on that will help you become a better player, so shop now!

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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Key Considerations for Making the Most of At-Home Training

Today's guest post comes from Cressey Sports Performance - Massachusetts coach, Drew Cobin.

Due to the current status of our country and gyms being closed, a lot of trainers, coaches, and fitness influencers are posting at-home workouts all over the internet. This article will seek to help sort out some of the clutter and help coaches, trainees, and anyone interested to make better at home training decisions.

Now, the first logical question to ask when organizing at-home health/performance training is, what is the goal? This will dictate a lot of the important variables in the at home training program. While just doing something is probably better than nothing, not having a goal in mind will likely lead to mediocrity. This is because without a specific focus, the training strategy will likely be less successful, as it is pulled in too many directions.

It’s kind of like switching majors in college. If the goal is to get a specialized degree, the best course of action is probably to stick to one major and take all the classes that it requires. Getting the degree isn’t going to come easily or quickly, but sticking to one major will definitely lead to steady progress toward the end goal. Training is the same, working towards one goal and staying the course will lead to faster and longer lasting progress.

When choosing an at-home training program, you need to make sure that you consider three important factors: Specificity, Overload, and Fatigue Management/Recovery. Let’s look at each in a bit more detail.

Specificity asks, “Does the program involve exercises, volumes, and intensities that reflect the goal.” So, doing four sets of 50 jumps squats holding a baseball will likely not help that baseball player in search of his baseball performance goal because the exercise itself is not very sport specific, and the repetitions are too high to train for power given the intensity of this exercise.

In consideration of Overload, in order to improve the human system, getting temporarily worse will result in getting better according to Hans Selye’s GAS Model, and the principle of supercompensation. This means that resistance training itself does not build muscle, improve cardiovascular function, or shred body fat. In fact, it is the cessation of training when adaption or the physiological improvement, supercompensation occurs. A good training program will overload the system over time through appropriate periodization or the manipulation of volume and intensity over time allowing for adaption to occur.

Third, we have to account for Fatigue Management and Recovery, since the resistance training or exercise itself does not improve the system; rather, the subsequent tissue recovery and repair does. Too much fatigue can disrupt the system by inhibiting our ability to recover sufficiently. Fatigue is absolutely essential for improvement, but without proper management, it can cause diminishing returns. For example, going too heavy, training to failure too often, or inducing massive amounts of high intensity work can cause an acute or chronic performance decline. With the aforementioned 4x50 jumps squats example, imagine trying to do sprints right after: the sprints will surely be less effective than if you had done something less fatiguing prior. The same can be said for over-fatiguing in a more chronic manner; an example is training to failure multiple days in a row on deadlifts for multiple weeks. In this case, initial acute improvements may be made, but over time, injury may occur and/or performance will decline by neglecting to get enough recovery between high stress training sessions.

So, with that said, making sure the training stimulus is one that allows for quality stress or fatigue distribution daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly can be crucial in search of maximizing progress. One might ask, is this an exercise that is challenging enough, but allows for proper execution of the rest of the exercises in the program? For example, what might be more effective for strength gain: a) supersetting a high threshold compound strength movement like a deadlift with a low threshold coordination movement like a bear crawl, or b) doing four high threshold compound strength movements in a row back to back, like doing heavy deadlifts, then heavy squats, then heavy bench press, then heavy overhead press? The answer, of course, is the first selection – and then mixing in those higher threshold movements in over the course of the rest of the day or week.

Knowing this, what techniques might be most effective given limited equipment selection at home? Well first, let’s look at three training constants that directly apply to successful training stimuli in application of the GAS model to achieve the desired effects of supercompensation.

Three Ways to Stimulate Hypertrophy (Muscle Growth)

1. Mechanical Tension
2. Muscle Damage
3. Metabolic Stress

Now let’s say building muscle is the goal of an at home training program. The three ways to stimulate hypertrophy or muscle growth should all be included in making a training program effective.

Mechanical Tension represents increasing load on the tissue progressively, or simply using enough resistance. One strategy to do this at home would be to decrease the base of support in order to increase the resistance applied to one specific tissue. For example, in a squat, the prime mover is the knee joint, so in a training cycle, one could start with bilateral squats, progress to split squats, and then finally, single leg squats. This progression will apply more resistance through bodyweight and gravity alone on the quadriceps, glutes, and the stabilizer muscles involved in these movements.

The next order of business is to induce Muscular Damage. The eccentric or lowering phase of a movement will create the most muscle damage. So, we probably want to focus on the lowering phase of the squat, split squat, and single leg squat by spending the most time there. Five seconds or so down during each repetition will likely be a great strategy to induce muscle damage.

Lastly, we want to achieve higher levels of Metabolic Stress, which usually is done through using higher rep ranges. Different strategies such as intelligently designed supersets using not competing muscle groups, and things like 1.5 reps can also be effective for creating metabolic stress. In fact, in athletic performance training programs, achieving metabolic stress can occur in many different ways other than always doing high reps. Strength training occurs in the 1-5 rep range, so if the trainee wants to improve strength, searching for metabolic stress elsewhere may be best in certain situations. Isometrics can be huge for strength capabilities, so pairing an isometric squat variation of appropriate difficulty with a jump or sprint could be a great idea for an athlete while training at home.

Let’s sum it up:

1) Have a goal in mind.

2) Don’t freak out if you can’t train as much.

3) Your strength won’t decline so much that it won’t come back after these next couple of weeks; studies have shown that strength does comes back fairly quickly.

4) Do something fast! Power is the ability to produce force rapidly, and contrary to strength, it does tend to decline quickly. Luckily, power training can be trained easily with just body weight as resistance (sprinting, jumping, landing, shuffling, etc.).

5) Flush out internet programs or workouts by looking for a net positive gain. Look for Specificity, Overload, and Fatigue Management in a program, and look for Mechanical Tension, Muscular Damage, and Metabolic Stress, in a given workout. Then decide if a program or workout will result in a net positive towards your goal.

If learning more and training efficiently during these crazy times sounds intriguing, feel free to reach out to us at Cressey Sports Performance. We’re happy to help out with online programming to get you headed in the direction of your goals, regardless of your equipment limitations. Just drop us an email at csp.trainonline@gmail.com.  

About the Author

Drew Cobin, CSCS serves as a Semi-Private Strength & Conditioning Coach and Strength Camp Associate Coordinator here at CSP. He is a graduate of Central Connecticut State Uni​​​​versity, where he studied Exercise Science and played varsity soccer. Drew has experience coaching in many different avenues, but his great passion is in training for performance. He offers insight into cutting through some of the clutter, and staying on the path towards the goal. You can follow him at @drewcobin on Instagram.

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: The 2-Seam Roundtable

We're excited to welcome Major League pitchers Adam Ottavino, Corey Kluber, Blake Treinen, Brandon Kintzler, Mike Soroka, and Steve Cishek - along with CSP-Florida pitching coordinators Brian Kaplan and Mark Lowy - for a roundtable on the two-seam fastball. This podcast featured a lot of great insights for up-and-coming pitchers, and also a lot of great back-and-forth among some of the most accomplished pitchers in the 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 20% off on your order.

Because this podcast was filmed on Zoom and we featured screen shares of pitch profiles and demonstration of pitch grips, it's probably best watched on YouTube:

That said, you can also listen to it here:

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; use promo code CRESSEY at checkout at www.MarcPro.com for 20% 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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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 5/4/20

Here's a list of recommended reading/listening since our last update on this front.

EC on the Vigor Life Podcast - I recently joined my buddy Luka Hocevar on his podcast to talk about career development and the skill sets fitness professionals will need for the future.

Athletic Shoulders with Eric Cressey - I was also a guest on the Science for Sport Podcast, where we discussed preparing shoulders for competition, and touched on the difference between the private sector and working for a team.

Youth Single-Sports Specialization in Professional Baseball Players - This study was recently published in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine, and it shows the early specialization isn't the right path for developing a professional athlete. I thought that the most interesting part of the study was Figure 5, the Reasons for Single-Sport Specialization. It's implied that pressure from parents and coaches isn't a leading cause of early specialization, but I have a hard time believing that kids specializing before age 14 make that decision all on their own, and without outside influence.

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Everything works - until it doesn't. And, pushing maximal strength is certainly no exception. 👇 Early on, building strength is an absolute game changer. A little strength goes a long way in providing the foundation for joint stability, power, and endurance. Over time, though, added levels of strength don't provide the same significant return on investment (point of diminishing returns). Instead, you need more specificity to develop these qualities. And, the stress of continuing to push for maximal strength effectively squeezes out other training initiatives because it's competing for a limited recovery capacity. Eventually, pushing maximal strength actually interferes with the development of those qualities because it's such a massive toll on the body to preserve. And, the risk of injury during training rises exponentially. Quality of life goes down dramatically as lifters are constantly banged up in their quest to gain 5-10 pounds of bar weight in an entire training cycle. "It is what it is" if we're talking about a strength sport athletes where all that matters is what's on the bar. It's a terrible path to be on if we're talking about an athlete or just someone who wants to feel, look, and perform well in their daily lives. #cspfamily

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