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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Julian Merryweather on JuCo Benefits, Velocity Surges, and Durability Discoveries

We welcome Chicago Cubs pitcher Julian Merryweather to the latest podcast. We talk about the advantages attending junior college afforded him; what factors were key to his velocity improvements; and the strategies he employed to have a career year in terms of performance and durability in 2023.

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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2023 Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sales!

Just like everyone else on the planet, I'm offering some great Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. We're just going to kick it off a week early so you have time to sort through it all! From now through Monday (11/27) at midnight, you can get 25% off the following resources by using the coupon code BF2023 at checkout.

These eight resources can be purchased through my secure website:

Sturdy Shoulder Solutions - My most recent product release delves going into a ton of depth on some important topics with respect to upper extremity evaluation, programming, and training. Learn more HERE.

CSP Innovations - A collaborative effort by the Cressey Sports Performance staff about a variety of topics. Learn more HERE.

The Specialization Success Guide - A great resource for those looking to pursue strength gains on the big three (squat, bench press, deadlift). Learn more HERE.

The Ultimate Offseason Training Manual - This was the first book I wrote, and it's stood the test of time because of how much of the writing was based on principles that'll last forever. Learn more HERE.

Understanding and Coaching the Anterior Core - A presentation that will bring you up to speed on an important aspect of core training for health and high performance. Learn more HERE.

The Truth About Unstable Surface Training - This e-book covers one of the more controversial topics in the training and rehabilitation worlds today. Learn more HERE.

Everything Elbow - A quick presentation that highlights the key aspects of taking care of throwing elbows. Learn more HERE.

The Art of the Deload - A special report that helps you sort through various approaches to deloading in training programs. Learn more HERE.

And, these two resources I co-created with Mike Reinold can be purchased through his website:

Functional Stability Training (includes Core, Upper, Lower, and Optimizing Movement) - We cover everything from assessment, to programming, to coaching cues, to bridging the gap between rehab and high performance.

Optimal Shoulder Performance - This is a great "primer" on the basics of the shoulder.

Remember, just enter BF2023 to get the discount.

Enjoy!

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Making the Most of Force Plates with Drake Berberet

We're excited to welcome Hawkin Dynamics Vice President of Performance and Brand Marketing Drake Berberet to the latest podcast for an in-depth discussion of how force plates can be used for both performance and rehabilitation. Drake's been a great resource to me, and in this podcast, he shares some insights that benefit both those who already use force plates, as well as those who are considering investing in them.

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!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Scrutinizing Return-to-Play Practices with Doug Kechijian

We’re excited to welcome physical therapist Doug Kechijian to this week’s podcast for an awesome discussion of return-to-play practices for injured athletes. Doug has taken a deep dive into this realm over the past few years as he prepares to publish a book on the topic, and his insights on this podcast bring to light some invaluable considerations for players, parents, coaches, and rehabilitation experts. 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, AG1. Head to https://www.DrinkAG1.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 10-pack of AG1 travel packets with your first order.

 

You can follow Doug on Twitter at @GreenFeetPT, or visit www.ResilientPerformance.com.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by AG1. AG1 is your daily foundational nutrition; it has 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s foundational nutrition needs across five critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. It is the new and future way of getting a multivitamin, and a whole lot more. Head to www.DrinkAG1.com/cressey and claim my special offer today – 10 FREE travel packs – with your first purchase. I use AG1 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

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Tommy Doyle on Tall Athletes, Shoulder Surgery, and Bullpen Success

We welcome Colorado Rockies pitcher Tommy Doyle to the latest podcast. We cover a number of different topics related to his development, including his college recruiting process; strategies for training as a taller pitcher; bullpen success, and rehabilitation from shoulder surgery.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, AG1. Head to https://www.DrinkAG1.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 10-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by AG1. AG1 is your daily foundational nutrition; it has 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s foundational nutrition needs across five critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. It is the new and future way of getting a multivitamin, and a whole lot more. Head to www.DrinkAG1.com/cressey and claim my special offer today – 10 FREE travel packs – with your first purchase. I use AG1 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

What Are “Perfect” Pitching Mechanics?

There's no such thing as "perfect pitching mechanics" for EVERYONE, but there are some key strategies for engineering a delivery that works best for YOU. Check out today's video to learn more:

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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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Digging in on Diagnostic Imaging

After a little podcast hiatus, I'm back with a solo episode. In this podcast, I discuss some common incidental findings on diagnostic imaging - MRI, x-ray, CT scans - in baseball players. These are very important considerations both for player advocacy purposes, and also for us appreciating how to keep the next generation of players healthy.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, AG1. Head to https://www.DrinkAG1.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 10-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

 

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by AG1. AG1 is your daily foundational nutrition; it has 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s foundational nutrition needs across five critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. It is the new and future way of getting a multivitamin, and a whole lot more. Head to www.DrinkAG1.com/cressey and claim my special offer today – 10 FREE travel packs – with your first purchase. I use AG1 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

Big League Pitchers, Big League Variability

After a question from a father about his son's inconsistent pitching velocity, I thought a case study might be the best way to attack the answer. With Zack Wheeler consistently performing at a high-level this post-season, he seemed like the perfect pitcher to examine in the context of this question:

Believe it or not, I wrote a more detailed article about this six years ago, so be sure to check it out, if you missed it back then: Are Pitching Mechanics Really That Repeatable?

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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Cressey Sports Performance – Florida Job Posting: Pitching Coach (10/18/23)

With the growth of our Palm Beach Gardens, FL facility, Cressey Sports Performance - Florida is looking to add another pitching coach to our team this fall.

This position will be involved with working with clients ranging from middle schoolers all the way up to major leaguers.

Responsibilities for this position include:

  • Pitching coaching in both semi-private and private formats
  • Overseeing pitching consultations, including video breakdown and data analysis
  • Writing throwing programs
  • Participating in staff and intern educational in-services
  • Assisting with the setup and analysis of pitching biomechanics assessments
  • Working as part of a staff in youth baseball camps and community outreach

Qualification Requirements:

  • Experience working with baseball populations
  • Willingness and ability to collaborate with sports medicine professionals and strength and conditioning coaches
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Proficiency in written communication and with Microsoft Office
  • Familiarity with social media platforms
  • Experience working with pitching-related technology (Rapsodo, Trackman, Edgertronic cameras)
  • Familiarity with modern analytics
  • Desire to work as part of a team

This is a full-time position with benefits, and it's a great opportunity to be part of a rapidly growing, innovative department of our operation.

Applicants can submit resumes and cover letters as a single PDF document to CareersatCSP@gmail.com. The deadline for applications is November 1, 2023.

Cressey Sports Performance is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will be considered regardless of race, gender, creed, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship status, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any other status protected under local, state, or federal laws.

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So You Can’t Squat?

The squat has been hailed as “the king” of all strength training exercises – and rightfully so; it’s a compound exercise that activates a ton of muscle mass and improves lower body strength and athleticism arguably better than any other exercise. The only problem?

A lot of people have horrendous squat patterns.

Seriously, some people put a bar across their upper back and immediately start to look like the brutally unathletic kid who always got picked last during the recess football draft during elementary school. No matter how much he liked football, it didn’t matter because his body was fighting him the entire way.

Now, there are a lot of different reasons your squat pattern might be out of whack. It could be a mobility problem, a stability problem, or just a technical flaw. Regardless, you don’t just want to plow through things; you need to earn the right to squat under load. With that said, I want to use today’s article to discuss a five options for replacing squatting in your program without losing out on the ability to really crush your lower body. With The High Performance Handbook on sale, it seemed like a good time to highlight how any effective strength and conditioning program is versatile enough to be modified for different goals and movement patterns.

Option 1: Simply elevate the heels.

I used to be down on squatting with a heel lift, but the truth is that it's a pretty fool-proof way to quickly reposition the center of mass and help folks get depth. A 5- or 10-pound plate works fine, but I really prefer using a firmer slantboard/wedge whenever possible, as it's a sturdy, uniform construction.

Option 2: Use box squat variations.

The great thing about the box squat is that it’s more about sitting back than it is sitting down. As a result, you can get the benefits of axial loading – the bar on your upper back (back squat) or the front of your shoulders (front squat) – without the same hip and ankle mobility requirements.

You’ll build up more of your posterior chain – glutes, hamstrings, and adductor magnus – with the box squat, but that’s certainly not a bad thing for most lifters!

Just be mindful about not getting ultra wide with your stance and arching your lower back aggressively through the entire set. That might be good for powerlifters looking to shorten their ROM, but it's not ideal for long-term health.

Option 3: Try axial-loaded single-leg exercises.

Squatting heavy is definitely hard. However, doing really heavy single-leg work can be even more brutal on your lower body because you have to do twice as many sets (left and right). Here’s one of my favorites:

As an added bonus, single-leg work tends to be more spine friendly, for those of you with cranky lower backs.

Option 4: Deadlift more frequently.

If squats are king, the deadlifts have to at least be the heir to the throne, as there are a lot of people who’d insist that lifters actually get more out of heavy deadlifts. And, while they’ll build you up differently than squat variations do, at the end of the day, as long as you’re including a wide variety of exercises in your strength training program, the difference between one squat vs. deadlift session per week will be negligible.

Option 5. Try high-rep goblet squats.

In many cases, giving someone a counterbalance out in front can help them to correctly groove a squat pattern. With that in mind, high-rep goblet squats can be a great finisher to a lower body training session. Try doing two sets of 30 reps, or one set of 50:

You can also do 1-arm KB front squats, where you just hold the KB in the rack position. Doing a set of 10/side can be incredibly fatiguing.

Option 6. Try pistol squat variations.

The biggest concern with poor squat form with a bar on your back is that you’ll go unto lumbar flexion (rounded lower back) under load. With pistol squat variations, you won’t be using much (if any) external loading, so you don’t need to worry about going into a little bit of lower back rounding. If you’re looking for the best replacement for deeper squatting, I think the best bet is the band-assisted pistol squat in the rack, where you use a band as an accommodating resistance. The higher up on the band you hold, the easier the exercise will be.

Conclusion

It goes without saying that the best programs are the ones that are customized to your unique issues – one of which may be an inability to squat. And, just because you can’t squat doesn’t mean that you can’t still get after it in the gym.

If you’re looking for a strength and conditioning program that includes self-assessments so that you can identify your unique needs, I’d encourage you to check out my flagship resource, The High Performance Handbook. For more information, click here.

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

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LEARN HOW TO DEADLIFT
  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series