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Why I’ve Gotten Away from the “No Money” Drill (Video)

I first came across the "No Money" drill for scapular control and rotator cuff activation/strength back around 2008, and introduced it to a lot of people when I included it in my first book, Maximum Strength.

At the time, I was working heavily in the general population segment and hadn't gotten as entrenched in the baseball world as I am now. So, like a carpenter who only had a hammer, I started thinking everything was a nail - and logically applied the No Money Drill with all our baseball athletes.

The more time I spent around baseball players, though, the more I realized that the No Money Drill was actually feeding into the negative adaptations we saw in them: a loss of scapular upward rotation, lat stiffness, lumbar extension syndrome, etc. As a result, we've gotten away from the drill with most of our overhead athletes (depending on what we see in an evaluation). Check out this video to learn more:

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

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Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Mike Soroka

We're excited to welcome Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Soroka to the podcast. A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Lumberlend. Head to www.Lumberlend.com and enter the coupon code CRESSEY to get 10% off on your order as you customize a bat mug today.   

Show Outline

  • How growing up playing baseball in Canada influenced Mike’s early career
  • How playing for the Canadian national team as a teenager allowed Mike to compete against the best and learn to fail forward at a young age
  • How Mike transformed from a lanky 6-2, 140-pound high school ball player to one of the youngest players in the big leagues
  • What has led Mike to his unique pitching delivery and what positions he prioritizes feeling throughout his throwing motion to remain consistent while still preserving his deception on the mound
  • How Mike differentiates his two-seam and four-seam fastball
  • How Mike learned to spin and manipulate the movement of a baseball by playing with a Wiffle Ball as a kid
  • What key skills and major adjustments helped Mike progress through the minors quickly
  • How learning to command the zone, specifically in different counts, has given Mike an edge in pro ball
  • How having a true grasp of reality and embracing a growth mindset have allowed Mike to shape his mentality to be a mature and successful young pitcher
  • Why making mental adjustments are just as influential as making mechanical adjustments when working to be consistently successful, and how learning to make adjustments on the fly have given Mike an advantage
  • How Mike’s curiosity for answers and appreciation for details have allowed him to master the intricacies of the game of baseball
  • How Mike structures his throwing and training programs on a 5-day rotation, and how he takes advantage of the high-low model to manage stress throughout the season
  • What Mike’s schedule is on game day

You can follow Mike on Instagram at @mikesoroka_ and on Twitter at @mike_soroka28.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Lumberlend Co. If you're looking for a unique gift for a baseball fan in your life, you'll definitely want to check this out: they've hollowed out the bat barrel and created a cool drinking mug. You can customize these with colors, names, logos, and photographs. They're also an officially licensed MLBPA product, so you can get your favorite teams and players incorporated into the designs. I've used these as gifts with great feedback, so I'm confident you'd experience the same. Just head to Lumberlend.com and enter the coupon code CRESSEY to get 10% off as you design yours today.

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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Pitchers vs. Swimmers

I evaluated a baseball pitcher (left) and swimmer (right) back to back yesterday. It should serve as a reminder that not all overhead athletes are created equal - both in terms of the demands of their sports and the way they adapt to those demands.

The pitcher is a classic scapular depression example. Notice how “flat” the clavicle presentation is. He’s very lat dominant and struggles to get scapular elevation as part of upward rotation as the arms go overhead. He needs more upper trap activity.

Conversely, the swimmer is a scapular elevation presentation. Notice the significant upslope of the collarbone. He’s already so elevated that he struggles to get the rotational component of upward rotation. He needs more serratus anterior and lower trap, but less upper trap.

Three huge takeaways:

1. This is yet another reminder that you can’t just have a “rotator cuff program.” Both of these guys could present with the same pathology, but with completely different underlying movement diagnoses.

2.  The same exercises might need to be coached differently for two different athletes

3. Whenever you see tightness, before you stretch it, ask why it’s there. With the pitcher in scapular depression, it’s a protective tension you don’t want to just stretch out. The swimmer could actually benefit.

I cover these topics in great detail in my Sturdy Shoulder Solutions resource; you can learn more at www.SturdyShoulders.com.

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Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Making Nutritional Changes Stick with Dr. John Berardi

We're excited to welcome the co-founder of Precision Nutrition, Dr. John Berardi this week's podcast. In lieu of a sponsor this week, we've just got a reminder about this year's fall seminar and business building mentorship at CSP-MA. They'll take place September 21-23; you can learn more HERE.

Show Outline

  • How Berardi became the fitness influencer and successful businessman he is today
  • Where Precision Nutrition began, and how John has grown a massively successful company in the health industry
  • What the core values and mission of Precision Nutrition are
  • How John differentiates Precision Nutrition through the creation of digestible, interactive content and what John’s model is for mastering marketing and creating influential content consistently
  • How understanding the basics of nutrition and executing the simple things at the table are the common problems of all populations John works with
  • What John’s first step is when working with a new client looking to change their eating habits
  • How John works to define his client’s health goals and identify their dietary limiting factors in order to drive behavioral changes that will yield results
  • Why John strives to inspire autonomy in his clients by creating a simple nutritional plan built on small changes rather than creating a complicated, restrictive eating experience with rules and regulations
  • How parents can learn to speak more effectively with their children about food and what strategies they can implement to create an atmosphere of happy, healthy eating
  • How John approaches educating his athletic populations about nutrition
  • How John deals with athletes who want to make drastic changes to their eating habits and experiment with a new type of eating (i.e. keto, gluten-free, vegan, etc.)
  • How John would update his “7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutrition Programs” if he were to rewrite them today
  • How individuals can fine tune their eating environment and become more attuned with their hunger and appetite
  • How John’s new book, can help health and fitness industry professionals learn more about business, building a reputation, and orienting a career
     
  • Here's where you can find John and Precision Nutrition on the web:

    Precision Nutrition (Facebook)
    Precision Nutrition (Instagram)
    JohnBerardi.com
    PrecisionNutrition.com
    ChangeMakerAcademy.com

    And, to pre-order his new book, head to the following link: Change Maker: Turn Your Passion for Health and Fitness into a Powerful Purpose and Wildly Successful Career

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 with Alex Wood

We're excited to welcome Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Alex Wood to this week's podcast. 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 undergoing Tommy John surgery his senior year of high school impacted Alex’s progression as a ballplayer
  • How arriving to the University of Georgia with an elbow injury his freshman year was a blessing in disguise
  • How Alex was game ready 10 months post Tommy John but why he instead chose to redshirt his freshman season and wait to return to playing until summer ball
  • How Alex has mastered his unorthodox pitching delivery through the course of his career
  • What positions Alex strives to hit consistently in his throwing motion
  • How Alex fast tracked through the minor leagues and what lessons Alex learned quickly as a young big leaguer
  • How MLB veterans like Brian McCann and Mike Minor aided in his transition into a MLB starter
  • What changes Alex made to his pitching approach to have a breakout season with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017
  • How Alex succeeded with only a fastball and change-up all the way up to the big leagues and why he chose to add a spike breaking ball into his arsenal upon make it to “the show”
  • How Alex manages his in season and off season throwing regimes
  • What Alex does pitch-by-pitch, in-game to control the flow of the game
  • How pitchers can build rapport and better manage the minute details of an outing with their catcher
  • What coaching qualities Alex sees as most impactful, and how players should utilize great coaches to take accountability of their own career and develop into their own best coach
  • You can follow Alex on Twitter at @AWood45 and on Instagram at @AWood45.

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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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 7/26/19

Here's a little recommended reading/listening to take you into the weekend:

Naval Ravikant Podcast Compilation - I mentioned this in a blog earlier this week, so it warranted reiteration: this is the best podcast I've ever listened to, and it's not even close. The title is "How to Get Rich," but I look at it far more from a career planning standpoint than truly just accumulating money. He shares some outstanding insights on wealth vs. status. Listen to this with a notebook ready; you'll have a ton of one-liners to write down.

EC on the School of Calisthenics Podcast - Here's another podcast that I hopped on a few weeks ago. We talked a lot about shoulder function, particularly as it relates to bodyweight training.

Will the Approaching Recession Bury Your Fitness Business? - My business partner, Pete Dupuis, just published this and I think it's a must-read for any gym owner in light of what seems likely to occur in the next year or two.

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It’s not uncommon to hear overhead athletes say that they avoid overhead lifts as a way to protect against injury in training or as a way to “save bullets. Unfortunately, they fail to recognize that going overhead: 1️⃣ improves shoulder flexion mobility 2️⃣ enhances scapular upward rotation 3️⃣ challenges reflexive rotator cuff recruitment 4️⃣ trains core control and lower-to-upper body force transfer 🤔 The truth is that overhead reaching - both unloaded and loaded - is incredibly important for counteracting some of the negative adaptations we see with throwers. The secret to making overhead training work in these populations is to appropriately select drills that are a good fit for each athlete’s movement competencies. A TRX Y or bottoms-up KB waiter’s wall are much less stressful than a barbell military press. #cspfamily

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Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Should Pitchers Distance Run?

I'm flying solo for this week's podcast, as I wanted to tackle a controversial topic in the world of baseball development: distance running. Before we get to it, though, 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 “traditionalism” is so rooted in baseball, leading to distance running becoming commonplace
  • How athletic performance is a multifactorial equation and coaches should avoid pinpointing success to one specific methodology and being married to the n=1 training approach
  • Why skill coaches need to appreciate the dynamic nature of exercise science and understand that what we know about training athletes is remarkably different from decades prior
  • How the athletes playing baseball have grown to be bigger and heavier over the decades and what the implications are for using outdated training practices with this new breed of baseball players
  • How physiological adaptations are incredibly specific
  • Why coaches need to better understand the energy system demands of baseball and employ methodologies that build an aerobic base rather than thrash their athletes and end up training the players anaerobically
  • Why clearing lactic acid is a poor excuse for using distance running and what the real reasons are for feeling fresh after long distance, low intensity running
  • Why building an aerobic base is necessary for athletic performance and vital for acute and chronic recovery
  • How training an aerobic base requires a much lower intensity than most athletes and coaches think
  • Why using a low amplitude, low variability movement, like distance running, is insufficient for training a high amplitude, low variability movement, like pitching
  • How coaches can implement more practical methods, such as mobility circuits, to drive adaptations, preserve strength and power qualities, and optimize recovery
  • When the ideal time is to target the aerobic system – and how these benefits can best be preserved throughout a season

Mentioned Resources: Building Aerobic Capacity with Mobility Circuits

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 with Brandon Kintzler

We're excited to welcome Chicago Cubs reliever Brandon Kintzler to this week's podcast. 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 Brandon progressed from being a two-time 40th round draft pick out of Dixie State University to an MLB All-Star (while being released and going to Independent ball along the way)
  • How training to be healthy and durable allowed him to become a student of the game, recover from his injuries, and find success in pro ball
  • How Brandon has learned to effectively throw a sinker
  • Why having good direction in your delivery and mastering your lower half mechanics is essential to be able to stay behind the baseball, create late arm speed, and power through a two-seam fastball
  • Why Brandon chooses to stick to his strengths and hold firm in his belief in the effectiveness of his two-seam even while so many MLB pitchers shift toward 4-seamers
  • How Brandon’s velocity has steadily increased since coming back from injury and why he chooses to live in his sweet spot for velocity rather than throwing as hard as he possibly can
  • Why Brandon is throwing more off-speed pitches in recent years and how simplifying his mechanics have allowed him to have more consistent, repeatable stuff
  • Why Brandon struggled in the 2018 season and how straying from his game plan to chase more strikeouts turned out to be detrimental to his game
  • Where Brandon is most misunderstood by the public and why he has chosen to spend his energy being his genuine self rather than worrying about his image portrayed by the media
  • How beating Steve Cishek in a round of golf has led to a hilarious prank war between the two teammates
  • How Brandon has developed a relationship with Cy Young Award winner, Max Scherzer, and how the two challenge each other to be better pitchers year in and year out

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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Email
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Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Blake Treinen

We're excited to welcome Oakland A's reliever Blake Treinen to this week's podcast. 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 Blake began his baseball career at a small NAIA college in Kansas and why he chose to leave to attempt to walk on at a Division 1 program
  • Why Blake was forced to take a year off from baseball and what lessons he learned from taking the time to step away from the game to train and
  • How Blake’s time away from organized baseball allowed him to add much needed size, prioritize learning to throw with intent, and understand his optimal mechanics on a trial and error basis
  • What lead Blake to walk on at South Dakota State University and how he progressed to MLB draft prospect throwing a mid-90s fastball
  • How Blake’s faith in God has propelled him to the success he has had in baseball and been a vital key to his success through the tribulations of his career
  • How being passed up by the Miami Marlins turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Blake and how he ended being drafted by the Oakland A’s the following year
  • What cues Blake has adopted to reinforce his consistent, effortless mechanics and how has learned to master creating late arm speed
  • How training at CSP helped and training functional exercise/core exercise helped Treinen become a more effortless, compact pitcher
  • How Blake approaches pitch design and developing various pitches
  • How Blake developed a cutter and the work that went in to trusting to us it in game
  • How Blake developed a one seam and how future sinker ballers can find success
  • How the evolution of the cutter has transformed the way current pitchers are attacking the launch angle evolution and attacking hitters inside
  • What the hardest adjustments were for Blake as he transitioned from starter to reliever
  • How Blake structures his daily throwing routine
  • How Blake mentally prepares for each outing

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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Movement vs. Medical Diagnoses

Recently, during my weekly Instagram Q&A, I received this question:

"Have you ever dealt with valgus extension overload syndrome and how?"

My initial response was, "Absolutely - and with every single overhead throwing athlete I've ever encountered."

You see, "valgus extension overload" simply described the two most common injury mechanisms in throwers. Your elbow can get hurt at lay-back (max shoulder external rotation) or full elbow extension. This terminology doesn't describe a specific tissue pathology, nor an underlying movement competency that is insufficient and therefore allowing an individual to become symptomatic. To me, it's a completely incomplete "diagnosis." Let's dig deeper.

You have medical diagnoses and movement diagnoses. Both are important.

A medical diagnosis might be a rotator cuff tear, MCL sprain, or tibial fracture. These deviations speak directly to the damaged tissue and relate the severity of this structural change.

A movement diagnosis (popularized by physical therapist Shirley Sahrmann) might be scapular downward rotation syndrome, femoral anterior glide syndrome, or lumbar extension-rotation syndrome. These diagnoses speak to the deviation from normal movement that’s observed.

At times, both types of diagnoses are bastardized.

On the medical side, examples would include “shoulder impingement,” “shin splints,” and “valgus-extension overload.” All of these flawed medical diagnoses speak to a region of the body, but not a specific structure.

On the movement side, examples would be vague things like “weak posterior chain,” “scapular dyskinesis,” or “poor stability.” They don’t speak to the specific movement competencies that need to be improved.

I'm all for simplifying things as much as possible. However, diagnosis is an area where oversimplifying is completely inappropriate. Diagnosis is what establishes the road map for the journey you're about to begin - so make sure to eliminate any guesswork in this regard, whether it's on the medical or movement side of things.

Looking to learn more about how we assess and correct movement inefficiencies - and relate them to the rehabilitation and prevention of common medical diagnoses? Be sure to check out the Functional Stability Training series from Mike Reinold and me. It's on sale for 25% off through this Tuesday at midnight. Just head to THIS LINK and enter coupon code allstar2019cressey to get the discount.

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