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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Mike King

We're excited to welcome New York Yankees pitcher Mike King 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 being a multisport athlete from RI impacted Mike’s athletic development and why he is such a big advocate for playing basketball
  • How Mike managed his time his time and training in high school in order to always be prepared for the next sport in season
  • How learning to long toss properly and stretch out the arm taught Mike to feel intent and progress his ability to throw the ball efficiently
  • Why Mike chose to attend Boston College
  • What the culture was like at BC during Mike’s tenure there, and how it contributed to making them a competitive ACC team
  • How Jim Foster - an impactful pitching coach for Mike - facilitated relationships between his catchers and his pitchers and taught Mike important lessons about reading swings, calling pitches, and communicating
  • How Mike builds rapport and a high level of trust between his catchers in pro ball
  • How Mike has adopted an analytical approach for preparing to perform, and why he dives deep into data and video prior to games to inspire confidence
  • How Mike communicates with catchers in game to refine his approach from inning to inning and sequence his game to be efficient and effective
  • How gaining weight upon entering pro ball allowed Mike to experience a velocity jump
  • What Mike’s initial experience was like playing professionally for the Miami Marlins
  • What changed about Mike’s focus and perspective on development in the minor leagues after being traded to the Yankees that allowed him to feel comfortable and find success in 2018
  • How a conversation Mike had with Max Scherzer at CSP helped him figure out his slider
  • How Mike has developed his student-of-the-game approach and learned to apply analytics, physics, and biomechanics to improve his game
  • How Mike throws his laminar two-seam fastball and what laminar flow means for the movement of his two-seam
  • How Mike has learned to manage his hypermobility and what lessons has he learned about being loose jointed
  • How Mike exploits his mobility on the mound mechanically to create a unique look for hitters

You can follow Mike on Twitter at @7kinger14 and Instagram at @officialmikeking.

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 with Brad Miller

We're excited to welcome Philadelphia Phillies utility player Brad Miller 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

  • Why Brad chose to attend Clemson University out of high school even though he was drafted by the Texas Rangers
  • What key competencies Brad lacked coming out of high school that made collegiate baseball the appropriate decision for his career
  • How high level collegiate baseball compares to the ranks of professional baseball
  • How Brad transitioned into affiliated baseball so smoothly out of college
  • What memorable moments and insightful lessons Brad recalls from playing in the big leagues for seven different organizations
  • How Brad became the valued utility player he is today after being drafted as a shortstop out of Clemson
  • How the athleticism needed at shortstop impacts a player’s ability to move into a utility role
  • How the perspective of a utility player has transformed in recent years in Major League Baseball and what opportunities this type of role offers a player, coach, and organization
  • What the hardest position was for Brad to learn as he moved into a utility role
  • How Brad was able to learn the ins and outs of being an outfielder as a ballplayer who grew up playing in the infield
  • How Brad prepares in-season to be ready to play any defensive position on any given day
  • What injuries Brad played through during the 2018 season that eventually led to him needing core muscle surgery and a hip labral surgery in order to come back for healthy for 2019
  • How asking for advice from former teammates and players who have gone through similar injuries proved to be influential in Brad’s rehab
  • What lessons Brad would give to any athlete who is about to have hip surgery
  • Why Brad chose to adjust his weight post-surgery to ease the pain on his joints and improve the longevity of his career
  • What players Brad likes to watch and learn from both defensively and offensively

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: Developing a Hitting Approach with Will Middlebrooks

We're excited to welcome retired MLB player and current Cressey Sports Performance - Florida hitting coordinator Will Middlebrooks to the podcast. A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Lumberlend. Head to www.Lumberlend.com and and check out some of the awesome black Friday deals they're offering as you customize a bat mug today to check some holiday shopping off your list for the baseball fan in your life. 

Show Outline

  • How Will’s early athletic career as a multi-sport athlete in Texas impacted his athletic development and set the stage for future athletic success
  • How Will managed to thrive immediately at the big league level
  • Why the hot streaks of young professional hitters are often short lived and what players can do to find consistent, long-term success
  • What pitchers Will excelled against and struggled against as a hitter
  • Will’s unforgettable moment with Mariana Rivera
  • Why a hard slider is so difficult to hit
  • What the opposing team’s scouting report was on Will
  • What cues and coaching tips proved to be influential in Will’s hitting development
  • How asking questions, learning from veteran teammates, and being open and observant proved to be the most impactful tools for Will’s development as a hitter
  • What it was like playing alongside some of the great hitters, like David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, and what lessons he learned from these iconic players
  • How David Ortiz was one of the most prepared hitters day in and day out and how this understanding of himself and his competition translated to in-game results
  • How the Boston Red Sox were able to turn around from a less than stellar 2012 season and emerge World Series Champs in 2013
  • How Will learned to handle the pressure of high stake, October baseball and play fearlessly
  • How adjusting a hitter’s approach can smooth out mechanical flaws in their swing
  • Why hitters need to have the self awareness and conviction to stick to their strengths and play to their game plan in competition
  • How Will takes a realistic mental approach to hitting and sets the goal for his hitters to be completely locked in for 80% of their ABs
  • Why young players should stop selling out for exit velocities, launch angles, and throwing velocities that impress at showcases but don’t play out in competition
  • What a hitter’s log is, and how players can implement this strategy to develop their approach and better understand their skills at the plate
  • What hitters Will likes to watch and why
  • Where Will sees the future of hitting headed

You can follow Will on Instagram at @csp_hitting and on Twitter at @middlebrooks.

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 as you design yours today - and take advantage of their great Black Friday sales.

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: Understanding the Throwing Elbow with Dr. Chris Ahmad

We're excited to welcome Dr. Chris Ahmad, team doctor for the New York Yankees, to this week's podcast. Dr. Ahmad goes into great detail on the throwing elbow with respect to anatomy, diagnostic challenges, surgical complexities, non-operative strategies, and biological interventions. He also touches on important lessons for players, parents, and coaches who want to avoid youth baseball injuries.

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

  • What makes the anatomy and function of the elbow so complex, specifically in throwing athletes
  • What the biggest mistakes are both surgically and diagnostically with respect to the elbow
  • Why injuries of the elbow aren’t as binary as partial and full tears and how professionals can better evaluate and understand the health of elbows in throwing populations
  • How UCL calcification and injury at a young age impacts the health of baseball players as they grow and advance in their career
  • What makes a Tommy John surgery successful from a surgical perspective
  • How Tommy John surgery has evolved since it was first performed in 1974
  • What the clinical implications are for Dr. Ahmad to perform an ulnar nerve transposition during UCL reconstruction surgery
  • What variables surgeons must consider when deciding where to take a tendon graft from for UCL reconstruction
  • How Dr. Ahmad manipulates grafts to ensure an elbow is strong and sturdy for his patients post-surgery
  • What key things Ahmad discusses with his patients as they begin their road to recovery post-surgery
  • What key benchmarks Dr. Ahmad looks for patients to progress to through the Tommy John rehab process
  • Why there isn’t a true standard timeline for athletes to return to performing in games after UCL reconstruction
  • Why Dr. Ahmad is an advocate for biological interventions such as PRP injections and the use of stem cells to manage elbow injuries, and what benefits these methodologies offer beyond throwing injuries
  • Where the future of biological treatments is headed, and what the drawbacks and dangers of using these powerful methods can be
  • Where Dr. Ahmad sees the need for more research to be done in the prevention, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and recovery of arm injuries
  • Why Dr. Ahmad has worked to create a registry with Major League Baseball to collect data on injured professional ball players and how this resource will be used to find answers to questions in the field without setting up a formal study

You can follow Dr. Ahmad on Twitter at @DrChrisAhmad and on Instagram at @DrChrisAhmad. And, you can learn more about him at www.DrAhmadSportsMedicine.com. Definitely check out his books:

Baseball Sports Medicine

Skill

Understanding Tommy John Surgery

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Using Data for Development with Sam Fuld

We're excited to welcome Sam Fuld, Major League Player Information Coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies, to this week's podcast. Sam discusses his current role in disseminating analytics to players, as well as how this knowledge would have impacted his MLB career.

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 Sam was recruited to play at Stanford University as a position player from the Northeast
  • How was Sam able to hit the ground running at Stanford and find success at the plate as a freshman despite not having as many ABs against legit arms as his teammates from warmer climates
  • Why Sam was drafted late largely due to his lack of height and why baseball is moving away from height bias as athletes like Jose Altuve and Dustin Pedroia thrive
  • What recommendations Sam would make to individuals looking to maximize their defensive abilities as an outfielder
  • How aware Sam was of the front-office, analytical approach in baseball as a player, specifically when playing for the Rays and A’s
  • How Sam become the Player Information Coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies, and what this role entails
  • How baseball analytics has evolved from a tool used strictly for player evaluation and game preparation into one utilized more for player development
  • How this player development approach to analytics and would have impacted Sam’s career
  • What Sam’s weaknesses were as a hitter, and what information would have helped him overcome these challenges
  • Why coaches need to be mindful of overwhelming or underwhelming players with information, and how coaches can individualize the information they are sharing
  • How organizational culture impacts the sharing of player information and how baseball as a whole is shifting away from the stubbornness towards analytics
  • How the accessibility to information in baseball is shortening the learning curve for managers and allowing younger hires to thrive on information instead of years of experience
  • What key competencies ball players should aim to learn to set themselves up for a career in analytics or managing after their baseball career
  • Where Sam sees the player information age headed next
  • How being a type-one diabetic impacted Sam growing up, and how he used it to fuel his game and live a disciplined nutritional lifestyle

You can follow Sam on Twitter at @SamFuld5, and learn more about his sports camp for kids with Type 1 Diabetes HERE.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: “To Ice or Not to Ice?” with Gary Reinl

We're excited to welcome Gary Reinl, Director of National Accounts and Professional Athletic Teams for Marc Pro, to this week's podcast. Gary delves into one of the most controversial topics in sports medicine history: icing.

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 Gary become involved in the realm of sports medicine in 1973
  • How Gary became passionate about the science and practice of recovery
  • Where the belief in icing for recovery began, and how did it became so accepted in the sports medicine community
  • Where the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) originated
  • What the research says about the use of ice for recovery and the traditional RICE method
  • How Gary formulated his simple and organized system for healing damaged tissue away from the common belief in ice and the RICE protocol
  • Why tissue preservation, tissue regeneration, and angiogenesis are the primary goals when promoting recovery of damaged tissue
  • Why evacuating waste and clearing congestion is important for creating healthy tissue
  • What physiological mechanisms electrical stimulation takes advantage of to push waste out of damaged areas via the lymphatic system
  • How low intensity muscular contractions decongest damaged tissues, avoid the unnecessary killing of healthy tissue, restore circulation, and promote tissue regeneration
  • What benefits e-stim has beyond the recovery of damaged tissue
  • Why sports medicine professionals and the general population often confuse inflammation with degeneration
  • How can individuals maximize the effectiveness of Marc Pro and other e-stim units through pad placement and overall set-up during treatment
  • Where would Gary like to see the Marc Pro used more in the sports medicine world

You can follow Gary on Twitter at @TheAntiIceMan and email him at gary@marcpro.com. Be sure to check out his book, Iced!, and take advantage of the great offer on Marc Pro for podcast listeners by heading to www.MarcPro.com and entering the coupon code CRESSEY at checkout to receive 10% off on your order.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: The Evolution of the MLB Strength Coach with Brandon McDaniel

We're excited to welcome Brandon McDaniel, the Los Angeles Dodgers Director of Athletic Development and Performance Science, to this week's podcast. In this episode, we discuss the how the role of the MLB strength and conditioning coach has changed over the past decade, and Brandon offers suggestions to both up-and-coming players and strength and conditioning professionals.

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

Show Outline

  • What Brandon’s journey was to become an MLB strength coach, and how he
    has ascended to his current role with the Dodgers
  • How Brandon’s versatility in strength training and baseball related skills impacted the progression of his career and why coaches should strive to wear multiple hats as a professional
  • Why young coaches should work to be generalists and bring value to the organizations they work for by being open to opportunities and striving to understand multiple facets of their work experience
  • What Brandon’s biggest areas for growth were as he progressed to be a big league strength coach
  • What the biggest adjustment was that Brandon had to make as he transitioned from working in the private sector into professional baseball
  • How has the role of strength and conditioning and the world of professional baseball changed in recent years
  • What areas should strength coaches strive to understand outside their field of expertise
  • Why coaches need to delineate between sports tech and sports science and how coaches can use information collected by technology to intervene effectively with athletes
  • How Brandon integrates the implementation of technology and data alongside quality communication and a solid athlete-coach relationship to monitor workload and formulate a recipe for success with each of his athletes
  • Why coaches should avoid being extremist when incorporating sports tech with their players and allow players to explore and find their sweet spot for workload and stress management
  • How strength coaches can handle the challenges they face as athletes return from their off-season
  • What the Dodgers are doing to make the organization a perennial playoff contender
  • How the Dodgers have created consistency and continuity throughout their organization
  • How Brandon and the rest of the Dodgers staff manage the demands of travel for the team throughout the year
  • What wisdom Brandon always try to impart on his professional ballplayers, specifically in nutrition and strength and conditioning
  • What the most impactful lesson Brandon has learned from his athletes is

For more information about the Los Angeles Dodgers Strength and Conditioning Symposium, click 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 with their new "Try Before you Buy" program, and use promo code CRESSEY at checkout at www.MarcPro.com for 10% off on your order.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Making Sense of Supplements with Angie Asche

We're excited to welcome sports dietitian Angie Ashe to this week's podcast. Angie does an outstanding job with nutritional counseling for a variety of athletes, and has a lot of experience working with baseball players in particular. In this episode, we delve into the controversial topic of nutrition supplementation.

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

Show Outline

  • How Angie goes about starting nutritional conversations with her athletes and teaching them what they can do before looking to dietary supplements
  • Why athletes should be maximizing what they are eating and drinking before worrying about what supplements they should be taking
  • What supplement story initially sparked Angie’s interest in the world of supplements as a dietician
  • Where athletes can be misguided by the hype around supplements
  • What supplements Angie sees as must-haves in all peoples’ diets
  • What boxes Angie looks to check before recommending dietary supplementation in youth athletes
  • Why individuals need to be aware of the post-market testing model exploited by the supplement industry in order to understand the importance of buying third party verified products
  • How being conscious of ingredients on supplement labels can make it easier for consumers to identify safe and ethical supplements
  • What supplements are a complete waste of money
  • What athletes need to know about popular supplements such as BCAAs, collagen powders, probiotics, and glutamine
  • What to look for and stray away from when investing in protein powders
  • What guidelines Angie recommends for consuming creatine and how it can be used to improve athletic performance
  • With the heightened popularity of preworkout and energy drinks, why athletes should be cognizant of the source of their caffeine consumption and what Angie recommends for caffeine intake in one’s diet
  • What research says about the benefits of drinking coffee and how obtaining caffeine from healthy sources is often overlooked for healthy living and improving human performance
  • How individuals should be concerned about consuming more processed protein sources as more people are moving away from animal consumption and towards alternative diets
  • Where Angie goes to learn more about nutrition and stay up to date on the research of the field
  • What Angie’s go-to smoothie is for skinny individuals looking to gain weight
  • Where Angie sees future research in the nutrition community heading

You can follow Angie on Twitter at @EleatNutrition and on Instagram at @EleatNutrition.

Sponsor Reminder

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

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Rick Ankiel

We're excited to welcome retired MLB pitcher and outfielder Rick Ankiel to this week's podcast. Rick's incredible story has been the feature of multiple documentaries, and he has some awesome insights to share for players, coaches, and parents. A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Marc Pro. Head to www.MarcPro.com and enter the coupon code CRESSEY at checkout to receive 10% off on your order.

Show Outline

  • What Rick’s experience was like as he battled command issues as a young pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • What the initial stages of Rick’s mental struggles as a pitcher were
  • How Rick made his comeback from the yips as a pitcher in 2005, and what strategies and routines he implemented that were most impactful for his consistency on the mound
  • How identifying what variables he could and couldn’t control and keeping baseball simple helped Rick find mental stability as a player
  • How organizations are evolving in how they prepare their young draft picks to be successful baseball stars of the future
  • What the mental concerns are for young stars as they ascend to the big league stage
  • Why players need to establish their circle of trust to be successful in professional baseball, and what strategies young players can implement to find security in their early career
  • What Rick’s advice is for the young draft picks and prospects
  • How the obsessive pursuit of excellence in baseball leads players to being consumed by their shortcomings and defined by their career on the field
  • How a player’s reluctance to care can be a defining factor of their likelihood to succumb to the mental dilemmas like the yips
  • What the biggest misconception about the yips is
  • How coaches and teammates of a struggling athlete can work to better identify those who need help and implement steps to make a real difference
  • How being genuine with ballplayers and asking “What can I do to help you?” can start a powerful conversation towards aiding in someone’s mental state
  • What was the difference for Rick was in preparing for games as a pitcher and a hitter
  • How Rick approached his throwing program as he transitioned from being pitcher to an outfielder
  • What the biggest adjustment Rick had to make as he has transitioned to a career in broadcasting

You can follow Rick on Twitter at @TheeRickAnkiel and on Instagram at @TheeRickAnkiel. And, be sure to check out his awesome book, The Phenomenon.

Sponsor Reminder

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

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
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Random Thoughts on Sports Performance Training – Installment 35

It's a new month, so here's a new installment of Random Thoughts on Sports Performance Training. This month, it won't be quite so random, as I want to hone in on shoulder stuff because today is the last day to get $40 off on my popular resource, Sturdy Shoulder Solutions. Just head to www.SturdyShoulders.com and enter coupon code OFFSEASON19 to get the discount.

Now, let's get to the new content:

1. The neck is the easiest place to start with cleaning up shoulder movement.

I've written a lot in the past about how our arm care programs work proximal to distal, meaning that we focus on the center of the body before the extremities. Usually, the right proximal changes yield immediate distal improvements both via reducing protective tension and reducing stiffness in the muscles we're trying to "overpower" to create good movement. Usually, though, when it comes to proximal changes, folks look at the thoracic spine and rib cage only. In reality, the cervical spine ought to take precedence over both of them - particularly because all the nerve of the upper extremity originate from the brachial plexus, which ranges from C5 to T1.

Fortunately, while it might be anatomically correct, coaching optimal positioning in the neck is actually very simple in the context of weight training and arm care drills: get it to neutral and keep it there. In 99% of cases, that means getting people out of upper cervical extension, which fires up the levator scapulae (which competes against all the scapular upward rotation we want). Here's a video that walks you through what you need to know:

The thoracic spine and rib cage are sexy right now, but the cervical spine is an older, reliable option for cleaning up movement quickly in just about everyone.

2. Whenever possible, get core control integrated in your arm care drills.

I often come across arm care protocols that literally have athletes laying on a table for 30 minutes worth of "exercise." This not only leads to a disengaged athlete, but also overlooks the fact that the entire kinetic chain needs to be synced up to keep a shoulder healthy. We'll often use predominantly table-based exercises in month 1 to make sure athletes are picking up the technique in a controlled environment, but in almost all scenarios, these table drills are actually "fillers" between sets of strength training exercises that have the athletes up and around in the gym.

More importantly, after that first month, I try to make sure that at least half of our arm care exercises are done separate from the table. Maybe we do our horizontal abductions in a side bridge position, or integrate more bottoms-up carries or bear crawls for serratus activation. Perhaps the prone trap raises take place on a stability ball, or we shift to a TRX Y instead. Or, we could move the athlete to half-kneeling, split-stance, or in a rear-foot elevated position for their 90/90 external rotation holds.

Regardless of what we choose, the buy-in from athletes is definitely better - and just as importantly, the resulting training effect has a more specific carryover to sporting success.

3. Yet another study reminds us that GIRD is a measurement and not an actual pathology.

Glenohumeral internal rotation deficit (GIRD) was all the rage in the baseball sports medicine community for decades. Unfortunately, what many practitioners fail to appreciate is that GIRD can be a completely normal finding as long as an individual's total motion is symmetrical between throwing and non-throwing shoulders. We expect to see less internal rotation and more external rotation in a throwing shoulder because of retroverion in the throwing shoulder; the arc is just shifted. Here's a glimpse at what it looks like:

 

Today is Day 12 of #30DaysOfArmCare. Thanks to #Tigers pitcher @adamrav12 for the assist! Key takeaways: 1. Retroversion is a common finding and throwing shoulders. It gives rise to greater lay-back at max external rotation. 2. The more passive range of motion you have, the more consistently you must work to maintain active stability of that ROM. ROM without stability is injury risk. 3. Perform your cuff work in the positions that matter - and keep in mind that individual differences in passive ROM may be present. 4. Don't stretch throwers into external rotation, especially if they already have this much lay-back! Follow #30DaysOfArmCare and @cresseysportsperformance for more tips to keep throwing arms healthy. #cspfamily #armcare #baseball #mlb

A video posted by Eric Cressey (@ericcressey) on

Anyway, we are now at a point in time where more and more research on GIRD is out there, and it's pretty resounding: it doesn't predict injury as well as we once thought. And, more importantly, the opposite seems to be true: a loss of external rotation (usually from a combination of less retroversion and soft tissue limitations) equates to a greater injury risk. We need to get more of the "GIRD? So What?" literature into the hands of doctors who aren't familiar with the latest research, as many are still making "GIRD" diagnoses when they really are just range-of-motion measurements. I delve into this in great detail in the Sturdy Shoulder Solutions product, but figured another study reiterating the point can't hurt. This one - Relationship Between Glenohumeral Internal Rotation Deficit and Medial Elbow Torque in High School Baseball Pitchers - just found that GIRD wasn't associated with medial elbow torque in high school pitchers.

It's time to move on from GIRD!

4. If you're about to have shoulder surgery (or any surgery), get your Vitamin D checked.

For years, we've known that having an adequate Vitamin D status was important for a myriad of biologic functions. Perhaps the most well known among observations on this front was a 2015 study of NFL players that demonstrated that players with inadequate preseason Vitamin D levels were more likely to have suffered a lower extremity or core muscle injury. In fact, the likelihood of a hamstrings injury was 3.61 higher in those with inadequate vitamin D levels! As such, it's become a big area of focus in the nutrition and supplementation world for athletes.

However, I've honesty never heard of an orthopedic surgeon looking at it for those who either have chronic pain or are about to undergo a surgical intervention to treat a structural defect. We need to change that, though. A recently published study, Preoperative Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated With Higher Postoperative Complications in Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair, should help in that goal, though. Patients with pre-operative Vitamin D deficiency were 1.54 times more likely to require a revision surgery and 1.16 times more likely to require manipulation under anesthesia to overcome post-op stiffness.

Clearly, Vitamin D has a huge link to soft tissue health, so don't overlook it!

Wrap-up

I'm a shoulder nerd and could ramble on all day on this stuff, but instead, I'll direct you to check out Sturdy Shoulder Solutions, particularly at the great $40 off discount we've got in place through tonight at midnight. You can learn more at www.SturdyShoulders.com.

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