Home Posts tagged "Baseball Training"

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Making Movement Better with Bill Hartman

We're excited to welcome physical therapist Bill Hartman to this week's podcast. Bill discusses how his approaches to training and rehabilitation have evolved over the years, and emphasizes the importance of range as a professional rather than early specialization. We converse on the common mistakes made with training rotational sport athletes, and delve into more complex topics like infrasternal angle and sacral positioning.

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 Bill became involved in the world of rehabilitation and how have his practices evolved since he first entered the field nearly 30 years ago
  • What tools have remained consistent throughout Bill’s professional career and how his perspective has changed despite this consistency
  • Why Bill is still constantly tweaking, adapting, and refining his processes as a physical therapist and how he is working to master his model and find true efficiency in his craft
  • Why professionals should be wary of specialization and should avoid limiting their perspective to the insights of one profession
  • Why the common hierarchical perspective of movement rehabilitation doesn’t capture how we truly drive adaptation in individuals
  • How coaches and rehab professionals alike can start at the ideal outcome and work backwards to create an actionable plan to drive change
  • Why asymmetry may actually be the recipe for elite athletic performance
  • What infrasternal angle is and how this measurement is utilized as an assessment tool
  • What specific insights does infrasternal angle give us for rotational athletes and their capabilities to move efficiently for their sport
  • What the two types of infrasternal presentations are and what action-based plan Bill has for dealing with each respectively
  • Why the dynamics of the rib cage are more important than static infrasternal angle presentation and how professionals can observe an individual's capacity for movement at the core of the body
  • Why the position of the sacrum is an overlooked factor for analyzing optimal movement
  • What sacral position demonstrates to professionals about an individual’s movement profile
  • Why quality training isn’t about changing someone but rather about reinforcing what someone was meant to do
  • Why exercise selection is vital for transforming athletes into the best version of themselves and how professionals can create programs for individuals that match their movement capabilities
  • How much strength is too much strength for athletes and how the dosage of training can drive adaptations that actually make an individual worse at their sport
  • Why defining the amount and rate of force production needed for a sport is essential for properly training athletes of the sport and how these insights set the parameters for training strategies
  • How blind exercise prescription and an overemphasis of strength training are limiting the capabilities of rotational athletes and what Bill’s big rocks for creating elite throwers are
  • Why more strength training is not always better and what key performance indicators professionals can monitor to maintain progress and limit the negative effects of training
  • Why strength training is not inherently bad, but professionals should be more particular about its implementation
  • What Bill’s key competencies for high level learners are and how you can be the best learner possible
  • What three books all performance professionals should read
  • What research Bill would like to see done to progress the field
  • You can follow Bill on Twitter at @BillHartmanPT and and Instagram at @BillHartmanPT. You can also learn more about him at www.BillHartmanPT.com.

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!

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Developing Multidirectional Power for the Baseball Fielder

Today's guest post comes from Jason Feairheller.

When most coaches think of power development for baseball, a big focus is on developing rotational power for throwing and hitting with various medicine throws. Additionally, they'll utilize lateral lower body power development to help pitchers get a better drive off the mound, or even the initial push off the ground of a base stealer. If these are the only types of plyometrics we train, there’s a missing piece - multidirectional plyometrics - that can help prepare athletes for the endless possibilities of movement for which a fielder must prepare.

Any position player may have to sprint forward or backward in any direction, depending on where the ball is hit. Although lateral movement is a huge part of baseball, and prepares an athlete for a lot of the movements they’ll see on the field, it does not account for all of them.

Just like Eric, I’m a huge fan of Lee Taft and his system for teaching and understanding speed. Lee breaks down speed into seven different patterns (detailed in this podcast). For the purposes of this blog, I’ll focus on the hip turn, and how multidirectional plyometrics can strengthen and make this movement pattern more powerful.

A hip turn happens all the time in a baseball. Whenever an infielders runs back to catch a pop-ups, or outfielders are tracking down a fly balls that are behind them in any direction, they are using a hip turn. The fielder pivots the feet and punches a foot into the ground to reposition themselves to sprint in the direction they want to go. There are lots of possibilities in terms of the angle at which the fielder might punch a foot in the ground. If I’m looking to improve this position, changing the planes of movements and angles of plyometrics can greatly improve the strength and power of this movement pattern. Think of how the swing of a batter changes slightly with different pitches and locations. The primary fundamentals are the same, but the swing will be slightly different depending on the location of the pitch. The same idea applies to developing power in all directions for a fielder. There may be slight changes in the angle of force off the ground, and we should prepare the body in training for what we will see on the field.

In the following video, I demonstrate the progression of lateral bound with a push back at three different angles, followed by hip turn at three different angles. You can see the similarities between the movements, especially when the focus is on creating a better “punch” into the ground to limit ground contact time. By limiting ground contact, an athlete is getting a more explosive first step, which can be the difference between making the play and not.

Power should be developed with two different types of focus. We are either trying to create as much force as possible with a jump or throw, or we are trying to reduce the time at which we do it. Going back to the example of a hip turn, the fielder will very rapidly punch a foot into the ground. If the fielder did this slowly with a focus only on creating force, he'd already be two steps behind; power is what matters. Plyometric drills with a focus on force should still be included in every program because they help strengthen different positions, but make sure to include some type of plyometrics with a focus on limiting ground contact. Begin with low level hops variations before progressing to more demanding exercises.

There are many different ways multidirectional plyometrics can help develop a more explosive player. Think of the movement patterns you might see on the field, and start thinking of ways you can help your athletes.

About the Author

Jason Feairheller is a co-owner and strength coach at Function and Strength in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania. Jason attended college at the University of Scranton, where he was also a member of the baseball team. Jason has lectured on strength and conditioning as an adjunct professor at Immaculata University. Recently, he was a guest on the Lee Taft Complete Sports Performance Podcast. He has also contributed articles on speed training, as well as taught the course, “Functional Speed Training for the Fitness Professional and Healthcare Provider.” You can follow him on Instagram at @FunctionandStrength, Twitter at @TrueFXS, or visit www.functionandstrength.net.

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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: Aaron Civale

We're excited to welcome Cleveland Indians pitcher Aaron Civale to the latest podcast. He shares some awesome insights related to pitch design/execution, competitive mentality, and the benefits of strength and conditioning.

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 type of pitcher was Aaron in high school and how earned a spot at Northeastern University
  • What the biggest adjustment Aaron had to make as he transitioned into a college pitcher was
  • Why Aaron chose to embrace the natural cut of his fastball instead of fixing this unique trait that allowed him to put away hitters
  • How Aaron stumbled upon the feel for a slider mid-game
  • What adjustments Aaron had to make as he transitioned to pro ball after three years at Northeastern
  • How Aaron’s approach of pounding the zone and eliminating walks is contradictory to today’s baseball world
  • How Aaron arrived at his 6-pitch arsenal and how he has worked to differentiate each pitch
  • Why Aaron has always felt more comfortable throwing his two seam fastball and what work he has been doing this offseason at CSP to improve his four seam for 2020
  • How Aaron ended up finding a more comfortable slider grip while playing around with his two seam grip
  • How Aaron has developed a natural feel for spinning the ball from a young age and what he has done to ensure the differentiation of his two breaking balls
  • What traits Aaron thinks helped to give him immediate success at the Major League level
  • How possessing a process-oriented mindset and unwavering demeanor has inspired confidence in Aaron and provided the trust in his ability necessary to be dominant at any level
  • What made working with CSP-FL physical therapist Eric Schoenberg so impactful while rehabbing from a lat strain in 2018
  • What Aaron’s 5-day throwing and training routine looks like between starts
  • How Aaron’s game day routine is structured

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!

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Exercise of the Week: Bounce Drop Heiden with Medicine Ball

The Bounce Drop Heiden with Medicine Ball combines two of our favorite Heiden (frontal plane plyometric drill) progressions:

1. Dropping from elevation to increase eccentric overload (and increase storage of elastic energy)

2. Holding a med ball as a counterbalance to improve hip loading

Some key coaching points:

1. Don't let the knee slip into valgus (knees collapses in) on landing. A strong sagittal plane landing position should be following by power production laterally. You're loading the glutes in the sagittal plane and then unloading them in all three planes (especially the frontal plane). Don't put the knee in a vulnerable position to get these benefits.

2. The arms should not be rigid. In other words, holding the medicine ball shouldn't restrict a fluid arm swing.

3. Don't race through ground contact. The goal is to use the increased eccentric pre-loading to enable you to produce more force. There is a happy medium between spending too little time on the ground and shortchanging yourself vs. spending too long on the ground and wasting elastic energy. This video demonstrates that sweet spot well.

4. This is a late offseason progression for our advanced athletes. Don't give it to an untraind 14-year-old who's never lifted weights. They can start with regular Heidens (no elevation) and other landing and jumping progressions.

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Sandbag Training for Baseball Players

Today's guest post comes from Seattle-based physical therapist Dan Swinscoe. He's been a great resource (and friend) to me over the years, and this post will show you yet another reason why that's the case.

When I found out Dan was writing up this article, I asked the good folks at Ultimate Sandbag Training if they'd be up for doing a sale for my readers - and they kindly obliged. From now through next Sunday at midnight, you can get 10% off on both sandbag products and their educational resources. Just head HERE and enter the coupon code cressey10.

Enjoy! - EC

Power: it's one of the most highly coveted qualities in all of athletics. Be powerful and you can be dominant. In baseball, it’s fastball velocity for pitchers or exit velocity and HRs for the hitters. The powerful guys are the most feared and usually the highest paid.

How do you get powerful? First, you have to be strong. Strength is a prerequisite to power. You can be strong without being powerful, but cannot be powerful without being strong. So, if we’re talking rotational strength we need to strengthen our ability to move or resist movement in a rotational manner. But what tool do you use for developing these qualities? Dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, body weight and cables/bands are all viable options. However, a lesser known option that is often superior to the others is what I want to talk about today. It’s The Ultimate Sandbag (USB).

Keep in mind the actual weight of the sandbags you’ll see in these exercises is relatively low when compared to using iron. However, the WORK you have to do to move and control them is sky high. Even when working with college and pro guys, I haven’t needed more than a 60-pound bag to challenge them effectively. I’ve blended this tool in with all the others and I encourage you to do the same. Keep reading and you’ll appreciate why that’s the case.

Here are three of my favorite ways to use the USB for rotational strength. In all three videos, the athlete would be cued to “crush” the handles to irradiate tension higher in the chain (see Sherrington’s law) and to try and “tear the bag.” By trying to tear the handles apart you create tension in the lats, thus better connecting them into the glutes. (see serape effect)

Chop and Lift: The chop and lift patterns have been around for decades. Coming from the rehab world, it’s a movement where you diagonally pull down or lift up. This movement pattern takes advantage of the natural anatomic alignment of our tissues referred to as the serape effect.

In the first video, we begin on the ground in a single leg bridge position, challenging rotational strength by preventing the rotation that gravity is trying to impart. It is especially difficult when chopping down towards the unsupported side. Notice both elbows stay straight the whole time. Once the elbows bend, you lose the lat and start using triceps. We want the lat connection.

It can also be advanced to an upright posture. The next video advances the exercise into ½ kneeling and a static split stance referred to as “hover.” This can be modified further by the width of the stance. Need more challenge? Stand on a line. Remember to breathe.

MAX Lunge: The name refers to using multiple axes. It used to be called a rotational lunge. You can see why. The challenge from this drill is that the player has to lunge and maintain posture and lower extremity alignment in all three planes despite the momentum of the bag trying to knock him over. I also love the strong eccentric nature of this exercise. The biggest challenge is to decelerate with control. This mimics the challenge a pitcher has coming down the mound; an unstable front leg is bad news for a pitcher. This is an outstanding way to train that need for front leg stability with additional challenge to the core more proximally. The first example uses the “suitcase” handle, while the second one uses the standard “clean” handles. Finally, the third example increases the challenge by elevating the center of gravity using a “front load” position of the USB. When in front loaded position, the “tear the bag apart” cue is executed with the forearms. They all feel different.

Hinging with Rotation: Deadlifts and good mornings are staples in many strength training programs, and rightfully so: the hinge is a motion that must be trained. But in sports and life, we typically move one leg at a time and in all three planes of motion. It’s tough to do that with a barbell. To me, the USB is the best way to make single leg rotational hinges feel challenging in a way that is also safe for the athlete. Athletes need to be able to train hard without feeling like they’re doing a circus trick.

In the rotational deadlift example below, the player should crush the handles and think of tearing the bag apart before even moving. He crosses the back leg behind the front leg to feel tension in the lateral hip rotators, then becomes stable before moving. The next move is performed by pushing forcefully into the ground and mimicking a step. He’ll then reset the start position and repeat. No one has to ask what muscles are being used; you feel it right away. But, more importantly, you are doing it in a way that you can expect to carryover to the field of play.

The second example is a good morning. It’s the same single-leg rotational hinge movement, but with the USB in a front load position. The movement is the same, but the challenge is different because of the elevated position of the USB. Again, tearing the bag apart is performed with forearms.

Now that we’ve got some ways to get rotational strength, let’s layer on the rotational power. Power refers to your ability to rapidly express the strength that you have. In baseball, medicine ball work is probably the most popular training stimulus to develop rotational power, and it’s awesome (and Eric’s YouTube and Instagram pages have plenty of options to review on this front). In my opinion, the USB is right there with it as a great tool to create this sport-specific skill.

Below are some of my favorite rotational power drills for baseball players.

Clean from Half-Kneeling: It emphasizes the concentric portion of lower body power transferring the load from the side of the body to the middle. As you can see, it can be progressed to single leg for additional stability challenge. The beginning position of the bag with the cue to tear it apart provides a strong connection between the glute of one side and the lat of the other…just like with running, hitting and throwing.

Inside-Out Clean: the bag starts “inside” the base of support and centered on the body; the athlete then creates rotational power so the catch happens on the side of the body. This skill – which is almost all concentric – is mastered before the “outside in” clean, where there is also a strong eccentric component. In other words, you work on creating power and then controlling power.

The MAX Lunge Static to Dynamic:  I described the MAX lunge using a forward step earlier in our rotational strength section. However, if you step backward, speed it up, and try to ballistically drive your foot into the ground as the bag goes from side to side, you have an absolutely intense challenge to create and control power in all three planes. I think of this as having all the benefits of a kettlebell swing, but with less risk of injury and more carryover to baseball because it’s one leg at a time and incorporates all three planes of motion. The player who has apprehension towards the KB swing will appreciate this alternative. And, the more you do it, the more it will grow on you. The reps are low because the demand is high, so I usually have players do 3-5 per side. If the reps go up, the effort goes down, which means we aren’t training power effectively.

These are a few of the many ways you can utilize The Ultimate Sandbag in your training for strength and power. It’s been a lot of fun for me to learn about them and use them with my clients/patients and in my own training. I hope you enjoy learning how to use them, too; the results will speak for themselves.

Note from EC: Don't forget about the great discount in place on sandbags and the associated educational resources at Ultimate Sandbag Training through next Sunday at midnight. You can get 10% off by heading HERE and enter the coupon code cressey10.

About the Author

Dan Swinscoe, MPT, CSCS is a physical therapist in Issaquah, WA. He owns Peak Sports and Spine Physical Therapy and teaches his own class, Kettlebells for Clinicians. You can follow him on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram (@danswinscoe) or email him at baseballrehab@gmail.com. 

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2020 Cressey Sports Performance Collegiate Elite Baseball Development Program

Registration is now open for the 2020 Cressey Sports Performance Collegiate Elite Baseball Development Program. This event takes place at our Hudson, MA facility, and runs from 6/1/20 through 8/8/20.

This will be the fourth year we've run the program, and each year, we've had pitchers move to Massachusetts from all around the country. This summer, we anticipate another awesome collection of motivated athletes who'll push each other to get better in conjunction with the same training opportunities and expertise we provide to our professional athletes.

This program is a good fit for pitchers who need to prioritize development over just getting innings or exposure. In other words, it's a suitable replacement for those who still need to throw, but also need to gain 20 pounds, learn a new pitch, sort out old aches and pains, or improve their mobility.

Each athlete will begin with a thorough initial movement and pitching assessment that will set the stage for individualized strength and conditioning and throwing programs, respectively. These programs correspond to six days a week of training. Generally, four of the six training days per week are double sessions, with throwing in the morning and strength and conditioning in the afternoons. A typical training week would look like the following:

Monday: AM throwing, PM Strength and Conditioning
Tuesday: AM throwing, PM Strength and Conditioning
Wednesday: Late AM throwing and movement training (at field)
Thursday: AM throwing, PM Strength and Conditioning
Friday: AM throwing, PM Strength and Conditioning
Saturday: Optional AM Mobility Work and Recovery Session, AM Throwing and movement training
Sunday: Off

In our throwing programs, we integrate weighted ball work, long toss, and bullpens (including video analysis). We'll utilize detailed pitching analytics breakdowns (spin rates/efficienciencies/axes) and high-speed camera work in these bullpens as well. Pitchers also have opportunities to throw live to hitters, and we even placed a few arms in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League late in the summer in light of the improvements they'd made.

All the athletes will receive manual therapy with our licensed massage therapist or physical therapist, as well as nutritional guidance throughout the program. Also to help with recovery, athletes have access to MarcPro, Normatec, and red light therapy.

Last, but not least, we'll incorporate a regular educational components to educate the athletes on the "why" behind their training. Last year, this consisted of not only staff presentations, but also conference calls and meetings with Major League players and established coaches from around the country.

The best part is that it'll take place in a motivating environment where athletes can push each other to be the best they can be. By optimizing the situation, you can help change the person.

Interested in learning more? Email cspmass@gmail.com - but don't delay, as spaces are limited; this offering sold out last year, and we'll be capping the group size.

In the coming weeks, we'll be highlighting some case studies from last year's group that should give you a better feel for how the programs work. You might also like to hear a bit about the experience from our pitching coordinator, Kyle Driscoll, who spoke in depth about the ten-week training initiative at the conclusion of last year's event. He was a guest on the CSP Elite Baseball Development podcast:

Again, if you're interested in learning more, email cspmass@gmail.com today.

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The Best of 2019: Baseball Articles

With baseball athletes being the largest segment of the Cressey Sports Performance athletic clientele, it seems only fitting to devote a "Best of 2019" feature to the top baseball posts from last year. Check them out:

1. Vertical Shin and the Pitching Delivery - Vertical shin can be a powerful coaching point in the weight room, but it also has applications to putting pitchers in the right position to be successful on the mound. Check out this article to learn more.

2. Baseball Athleticism: It's Probably Not What You Think It Is - Not all "great athletes" make great baseball players, and not all great baseball players are what you'd call "great athletes." I did a little deeper on this topic in this article.

3. Should You Chase Shoulder External Rotation - And If So, How? - I often get questions on how pitchers can increase shoulder external rotation for throwing. The answer really depends on a few things, so here's a video to walk you through them.

4. Pitchers vs. Swimmers - I evaluated a baseball pitcher and swimmer on the same day in August. The markedly different assessment findings served as a great 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.

5. Coil in the Pitching Delivery: Friend or Foe? - Recently, I came across a picture of Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin at the top of the leg lift in his delivery, and it got me to thinking about how the transverse plane can be your biggest ally or enemy in the pitching delivery.

We've got one last "Best of 2019" list running tomorrow, so stay tuned for the closer!

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Kyle Hendricks

We're excited to welcome Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks 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

  • Why Kyle chose to move across the country out of high school and attend Dartmouth College
  • How Kyle has developed his ability to manipulate the baseball to create movement
  • How Kyle worked diligently to develop his changeup and how players can better develop this feel pitch
  • How throwing a quality changeup actually helped Kyle learn to throw a two seam fastball
  • How grip, specifically pinky position on the baseball, impacted the effectiveness of his changeup
  • What Kyle’s thought process is when throwing his changeup and how late hand speed out front trumps early, forced pronation with the pitch
  • How Kyle developed a cut changeup, which is differentiated from his “regular” changeup
  • How Kyle approaches attacking hitters and why he emphasizes throwing first pitch strikes and controlling counts against hitters
  • Why Kyle’s four seam fastball usage increased in 2016 and why this change allowed him to have more margin for error and improve the effectiveness with his fastball
  • How Kyle learned to read swings and bat paths in pro ball and how this has influenced how he competes against hitters
  • How Kyle prepares by utilizing coaches’ scouting reports along with video to develop a plan for success against the opposition
  • Why Kyle has always been intrigued by the mental side of baseball and how he has used it to develop an edge in the game
  • How simplification has revolutionized Kyle’s ability to master his mentality, control the game, and play to his highest ability
  • Why Kyle works to find a balance between using analytics and relying on his intuition
  • What pitch clicks in the bullpen when Kyle is set to have a great game and how Kyle knows when he is locked in
  • How Kyle attacks throwing his various pitches in his daily throwing progression
  • How individuals who lack elite velocity can identify their strengths and learn to separate themselves from the competition

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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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.

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