Home Posts tagged "Corey Kluber"

Strength and Conditioning Stuff you Should Read: 4/6/19

It's time for my first installment of recommended reading for April of 2019. Here goes...

EC in St. Louis Seminar Announcement - I'll be speaking in St. Louis on June 2, and I'd love to see you there.

Why Rotating Exercises is Critical for Long-Term Progress - Mike Robertson might have authored the top article of 2019 here. I can't possibly agree more with the points he makes.

The Dichotomy of Leadership - I'm currently about 2/3 of the way through this audiobook from Leif Babbin and Jocko Willink. If you liked "Extreme Ownership," you'll love this one, too.

Corey Kluber on the Elite Baseball Development Podcast - My first podcast was a great hit; be sure to listen to one of the best pitchers in the game share his thoughts on Pitch Design, Developing a Process, and Preparing for Long-Term Success.

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Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Corey Kluber

We're excited to welcome two-time American League Cy Young winner Corey Kluber 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

  • Corey’s journey to MLB and the developmental years he spent in college and minor league baseball to grow into the player he is today.
  • The establishment and refinement of Corey’s process.
  • Corey’s creation of routines to inspire comfort on game day.
  • The pre-pitch routine and mental approach Corey implements when he toes the rubber.
  • Having a feel for pitches, reading hitters, and building a relationship with the catcher to have the ability to make adjustments on the fly and compete at the highest level.
  • The design of Corey’s pitching arsenal, including: developing his slider, learning to throw a 2-seam fastball, and having confidence in the changeup.
  • A discussion of the throwing and training programs Corey relies on to remain durable.
  • The entertaining story of CSP-MA pitching coordinator Christian Wonders' first day throwing with Corey.
  • What advise current Corey would give to the teenage, college, and minor league Corey Kluber

You can follow Corey on Instagram at @ckluber28, and on Twitter at @CKluber. To learn more about The Kluber Foundation's charitable initiatives, be sure to check out www.CoreyKluber.org.

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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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast Giveaway

I'm really excited to kick off the Elite Baseball Development Podcast later this week. Before I do, though, I thought I'd put together a collection of sweet giveaways to celebrate the occasion. This will also serve as your first chance to get on the announcement list for when new podcasts are released. You'll just need to enter your information below. Only email address is required; you'll be emailed the access link right away (be sure to check your junk mail folder): 

Join our mailing list to receive podcast updates and my free Hip-Shoulder Separation presentation!

Please complete the form below to subscribe.

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As for the giveaways, to start, everyone will receive free access to my 35-minute presentation, Hip Shoulder Separation in Rotational Athletes: Making Sense of the Thoracic Spine. I delivered this presentation to a packed house at Pitchapalooza in December of 2018, and it's yours free when you opt in.

To sweeten the deal a bit more, we'll be randomly drawing winners from newsletter subscribers and Retweets to receive:

A "retired" CSP-used med ball with tons of MLB autographs: Max Scherzer, Miles Mikolas, Noah Syndergaard, Steve Cishek, Sam Dyson, Logan Morrison, Lance Lynn, among others!

An autographed Corey Kluber New Balance cleat

An autographed Noah Syndergaard ball

Two customized Lumberlend batmugs

Three Cressey Sports Performance shirts

Two pairs of New Balance Minimus 20v7 (you pick the color)

One Free Access to the Jaeger Sports Complete Competitor Package (includes Year-Round Throwing Manual, Thrive on Throwing Video, Lower Body & Core Workout, Mental Training Book, and a J-Band)

Winners will be selected and notified on Thursday. Sorry, but you must be located in the US to have items shipped to you. Here's that subscription box again:

Join our mailing list to receive podcast updates and my free Hip-Shoulder Separation presentation!

Please complete the form below to subscribe.

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We're looking forward to delivering many entertaining and educational podcasts very soon!

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Vertical Shin and the Pitching Delivery

I came across this picture of Cressey Sports Performance athlete Corey Kluber on the Cleveland Indians Instagram feed the other day, and it reminded me to write this blog that I've had on my mind for quite some time.

It's not an exactly perfect measure, but a vertical shin on the push-off leg during the pitching delivery is a pretty good indicator of pitchers having good direction to the plate.

When the knee drifts forward over the toes, it's a pretty good sign that hip loading isn't optimal in the sagittal plane (hip flexion). Rather, the pitcher is "dumping" into the quad on the support leg. Additionally, unless you have really good ankle mobility (into dorsiflexion) it's hard to preserve a large base of support (i.e., the entire foot) through which you can apply force to the ground. The more the knee drifts forward, the more likely the heel is to come up off the ground.

Corey is a great example of a vertical shin, and it's particularly impressive because he has quite a bit of extra "coil" in his leg lift, which can often make pitchers spin out of the hip and get rotational early. His ability to load back into hip flexion and apply force into the ground improves his direction to the plate and, in turn, his consistency and command (only 34 walks in 215 innings last year).

Some great pitchers - Chris Sale and Jake Arrieta, for instance - will sacrifice good direction to the plate in order to optimize deception and/or stuff. In spite of the fact that they don't preserve heel contact along the rubber quite as long, they still preserve stability long enough into the delivery to make it work. You'll also notice these pitchers use their glove sides and "aggressive" stiffness into the front leg to bring them back on line. It's a higher maintenance delivery, but it can still be nasty. And, chances are that the success will be more related to the stuff than pristine command.

My feeling is that with young pitchers, we want to coach to improve direction. They don't have a body of work to support the legitimacy of putting themselves into bad positions. This is where good footwork and intent during catch play is so imperative; it's where they hammer home direction and learn to load into the hip instead of drifting into the knee. Long-time Cressey Sports Performance athlete Tim Collins might be the best I've ever seen in this regard, and this is one reason why he's pitched in the mid-90s at a height of 5-7 throughout his pro career.

In more advanced pitchers, you have to ask whether they've a) had success and b) stayed healthy. If the answer to both these questions is "yes," then my feeling is that you leave the direction alone and instead focus on taking care of optimizing their physical preparation.

As example, a pitcher with a less vertical shin and more closed off delivery will need more hip internal rotation, thoracic rotation, and scapular upward rotation to get to consistently throw to the glove side. And if they can't do these things well, they'll often rip off accidental cutters to the glove side, have balls run back over the plate, or just sail fastballs up and armside.

Last, but not least, my business partner (and CSP pitching coordinator) Brian Kaplan made a really good point recently: pitch "tunneling" is generally going to be significantly better for pitchers who have better direction. It makes sense, as less moving parts equates to more consistent vertical and horizontal release points, and a more direct delivery to the plate likely makes it harder for hitters to gauge depth (even if they are likely sacrificing some deception). If there is one thing our Major League hitters have told me about facing Kluber, it's that everything looks exactly the same until the split-second.

 


So, long story short, you can't separate direction from pitch design and physical preparation; they all work together. And if you're looking for a good measure of direction, vertical shin (or something close to it) is a pretty good place to start.

If you're looking to learn more about how we assess, program, and coach pitchers - both in terms of strength and conditioning and mechanics - - you won't want to miss our Elite Baseball Mentorship Upper Extremity course. Our next offering will take place at our Hudson, MA location on June 23-25. You can learn more HERE.

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 1/31/19

I didn't get around to publishing this weekly feature last week, so I've got a bit of content stockpiled. Here was the best of the bunch:

Ace in the Hole: Corey Kluber at Cressey - New England Baseball Journal just ran this cover feature and article about Corey Kluber's training at Cressey Sports Performance - Massachusetts in their February edition.

Pete Dupuis on Niche Domination in the Fitness Industry - Don't miss this excellent Robertson Training Systems podcast with my business partner, Pete Dupuis.

7 Ways to Maintain Strength During Baseball Season - With baseball season rapidly approaching, it seemed like a good idea to reincarnate this guest article from CSP-MA Director of Performance, John O'Neil.

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585x5 went well last week, so it was on to 600x5 this week. PRs aside, though, it was actually a pretty good example of how off the predicted max charts really are. 👇 After this set, I plugged 600 pounds and 5 reps into four separate predicted max calculators I found on the internet. The projections for my 1RM were anywhere from 675 pounds all the way up to 705 pounds. That 675 might be a possibility, but taking that to a 705 might very well be two years worth of specialized deadlift training. 🤔 Predicted max calculators have their place, but don't think for a second that they're perfectly accurate. And, they're even less accurate with a) more experienced lifters and b) lifters with a heavy fast twitch profile. #cspfamily #deadlift

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 1/4/19

Here's your first recommended reading/listening compilation of 2019!

Complete Youth Training - This resource was my top product review of 2018, so I reached out to Mike Boyle (the creator) to see if he'd be up for running a quick promo sale for my readers, and he kindly agreed. Through tonight at midnight, you can get $50 off on the resource. No coupon code is needed; just head HERE.

Mark Fisher on Unicorns, Ninjas, and Business Success - Mark Fisher is an awesome guy and very intelligent business resource in the fitness industry. This interview for Mike Robertson's podcast is an outstanding listen for anyone who works in our field.

Why You Should Be Planning for 2020, not 2019 - I really enjoyed this article from Benjamin Hardy. In particular, this line resonated with me: "Don’t just plant a tree, plant an orchard."

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The Best of 2017: 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 2017" feature to the top baseball posts from last year. Check them out:

1. 6 Key Factors for Developing Pitchers - In this article, I look at some things I've learned from some of our peak performing pitchers at the MLB level - and how they can help up-and-coming players.

2. Are Pitching Mechanics Really That Repeatable? - We hear the phrase "repeat your mechanics" pretty often, but you'll be surprised at how hard (or impossible) that really is to do.

3. Sports Performance: Study the Majority, and Stop Cherrypicking Exceptions to the Rule - The baseball community loves to try to build theories off of small sample sizes when we all should be looking at the majority to see what works.

4. A Letter to This Year's MLB Draft Picks - There are lots of life lessons in here for more than just baseball players.

5. Overlooked Uses for a J-Band: Part 1 and Part 2 - Here are some innovative ways that we use this awesome piece of equipment.

We've got one last "Best of 2017" list running tomorrow, so stay tuned for the closer!

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 11/20/17

I hope you had a great weekend. Before I get to the recommended reading for the week, I wanted to give you a heads-up that with it being Thanksgiving week, we're kicking off our Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales early so that you have an entire week to take advantage of them. From now though Monday, November 27, you can get 25% off on any (or all) of the Functional Stability Training resources from Mike Reinold and me. You can check them out at www.FunctionalStability.com. No coupon code is necessary.

6 Principles to Improve Your Coaching - Speaking of Functional Stability Training, here's an excerpt from the latest offering on this front, FST: Optimizing Movement.

NFL Teams Address Fatigue Factor - We've worked a lot with Fatigue Science to monitor sleep quantity and quality with our athletes, and this article goes into detail on how they're impacted NFL teams as well.

Why We Use End-Range Lift-off - Cressey Sports Performance coach Frank Duffy discusses how to build active control of your passive range of motion.

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 11/13/17

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Here's a little recommended reading and viewing to check out:

Complete Core - This is Mike Boyle's new core training/programming resource. I'm working my way through it, and so far, so good! It's on sale for 50% off this week.

Is there a correlation between coaches' leadership styles and injury rates in elite football teams? - This was a fascinating study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The Dangers of Aligning Yourself with a Specific Team or Program - Cressey Sports Performance - MA co-founder Pete Dupuis authored up this insightful piece on why you shouldn't leap at every offer of "exclusivity."

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I’m convinced that one of the (many) things that has set Corey apart over the course of his career is that he’s always made the early offseason extremely productive. 👇 While many players take 4-8 weeks of complete rest, he’s usually back in the gym in some capacity within ten days. Train smart, and you can get “easy gains” - improved mobility, rotator cuff strength, scapular control, and body composition - without interfering with the period of restoration. Over the course of a lengthy career, this could add up to more than an extra year of quality training in a sport when there never seems to be enough time to cover everything you want to cover. No matter what time of year it is, there’s always something you can do to get better. #cspfamily #cykluber #indians #mlb #Repost @frankduffyfitness (@get_repost) ・・・ I started @kinstretch work with Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber this off-season to complement his training program. Alongside his daily CARs routine, we've been working consistently on certain Positional Isometrics, Wall Peel Offs, and 90/90 Isometric Movement Paths (IsoMPs - shown in the video above). It doesn't matter if you're a Cy Young award winner or a 9-5 desk worker. The concepts of #functionalrangeconditioning and #kinstretch can be applied to all living individuals. #cspfamily #controlyourself . @drandreospina @deweynielsen @hunterfitness @danajohnflows @drmchivers @rannyron @koncious_k @ianmarkow @joegambinodpt

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 9/25/17

I hope you all had a great weekend. My kids are officially old enough that we can actually fill an entire weekend with friends' birthday parties, so that's what we did. Before I get to the recommended reading and listening for the week, I wanted to give you a quick heads-up that we'll be doing a baseball development workshop at our Jupiter, FL facility on October 19. It's only $20 to attend, and all proceeds will benefit charity. You can learn more at the following link:

The Building a Better Baseball Athlete Workshop

Certified Speed and Agility Specialist Course - Lee Taft is a go-to guy when it comes to speed and agility education, and this awesome certification demonstrates why. It was filmed at Cressey Sports Performance and was mandatory viewing for our entire staff. It's on sale for $100 off this week, so I wanted to give you a heads-up.

The Ideal Business Show with Andy McCloy - This Pat Rigsby podcast with Andy McCloy was outstanding. If you're interested in the business side of fitness, definitely give it a listen.

5 Things That Might Surprise You About Our Baseball Strength and Conditioning Programs - With the professional baseball offseason at hand, it seemed like a good time to reincarnate this from the archives.

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