Home Posts tagged "Kevin Brown"

6 Years and 6 Proud Moments for Cressey Performance

Today's guest post comes from my business partner, Pete Dupuis.

I’m pleased to say that tomorrow marks the 6-year anniversary of Cressey Performance being in business.  This also happens to be the 5th consecutive year that I have brought the upcoming date to Eric’s attention, only to learn that he was completely unaware of the occasion. I guess time flies when you're having fun!


In years past, Eric has been thankful for the reminder and eager to pull together his annual “lessons learned” blog post.  This time around, he told me that our 6th anniversary is “just about as cool as turning 22”, and that I was welcome to take the annual write-up off his hands.  I’ve decided to run with it, but will be taking a different approach. 

Instead of presenting a collection of lessons learned, I’d like to highlight the six moments and/or accomplishments I am most proud of during CP’s brief history.  Please note that this list is absolutely not prioritized in any specific order.  I’d be perfectly fine with each and every one of these six topics being #1 on this list.  Here goes!

1. 2,320 in 2,190

CP has worked with 2,320 different athletes during the 2,190 days we’ve been in business.  This means that I’ve had the pleasure of outlining our price points and training model so many times that I can effectively give the pitch on auto-pilot. I have also spent a considerable amount of time fine-tuning the answer to the question “so what do you do?” that pops up every time I sit down next to a stranger at a wedding.  You’d be surprised how difficult it can be to articulate what we do without just taking the easy way out and saying “I own a gym”.

Most importantly to me, this statistic means that we have managed to generate more than one lead a day over a 6-year span without ever spending a dollar on conventional advertising.  Instead, we focus on results, and never say no when someone asks if they can get their hands on a CP t-shirt to wear around their baseball clubhouse.  I couldn’t tell you what the industry standard is supposed to be for successful lead generation, but I am proud of this number.

2. Our Dream Facility

As we’ve mentioned before, our first facility was smaller than the footprint of our current offices.  Upon opening our doors during the summer of 2007, we were in a space that could be best described as “bare-bones”.  The windows were broken, the space was dusty, and the bathrooms were questionable at best.  With this being said, I was every bit as proud of that first unit as I am of our current facility.


On August 26, 2012, we opened the doors to a training space that fits our needs perfectly.  I spent the majority of the three months leading up to this event preparing the layout for the space, installing carpet tiles for the warm-up area with our resident handy-man Pickles, and painting accent walls in the office.   During that same time, Eric, Tony, Chris, Greg and Michelle were keeping CP cranking at a record-setting pace so that the bank account was getting replenished while I spent aggressively at Home Depot and Perform Better!

I think I speak for our entire team when I say that we are thrilled with our new-look gym. 

3. Productive Internship Program

At last count, CP had had the pleasure of working with over 70 different interns.  These 70 individuals not only worked hard to become better coaches during their time with us, but they also helped to create a training experience for our clients that kept them excited about training, and eager to be part of the CP community.

It seems that all of our former interns have gone on to be great professionals within our field, and many have successfully transitioned to being influential contributors to the world of health and fitness.  I am pleased every single day to see them doing big things throughout this constantly evolving industry.

In six years, I have reviewed more than 500 internship applications, executed roughly 200 telephone interviews, and sent out over 400 emails notifying applicants that they have not been accepted (least favorite part of my job).  When all was said and done, the 70 accepted applicants rose to the top of the list, and we’ve been very fortunate to have their help in cultivating the CP Family.  Which leads me to…

4. CP Family

A couple of years back, we had an intern who was truly flustered when I told him that my biggest piece of advice for making the most of his experience with us was to focus on creating relationships with our clients.  He had just completed an internship at a strength & conditioning facility where he’d been specifically told, “you’re not here to make friends…you’re here to coach."

This couldn’t possibly be further from the mentality we have when it comes to creating a family atmosphere within the walls of CP. I am fortunate enough to wake up excited to go to work every single day, and it is because I’m going to a place where my job is to make friends and facilitate an environment that people are excited to visit.  We take this component of our business very seriously, and there are many CP clients who I consider to be part of my inner circle of friends.

Most importantly, this type of environment is one that can’t exist without employing a staff that truly cares about its clients.  While I haven’t gone ahead and given the CP team it’s own spot on this list of achievements, I can say with confidence that you will not find a staff in this industry that cares more about being great at what they do. 


5. Seeing the System Come Full Circle

Following the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Eric wrote a fantastic post about the accomplishments and work ethic of current Chicago Cubs prospect, Kevin Brown.  Kevin has been a regular at CP since the end of his sophomore year of high school.  In the time since we’ve been working with him, we’ve watched Kevin transition from scrappy middle infielder on his high school varsity baseball team, to a division one baseball player who set multiple school records at Bryant University, to a 22nd round draft pick who has since signed his first professional contract.

Kevin is, in fact, one of just a few athletes we have seen make this progression in their baseball careers (Travis Dean being another), and it has been rewarding to be able to observe the process first-hand.  I am proud of the fact that both of these athletes have been with us since the very first few months we were in business, and I’m proud of the fact that they both made it a priority to get a training session in at CP on the day that they each left to report to their first day as professional athletes. As you can see, they did not hesitate to sign the Pro Athlete Autograph Wall at CP.


6. The Fact that We're Just Hitting Our Stride

In a way, I’m more excited about what we’re going to accomplish, than what we have so far.  I’m excited about the career prospects of the 40 CP athletes who have been taken in the last three MLB First-Year Player Drafts.  I’m excited about the coming 2014 Draft.  I’m excited about our relationship with the good people at New Balance Baseball.  I’m excited for our college ballplayers to return to fall-ball ready to reap the benefits of a summer of hard work.  I’m excited to chat with the next person who calls to inquire about our services.

When finally stopped to think about it, I realized that I’m just plain excited about what we’re doing here.  And that’s pretty exciting.

To learn more about Cressey Performance, check out our website, or watch this video to learn more about our Elite Baseball Development Program.

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2013 MLB Draft Thoughts: Talking vs. Doing

Late Saturday afternoon, the 2013 MLB Draft wrapped up, with a record 15 Cressey Sports Performance athletes having been taken over the three days.  It's always a great time of year, as being drafted is a dream come true for just about anyone who has ever picked up a baseball.  While I'm proud of all 15 guys, there was one guy in particular whose story is particularly valuable for up-and-coming baseball players to read.  Kevin Brown was drafted in the 22nd round by the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, and you can learn a lot from him - but need to hear his story first.

This was the first time I ever saw Kevin play baseball.

No, Kevin wasn't among those celebrating.  He was the unfortunate sophomore who struck out looking while down a run in the ninth inning with men on base to end the Massachusetts Division 1 State Championship game.  I was there to see a bunch of other guys I trained from the other team, including the pitcher, who was the Massachusetts State Player of the Year in 2007.  They celebrated right in front of him.

Two weeks later, Kevin started training at Cressey Sports Performance - right alongside most of the guys from the winning team.  It was somewhat of an awkward moment, to say the least (particularly when Kevin recognized the other team's catcher in the middle of a set of push-ups).  Our entire staff quickly realized that this kid meant business, though.  Whether it was the way he was "wired" or just that he was extra motivated from the tough loss and the way that it ended, Kevin quickly became a "facility favorite" for his outstanding work ethic.  He was a kid who would always show up on time with a smile on his face, and then he'd flip a switch and get after it.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that even as a 16 year-old, Kevin would have run through a wall for me if I'd asked him to do so.

The next year, as a junior, he led the state in home runs.  Still, he didn't get many looks on the college recruiting front.  Even some of the bigger name schools in New England alone said that they didn't think he was good enough to play for them.  Fortunately, Bryant University - which had just made the move up to Division 1 from the D2 ranks - saw something in him and offered him a scholarship.  A few weeks after he accepted it, he went to play down South for the first time.  In a fall ball tournament, he went 8-14 against some of the best high school prospects in the country at the World Wood Bat event in Jupiter, FL.  Quite a few college coaches came out of the woodwork to ask, "Who is this kid?"  Uh, he was the kid you either ignored or overlooked.


At Bryant, Kevin went on to be named Northeast Conference Freshman of the year, and was one of only 15 freshman All-Americans in the country. He started all 56 games and hit .355.  He was one of the better hitters in the New England Collegiate Baseball League the following summer, and eventually went on to play in the Cape Cod Baseball League.  This year, Kevin hit .367 with a .498 on-base percentage.  In the process, he set a bunch of hitting records at Bryant, and this year, he reached base safely in 16-straight at-bats, falling just two short of the NCAA record. The team advanced to their first ever NCAA Regional and won a game in the process. In addition to being named Bryant's Male Athlete of the Year, "Brownie" was awarded the Omar Shareef Spirit Award, which is voted on by student-athletes themselves. In short, Kevin was tremendously successful - and he did it the right way, earning the respect of coaches and teammates/peers.

I also should note that in a game this year against a college that refused to recruit him, Kevin went 3-3 with a 3B, HR, 2BB, 4RBI, a SB, and 2 runs scored. I guess they didn't see what we did.

As an interesting aside, we had another player, Carl Anderson, commit to play baseball at Bryant two years after Kevin did.  When he left for school, I told Carl to just follow Brownie around and do everything he did.  They trained together at CSP and in the cages all winter. Carl went on to hit .341 with a .405 OBP and stole 20 bases this year. I guess he picked a good training partner.


If you walked in to Cressey Sports Performance, you'd never find a person who could say a bad thing about Kevin. They'd rave about his work ethic and unconditionally positive and polite demeanor.  And, they'd tell you that Kevin was a "do-er" and not a "talker."

I see far too many kids that worry about what others think of them.  They'll post on Twitter about how they're in "beast mode." And, they'll make sure that all their baseball "eyewash" - flat brims, upside-down sunglasses, silly bracelets, necklaces, and arm sleeves - are all in place before they walk in to the gym...only to take them off to train.  And, they'll check their cell phone for text messages between sets. Then, they'll complain when people don't recognize their "talent."  It's like they expect things to be handed to them on a silver platter. They'll insist that they have to attend a big-name Division 1 school when they really ought to be picking a school where they can actually play and develop.  They'd rather "talk" than "do."

Meanwhile, there is a very small minority of players out there who are busting their butts, appreciating that they need to work to earn what comes their way. They're the Kevin Browns of the world who have experienced failures, been overlooked, and flown under the radar.  They don't want to draw attention to themselves because they are too modest and, frankly, they don't want any distractions.  It's a lot easier to run through the wall if there isn't anything in the way.  They absolutely love the game, so the hours of training feel a lot more like "fun" than "work," as they enjoy the process as much as they covet the destination. In fact, just listen to what Kevin's Dad had to say at the 5:23 mark of our Elite Baseball Development video.

They're guys like Steve Cishek and Tim Collins, who've made it to the big leagues and played for Team USA when nobody even thought they could play D1 college baseball.


And, guys like this are why you can be sure that I just became a little more of a Chicago Cubs fan - and you probably ought to be a little more of one, too.  And, it's why you should think long and hard about whether you're more of a "talker" or a "doer." You might just realize that you aren't working quite as hard as you could be.

Congratulations, Kevin, and bust of luck...not that you need it.

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Off-Season Baseball Training at Cressey Performance

It's been a few months in the making, but we just finished up a promo video about how we attack off-season baseball training at Cressey Performance for our professional, collegiate, and high school baseball players.

We'd love to hear what you think - and hopefully you'll like it enough to help spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks! A big shoutout goes out to Jamie and Matt at Lasting Memories Videotaping; these guys do an awesome job, and we can't recommend them highly enough! Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive a Copy of the Exact Stretches used by Cressey Performance Pitchers after they Throw!
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