Home Posts tagged "Moneyball"

Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 5/22/20

I hope you've had a good week. Here's a little content from around the 'Net to kick off your weekend on the right foot.

EC on the Just Fly Performance Podcast - I joined Joel Smith for a discussion on skill development, shoulder training, how our philosophies at Cressey Sports Performance have evolved over the years, and how I view/manage asymmetries in athletes.

Coach to Coach - This new book from Martin Rooney is a quick read, but one that includes several profound messages for coaches. I'd highly recommend it not only for young coaches looking to "find their way," but also veteran coaches who need to rediscover why they became coaches in the first place.

Michael Lewis: Inside the Mind of an Iconic Writer - I really enjoyed Tim Ferriss' interview with Michael Lewis, best known in my world for authoring Moneyball. He provided some cool insights on the origins of his research into baseball, and also intrigued me at some of the practices he's employed to develop as a writer.

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Here's a cool visual of the subscapularis, the largest of the rotator cuff muscles. In this video, you'll see its ability to internally rotate the humerus. More importantly, though, you have to appreciate what isn't seen here: the pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi muscles. You see, these powerful internal rotators (and others) attach further down on the humerus, which means that they don't have any direct control over the head of the humerus as they create that internal rotation, whether it's in a throwing motion, dumbbell bench press, or some other IR movement. The subscapularis absolutely has to be the largest of the rotator cuff muscles because it has to "keep up with" the largest muscles of the upper body to maintain keep the humeral head (ball) centered on the glenoid fossa (socket) during internal rotation. If it doesn't do its job, the humeral head glides can glide forward and irritate the structures at the anterior aspect of the joint: long head of the biceps tendon, glenohumeral ligaments, nerve/vascular structures, etc. ūüĎá This is a perfect illustration of arthrokinematics (subtle motions at joint surfaces: rolling, rocking, gliding) vs. osteokinematics (larger movements between bones: flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, ER/IR). Every gross movement of the body relies heavily on a finely tuned interaction between these two kinds of movement - and you'd be hard pressed to find a better example than subscapularis. #Repost @dr.alvaromuratore @get_repost_easily #repost_easily ****** El m√ļsculo subescapular esta ubicado en la cara anterior del hombro, su funci√≥n principal es la rotaci√≥n interna. En este preparado anat√≥mico se puede ver al subescapular realizando rotaci√≥n interna , adem√°s se observa la ap√≥fisis coracoides con el ligamento coracoacromial y el tendon de la porci√≥n corta del biceps. En El h√ļmero se observa la porci√≥n larga del biceps cubierta por el ligamento transverso.

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 9/23/11

Here are a few strength and conditioning recommendations for the week: The Right Way to Stretch the Pecs - This is an old article of mine at T-Nation that I just referred to with an online consulting client.  It made me realize that this good information has been lost in the archives - and it's definitely worth a read. The Dangers of and Solutions to Indoor Air Pollution - Filed this one under general health, as opposed to strength and conditioning or nutrition, but it's still a great read from Brian St. Pierre. Moneyball - This isn't much of a strength and conditioning recommendation, either, but I will say that it was a movie I really enjoyed.  I was invited to a premiere of the flick here in Boston last night, and as a "baseball guy," I thought it was really well done.

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Stuff You Should Read: 4/4/10

I'm about to head out to go to Fenway Park for the season-opening Red Sox vs. Yankees game.  So, with the baseball season officially underway, I thought it'd be good to kick this week off with a collection of baseball-related recommended reading material.  Of course, you can certainly always find plenty of great stuff on the Baseball Content Page here at EricCressey.com.  That said, here are just a few personal favorite articles that I've written (it was tough to just pick a few, as I love writing about this stuff!): Crossfit for Baseball Developing Young Pitchers the Safe Way Risk-Reward in Training Pitchers Weighted Baseballs: Safe and Effective or Stupid and Dangerous? And a few baseball books that I'd highly recommend: License to Deal (great look at the sports agent/representation industry)




And some favorite baseball-related DVDs:

The 2009 Ultimate Pitching Coaches Bootcamp DVD Set

Optimal Shoulder Performance (just released last week, and only around at the introductory price for a bit longer)


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Random Friday Thoughts: 2/20/09

Let's get right to it... 1. Here's a link to a great news story about Cressey Performance athlete Olympic Bobsled hopeful Bree Schaaf: Bree Schaff hopes to be on US Olympic Bobsled Team 2. Here's this week's mind-numbing personal trainer moment... Our facility landlord spends much of his winter down in Florida, and as he told me yesterday, he went to a personal trainer down there to help him with some chronic shoulder pain he's had (this is funny, because I'm in his building and he never thought to ask me, but I won't digress).  I talked with him for a few minutes, and without even having to physically examine him, I could tell it was a classic ol' supraspinatus tendinosis (external impingement - but it's more complex than that, as I've written in Newslettter 130 and 131).  Taking him through some provocative tests just verified everything; he had extremely poor scapular stability (abducted and anteriorly tilted), markedly limited glenohumeral external rotation, and poor thoracic mobility.  This is a pretty easy one to fix, I think. Since he isn't going to be back up here full-time for a month or two, I asked him what he'd been doing with his personal trainer to address the shoulder issue.  So, he shows me this stretch that they've been doing three times a week:


For the record, he wasn't wearing the short shorts and funky tube socks, and didn't appear so "cartoonish," but you get the idea.  My bigger concern was that this dude was treating a) scapular instability and b) poor external rotation ROM with a stretch into internal rotation without the scapula stabilized.  This is analagous to taking someone with poor glute function and stretching the lumbar spine into flexion.  You're stretching the wrong structures at the wrong joint! And, to take it a step further, this movement actually closely resembles two provocative tests for symptomatic impingement:

[caption id="attachment_2963" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Hawkins Kennedy Test"]The Hawkins Kennedy Test[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2964" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Yocum's Test"]Yocum's Test[/caption]

So, I guess you could say that our landlord paying this personal trainer to tell him to do this stretch is roughly on par with paying someone to bang your head against a wall when you have a headache.

Once again, it all comes down to assessment.  If you can't assess, you can't effectively prescribe exercises to prevent or correct imbalances.  For more information, check out Building the Efficient Athlete.

3. I gave Moneyball (one of my favorite books) a mention and some love in a recent newsletter, and then Tony Gentilcore sent me a link about how the book may be turned into a movie starring Brad Pitt. It better be good, because if it isn't, I'll berate Pitt mercilessly for tarnishing the reputation of a great read.


That's all I've got for this week, folks.  The shoulder rant above sapped the life from me, so I'll recharge this weekend and bounce back with some good stuff for you on Monday.  Enjoy the weekend!

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Baseball and Strength

Free Teleseminar Series at SportsRehabExpert.com I just wanted to give you all a heads-up on a great audio series - Sports Rehab to Sports Performance - that Joe Heiler has pulled together.  I'll was interviewed on Friday, and Joe's also chatted will Mike Boyle, Gray Cook, Kyle Kiesel, Stuart McGill, Phil Plisky, Brett Jones, and Charlie Weingroff.   The entire interview series is COMPLETELY FREE and begins airing later tomorrow night.  You can get more information HERE. Also, don't forget that the third annual Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning Winter Seminar is fast approaching.  For more information, click here. Snowy Sunday Sentiments Yesterday, in an email exchange I was having with some guys who are really "in the know" in the world of baseball pitching, one of them commented that pitchers need to start thinking more along the lines of training like Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  In other words, less external loading, more pure-body weight drills, and a big focus on reactive ability (plyometrics drills, for the lay population). I'll be the first to recognize Polamalu's accomplishments on the field - including an interception return for a touchdown yesterday.  And, I admit that I don't know much about his training philosophy aside from what I have seen in 3-4 minute YouTube and NFL clips.  So, I guess you could say that my point of contention is with what some folks take from viewing these clips, as was the case with this email exchange.  So, I'll be very clear that I'm not criticizing the Sportslab philosophy; I'd love to buy these guys lunch and pick their brains, in fact. However, I've got two cents to add - or maybe even three our four cents, depending on how poorly the American dollar is doing nowadays.  I'm writing this on a snowy day in Massachusetts and I've got a little bit of extra time on my hands (a rarity during the baseball off-season for me). I think that it is wrong to assume that weight training is unnecessary and plyometrics are sufficient for injury prevention and performance enhancement in pitchers.  This is a common belief held among a large body of pitching coaches that I feel really needs to be addressed. The fundamental problem I see is that a system that relies extensively on training elastic qualities.  Or, in the terminology I like to use, it teaches an athlete to be more "spring," making better use of elastic energy from the tendons.  This works best in an athlete who is largely static, or has a solid base of muscular strength. Who would be a static athlete?  Well, one example would be an athlete who gained a lot of strength in the previous four years...say, Troy Polamalu.  He was a first-round draft pick out of USC, known for a good program under strength and conditioning coach Chris Carlisle.  They've packed lots of muscle and strength on loads of high school guys over the years, no doubt.  Polamalu may not realize it, but those four years of USC training probably set him up for the positive results he's seeing in this program - especially when you compare him to a good chunk of the NFL that now uses machine-based HIT training because they're afraid of weight-room injuries. Basically, for the most part, only the freaky athletes make it to the "big dance" in football, so the S&C coach is responsibly for not hurting them.   It's not much different in the world of baseball - but we're dealing with a MORE TRAINED population in the first place. I'm sure that many of you have read Moneyball (and if you haven't, you should).  One thing that they touch on over and over again is that high school draft picks don't pan out as well as college draft picks.


Sure, it has to do with facing better hitters and maturing another four years psychologically.  However, one factor that nobody ever touches on is that these college draft picks have another four years of strength and conditioning under their belt in most cases.  It may not be baseball-specific in many cases, but I would definitely argue that it's better than nothing.  Strength goes a long way, but physiologically and psychologically. And, that's what I want you to think about until my next newsletter comes out - when I'll get a bit more to the science of all this, and how it's been demonstrated in professional baseball. New Blog Content Random Friday Thoughts How to Make an Exercise Tougher Another CP Intern on the Road to Diesel Frozen Ankles, Ugly Squatting Until next time, train hard and have fun. EC 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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