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High Performance Training, Personal Trainer, Online Sports Training | Performance & Health
Updated: 18 hours 30 min ago

“Coil” in the Pitching Delivery: Friend or Foe?

Sat, 09/21/2019 - 20:03

I came across this awesome still-frame of Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin on the Nationals instagram the other day. This positioning at the top of his leg lift offers an important reminder of how the transverse plane can be your biggest ally or enemy in the pitching delivery.

        View this post on Instagram                  

☺ May I take your hat, sir? ☺

A post shared by Washington nationals (@nationals) on Sep 18, 2019 at 6:29am PDT

As you can see, Corbin has some “coil” to his leg lift, which creates more internal rotation on the trailing hip right as he starts to progress into his hip load (hinge/flexion). This pre-tensioning allows him to store a little extra elastic energy as he heads down the mound toward front foot plant. It also can provide a bit more deception to make the hitter’s job more challenging. And, perhaps most importantly, it sets up more of a “sweeping” slider, similar to what we see with pitchers like Chris Sale and Steve Cishek. All good, right?

Steve Cishek, Wicked 78mph Slider.

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Believing in the Basics with Kyle Driscoll

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 05:09

We’re excited to welcome Cressey Sports Performance – Massachusets strength and conditioning coach and associated pitching coordinator Kyle Driscoll 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 the CSP staff onboarded and assessed each college athlete for the Elite College Development Program
  • What specific strategies Kyle used to assess the pitchers in the program, including subjective evaluations and the use of technology like Rapsodo and high-speed camera
  • Why evaluating each pitcher’s routine is key component of an initial assessment
  • How understanding exactly where a pitcher is on day one allowed Kyle to structure realistic, obtainable goals for each player to achieve over the 10 week program
  • What the most surprising lessons Kyle took away from initial evaluations of the college summer program were
  • What goes into matching up throwing partners
  • What Kyle’s approach was for designing each athlete’s throwing program and why he made sure to teach them how to effectively program for themselves following their experience at CSP
  • How the synergy of CSP works to consolidate stress in the college summer program and how Kyle specifically programs throwing alongside the strength and conditioning component
  • What specific positions Kyle looks for pitchers to hit in their throwing delivery – and how they can reinforce these positions in the weight room
  • Why Kyle emphasizes certain positions early in the delivery so quality movement is persevered as the throwing motion becomes faster down the chain
  • What specific pitch design and velocity changes individuals made over the summer
  • What the most influential takeaways for the pitchers that attended the Elite College Development Program and how these takeaways stretch far beyond mechanical adjustments

You can follow Kyle on Twitter at @kdrisc35  and on Instagram at @bigdriskk.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s a NSF certified 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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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 9/12/19

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 04:18

I hope you’re hadving a great week. Here’s a little recommended reading and listening to keep it rolling.

Complete Coach Certification – Mike Robertson launched this excellent continuing education resource for trainers last week. I just finished working my way through it and it was outstanding.

Models of Skills are Important – Lee Taft interviewed Dan Pfaff for this podcast, and it was absolutely outstanding.

Shoulder Assessment and Treatment with Eric Cressey – Speaking of podcasts, I was a guest on the Squat University Podcast recently. I talked a lot of shoulders with the host, physical therapist Aaron Horschig.

An Alternate Approach to Summer Ball: The Rise of Private Facility Training – This article from Aaron Fitt at D1Baseball.com highlights how many athletes are taking non-traditional approaches to summer development for baseball. Aaron shadowed a training session with Duke pitcher Bryce Jarvis at Cressey Sports Performance.

Top Tweet of the Week

#Phillies 1B Logan Morrison discussing how he identifies when guys are tipping pitches. Hear the entire interview on the latest CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: https://t.co/XlNPCBfdTk pic.twitter.com/KywvUWEIyS

— Eric Cressey (@EricCressey) August 31, 2019

Top Instagram Post of the Week

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The overhead view in a pitching delivery can enable you to see certain things that can’t be appreciated from other perspectives. Foremost among these is the ability to differentiate between thoracic rotation (upper back motion) and horizontal abduction (shoulder motion).

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Building a Better Throwing Program with Alan Jaeger

Tue, 09/10/2019 - 21:22

We’re excited to welcome highly regarded pitching consultant Alan Jaeger to this week’s podcast to discuss long toss and both performance and rehabilitation throwing programs. 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 Alan became known as “the long toss guy”
  • How experience as a young junior college arm led him to developing his throwing strategies
  • How Alan defines long toss and what the specific priorities of a quality long toss session are
  • How long toss facilitates self-organization of the body and intuitive feel for how to throw the ball efficiently
  • How stretching it out and working back to your partner with conviction gives pitchers the variance they need to remain athletic and free on the mound rather than repeatable and robotic
  • What big mistakes Alan sees in athletes’ daily catch play as well as the programming of their throwing sessions
  • How Alan liked to structure throwing for pitchers on 5- and 7-day rotations
  • Where Alan sees room for improvements in rehabilitation throwing programs
  • How the conversation about long toss has evolved over the last 20 years, specifically in professional baseball
  • How some MLB organizations still resist long toss, but why young front office phenoms are playing an influential role in transforming baseball into a more progressive era
  • How understanding a player’s background gives great insight into how they’ll function at a high level
  • How players can learn to respectfully say no to complete overhauls in their abilities and be prepared to stand their ground to preserve the longevity of their career
  • You can follow Alan on Twitter at @JaegerSports  and on Instagram at @JaegerSports.

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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Why the Overhead Angle Matters in the Pitching Delivery

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 07:55

The overhead view in a pitching delivery can enable you to see certain things that can’t be appreciated from other perspectives. Foremost among these is the ability to differentiate between thoracic rotation (upper back motion) and horizontal abduction (shoulder motion).

In this image taken just prior to stride foot contact, Gerrit Cole’s pelvis has already rotated counterclockwise toward the plate while his torso is still rotating clockwise. This is the hip-shoulder separation throwers seek for generating big time velocity.

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Like H-Town in the summertime

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Offseason Planning with John O’Neil

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 06:23

Episode 25 of the podcast features a collaborative effort between Cressey Sports Performance – Massachusetts Director of Performance John O’Neil and me. We go in-depth on the topic of planning out an effective baseball offseason for high school, college, and professional players. This week’s episode is brought to you by Joovv Red Light Therapy. The research on the wide-ranging health benefits of red light therapy are compelling, and Joovv is at the forefront of delivering this technology to improve your health and performance. Head to www.Joovv.com/eric and enter coupon code CRESSEY to get a special gift with your purchase.

Show Outline

  • How John and Eric model their training programs to optimize an individual’s off-season
  • What John’s off-season training priorities are when working with high school, college, and professional athletes
  • How having a single sport high school athlete impacts off-season training
  • What factors high school ball players should consider when deciding to play fall ball
  • Why consistency is the most important aspect of a training program and how John emphasizes this message to his youth athletes
  • Why health and performance are not mutually exclusive in the world of performance enhancement
  • How coaches can find success with athletes by identifying the duration of time they have them, honing in on low-hanging fruit in their development, and working backward to drive favorable changes in their abilities
  • What training qualities John focuses on developing early in an individual’s offseason and how these strategies are progressed as an athlete transitions to being in-season
  • Why building a robust aerobic base is of high priority early in the off-season and how this idea transforms into more power related development as the off-season progresses
  • How John conceptualizes his sprint progressions for athletes
  • Why off-season training slowly builds athletes to move more explosively as they approach the season and how John specifically translates general motor potential into skill specific activity
  • What a typical professional off-season training program looks like
  • How John and Eric model off-season training programs around throwing programs to make sure their baseball players are prepared for all facets of their sport

You can follow John on Instagram at @oneilstrength and Twitter at @oneilstrength, and reach out to us at cspmass@gmail.com for offseason training inquiries.

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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3 Thoughts for Getting the Glutes Going

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 06:52

Recently, I box squatted for the first time in a few months - and the posterior chain soreness I felt got me thinking about the functional anatomy in play, particularly with respect to the glutes. Here's what's rattling around my brain on that front (warning: functional anatomy heavy nerd post ahead).

1. People think of the gluteus maximus too much as a hip extensor and not enough as a posterior glider of the femoral head.

The gluteus maximus is an important prime mover of the hip - especially into hip extension. However, it's also a crucial stabilizer. The other hip extensors - hamstrings and adductor magnus - have inferior attachment points lower down on the femur.

Meanwhile, the gluteus maximus actually inserts higher up - right near the femoral head.

The result is that when you extend your hips with the hamstrings and adductor magnus, the head of the femur can glide forward in the socket and irritate the front of the hip. When you get adequate gluteus maximus contribution, it helps to reduce this anterior stress. In many ways, the glutes work as a rotator cuff of the hip (while the hamstrings and adductor magnus act like the lats and pecs, respectively).

2. Glute activation can be a game changer with respect to chronic quadratus lumborum (QL) tightness - but only if you perform exercises correctly.

Shirley Sahrmann and her disciples have frequently observed that whenever you see an overworked muscle, you should always look for a dysfunctional synergist. A common example at the shoulder is a cranky biceps tendon picking up the slack for an ineffective rotator cuff.

Quadratus lumborum fits the bill in the core/lower extremity because its attachment points unify the pelvis, lumbar spine, and ribs.

When it shortens, it pulls the spine into lateral flexion and the lumbar spine into extension. In other words, it can give you "fake" hip abduction and hip extension - both of which come from the glutes. Whether you're doing mini-band sidesteps, side-lying clams, or loading your hips in a pitching delivery, you need to make sure the movement is happening at the ball-socket (femoral head - acetabulum) rather than at the spine. And, when you're doing your prone hip extension, supine bridges, hip thrusts, and deadlifts, you want to make sure you're getting true hip extension and not just extra low back arching.

3. The eccentric role of the glutes in the lower extremity might be their most key contribution.

When heel strike happens, it kicks off the process of pronation in the lower extremity. This pronation drives internal rotation of the tibia and, in turn, the femur. There is a lot of ground reaction force and range of motion that must be controlled, so much of it is passed up the chain because we simply don't have that much cross-sectional area in the muscles below the knee. Because it functions in three planes of motion, the gluteus maximus is in an awesome position to help by slowing down femoral internal rotation, adduction, and flexion.

If you're looking to learn more about how functional anatomy impacts how you assess, coach, and program, I'd strongly encourage you to check out Mike Robertson's new Complete Coach Certification. I've had the opportunity to review it, and it's absolutely fantastic. You can learn more - and get a nice introductory discount - HERE.

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Random Thoughts on Sports Performance Training – Installment 34

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 07:59

It’s been a while since I published one of these compilations, so I’ve got quite a “brain dump” for you today. Here goes!

1. Correct “overhead lifting” work is especially important for volleyball players.

After this Instagram post on the importance of correct overhead lifting exercises and coaching cues, a volleyball coach reached out to ask if I felt the same overhead principles would apply to volleyball as with baseball. His point was that the arm-swings are very similar, but being in the air may make a difference.

The short answer is that YES, these strength training principles would apply to volleyball players as well. I’d even argue they’d apply MORE for two reasons:

a. Volleyball players are generally a hypermobile population who can benefit even more from the enhanced motor control that proper weight training affords. Effectively, you’re giving them stability through the (potentially excessive) range of motion they have.

b. The fact that the violent arm actions happen in mid-air means that you don’t have a lower half to help with deceleration (as is the case with baseball players). The upper extremity needs to be that much more well timed and strong.

2. Red light therapy might be the next big sports science breakthrough.

I first came across red light therapy when some clients commented on how they’d utilized it for a variety of health and human performance initiatives – both focal (sore wrist) and diffuse (chronic disease). I dug deeper, and the research was super compelling. There are clinical applications for everything from sleep quality/quantity, to cognitive function, to migraines, to improved hormonal status, to exercise recovery. I’ve started utilizing it myself and I can see it becoming an integral part of our sports science approach at Cressey Sports Performance.

Joovv is a company that’s at the forefront of the application of red light therapy, and they actually sponsored this week’s podcast. If you head to www.Joovv.com/eric, you can learn more – and get a free gift with your purchase.

3. Sports are random practice.

I’ve been a big advocate for avoiding early sports specialization if your goal is not only a positive experience with exercise to build lifelong habits, but also long-term athletic success. Supporters of playing multiple sports rarely outline the specific “mechanism of action” for why multiple sports really works for development, though.

In my opinion, these benefits are mediated because most sports are the very definition of random (unpredictable and varied) practice. You change direction a ton with soccer, basketball, and tennis – but you’re usually responding to an opponent or making strategic calls on the fly on your own. You use both hands and feet in unique ways. These experiences are markedly different than going out and just throwing 30 pitches off the mound in baseball, something that’s entirely closed loop and only has a small amount of variance: blocked practice. The research on motor learning has clearly demonstrated that random practice outperforms blocked practice with longer-term retention tests and the associated skill acquisition.

Also, this should serve as a good reminder of how awesome playgrounds are.

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Watching our daughters grow up has been a remarkable lesson on when to coach and when to take a step back and observe. Early on in parenting, you watch your kids take big tumbles where you think they have a concussion or torn ACL. Then they giggle, get back up, and keep playing. They’re far more resilient than we think, and it demonstrates that failure can often be the best teacher. Coaches – once you’ve established rapport and foundational movement quality with your athletes, seek opportunities for them to fail SAFELY in training, when there aren’t physical or psychological consequences. Parents – don’t protect your kids from failure. Rather, embrace its remarkable ability to teach and prepare them for whatever challenges await them in sports and life. Kids – don’t let your parents pave the way for you so that you avoid failure. And be sure to seek out coaches who consistently challenge you even if it results in the aforementioned failures. Swipe left to watch our girl crushing it on the playground in spite of a little taste of failure.

Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Logan Morrison

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 19:32

We’re excited to welcome Philadelphia Phillies First Baseman Logan Morrison to this week’s podcast. This week’s episode is brought to you by Joovv Red Light Therapy. The research on the wide-ranging health benefits of red light therapy are compelling, and Joovv is at the forefront of delivering this technology to improve your health and perforance. Head to www.Joovv.com/eric and enter coupon code CRESSEY to get a special gift with your purchase.

Show Outline

  • How baseball has changed since Logan was acquired as a draft and follow in 2005
  • What the biggest differences from level to level are in pro baseball
  • How the way evaluating players has transformed from merely getting on base to how much a hitter produces at the plate as organizations begin to value metrics like OPS+ over batting average
  • How Logan’s approach at the plate has evolved over the years
  • How has the increased use of data, analytics, and technology impacted Logan’s career
  • Why Logan has adopted a short memory to survive in the world of baseball and how he has learned to manage his desire to avoid complacency
  • How Logan has learned to read pitchers and recognize common tendencies that tip pitches to opposing hitters
  • How training to be durable in the off-season and simplifying his process at the plate allowed Logan to have a breakout 2017
  • Why Logan doesn’t take batting practice on field before games and instead chooses to lighten his workload in the cages to stay quick and fresh for the swings that matter
  • What lessons Logan learned from Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez and MVPs Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich
  • How differentiating when to be analytical and when to compete have impacted Logan’s career as a hitter
  • What strategies coaches can implement to be more impactful for their players
  • What coaching cues and minute details Logan has focused on in his swing to become a more consistent hitter
  • How Logan’s father influenced his early development and love for the game of baseball and what lessons Logan would pass on to his son if he wanted to pursue a career in professional baseball
  • How social media has impacted Logan’s career

You can follow Logan on Instagram at @lomogram.

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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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 8/26/19

Mon, 08/26/2019 - 06:11

I hope you had a good weekend. Here’s a list of recommended reading and listening for the week ahead:

EC on the Physical Preparation Podcast – This is my third time on Mike Robertson’s podcast, and it’s always a great time. Speaking of Mike, he’s launching an awesome training certification in the next few weeks. I’ve had a chance to preview it, and it’s outstanding stuff. You can learn more and get on the announcement list HERE.

EC on the Leave Your Mark Podcast -This was a fun podcast with Scott Livingston. We talked a lot more about my upbringing and how Cressey Sports Performance came to be than we did actual training stuff, so it’s a good listen for anyone interested in career development.

I Got My Hip Replaced at 39. Here’s Why That Might Get More Common – It’s not often that you get an insightful article on a sports medicine topic, but this one was really good. Spoiler alert: hip replacements are getting much more durable – and it should continue in the decades ahead.

Top Tweet of the Week

If teenage athletes want to take a big step forward in development, it would be wise to make an effort to “out-sleep” and “out-eat” their peers. These two things are powerful magnifiers of everything they do in skill development and strength and conditioning. @FlatgroundApp

— Eric Cressey (@EricCressey) August 21, 2019

Top Instagram Post of the Week

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So many people hate on big leg kicks because they think it makes things too high maintenance. I wish more people would realize that any potential drawbacks are usually outweighed by the fact that this unloading of the front leg increases back hip load and can actually make rotational force production more efficient because ideal direction is preserved. I don’t think the baseball or S&C field as a whole appreciates that a lot of athletes barely get into their back hips during hitting, pitching, med ball work, etc. Sometimes, a bigger leg lift in front is the quickest way to find the back hip.

Exercise of the week: Rear Foot Elevated 1-arm Low Cable Row

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 11:54

This week’s exercise of the week features a new spin on an old favorite of ours. By elevating the rear foot, you can get more weight shift into the front hip on split-stance low cable rows.

In both pitchers and hitters athletes, we’re constantly seeking better ways to teach front hip pull-back – and this is an awesome exercise for feeling the involved musculature. If you want to see this in action, check out the 29-30 second mark in this video of Zach Greinke:

I was surprised at how heavy we’ve been able to go on this exercise, as I expected a big drop off in resistance utilized because of the balancing component that’s involved. In athletes with some single-leg proficiency, though, the rear-foot elevated 1-arm low cable row is an awesome progression.

If you’re looking to learn more about how we assess, program, and coach at the shoulder girdle, be sure to check out my popular resource, Sturdy Shoulder Solutions.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

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Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Monitoring Arm Stress and Workload with Ben Hansen

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 06:15

We’re excited to welcome Ben Hansen, the Vice President of Biomechanics and Innovation at Motus Global, to this week’s podcast. In lieu of a sponsor this week, we’ve just got a final reminder that this week is the last chance to get the early bird discount on this year’s fall seminar at CSP-MA. It takes place September 21-22; you can learn more HERE.

Show Outline

  • What led Ben to pursue a career in biomechanics and wearable technology
  • How Motus Global strives to impact the game of baseball and how their model for developing healthy arms has shifted over the years
  • What peer reviewed research says about the significance of joint torques and how we should interpret these metrics for predicting the risk of injury in baseball players
  • What acute and chronic workloads are, and how managing these variables can allow coaches to keep their athletes healthy and high performing
  • Why pitchers should have individualized throwing programs to account for the diverse variables that impact a player’s health
  • How truly different catch play, flat ground, bullpen, pre-game, and in-game throws are, and how coaches can more accurately account for the stress they impose on pitchers throughout a season
  • How rest should be incorporated into a baseball players year and why short breaks during a season of heavy throwing may be doing more harm than good for throwers
  • What ballplayers should consider when deciding between continuing to throw into the next season or shutting down to rest
  • What role mechanics plays in the health of a throwing arm and how common mechanical tendencies, like the Tommy John Twist and the Inverted W, influence arm stress
  • How fatigue is more predictive of injury than mechanics
  • Why building a durable work capacity is more important for staying healthy than mastering mechanics
  • How reliable using perceived effort is when creating and executing a throwing program
  • Why professionals need to rewrite the return to throwing program for common injuries in baseball
  • Where more research is needed to further understand how to manage baseball arms

You can follow Ben on Twitter at @BenHansen9 and on Instagram at @MotusGlobal.

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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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 8/19/19

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 05:22

I hope you had a great weekend. Before I get to the good stuff, just a friendly reminder that this Friday is the last day to get the early-bird discount on our fall seminar (9/21-9/22) at Cressey Sports Performance – MA. This 1.5 day event offers 10 CEU hours through the NSCA and features some awesome presentations. You can learn more HERE. Additionally, CSP co-founder Pete Dupuis and I have our business mentorship on Monday the 23rd, and we only have three spots remaining. Business mentorship attendees attend the fall seminar at no additional charge; you can grab one of the remaining spots HERE.

Now, on to the recommended reading and listening for the week:

The Thin Line Between Loyalty and Defection – Speaking of Pete, this is an excellent post he wrote up on last week on the business side of fitness.

Chris Chase on the Evolution of Basketball Strength and Conditioning – This is the second time Mike Robertson has had Chris Chase (Memphis Grizzlies) on his podcast, and given how excellent the first interview was, listening this time around was a no-brainer. It didn’t disappoint.

Recency Bias and Long-Term Training Success – Given the volatility of the stock market in recent weeks, it seemed like a good time to reincarnate this article I wrote a few years ago. The concept of recency bias can be applied to your training programs just like it can be to investing.

Top Tweet of the Week

Some young players (& parents/coaches) are looking for magical mechanical fixes. Meanwhile, the problem is that they’re lacking in physical competencies that enable them to get into positions they see MLB players achieve effortlessly. Training facilitates mechanical adjustments.

— Eric Cressey (@EricCressey) August 8, 2019

Top Instagram Post of the Week

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Once you’ve mastered the basics of anti-rotation core work with chops and lifts, a great progression strategy is to start adding range of motion to the system. Remember, we’re preparing folks for a multiplanar world where they’ll have to move around a stable core, not just stay motionless in the sagittal plane while resisting destabilizing torques. They need to throw, swing, asymmetrically pick things up, change directions, start lawnmowers, etc.

Why I’ve Gotten Away from the “No Money” Drill (Video)

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 06:40

I first came across the “No Money” drill for scapular control and rotator cuff activation/strength back around 2008, and introduced it to a lot of people when I included it in my first book, Maximum Strength.

At the time, I was working heavily in the general population segment and hadn’t gotten as entrenched in the baseball world as I am now. So, like a carpenter who only had a hammer, I started thinking everything was a nail – and logically applied the No Money Drill with all our baseball athletes.

The more time I spent around baseball players, though, the more I realized that the No Money Drill was actually feeding into the negative adaptations we saw in them: a loss of scapular upward rotation, lat stiffness, lumbar extension syndrome, etc. As a result, we’ve gotten away from the drill with most of our overhead athletes (depending on what we see in an evaluation). Check out this video to learn more:

If you’re looking to learn more about how we assess, program, and coach at the shoulder girdle, be sure to check out my popular resource, Sturdy Shoulder Solutions.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

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Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Mike Soroka

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 06:10

We’re excited to welcome Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Soroka to the podcast. A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Lumberlend. Head to www.Lumberlend.com and enter the coupon code CRESSEY to get 10% off on your order as you customize a bat mug today.   

Show Outline

  • How growing up playing baseball in Canada influenced Mike’s early career
  • How playing for the Canadian national team as a teenager allowed Mike to compete against the best and learn to fail forward at a young age
  • How Mike transformed from a lanky 6-2, 140-pound high school ball player to one of the youngest players in the big leagues
  • What has led Mike to his unique pitching delivery and what positions he prioritizes feeling throughout his throwing motion to remain consistent while still preserving his deception on the mound
  • How Mike differentiates his two-seam and four-seam fastball
  • How Mike learned to spin and manipulate the movement of a baseball by playing with a Wiffle Ball as a kid
  • What key skills and major adjustments helped Mike progress through the minors quickly
  • How learning to command the zone, specifically in different counts, has given Mike an edge in pro ball
  • How having a true grasp of reality and embracing a growth mindset have allowed Mike to shape his mentality to be a mature and successful young pitcher
  • Why making mental adjustments are just as influential as making mechanical adjustments when working to be consistently successful, and how learning to make adjustments on the fly have given Mike an advantage
  • How Mike’s curiosity for answers and appreciation for details have allowed him to master the intricacies of the game of baseball
  • How Mike structures his throwing and training programs on a 5-day rotation, and how he takes advantage of the high-low model to manage stress throughout the season
  • What Mike’s schedule is on game day

You can follow Mike on Instagram at @mikesoroka_ and on Twitter at @mike_soroka28.

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 and enter the coupon code CRESSEY to get 10% off as you design yours today.

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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Pitchers vs. Swimmers

Sat, 08/10/2019 - 08:42

I evaluated a baseball pitcher (left) and swimmer (right) back to back yesterday. It should serve as a 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.

The pitcher is a classic scapular depression example. Notice how “flat” the clavicle presentation is. He’s very lat dominant and struggles to get scapular elevation as part of upward rotation as the arms go overhead. He needs more upper trap activity.

Conversely, the swimmer is a scapular elevation presentation. Notice the significant upslope of the collarbone. He’s already so elevated that he struggles to get the rotational component of upward rotation. He needs more serratus anterior and lower trap, but less upper trap.

Three huge takeaways:

1. This is yet another reminder that you can’t just have a “rotator cuff program.” Both of these guys could present with the same pathology, but with completely different underlying movement diagnoses.

2.  The same exercises might need to be coached differently for two different athletes

3. Whenever you see tightness, before you stretch it, ask why it’s there. With the pitcher in scapular depression, it’s a protective tension you don’t want to just stretch out. The swimmer could actually benefit.

I cover these topics in great detail in my Sturdy Shoulder Solutions resource; you can learn more at www.SturdyShoulders.com.

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Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Making Nutritional Changes Stick with Dr. John Berardi

Wed, 08/07/2019 - 06:01

We’re excited to welcome the co-founder of Precision Nutrition, Dr. John Berardi this week’s podcast. In lieu of a sponsor this week, we’ve just got a reminder about this year’s fall seminar and business building mentorship at CSP-MA. They’ll take place September 21-23; you can learn more HERE.

Show Outline

  • How Berardi became the fitness influencer and successful businessman he is today
  • Where Precision Nutrition began, and how John has grown a massively successful company in the health industry
  • What the core values and mission of Precision Nutrition are
  • How John differentiates Precision Nutrition through the creation of digestible, interactive content and what John’s model is for mastering marketing and creating influential content consistently
  • How understanding the basics of nutrition and executing the simple things at the table are the common problems of all populations John works with
  • What John’s first step is when working with a new client looking to change their eating habits
  • How John works to define his client’s health goals and identify their dietary limiting factors in order to drive behavioral changes that will yield results
  • Why John strives to inspire autonomy in his clients by creating a simple nutritional plan built on small changes rather than creating a complicated, restrictive eating experience with rules and regulations
  • How parents can learn to speak more effectively with their children about food and what strategies they can implement to create an atmosphere of happy, healthy eating
  • How John approaches educating his athletic populations about nutrition
  • How John deals with athletes who want to make drastic changes to their eating habits and experiment with a new type of eating (i.e. keto, gluten-free, vegan, etc.)
  • How John would update his “7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutrition Programs” if he were to rewrite them today
  • How individuals can fine tune their eating environment and become more attuned with their hunger and appetite
  • How John’s new book, can help health and fitness industry professionals learn more about business, building a reputation, and orienting a career
     
  • Here’s where you can find John and Precision Nutrition on the web:

    Precision Nutrition (Facebook)
    Precision Nutrition (Instagram)
    JohnBerardi.com
    PrecisionNutrition.com
    ChangeMakerAcademy.com

    And, to pre-order his new book, head to the following link:   Ch ange Maker: Turn Your Passion for Health and Fitness into a Powerful Purpose and Wildly Successful Career  

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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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 8/6/19

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 16:32

Today, I’ve got a list of recommended reading to get you through the week. Before we get to it, though, just a quick heads-up that we’re doing a pre-sale on Cressey Sports Performance bucket hats. If you’re interested in buying one, you can do so at THIS LINK. They’ll be available for shipment in early-mid September.

As for the reading recommendations, check out the following:

Is It Really “Biceps Tendonitis?” – In light of a recent Instagram post I made on a related topic, this video blog deserves a reincarnation this week.

10 Habits that are Just as Important as Tracking KPI – My business partner, Pete Dupuis, wrote this article that examines some of the overlooked areas in which you can evaluate fitness business success.

Professional and Amateur Pitchers’ Perspective on the Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injury Risk – This was an interesting study on a number of fronts. It was surprising to see how many pro guys think UCL injuries are unavoidable, but not at all surprising to hear that 55% of those who have UCL injuries in pro ball had a previous history of elbow injury in their youth baseball days. The biggest risk factor for an injury is…shocker…a previous injury.

Top Tweet of the Week

We’ll sometimes have parents email to ask us to put their 9-year-olds on a program like we would use with our pro athletes. I wish they’d instead ask what these pro athletes typically did when they were 9: play multiple sports and goof around with their friends.

— Eric Cressey (@EricCressey) August 2, 2019

Top Instagram Post of the Week 

        View this post on Instagram                  

A quick and easy way to progress medicine ball exercises is to make them more open loop by integrating a catch component or “go” call. 100% predictable training gets old quickly, and adding a reactive and/or competitive component often yields improvements in athleticism and the power displayed. . . . #cspfamily #medicineball @perform_better #rotationalpower

A post shared by Eric Cressey (@ericcressey) on Jul 29, 2019 at 3:03pm PDT

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Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Alex Wood

Wed, 07/31/2019 - 05:38

We’re excited to welcome Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Alex Wood 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 undergoing Tommy John surgery his senior year of high school impacted Alex’s progression as a ballplayer
  • How arriving to the University of Georgia with an elbow injury his freshman year was a blessing in disguise
  • How Alex was game ready 10 months post Tommy John but why he instead chose to redshirt his freshman season and wait to return to playing until summer ball
  • How Alex has mastered his unorthodox pitching delivery through the course of his career
  • What positions Alex strives to hit consistently in his throwing motion
  • How Alex fast tracked through the minor leagues and what lessons Alex learned quickly as a young big leaguer
  • How MLB veterans like Brian McCann and Mike Minor aided in his transition into a MLB starter
  • What changes Alex made to his pitching approach to have a breakout season with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017
  • How Alex succeeded with only a fastball and change-up all the way up to the big leagues and why he chose to add a spike breaking ball into his arsenal upon make it to “the show”
  • How Alex manages his in season and off season throwing regimes
  • What Alex does pitch-by-pitch, in-game to control the flow of the game
  • How pitchers can build rapport and better manage the minute details of an outing with their catcher
  • What coaching qualities Alex sees as most impactful, and how players should utilize great coaches to take accountability of their own career and develop into their own best coach
  • You can follow Alex on Twitter at @AWood45 and on Instagram at @AWood45.

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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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 7/26/19

Fri, 07/26/2019 - 05:59

Here’s a little recommended reading/listening to take you into the weekend:

Naval Ravikant Podcast Compilation – I mentioned this in a blog earlier this week, so it warranted reiteration: this is the best podcast I’ve ever listened to, and it’s not even close. The title is “How to Get Rich,” but I look at it far more from a career planning standpoint than truly just accumulating money. He shares some outstanding insights on wealth vs. status. Listen to this with a notebook ready; you’ll have a ton of one-liners to write down.

EC on the School of Calisthenics Podcast – Here’s another podcast that I hopped on a few weeks ago. We talked a lot about shoulder function, particularly as it relates to bodyweight training.

Will the Approaching Recession Bury Your Fitness Business? – My business partner, Pete Dupuis, just published this and I think it’s a must-read for any gym owner in light of what seems likely to occur in the next year or two.

Top Tweet of the Week

If considering a gap year, you’d be crazy not to consider CSP-FL.

*Train at @cresseysp w/75+ MLB/MiLB guys
*Hit/field w/@middlebrooks or throw w/@BrianKaplanCSP
*Live ABs vs. pro guys
*Easy to find part-time work to offset housing/training
*New complex
*Pristine weather/beaches pic.twitter.com/fTnI3HxvN7

— Eric Cressey (@EricCressey) July 21, 2019

Top Instagram Post of the Week

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It’s not uncommon to hear overhead athletes say that they avoid overhead lifts as a way to protect against injury in training or as a way to “save bullets. Unfortunately, they fail to recognize that going overhead: 1⃣ improves shoulder flexion mobility 2⃣ enhances scapular upward rotation 3⃣ challenges reflexive rotator cuff recruitment 4⃣ trains core control and lower-to-upper body force transfer

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