Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Jonny Gomes

Jonny Gomes

While getting ready for the week last night, I was looking through all my bookmarks of the motivational articles, videos, and quotes I stumbled across throughout the last few days.  I enjoy all different types of motivation or inspirational stories whether it be sports related or not, but for some reason a couple stories in particular kept coming back into my head.

The first two are baseball related. I know it’s a bit cliché, but there are so many great accounts of guys persevering through the minors to finally seize their unlikely dream in the big leagues. One of the best stories I’ve come across, I was fortunate to witness and see develop first hand…as seen below. The other is an E60 story on Jonny Gomes and his unlikely rise to the majors, fighting through traumatic events, and horrible odds to achieve the level of success he has to this day.

In the third article and video, addictedtosuccess.com brings us a really awesome story about a broke kid and his attempt to become a millionaire from scratch in two years. Really cool stuff.

Here we go. Let’s start this week off right!

This is a pic of Evan’s ID as a janitor, a job he carried only a couple years prior to making in to the MLB.

The Story of El Oso Blanco, Evan Gattis- I truly feel grateful to call Evan one of my good friends. I had the opportunity to spend the last couple years in my tenure with the Atlanta Braves getting to know Evan really well. Besides being a great talent, an extremely driven worker, and natural born thoroughbred of an athlete, Gattis is an old soul who has been through more in 25 years than most people hope to go through in a lifetime. Now that he has finally reached and succeeded in the big leagues, his story has become that of legends. Along with having a great swing, and a great story to go along with it, Evan is a class act, whom every kid out there should look up to.

Jonny Gomes : The Man Who Wouldn’t Die – In light of the Red Sox making it to the World Series, ESPN did a cool piece on one of their key additions this year, Jonny Gomes. As if surviving a terrible car crash that killed another human being wasn’t enough, Jonny suffered a heart attack that came so very close to taking his life again.

A Young Man’s Daring Journey to Become a Millionaire – With a burning desire to help his struggling mom retire, Corey Wadden set out on an outliers journey. Avoiding the safe and comfortable route, he set his earnings goal at $1,000,000, but starting from scratch. Check this out to see how he’s getting closer to making his dream come true through pure hustle.

That’s it for today friends.

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Franco arnold

 

Before we begin, check out this quote from the man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

 “I did it because of something I’d seen in Franco (Columbo), which was his incredible willpower. I knew he could go all the way. I knew too that he was the training partner who could weather the ferocious workouts necessary in the coming year. It was important for me to be with Franco during a time when I wanted to adhere to a grueling workout schedule.”

That’s a really cool quote for me. I came across it the other day, and it inspired this article. It got me thinking of the gains in athleticism, strength, and power I’ve made over the past few years, and forced me to realize the importance that incredible training partners have had on my development. In one sentence I would say this.

“A great training partner can take a great program and make it superhuman.”

Yep. I just quoted myself, but I don’t care. I feel that strongly of a great training buddy’s impact on one’s progress in the gym.

I also don’t feel that a training partner is limited to just people who share the same program as you. In fact not one of the athlete’s that trained alongside me in Boston at CP shared the same program as I did. Each person brings an individual set of strengths and weaknesses to the table, therefore no program there is designed alike.

With that in mind, a “training partner” can be a coach, mentor, friend, family member, or even someone you don’t really care for, and probably would never go grab a beer with. That’s ok. They come in all shape’s and sizes, and here are the qualities that every great one possesses….

rocky training partner

1.) A great training partner hold’s his buddy accountable for effort and consistency.- Effort and consistency are certainly two of the biggest deterrents of training gains, and when working alone, it’s easy for many people to use their rational mind to negotiate around a tough ass workout, or showing up every day ready to crush it. It’s simply human nature for most individuals to avoid discomfort, good pain, and loads of sweat. An awesome training partner doesn’t care whether you hate him or her temporarily. He or she will push you to your breaking point, make sure you finish all your reps, all your sets, and take you beyond your comfort zone. If you can find someone around you who you feel is capable of this, bring them into the gym for a test run.

2.) A great training partner is probably stronger than you. If they aren’t, then they are usually just as strong. – This quality is something that I’ve noticed over and over. I’m no sociology major, but strong motherfuckers tend to gravitate and train with strong motherfuckers. The weak guys tend to workout together too. If you are weak, I recommend finding someone who trains hard, is strong, and does it the right way. By the right way I mean working their butt off, eating right, and living a diesel lifestyle. Find this person. Sack up and ask them for some training advice. Ask them who taught them to get strong and get the body they wanted. Just don’t ask them 2 seconds before they pull 600 off the floor. Have some feel…Maybe they can help you with a program or keep you accountable for showing up and getting after it like an animal.

3.) A great training partner isn’t a prima donna. This should go unsaid, but unfortunately it must be expressed. The last two months I’ve been training at a commercial gym, so I’ve gotten to see some of the umm how should I say this…”interesting” dynamics of not only what people do in the gym, but with whom and how they go about it. I give people a bunch of credit for showing up. If I was a teacher of gym101, that would be half the credit of my student’s grade. A great training companion encompasses the other half of the grade.  He or she trains and doesn’t simply “workout.” He or she pushes themselves and whoever they are with to the max. He or she isn’t afraid of heavy weights. He or she isn’t afraid of sweat, blood, and possibly regurgitation. Above all ,you and the person you train with have a responsibility. You owe it to each other to move weight around fast and hard, keep your head down and work without looking at your phone or socializing. Bottom line. Don’t be this guy….

skinny douche

In summary, take Arnold’s advice. Find that person this offseason with the willpower, commitment, and no bullshit workhorse mentality. Watch them, talk to them, train with them. It will take your training to levels you never thought possible.

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Today we have special guest Ryan Wood writing some cool content for us. I first met Ryan at the beginning of the 2012-2013 offseason in Boston training at Cressey Performance.  He was clearly a guy who went at it hard with his head down which I loved, so I knew eventually we would be getting along quite well. As we got into the meat and potatoes of our winter training, Ryan became a close friend of mine, and someone I could trust to train as hard as I like to. The perfect training partner.  Matt, Andrew, and I all have tremendous respect for this guy battling his ass off in the neverending fight to reach his full potential athletically. Ryan is everything we want our Showmestrength athletes and readers to embody, as he trains ferociously, seeks new information always, and consistently surrounds himself with likeminded positive people. Ryan has some cool insight, and a unique story to boot…

Ryan Pitching

Ryan Pitching

Some more on today’s author…

 Ryan Wood is a part time intern/coach at Cressey Performance as well as a personal trainer at Boston Sports Club. He is pursuing his passion of pitching at the highest level possible and played independent ball in the Pecos League this past summer. Loves heavy metal, burgers, and the phrase “BOOOOOM”

My interest in strength and conditioning began soon after my 2nd year in college. Having played baseball my entire life up until that point, I was intrigued by the value of building strength and improving my performance on the mound. When I first started out with weight training I didn’t know about much more than bench presses and bicep curls. That’s what everyone does right? I was a complete neophyte when it came to strength and conditioning and had no idea what a solid program entailed. I’m finally realizing at this point in my training career one very important lesson:

In order to truly understand how training works, you have to log time in the trenches…..

Ryan pulling heavy

Ryan pulling heavy

While I do believe reading up on things related to training will enhance your knowledge, I place more value on the “doing” rather than just the acquisition of knowledge.

The best thing I could have done for my baseball career as well as gaining experience in the strength field, was to venture up to Cressey Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts. Needless to say, I first visited the facility in late summer of 2010 and still train/coach there. The way they did things in 2010 was very progressive and forward thinking for the baseball community. With a baseball tradition so far rooted in old school methodologies, it was a breath of fresh air to learn correct training applications for improving baseball performance. Had I just read Eric Cressey’s articles online, I would have missed the bread and butter of what it means to fully appreciate in the trenches training.

During my second off season of training at CP I began going to the inservice presentations. During inservices, a member of the staff discusses a topic usually related to baseball training and performance. For me, this was part of the in the trenches training. I would absorb the material during the inservice and put it into practice during my own training.

As my interests in strength have grown, I’ve begun to appreciate even more the value of hands on the bar experience. This can apply to all facets of life as well. I recently started working as a personal trainer. I am able to pass on information I have learned to help others achieve their goals. I am fortunate enough to have done some coaching/interning at Cressey Performance. I was taught how to properly coach athletes and clients. This is just another example of how gaining hands on experience can be of great benefit whether you are trying to become a better pitcher, trainer, or general badass.

I don’t care who you are, no amount of reading about how to deadlift will actually help you pull more from the floor. You have to train. And I don’t mean just show up and go through the motions. I’m talking about training like a savage and striving for constant progress. You’ve got to sweat, bleed, and exert EFFORT. When you’re training and looking to improve your performance, effort is what counts. Don’t rely on a textbook, website or magazine to tell you what works and what doesn’t. So get out there and get your hands dirty.

Train hard. Train heavy.

RW

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strength from within

Today’s motivation is all over the board and I love it. We have a couple well known fitness professionals who share their story of rising from the dark and finally living the life they envisioned.

We also have an article from our favorite women’s fitness site about taking  your thought’s of dismay, disrespect, and disgust when it comes to your body, and turning those thoughts into love, appreciation, and amazement of what your body is capable of.

Without further ado, here is some inspiration to start your week…

How Extreme Focus Can Change Your Life by JC Deen-  JC is a no-nonsense guy. That’s why we like people like him so much. He is very good at understanding what makes people tick, and using those tools to better his clients. I think he gets that, because for a long time he struggled to live a fulfilled life. A life of meaning. This article over at thechangeblog.com is in a nutshell, his life story, and how JC created through focused effort, a rewarding existence. Excellent Mr. Deen.

Moving North of the Vag by Jim Wendler– A effing fantastic title from a badass strength coach. This may be an issue that never gets resolved, but if people keep being soft, badasses like Jim are gonna keep showing up. The uphill battle against lower and lower testosterone (the symptom of the universe, Black Sabbath plug!)  in the world rages on, but so do the very few who train like motheeffing animals. A short quick article to remind you to step your game up and get after it.

barbell grip motivation

Love Your Body by Girls Gone Strong-  This is a contribution article from the women of GGS. Each talk about what part of their body they love from all the work of training paying off.  “Train because you love your body, not because you hate it.” A model article for all girls to read. The cynicism about your body is not sexy, believe me.  A confident, strong woman who trains hard and loves her body is the most attractive thing a woman can do.

girls gone strong

Thats all for today folks! Please share so we can motivate as many as possible today! Follow us on Twitter or Instagram, or like us on Facebook. :)

Confused by supplements

Possibly the most asked frequently asked question in both sports and the fitness industry that can be heard in gyms everywhere is…

“What supplements should I take?”

Well, an experienced coach or trainer’s answer should be,  “Sir/Mam, can I get a better look at what foods, and drinks you consume on a daily basis? And can I see what kind of training program you are currently working with? Can you tell me how much sleep you get per night? May I get a gauge on what other stressors in your life may possibly be affecting your overall health?”

So often people jump the gun and answer this question from a confused client improperly. The coach or trainer might say…

“So bro…..do you want to lose weight or bulk up?”

A great question to eventually ask, but not before gathering a host of other, more crucial information. This “gathering of info,” will most likely, considering the society we live in today, reveal a couple of things.

1.) The person asking for supplement information has a less than stellar diet which shows that needs to improve first and foremost.

2.) The person asking for supplement information doesn’t train hard or often enough to warrant the no2boostingniteroxide thing-a-ma-bob with a fancy label he or she wants to buy.

If you are reading this, and secretly you know that this is you, the uninformed consumer, rest easy. Your wallet does not have to suffer that impending loss in order for you to see the results you are after. It will, however, require something of you…

eat sleep exercise

A change in common belief. A change that puts most supplements at the bottom of the priority list. A change that will make you put real food, training hard, and resting optimally at the top of the health totem pole.

Once these changes have been made habit, only then will supplements become a true weapon for you. Here are a few that we recommend you implement with your now, hopefully bulletproof healthy lifestyle.

WHEY PROTEIN POWDER- One of the more standard supplements to include in between or in your daily meals, whey protein, will help fill in the gaps when you arent getting enough or would like some extra clean calories throughout the day. There are a number of delicious recipes to choose from out there, but for those looking for a start, check  this  out from the guys at Scrawny to Brawny. It’s a free PDF for you to download and make some awesome shakes. It’s no secret that it will help you add lean muscle, lose fat, and help your recovery in between training sessions.

Recommended Brands :

                                  jay robb protien biotrust pic

FISH OIL- Another very highly researched product, fish oil has proven to improve the health of people all over the globe. Taken from the tissue of cold water fish, the oil has many benefits. Among them are decreased inflammation, increased cognitive ability, and decreased risk for cardiac disease. As an athlete, I enjoy the fact that it helps me bounce back quicker from games or training sessions by decreasing the inflammation in my body. Here are two of our favorite brands.

Recommended Brands :

carlson-fish-oilflameout

GREENS SUPPLEMENT- If you already get more than enough fruits and vegetables in your diet, then I truly commend you. These are two of the most overlooked food groups  in any diet, including really good ones. Even very advanced athletes and ultra fit people frequently lack consistency in this area. This is why a quality greens product derived from real fruits and veggies is highly important, especially when training hard or when optimum nutrition isn’t available. I like to consider it my “nutritional insurance” in case I don’t quite get the vitamins and minerals I need.

Recommended Brands :

athletic greens

biotest superfood

It’s tough writing an article like this, knowing that what most folks need is more knowledge about a real quality meal plan with whole foods being a priority. I feel it’s necessary though to weed you guys through the nonsense, and the marketing ploys that try and sell you products that may be even detrimental instead of positive for your wellbeing.

No, we are not doctors here at showmestrength (Not yet! Founder, Matt Kramer is currently in Chicago attending med-school), but we have been through alot as athletes, and we know what works well for us. Give some of these great products a try, you won’t be disappointed if of course you are eating and training like an animal as well!

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Monday Motivation!

Posted: September 30, 2013 by cmrodgers100 in General, Training
Tags: , , ,

Jim Valvano

One of our favorite things to write about is inspiration. The main reason for that is two-fold. First, is that no matter how tough you or I think we are, we all need a little push now and again to keep pushing toward our goals. Number two is that we @showmestrength love to make a positive impact on our readers. Even if only one of you who read our motivational stuff leaves feeling better, it was all worth it for us.

Without further ado…Monday Motivation is back with a bang. Enjoy :)

ESPN 30 For 30 Survive and Advance– This excerpt, from the feature on Jimmy V and his role in leading his North Carolina State Wolfpack to the 1983 National Championship, shows one of the most influential speeches in sports history. Although dying with terminal cancer, it was as if a higher power was speaking a powerful message through him before his passing. “Don’t give up….Don’t ever give up.”

Powerlifting The Mentality- This video of course was shared with me via a couple of the hardest training mother effers I know. They know that I like to leave it all out there when I train just like they do. Although many of you, including us, don’t powerlift, the message at the beginning of this video speaks volumes. I guarantee 99 percent of people who train out there, have gas left in the tank at the end of most training sessions. Sometimes thats ok, but other times we need to push the limits. Our bodies are amazing machines, and our brains are even more incredible. Listen to this video this video, it will help you push your training to another level. Believe me, its even on my playlist when I’m getting warmed up.

“So you might as well be a f***in’ savage in the meantime.”

Do It Anyways Feel Like It Or Not- A great video from the always eccentric and informative Elliot Hulse.  He’s a no bullshit straight forward guy who’s a beast in and out of the gym. His “Yo Elliot” Q&A videos on youtube are fantastic. Check them out here.

Thats all for today! Have a great week! Follow us here on Twitter and like us here on Facebook!

You need surgery.

Those are the three words that every athlete prays they never hear.  Aside from the onset of depression that ensues from being on the DL,  for most, facing surgery forces deep introspection.  It goes far beyond whether or not you’ll be able to play in the near future.  Instead, it forces the athlete to ask what if?  What if worked a little harder could this have been avoided?  If I didn’t half-ass my mobility drills every day could I have made that cut more efficiently?  Or if I fueled my body like an athlete should would I have had more energy in the 4th quarter when I got hurt?  This thought process can consume you because there is no game tomorrow or next week to rectify the situation.  It’s natural for athletes because when you’re injured that’s all you’re left to do…or is it?

Image

Surgery and injuries suck.  Clearly.  I’ve had my fair share (three) and I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed any part of rehabbing.  However, at the same time, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have to go through surgery and the grind that it takes to get back (I didn’t pitch in a meaningful game post Tommy John for 20 months). I had my moments of introspection and it forced me to grow up in a hurry.  My training and nutrition up to that point had been fueled by my learning in bro science.  Daily max effort squats?  Sure thing.  Pizza, post workout?  I was carb back loading before I could spell insulin.  I was forced to educate myself but the most important lesson didn’t involve discovering what loading parameter would have the greatest carry over to generating force in the sagittal plane or what nutrient timing would maximize protein synthesis.  No, not even close.  It was this:

No matter the circumstances, there is always an opportunity to get better. 

Time never stops so why should your injury stop you in your pursuit of getting a little bit better that day?  If you don’t, there are far too many individuals in the world with the same exact goals and dreams as you and you will get passed.  I promise you.

So you have a torn elbow?  What’s stopping you from building thunderous quads and an ass that makes a statement?  Sure, you may not be able to comfortably buy a pair of jeans but do you want to squat the house or what?  Broken leg?  Since when do you need a leg to build slabs of beef on your lats?

The answer is you don’t.  Right now, I may sound like a lunatic or a person that would consider training even on my deathbed and both of these statements may have some truth to them but I speak from experience because I lived the two situations above.  I may have pushed the limits, but I’ve never front squatted more in my life than during the first six months of my elbow rehab.  My best 1 RM on chin-ups was 5 months post-surgery.

Was that the smartest thing?  Probably not but that’s not what’s relevant here.  The point is that nothing, not even a surgery or injury should deter you from getting after it and chasing your goals.  Obviously, there are special circumstances, but I have seen an athlete hobbling around 10 days post-ACL repair destroying his upper body, so there aren’t many.

You have no excuse.  If you want it bad enough, you will find a way.  It’s that simple.

Image

I was fortunate enough to have Eric Cressey and the team at Cressey Performance in my backyard.  I showed up to his facility 10 days post-op and we immediately started to get after it.  I met the prowler for the first time and it won.  It won a lot.

It’s important that you find your own Eric Cressey.  Find someone in your area who can address your weaknesses through intelligent programming.  If you’re injured, it’s probably because you have some compensation patterns that put you in that position.  Find someone who has a firm understanding of functional anatomy who can train around your injury and still address your weaknesses.  Find a balance.  If I had to do corrective exercise drills all day, I’d go insane.  Lifting heavy shit is corrective exercise.  Learn how to get after it in an intelligent manner.

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Whether it’s surgery or just a minor injury, trust me when I say that if you play any game long enough, you will get banged up.  There are two roads you can take.  Either you can be like some athletes and use your injury as an excuse to take time off from training or you can use it as an opportunity.  An opportunity to honestly asset your weaknesses and fix them.  If your nutrition held you back, correct it.  If you’re weak and your nervous system efficiency is terrible, find someone who you can consider an expert in the field and become powerful.

Some people will tell you that their goal rehabbing post surgery is to get you back to the level you were before.  F*** that.  My goal in any situation, torn elbow or not, is to come back better than before.  If you want to be successful, you have no choice but to chase that.

It’s ultimately your career.  Whether your goal is simply to start on your varsity team or play sports professionally, every day, every situation is an opportunity.  You will encounter adversity.  How you respond will dictate how far you go in your chosen sport and in life.

Which road will you take?

Andy Pettitte, Russell Martin, Joba Chamberlain, Larry Rothschild

“We can’t get good at something solely by reading about it. And we’ll never make giant leaps in any endeavor by treating it like a snack food that we munch on whenever we’re getting bored. You get good at something by doing it repeatedly. And by listening to specific criticism from people who are already good at what you do. And by a dedication to getting better, even when it’s inconvenient and may not involve a handy bulleted list.” Merlin Mann

It’s getting to be that time of year again. The report date for pitchers and catchers is rapidly approaching. Pro guys are tightening things up to go and compete for jobs, college players are getting game ready to start their seasons, and high school/youth players are transitioning from their winter sports to get ready for their spring baseball schedule.

For pitchers, now is about the time when you’ll see a bunch of work on the mound, or in baseball terms, a “bullpen session.” As a pitcher myself, it’s always so exciting to get back up on the hill where I belong, and see my work from the previous months of throwing and training pay off.

Looking back at all the bullpen sessions I’ve thrown and seen in my career as a professional baseball player, there are a couple of things I can point out that jump to my mind.

1.) When I was an amateur, I had the arm strength, talent and pitch quality to throw a pro level bullpen, but I didn’t have the knowledge, feel of my mechanics, or idea about where to dedicate my efforts for the duration of a particular session.

2.) I quickly learned and observed that high level professional pitchers, big leaguers in particular, for the most part, have a precise idea of what they want to accomplish each time they get on the mound to practice. Throwing is something they did in their backyard with their dad.  Pitching and executing was what they did to feed their families.

After spending tons of time studying theses guys, asking them questions, and implementing some of their ideas into my own game, I began to see a much steadier increase in development. It wasn’t until I used this precious time on the mound for dedicated focus on my weaknesses, and not to just get an arm workout, that I finally realized what separated the amateurs from the professionals and the professionals from the great ones.

Here are 5 things I’ve picked up that will help you have a productive practice session on the mound each and every time.

1.) BE COMPLETELY AND PROPERLY WARMED UP EVERY TIME YOU GET ON THE MOUND, NO EXCUSES- This one is near and dear to my heart, because I’ve not only injured myself on a couple occasions from being improperly warmed up, I’ve seen other pitchers get injured or perform poorly due to sucky warmups or no warmups at all. It doesn’t take much, just get the right muscles firing and woken up, get a sweat going, and you’re all set. Here are a couple of variations that I’ve used and had success with. They are both quick, to the point, and able to be performed anywhere.

a.) 5 Moves To Get Ready In A Hurry

b.) Warmup in a hurry by Roger Lawson

2. HAVE ONE WEAKNESS TO WORK ON AND A CERTAIN NUMBER OF PITCHES TO DO IT IN It’s very easy to fall into the trap of pitching to your strengths in practice, because it gives us confidence. The great ones, however, know what their good at, but also know that bullpens are times to dedicate their efforts into something they might not be comfortable with. They won’t throw their signature pitch, because they know in order to develop another one, it takes time and precise focus on weakness. It is also easy to get caught up and lose track of how many pitches you’ve thrown. Set a number based on where you are at in your offseason or seasonal throwing program and stick to it give or take 2 or 3 pitches.

3. GET LONG AND BRING IT BACK IN HARD- I’ve always had success with long tossing before a bullpen session or even a game if I’m starting. I feel myself not only getting physically loose, but when I long toss correctly and stay on top and through the baseball, it will normally translate to faster hand speed when I bring it back in to 60 feet. Once I get to a distance where I feel I’m giving close to full effort WITHOUT compromising my mechanics, I’ll start bringing the catcher back in slowly to 60 feet. (For me, it’s usually right around 200 feet. Sometimes I’ll go longer or shorter based on how I’m feeling. My main goal is not to see how far I can throw it, it’s to get my effort level, hand speed, and mechanics to sync up to get ready for my mound session.)

Once my catcher comes back to about the 90 feet mark, I do two things. 1.) I really start to let it rip. 2.) I throw my change-up at full speed to make sure I’m staying on top and keeping the same arm speed. Staying ontop and through the baseball to create that hard tight backspin is my goal here at 90ft.

Now, my catcher comes in to 60 feet. I’ll get him down and simulate a few of each of my pitches before we take the mound.

4. ALWAYS ESTABLISH YOUR FASTBALL ABOVE ANYTHING ELSE. THE ONLY EXCEPTION IS IF YOU ARE A KNUCKLEBALLER. If you get nothing more out of your bullpen other than gaining a solid command of your fastball, I can always count that as a productive session. This is the number one pitch in baseball. A good one can get players to make their high school team, get into and play in college, get drafted, and even make it to the major leagues, so it must be our number one priority. Without a fastball, you’re nothing….Unless your name is R.A. Dickey, Tim Wakefield, or Phil Niekro!

My suggestion would be to throw about 5 fastballs for strikes in the middle of the plate to start you bullpen off. This will calibrate your release point, give you some confidence that you are driving down the right line, and set you up for moving the ball in and out. After you’ve got a grip on the middle of the plate, move the catcher to the glove half of the plate. <<Notice I said half. Many pitchers make the mistake of trying to be too fine and precise, too early. Throwing the ball to your glove side for consistent strikes ensures you are getting through the baseball correctly. If you are flying open with that front hip, shoulder, and glove, there’s no chance that you establish this part of the plate as your own. Drive the ball with your lower half to that side, don’t try and rip it open to get there.

GLOVE SIDE (GREEN) ARM SIDE (PINK)

GLOVE SIDE (GREEN) ARM SIDE (PINK)

5.) FINSH WITH ONE OR TWO SIMULATED HITTERS- This is at the end of your bullpen session. At this point you should at minimum have made progress on your weaknesses and established your fastball down in the strike zone to both sides of the plate. It’s a bonus if we have full command of everything, and we should strive to do so, but it just won’t always happen.

Ideally, now you have a hitter step in and take a few pitches, but if not, have your catcher call a sequence of pitches to simulate a lefty and a righty batter. Throw all your pitches. Execute your pitches. Call it a day.

In closing, remember that every time you pick up a ball it’s to become a better baseball player. Have a plan about what weaknesses to attack in that particular session. If you just go out and sling it around without a purpose, I promise you wont be in the game very long. Everytime you take the mound whether it be in practice or a game… it is a privilege. So be warmed up properly, have an idea about what you want to work on, long toss a bit before, gain command of your fastball first thing, and end with a hitter or two to simulate a game situation.

We hope you found this helpful! Leave a reply or questions in the comments section. Follow us here. Like us here.

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Now is the time of the year where people begin to fade from their New Year’s’ Resolutions, if they haven’t slipped already. I heard someone at the crowded gym in the first week of January say, “I can’t wait until all of these people fall off of their resolutions so I can get my gym space back.” Sadly, it’s pretty true but hopefully, all of you faithful Show Me Strength readers have been able to draw inspiration from our posts thus far and have stayed true to yourselves and new goals for the year. In case you feel yourself slipping, or need a kick in the butt as a reminder that it’s never to late to get back in gear, we are sure these reads and video will pick you up and keep you going strong!

David Goggins: The Toughest Athlete on the Planet?

“He’s in bed no earlier than midnight most nights. Don’t bother re-reading to check your math: It really does add up to only three hours of sleep a night. When people ask if he uses supplements to help him train, he says that he takes a giant suck-it-up pill every morning and washes it down with a refreshing can of hard. This isn’t boasting. It’s military-speak for the hardest part of Goggins’ daily regimen: getting out of bed.”

This is honestly one of the most badass articles that either Chad and I have ever read. If this doesn’t get you fired up for greatness, you should check your pulse!  This guy is the real deal, as I’ve heard from a couple of my friends, one who had him as his Navy Seal instructor during an Olympic Rowing training day, and another Air Force Para-rescue friend who heard him speak. And if that is not enough to convince you, the author of one of the most inspiring books we’ve ever read, Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 tweeted this just last week:

Make sure to check out David’s blog as well: Show No Weakness .

You Have To Workout To Get A Workout

On the topic of New Year’s Resolutions, this article could not be more on point with a little, or maybe a lot, of tough love some people need to hear. I’m proud to say that my girlfriend found this article, loved it, and passed it on to me.  It’s now my gift to you. Disclaimer: There is some colorful, yet necessary, language.

“Breaking news, friend: you are not the boss. If truth be told, you are the exact opposite of the boss. You are the servant. You serve the needs of your body. You don’t tell your body to be hardcore. Your body tells you what it needs in order to be hardcore. It needs workouts. Long, hard, painful workouts—for weeks, and months, and years. Purposeful, planned, powerful workouts, that are structured to place your body under the proper amounts of stress in order to achieve the desired adaptations.”

whatisthisshit

And finally, here is a good reminder we all need that has been floating around the web recently. The language is quite different that the previous two articles, but the message still remains! Great message to get up, get moving, and get better!

“This is life people. You got air coming through your nose. You got heartbeat.  That means it’s time to do something!”

spacejam“What if Michael Jordan had quit when he didn’t make the team? There would be no SpaceJam! And I love SpaceJam. What will be your SpaceJam? What will you create to make the world awesome? Nothing if you keep sitting there that’s why I’m talking to you today!”

“Don’t Stop Believin’, unless your dream is stupid. And then you need a better dream.”

“What if there really were two paths? I want to be on the one that leads to awesome!”

“Give the world a reason to dance! Get to it!”

Show us some of your strength this week! Post your feats of strength on our Facebook page or tweet @ShowMeStrength! SHOW US STRENGTH!

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As RGIII and Coach Shanahan learned this past weekend, Dr. James Andrews’ advice is not something that you often want to ignore- even in the football world.

andrews told ya so

That being said, for this week’s installment of “Baseball Research Review,” we highlight one of the more poignant baseball research papers by Dr. Andrews’ group, “Risk Factors for Shoulder and Elbow Injuries in Adolescent Baseball Pitchers.” As part of the newly opened MGH Sports Performance Center, I attended a recent Mass General Orthopedics Journal Club where the Orthopedic Surgeons, Residents, Interns, Physical Therapists and a group of related baseball strength and performance specialists reviewed a few of the important articles in the field. This article highlighted the selection as one of those articles with an important message all of those in the baseball field should be readily familiar with to pass on to inquiring athletes, parents and other specialists.

Risk Factors for Shoulder and Elbow Injuries in Adolescent Baseball Pitchers
The American Journal of Sports Medicine, Volume 34, No. 6
Samuel J. Olsen II, MD, Glenn S. Fleisig,* PhD, Shouchen Dun, MS, Jeremy Loftice, and James R. Andrews, MD
From the American Sports Medicine Institute, Birmingham, Alabama

Methods
In an attempt to quantify the risk factors associated with an observed 4-fold increase in elbow surgeries performed by Dr. James Andrews from 2000-2004 versus 1994-1999 along with a 6-fold increase for high school pitchers, 90 adolescent pitchers who had elbow or shoulder surgery were surveyed and statistically compared to the results of another 45 adolescent pitchers with no such history of elbow or shoulder surgery. Survey questions included queries about injury history, playing history, preventative measures taken, and competitive habits.

Results
In comparing the non-injured and injured subgroups, the authors found that pitchers who threw more innings, games, and months were more likely to be injured. In fact, they found that those who pitched more than 8 months were 5 times more likely to be injured. Specifically, they found that individuals who pitched greater than 8 months during the year were 5 times more likely to be injured. There was a 4 time greater risk of injury for those pitching more than 80 pitches per game. Pitching despite arm fatigue yielded the greatest increase in injury rate, at a 36 times rate. Not surprisingly, pitching at 85 miles per hour or higher also increased the injury rate 2.58 times.

Authors Conclusions
Taking into account the findings of their study, the authors developed some recommendations when dealing with adolescent pitchers. The main pieces of advice they had were:
1) avoid pitching with arm fatigue
2) avoid pitching with arm pain
3) avoid pitching too much- meaning limit pitching to less than 8 months out of the year, limiting it to less than 80 pitches per game, and limit multiple showcases

Limitations
The main limitation to this study, as mentioned by the authors, is that the survey relied on the recollection of these adolescent pitchers. The numbers provide a good guide; however, I’m not sure how accurately you can predict based on rememberences from youth pitchers almost a year past. Additionally, there most definitely will be some memory bias for those who are retrospectively asked how much discomfort or pain they may have pitched through, especially if they later underwent surgery. I don’t know about you, but I can barely remember the number of pitches I threw in a given warm up a year ago, let alone trust some of these adolescent pitchers to recall despite worrying about prom dates, drivers license tests, and college applications, just to name a few. Still, the finding provide a framework to further discuss and elucidate risky pitching practices.

Show Me Strength’s Commentary

As coaches ourselves, we often get questions from parents concerned about their child’s participation, or more usually, lack there-of, in showcase type events during the “off-season” months. Parents worry that if their child does not participate in said showcase, then they will be at a severe disadvantage when it comes to college or professional recruiting. What I tell the parents, and Chad would agree, that it is way more important to stay healthy than to head down to a showcase and blow your arm out. Not only is the player not in mid-season shape when they head down to a place where the temptation to try to “light up the gun” is great, but also, they waste precious time for recuperation, recovery, and building a strength foundation for the upcoming full season. If you are good enough to be recruited by a college or drafted, more likely than not the scouts will have plenty of time to find you during your regular high school or summer season. The risk/reward is just too high. As evidenced directly by this research, participation in throwing activities for the whole year puts the athlete at a significantly increased risk of injury.

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