Baseball Hitting Lessons Near Me

Baseball Hitting Lessons Near Me: “I Don’t Use A Glove When I Throw BP, So I’ll hold Curveball Like This.  I’ll Hold It.  I Want to See If They’re Smart Enough to Look at My Hand”

 

 

In this baseball hitting lessons near me interview with Ray Camacho from Fat On Fat Academy, we go over… (about 34-minutes reading time – PRO TIP: use “gear” on YouTube video settings to “speed watch” to 2X, so you can watch in half the time!!)

  • Tell me a little bit about your baseball hitting lessons near me nonprofit, where you guys are and what it’s about,Baseball Hitting Lessons Near Me
  • Who are your top one or two follows for strength and conditioning?
  • “It’s ever evolving with me because one kid teaches me how to do something for another kid…”,
  • “It’s extremely tough as a parent to watch our kids struggle, fail, and be rejected. But if we don’t let them experience it, while they’re young, they’ll have no idea how to handle it when life shows up later down the road. Our job is to love them and teach them how to work through it.”
  • “I like to pride myself in not being just like a scratch a surface guy. I get deep.”
  • I think hitting a baseball and softball consistently hard is the hardest thing to do in any sport,
  • The toe tap to me is the most adjustable swing that I’ve ever had,
  • I don’t use a glove when I throw BP so I’ll hold curveball like this. I’ll hold it. I want to see if they’re smart enough to look at my hand,
  • Where can people find you, talk about the social media platforms…

Click short link for transcribed baseball hitting lessons near me interview in pdf format: http://gohpl.com/rayctranscription

Here’s the full transcription of the interview…ENJOY!

Joey Myers  00:06

Hello, and welcome to the Swing Smarter Monthly Newsletter. This is your host, Joey Myers and on the call here with me, I’m honored to have Mr. Ray Camacho. He is of a nonprofit called Fat on Fat, or fat off the bat on fat on the ball. And we had a nice, interesting baseball hitting lessons near me conversation recently and there’s some cool little nuggets here.

Joey Myers  00:29

First, I want to welcome you to the show, Ray.

Ray Camacho  00:32

Thanks for having me.

Joey Myers  00:35

We’re going to dig into some stuff, I think the 30 minutes goes quick. I’m sure there’s going to be plenty, plenty to talk about in future stuff. But first question I want to ask you, tell me a little bit about your baseball hitting lessons near me nonprofit, where you guys are and what it’s about.

 

Tell me a little bit about your baseball hitting lessons near me nonprofit, where you guys are and what it’s about…

Ray Camacho  00:51

I started off a Fat-on-Fat Baseball Academy. But then recently, I started doing softball, so I changed the name to Fat-on-Fat Academy. The name came about when I was growing up, my dad was trying to think of something nice and easy for me to remember and something that rhymed.

Ray Camacho  01:07

He was like, son, fat of the bat, fat of the ball. That concept is something I grew up chasing my whole life, because I was just trying to square the ball up with fat on fat and is just a catchy phrase that everybody would use.

Ray Camacho  01:21

My dad would just be quiet and simple with it, fat on fat, son, watch the ball fat on fat. I had that concept, and as I grew up, I thought it was kind of cheesy, honestly a little bit. I felt embarrassed a little bit to talk about it to some of the guys, and then I started coaching and they started really liking it, like the young guys started liking it and said, What’s fat on fat coach? They wanted more stuff.

Ray Camacho  01:44

I ended up needing an outlet for myself because I was coaching a baseball hitting lessons near me organization. I was working at another organization; I was doing things for everybody else. I needed my own passion in my own lane.

Ray Camacho  01:57

What ended up happening was, I created my own college team, and I needed a name. My dad was like, you got to go fat on fat. I was like, Dad, these college guys are going to laugh me, everybody’s going to talk mess, they’re going to clown me.

Ray Camacho  02:12

I still felt like I was a college guy as well as trying to coach and I just didn’t believe in it. I shared it with a partner. I shared it with a couple of people my idea. They kind of was like, dude, that’s awesome. I love that name. I shared it with the Commissioner of the CCBL League that was playing in the summer. He was like, that is the best name ever.

Ray Camacho  02:35

He coached me when I was in high school, in college. He was like, I love it. You need to go with the name. When I got that feedback, as cheesy as it may feel for me, because it’s something my dad gave me, and sometimes he says, Son, you think your dad’s cheesy or corny, but everybody loved my dad, everybody thought my dad was funny, but of course, as a son you think he’s lame.

Ray Camacho  02:58

I’m going to run with it. I wanted to turn a negative into a positive because fat is a negative word. We think it’s a negative word, I feel like I have enough energy to turn it into a positive word. I’m from San Antonio, Texas, my company is based out of San Antonio, Texas.

Ray Camacho  03:17

I’ve lived in San Antonio, Texas my whole life. I love San Antonio, everything I do is for the city. Everything I do is for the kids in the city. We have an obesity problem here, and so when I started doing fat on fat, I was 50 pounds heavier at the time. I had a lot of backlash, a lot of people talking, Oh, your company’s fat on fat, because you’re fat, bro.

Ray Camacho  03:40

I was going through a lot of personal things. They said some uglier stuff too. I always tell these guys, my biggest teaching to the kids is, if you’re going to be good, you’re going to have to be ready to accept what comes with being good. Because there’s going to be snakes in the grass, there’s going to be your own teammates trying to go against you, there’s going to be a whole bunch of negativity that being the dude in titles.

Ray Camacho  04:03

If you’re not ready to accept that, then you can’t be the dude because you’ll fall short, as a lot of mental stuff. I just really wanted to be a forefront in this for fitness, for obesity in San Antonio, I wanted to bring awareness.

Ray Camacho  04:20

Five years ago, when I started it, I really didn’t have a lane. I didn’t know what I was going to do until I really started doing my first video of showing my training.

Ray Camacho  04:29

Five years ago, I was nothing compared to who I am now. I look at those old videos and I look at myself like you’re a chump. How can you let that kid get away with that movement? How can you let him do that? It makes me angry in the sense at myself that I couldn’t figure out my philosophy and my lane faster because I could have helped so many more kids.

Ray Camacho  04:51

That passion drives me today to not let anybody have bad movements when they come into the RPO which stands for Real Players Only. I have fat on fat baseball hitting lessons near me Academy and it stands for real players only.

Ray Camacho  05:03

Real players know who real players are. Real recognizes real. You can’t fake being real. Because once you step on that line, between those lines, you know who you are. I just love everything that baseball and softball brings to the table. I always talk about it. I’m going to do this till the day I die.

Joey Myers  05:21

I love it. That’s what really came out and struck me in our initial baseball hitting lessons near me conversation was the fact that you’re training baseball and softball players. But it’s not to be baseball and softball players, it’s to be better in life, right?

Joey Myers  05:34

You’re teaching life through baseball and softball, and that’s what I really love. The other thing is, and we can get into that a little bit, but I really wanted to jump into the baseball hitting lessons near me training side of things. Strength conditioning, and I asked you a question. I said, who are your top two follows for strength conditioning? Who do you say, who was your first one?

 

Who are your top one or two follows for strength and conditioning?

Ray Camacho  05:53

Paul Chek.

Joey Myers  05:54

Those out there, Paul Chek is no joke, go out and check out the Chek Institute. What brought you to Paul Chek? How do you feel Paul Chek has helped your hitters, the baseball hitting lessons near me information that has helped your hitters?

Ray Camacho  06:09

I got introduced to Paul Chek. Just going down a worm hole of different trainers and instructors, I’m sure you went down the same path because we’re men and we’re baseball players.

Ray Camacho  06:21

Everybody’s trying to be the biggest, fastest, strongest, and it’s all about information. Well, how much information can you input in your head? How much can you process and how much can you actually apply?

Ray Camacho  06:30

I feel Paul Chek has indirectly mentoring me every day, I listen to his podcast, it feels like he’s speaking directly towards me. I got introduced to Elliott Hulse, a long time ago, and his stronger version of himself.

Ray Camacho  06:46

I’ve really followed his transformation. We all have our transformation as men. I was into the bodybuilding scene and all that stuff, try to be the biggest, strongest dude. That was a toxic mentality for a baseball player, because I ended up messing my body up senior year, I may say mess up, but I had the best year of my senior year ever, and I set records and stuff like that, but I’m saying, I always wanted to be the best.

Ray Camacho  07:12

I’m always going to critique myself if I mess up. I will always put myself down if I do mess up because I’m just honest. I messed up a lot of my mobility aspects by just bodybuilding and doing a lot of hypertrophy training, and not focusing on strength and speed.

Ray Camacho  07:28

I got two tenths of a second slower on my 60 time. I was running a six-eight and so I run a seven-one because I wanted to drop bombs. I didn’t realize I didn’t have a mentor. I didn’t have anyone in my ear saying, you got to stay fast. If you lose your speed, you are nothing.

Ray Camacho  07:44

They have big six foot three guys that mash. You’re not that guy. You must be a fast infielder like you’ve always been, and I lost sight of that. I lost my chance to get drafted when it came down to it because of the speed and I never got officially said that. But I know deep down in my heart that’s what it was, you know, because nothing else held me back.

Ray Camacho  08:02

I’m still a dude, I’m 36 I still can play, still hit bombs, hit a bomb Sunday, and that was the first time I ever did that. I can tell you the training works because I’m doing everything I teach and preach myself at 36. If my mobility helps me, it’s going to help a 10-year-old.

Ray Camacho  08:19

If my strength conditioning helps me it’s going to help a 13–14-year-old. I try to empower these guys to really do that. Elliott Hulse came from a strongman competition. He was big and swoll.

Ray Camacho  08:33

I used to love listening to his rants because he always spoke intelligent. I always wanted to be a meathead, but an intelligent meathead. A best of both worlds. I can go in and out of bodybuilding, powerlifting, I can go talk to a physics major, a teacher.

Ray Camacho  08:50

I can talk to anybody, I can walk in any circle, because I love that I have the social awareness to be to be flowing in those circles and talk to anybody because if anybody can teach me anything, like you’re worth something to me, because I love knowledge and wisdom.

Ray Camacho  09:05

It’s one of the biggest things that Paul Chek put me on in his book. It was maybe like six months ago, I wrote down my goal was to have knowledge and wisdom and to be able to apply it to my sport, and just keep learning every day and growing.

Ray Camacho  09:20

Honestly, that’s what’s really happening every day because I tell parents my baseball hitting lessons near me training may switch up from next week to the next week, because my training like we talked about, it’s ever evolving.

 

Baseball hitting lessons near me: “It’s ever evolving with me because one kid teaches me how to do something for another kid…”

Ray Camacho  09:30

It’s ever evolving with me because one kid teaches me how to do something for another kid. It’s all the same mechanics, if he has bad ankles, this guy has bad ankles. If I see it, we’re going to do ankle mobility stuff.

Ray Camacho  09:42

If he can’t go up on his tippy toes because his feet are weak, we’re going to work on feet for 20-30 minutes because that matters. Not getting in the cage, not warming up and just swinging, we must change the culture.

Ray Camacho  09:54

These kids just want to get in there and move and their bodies not primed up and not ready to rock and roll. They don’t understand the mechanics of a movement. I get kids as young as four and as old as 22. I’m teaching them all the same things.

Ray Camacho  10:07

I talk to them all the same way. I know those little kids, they’re going to be dudes when they grow up, and the girls are going to be studs, because the girls, they listen the best obviously.

Joey Myers  10:16

They do.

Ray Camacho  10:18

That’s been awesome with me. I never thought in a million years, I’d be doing softball, they’ve really accepted me, and local coaches have liked what I’ve done with hitters and I’ve had kids that shouldn’t hit home runs that are hitting home runs.

Ray Camacho  10:34

I don’t take any baseball hitting lessons near me credit for it because it’s hard work and they are doing all the work. I’m just showing them the way. The biggest thing is I want to give direction because if kids and parents don’t know direction, they don’t know where to go.

Ray Camacho  10:46

They think anything they do is good. No, the right stuff is good. The right way is good, the most functional, the strongest way to be a healthy individual is the right way.

Ray Camacho  10:57

Elliott Hulse is the one responsible for putting me on Paul Chek. Listen to Elliott Hulse in his podcast, I started finding my direction because Elliott Hulse is big into masculinity and building men up and keeping men strong.

Ray Camacho  11:12

I’ve been blessed with a facility like this, because a man took a chance on me and he believed in me, and he said, I wanted to give you the opportunity to pay it forward. I’ve been very blessed to have a gym and two cages and my own little place to call home in the RPO.

Ray Camacho  11:31

Now that I’m kind of getting a little baseball hitting lessons near me momentum and things are going well, now I’m giving back because everything I do is going back to the kids. I have a lane now. I keep creating new logos and new things. I have fat on fat and fit on fit.

Ray Camacho  11:45

Actually, two days ago, I’m working on another logo flat on flat, because I have flat feet. I have probably like 20-30 kids that have flat feet. The first time I heard I had flat feet, the doctor was like, he’s going to have hard time with the ankle, he started saying all these negative things.

Ray Camacho  12:01

I had two or three ways to think about it. I was like, you know what, I don’t feel anything he’s saying. My ankles hurt a little bit, but I warm them up, I’m good to go. All those exercises he prescribed, I did them every day. I did them every day because I’ve always wanted to be the best at everything.

Ray Camacho  12:17

I was a football player at the time, I was the quarterback, I knew my feet needed to eat. I just worked out hard to grow my legs and my whole life I’ve had huge legs.

Ray Camacho  12:27

People have always talked about my legs, and I’ve always had my pants tighten up, always been a leadoff batter, I’ve always showed that physical strength that people can just see looking at my legs, and could tell that he might be good, he might be able to run a little bit.

Ray Camacho  12:42

I’ve taken pride with that, but that was instilled by my dad instilling those morals and those ethics. He really put a lot of good groundwork in myself, it’s kind of hard to go against some of those things sometimes.

Ray Camacho  12:55

It’s one of the reasons why I have a big heart. I just love hearing people’s stories; I’ve always been a good listener. When I hear an intelligent man speak, you shut up. That was like the number one rule my dad always said, you’re going to hang out with adults, you’re going to hang around grown men, shut up until they ask and talk to you if you’re a little boy.

Ray Camacho  13:15

Or if you don’t know what you’re talking about, you just listen. Listening taught me a lot of things. It’s right there in front of you if you listen in and aware of stuff.

Joey Myers  13:23

I love that man. I learn more about you the more we talk and that listening part as an advice, you have to know when you’re a teacher, you got to know when your student, and sometimes you got two teachers talking to each other. But sometimes even in that conversation, one teacher might know more than the other teacher.

Joey Myers  13:43

The teacher that doesn’t have quite the knowledge needs to, like you said shut up and listen, and not try and fight the other guy when they don’t have all the baseball hitting lessons near me information. It’s this kind of liquid relationship that happens between student and pupil, or pupil and teacher.

Joey Myers  14:01

I got on your Facebook page, there’s a cool quote, I’m thinking retweet. We’re not on Twitter. Here’s the quote, “It’s extremely tough as a parent to watch our kids struggle fail and be rejected. But if we don’t let them experience it, while they’re young, they’ll have no idea how to handle it when life shows up later down the road. Our job is to love them and teach them how to work through it.” Talk about that a little bit.

 

“It’s extremely tough as a parent to watch our kids struggle, fail, and be rejected. But if we don’t let them experience it, while they’re young, they’ll have no idea how to handle it when life shows up later down the road. Our job is to love them and teach them how to work through it.”

Ray Camacho  14:35

I told you this a little bit about last time what I do in the sessions, it’s because a lot of times, parents are hovering over and watching you move and work and talk. They’re watching everything and I’m very analytical myself, I may not see it.

Ray Camacho  14:49

I wear sunglasses all the time because I don’t want people to know where my eyes are going. It’s a coaching thing as well, but I understand the physical appearance, as you’re a coach and you’re sitting there like this, you look like you’re doing something.

Ray Camacho  15:03

If you’re staring at a kid, and he knows he’s messing up, he’s going to feel that energy. I’ve always done that. When I first started out, I was nervous about what people thought about what I was saying, I’m like, they think I’m messing their kid up.

Ray Camacho  15:16

Or maybe they’re not emotionally woke like me, or maybe they don’t understand some of the things. I got nervous speaking, but then I started realizing the kid is only going to be as good as the parents.

Ray Camacho  15:31

What I started doing was I just start sharing stories. As I continue to talk to other kids, and opening and motivate them, I always share my baseball hitting lessons near me life stories, because my life stories teach me a lot about things. I know the way I am because of my dad.

Ray Camacho  15:45

One of the best things my dad ever did, he coached me till I was 12, but he always let me play. He never over coached me; I don’t think I ever heard my dad yell at me on the field. He never told me to go warm up, he never told me to do anything, as soon as we got on the car, he already knew.

Ray Camacho  16:01

We were talking about that stuff of what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do and how you’re going to show up, how you’re going to look, who you are. He laid the platform for me when I was a little kid. This is what I do now, I just took it 100 million times more, because I went farther than him.

Ray Camacho  16:19

At age 12, he was always telling me that you’re better than ever I was, and he was my hero, my idol. As I started realizing interaction with parents, that parents are sabotages, as well. My big thing is, I need to make them understand whether you need to peel back or whether you need to be involved more.

Ray Camacho  16:39

My thing that I tell every parent is, especially the dads, because sometimes the dads have egos. Sometimes the softball dads are the worse. That’s their little girl, and I’m teaching their little girl. They get all huffy puffy, sometimes, but I just show them love and break them down and show them what I’m trying to teach.

Ray Camacho  16:59

My thing is, I teach the parents. I always tell the parents; your kid is only going to be as good as you. If you reiterate what I’m saying, and you back me up, because I’m always going to back you up, I am never going to say, I’m never going to disrespect you, your kid, I’m going to only help your relationship out.

Ray Camacho  17:17

We are a team, and it’s all about your kid. Obviously, parents love their kids. They’re going to understand that yes, you’re right. We’re not working against each other. Because if we do, now, the kid doesn’t know what the heck to do.

Ray Camacho  17:29

Now he’s always going to follow the parents’ lead. If I can have the parent buy in to baseball hitting lessons near me, I know it’s only a matter of time that kid buys them because now the kids are accepting. I always tell the story when I was 12, my dad sat me down and said, look, I’ve taught you everything I know, you’re better than me, I don’t know how to get you to that next level anymore, you must be looking for something else now, and learn from other people.

Baseball hitting lessons near me: “I like to pride myself in not being just like a scratch a surface guy. I get deep.”

Ray Camacho  17:54

I can honestly tell you, I didn’t learn from any other adults. No, all my coaches, maybe like one little rinky dink thing, but it was very generic. I like to pride myself in not being just like a scratch a surface guy. I get deep.

Ray Camacho  18:11

I always say breaking it down to the single digit. Like you got a million, I’m going to break it down all the way to the simplest form to get you to understand that if you don’t understand we’re going to keep doing it. I keep talking, I’m going to do some physical with you, because I need you to understand. I have simple goals when I get in the cage.

Ray Camacho  18:30

My dad released in me, and him being a big man and saying he can’t take me anymore, helped me take ownership on myself, because my dad had a bad back and he was in a bed for like a year. He was never supposed to ever walk again. He blew some disk and stuff like that.

Ray Camacho  18:48

I remember him being in a bed in the living room, just lying there all the time. And he showed me how to fold towels. He showed me how to do stuff. I was so literal, he would show me how to fold towels laying down in his bed, and I would lay down on the ground and fold towels.

Ray Camacho  19:05

I understood that kids mimic movements. I always prided myself in being healthy and in shape and showing kids and not just sitting on a bucket and getting up and working out and challenging the kids. I work out with the kids sometimes, I run with the kids sometimes.

Ray Camacho  19:21

I have a senior that’s coming to work out with me on Sundays, and I’m not charging them. It’s we’re working out together because I want to show them how it’s supposed to be done and how I work. I put my head down, I don’t see nothing, I just go to work. This is what I’m doing. I’m serious about it still because I want to be the best.

Ray Camacho  19:40

I’m playing in a World Series in Arizona for men’s and senior baseball league. I got stuff to prove. I haven’t played in a long time. I just want to give one last hurrah. I love learning so as I’m in this journey as well, I’m continuing to learn and I feel like if I’m learning, I’m growing and I’m going to pass it on to the kids. As I enhance my threshold in my knowledge, I’m bringing everybody with me.

Joey Myers  20:06

I love that. The idea that these kids nowadays, and I’ve heard this from multiple coaches, this isn’t just me, and I’ve not just heard it from you, but that players are soft. I think when you have these athletes in multiple sports, whether it’s soccer and football and whatnot, is people don’t realize when they get into baseball and softball, you and I could get into probably baseball hitting lessons near me arguments with other sports people about this, but I think hitting a baseball and softball consistently hard is the hardest thing to do in any sport.

 

I think hitting a baseball and softball consistently hard is the hardest thing to do in any sport

Joey Myers  20:42

I went into basketball for three years, and Michael Jordan was playing in the mid-90s, because I love Michael Jordan. I never played organized basketball, I did soccer, organize it in baseball, and I did martial arts for three years. But I did basketball just with some buddies on my street and did that. It was hard, but it took me I don’t know, six months, eight months, so I could finally figure out where I needed to shoot and things like that. They come into this sport and expect to hit .800 and .900.

Ray Camacho  21:13

It’s very disrespectful, honestly.

Joey Myers  21:17

It is and to have that kind of baseball hitting lessons near me mentality coming into our sport and thinking things are just going to be easy. I even have parents that it’s pitching versus hitting, what’s harder, and I always say that hitting is harder.

Joey Myers  21:30

I have a buddy that teaches pitching, he’s the guy I send my hitters to go learn pitching. Hitting is harder than pitching, I pitched all the way through my sophomore year in high school until I went full time outfield and hitting.

Joey Myers  21:46

The thing was, is I knew where I was going to throw the ball, what kind of pitch I was going to throw and in what location and speed. I knew all that beforehand, right? Whether it went there or not. Who knows? But hitting I don’t know any of that stuff and when they say well, there’s a mind game that the pitcher must play against a hitter. Well, doesn’t the hitter have to play mind game against a pitcher?

Ray Camacho  22:06

That’s what I teach, bro. That’s what I teach. I don’t film it because I don’t want to share it with people, but my feel work, my live at bats, that’s what the high school guys come for, because I did it better than anybody.

Ray Camacho  22:20

When I hit that homerun on Sunday, this guy was a nobody, and I’m not disrespecting him. But I know he was a nobody, he wasn’t throwing hard, just throwing like 70-75. I know who I am. Full count, he goes like this, to show me that curveball.

Ray Camacho  22:33

Right away, just to who I am. I never really paid attention to those things because I just saw the ball hit the ball at time. But I saw that, and I remember thinking curveball, and then as soon as it released, I saw that bad ass backspin and then I just crapped on it.

Ray Camacho  22:49

I was like you think you’re going to trick me with like JV tricks. Because for one you don’t throw hard, I’m not scared of you. Two, I know that if I sit back, you’re not going to blow anything by me.

Ray Camacho  23:01

I try to teach kids out because I do the same thing on the pitching. I wouldn’t call myself a pitcher, but I could pitch. I pitched a little bit in college, I pitched in high school, but they couldn’t take me out of shortstop because we didn’t have a shortstop.

Ray Camacho  23:12

When I pitch, they had the ball at shortstop. It’s frustrating because I used to be that guy making errors. Now somebody else is making errors for me. I call myself a competitor. I know how to play the game. I was never good paper guys.

Ray Camacho  23:27

One of the reasons why I feel like I didn’t get drafted. But you put me in a game I do all the right things I get on base; I steal the base. I read the ball. I see the pitcher.

Ray Camacho  23:36

I always liked hitting off big, big, tall pitchers because they always thought that they’re better than me because it’s physical. My dad was talking about it yesterday, and I can hear the anger in his voice how I got shortchanged from my size.

Ray Camacho  23:48

He goes I must tell everybody, I put you against anybody. I put you against anybody.  I remember sophomore year in high school, we were placed in Austin Buoy, and they had three dudes and we played them three games, we had three dudes, they’re all six foot plus, doing upper 80s lower 90s.

Ray Camacho  24:05

The first game I went for five off that guy’s a leadoff guy. Because they didn’t respect me, you’re trying to drive till mid upper 80s fastball is by me, I’m a fastball hitting son of a gun. I’m jumping on that. I just beat you, beat you, beat you guess what, next at bat curveball I sit on it. You can’t throw it because you’re trying to throw it, you’re already spinning on the ground.

Ray Camacho  24:23

I had an elimination process at age 10. I tell people I manifested and prayed to God for all these things that I had each night not knowing that I was doing this stuff. I taught myself how to keep two hands on the bat, there’s no tricks or gimmicks. Simply every night, told myself you hit the ball very good every time but you’re breaking apart.

Ray Camacho  24:44

Let’s just swing with two hands, see what happens. I would tell myself every night until it started happening. Of course, I practice it and I try to apply it and put it in my head.  My feel work was immaculate. Anytime I took a pitch, I always took it correctly. I was always on time. If I wasn’t, that’s a negative one in energy. So, I get out, I do two feel work.

Ray Camacho  25:05

I go one, two, or whatever I felt like I needed to do to get back in the box and get that back. I never understood it, but I was always going in the box plus one, or plus two, especially if I won that pitch. That means you didn’t buckle me; your curveball isn’t crap. I stare at it and I look back at you. I go yes, you got to throw me a fastball, let’s go.

Ray Camacho  25:24

I’m ready to rock and roll.  I was always ready to hit. I got my batting stance from Chipper Jones; he was my favorite player. His dad was out of Stetson University and he created the toe tap.

 

The toe tap to me is the most adjustable swing that I’ve ever had

Ray Camacho  25:36

The toe tap to me is the most timing the most adjustable swing that I’ve ever had.  I’ve dabbled in other things, I listened to other guys, and they’ve all ruined to me, and they took my time in a way my weight shift.

Ray Camacho  25:48

The biggest thing when it comes to pitching and hitting, they’re both rotational movements, you both must read energy. I literally move just like the pitcher when I hit. That’s why I’m superior in timing. I always tell pitchers this when you’re throwing, if you throw hard, or if you got gas, you’re trying to throw it down their throats every time most time unless you have a different mentality of maybe just don’t strike, you can’t throw strike.

Ray Camacho  26:14

When I got up there, I’m throwing my heart and soul every pitch because we’re competing. And I can do that, I always prided myself in being a 90% and 95, on everything I can do.

Ray Camacho  26:25

Now, I would never say 100, who can be 100 all the time. But I would say A plus student on the field. As far as I could, I could run as hard as I could because I had control. When I move to load back, that guy’s doing the same weight shift as I’m doing.

Ray Camacho  26:40

Of course, I have my strong legs and everything else they go with the timing, but I try to tell guys this because I show them right away from soft toss to the front toss to live, if you do not have a weight shift, you have no timing, and they don’t understand it. Someone along the way, told them not to move. My biggest thing is, this is how you tell if you have a good instructor a good coach or not.

Ray Camacho  27:02

If your coach limits your movement, if you’re Aaron Judge, you can limit movements. He’s Aaron judge, and he’s hella strong and badass. If you’re a JV guy that hasn’t gone on varsity yet, and if you’re weak, you limit movements, you’re not good, you’re not going do anything to the ball, because it’s strength and rhythm.

Ray Camacho  27:23

When a coach is telling you to get your foot down early, when coaches tell you to go to a two-strike approach, they’re taking your rhythm out, they’re taking your weight shift out, they’re not even teaching it properly. Or if they tell you to go oppo, and the guy throws you an inside pitch, you’re screwed.

Ray Camacho  27:38

Those are sabotage advice, and I talk about it openly. I don’t even care if the high school coaches hate me, because I care about the kid. If you tell him this, now he shut down and now he’s dumbed down. Now he cannot focus on practice and go as hard as he can.

Ray Camacho  27:57

I try to enhance everybody with balance and rhythm. That is it. It’s your balance and rhythm. It’s only a matter of time, and how do we know that? We watched your takes, because whether you like it or not, there’s a pitching coach who didn’t hit. I’m confident about this. A pitching coach who didn’t hit watching your feel work like a dumb pitcher, notice that like a pitcher.

Ray Camacho  28:20

I’m a hitter, a pitcher, a first baseman, a catcher, a right fielder, a third baseman, I’m everything. I’ve done everything. I think from those perspectives, but I think more like a pitcher and a catcher and a shortstop when I see hitters, and I’m like, am I scared of this guy? Or what am I seeing?

Ray Camacho  28:34

I can go to any high school game right now and call pitches and tell you exactly what’s going to happen? Because the coach is on level one, they’re on level one, until you start beating them or start sitting on pitches understanding that, then they’ll switch up, they’ll switch it up just like the game, right?

 

I don’t use a glove when I throw BP so I’ll hold curveball like this. I’ll hold it.  I want to see if they’re smart enough to look at my hand

Ray Camacho  28:48

That’s what I do with the high school guys, because I don’t use a glove when I throw BP so I’ll hold curveball like this. I’ll hold it.  I want to see if they’re smart enough to look at my hand. If not, then I just keep breaking them off. Keep breaking them off.  Then when I start seeing sit on it. I’m like, hey, what are you doing?  They’re like, Oh, I see it in your hand coach. Awesome.

Ray Camacho  29:08

Now I can manipulate you because now I hold it like that. Then I’ll throw a fastball because my fastball curveball.  I know how to compete. If you’re guessing you’re not ever going to beat me. I can do 30 minutes of fastball and curveball round with guys, I’m talking about varsity guys, and just beat them because they’re trying to guess.

Ray Camacho  29:30

I say you don’t guess if you guess I will blow a fastball by you because I’m reading your energy. I’m reading your movements, just like any coach would right now. The younger kids, I tell the dads and the moms, whoever’s helping them, whether you like it or not the kid is competing against an adult.

Ray Camacho  29:47

There’s a coach watching what he does, if he steps out, he’s going like this to the pitcher. Now the pitcher throws strikes. Now your kid doesn’t have a chance because he’s not understanding how he’s moving. He’s not understanding what he’s presenting to the whole baseball community when he’s doing that.

Ray Camacho  30:02

I’m trying to really get the guys to do field work. That means I really must control my sessions. If a kid takes a bad swing, if he takes two in a row, I have to stop and tell him to get out of the box and do feel work. Then I watch his feel work.

Ray Camacho  30:17

If his feel work is bad, then I got to stand up and go back over there and talk to him about it. Because the feel work matters what you’re going to do in the box. Sometimes they’re too immature to understand it. I got to keep talking about it and keep talking about it. My biggest thing is making them aware. My big varsity guys like to dive in.

Ray Camacho  30:35

I have this big thing of reading that energy and going back and forth, stop angles of feet, hips and shoulders, we’re not manipulating those right now, especially if you don’t need to understand how to hit. The balanced approach is just staying square.

Ray Camacho  30:49

Now that’s outside, you close up, go to right center field, and it’s down the middle or if you want to pull it you go left centerfield. Shoulders and hips. That’s it. That’s how the elite hit with our back hip.

Ray Camacho  31:03

I literally show the guys and then I go in there. If they don’t believe me, I show them how to hit where you want me to hit it, boom, I hit their left center, we want to hit right side, and boom, this is how we do it.

Ray Camacho  31:11

I’ve always had back control, my dad just showed me off with a five-year-old. I would just mechanically sound. That’s it. I was connected, the term connected, right. I try to show those guys how to be properly connected with their core, their breathing their chin.

Ray Camacho  31:26

Your head doesn’t matter if your feet suck, because the little kids, if their back foot never rotates properly, you don’t exist. Because you cut off all the power, you cut off that right eye or your left eye whatever way you’re swinging, and you don’t rotate properly. That’s the biggest thing.

Ray Camacho  31:42

Now if the back foot sucks the front foot is usually the culprit because the front side leaves the backside more ground up. That’s something that I figured out, but I don’t know if it’s out there already, but I don’t try to worry about everybody else. I know what I’m doing here, and how I speak. I try to make them understand that your head doesn’t matter. Your hands don’t matter if your feet are bad.

Joey Myers  32:03

I love it. Well, hey, I want to be respectful of your time a lot. A lot of great advice there. I love that, Ray. Glad that we did this. I’m sure we can do some part twos. Before we go, where can people find you, talk about the social media platforms. I know you got a website, but it looks like it’s a little under construction right now.

 

Where can people find you, talk about the social media platforms…

Ray Camacho  32:25

I’m big on social media. I got Snapchat, it’s RayCam4, just the number four. My Instagram is raycam4oe. I have fat on fat baseball on Instagram, fit on fit fitness on Instagram. I also have fit on fit fitness on Facebook as well.

Ray Camacho  32:45

I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all the big social media sites I have, fit on fit fitness, fat on fat baseball and my own personal page account. I just try to give information out to as many people as possible. I do a lot of free work because I feel like this stuff is so hard. That if you can do it, awesome.  It’s no secret. There’s no secret. I’m an open book. I’ll tell anybody anything. People reach out to me all the time in DMs and messages and I love my job.

Joey Myers  33:16

I love it. What are the one or two that you’re on most?

Ray Camacho  33:21

I would say Facebook and Instagram. I’m actually on tik tok as well, Ray Camp4oe

Joey Myers  33:27

I was going to say that was in there.

Ray Camacho  33:31

I did a video. Like two days ago and I’ve gotten like 100 followers on tik tok recently. I’m really surprised because I see a lot of baseball coaches getting roasted on TikTok. These kids are unrelentless.

Ray Camacho  33:47

I was telling a friend; I’ve been ready for a little kid to come talk smack to me. I can just get them, but it hasn’t happened. The only thing I can think of is I’m doing it right. They understand what I’m saying. I had a kid reached out to me say Hey, where’s part two? Hey, it’s one fan, right? I posted two. I was like, Alright, here we go two and three, because I’m willing to teach anybody who wants to learn because we’re all learning.

Joey Myers  34:13

Cool, dude. Thank you so much for your time again. Like I said, we’ll be in touch. I’ll get you all your stuff. We’ll kind of go from there and maybe do a part two, part three in the future.

Ray Camacho  34:24

Awesome, man. Thanks.

Joey Myers  34:25

Thanks for your baseball hitting lessons near me time, brother. Keep up the good work there.

Ray Camacho  34:28

You too, man.

Joey Myers  34:29

Alright, see you.

STOP Athletic Performance Training? [VIDEO]

Athletic Performance Training Interview With Jeremy Frisch: Is It Smart To Shut Down Overhead Shoulder Development?

Here’s what we go over in the athletic performance training interview with Jeremy Frisch:

  • What do you feel the biggest mistake is when those kids are being trained by strength and conditioning coaches?
  • What do you think about something like that, where you’re totally shut down any overhead shoulder development for baseball, softball players?STOP Athletic Performance Training? [VIDEO]
  • When you do an athletic performance training evaluation of a hang, what do you look at? How long if a player is poor in that, versus is good in that? How long can they hang for?
  • When you get a kid like that a high school, junior high school on up, what do you do with that kid? Do you have to go back in
    time, work that out? And how long does that usually take?
  • “…you had them wrestling or something similar?”
  • Are you looking to do some franchising or something like that, to where people can have access to that around?
  • Is there a certain athletic performance training formula like maybe the four or five things that you look for that we make sure in one hour that we’re getting done?
  • Where can people find more about you? And so that’s number one. And two, are there anything new? Any kind of projects you’re working on right now?
  • Any other parting thoughts before we go?

Here’s the athletic performance training video transcription… (estimated reading time is about 30-minutes)

 

Joey Myers 

Hello and welcome to Swing Smarter Monthly Newsletter or Newsletter Monthly, I say it both ways. This is your host Joey Myers from hittingperformancelab.com and I have the honor today, finally, to get Jeremy Frisch and it’s Frisch, right? Not Frisch.  I have Jeremy Frisch on with me. He is the owner of Achieve Performance Training.

Jeremy Frisch 

It’s at achieveperformance.net.

Joey Myers 

.net. Okay, cool. Then it reroutes? The big thing Jeremy is a big, like, if you go onto his Twitter is @JeremyFrisch and Frisch spelled F-R-I-S-C-H. If you go on there, and his Twitter says, strength conditioning, long term athletic development, which we’ll be talking a lot about in this call. He’s a physical education youth football coach at Clinton High.

Joey Myers 

I see that, I think he’s actually out though, I know you’re at the elementary school, huh? Elementary, that’s where all your training is?

Jeremy Frisch 

Yes.

Joey Myers 

Clinton High, Bridgeton Academy, looks like Worchester State University. So welcome to the show, Mr. Jeremy.

Jeremy Frisch 

Fire it up. I’ve been a big fan for a long time and read your books and your live drive baseball package that I bought and watch those videos. This is exciting for me.

Joey Myers 

What I love, is the very thing that you do to help kids get into, is the biggest component i think that is not put in or at least it’s put in wrong, it’s plugged in wrong. My first question to you is, what do you feel on the strength conditioning side with the kids that you’re talking about? Say, maybe through elementary school? What do you feel the biggest mistake is when those kids are being trained by strength and conditioning coaches?

What do you feel the biggest athletic performance training mistake is when those kids are being trained by strength and conditioning coaches?

Jeremy Frisch 

I think over the years, you got athletic performance training started up with professional and college level, and it’s trickled down and it went through the high school and then and now it’s at the middle school. And I think with private facilities, people try to make money so they’ll have some type of like, kids’ program, right? And what happens is that, I think a lot of facilities may not have the experience of working with kids, so they just default to what they know.

Jeremy Frisch 

They’ll put on training programs that are made, probably more for adults, than for kids. They sort of watered down a little bit, and try to make them kid friendly, but they’re really not. You know, what I mean?  The elementary school age, what we’re really talking about is physical education, right? And we want to get those kids to be able to move around as much as possible.

Jeremy Frisch 

I think the most important part of that is you could say move around a lot. And you can get them to do jumping jacks, and hops and stuff like that, and all that stuff’s great. But to get them in an environment where they have to think and react and move, and that’s why that age, games are the best, right? You get them in an environment, playing tag, or chasing each other things like that, or playing dodge-ball, those type of things develop kinesthetic awareness, they develop spatial awareness, they develop their ability to track with your eyes, which talking about baseball, right?

Jeremy Frisch 

I mean, that’s the name of the game right there. And so those things lead to, being able to track not only is awesome for baseball and other sports, but it’s also awesome for reading, right? Because we all know we need that, too. Any activity that allows us to track a ball or track a person, or be able to have to react to a ball or a person or auditory signal or anything where we have to react to something in front of us. It’s probably the best thing that you can give to a child that age.

Jeremy Frisch 

The other thing that they really need to be able to do, is to be able to handle their own body weight. And like people think about that it’s like, “Ah! We’re going to get them to do pushups and squats and lunges and stuff.” And it’s not that.  It’s more like can they climb up a tree? Or can they climb on a bar and hang? Can they do a forward roll? Can they bear crawl? You know what I mean? Can they jump off a box and land without totally collapsing and hitting the ground? You know, what I mean?

Jeremy Frisch 

When I was a kid, we used to jump off stuff all the time. You know what I mean? And we did it in like a play type atmosphere, but those type of environments really developed the athleticism, and we didn’t even know it. You know what I mean?

Joey Myers 

Right. And, obviously in baseball, we’re talking, hitting and things like that, but throwing and one of the things that I thought, I didn’t know really much in junior senior year of college coming out, but one of the athletic performance training programs I think was University of Texas, it just won the College World Series. I think that was my junior year and then my senior year, their strength conditioning program almost got rolled out to every D1 all over the country.

Joey Myers 

And one of the things that they did not do was anything over shoulder, no vertical shoulder, anything. We weren’t allowed to do any vertical shoulder stuff. And to me at the time, I remember thinking to myself, wait a minute, don’t you need to be strong in every position possible? I understand that we’re overhand a lot. We’re doing a lot of overhand throwing and stuff. But what’s your opinion? Or what do you think about something like that, where you’re totally shut down any overhead shoulder development for baseball, softball players?

 

What do you think about something like that, where you’re totally shut down any overhead shoulder development for baseball, softball players?

Jeremy Frisch 

Yeah. The old saying, if you don’t use it, you lose it. You know what I mean? You’re asking these guys to pitch and they’re going through an extreme range of motion at a very high velocity.  You better be strong to be able to do that, you better be strong when you start doing it. And I think when we’re talking about kids, there’s probably thousands and thousands of kids across the country that pitch every weekend, probably can’t hold himself up, like hanging from a bar for more than 30 seconds.

Jeremy Frisch 

They don’t have the grip strength in the hand, they don’t have the strength in the shoulder to be able to hang, to hold themselves there. But you’re asking them to pitch a ball as hard as they can, or swing a bat, as hard as they can. I think when you look at it that way, too, it’s no wonder that I think some guys have trouble teaching kids how to hit or how to pitch because the physical abilities aren’t there. Right? The physical abilities aren’t there, to be able to teach them how to swing a bat fast, or how to throw hard.

Jeremy Frisch 

I think there’s needs to be a foundational level of strength for kids before they actually get into their first few years of playing sports.  I’m a huge fan of hanging or pull ups or climbing all that stuff for kids is awesome. And I test because my kids play baseball, so some of their friends come in, and we get kids from the surrounding area that are supposedly really good players. And the first thing I test like, how long can they hang from a bar?  And it tells me right away what they got going on up top.

Jeremy Frisch 

It’s a really good sign, obviously hitting and pitching and throwing, and a lot of that comes from the forces through the ground, too. But it’s important that their shoulders are strong, scapula is strong, has good range of motion. I’m a huge fan of when those kids start to hit like their tween years, like the 11, 12, 13-year-olds, we do tons of one arm dumbbell presses, we’ll do stuff where they’ll hold the dumbbell overhead and walk. I’m a huge fan of that stuff. Huge fan.

Jeremy Frisch 

And for power development, we do a lot of medicine balls, most kids will throw medicine balls between probably four pounds to eight pounds, 10 pounds, but we have these medicine balls that are 15, 20, 25, 30 pounds, and we do a lot of vertical throws with them. The kids are going to do a push press when they launch the ball in the air. And will let it go and hit the ground, and they’ll repeat. We do a lot of that stuff.  So yeah, I’m a big fan of trying to get as strong as you can through a complete range of motion.

Joey Myers 

I love that. You mentioned the hang. When you do an athletic performance training evaluation of a hang, what do you look at? How long if a player is poor in that, versus is good in that? How long can they hang for?

 

When you do an athletic performance training evaluation of a hang, what do you look at? How long if a player is poor in that, versus is good in that? How long can they hang for?

Jeremy Frisch 

I want to see the base level, like 30 seconds. I remember that summer, I had like three or four kids that were between the ages of 11 and 12. And thought they were, and these kids play a lot of baseball, and they’re pretty good. But they were struggling at 30 seconds. But you know what the great thing is, is if you practice that every day or every other day, you could get really, really friggin good at it. It doesn’t take a long time to get stronger. And I use that as proof for the kids like look at, if you work at this, just like swinging a bat and pitching a ball…

Jeremy Frisch 

You work at this every week or every day you’re in here, you’re going to get better and we got kids that went from like barely getting 30 seconds to well over a minute.  It’s a huge part of my program when I first have kids that come in to my facility and I love the younger kids, not only just hanging but get them to like shimmy across the bars, back and forth where they have to sort of like navigate across the bars. My kids, I set up years ago, and they’re still in there, they’re like the gymnastic rings like monkey rings, so they have to swing from ring the ring go all the way down the rack and back.

Jeremy Frisch 

I tell you, I think it’s great not only for shoulder strength, but grip strength as well. And I think that’s another thing that so many baseball players, I think leave on the table is grip strength. I mean, you’re literally holding a bat. The bat is in your hands, right? And everyone overlooks grip strength. You have so many nerves in your hands, and it connects all the way up into your shoulder. And I think that’s another thing that’s totally overlooked in a lot of training programs is grip strength, you know?

Joey Myers 

You know what’s crazy is that people now have to pay strength conditioning people, athletic performance training yodas like yourself to do this kind of stuff instead of like you and I, when we were younger, we went to the playground, and we did all the monkey ring stuff and all that. And now we have to pay a Yoda like yourself now in order to get that kind of training.

Jeremy Frisch 

Yeah. And I think too, if you do it early, like my son, my oldest is 13. He’s a big kid. He grew up got six inches over, he hit his growth spurt over COVID. And he’s just sprouted up. And he’s not skinny. He’s pretty solid kid. Right? When he was little, we did rope climbs all the time. He used to climb that rope all the time. And I swear, even though he’s grown a lot, developing that grip strength and shoulder strength when he was that age, allows him to be able to still do chin ups at his size, and stuff.

Jeremy Frisch 

I feel like he developed that strength when he was younger. And now that he’s gotten older, even though he’s grown, he’s been able to hold on to it, because he’s trained through that time period. And he’s able to do those things. I think for younger kids, it’s just huge to be able to get… and it’s fun, right? That stuff is fun. We’re not like making them do one arm dumbbell rows, and like SCAP pull ups, we’re not doing corrective exercises.  That gets fun, you’re climbing on bars, you’re hanging, you’re trying to get from ring to ring, it’s like you’re playing but you’re training at the same time.  I think it’s huge.

Joey Myers 

That kind of stuff in the gym, the monkey bars, and the whole gymnasium type of thing in the parks that we play in, it was tag, we were walking on, like I see your kids doing walking on little, whether they’re beams that are above the ground, or you’re having to balance, you’re having to, all this kind of stuff. And that’s what I really like.

Joey Myers 

One of the athletic performance training questions I actually wanted to ask you, you did the strength conditioning episodes on your site in the about section, like bottom third of the page, and they were talking about some things they asked you about the older kids that you get, whether they’re high school, maybe even college guys that come back, or maybe just started to work with you. And that there were some developmental holes in their past. When you get a kid like that a high school, junior high school on up, what do you do with that kid? Do you have to go back in time, work that out? And how long does that usually take?

 

When you get a kid like that a high school, junior high school on up, what do you do with that kid? Do you have to go back in time, work that out? And how long does that usually take?

Jeremy Frisch 

That was a big change for me with my programming. And when I really started working with the kids and realize like, these are the things that kids need. And these are the things that will help them to develop to be a better athlete.  I sort of took that idea and morphed it into using it with the older kids. And the idea came, well, let’s try to fill in these developmental holes with these kids during their warm up period. Right?

Jeremy Frisch 

10 minutes a day, 15 minutes, they’ll come in, we’ll do a little bit of crawling to work core strength and stability of the shoulder. Because we know that’s good, it’s a little bit more structured.  It doesn’t look as fun as the kids do it.  But it would be like, alright, we’re going to do 50 yards of total crawling, broken up into small parts.  We’re going to do some foundational… we might do hanging, we might have them use a bar, where they’re going to work on their typical strength exercises.  Just to get them in the right positions to be able to do a squat or bench press or shoulder press, whatever.

Jeremy Frisch 

We’ll do a lot of stuff on the balance beams.  We’ll get them walking sideways on a balance beam, maybe doing a low lunge on a balance beam.  We’ll get a medicine ball in their hands and get them throwing the ball different ways. That’s another big one, like just side throws, overhead throw, slams to the ground, get them in circuits like that, so they get to move their body through a bunch of different ranges of motion, directions and stuff.

Jeremy Frisch 

Stuff they’ve never been used to. And for me, that’s where I fill in those developmental holes. We use the warmup period to go back and maybe touch on the things that they may not have developed when they were younger.

Joey Myers 

Correct me if I’m wrong, I think I’ve seen an athletic performance training video on your Twitter before, where you had them wrestling, or some sort of wrestling. I know you guys can roll out the wrestling mats out in the hall I think you were saying, and then you had them wrestling or something similar?

 

“…you had them wrestling or something similar?”

Jeremy Frisch 

Yeah, so sometimes we have them do… they’ll get in a bear crawl and face off. And they’ll have to grab each other’s arm and have to try to pull the other one over. Or we’ll do plyometrics where an athlete will jump in the air. And then while he’s in the air, the other athlete will whack them, sort of push them, so they land a little bit awkwardly. We’ll do stuff like that.  We’ll do where the athlete boxes another guy out, like in basketball, a box out drill.

Jeremy Frisch 

You have to work on like they’re pushing each other back and forth. Yeah, so I love that stuff. Because I think it’s a different type of strength. Right? You ever have a buddy that wrestled?  He grabbed you, and you’re always knew, shoot, this dude. It’s just a different type of… because he’s used to just pushing and pulling with someone and he knows, the moment you try to make a move, he knows how to counteract that, that type of motion.

Jeremy Frisch 

It’s like you always knew when one of your buddies wrestled because they just had that extra, this sort of sixth sense in strength. I love that stuff. And you’ve probably seen it, the younger kids wrestle all the time. And I tell the parents listen, your kids are going to wrestle when they come in, they’re going to push each other, we’re going to put the mats out, we’re going to roll around, we’re going to play games that forced them to tackle each other.

Jeremy Frisch 

I’m a football guy, too. I coach football. If I can get kids to get used to that physicality of the game. I think you can’t beat it, because those skills are going to use later on.

Joey Myers 

Yeah, and because I focus on the hitting side, I don’t have… we have a few places there’s a parkour place that we have our son at, we have a place called Little gym that they do beginning gymnastics. Both my son and daughter were in that for a couple years. They do a lot of cool… a lot of things we see on your videos, not everything, but a few of those. And then with the whole COVID thing, the little gym shut down.

Joey Myers 

We were trying to find another place, so they do parkour. So a lot of the things that you’re doing, so we don’t have a ton of that here, which I wish there was, but what I usually suggest to my hitters, is to get in things like martial arts, for the females dance, even swimming is good, you just don’t get the ground reaction forces in that.  Those kinds of things are gymnastics, obviously, are always good as developmental things to do, if we don’t have access to something like what you’re doing.

Joey Myers 

Are you thinking? …Are you looking to do some athletic performance training franchising or something like that, to where people can have access to that around? Have you given that thought?

Are you looking to do some franchising or something like that, to where people can have access to that around?

Jeremy Frisch 

I’ve had so many people contact me about, do you have a facility in: Georgia, Florida, Texas, California, I’ve had people ask me.  If I could have an entrepreneurial side of my life, like a group of people that could do that stuff, I would do it in a heartbeat. But I am way too unorganized. I’m just getting by every day, just having my own place as a businessman, you know what I mean?

Jeremy Frisch 

I’m like the idea guy, I love going to the gym and coming up with all the different ways to do it. Laying that out on a national scale. I think for me, it’s way above my head. But it would be awesome. Because I think you’re right, there’s not enough places around like that. And I think for me, even thinking in an even broader scale, like you just said, I would love to have a place that catered to, you have your gym, where you have your older athletes so they can lift and do your traditional training.

Jeremy Frisch 

You have your PE slash transition into strength conditioning that I do. And then you can also have that area where kids can just go and play and do parkour, or Ninja Warrior. You could even take it one step further and have a big space where you had a batting cage, and a basketball court and a little turf area where kids can play seven on seven football, or play hoops or play baseball. You know what I mean? That’s my dream. My dream facility.

Jeremy Frisch 

We have yet to find the space because I think if you can have something like that you have kids have access to so much athletic development. And I’ll tell you what to, and I wanted to say this before… watching my kids go and transition from Little League into a higher-level baseball, right?  Definitely jumping from like a USA bat to a BB core bat. And seeing kids who are not physically developed or strong enough to struggle, because they just went from a drop 12 to a drop three.

Jeremy Frisch 

Its kids get up and they’re swinging a freakin tree. Yeah. And one of my athletes, he’s actually a football player, but he likes baseball. He doesn’t put full time, like a lot of attention into it, he just plays. But I was blown away this summer watching him be able to use his athletic ability on the baseball field, running the bases, running balls down in center-field, just making contact where he put the ball where he needed to so we could get on first.

Jeremy Frisch 

It just got me thinking, man, just having those skills is so big for baseball, you know? And so for me, I’m always backtracking, how can we develop those skills with kids, so when they do get to this level, there’ll be successful?

Joey Myers 

Yeah, I agree. And like I told you, at the beginning of this athletic performance training call, that everything you’re doing is a piece of the puzzle that a lot aren’t doing. And I think a combination of what you’re doing with that transitioning side, you talk about this football player, is just an absolute athlete, been working out with you doing that kind of stuff. He’s got the foundation to be able to just step in.

Joey Myers 

Then the next piece of the puzzle are the movement principles, the human movement principles that are validated by science, we apply them to hitting a ball. And those are the things… I’m a big spinal engine guy, love springy fascia and as you know, and that is the next step once you get moving correctly, and you can take out ankle mobility issues or shoulder mobility or thoracic spine once you take that stuff out. Then it’s all hands-on deck.

Joey Myers 

Now they have full range they can create things like neck pressure where they wind up the head in the shoulders and things like that. Ever since we connected, I wish I could have, Frisch heaven, about all these surrounding developmental things. One of the biggest things I wish I had was a Jeremy Frisch next door to me that I can tell my hitters, this is a must you need to go to this. That’s going to make what we do in the cage or on the field so much better.

Joey Myers 

I just wish we had a Jeremy Frisch next door. But maybe that’s something that we can talk about. Because we’re working on things that we could talk over the phone, on the franchising side of it. There could be something there, we just have to take your brain and formulate how that would look and would be really cool. Something like a little gym. Right little gym is very formulaic. You don’t have a little gym out there, a little gym, just a smaller version of gymnastics, right? They’re going to do the flips and all that. But it’s all building up to the back-flips and all those things.

Joey Myers 

But maybe that’s something we can talk to you… one thing before I let you go, I wanted to ask about where people can find you. But before that, what is your kind of formula for… when we do a workout, we want to make sure we’re doing a roll, we’re going to make sure that we’re doing sort of a hard press a jump? Is there a certain athletic performance training formula like maybe the four or five things that you look for that we make sure in one hour that we’re getting done?

 

Is there a certain formula like maybe the four or five things that you look for that we make sure in one hour that we’re getting done?

Jeremy Frisch 

Sure, yeah. And I can even give you like… so a lot of the athletes that I train with are probably between the ages like 10 and 14, 15. Right. And so that’s a great age, because there’s so much development going on. And that’s really the golden age of when you start to see their athletic skills start to blossom.

Jeremy Frisch 

When an athlete comes into my facility around that age, we spend a tremendous amount of time, we’re going to spend a good chunk of time when they first come in, we’re going to move.  Before we do anything, we try to increase our body temperature. We move.  We have circuits where we’re working on smart fundamental movement skills, so that’s a great time. So we’re going to do 20 yards of skips, 20 yards of shuffles, 20 yards back pedaling, 20 yards of hops, stuff like that.

Jeremy Frisch 

Another series, we do in place, where we just do jumping jacks, or skips and hops side to side, but we want to move, and when we do move, we want to do everything. When we’re skipping, we’re doing arm swings.  When we’re backpedaling, we’re holding our arms overhead.  When we’re hopping, when we’re doing side shuffles, our arms are making big circles. We’re trying to integrate the entire body and make it awkward and weird for the kids.

Jeremy Frisch 

Just because we know all that movement is going to lay a bigger foundation, the more movement you do, the better you get at it.  The first thing we always do is movement, to warm up, and usually fundamental movement skills. Then from there, we usually move on to two things, we work on stability, and then range of motion.

Jeremy Frisch 

Stability would be like getting the kids on the ground doing short stints of like bear crawl, or crab reaches where we’re really focusing on the core and they have to lift an arm off the ground and stabilize themselves in a good position or lift a leg off the ground, or crawl like maybe 10 yards really slowly with their knees close to the ground. It’s hard work.

Jeremy Frisch 

But you’re really focusing on staying stable and not moving much. Or moving very slowly over a short range of short distance. And then to go with that, I usually do them together, we do these, what we call it’s, the name of the company is called stick mobility. But we do like these big ranges of motion with PVC pipes. We’re asking them to overhead squat, we’re asking them to do a lunge with a bar overhead, we’re asking them.

Jeremy Frisch 

A big one I do with the pitchers, they get in a lunge with the stick over their head, and they create a lot of tension in the shoulders. And they’re going to bend side to side, at their waist, we’re going to do big side bends, we’re going to do laterals ups, we’re going to do step ups and single leg work. We do this stability slash flexibility at the same time. And that happens in every session.

Jeremy Frisch 

The next part of our workout, we do plyometrics. We always do jumps. And again, we pair that with… this is where we get into, I guess more specific throws off the wall where we do our plyometrics, like medicine ball work, side throws, similar to like, I want to see the kids loading.  Try to get that upper body rotation while they’re stepping forward, I want to see how they look almost similar to how they swing.

Jeremy Frisch 

We do a lot of that stuff, overhead throws, heavy slams. One arm punches, all different… we have medicine balls, that we do drills that are two pounds, we have medicine balls that we’re all the way up to 30 pounds. So that’s a huge one for us. And then from plyometric work, and their jumps. So I should backtrack, after we do our throws, before we do our jumps, we’re always going to do something double leg, and we’re always going to do something single leg, so we’re always going to be hopping off on one foot, we’re always going to be jumping up at two feet, just to make sure we cover all our bases.

Jeremy Frisch 

The last thing in our movement series, after plyometrics is we’re ready to go. This is when we’re going to sprint. We’re going to do short sprints, we’re going to chase each other, we might do resisted runs, we might do some type of agility, where we play tag and run each other down. Or we’re going to do some type of high-speed work. Where we’re really moving. Yeah, so and then from there, it’s all your basic stuff from in the weight room.  We teach our kids how to Olympic lift, we’re not scared of teaching getting the bar on the kid’s hands, we definitely teach our kids how to squat, dead-lift, hinge, get strong on one leg, they do plenty of pull ups, lots of rows, really basic, basic barbell dumbbell movements.

Joey Myers 

I love that dude. Yeah, I appreciate you sharing that. And again, we got to figure out how to get you a lot more outside of the Massachusetts area, Clinton, Mass. area. But before we get there, I appreciate your time today. Where can people find more about you? And so that’s number one. And two, are there anything new? Any kind of projects you’re working on right now?

 

Where can people find more about you? And so that’s number one. And two, are there anything new? Any kind of projects you’re working on right now?

Jeremy Frisch 

Yeah, so you can find me, there’s a bunch of athletic performance training articles that I’ve written, I think five or six on simply faster. If you just type in Jeremy Frisch, simply faster, all those will come up. You’ll see a lot of the things that you and I just talked about; you’ll find a lot of those things in those articles. And there’s a lot of great videos in there, too. Some good examples for parents looking for ideas to use with their kids, or coaches looking to do stuff with their athletes.

Jeremy Frisch 

And then, I’ve been slowly just trying to take videos of the things that we do, and sort of database them. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it, if I can present it to a group of coaches that want it, or say you want it and say, Hey, give me the, I need 10 exercises for my baseball players, boom here it is.  I’m trying to put that together, there are so many exercises, it’s a little overwhelming right now.

Jeremy Frisch 

Once I get that athletic performance training database growing, and explain it all… the other part of it is too is, you see the games that we play, I posted about the games that we play, but I’ve never really, there’s never enough space on Twitter or Facebook, and I don’t really have the time to explain how they work.

Jeremy Frisch 

How the games work, and what are the rules. I’d love to put together a database of games that athletes can use and how do you play this? What are the rules? And what are we working on? That’s my current project.

Joey Myers 

Very cool. Well, we’ll talk more about that you and I just do a phone call. I showed you some things there that we can… whether that’s an online thing or franchise thing is going to take a little bit longer because that’s going to take into account creating some standard operating procedures and operations manuals. You know, that kind of thing.  That’s going to take probably a little bit longer, but an online thing might be something worth looking at right now as the low hanging fruit.

Joey Myers 

And we mentioned your athletic performance training website, you said was AcheivePerformance.net? People want to find you there. Twitter. Where can people find you? What’s your handle? I know we discussed earlier, but just as a reminder.

Jeremy Frisch 

Yeah, it’s just that @JeremyFrisch. And I posted, I love Twitter. I love being able to come up with my ideas and little short phrases. It’s way easier to do it. Do that then have to write an entire article or book.  Obviously, videos can truly show what you do. I love posting on there.  Mostly, just because I think there’s a lot of people out there that could use it.  There’s a lot of mom and pop coaches, there’s a lot of Phys ed teachers, there’s a lot of different people that could look at that stuff and find it useful.

Jeremy Frisch 

So yeah, and then I’m on Facebook, too. It’s mostly people from my town, that are college friends and stuff like that, but I do post some stuff of the things we do with the kids on there. The rest of my time, if I’m not working, I’ve got four kids. I usually coach football in the fall and basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring. So yeah…

Joey Myers 

Busy guy, dude, busy guy. Well, hey, thank you for everything that you do out there. And we’ll see if we can touch more people besides over there in Clinton, Massachusetts, and appreciate your time today Mr. Jeremy, you guys have a Happy Thanksgiving. Any other athletic performance training parting thoughts before we go?

 

Any other parting thoughts before we go?

Jeremy Frisch 

Well, thanks for having me on. Really appreciate it. Like I said, I think I read both your books, and they were fantastic. And they’ve definitely helped us. My kids help me as far as coaching goes, but also giving me an understanding of how, I didn’t understand all of it with the hitting book, and then you said, Oh, I threw the shot-put in college, and I saw shot-put and I’m like, Damn, like, That’s it. That’s it, it’s there, I understand what he’s talking about. It was really great. It was really great for me that I could take what I knew about shot putting, and I could put it back into teaching my kids how to hit, which is great. Awesome stuff. I appreciate you having me on.

Joey Myers 

I love it, dude. All right, man. Well keep up the good work again. Happy Thanksgiving. And we’ll talk soon. I’ll reach out and we’ll have a conversation about some of the other stuff we were talking about.

Jeremy Frisch 

Sounds great. Can’t wait. I’ll talk to you soon.

Joey Myers 

Alright brother.

Jeremy Frisch 

Bye.

Mobility Exercises

Mobility Exercises: Gain an Average Of FIVE To SIX-mph Ball Exit Speed In A Couple Sessions Using Square1System

Mobility exercises interview with Shawn Sherman of Square1System discusses the following:Mobility Exercises

  • What is the origin of the Square1System?
  • What is your elevator pitch for the Square1System?
  • Where was that mobility exercises aha moment where you saw the rabbit hole, then you started digging?
  • Why is the traditional model of ‘stretch what’s tight and strengthen what’s weak’ not so effective?
  • What does the mobility exercises timeline look like using your system? When do you see the benefits?
  • After using your system, what are you seeing on the ball exit speed increase for hitters and the velocity increase for pitchers?
  • What does the fixing movement compensation look like?
  • What has your experience been with Tommy John, maybe athletes that are looking at that or have that?

This interview is one of twenty-four featured expert interviews in my new book, “Swing Smarter: Science Based Hitting Training Built To Understand How, Why, & Reasoning Behind It”.  The following is the transcribed video of the above mobility exercises video.  Enjoy!

 

Joey Myers  00:06

Hello, and welcome to the Swing Smarter Newsletter Monthly. This is your host Joey Myers from hittingperformancelab.com. With me today, this is the second time that we’ve talked in person, we did a phone chat, I think for almost an hour or maybe a little bit more, with Shawn Sherman, so first of all, I want to welcome you to the show.

Shawn Sherman  00:25

Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here, it’s great to get reconnected with you, and I’m looking forward to this conversation.

Joey Myers  00:30

Very cool. Shawn’s website is square1system, system or systems?

Shawn Sherman  00:36

Singular

Joey Myers  00:38

Square, the number one, without the hashtag, square1system.com. I want to dive in a little bit to what Shawn is doing, because I think it’s very interesting when it comes to moving better to perform better.

Joey Myers  00:54

It is something I think that is new to a lot of you out there. There are some mobility exercises that are similar, but I think Shawn’s doing something. What’s cool is he’s found this out on his own in his own curiosity.

Joey Myers  01:08

As most of you know, I love finding passionate curiosity within other coaches and things like that out there. First, Shawn, explain where square1system is, so people can remember and put your website and figure out where that origin was. What’s the origin of that?

 

What is the origin of the Square1System?

Shawn Sherman  01:26

The origin of the name or the whole system?

Joey Myers  01:29

How did you come up with that name first?

Shawn Sherman  01:30

I came up with the name because I used to have a name for the system called reset, and a mutual friend of ours, Brian Eisenberg. He was the one that said, “Hey, this is awesome”.

Shawn Sherman  01:40

I was at Pitchapalooza, this would have been about four years ago. It worked on Brian and his son, and it worked on Chris Bryant’s dad, we helped him with some pain.

Shawn Sherman  01:50

We were all sitting around, having a little powwow after the first day at pitchapalooza. Brian’s a very complimentary, such a helpful guy, such a cool dude. He was like, “Can I give you some criticism?”

Shawn Sherman  01:59

I’m like, yep. “Is the name reset? You need a better name”. I thought that’s the only thing that was complete, and so he encouraged me to get a new name. I had a group of my clients and friends that are really into marketing, and it wasn’t going anywhere.

Shawn Sherman  02:15

My one friend, Patti, she checked back in, we hadn’t communicated about three or four days. She asked, how’s the name going? And I’m like, “nada”. She went “Oh, it’s back to square one”. Sounds like a happy accident.

Joey Myers  02:30

Wow, that’s cool.

Shawn Sherman  02:31

Yeah

Joey Myers  02:32

I did not know that. That’s cool. I like that. I liked reset before, after we talked to have a good idea of what you do when it comes to mobility exercises, but that makes sense, when you say back to square one, square one systems. I love it.

Joey Myers  02:45

Now, let’s go into that a little bit. What’s the elevator pitch of what you’re doing? Like a Pitchpalooza, you have a booth there, and somebody comes walking up and says, “What is square one system?”

 

What is your mobility exercises elevator pitch for the Square1System?

Shawn Sherman  02:56

That’s the hardest question that everybody asks me, it seems so easy, but I think since we’re kind of tapping into some new grounds, that’s a really difficult question. It’s one of the things I’ve been struggling for years.

Shawn Sherman  03:05

I would say as briefly as I possibly can, my mobility exercises elevator pitch would be, we are basically trying to identify where your sixth sense proprioception, this internal feel, where there are deficiencies with your proprioception.

Shawn Sherman  03:23

We’re able to identify and pinpoint where you are individually, having an issue between your brain, your body parts and the ground, and we’re able to restore that perception from unsafe back to safe.

Shawn Sherman  03:38

When we restore unsafe perceptions back to safe, there’s less of a need of the human body and the brain to compensate. Therefore, we’re able to help people that are post-surgical and have rehab issues to the best athletes in the world, because all of us have some flawed perceptions in this area of proprioception, we’re able to restore that, get it back closer and closer to our optimal design.

Shawn Sherman  04:02

The ramifications of that are, you know, increase exit velocity for hitters, increase throwing velocities for throwers, and less aches and pains, better mobility, and all the other good stuff that we all want to get out of exercise.

Shawn Sherman  04:16

What we’re doing is we’re not a replacement for exercise, we’re just this missing prerequisite step, we’re just kind of moving this continuum of movement from left to right.

Shawn Sherman  04:25

We’re just adding on a little bit in the front end, where we’re just going a little deeper than we think other systems that are currently existing out there. That’s a long mobility exercises elevator speech, sorry.

Joey Myers  04:35

That’s okay. It was interesting. What were some of the aha moments where you know you’re in the strength conditioning field and I don’t know if you started down that path of where you’re at now, I’m sure maybe you’ve stumbled on to it like a lot of us have.

Joey Myers  04:49

Where was that aha moment where you saw the rabbit hole, then you started digging? What was that? Where you saw the rabbit hole?

 

Where was that aha moment where you saw the rabbit hole, then you started digging?

Shawn Sherman  04:56

It’s so funny. Absolutely, that we’ve had these different moments. That on very well, that’s awesome.

Shawn Sherman  05:10

My moment was, I was using this other mobility exercises system, and that other system was very much centered around this idea that restrictions and range of motion are always protective muscle guarding.

Shawn Sherman  05:23

That’s true, a lot of the time, protective muscle guarding is a very real issue that we all have.

Shawn Sherman  05:30

The system I was using, I was helping a lot of people with that, but I had this one client, that was not getting good results with that system. I was always trying to help them, and I just really kept doubling down and tripling down, and doing it with more gusto, but we weren’t getting anywhere.

Shawn Sherman  05:47

What happened was, I took the opposite mobility exercises approach. I started thinking well, this isn’t working, why not just do the polar opposite of what I was trained to do?

Shawn Sherman  05:56

This guy’s name is Alan, instead of viewing Alan’s issues as protective muscle guarding, I don’t, at that point, I didn’t know what the other side of the coin was, but I did kind of pursued the other side of the coin, now I would say, it’s probably like a joint impingement would be the polar opposite of protective muscle guarding.

Shawn Sherman  06:12

I didn’t know that at the time, I just knew I got to try something different. Let’s just do the polar opposite, and when I did that with him, he had a pain alleviation. He had this issue of back pain, hip pain for over 20 years. All his pain was gone.

Shawn Sherman  06:24

He started standing two or three inches taller, and he played golf that next morning, it took 12 strokes off the best round of golf he’s shot since the late 80s. I didn’t believe in that verse, I thought he’s just calling me up and just yanking my chain, but that was the impetus moment.

Shawn Sherman  06:40

Wow, I did the opposite of what quote unquote, they told me to do, and end up having the best result I’ve ever had with a client.

Shawn Sherman  06:48

Basically, the reality of “whoa, you’re really onto something here” just slapped me right in the face. I didn’t know what was going on, I just knew the opposite mobility exercises approach, and that just pushed me to dig in further and further and try to come up with an explanation as to what I unwittingly kind of happen across, it’s how it happened. It was a happy accident.

Joey Myers  07:10

I think the traditional model, and maybe what you’re talking about is the stretch, you know, when you have a joint that’s being protected, and then you get a tight muscle on one side, and then you get to the muscle that gets really long.

Joey Myers  07:24

It’s this relationship between length and length-tension relationship. The traditional model is typically to stretch out the tight muscle and to power up the weak muscle or the muscle that’s been stretched too much.

 

Why is the traditional model of ‘stretch what’s tight and strengthen what’s weak’ not so effective?

Shawn Sherman  07:43

Everybody thinks “it’s stretch what’s tight, strengthen what’s weak”. It sounds good on a T-shirt, but that doesn’t work on a lot of people. If that works, then why are these rehab cycles taking months and months to relieve back pain?

Shawn Sherman  07:54

Why does someone have a recurring restriction issue? Like, why don’t I stretch this guy 300 days in a row? Why is it still coming back?

Shawn Sherman  08:02

It is all about length tension relationships, but what we’re uncovering more and more is if we can get the brain to perceive that all of our joint actions are safe in relationship to when there’s ground contact, we’re going to get this effect to last longer.

Shawn Sherman  08:16

Stretch what’s tight, strengthen what’s weak, that’s not saying that it’s wrong, it’s just that it’s not always correct. How’s that?

Joey Myers  08:24

Yes, I like that. Like you explored every different mobility exercises avenue and all that kind of stuff. The stretching and it just takes forever, if anything, to get there.

Joey Myers  08:34

I know, there’s a couple of gymnastic programs that are online and major stretching stuff, and you got to spend 45 minutes to an hour, and you’re stretching, and you got to do it like two times a week, like a split stretch where you’re working a lot of hamstring stuff, and you got to do it two times a week, and those are brutal.

Joey Myers  08:54

When you take your system, how long are you talking? Like hour long sessions? How many times a week?

What does the mobility exercises timeline look like using your system?  When do you see the benefits?

Shawn Sherman  09:03

It depends on the population I’m working with. I have a little studio in the suburbs of Chicago, so my clients, the word of mouth primarily, they said they find me, I do hour long sessions with those folks.

Shawn Sherman  09:18

Versus if a team hires me to come in eight-hour day, I might have to work on 25 guys, then it might get 20-minute session. We do a lot of anywhere from 15-20 minutes up to an hour-long session.

Shawn Sherman  09:31

In private practice, people come in and see me, a lot of times they have pain, I typically start everybody off with a three-session package. I start off our relationship with three one-hour sessions, and then if they want to hire me to take him through some exercise stuff, that’s great.

Shawn Sherman  09:46

Just for the square one stuff, we’re making some really killer progress and somewhere between one and three hours. When teams hire me, these guys are young, they’re younger, they’re healthier population who find me personally, we’re seeing fantastic results in 15 minutes-20 minutes.

Shawn Sherman  10:04

Because once we change that perception, what happens is the brain doesn’t have to govern back the throttle, it literally can make that true athlete gets to come out.

Shawn Sherman  10:14

Kind of back to what we were saying earlier, it takes a long time, 45 minutes to change tissue. 45 minutes a day for six weeks, eight weeks, 12 weeks to start changing tissue for a more long-term basis, but if we can get the brain to not perceive that the ground is a threat, the changes are pretty much instantaneous.

Shawn Sherman  10:32

We start seeing range of motion changes occur within the first two, three minutes with the mobility exercises. As we work through layers and layers of compensation, the effect starts being longer lasting probably after 20 or 30 minutes session.

Shawn Sherman  10:47

Again, not a long answer for you, I’ll say anywhere between 30 minutes and two or three hours, we have a person in a pretty good place, and that’s really on a maintenance program.

Shawn Sherman  10:55

That would vary on the individual what maintenance might look like. Most of my clients, I see them a couple, two-three times a year, and I’d say “hey, come back in”, because they might be working with another strength coach or another personal trainer.

Shawn Sherman  11:07

I’m not trying to take anybody else’s business; I want to be the guy that’s kind of fill some gaps and be a resource for these other professionals out there.

Joey Myers  11:14

Yes, and what I want people to understand, when I went into training people and fitness and things like that, I took more of the corrective science route. I know it’s fun to help people lose weight, and all that kind of stuff, but I think there’s more problem solving and things that go on.

Joey Myers  11:30

I like to use the brain power a little bit more when people come in, they got a shoulder issue or whatever. Going through that mobility exercises rabbit hole, I feel is a lot better.

Joey Myers  11:42

When you’re working with somebody, just to give people an idea of ball exit speed, like on average, what you see change wise. How much work that you work on somebody?

Joey Myers  11:51

If it’s 15 minutes, half hour, and you don’t have to break it down that much, but just as an overall ballpark? What are you seeing on the ball exit speed increase for hitters and the velocity increase for pitchers?

 

After using your system, what are you seeing on the ball exit speed increase for hitters and the velocity increase for pitchers?

Shawn Sherman  12:02

Specifically, baseball players, I used to be on staff with the Chicago Cubs. My last year with the Cubbies, that occurred right after that impetus moment. Those guys in a 09, because my impetus moment was in 08, and that Cubbies team, they had access to the early version of this.

Shawn Sherman  12:21

Most of our data that we’ve collected has been on high school and up to D1 hitters and throwers. We’ve gone in there, and we’ve given each of these guys 10- or 15-minute sessions.

Shawn Sherman  12:34

Typically, with exit velocity, which we’ve seen more of, we haven’t done as much on throwers, but on exit velocity, I know with this one community college, I think we worked on 12 or 13 hitters.

Shawn Sherman  12:45

Of those 12 or 13, we had one guy where there’s no change, it didn’t get worse, it just stayed the same, but the other 11 or 12 guys all improved somewhere between two mile an hour exit velo and 15.

Shawn Sherman  12:57

I think there were two or three of the guys who were double digits. It was not the majority; our expectation isn’t everybody’s going to hit 10 or 12 or 15 mile an hour harder. But about 20 or 25% of the guys are going to probably experience eight to 12 mile per hour harder.

Shawn Sherman  13:11

We averaged, I think it was five or six miles per hour. We’re talking some really serious changes.

Shawn Sherman  13:19

Before you’re rolling here with Ryan Johansen, who’s with the White Sox, he has his own private studio. We’ve had, we’ve had some crazy numbers there. We’ve had guys that after two or three sessions, where we’ve seen 12-13-14 mile an hour increases.

Shawn Sherman  13:33

We had a thrower there, there’s a high school kid, and I’m more about movements, I don’t care if I’m working on football, basketball, grandma just had a hip replacement, I’m just really going to help people move better, so I might be mistaken here.

Shawn Sherman  13:48

But we had just one high school thrower, and I believe he was kind of an average high school kid, probably an average starter. This guy is not getting looked at by pro teams or anything.

Shawn Sherman  13:58

His average throwing velocity was I think at 81.3. That’s probably good, but not amazing. Is that accurate?

Joey Myers  14:11

Yes.

Shawn Sherman  14:12

If he can get a little few more mile an hour and have some opportunities in college probably, but it was 81.3, so we started working on them, and we did a 20 or 25 minute session, and there were multiple coaches around the table.

Shawn Sherman  14:24

What we started doing was, I’m explaining what I’m doing. In 25 minutes, I probably only did about 10 or 15 minute mobility exercises work as I wanted to educate these guys as well.

Shawn Sherman  14:32

We had a bullpen, we threw I think 35 or 38 throws, and I might be off by a smidge, but I think it was his first 17 throws were all PRs. Everything he threw was 81.4 or higher.

Shawn Sherman  14:46

In that bullpen, out of those 35 or 38 throws, all but three or four were personal best. He hit like 83 on change, 84 on change. I proceed to see him for a session maybe 10- or 15-minute session once a week.

Shawn Sherman  15:01

Within five weeks he was up to, I think it was 88.9, about eight mile an hour.

Joey Myers  15:06

Wow

Shawn Sherman  15:09

Maybe he had four to six, 10-to-15-minute sessions. Maybe an hour and a half, two hours of work spread out over four to six weeks. That was at Johansen’s place there in Elgin, Illinois.

Joey Myers  15:22

That’s taken a guy from NAIA at that 81 miles an hour up to 88. Now we’re talking D1, I don’t know if he’s a lefty or a righty.

Shawn Sherman  15:32

I’m pretty sure he’s a lefty, too. I could be mistaken, but quite sure the left versus man is extra excited too.

Joey Myers  15:38

80-88 is a lefty, it’s definitely D1 and possibly professional. I want people to understand what that shift in that, I guess the ability for them to move better without compensation.

Joey Myers  15:54

What first caught my attention, I think Brian Eisenberg, he retweeted something that you had tweeted, and it was to the effect of the best hitters or the best athletes will do things with less compensation or less getting off the path, and the more amateur athletes, compensation wise, will put numbers to it.

Joey Myers  16:15

If something like 55 different pathways outside of the most efficient were the best, like LeBron James and probably Miguel Cabrera, and Mike Trout, those guys end up around seven different deviations off the normal. Can you talk about that a little bit?

 

What does the fixing movement compensation look like?

Shawn Sherman  16:30

I can’t remember if those numbers came from something I had posted or if I was using some arbitrary numbers, I can’t remember.

Shawn Sherman  16:40

I use the analogy all the time, like the GPS, so guys like us, we’re not that old, but we can remember when we first got our licenses. If you want to drive out of state, you get a roadmap, and you have your buddy with you on the road trip, and he’s telling you to go here, to go there with this GPS thing.

Shawn Sherman  16:56

What we do is we pop in our destination, and bounces these images, these signals off satellites, and it says, check it out, there’s some traffic ahead or there’s construction, it’s going to take longer, but it’s still going to give you the most efficient course in light of the obstacles ahead of you.

Shawn Sherman  17:12

That’s how we all operate. We have all sprained ankles, we’ve all fallen out of bed, we’ve had different stress exposures over life. That’s really at the core and heart of what causes us to rewire around these optimal efficient pathways. None of us are immune to it.

Shawn Sherman  17:27

If we have to take the long way around the barn, or you have to take the long way to get from point A to point B, you have really one choice, all you can do is just drive faster, and get more skilled at driving on the back roads, but if we can actually get rid of the obstacles and traffic jams, you think there’s more optimal routes, instantly the athlete is better.

Shawn Sherman  17:46

It doesn’t take practice, it doesn’t take motor learning, but we’re not anti-rehearsal and repetition. We’re just saying, why don’t we clear out the hardware, let’s get these pathways open. You can get more goodies out when you take your athlete through skill sessions, or however you practice.

Shawn Sherman  18:03

It’s really about just reducing, given the best option to the athlete. The brain, I would say is not stupid, it doesn’t want to go the long way around the barn, it does so because it thinks it has to, but once you remove those obstacles, it’s going to take the most efficient pathway. That’s why we see posture improvements and we see pain alleviation.

Shawn Sherman  18:24

I’m not a baseball coach, and we work with these guys, and they’re up to three-four mile an hour and their exit velocity. It’s not because I gave him a good pep talk or technique, we might inadvertently change our technique, but we didn’t really change their approach. We just give them more options to solve these movement problems.

Joey Myers  18:43

I love that mobility exercises analogy, that GPS analogy. It’s not exactly the same, but what I use with my hitters on the movement side, when you address the physical movement moving better to perform better versus the strength conditioning to make stronger, and you know that stuff is good, but I use the analogy of the car getting brand new tires on misaligned front end.

Joey Myers  19:05

The dealer will tell you, you got 80,000 miles for these tires, and it should last you 80,000 but if they don’t fix the front end, and you still got these wheels, the wheel system is pointing this way where it should be straight, with those tires you’re not going to get 80,000, you’re going to get 40,000.

Joey Myers  19:21

You’re talking about installing a GPS system that will coordinate the right direction but will also address the system itself— the hardware, like you said.

Shawn Sherman  19:35

It’s almost like we have this magic button where it was really cool instead of, I’ll take the best route, we’re saying, no, you have a button on your GPS and just got rid of all the traffic, that’s what square one is doing.

Shawn Sherman  19:45

It instantly gets rid of stuff like that. It’s even better than GPS, it’s like the secret sauce magic button, you hit it and there are no silver bullets. We’re not doing magic, but it looks like magic, like you said before, we’re not anti-strengthening and rehearsal. That’s huge, we need that.

Shawn Sherman  20:07

But what if you’re missing this piece? There’s so much low hanging fruit that the industry hasn’t taken advantage of, yet. That’s what this represents, and also to the early adopters are the ones who get to really reap the benefit, because the coaches and the teams are taking advantage of what we’re doing right now.

Shawn Sherman  20:25

It’s an advantage over whoever they’re competing against. Down the road, everybody’s playing catch up, you got to keep up with the Joneses, just like I was thinking back to strength coaching.

Shawn Sherman  20:34

I think it was Boyd Epley at the University of Nebraska, he was like the first strength coach, this is back in the late 60s, early 70s. For 5,10,15 years, the University of Nebraska had a major competitive advantage over their competition, because they’re doing strength training, and the Steelers were doing it, but they weren’t competing in the NFL.

Shawn Sherman  20:50

You had Nebraska and you had the Pittsburgh Steelers; they are the early adopters of strength and conditioning back in the day. What we have is this missing piece that is such an awesome complement to what you’re already doing.

Shawn Sherman  21:02

That’s what we tell people, you don’t need to burn the bridges on what you’re doing. This is just representing that there’s some rocket fuel for what you’re doing when you want to add this to what you’re doing. This is just a unique and cool way to extract more performance from all your athletes.

Joey Myers  21:19

Yes, big mobility exercises competitive advantage. When I see a product or service, I get it, of course, I’ve had my head in this and I get it probably a little bit quicker than some coaches. This is something that my coaches that follow me and my parents and my instructors, this is something that they need to look into.

Joey Myers  21:42

One question before we get to where people can find you, I want to be respectful of your time. I know you’ve probably heard, being over at Ryan’s place, about the Tommy John dilemma.

Joey Myers  21:54

What do you feel from the square one system? I don’t know if you’ve seen guys that are maybe thinking about getting the surgery or whatever. What has your experience been with Tommy John, maybe athletes that are looking at that or have that?

What has your experience been with Tommy John, maybe athletes that are looking at that or have that?

Shawn Sherman  22:10

I am going to go right back to your mobility exercises analogy, you talked about when the tires and the front-end alignment is just off a little, not only are you going get 40,000 instead of 80,000, with that 40,000 miles, but you’re at a increased risk of also wrecking your car.

Shawn Sherman  22:27

It’s not just lack of performance and longevity; we’re talking about increased risk of injury. Tissue gets placed at mechanical disadvantage position based on poor perception. There we have an altered length tension relationship. That’s going to be poor positioning of all of our joints, we’re going to become more susceptible to becoming injured.

Shawn Sherman  22:50

Now, throwing a baseball, little I know about baseball, I don’t really know as much as probably most of your coaches about baseball.

Joey Myers  22:58

You know human movement.

Shawn Sherman  23:01

I know that throwing a baseball, it might be the most aggressive thing that you can do in sports, besides contact sport, like football running back, you’re running a smash again, and another guy, that has its own set of wheels.

Shawn Sherman  23:16

In non-contact things, you can do athletics, it’s crazy, because you’re literally doing as much high velocity as you can, and you don’t have to put the brakes on. You’re relying upon your tissue to decelerate the limb.

Shawn Sherman  23:30

Things better be perfect, or it’s going to go awry really quick, or you might get away with it for three years or five years or 10 years, but how many D1 and professional throwers get to avoid Tommy John, not many of them.

Shawn Sherman  23:47

If you don’t have pristine mechanics, it’s just a matter of time. I don’t have a specific story to share with you about Tommy John, we avoided it.

Shawn Sherman  23:59

I just think if it’s before Tommy John, there’s going to be the benefit of cleaning up your neural mechanics, so that you inadvertently just make better decisions, more efficient decisions. At least buying yourself more time.

Shawn Sherman  24:12

If I was a baseball guy, I’d rather have Tommy John at 32 than an 18 or 21. There’s that piece, I have to theorize that we’re going to help people go longer before they would get into some situation like that or post-surgical.

Shawn Sherman  24:26

We have all kinds of post-surgical stories on name and injury. We probably have seen people post rehab for hip replacement, even Tommy John, I know some guys that used to work with the Cubs, with some guys that had those issues.

Shawn Sherman  24:39

By getting that perception change better, it’s going to just get your rehab mobility exercises, your conditioning exercises, you’re going to get more goodies out of whatever it is you’re trying to do.

Shawn Sherman  24:50

I don’t have a specific “oh, yeah, here’s exactly what we’re doing, Tommy John”. I just think if we can get those neuro mechanics better, that’s going to be nothing but positive for the athlete to have a longer, healthier career, whether you’re just in high school, you’re trying to make the high school team, trying to get a college scholarship, trying to get to that next level where you actually get a paycheck.

Shawn Sherman  25:11

This isn’t going to do anything except for better efficiency is better movement, it’s better performance, it’s very generic in general.

Shawn Sherman  25:20

We’ve seen some really cool stories with all kinds of different injuries. I don’t have a specific time of John’s story in my mind right now to share.

Joey Myers  25:27

I have one kid that that I’m working with. Over the last year, he’s been having a hard time, he’s a lefty thrower but a righty hitter.

Joey Myers  25:33

I work with him hitting, my buddy who’s a pitching guy, but he just came off of a surgery where they took, I guess, the nerve in the elbow here, and they moved it because he was having numbness of his hand anytime he was in a straightened position or in a real bicep type position.

Joey Myers  25:52

He would have this numbness into his fingers. Anyway, they did the surgery and shifted that nerve up, and now he doesn’t have the numbness.

Joey Myers  26:01

He doesn’t have the pain he was having before, but when he’s throwing, he’s still having the pain, because he’s young, he’s got up here.

Joey Myers  26:09

What was interesting is when he got his post-surgery, met with the doctor, he was like, “I still have pain when I throw” and the doctor who went in, and decided when he went in and did the surgery originally, he didn’t need Tommy John.

Joey Myers  26:23

He was like, I don’t think you need it, I think you’re good. Then, his post-surgery, he said, I still got the pain, and the doc goes, “we can go in and do Tommy John”. He already told you, you don’t need it. Why would he even advise that? The doctor doesn’t really know what’s going on.

Shawn Sherman  26:41

You know structure, they’re at the top, they’re the kings of structure. The whole thing is, if you’re not paying attention to function, that’s only part of the equation here.

Shawn Sherman  26:53

I’m not trying to shine a light on square one, but it’s almost like what we’re doing is kind of the kings of functions, they let us make sure that the brain perceives that all these joint actions can handle load, if it can handle load, the body can make better decisions.

Shawn Sherman  27:08

There has to be a functional and structural base, and we need doctors, and we need people that are dealing with structure in our corners. This isn’t magic and great coaching isn’t magic.

Shawn Sherman  27:18

We need skill, we need motor learning, but we need this motor control and we got to improve this functional piece. Sometimes things go sideways, and you need a structural interventionism.

Shawn Sherman  27:31

Asking a surgeon functional questions, they might not be that well versed in throwing mechanics or just human movement. They’re phenomenal, clearly at structure, but that’s like asking your accountant how to make a cake.

Shawn Sherman  27:48

What is the role that we each play, and we all have our own unique roles. That’s why all athletes, all coaches, we need a team around us because everybody has different pieces of this whole human movement and human performance puzzle.

Joey Myers  28:00

I love that, Shawn. Well, I want to be respectful of your time, we got two minutes over. Where can people find you? What kind of mobility exercises projects you got going on now? Just let people know.

 

Where can people find you? What kind of projects you got going on now?

Shawn Sherman  28:11

Thank you again for having me on your program and giving us opportunity to be in front of your audience. I’m honored to be here, so thank you for reaching out. I love hearing your talk about my stuff, we haven’t even met in person, you haven’t seen it, so it’s really a huge compliment having me on.

Shawn Sherman  28:29

You already mentioned our website, Square1System.com. I have the same handle on Instagram, @square1system, that’s where I’m most active, if people want to kind of come and check our stuff out.

Shawn Sherman  28:42

The projects we have going on, we got a lot of information now in an online format. We kind of sell two different programs, we have one for people who want to become a student of our system, where there’s a whole skill developmental piece, that’s called square one at square one.

Shawn Sherman  29:00

We have this other piece called signal six, and that’s much more affordable. What’s cool about it is, it requires no skill, it requires very little understanding. It’s designed for coaches who are working with teams of athletes, and that product is under 100 bucks. It’s called signal six.

Shawn Sherman  29:16

It’s kind of like a mobility exercises no-brainer, no skill, you can implement it really quick with groups of athletes. I think that a lot of baseball coaches a lot of strength and performance people, that would be a great product to test the waters with us and see some cool things happen. Those are big projects.

Joey Myers  29:32

That’s an online video training, right?

Shawn Sherman  29:34

Yep. The signal six is an hour and a half program. If that’s too long for you, there’s like two videos within it, the bracket will be jumping ahead.

Joey Myers  29:43

I hope you can take the time

Shawn Sherman  29:47

If you want to hear me talk and blather for an hour or 10 at all the other video, there’s like two videos in there. You just do that, emulate that, you’re golden.

Shawn Sherman  29:54

There are other projects and stuff we’re not allowed to talk about. I can’t mention specific teams that we’re working with. We got a couple teams in the major leagues looking at us right now.

Shawn Sherman  30:05

Individual coaches there, a couple teams in the NFL already. We got US Special Forces that reached out over the last few months. I’m not talking about that yet, but we got some really cool stuff. I can’t wait till we can talk about that.

Shawn Sherman  30:21

It’s just more behind the scenes, we got some really cool things bubbling and some really high-level people are looking at our stuff, and guys like you, because what I find is once you get to know a guy like you, you start running in the same circle, all these D1 professional and special force guys, you guys all know each other, it’s kind of fun. You guys are starting to let me in the cool clubs.

Joey Myers  30:44

It took a while for me to get into the mobility exercises cool club, I know how it is to be able to go from the bottom of the heap and it’s not bad or anything, it’s just that no one knows who you are, yet.

Shawn Sherman  30:54

Once they see you’re doing good stuff, when you get there, you get their thumbs up and they want to tell their buddies because most of us like to help other people, and that’s really what it’s about.

Shawn Sherman  31:06

I think you’re trying to help people with your audience and having me on, and I appreciate you helping me, it’s all about win-win-wins. I got to win, you got to win.

Joey Myers  31:17

That’s why I want to have you on, the big thing is helping kids, especially if it comes to pain, get out of pain. Nothing breaks my heart more than having a kid come in with lower back pain or like the hitter-pitcher that I work with, talked about with the ulnar nerve thing, it just breaks my heart and I just want to be able to help them out.

Joey Myers  31:37

There are many other coaches, parents, and instructors, just like us that want to do that. I really appreciate your time, and thank you for coming on, Shawn. I know you’re a busy guy.

Joey Myers  31:47

You got the Pennsylvania-Chicago, you’re going back and forth in two different headquarters. I appreciate your time, brother, and maybe we’ll do a part two at some point. It’s got to get the game out for you.

Shawn Sherman  32:01

I really appreciate what you’re doing, man. Thank you so much.

Joey Myers  32:04

You got it, brother. Have a good rest of your week.

Shawn Sherman  32:06

You too, man. Thanks.

Forearm Workout For Baseball Players

The Ultimate Forearm Workout for Baseball & Softball Players Interview with “Napalm”

What we go over in this forearm workout interview with Jedd Johnson: (read time is 21-minutes)

  • Where did the nickname “Napalm” come from?
  • What are some mistakes to forearm workout training that you see going on?
  • Why “finger” pull-ups aren’t a good decision…
  • What are eight forearm workout principles you guys work on for grip strength?
  • Why elbow issues can be solved through the shoulder or wrist, not the elbow…
  • Why the traditional wrist roller isn’t good for ball players, and how to make it more functional…
  • Ultimate Forearm Workout for Baseball (and Softball!)

This featured forearm workout training interview is one of twenty-four included in my NEW book

Below is the full transcript of the forearm workout interview (Click Here for a pdf of the transcript you can download and print off).

ENJOY!Forearm Workout For Baseball Players

Joey Myers  00:00

Hello and welcome to swing smarter monthly newsletter. This is your host Joey Myers from hittingperformancelab.com and I have an old friend of mine that probably when I started, for those of you who know me from swingsmarter.com as Jedd Johnson of diesel crew, he’s one of the diesel crew and I want to first of all, thank you for making the time and coming up.

Jedd Johnson  00:20

Oh, dude, I really appreciate you reaching out to me, man. It’s been so long since we connected and I’m happy to be a part of it. So, thank you very much.

Joey Myers  00:29

You got it, brother. Well, hey, I saw on the site or on your personal forearm workout blog that you have a nickname and I want you to go into where did you get the nickname? And is it napalm?

Where did the nickname “Napalm” come from?

Jedd Johnson  00:39

Napalm, yes. On all my YouTube videos, I say, this is Jed Johnson from diesel crew. Of course, you know, they call me napalm. Actually, nobody calls me napalm. There might be two people. What that comes from is I actually wanted to be a pro wrestler. I wanted to come up with some kind of a gimmick that was different from everybody else. Do you know wrestling at all?

Joey Myers  01:14

Little bit.

Jedd Johnson  01:14

WWF from the 90s. Do you remember Cain, the guy who was in a red suit? There was this match where he got his arm on fire? I’m like, how did they do that? I found out there was that solution that you could put on your arm that you could set fire and it wouldn’t burn you for a certain amount of time? I was like, I could be a pyromaniac that every time he wanted to celebrate, he would set himself on fire

Jedd Johnson  01:46

That’s where napalm came from. If your viewers don’t know, napalm is a like a chemical or a weapon that they used, I think in either Korea or Vietnam to burn the vegetation, you would you would set this stuff on fire and this chemical would just burn and burn and burn and it would take down the vegetation and then, try to expose the enemy.

Joey Myers  02:11

Right.

Jedd Johnson  02:12

That’s my understanding. That’s where I came up with that, I always thought napalm was a cool word. I was like, I could I could use that. I was going to go with napalm jack. Napalm was going to work just fine. I sent that character in first tough enough, dude. I took a hand sanitizer and I put it in my hand. And I would set that on fire at parties. It burns like a blue flame. It was really freaky.

Joey Myers  02:48

It doesn’t burn you?

Jedd Johnson  02:51

It does burn you. For a few seconds, you’re good. It’s not like the stuff that Cain had on his arm. I would have somebody ready with a big towel and they would just smother it and it would all go out. Usually there were some adult beverages involved before this happened. One time there were a few too many involved, and the guy who’s supposed to have the towel had like a dish rag. I’m like, give me the towel and he put it on my hand and it didn’t do the trick, dude. It burnt too long and I had these burned blisters in between my fingers, it was sore forever. It made training so uncomfortable. But memories, man.

Joey Myers  03:37

No, I love that. I love that. I always like to hear where the nicknames come from. I love how it’s on the marketing side. Hey, everybody calls me napalm but only two people call you that but I love that story. Well, I probably should tell everybody who doesn’t know or haven’t been following me since swing smarter days, but Jedd is a grip strength ninja. That’s the reason I wanted to have him on because in the baseball circle, softball circles, I know baseball for sure, grip strength is a big one. I know just by reading and watching Jedd stuff that there are a lot of mistakes that are being made. What are some of those mistakes to grip training that you see going on?

What are some mistakes to forearm workout training that you see going on?

Jedd Johnson  04:21

I think a lot of mistakes that are made that people consider grip strength training to be synonymous with just forearm workout training. They’ll just do some forearm work, maybe some wrist curls behind the back wrist curls, some stuff like that, basic stuff. That’s better than doing nothing, but there’s a lot more stuff that you can do that’s more effective and there’s nothing wrong walking around with big forearms either, you’re going to get stronger so if you aren’t doing grip training at all, and you do some forearm stuff, it will help you, but there’s a lot more stuff that you can do.

Jedd Johnson  05:08

There are two things that I see people doing online all the time and it just drives me insane. The one thing, since the early 2000s, this freaked me out, is they’ll do the deal where they take like the dowel rod or a PVC pipe, and then they will put a wire or a rope on it, and then they will stick their arms straight out and then do the wrist rolling.

Joey Myers  05:37

Yeah.

Jedd Johnson  05:40

It pumps blood into your hands and into your forearms, but as far as the time that you’re doing that, that could be so much more wisely used to develop some hand, wrist, and forearm strength. The other one is like brand new, it’s only from the last couple years, it’s when I see the people taking a 25- or 45-pound plate, and flipping it and catching it. It’s tough, it’s hard but you’re getting nothing out of it. There’s so much risk involved.

Why “finger” pull-ups aren’t a good decision…

Jedd Johnson  06:15

You could tweak a fit; you can carry an A two pulley in your finger and you might have to deal with that for months. I’ve done that twice. I actually did it on both middle fingers on the same day in 2011 one time because I was being stupid. I dealt with that for three months. Then another time, I did this ring finger, my right ring finger, I’m just doing dumb stuff. I had to deal with that, I was able to work around it and do some training, but I could feel that pain for four months. Plus, not to mention if you miss and it hits your foot or something, it’s just not wise. It’s not wise. Those two things drive me nuts.

Joey Myers  07:03

Yes, and we did those all the time. I remember doing that one like you mentioned the wrist at the curl and then behind the back. When we did all that, we did this one, we did the extension, wrist extension, deflection, and those in our repertoire back in the early 2000s. We landed about that same spot, and we were experimenting, just like you said being stupid with one finger, two finger pull ups. I think I did the same thing.

Jedd Johnson  07:30

Oh, no. Yeah, so risky.

Joey Myers  07:32

Oh, I can’t remember what hand it was but I remember it was the middle finger, I’d never seen that before. It’s you’re talking tendons and connective tissues. It’s a lot longer to get it to heal.

Jedd Johnson  07:47

Sure, it does, man. It sure does. Hands are so important for ballplayers to manage and deal with something like that. It can mess stuff up for a long time and I shudder to think especially like a prospect, who’s really got a bright future ahead of them and they go and do something like that, because they saw online, or an uninformed coach has them do that. That’s a good point, hanging off of bars with just one hand or using like climbing grips.

Jedd Johnson  08:16

I have wrestlers and baseball players in my gym, and I have a set of their Metolius rock rings, just a product that you would use for moving towards specific training for rock climbing. I have them hung up on my bar, and everybody always asked me about them. I do not use those grips at all. What I like to do is grip on top of it and then if I’m having any kind of shoulder pain or elbow pain, I can do my pull ups on those and they’re hanging from a rope, so I can grip on top of that. It’s not a grip challenge at all and I can move my hands however I want to and for that pull up motion, and it’s totally pain free. I look over and I see kids trying to stick like their two middle fingers in there and do pull up, no, no, dude, don’t. It’s just not worth it.

Joey Myers  09:11

Is that the same one? Did you see the documentary was a free solo?

Jedd Johnson  09:15

I did, yes.

Joey Myers  09:15

Is that the one he’s got in his van? Do you remember it was towards the last quarter of the movie, I think, it was right before he was going to do the big climb, the free solo? He had those, it must have been those and he had them hanging from that little VW bus…

Jedd Johnson  09:32

What color were they?

Joey Myers  09:33

I think so, he had him up there and he was doing different finger type stuff but that guy was a frickin G when it came to rock climbing.

Jedd Johnson  09:41

That it I don’t recall. They very well could have, I know most of the ones that I’ve seen, there are specific products that are green. If they were green in the movie, they are probably the exact same thing. The climbers also use things called campus boards, which are generally fixed right to a wall or some kind of surface, a lot of times you see him over top of people’s doorways, you can get just a finger crimp hold on there, and you generally hang for time.

Jedd Johnson  10:10

They do that, because there’s so much hanging for time on the rock ledge. It makes sense to go out there and just hang and get your fingers accustomed to it. What happens is people go up there and grab it, and then they’re trying to do pull ups, and then they’re trying to reach up and pull themselves up, reach up to the neck and that is just way too much pressure for an untrained individual.

Joey Myers  10:32

I want to say you have maybe eight different things to do grip wise, because like you said, you just named a few that get into your girdle, the wrist flexion extension, that kind of thing. What are the eight principles, half a dozen, whatever that you guys work on for grip and strength?

What are eight forearm workout principles you guys work on for grip strength?

Jedd Johnson  10:55

The forearm workout movement patterns are flexion, so that’s closing your hands. Also, flexion would be bending the wrist like this, you have extension where you’re opening your fingers or extending your wrist, that’s two. You have owner and radial deviation.  Owner is where you would bend your wrist in the direction of the pinky, radial deviation is where you bend toward your thumb, and also, you’re bending towards the ulna towards the radius. You have supination, which is where you’re turning your hands so that your palm faces up, you have pronation, where you’re turning your hands so that the palm faces down. The way you can remember that is pouring soup, you would pour soup into a bowl, so pronation, supination.

Jedd Johnson  11:44

You have circumduction, which is where you move your hand through a range of motion. Those are the technical terms. In grip sport, what the terms that we use are crushing, which would be the flexion, but crushing would be through a range of motion. If it’s static, it’s called supporting, support or supporting.

Jedd Johnson  12:09

Pinching is where you use your thumb, your thumb would generally be opposing your fingers that can be static or dynamic. Any pinching, the limiting factor would be your thumb strength. You have an open hand, which is anything where you can’t reach your fingers around and touch your thumb to your fingers. Of course, some pinch would be considered open hand too, because you’ll never get your thumb all the way around some things.

Jedd Johnson  12:38

Crimping is where you apply force like this with your fingers and that would be the kind of strength that you would need to rip a deck of cards or telephone book apart, something like that. Those are some off the top of my head. Those are some of the main terminologies that are used.

Joey Myers  12:58

I’ve heard you talk about the thick bar, thick bar dead-lifts and there were a couple other ones that you were taught. The one I liked, you talked about the flexion extension, whereas you just put a rubber band around here, and it’s really slick.

Jedd Johnson  13:17

Yes, if anyone has any kind of forearm pain up near their elbow, on the back of their forearm, that’s a great forearm workout drill. You just put rubber bands over your fingers, you can extend it, extend against the band, it works all the extensors in the back of the forearm. It can bring blood in there and help that area recover if someone’s sore.

Joey Myers  13:40

Carpal tunnel, too?

Jedd Johnson  13:43

Yes, it can be used for carpal tunnel. Absolutely. To help improve that a little bit. A lot of times, from what I understand, carpal tunnel can actually be related to something in your shoulder. A lot of times when you see someone that has carpal tunnel, a lot of times it does come from overuse as well, but because people get the forward shoulder posture, internally rotated, that can cause issues that will gradually lead to carpal tunnel as well. It goes hand in hand.

Jedd Johnson  14:23

If you have a problem up at the top of your arm, it can translate downstream they say. You have to be aware of those things, too. That’s why it’s important for ballplayers and all athletes to maintain good posture, good enough antagonistic balance between their chest and your back. You don’t want to have an athlete that’s all tight in here, that’s not going to be good. You want to have them opened up and their upper back be strong and maintain that balance between the opposing muscle groups.

Joey Myers  14:57

I like how you said that because some of my hitters they come in, throwing sports, so a lot of times they’ll come in, they’ll say, “Oh, my elbows really, really hurt me” and we’ll talk about things that they can do with their wrist increased mobility, and they’re going “but my elbow” and I said, no, no, let’s loosen this up or you see things in the shoulder, like you said, either building the backside, like they do a lot of band work, right? Your band type stuff and building the doing, the whys, and the Tees and the eyes and things like that. They’re like “but my elbow”. No, no, no shoulder, wrist.

Why elbow issues can be solved through the shoulder or wrist, not the elbow…

Jedd Johnson  15:31

Sometimes there’s a problem elsewhere, and you don’t feel it but because things are tight, it can either shut something down or cause a misalignment elsewhere, which can further result in some kind of overuse or irritation in a connective tissue. It’s definitely something to be aware of.

Joey Myers  15:52

Now, you said you had some baseball guys, maybe even softball girls that you train or have trained. What are the top three when it comes to grip and forearm workout strength stuff? What are the top three exercises that you do with them?

Jedd Johnson  16:03

I have everybody do open hand training, like the thick bar stuff. For instance, not tonight, but last week, I had them just take hex head dumbbells, stand them up and grab them by the top and they’re stuck. I found that right there can help so many different athletes because it gets their hands out and makes each finger work individually. That’s real beneficial, of course any thick bar stuff.

Joey Myers  16:44

They are standing with that hex bar dumbbell holder just standing there or are they walking with it?

Jedd Johnson  16:49

They’re standing and the weights are at their sides. Basically, you just dead lift them up and stand there and if they can hold something, you know how you can just look at someone and see the effort. A lot of times, what I’ll do is if the proper weight for them is a 20, like a 20-pound dumbbell in their hand, I’ll have them start on the 25 and then drop down to the 20 and I’ll have them get a total of 20 seconds. Because the 20, they could probably hold for like 30-40 seconds but because the weight increases, but also the implement gets bigger in size, it becomes more difficult. I like to have two dumbbells setup for each person, two sets of dumbbells so that they can drop down.

Jedd Johnson  17:41

That works out really, really nice. You know what else I have? I had a coach, a dad coach, the father of one of my players was also a coach. He ended up getting one of those bats. I don’t know if they use them anymore. I don’t watch a lot of Major League Baseball anymore but they used to back in the day, they have one of those heavy bats, they had the weight on it that you could span as it went out, and it would feel heavier. The coach donated that to the gym.

Jedd Johnson  18:12

I don’t have them do it like this, it’s down at their side but basically, they’re going to grip somewhere on that bat. I’ll do like this and we just call them jigs. You take to the front like you’re jigging a fishing rod and so it’s down at their side, and they’re jigging to the front, they’ll jig to the rear. When they’re doing it to the front, the weight is out in front of them and you’re doing it to the rear, it’s in the back.

Jedd Johnson  18:38

I’ll also have them do circles to the front either way, to the back either way. You know what else I like to have ballplayers do for a forearm workout? I have a nice collection of sledgehammers, actually, my sledgehammers range from three pounds, it goes 3,6,8, 10, 12, 14, 16,20.  I’ll have them stand with the sledge hammer at their side. The sledge hammer head is on the floor and then they grab the top of the sledgehammer. If this flashlight is the top of the sledgehammer, they’re going to grab here and they’re going to do a finger walk.

Jedd Johnson  19:22

They’re walking their fingers down like that and the goal is to go all the way to the bottom of the sledgehammer until they can touch the head of the sledgehammer. You’d be surprised how tough a six-pound sledge hammer is for a lot of kids. The nice thing is, I like it for baseball and softball players, especially the pitchers and I end up working with a lot of pitchers. It just seems like in my area the pitchers are the most serious athletes. I don’t know if that’s the case everywhere, but it trains you to apply pressure.

Jedd Johnson  20:08

One of my seniors last year, he was developing some tremendous curve ball movement, and slider and stuff like that just by being able to regulate that pressure on the ball. His whole season got taken away from due to the COVID shut down. My heart is broken because this kid put in so much work. Those are a few drills that you can do, either at the gym, or you might have some of that stuff at your house. Even if you don’t have a giant sledge hammer, maybe you just have a carpenter’s hammer, that only weighs a couple pounds, well work your way down, work your way up, work your way down. I know that probably sounds a lot like a wrist roller, but it’s not.

Why the traditional wrist roller isn’t good for ball players, and how to make it more functional…

Joey Myers  21:03

Like you said, the wrist roller forearm workout, you’re not even working your fingers. It’s just more of this with the finger pressure, which is much more functional, especially when it comes to softball.

Jedd Johnson  21:16

Now, to go back to that wrist roller really quick, if you’re mounting the wrist roller onto something, and you’re actually like pulling up some serious weight, I’m all about it. What we’ll do is we’ll take a loading pin, or a kettlebell or a dumbbell, and we’ll choke a band around it. I’ll take another band and choke around the loading sleeve of a barbell and then they’re like, “Oh, my gosh, this is so heavy”. How they roll it up, they let it spin down, they roll it back the other way, that’s a lot more weight. Historically, the wrist roller that’s used is, maybe a two-and-a-half-pound plate on there and if anything, I always felt it more in my shoulder than my grip.

Joey Myers  22:02

How many guys you see or girls doing that? They’re arching their back and they’re new, because maybe their shoulders aren’t even developed enough to be able to hold the weight in that position straight out.

Jedd Johnson  22:14

That’s another great point. That’s another great point. You should maintain that neutral alignment in your spine and everything when you’re training, for sure.

Joey Myers  22:23

Well, hey, I want to be respectful of your time, so I want you to give a shout out to where people can find you. If you have any kind of forearm workout offers or new products, go ahead, just leave it out there.

Ultimate Forearm Training for Baseball (and Softball!)

Jedd Johnson  22:41

Basically, my main website is dieselcrew.com. I don’t have a ton of articles up there about baseball by any means but I do have a product called Ultimate Forearm Training for Baseball. I named it that because I didn’t figure anybody would know what grip training was, so it’s forearm training, ultimate forearm training for baseball. If you go to: http://gohpl.com/forearmtraining

Joey Myers  23:19

Do you still have that forearm workout training up on Clickbank?

Jedd Johnson  23:20

Yes, it is. I’ll put up a link they can go through and I think it’ll help out people tremendously and it’s got 20 workouts already set up, that are based around. You can go in there and just totally hit your lower arms as hard as you want to. Or if you don’t have time, or if you’re not ready for all that then do like two or three movements and it’ll be great for you really well.

Joey Myers  23:50

What I like about everything that you do is you say, well, if you can’t afford the weights or whatever you can use, be creative and use something that’s similar to that that you have at your house.

Jedd Johnson  24:00

Yeah. Even if you don’t have one of those heavy bats or whatever they are?

Joey Myers  24:10

Just like a warm up bat, I’m not sure of the actual name of it, but I know the people will know what you’re talking about.

Jedd Johnson  24:16

For years, instead of doing the heavy bat, I just put a doughnut on a softball bat. My beer league softball bat, so we just did it with that. With a lot of the bats, you can actually fit like a two-and-a-half-pound plate on there, and it’ll go on there just fine. If you have an old bat, that’s got a little bit bigger barrel, you can slide it on there, and that’ll work. Lots of potential for grip training using stuff that’s probably already at your house and your equipment bag.

Joey Myers  24:52

Very cool. Well, thank you, man. It was great to catch up. We’ll have to do a part two, for sure, in the future. You guys are doing well and dealing with all this nonsense that’s going on and you hear that you’re out there training people.

Jedd Johnson  25:06

Yeah, for sure, I appreciate it. One other thing, I don’t know if your viewers watch YouTube much, I have a YouTube channel. Just search for Jedd Johnson and grip strength it’ll come up and go ahead and subscribe and I’m always putting stuff up there related to grip training, as well as some other stuff that’s like functional for athletes as well as like muscle building and strength. General strength training as well, so I invite everybody to check that out too.

Joey Myers  25:34

Are you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or just mostly YouTube?

Jedd Johnson  25:38

Yes, I’m on Instagram. It’s a jedd dot diesel and I’m on Facebook just under my name, under my personal account. I also have Jedd Johnson comma dieselcrew dot com, I’m all over. I have a Twitter but I don’t really use it, I never really got into that.

Joey Myers  26:01

It’s a good thing.

Jedd Johnson  26:04

The snap thing.

Joey Myers  26:08

Don’t even get me started.

Jedd Johnson  26:09

Yeah, I don’t do that one. Instagram and Facebook and YouTube, basically.

Joey Myers  26:15

Very cool, man. Well, thanks again for your time today and Merry Christmas to you guys out there. Hold the line out there in Pennsylvania.

Jedd Johnson  26:23

We will, no doubt.

Joey Myers  26:25

All right, brother. Take care of yourself.

Jedd Johnson  26:28

You, too.

Joey Myers  26:28

Alright, Jedd.

Jedd Johnson  26:30

Yeah

How To Stretch Hip Flexors

“Why Are My Hip Flexors so Tight?” How To Stretch Hip Flexors (Release Or Strengthen?)

 

 

Concerning how to stretch hip flexors, I have seen, performed and taught every conceivable method of releasing them from tightness.

As a flexibility specialist, I stretched thousands of patients and athletes using the most popular muscle and fascial release techniques. I got so proficient with these stretch techniques, I taught seminars to other doctors and therapists…

As a neuromuscular therapist, I performed soft tissue techniques to release muscles from strain and tightness. I learned how to perform manual Trigger Point Therapy from a few masters.

As a performance enhancement specialist, I integrated PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretching and neuromuscular therapy with dynamic exercise for reestablishing normal movement patterns for the muscles and fascia we worked on.

This journey was all in an effort to discover how to stretch hip flexors and release strain and tightness for two main reasons – to create more…

  1. Stability in the lower back and pelvis, and
  2. Mobility in the hips and the thoracic spine.

We have been in the habit of looking at certain muscles like how to stretch hip flexors, and thinking they are too short and tight. Here’s what we’ll cover in this post:

  • Logical thing to do with short tight muscles,
  • Primary hip flexors causing problems, &
  • 4 Reasons hips flexors are short and tight.

 

Logical thing to do w/ short tight muscles

In the past 15 years, with the help of some of the most renowned doctors, therapists, strength coaches, trainers and skills coaches, I have developed a much different view on how to treat these short, tight muscles. It has completely changed my understanding of how to stretch hip flexors.

If we have short, tight hip flexors, we should ask ourselves:

  • “WHY are they so short and tight?” And,
  • “WHAT are the restrictions to these muscles performing to their highest capability”?

Primary hip flexors causing problems

How To Stretch The Hip Flexor

How To Stretch The Hip Flexor: psoas major muscle

There are four primary hip flexors but the one we hear about most, the one that causes us the most problems is the psoas major muscle. When we hear or read about the psoas major, 99% of the problems associated are attributed to it being short and tight.

The psoas major is responsible for lifting the thigh once it gets to 90° (parallel the floor), and everything after that, about another 45%. So it would seem that if it is short and tight, it would easily be able to lift the thigh to its limit. That is actually opposite to what happens.

If it is short and tight, it will also be weak and won’t be able to perform its normal function to full capacity. There are also neurological reasons it won’t be able to perform, but that’s a little complicated for this article.

Important to swinging and throwing athletes, the psoas major is also responsible for stabilizing the lower back, that is where it attaches to the lower spine. If the psoas major is short, tight and weak, it does a poor job of stabilizing against dynamic rotation and puts the lower back at high risk of injury.

The lower back will also become tighter as a protective mechanism and will not completely release its tension until the psoas major is strengthened through its entire range of motion, among other things.

 

4 Reasons hips flexors are short and tight

Problem #1

There are restrictors to the movement of the psoas major. These are mainly the deep hip muscles (the deep external hip rotators) and the hamstrings.

Solution to #1

Strengthen these muscles, don’t constantly stretch them. A strong muscle is much more flexible than a weakened muscle due to constant stretching.

Problem #2

The psoas major is WEAK because it has been constantly stretched, massaged, released, etc.

Solution to #2

Since the psoas major is almost 100% responsible for lifting the thigh past 90° to about 135%, it needs to be strengthened against some sort of resistance through its entire range of motion.

Problem #3

Almost everyone in our society sits for most of our non-athletic activities – driving, working at a desk, watching TV, reading, texting, etc.

Solution to #3

If we sit as part of our lifestyle, we will probably not change that. What we CAN do is to super strengthen our glutes, hamstrings and the deep external hip rotators. Those are the opposite muscles to the sitting muscles and they will help to release them as soon as we stand up and start moving.

Problem #4

If the hip flexors are unequal in the balance of strength, they will not be able to lift the thigh symmetrically. If the psoas major is weak, a muscle called the TFL (tensor fascia lata) will pull the hip and thigh outward and will create very complicated problems that are difficult to resolve in both the hips and lower back.

Solution to #4

Strengthen the TFL and hip in internal hip rotation against a strong rotational resistance, THEN strengthen the psoas major through its full lifting action, against resistance.

For those who have access to the two RotexMotion floor models, here’s the Inward Hip Rotation exercise to accomplish this…

 

Thoracic Extension Exercises BEWARE

Thoracic Extension Exercises: 3 Mistakes You May Be Making

Thoracic Extension Exercises BEWARE: “A Little Bit Of Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing”Thoracic Extension Exercises BEWARE

We read an article, see a post or watch a video about a movement we must do to be able to swing, throw or lift better. One movement that we see and read about a lot lately is “thoracic extension exercises”, which is the ability to extend our spine backward in certain movements that are helpful in the launch position for hitting, swinging and throwing.

It is an absolute fact that thoracic extension is a key part dynamic hitting, swinging and throwing, almost every pro we watch does it well.

We go on the internet and search “thoracic extension exercises” and we find a few that look good. We see quotes by experts that say, “lack of thoracic extension causes injury”, which is 100% true, by the way.

We are sold, so we start out to improve our thoracic extension with only the knowledge about how to do a few exercises.  Let’s explore some options…

Foam Roller

One of the most common thoracic extension exercises is laying on our back and rolling on a foam roller. The best thing about this exercise is that it is simple and relatively safe. On the other hand, since all the bones in the thoracic spine attach to ribs, it does not really do any permanent good because we just can’t extend far enough back on a foam roller to completely activate and strengthen all the muscles that extend the spine.

The “Superman”

Another common exercise we can do on our own is lying on our stomach and doing an exercise called “Superman”. We lift our entire upper body off the floor with our arms out or above our head and we arch backward with our head, upper spine and lower back. This exercise may be fine for some, but there is a risk that we will aggravate the lower back if we have already had any problems in that area.

In my experience, this exercise is counter-productive because we don’t want to arch the lower back anymore than it already is, we just want to arch the thoracic spine. Unless we are incredibly flexible already, most of us cannot control the thoracic movement without the lower back getting involved.

Seated Rows

Seated Rows is another exercise trainers teach as a good thoracic extension exercise. While there is nothing really wrong with the seated row for what it accomplishes to strengthen the rhomboid and some other muscles, it doesn’t really target the deep muscles that extend the spine.

We can either “go with what we know” or learn “what we don’t know that we don’t know”.

Here is what most people, even many experts, don’t know about creating more thoracic extension.

Before doing any exercise to improve a lack of range of motion or lack of movement, we need to ask ourselves these questions:

  • “What is keeping me from making the movement in the first place?”
  • “Is it just weakness in that one area or is the opposite movement so tight or locked-up that it is keeping me from making the movement?”

If we sit at a desk, work on a computer, text on a phone, read, drive, etc….we may be locked in thoracic flexion, the opposite movement to thoracic extension.

 

5 Things you MUST know about Thoracic Extension Exercises

  1. We have to first activate all movements that keep us FROM going into extension before forcing ourselves INTO extension.
  2. Not only must we activate and strengthen thoracic flexion, there are other movements we must do first that restrict thoracic extension.
  3. If we do thoracic flexion, thoracic rotation, and thoracic side bending, we have cleared every restrictor to movement for thoracic extension. Then it is as simple as strengthening that movement.
  4. Now we are good to go? Wait, there’s one more…
  5. If we can create all these movements while rotating our shoulders outward and hips inward against rotational resistance at the same time, then we are golden! Not only have we accomplished every movement, we have created the stability we need in the lower back and shoulders and have also synchronized the same movements we use in hitting, swinging and throwing.

Using the RotexMotion floor models with the following thoracic extension exercises, will save you and your hitter a lot of time, effort, and pain…

[From Joey Myers] Check out this post I did on Rotex Motion.  It’s been a game changer for my players, and myself!  This exercise is brand new.  If you’re interested in investing in the RotexMotion floor models, then go to TheStartingLineupStore.com, pick floor models, and don’t forget to…

Hitting Training For Baseball & Softball Swing Trainers | Hitting Performance Lab

You Too Can Experience More Flexibility & Better Movement Patterns In 5 Minutes A Day With Rotex Motion

 

 

Since this COVID-19 thing, we’ve been busy with a Rotex Motion movement experiment.  The system has been on my radar for a little over a year.  And it was developed by ex-Navy Seal Dr. Joe LaCaze, who’s also a Chiropractor.  By the way, he understands the spinal engine and springy fascia.  Always a good sign.

Anyway,Rotex Motion: Move Better Equals Perform Better

I’ve been testing myself and some of my players using the Rotex Motion movement system.  And I have an excel spreadsheet to share with you.  But before I get to the results, let me explain the phases of the Rotex Motion experiment:

  • Week #1 on myself: Hip Internal/External Rotation
  • Week #2 on myself and my wife: Ankle Dorsiflexion
  • Week #3 on myself: Seated Trunk Rotation
  • Next 4-weeks on my players: Ankle Dorsiflexion
  • Next 4-weeks on my players: Seated Trunk Rotation (this is ongoing)

In this Rotex Motion post, we’ll cover:

  • Highlights from my movement experiments using Rotex Motion…
  • What happened to Ball Exit Speeds, downloading swing mechanics, & hitter feels
  • And next steps to get started using Rotex Motion movement systems…

 

Highlights from my movement experiments using Rotex Motion

CLICK HERE to download the excel spreadsheet, so you can follow along.  Here are some highlights:

  • PLEASE NOTE: I was getting used to the BodyROM app with the Active Hip, got better with Passive Ankle Dorsiflexion measurements, and finally have a handle on the Seated Rotational measurement.
  • Also NOTE: My right hip and ankle were injured during my time in college on two separate occasions, so you’ll see how Rotex Motion really made a difference there.
  • After one week: Internal hip rotation on my right side significantly improved by 21-degrees!  And the left improved by 8-degrees. 26/29 degrees afterwards – almost balanced.  Before, my right side internal hip rotation was REALLY restricted.
  • After one week: Ankle Dorsiflexion on right side improved by 24-degrees!  This may have been a little human error with the measurement.  Left side improved by 9-degrees.  Even if right improved as much as left – to 26-degrees – it still would’ve had a 12-degree jump!
  • After one session: my wife’s Ankle Dorsiflexion improved by 9-degrees on her right, and 13-degrees on her left.  Btw, she has a bum right ankle as well.
  • After one week: my rotation to the right significantly improved by 24-degrees, and my left by 26-degrees!  105/103 respectively, now they’re virtually balanced.
  • For my players, after 4-weeks doing “Foot, Ankle, Calf” exercises one time or less per week didn’t see a big change in range of motion, but did see a balancing of the ankle.
    Rotex Motion: Ankle Inversion & Eversion

    Photo courtesy: Crossfit.com

  • For my players, after 4-weeks doing “Foot, Ankle, Calf” exercises two times per week improved in a range of 4-10 degrees on the right ankle, and 4-6 degrees on the left.  Also, they had a great balancing effect of the ankle, which I think is even more important.

 

What happened to Ball Exit Speeds, downloading swing mechanics, & hitter feels

That’s great, improved range of motion and a balancing of the ankle…so what?!  How did it affect “hitters”?  Here are the observations I found within the four weeks of dorsiflexion with my hitters ranging in age from 10-years-old to High School seniors.  Specifically, this group is mostly made up of High Schoolers…

  • Keep in mind, our weather in California at the time was moderate, 65-70 degrees.  Not super hot, so ball wasn’t flying more than usual.
  • Getting into certain hitting positions like Ankle eversion (keeping back foot sideways), think about turning inside of foot down and outside part up.
  • About 30-40% of the guys broke their highest ball exit speed, or was consistently high with them.  In other words, their numbers weren’t jumping, but stabilized.
  • They frequently said things like: “I feel more stable”, “I have a better connection to ground”, “My swing feels easier”.

 

Next steps to get started using Rotex Motion movement systems

Here are the steps to getting started:

  1. Invest in Rotex Motion system at the TheStartingLineupStore.com (range in price from $149 to $529*),
  2. Download BodyROM app on android or iphone (one-time $4 fee),
  3. Once you get the system, then CLICK HERE and follow instructions on how to use the BodyROM app to measure (you won’t be good at first, so practice, practice, practice),
  4. Of those BodyROM videos, start with the first one, Ankle Dorsiflexion Measurement, & Torso Rotation Measurement
  5. For direction on where to start with the exercises (this would of course depend on what package you invest in), go CLICK HERE and click the “Foot, Ankle, Calf” first.
  6. Follow the “Foot, Ankle, Calf” exercises 2 times per day (morning and evening), everyday, for one week.  These exercises take me 3-minutes to complete.  Measure again to get the after.
  7. After week #1, I’d click the “Rotational Performance” link on the same exercise training page, and do those once or twice per day, everyday for one week.  These exercises take me 5-mins to complete.  Measure again to get the after.
  8. If you invest in the handheld only, then I’d click the “Handheld Exercises Only”, and pick out 3-5 exercises, do them 1-2 times per day, everyday, for a week.  The exercises you group together should revolve around the same joint, then measure that joint using the BodyROM app, and you’re off to the races!
  9. Any other questions, then please let me know.
Hitting Training For Baseball & Softball Swing Trainers | Hitting Performance Lab

Answered: “Helping Get Youth Players To Stay On Plane And Not Dip Their Bodies When They Swing?”

 

 

In the above video, we’ll be discussing:

  • Relationship between spinal engine and shoulder behavior in healthy effective swing,
  • Causes of unhealthy “dipping” of body in swing,Do You Recognize The 6 Early Warning Signs Of Hitters Dipping Their Bodies?
  • Head stability,
  • Arching low back,
  • Straightening out back leg,
  • Over-rotating upper half,
  • Over-rotating lower half, and
  • Core instability.

Hey, what’s going on. It’s Joey Myers again from the “Hitting Performance Lab. In this video, we’re gonna answer a reader question, this one is asking for advice to:

“Helping get youth players to stay on plane, and not dip their bodies when they swing”.

Now a couple things we have to define here, what ‘dipping’ is…

 

Relationship between Spinal Engine and Shoulder Behavior in Healthy Effective Swing

This is important to cover. Because there is some dipping that goes on, but I want to define what’s good versus what’s bad. What we should see with hitters, and good healthy spinal engine mechanics is, say with the righty, the shoulders will start in somewhat of a slightly down position, we call this the ‘Downhill shoulder’, and it’s just a side bend.

David Weck, founder of the BOSU ball, the RMT Club, and a lot of other cool stuff. He talks about this idea of the head over foot technique. The head shifts slightly over towards the front stride landing foot.  The side bend is crucial to the actual opposite action that’s gonna happen during the swing.

We’re gonna see the teeter totter effect of the shoulders starting down, and then they’re gonna flip up as I start my turn. Then what we should see is this shoulder, if we track the left one for a righty starts down, pops up. As we finish, should be back down again.  Think about those beautiful images of Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, in their finish, and the righties are kind of in this position. The lefties are in the opposite position.

We want to see a healthy accelerating-decelerating spinal engine, that is the healthy dipping that we should see if the shoulders or side bending.

 

6 Causes of Unhealthy “Dipping” of Body in Swing

1. Head Stability

I call it a ‘Collapsing backside’, so one of the causes of this is head stability. We’ll see a hitter will go chin to chest, when they’re at impact, going right into their sternum with their chin. Sometimes we’ll see the head go up (like looking up into the sky), we’ll see the bill of the cap go this way, and we’ll see the rear ear going to the rear shoulder, so for righties, right ear to the right shoulder. For lefties, left ear to the left shoulder.

There are some hitters in the big leagues that do this a little bit, they used to do this actually more in the past, they’ve been cleaning it up. But Andrew McCutchen used to go chin to chest, Bryce Harper would go rear ear to shoulder, Prince Fielder did what Harper did.  You even see Nolan Arenado more chin to chest. Because he tries to leave his head at impact, which I don’t recommend for younger hitters. When the head is in an unstable position, this creates a threat to the central nervous system. Wherever the head goes, the body follows.

If the head “rolls” (like Harper/Fielder)…when we’re rolling the head this way, you’ll see a collapsing of the backside, you see the whole body will dip, and it’s not a very strong position. Head stability is one of them, one of the causes of an unhealthy dipping of the body in the swing.

2. Arching low back

Arching the lower back, kind of similar to the neck, the C-spine. When we start arching the lower lumbar during rotation, which isn’t very good because you’re pushing the vertebrae together, and then rotating them, so you’re basically grinding. So, we don’t want to do that, and if we’re doing that, sometimes we’ll see this collapsing to the backside as well. You want to do it what’s called a ‘Hollow position’, or a ‘Hollow hold’, you can go on YouTube, and search “hollow hold gymnastics”, and you can find a video on how to practice this.  It’s basically taking the curve out of our lower lumbar, or lower back.

Imagine you’re lying on your back, on the ground, like you’re gonna do a crunch, you got your feet on the ground, your knees are up, and you go to do a crunch. What you have to do first is push your lower back into the ground, just want to push hard in the ground, create some pressure into the ground through your lower back.  That’s taking the curve out of your lower back, and doing what we call a hollow position. It’s a posterior tilting of the pelvis for those kinetic nerd jockeys like me.

3. Straightening out Back Leg

The other thing that could be causing dipping of the body in the swing is straightening out the back leg.  This tends to follow both head instability, and/or arching of the low back.

The glute fires, the back glute, for righties the right glute, and the right quad fires to straighten the knee. It’s the hamstring that we see in professional studies of hitters, back hamstring that’s turning on a lot more than you see in amateur hitters, where they tend to try and lock that back knee out. The glute locks out, and what’s happening is that back glute is trying to support and create stability in the lower back. Because it’s going into a bad position, a compromised position. As long as we can fix the hollow, get them into more of a hollow position, we fix the head movement with the neck brace drill. Not a stiff neck brace, but a soft one.  We don’t want to immobilize the head, just create feedback for movement.

If you can correct this, you can crack the lower back – metaphorically speaking of course – then you can start to work the hitter into bending that back knee a little bit more, using the hamstring, lesser the quad, and lesser the glute. Those are again trying to protect that lower back, that can be a major cause of unhealthy dipping in the swing.

4. Over-rotating Upper Half

I am starting to actually see this in some of my hitters, not in a lot but a few of them.  Where they’re actually over rotated at impact. They’re making contact almost behind themselves, and their sternum in the middle of their chest is out over in left field (for righties, reverse for lefties). We must get them to under rotate, so we do a lot of “deep” tee drills, and get them to try and pull the ball off a deep positioned tee. You set it up almost in line with the hitter’s belly button, and get them to kind of hook it, and hook it around to slow down that sternum.  The hitter should look and feel like they’re swinging their arms across their body. 

The upper half over rotating, we can also over rotate the lower half…

5. Over-rotating Lower Half

So, we use a VeloPro to strap it to the back hip and back ankle.  We get them to try and keep the back heel on the ground (like George Springer), and keep the back foot sideways. If they’re over rotating, it could cause a collapse of the backside as well. Again, we want to be effective between our 90 degrees of fair territory, and when we over rotate either the upper or the lower half, then what we’re doing is we’re sliding our 90 over into foul territory, which doesn’t do us any good, any of our hitters any good.

The last thing I want to add in this video is fixing core instability…

6. Core Instability

There are things that you can do at the gym with your trainer, hopefully your trainer is versed on mobility and stability exercises (certified in the Functional Muscle Screen – FMS, or in TPI). When we’re talking core stability, you want to do a lot of things like planks:

So, you’re creating some rotation in there as well. You also want to do like ‘Hollow holds”, you want do things like that, you want to do maybe suitcase carries, where you’re carrying a dumbbell on one side of the body and trying to keep your shoulders square, things like that you can do. You can ask your trainer on how to create more core stability, but those are some things to think about if you’re asking yourself the same question as our reader: “Helping get youth hitters to stay on playing, and not dip their bodies when they swing”.

Work on the things we discussed, clean them up, and check them off your list. Your hitter will be in a more healthy body “dipping” position. Make sure that we’re swinging smarter by moving better, and before I let you go…

Hitting Training For Baseball & Softball Swing Trainers | Hitting Performance Lab

Why You SHOULD NOT Use “Forearm” Or “Barrel” Cues In This Way…

Lower Back Explosion Extravaganza

Tweet from a #HittingTwit-ter

We have a lot to cover in this post, so this is what we’ll be discussing:

  • Here’s the problem…
  • Short anatomy lesson of the low back, and
  • What’s the answer?

Most “bad” coaching cues I see out there can work in the right circumstances, for example:

  • “Swing down” – can work for hitters who have an extreme uppercut…
  • “Sit back” – can work for hitters who are too far out front…
  • “Swing up” – can work for hitters who have an extreme down swing…

 

But Here’s the Problem…

I’ve been tracking the above swings cues for some time now, and I’ve found in a majority of cases, they seem to churn out one low back ticking time 💣 swing after another.  When I see one of these swings on Twitter, it’s like listening to grinding teeth, someone’s fat lips smacking while eating, or nails on a chalkboard.

Let me show you what I’m seeing…

Lower Back Exploding Extravaganza

Compilation of low backs exploding…

How do I know the above hitters were instructed with the coaching cues in question?

These were the hitters on proud display via the Twitter page of the above instructor’s name I blurred out!  Now, he’s not alone in this.  Many others like him are following the same blind mouse.

Btw, it wasn’t hard to find ANY of these swings…I found them in a matter of minutes.  And to be fair, not ALL this instructor’s hitters were doing this, but close to a majority.

Here’s one more clear swing example, one of my readers Shawn Bell shared after seeing the video above…

Focus on nothing else but her lower back…OUCH!

Fact: hitting cues have consequences. When we teach a hitter to take focus away from basic locomotion and gait principles, and put it squarely on manipulating the “forearms” or the “barrel”, young hitters will have a higher probability of wearing a hole in their low back than not.

“Unload your barrel not your body”…

AND,

“The forearms swing the bat. The body helps”…

…are misleading at best, and not having a clue as to what drives ALL human movement.  And these instructors routinely call this a High Level Pattern (HLP).  Sad.  All I see are low backs grinding.  To me, this is a Low Level Pattern (LLP), disastrous to young moving bodies, built on a stale straw man argument, losing sight of the forest for the trees, and chasing a sunset running east.

And most importantly, this low back ticking time 💣 IS NOT found in the REAL High Level Pattern.  I challenge you to find me at least one who does this…and if you find one, I’d love to dig into his or her history of injury.

 

Short Anatomy Lesson of the Low Back

Lordosis of the Spine

Photo courtesy: MountSinai.org

Normal lordosis of spine (natural low back curve – “neutral” spine), left hand side image.  And hyperextended lordosis (or arching) of spine, right hand side image.

Arching causes the vertebrae in the spine to push together.  This isn’t damaging by itself especially when done in global extension (think gymnast swinging forward under the bar), but adding in a little rotation over and over and over, and we have a low back ticking time 💣.

The REAL High Level Pattern (RHLP) is driven by the spinal engine.  Basic principles of locomotion and walking gait.  I would feel MUCH better reversing the two quoted coaching cues above to read…

“Unload your body not your barrel”…

AND,

“The body swings the bat. The forearm helps”…

This is a RHLP.  As Dr. Serge Gracovetsky (Physicist and Electrical Engineer), author of The Spinal Engine book says:

“The arms and legs aren’t necessary for locomotion.  They’re an enhancement.

Do you want proof to validate this statement?  Watch this… (Thanks again Shawn Bell for the giphy)

  

…The gentleman in the above video is from one of  Dr. Serge Gracovetsky’s movement experiments.  He was born WITHOUT arms and legs.  The crazy part is, if you block out his black shorts with your hand, and look at the way he moves and locomotes, you’d swear this man has legs.

The low back ticking time 💣 risk hiding in your swing can be found in using “forearm” and “barrel” focused cues.  The proof is in the almost dozen swings I found in the matter of minutes on Hitting Twitter.

And if you still don’t agree, then here’s one of my other favorite quotes from the author of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand…

“You can avoid reality, but you can’t avoid the consequences of avoiding reality”.

 

So, What’s the Answer?

A safe AND effective swing.  If we’re ruining lower backs, then how effective is effective?  Here’s a clue, instead of arching the low back, what happens if we do the opposite (flexing v. extending)?

I’m glad you asked!  Think about flexing the lower back as putting space between the 5 vertebrae located there.  This keeps the body from putting a death squeeze on the squishy and lubricating material between the vertebrae (cartilage and synovial fluid).  It makes the spine SAFE for rotation.  You got it, NO MORE LOW BACK TICKING TIME 💣’s!!!

So how do we protect our hitters and build a SAFE and Effective Swing? 

Think of your pelvis like a bowl of water.  Now, imagine a “Donald Duck” butt, where you’re sticking your butt back (arching low back – Dr. Kelly Starrett in his book Becoming A Supple Leopard refers to this as “Nasty Stripper Pose”).  For the kinesiology nerds out there, this is an anterior pelvic tilt – spilling water on your toes.  This IS NOT a good pelvic position when swinging a bat or throwing a ball.

Now, doing the opposite, imagine that same bowl of pelvis water in a posterior pelvic tilt, or Pink Panther butt, think about spilling water on your heels.

I have some cues you can use with your hitters, and a couple Hitting Performance Lab resource posts to reference…

The Hollow Hold…

If you’re one of those LLP instructors, and still aren’t convinced…PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE for the love of God…at least strengthen your hitter’s in the Hollow Hold.  I’m tired of seeing all the low back ticking time 💣’s waiting to go off. You’ve been WARNED.

 

In Memoriam

This post is dedicated to a great friend of mine and fellow baseball coach that we lost to a brain aneurysm on Monday… (my Facebook post):

“Words cannot express my deep sadness today upon hearing of my good friend and fantastic coach Sam Flores’s passing yesterday. He had no idea he was in a fight for his life – and would lose it – driving to the hospital with his family. So young. So tragic. My family and I ran into him at Costco 4 short weeks ago where we had a brief catch up on life and a big hug…you just don’t know when someone’s time is up. Hug your loved ones today, keep them close, and realize God is in control, not us. We love you Sam, and send my BIGGEST thoughts and prayers to your family as they go through the tragic mourning of your passing. The valley lost a wonderful Father, Husband, Friend, and ultimately a brilliant Coach. RIP my good buddy you will be missed (breaks my heart to see that little kiddo of yours) 😢😢😢

Hitting Training For Baseball & Softball Swing Trainers | Hitting Performance Lab

Hamstring Stretch Series: 9 Exercises To Loosen UP (Includes Ankle, Hip, and Wrist Mobility!!)

I find 95% of my hitters have tight hamstrings, which includes both baseball and softball players.  Hence this hamstring stretch series.  Interestingly, the other 5% have spent at least 3-5 years in Martial Arts, Gymnastics, Dance, and/or Swim.

It’s painful for me to watch one of my High School hitters significantly bend at the knees to pick up a ball from the ground because their hammys resemble tight piano strings :-/Hamstring Stretch Follow Along for Hitters

We all laugh, but tight hamstrings can be just the canary in the coalmine to DANGEROUS injury waters ahead.  In other words, our body is fantastic at sending “signals” warning us to address dysfunctional movement, but we’re terrible at heeding those warnings until it’s too late.

Well, if your hitters have tight hamstrings, then consider yourself WARNED!!

Besides above hamstring stretch follow along, you may want to check out this post titled: “15 Ways to Prevent Injury, Minimize Damage, & Rehab Knees”. And if you’re dealing with an injury right now, then click the following post link titled: “Speedy Recovery: Ice Bath Benefits Now What They Seem?”

 

What I have for You…

I sent the above hamstring stretch follow along for hitters video to all my local hitters, and am now sharing with you coaches and parents.  In this hamstring stretch series, in addition to targeting tight hamstrings, we’ll be working on ankle, hip, and wrist mobility.  The following 9 exercises are included in this video:

  1. 3 position wrist mobilization
  2. Seated single calf
  3. Seated Seza
  4. Pigeon
  5. 3 position Frog pose
  6. Standing pancake
  7. Raised toe single leg forward fold
  8. Seated pancake series: strap lat, walking, bounces, sweeps, break then, hang
  9. Couch stretch

The above hamstring stretch follow along should take about 40-mins, demonstrates each stretch, and includes how long to hold each stretch for.  These are a compilation of stretches I pulled from GymnasticBodies.com, and their mid/front split stretching series.

Remember, you’ve been warned!  Don’t let your hitter become a statistic 😉  Move better to perform better, and make sure we’re swinging smarter by moving better…