Move Fast, Throw Hard, Live Well- Nutrition

Clients are often shocked at the value we put on proper nutrition in our office. Exercise is the key to move well and manage the risk of injury, but nutrition is in almost complete control of body composition, disease, and long-term health.

Business Insider ran a great piece showing nutritional trends over the years.  Remember just because there is a trend does not make something causal, but some of the trends jump off the page. Check out where you fit into the mix. What’s Wrong With The Modern Diet

food spending smaller

Regardless of the quality of information provided, Poliquin always has insightful, entertaining reads. Here he has a spot on list of 40 superfoods that can have a large impact on your health and physique. The Super List of 40 Superfoods to Fight Stress and Lose Body Fat

To your health,

Posted in General Health, Nutrition | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

2014 MLB Drafted Athlete Update

Having been out of the country for the 2014 MLB Draft I’m a little late to the party.

Kody Kerski- 8th Round Seattle Mariners- Former athlete from Sacred Heart University. Here is an article featuring his development preparing Kody for the Cape Cod League and MLB Draft.

Having worked with Kody for his first three years at Sacred Heart, I can tell you that teammates always recognized him as having the hardest pitches to hit not for velocity, but for movement. At the beginning of his Junior year, he focused hard on adding weight and taking his training to the next level. Adding about 15 lbs to his frame that off-season equated to about 5 MPH on the mound, topping out at 95. Check out the differences in stats from his FR/SO years to his JR/SR campaigns.

Willie Rios- 26th Round Arizona Diamondbacks- Willie been listed as a legit 2-way player on the mound and at bat and had offers to sign in the top 3 rounds this year. Willie will have many options for the future and if he decides to go the college route we will push his development in search of breaking into the first round via Maryland. More info here on his draft status.

2015 is looking to be our largest draft class with as many as 5 players from DIII collegiate programs possibly taken as well as high schoolers and other collegiate talent.

Posted in Baseball, Long-Term Athletic Development, MLB Draft, Pitching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Get The Most Out Of Your College Baseball Showcase

http://www.sacredheartpioneers.com/sports/m-basebl/2011-12/photos/0001/Kerski_(14).jpg

With summer baseball right around the corner, I am getting a massive influx of emails regarding showcases. Having participated and worked baseball showcases over the last ten years I have seen many athletes thrown money and opportunities away. Some of this is just misguided execution and some is pure negligence. The following list is something every parent and player should review together before deciding on attending a showcase.

  1. Have a plan when deciding on a particular showcase
    Every year, I have athletes tell me the night before a showcase held for only one school that they have zero interest in the school because they do not have their major, are not located in the region of the country they wish to go to school in, etc.

    My response is always “Why the hell are you going to that showcase?!”

    I understand that being seen by more coaches can help, but be strategic with the coaches you get yourself in front of.

  2. Be prepared and act the part
    Without getting into the topic of baseball showcases in the winter (regardless of where you live), make sure you show up prepared. Check the days schedule and be ready to preform whatever tasks that day will be.I always make my way through the dugouts to talk to players and field questions. During these times I often see players scouting their competition and talking to teammates. However, I’ve heard athletes brag about being hung-over, a hook-up the night before, or sitting there texting. When a coach sees an athlete he likes, they often ask myself and other coaches what we think of that player; and believe me, that stuff is always brought to their attention.
  3. Hustle
    I can’t believe I even have to write this, but every showcase I go to I see about 50% of the players not hustle in and out of the dugout or not hustle down the first base line on every play.Do everyone a favor, if you are not going hustle, save your money and stay home.
  4. Interact with coaches
    Recruiting is not only about finding the best talent, it’s about building the best family of meshable players. Approach the coaches of schools you have interest in and introduce yourself. Remember this is not just an opportunity for them to evaluate you, but it’s your opportunity to see if you like the coach. 4 years is a long time to spend with people you can’t stand for 20-168 hours a week.
  5. Have fun
    College baseball is a grind when you lump in travel, school, and having a life outside of baseball. If spending one day at a showcase is a grind for you, you may want to reconsider playing a college sport. Enjoy playing the game, interacting with the coaches and other players.

If you are interested in camps this summer, I highly recommend College Baseball Coaches Camps. These camps are outstanding due to the limited number of players allowed to attend (48 max) and the large number of programs represented (usually 20+). The coaches in attendance are always great about giving athletes honest feedback and guidance about their chances of playing or being recruited.

College_Baseball_Coaches_Camp_—_Coaching_College_Baseball_Players

I run the strength and conditioning for these events and would be happy to spend some extra time working with my readers at these events. Once you sign up, shoot me an email to verify you will be there and I will block out time for us.

Posted in Baseball, Motivation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Alex Farina Prepares for Baseball Future

Facebook Post from August 2nd 2013:

“Exactly 12 months ago, my long time client Alex Farina set a goal of playing in the Cape League. After speaking to numerous coaches, we realized he was not a candidate just yet. We sat down and devised an actionable, step-by-step plan to get him to his goal of playing in the Cape Summer of 2014 .

Step one: Get in a reputable summer league to be challenged and noticed as a prospect— Signed NECBL Contract January 2013
Step two: Work with Wayne Mazzoni to keep improving mechanics— Done on a regular basis.
Step three: Improve force production to reach 90 MPH off the bump— Touched 92 April 2013
Step four: Preform well in NECBL; Minimize walks, pound the strike zone, make hitters beat you.— http://necblpilgrims.bbstats.pointstreak.com/player.html?playerid=420529

I am proud to say that as of this afternoon, Alex will be released from his NECBL contract and sign with the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod Baseball League for the remainder of their season, including playoffs. One year ahead of schedule.

Last summer Alex was in training before work at 5:45am 3x a week, worked a full day, then played ball just about every night. Never once complaining or half-assing his workouts. Setting PRs while his competition was sleeping in or nursing their hangovers.

Score another one for the good guys who work hard day in and out. Congrats my man!”

 

1011375_10100326054686047_1654007725_n

Since that post, Alex finished the summer down the Cape, and worked hard all fall and winter preparing for whatever the new year will bring. During that time period, he re-signed another Cape League contract for the summer of 2014, fielded calls from MLB scouts, was featured in a video of his training and commitment to the next level.

Enjoy!

Video Credit: All In Productions

Posted in Josh's Athletes, Long-Term Athletic Development, Pitching | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Moore Southport 2014 Pro, College, and High School Baseball Commits

As we get prepared to kick start the baseball season I wanted to list some of our athletes that are committed in ink for this season and the fall. Many more to come, but here is the short list.

Professional

John Murphy- NY Yankess

John Murphy NY Yankees SS

Troy Scribner- Houston Astros

Troy Scribner Astros

College

Ryan Crawford- Hamilton College

Ryan Crawford Hamilton P

Victor D’Ascenzo- Lafayette College

Pete Detrik- Springfield College

Pete Detrik Springfield College Baseball

Jake Dunn- Kenyon College

Jake Dunn Kenyon Baseball

Alex Farina- Lafayette College

Alex Farina Lafayette Baseball

Henry Milano- Dickinson College

High School

Mike Arman- Central Connecticut State University

935132_10200993196937955_2082816922_n

Mike Foley- University of Rhode Island

JT Hintzen- Sewanee: The University of the South

JT Hintzen

Willie Rios- University of Maryland

Willie Rios Baseball Maryland

Steve Zadravec- Keene State

Steve Zadravec

Posted in Baseball, Josh's Athletes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Move Fast, Throw Hard, Live Well- Stealing Bases, Moneyball, and In-Season Body Care

Clients and friends were sending over lots of great articles this week for me to share as well as some resources I suggest to my athletes for self-care.

Moneyball … But With Money

This is a great feature on how the Red Sox play Moneyball with the ability to spend some serious cash. Here they speak to how they handle injuries, especially soft tissue work.

Boston’s approach to treating conditions like Ortiz’s is simple, yet brilliant. For most teams, the process of getting players healthy and keeping them that way has remained the same for a long time. Every club employs a small group of trainers and a strength and conditioning coach, and many also employ an orthopedist. This personnel group is built for broad treatment, because baseball players suffer a wide array of injuries. The Red Sox, however, have come to believe that broad treatment isn’t enough, and that specialization is an essential part of fostering player health.

“We recognize that the management of soft tissue is the critical component to a player’s health,” said Red Sox GM Ben Cherington. “As it relates to David [Ortiz], that was an issue of soft-tissue management. His Achilles had not ruptured. There was no broken bone. He was a 36-, 37-year-old who had soft-tissue management issues that were causing a lot of pain and discomfort. It wasn’t a lack of effort on his part to get better. We just had to figure out what would help him do it.”

In the same way that teams employ roving pitching, hitting, fielding, and baserunning coaches to help players focus on certain elements of their game, the Red Sox realized they could find specialists to deal with these soft-tissue concerns. Physical therapists craft regimens to help players avoid the kind of nagging injuries that can linger for far too long; when those injuries do occur, they can help players recover in weeks instead of months, or days instead of weeks. In essence, the Red Sox are using a physical therapist like a roving medical coach. This helped Ortiz last year, and the Sox hope it will help players like the oft-injured Grady Sizemore this year. In fact, if the Red Sox weren’t this confident in their health regimen, they probably wouldn’t have gone after a beleaguered player like Sizemore at all.

While Cherington understandably wouldn’t go into great detail about the team’s physical therapist program, he lit up when talking about the potential benefits. “If we can find people who are at the top of their field to be hands-on with our players and create, I don’t know, a 5 percent difference in how much [the players are] out there or their level of physical fitness when they’re out there, that can translate into greater performance. So, yes, we have spent a lot of time on the medical area in the last two years, and that’s only going to continue.”

Kelly Starrett is a physical therapist/strength coach best know for his work with with self joint mobilization. Becoming a Supple Leopard is an easy to use guide that will highlight limitations and show you exactly how to address those restrictions.

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook is another guide which allows athletes to find soft tissue restrictions that can limit performance and cause referred pain. No only is this book great for athlete’s but people that have everyday aches and pains can put this very inexpensive book to use in only minutes a day. I have first hand seen athletes gain complete shoulder mobility back with just a few minutes of soft tissue work to the pecs and infraspinatus (detailed in the book).

Would A World-Class Sprinter Be The Best Baserunner In MLB?

Sam Miller absolutely crushes this article on key components to being a successful base stealer. A must read for runners, pitchers, coaches, and fans.

Posted in Baseball, Orthopedic Issues | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Move Fast, Throw Hard, Live Well – If You Are In Pain Get Treated ASAP- Direct Access

Today’s post is going to be quick as I am off to talk to the Fairfield American Little League Program’s coaches about injury reduction and red flags with their athletes.

One of the main points I try to make at these talks is to refer out ASAP if there is pain. Orthopedic doctors are great, but in most cases it’s more advantageous to see a qualified  Physical Therapist or Chiropractor first.

Back Pain

Much of the research references acute lower back pain. Within the studies they show the typical cycle of back pain, waiting a few days, calling the orthopedists, waiting a few days to get an appointment, going to the appointment, getting an MRI and/or x-ray, then being referred to PT. In most states, Direct Access is available to walk directly into a Physical Therapy office and get treated. Some argue there is a fear factor, as PTs don’t do X-rays or MRIs, which I completely understand. In rebuttal to those claims, a good PT or Chiro will evaluate pain and immediately refer out if they believe you need a second opinion or diagnostic imaging.

“A 4 year study of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland claims data and found that total paid claims for physician referral episodes to physical therapists were 2.2 times higher than the paid claims for direct access episodes. In addition, physician referral episodes were 65% longer in duration than direct access episodes and generated 67% more physical therapy claims and 60% more office visits. The HSR study looked at a far more extensive number of episodes than the previous study, and also controlled for illness severity and other factors that could have affected the patients’ outcomes.”1,2

60% more visits and cost is a large time frame and price to pay just for going to the Orthopedists!

The take home point of this info is not that going to the doctor is a bad thing, but waiting around for your pain- regardless if its back, elbow, neck, knee, hip, whatever- to subside magically instead of getting treatment will cost you in the long run; both in time and money. Have a trusted team of professionals to turn to immediately when you are in pain, and if you need the opinion of your doctor those professionals will gladly send you their way, but wasting time to get into the doctor or for the pain to go away is just that, a waste.

Trusted Side Kick #1

Trusted Side Kick #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good luck to everyone in their seasons!

Works Cited

1.         Pendergast J, Kliethermes SA, Freburger JK, Duffy PA. A Comparison of Health Care Use for Physician-Referred and Self-Referred Episodes of Outpatient Physical Therapy. Health Serv Res. 2012;47(2):633–654. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2011.01324.x.

2.         Mitchell JM, de Lissovoy G. A Comparison of Resource Use and Cost in Direct Access Versus Physician Referral Episodes of Physical Therapy. Phys Ther. 1997;77(1):10–18.

Posted in Movement, Orthopedic Issues | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Move Fast, Throw Hard, Live Well- Little League Curveballs and Youth Weight Training

This weeks post I am going to share a readers question and my response about weight training his younger athlete. If you have a question you would like answered feel free to shoot me an email.

Enjoy!

Q:

What would you recommend for a 13 yr old 7th grader, honestly? I am not wanting him to do more than hi-rep, bodyweight exercises at most. He’s 5’9” (and growing), 110 lbs. throws pretty hard – has a nice arm, and I want to keep that intact. Staring the travel ball with a good, established organization in IL this year…what are your thoughts on throwing curve balls, if taught by a former pro pitcher, etc?  (I am leery of that).

A:

As I said in the webinar, if you can play organized sports, you can train (and its safer!). High rep stuff is fine, but that’s where we usually see injuries because of fatigue and poor form. Moderate weights would be a better option for him. Move well and then move higher weights.

Here is my take on youth curveballs; research wise if it’s being taught properly (mechanically efficient) there is not a huge chance of injury. That being said, there are a ton of bad coaches out there (not that his is bad–I have no idea), but being a former pro doesn’t automatically qualify you to be a “good” or well researched coach.

From what I have seen in the rehab and coaching world, poor progression of throwing (jumping up in intensity or mainly volume) too quickly leads to lots of issues. The kids who throw “too many curveballs” are usually the kids who cant compete with just a fastball.  And as I have written about before, skipping on fall/winter baseball is a must.

At this point in my career, if my child was a pitcher in little league I would encourage fastball and change up location and speed, that alone will keep batters off balance. Once they start shooting through puberty (13-15 years), I would let them play with curveballs with a coach that is highly qualified. I grew up with a coach who said “never 2 curves in a row” for both practice and play. Great rules to help set-up hitters and stave away from overuse.

The image attached is a visual of when portions of the arm ossify. The medial epicondyle is the last to fully fuse and we should always proceed with caution.

Medial Epicondyle

1. Gregory B, Nyland J. Medial elbow injury in young throwing athletes. Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 2013;3(2):91–100. doi:10.11138/mltj/2013.3.2.91.

On the other hand, Phil Rosengren does a great job at expressing why he thinks kids should be tough the curveball at a younger age. To be frank, I don’t disagree with any of his points. And to Phil’s credit, every athlete he has sent me has never had an elbow pathology.

Many people are racing for their kids to be on ESPN in the LLWS. I think they are racing the wrong race. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many kids whom have been on ESPN before the age of 13… some of what they are dealing with mentally are so unfathomable it’s disgusting. Not to mention some of the injuries I’ve seen especially from the “best” players on those teams.

Posted in Baseball, Movement, Orthopedic Issues, Pitching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Move Fast, Throw Hard, Live Well – Mound Height, Throwing Programs, Links Between Foot Function and Upper Extremity Surgery

The Association of Foot Arch Posture and Prior History of Shoulder or Elbow Surgery in Elite-Level Baseball Pitchers

This article was shared with me by one of our in house PTs whom treats a ton of throwing shoulders. The foot starts the chain reaction of throwing. Without effective transfer of force from the foot there are links to upper body dysfunction, and in this case, surgical repair.

Screen_Shot_2014-02-11_at_21.33.09

Picking out quality shoes and cleats can have a dramatic impact on ones movement and performance, make sure to get fitted by a qualified professional whom understands how your foot functions.

Pitching Mound Height Affects Throwing Motion, Injury Risk

As we head towards the pre-season, pitchers often rush themselves back to the mound in hopes to catch up to their more conditioned counterparts. Unfortunately, poor preparation and progression leave their shoulders and elbows in pain. This article gives good info on how the stress of throwing on a mound is higher than flat ground throwing. When returning to the mound, progressing methodically with a throwing program is a necessity if you want long-term health and performance.

Posted in Baseball, Injury, Pitching | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Move Fast, Throw Hard, Live Well – Tommy John Surgery, Lactic Acid, and the Physiological Response to Pitching

5 Myths of Tommy John Surgery

Mike Reinold, former Physical Therapist for the Boston Red Sox does an outstanding job at laying down realistic expectations in regards to ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction. This is a must read for all pitchers!

elbow_ucl_injury_causes01

The physiological responses to a single game of baseball pitching

This is an older journal article that takes an in-depth look at how the body responds to pitching 7 innings. The researchers provide intermittent data within the game and 24 hours post game.

It’s Not About the Lactic Acid: Why You’re Still Sore After Yesterday’s Ride (Workout)

Dr. Burke does a nice job at explaining the reasons why “lactic acid” is not the issue the day after a workout. I can’t begin to explain how often athletes, coaches, and parents talk about how they need to “clear the lactic acid” from the previous days workout.  As Burke states “lactic acid is completely washed out of the muscles within 30 to 60 minutes after you finish riding. Since muscle soreness does not show up until 24 to 36 hours later, scientists have been exercising their brains to come up with another explanation.”

The next time a coach or trainer tells you are doing distance running as a “flush run” or “to clear lactic acid” start asking why, because the science in no way backs this claim.

 

 

Posted in Baseball, Orthopedic Issues, Pitching | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment