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  1. Athletes' Performance Pyramid

    Having on-the-field success is the ultimate goal for all athletes. But how is that achieved? The vast majority of people focus on (1) sport specific training and/or (2) athletic abilities, such as strength and speed. Yet, there are more factors that contribute to success than just those two. We all know people with tremendous physical abilities that never achieve success on the field. I think the following graphic is a great example of the building block components that make up a successful athletic performance. Continue reading →
  2. Muscle Imbalance in Athletes

    Many sports require an athlete to repeat the same motion or movement time and time again which can cause the athlete's body to become unbalanced. Whether the athlete is throwing a baseball, softball, football, shot-put, or discus, or he is swinging a bat, golf club, or tennis racket, these activities force the athlete to use the same muscles through the same range of motion numerous times. This repetitive use by the same muscle groups causes certain muscles to become much stronger than their opposing muscles and according to Mark Verstegen, founder of Athletes Performance, "About 65% of injuries come from overuse, which is repetitive use of joints that are rendered dysfunctional by muscular imbalances." Continue reading →
  3. Baseball Specific Warm Up

    A warm up routine. Everybody has one, from California to New York, from little league to the big leagues. Before practice or games a warm up is necessary to prepare players for the competition soon to ensue. Although everybody does it and knows the importance of a good warm up routine, so many people get it wrong. Too often, it's a slow jog from one foul pole to the other followed by players "circling it up" to spend 10 minutes static stretching their cold muscles. Coaches and players all over the nation are guilty of this awful sham of a warm up. These players are no more ready for competition than if they had just rolled out of bed. Continue reading →
  4. Exercises to Improve Neuromuscular Pathways

    In my last blog I discussed an athlete’s ability to train his neuromuscular pathways in order to improve athleticism. If an athlete specifically focuses on exercises that require quick, explosive movements, he can create more efficient paths between the brain and the muscle, resulting in greater athleticism. Today I want to share a few pieces of equipment that can help an athlete train to move his (or her) body more quickly and become a better athlete (improving those pathways). Continue reading →
  5. Rotational Core Exercises

    A couple of posts ago I discussed how it was generally a waste of time for baseball athletes to do abdominal exercises such as crunches. Today I wanted to share a few ways to train the core that can actually translate to improved performance and superior functional core strength. Continue reading →
  6. Forearm and Grip Strength Exercises

    It has been a couple of weeks since my last post regarding forearm strength, but there were some other topics which surfaRopeced that I felt like I needed to address first. As for forearm/grip strength, there are many ways to strengthen it and I'm going to tell you of some that I have done as well as seen others do. There are really two different types of forearm strengthen exercises: those that directly target the forearm and those that indirectly work it as the athlete performs other dynamic exercises. I'll talk first about those which indirectly work to strengthen it. Continue reading →
  7. Off-Season Arm Care

    Last week I wrote about the routine I followed during the season to help keep my arm healthy and feeling fresh. However, there is more to arm care than in-season work aimed to help a player recover between games and stay off the disabled list. As many players and coaches finish up their seasons I wanted to address some off-season exercises that specifically focus on strengthening the arm and shoulder. Continue reading →
  8. Tim Epling: Upper Deck Training and the WV Miners

    Beckley, West Virginia is a rather small town nestled in the heart of southern WV in an area known for its coal mines, it's in the same county as that tragic mining accident a few months ago, and its appeal to outdoorsmen as you can finding snow skiing, fishing, and white water rafting at your fingertips. However, baseball players and fans in the area are the truly lucky ones in this beautiful community. Continue reading →
  9. Explosively Train the ATP Energy System

    Because my focus is on baseball players, both pitchers and hitters, the ATP energy system is the one of greatest interest and importance. However, if you are involved in any sport which requires explosive movements then this should be the system of greatest interest to you as well. As I said before, it is possible to specifically train the ATP system by engaging in short, high intensity repetitive bouts with proper rest intervals. Remember the ATP system provides energy during the first 12-15 seconds of activity and has the highest potential for power output. Using this knowledge, lets look at how it is possible to incorporate different areas of training with the goal of improving the ATP energy system (and as a result your explosiveness as an athlete) Continue reading →

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