Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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17: Cody Atkinson- Hitting Coach, University of Texas- Rio Grande Valley

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Quotes
  • We call ourselves the valley boys. Because we represent the valley. We're getting out on that field every single day and sweating in this heat and working hard and doing all the extra things so when the valley comes and watches us play, they can be proud.
  • We have our players back and we continually let them know that we love them and are there for them
  • Are you an OKG?  Our kinda guy. I'm not a salesman. I'm going to show you everything we do and our vision with development focus. I'm going to get the guys that are in on this thing and the guys that arent, I don't want.
  • Culture coaches when the coaches aren't around. We're going to recruit personality and character before skill. We think we can take anyone and make them better.
  • We believe in having short, efficient practices. We come in, go as hard as we can, and leave. We don't condition because you should be so tired from practice 
  • We don't clone people here. We don't cookie cut. We try and help each player find his best swing.
  • You decide NOT to swing, you dont decide to swing. This is a HUGE deal for us.You step into the box swinging at the pitch
  • Hitters make themselves. We don't make them, They do the work and they stand in the box. We can help them but we dont make them.
 
Resources
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16: Brent Robison- Pitching Coach, Tulsa Union HS (OK)

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Quotes
  • One of the first conversations we have is where does your arm hurt? We have to start with the pain
  • A lot of what we do is player led. Guys tend to figure out things more when they have to teach other people what the ultimate goal of the activity is. 
  • Every year i have someone who doesn't fit the ideal mold, so it keeps pushing me to try and reach everyone in the program.
  • If I have 13 pitchers, I should have 13 pitching programs.
  • Every time a bullpen is thrown, they're competing against someone for something. If we're asking them to compete in games, then practice should be a competition. 
  • Our goal has always been to help the players become better people. Learning life lessons will help them to become better baseball players.
  • Start looking at players as individuals. One size doesn't fit all, and one size doesn't even fit one guy for very long.
 
Resources 
 
Contact Information
 

Weekly Newsletter

5 Tool Friday Newsletter

Website and Social Media sites for the show 

www.aotcpodcast.com

Twitter

@aotc_podcast

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15: Zach Dechant- Director of Strength and Conditioning, TCU Baseball

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Quotes
  • Our kids are at their strongest in season Were not training to be good in the offseason, were training to be at our best in season. So it drives me crazy when you see kids not lifting in season, it makes no sense.
  • All of our incoming freshman are in a developmental group that focuses on 5 major movements

    1. Squat patterning (front squat) 2. Hip Hinge 3. Pushup 4. Horizontal Pull 5. Iso Core Series

  • We do alot of speed work, and to be fast you have to train fast.
     
  • We train on gameday. And i see no reason that HS kids cant either. HS kids arent developed enough to get fatigued if they are working out in the morning and getting 10-12 hours of recovery time. You'll find the more consistent your workouts are. the less theyll get sore. You can develop so much in your in season period
  • Everybody wants to train the pretty muscles, the mirror muscles, chest, abs. Performance happens on the backside. You want to keep kids strong and healthy? It all happens on the backside. Scaps glutes and hamstrings are the powerhouse of athletic performance 
  • There is not a lot of agility that goes on in baseball, its mostly reacting to a stimulus (the baseball) Everything is a straight line. There no cone drills, latter drills in baseball. Its all a straight line to a point, so that what we incorporate into our speed development program.

Resources

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Weekly Newsletter

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14: Ben Sartor- Pitching Coach, Flower Mound HS (TX)

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Quotes
  • There's a lot of pressure at Flower Mound high school. But it's pressure to not just do well, it's pressure to win, it's pressure to go deep in the playoffs and to get a division 1 scholarship.
  • We take 30 minutes a day in the fall to install the mental game, and it's crucial for us
  • If you make it fun the kids are going to have fun if you think it's boring the kids are obviously going to think it's boring.
  • We put a lot of pressure on our kids in practice which is more gamelike. We want them to be used to that pressure 
  • I am a big field guy, so if your offer still want you to get out the 300 get after it man. If you want to do that for days in a row, go. If you aren't feels good, feed it.
  • When it's game day, all I want you to do is compete. I don't wanna talk mechanics. Just go compete
  • Make the best job the one that you're at. You get to play baseball everyday. You get to hit fungo everyday. My son is a bat boy and they pay me to do it. I've got the best job in the world 
Resources

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Weekly Newsletter

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13: Joe Ferraro- Head Baseball Coach, Bronxville HS (NY) and Host of the 1% Better Podcast

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Quotes
  • Our culture playbook is resilience, communication, focus and joy.
  • One of the things we say about communication, is we have difficult conversations in person, not text. That doesnt fly in our program
  • Communication is not so that you can be understood, but so that you cannot be misunderstood.
  • If we're not going to be world class on the field right now, then we need to be world class in everything else.
  • If you want a head coaching job, you need to double down on relationship building. Kids want someone who can give them a clear vision, but they wont care unless they trust you.
  • When you are trying to change the culture we want them quantum leaps. Slow down. Progress and speed have nothing to do with one another.
Resources
 
 
 
 
Contact Info
 
 
 

Website and Social Media sites for the show 

www.aotcpodcast.com

Twitter

@aotc_podcast

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Email

jgelnar7@gmail.com

12: Craig Hyatt- Hitting Coach, East Valley HS (WA)

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Quotes
  • (on absolutes) To be fixated on one swing and not knowing the context of that swing is dangerous
  • I think elite hitters hit, and there's a variety of reasons why. sleep. diet. swing. mentality. That all adds up to make a great hitter. There are concepts that they have that arent many absolutes.
  • (on practice) I reverse my coaching. Instead of barking out cues, i let them work on their own with the plan that we put together and then take a player or 2 at a time individually. 
  • What i've noticed is kids get a little embarrassed when getting coached around kids, if we can keep it personal with them and build a plan that we can experiment and fail, they'll build some confidence.
  • We stop when they do something good and i ask "why was that good?" and that's how they start to learn
  • We create pressure and competition all the time, If things start getting bored of mindless, we drop what were doing and compete. We need to create situations in batting practice that we're going to see in a game.
  • We "hit" in games. Its not just a swing, we have to learn and trainer hitters too.
 
Resources
 
 
MLB.tv
 
Contact Info
 

Website and Social Media sites for the show 

www.aotcpodcast.com

Twitter

@aotc_podcast

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@j_gelnar7

Email

jgelnar7@gmail.com

11: Eric Peterson- Pitching Coach, Drury University (MO)

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Quotes
  • We talk about the 4 in the 40 a lot. What are our guys going to do on their 4 years on campus that allows them to be great in the next 40
 
  • We combine being a good person, being a good student, and being excellent on the field in your role and that's what a drury panther is
 
  • We develop our guys as individuals. We figure out what tools and strengths our guys have and try and have success with that. That's the foundation of player development 
 
  • I used to do the 7 week plan where everything was regimented but it didn't suit everybody. It was a one size fits all and it wasn't efficient for development. We needed to do something they could take ownership of and take responsibility for.
 
  • We have battalion leaders, we don't announce captains. They have to submit an application and interview, then draft teams, and they take care of small issues and problems and come up with a solutions. It's provided an avenue to build leaders in our program 
 
  • We have an open dialogue between the players. They'll tell you what needs to be changed and what doesn't work
 
Resources
 
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@j_gelnar7

Email

jgelnar7@gmail.com

10: Breck Draper- Head Baseball Coach, Heritage Hall HS (OK)

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Quotes
  • We drive competition in practice by letting them play a different sport., then we really get to see who wants to compete
  • I'm a big proponent of multi sports athletes. Other sports create toughness, athletic ability and a sense of team.
  • We let the players run a couple practices a year. It really shows you who listens to who and who takes charge.
  • Day 1, all we do is practice communication. We go through every play that could be communicated in a game.
  • People say kids today aren't as hard nosed as they used to be and are soft. I go completely against that. If you push your guys, treat them with respect and treat them like a young man, they'll work as hard as you want them to
  • Kids aren't soft. We let them be soft as coaches sometimes. Have them set goals and mentally challenge them.
Resources
 
 
 
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jgelnar7@gmail.com

9: Chris Dunn- MLB Hitting Consultant and author of “The High Performance Hitter”

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Quotes
  • Finding a way to create a dialogue and a way to start kids engaged in the process is the best thing you could ever do as a coach
  • When you have a good dialogue with your player, you can start to translate what their feel is and what's actually happening.
  • The best analogy of sequence I got from Jerry Brewer and that's gears in a car. 1-2-3-4, they all have a job, and first gear isn't more important than the other because it's first. But what is the role of each and how do they work together?
  • "Every hitter feels things differently and there's no wrong feel. When you watch Pujols talk about what he feels, it's totally different than what he does in his game swing but that doesn't make his feel invalid, it just makes them different and it makes him who he is.
  • (Regarding small groups) "They're talking, collaborating, asking questions to each other. It is so much more valuable than what I could tell them. It's someone in their shoes going through the same process."
  • "You've gotta find a way to communicate your knowledge but ultimately the only thing that matters is if the kids understand it."
  • You have to be able to customize your information and drills to each player because they're going to move different, have different size and strength and mobility. All that needs to be a factor in developing hitters.
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8: Rob Friedman AKA The Pitching Ninja- Pitching Coach, Paideia HS (GA)

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Quotes
Most of the time when i put stuff out I'm trying to solve a problem. I'm trying to show that there isn't one way to get it done.
 
The key to coaching in general is to be honest and have an objective view. I just shut up and watch. Then ill make suggestions.
 
My first step is to help them be more explosive. Mostly its about being an athlete. Just because you're standing on a pile of dirt, doesn't mean you have to throw different than you would at shortstop. 
 
I treat every single pitcher as an individual. I have a toolbox of ideas, but I don't have a set way of teaching mechanics.
 
One of the reasons i put everyone out on twitter is because i'm curious and I want to show that there are a bunch of people that throw a lot of different ways.
 
I like the idea of being the person that nobody wants to throw with.
 
When you start measuring stuff it brings out competition in everyone. The competitive drive will cause everyone to improve.
 
Resources
Driveline
Ben Brewster
Lantz Wheeler
Rapsodo
Texas Baseball Ranch
 
Contact Info for Rob
 
Twitter 
 
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Website and Social Media sites for the show

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Contact Info for Jonathan

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Email

jgelnar7@gmail.com