Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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34: Shaun Larkin- Coordinator of Skill Development for the Los Angeles Dodgers

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Quotes
  • Are you looking to increase practice performance or are you looking for skill transfer into the game?
  • We want to replicate the game as much as possible and help our players to determine what movement works best for them given their body type, flexibility and mobility and perception of whats happening in their environment.
  • If your in an environment where you aren’t learning, how do you expect to pass the test on game-day?
  • Until you explain the why to players and coaches, it doesn’t matter what you’re trying to do.
  • Create environments in practice where its ok to push yourself and to fail because that's where the learning happens 
  • We want optimization not just organization
Resources
  • Social media
Contact
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33: Ben Brewster- Founder of Tread Athletics and Author of Building the 95 MPH Body

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Quotes
  • Training is a trial and error process
  • I was on the low part of the totem pole walking on in college, but it kept me hungry. I also got to see everyday that the other guys weren't superhuman. They were either just a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger, better mobility or better mechanics. It wasn't just a genetic thing.
  • You have the freedom to do things outside of practice. Most think its show up to practice, do what you're told and then leave. Everybody is doing that. So what differentiates you?
  • Gaining velocity is not an easy or linear process. Much of it is plateaus and you can't frustrated. You have to keep on trying, keep on failing,  keep on testing and keep on evaluating until you get through that plateau.
  • In college, we had a structured snack break before batting practice everyday to help guys gain weight. It was mandatory for everyone to bring something to eat for practice every single day.
  • There's this conventional baseball wisdom that says "if you aren't doing the exact same stuff as everybody else at every single moment of the practice, you aren't a team player." Baseball is an individual sport played within a team setting. For all of our kids to develop to their potential, they need an individualized program. If everyone develops to their potential, that's going to help the team win.
  • Most everything i tell the guys i work with is just a suggestion with an explanation behind why i'm suggesting it. Some things repeatedly work for some guys and don't work for others.
Resources
Best under 100 purchase
Contact

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32: Bryan Conger- Head Baseball Coach, Tarleton State University (TX)

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Quotes
  • Whatever it is in life you are going to do, you need to be fully engaged in it
  • We post everything. Either on social media for motivation and celebration or in the locker room so that kids always know where they stand. They also get to learn their game and how it can benefit the team.
  • At the end of every season when we look back, we never say "man i wish we had taken one more round of BP" But I have said "If we could have reached one or two more young men, that would have made the difference.
  • The better our kids get at the "life skills" part, the better baseball players they're going to be.
  • When you grow as an individual, all those around you automatically grow too. When you become more, we all become more.
  • Baseball is what you do, its not who you are. Who you are is far more important than what you do
Resources
Contact

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31: Eugene Bleecker- Founder and Director of Player Development for 108 Performance (CA)

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Quotes
  • There's a difference between kids who play baseball and baseball players
  • More than anything we believe in individuals. We believe that the only thing you can do wrong as a coach/trainer is to make everyone do the same thing. We need to figure out what the players need and not just what it is that we want to teach them.
  • If we make it more about our players and less about our programs, were going to get more out of them as individuals and as a results were going to win more games.
  • There's 5 guys on every team that if they think “swing up” they’re going to have a bad season. There's also 5 guys that if they think “swing down” they’re going to have a bad season. We’ve gotta figure out what each guys needs Its not about the best “cue” its about getting the best results.
  • I grew the most in my career when I stopped looking for what everyone did the same and started looking for what they did different.
  • Players will not always say what you say but they will do what you do. If you aren’t their first example in life on who you would want them to be, then you need to do some things differently. You have a huge impact on them, as a coach, on how they are going to act as a man later in life.
Resources
  • #Hittingtwitter
  • Open minded guys that you can share stuff with
Contact
  • 951-354-2589

Website and Social Media sites for the show 

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30: Josh Kesel- CEO/Director of Human Performance for P3 Performance, St. Louis

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Quotes
  • It's not just about putting time in the weight room and on the field, it's a lifestyle. You've gotta make sure your priorities are right in the kitchen, in the classroom and in the weight room.
  • With the data driven/technology driven way the game is going, we try and track everything.
  • Take your body weight and half it and that's how much water you should be drinking a day. Add 6-8 ounces of additional water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise
  • Theres alot of people that can put together a great program for someone. But I think it takes a special person to sit down and have a conversation to get a grown man/woman to buy in to what they're talking about. 
  • Being able to communicate to everyone from all types of different backgrounds defines you as a a coach. 
  • We mold our coaching to the players, not the other way around.
Resources
Contact
Website 
Email
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29: David Sharp- Head Baseball Coach, Huntsville HS (AL) and 12U Team USA

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Quotes 
  • We expect our players to be tough, to play hard, and to compete but also be leaders in our school and community. We care about them as people more than we care about them as players. 
  • Kids start throwing in January and then all summer, so we completely shut arms from August until fall break halfway through October. Then we start our long toss program. We’ve seen a huge benefit from doing this and it’s been tremendous for our program. 
  • If a kid comes into our program and they haven’t left as a better man, we haven’t done our job. 
  • Any rule that you put into place, you have to be willing to lose your best player. Consistency is a big deal to us. 
  • Nothing infuriates me more than wasted time at practice.  We play music, we have fun, and we don’t have 4 hour practices just to say we practiced for 4 hours. We’re going to be fast paced and get after it.

28: Jozef Frucek- Founder of the Fighting Monkey Baseball Practice

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Quotes
  • I love baseball but it's something I had never done in my life. That allowed me to look from the outside and get a fresh look on why I think the best players are getting injured so much and what could be improved in their training.
  • Diversity breeds immunity. Every great system also creates great deficiency. 
     
  • Most people think strength is always the answer. But we believe there are many things that come before strength. We first work with coordination, then when we get more organized we find a rhythm. Then that rhythm leads us to more kinetic potential and kinetic potential leads to power exploration. Power exploration then leads us to strength training.
     
  • We want baseball players bodies to work in one rhythmic unit spending less energy on moving and putting more energy on where to react properly and making the right decisions.  
     
  • My background is in art, and what is the most important thing in art? Staying creative. We need to always stay creative and find new alterations
  • We all need to improve our training methods. We're kind of sleeping there because we have good training methods. What blocks us just being good to getting better? We need to be pushed to look past what is obvious.
Resources
Contact

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27: Clay Van Hook- Assistant Baseball Coach, University of Oklahoma

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Quotes
  • What typically happens is players get into a game and the game speeds up. So what are we doing as coaches to help them slow the game down. A lot of times we preach that but we don’t teach it. We speed up practice so much that the game slows down. 
  • One thing that Coach Garrido and Coach Graham had in common that really resonated with me was that we got into this business to be teachers. To teach these young men to be better people, ballplayers, brothers, and husbands.
  • We typically have 3 objectives
    1. First and foremost we’re going to work individually with each player and look at them as individuals
    2. Next we’re going to work collectively (as a team)
    3. Then we’re going to work competitively
  • We have to be well rounded. There’s so many different ways to win ballgames. We owe it to our players to give them different skills. At the end of the day if we have the chance to go to Omaha and we have to get a bunt down but the player can’t do it, if we haven’t given them the necessary skills to do that, thats on us. Same thing with a runner at third and less than 2 outs. 
  • We’re all in this together. At times, coaches want to build walls to separate themselves. Our goal should be to build relationships for 30 years.
  • I didn’t get into coaching to win baseball games. In reality are we defined by that? Yes. But I think its important to understand that when we take the result out of the equation, we start to grow as a coach and as a person.
Resources
  • Telephone (calling other coaches)
  • Fiction books
Contact

 

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26: Jono Armold- MiLB Pitching Coach, Spokane Indians

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Quotes 
  • For the most part we understand how to make players better and progressing them on the field, but the next frontier in sports and player development is understanding individual human behavior
  • Great coaches have great discernment, They know when to push, when to pull, when to backoff, when to jump someone or when to let it simmer.
  • I can talk mechanics and game strategy all I want, but if the athlete isn’t taking it and owning it, then its just my words. Their not engaged. Coaching is an incredibly dynamic social activity. It varies from situation to situation.
  • Coaching isn’t just teaching, just psychology or just mentoring. Coaching is all of those.
  • Its in our nature to try and create friendships and relationships. When kids want to hang out with you or stand by you when you’re hitting fungo and talk to you. Thats a sign of a great relationship. When it becomes an issue is when we can’t hold them accountable. If we can discipline when we need to, then its an issue.
  • We need to be able to adjust our coaching strategies based on the environment, the athlete and the setting that you’re in
Resources
 Contact Info

Website and Social Media sites for the show 

www.aotcpodcast.com

Twitter

@aotc_podcast

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