Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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July 6, 2020  

Rick Franzblau- Director of Olympic Sports Strength and Conditioning, Clemson University (SC)

July 6, 2020
Today we have on Rick Franzblau. Rick is in his first year as the director of olympic sports strength and conditioning. The previous three years he served in the capacity of assistant director of olympic sports strength and conditioning. He is responsible for the supervision of the assistant strength coaches, graduate assistants and volunteer interns. Rick oversees the strength and conditioning for all 14 of the Olympic Sports an he is directly responsible for the strength and conditioning efforts of the baseball, men’s soccer and track and field teams.
On the show we discuss how to match hardware and software, in both hitting and pitching. How what we find on movement screens affects in game performance. How to communicate and collaborate with on field staff and strength staff. We talk deceleration training, proper breathing and so much more. 
Here is Rick Franzblau!
Understand basic concepts of postural restoration institute
Basic anatomy 
Show notes courtesy of Zach Casto 
  • Do everything you can to help your athletes achieve their goals.
  • Hardware: the body and how it naturally moves.
  • 1. Lever System: Ratios of the length of your femur to your spine to your tibia
  • These can dictate are you a squatter or a hinge.
  • This will dictate how your forward move is.
  • 2. Wingspan
  • 3. Your structure such as your hips.
  • Humans are born and have a specific way that they will move.
  • Look at passive and active range of motion.
  • Passive: How much I can push you back to.
  • Active: A move back from the passive motion.
  • 4. Movement Capabilities: Movement screenings.
  • 5. Static Posture: How the body’s posture is.
  • All of this will tell you how the athlete is supposed to move.
  • When making a change the athlete needs to know why and how.
  • Possible solutions:
  • 1. Improve an output (exit velocity) or productivity.
  • 2. Improve their efficiency: How hard the athlete is working with success.
  • Example: Effortless velocity throughout time.
  • 3. Health
  • Two options:
  • 1. Once you determine their hardware, perhaps their software needs adjusted.
  • 2. The longer option is the hardware.
  • The older the athlete is the harder it’ll be to change their hardware.
  • “At the end of the day pass and fail doesn’t matter. The three above questions are what matter.”
  • Software is the understood movements and solutions with the hardware (body).
  • Extended postures
  • Example: Ribs are oriented more to the sky.
  • This happens for breathing patterns (not using the diaphragm).
  • This means that these guys lose their glutes in the side to side frame.
  • Changes the forward move and load.
  • These athletes have a lag in their forward move.
  • Players have more of a knee strategy forward move. This creates a problem for balance.
  • This can cause problems in vision and seeing the pitch when hitting.
  • These individuals struggle with the hinge test.
  • “These individuals don’t trust their hips so they don’t hinge.”
  • This effects how you teach stretching and weight room exercises.
  • It’s hard to change hardware but if you get buy in it’ll be an easier process.
  • Have a common language with the player so that both sides have a clear understanding of what to do.
  • After the strength and mobility assessments have a meeting with each athlete.
  • The meeting will be about hip anatomy (this will determine movement solution of the athlete) and parts of the body that determine the athlete’s current movement solutions.
  • “The answer comes down to the skill coach.”
  • With the players who have breathing pattern problems look at how their hips thrust and hinge.
  • You want to make sure that the player is balanced throughout the athletic movement for success.
  • It’s important to talk with the coaches to find out how the athlete is performing.
  • Use data, video, and movement tests.
  • At the younger levels, the players are perpetuating these extended postures because they are trying to get stronger at younger levels.
  • Pitchers have the same problems as hitters.
  • “We are looking at a lot of the same things.”
  • Start with the hips and assess those.
  • If the player doesn’t have a range of motion with their hips then the player is going to have problems with how they move.
  • Check out how the hips go back and how they turn.
  • When you load into your glutes then you’ll create free energy that will go into getting more out of the delivery and more onto the pitch.
  • The players who get more out of their glutes will be able to perform efficiently longer.
  • How you load the hip and stride down the mound is so crucial.
  • You want to have pelvic rotation just like the best hitters for pitchers instead of pushing off the rubber instead.
  • Pre-throwing use J-bands.
  • Post-throwing stretch.
  • Diet is crucial for success for all athletes.
  • Sleep schedule is crucial as well.
  • Look at the arm at front foot strike.
  • Is it up 90 degrees or behind?
  • This will effect how the arm spirals.
  • How does the arm unwind?
  • Is the arm unwinding at the same time that the trunk is rotating.
  • Before every bullpen or game the pitchers are in the weight room for 20 minutes to warm up and get their body and arm prepared.
  • Arm care needs to be holistic.
  • A cookie cutter approach to things is more harmful than good.
  • Example: weighted balls are good for a certain population, but not good for all.
  • Find what cues are valuable for each athlete.
  • Look at each program and see if they are helpful for all athletes or each athlete.
  • You can decelerate by kicking back or scissor movement.
  • Players to do the kick back scissor movement is that players need to be strong physically and tissue wise as well.
  • We have to understand the deceleration pattern of all athletes so we can improve it.
  • You can use medicine ball exercises to bring out the deceleration patterns for each athlete.
  • Single leg strength is important for kick back guys.
  • For pitching it’s about timing your pelvic rotation properly.
  • As the foot plants then the pelvic needs to turn.
  • Understand what deceleration strategies to use.
  • Then you can select drills to help these strategies to work well.
  • When hitting you want your guys to work on trunk and pelvis deceleration.
  • Some guys who decelerate well will counter rotate their hips.
  • Watch the belt buckle of the hitter.
  • If it’s level throughout they are moving pretty well.
  • Breathing needs to be used for mental game and postural related.
  • Long exhales are key.
  • When you let all the air out at the end you feel loose and your abs turn up.
  • It takes the tension out of their body.
  • Players need to understand how to take a deep breath as well.
  • Long exhales will make you more relaxed and help your posture.
  • Breathing through your nose helps the player aerobically.
  • When we are more mobile we will have more slack in our muscles.
  • When we are less mobile we have less slack.
  • You want to have less slack so you’re more athletic in the muscles.
  • You can stretch to gain less slack.
  • Shoulder range of motion: hold them at the elbow and put pressure on the wrist to get an idea of the shoulder range of motion.(passive external shoulder range of motion).
  • To get an idea of a players active range of motion you can have them put their hand on the ground and push up to understand a players active range of motion.
  • For players who are hyper mobile ask and see if that actually bothers their performance.
  • Natural maturation will tighten up the hyper mobile players as well.
  • On a RHH: Fascial accelerators: right shoulder to left hip fascial line. Left shoulder to the right hip.
  • Fascial breaks: left hip to the right shoulder. Left shoulder to the right hip.
  • “It’s like an X.”
  • Fascia is connective tissues that protects organs.
  • It is a supporter in the body.
  • It’s important because it’s trained through elastic movements and patterns across multiple planes.
  • Testosterone helps with explosive movements.
  • It’s something we want to optimize in the afternoon and evening.
  • Explosive workouts before a game will prevent decay in testosterone.
  • Elite explosive athletes will be flat if they don’t do anything.
  • They have to do something every day.
  • Tuck jumps and Plyocare push ups are helpful for pitchers.
  • Small doses of this with position players. Since their workload is quite a bit.
  • “Challenge yourself with everything you do.”
  • Be open minded and continue to learn about things you don’t know.
  • As a coach spend as much time learning about strength as you do content of sport.