Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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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

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25: Josh Heenan- President of Advanced Therapy & Performance Integrated Medicine + Strength Coach

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Quotes

  • Our guys that are elite, whether thats pro/college, we can give them a 5 oz ball or a 14 oz ball, and they have the same arm mechanics every time. That allows us to see the repeatable mechanics.
  • I think its important to make this distinction. We are building athletes that happen to play baseball, we’re not building just baseball players
  • If we view our athlete their own unique being, then I think thats where we get really good results and really quickly.
  • If you dont have any movement restrictions and you can hit all of the metrics of the 90 MPH formula wit h quality form you are exponentially less likely for injury and exponentially more likely to throw 90 
  • I think as a coach we can all agree that 2 of our goals are, how can we keep everyone healthy and how can we win a ton of games. 
  • As far as in season lifts go, we lift heavy. We do a lot of 3x3. They get volume of work from playing, so we challenge them with power and get them out so they can go home and eat and recover.
Resources
Contact

24: Stephen Mackey- CEO and Founder of 2 Words Character Development Program

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Quotes
  • My coach in middle school said 4 words that changed my life and those 4 words were ‘Get on the line’. In that moment I found out what discipline was. Discipline is doing what we don’t want to do today, to get what we want tomorrow.
  • I liked to think I was special, but it was our coaching staff that was special. My coaches taught me how to make choices, they taught me responsibility, they taught me that what the statistics said didn’t have to become who I was unless I chose, and that mindset of taking responsiility changed everything for me.”
  • My life was changed by my high school coaches sand I want to help coaches do that for their athletes.”
  • There is so much power in giving a kid what they don’t don’t deserve. Give kids a second chance, but teach them what to do with that second chance. Sometimes coaches will give a kid a second chance, but don’t teach them what to do with that second chance. So what happens? The same thing they did the first time because they don’t know any different.”
  • Are you more about who you are or what you do? If you are so wrapped up in what you do, then what happens if that gets taken away?
  • Theres a lot of things in life that are optional if you want to be successful. Talent? Optional. The right family? Optional. The right school? Optional. Genetics? Optional. But the one thing that is required to be successful? Sacrifice. 
Resources
Contact

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23: Clay Cox- Head Baseball Coach, Paris Junior College (TX)

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  • We're going to have more husbands and fathers than we are major league baseball players. We're here to build young men, and when they leave this program they're going to be contributing members to society.
  • We want guys that will fight at the drop of a hat. Guys that are tough, maybe were a little overlooked in HS. Guys that have some grit can play for us.
  • One thing we teach our guys is manners. They'll be yes ma'am, no ma'am. Yes sir, no sir. They take their hats off when they walk into a building. They look you in the eye when they shake your hand and they say please and thank you. Most of our guys come from great families and we want to be an extension of them.
  • People want come complain about this generation, but what are you doing about it? Young men want to please, and what you expect out of them is what you're gonna get from them. If you expect it, they'll do it.
  • (on the green light mentality) We want to put pressure on defenses because catching and throwing is not as easy as it sounds. Pressure bursts pipes.
  • We love multi-sport athletes. We can take an athlete and build a ball player. You can necessarily make a guy a better athlete but you can make him a better ballplayer.
 Resources
  • Autobiographies on coaches
  • Twitter
  • #ABCAchats
 Contact 
  • 254-855-5453

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22: Zach Brandon- Mental Conditioning Coach, IMG Academy (FL)

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Quotes
  • Our approach to teaching a new skill is education, application and support. We start with why its important, then we apply it to practice and then from there we figure out what works and what doesn’t for each kid.
  • We say the breath is the MVP of the mental game. We spend a lot of time on teaching it.
  • a concept that Ken Ravizza and Tom Hansen discuss.
    1. Learn it
    2. Do it
    3. Own it
      We invest a lot of time learning it, but can we actually practice the skills? We need to create a practice environment that does that.
  • Theres a difference between a jungle tiger and a zoo tiger. Whats the life of a zoo tiger like? Spoon-fed, easy and comfortable. What’s life like in the jungle? Its stressful and your survival is on the line. Now lets compare it to baseball, which one is practice and which one is the game? We need to be able to create more jungle tigers and put our players in stressful situations.
  • There’s a lot of time to think in baseball. Your mind can be your best friend of your work enemy. It can be a weapon or a weakness. 
  • In order to get behavior change, we have to get repetition and progression of skills. If I’m a coach and I do session in the classroom once a week, thats better than nothing. In that setting we expect the players to transfer those skills over to the field. If we only do those sessions in the classroom, we’re going to be setup for disappointment. 
Resources
 
Contact

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21: James Vilade- Assistant Baseball Coach, Oklahoma State University

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Quotes
  • Being a cowboy is being a part of one of the greatest programs in the history of college baseball
  • We hang our hat on player development. There’s not a team in the big 12 that has had more draft picks than us in the last 5 years
  • Our demand in practice is energy. You’ve gotta come out prepared to play and practice with an intensity thats going to match game speed.
  • The guys really embrace the fact that the daily competition is that internal check to task yourself to be at your best and to be at a high level every single practice.
  • No matter what spreadsheet you get or saber-metrics stats you use, our number one statistic is “who is our there competing for a spot every single day.” Thats how you win and job and impact the game.
  • Two big things for me as an infield coach are leadership and communication. If we’re constantly communicating were playing the game in a progressive way. If we’re playing the game in a progressive way then we aren’t going to worry about what happened last inning, were going to keep competing.
  • If the players don’t trust you, they’re not going to care what you tell them. It doesn’t matter if you have the best information in the world if your players not trust you. 
Resources
  • Other Coaches 
Contact

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