Guest post from DSP Director of Baseball Performance Scott Fox
I just came back from a trip to Boston where I attended a two day certification class given by the National Pitching Association. The NPA is an organization founded by modern day pitching coach extraordinaire Tom House and includes leaders in the world of sports medicine and exercise science such as Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Greg Rose. These may not be household names, but even a small amount of search engine work reveals they are true leaders with impeccable credentials.
The NPA mission is to use scientific research to arrive at a set of best practices for creating a healthy and successful pitcher. NPA provides objective data to members that has been assembled into a collection of regimens for training of mechanics, strength and conditioning, nutrition, mental and emotional training, and more. With a list like that you can see why DSP sees value in being associated with NPA.
While our respective methods are not always the same, the mission meshes nicely with ours. I’m honored to be a NPA Certified Biomechanics Coach and look forward to incorporating their best practices into the DSP Baseball curriculum.
If you haven’t seen the movie, Million Dollar Arm, check it out on Netflix. Coach House is featured prominently. The movie is a heart warmer, family friendly, and based on a true story of how House was involved in the development of two pitchers from India that hadn’t seen a baseball until they were in the last year of high school. There are some great life lessons dealing with love, authentic living, commitment, and more in this movie.
In addition to coming away with some valuable new means of helping DSP clients, the trip gave me a chance to make some observations related to what we are doing at DSP. Some of my takeaways include:
Baseball Community Needs Help – Who do You Trust?
Darius and I have laughed and cried about how slow the baseball world at all levels can be when it comes to adopting methods derived from objective data that has been field tested. Sports like track and field and swimming have been using technology and the objective data that come from it for years to discern how their athletes should move for optimal health and performance. Baseball is not there yet, at least not universally.
People in our favorite sport tend to be down-right tribal when it comes to how to train a player to pitch, hit, get in shape. Everyone seems to be fixated on what their coach taught them way back when. If they are challenged, they push back. We see it all the time and frankly, this is why DSP will have no shortage of potential clients any time soon.
On that note, please don’t follow a coach solely because that coach signed a professional contract or even had a great Major League career. Don’t listen to Darius and me because we are affable fellows and once played the game. Listen to coaches and trainers because they are using methods derived from empirical data and have been shown to work for people like you. If your coach doesn’t present a solid set of data or science-based rationale for their methods, search for another coach or trainer.
The DSP Way
While in Boston, I stopped by the facility of the leading performance trainer in the greater Boston metro area, Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning. Coach Boyle has a 25,000 square foot complex that is used by members of the Red Sox, Bruins, and other professional athletes. Middle-schoolers train along side these professionals. It is a cool atmosphere and guess what…they are starting to use kettlebells more and more.
I want to share with you that I came away feeling very good about our clients and the training they have received in the use of kettlebells. There are 10 year olds at DSP that have better form than most of the older athletes I saw in Boston that day. This means these children are receiving great benefit and remaining safe while handling the loads. This will result in some fabulous changes in their bodies and opportunities for greater performance and health this Spring.
Conclusion – The Future
When Darius and I met over 18 months ago, one of the things I immediately liked about him was that he was a lifetime learner. The great ones always are. Coach John Wooden, another favorite teacher of mine, was widely recognized in his day as the top college basketball coach in the country. Wooden never cared if he was considered the best and didn’t rest on his laurels even if it was after one of his teams’ 10 NCAA championships in 12 years. After every season, he would take one part of the game and search the country for another coach from whom he could learn more on that specific subject. Never stop learning.
Darius and I are committed to maintaining that standard at DSP. We will continue to advance our knowledge on subjects that can benefit our clients. We love it and it gets me excited just thinking about how much more we can bring to Alexandria and beyond. Thank you all for being great clients. As always, please let us know what we can do for you to help you achieve your dreams.