Thursday, October 01, 2015

Kudos to the Kiddos in Courtney Phillips, Give them a high-five for me

Once in while I get a communication in my in-box that reminds me why I continue to do what I do. The following e-mail from Courtney Phillips and the kids in her after school care program was one such example.

I'm a little embarrassed because if you look at the history trivia site they referenced from and compare it against mine, they are going to learn more about baseball following their tutor then they will from my web site. Holy Cow!! I thought I knew baseball trivia and I picked up some things I never knew before.

So kudos to the kids and if you see Ms. Phillips, give her and the kids a well deserved high-five. They are obviously doing awesome work together combining baseball and education.

Keep up the good work and high-five right back at you.

P.S. - I've been kind of busy with issues relating to our relocation from Illinois to Florida and with the depression surrounding my Giants getting eliminated, which somewhat explains the paucity of posts recently, but this was too good to pass up. It made my day.

from my e-mail:

My name is Courtney and I'm a mentor and tutor for a small group of kids in my local area. My class and I wanted to give you a shout and send you some virtual "high-fives" on your page, We've been collecting baseball resources for a project and decided to bookmark your page.

Since we decided to bookmark your page, the kids thought it'd be a brilliant idea to send you a great page on baseball history they enjoyed, . They figured it'd be a great fun resource to add with your other baseball resources on your page. Do you mind adding it? They'd feel so accomplished knowing others could learn from it, just like them.

We'd love to hear any feedback you have...maybe even a "high-five" back. :P

Thank you for your time,
Courtney Phillips


Tickets to to the Past: Baseball History Trivia

Baseball has been referred to as the "great American pastime," but is it really an American invention? As with most games, baseball has its origins in several other games found throughout history, but the game we see today was perfected in the United States. Baseball enjoyed a meteoric growth in the early 20th century, and it was hard to get a ticket to any baseball game anywhere in the eastern part of the United States. The game has grown and has seen its share of scandal and triumph, but there is always something about the American public that continues to save baseball from extinction. Do you know your baseball facts? How well would you do if asked a question about the American game of baseball?
  • The origins of baseball go as far back as 1344, to a French game known as "la soule." Early drawings of the game depict actions very similar to modern baseball.
  • The British believe that baseball and cricket both evolved from an early British game called tut-ball in the middle 18th century. Another British game called rounders was also seen as part of baseball's origins.
  • Abner Doubleday is credited with inventing baseball. But in reality, the Civil War veteran had no interest in sports throughout his entire life.

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

Date: September 30, 2015 at 11:18:05 AM EDT
To: Courtney Phillips
Subject: Re: comments on Eagle Baseball Club webpage

That's awesome!! How about if I post it first to my blog, which I think gets a bit more exposure? I have to have my web site person drop it on the links page, that may take a week or so.

Thanks for all you do for kids and for generating an interest in the greatest game ever invented.

Sample from the blog:

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Bobby Evans Show - nobody could have anticipated this?

Check out this cool episode:

Giants GM Bobby Evans says team will make changes to pitching staff in the off season. DUH!!

Half the starting lineup on the DL and he brings up the "after the winning season 2B blows out his back" specter.

Cool. whistling past the graveyard is always cool.

Nobody could have anticipated all these injuries.....on the pitching staff? Really?!? Sometimes you just roll craps, I guess.

You started with seven starters in part  anticipating that one or two would break down. They did. It was totally foreseeable.

Dumb. We're good at blowing smoke though.

Tomlinson getting reps in OF discussed, Blackburn getting some starts discussed but not being on the 40 man roster probably hurts. Leake as a target in the off season. If Tomlinson keeps hitting, the comps to Ben Zobrist sound less and less crazy.

The team overall is one of the oldest in the bigs, therefore the physical break downs HAD to have been a thought. Getting Younger in the off season HAS to be a thought. No more " nobody could have seen this coming ", you've used your bogey.

Keeping the band together for another run or a title defense is one thing, I get that. But don't sound stupid with the " Woe is me " stuff. 

You're paid to mitigate woe.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Coaching tips to accelerate sport skill learning - Knoxville Sports Performance Examiner

Coaching tips to accelerate sport skill learning

·         August 16th, 2009 12:15 am ET
·         By Denise Wood, Knoxville Sports Performance Examiner
Athletes can learn and retain sport skills more quickly when coaches use effective instructional techniques.  These psychologically-based coaching tips can help athletes accelerate sport skill learning and performance:
1.  Help athletes learn skills correctly the first time. Initial learning is most impressionable. Coaches should monitor and guide athletes to learn proper technique when they are in the early stages of learning.
2.  Teach skill rhythms first, then refine the movements.  Athletes can learn and recall rhythmic movements more quickly than isolated movements, just as rhymes are more readily remembered than disconnected words in verbal learning.
3.  Chunk movements.  Movements can be learned more quickly if they are "chunked", or grouped, into larger movements.  Break skills down only as much as necessary.  Overanalysis causes paralysis.
 4.  Make new skills meaningful.  Explain and demonstrate a new skill so that the athlete understands what is required and why it is executed that way.  Clarify how a skill, movement, or strategy will help the athlete improve sport performance.
5.  Associate new skills and concepts with well learned skills.  Capitalize on an athlete's previous experience and maturity level by suggesting mental images that associate new skill concepts and features with familiar ones.
6.  Point out specific cues that require the athlete's attention.  Intention to remember alerts an athlete to important aspects of a skill or game situation.  The ability to focus and remember key cues distinguishes beginners from skilled performers.
7.  Overlearn skills to correct errors.  Practice skills beyond what is necessary to perform them properly in order to correct technique flaws and reinforce skilled movements.
Sport skill memory techniques such as these are only a few of the many coaching tools that can streamline sports training time while boosting sport performance. 
Magill, R.A. (2001). Motor learning: Concepts and applications (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Schmidt, R.A. & Wrisberg, C.A. (2000). Motor learning and performance: A problem-based 
learning approach
 (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Wrisberg, C.A. (2007). Sport skill instruction for coaches. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Sarah Hudek adjusting to College | College Baseball Daily


Hudek is flying under the radar as far as a national news story goes compared to say a Mo' ne Davis -- and there are various reason for that -- but as the story indicates she is not the first to get to this level of play and she certainly will not be the last. Being a LHP will help. A knock-out secondary pitch would help, but she is the daughter of an ex-big leaguer, so that will help as well.

She would get more attention if there some "other" socially significant back stories that could be attached to her ascent, but WTH? She deserves kudos for advancing to this level and bears watching moving forward.

from College Baseball Daily:
Sarah Hudek adjusting to College | College Baseball Daily:
Sarah Hudek the first female to play college baseball in Louisiana and one of the the first in the country is adjusting to life at Bossier Parish Community College where she is a member of the 58 student athletes on the squad.

“I was really nervous coming here and not knowing what to expect, but the guys have been very accepting,” said Hudek, whose grandparents live in southeast Shreveport. “It’s been an adjustment for me, as well as for them. But the meshing has gone well so far, and I’m excited.”

Hudek is one of 58 student-athletes on the BPCC squad, but the only one who doesn’t dress in the parking lot. The baseball team doesn’t have a clubhouse with a shower, so the guys change clothes wherever they can, or wait until they get home.
'via Blog this'

Do the Patriots cheat? It sure seems like there's a lot of smoke according to

Image result for patriots cheat

Some of this goes back a while, but it is a pretty lengthy article. This is what they do, this is who they are. It's in their DNA.

They've created a culture where that type of behavior is encouraged and rewarded," one team executive says. "Everybody there is supposed to make the visitor uncomfortable—do everything that is borderline against the rules, but clearly against the principles of good sportsmanship."
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Sent from my iPhone

Tom Brady is a popular player, therefore he must be defended and the system attacked, I have said that all along. So we don't condone cheating under any circumstances when we're talking about an unpopular player, but it's somehow OK once a popular "baby dolphin" gets snared in the fishing net.

I don't entirely agree with the Brandon Marshall Theory that it's all about race, because in baseball they would have attacked the system just as virulently if Derek Jeter was ever snared in the net and I think they do the same for say a Russell Wilson. But I understand the sentiment.  It's more about popularity than race, but mainstream popularity is skewed somewhat by race. 

PG Notebook: East Wins Game That Leads Into 18U Trials -

These are the guys that are going to appear at the top of most of the 2016 MLB mock draft lists. Guaranteed. No doubt about it.

from Baseball America:

Michael AmditisCBoca Raton, Fla.Video
Ian AndersonRHPRexford, N.Y.
Daniel BakstIFNew York
William BensonIF/OFAtlantaVideo
Austin BergnerRHPWindermere, Fla.
Jordan ButlerLHPOdessa, Fla.
Hagen DannerRHP/CHuntington Beach, Calif.
Braxton GarrettLHPFlorence, Ala.
Kevin GowdyRHPSanta Barbara, Calif.
Hunter GreeneOF/LHPStevenson Ranch, Calif.
Cooper JohnsonCMundelein, Ill. Video
Reggie LawsonRHPAdelanto, Calif. Video
Morgan McCulloughIFSeattle
Mickey MoniakOFEncinitas, Calif.Video
Nick PrattoIF/LHPHuntington Beach, Calif.
Nicholas QuintanaIFLas Vegas
Ryan RolisonLHPJackson, Tenn.
Blake RutherfordOFSimi Valley, Calif.
Cole StobbeIFOmaha, Neb.
Forrest WhitleyRHPSan Antonio

Monday, September 07, 2015

The Mets are eating their young again

Embedded image permalink

Here it comes, the Mets reverting to the Mutts once again. Talk about a franchise that can't seem to embrace prosperity. Talk about hypocrisy. There is not one person, whether it be Nolan Ryan or any one of these pseudo-tough talkers -- hiding behind a newspaper column or a Twitter pseudonym -- who if faced with the same scenario outlined to Matt Harvey by both his surgeon and his agent, wouldn't do exactly the same thing, which is act in his own long-term self-interest. Period!! Should be end of story.

But no. We're talking about the Mutts here.

from the NY Post:
To be fair, again, Harvey, in his first year back from 2013 Tommy John surgery, shouldn't be criticized one iota about being concerned over his health, or about not being "all in" or any of that macho nonsense. It speaks poorly of our society in general, and of the baseball industry in particular, that Washington's Stephen Strasburg and his representative Scott Boras (who is of course Harvey's agent, too) and the Nationals still get guff for constructing a plan that kept Strasburg out of the 2012 playoffs yet ultimately succeeded in keeping the right-hander's surgically repaired arm intact.
No, this is all about Harvey wanting it both ways and being a nuisance both ways. He surely increased Advil sales among Mets employees with his incessant whining about everything from not wanting to rehabilitate in Port St. Lucie last year to wanting to pitch in a 2014 game to not liking the team's six-man rotation. And then, here in the stretch drive, he suddenly found religion on health matters after being opposed to them for so long.
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Sent from my iPhone

And when Harvey gets tired of being the villain he can become the King of Gotham in Yankee pinstripes just as  easily as he can in Mets second-class pinstripes. So be careful what you wish for Mutts fans, you just might get it, good and hard.

To the Mets, Matt Harvey is an expendable part. If he blows out an elbow for good, here comes Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndegaard or Zach Wheeler or Stephen Maatz or any one of a number of seemingly endless pitching prospects until one day you wake up and you've run out of pitching elbows to blow out and you're back in the bottom of the division, where you seem to be more comfortable.

The Mets need a surgeon who can do a brain transplant collectively on the organization and the culture surrounding the team rather than one that can continuously and endlessly perform Tommy John Surgery on young pitching prospects. And I will say if you think that Matt Harvey in any way shape or form needs a heart transplant given the circumstances then that to me is proof positive that, from a baseball standpoint, you might need a brain transplant.

And we hear time and time again, with nauseating repetition, from Mets announcers and pundits how smart and well informed Mets fans are.  Read some of the comments from the NY Post article referenced above and make THAT case for me again. Pure garbage.

And using a Nolan Ryan quote from a pitcher who started his career playing under the shackles of The Reserve Clause is a totally asinine comparison from the Mets Twitter site. Granted they, as an organization,  might pine romantically for a return to such a bygone era, but it sure does display their organizational bias, mind-set and ignorance. Maybe they have forgotten how Tom Seaver was run out of town. Or maybe they remember. I'm not sure which is worse.

Good Luck Mets, trash your product, eat your young and grind out them elbows. See how far you get. The height of organizational douche-baggery IMO.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

The FREE CLAYTON BLACKBURN!!! movement gains momentum

This is either a tragically sad case of confirmation bias rearing its ugly head or a wonderful example of great minds thinking alike. FREE CLAYTON BLACKBURN!!

from Baseball America:

14. Clayton Blackburn, rhp, Giants
Team: Triple-A Sacramento (Pacific Coast)
Age: 22
Why He's Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 SO
The Scoop: After Blackburn missed the first month and then endured a rough May, he has rebuilt his stock unlike any pitcher in the Giants organization. Scouts were perplexed when Blackburn's stuff backed up early in the season, perhaps because he was rehabbing a shoulder injury. Whatever the case, he had a tremendous second half, finishing with a 1.98 ERA in August.
Sent from my iPhone

Friday, September 04, 2015

2015 All-Cape Cod Baseball League Team Announced | College Baseball Daily

One of these guys will be a future Giant if prior history is a guide. I'm just not sure right now which one. To me the guys to watch in next years draft and the guys I would like to see in the Giants system would be:

  • Ryan Boldt OF Nebraska
  • Kyle Lewis OF Mercer
  • Errol Robinson SS Mississippi
  • Cavan Biggio IF Notre Dame
  • Tommy Edman IF Stanford
  • Michael Paez IF Coastal Carolina
  • Bobby Dalbec OF Arizona

from College Baseball Daily:
2015 All-Cape Cod Baseball League Team Announced | College Baseball Daily:

The West Division champion Hyannis Harbor Hawks led the way with seven players named to the 2015 Cape Cod Baseball League Year-End All-League Team.
Hyannis All-League performers included shortstop Errol Robinson (Mississippi), outfielders Corey Bird (Marshall) and Jacob Noll (Florida Gulf Coast), DH Austin Hays (Jacksonville) and pitchers Nick Deeg (Central Michigan), Aaron Civale (Northeastern) and Dakota Hudson (Mississippi St.).
Cape League Most Valuable Player and Top Pro Prospect Nick Senzel (Tennessee) of Brewster, who hit .364 with four homers and league-leading 33 RBIs and was named Summer League Player of the Year, is the All-League third baseman.
Batting champion Andrew Calica (UC-Santa Barbara) of Wareham, the first Cape League batter to hit better than .400 since 1990 with a .425 average, is an All-League outfielder, while Outstanding Pitcher Mitchell Jordan (Stetson) of Orleans, who was 6-0 and tied Eric Milton’s modern era record with a 0.21 ERA, was an All-League pitcher.
“After an exhaustive and in-depth analysis of every player, we’ve identified our final roster that comprises this talented all-star team,” CCBL Commissioner Paul Galop said. “The Cape League has so much talent at every position a process such as this is extremely difficult. We believe this team has been established through a fair and extraordinarily deep process involving several league officials.”
Filling out the All-League infield were first baseman J.J. Matijevic (Arizona) and second baseman Nick Solak (Louisville) of Bourne. Utility infielders included Tommy Edman (Stanford) of the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox and Michael Paez (Coastal Carolina) of Cotuit.
Joining Calica, Bird and Noll in the All-League outfield are Toby Handley (Stony Brook) of Brewster, Kyle Lewis (Mercer) of Orleans, and Heath Quinn (Samford) of Falmouth. Utility outfielders are Bobby Dalbec (Arizona) of Orleans and Adam Pate (North Carolina) of Harwich.
The other DH is Gio Brusa (Pacific) of Y-D while catchers are Cassidy Brown (Loyola Marymount) and Will Haynie (Alabama) of Cotuit.
Rounding out the All-League pitching staff are Evan Hill (Michigan) of Wareham, Eric Lauer (Kent State) of Orleans, Ricky Thomas (Fresno St.) of Y-D, who was a perfect 7-0 with a 1.02 ERA, Jon Woodcock (Virginia Tech) of Cotuit, big southpaw Ben Bowden (Vanderbilt) of Y-D, flame-throwing Ian Hamilton (Washington St.) of Wareham and Brandon Miller (Millersville) of Chatham.
The bullpen consisted of closers Austin Conway (Indiana St.) of Bourne and Thomas Hackimer (St. John’s) of Brewster.
“Congratulations to all members of this Cape Cod Baseball League Year-End All-Star Team,” Galop said. “They all have earned and deserved this recognition.”
More than 1,100 Cape League alumni have gone on to perform in the major leagues, including a record 276 in 2014. The CCBL again led all collegiate summer leagues with more than 200 players drafted overall, including 14 in the first round during the 2015 Major League Baseball Player Draft.
– See more at:
'via Blog this'

[UAC News] Bondarchuk interview

A lot of good training stuff in this interview with one of the all-time, world-wide greats in the industry. But this thought is specific to baseball training and what Bondarchuk call "a problem in the head", the focus on maximum strength to the detriment of maximum speed.

Martin: Is this approach just for the throws, or for all speed sports? For example in baseball or boxing you need speed and the implements weigh less or weigh nothing. Would your approach change there?
Bondarchuk: Every kind of sport is different and you need to think about the specific needs. Baseball needs a lot of explosive muscles. Even within throwing events there are differences. Let's say that your tonnage for a hammer thrower is broken up into 50% for maximum strength development and 50% for maximum speed. In the javelin it might be 30% for maximum strength and 70% for maximum speed. Every sport is a little different. The question is always: what do I need for my athlete.
But it is not 100% maximum strength. This is big problem in the United States. This is a problem in the head. Everyone thinks they need maximum strength for the past 50 years. They think that with maximum strength comes maximum speed. This is an old idea. Forget about it; it's a mistake. Some sports like track and field need maximum speed. Without maximum speed you cannot have a maximum result. Maximum strength is a tractor. Maximum speed is a Ferrari. This is a different car, a different idea.

Below is an interview that Martin Bingisser, Jake Jensen and I worked on together with the great Dr Bondarchuk. I think it will provoke some thought and discussion amongst coaches. You can find his new book here,

I've done training talks with dozens of the best coaches and athletes around the world. But while I talk to him often about training, I have yet to sit down for a training talk with the one man that has influence my thoughts on training the most: my coach for ten year Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk. Part of the reason is that I am now more interested in learning new viewpoints. Another reason is that answering the same old questions can frustrate the old man. But with the help of Yosef Johnson and Jake Jensen I was finally able to get him on the record about some questions are of interest to myself and should be of interest to coaches from any sport.

I doubt it is possible for a reader of this site to not know Bondarchuk. But just in case, I will give a short intro: he is a former Olympic champion and world record holder who went on to coach numerous other Olympic champions and world record holders. Suffice to say, he is one of the most successful coaches of all time in any sport. He is also a revolutionary thinker on training methodology, publishing some great books on training methodology for all sports:
·          Champion School: A Year to Year Model for Developing Athletes – His latest book which Idiscussed in detail earlier this week.
·          Olympian Manual for Size and Strength – A guide to developing different types of strength.Check out a detailed review and summary of each chapter here.
·          Transfer of Training in Sports – Is most popular text on the concept of transfer of training.Read the review here.
·          Transfer of Training in Sports – The follow up, also reviewed on this site.
We also offer some package discounts if you buy multiple books. Sales help support this site and allow us to keep producing great content. While the translations can be difficult at times, I am always happy to work through the text with people who purchase them through our site. In addition he has also self-published several texts on periodization, including a new volume as well as a book on throwing that we will profile this month.
So with that in mind, let's jump right in.
Martin: What would you say makes your planning methods the most unique?
Bondarchuk: I use a different periodization theory. There are 42 methods of periodization I have outlined, but the general idea is that my athletes will reach four, five, or even six peak conditions each year. In the United States with most methods athletes have one peak each year. This is first main difference of my approach.
Everybody makes mistakes. If your peak condition takes one year you are finished. You lost that year. If you make a mistake again then you lose another year. My system is different. For example I will give my athletes a program with certain intensity, volume, and exercises. After two or three months they will reach peak condition. If the result did not grow then I made a mistake. Then I give another system for the second peak condition. If again the results do not grow I try again. If the first time there is no growth, the second time no growth, but the third time a little growth then I learned what works. With six peak conditions each year you have time to learn and make mistakes. Everybody needs different training and you learn this way what is best. The standard approach is to have a preparation period, competition period, and rest period. We need to change our minds. We do not need to use the whole year for one development period.
Martin: And another central theme is transfer of training. Which method and exercises you choose is tightly connected with transfer.
Bondarhuk: This is the second difference. There is a big problem in America concerning the development of strength. For 40 years coaches have been saying maximum strength will increase dynamic speed. It is time to change our minds about this. There are different types of strength. For example if you do a full squat, your body is moving maximum 1 or 2 meters per second. If you shot put your body moves up to 16 meters per second for an elite results. In the hammer throw it is moving at 32 meters per second. Do not need to always think about maximum strength. Think about explosive muscles. It's maximum speed not maximum strength. If you change mind you will start using different methods.
Yuri Sedykh training with Bondarchuk
Martin: Yuri Sedykh was one of your top athletes. He was two-time Olympic champion, yet never had the maximum strength numbers of his competitors, correct?
Bondarchuk: Yuri did not have huge the muscles of the other athletes. But he threw far because he used a different system. We trained together 20 years and during this time he did not use full squats. He would only sometimes use half squats, but not with 250 or 300 kilograms, but doing 180-kilograms fast.
I also like to talk about my friend. Back in 1962 he had bench press result of 320 kilograms. In the full squat he did 350 kilograms. But he only threw 17.20 meters in the shot put. Christian Cantwell for example, has around a 305 kilogram bench and over 22 meters in the shot put. And Al Feuerbach could only bench about 165 kilogramsbut set the world record at 21.81 meters in 1973. But Feuerbach had fantastic explosive muscles.
Martin: Are you referring to fast twitch muscles when you are talking about "explosive" muscles?
Bondarchuk: You need to think about athletes with explosive muscles. Athletes have two kinds of muscle fiber: slow and fast types. If athletes have 70% slow and 30% fast they will not get a good result. You need to find athletes with 70% or more explosive muscles.
In my new book about throwing I have some statistics about what levels of strength are needed. If you look at the men's discus throwers 65 meters we saw the worst athletes around 125 kilograms in the snatch and the best athletes at 165 kilograms. If worst result is 125 kilograms and this is enough for 65 or 70 meters, then you do not need 165 kilograms. In the hammer Yuri Sedykh had a snatch of 120kg. Tibor Gecsek had 160kg. The same was the case in the clean, Yuri had 165 kilograms and Gecsek had 205 kilograms. Even I had a result of 190 kilograms, but I only threw 77.42 meters and he threw 86.74 meters. He not have big results in snatch and clean, but he had explosive muscle.
Martin: The amount of muscle is mostly predetermined, but we can still develop it to get the most out of what we have. How do you go about developing this explosive muscles?
Bondarchuk: In training you need to use the explosive muscle. If you are looking for maximum strength in the snatch and you can only do 100kg, then use 40 or 50 or 60 kilograms to develop speed in training. This is a different idea. Think about speed, speed, speed, fast, fast, fast.
There are lots of methods though to develop all types of strength. You must choose for your athletes. Some athletes need 90-95% to develop maximum strength. Others need 80-85%. Somebody uses 80% and results grow. Others use it and after their results go down. Everybody is different; different muscle, different everything. You must know this general idea and after the general idea you must transfer to your athlete. This is true for all parts of training. For example with heavy implements in the hammer throw; somebody needs an 8-kilogram hammer, somebody a 12-kilogram hammer. Everybody must first use the scientific general idea and then individualize it.
No scientist or coach can tell you what to do. Everyone is different, and what works also changes. If you find a system that works for a 16 meter shot putter, it must change to keep working as the body grows. If athlete has 16 meters you can do 50-60 tons per month. With 18 meters you might need 100 tons. You need to think about long term training and each peak condition needs to be a better system.
Martin: If you are lifting a lot at submaximial intensities is it faster just because the weight is less, or do the athletes also attempt to move it as fast as possible?
Bondarchuk: You always ask the question to yourself: what do I need for my athlete. If you want speed you must move it fast. Some people say for development maximum strength need 90%. But 60% can also develop maximum strength. For example many reps at 60% can have same effect as one rep at 90%. But you also develop speed strength with this weight. If you just use 90% you do not develop speed. No big speed. If athlete needs to think about speed, they need use this zone. If intensity is down, you can move faster. But you also have to pay attention since more repetitions can cause exhaustion. If your athlete is exhausted that will not promote speed.
Martin: Often in our training we are using sets with five reps. Is there anything special about this number?
Bondarchuk: There is not a big difference between 5 and 6 reps; the results are the same. There is just a big difference between 1 or 2 reps and 15 reps. But between 5 and 6 reps there is not much difference. Again you need to see what is best for your athlete.
Martin: Is this approach just for the throws, or for all speed sports? For example in baseball or boxing you need speed and the implements weigh less or weigh nothing. Would your approach change there?
Bondarchuk: Every kind of sport is different and you need to think about the specific needs. Baseball needs a lot of explosive muscles. Even within throwing events there are differences. Let's say that your tonnage for a hammer thrower is broken up into 50% for maximum strength development and 50% for maximum speed. In the javelin it might be 30% for maximum strength and 70% for maximum speed. Every sport is a little different. The question is always: what do I need for my athlete.
But it is not 100% maximum strength. This is big problem in the United States. This is a problem in the head. Everyone thinks they need maximum strength for the past 50 years. They think that with maximum strength comes maximum speed. This is an old idea. Forget about it; it's a mistake. Some sports like track and field need maximum speed. Without maximum speed you cannot have a maximum result. Maximum strength is a tractor. Maximum speed is a Ferrari. This is a different car, a different idea.
Martin: People often think you are trying to say that maximum strength is not important. But that isn't the case at all. You are just saying that you only need so much of it, correct?
Bondarchuk: It is not that you need one or the other. You need everything. You just have to decide what level of each do you need. But what is enough level? We talked about this before. For example with Feuerbach he had just 165 kilograms in the bench, but Cantwell has over 300 kilograms and both threw around 22 meters. Maybe 165 is enough for 22 meters. And 300 is definitely more than enough.
Martin: Obviously this is not the only approach to training. People have thrown far with other systems too. What makes this system better.
Bondarchuk: One more thing. I told you about my system. But there are lots of good systems. Other systems like the German or US system have good results. I think my system is not bad, but others work too. Try it. If the system does not give result try something else. Every coach makes mistakes. A coach just needs to admit when he is wrong, and study all the time to find the right answer. I change my system every five years.
For example I have athletes come to me and want to try some new exercise or method. I have no problem trying another system. Dylan could already bench press over 200 kilogram when I started coaching him, but he kept talking about how Cantwell and bench press over 300 kilograms. I told him it didn't have transfer, but he kept asking. So we said we would try it one program with more volume and intensity. He thought if he could increase it, then he could throw further. After two months he had a bench press of 240 kilograms already. His best result in the shot put the previous season was 21.40 meters, but his training results went down to 19.65 meters. So I asked Dylan: does it have transfer or not? That is the question for all coaches.

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Giants Top Minor League Prospects

  • 1. Tyler Beede 6-4, 215 RHP from Vanderbilt projects as top of the rotation starter when he works out his command/control issues. When he misses, he misses by a bunch.
  • 2. Kyle Crick 6-4,220 RHP Power pitcher in the Matt Cain mold. High K-rate comes with High BB-rate. Low 90's FB with sink. Can be a top of the rotation starter once command/control issues ironed out. Mechanics are sound.
  • 3. Christian Arroyo 6-1, 180 SS very efficient with the bat, good hitting approach, test will be how he handles advanced pitching
  • 4. Adalberto Mejia 6-3,195 LHP Throws strikes and mixes pitches well. Good secondary stuff, projects as middle rotation guy. Keeps ball down and gets outs.
  • 5. Clayton Blackburn 6-3, 220 RHP Good low 90's FB with sink, excellent command of stuff, good secondary pitches. His 8.64 K/BB ratio is off the charts efficient.
  • 6. Ty Blach 6-1, 210 LHP Glavine comps will give him a chance to rise fast.
  • 7. Steven Okert 6-3, 210 LHP Oklahoma product, another power lefty prospect.
  • 8. Mac Williamson 6-4, 240 OF Wake Forest grad with five-tool potential if he hits advanced pitching.
  • 9. Aramis Garcia 6-2, 220 C from Florida INTL projects as a good bat behind the dish with enough defensive skill to play there long-term
  • _10. Chris Stratton 6-3, 185 RHP Mississippi State Decent four-pitch mix, solid pitching frame. Can run FB to 94 MPH with movement. Throws SL/CB, with the slider the better of the two.
  • _11. Chase Johnson 6-3, 185 RHP from Cal State SLO, strong arm, projects as mnid to low rotation starter or middle relief bullpen arm
  • _12. Daniel Carbonell 6-2, 215 Cuban signee, speedy, switch-hitting CF with power potential. Could be a five-tool player if he hits.
  • _13. Ryder Jones 6-2, 200 3B polished bat with some pop. Good athleticism for the corner IF
  • _14. Joan Gregorio 6-7, 180 RHP potential closer material
  • _15. Derek Law 6-2, 210 RHP power arm with some deceptiveness in his delivery, could be a dark horse to contribute in 2014
  • _16. Sam Coonrod 6-3, 215 RHP Hard-thrower got off to a good start in rookie ball, impressed with high K/BB ratio. Needs to keep ball in the yard.
  • _17. Martin Agosta 6-1, 180 RHP FB up to 94 mph with some sink. Plus secondary stuff, shows ability to mix pitches.
  • _18. Gustavo Cabrera 6-0, 190 OF INTL signee, 16 year-old compared to Justin Upton. Injuries slowed his progress in 2014
  • _19. Dylan Davis 6-0,215 OF Good size and speed package from Oregon State. Has a good arm so may challenge in RF down the road.
  • _20. Austin Slater 6-2, 215 2B well-schooled from Stanford Univ. via The Bolles School in Jacksonville FL good size, speed combo with hit tool playing well through AA. Line drive, gap hitter with 15HR power potential
  • _2015.Draft: Phil Bickford 6-5, 205 RHP | Chris Shaw 6-3, 230 1B | Andrew Suarez 6-2,185 LHP | Jalen Miller 5-10, 175 SS | Mac Marshall 6-0, 180 LHP | Steven Duggar 6-1, 170 CF | Jose Vizcaino 6-3, 200 3B | C.J. Hinojosa 5-11, 175 SS | Lucius Fox 6-2, 170 SS

2016 Top MLB College Draft Prospects

  • 1. Alec Hansen 6-7, 235 RHP Oklahoma
  • 2. Robert Tyler 6-4, 215 RHP Georgia
  • 3. A.J. Puk 6-7, 225 LHP Florida
  • 4. Connor Jones 6-3, 200 RHP Virginia
  • 5. Nick Banks 6-0, 200 OF Texas A&M

2016 MLB Draft - Top National HS Players

  • 1. Riley Pint 6-4, 195 RHP St. Thomas Aquinas HS (HS)
  • 2. Blake Rutherford 6-3, 190 OF Chaminade College Prep HS (CA)
  • 3. Austin Bergner 6-4, 195 RHP Windermere Prep (FL)
  • 4. Jason Groome 6-6, 180 LHP IMG Academy (FL)
  • 5. Jeff Belge 6-4, 235 LHP Henninger HS (NY)

2016 Top Tampa Bay Area High School Baseball Players

  • 1. Bo Bichette 6-0, 200 3B/2B Lakewood HS (STP) Son of former major leaguer Dante Bichette, unconventional swing generates plus bat speed and power to all fields. Athletic and shows good instincts defensively.
  • 2. Jordan Butler 6-1, 180 LHP Alonso HS (Tampa) Heavy FB and above avg. slider. Florida commit (JR)
  • 3. Conor Grady 6-2, 185 RHP Tampa Catholic HS (Tampa) Sinking 88-90 FB, workable CB and change (JR)

2016 Top MLB HS Draft Prospects (NW Suburban Chicago Area)

  • Anthony Holubecki 6-4, 195 RHP Kaneland HS/IMG Academy(FL) Notre Dame commit easy 93 MPH FB. Another top of the draft talent.
  • Brady Huffman 6-2, 165 RHP Genoa-Kingston HS Illinois State commit. Lanky frame, cruises 85-88 with FB, CB has some depth, efficient delivery and arm action.
  • Brenden Heiss 6-1, 200 RHP Jacobs HS Arkansas commit, can reach 95 MPH on FB, workable CB and CH. Power arm, but struggles with control at times.
  • Copper Johnson 6-0, 200 C Carmel Catholic HS Strong receiver with quick feet and throws well 1.85-1.90 pop time. Clean RH stroke with gap to gap power. Ole Miss commit.
  • Joe Dittmar 6-2, 205 RHP/3B Richmond-Burton HS Wichita State commit. Good two-way prospect can hit and has soft hands in IF. cruises late 80's with FB can goose it up to 92. Power arm/power bat.
  • Nick Derr 5-11, 160 SS Geneva HS/IMG Academy (FL) Florida State commit, top of the draft talent, athletic three-sport standout, with sub 7.0 - 60 yd dash speed and arm strength to play QB