This summer was our first year running our Summer Grind Course here at True Grind Systems. This course was geared towards college athletes, but anyone who was not playing summer baseball could attend. The program was designed to be intense and would cause more harm than good to anyone playing competitively.
Our goal was to combine the strength and conditioning training, preventive care, education and the skill training that we offer our professional players in the off-season. The program lasted for 12 weeks and we recorded 18 different athletes. Not all were hitters and not all were pitchers and some just chose to strength train for various reasons.
Testing & Assessing:
Each athlete began with a complete assessment, known as our Total Performance Screen (TPS). More than the average Functional Movement Screen, the TPS was a main factor in the program’s success. It was the first step to creating an effective training program completely individualized to each athlete and their specific needs. It helped reduce the risk of injury and increase the efficiency by identifying any dysfunction within their body. The TPS looks at:
- Static Posture
- Breathing Habits
- Passive & Active Range of Motion
- Joint Stability
- Muscle Health & Activation
- Motor Control
- Dynamic Movement Patterns
Without assessing, we are only guessing.
After their Total Performance Screen, all the players moved on to baseline performance testing. Testing the player’s abilities allows us to ensure that the program is properly developing the athletes. We can use the data to set realistic goals and track their progress.
We made sure to keep the order of the tests specific to maintain consistency and gather the most accurate numbers possible.
First we got all of the speed and power numbers:
- 10-yard Dash
- 5-10-5 Pro Shuttle
- Vertical Jump
- Broad Jump
- Keiser Power Chop
Then preceded to skill benchmarks for hitting and pitching:
- Top Exit Velocity
- Average Exit Velocity
- Max Distance
- Top Velocity
- Average Velocity
During the process of gathering all the information, each athlete was assessed based on their mechanics and videoed for teaching, tracking, and tunneling.
Finally we end the testing with gathering their strength numbers.
- Squat Estimated 1-Rep Max
- Bench Estimated 1-Rep Max
- Deadlift Estimated 1-Rep Max
To get the estimated maxes the athletes worked up to a weight that we both believed he could perform 1-10 reps with. Ideally we were shooting for a weight that the athlete could max out 6-7 reps. Afterwards, I plugged the weight and the number of reps into a program that averages 7 different formulas that are used to estimate 1-rep maxes. I find it to be incredibly accurate and a lot safer for the athlete.
Our hitters came in at 8 am, four days a week and worked for 2 hours in the cage. Using our HiTtrax, we gathered their metrics and tracked their progress. Our goal was to not just give them a better swing, but make them better hitters as well. We wanted them to leave with the ability to hit a multitude of pitches harder and farther with a repeatable swing that they understood.
The pitchers got started at 10 am and, like the hitters, worked relentlessly on pitching four days out of the week. Our goal was to increase velocity and preserve their longevity. Doing this while, honing their accuracy and effectiveness to increase their confidence against deadly hitters. We used tools like Driveline, Core Velocity Belt to help teach the mechanics of pitching and we used the Rapsodo to track their metrics on velocity, spin rate and spin efficiency.
Athletes had the rest of the afternoon to complete their daily workout. The strength and conditioning portion of The Summer Grind consisted of six days a week of training with 4 resistance days and 2 movement days. Our objective was to deliver a scientific and proven approach to increase strength, speed and power that will directly transfer to the field. All of that while maintaining a highly competitive, safe atmosphere that delivers the energy & accountability for success.
True Grind systems is dedicated to delivering an unprecedented product designed to keep athletes healthy and performing at the highest level, but there is no way that’s possible without the trust from our athletes. So, on behalf of everyone at True Grind Systems we thank each and every athlete that participated in our first Summer Grind program. Their commitment and dedication to the program and to themselves was the reason we saw such incredible results.
The amount of time and attention to detail these guys put in day after day not only made themselves better but it made our staff better. We learned so much from this summer and are looking forward to making some adjustments and coming back next year with an even better product.