This past weekend we had the opportunity to be a part of a MLBPAA Legends for Youth Clinic and it was such a wonderful experience! According to their website, “Phil Niekro, Brooks Robinson and Harmon Killebrew have taken time to participate in the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Legends for Youth Clinic Series. The Alumni Association has conducted dozens of free clinics and helped thousands of children over the years. Our mission is to provide a fun, positive baseball experience; to provide children with positive role models at our life skills station, where we talk to them about substance abuse, stress the importance of education and help them recognize they have the ability to make positive decisions; and, to teach young ballplayers the game’s fundamentals in a multi-station format.”
The kids were aged 6-16 and it was great to see how much they already love the game of baseball. The clinic was divided into stations: base running, hitting, infield, outfield, catching, and strength & conditioning (that’s us!) with about 10-15 kids per station.
Most of the kids already had a sense of what it feels like to be unable to help your team because you’re stuck in the dugout with an injury. Some of the other stations mentioned injury prevention (at the infielders station the kids were taught not to make divots in the dirt because it can cause the ball to take a bad hop leading to potential injury and the importance of always keeping your eye on the ball was mentioned throughout the clinic), but that was our main focus. We tried to emphasize that although some injuries are accidents that can’t be avoided, by taking care of your body (by stretching , staying committed to your strength and conditioning program, etc.) you are putting yourself in the best possible position to stay on the field and out of the dugout.
It’s amazing how big a difference a simple strength training routine can make in a young player’s development. I’m planning on posting an infographic tomorrow that shows the variety of benefits training with ExcelCord can provide, but some of them include better balance, stronger mechanics, and more efficient movement. We had some of the older kids try a few throws without ExcelCord, with it, and then without it again. The difference between the before and after was incredible and made us even more excited (if that’s even possible) to get it out to every athlete in the country. If you have any questions about training with ExcelCord, please don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you’re interested in attending a future Legends for Youth clinic, you can find the complete schedule here. MLBPAA is a fantastic organization and does a great job with their events. And somehow kids seem to listen a little better when a former Major League Baseball player is telling them to stay away from drugs…