As an athlete, how have your expectations of a training program and the coach/trainer changed from high school to college and throughout your professional career? When I was in high school I didn't workout. I just didn't know any better and was taught that playing different sports throughout the year was important. I went to college at Ole Miss and instantly noticed bigger stronger athletes. I remember thinking, How am I going to compete for playing time when everyone is stronger? From that day forward I realized how important it is to train in order to maximize the abilities God has given me. My expectation in college was to get jacked… that's it! Haha. I had no education outside of how good does my body look in the mirror and I hope this means I will hit more homers. When I became a professional baseball player my expectations changed dramatically because my education grew. Without talking to people in the training field, researching online, talking to other professional athletes, and trial and error I would never be where I'm at today. My expectation now is to get as functionally strong as I can to play 162 games a year… that's it!
What factor (certain movement, personality trait, environment, etc.) of a coach/trainer do you value the most? What I value most in my trainer is his education/knowledge and his ability to get the most out of me daily. A good coach knows when to push me and when to just encourage me. I always believe the best arena to train in is with other athletes, especially older ones. Unfortunately, I don't have this luxury anymore but would strongly encourage others to do so. It will help you realize there is always someone bigger, faster, stronger and in return pushes you to reach your full capacity.
What factor of a coach/trainer frustrates you the most? Times when I get frustrated with a coach or the training world in general is how easy it is for them to point out your weaknesses or deficiencies without giving you a correct solution or plan on how to fix them. The easiest thing to do is watch someone perform and critique. One of the worst things you can do is share someone's shortcoming without a correct solution. I also get frustrated or even mad when I'm training and a coach belittles me.
How have you seen the field of performance and injury prevention change over the last 10 years? Where do you see the field of performance and injury prevention opportunities for growth? The field of performance and injury prevention has changed dramatically over last 10 years in my opinion. It still amazes me when I see athletes today, how strong and fast they are compared to just 10 years ago. I think in all sports this holds true! The professional sports industry continues to grow economically, therefore the education related to injury prevention does as well. In my opinion this is good for sports. More research is being done on athletes year after year. Millions of dollars is being spent annually on athletes to perform, so shouldn't research on how to keep the athlete on the field as well?
As a professional athlete I realize the only way to keep my job is to take care of my body. If my body breaks down and can't stay healthy I lose my job. It's that simple! I train to get strong enough to withstand a grueling 162 game season, not counting spring training or playoffs. This is why I train at Sparta Science. All the training places I have come across no one has the research, knowledge, and coaches that Sparta Science has! They have kept me on the field for multiple years now.