As a former Infiniti Sports Performance athlete and now a performance trainer at ISP, November has always been particularly significant in my life. This month means both the end of the baseball season and the beginning of a new off-season. I still remember my first session at ISP in November of 2004; the BOSU squats, the lunges, push-ups on a physioball, etc. Even more vividly, I remember trying to navigate the hallways of William Floyd High School the next day with sore legs. From that day on I had always seen the month of November as the doorway towards becoming not just a better pitcher, but a better athlete. Now is the time to begin growing both physically, mentally, and learning about the process of being a well-trained athlete. November is the time to commit fully to the idea that when March comes there will be zero doubt in your mind that your preparation has far surpassed your opponents. I attribute most of my success as a pitcher to the mental advantage of knowing how much more effort I expended in my ISP training sessions than everyone around me. If you commit to the process of preparation and gain as much knowledge as you can (by asking questions) you will be able to not only train hard but train smart!
The notion of “training smart” resonates deeply with my experience as an athlete because I have experienced a handful of injuries resulting from the doing the complete opposite. One particular incident rings home not just with me, but also our Executive Director, Ray Babinsky. In the summer of 2004, before I knew ISP existed, one of my very good friends at the time invited me to join him for a workout at a local gym. Without much consideration I complied because as an athlete it always seems like a good idea to get stronger! When we were at the inclined rowing machine I noticed that the weight he had been doing was feeling really heavy. Being the competitive athlete I am I could not let my smaller friend lift more weight than me and I muscled through our three sets. The next