Texas Baseball Ranch December 2017



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Jill and I had a “very rough” business trip right after Thanksgiving this year. We traveled to the Southeastern Caribbean for an International Sports Group coaches’ clinic and spent nearly a week in Oranjestad, Aruba. As one might imagine, it was a really tough assignment. Just deciding what to wear was a challenge. The high every day was 84 and the low was 81. The breeze was 15 mph. It rained every day, albeit for 15 minutes. The sun was on full display every single day. The beaches and the water were stunningly beautiful. Like I said, tough assignment. Paradise for a week. The people of Aruba were warm, charming, and very concerned about our experience and whether we enjoyed ourselves enough to return. They needn’t have worried. Jill and I are veterans of the islands of the Caribbean and have visited well over 75 percent of the major islands, such as Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas,

the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Antigua, Barbuda, Grenada, and the Dominican Republic. We consider Aruba the very best of the best.

The Arubans LOVE their baseball — especially Xander Bogarts and Gene Kingsale, two native sons who have played major league baseball. Needless to say, young boys in Aruba are well-versed in the moves and behavior of MLB baseball players, especially players from Latin America. The clinic was an amazing experience. Special thanks to our ISG leader, Pete Caliendo from Chicago, and to Sherwin Howel and Jeanine Roga from Baseball Aruba.

–Ron Wolforth


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YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED IT … But You Don’t Have to Miss Out!

From lectures highlighting some of the most progressive and forward- thinking people in the game of baseball in 2017 to the hands-on demonstrations of practically applying that knowledge, and with reviews of some of the best practices of yesterday that have lasted the test of time to debuting some of today’s most cutting-edge and innovative processes for performance enhancement ... All of this over a four-day period at a remarkable facility and delivered with Texas charm, warmth, and hospitality.

“The Texas Baseball Ranch’s UPCBC is the premiere convention and learning opportunity for any coach. I have attended or purchased videos from other clinics and conferences, and nothing has compared to what is offered here each year. The UPCBC is second to none.” –Ryan Dupic, head coach, Concordia Lutheran University (NE)

Product Highlight

The 18th Annual Ultimate Pitching Coaches Boot Camp. All 18 speaker presentations are on tape, and you can get the entire set. If you train pitchers, you can’t afford to miss this information. Go to pitchingcoachesbootcamp.com. “I have been coaching for over 30 years and have attended and presented at many clinics. This clinic is the single most informative personal development clinic I have EVER attended!” –Dave Lawn, pitching coach, University of Arizona

AN ALL-TIME ATHLETE — AND A VEGAN How Scott Jurek Raced Into the History Books Eating Only Plants

During the Summer Olympics in Rio, McDonald’s opened a pop- up restaurant that offered athletes unlimited fast food. These competitors had trained for years, and yet there was a line out the door every single night. The rush for free McDonald’s meals highlighted a trend. Many athletes are less concerned about where their calories come from and more concerned with how many they consume. In the past, Michael Phelps’ famous 12,000-calorie diet included chocolate chip pancakes, energy drinks, and pizza. Does he really need that much sugar and sodium to fuel his body? One world-class athlete proves you don’t. Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek, considered one of the greatest runners of all time, accomplished more than any runner before him while fueling his body with nothing but plants. Scott, born in 1973, became a vegetarian at the age of 24 and a vegan at 26. Before that, he was a self-described “meat and potatoes” guy. “I grew up hating vegetables,” he says. “When I was in college, I started reading more about different diets … It became clear to me I needed to change.” Scott went off meat for the long-term benefits, which include the prevention of chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer, as

described in T. Colin and Thomas M. Campbell’s nutrition study “The China Study,” not for short-term performance gains. Since then, his typical daily diet has included a smoothie for breakfast, made with bananas, blueberries, coconut, essential oils, brown rice protein, and lacinato kale. For lunch, he eats a simple green salad. For dinner, he digs into a Vietnamese vermicelli bowl with tofu, cucumbers, pickled daikon and carrot, and Thai basil. Scott occasionally struggles with his mid-run snacks, but he’s found a handful of foods to enjoy on the go, like vegetarian sushi. He is always on the lookout for new foods and flavors to “keep food from becoming a chore.” Scott even helped Clif Bar develop Clif Organic Energy Food, a line of mid-run snacks for runners that include interesting, exotic flavors. As it turns out, all that healthy eating has worked. Scott won the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run 7 years in a row, the Spartathlon thrice, and the Badwater Ultramarathon — the world’s toughest footrace — twice. On top of that, he logged the fastest time ever on the Appalachian Trail, finishing it in 46 days, 8 hours, and 7 minutes. He did all that without ingesting any of the animal- based food products — eggs, chicken, fish, etc. — most world-class athletes eat daily. And he genuinely enjoyed it. “I love food,” he says, “and most people find that the transition (to plant-based eating) can be done quite easily.”



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THE TRUTH ABOUT WARMUPS Part 1: Why Most Warmups Fall Way Short

2) The players run a lap or run to center field and back.

In my opinion, one of the most frequent mistakes made by pitchers today is being significantly

3) The players circle up and perform a casual stretch.

4) The players then play catch to warm up, primarily backing up to 90–120 feet away.

underprepared for the volume (total workload) or the intensity of the stress placed on them by pitching at the highest levels of competition.

5) The players then come in and take a quick infield drill and then some dry swings or cuts off a tee.

6) For ELITE teams, the team has a quick live BP.

THIS MONTH IN BASEBALL HISTORY The Mitchell Report Shines a Light on the ‘Steroid Era’ Long before Senate committees and talk of asterisks next to records, the general public knew baseball had a steroid problem. It didn’t take a degree in biology to know that players’ bodies were growing just as fast as home run numbers were. Despite the formation of the MLB Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in 2002, the trend seemed to continue over the following years. In 2006, Commissioner Bud Selig appointed Senator George Mitchell to conduct an investigation into the problem. When the Mitchell Report was released on December 13, 2007, it shook the baseball world to its core. After 20 months of testimony and research, the Mitchell Report named nearly 100 active and former players as reported users of performance-enhancing drugs. The use was so widespread that the report concluded that “an exhaustive investigation attempting to identify every player that has used illegal substances would not be beneficial.” Household names like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Miguel Tejada were all included in the document. But from the ashes of this catastrophe rose a newly invigorated initiative to curb the use of PEDs in baseball. A decade after the Mitchell Report, the game is probably cleaner than it’s ever been. 7) Forty-five minutes prior to a game, the pitcher also does some light stretching or tubing. Thirty minutes before game time, he lightly tosses until the catcher backs up to about 120 feet or so. At the 15-minute mark, the pitcher throws a 20–30 pitch bullpen session. After that, he grabs his jacket, gets a drink of water, and sits down in the dugout. He’s obviously ready to go “blow em’ up!” Does any part of that process strike you as preparing yourself exceptionally well for throwing 100 mph or absolutely being ready for PEAK performance and dominating the opposing lineup from the first pitch? For example, if I knew later today I was going to run 100 meters for a gold medal, which would establish me as the best sprinter in the world today, would I prepare for that race in the same manner? I think the answer is obvious.

If there is one truism about us as human beings, it is that we often secretly hope the

job — any job — won’t be quite so arduous, complex, or difficult as we know deep in our subconscious that it probably will be.

As my father used to say, “Denial is not a river in Africa.”

See if you recognize this process:

1) The players arrive one hour prior to the game.

UPCOMING RANCH EVENTS ALUMNI CAMP January 20 and 21, 2018 (Saturday and Sunday) ELITE PITCHERS BOOT CAMPS January, 13-15, 2018 (Saturday-Monday) OUTSIDE ELITE PITCHERS BOOT CAMPS January 26-28, 2018, Fastball USA – Chicago February 9-11, 2018, MN Blizzard – Minneapolis AMERICAN BASEBALL COACHES CONVENTION January 4-7, 2018 – Indianapolis, IN

More information can be found at www.TexasBaseballRanch.com/events.


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www.texasbaseballranch.com 5451 Honea-Egypt Road Montgomery, TX 77316

(936) 588-6762 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

There’s Baseball in Paradise PAGE 1 Don’t Miss Out! PAGE 2 An All-Time Athlete — and a Vegan PAGE 2 Are Your Warmups Subpar? PAGE 3 This Month in Baseball History PAGE 3 Is PlayStation Vue for You? PAGE 4


If you’re fed up with your cable or satellite TV company, it’s time to get rid of those contracts and hidden fees. Today, streaming services like Sling TV and DirecTV NOW give viewers countless options for contract-free, subscription- based viewing, often at a fraction of the price of traditional cable TV. But there’s one service that’s turning heads. require a PlayStation console to use, is conquering cable in households across the nation. But how do you decide if this livestreaming service is right for you? PlayStation Vue works with PlayStation consoles, Amazon Fire TV, iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and Chromecast. It has an innovative, show-centric interface and offers profiles for different family members. With this and more, who knows? Maybe it’s time for you to cut the cord with your cable company. PlayStation Vue, a subscription- based service that doesn’t actually

PlayStation Vue’s pricing and packages are confusing, in part because the service’s local channel affiliate contracts are extremely complicated. Your channels and plans will depend on your location, and packages come in two varieties: with or without local channels. The packages that do not include local programming are called “slim.” PlayStation Vue packages range from 45 live channels at $30 per month to 90-plus channels at $75 per month. Each package gives you access to a variety of live TV channels, but it is important to note that PlayStation Vue does not feature Viacom-owned channels like MTV, MTV2, VH1, Spike, and Comedy Central. Standalone subscriptions are also available for a variety of channels, depending on your package. On Amazon, PlayStation Vue stands tall at 4.1 out of 5 stars, with reviews ranging from “Amazing. Period!” to “It doesn’t work.” Amazon reviewer S. Lewis said, “Nothing compares to Vue’s five streams at a time and no restrictions on titles.” But, according to Lewis, there are things PlayStation Vue needs to improve on, just like any subscription service. At the top of the list is better customer service. In addition, Vue’s higher prices, especially in certain cities, mean you might not save much after switching from TV bundles. Plus, it can be difficult to view PlayStation Vue content on mobile devices. Livestreaming services are still fairly new, but PlayStation Vue has quickly risen to the top with its channel selection, cloud DVR, and accessibility. But before you make the switch, make sure to start your five-day free trial to get the full, cable-free experience. Happy streaming!



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