Texas Baseball Ranch February/March 2019



www.texasbaseballranch.com (936) 588-6762


It was standing room only for the TBR Expo Presentation at the ABCA convention in Dallas.

Over 150 coaches attended our 19th Annual “Ultimate Pitching Coaches Bootcamp.”

Current MLB pitching coaches Brent Strom (Astros), Derek Johnson (Brewers), Wes Johnson (Twins), Doug White (Angels), and Chris Young (Phillies) all have been in attendance at the UPCBC. There have also been top coaches from all levels of college, junior college, and high school, as well as instructional trainers and physical therapists in attendance. Next December will mark our 20th anniversary, and Jill and I wanted to do something special to mark the milestone. We are bringing back many of the most popular speakers with the 2019 theme of “Back to the Future,” and we will discuss where we have been during the last 20 years and where we are headed. So, if you are a coach or know of one who is a lifelong learner and eager to get a glimpse of the future, I would strongly urge you or him to attend or get recordings of the event. It will certainly be epic.

People often ask me, “Coach what are your slower times during the year?” Ten years ago, the Texas Baseball Ranch® had 3–4 months of lesser activity during the calendar year. Five years ago, those windows of less hustle and bustle shrank to around 10 weeks. Today in 2019, the Ranch has only 4–6 weeks of “quiet” time spread out over the course of a year. On the flip side, December and January are incredibly busy with our nationally known Coaches Clinic (UPCBC), three pitcher camps (two EPBCs and one Alumni Camp), and the American Baseball Coaches Association National Convention all happening inside a seven-week period. Whew! This year was our 19th Ultimate Pitching Coaches Bootcamp, and not only was it again a huge success but 15 of the 30 MLB organizations also had representatives in attendance. Two teams sent more than eight representatives each. Think about that for one moment. Half of MLB organizations think highly enough about our Coaches Clinic that they sent someone to listen, take notes, and learn. That is quite a departure from only 37 total coaches in attendance the year it began in 1999.

–Coach Wolforth


Where You Can DREAM as BIG as Your Work Ethic Will Allow! PHONE (936) 588-6762

WE HOPE YOU’LL JOIN US THIS SUM Winter is still rearing its head in many parts of the United States, but in The development of complete baseball athletes is critical to us, so each participant will take part in our skill-specific strength development and explosiveness training, which is also personalized based on your Sparta assessment.

the South and specifically at The Texas Baseball Ranch®, we’re already gearing up for the summer.

Every morning will begin with a mindset presentation. It is important to help you develop not only physically but also mentally. When combined, your performance can skyrocket. This is the reason our Extended Stay Summer Program is the gold standard among summer camps. Many have tried to copy it, but they simply don’t know ALL the behind-the-scenes pieces used to maximize each young man’s stay.

Once again, we’re offering our Extended Stay Summer

Intensive Program. This opportunity is perfect if you are looking to take your Baseball Ranch experience and your performance to the next level.

For all Ranch Returners, there is an extra $250 in savings IN ADDITION TO the Early Bird rate if you register by April 1!

Additional information and registration forms can be found at TexasBaseballRanch. com/events. We’re excited to have you join us in Montgomery, Texas, this summer!

You can choose to stay from 2–10 weeks and experience a holistic,

360-degree approach to your training and development. After a series of initial assessments (including an upper-body and lower-body video analysis, Sparta testing, a pain audit, a recovery audit, and the BRAT movement assessment), your program will be hyperpersonalized to maximize your stay and focused on your specific needs and performance constraints, which could be velocity, command, offspeed pitches, or even health and durability.


Why You Should Pick Up That Controller

plays on, there’s a nearly inexhaustible list of games to choose from, and some are more child-friendly than others. At the very least, research the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) rating of a game to make sure its content is age-appropriate. When choosing a game, it’s a good idea to keep your child’s interests in mind. Do they enjoy creating things? Games like “Minecraft,” “Super Mario Maker,” and “Scribblenauts Remix” can act as a great sandbox for you and your child’s imaginations to run wild. Does your child love to solve puzzles? “Snail Bob 2,” “Snipperclips,” and “Portal 2” will have you and your child thinking outside the box for hours. Want to engage in a little friendly competition? “Mario Kart,” “FIFA,” and “Bam Fu” are all excellent choices. GOING BEYOND SCREEN TIME Whether you pick up a controller yourself or just watch your children play games, the most supportive thing you can do as a parent is reinforce the skills they are learning. Understanding that the same creativity and determination that gets them to the end of a level can be applied in the real world is be a powerful thing for a child’s development.

Video games are present in an increasing number of American households. The Entertainment Software Association found that in 2018, 70 percent of parents reported that games were a positive activity in their children’s lives, and 67 percent even play alongside their child at least once a week. Some of you may already be regularly gaming with your kids, but for the rest of you, here are some things to keep in mind. WHY GAMING TOGETHER MATTERS Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and UC Berkeley have shown that video games can have many positive effects on a child, from encouraging critical thinking and social skills to imparting the value of perseverance. Beyond these life skills, video games can also be a way for you to better connect with your child. As game designer and New York Times bestselling author Jane McGonigal, Ph.D., writes, “Games make it easy to build stronger social bonds with our friends and family. Studies show that we like and trust someone better after we play a game with them— even if they beat us.” FIND THE RIGHT GAME Finding the right game to play with your child can be a challenge. Regardless of what platform your child



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THE TRUTH ABOUT CURVEBALLS Are Breaking Balls Really the Bane of Our Young Athletes?


young pitchers may already have inefficient and immature movement patterns, and this especially complicated movement is not exactly the best idea. However, this is not nearly enough to warrant banning the curveball altogether, and it would distract from the real problems: muscular imbalances, weaknesses, mobility constraints, alignment issues, poor instruction of pronation and deceleration in the arm, improper technique overall, and throwing breaking balls too frequently.

I’m certain that by now, if you are a parent of even an 8-year-old pitcher, you’ve heard one

of the many horror stories surrounding curveballs. In fact, one nationally known orthopedic surgeon has even called for the banning of all curveballs and sliders in prepubescent male players.

The truth is — and there is a lot of science to back this up — the curveball itself is simply one of many mitigating factors of the injury of youth pitchers, and when everything is considered, it’s one of the less significant factors.

THIS MONTH IN BASEBALL HISTORY A Rare Honor for Stan the Man By most standards, being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame is the most prestigious individual accolade a baseball player can receive. However, statistically speaking, the 325 players in Cooperstown vastly outnumber the 12 who’ve received the nation’s highest civilian honor: the Presidential Medal of Freedom. While each of the 12 more than deserves the honor, perhaps the most moving presentation occurred when President Barack Obama handed the Medal to Stan Musial on Feb. 15, 2011. Obama, the biggest sports fan to ever occupy the White House, was visibly moved when speaking about Stan the Man. “Stan remains to this day an icon, untarnished, a pillar of the community, a gentleman you’d want your kids to emulate,” Obama said. With a career CV that most big leaguers can only dream about, it’s hard to pick out a single of Musial’s achievements that towers above the rest. He hit five home runs over the course of a double header, won three World Series, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. No wonder Obama finds him someone to aspire to. Instead of throwing out curveballs altogether, you should have your athlete assessed by a physical therapist who works with high-level athletes to correct their imbalances. Get your athlete in front of a competent pitching instructor who understands pronation and deceleration — a rare thing. Then really put in the time teaching the athlete to properly throw a curveball. This can take more than a year. Don’t let them fall in love with the breaking ball. Keep it to a maximum of 25 percent of his total pitches thrown. If you stick to this advice, curveballs will give you no real trouble — and in fact, in the midst of a world clamoring to tell you that the curveball is an abomination, the pitch can be a real edge.

Basically, with curveballs, sliders, or cutters, the deceleration of the arm post-release becomes more complicated. Many



June 3: Session I Begins July 1: Session II Begins Aug. 5: Session III Begins

For more information, go to TexasBaseballRanch.com/events.


www.OatesSpecialties. com/Durathro

3 Where You Can DREAM as BIG as Your Work Ethic Will Allow! PHONE (936) 588-6762

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

(936) 588-6762 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

2019 at the Texas Baseball Ranch® PAGE 1 Join Us for Our Extended Stay Summer Intensive Program PAGE 2 Why Parents Should Play Video Games PAGE 2 The Truth About Curveballs PAGE 3 Stan Musial Receives the Medal of Freedom PAGE 3

Why You Should Exercise With Your Significant Other COUPLES WHO SWEAT TOGETHER STAY TOGETHER

partners who exercised together reported higher levels of happiness and satisfaction in their relationship. If you and your sweetheart are looking for a romantic way to burn some calories this month, here are some great workout ideas for two.

Each Valentine’s Day, people all over the world rush to the store to buy chocolates and all the ingredients necessary to whip up a romantic dinner for two. Unfortunately, these calorie- laden holiday traditions can undermine the fitness resolutions you made just six weeks before. Instead of throwing your goals by the wayside this February, why not make fitness a couples activity? The National Library of Medicine published a study showing that couples who focused on their health together went to the gym more often and reported feeling more connected in their relationship. These findings were corroborated by a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Scientists claimed that

PLAY CATCH! Grab a medicine ball and do some overhead passes, feet-to-feet situp passes, and back- to-back twists with each other. All of these easy at-home workouts help build a solid core. GO FOR A RUN! If the weather is nice, the two of you can lace up and hit the pavement together. You could even make a couples playlist to listen to as you run. If the cold temperatures are preventing you from enjoying the great outdoors, head to the gym and challenge each other on side-by-side treadmills. TRY SOME ROCK CLIMBING! This is a great way to get a good workout while simultaneously building trust with your partner. Most rock-climbing gyms offer classes in belaying, and staff members can give you tips to improve your form. Sign up to work with an instructor and test your personal limits together.



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