It Starts with an Athlete

By Dr. Peter Gorman

As another year of amateur baseball slowly comes to a close, it is a time for rest, and it is time for reflection. The big wins, the heartbreaking losses and all the games in between….one common goal will exist amongst all players preparing for next year, the desire to improve.

Before we can begin mapping out the upcoming off-season training schedule it’s important to recognize where you were, where you are and where you’re going; physically, mentally and yes, in terms of skill. In considering our approach to performance we will discuss first and foremost, and that process starts with the athlete, not the ballplayer, the athlete.

Have you ever heard the following?

• He’s not seeing the ball well.
• You’re starting your swing late.
• He has more range to his left than his right.
• I got a bad jump.

There were moments of failure over the course of the season that didn’t originate from a lack of skill, but rather because there were inefficiencies in our ability to recognize, process and react to given situations? Baseball requires all position players, to be able and agile in all directions for effective play. Baseball requires all pitchers to have optimal balance, timing and coordination, to ensure the effortless release of the ball. Baseball requires all batters to have exceptional eye for detail, and speed of processing so that even the fastest pitch…remains hittable.

To reach this type of optimal performance, every player must be evaluated for strengths and more importantly, every player needs to be evaluated for weaknesses. You are only as strong as your weakest link. To help every player achieve their type of ability, we are creating both subjective and objective development protocols so that asymmetries can be identified and eliminated. By combining subjective tests with objective measures, we can cover all the basics of athletic movement and paint a very precise picture of who you are and what you need to do to improve as you train. Of course, all players will also train their own sport-specific movements, but whether you are an outfielder, pitcher, or a shortstop, you will have the solid foundation needed to one-day reach your potential.

As the National Governing Body of the sport, USA Baseball is focused on understanding the health of our participants across the nation. With the use of equipment such as OptoJump, GYKO, WITTY, and more we can now detect movement efficiency to a millisecond of accuracy, both on and off the field. By precisely understanding movement, asymmetries can be identified and eliminated so that injuries can be prevented, compensations can be eliminated, and the mentorship of our game’s great trainers and coaches will be delivered to a more able generation of athletes. We’re committed to working with other organizations across the amateur game who’ll follow our lead in first identifying the gaps in an athletes’ potential, and then provide the curriculum necessary to foster longer, healthier careers.

Through this series of work, we aim to help you prepare your athletes for success whether they be big league players or big-league citizens. We’re committed across the entire spectrum of human performance and we believe in the athlete in all of us.

Dr. Peter Gorman is a contributor to the USA Baseball Sport Development Blog, and is widely referred to as the developer of heart rate monitor technology and owns seven major patents in the United States and Canada. He was named President of Microgate USA in 2010 and became an adjunct professor at the University of Bridgeport Chiropractic College in 2012. He later joined CourtSense, developing innovative and logical progression that helps athletes attain symmetry and better coordination. Dr. Gorman has previous experience working with the United States Military, as well as sports leagues and franchises around the world including those associated with Major League Baseball, FIFA, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and the United States Olympic Committee.