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September 4, 2022

Be Brave and Be Different

Strength in Numbers #61

College baseball is a different beast.  There are no call-ups when someone gets hurt.  The coaches not only have to develop athletes, but they must coach to win.  That means you may bunt, squeeze, and play someone out of their position to get the victory.   

It is good to see that the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA are being proactive in keeping their players’ arms healthy and will be able to keep tabs on them when they leave campus.   In speaking with some college coaches, I think we eased their fears about feeling like they are responsible for why pitchers get hurt under their watch.   

Our technology and dashboard set up great communication, and we love educating and will ensure that anyone who purchases our products will be upskilled and serve their players well.   

I also feel the excitement, especially by the college pitching coaches, as they know they cannot call anyone up and that their position is critical to the team’s success.  

What I also love best is that some of the pitching coaches we have talked to have been coached by me when I was with the St. Louis Cardinals.  

George Brown at St. John’s, Thomas Eager at Stanford, and David Kopp at UF are just a few.  They are bright young men dedicated to their players and focused on their well-being and getting to the CWS.  

I had a chance to be in person with Coach Kopp and have had a few phone calls and zoom conversations with Coach Brown.  I am amazed at their pitching intellect and ability to connect with people and players. 

I cannot wait to catch up with Coach Eager as well, as he gears up for the Fall season.   The three of them together in one room would be amazing, because each of them has had to learn, think outside of the box to advance their talent, seek new ways to better themselves personally and professionally, and have had to put up with me at one point in their careers.   

In speaking with Coach Brown and Coach Kopp, the most impressive thing about our conversation is that they admitted they do not know about throwing arm strength and range of motion analytics but have the drive to be an expert and understand everything about their pitchers’ arms outside of traditional metrics and ball flight characteristics.   

They identify with the core message, “STRENGTH MATTERS MOST.”  It takes bravery to go into the unknown and put yourself out there that you may not know or think you are being judged.   

It is the brave who become teachers for us, giving us real insights into the constraints of college coaching, the pressure they are under, and how they succeeded in creating individualized pitching counts, throwing, and arm care training programs.

DALE SCOTT – MODEL OF BRAVERY

Dale Scott is a retired umpire of 37 years and an accomplished author.  Having him on our podcast was fascinating, as I had no idea where to go with the conversation.  I had so many questions and so little time.   Nobody in the coaching world outside of the manager really knows the umpires, but we scout their tendencies, pitches they call well, and what side of the plate they give up inches. 

I did not know that Dale had to live for a time in fear and for a time in secrecy.  What made him heroic is that he was the first MLB officiator to come out about his sexuality and may have been one of the first in any sport.   Dale details the stigmas he has had to overcome and how much he was celebrated for being brave, stepping into the unknown, and making himself vulnerable to critics. 

Not many people could endure what he had, and he has trailblazed in baseball and has amazing stories to tell.  We seriously asked him every question imaginable.  Outside of his personal heroics, he details umpiring, the skills needed, the calls missed, the lifestyle, and the torment of managers, some of who actually were quite kind to him after games.   

This was nice to hear, but it also made you question the whole on-field blow-up if it’s more WWE than a personal vendetta against the bad call.   Hitting guys over the back with chairs and then finding them drinking beers with each other backstage. 

The conversation after the podcast was priceless as he described the protocol to break up a bench-clearing brawl.  You can tell he loved every minute of every game, and that’s how we should all be as the game is a blessing and our connection point.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN

I had been thinking about how we, at ArmCare, can instill bravery in people.  Challenge them to become more, to be uncomfortable and go against the grain and attack the status quo. 

Pitching coaches can be arm care experts who understand how to create customized strength programs.  Physical therapists who use our technology and go through our education can create an individualized throwing program, especially in return to performance stages.    

It takes bravery to step outside of your lane, gain knowledge, and apply it to effect positive change. So, in the spirit of bravery, I put out a Certified ArmCare Specialist Course Contest. 

I posted the following slide below on Linkedin and asked the community to decipher what I was trying to say through the images, the graphical expressions, and numeric data.  

I had a number of brave respondents reach out with their own ideas. Click here to see the synopsis and what’s the major cause of arm injuries happening in baseball right now.

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