As a parent I love the way Shawn & Jack explain the things that they’re working on & why & progress at the pace that is appropriate for the athlete, in my case a 12 year old. Whether it be hitting, pitching or strength/conditioning training, Jack & Shawn are always motivating & challenging the kids to keep pushing themselves & improving. Their knowledge & enthusiasm instill confidence & ensure that the kids are always having fun & looking forward to each session.
Jack & Shawn are extremely passionate about their work & it really shows through in their workout sessions with my son. They are knowledgeable with what they instruct & thoughtful in how they do it. It’s nice to know that they really care & have built a strong relationship with my son.
We were very fortunate to find Jack and Shawn at a time where my 14 year old required a more enhanced and consistent training program for baseball. My son has enjoyed every session to date and often comments about how much fun he has due to their coaching style and drills they come up with which are both challenging and rewarding . In a short period of time, I have already seen the results!
Our family has had the pleasure of knowing Jack and Shawn for several baseball seasons as our son has trained with them during his Pee Wee and Bantam years.
Over that time we have seen their guidance help develop him into a confident, disciplined, focused baseball player. He has not only improved his on field performance and become a better athlete but has also become a real student of the game and developed an appreciation and respect for the physical and mental components of baseball. Jack and Shawn always adhere very strictly to their 5 Tool approach of developing the entire player and we’ve seen firsthand just how hard they work toward that goal. Their instruction is never just focused on an isolated skill without being framed in a greater context; it’s integrating the skills into discussions and development of physical routine, strength and agility, muscular pathways and mental approach with game scenarios and strategies.
They instill such a strong sense of purpose to their instruction (the why being as important as the how) that thinking the game, situational awareness and feeling/understanding body mechanics and technique all get developed along with individual skills.
I have found with our son that one of the most important skills that results from this approach is the ability for a player to not only build competence but to also self evaluate their own performance. Whether it is proper balance, the correct sequence of muscular firing, or general positioning, I love that he has built a sense for not only what proper technique should look like but what it should feel like when done correctly.
A perfect example of this is the manner in which Shawn approached fixing flaws in our son’s throwing mechanics. It was a weakness in his game and so a major off season goal was to address and improve upon it. Knowing Jack and Shawn well, I was confident that we would see results but was astonished to see a dramatic improvement after just one session. He came out of that session with such excitement that I took him out right away to practice and it was incredible to see the off line, inconsistent throws replaced with stronger, more accurate throws with a greater range and better trajectory. And most importantly, when he made a poor throw he didn’t get down about it because he knew why it was poor and what to focus on to fix it. Previously, he could only focus on the visual consequences of a bad throw which would lead to frustration, self doubt and a subsequent lack of confidence.
The mental and physical turnaround that he had (after just a single session) was tremendous. When we talked about the cause of the dramatic improvement, he said that he’d always known that he was supposed to get on top of the ball when throwing but he never had a true, tangible understanding of what that meant. Shawn showed him that first day not just what it meant but what it should feel like. That was just what he needed, a specific motor skill that he could implement and make repeatable. Most important of all was the building of the toolbox to now begin diagnosing and making corrections when the results weren’t positive. Obviously, that is huge in building confidence.
Equally important to those throwing training sessions was the measured, progressive approach Shawn took in making improvements. While there were several technical issues that needed to be addressed, there was no fire hose of information being sprayed. The different components (staying back, developing the correct path and sequence for weight transfer, keeping a loose arm, etc) were presented in a logical sequence rather than our son having to learn and coordinate them all at once. This allowed him to gain confidence in each before moving on to the next, so progress was constant as he integrated them together.
Jack always takes the same approach in hitting sessions, building up the technique from a solid foundation rather than the player being overwhelmed by having to think of too many new things at once. That type of incremental development requires a lot of forethought and planning. It’s that level of commitment and hard work that they put into their sessions that gives us so much confidence in their abilities to develop baseball athletes. On top of that of course is just the depth of the knowledge that they have. It’s quite amazing to watch Jack during a hitting session, first off because he has such a keen eye in spotting flaws in a swing but perhaps even more so because he has a seemingly limitless collection of drills that he is able to immediately draw upon to help fix a specific flaw. The creativity of the drills is impressive to watch as well. Tools such as multiple hitting tees or platforms to enforce proper weight shift or body positioning reinforce the development of motor pathways, timing, and quickness of the reaction to a pitch location or speed.
Jack is a true student of the game and has a great appreciation for the mental side of baseball. He will often stress in his drills that mental toughness, quickness, and creativity are equally important to the physical skills and in fact are a major reason he was drawn towards the sport when he was younger. It’s great to see these skills being developed in our son as well, particularly since those are skills that will serve him well in life beyond the ball field.
As a parent, there are certain skills that we look for or at least hope to find in our children’s teachers and coaches. Obviously they need to possess the necessary technical knowledge but how effectively are they able to impart that knowledge? Do they use a multitude of means to convey the information so that it is not only understood in the moment but retained? Are they engaging, do they keep the kids focused and involved? Do they provide immediate feedback? Are they encouraging and rewarding of successes and improvements but at all times honest with their feedback? Do they inspire and create a positive learning environment, are kids excited to arrive and willing and motivated to work hard?
Jack and Shawn tick all of the boxes on all of those things for us. From our son’s perspective, their approach and passion for the game of baseball and young athletes has helped instill in him a love for the game, a drive to continue improving, and an understanding of the commitment it will take to reach his goals, both on the field and off.