DST Exercise of the Week: Clean Progression

  • By Dynamic Sports Training
  • 09 May, 2017

DST Director of NFL Combine, Kyle Kleeman 

The clean is a multi-joint exercise aimed at improving lower body vertical power.  The clean is a part of the full clean & jerk movement seen in Olympic weightlifting. This is a sport in and of itself many high level athletes specialize in over many years before becoming proficient. 

With that being said, we cannot expect a team sport athlete to be able to effectively perform the clean right off the bat. The team sport athlete must save time and energy for other aspects of training such as general strength, sprinting, conditioning, and above all else practicing their specific sport. Many Olympic weightlifters dedicate 1-2 sessions per day 7 days per week on perfecting their technique. This is something that is not possible for the team sport athlete.

Regardless of sport or exercise, progression is everything in strength & conditioning and learning a complex movement like the clean is no different.

  • Dead pull – create tension through the total body to create a smooth initial pull from the floor. Too many athletes are not “tight” enough and cannot maintain a proper position of their hips and back to effectively/safely perform the lift.

  • Hackey pull – teach the lifter where and how to properly contact the bar with the body. A common mistake is for the bar to be too far away from the body and not make contact with upper thigh. This will decrease strength and effectiveness when performing the clean.

  • Power shrug & High pull – the power shrug and high pull variations can be used independently and can achieve many of the qualities we are looking for. Triple extension of the ankle, knee, and hips are essential to improving vertical power to increase speed and jumping ability.

  • Muscle clean - is a variation to teach a quick explosive impulse of the hips to create vertical power. The muscle clean is also the first variation we use to teach the catch position.

  • Power clean – again this variation can be used effectively by itself. The power clean is simply the full movement done with a light enough weight to be able to catch the bar with your hips above your knees.

  • Full clean – the full clean is exactly like the power clean, except we will load the bar with the heaviest weight we can catch. We will not be able to catch the bar as high with the heavier weight. Therefore, we will need to aggressively pull ourselves under the bar immediately after we aggressively pull the bar as high as possible. The benefit of the full and power clean is that the other variations don’t require a catch with a significant amount of weight. The pull will improve force production and the catch will improve force absorption. Both of these qualities are crucial for high level sports performance.

Clean Progression steps courtesy of Loren Landow .

Dynamic Sports Training Blog

By Dynamic Sports Training 23 May, 2017

The Romanian Deadlift (RDL) is one of the most productive movements in strengthening what we call the “GO” muscles.  The “GO” muscles are the muscles usually overlooked on the posterior side of the athlete -- the hamstrings, glutes, lats, etc.  


The RDL can be used as a great teaching tool for younger athletes because it’s a hip hinge/posterior chain movement. Many times coaches don't emphasize the basics, so it’s a good idea to keep it simple with younger athletes by establishing a solid foundation early on. Coaches need to figure out how well the athletes can push, pull, hinge (RDL etc.), squat, and carry before progressing to more advanced movements. Teaching the hip hinge/RDL not only builds a strong backside, but it also creates the primary hinge movement for the deadlift, clean pull, clean, snatch, etc., as well as builds your deceleration muscles ("GO" muscles - catching on yet?).


The hamstrings and glutes play an important role in almost every sport. Strong hamstrings and glutes are a vital component in improving speed, as well as deceleration, and also help maintain good knee joint and hip stability. Having the ability to engage and properly activate your glutes will provide stability through the various movements of the hip.


Set-up:

  1. Tall posture and neutral spine (feet hip width apart, hands slightly wider than shoulders)

  1. Breathe-and-brace

  1. Power position

Execution:

  1. Push the hips back

  1. Keep the bar close (sliding against the thighs)

  1. Vertical shins

  1. Back is engaged and flat while spine stays neutral.

Common Faults:

  1. Overextending lumbar and/or cervical spine

  1. Non-vertical shin angle

  1. Rounding of shoulders and Back

  1. Knees Locked Out
By Dynamic Sports Training 18 May, 2017

The question of showcasing is a topic I tackle often in talks with both players and parents. There seems to be an acceptance of the status quo when it come to showcases. People have bought in to the notion of "if there's a showcase, I need to go". In reality, showcases are unhelpful and, often times, actually detrimental to the majority of athletes. This statement comes from experience having been around and participating in showcases for several years. I've seen the inner workings of showcases from every angle: I’ve participated as an athlete, observed as a collegiate baseball coach and have worked several showcase events as a coach and trainer. It is my position that showcase events serve a small minority of the athletes who attend while the majority of participants won't realistically be seen by coaches. To help explain, I’ve put together a list of three problems with showcasing.


Problem #1: Showcases are Self-Serving

Showcase companies are generally not in it to help all athletes. Instead, I would argue any athletes they do help are just a by-product of chasing what these events are actually all about - MONEY . And I'll gladly give showcases their due here: they are wildly successful as a for-profit business, because there is almost no substantial overhead and a large cash flow comes in a short period. Allow me to break it down:

Let's say a showcase charges $500 for a weekend and they get 300 kids to show up. Not unreasonable, right? That is $150,000 . They can easily get away with paying 10 coaches $200 each for the weekend. Usually, big showcases get a discount with facilities because they know showcases bring in a large number of people and that brings credibility to their business. So lets say the showcase pays $5,000 for field use (Spoiler: They Aren't). The company still ends up with $143,000 for the weekend. Do ten showcases a year, and you’re talking about $1,430,000 . All they have to do at this point is pay a couple guys to maintain their web databases. Let’s say they pay three guys $100,000 per year (Another Spoiler: They don’t). Now, the company is left with a measly $1,130,000 in profit. I'm leaving a few things out, but you get the point. It's a racket. 

As I stated earlier, I've worked some of these showcases myself, and I can tell you the emphasis is not primarily focused on helping these kids. The emphasis is on making the kids feel helped. Here's an example: I was working one particular showcase as a coach of a team when a Division-I coached asked if one of my pitchers could pitch earlier because he couldn't stay to watch him pitch at his scheduled time. Seemed reasonable to me and it was a great opportunity for the pitcher! What happened? The showcase administrator refused to change the showcase schedule even though he knew full-well that meant preventing a kid from getting Division-I exposure. Doesn't seem consistent with someone who wants the best for their athletes, does it?


Problem #2: Showcasing (A Lack of) Tools

I don't want to tell you that showcases absolutely never help kids, because sometimes they do! It is just absolutely the VAST minority. Ninety percent of the athletes who show up will not benefit at all from the experience. Once again, if they were all about helping the kids, why wouldn’t these showcases turn away kids without real ability? Any guesses? Money.

The purpose of showcases is for athletes to show off their tools. For those of you who don’t know, a 'tool' refers to speed, power, arm strength, bat talent and glove talent. There are various standards for these tools as well.

Most of these athletes don’t have even one tool that meets the standards. As a pitcher, you’ll need to throw at least in the mid-to-upper 80’s. Position players, you need to run under a 7.2 second 60-yard dash. Outfielders, you need to throw upper 80’s to low 90’s. Infielders, you need to throw in the mid 80’s. These standards are the MINIMUM. If your goals are to play D-I or pro, the standards are even higher. If an athlete can’t meet ALL the standards required of their position, attending a showcase is completely useless.

Unfortunately, most athletes roll out there and showcase substandard tools. You wouldn’t sign up for a car show and bring a stock Ford Mustang, much less a beat up Corolla, but that is precisely what most athletes are doing. I tell my guys that it’s better to not participate than to put bad numbers on paper. If you want to showcase, take the time to develop some tools first.


Problem #3: Showcasing Too Early

Here's the deal: The standards are the standards regardless of how old you are. No college will sign you when you hit 84 mph as a freshman if you’re still 84 mph as a senior. Likewise, no college is going to turn down a 92 mph arm, because they were only up to 74 mph a year before. The same goes for the other tools. But now 8th graders are showcasing? It doesn't make sense. The player rankings they put out are to fuel more participants in their camp. Why? Money. There is absolutely zero benefit to showcasing before your tools are ready.



Since there are obvious problems, what's the solution?

The Role of Athletic Development

With so much emphasis on showcasing, parents and athletes are neglecting crucial times in the athlete’s development. People don’t balk at $1,000 for a showcase or $60-$80 per lesson, but for some reason $50 per week of athletic development seems unaffordable. This also stems from the industry's status quo and doesn't take into account the actual value of the services. Whether we are talking about throwing velocity, speed or power, working on force production and rate of force development is 100% essential. 

Let's use the example of sprinting. Let’s say we have a 170-pound kid who’s running a 7.5 second 60-yard dash. All the technical work in the world may not help this kid. If he doesn’t even have a base of strength, I don’t care how technically perfect he is. He can’t apply force to the ground. He can’t absorb the ground reaction forces and overcome them quickly and efficiently. He won’t get faster. You see, speed is trainable. Velocity is trainable. Power is trainable. Maybe it’s a force problem keeping you from improving. If so, we need to build your strength. Maybe it’s a lack of rotational power holding you back. If so, maybe we need to work anti-rotation strength and rotational medicine ball work. Maybe its specific mobility (not the same as flexibility) that is holding you back. I don’t care how many times a pitching coach tells an athlete to "get into their back hip". If they have a limitation, they won’t be able to get there. Still, parents will pay for lesson after lesson in vain where a coach flips them balls over and over or tells them to balance more.

Here's my suggestion: prioritize athletic development at least as highly as skill development. Athleticism enhances skill. This creates tools. Once again, don’t spend money on showcases that won't further your career. Focus on developing tools first.

By Dynamic Sports Training 16 May, 2017

Our DST Exercise of the Week is the plank. The front plank is a very common exercise seen in all gyms and workout routines from all individuals. The plank is a great core stability exercise that challenges the athlete to set and maintain a good neutral spine position. ‘Stability’ is classified as the ability to resist movement at a certain joint or region of the body.  We classify the plank into an anti-extension category as gravity and bodyweight are the forces being applied to push you into excessive sway back (lumbar hyperextension).  Lumbar hyperextension is a major factor in lower back and hip pain seen in many athletes.


Cues to improve plank technique:

  1. Elbows under the shoulders

  2. Abs braced

  3. Glutes squeezed

  4. Pull your elbows to your toes, and your toes to your elbows


Programming recommendations:

  1. Use at any point in the workout (beginning, middle or end)

  2. Use when fresh if you’re a beginner

  3. Use when slightly fatigued if you’re more advanced

  4. 2-3 sets

  5. 10 sec. in duration all the way up to 1 minute per set


With the plank, remember that quality is more important than quantity. Just because you can hover your body off the ground for five minutes doesn’t mean you have proper plank form or are building a strong core. Prioritize spine position and tension of the core over the length in time you can hold yourself up. It doesn’t matter how long you can hold if you’re not holding a good position.
By Dynamic Sports Training 11 May, 2017

Today, there is a lot of attention being given to pre-workout supplements, post-workout nutrition, protein powders, and so many other areas of nutrition. In all of this discussion about nutrition, there has been one detail that has failed to get the attention it deserves.  All life on Earth - from vegetation to mankind - is completely dependent on one element. Without water there is no life.  And without sufficient water, our bodies are greatly hindered.


Our bodies are made up of nearly 60% water.  When we see just a 1% drop in body weight due to water loss, an athlete’s performance begins to decline. Because of this, it is crucial for athletes to understand sweat rate, fluid needs, and hydration status. All of our cells hold water, but different cells hold varying amounts of water.  Bones contain about 22% water, fat is an estimated 25% water, muscle cells are roughly 75% water, and our blood contains almost 83% water.  With two major players in athletic performance and recovery (muscle cells and blood) being composed of at least 75%  water, it is easy to see why hydration plays such a major role in athletic performance and recovery.


Determining our hydration status and understanding our fluid needs takes a bit of work at first, but once it’s done, maintaining the habit becomes simple and effective. Once you understand your needs for water during and after exercise, it becomes a habit that will be part of your daily activities.  


There are three main steps in the process of maintaining proper hydration:

1. Determine your hydration status.

2. Calculate your sweat rate.

3. Calculate your fluid needs.  


While this seems like a lot of work, it’s not as hard as it might sound.


1. Determine Your Hydration Status


How do you determine your hydration status?  First, DO NOT use thirst as an indication of hydration status.  Thirst is a poor indicator of your hydration because it is a delayed effect of dehydration.  You will not feel thirsty until you’ve already lost 1-2% of the water in your body.  The easiest way to make sure of your hydration status is to check the color of your urine in the morning.  When you are properly hydrated, your urine color should be a pale yellow color, similar to lemonade.  If the color is closer to apple juice, you need to increase your water intake.  When the color of your urine is pale yellow, you should weigh yourself so you know what your body weight should be when you are properly hydrated.  After you’ve determined a baseline body weight while hydrated, you can use that weight as an indicator of your hydration status.  You should recheck this about once every two weeks to keep up with fluctuations in your body composition, which can affect body weight and hydration status.


2. Calculate your sweat rate.


Once you have determined that you are hydrated, you can move on to the step number two, calculating your sweat rate. This is easier than it sounds.  To calculate your sweat rate, weigh yourself immediately before and after a workout, practice, or game.  The difference between your pre-workout weight and post-workout weight is your sweat rate. Knowing your sweat rate will help you determine how much water you lose during a workout, practice, or game, which allow you to replace that water so that your body functions and recovers optimally.  There are a couple of tips for getting the most accurate sweat rate.  Weighing yourself with as little clothing as possibile before and after is the best way to get an accurate sweat rate.  Always weigh with your shoes off, and try to weigh with lighter clothing.


3. Calculate your fluid needs.


Now that you have determined your hydration status and calculated your sweat rate, you can move on to calculating your fluid needs for rehydrating yourself.  For every pound you lose during a workout, you need to drink 16oz of water. However, your body can only absorb about 16 to 24oz of water into the tissue per hour.  This means that if you lose 4lbs of water in a workout, you can’t drink 64oz of water at one time and bring your body back into a proper state of hydration.  You will need to drink a minimum of 16oz of water for the next four hours to rehydrate yourself.  


What’s At Stake


.5% Water Loss - there is an increased strain on the heart.

1% Water Loss - there is reduced aerobic endurance.

3% Water Loss - there is reduced muscular endurance.

4% Water Loss - there is reduced muscular strength, reduced motor skills, and heat cramps.  

5% Water Loss - there is heat exhaustion, cramping, fatigue, and reduced mental capacity.

6% Water Loss - physical exhaustion, heat stroke, and coma.

10-20% Water Loss - death.  


When you use the three steps to create a plan for maintaining a proper state of hydration, you can optimize your performance and recovery from training.


Remember:

  1. Weigh before AND after training or practice.

  2. For every pound you lose during a workout drink 16oz-20oz of water.

  3. Your body can only absorb 16oz-24oz of water per hour.    

By Dynamic Sports Training 09 May, 2017

The clean is a multi-joint exercise aimed at improving lower body vertical power.  The clean is a part of the full clean & jerk movement seen in Olympic weightlifting. This is a sport in and of itself many high level athletes specialize in over many years before becoming proficient. 

With that being said, we cannot expect a team sport athlete to be able to effectively perform the clean right off the bat. The team sport athlete must save time and energy for other aspects of training such as general strength, sprinting, conditioning, and above all else practicing their specific sport. Many Olympic weightlifters dedicate 1-2 sessions per day 7 days per week on perfecting their technique. This is something that is not possible for the team sport athlete.

Regardless of sport or exercise, progression is everything in strength & conditioning and learning a complex movement like the clean is no different.

  • Dead pull – create tension through the total body to create a smooth initial pull from the floor. Too many athletes are not “tight” enough and cannot maintain a proper position of their hips and back to effectively/safely perform the lift.

  • Hackey pull – teach the lifter where and how to properly contact the bar with the body. A common mistake is for the bar to be too far away from the body and not make contact with upper thigh. This will decrease strength and effectiveness when performing the clean.

  • Power shrug & High pull – the power shrug and high pull variations can be used independently and can achieve many of the qualities we are looking for. Triple extension of the ankle, knee, and hips are essential to improving vertical power to increase speed and jumping ability.

  • Muscle clean - is a variation to teach a quick explosive impulse of the hips to create vertical power. The muscle clean is also the first variation we use to teach the catch position.

  • Power clean – again this variation can be used effectively by itself. The power clean is simply the full movement done with a light enough weight to be able to catch the bar with your hips above your knees.

  • Full clean – the full clean is exactly like the power clean, except we will load the bar with the heaviest weight we can catch. We will not be able to catch the bar as high with the heavier weight. Therefore, we will need to aggressively pull ourselves under the bar immediately after we aggressively pull the bar as high as possible. The benefit of the full and power clean is that the other variations don’t require a catch with a significant amount of weight. The pull will improve force production and the catch will improve force absorption. Both of these qualities are crucial for high level sports performance.

Clean Progression steps courtesy of Loren Landow .
By Dynamic Sports Training 04 May, 2017
This month's spotlight athlete is youth athlete and softball player, Lauryn Dybala.

Lauryn has been training with DST since the end of 2016 and has worked hard to improve her strength and athleticism. "At 11 years old, she's one of the hardest workers we have," Director of Business Operations Josh Graber noted. "She comes in ready to work so she can one day play college softball. I wish I was as driven as Lauryn at that age."

Dybala works out at the DST West location with Sports Performance Specialist Sammy Knox two to three times every week. Sammy gave Lauryn all the praise for the strides she's made. "Over the course of the past six months, I've watched Lauryn progress in strength and speed -- and I'm very proud of her for those things," he said. "However, what I'm most impressed with is her newly found self-confidence and presence. She's a totally different person today than she was her first day at DST." 

Lauryn's dad, Brian, has also seen a big improvement on the field and in her confidence. "It's not only been fun to watch her get stronger, but it's been inspiring to me as a dad," Mr. Dybala said of his daughter. "She has big goals for herself and I'm proud of how hard she's working to reach them.

We're very proud of Lauryn for her dedication. Several of her peers in the weight room, mostly high school athletes, also commented on how impressed they've been with Lauryn's progress. "She's been really impressive," one athlete noted. "I don't even mean for her age -- it's been awesome to watch her get after it."

Keep up the great work, Lauryn!
By Dynamic Sports Training 03 May, 2017
Mindset Principle: Leadership
By Josh Graber

“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” - Harold S. Geneen

This month, we're focusing on the importance of leadership and what it means to really  be  a leader.

At DST, we know every single athlete who works with us has the potential to be a great leader -- for their teams, with their friends, and in their families. Often times, when I think of a leader, I imagine someone like Russell Crowe in Gladiator or Mel Gibson in Braveheart -- a strong, vocal, passionate leader of an army. Someone who can rally hundreds or thousands with an awe-inspiring speech. But the truth is, that's not what most leaders look like. Leaders come in many different forms, but I think they all have one thing in common: they inspire others with their actions . Leaders make those around them want to do more and be better. Think of people in your life who you consider to be great leaders. You want to be more like them, right? That's exactly where you should start in your quest to becoming a better leader. Be someone others will observe and say, "I want to be more like  them.

Treat others with respect. Work hard. Be relentless in the pursuit of your dreams. If you do these things, people will look to you as a leader.

Nutrition Principle: The 3 Macronutrients
By Chelsea Bellinger

The three macronutrients: Carbohydrates, fat and protein are important nutrients for maximizing training results. Carbohydrates are the main energy source that your body uses day to day. Fats help with brain function, absorption of other nutrients and it acts as a back up energy source when carbohydrates are all used up. Proteins are essential for building and maintaining lean muscle. All three of these macronutrients work together to make sure the body is getting the most out of training sessions. Ratios of these macronutrients in the diet can be manipulated for individual athletes to help them achieve their specific goals. Want to know if your macronutrient ratios are right for your goals? Ask your trainer and they'll help you create the best nutrition plan for you!

Physical Principle: Stress

By Sammy Knox

Stress is the body's way to react to a challenge. When we talk about stress in our workout programs, we're talking about different ways to challenge our athletes' bodies to get stronger, faster, etc. 

Depending on an athlete's program, we're going to prescribe different levels of stress (or loads) to help increase strength, explosive power, or stability (control). There are a number of different factors that go into the stress levels our athletes go through in their workouts -- these factors include the athlete's in-sport goals and their bio-mechanical abilities. Before we can gain strength and increase speed, we must first make sure our bodies are able to handle the stresses necessary to reach our goal levels of strength and speed. Once we are in the right position, we'll give our athletes' bodies the necessary levels of stress (in varying degrees and phases) to work towards their end goal.


By Dynamic Sports Training 02 May, 2017

The pull-up is a compound lift that builds the pulling muscles of the upper body. These muscles include the latisimus dorsi, biceps, and the smaller stabilizing muscles of the shoulder and upper back.  


A big, strong back is a major advantage for athletes of all sports. Along with bent-over rows, pull-ups are a major way to achieve this. The lats are one of the bigger muscle groups of the body and span from under the arm all the way down to your waistline. Because of their big, cross-sectional area, they play a key role in stabilizing the lumbar spine and, therefore, can help you improve on all of your major lifts, including the squat, bench press, and deadlift.


Another advantage to strengthening the lats through pull-ups is to help reposition and stabilize the shoulder joint. Scapular elevation (shrugged shoulders) is something that is seen quite often when we are conducting our bio-mechanical assessments. Pull-ups will help counteract this poor posture by driving scapular depression (shoulders down and back).


On the flip side, it is common for baseball players to develop very tight lats after a long season of throwing. We will still incorporate pull-up variations for this type of athlete, but may need to emphasis the eccentric (lowering) of the movement to improve mobility.


There is a reason pull-ups have been around forever and are a staple in any good strength program. Whether you are bored with traditional pull-ups or you are seeking to achieve your first unassisted pull-up, mastering the basics is essential before progression. Be on the lookout for our next pull-up video where we will discuss different variations to help maximize the growth of your back muscles and progress your strength.
By Dynamic Sports Training 25 Apr, 2017
The muscle-up is an advanced upper body exercise mainly seen in the gymnastics and CrossFit communities. The application of the muscle-up to team sports is limited, however we can break the movement down into its more basic components and achieve a positive training effect.

The muscle up is comprised of two basic components: a pull up , followed immediately by a dip . These are two very simple and very effective exercises in their own right. The pull up is one of the biggest 'bang for your buck' exercises in building a strong, muscular back. Dips are a great exercise for building the pressing muscles such as the chest, triceps, and front delts.

If you’ve ever watched men’s gymnastics, it is pretty easy to see the high level of upper body strength and musculature development that these movements have contributed to. Even these athletes were not able to achieve a flawless muscle-up on their first time trying. They started with the basics of these movements and progressed as they mastered the beginner variations.

This is something we see being skipped in many CrossFit classes and from enthusiastic individuals roaming your local gym. If we put the muscle-up (done properly) on an exercise continuum and compare it to an education continuum, it would be equivalent to a master’s level education. No one gets their masters, or even gets to practice the core curriculum, without first passing the required prerequisites. This approach should be no different when picking exercises to include in a well-designed strength and conditioning program.

So whether you want to achieve your first muscle-up or to simply have a strong upper body, make sure you are mastering the basics first.
By Dynamic Sports Training 25 Apr, 2017
It's no surprise to us here at Dynamic Sports Training when we see one of our athletes' names (or multiple) in an article headline, spotlighting him or her for doing something great in their respective sport. We've been with them through the offseason grinding and know they're capable of achieving greatness. 

Even though it doesn't surprise us, we still get pumped whenever we see our athletes in the media. This last week, we had a few baseball clients achieve a bunch of 'firsts' and we'd like to highlight their recent accomplishments:

Austin Pruitt (RHP) - First Career MLB Win (Tampa Bay Rays)

Austin has been training with DST since his college days at UofH. While a Cougar, Pruitt worked with DST Owner Lee Fiocchi who was the Head Strength Coach for the baseball program at the time. Pruitt has worked with DST North Director of Operations and Sports Performance Specialist, Kevin Poppe, for the last four off-seasons. He was drafted in the 9th round in the 2013 MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, earning his spot in the Big Leagues this Spring Training (2017) and making his major league debut on April 2, 2017.

Three weeks after his debut, Pruitt earned his first career win while striking out five against the Detroit Tigers on April 19 (video). A short three days later, earned his second career win against the Houston Astros, both at home at Tropicana Field. 

"Pru has overachieved other people's expectations his entire career," Poppe comments. "He's a guy that will have a chance to play a long time in the big leagues. He has worked extremely hard over the past several off-seasons to get to this point. He's added velocity, and we are all extremely excited to watch such a good guy get to chase his dream."

DST Sports Performance Specialist, Dennis Koenck, has also been able to see Pruitt's work ethic first-hand. 

"I had heard stories of Pru from Poppe that seemed almost Chuck Norris-like," Koenck jokes. "When I first met Pru, I knew that he was a command guy because he wasn't that much taller than me, until I saw his work ethic and how hard he grinded this off-season. Knowing the odds were against him in Spring Training, the hard work this off-season followed him wherever he went, and it shows a lot with his character. Pru is the man...He sets goals every day, continues to climb, and we're pumped for him!"  

Ryan Tepera (RHP) - First Career MLB Win (Toronto Blue Jays)

Ryan Tepera spent his 2016-17 offseason with Dynamic Sports Training in Houston, Texas, at our West location working with DST Sports Performance Specialist, Sammy Knox. Tepera was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 19th round in 2009, making his MLB debut with the club in 2015. 

"I have worked with Ryan each of his last four off-seasons," Knox comments. "Each year he has evolved and progressed into a more well-rounded and complete athlete. It's been fun to watch."

On April 21, 2017, Tepera tossed three scoreless innings to garner his first-ever Big League win against the Los Angeles Angels in extra innings. 

Josh Graber, Director of Business Operations at DST, commented how exciting a time this is. "Ryan's the kind of guy you like to cheer for. He's humble and hard-working. We're so excited to see one of the good guys capitalize on a well-deserved opportunity like this."

Tepera was pretty pumped about Friday's performance when he took to Twitter. "What a game last night! W's are always special, but when they include your first career win and 3 scoreless innings, it's unforgettable" -(via @RTepera

"Ryan Tepera pitches three scoreless frames in extras, striking out three while allowing just one hit to earn his first Major League victory." - MLB.com (video)

Robert Dugger (RHP) - First Midwest League Win (MiLB - Clinton LumberKings)

Robert Dugger was drafted in the 18th round of the 2016 draft by the Seattle Mariners. On April 23, 2017, Dugger tossed two scoreless innings to earn his first Midwest League win against the Quad Cities River Bandits. 

DST Sports Performance Specialist, Dennis Koenck has a special connection to Robert Dugger, being his first minor-league client he trained on his own as a one-on-one.  

"Rob is the type of guy that found a way to stay even keel, no matter how intense the workouts got I couldn't tell if he was tired or not. It's rewarding to see him go out there and get this first win under his belt -- it takes the pressure off and now he gets to continue to grind, and go out there and perform. From the jam-sessions during the re-eds, explosiveness during the workouts, to the handshakes before he'd take off - I'm pumped for him to continue to build off of his first win."

"Dugger is meticulous in his offseason work at the Texas Baseball Ranch and here at DST," Poppe adds. "He is just a focused kid and is extremely competitive. No doubt he'll be able to have continued success at higher levels."

---

We are very proud of all of our athletes. We love seeing their success on and off the field, and are looking forward to seeing what other accomplishments they have this season. Way to go, DST Family!
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