Opening Week for DST Athletes

  • By Dynamic Sports Training
  • 08 Apr, 2016
This week was Opening week in baseball, both Major and Minor League. We have several DST Athletes - old and new - sprinkled throughout the different levels of professional baseball. At DST, we strive to make our athletes feel as if they are a part of a family with connections that go deeper than just training together. We want our professional athletes to be excited about our high school and youth athletes doing well, just as we want our youth, high school and college athletes supporting those at higher levels.

In doing this, we can truly develop an environment of encouragement both in our facilities and nation-wide through online and social media channels. Below is a list of current professional baseball players who trained with Dynamic Sports Training during the 2015-2016 off-season and where they are playing. We encourage you all to follow them on social media and watch them when you can during the season. If one of our guys has a great game or gains some recognition, post on your social media about it using the hashtags #DSTstrong and #DSTfamily. Let’s make this a place where all our athletes encourage each other throughout their careers.

Evan Gattis, DH (MLB): Houston Astros- @BulldogBeing

This year was a first for Evan spending his off-season with a training staff and we couldn’t be more ecstatic he allowed us to be a part of it. Gattis came in and crushed it from the very start. A lot of people ask us how much he can lift, but this off-season wasn’t about how much weight he could push, it was about getting fundamentally sound with his body. Evan is a great student and was adamant about learning how his body functioned. After being set back by a sports hernia, Evan will start the season in Corpus Christi with the Hooks. He was able to have an active Spring Training taking live AB’s in AA and AAA games. We're looking forward to watching him dominate here in our home town.

Scott Kazmir, LHP (MLB): Los Angeles Dodgers- @scottkazmir19

Scott signed a 3-year contract with the Dodgers this off-season where he will be the Dodgers No. 2 starter behind 3-time Cy Young winner, Clayton Kershaw. He had a great off-season that included 6:00 a.m. workouts every single day. He focused on improving his body composition while gaining core stability and lower body strength. His focus and attitude this off-season are sure to lead to accolades on the field.

Jay Bruce, OF (MLB): Cincinnati Reds

This was Jay's 2nd off-season with us and he made great strides, yet again. He his a consistent hard worker whose humility and dedication speak volumes in the weight room. He has been a great role model for many of our younger athletes and other pros who are trying to achieve the same level of success he has had in his time in The Show. He is the every day right fielder for the Cincinnati Reds and he can flat-out crush the ball .

Trevor Bauer, RHP (MLB): Cleveland Indians- @BauerOutage

Trevor has been a DST mainstay since the beginning of his professional career. Trevor had a great off-season and spring training where he improved in several areas of his game. Trevor is a fantastic student of the game and he's always pushing himself and our team to perform at the highest level possible. He is a starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.

Carl Crawford, OF (MLB): Los Angeles Dodgers

Carl has been training with DST off and on since we opened our doors in 2008. Spending much of his prior two off-seasons in Arizona, we were happy to welcome Carl back this year. He's a blast to be around and brings a ton of energy to our workouts. Though he's one of the best raw athletes you'll ever see, he's still a very hard worker and is constantly looking to improve every facet of his game. Carl and fellow DST Athlete Scott Kazmir will lead the Los Angeles Dodgers' quest to return to the postseason.

Ryan Lollis, OF (AAA): Sacramento River Cats (San Francisco Giants) - @Loll1pop2324

With Ryan Lollis in the equation, you can guarantee a great off-season group. He's one of those guys who naturally leads others and provides energy in the weight room and keeps others lockedin. Lollis is looking to build off last season where he worked his way up to the MLB, making multiple appearances in the San Francisco Giants starting lineup. Ryan is a grinder and a guy that loves to work so we see great things for him in the future. He starts his journey back to the 40-man roster this year in Sacramento with the River Cats.

Austin Pruitt, RHP (AAA): Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays)- @aus13tin

Austin has been with us since his days at the University of Houston. He is a consistently hard worker who has really amped up his off-season work over the past two years. He has progressed quickly through the system, moving up a level each year. He will begin this year in Triple-A with the Durham Bulls in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He is a starting pitcher and earned Performer of the Month honors from us in February.

Alex Bregman, SS (AA): Corpus Christi Hooks (Houston Astros)- @A_BREG1

Houston Astros fans know the name - and for good reason. Alex spent his first off-season out of LSU training with us down in Houston. He comes out of this year’s off-season training with a non-roster big league camp invite and boy did he make the most of it. This spring, he has turned heads with his abilities at the plate as well in the field. Bregman will continue his campaign for the show in Double-A Corpus Christi with manager Rodney Linares.

John Simms, RHP (AA): Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals)- @schlimms13

Through the adversity John has faced, he has always bounced back proving the nay-sayers wrong; and we wouldn’t expect anything different. John is a guy that understands what the grind consists of and takes every chance he has to better himself to reach his ultimate goal. After coming off last year’s off-season that involved hip surgery, John had something to prove. He earned himself a spot in the Arizona Fall league this year dominating every outing he was given, going 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA. John followed up his fall with an off-season for the books down here in Houston and gained more confidence in his overall abilities. He is returning to Harrisburg with the Senators.

Jared Lakind, LHP (AA): Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates)- @J_Lakind

Jared is in his second year with DST. Last year, he had a great season over two levels between rookie ball and Low-A with a combined 1.69 ERA. He focused on gaining velocity this off-season and it showed in Spring Training where his average fastball velocity was up 2-3 mph. His solid spring earned him a bullpen role for the Double-A Altoona Curve of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

Louis Head, RHP (AA): Akron Ducks (Cleveland Indians)

Louis is a tremendously hard worker who joined DST late this off-season. He is a guy who is focused and hell-bent on improving in multiple areas. This off-season, his focus was on improving mechanical flaws in his delivery while gaining velocity on his fastball. It showed in spring training as his average spring training velocity in 2015 was 91-93mph with a spike to 94-97mph this spring. He is looking forward to a break-out year and will start in Double-A Akron in the Cleveland Indians organization.

Avain Rachal, IF (A+): Daytona Tortuguas (Cincinnati Reds)- @AvainRachal

Avain was a different animal coming into this year’s off-season and was one that really stood out. Being known for his power, Avain looked to add another tool to his game by honing in on his speed this off-season. He really excelled in his starts early in the training and took that success into his maximum velocity. He definitely turned some heads when his times were called out; we look for Avain to be a threat on the base path this year and to stretch out a few more doubles. After having a solid campaign in Dayton last year, he will start in Daytona Beach with the Tortugas.

Casey Grayson, 1B (A+): Palm Beach Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals)- @CDGrayson43

Casey has also been with us since his UofH days. The former Coog is coming off back-to-back team MVP seasons on the Cardinals’ farm. This off-season, he emphasized improving his body composition and gaining power. He had a solid spring which earned him a job on the High-A Palm Beach Cardinals of the St. Louis Cardinals Organization.

Ashford Fulmer, OF (A): Augusta Greenjackets (San Francisco Giants)- @Lord_Fulmer

The former University of Houston Cougar Outfielder, Ashford Fulmer, is coming off his first off-season with Dynamic Sports Training. Ash really hit the ground running with his training making strength and speed improvements. He kept that momentum rolling into spring training earning himself a spot in Low A with the Augusta Greenjackets.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B (A): West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates)- @KeBryanHayes

‘Key’ had his first DST experience this off-season. The young kid is strong and can flat-out hit. The 2015 1st Round pick will begin his 2016 campaign in Low-A West Virginia in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

Stone Garrett, OF (Miami Marlins)- @stonegarrett22

Stone is coming off a break-out year with the Miami Marlins’ Batavia Muckdogs in the Penn League, and racking up a few awards along the way (Baseball America Short-Season All-Star, NYP Player of the Month in August, Mid-Season All-Star, and Miami Marlins Minor League Player of the Year).  Late in the season, he suffered a left wrist contusion that ended up requiring surgery coming into his off-season training after being hit by a pitch. Through Spring Training, he has progressed well with his rehab and has gotten to see the field recently. He will be kept in extended to obtain more at bats and looks to be up in Greensboro with the Grasshoppers around the start of May.

Eric Thomas, OF (Pittsburgh Pirates)- @Hi_im_Eric

E.T. is in his second year with us here at DST. He is coming off a big off-season where he made a lot of improvements on his mobility and overall strength. We look for Eric to have a solid year with the Pittsburgh Pirates Organization. Eric will be in extended spring training to start the season.

Tyler Ford, LHP (Detroit Tigers)

Tyler is an incredibly hard worker with a ton of energy. Tyler joins Casey Grayson, Ashford Fulmer, and Austin Pruitt as former Coogs that continue to train with DST into their professional careers. Tyler will begin the season in extended Spring Training. He is a relief pitcher in the Detroit Tigers organization.

Nolan Riggs, RHP (San Francisco Giants)- @NolanRiggs

Nolan is a big kid with a big work ethic. The 6-foot, 9-inch starting pitcher had a great 2015 in Short Season A-ball with the San Francisco Giants organization. His emphasis over the off-season was to gain overall strength and mass, move better on the mound and improve his velocity. He accomplished everything he set out to this off-season and will begin 2016 in extended spring.

Kyle Dowdy, RHP (Detroit Tigers)

Kyle Dowdy will begin his first professional season with the Detroit Tigers organization. The U of H Alum got off-site programming with DST during the 2015-2016 offseason. He will begin the season in extended spring.

Barret Loux, RHP (Independent): Sugarland Skeeters

Barret is coming off his first off-season with DST. The former 6th overall pick, his career path took a detour after a couple of different arm injuries that required surgery.  Barret came in with an emphasis on finally getting his body right after those surgeries. The focus was on regaining range of motion through the scapula and the shoulder while gaining more stability through his rotator cuff. At the same time, Barret had to completely re-tool his mechanics that led to his arm problems in the first place. Well, that is exactly what he did. He is throwing healthier than ever, and his velocity is back to the low 90’s. He will be in spring training with the Sugarland Skeeters of the Atlantic League as he hopes to make the jump back to affiliated ball.

Josh Martinez, RHP/IF (Independent): Florence Freedom

Josh is a first-year DST Athlete and a first-year pro. The former HBU Husky caught the eye of the Florence Freedom coaching staff while playing in the Arizona Winter League this off-season. He will begin his professional career this spring. Josh is a dedicated athlete with a great desire to improve each day. His passion for the game is hard to match.

#DSTstrong #DSTfamily

Dynamic Sports Training Blog

By Dynamic Sports Training 12 Dec, 2017

The Lateral Med Ball T-Position Throw is the second exercise in our T-Position progression with our athletes. The concept is the same: to coordinate the body to be more explosive in rotation, load it. However, the amount of rotation is over a longer arc than the linear position, resulting in higher speeds and more force that must be absorbed.


  1. The athlete will set their feet wider than shoulder width and perpendicular to the wall with knees bent.

  2. The elbow should be up and in line with the ball on the driving arm.

  3. Fingers turned up toward the sky.

  4. The ball should be at or just under chin height (shot put).


  1. The athlete will rock back (limited rotation) to the side of the drive arm.

  2. Spending as little time as possible at the end of the load, the athlete should rotate to throw the ball violently against a wall (think start throwing the ball before the load is able to stop).

  3. Let your body follow through in rotation. If you catch the ball off the wall, back up and let it bounce to you.

Pro Tip

Make sure that the athlete's head stays with the back hip. Often times, athletes want to lead with their head which results in poor rotational mechanics. That isn’t to say that there is no forward movement. As the hips move into the front leg, the head just rides the back hip. Focus on firming up the front leg for maximal power output.

By Josh Graber 08 Dec, 2017
We're so excited to bring back our Ping Pong 4 Charity Tournament in 2018. Last year, we were able to raise thousands of dollars to help our community.

This year, we have our sights set on a   much bigger impact! Our cause this year hits home for many of us in the Houston area. When Harvey hit Houston this past August, our city was turned upside down. We don't have to tell you how much damage was done or how rebuilding efforts are far from over. 

Some of the most meaningful stories of community in the wake of Harvey were from those who came from out of state to help -- not because they had friends or family here, but because they wanted to help their fellow man. We want to return the favor.Our neighbors in surrounding cities, states, and countries have been through pain and heartache this year as well. That's why we're partnering with some of our athletes from these surrounding areas and communities to help as many people as possible with this event.

We'd love to have you join in and help us put the FUN in fundraising with the 2018 Ping Pong 4 Charity event presented by Premier Baseball of Texas. Registration is now open !

If you can't join us on January 27th, support our cause by purchasing a Houston Strong tee - all proceeds from the shirt will also go toward hurricane relief efforts.
By Dynamic Sports Training 07 Dec, 2017
There are a couple different definitions of integrity we'll be looking into this month: 

(1) The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles

(2) The state of being whole and undivided. 

Instilling integrity into athletes is a daily demonstration. Three main areas to focus on are: Fair play, good sporting behavior and character. Character development is not just an instruction, it is a consistent mind set.

Josh Graber will be writing more about Integrity later this month. Keep an eye out for it on our blog on Friday, December 15th!

Supplementation is to be used when an athlete is unable to get sufficient nutrients from their daily meals, or in some cases, add more calories when they cannot be consumed. Essentially, supplements serve to bridge the gap in one's diet. Supplements are used to pick up the slack if anything is lacking in the diet or to “shortcut” meal prepping and just taking nutrients directly. In addition, supplementation could help improve meal timing (i.e. meals before and after workouts).

Sammy Knox will be writing more about Supplements later this month. Keep an eye out for it on our blog on Friday, December 22nd!

Stated simply, Periodization is looking at the big picture and the end goal, and then breaking it down into actionable, day to day steps to reach that goal. When we create our programs for our athletes, we like to start from the end and work our way to the beginning. Every exercise and movement we program is designed to help our athletes reach their goals. 

Kevin Poppe will be writing more about Periodization later this month. Keep an eye out for it on our blog on Friday, December 29th!
By Dynamic Sports Training 07 Dec, 2017
Ryan Henry is a Business Operations Associate at DST. He received a bachelor of arts degree in multidisciplinary studies with focuses in business, communications, and math, graduating in December of 2016 from the University of Texas in San Antonio. He was president of the club baseball team for three years where he managed, coached, and played. He was named pitcher of the month in May of 2012 where he led his conference in strikeouts and ERA. He joined the DST team in 2017.

"Ryan is kind of the jack of all trades for us. He works really hard, and he makes sure that day-to-day operations run smoothly for the rest of our staff while also managing all of our accounts [at DST North]." - Kevin Poppe , Director of DST North
By Dynamic Sports Training 05 Dec, 2017
The Linear Med Ball T-Position Throw has been a staple in all of DST's rotational programs for years now. The concept is simple: to coordinate the body to be more explosive in rotation - load it. This “load” is light enough to be at a high-velocity profile while heavy enough to create adaptations in the body and in rotational mechanics. Enough with the boring stuff! The video is pretty detailed but here are the main points:

The Set Up

  1. The athlete will set their feet wider than shoulder width, facing the wall with knees bent.
  2. The elbow should be up and in line with the ball on the driving arm.
  3. Fingers turned up toward the sky.
  4. The ball should be at or just under chin height (shot put).

The Movement

  1. The athlete will rotate back to the side of the drive arm.
  2. Spending as little time as possible at the end of the load, the athlete should rotate to throw the ball violently against a wall (think start throwing the ball before the load is able to stop).
  3. Let your body follow through in rotation. If you catch the ball off the wall, back up and let it bounce to you.

The #1 Rule

As with all of the medicine ball work we do, I tell everyone that the number one rule of med ball work is to throw the heck out of it. No “off” reps. You want to be explosive? Move as explosively as possible on these types of exercises.
By Dynamic Sports Training 01 Dec, 2017

Plyometrics involve repetitive power jumping with quick force production. When muscles lengthen, then immediately shorten, they provide maximal power for an athlete. Plyometrics are an ideal style of training for athletes looking to improve speed and power with varied intensities. When you immediately follow an eccentric contraction with concentric, or “muscle-shortening” contraction, your muscle produces a greater force. This is called the “stretch-shortening cycle.”

So that all sounds like something a basketball player would benefit from, right? They need to be powerful and explosive when skying for a rebound, contesting a jump shot or even shooting from 3-point range. This is all true. ´╗┐However,  ´╗┐basketball players get the plyometric training they need while playing their sport, so extra plyometric training in the weight room isn't necessary. More does not equal better in this instance.

A major disadvantage of plyometric training with basketball players (or other jumping athletes) is that there is a high risk of injury. These athletes are already jumping enough in their sport, so why should we jump even more during training? One of the biggest issues with basketball players is the overuse injury with the taller athlete who’s already injury-prone due to force production with increased leverage between the joints (simply stated, they have longer legs).

"Examining recent high draft picks reveals that taller players have gone on to miss a larger percentage of games than their shorter peers. The percentage of games missed generally increases as height increases. Players 7’0” or taller have missed nearly 24 percent of their games." ( FiveThirtyEight )
By Dynamic Sports Training 28 Nov, 2017
In our last video of our Snatch Series we are talking all about the Catch. So we have pulled from the floor and avoided our floating bar and we have made nice contact at our hips; now we must catch the bar correctly!

Common problems people have with the Snatch rarely have to do with the technique.  Many people have overhead mobility and stability issues.  First and foremost, if you do not have the required amount of overhead flexion and your shoulder (anterior & posterior) and scap stability is lacking, you should not be performing a snatch. First, I recommend working on gaining the required mobility, add stability on top of it, and then we can talk.  

Now back to the people who are free of overhead mobility and stability issues: One common mistake is flipping the bar at the top of the catch.  This is incorrect as your wrist should already be under the bar at this point.  The catch should involve a push or a punch, not a flip. Side note: you technically never stop pulling on the bar. When we make the mistake of flipping the bar, it causes a lot of forward/backward movement. This causes us to lose the bar behind us or we may end up trying to run under the bar and lose it forward.  

A few coaching cues I like to use are
  1. up 
  2. under
  3. punch
The cues are simple, the execution may take a little more work. I would start with pulling a pvc pipe or empty bar and begin working on your turnover.  Now you have the fourth and final key to fixing your snatch! Watch the video below and get to work!
By Dynamic Sports Training 21 Nov, 2017

Yes, that is my favorite…drink.  Not something I encourage during your snatch.  I am sure by now you are probably thinking, “what the heck is this guy talking about?” I am talking about when your hips meet the bar in your snatch .  Bar-body contact is a huge topic in the weightlifting world. For today, we are going to keep it simple.  

There is a fine line between what we call the Brush crowd and the Bang crowd.  Let me define these for you real quick. The Brush crowd believes the bar should brush the hips on the way through extension and encourages the bar to stay tight to the body. The Bang crowd believes in more violent hip extension and encourages it. My take? I like both! I believe it’s an in between, like most things in athletic performance.

So you might be wondering, “why is Garrett covering banging the bar as our third mistake in our Snatch Series?” Because most people take it to an extreme! Most people overcompensate by banging the bar so hard it gets out from their body and they aren't able to recover; they end up trying to run under the bar to no avail.  We want the bar to remain as close to the thighs as possible without being in contact, and the shoulders to remain at least very slightly in front of the bar until the bar is up into the hips in the snatch .  Think of the bar as being pushed back into the hips as the hips finish the snap.  The key is not driving the hips through the bar (banging) so far that vertical force is lost and the bar gets pushed away from the body.

Make sense?

Okay, so how do you fix this? Easy - practice variations.  Two variations to work on are the snatch pull from the floor and the high snatch working into the catch as shown in the video. Now get to work!!

By Dynamic Sports Training 20 Nov, 2017

Everything athletes do - from training, to sleeping, to what they are putting in their body - are all small, important pieces to a much bigger puzzle. One vital piece is nutrition and with this month's Trigger Focus being Nutrient Density, I figured I'd address an important question: "Are all calories created equally?" The simple answer is, of course, no. To explain why, I did a comparison case study on what 3,000 calories looks like: healthy, nutrient-dense foods vs. a beloved fast food chain that starts with a 'W' and ends with 'hataburger.' 

Don’t talk to me about recovery when you're living out of a fast food window .”  

I can still hear my collegiate strength coach telling me this as though it was yesterday. He was right, my nutrition habits were trash; I was so used to eating whatever I wanted because I was young, so I thought my body could handle it.  I can probably count on one hand how many of us even knew the term ‘nutrient density’ let alone what it meant. So today we are going to EQUIP you with this knowledge.  

Simply stated, nutrient density means how many nutrients you get from a food, given the number of calories it contains. A.K.A getting the “biggest bang for your buck”. Why is nutrient density so helpful? Because it gives you concentrated amounts of valuable nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients , to name a few. Adequate consumption of foods high in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals is essential for a healthy immune system and for empowering your body’s detoxification and cellular repair mechanisms. This helps protect you from cancer and other diseases. Nutrient-dense foods also provide necessary micronutrients - which are highly overlooked - that are important co-factors in reactions that produce growth, repair tissues, and increase oxygen transport. Being deficient in this will negatively affect performance and could keep you from reaching your athletic potential.

Now let me show you the difference. 3,000 calories at Whataburger looks something like this:

By Dynamic Sports Training 16 Nov, 2017
Jordan is our Off-Site Trainer at DST. He has a CPT certification through ACSM. Prior to working at DST, Jordan played basketball at the collegiate level and coached at the high school level. He received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Kinesiology from Mississippi College. Since joining DST, Jordan has become an expert at prepubescent development and become proficient in training athletes of all ages and all levels. His knowledge and experience continually prepare our athletes for the next level.
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