Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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March 18, 2021  

Spencer Allen on high challenge, high support environments and deliberate practice


Spencer Allen is the 26th head baseball coach of the Northwestern program and was named to the position on June 14, 2015. 

Allen came to Northwestern after serving as an assistant coach at Illinois in 2015. He helped the Fighting Illini set the school record with 50 wins and win the first NCAA Regional in program history. the Illini ranked near the top of the Big Ten in numerous offensive categories, leading the league in hits, runs, RBIs, total bases, home runs and slugging percentage.

Prior to his stint with Illinois, Allen served a two-year stretch as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Creighton. Reaching the college world series. From 2010-12, Allen worked as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Washington State University.  Allen was the recruiting coordinator for the Boilermakers during the 2008-09 seasons. He also worked as a scout in the Detroit Tigers organization, and as a volunteer coach at Iowa (2004). Allen's coaching career began at Edmonds Community College in 2002, where he was an assistant coach.
He played three seasons at Iowa State from 1999-2001. He was a team captain during his final season and a 2001 All-Big XII Academic selection.
On the show, we discuss the pillars that Northwestern is built upon which includes a high challenge, high support environment and Deliberate practices
This episode is so good with Spencer Allen!
Time Stamps
1:20- Vision of the program
5:00- The Underdog Story
8:00- Compared to what?
13:00- High Challenge, High Support
16:45- Consistent Habits and Routines
20:45- "Everything that happens to you is your fault"
30:00- Deliberate Practice 
40:00- Drills for developing infielders
47:00- Last Things
  • Eat smarter- Shawn Stevenson
  • Golfs Sacred Journey- David Cook
  • The Gift of Failure- Jessica Lahey
March 11, 2021  

John Carter On Culture, Competition And Core Values

Today we have on John Carter, Head Baseball coach at Round Rock High School. John is a graduate of Round Rock High School and attended Round Rock schools growing up. Upon graduation from high school, Coach Carter attended Texas Tech, where he played both football and baseball. After his playing days ended, he remained at Tech as a graduate assistant from 1992 – 1994. He returned to Round Rock in 1995, coaching multiple sports including softball, soccer, football, and baseball. John became the head coach in (when). John also was the texas HS baseball coach of the year in 2017 a year after graduating 7 D1 players. 
On the show we talk culture, competition and core values so much more! Here is John Carter!
Time Stamps
  • 3:00- Vision of the program when he started
  • 6:20 - Core Values
  • 16:00 - Culture building
  • 21:20 - Competitions
  • 227:00 - Parent Involvement
  • 31:30 - Transition periods from offseason to in season
  • 36:13- Baserunning
  • 38:00- Quick Hitters
  • Culture Code- Daniel Coyle
  • Lead for Gods Sake- Todd G. Gongwer
March 4, 2021  

Nate Thompson on player evaluation and training competitiveness

Nate Thompson, Hitting coach and recruiting coordinator for Arkansas
Following the completion of his own collegiate playing career at Dallas Baptist in 2006, Thompson aided a Dallas Baptist coaching staff working with the DBU outfielders while assisting with hitting instruction and the implementation of the club’s strength and conditioning program.
Nate then spent three seasons at Nebraska as the Cornhuskers’ volunteer assistant, then served as Hutchinson CC’s primary hitting coach from 2011- 2014 season. Nate next took a job as the hitting coach at Missouri State and they went on to hit .270 or better in each of his three seasons and averaged just under seven runs per game.
And since 2017 Nate has been in his current role as the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator for the Arkansas Razorbacks
From 2018-20, Arkansas leads the conference in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, weighted on-base average, OPS, runs, homeruns, extra-base hits, runs batted in, total bases and sacrifice flies.
So on the show we talk…..
Time Stamps
  • 3:00- Recruit Evaluation
  • 9:00- Player Evaluation
  • 19:00- Using upperclassmen as leaders.
  • 20:20- Training adjustability
  • 29:30- Balancing tech with player development
  • 35:30- Training Competitiveness
  • 48:00- In Dugout talks
  • 50:00- Last things
  • Bible
  • 7 habits of highly successful people
  • Andy Andrews (author)
February 25, 2021  

Jamey Carroll on blending the art and science of coaching

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Today we have on Jamey Carroll from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jamey Grew up in Evansville Indiana, graduated from the University of Evansville, and after earning all-american honors at SS, he was drafted in the 14th round by the Montreal Expos. Jamey made his Major League Debut in 2002 and in 2004, scored the Expos final run in their history before moving to Washington DC. Besides playing with the Expos/Nationals franchise, Jamey also played for the Rockies, Indians, Dodgers, Twins and Royals franchises. Jamey retired and got into coaching in 2015 as a Pirates front office assistant.
On the show we discuss what his role with being a Defensive Coordinator entails, we go over how coaching has changed since  he played and what he has implemented, and he gives us us a ton of drills we can take to practice tomorrow.
Here is Jamey Carroll!
Time Stamps
  • 2:10- What does a Defensive Coordinator do?
  • 6:02- Discussion on Shifts
  • 11:32- How to scout infielders.
  • 16:00- Unique skills per position
  • 21:40- Unique skills that are innate and we can teach.
  • 27:15- What can amateur players get better at?
  • 32:56- Teaching the game within the game
  • 44:40- Practical ways to use sports psychology
  • 48:40- Tao Training
  • 51:40 Blending Science and Art of coaching
  • 56:20- Pushback with trying new things
  • 58:05- Last things
February 22, 2021  

Minisode Monday: Leadership Lessons from Ernest Shackleton

What can we learn from a ship captain that got his ship stranded in the ice 80 miles the coast of Antarctica? Find out next.

February 18, 2021  

Alan Jaeger- Mastering the Mental Game

This podcast is powered by Stick & Ball TV THE  baseball and softball streaming platform. If you haven’t check it out, there are hundreds videos and so much great content waiting for you. And the cool part? It’s all updated weekly. Check it out at StickandBall.TV, or on the Stick & Ball TV mobile app
Today we have on Alan Jaeger- founder of Jaeger sports. Alan founded Jaeger Sports on the principle that athletes need to develop both their physical and mental skills in order to be successful in game situations.
Since 1991 Alan Jaeger, as a personal trainer and consultant, has worked with over 200 professional players, including 2002 Cy Young Award Winner Barry Zito, and All-Stars Dan Haren and Andrew Bailey. Alan, has also consulted with many schools and professional organizations.
Alan’s intention is to help athletes merge the “mechanics” of the Western athlete with the “insight” of the Far Eastern mind, to position athletes to best realize their potential on and off the playing field.
On the show we extensively cover all things mental game.  Including meditation, visualization, routines, self talk, and awareness. Not only do we go over the methodology behind it, Alan puts it all on the table for us with countless practical drills and scenarios that you can take to practice tomorrow.
Heres Alan Jaeger!
Time Stamps
  • 2:00- Defining the mental game
  • 11:20- What separates the good team from great teams?
  • 16:40- Where do we start?
  • 26:40- Getting players to buy in
  • 36:40- Practical Strategies to use
  • 42:40- Routines and process oriented
  • 50:30- Failure Recovery
  • 52:10- Mindfulness Plans and Breathing
  • 1:03:10- Last things
February 15, 2021  

Minisode Monday: Make Data Relevant

How do we make data relevant? By giving in the story or experience. In order to gain attention from players using data. We have to show that we can connect with them in meaningful and useful always. And we use data to positively influence an outcome, one way or another.
February 11, 2021  

Ryan Harrison on how to improve sports vision

Ryan has a degree in Exercise Physiology from University of California at Davis and he has worked on improving athlete’s visual performance on the field since 1999.  Through the years he has worked hundreds of baseball stars. He has also worked with the 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Champion San Francisco Giants, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Philadelphia Phillies 2009-2012 as well as 9 other Professional Baseball Organizations. Collegiately he has worked with the 2016 NCAA Champion Coastal Carolina, the 2012 NCAA Champion Arizona Wildcats,  the 2013 NCAA Champions UCLA Bruins, as well as Oregon State, Wichita State, Kentucky, and Long Beach State.  Ryan has worked with many Collegiate Softball programs
On the show we go over several drills you can take and implement in practice tomorrow. We talk balance, depth perception, and one of my favorite discussions was over when, where and how to look
Here is Ryan Harrison!
Time Stamps
  • 3:00- Where do we start?
  • 6:30- Cognition tests
  • 15:50 When, where and how to look
  • 23:50- Setup to see
  • 29:10- Depth Perception
  • 33:00- Balance and its effect on vision
  • 36:60-  "mechanics are a result of proper vision"
  • 40:30- In game discussions
  • 47:30- Reaction time vs predictive vision
  • 55:50- Perception/Action Coupling
  • 58:30- The Barry Bonds drill
  • 1:01:30- Drills
  • 1:13:00- Last Things
February 8, 2021  

Minisode Monday: Developing players while developing the team

Most of us are transitioning from offseason to in season this time of year. So I wanted to put some thoughts together from things I've learned and some thoughts on what I would do different.
February 4, 2021  

Patrick Murphy- Building a Championship Program

Today we have on Patrick Murphy, Head Softball Coach, University of Alabama Murph is in his 25th year at Alabama; 23rd year as head coach. In his tenure, he is the winningest coach of all-time in any sport at Bama. They have been to the NCAA tournament 22 straight years and all 15 Super Regional rounds that have been played. They have been a 12-time WCWS participant. He is a 6-time SEC champion, they have been the national attendance leader 14 years running and they have had the most academic All-Americans of any softball program the past 10 years.
On the show, we discuss all things program building which includes leadership dinners, involving parents, creating a culture of affirmations and gratitude and so much more.
You're gonna love this episode with Patrick Murphy!
Time Stamps
  • 4:00- Vision when Patrick got the job
  • 8:11- First Steps
  • 12:30- Combating the anxious generation
  • 15:30- "its all about the relationships"
  • 17:15- Leadership Dinners
  • 23:15- "Dont hold grudges"
  • 27:20- Involving Parents
  • 35:00 The power of affirmations
  • 41:30- Holding teammates accountable
  • 46:40- Classroom Sessions
  • 49:40- Practice Planning Advice
  • 56:30- Quick Hitters
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