August is a bittersweet time for us, as a number of our college-bound athletes are leaving town and won't be training under our roof for the Fall. We're certainly excited to see them move on to continued successes, but we also miss having them around in the facility as they provide a great example to the younger guys/girls, not to mention adding a significant piece to our community. The other day, Ryan Dickt (headed to to play baseball at Randolph Macon this Fall), was foam rolling after his session, and he was sharing the improvements he's noticed in his playing and overall movement quality on the field. I asked him, "Hmmm, would you possibly mind jotting down a few of those thoughts on paper to encourage our younger guys, and/or athletes unsure of whether or not our programs are "right" for them?"
He sent me an email a few days later, going above and beyond what I was originally thinking:
My SAPT training journey began back in the summer after my junior year. I had torn my medial meniscus in my left knee in the playoffs that year of the high school baseball season. Due to the surgery that removed one third of my meniscus I was off of my legs for about 2 months. I had just been cleared to play and train again by the doctors, but my dad knew I would need to be watched closely and eased back into training, which he did not trust me to do on my own. A couple of my high school teammates, and coach suggested SAPT to me because Chris was a baseball player at one point and said that they would be able to help me train specifically for baseball. So I went and signed up.
At first I thought all the mobility and technique training that Chris and Steve had me doing was pretty dumb, but that was my first lesson. Check the ego at the door; you can pick it up on your way out. Through the rest of the summer I gained my old flexibility and muscle back, which was very encouraging and exciting. Going into the fall I knew that I would be gaining a lot from training with SAPT, but I never really knew how much I would gain till the following season. Through the fall I put on a solid amount of weight and come baseball season I was the most prepared player on my team. I felt that the weight and strength was great, but the flexibility I gained was amazing. Second lesson: training is not just about the weight you throw around it’s also about getting your body in all-around better shape, and this includes flexibility and body movements.
The baseball season was in full swing and I was so addicted to SAPT that I couldn’t stop going. It was like a second home. I enjoyed it so much that I never stopped going during the season, which helped me keep my strength gains from the winter through the whole season. I saw the work that Chris and Steve had me do in the winter translate into results on the field. Doubles turned into homeruns, weak ground balls turned into hard hits and throwing was easier than ever because of the muscle and flexibility I gained. Over all I hit 7 more homeruns than junior year, raised my batting average by .230 points, and dropped off .10 of a second on my throws to second base as a catcher. Aside from all the on the field gains I saw, the most important part of SAPT to me was that I enjoyed going to train and seeing Chris and Steve along with the rest of the SAPT community.
When looking for a place to train, a major factor to consider is whether there is a community that wants to help you succeed, not just a gym to lift weights at. SAPT has that special feel, which I will miss when I go off to college this year, but again I know I will be the most prepared player on my team going into fall practice.
A huge congratulations goes out to Ryan, along with ALL of our athletes that are headed to compete in the collegiate sphere this year! You've worked both hard and smart, and we wish you the best.
(If you've been toying with the prospect of joining a results-driven training program to take your playing to the next level, click HERE for more information)