NSCA’s Coaching Podcast, Episode 57: Eric McMahon

by Scott Caulfield, MA, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D and Eric McMahon, MEd, CSCS, RSCC*D
Coaching Podcast July 2019


Eric McMahon, Assistant MLB Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball (MLB) team, talks to the NSCA Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Scott Caulfield, about his path to becoming an assistant strength and conditioning coach in MLB. Topics under discussion include utilizing the NSCA in helping his career development, velocity-based training, and managing a wide range of player profiles in the MLB.

Find Eric McMahon on Twitter: @EricMcMahonCSCS or @rangerstrength and on Instagram: @rangerstrength | Find Scott on Instagram: @coachcaulfield

Show Notes

“I’m very thankful for the NSCA and my career.” 3:45

“Just by becoming a student member and following a career path. I feel like that’s how I got to where I’m at.” 4:08

“It doesn’t have to have a big name. You can get great experience anywhere.” 9:29

“When you’re in the minor leagues, it’s like a one man band. You got to kick the drum. You got to play the horn. You’re doing it all.” 13:38

“I remember having to ask a lot of good questions. Just learn the game more.” 22:33

“In every environment, you’re going to have guys that work really hard for you, some guys that don’t, some guys that frustrate you, and some guys you love working with on a daily basis.” 23:00

“But for me, it’s strength and conditioning. It always has been.” 23:42

“There’s just some mutual respect just like in any profession. These guys are professionals.” 24:52

“Utilizing technology in the weight room is really the logic next step for us to giving guys feedback tools to get more out of their training sessions.”    27:46

“Guys are dialed in on their technology. They’re dialed in on their phone, their Fortnite, and all their different gaming things. We can use that to our advantage as strength coaches.” 28:47

“We need to be the Jack of all trades. Guys come to us with a lot.” 33:28

“You need to continue to stay on the cutting edge” 34:09


[00:00:00.66] Welcome to an NSCA's Coaching Podcast, episode 57.

[00:00:05.58] I tell people, it's like, when you're in the minor leagues, it's like a one man band. You've got to kick the drum. You've got to play the horn. You're doing it all. You know, you're working with pitchers, position players--

[00:00:15.78] This is the NSCA's Coaching Podcast, where we talk to strength and conditioning coaches about what you really need to know, but probably didn't learn in school. There's strength and conditioning, and then there's everything else.

[00:00:26.43] Welcome to the NSCA Coaching Podcast. I am Scott Caulfield. Today, with me, my buddy, Eric McMahon, assistant major league strength and conditioning coach for the Texas Rangers major league baseball. Welcome to the show.

[00:00:39.04] Thanks, Scott.

[00:00:39.63] This is going to be also known as the Vermont edition of the NSCA's Coaching Podcast. A true fellow Vermonter here, Burlington High School.

[00:00:52.21] I know, two Vermonters in the same place. It's pretty hard to come by.

[00:00:56.05] Yep, and there's more. We've got a small minority in professional sports. We've got Jonas with the Atlanta Falcons and Jeremy, Dallas Mavs. So, got all the bases covered. I think we've got to find a soccer guy, probably.

[00:01:10.04] For sure, for sure.

[00:01:12.02] And I'm sure we have a hockey guy out there somewhere.

[00:01:15.33] Yeah.

[00:01:16.77] But I definitely want to talk about being in major league baseball. But we were kind of just talking before we started rolling on here too, about-- you were talking about being in Vermont, but being able to utilize the NSCA to learn more about the strength and conditioning stuff that you were trying to find out more. Because typically, and people who are listening may be from smaller states or smaller towns-- wherever you might be-- maybe in a similar situation, where you don't realize they might have better resources or need to know where to reach out.

[00:01:51.72] But, yeah. Why don't you maybe talk a little bit about that? How you first-- you know, where'd you go to school, and kind of your first experience.

[00:01:57.63] Yeah, absolutely. I'm very thankful for the NSCA and my career. I feel like I learned about the NSCA at the perfect time. Growing up in Vermont, I didn't have access to a lot of true strength and conditioning. And I didn't even know it was a real career path, probably, until my early 20's, when one of my coaches said, hey, the NSCA has a pretty good certification. You should look into that.

[00:02:20.58] And just by becoming a student member and following a career path, I really feel like that's how I got to where I'm at. So I know the generations of coaches before me kind of didn't have that same guidance to get where they have gotten in their career. But I know for me, it's been a really huge part-- just great content, great education.

[00:02:48.18] But yeah, I grew up in Burlington, Vermont. I went to St. Lawrence University and studied biology, got my master's at Springfield College, kind of a strength and conditioning hub. We have a pretty good contingent here at the coach's conference--

[00:03:00.89] Huge. Yeah, Springfield mafia.

[00:03:02.28] --yeah-- reunion tonight, which is going to be fun. And so that was kind of how I got started.

[00:03:10.71] You know, it's funny. I played sports growing up but. I think that's coming from Vermont, you have all the seasons. And that's a huge-- it was a huge advantage for me. I always tell people that I wasn't great at any of those sports, but I was good enough to be on the teams and just in all of them. So I played football, hockey, and baseball in high school.

[00:03:34.08] And football was probably my best sport. So I went on to play division three college football. But you know, I had always worked for the local minor league baseball team in my hometown. And just through, really, just watching what goes on in baseball there, I just kind of connected with it and pursued it.

[00:03:53.28] One of my athletic trainers in college at 5 Stanley Cup rings. So I'm like, you know what? He went to this small school up in upstate New York, and you know, maybe a career in pro sports isn't off the table. So it was kind of a nerve-wracking choice, to-- I was someone who likes to lay things out. And it was nerve-wracking, knowing like, man, I'm approaching this really hard-to-get-into profession.

[00:04:21.15] And you know, I was worried about how I was going to have a family, and how I was going to accomplish all the things I wanted to accomplish. And I just said-- one day, I was in college, and I just realized. You know what? If I don't go for this and don't pursue it, then I'm going to have some regrets. And so I just committed. And here I am. So I'm very thankful for the NSCA and the role it played in me getting to where I'm at.

[00:04:45.60] That's super cool. We're going to, when this episode airs, we'll have a giveaway for anyone that can name that baseball team in Burlington, Vermont.

[00:04:53.40] [LAUGHS]

[00:04:55.62] So come, go out of Springfield College. What was your first gig after that in strength and conditioning, then? Your first paying job.

[00:05:04.86] First paying job in strength and conditioning, I did some my internship work with the Milwaukee Brewers. And I guess that was a paying job too. And that kind of bridged into a seasonal position there. I was with the Brewers for three years before I came on with the Rangers in 2009 full time.

[00:05:24.46] So I've been very fortunate that I haven't had to have too many stops along the way, and that I've found myself in some pretty good places where I could advance and move up.

[00:05:35.61] Cool. We've had a couple people in major league baseball on the show. But maybe tell us a little bit about the different differences and different levels as a strength and conditioning coach, where you can work in baseball.

[00:05:50.12] For sure. Yeah. Baseball strength and conditioning has grown a ton since the early 2000's. And when I got into this, most the jobs-- I remember seeing a job posting for an internship. And it was-- I don't know. It was probably a monthly salary, but I interpreted it as for the whole summer, it was $1,000. And I remember seeing it like, man. That's so cool. Too bad I'll never be able to afford to do it.

[00:06:19.08] And within a year or two later, the jobs-- at least from an entry level standpoint-- seemed like I could at least make it my summer job and kind of get that experience. But now, it's a lot more common for teams to have full time strength coaches at all their minor league affiliates. So on the entry level, sometimes it's harder for young coaches to get in the door.

[00:06:45.36] Right now, just because there aren't as many internships as there used to be, we're hiring-- even our Arizona, which is our rookie ball affiliate, we're hiring full time guys for that. Some of the teams out there are hiring interns for their Dominican Academy and running programs down there.

[00:07:07.11] But basically, just getting experience where you can. Kind of that small state mentality, but you don't have to go work at API to get experience, or EXOS now. It doesn't have to have a big name. You can get great experience anywhere. And I think when we see resumes where people use their college age years well with internships, with observation, with putting their name out there coming to these conferences, I think that that bodes well for young candidates.

[00:07:43.29] But in terms of what the career track is like, you get in. And most of the time, you're going to work at one of the lower levels. It might be rookie ball, which is a short season, half season where you spend some extra time in Arizona. You kind of move up through the ball A ball levels.

[00:08:00.09] I was fortunate I didn't have to work A ball for all that long before I was up in AA and AAA. And that's where you're dealing with a lot better baseball up there.

[00:08:14.00] Yeah.

[00:08:14.52] So we want to have experienced strength coaches at our upper levels. And from when I started till now, the experience in the game for minor league strength coaches is, I mean, there's a ton. There's guys with 5, 10 years that have never been in the major league level. And they're phenomenal minor league strength coaches out there. So it's really grown a lot as a profession.

[00:08:45.18] But like I always tell people, we need good coaches. We still need good coaches. That was what was very appealing about baseball when I was first getting in, compared to some of the other sports out there where strength and conditioning was a hot bed. I felt like baseball was just kind of on the verge. And now it's a lot better than it used to be.

[00:09:05.10] Yeah. And baseball's kind of made the most commitment to strength and conditioning coaches really, too, right? I mean, you think about--

[00:09:12.81] Yeah. We got a rock concert going on in the background.

[00:09:16.95] Let's give it a minute here. This is why we have editing.

[00:09:22.13] Is this-- what is this?

[00:09:23.51] It must be the band for the--

[00:09:25.32] It that for this thing?

[00:09:26.31] Oh, yeah. I forgot they were in here. This will be some killer background noise.

[00:09:36.73] And I feel like baseball has made more of a commitment to strength and conditioning too. You guys require CSCS and RSCC. I mean, you definitely are more invested-- it seems like-- to hiring real professionals.

[00:09:53.52] For sure. Yeah, the Player's Association supports us in terms of wanting credentialed qualified people to work with that, work with the players. And so, yeah, it's been a really good relationship with the NSCA and the Strength Society and Major League Baseball in the last 5 to 10 years, I'd say.

[00:10:13.04] Yeah. That's cool. And you've kind of moved up the ladder. And we talked a little bit about that-- whatever your job has been like in most recent. Maybe tell us a little bit what's an assistant major league strength coach position like. And what's a coordinator do? So what are the differences in those kind of levels?

[00:10:34.08] Well, a minor league coordinator, I was-- I really liked being with the team. And I've always been fortunate that even when I was in a assistant minor league coordinator role, that I was with a AAA team at the time. So I think when you lose the team environment, it's a different job. It becomes a lot more administrative. And that's sort of what the minor league coordinator deals with. They're just basically facilitating strength and conditioning at all the minor league affiliates.

[00:11:05.13] You know, the major league assistant position is relatively new. Now, it's funny, because five years ago, it was said there was very few. And now almost every team has an assistant. And having gone through my first year at the major league level and doing this now with two CSCS strength coaches at the major league level, it's a lot-- it's a different job when you have two people doing it.

[00:11:32.10] You know, I tell people, it's like, when you're in the minor leagues, it's like a one man band. You have to kick the drum. You've got to play the horn. You're doing it all. You know, you're working with pitchers, position players. And we can split the work up a little bit. And it's allowed us to take on some different projects, like the velocity-based training I talked about today, like using our force plate-- some of the jump profiling and measurement.

[00:11:57.09] Testing is hard. And doing the sports science and analytic stuff, that's a challenge when you're out on an island by yourself working with 25 guys. But realistically, with rehab and things like that, each roster is usually upwards of 30 or so.

[00:12:14.41] So when you think about ratios, the two strength coaches, it makes it a lot easier to manage. And we can accomplish a ton more that way.

[00:12:26.20] And are you guys kind of splitting up the team in a certain way when you have it with two strength coaches like that?

[00:12:32.18] Yeah, for sure. Each team kind of approaches their assistant position different. And I see it from across the field and talked to other guys in the league. But we both do-- Jose and I, we both just kind of meet up every day and kind of just plan out what we're going to do.

[00:12:52.65] And we both work with everybody, which is nice. I think it's the best because we can both kind of be fresh, know fresh with a different group of guys-- whether I want to stretch the position players. He's out there with the pitchers. I'll run out there and condition them. Keeps the guys guessing a little bit, but it's also good for them. And it's good for us.

[00:13:20.24] Wow. And before that, when you were a minor league coordinator, you're kind of overseeing 10 or 12 different people, right, in all these different teams and travelling around and kind of check in.

[00:13:33.17] Yeah. I was fortunate that I got put into the coordinator title role. But yes, the minor league coordinator oversees all the minor league strength coaches. So I think we have 13 people in our department. And one, Gene is a consultant. So it seems to grow every year by the position too. Because we just added Dominican.

[00:13:56.78] So yeah, essentially, the minor league coordinator oversees the staff-- most of the staff. But like any organization, the player development side is separate from the major league side. But the leader of our department is Jose. He's our major league head strength coach. And he kind of sets the tone for what our program is. And he's done a really a phenomenal job of putting our program on the map.

[00:14:24.48] And within our own organization, I feel like we have some notoriety in the field just because of the value system that he's instilled in us, our staff, and our players. And there's a reason we haven't had a lot of turnover on our staff. And just working with him, he's really good.

[00:14:44.96] That says a lot about it. What do you think-- what are some of those qualities or things that he kind of instills that helps create that culture?

[00:14:57.11] You know, I think we all kind of look for-- in strength and conditioning, I think we all kind of look for a mentor. You know, one thing that-- and you might identify with this, being a Vermont guy, is like, when I was in school, I was learning from someone with a PhD in physiology. I didn't learn, from a true strength coach, most of what I'm doing nowadays. It wasn't until I came on with the Rangers that I felt like, wow, this guy is like-- you know, he's a physical therapist. He's a strength coach. And he's a great leader for our staff.

[00:15:30.74] And I felt like finally, I had a mentor that I looked up to personally, but also just the way he managed our department. Just the integrity of how he keeps our group together and keeps our group strong in our department. Just the loyalty and the personal relationships we have-- all the coaches-- I think that's really what's made us successful over the years. And he's definitely instilled that in our staff.

[00:16:05.73] That's such a great-- to have that kind of-- like you said-- the leadership and the teamwork that makes everybody kind of come together. It's such a big piece of it. And if you can maintain, especially in a place where you have a lot of moving parts, to have people sticking around because they see the value in it.

[00:16:29.69] That was really the reason that teams got away from using interns. The minor league coordinator job used to be just training the interns, have a new job before that year. And those guys had one foot out the door because they were getting paid nothing. And they would be off to the next college or whatever was next for them.

[00:16:54.17] And we're here at the 2019 coaches conference, where you talked today-- you had a nice crowd in there-- about some of the velocity-based training stuff that you guys are doing. Maybe tell us a little bit what that technology that you guys are using, and how you're using it.

[00:17:11.93] So we started using GymAware this year. We borrowed one from the TCU Sports science lab. We have a pretty good relationship with them, just being local. And a couple of their PhD students came down and just gave us a little tutorial on how to use it. And almost immediately, we saw just our players bought in. They were competing for better velocity numbers. They were competing against each other. And we looked at each other and we're like, man, this thing is awesome. Like, we're getting great buy-in.

[00:17:46.70] And it wasn't long before we just committed and got it throughout our system. So we kind of went all-in on this thing. But we've gotten a ton of-- ton of good information. I think the thing we really like about VPT in general is that we have a force plate. And we do jump profiling. And we like to test our guys and see what they're capable of. But it's hard to travel that. And that's a big part of our business.

[00:18:18.56] The GymAware, the push-- whatever technology used in BBT-- you can travel that. You can do that anywhere. And it's made the information we're getting from that much more consistent and meaningful for us, just the practicality of it. So for us, I gave that presentation today, velocity-based training in professional baseball, knowing that there's not a lot of teams that are using it on the level we are.

[00:18:50.72] A lot of teams have GymAware too, or have a couple devices that they want to try out. But I think the strategies and methods, we're still kind of green on that in the field of baseball. And we're figuring things out. So just sharing that today, I think that was kind of my goal, present those things to the baseball crowd that's always here at this conference. And yeah, I felt it went over well.

[00:19:16.34] That's great. Yeah, we'll have to get you back talking about it more again. I've asked this question to someone else too. And I always like to hear these answers, is going into major league baseball, maybe you have some preconceived notions. Or, was there anything when you started working with major league more so, that you were really surprised at, like working with the athletes or being at that level? Or even before that, when I think people think about major league baseball or the NBA, they may have these ideas in their heads, I guess. Was there anything that really surprised you? Good or bad.

[00:19:55.76] Yeah. I know a couple of things. Part of this is the level of baseball I played growing up. I remember when I got hired into professional baseball, and I was pumped, you know? I get hired by a major league team. And I was going to be a rookie ball strength coach. And I remember being in spring training and watching a lot of the coaches kind of take guys through drill progressions and things. And I'm like-- they were on, I remember, a base running drill. And specifically, I'm sitting there and they're doing dirt ball reads, where guys basically advance when the ball goes in the dirt. And they're like. I'd never heard that term in my life.

[00:20:28.73] So I remember having to ask a lot of good questions, just learn the game more. Because I wasn't a high level baseball player by any means. And so I think that was something that was big for me. But on the other side, people asked me that question a lot. And I always approached it as I see more similarities, you know?

[00:20:49.94] It's always a comparison in the pro and the college environment. And I have always seen more similarities than differences. I mean, in every environment, you're going to have guys that work really hard for you. They've got some guys that don't, some guys that frustrate you, some guys that you love working with on a daily basis. It's different, in that we deal with a much broader population. We have 16, all the way up to-- we had 45-year-old, Bartolo Colon last year.

[00:21:20.27] And so, yeah, your program is going to be different for those guys. And these guys are pro athletes who come from different organizations. And they might have a program laid out. And you just have to be very open-minded working with certain guys. But for me, it's strength and conditioning. It always has been. And I think that's where our field's at right now.

[00:21:47.41] Yeah. And I think it was Brian Doo was talking about working with one of the Celtics players. And he said, basically, a guy came into the team, was a little older. And he was like, perennial all-star. And he was like, oh, what are you going to show me? Like, I've been on 12 all-star teams. And he was like, OK, well, I'm going to have to approach this differently.

[00:22:12.30] 100%, yeah.

[00:22:14.12] Do you find sometimes, you guys have to kind of just take a step back and figure out, OK, what makes this guy tick that I'm going to make that connection with?

[00:22:24.14] For sure. I mean, we're a resource for these guys. It's an ancillary service that we provide. And I think certainly, there's guys. We had Adrian Beltre-- this guy's a future Hall of Famer-- on our team last year. And he's going to-- I mean, he knows exactly what he's going to do on a daily basis. And he's a pro. And he's going to come to us for what he needs help with. And you know, there's just some mutual respect-- like in any profession. These guys are professionals.

[00:22:54.32] And what the interesting part of that is on the younger end, we vault guys into this professional status at a really young age. So we deal with maturity as well. And so I think that's where kind of that reputation of the negativity towards that side of things kind of comes out sometimes. But I love working with pro guys, you know. I've thought about working in college in the past. And for whatever reason, this has just been my calling. And I really enjoy it.

[00:23:25.74] Yeah. And I guess some of those guys, too-- you're probably thinking about it, right? Like, the younger guys are eager to be professionals. And you're teaching them what it's like to be a professional. Then, as you get older, you're also like, well, these guys kind of know certain things. And now it's like, well, they want to know how to extend their career. So now they're coming to you. And I've got a whole other thing. Like, how do I play five more years?

[00:23:50.78] Exactly.

[00:23:51.54] So that's pretty cool. So what's the biggest kind of changes you think you've seen in baseball, in your career? Has there been a lot of-- obviously, strength and conditioning methods don't really change. But there are certain trends.

[00:24:10.37] The professional growth has been big, like I was talking about. I think right now, the biggest change we're seeing is the push towards data and analytics. And this is interesting because as science-based practitioners, we're actually probably the most qualified. And we're definitely the most educated in our organizations of dealing with some of these technologies and movement-based, athleticism-based programs and skills that we're trying to bring into our program.

[00:24:45.29] And so, I do think we have a responsibility to step up and be the voice on that. And it can be frustrating for us because it's coming at us from a lot of different angles, sometimes. And kind of the lowly strength coach mentality. We're stuck down there dealing with AD or dealing with whether it's front office or the people upstairs.

[00:25:19.26] But the technology push and the data and analytics, that's where the game is that. I said this in the presentation earlier today. Our players are surrounded by-- I was talking about velocity-based training. They're surrounded by velocity-based data in every phase of the game, whether it be Statcast or the technology we have in our batting cage or in the bullpen.

[00:25:40.81] And so doing it in the weight room and utilizing technology in the weight room is really, it's the logical next step for us to giving guys feedback. I think the feedback tool is probably the number one thing we can give our athletes to get more out of their training sessions.

[00:26:01.13] But I think that's what we're doing in other areas. And so given that probably, a lot of the education comes from our field that has gone into these areas, I think we need to kind of take ownership of it and be the voice on that stuff.

[00:26:14.17] Well, gosh, these guys have it in every aspect of their life, right? We have it on our iPhone. We've got the Apple Health thing. Probably, some of them have their own Fitbits or whatever that they're like seeing if they got their steps in for the day, beyond with collective bargaining agreement stuff and tracking things. Like, they'll probably bring you their own sleep monitors and ask you what do you think of them.

[00:26:38.80] Yeah. There's a lot. There's a lot out there right now. And guys are dialed in on the technology. They're dialed in on their phone, their Fortnite, and all their different gaming things. And so we can use that to our advantage as strength coaches. Because we're in the exhibit hall right now. I mean, there's a lot of those things, a lot of those tools-- feedback tools that we can push on our athletes and use and get great information.

[00:27:15.87] You guys are part of the PBSCCS Professional Baseball Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society. I've taken me a while to really dial in that acronym. But I've gotten good at it.

[00:27:27.78] I was just going to say.

[00:27:28.65] Three years at winter meetings, I've got pretty well down. But you guys are, I think, the most organized organization as a profession of sport that I've seen. You guys have a great winter meeting thing every year, where you do your educational stuff. Maybe talk a little bit about how that organization there helps you guys overall throughout the league.

[00:28:00.21] Absolutely. So that's grown a lot too. You know, I hear stories going to those meetings about how it used to be 50, 60 people in there max. You'd have the major league guys, and you'd have the minor league coordinators. And now we have, there's probably 2, 300 people in that room.

[00:28:16.08] You have a lot of minor league strength coaches coming. We have all of our RDs now, because every team is going to have an RD working with them now. And the conference itself has really grown. The quality of the content being presented is really cool.

[00:28:35.04] I think the leadership over the past five, six years-- you know, Brendon Huttman, Matt Krauss-- who just took over as our president. He's got some really great ideas about the growth. And he's been involved in the trade show and things to grow our conference. And yeah, I've really enjoyed being a part of this society. And it's a great group of guys.

[00:28:59.05] And I think one thing I really like about it is just, there's the professionalism. You know, we show up. We're in suits. It's a very business-like environment. And I think for a bunch of strength coaches getting together talking shop, we take our job seriously. And going to those meetings always really-- it's a big motivator for me going into the next year. And I always take something away.

[00:29:25.04] That's really neat. No, like I said, I've been impressed every time I've gone to winter meetings. It's been a really neat thing to be part of with our relationship with NSCA and the organization. You guys are so busy, craziest schedule, probably, in sports. How do you guys keep-- and obviously, you have your winter meetings. And I know that you actually brought us in. The NSCA staff did a little in-service stuff for you guys. How do you guys kind of keep pushing the continuing education and growth with such a demanding season?

[00:30:00.27] Yeah. That's a good question. You know, we provide each of our coaches with a continuing ed stipend that they can kind of apply how they want. But we also do some staff continuing education seminars every spring training. The NSCA one was great. I remember setting it up with you a couple of years ago. And for whatever reason, I always remember this being asked. There's an applied, like-- there's an actual test you've got to take, like, in the weight room. And I said, you know, this is going to be awesome. I haven't had a test, like a lab practical test, in years.

[00:30:33.68] So I thought that was really cool. We're down on the conditioning field and we're all taking turns running up to go take our exam. So that was pretty cool. But that's something we do every year. And it's completely different stuff. I think we're-- I'm trying to think what we're doing. We're doing some of the PRI stuff this year.

[00:30:54.51] OK, nice.

[00:30:55.61] And just something that-- other teams use it. We have dabbled with it. And I think we want to get more involved. And so we're going to do that in a little seminar as a group. We've done Olympic weightlifting one year, when we really dedicated a lot of time to that-- kettle bells, Indian clubs. We try to soak in whatever is out there. Because on one end, we need to be the Jack-of-all-trades. Guys come to us with a lot.

[00:31:29.58] And I've been really happy because I feel really well-prepared being part of this staff. Because we I think Jose's leadership, Napoleon, just-- we all come together. And we take on something that I probably wouldn't have taken on for myself with some of these continuing education courses.

[00:31:49.72] And it makes us better. I think just the group mentality, and that's been a really good thing. And I know we're not the only team that does that. And so, yeah. It's a big part of what we do. You need to continue to stay on the cutting edge, so to speak. I know what you said, like, how much does this field really change? But on some level, we need to rework our language on things. We need to revisit things. Things are always making a comeback. And maybe for us it's new, you know? And that's kind of the mentality you have to have.

[00:32:26.90] Yeah, that's a great point. I wonder, too-- and I think we were talking about the different levels. But maybe, what's like a typical day look like for somebody lifting a major league baseball, like maybe in season and out of season? A couple examples, like what's a typical day for you guys as a strength coach?

[00:32:49.16] You know, this is pretty true at the minor and major league level. But I'd say, a home game, I'm getting to the park before noon usually, you know, a 7 o'clock game that night. And if guys are rolling in then, that's on the early side. But that'd be just to grab a bite to eat and kind of get their day organized.

[00:33:11.17] Typically, guys are rolling in-- the younger guys in the one range, the older guys maybe a little bit later. And our weight room will be busy kind of in the 2:00 to 4:00 range is kind of our prime time for our guys in the weight room.

[00:33:25.06] Logistically, what helps us is the weight room's kind of on the way to the batting cage. So it's kind of-- guys will come, get their lift in. And that's in-season training. So you know these aren't extreme high volume time-consuming lifts. You know, 20, 30 minutes max. We can get guys through pretty efficiently.

[00:33:44.20] And then they go and they do their prep work in the cage. And they go about their day. Pitchers, you know, it's more scheduled with the five day pitchers. So they'll kind of come in during that time as well, maybe a little later sometimes-- depending on travel and if we got in late the day before, that kind of thing.

[00:34:03.19] You know, historically, the mentality was you wanted to lift relievers after the game because you want them to be fresh for that next day. But over the years, I think just the practical aspect of guys not wanting to stay late, guys have gotten a better foundation of strength and conditioning. So they can recover a lot better than maybe they used to.

[00:34:28.96] And so when given the choice, most of our guys, no, I'm going to come in tomorrow and get it in when I get in. So they'll kind of take that similar to the position player approach, and come in early, get their work in. And they'll condition out there after they play catch. So we'll stretch enough 4:00-5:00 range, depending on home or on the road, while we're hitting batting practice.

[00:34:54.85] And then pitchers throw. And then there's some downtime before the game. And that's more recovery work for the pitchers that are down. Or, it's more individualized routines. The medical staff does a lot of work in that time. And we'll assist those guys. We're in the same field, essentially. We'll get in there and help guys stretch before the game and do some of that stuff. And then, game time, you know?

[00:35:26.63] And for me, game time is prepping for the next day a lot of time. You know, I go out, you know, try to get five, six innings-- or however long, depends on how much work I have to do. And then I'll come in and kind of log the workday, put together any projects I need to do. And then I'll come in and prep for the next day, anything I need to get done.

[00:35:49.78] Nice. Well, this has been outstanding. Got to know a lot about the stuff I didn't know about major league baseball. If people have other questions, want to reach out to you, find out more info, what's the best way to get hold of you or follow you on social media, et cetera?

[00:36:04.54] Yeah, for sure. My Twitter handle is Eric McMahon CSCS, @EricMcMahonCSCS. That's a good way to get me. I like getting on there. We also have @RagnerStrength. We like putting information out there. I feel like we get great information back in return just by sharing. There's no real secrets in this field, you know? And I think that's been a really positive thing for us.

[00:36:30.25] We're also Ranger Strength on Instagram. But ELMcMahon@gmail.com, that's my personal email. Feel free to hit me up if you have any questions, or you're a young strength coach who wants to get into baseball. I love helping people and talking to people. And so if you have any questions, please hit me up.

[00:36:50.72] You often hear these podcasts recorded at NSCA conferences and events. Why not join us at the next one? You can get all the details on upcoming events at NSCA.com/events. Great. Appreciate you being on the show. Thanks, everyone, for tuning into the Vermont episode of the NSCA Coaching Podcast.

[00:37:06.78] You didn't ask me any Vermont stuff, which is OK.

[00:37:10.65] I didn't want to get into too many historical things.

[00:37:13.73] They don't want to hear about maple syrup that much.

[00:37:16.38] But yeah, thanks to everyone for listening. We truly appreciate the support. And again, and a big thanks to our sponsor, Sorinex Exercise Equipment. We appreciate their support. And to all of you listening, we appreciate your support. Again, if you like the podcast, make sure that you subscribe wherever you download your podcasts from. Write us a review and keep listening in. Look forward to talking with you all soon. Thanks.

[00:37:41.90] This was the NSCA's coaching podcast. The National Strength and Conditioning Association was founded in 1978 by strength and conditioning coaches to share information, resources, and help advance the profession. Serving coaches for over 40 years, the NSCA is the trusted source for strength and conditioning professionals. Be sure and join us next time.

[00:38:00.41] [MUSIC PLAYING]

Reporting Errors: To report errors in a podcast episode requiring correction or clarification, email the editor at publications@nsca.com or write to NSCA, attn: Publications Dept., 1885 Bob Johnson Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80906. Your letter should be clearly marked as a letter of complaint. Please (a) identify in writing the precise factual errors in the published podcast episode (every false, factual assertion allegedly contained therein), (b) explain with specificity what the true facts are, and (c) include your full name and contact information.

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Eric McMahon is the Coaching and Sport Science Program Manager at the NSCA Headquarters in Colorado Springs. He joined the NSCA Staff in 2020 with ove ...

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