FOUNDERS LETTER - JAN 2020: New Year, Same Old Principles!
For those new to the FullReps community, my name is Scott Swanson and I'm the Founder of FullReps Training Center. I currently serve as the Director of Player Development & Business Operations where I spend most of my time developing internal structures and processes to help produce better results for our athletes - while also working on building a team of individuals who are willing to dive in head first and embrace the new era of baseball & player development.
In this letter, I'd like to articulate in greater detail what our team has learned over the past few years, why FullReps has emerged to be a powerhouse influencer in today’s player development scene and also talk about the Future of FullReps Baseball!
HOW WE GOT HERE...
3 short years ago, I made a promise to myself that I was going to do everything possible to learn and master the necessary skills to start a company, help athletes achieve their highest levels of performance and facilitate a forward thinking mindset amongst all involved within our company.
Being a former Division I athlete, I experienced every injury known to man. But each time I somehow managed to rehab myself back onto the field all while working a part time job, maintaining decent grades in school, and battling the onset of an anxiety disorder that I had no idea I was battling until years later.
Through these experiences, I knew that there was not much in life I couldn’t achieve if I planned properly, prioritized what was important to me and didn’t stray too far away from my roots and first principles.
At the time, I knew that I could produce & create a plan that would result in measurable gains for athletes but the only problem was that I was working 50 hours a week as an elementary school teacher on top of running and managing an indoor training facility. The training I was providing at the time for those few athletes under my care was good, but wasn’t systematic enough to scale a business, grow a program, educate and influence the larger masses of high school, college & professional athletes. I knew that If I truly wanted to accomplish what I knew I was capable of, I had to go all in.
So in 2016, I did exactly that. I left my teaching job, chased my dreams and put all my energy into starting FullReps Training Center. My goals were audacious. My wife was pregnant with our son. I had a $250,000 business loan with no business background or experience owning a company. I had no full time employees. I literally had no idea what I was doing. Some called it pure stupidity, but I just called it betting on myself - taking a risk, thinking forward and knowing that I had one task in front of me.....helping athletes produce results.
Looking back, I remember the day when I told some of my closest family & friends that I would one day be training elite high school, college & professional athletes. They all laughed at me and thought that I was borderline insane. My own parents didn't support my decision to start a company. But tell me….Can you think of a single great achievement in life that didn’t start as someone’s crazy, unrealistic dream? With the help of some truly amazing employees, mentors, and an overly understanding & loving wife, FullReps hit the ground running and over the past 3 years has emerged as a powerhouse in the player development scene. I couldn't imagine my life any other way.
WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED AND KNOW TO BE TRUE ABOUT PLAYER DEVELOPMENT...
There is no denying that when you walk into FRTC, our training may be contrary to nearly everything you know about baseball training and player development. But that’s OK because we know that our systematic approach to training athletes is a tested & proven approach that has yielded exceptional results. While some of our concepts may seem a bit radical, I can assure you they are all grounded in heavily vetted, peer-reviewed research - A concept that still scares away most trainers and coaches but one that is essential if you plan on better understanding how athletes interpret information and scaling an individualized training system. RESULTS MATTER: Dudes aren't getting paid and making their way up the ladder in this game by just being good humans. Over the last decade, there has been a lot of attention directed towards various training techniques as new philosophies and training implements have surfaced and taken over the industry. While many programs and coaches have great ideas, great drills & great marketing techniques, very few have a systematic approach behind their teachings. And trust me, you need a systematic approach if you want to scale, manage and produce results for a large sample of athletes. PROCESS, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY: A creative application of a hands on assessment process, re-rest process & programming backed with leading-edge science & technology has been essential to our rise in the player development scene. Our process has played a significant role in the unparalleled success of our athletes and has allowed our staff to better manage programming. Tell me, how do you know if an athlete getting better, worse or staying the same if you are not re-testing them every 6-8 weeks? You don't!
The knowledge we have gained through our study of the science of motor learning and motor control along with the knowledge gained from close friends, employees and mentors has been invaluable and today we are considered one of the the top facilities in the country for managing arm pain and building healthy velocity. PHYSIOLOGY & RISK REDUCTION: The understanding of Medical Science and the Physiology of injury risk reduction is huge. Our staff’s deep understanding of this has put us on the map but the application of this knowledge is what has allowed us to develop such a comprehensive system for training. The most important differentiator of all is our keen understanding of constraint training, implicit & differential learning and skill acquisition science (the theory and the application). Our unique approach to training has resurrected many athletes and has prevented a number of injuries in the past couple years as our team is extremely talented when it comes to helping athletes bridge the gap precisely between player development and overall health. I couldn’t be more grateful for all the work our staff puts in. BASEBALL IS JUST A METAPHOR FOR LIFE & SUCCESS IS OUTCOME INDEPENDENT: What we have also learned over the last few years (which has proven to be the #1 reason for our success as a company) is that the customer experience has to be more important than the science behind the training methodology. When it comes to baseball & player development, nice guys outperform smart guys. It is irrelevant how intelligent/technically gifted you are if you're socially inept. We have learned that running a successful business has very little to do with its product and everything to do with its people. We have learned that you need to surround yourself with like minded individuals if you truly want to achieve your goals. We have learned that creating an environment that facilitates learning is what permeates the culture in our facility and contributes to the overall success of our athletes. And lastly, we have learned that there are no shortcuts to success and success is outcome independent. In business, baseball and in life, you will always have to make complex decisions. These decisions will almost always involve varied levels of uncertainty. Sometimes you just have to decide how much uncertainty you’re willing to tolerate and go from there. With the amount of information out there, I will be the first to admit that we certainly don’t have all the answers but I can guarantee you that our team is always asking the right questions.
THE FUTURE OF FULLREPS - WHERE WE'VE BEEN AND WHERE WE ARE HEADED... As a team, our company has made some major breakthroughs in the way that technology is integrated into training and made into an applicable, quantitative process for programming & bio-mechanical assessments. This year we will be bringing more customized physical assessments & programming to our facility as our team begins to grow.
In house PT & founder of FRPT, Bob Gorinski will now also be serving as the lead performance trainer for our newly hired employees and interns. We will be working with our team to build out and implement more customized physical assessments & individualized training to bridge the gap between rehabilitation & sports performance. This will not only add tremendous value to our programming but will help contribute to our research, functional movement screens and overall health of our athletes. This upcoming year, we plan to grow organically and continue to produce the best athletes in the world. We will be investing 80% of our capital into hiring, training and building out our team to better serve our athletes. We are currently developing plans to build our corporate office to host employee trainings and provide our team with all of the equipment, technology & further educational resources needed to perform their jobs at the highest levels. We have hired Mike Phelps to serve as our Director of Recruiting & Athlete Placement along with Dickinson College coach, Ryan Kramer who joined our team this winter to serve as a high performance coach where he has been working with our athletes to help improve strength, power development, skill acquisition, movement quality etc. We are also currently in our 1st round of interviews looking to add a Director of Analytics to our team.
In an effort to further invest in resources for our athletes development, FullReps is also currently in negotiations to bolster its team to add more specialized programming options with a higher level of service for professional athletes. Stay tuned for these releases! In addition to our new hires, we have also made some internal changes with our current staff to allow for more growth and education opportunities. We have promoted Will Kerr to Director of Programming. A much deserved promotion as Will has been my right hand guy wearing many hats since I first started the company. Our assistant on floor trainer, Jeremy Hileman who has been with us part time for the last 3 years, has joined our team full time in December and has been promoted to Director of Pitching. (Jeremy was the first college athlete I trained back in 2016!!) Our Exercise Science, PT & Kinesiology internship program is now a staple practicum for over 15 Universities in the Pennsylvania region and our internship program will only continue to foster learning and contribute to our one of our main objectives of becoming the best education & research training center in the country. We spent a large part of 2019 establishing & building relationships. This past year we have contracted out several agreements with local College Universities to advise and help build out their infrastructures for off-season training and we have plans on hitting the road in 2021 to roll out our mobile assessments! We have also hosted several MLB agents inside our facility this past winter and have developed solid relationships with a handful of talent agencies that have been referring over some of their best minor league & big league arms. A FullReps Pro Scout Day for qualified arms is in the near future! Our winter and summer collegiate program is continuing to grow and for the first time this summer we had several athletes fly in from out of state to stay with FullReps host families and train under the FullReps umbrella. Out of the 43 college athletes this summer, 21 of them hit the 90 mph milestone and the average increase in velocity was a tick over 6 mph!
What a year it's been but we aren't going to stop there!
The goal of our company isn't to grow into a product based company and sell apparel & baseball training devices. The other day I told Will Kerr - our Director or Programming that if I ever come to him with an idea to sell a product, please just punch me in the face and shut it down! Nothing against those companies who sell product as the training industry and FullReps wouldn't be what it is today without some of these companies. We just plan on keeping the main thing the main thing in 2020 and years to come.
Our mission is to continue to provide the highest level quality of training and programming for not only our athletes but for our staff as well. And thats just what we are going to do! None of this has been easy but I don't think any of us were ever expecting it to be easy. Over the last few years, we have certainly taken our fair share of big blows from the local baseball community in regards to the way we train athletes but we are fully prepared to defend our culture because our athletes keep producing results...and results matter! In closing, let me say that It has been an absolute pleasure watching our FullReps community grow - we simply wouldn't be here if it wasn't for all of your support. We are looking forward to yet another year of growth, failure, learning, solving complex problems & celebrating the small successes in life.
As always, our team at FullReps is always willing to help. If you have any questions in regards to starting up a player development program, managing an athletes training or simply want to chat, feel free to drop us an email @firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also email me directly at email@example.com
Thank you all again for the continued loyalty & support and on behalf of our entire FullReps team, we wish you all a Happy & Healthy New Year!
Best regards, Scott Swanson
Scott Swanson // Founder, Director of Player Development
FullReps Training Center
2015 State Road,Camp Hill PA, 17011