Life & Lessons as a Professional Athlete and FullReps Trainer
Where I’ve been and what I’ve done
For the past 5 years, I've had the opportunity to travel the country living my dream of playing professional baseball while being both a trainer and trainee at FullReps. FullReps has given me a home base for my off-season training since my sophomore year of college at VCU in 2017 and supported me in my professional off-seasons with my training and work since 2020.
The in-season and off-season parts of the last few years have provided me with lasting memories, experiences, and lessons learned along with countless new relationships with people ranging from Major League All-Stars and Hall of Famers to the local youth and high school population around central Pennsylvania.
The Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, and multiple independent teams have given me the chance to chase my passion and compete for their teams. Waking up every day and knowing you get to show up to a stadium and work on your craft and then compete at game time for a living is one of the best, most thrilling feelings in the world.
Getting lost in the process of chasing a dream you have had your entire life and being able to try to be a role model and set a good example for those around you is a rewarding feeling. At some point in your career, if you’re blessed enough to continue past college or high school, the game will turn into a job but if you truly love it and are passionate about it I promise it will never feel like work.
Experiences and lessons I have learned
Throughout a baseball career and life, I believe it is very important to be routine-oriented, constantly learning, and genuinely believe you are capable of whatever you put your mind to. Routines are the foundation of how you go about your day-to-day activities and if you align those activities with your goals you can take each day an inch closer and closer to your goals.
I feel it is very common to hear that baseball players are typically very routine-oriented or “superstitious”. Consistent habits and routines can give you the confidence you need to go out and do your job. While I believe habits and routines are very important to progress in any line of work I think it is equally as important to be flexible/adaptable.
While it's important to have consistent habits that make you better, if something comes up on a certain day and throws a wrinkle into your routine you still need to find a way to get out there and get the job done. A professional baseball season is a grueling schedule. You have to have yourself ready for game time at a minimum of 6 days a week. You will have days where you sleep on a bus or a plane through the night and wake up in the next city for the game that night. The game doesn’t care if you got a bad night's sleep, didn't do your plyo routine, or didn’t wear your lucky socks. If your number is called or the ball is hit your way you need to have the confidence to perform regardless of the circumstances around you because I promise they will not always be how you draw it up but if you have a foundation of routines I believe that will only aid you in being unbreakably confident in your abilities.
Early on in my career, I learned quickly that there would be lots of information coming my way from many different directions and it was important to figure out how to sift through that information. Many great coaches along the way have helped me out in my playing career and I have had lots of good advice and some not-so-good advice, all with good intentions. Working with anyone I always tried to be open-minded and give their advice a shot and if it worked, I would add it to my routine, if it wasn't productive to me I would forget it.
One of the most important things I have learned as a player and trainer at FullReps is that you, the player, are your own best coach, and you know what feels right and works for you. Having the ability to try new things and add them to a constantly evolving routine is something that has helped me immensely throughout my career.
Being an athlete and a trainer at the same time
Being an athlete and a trainer at the same time at FullReps is an awesome experience. Being able to come home in the off-season and train and work in the same building is certainly a blessing. It's a special building that's full of the most intelligent, hardest-working trainers in the world and some damn good baseball players.
Every single person that walks through the doors there is hell-bent on chasing their dreams and achieving elite performance. I knew from the first day I came to train there that it was the people and the environment that I wanted to be around and gravitate towards every day. Whenever I had the opportunity to start working there in 2020 it was a no-brainer to me. Training to chase my dreams in the mornings and trying to aid others in chasing their goals in the afternoons and evenings is a unique experience.
Over the years working with the FullReps staff I have learned so much about teaching, how humans process information, how the body works and adapts to its environment, and how to get desired outcomes out of athletes without bombarding them with cues or excess information. It has been such an interesting experience for me to see both sides of the equation simultaneously referring to being a player and coaching.
Being an athlete only at FullReps for 2 years before starting to work, it was very eye-opening to see all of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into every single athlete who walks through the door. Everything from the assessments, movement screenings, throwing, and strength programming to how the coaches convey the information in a digestible way to the athlete has been very interesting to me. Seeing all of the work that goes into me as an athlete also provided me with a new appreciation for what the trainers in FullReps do for the athletes. Everything about the people and the building is geared towards a positive experience for the athlete and making them the best version of themselves possible.
The best part about being a coach at FullReps has been getting to know the athletes personally, forming relationships with them, and seeing their growth over the years. I believe when you form a relationship with the athlete they trust you and can trust that the information you are giving them is intended to help them and make them better. Whenever I am out on the floor with an athlete in the afternoon or evening, I feel like I have a unique way of connecting with them over their training. Odds are, if I am working with someone I am dealing with something similar or did something similar that day or around that time during my training as well. I do my best to combine that with all of the tools that FullReps has given me and trusted me with to go out and help the athletes and I feel like it is a strong way to connect with the athletes and help them during their training. On the flip side, it has been just as beneficial for me as an athlete as well.
As I work with athletes, I learn a ton of useful information that I can take into my training as well. I believe teaching a craft that you are also continually trying to master can only help you improve at those tasks as well. Being a part of FullReps has been an invaluable experience and it's a place I look forward to coming to every day.
Professional Baseball Player
FullReps On-Floor Trainer