Human Performance Collaborative At Ohio State – Jimmy Onate
Welcome to The Baseball Awakening Podcast, where we dive into the raw, unfiltered, unsexy side of player development
Jimmy Onate – Human Performance Collaborative at The Ohio State University.
On this episode, Host Geoff Rottmayer sits down with Jimmy Onate, Human Performance Collaborative at Ohio State
Show Notes: In this conversation, Jimmy talks about:
- His back ground in baseball.
- Injuries in baseball and his thoughts on them.
- Recovery and his thoughts on them.
- The importance of sleep and the impact it has on the body.
- How the brain and vision players a role in human performance.
- Eyesight and vision are two different things.
- Thought and technology and what pieces he uses.
- and much more.
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Geoffrey Rottmayer 0:00
On today’s show, we’re talking with Jimmy or name, and we’re talking on the human performance side of things.
Welcome to another episode of the baseball awakening podcast where we dive into the raw, unfiltered unsexy side of player development. Get ready for some knowledge bombs. With your host, Geoffrey Rottmayer.
Geoffrey Rottmayer 0:30
Welcome to baseball with. I’m Geoff Rottmayer. And today I’m sitting down with Jimmy or Nate, the human performance collaborative at The Ohio State University. Jimmy, how are you sir? Good, good. How are you Jeff? I’m doing great. Jimmy I really appreciate your time. It’s nice and early in the morning though. You know you’re I’ve had a few people actually reached out to me and feedback and get you on the show. So I really appreciate you coming on and and more
We’re looking forward to kind of listening and learning from you.
JImmy Onate 1:05
Yeah, sounds great. I paid a couple people to talk to you. So that’s perfect.
Geoffrey Rottmayer 1:12
Okay, well, let’s just start with that. Let’s just, let’s start with kind of your background in baseball. I mean, you’re on the human side, the human performance side of things. But it looks like you got your hands and then quite a bit of things. So let’s just kind of go through your background in in, you know, your racing in baseball, and then kind of what you’re doing now.
JImmy Onate 1:33
Yeah, no, you know, it’s funny, because I was trying to try to prepare for this thing and looking back and I’m like, well, man, my baseball career is really adaptable, you know, relative to other speakers that you’ve had on. So I grew up in upstate New York, you know, the three sport athlete but I remember you know, for me the passion of playing baseball I still vividly remember my my older brother going down a little league signups and me, not allowed
It not being allowed to sign up because I was too young. And, you know, that was year after year after year. He’s five years older than me, then I remember, you know, playing my first time and I can still remember the park and where we practice, nothing was you know, nothing was fancy with, you know, back back back of the school and but there was people who were passionate about trying to teach us how to play.
You know, fast forward I played high school baseball with a with a great coach, Mark lady. And, you know, I played probably my proudest thing is I played four years, started every game played every year to 82 games, shortstop and he ran me out there where were, you know, young and terrible, and then we, you know, got better as we went along. And then
I stayed close to home played a little d3 ball at a at a
quote unquote, smart school and engineering school.
That was a great fit from a baseball standpoint, but it was a bad fit.
personal and academic standpoint where it was just, I just finished off paying my loans that six months ago so I transferred a couple of times chasing the, you know, baseball dream and then I finally hung up the cleats when I went to University of Florida and concentrated on my, you know, Exercise Science, athletic training career and kind of left baseball for a little bit. And then I got back into it when I moved into the Virginia area, played some adult ball and then really got back into it when I moved to Ohio about 10 years ago, and I’ve been coaching, helping to coach at Olin tangela every high school up in town, Ohio, just outside of Columbus. And that’s been fantastic. That’s my that’s my family. All the kids in the coaches it’s, you know, for me baseball is kind of
a platform for being able to do a variety of different things and you know,
vibrating dead coach and he’s accepted my,
my internet abilities to try to do some things to try to be impactful if it could be more grateful to him and everybody else. So very cool. So how did this lead you to the human performance side and getting into that side of things? Yes, I have a PhD in human movement science is kind of like a catch all. I have a specialization in biomechanics and motor learning for about 10 years, well, for 20 years I’ve been studying knee injuries, anterior cruciate ligament injuries in concussion, and you know, so then a variety of different things. I’ve tested everybody from collegiate athletes, football, basketball, baseball to middle school kids and high school kids and
navy seals and things of that nature. But baseball was always kind of tugging at me. And when I got back into their what I moved to Ohio State
new lab manager who was very interested in baseball. So that got me into the baseball research side of things. And I’ve been doing that now for about nine years. So human performance has always been something interesting for me, I want to figure out how to help people. And that’s kind of my side of things. But I realized that performance is really just expanded the tremendous area. So, you know, I used to be really biomechanics and motor learning focused and now I’m focused on a variety of different things relative to performance, everything from sleep to stress,
to, you know, brain aspects to vision. So that that side of things is just, again, another platform we need to try to help people, you know, achieve what we call their optimal potential. So that’s awesome. So, let’s talk about let’s just start with injuries. You know,
Geoffrey Rottmayer 6:02
That the rate of injuries that we’re seeing
it, despite all the things that we now know, and all the things that we have is still it, maybe I’m wrong, but it still seems like the trend is kind of up. What what’s what’s your idea? What’s your thought on? What’s going on? in that department of things with injuries?
JImmy Onate 6:27
Yeah, you know, that’s a tough one. And that and that’s really where I focus is I focus in the any injury prevention and the prediction risk assessment piece that I just gave a talk yesterday on this.
You know, the hard part is injuries are inherent part of sport. And the more we push the limits the the, the closer we’re going to get to having that fine line of whether we’re going to get injured or we’re going to be really, really good performance. And I don’t care what area we have that in so that could be a special
sprinter and really haven’t hamstring or, you know muscle muscle strain problems or a football player playing a lot and having some risk of you know, any type of injury. So I think baseball is the same thing, like we’re really pushing the envelope, but what the human body can kind of withstand with, you know, throwing as hard and as much as we do. I’m not a proponent of that.
That single sport is causing all our problems. I don’t, I don’t think that’s it’s as simple as that. And I know we want to try to make it simpler, right. So play more sports, and you will get hurt less. I’m not sure that that’s the exact answer. I think it’s one part of it. But I don’t think it’s all of it. I think there’s a there’s an inherent risk in anything that we do. Be if you really want to be good at the high level and all these kids really want to be good, right? There’s I mean, every
listener that’s on this podcast is because they have something either they want to help somebody be really good, or they themselves want to become really good. And with that there’s, there’s there’s risk,
you know, so So I think, you know, we keep on chasing this.
We want to reduce injuries and we want to eliminate injuries. You know, I think that’s part of the game a little bit. What we can do a better job is manage those things. I think we are a society in baseball that
that grinds it out. I don’t know how many times I hear that word of grind and in work and continued to, you know, push through,
you know, and we lost one of our greatest athletes and heroes, from a mentality standpoint, right? The Mamba mentality is to be pushed through and gut through and in those things, well, if you look at the injury history to there’s an injury history there.
And I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. Right. So I mean, one of the one of the best physicians, I know, when he passed away, Dr. Garrett passed away last summer. And he, he told me he’s like, Look, if you want to prevent all injuries, and don’t have a play the sport, but if you want them to be really good, they have to understand that there’s some risk in this. And, you know, and I think that’s part of it. So I don’t think we have a magic cure. I, you know, I’ve been part of the pitch counts, that type of thing. And that’s not the magic cure. It’s just one. It’s a it’s an awareness tool.
And I think we just have to be more aware of those things so that we can kind of withstand longer
across the time, but, you know, yeah, it’s a tough nut to crack. So, yeah, I want to talk about the pushing the body, you know, path what it was designed to do, or maybe capable of doing.
Geoffrey Rottmayer 10:00
You know it from a from a I know you do the the biomechanics and all that stuff does i mean is there that much of a difference in the in the output and the performance output of grinding out for to just kind of letting the sequence happens or what what do you find there?
JImmy Onate 10:19
Yeah, I mean I think there’s there’s a variety of different things that go into it right. So there’s, you know, it’s weather the weather the the engine fits the car, right so, I mean, we see a lot of these kids I coach a 15 year travel team and and I got one kid in particular that I’m looking at and I’m seeing him in a you know, he’s 60 just grew up 6263 really skinny you know, he’s gonna put on weight eventually, but it’s just not there right now and, and I got two of them and, and one is not necessarily hitting the high below yet, but you know how to high workload, those types of things. The other one had a high below and they’re not concerned about both of them.
That I’m like, okay, is the engine pfitzner? You know, their body type? Right? So can we put a high high engine there’s a, you know, velocity arm into a body of a car that maybe can’t handle that yet. So,
you know, I think that’s a concern. You know, I think the idea of workload and grinding is has to be part of the mentality, but it has to be an awareness like, people just don’t understand recovery very well. And I think we need to understand that recovery is a grind to like, you have to, it’s sometimes easier for people to work out consistently across the board every single day and think they’re doing better. As opposed to sometimes they need to de load. So I never say that we we should rest. I don’t say rest. I say D load. Do we just have to adjust that load. It’s no different than us driving a car. We don’t
go as fast as the car can every single place that we go
because we know that that’s gonna you know, and then slam on the brakes like that’s going to not be a long term process for that car and those tires right so we have to understand that
you know, I think back to some of the you know, movies and Days of Thunder and they talked about when when they were running tires right I don’t know if you remember those that movie but you know, they were going to turn like okay, you run tires your way then you run tires my way. And, you know, when they ran it really hard, really fast. Those tire gave out really fast and he was slower in the end, as opposed to run it it, you know, in a smarter way. I think that’s what we need to do from a training standpoint is harder is not always smarter. So, yeah, no, I, I think you bring up a great point.
The remember we talked about recovery.
Geoffrey Rottmayer 12:54
But you know, for the people that listen that may not may not really fully understand what that means. Can you talk about
JImmy Onate 13:00
A little bit about what that is and what it entails. Sure, I mean, recovery. You know, everybody likes to think it’s just the arm throwing, right? Everybody knows how to teach this game of baseball know that it’s not the arm just throwing it’s the entire body sequence. Right. So I think from a recovery standpoint, it’s, you know, different aspects of stretching different aspects of D loading different aspects and stress.
You know, I think a really good person on social media that that has a lot of followers and it puts out tremendous information exactly channet from TCU baseball, and Zach posted something the other day that was talking about stress in the body doesn’t really know if you add, you know, stress to the shoulder by doing band work or stress to the shoulder by doing plyo balls, or stress to the shoulder by throwing footballs or frisbees or whatever. It’s just no stress. And we have to manage that stress to the to the body
So that might be sometimes you know, you know, giving some D load pieces where they’re doing some, some lower level pieces, they might be recovery of stretching and foam rolling and massaging. You know, we’ve looked at different things from float tanks to different types of photobiomodulation. And, you know, all different techniques that you have. But in reality, one of the biggest things is, is, is understanding that stress and mental and physical stresses together, we need to be able to handle those types of things. So, you know, I think the old school of going out and running three to five miles as throwers is kind of not really the in the mainstream right now. But I know some people still do it and in some bodies that that they handle that stress really well and some bodies do not. And I think we need to look at recovery processes that are very individually focused, and then the biggest recovery process and this is the human
you know, peace step.
really missing and I think a lot of the major league teams and, and definitely in the NBA and the NFL understand the sleep cycle. And sleep is so important. And I think we missed that. especially kids and young development. I mean, they need more sleep and in our school system isn’t really set up for that, right? I mean, we have we get the youngest kids up earliest.
And we get our high school kids up earliest. And then we do you know, we don’t have gym space. So then some places do you know, 5:30am workouts and 6am workouts? Well, some people are really attuned to that right? Their bodies are really good morning, their morning people there their cycle works that way. Then there’s others that you’re really just you’re really hampering their performance capabilities, their recovery processes really poor. So you have to kind of understand those things and set up for those those pieces. So I think recovery, there’s no magic formula. It’s really an individual focus.
A variety of different things from nutrition to stress to workload to sleep.
Geoffrey Rottmayer 16:07
Yeah, and when you talk about sleep, the, the,
the consistency of what time you go to bed what time you wake up important to write?
JImmy Onate 16:18
Yeah, that routine is very important. I mean, the body really responsible adapts to that really well.
Yeah, I mean, there’s a, you know, there’s really good studies that show, you know, it’s not so much that the night before the two nights before it’s you know, it’s an accumulation of the weeks and weeks and weeks before that you kind of go into it. So I think a routine is very important
from a sleep standpoint, and from a coma going to sleep standpoint, but also from a waking up standpoint. You know, and you know, we you know, some some places have the device, time change and, you know, those kind of wreck havoc with your cycle if you have any of those things people who fly coast to coast know that that
You know, it’s a really tough thing and you know you so you have to kind of put some of those things in motion right? So you have to have some you know, things that kind of block out you know the sun You know, I’m a I’m a sleeper with with fan noise to kind of calm me down and you know, there’s a routine that I have before going to sleep and as Regina have awakened up and you know, you got to really I think in the sleep cycles really find your routine and find what works and, and what’s best for you. Yeah, and so continuing on the sleep
Geoffrey Rottmayer 17:33
and again, you said everybody, everybody’s different we know that with everything. It’s hard to you know, be a coach of a team and and
understand that everybody’s different when you constraint the time and stuff but with with that, with that, that sleep.
How did one know and maybe this is a tough question, but how does one know
JImmy Onate 18:01
They know they’re sleeping. Right? That means it means that if they’re there, you know, well, I mean, number one, there’s a, you know, if it’s a major Sleep Disorder, right, they can, they can go to sleep clinics and there’s a variety of high quality sleep experts out there from university settings that are doing in private settings that are doing it. So that’s number one. Number two, you know, I think they are going to have a feeling of, you know, being refreshed or not on on a regular basis, right. So if you’re constantly waking up, and really still groggy and really still struggling and half an hour later and you’re still struggling to do all those types of things, you know, that quality of sleep, you know, disrupted sleep is tough, deep sleep. You know, there’s there’s a bunch of apps out there and sensors that are going to help. I don’t know if any of them are the best sensor out there. You know, there’s things from rings to, you know, mattresses to, you know, wristband and armbands, and
things that, you know, tell you if you’re moving, and so on and so forth. But I think it’s really going to be a sense of, you know, how you’re feeling in the morning and how you’re feeling in the afternoon, and then how you’re feeling at nighttime. And I think, you know, one of the things that we, that I really try to promote is, you know, it’s important that when you’re running out of steam, in certain part of the day, it’s usually because of one or two things, you’re either you know, you nutritions off, or your sleep cycles off. And so you have to, you can’t evaluate them separately, because those two parts are really going to be important on how your energy levels go. And so if you can be consistent on one of those, then you can evaluate what the other ones doing.
So I think, you know, again, there’s questionnaires that you can do in the morning and how you feel there’s you know, there’s a simple just a, you know, zero to five point scale of how was your sleep how rested
Did you feel and so on and so forth and that’s just a very simple one and you can track that you know on an iPhone or something like that. It gives you an idea of like okay, well that sleep pattern works out pretty well for me. Yeah just that again that that awareness you talked about that you know just having the awareness of what you doing and what’s going on how to evaluate yourself. And you know, if you you have that desire to play at that higher level, you know, you’ll take that extra step and and the tough sell because these kids they have they have so much going on that they’re so they’re so busy.
Geoffrey Rottmayer 20:35
It’s hard for them to down the Hey to kind of journal this little bit kind of look at your process and see if this working out or what you need to adjust and the tough sell but they can do that that would be huge for them that awareness part.
JImmy Onate 20:48
It is and it’s really hard right? I mean, we think about it when when they’re little right when I mean when they’re little whenever a year or less than a year two years younger, right? We control their sleep like we recently
set them up for their nap during the day. And we set them up for their bedtime. And we don’t just let them randomly pick, when they have now we know that their sleep cycles change as they move into their teenage years, and they move into their adult years. But to have to have that awareness of what that is, and understand that you keep on accumulating a lack of sleep, just like you keep on accumulating poor nutrition. There’s repercussions of that. And we know that when you’re, you know, when when kids when they were babies, you know, how did they act out, they acted out, you know, they were they were tired, they were angry, they were crying, they were you know, they’re just miserable.
Geoffrey Rottmayer 21:38
You know, and so we have to kind of have that awareness later on. And, you know, I think a huge thing that misses is is a nap time. And, you know, so we don’t tell high school kids to take nap time. But what we do try to encourage is like meditation time, and meditation time can give you some similar things as sleep not as good
JImmy Onate 22:00
Good, but at least calms you down and de stresses you. So I think taking some time in the day, right, so think about a high school kids schedule, you know, they’re up at six, they’re on the bus at 645. And, you know, they’re in school and starting for my, for my freshman, he’s in school starting school at 720 or 710, somewhere around there. And, you know, then he goes straight through till 230. And then he’s got, you know, after school practice, you know, still going and then he’s got home eat, probably try to get a lift in and then it’s homework time, and then it’s, you know, you still have to have some socialization time and so there’s the video games, right? And you just don’t know when to turn those video games off. And you got to understand that you need to get your sleep in there. So you know, sometimes maybe two between that 230 and three o’clock practice time can you find 10 to 15 minutes
Just close your eyes meditate, find some quiet space, quiet time, you know, D. D load the body for a short period of time to then be ready for the next energy burst and so on and so forth. Yeah, no, I agree with you on that. And I, that’s something that I you know back about my own business. They’re stressful like that. And I kind of adopted that meditation time.
Through throughout the everyday I do it every day. And it’s huge in terms of being able to not use that D load. That’s the word de load, and to get your mind clear and present and allow you to be sharper going forward. I think I’m with you on i think that’s that’s a huge part.
Yeah, yeah. And I think you know, you’re seeing those things and in different performance areas, like you know, people love to, you know, downplay how much we’re spending on like
You know, locker rooms and things of that nature to make it more comfortable for these individuals and so on and so forth work and other differences, you know, our on our on button is much greater than it ever was before. You know, I’m connected to my cell phone and you know, it are on it from a work standpoint, and from a social media standpoint, it’s just on much greater. And so what we’re halfway to understand is that our OFF button needs to be really good now, as opposed to is previously a little bit easier when we you know, had three channels and you know, TV pretty much went dark, you know, after the 11 O’Clock News and things like that are off button was easier. Now our OFF button is not as easy, you know?
So we need to really understand that we have more options than ever for our on button, and we need to understand and work out our OFF button. It’s not as
Geoffrey Rottmayer 25:00
simple as just, you know, go until you crash and then start all over again. Right? You know, I like that. Okay, I wanna I wanna I want to jump over to
the brain and business side, you know that I’ve a tremendous interest on that side of things. So on the on the vision side of things, what I mean, what, what do you seen there? Let’s talk about baseball. Well,
JImmy Onate 25:24
it’s cool. I mean, so yeah.
Geoffrey Rottmayer 25:27
No, go ahead, Jeff. No, no, I was just gonna say, you know, it’s so important in there not a lot of focus on it, or if there is not enough, and and i think that that part of the, if you can get that part, right, the new that connects to your brain, the brain told your body what to do. So I just wanted to kind of get your thoughts on, on the vision side of things.
JImmy Onate 25:50
Yeah, I mean, we say that, you know, vision is the gateway to the brain. Right. So, and I think, you know, there’s some simple things that actually I was just talking to
A really good sports vision optometrist, Jeff Klosterman and he’s great. He’s my go to vision guy.
You know, I’m a, I’m an expert in some areas, but not in all areas and visions, not my expertise. But I’m highly interested in from human performance. So I have a slew of people that I go to, you know, who are really experts and I can really kind of dig deeper. So, you know, Jeff and I were just talking actually, before this call, and he,
you know, he mentioned the, you know, a training an individual, and that individual hadn’t had an eye test an eye exam, and this is a professional now, since he was eight years old. He goes, Well, I’ve never had a problem with my vision. So I didn’t think I needed to go get an exam. And Jeff goes, how do you know you didn’t have a problem with your vision because it doesn’t just change overnight. It gradually changes. And so you know, you don’t it’s not you
It’s not really a perceived like, Wow, my vision is really bad. It’s just like, you know, I’m 49 years old now. And I still think I’m 15. But I realized when I go to jump and hit the backboard, or I explore, I sprint with my 15 year old, he’s so much faster than me that I realized who I’m not as fast as I used to be, and I can’t jump as high as I used to be. So there’s a test that I kind of use, right. So vision wise, we don’t do that we just sit there go, Well, that’s, that looks the same as it always looked. But you don’t know those small changes, you know, and then we don’t see those things until something glaring happens, right? So like, I have my, you know, my, my middle age, barely able to read now, right? So I need light and I need, you know, reading glasses and all those types of things and like that became a big change. Well, some of these athletes don’t realize that they’re missing some simple things there. You know, they don’t even know that they’re missing some of the new
rapid eye movement skills that they can have to be able to, you know, give them an advantage. And we know that baseball players have better, quote unquote dynamic vision than some other athletes. You know, we know that, you know, hockey goalies and things like that have better dynamic vision. But, you know, it’s just it’s a skill, just like anything else. You know, it can be enhanced, it can be trained, it can be, you know, a big piece of performance. And I know there’s some visual experts out there who don’t think some of these things are trainable. Or they don’t have an impact. And I sit there going well, I don’t know if there’s a direct correlation between somebody’s deadlift and how much they can hit you know, from an exit below. But I would assume that we’re going to have the stronger person, the bigger person is going to have a better exit below, right. So what we train that way, well, why would we train vision the same way
and I don’t really see any
You know, dangerous of it, meaning I don’t see that division training is besides time, you’re not having a big cost. And okay, well, now we’ve put too much strain on the eyes, and then we’re going to have to take five days off and using our vision, that’s not the way it works.
And so I see it as a pro. And I see it as a, you know, there’s some companies that are trying to get into the space and doing some more and more, and there’s definitely some, you know, Major League teams and colleges that are trying to focus more on every edge and I think vision is one of the key ones that people haven’t done enough with. And I think it’s, it’s gonna be the next kind of big wave of, of things. I agree. I hope it does. Because, you know, I, I’m, I see the benefit with my kids that I work with.
Geoffrey Rottmayer 29:48
And, you know, vision more than just that acuity charts, you know, it Oh, yeah, that acuity chart that doesn’t tell you whether you can see, you know,
JImmy Onate 29:57
that’s how you know that not that
Not the whole picture. And that’s where a lot of people are. If I can see that I got a good vision right now. Yeah, no, no, it’s not the 2020 part. It’s not the it’s not the acuity part. It’s, it’s everything else that’s a component of it. It’s rapid eye movement and convergence and psychotic movements and smooth pursuits. And, you know, there’s an attention span piece to there’s a memory piece to it. We all know that, you know, here’s where I have a little bit of the you know, there’s a lot of people say, we need to practice more than we play. And I sit there going, Yeah, but you have to play the game at game speed. So that your eyes and your perception is working at the highest level possible, right? We know that that’s changed in batting practice, right? So now we’re making batting practice much more difficult, you know, we’re doing multiple machines from multiple angles. We’re trying to get more live pitching. You know, if you look at the, you know, the old films and you
You know, the 30s and 40s. And, you know, even into the 50s, you know, you got a live pitcher pitching live BP. You know, why? Because it’s training more than game like situation. I think, I think we can do that with some technologies that we have now, you know, there’s definitely some VR things that people have put out. And they’re like, well, it’s not let’s just like the game. Like, yeah, but you can’t get exactly like the game because then your workload for the rest of the body is going to be overloaded.
And so what can we do to kind of fill those spots? And, you know, I think that’s a very important part on top of looking at some of the, you know, visual performance assessment pieces on top of the what I term vision, health, right, so vision health would be, you know, blurred vision and visual acuity and those types of things. Yeah, yeah. And you know, the, where the technology will come into play. While not the same is it will help you teach a kid what to look for, because when you ask a kid Hey, what are the facts
Geoffrey Rottmayer 32:00
Almost like out of hand they are, they can’t tell you. So you start saying, hey, look with these cute and then you start seeing that and you can start picking up those cues out of hand stuff.
JImmy Onate 32:10
Yeah, and you know, there’s definitely technology that’s going to allow us to I mean, they’ve been out for a little bit, they just need to get fine tuned to get to the general public. But you know, there’s definitely technologies out there, relative division tracking where we can actually really look at where you’re looking. And, you know, that may be simply of just like, wow, I was looking in the wrong spot. Yeah. Or, you know, I was never trained on where to look down, you know, and those things kids, kids can kind of sit there go, oh, wow, that’s this makes it easier. I feel like I’m cheating. Well, yeah. You’re getting a you’re getting an advantage because you’re seeing something that you’ve seen before. And now you are, you know, quickly processing that information of like, Okay, this, this, you know, and we teach the curveball, right. So you see this big hump,
you know, comes out of hand and flips up and you’re like, Okay, well, this
Not going to stay up there. And now I have to kind of, you know, have a general idea where it’s gonna come down. You know? I mean, we’ve been doing this for years, right, you know, if, you know, on an off speed pitch, hang it, bang it, you know, if it’s low, let let it go, right. I mean, we’ve been doing that, but we haven’t been assessing that. Right. And I think within a vision piece, we’re going to be assessing those things. Yeah, no, that’d be that’d be awesome. I, you know, I’ve been waiting for a technology like that, that the where guys are looking because a lot of kids, they think they’re seeing the ball. They think it but they but they don’t they’re not seeing it well. And you could tell by you could tell by watching them swing or whatever, that they’re not being the bhagwad that could and when you start adding that when they start understanding how to get that first third window where they’re seeing that a hand and they’re amazed how much how much more time they have to hit.
Yeah. So yeah, you know, I mean, that goes across so many things, right? I mean,
Yeah, it’s easy to see from a hitter, right? You know, whether he’s taken balls that are close to, you know, to the plate or he’s like, yeah, that’s not a strike and, you know, you know, they they see that you can see that in hitters but you know, it’s the same thing and fielders, right. You know, we talked about reading hops, right? Well, some, if you can’t see it, you can’t read it.
And so, you know, same thing from an outfielders perspective, you know, and you got to get used to those things. You got to train it. Right. So how do we train outfielders, you know, live BP see as many balls as you can, you know, track the two directories of those things. Well, that’s a visual component. And so what else are we doing to that vision? Are we assessing it properly? are we training it properly? You know, to get the most out of that versus just going out to, you know, track flyballs that’s that’s part of it. It’s not all of it. Right? Yeah, I would say. Yeah. Go ahead, Jeff. I would say in the in the vision part, we got to have vision health. We got to have good
performance. And then we have to have gained performance and gain skill development. And I think those three things are very important when you’re putting together this, you know, Human Performance Package. I think people when they talk about human performance, they get just too caught up in one area of performance. You know, they’re either biomechanics focused movement, or they’re cardiovascular focused, or they’re targeted, focused, or their vision focused or sleep focused. And, you know, I can keep on going. Sure. And what we need to have is people who can put all those things together. Yeah.
Geoffrey Rottmayer 35:37
Yeah, no, I agree. And then get the, the add one piece to the division part, you know, the other thing is, is it teaching them what they’re looking for? Because that could that be the Altai? Oh, yeah, we work on it, but I don’t really know what I’m looking at what I’m looking for anything like that. So that part, you gotta keep that part too. Could we get we can’t assume any kid No.
JImmy Onate 36:00
Be the ball look for the hump and what that means they got it. They gotta be shown what that means what they’re looking for
100% I mean, we got to use our educational tools read some people can see it, some people can, you know, hear it, some people can feel it. I think we got to show them what what that is and what, you know what happens with that. I think we got to give them a game plan on what to do with it. Right. So yeah, you know, if you’re, you know, all of us who have coached baseball, we’re sitting like, okay,
you know, to well pick your pitch, right? Okay. Well, but what is my pitch coach?
Plan of like, right, okay, well, what is my best pitch? Well, you do not even know that you have a big, you know, launch angle or an uppercut you know, I mean, so and you handle the low inside pitch really well, but you handle the high away pitch really poorly. Yeah, it’s a strike. But in a two row situation, let them have that strike up, put it there, but he puts it in your zone and it’s a basketball going
Get it. So even have that game plan and what you’re doing with your visual piece is very important. So I mean, it all encompasses different skill sets and different things that we need to kind of, you know, teach these kids and some of them have it just naturally, they just know they, you know, they go to the plate and they just, they know, but that’s a rare few. You know, I mean, like, you know, I love our coach talks about, you know,
we don’t have instincts, we train them.
hitters aren’t born, they’re made. And I agree with that, you know, I mean, if hitters were just born, you know, they wouldn’t take dp, they wouldn’t, you know, be working all this amount of time in the offseason to get your timing back. And, I mean, you can see spring training games and you know, hitters are just off and, you know, all those things, you know, when we when people get sent down for, you know, rehab assignments, you know, you know, they got to try to see you know, we stepped in and it’s all a training piece of visualization.
Part of that, that we need to train? Yeah.
The brain, the brain, the pretty fascinating. There’s a lot more coming out on it and
what have you, have you done anything with like, how how trauma will affect a performance that we know that a lot of time you know that there are certain, you know, if a kid had to start performance issue,
Geoffrey Rottmayer 38:27
sometimes it could be just a trauma that they dealt with that tells them that they can’t quite overcome. Have you done anything with that or?
JImmy Onate 38:36
No, I mean, I haven’t done that myself.
Too much. I mean, I, you know, the idea of mental health is huge. And I think that’s it. That’s a really important part. The ideas of pain perception is very important. You know, some, you know, people perceive pain at an entirely different scale. I was talking with a physical therapist up here. I’m up in Chicago right now.
Amy sites and you know, looking at some different things relative to how people respond to pain, and whether those people who are hyper sensitive or hypo sensitive so they’re really highly sensitive to pain or the really low, you know, you know, how do they handle and do they have an increased risk for injury? You know, if you think about it, you know, there’s people who really can just compartmentalize and move pain off to the side, right? Those are the people who can handle you know, ultra marathons and those people you know, navy seals, they, you know, they can get, quote unquote, comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. Why? Because their pain threshold is probably no different than somebody who’s, who’s not who’s very sensitive to pain. And, you know, you and I might sit in the room and go, man, it’s really hot here and you might like, Yeah, no, that’s perfect. And then the other way around, right? You might have a sensitization to cold and I might be like, not the perfect day. Pain is the same way. So the brain capabilities of
Responding to just a variety of different stimuli
has potential psychosocial, you know, what type of traumatic events have happened to you, so on and so forth. You know, the easy one in baseball is thinking about, you know, the little kid who gets hit by a ball and now become scared of hitting, right? Why? Because they had a traumatic event. And that really hurt. And they, you know, they get back into the box and they’re, you know, they’re stepping out there. You know, that’s a really tough situation to overcome, because they’re, you know, they’re, I mean, we are animals and we are going to protect ourselves, right? That that’s the very first rule of thumb for an animal is survival, right? So if I got into a box, and this big kid just nailed me in the back, what am I going to do? Like, I’m not going to just be comfortable in there. And we need to train them. They’re like, okay, you know, get back into it. You know, like, I taught my kids
You know, when they were little, I was throwing wiffle balls and tennis balls out. And like, here’s how you handle a pitch. Here’s how, you know, if you get hit, here’s where it goes, you know, so that you’re not afraid of it when it kind of gets up. And then, you know, you do have to, you know, quote, unquote, I’m not going to be a kid with a hard basketball, but you know, they got to get comfortable being inside of the plate. So that’s one type of trauma. We’ve also seen people who had different types of trauma. You know, and again, I haven’t seen it, but in the literature, there’s things relative to you know, if you had a major stressor event, like you know,
you know, a sibling or a parent passed away earlier, unexpected, or sexual abuse or those types of things. Well, people handle their emotions completely different often, you know, what’s the worst thing that happened to you? I struck out at a game what’s the worst thing that happened to you, you know, my, you know, spouse or or my, my parents, you know, pass
away or, you know, they’re they were, you know, some type of drug problem or like that’s off perspective really affects an individual.
And everybody has those things and we know that that can have a major effect on how you’re, you know, you handle things from a social emotional standpoint. So, you know, there’s definitely a
dirty nurture part two, you know, development, right. So there’s the nurture part. And we know that that nurture part is very important. Yeah, yeah. You know, I, I got interested on that side of it. Because, you know, you always have like, the kids you work with, they’re like, the kids that do really well. And they’re the kids that doing, you know, pretty good. And then they the kid that just, they they’re either not the right fit, or there’s something going on, and I’m always trying to figure out that group right there to kind of kind of lead you down the rabbit hole to what could be what could be so that’s where, lately I’ve gotten into the middle, okay, maybe there’s something going on, trauma wise, that’s affecting them from
Geoffrey Rottmayer 43:00
Being or maybe it gets it the wrong bits, you know? And then where do you? Where do you work? Where do how do you figure that part out? And that’s the hard part.
JImmy Onate 43:13
I mean, if you figure that out, let every we have this, we have this mental health epidemic going on. Right? And, you know, that’s the hard part, right? is figuring people out. I mean, that’s the, you know, you know, do we give more chances to the people that aren’t the right fit because we’re trying to help them become the right fit? Right do should we be spending more time with them as opposed to less time? That’s a constant battle. I mean, I think most coaches you know, most quality coaches think about the kids that
quote unquote, turned out the wrong way. You know, we’re all everybody’s proud of the things that turned out the right way. You know, you get the kid who goes on to a, you know, a four year college career gets a you know, degree goes on to you know,
Whatever pro ball or whatever professional career gets married, you know, ball those things, right? Those are ones that’s easy to be proud of. But I think most quality coaches think about man, what happened to that one kid that I know was on kind of the line and offense, you know, he just went over the other side, and what could I have done differently? What should we have done differently? What, you know, what could we do? And those are the ones that keep you up at night, and it’s hard.
You know, you’re not going to be able to save everybody. That’s, you know, that’s the one reality.
And there’s probably more to it than what you see, you know, on the ball field for a high school coach between you know, 230 and 730. You know, there’s more to that life than just that. And, you know, the more that we can have open communication, the more that we can, you know, really listen, that’s probably one of the biggest things that I’ve been
made aware of over the past. I would say my lightened past 1010 years.
is listening and we got to listen to all those cues of the kids. You know, hey, go home and crash with your dad and you know, like yeah, now that ain’t gonna happen.
Or, you know, how was you know what we really asked how are you really listening to the response?
That’s a big, big thing that I think we we really need to need to listen to what that answer is when we asked him that question.
So, you know, it is hard and it’s tough that some of these traumatic events that we may never know about we can just maybe you know, guess machine and some of these things we just know that man that you know, that kid had had a tough road and and how do we help them through that road? Yeah.
Geoffrey Rottmayer 45:49
The the technologies side of things.
You know, it’s exciting. It’s it’s overwhelming.
Too much What? Not enough, you know that that that whole dynamic there?
What do you mean what type of technologies for you? And what you’re doing? Are you pretty excited about it? And how do you use it?
JImmy Onate 46:14
Yeah, you know, so at my disposal, so my kid my son, my oldest son doesn’t play baseball at all. He runs track and he loves it. And he’s, he’s great at that. And my youngest is a baseball player and he’s, he’s pretty good. So I always said that he was the most tested kid in the country from a motion capture standpoint, because he was tested motion capture at age five and a six and a seven age to eight 910 blah, blah, blah. And he, you know, didn’t care what it was at that age was kinda like cool. I put on Doc’s nice. Stand on a force plate and we’re doing forceplates assessments. You know, that now is kind of cool. We were doing that a decade ago. The motion capture stuff we’ve been doing for a while now.
You know, and it’s amazing that, you know, I used to have the high school team come in and get tested, we’d have all these things.
But, you know, I think technology is just like anything else, just like a drill, right? If you think it’s providing worth, then then then do that. But you got to be, quote, unquote, you got to be efficient on it. You got to be knowledgeable on it. And I think people are going out just to buy stuff and to train on stuff, because somebody else has it. And it’s, you know, it looks good. I think technology is just like anything else. It could be used really well, if you know what you’re doing. And you have time and you have,
you know, the staff. And then I think some things are just,
you know, put poorly to use. And again, just like any drill, it’s not so much just the drill. We know it’s how you execute that drill, right? I mean, we can all teach bunting and you know
Double plays and, and all those types of things, but it’s how we set it up how we execute it, how we believe in it, how often we do it, how much we care about it. So if you’re just going to put in and I don’t care what technology XYZ technology,
is it so that it looks good? Or is it so that you actually use it? And if you actually use it, how do you use it? Why do you use it to you believe in it, so on and so forth? So, and technology is not going away? I mean, we’re going to continue with technology.
I think the biggest thing is that we’re going to have we have this big shift, right? So everybody talks about new school, old school and Fred coral, from University of Missouri talks about, you know, it’s, you know, it’s kind of now school or present school. And I think that’s what we’re going to kind of shift to is this kind of present school. And the idea that, you know, we need to have both sides
really working together, but in reality, I think what we’re going to do is grow both sides, meaning you’re going to have somebody, you know, the, the long standing kind of traditional views with some of the new views, and really they just are informing your current view. And I think more coaches need to understand what the actual
mechanics behind these technologies, and I’m not telling you to go get an engineering degree, but to, you know, to have a an understanding of like, what frame rates mean, what sample, you know, sampling frame rates are the same thing. What, how are they filtering data? You know, how are they collecting this, you know, 3d motion capture, or, you know, to understand that, you know, what Newton’s laws are any of those three basic laws of motion and that’s, it’s not I mean, we learned these things in grade school.
It’s amazing the stuff I teach at the university level. I tell my class, you know, you got taught
These things in grade school you just forgot what they were and you really didn’t know how to apply them. So I think that’s the same thing with technology teachers just need to not just buy it from a sales rep. But understand what’s behind that technology for what are they trying to get out of it? Yeah, no, I agree. You know, I I know I’ve heard that coach who you know he doing the best he can I’m not I’m not knocking anybody they they’re all doing the best they can they all want to help. But he actually developed his
Geoffrey Rottmayer 50:36
hit pitching roster based on the rap Soto numbers, not whether they can get out.
Yeah, yeah. Like blast numbers. So it’s all rock around that and I’m just like, wow, I thought the name of the game with the get out and hit the ball get hit, you know, so interesting. You really making me laugh? Because that’s that’s exactly what
JImmy Onate 51:00
Problem is like, somebody’s kids are just there for the numbers. And I look at it I was like, Yeah, you’re up to whatever number right you know, it’s all relative you know, so right the younger the kid he wants to break 70 the older the kid he wants to break at the older kid, he wants to break 90 and then, you know, the big kids, they want to break a hunger right? So
and I always say, what is the goal of baseball and everybody like, Oh, you know that, you know, it depends on who I’m talking to. to have fun for teammates for camaraderie bottle. I was like now, but the game like if we were to say, step one, how do you win a baseball game? Right? And we created this Monopoly game and it said, rule number one, to win the game. You must do what you know. And it’s like, we must field we must pitch we must sit. We must be good teammates, like nada. What is the absolute rule? And they come back with like, Oh, I don’t know. It’s like it’s to score more runs than the other team.
That’s how you win.
game. It’s not whether you hit exit below, or you have a launch angle, or you have these, you know, great numbers, it’s to win the game by scoring more runs. So how are you going to do that? And I think people forget that when it’s technology based and, and all those things and I, you know, I look for players, you know, I’m involved with a variety of different things that look at different types of, you know, showcasing the numbers and blah, blah, blah, and I just sit there going, Yeah, but I, what’s going to tell me that this kid is going to be really good at helping us win games.
And the numbers are not going to be the they’re part of it. They’re not all of it. And we need to as coaches realize, like, yeah, I’m not going to
put it all on
You know, you know, we talked about for our high school we talked, we play our games at 5pm. We’re like, Okay, do we want a 3pm guy or a 5pm? Guy, we all sit there going, Hey, we see those 3pm guys, they, they feel fantastic when there’s no pressure and they hit rockets off of, you know, pee in front toss, you know, maybe even off the machines and then they get in the game and there’s you know, 5pm guy becomes nothing. And you know,
like, we need 5pm guys, we don’t need 4pm guys, and 3pm guys, and 2pm guys, we need 5pm guys guys who are going to be really good between five o’clock at seven o’clock for our for our high school game right now. Well, I mean, we’re kind of approaching the hour and I don’t want to take up you know, too much more of your time, but let’s just kind of wrap up. Yeah, I could do this all day long. I could do but you know, this is a blast. Yeah, no, I’m having fun. So appreciate it.
Geoffrey Rottmayer 53:57
Yeah, so let’s just kind of wrap up though. Maybe
What would be like? Maybe some resources, maybe some books or two favorite? You know, I don’t know, Twitter account website, what are some of the resources that you like? Yeah, I would say there’s a couple Twitter people that I would really follow. And because I think they do a really nice job on a variety of different things. Joe eisenmann, who does a lot of
JImmy Onate 54:25
development process for kids, so really, you know, Ltd, which is long term athlete development.
He was a former professor at Michigan State and he’s out doing some different things, but his pieces on development and understanding having a game plan for Child Development, Joe is really good at putting out that information. He puts out blogs, he’s a baseball lover like I am.
And I think he puts out a tremendous amount of quality information for youth development out there. So Joe eisenmann would be one follow that I would definitely you know, there
A variety in the collegiate ranks and professional ranks who, you know, have a lot of different things I think really looking at not only what do they post, but then really reading around it and beyond that don’t just get sold on the social media guru, right, you really got to investigate further and find some trusted resources for those things. And then my final piece is, you know, in developing youth baseball players and and for me, youth is, you know, anything younger than me, right? So that’s basically 48 years old and down.
You gotta we still have to not forget to instill and allow freedom and enjoyment in the game and in practices.
In my high school kids know as an arm as intense as Has anybody, but my, you know, the kids that I really trained and do more with and I coach the infielders. They know we have a model this year free and fast. Like, we gotta enjoy
We’re doing like we have to.
I really just like when kids leave a facility, and they look miserable, they look like it’s just, you know, it was an awful day at the office. And I’m not saying we need to make it all rose colored and it’s like, you know, a wonderful day and always be happy. But like, we should have some enjoyment when we’re playing this game. And I think we don’t do that enough for people. And when I say this game, the game of baseball, the game of work the game of life, like we got to enjoy it. And so I always kind of end with enjoy the journey. I think we can’t forget that because we only have one life and we got to enjoy that life and you know, whatever you believe afterwards and, you know, I’m a god believer, and I believe you know, Jesus Christ and those types of things and and I think we need to understand that we got to do our best life here so we can have our best life you know, afterwards too. Awesome. Yeah. And you you touched on a good point of you know,
Geoffrey Rottmayer 57:00
The there’s so much information out there. There’s so many people that are talking, there’s some people that are really loud, but you gotta, you gotta, you gotta find the right people we gotta you gotta dig down and figure out who really putting out the right content because the the, the get locked into who’s allowed us and, and, and again, you know i
different things work for different people so that I don’t think there’s anything that wrong. But I do think that there’s information that, you know, if you went a little bit further you will kind of maybe reconsider. So there’s a lot of young coaches that are out there trying to figure out what they want to believe what they’re trying to do and all that stuff and, and they get lost in that, who’s allowed us and, and again, nothing wrong with that. But if you really want to get the you know, you got to weed your way through and find who are the quality people and try to try to develop relationship with other people.
JImmy Onate 58:01
Yeah, I agree 100% and usually the, you know, the quality people, they’re wide open with their thoughts and ideas, and they’re not trying to sell you stuff and things of that nature. And, you know, I think that’s the important part is, you know, you find the right fit for you. And I think that’s everything, you know, what’s your style, what’s your fit? What do you have, what your resources, what are you interested in? And how do you want to do this? And I don’t think there’s a there’s a right way. And technically, there could be potentially some wrong ways, but, you know, I think everybody’s going to have their own way. And I think that’s the important part. So. Okay, one last question. If you were me interviewing yourself, what would you have asked that I didn’t ask
Geoffrey Rottmayer 58:44
you if I were you interviewing me?
JImmy Onate 58:49
Man, I don’t I don’t know. I don’t have a I’m not a great interviewer. I don’t interview enough people. I would say
you know what?
For me, why do I love baseball? I think that’s common thread. that would that would be a question that I would have asked is, and I can give you the answers. I think it’s a platform. It’s my platform that I feel most comfortable with in sharing messages of variety of different things.
And it’s something that I fell in love with, at a young age and lost a little bit of time with it. And it’s something that for me, keeps me somewhere between the ages of 12 and 15 on a regular basis.
And I think if we can live life like that, you know, I had a good 12 to 15 year old upbringing, somebody else might say, you know, my 12 to 15 year old wasn’t good. The next day, hey, have it puts you in a 2225 or eight to 10 or whatever. For me baseball’s been that one thing that helps me connect and it’s the most comfortable place that I’m never, ever at. So it’s you know, it’s
It’s a field of dreams for me. It’s It’s, you know it is habit. Yeah. Awesome. Well, Jimmy, I really enjoyed the conversations. Thank you for coming on and sharing with us. Jeff, I appreciate it man. Thanks so much and you know, keep on putting out some really good stuff and helping some people so, appreciate it. Anytime you want to give a check, just give me a holler.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai