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Ep. 71: Rockland Peak Performance Nunzio Signore | A Baseball Podcast

Geoff Rottmayer March 16, 2020 6


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Rockland Peak Performance Nunzio Signore

Welcome to The Baseball Awakening Podcast, where we dive into the raw, unfiltered, unsexy side of player development

Guest Bio:

Nunzio Signore, Owner and Operator of Rockland Peak Performance

Summary:

On this episode, Host Geoff Rottmayer sits down with Nunzio, Owner and Operator of Rockland Peak Performance

Show Notes: In this conversation, Nunzio talks about:

  • His starting into baseball as a strength and conditioning guy.
  • The assessment process he takes off of his players through.
  • The strength and conditioning process and how it will develop better movers on the hill.
  • The role of the back foot in pitching.
  • The role of the front leg and foot in pitching.
  • How hip and shoulder is achieved.
  • Why kids push the baseball.
  • Developing velocity and the nay sayers.
  • and much more.

Website: www.baseballawakening.com

Facebook: Baseball Awakening Podcast

Twitter: Baseball Awakening Podcast

Instagram: The Baseball Awakening Podcast

Email Address: geoff@baseballawakening.com

Nunzio Signore
It all started with the strength assessment. And to this day, I can tell you that um, you know, most of the things I see in the pitching delivery, they are mechanical issues, but they are mechanical issues that stem from a lack of strength a or a lack of mobility.

Intro
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, Jeff rottenmeier.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Welcome to the baseball awakening podcast. I’m Geoffrey Rottmayer, and today I’m sitting down with museo signori, owner and operator of Rocklin peak performance, and we’re gonna pick it mine today on assessment, strength training, and some pitching New Deal. How are you sir?

Nunzio Signore
How you doing sir? I’m doing great,

Geoffrey Rottmayer
man I appreciate you coming on know you’re you guys are busy over there but you know let’s just let’s just shoot right into the thing let’s just start with kind of your your background in baseball man and how you got started and what you got to do and now?

Nunzio Signore
Well my background in baseball came from first from a strength and conditioning. After I got out of school at Berklee College, I was a soccer player. I played baseball probably until the age of 15. And then I never picked up a baseball again, much like Eric Cressey, you know he was a tennis player, but um, all through high school and college, I played soccer and that’s what years ago, I opened up a small facility before rpp and I trained all athletes then I started to really feel like there’s so much going on with the shoulder, that um, that was a great niche to get into. To really separate yourself from the just, you know, not not to put anything against us. trainers and just guys who train all athletes. I mean, they’re there. That’s great. I just wanted to kind of create a niche for myself and I felt like the shoulder is such, you know, it’s such a mobile joint, there’s so many things that can go wrong with it. And if you dare step into it like, like Eric Cressey did, you know, you could kind of you could kind of make some grounding for yourself if you’re good at it. So I decided to do that. And about 10 years ago, my partner who is my partner now barozzi, he brought his son in, who’s a high level pitcher at a, at a high school called Don Bosco. And he really loved the systems they had in place. And he said, Hey, you know what, I think we can work together. And, you know, we implemented we implemented a pitching mound and then we implemented hitting connells. And then we implement it for camera video analysis, and we’ll get into all that but about I’d say about 10 or 11 years ago, I started to string specifically baseball players pretty much justyou know, lucidly

Geoffrey Rottmayer
very cool and you know you got to do you got to do awesome work and I mean we can go into Twitter’s did you put out good content, you get to go to seminars and all the stuff that you guys are doing come right over there. Let’s, uh you know kind of kind of talk about let’s just kind of start with talking a little bit about the strength conditioning I want to talk about pitching but let’s talk about the strength conditioning cycle. That’s where you got started.

Nunzio Signore
What, you know, I got my CSCs get it, we’re gonna ask the question and I’m

Geoffrey Rottmayer
done. Awesome. Okay, cool. Yeah, so with that, what do you see? I mean, what do you see with baseball players that it’s very different and very similar.

Nunzio Signore
Okay, so from a strength and conditioning standpoint or from a pitching mechanics from we’re gonna start with fantasy business. All right, alright. So Ah, things that I see the most are, you know, tightness in the lats, lack of upward rotation on pretty gritty internal rotation on the lead hip from landing, guys and have a hard time feeling their glutes, posterior chain strength a lot of guys, a lot of guys come in and they’re, you know, the younger the worse it gets. But I see it every everywhere from you know, the youngest kids we train are 14 years old all the way up into pro guys. I see these issues with with with with most most all ages. And it’s you know a lot of guys are quad dominant, they really know how to use the front part of the body. But they really really are weaker in their hamstrings glute, me groopman because the things that really helped create rotation and you know, stability. So it’s, I’d say the biggest thing I see what guys are, you know, their inability to use their glutes weak core strength on gritty front hips from a mobility standpoint, really tight lat from work. Working out and training wrong, which makes it hard for them they get overhead and really poor upward rotation of their, of this gas not getting not getting the scapula up high enough to to efficiently get overhead safely. Awesome.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So, you know a word that gets thrown around a lot that you just mentioned was the the quad dominant versus disclude comment. Can you talk a little bit about that, but if people that are listening that really don’t understand, you know, they’re seeing the word order in the internet. What does that mean?

Nunzio Signore
Okay, so quad dominant delivery. I guess everyone would have a different explanation of what it is. For me. A quad dominant delivery is when I see when I look at a pitcher and I see that back knee coming over the back toe, as they as they start to load and as they start their initial move forward. All the weight transfer shifts to the of the leg, which will pull them to their arm side. And they’ll kind of a lot of guys will generally land close because of this. And you can see it from the front as you can really see that knee if you view the pitching delivery from the front, you’ll see a kid heel load and you know, it’s that it’s that vertical Shin that people say they look for basically, basically the saying a vertical Shin because if your shin is vertical, you more than likely aren’t putting the knee over the toe and you’re using your glutes. So that’s why they look for that vertical shin. A more a more hop a more angled Shin towards the toe is going to mean that we are putting too much weight in the front of the leg, generally due to either a back hip mobility issue or a weak core or a weak posterior chain of the back leg issue and it causes the athlete especially younger, like 14 to 18 year olds. But before they filled up that good, that good amount of strength in their legs, they become very quad dominant and they land close and it can leave that get make them get overly rotational. It can leave curveballs hanging makes them cut their ball, all things like that. There’s a lot to that. So

Geoffrey Rottmayer
in our kind of jumped ahead a little bit, I mean, cuz I want to talk about the delivery. Let’s talk about the, maybe the assessment when you got when you got the good guy to come in and do an assessment. I know you got the big on the assessment part. Right? Yeah, what does that process look like?

Nunzio Signore
Okay, so an athlete a pitcher will walk in or position player, an athlete will walk into our, into our place and he’s scheduled an assessment. Our assessment takes approximately two and a half hours, it’s long. what he’ll do is he’ll fill out a fulfill out of Park you will check for any previous injuries in the injury history and then We will do a gait analysis of him we’ll look at watch him walk, then we’ll do a static assessment of him and look at how he stands. We’ll look at his shoulders and his core in a static standing position, then we’ll have him move into upward rotation, we’ll have him bring his arms overhead and see how the scabs move, what his strategy is for his scapular movement, then we’ll check mmt. We’ll text strength testing of the cost. And then we’ll lay him on the table and we’ll check on tightness and flexibility in the upper body will test tightness and flexibility and strengthen the lower body. And then we will check to see spine rotation is ability to rotate them we’ll take them off the table. We’ll put them onto a jump mat, and we will do a reactive Ability Test where we check on ground contact time in a in a jump in a minute. squat jump or a CMJ jump, and we’ll see how our athlete best produces force. Is he using more muscular force? Or is it more elastic elastic, and that’ll tell us say, say an athlete has a quick, quick ground contact time and his jumps. Okay, we know that he’s an elastic guy. But if the jump isn’t very high, we know we need to focus more on strength. Whereas if he jumps really high, but it takes him a long time to land on the mat and get off the mat, and he has a long contact time, we know that we need to work on his reactive abilities, because it’s the combination of how fast how strong you are, and how fast you produce that strength. So we can control how many plyometrics in his program and the degree of plyometrics he gets from that, and then we’ll take him into the weight room, and we’ll test his force velocity profile using a velocity based transducer that will tell us how fast he’s moving various percentages of his weight in a trap bar deadlift and a squat and It can tell us how heavy we need to load this person from the from the start of his program. So that gives us all of his mobility work and all of his strength training and his what what phase he will be in in his strength training based off of where he is in the season, and how we performed on those tests. At that point, we’ll have him warm up and we’ll have him throw five or 656 from the wind up and stretch from in our tunnel off the mound and we will videotape him and we will check. We will do a complete video analysis from a core four four camera shoot that we have. We will also if the if the athlete wants to work on pitch design within the next three, four months. We will also if he’s able to throw a short pin on we will get rapido numbers on him as well. And we will add a pitch design into his program further down the line of throwing Porsche This program

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Wow, man, how did you come up with that? Like what the what was kind of the the, the evolution like where did you start like how did you

Nunzio Signore
okay? It all started with strength. I’m a strength and conditioning coach first I studied Kinesiology and I, I love movement. I started watching how pitchers move. I started researching the pitching mechanics and pitching delivery, various various guys that I really really respect a lot, such as like Paul Nyman, and I really I started taking it from there and I started to develop my own view of what pitchy mechanics should look like, based off of things that I’ve read and things that I’ve studied. And I started implementing it when we implemented tunnels. So it all started with the strength assessment, and to this day, I can tell you that You know, most of the things I see in the pitching delivery, they are mechanical issues but they are mechanical issues that stem from a lack of strength a or a lack of mobility or both. So it started from the it started from weight training and physical assessment and using strength as the foundation for everything. And then we started applying data. We started to see the success with some places like Dr. Lime or having called Bodie has been a really great help to me, as far as kind of gives me some business advice on using data and social media presence and he has been a really generous guy. I speak with him a lot at seminars like pitcher Palooza. So I started to adapt data and technology as well as strength and conditioning into our session.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Very cool. So so when I listen to you, and You know, when people listen, the weight room and how you move in the weight room can have a domino effect and how you’re moving on the hill. 100%.And so when people say that, you know, pitchers don’t need to lift or they don’t need to do heavy stuff, whatever it is. That’s That’s it. That’s a horrible advice.

Nunzio Signore
Horrible. I could tell you that I could tell I could tell you right now that when a guy’s coming in, maybe a guy has Tommy john surgery and he comes in to rehab and he can’t throw for three months before it’s Tommy john programs before throwing program starts on these guys get in the weight room. A lot of times these guys that are to come to me, they’re not always but there is a lot of times with especially with the with the younger athletes under 20. There is a definite type that comes in many times. And it’s the kid who throws hard, who’s thin and doesn’t have a lot of muscle on his body and he can’t disperse that stress. I’ll tell you that a guy will max out at 90 miles an hour, or 8890. And he gets Tommy john, he comes in, and for three months, he can’t throw a baseball. So he gets in the weight room, and he works out harder than he’s ever worked out in his life, because he wants to stay athletic. And he gets he puts on 10 to 12 pounds in three months of muscle and, and girth, and put on some size, he starts to throw. And by the time he’s back up to 80% 85%, he’s already throwing harder than he threw at the peak before we got Tommy john, and he hasn’t really ever really, he hasn’t really thrown hard or changed any mechanics at all. So that tells me that just to gain and lean muscle mass on alone has brought his velocity up.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
And so now I want to kind of talk you know, when we look at like, let’s just put in the picking motion when we look at the feet Where does the weight go? I mean, does that mean where to go on the weight room and where to go when you’re on the mound, like the feet, and when I’m sitting on the rubber, where does my weight go on my feet.

Nunzio Signore
Okay, so if you’re talking about it stance, the stance and join the stride phase where the foot goes, we’d like to see the, you know, the weight more evenly distributed over like the whole foot, you know, with the ankle slightly inverted. I mean, he voted as the center of mass comes down the mountain, so it kind of brings them in and makes them able to drift. I like to, I like to try to keep them on into that into the center of the center of mass in and over that foot. And I like to keep that foot as flat as as long as possible, to be able to really, when it’s time to rotate, to really be able to use the whole foot to really use those external rotators to drop that leg down. Really, really, really, really quickly and get maximum Rotation as quick as possible by keeping the foot in a nice stable position with its weight evenly distributed. So I like I like to put to be evenly distributed as long as possible until we start to put that front leg down.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
in the weight room, I get the squat pattern that’s the same way that’s how you choose to be worth their worth.

Nunzio Signore
Well, that’s, that to me is just as much a matter of ankle mobility and hamstrings and calf calf strength and calf mobility, unable to get your E vert and invert that’s your ankle going side to side and dorsiflex your ankle going front to back. So we check ankle mobility in our in our in our assessment, and we do a lot of things to strengthen the ankle. Because you can have the strongest you can have the strongest glutes and legs as possible. But if you can’t if you can’t stabilize your foot if you’re over your your your weight over your foot, with With a weak ankle, it’s really going to do you no good. And you’re going to have a tendency to spin out early on that back leg and what we call vaulting where guys kind of a jumping down the mound and we don’t want that.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Now what if you got a guy who when he lifts his leg load and his back foot,turn but the heel turns in?

Nunzio Signore
What What is thatheel turn in like his foot goes back towards behind him, it slides like

Geoffrey Rottmayer
the heel goes towards the catcher.

Nunzio Signore
He’ll go towards the catcher. He’s, he’s, he’s spinning out on that back foot. He’s He’s obviously not keeping enough weight on that back foot. Because if he had enough weight centered on that back foot, it wouldn’t spin out a and b, he may just not have enough rotation in that back hip, to actually to actually rotate the femur in the hip. So on the leg can turn and keep them and keep the hips stable. So that hip has to go to the body is going to go wherever it feels comfortable. So water seeks to get to the quickest course. So, if he has a lack of hip mobility, he’s not going to be able to keep that hip from turning out. The other thing is, if he has a tight groin, as he brings that front leg down, that might also cause him to spin out on that back leg because the groin so tight, that he actually can’t get can’t adequately and efficiently use the amount of strides that he’s going for. So it will also pull on that back leg.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Can you can you talk a little bit about the about that and how, how the tightness of these muscles and the joints are preventing them like, like for the people that are listening, maybe don’t understand how, yeah,

Nunzio Signore
when I say the groin muscle, I’m talking about the two muscles on the inside of your thighs. Okay, so if you were to do a split and you had a tie You had to call the Add doctors on, if you had tell you that doctors, you would not be able to get very far into a split, your legs would be tight. So think about a split position. In a sense, when someone tries to do a split, that’s like what they’re trying to do as they open that front leg off, and they come down the mound, and they try to get that 80% of their body length strides. Okay, so if you have a tight groin, and it’s not going to allow you to do a split, you’re going to actually come up short when you try to put that front leg down, too. So what’s going to happen is, the body isn’t it’s not going to let you continue to do it if you don’t have that flexibility in the groin. So Something’s got to give and it’s going to be the back leg is going to get pulled forward, because it can’t actually, they can’t actually do that and at the same at the same time. If you can’t turn your leg inwards without moving your whole entire hip as you try to turn that leg in that back leg inward to roads You’re going to bring your hip around early. And that’s something you don’t want either. So tightness in those two areas, the hip, the hip, and in the groin will definitely create problems when you’re trying to keep that back foot down.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
That makes sense. So what, what if somebody says, hey, my solution is going to be I’m not going to start as far as I mean, what my, my solution is gonna be, I’m just not gonna start as far because I can’t do it. I’m just gonna do a shorter strike. I mean, what’s the domino effect of that thought process?

Nunzio Signore
Well, if you’re not striding as far as if you’re in mid season, and you’re it’s really affecting your pitching, maybe shortening up your stride might be something to do for a quick fix. But when we have some time to work on a guy in the offseason, that will be something if the guy is striding short, because that’s as far as he can be. With efficient mechanics. That’s where he’s at. But by, by striding short, what’s happening is you’re Creating force for a less you’re moving down the mountain, and you’re creating acceleration for and producing force for a shorter period of time. It’s almost like if I was in a car, and we were going, and we were going 100 yards from a from a wall, and I can hit the gas. If I was traveling that school hundred yards fast, I would hit the wall a lot harder than if I push the pedal to the metal and hit the wall at 40 yards away. So it’s really dependent upon how hard you can hit the wall, that wall being how hard your front foot hits the ground and stops the transfer force up the chain. So with a longer stride, we can put more force into the ground when we do land. So we’re a little bit you know, we’re a little a little bit more of an advantage with a longer stride so we can produce that power and force for a longer period of time. Now, on the other side We don’t want to overstride we don’t want to strike so much that we get into a really bad position with our hips too low that we actually can’t get back out and creep in posts. So there’s, there’s, there’s, there’s disadvantages to a short stride. And there’s disadvantages to overstride. And so each guy has to find out where their ideal stride length is. But one thing for sure is tightness in the groin and in the back leg are definitely going to inhibit you finding out where your optimal stride is.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
What, let’s talk about the pump a little bit though, the you see, you see the logic kids flying open really early with that front leg. what’s the what’s kind of the what’s the pattern with the front leg? What’s that doing and what’s the timing of it?

Nunzio Signore
Okay, so, I always tell guys we like to, we like to start to see the front leg, come down, come down towards the ground. When The back leg starts to rotate. So when the back when the backlight starts to rotate into internal rotation, we like to see that start to put the back the front foot down. And as far as the timing is, that is right when they’re out pretty much at almost at full stripe. Then we’d like to see the knee, the foot come kind of straight down, we try to talk about landing like a helicopter, instead of a jet on some guys have a lot of success, landing with a heel first landing. But we can get a more abrupt stop. If we can land more like a helicopter flat and create a really sudden stop that allows the athlete if he has the strength to accept that force to really transfer it up into his core and into with eventually into his arm. And what we see with the front knee is a lot of times because of numerous things on that front knee will leak it will collapse inward or outward or it will continue to move forward. As the athlete tries to post up, and that’s a huge energy leak, energy leak, there’s a, there’s some of the highest correlations to to below our, you know, knee extension after foot strike. So, um, you know, there’s, there’s numerous things too, that can cause that, that that, that lack of posting up, you know, you know what I’m talking about right where a guy ends and then you see his body continue to move forward over the knee, and instead of legs kind of straightening out of it doesn’t have to get perfectly straight, but we do want to see, we do want to see a certain amount of degrees that we see that leg posts up a little bit. So we know that force is being transferred in a backward manner into the into that hip that will help that hip rotate that front hip rotate, so that that that can be caused by a weak posterior chain and the front leg that doesn’t allow the front leg to adequately decelerate which will create a less than stable landing, that will make it leak. You know, for hip IR, that’s another, that’s another thing that can be caused, because it, it doesn’t allow the athlete to rotate into front foot plant and continue to rotate and extend that knee to transfer force. And you know, the timing issues, eating the upper body up a little faster, like coming around with the upper half, a little too quick. We’ll get that athlete with too much of a forward trunk tilt at foot strike, and that’s going to put too much more more weight than he can handle on that front leg and that will make it go forward as well.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah, man, there’s a lot going on there. So what though the the front leg you mentioned earlier, you said the front leg you’re not actively trying to push that you’re trying to keep rotating, right?

Nunzio Signore
Yeah, that’s a that’s a, that’s a really, really big misunderstanding. A lot of times when a new athlete especially a young one comes in and they come from Another pitching facility. A lot of times we ask them as your as your coach, does your coach ever tell you that you need to post up better? And they’ll say, Yeah, he did. And they say, How did he show you to do that? And they show us and they’re literally pushing and jerking their front knee backwards. Okay, that is the biggest fallacy in creating the extension and creating a good toaster, because what you’re doing is you’re creating a negative force going the other way of where you’re trying to throw the ball. Okay? So what you want to do is you want to rotate into that front hip, that front hip will straighten out by rotating and extending the hamstring and straightening out the leg. And that will that’s that’s how you adequately transfer force because if you kick the knee back, what you’ll see is these kids go flying forward like they’re on a bicycle. They Hit occur, and then you see them throwing off one leg, and that backflip comes flying off, and you’re throwing off one leg. And that’s because you’re throwing that knee back. If they rotate into that front knee, it allows them to keep that back foot on the ground a little longer. And it allows them to get further over their front side to create later ball speed.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah. Can you talk about that a little bit? The idea of keeping the back foot on the ground as long as possible?

Nunzio Signore
Yeah. So in you asked me a question earlier about triple extension, um, you know, do I want to sue the knee roll down or triple extend, kind of want to see both. I like the, you know, the back leg and back foot should begin to roll over more as the lead leg and the hips begin to open going into contact. But the triple extension happens closer to ball release. And, you know, there’s guys that have major success, where you look at them and they’re throwing off one leg. Does that mean that everybody should do that? No. We can’t be picky mechanics off of a few outliers, who happen to throw 95 miles an hour, hundred miles an hour with the back foot off the ground, that is not the norm. So we try to you know, if you look at a guy like Zach ranky, that cranky at fall release, you know, you don’t have to have your flat back foot firmly planted into the ground, nor do you want that. But a lot of times, being able to use that back leg just to touch the ground and triple extension to let you know that it’s there can help offset the hips to let you have a little bit more of a stable platform to throw from. So you can actually kind of kind of as much as possible, try to repeat that position. From throw to throw. Yes, yeah, if you haven’t used that, you use that back leg like a kickstand, kind of it kind of like, you know, create a more stable, more stable environment on the lower half that you can actually live. in the same position every time as well as it creates a more stable environment for you to actually extend over your front leg and get that arm out closer to the header.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Let’s talk about the hips, the hip shoulder separation. There’s there’s some things out there that it’s happening in the hip socket or it’s happening in the towers. What, what is the hip shoulder separation and what what do you what, what should it look like?

Nunzio Signore
Well, hip shoulder separation is different for everybody. Um, guys that kind of wind up really, really early to try to think that if the further they can counter rotate their torso on before they go on, I think the guys that do that, I think they’re setting themselves up for actually not being able to transfer energy as quickly. The key thing is, is to create that separation as the hips are moving for rotating towards the batter to really get a good SCAP load. To create counter rotation of the pelvis of the torso, I think we need to try to think about hip and shoulder separation happening sort of at the same time. So it happened for a short period of time and happens really, really quickly. So that’s why we like to emphasize a SCAP load on you, we’re talking about this at the hip socket or the core, I think it’s a little bit of both, you know, the, the hip, the hips, you know, the hips, and the and the anterior core, they connect with the pelvis from top to bottom. So there’s kind of like a battle right there for flexion and extension going on between the hips, and the core, and you really need you need, you need good mobility and strengthen both. But how you create your hip and shoulder separation and when you create it is key guys that are really really tall, like six foot five guy who has a really long torso, he actually might need to open up those hips earlier because now he can get much much more of a stretch Because he has a lot further to go in his core to really create that tension. Whereas a short guy like Marcus Stroman, a shorter athlete, if he tries to open up his front hip too early, he doesn’t have as long of a torso. So what’s gonna happen is he’s going to run out of room really quickly, and that’s going to pull him around prematurely. So he needs to try to keep that front leg internally rotated for a little bit longer of a period of time. Whereas a guy like Chris sale may like or kershel, you can see these guys they kind of open up really early. And it’s because they have big long torsos. So they have to open up the front leg early so they can get they need more time to stretch that big, long poor as a guy like Stroman, they got to keep it, you know, internally rotated. So it’s different strokes for different folks. There is no set way or set set of mechanics that work for everyone, especially when it comes to stretching the fascial system and the core and getting hip and shoulder separation. So you got to kind of see once again You got to play with timing of your scaffold and your hips to see what’s lightened up the most.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah, what with the guy that that goes down that hill and he’s uh, you know, the, the feet rotating way too soon hip and shoulder boards are all together. No separation at all, what’s going on there, but you see that a lot

Nunzio Signore
with kids. That’s a lot with kids. And the reason that’s a lot with kids is because that is with with younger athletes, that’s a strength issue. Okay. If that’s a strength issue, they’re their core is probably if they are SCAP loading fairly well, and they are rotating pretty well in the lower half. That’s a core issue. That’s an anti rotation issue. So the core has to be able to turn quickly, but it also has to be able to resist turning as well. Okay, and there’s exercises we do with cables like cable chops and lift. And Paul off presses, things we do in the weight room that make it athlete be able to hold. So when that when that upper body is turning towards second base, and that his hips are turning towards the hitter, we need to be able to hold that cord in place until we’re ready to let it go. And that’s a strength issue. And when kids you know, when kids have also when kids have a weak lower half, they have a tendency to want to muscle the ball and get all of their velocity from their upper body because they don’t have any in the lower half. And it makes them throw with all arms. And that’s going to make the front but the top side of the thorax the knee the torso, go first.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah, and then they pull that front shoulder and front arm and all that stuff happens.

Nunzio Signore
Yeah, they don’t you know, we didn’t even talk about glove side. So yeah, so officially assisting in rotation on the glove side is key that helps online that will help two things. One that’ll help really help unwind rotation when it is time to rotate. So you don’t have To get it all with the arm side arm, and also it helps throw the arm back into lay back as the arm is laying back first. So we want to get we want to sync up our, we want to sync up our arms. So our pool is kind of pulling as the arm goes into lay back.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So, so you want the front arm to pull down.

Nunzio Signore
I want the arm I want the front arm down I don’t know is the right word. I like the arm to pull to retract. I like the gap on the I like the SCAP so we track on the glove side, just like it retracts on throwing side just you know and pretty much almost at the same time because as the back on we track right after that the love side we track and it kind of helps throw the arm into labor. Some guys, some guys wait too long with the glove side and some guys go way too early. And that’s another thing that kills quotation a lot of times if they pull that glove side too early, before the I’m going to lay back there cooling the front side around yeah

Geoffrey Rottmayer
I mean I know there’s this there’s strength issues there but they’re they’re like anything you tell guy today. You’re trying to rotate way too soon on top half with that front arm rotating waiting for cooling way too hot. Yeah.

Nunzio Signore
We try we try to tell them to keep the glove side thumbs down. Once we coach once we coach thumbs down, it helps keep that front shoulder a little bit more close. And then when they get into landing they when it when they get into landing, we tell them at landing you want to start the pullback low side as you as you go into lay back.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
what’s what’s the timing of the year about timing in the back arm? But what what is that what is what does that mean? kind of picture the timing

Nunzio Signore
of the back arm? I think the timing is the path that the on take on going into going into front foot contact, right timing from right from the handbrake coming out of the glow, you know, to the position of arm at contact fastest take, you know, we’ll get it into a better position contact. So we need to make sure we’re getting good retraction and staff. How are we pulling the arm up? Is the athlete using the wrong arm? is he using the short arm? You know, I’m not what not that one is better than the other arm. But along one path, we have, we have to make sure that we’re pronating enough to get into a good mode. If not, we’re gonna we’re gonna have a hard time road gap with the scapular retraction. And if we have a close on, we need to make sure we’re supinating turning the thumb out a little bit as we come back on. So the timing is from handbrake to how we actually bring our arm up. And how we actually got the elbow moved in in kind of a circular motion or a spiraling into lay back and then into the acceleration phase where the arm comes forward. So on the timing, what we talked about timing is basically promise Hands a handbrake onto where the arm is at footplant.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So what about a kid that pushing what’s what’s he doing? He not getting that spiral or what’s what’s happening there?

Nunzio Signore
Generally he’s getting his elbow too high too early to harm and then yeah, and then he has to get it or too low. Because what happens is if it’s a low elbow, he’s got to get that arm up and into lay back quickly. And it’s he’s going to take the shortest path he can, and it’s going to force him to come forward with that elbow, or come down and forward with that elbow. If he’s getting that elbow up too high. He hasn’t, you know, so we got to make sure that the elbow is coming back into retraction and it’s not getting above the shoulder as he throws because that’s going to create a push.That’s a tough one to fix. A lot of things you know habits are tough to fix. I have found the hardest thing the hardest thing to fix is that post off. For me, that’s always hard. Because it’s happening at such a fast pace. I have found the easiest thing to fix is back leg mechanics. Coming down the mound, I’m loading the glutes, because it’s the first thing that happens. And it happens at the slowest pace. So it’s the easiest thing to see. It’s the easiest thing to feel trying to post up when your foot here is ridiculous.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah. So do you have any? Like, do you have any other devices out there like the

Nunzio Signore
I use the core velocity belt. Yeah. We use the equivalent of about other than that we other than weighted balls in the core velocity belt. I really don’t think we use any any what I would call gadgets. I love the core velocity belt though. I we use it a lot. And we use it for multiple things and and it was really it’s a great it’s a great Cool.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Cool. So if I’m watching the video right now of a kid throwing what what am i watching? what’s what’s kind of I know there’s, you know, you want to look at everything. But if I had to look at it if I’m a young coach looking trying to figure things out, and I’m watching this video of a kid, what what am i watching? What am I trying to focus on the most that really helped the kid out? Other than you know?

Nunzio Signore
There’s so many things, but I could tell you, maybe the Big Five I look at how is he loading that back leg at least legless, at least at at peak leg lifts, how is he loading the back leg? Okay, it’s gonna tell us how things are going to start to transpire later. So number one, how is he loading that back leg? Number two, does he start drifting forward down the mountain before he starts to push? I think I want to see I want to see that body. Start to you know, center. start to move down the mountain before he begins pushing with his back foot. Okay, it’s almost like a controlled fall. That’s number two. Number three, is he going to SCAP load? Where is it? Where What is his hand path coming up up into SCAP load? Does he have a close on? Or does he have a distant arm away from his body that will tell us which what type of mechanics he needs to use as far as pronation and supination. So that’s number three. So we have loading the leg at peak leg lift. Then we have does he dress? Number three, how is he bringing his arm up in two scapula scapular retraction? Number four, where is the leg? Where is the arm at foot strike?And fiveYou know, there’s so many others but five. How is he finishing? How much how much extension? Is he getting in that lead leg to transfer force up and is he getting out over that front leg?

Geoffrey Rottmayer
No, I mean, I like to ask that question because you know, there’s a lot of young guys out there that are listening that want to kind of start the process of watching video, and then they’d have a hard time I remember trying to learn, what do I look at? You know, that’s why I kind of ask that question.

Nunzio Signore
Yeah. And, you know, once you know what to look at, then you have to know Okay, I know that that’s not right. So now you have to know, how do I fix it? How you fix it is dependent upon why it’s happening. If it’s a purely mechanical issue, you can do it with with throwing drills, if they strengthen mobility issue, you have to go back to the egg and you have to get into that weight room. And I will tell you that at least half the time, it is a strength mobility issue. Yeah. So

Geoffrey Rottmayer
what about what about injuries, the injury of the elbow, versus the imagery of the shoulder is there certain things that Create one over the other?

Nunzio Signore
That’s a good question. Most of most of the pitchers that we deal with, they throw pretty hard. with younger kids, I find that there’s more shoulder issues with with older guys who are throwing a little harder, where rapid elbow extension is happening. I find that that’s when we start to see medial elbow, posterior elbow, things like that start to come into play. That’s where we’ll start to see guys complaining about their elbow. younger kids mostly complain about the shoulder, unless, you know, they’re throwing too much and they throw hard for their age, then they do start to complain about the elbow. So there’s all kinds of there’s all kinds of different, you know, things because so but rapid elbow extension is one as far as showing Issues go. It could be, it could be anything from how they’re throwing, or are they throwing too much. And another thing is, um, you know, even in our throwing programs, when when, when throwing starts to ramp up to about 75 to 80% in the offseason, and they’re throwing for the first time really hard, because they have in since they’ve been throwing in July or August, you know, guys will get sore. So it’s really important to not confuse, you know, soreness and tightness with pain. So with with injury, a lot of times people get paranoid, they’re like, Oh my god, and they run to a PT, and the PT will shut them down. And then all of a sudden they think it was the right thing to do, because the pain goes away. Well, if you really weren’t hurt, and your tissue was just trying to, you know, acclimate to the stress of growing well, now you stopped it and your your your tightness went away. But all you really did was you have to start over. Again, and these are the kids that go in and out of the PT in and out of the PT. Now I’m not knocking PT because they’re extremely valuable. And when there is pain and when there is, you know, when there is trauma, you absolutely need to shut down and you need to go see one but running through a PT the first minute your arm feels tight, is you know, that can really create a kid who’s the hypochondriac on that arm has to be that don’t have to get used to throwing and I’ll tell you two weeks into it. They’re the tightness of size and their arm doesn’t bother them anymore most of the time, most of the time. If it continues, then it’s time to see a paycheck. Right?

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So the the the band stuff like the the band and the plyo stuff and the weightlifting what what kind of what the good protocol for for arm care and there’s nothing of doing too much.

Nunzio Signore
Well, on care is you know Whole body training. So thinking about arm care as just being band drills, and and arm circles, that’s not going to get you very far. Because if you don’t take care of the mobility of your hip, your arms going to hurt you. If you don’t take care of the rotational abilities of your core, your arm is going to hurt. So arm pairs full body care, um, the things we do in the offseason to try to work on ARM care, we try to increase on shoulder IR that may have gotten lost over a long season of throwing, we actually give external rotation a break we want. You know, from being in late lay back offseason, we try to improve the mobility of the hips. We try and we, you know, we get the whole body stronger. And then as far as bandwidth goes, we give our guys we give our guys four or five drills to do about 15 reps apiece, one set Every time they come in, and it takes about five minutes, because the really important thing you have to understand is a you got to make sure you’re doing your band work properly, or you’re doing more harm than good. And the other thing is, if you’re doing too much bandwidth, you’re putting your arm in like the third inning before you even turn the pitch. So a lot of guys sit there and do hundreds of reps at the field. And then they’ll get on the on the mound and they look good in the first inning because their arms really in the third inning and then by the third inning, they’re shot.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So there’s the and that’s where kinda getting to know themselves, you know, some god bless them, God me more from God, me nothing, you know, just knowing themselves and that’s the hard part. Right?

Nunzio Signore
Yeah, knowing, you know, and also going to a facility. They can help kidsout what type of individual they are, and who needs bandwidth and who does it who needs to stretch their hamstrings who needs soft tissue work, some guys need to stretch, some guys need to strengthen. Some guys just need to do soft tissue work, you know what I mean? So figuring out a type of guy who needs more bandwidth than somebody else, or figuring out a guy who needs more stretching a lot of our guys, I mean, a lot of our guys stretch very little, very little. They do a lot of soft tissue work. But they stretch very little baseball players. For the most part, most, a lot of them especially pitchers are very loose guys to begin with. So stretching and already really mobile joints can be a recipe for disaster.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So they get for the guy to say that block D can’t be developed. What do you say?

Nunzio Signore
I say that that’s false. We do it every day.Every day. I think that philosophy gets developed in different people in different ways. Some guys it might be a strange Issue some guys, it might be a mobility issue some guys that might be the mechanic, some guys, it might be a little bit of both. Some guys are really strong, but just don’t produce sports really quickly. Those guys need to move faster. Some got you know, it’s, it’s a that’s why when when I told you the beginning of our assessment, and it was it covered all those different all those different parameters. It’s because we need to test everything and find out what shakes free and then that helps us develop the program that we need to do for our athletes. We could figure out is it a strength? Is it mobility? What does this kid need? Does a kid need to stretch? Is he having a hard time in labor because you have a bad glove side? You know, these are all things that we need to take into consideration. So we can put it into a throwing program as a strength training program. And we try to do it all under one roof. So it’s easy to contain.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
What the What is that? What what is what, how long did that like a training session? You know, for you to kind of work on everything and improve things. How long Guide to training.

Nunzio Signore
in our, in our in our pitching program with the high school kids, they come in twice a week to throw. They start with a ramp up. And then they go into like high velocity throws pull down, and we get them up on the mound, and we start there, their pens, we’re trying to get them ready to throw in March. That is an hour session twice a week. And then for the young kids, immediately after those two sessions, they go into the weight room, and they have a lifting program. For the older guys who lift on their own. They generally come four or five times a week, the lift to the days they say throw and four days they left. And on the day they throw endless. They’re here for about two hours and 15 minutes, two and a half hours.The days they just left or they’re here for an hour and a half.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Very cool. So did I know you got up I know Brom kind of mainly deals with the The tech side of it but what do you got? Do you gotta know you gotta do some of the biomechanics stuff you got the raft photo, what all what all the

Nunzio Signore
bronze doesn’t really deal with the tech side of it. He deals with the with a lot of the pitch design the wraps and all that Yeah, I’m reading I deal with the tech side like what do we do tech wise we have we utilize k motion and K vest for our hitters or we utilize hit tracks. We utilize rapido on for our hitters and in the tunnel. And we read kinematic sequences on our hitters. And we use blast in the tunnel in the throwing tunnel we utilized for for camera video analysis. And we also are right now in the process of bringing in motion capture which we’re really really excited about where we’ll get 3d imaging on offer via 10 cameras are very cool and will really be able to Get get angular velocities, everything. That’s really for me that I can’t wait for. That’s awesome.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
All right, well listen, just to kind of wrap things up. I’d like that a few more questions. What? What kind of what are some of your resources? Like? Are you a big reader? What what are your favorite resources or books? for that?

Nunzio Signore
I am, I am a huge reader. I read every day a lot. So much so that my wife and my kids are like that, go read those. But my resources are anybody that I feel like doing anything good. Some of my resources aren’t even from people that are in the training business, or in the baseball business, you know, sometimes stuff about how self help stuff, but as far as my resources in baseball, they span from friends of mine, like, you know, Eugene Bleeker, Stephen Ulster and Eric Cressey. Two guys like that run the business side of things like Kyle Bodie and the data side of things like Jim Vito from Qaeda or the guys from rapido. Those guys, they’re my go to guides for when I’m when that I read things that they put out. Um, I would have to say from a strength and conditioning standpoint, or request, he has been the biggest inspiration in my career. As far as training baseball players, every time I see him, I make sure I tell them to so.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Very cool. So one last question. If you were me interviewing yourself, what would you have asked that I didn’t have.I would have asked

Nunzio Signore
what is the difference between offseason training and in season training

Okay, In offseason training, we’re trying to make changes, strength wise and mobility wise, that will affect mechanics. We don’t worry about them getting sore because they’re not playing baseball. So we work on mobility and we work on changing mechanics and we work on getting them really strong by lifting heavy weight most of the offseason. In the in season. We’re trying to take all that strength that we develop in the offseason and now for me, there’s many different takes on it. Um, but for me, I try to only on train the things in an in season program that go away quickly, the things that go away quickly, are speed, accelerate a strength and explosiveness. They can they can start to go away within 10 a week to 10 days. Okay, maximum strength does not go away. For approximately four weeks before you start to see a decline in max strength or aerobic capacity. So I don’t worry too much about getting heavy lifting with my guys. Because a, it’s not going away be I’m really just trying to maintain that strength in season. So they don’t get what we consider a controlled fall where they don’t get weaker as the season goes on. We’re not trying to get them any stronger. We already did that in the offseason. We’re trying to keep them to finish as strong as they started. We’re trying to keep that IR good. We’re trying to keep the velocity. We’re trying to keep you know, if guys start to get weak and lose their legs. Generally, the first thing that goes is their location, they start to throw high. They start to lose viewers and they start to try to get it with their arms and their arms start start. So we’re trying to maintain strength in seasons by doing lower percentage of one rep maxes and we’re trying to get Arm carrying the 45 minute lifts as opposed to an hour and 15 in the offseason. And we’re not trying to make drastic changes. We’re trying to keep their athleticism and explosiveness intact.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Oh, so what’s what’s the conversation like with parents and coaches that say, There’s no time in the season to work out.

Nunzio Signore
There’s no time in the season to not work out. If you if, you know, we’re not talking about I understand, I have a kid, you know, you have a kid, they play a sport. They have to go to school, that’s the most important thing. Um, and they got us they got a lice, so we don’t expect guys to get in more than two to three times a week. With the young kids. I tell them get in here once or twice a week so we can clean up those things that start to dissipate within a week. I see you once or twice a week. Book, one on the weekend, and book one on a school night. So you’re only coming in one night a week on a school night. That’s One night, and one weekend, and you’re going to be good. I’m not asking you to come in five days a week and put in, you know, seven hours of work in a week. I’m expecting you to put in two hours of work a week. That’s it. So, conversation with parishes. If you want your son to not start summer, back where he was in September when he started the offseason, we need to keep him where he was in February after we got him strong. So we can start at that level of strength and mobility in the summer. And we can keep increasing it in a stepwise manner. So yeah, and they’re pretty getting the world is getting more educated right into the important for training and see that people realize that you know what, the baseball players stop lifting once they start playing baseball. Definitely not.

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
You know, why man, shoot.

This is awesome. That was a good one. That was a good one man. You do a lot out there and I learned a lot. So I appreciate it. I don’t want to kick up tomorrow your time, but I do really. I really do appreciate it. I learned a lot.

Nunzio Signore
So I want to I want to I want to say if people want to, you know, go into our Twitter, you know, rpp underscore performance, or Nunzio at Nunzio, Signore and UMD IO, si G and LRE and go look on our website. You know Rocklin peak performance calm.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah, no, I agree. They got they put out great content that I think everybody just check them out this year. Well, at noon in New Zealand, I’m sorry. I’m the name DMZ. Yeah. All right. Cool. All right. Well, I appreciate your time. And

Nunzio Signore
thank you. Thank you so much.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
All right.

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Download now: Ep. 71: Rockland Peak Performance Nunzio Signore | A Baseball Podcast

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Geoff Rottmayer

Geoff Rottmayer is the owner of Athletic Mission Baseball Academy, a training facility in Tulsa Oklahoma. Geoff also host The Baseball Awakening Podcast, which was developed to provide content to the baseball community straight from the source. In addition that that, Geoff, is helping coaches and professional start their own podcast and find their own voice.

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