Jan 18, 2023
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Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: The True Sports Physical Therapy podcast. Really happy to welcome the Gavin Sheets. Excited to learn about what it's like to be a big leaguer, what it's like to train as a big leaguer. Right before we get rolling, introduce yourself to this massive audience of sports PTs.
Gavin Sheets: I'm Gavin Sheets from Baltimore, Maryland. Played baseball Gilman then went to Wake Forest, and now it's Chicago White Sox.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Give me some specifics Gavin of what it is you think allowed you to reach this elite level of baseball.
Gavin Sheets: For me, it was... I grew up in a baseball family, obviously with my dad, playing the big leagues with the Orioles and growing up around the game and... But the biggest thing for me is I just had a love for the game. I felt like... I feel like kids nowadays are so under pressure to just be really, really good at a certain sport from such an early age, and I don't think they get that love for the game early anymore. And for me, it was... I wasn't thinking about being a professional baseball player, I wasn't thinking about playing in college or making a living out of it. I was just... I just love the game, and I think when you have that as your foundation, I think it's a much easier way to be an athlete. And so for me, it was the love of the game. And then growing up around it, being with my dad, working at it. And then as time went on, as I got recruited by colleges, went to college and then had a good, had a successful time in college and got drafted. Then you start to say, Okay, this is something I can do professionally, or this is now a dream that I can pursue. But for me, it was, I just love the game. I love baseball, I love doing it, I wanted to hit, I wanted to feel it, I wanted to just be playing it. And then from then on, it just... Everything took care of itself.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: What do you love about that game?
Gavin Sheets: Just the grind of it. I love how tough it is, but I love the feeling of just connecting a home run, connect, just doing something that is one of the hardest, if not the hardest things in any sport, which is hitting the baseball and the feeling of everything lining up and you're doing it perfectly, and hitting a double, hitting a big home run, hitting something like that, there's nothing that can beat it. And for me, it's the grind, it's the chess match, but that's what I love about it. I just love how it's such a hard sport, such a humbling sport, but when everything comes together, there's no better feeling.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: If you make your living playing a humbling sport, imagine if you weren't playing a humbling sport, what would you be like? Intolerable.
Gavin Sheets: I don't know what I would do. I think the guys at my golf course would probably kick me out by the end of it.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Thank God you play a humbling sport for everyone's sake. You mentioned the grind and the challenge, what do you think you do that makes you successful in your sport?
Gavin Sheets: I think I embrace it. I don't try to fight it, I don't try to... Failure is a part of the game, failure is a part of any professional sport, and I think a lot of people are so afraid to fail that they don't allow themselves to put themselves in positions where they can fail. And I think that's the biggest thing for me, it's allowing myself to fail, allowing myself to try new things, to try new swing changes, try new workout facilities, try new... Just different training techniques and seeing what works for me. And I think that's what got me into the big leagues. I think that's what made a change in my career.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: What got you to the big leagues?
Gavin Sheets: Just changing, being able to take a step back from the way I've always done things, and make a change and make a change to my body and make a change in my training, because I think that everything goes hand-in hand. You need a team in place to get you to the big leagues.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay, so let's dig into that. I met you what year?
Gavin Sheets: Probably '20, COVID year.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: COVID year, 2020. Where were you in your career at that point?
Gavin Sheets: So I had just finished the double-A season, I had a really good year, but we had... The way our team was made, we had just draft our first baseman, third overall, we had an MVP at first base in the big leagues. So we were locked up in my position, and I knew that. And the COVID year, as tough as it was as an athlete, was a blessing in disguise for me. I wasn't invited, there was an alternate side, I wasn't invited to the alternate side. I wasn't invited to the COVID spring training. And obviously in the beginning it was frustrating and everything, but for me, that's when that change happened. I changed training, I changed the way I approach things. And I formed just one big team to build myself around and make myself the best athlete as possible.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Did you do that deliberately? You knew you were like, Hey, I'm gonna make a change or you kinda just fell into it?
Gavin Sheets: I made it deliberately. I asked around. First it was like, How do I get to the big leagues? What do I need to do differently to change my path? And for me, it was, I needed to play the outfield, I needed to be able to get away from one position, open up left field, right field, first base, DH, you open up four instead of two. But I knew that to do that, I needed to change my training. I needed to change my body, I needed to change the way I moved, because we're not talking about a double-A outfielder, we're talking about big league outfielder, guys who had done it for 20 odd years. So I knew that I had to get started quick and I had to change what I was doing, and so, yeah, it was a deliberate choice.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And I think that's worth highlighting because the more and more interviews I do like this, and I talk to people at the top of their given profession, whatever profession it is, medicine, sports, PT, it's the ability to take a step back to gauge where am I on this trajectory? Where do I wanna go? Why, maybe am I not there? What do I need to add? I think that's an unbelievably mature thing for you to do at age, at that time, 2020, you were?
Gavin Sheets: I was 23 at that time.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: So it's pretty impressive that you're able to do it, take a step back and begin to change things, so... But again, applicable to whatever field you're in.
Gavin Sheets: Well, I think as an athlete, I think the number one thing, you have to be your biggest fan and you have to be your biggest critic. If you can do that, if you can pump yourself up when you're down and if you can be you... Look in the mirror and say, This is what you need to get better at. Then there's nothing that anybody can tell you that will bring you down or build... That you know what you have to do, you shouldn't have to have people pointing out your flaws and weaknesses, you should know them and you should be willing to work on them if you wanna be the best you can be.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. And so it was your idea to look towards the outfield or the White Sox were like, Hey, here's your path.
Gavin Sheets: It was a little bit of both. I knew I needed to make a change, so I called my agent right away and I said, This is what we needed to do, this is how we're gonna get to the big leagues, and he was all for it, and we had a long talk and we went to the White Sox. And we said, This is what we're thinking. What do you guys think? And they were all for it.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. Okay, awesome. So walk me through that. Once you take that step back, how do you decide what you need to do to become an outfielder?
Gavin Sheets: So I knew the number one thing is, I needed to move better, I needed to move better. Needed to be more athletic. First step, quickness, overall quickness. I just looked around the league and said, this is what outfielders had that a first baseman doesn't necessarily have. And that was my first focus. I knew from a strength standpoint, I was already strong enough to compete at the batter's box and have success there, but I needed to be able to move quicker, rotate faster, just everything. And so that was my main, main goal and main objective first was to just become a better athlete.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: So you do what?
Gavin Sheets: So I put together a team, and that's what I think was the biggest change in direction for my career, was I put together a team of guys that were, one, committed to what my goal was, but two, they were elite in their profession. I put Tim Bishop who used to be the strength and conditioning coach for the Orioles, Courtney Green, who runs an amazing fitness facility and was a professional athlete himself, and you as well. And instead of just putting together one or two guys, it was three guys that were the head of their profession in each one.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I'm thrilled to jump in here and note that I was not on that list of professionals to put together. Courtney said, Maybe you could talk to this guy to help. So let me ask you this, not why was I not on that list? But why was a PT not on that list?
Gavin Sheets: For me, I never... When I think of PTs, I think of guys that heal people. So you know you're hurt, you go to a physical therapist. If you're coming off surgery, you go to physical therapy, that was always my perception. And now working with you, it's about fixing your weaknesses, it's not about fixing your injuries, it's about fixing your weaknesses, how can I move better? How can I train better? How can this help me train better, which will help me be a better baseball player. And for me, it was always, you just go to them when you're hurt. And so it never came to my mind...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Thank God for Courtney Green for all the TMI.
Gavin Sheets: Thank God for Courtney.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: How do we get athletes and organizations to realize we can do more than fix the ACLs?
Gavin Sheets: There's gotta be an open communication with the athletes. Here's what we can do for you. Here's how we can do it. It's not just the perception of, Hey, you're broken, let's fix you because every athlete, no athlete wants to be told they're broken, no athlete wants to be told you have flaws, but instead it's... Here's where you move in your swing, and here's how we can help you move better in your swing, or here's how we can help you, whatever your sport is, how can what we do here make you a better athlete? As soon as an athlete... We're talking about a standard session. As soon as an athlete can see how it helps them on the field, they buy in, but until that happens, if you feel like, if you feel like you're working out with someone or doing something and you can't see how it's gonna relate to the field, it's so hard to buy into that, but as soon as you can feel this is gonna help me with my swing, this is gonna help me in the outfield, this is gonna help me run the bases, all of a sudden you buy in.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Well, that's good advice for me because you're constantly asking me why the hell are we doing this drill, and then I try to break it down in the three seconds in which you're paying attention to my answers.
Gavin Sheets: Exactly.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: But point well made, certainly. I think another piece to that is not just how do we get athletes to know that sports PT should be a part of that team, but how do we get the sports PT to let the strength coach now that we should be part of the team? And how do we develop those relationships, that relationship, both Courtney Green, Tim Bishop, that I'm always working on developing is understanding, here is what I do, this is the lane I'm gonna stay in it. Here's where you're gonna work, here's what we'll overlap. So let's make sure we talk and communicate appropriately, and that goes both for strength and for speed and agility. So I think that's like the other piece of getting that word out. Sports PT should be a part of that team.
Gavin Sheets: Yeah, I think it's... And that's what Courtney did so well, and you too, was you guys were able to put together a plan that was coinciding, that was we're gonna... This is what we're doing in the weight train today, here's what you guys should do. And back and forth, and it's such a tough conversation to have, I feel like in professional sports right now, because everybody wants to be the best at their job. And it's the same as athletes, you don't wanna be told you have a flaw, you don't wanna be told how to do your job or let's... So it's gotta be a companionship, it's gotta be something that you realize you're working together, not against each other, because it really is when you fire together and you do everything together and you start moving better in both areas, it's a no-brainer to work together.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I think it does take a dose of humility.
Gavin Sheets: No doubt.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And I think that's really hard to find, especially at those upper levels in the big leagues. What is it like to train in the big leagues? Break it down for me, in season, out of season.
Gavin Sheets: So out of season is when you just go after it, you go after your flaws, you go after getting faster, bigger, stronger, everything, whatever your off-season plan is, and that's when I like to do my heaviest lifting, my biggest overloads, all that stuff, and then the in season is about maintaining, it's about not losing all that work you did in the off-season.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: How do you do that?
Gavin Sheets: You gotta be willing to put in the work. I felt... I found in a couple of years, I think that's the cool thing about baseball, is you go through the minor leagues before you get the big leagues. So not only is it minor leagues learning how to play baseball at a professional level, it's learning how to be a professional athlete. It's learning how to... You play 162 games, in minor leagues it's 140 games. It's about knowing your body, knowing week-to-week basis, when to get in the work, when to take a day off, when... How are you gonna become... How are you gonna stay a good athlete while also performing on the field? And it takes three years to figure it out. Okay, my body's feeling really good today. I'm gonna get a good lift in for this week. I'm gonna do a good day of squats, I'm gonna do a good upper body lifts.
Gavin Sheets: And to keep it going so that the days that you're not feeling great, Hey, I'm gonna do a med ball series just to get loose, I'm gonna do bands to loosen my hamstrings or whatever, whatever stretch you need that day, because that's what it's all about. At the end of the day, when you play 162 games, it's about being able to perform at 100% of whatever you have that day, and you need to be able to be strong enough throughout the season so that your 100% is as close to 100% as possible. And whether it's lifting heavy that day, or lifting light, whatever you have to do, but you need to be able to make it through till October.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: They have mandatory lifts in season?
Gavin Sheets: We have a mandatory amount of lifts per week.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay, so break it all the way down for me, what does a week look like in the big leagues from a strength and conditioning perspective?
Gavin Sheets: So you're looking at two total bodies a week, so it's up to you on how you wanna break it down, do you wanna do upper body one Monday, lower body Tuesday, do a kind of a core circuit or something on Wednesday to get loose, and then Thursday, Friday, go back to your lower upper, which is kind of like an off-season lift or if it's late August and you're beat up, and you just wanna do a total body lift on Monday, take Tuesday off to band stretch, whatever, and then do another full-body on Thursday to break it. So it's like two big lifts a week instead of the four.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And it's up to the player to make these decisions?
Gavin Sheets: It's up to the player, because at that point, as I said, you have the whole minor leagues to go through that, you know what you need, you know what you need to do to perform on the field, and that's the end goal. And you need to be in charge of your own career at that point, it's not up to... It's up to the strength coaches to be there to push you, to give you everything you need, but they can't rely... They can't teach you how to be a professional.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: When you're in that lift, you have to do two full bodies, that's the only requirement, no cardio requirement, anything like that?
Gavin Sheets: You have to some out on the field and stuff, and plyos and your med ball stuff as well mixed in.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: That's mandated?
Gavin Sheets: Yeah. It's all mixed in throughout the week.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay, is a coach sitting there saying, Here's your weight, here's your reps, you're doing these, and they're right next to you watching you do it?
Gavin Sheets: No, because for us, we have two strength guys for 26 guys. So at one time there might be six guys getting in the lift in.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And there's one coach, one coach in there.
Gavin Sheets: But we have two coaches in there, two strength coaches in there.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Six guys lifting, two coaches in there.
Gavin Sheets: You could have 10 or 11 at one point in there.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. Lift is on the board, here are the moves we're doing?
Gavin Sheets: Lift is on the board or we have an app as well, and you can plug in your weights as soon as you're on the app. You can write it down, and you can tell them what you do. All that stuff.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: But it's up to you?
Gavin Sheets: It's up to you.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay, any technology being used in those lifts? So force plates, Tendo, are they measuring anything at any point?
Gavin Sheets: Force plates, we're always measuring force plates, doing jumps, seeing how our legs are doing throughout the season, are they getting stronger, are they getting weaker? How your... Doing Nordic hamstrings all the time. I think in baseball, you see a lot of hamstring problems, so you want to... We measure those, we probably do Nordics at least once a week on a...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: With the measurements NordBord.
Gavin Sheets: With the measurements because they wanna see, that's where PTs and that's part of the PTs and the way the strength coaches working together. Are they getting weaker, or do we need to work on this? Is there stuff that we need to change throughout the season? And they get those numbers in spring training as well, when you're coming in technically at your peak. So that's all stuff that's done throughout the year.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: You see them putting you on the plates, you test, and because of the way you test, they adjust your lift?
Gavin Sheets: Yeah.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay, awesome. And who's running the plates? The strength...
Gavin Sheets: The strength coach.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Strength. Where is PTs involvement?
Gavin Sheets: That all those numbers get run through them. So they talk back and forth through those numbers.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. Any, I would call those screenings, you put them on the force plates, they're getting measurements and then we're figuring out where we're going. Anything else screening-wise?
Gavin Sheets: Screening-wise in spring training, we do all of our screening, so it's flexibility, it's ankle stability, it's squatting down, how low can you get, shoulder reaches, overhead reaches, it's... All this stuff is done in the first single leg jumps, med ball throws, all this stuff is measured, grip strength. So that way... And then halfway through the year, they'll try to do another one, and then at the end of the year, they try to do another one as well. So that not only shows are you doing your work, but it also shows is their program working?
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. Interesting. In season, as you're going through your lifts and you're doing that force plates of, how quickly does your lift change? You jump a certain amount on the plate, how quickly are they changing the program?
Gavin Sheets: So for me I was having some trouble last year with my knee and left hamstring a little bit. And so we really toned it to single-leg stuff, strengthening my single leg, left and right, instead of doing a lot of double-leg stuff. So that stuff was pretty immediate. I was doing the NordBord one day, and I was like 5% weaker on my left side, just because of the pain I was having and... So they stepped in immediately, added single-leg stuff, changed the lifts. It took some of the strain off my knee and added some strength in exercises. So that all happens pretty quick, which is nice to have those numbers there.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. That's awesome. Is it different... Anything different for pitchers that you know?
Gavin Sheets: I think it's all pretty similar. I think that they do some shoulder mobility and elbow stuff, and all that. The strain, they do a lot of strain numbers, so I can't speak too much into that.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah.
Gavin Sheets: 'Cause I'm not around them as much, but I do know that all that stuff, flexibility of their elbow, flexibility of their shoulder, all that stuff is measured.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Is being measured. Okay. And what about lifts? Are those broken up by certain positions or no?
Gavin Sheets: Yes, for the most part. And then pitchers obviously, starting pitchers are on a completely different schedule 'cause they're on a five day schedule. So they pitch, they have a day one, day two, day three, day four, day five, so it's like lift, cardio, plyos, lift, whatever, for bullpens and...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Sounds like you can speak to what the pitchers are doing.
Gavin Sheets: I watch some of that stuff, but...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay.
Gavin Sheets: I don't watch all the testing, but so they have a completely different thing that's tailored to them, which is... Needs to happen because I can't be doing the same thing a starting pitcher is doing, whereas a starting pitcher can't be doing the same thing I'm doing.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah.
Gavin Sheets: 'Cause we're trying to achieve different things.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And so you're playing outfield, you're listed let's say as an outfielder, is that the same lift as a catcher?
Gavin Sheets: It's gonna be a little bit more movement oriented, there's gonna be some more agility stuff in there, because it's probably gonna be a little bit more legs 'cause they're getting hammered with legs and stuff. There's just gonna be probably a little more stretching mobility, but it's all... I'd say 90% of it is the same. And then there's that 10% where maybe I go do some agility, maybe they go do some bands for their hips, some hip mobility stuff.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. That makes a lot of sense. That's great to hear that it's broken up like that, but they don't do outfield, infield separate lifts, like group liftings.
Gavin Sheets: I've seen it. Throughout my career, I've seen where it's corners and then middle infielders will have different lifts. Like that's how we did it in college. It was corner infielders and then middle infielders were different lifts, corner outfielders, center fields, different lifts.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Really?
Gavin Sheets: So it's all kind of how your coach wants to do it.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: What's your ideal? If you're gonna design the White Sox strength and conditioning program, what does it look like?
Gavin Sheets: In terms of the lifts or in terms of a weekly...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yes.
Gavin Sheets: I think it's the way they have it set up, to be honest. I think that they offer everything. So they offer, "Here's your upper, here's your lower, here's your total." Whatever you wanna do on that day. "Here's your mobility if you need that, here's your plyos if you need to do that today, and here's your med ball circuit." And I think it's at the point now in the big leagues where you have that trust with them, they have that trust with you that whatever you choose to do that day is what you need and you know what you need. And that's... I think that's part of being a Big Leaguer. I don't think you can do that in High-A or Low-A or even AA.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: That is so different than the NFL. So NFL, at least most of the organizations that I'm familiar with, "Here's your lift."
Gavin Sheets: Yeah.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: "You're doing this lift."
Gavin Sheets: Yeah.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: "I'm gonna stand here and I'm gonna watch you do that lift." Because that's what the strength coach says. That's the NFL. That's their elite, it sounds very different.
Gavin Sheets: Well, because for the NFL, every week you're gaming up for one game and you know how to gear up for that one game.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I would think the player knows just as well as the Big Leaguer knows.
Gavin Sheets: Sure.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: But in the NFL, the strength coach knows.
Gavin Sheets: Right, and I think that's the difference between the NFL and the MLB, it's, "We're getting ready for our Sunday game. It's proven that Monday, Tuesday, these are our lifts and that's been proven to work the best." And I'm sure in the NFL, I can't speak to it, but I'm sure that they have some things tailored to them as well, where it's, "Hey, Sunday was a tough one for you, you're banged up here, we're gonna change this a little bit." I mean, we're still told what to do and urged one way or another, but we have that open communication, where it's like, "Hey, you want us do an upper today? Okay, I'm gonna do an upper, but let's go light today, let's do bands. Let's do, instead of heavy dumbbells, let's go light and let's do a lot of mobility with the shoulders or something like that." But it's just such a different game playing 162 games in 180 days, where you gotta have that open line of communication.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: There's also, you have two strength coaches for 26 guys now?
Gavin Sheets: Mm-hmm.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Right? They probably have more than that, like their ratio is actually better in the NFL.
Gavin Sheets: Yeah.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: So I'm surprised and impressed that at least with the White Sox, that they give you that carte blanche, that's awesome. I think that makes a lot of sense to me. What's your opinion on Wake Forest and the way they broke it up with corners and middle doing different stuff? Versus it doesn't sound like that happens in Chicago, at least from a programming standpoint. What do you prefer?
Gavin Sheets: I think you kinda learn through college what works for you. So I was always a little jealous seeing the middle guys working on some more agility stuff, jumping, stuff to make them better athletes and stay better, 'cause that's where your athletes are, so I was always a little jealous of that, because I knew that it could really help me. So I like to add that stuff in now, but I see where it makes sense in college, especially when you have one strength coach who can can't be in control of getting everybody to do everything, so, "Hey, I'm gonna put this one program together for these guys and everybody is on the same page." And that way it definitely makes his job a little easier. Whereas for us, it's, it can be more individualized, so we can get in, we already have our individual programs too in Chicago, which is nice. Whereas in college, it's kind of, "Here's your position, here's what we want you to do, here's our ideal spot for each position." Whereas in Chicago, it's, "Hey, here's your spring training movements, we're gonna add this to your thing and make it individualized." And so that's already in your plan for the season, so I see both sides of it. It's kind of a... It's the way I think college has to work.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense when you look at the way they do it in the Bigs, that makes a lot of sense to me for what I do for a living. No one knows their body better than the patient or than the athlete, especially at that level.
Gavin Sheets: Sure.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Right. So I think it's super worthwhile to take that lesson and apply it to a whole bunch of other things. Us in the outpatient setting, it's awesome to work with Gavin Sheets, that who knows how his body moves and knows what he wants to do with his swing. But the high school lacrosse player, he might not know what ideal movement is, but he knows what feels right. And so making that a piece of the pie is something I think that we can learn as clinicians from the big leagues for sure. How's it different in the minor leagues? They telling you exactly what to do and when?
Gavin Sheets: Yeah. You know it's not as much of a communication. And I think that's how it should be. You know, I don't have any... I don't have any problem with the way it's run in the minor leagues. There's still an open communication, but there's not as much leeway. It's pretty set in stone this is what we're gonna do, this is how we're gonna do it. And you know, the nice thing that the White Sox do is from the top down, we're on the same program. So if a guy gets called up from Single-A to Double-A, Double-A to Triple-A, Triple-A to the big leagues, we're on the same lift. We're on the same program, we're on the same endurance phase, power phase, every... Strength phase. So that's really nice what they do so that each level, everybody is on the same page. But I think it's the way you head to the minor leagues. You know, things need to be set in stone a little bit more until you gain that trust, you gain that respect throughout the organization. It's how it was in college, freshman year you come in, you have to prove yourself, sophomore year, junior year, and then you have a better relationship with the coach and he knows how you work.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: When I was working with team Israel at the Olympics, there were some major leaguers on the team, some minor leaguers. I was talking to some of the minor leaguers talking about like some of the crazy things that they saw on the road as it pertained to strength and conditioning. And so one of them said their squad would travel with one kettlebell and they would put one kettlebell in front of the dugout and like the whole team would share a kettlebell in an effort. What's the craziest thing you saw in the minors?
Gavin Sheets: I mean, I've done some... I've done some hotel wait room, full team lifts. I've done some concourse, next to the popcorn stand, kettlebell, bands, lifts.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: More than one kettlebell?
Gavin Sheets: Yeah, we had a couple more than one.
Gavin Sheets: No, you see some... In minor league baseball you see some crazy stuff and...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: What's the craziest thing you ate before a game in the minor leagues?
Gavin Sheets: So my first year, I went to Lowa for my first half season right outta the draft. And at Wake we had just gotten a brand new facility, like $12-$15 million facility. We got a nutritionist. We're getting fed well before every game. I mean, we're doing it like the big leagues and you know, I get drafted and I go to Kannapolis, North Carolina and I'm like, "Okay, this is pro baseball. Let's see what this is all about." And I've heard stories from my dad and I'm thinking, "Okay, you know, it's 2017 now. We're not in the 1980s anymore." And we have a doubleheader. And in between, after the first game in between doubleheaders, we get served hotdogs and ice cream.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: It's not very kosher.
Gavin Sheets: It's the... I can never... I always remember sitting out there in the tub, the chocolate, vanilla, strawberry one and...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Oh, you're not in a tub. It's in a tub.
Gavin Sheets: Yeah. The ice cream is in the tub.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. I'm picturing you in a tub, eating a hot dog and ice cream. Okay, so are the listeners.
Gavin Sheets: That's Babe Ruth, that's Babe Ruth type of stuff. But yeah, it's sitting right there on the table and then you got like... You look at the snacks and it's like, you know, cheese puffs and you know, you got a couple things of fruit that are... The flies are flying around and everything, but...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: How do you do in the second game?
Gavin Sheets: Not great. I wasn't feeling too good. It was a little warm for that hot dog and ice cream but...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: So gross.
Gavin Sheets: That's what you learn throughout your time is, how do you make it work? How do you be an athlete? How do you be the best you can be with what you're provided and how are you gonna do extra? Because if you rely on just what you have, you're not gonna make it.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: You're not gonna make it. How do we... How is the training room viewed in the major leagues?
Gavin Sheets: For young guys, you don't wanna be seen in there.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Because why? Spell that all the way out?
Gavin Sheets: Just because you're young, it's supposed to be the spot for the vets to work. And so for us it's... I don't wanna be in there unless I'm told, I don't wanna be in there unless I have to be in there. And that's just the way it's perceived and that's the way I treat it. You know, obviously when I'm told to be in there or told to get treatment or whatever it might be, I go in there and do it. But I don't wanna be seen in there. I like to go in the weight room and do stuff in there and have them tell me whatever I need to work on in there. But I don't wanna be seen in the training...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: For fear of the trainers? For fear of management? For fear of the vets?
Gavin Sheets: Just the way it's perceived. Yeah, just the vets and you know, obviously just playing my second year, coming into my third year, it's a little bit different now. And it's not nearly what it used to be. You know, I've heard stories of when it was way worse and with the White Sox, it's not bad at all. But I just know growing up around baseball and how it's all perceived and so I try to stay away from it as much as possible. But you know, there's also comes a point where... You know, last year I found it as well, when you really need something, you have to go in there and get it done. And so you gotta fight the perception or whatever and take care of what's in your best interest. And so you never hold something a back, it will lead to a greater injury. That's when it just becomes silly. So, when I do need something, when I am feeling something, I will go in there now and that's something I've gotten better at.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Does anyone mandate recovery?
Gavin Sheets: It's highly recommended and emphasized.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: In what ways?
Gavin Sheets: Coming around and giving you supplements, giving you stuff to get you to recovered, be ready to go the next day. Coming around on the plains, strength coach is coming around handing your stuff to Juven and in... Stuff to... Electrolytes and stuff to rejuvenate you to go... Get ready to go to the next day. But nothing is... As I said before, nothing is mandated, because you're a professional athlete, you should know what you need to do, what you don't need to do. But everything is provided, and everything... If you need to do a cold tub, hot tub, needling... I can't think... Game ready is on your legs, whatever you need...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: They've got it.
Gavin Sheets: They've got it. And it's...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Minor leagues? They don't have any of that.
Gavin Sheets: Not as much. They have some of it, and they can get it for you, but not as much. But it's silly if you're in the big leagues, and you're not taking advantage of everything just because of perception.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. And when do you stop being the young guy? You think you're there, where it's like you're comfortable to walk in and get what you need?
Gavin Sheets: I think it's the same...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: None of your teammates are listening.
Gavin Sheets: I think it's the same thing as it is with your strength coach, you gain that respect, you gain that trust, you gain... Just by the way you go about your day. Like I feel like I've worked hard enough, I've done the right way, that when I'm in there, people know it's not for show, it's not just to get a massage, it's not... It's because that's what I need on that day, and I've been working hard on the field, I've been working hard in the training room, and this is what I need to be ready to go. And I don't think there's a certain amount of time that it takes before you can feel that way. But I just think it's something that when you come in, and you work hard, and you do things the right way, that you don't bat an eye when you walk in the training room.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. What do you wish you would have known in the minors that you now know?
Gavin Sheets: I wish I would have changed my off season a little bit. I wish I wouldn't have waited till COVID as much. Because I always felt that I was a one-guy workout. I worked with one person and one person only, and I tried to do everything with that. Whereas now... So then I was an hour, a half, I try to do my outfield work, my agility, my training, my mobility, my weight training all in one session. And now I'm doing an hour of strength training, an hour of mobility and PT with you, and then an hour of outfield agility, all that stuff with three different people. It's a team, it's maximizing your training, your movements and not rushing it and combining all to one. That way, each thing that you're working on, strength, you get the most out of our strength. Mobility and swing thoughts and rotation core, all that stuff, you're getting the most out of that. And then speed training, agility and outfield work, you're getting the most out of that. I was trying to do that all in an hour and a half, and I wish that I knew then that... Put together a team, it's the off season. You have one job and the off season is to be the best baseball player you can be and get yourself ready.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I mean, that's good advice to people in my field. We talked about how it's good advice to be humble and to kinda stay in your lane. It's also imperative to build the relationships and network to work with those other guys so that your patient or your athlete is getting the absolute best. There's also... I wish sports PTs did more of what Courtney Green is giving you, more of what Tim Bishop is giving you. Like if you're a sports PT listening to this, it's important to know how to rehab the ACL, no question, it's important to know how a baseball player moves ideally. It's also important to understand the principles of how to teach speed, how to teach change of direction, how to teach loading. All that crap shows up in our rehab programs. Our profession becomes so limited unfortunately when we just live in the old school world that you envision.
Gavin Sheets: Right.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I think that was a big problem, that was... And I get so mad at some graduate schools, because they just don't even mention it. They can't teach everything.
Gavin Sheets: Right.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: But they don't even freaking mention it. What have you changed your mind about in the last two years? 'Cause you are a stubborn bastard. And you don't like changing your mind about things, but I've seen you come around on a few things.
Gavin Sheets: Yes.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: What have you changed your mind on? Doesn't even have to be sports related.
Gavin Sheets: I've changed my mind on a couple things. So I was... I'm a very old school... Just that's the way I was brought up. My dad was old school, he obviously had a successful career being old school, swinging old school, all that stuff. But I've started to allow the new age and data and analytics and... I even hate using that word.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I can't believe you just said that word.
Gavin Sheets: I know, but...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Just 'cause it's a big word for you.
Gavin Sheets: I just think that... I think that the game has come so far in terms of training, in terms of teaching guys how to move, in terms of teaching guys the best... The optimal swing, the moves you have to make. And I think it's silly at this point to continue to look away from it. Because guys at the highest level, at the highest point, Aaron Otto, Goldschmidt, are having the best seasons they've ever had because of introducing these things. So I'm much more open to it now. I like looking at the data, I like looking at the analytics, I like making changes to go along with that, to get my numbers where I think they need to be. But I do think there's... It's not black and white, it's not no data versus data, it's... There's a middle point where you need to be. You can't be too much on the data, you can't be too much old school, I think you need to combine the two. And that's kinda where I'm trying to get to right now, where I can combine the two and make myself the best athlete possible. But it's in many ways, it's the swing, it's working with you, it's changing some data in terms of hamstring strength and jump strength and all that stuff, all the numbers that we're... We have now. And so that's what I've become more open-minded to slowly but surely.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Really slowly, maybe not so surely, but I like the way you put it, that you keep some of that old school in you, because if you label yourself as, Hey, I am a blank guy, you just get married to that label and it's really hard to turn away. I am a long triangle guy, I am a spin rate guy, stuff like that, it could be some of those things down the road, Hey, that's not best for me, or it doesn't carry over for me, or in large swaths of data. So I think that's a really good way to keep yourself kind of grounded. By the way, the same thing in my profession, there are people that are just manual guys, they just do hands-on. Well, there's a ton of data that flies in the face of it's not all about manual therapy, and it can't be all about manual therapy, and we have to be really careful of marrying ourselves to one mode, whether it be big leagues or being in the sports PT world. I love hearing that you're becoming open-minded though. That is.
Gavin Sheets: Yeah. I think there's so much available now to make you a better player. I can go see the flaws I had in my swing from last year, and I have to dive into that new age thought of swinging and not fully, but to merge the two to become the best player I can be, the best hitter I can be. And I think if you're on one side or the other too far, you're not getting the optimal of both, 'cause there's no right or wrong side. The guys who were doing an old school had a lot of success, there's some guys with the new school, they've had a lot of success, there's moves that both guys on each side make that are the same. So it's how can I adjust my swing so that I'm doing this optimal move that old school guys were making and new school guys make? It's not like there's... There's not a new swing in baseball, it's the same swing, it's... Ted Williams has the same swing, it's the same swing thought now as some of the guys nowadays, and it's what... I think the biggest way to teach thing is find out what works for the hitter or the player or the athlete, because telling one guy, think about your hands and telling one guy think about your legs can create the same swing. So it's what does that guy need to think? Is he a new school, is he an old school? How does he think about moving in his mind? Because at the end of the day, they both can result in the same exact swing.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. And I think it's always looking for what you said, what's the carryover, what is correlated to success on the field? And I like to do that with our strength and conditioning, or rehab sessions or movement enhancement sessions, which is, What do I know is going to make you to the best of my understanding better at doing X? So if you tell me, I wanna get my hands here, how do I develop an exercise or a drill that's gonna perfect that for you or make it easier for you to make you more powerful in those positions? We know there's some really good data coming out, we know that hide and jumps, like your ability to produce force laterally correlates really nicely to how hard you can throw a baseball. Well, that better show up in my pitcher strength and conditioning stuff. We also know that grip strength doesn't necessarily correlate to velocity or by the way, spin rate. That's gonna be way further down on my focus.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: To bring it back to one of the things you were talking about, comparing old school to new school. I had a conversation with Tippy Martinez and he was going crazy. So he was a middle reliever/closer for the Orioles and the Yankees, and the Twins for six minutes, and he was talking to me about the spin rate thing. And he's like, "You know Yoni, spin rate, we didn't measure spin rate. I was getting guys out without measuring spin rate." I'm like, "Yes, that's true Tipp but how hard were you throwing?" He's like, "Probably 90." I'm like, "I bet you your spin rate was insane. You just didn't know it."
Gavin Sheets: It's not new.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, you just didn't know.
Gavin Sheets: It's not new stuff, it's just we have data for it now, that's why I say the old school guys, it's not... You shouldn't be against old school guys because they were doing stuff that we're doing now, we just have numbers for it and we can call it certain things, spin rate guys, sinker guys, horizontal movement guys, vertical inverted stuff. None of this is new. Nolan Ryan didn't just throw hard. I'm sure he had vertical ride and all this stuff that Gerrit Cole has nowadays, and these guys have nowadays. It just couldn't be modern.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Modified.
Gavin Sheets: Yeah, and so that's why this old school new school just banging of the heads is silly because guys, you can't tell me that Barry Bonds didn't have stuff in the new school swing nowadays, in the new era thought. Of course he did. He had a perfect swing almost. He had what everybody is trying to achieve. Now, whether it was thinking... And he thought the old school way, he thought chop straight down and hit the ball of the home plate. Now, new age guys aren't thinking that, but they're trying to get Barry Bonds' swing. So how can you say that, "Oh, you can't think the old school way, but you gotta think the new school way, but at the same time, I want you to hit like Barry Bonds who thought about chopping the ball through the home plate." And that's why it's like just because they didn't have the data then, doesn't mean that they didn't have the ability to do things we can do now.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: For sure. And so much of it, I feel like was like folklore then because you couldn't measure things. So man, I would love to put blast motion sensor on Barry Bonds' back.
Gavin Sheets: It would be perfect. It would be exactly what everybody's trying to achieve, and it works the same way. Old school guys, talking to my dad, old school guys, they can't stand the new age thought. Well, everybody's trying to achieve the same thing, so it doesn't really matter what you're trying to think.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Do you think your dad's coming around on any of it? Any of it?
Gavin Sheets: Maybe some. I think that he sees where the game's improving. Some things are just are never gonna change, telling a guy that... Telling him that you should strike out more to hit more home runs, that's never gonna fly, telling the guys that batting average doesn't matter, I don't think you're gonna convince a lot of old school guys on that.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Does batting average matter?
Gavin Sheets: I think it's...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Just look at your stats real quick.
Gavin Sheets: I think OPS matters. I think that's the... Do I think a batting average is a good... I think guys that can hit for average are still meant to be in this game and still a big part of this game, it goes back to the training. Corners, middles, I think everybody plays a piece in a batting lineup. But I do think that OPS now is the gold standard measurement of as a hitter, how's your OPS, how's... Are you slugging or you're getting on base? Guys that have a high batting average usually are doing one of those two things really well. While a batting average, while I can see how it's not as high of a thought now as for a hitter. I do think that to have a high batting average, you have to be doing something really well, you have to. You're probably gonna have a high OPS as well.
Gavin Sheets: Aaron Judge hit 60-some home runs this year, his OPS was through the roof, and he hit above 300. Usually, those things are gonna go pretty hand in hand. I'm not a huge strike... I don't like to... I can't get behind the whole strike out or home run thing, just to get your slugging up. I can't get behind that because I do think there's an art to having a high batting average, you can't tell me that you don't want Tony Gwynn on your team because he didn't hit too many home runs like, okay. He's getting on base a ton, he's not striking out, he's making hard outs, he's a pitcher's nightmare, he's gonna be stealing bases, that stuff all needs to be in the game.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, that's early Tony Gwynn stealing bases, not late Tony Gwynn stealing bases. What do you wish sports PTs knew about major league baseball players?
Gavin Sheets: I think you and I have a really good relationship because you're very passionate about baseball, you're very passionate about what we do, you understand what we do, you understand how we move, you understand what our season's like.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I was an elite baseball player, that's why.
Gavin Sheets: Right.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay.
Gavin Sheets: Something along those lines. I just think that when PTs understand your sport and have a passion about the sport that you're playing, not just about the medicine side of it, or the recovery side of it, I think that's one thing that you guys, you really watch your sports is you guys are... Every one of our PT guys are big sports fans, have a passion for sports, not just for training athletes and recovering athletes. Because for you and I, you have as much interest talking baseball swing as you do telling me my next exercise. And when I see that passion, it makes it easy for me to buy into what you're saying, because I know that you understand what I'm trying to achieve. I can show you hitting video and we can go right into a medicine ball exercise. And that's what draws me in. If it was just about going and doing exercises, I don't think I could buy into it as much because, one, we're not passionate about the same things, we're not... I don't feel like we're working towards the same goal. Why, I think you're... If we're doing a core exercise, I think we're strictly doing a core exercise to make my core stronger.
Gavin Sheets: Whereas if I'm doing a core exercise with you, I'm thinking this is a part of my swing that he wants me to enhance and make better and help my swing out. So I just think there has to be a passion for sports, there's gotta be just a passion, whether it's for lacrosse or soccer or basketball, and you wanna stay in that sport, fits for all of them, you wanna work with all athletes. I just... There has to be a passion for that.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Now listen, I happen to be a baseball geek, I freaking love it, I'll talk to you about different brands of sunflower seeds for hours just because it makes me feel like I'm sitting in the Oriole Park watching a game. The other stuff, like we have in other sports, I find success in that or interest in that because I'm competitive. I feel like I'm a part of this team, and you and I are fighting like hell together, you're doing way more than me, towards whatever goal, towards staying in the bigs, towards getting in the bigs. When I met you, you are in the minors, and it's like, How do we get you to the bigs? I love that competition. That's awesome at that really high level. The other levels are like, How do we get you into college, how do we win your high school tournament, how do we get your ass back on the field, whatever. I see it as competitive. So if I'm talking to sports PTs that are out there listening and they're like, I'm not a baseball guy, I think you're gonna win your athlete over by being a geek about helping them achieve their goals.
Gavin Sheets: You should have the same end goal and the same passion for that end goal. You don't have to be... It's not necessarily as being the same. If you're not a baseball guy, but you have the same passion to get me to... Like you and I would talk about it all the time. How are we gonna get to the big leagues, how are we... That's how we start every session. And if you have the same passion for that as the athlete, that's what you get to buy into. If it's not... The end goal should never be, I'm just here to get you healthy, or I'm just here to make you move better, that's anybody. You can go to anybody for that. I want someone who's passionate about... I want you, I'm gonna get you to the big leagues, I'm gonna get you hitting 30 home runs a year. This is how we're gonna do it. All of a sudden, I'm in, I'm bought in.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, just help the person in front of you achieve what it is they want, not what I want, what you want. It's about the athlete, it's about the patient. Give me some words of wisdom, and I've actually seen you impressively so glean words of wisdom from other pro athletes that are around you, give me some words of wisdom that stick in your head from other professional athletes.
Gavin Sheets: Yeah. So I was fortunate enough to hang around some really good athletes growing up, my dad was roommates with Cara, and he's still really good friends with him to this day, and I was struggling in April, May this year. I'll never forget, he was fortunate to reach out to me, we talked for about probably an hour. I ended up having to tell him, Look, I got to get off the phone, we're about to take batting practice. This is when we were playing the Yankees. And he's telling me a point of season where it was June, and he was still hitting 210, 215, and by the end of the year, I think he finished up at like 280, 290, 300. And he said, you need to remember, he said, the player you are in April and May is not the player you are in September. And that stuck with me the whole time because I was really, really struggling. But there's a lot of bats left in the season, there's a lot of months left in the season, and you can continue, if you make the choice that day to change the player you are, to have a bounce back, whatever. That's how you salvage a season, that's how you become a player that can handle a full 162 games.
Gavin Sheets: It works both ways. You see guys that are hitting 200 through the first two months, finish up at 315, and then you see guys that are hitting 330 through the first two months and then they finish the season at 250. It works both ways. The player you are in April and May, isn't the player you are in September. The guy you are in September, that's the final product. That's the marathon runner. And that really stuck with me because that's... You always know that there's still so much time left, there's still... You can always get better. It's never... You're never as high as you think you are, and you're never as low as you think you are. And so that was... I've had a lot of pieces of advice, I've been around a lot of cool athletes and talked the game. But that was the one that really stuck out to me.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: That's awesome. Do you think it was more that wisdom or the goatee that you grew that broke your slop...
Gavin Sheets: I don't know. But the goatee did save a season two, so.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Did it?
Gavin Sheets: It wasn't the best look for me, but...
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: No. [laughter]
Gavin Sheets: I went down to Tripple-A for about a week, maybe a little over a week, and I was rocking the goatee. I had all the confidence back, I found my swing.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: You had to have serious confidence with that goatee on your face.
Gavin Sheets: I did, I did. And I was coming up and I was like, "Alright, I'm gonna shave it. And I'm gonna save it and go back to... " They're like, "You can't shave it. What do you mean you're gonna shave it? Whether or not it works or not, you've been raking with it, so you gotta keep it." And so I let it ride, I let it ride. And then when I felt it ran its course, [chuckle] it was gone.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Thank God.
Gavin Sheets: I was very happy to shave it right off.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yes. So were your fans, so were your adoring fans. I saw you have a conversation, I heard you have a conversation with Sam Koch, who's a Raven's punter for 16 years, and I loved what he shared with you, you asked him and I loved, I should say, how you went about asking him. You walk over to Sam and you're a big leaguer at this point. And I remember the first thing you said to Sam, probably like Mr. Koch, nice to meet you. What would you say your secret is for being in the league for 16 years, is what you asked him. So there are few things that I love about this. Anecdote is you walking over and trying to get better by meeting someone who's done something, it's not your sport, but doing something for a long time at an elite level, so I love that you were hungry to get that information. I loved what he shared with you, which was... Do you remember what he shared with you? I'll tell you what he shared with you. He shared the little things that pop up, deal with them before they're a big deal. And that's one of the things that I've seen from guys who do it for 16 years, sometimes in the big leagues 20 years, is when stuff creeps up, whether it be they feel a little off movement, a little bit of pain or whatever, a little fatigue, you're dealing with it.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: It doesn't mean you have to go all the way in on some massive rehab process, but it's, how do I change something to get better at it so I can stick around? And Sam always a tinker with his interventions and just trying to stay on top of things.
Gavin Sheets: Yeah, and I remember he said be open-minded too, be open-minded to things, be willing to try things, be willing to incorporate new movements, but yeah, that's a guy that's... It's silly not to... I don't care what sport you play, if a guy who's been in a profession at the highest level for 16 years, pro ball or everything, there's a secret to it, there's a secret to everything that every guy... I'm sure a 16 year Veitnamobile would say the same thing, and there's a secret to something that all those guys do that makes them so special. And it's one of my biggest pet peeves is I go and hit where I hit at, there's high school guys, there's college guys, there's every level, and there's just not enough talk, there's not enough communication.
Gavin Sheets: Guys are so set in their ways of watching Instagram videos or watch... But you have all the knowledge in the world around you. Talk to guys, talk to... I'd like to see high school guys talking to each other about what they're thinking, I'd like to see college guys talking to... And then I'd like to see them go up to the pro guys and ask them because there's just so much information from each player. How does each guy think about... 'cause as I said earlier, everybody wants to make the same move in their swing, but everybody thinks about it a different way. And what a high school guy could even say he thinks could click with me, but there's just... Guys don't talk enough, guys don't relay information, they think it's like a flaw if they ask them or a weakness if they say, What are you thinking? What are you doing? How do you do this? And it kills me, it kills me because there needs to be an open communication and you just gotta want... Everybody should wanna know just that 1%.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: It's really awesome. That's awesome. And that's great advice. I've been really impressed, even in the short time I've been doing this pod is people at the top of their game, number one, they all have traits that are consistent, you're talking about world class surgeons, world class athletes, world class PTs, they're all doing similar type stuff, as it pertains to their field, whether it be the way they manage time, whether it be their dedication to the time they alot to getting better, just that they're gonna go all in or be totally focused and actually put their phone away and dig in and be present. I just see these themes coming up over and over. The talking thing and the grabbing information when you can... When I was at the Olympics, I saw Kinsler, Ian Kinsler, Danny Valencia, both bonafide big leaguers, I could go on and on about Kinsler and Valencia, I think it was eight years in the bigs, nine years in the bigs, a bunch of home runs, them having conversations with the native born Israelis. Guys who were playing D2 ball.
Gavin Sheets: Sure.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: But playing for their country and they're all talking the same thing because the D2 baller is just pulling information from Kinsler and Kinsler's loving giving it. That's awesome to see. Remember Louis Gonzales?
Gavin Sheets: Sure.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: From the Diamondbacks. So we did a spring training, we did an Olympic prep camp, a training camp in Arizona. Louis Gonzalez is a legend there. He's just wandering around the facility with his giant forearms, and he ends up... He knew our head trainer, and he comes into the training room and he's sitting in the corner next to the ice bath, and there's one of our native born Israelis is laying on the table and I'm working on the guy's shoulder. And Louis says, Hey, what's your name? To the kid, and where are you from? Oh, You're from... And what's it like in Israel? What's it like where you live? How is that different from Arizona? What's the climate? I'm like... And the kid on the table has no idea who he's talking to, but Louis is fascinated to try to learn something about something he doesn't know, and become better at it. That's something I keep seeing, the lead guys trying to get better and trying to learn. I loved seeing you do that with Sam Koch, 'cause he's one of my favorite humans. And it was just such an awesome exchange of knowledge. If you had one parting piece to share with the sports PTs across America, what would it be?
Gavin Sheets: That's a loaded question. I just think recapping what we all talked about today, it's just have a passion, just have a passion for the athlete, share the same passion, because I always had a pad of perception of PTs, I always thought it was just... I'm going there to rehab an injury, but you guys can offer so much more to what we do and can be such a big part of making an athlete and who you want them to be and who they wanna be, and just share the passion and be open and be assertive too. If you see an athlete working at your facility and let them know that, Hey, I can help you. I know you're not hurt, but I can offer more than recovery because that's how I met you, and that's how our relationship started. And that's been a huge difference to what I can do, what I can accomplish now, how I can move, how I can swing, and I would have never known that if it wasn't for a conversation that Courtney had, and it was a conversation that you and I had. So it's just be passionate, be assertive, and just help athletes be the best that they can be.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I love it. That's all we're trying to do, is help athletes be the best that they can be. Well summarized, what an easy conversation that was. Thanks for joining the pod Gav, I cannot wait to have you on again. Next time we're gonna talk about hunting, coffee.
Gavin Sheets: There we go.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And politics. No? Maybe...
Gavin Sheets: I think I'd leave that last one alone.
Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, let's leave that alone. Okay. Thanks for joining us at the True Sports Physical Therapy podcast, thanks to Gavin Sheets for all of his wisdom and all of his knowledge, you can follow us at True Sports PT on Instagram, shoot as a DM, let us know who you wanna have on next, let us know what I should have asked Gavin and always, we're looking to add to our team of sports physical therapists, so let us know if you wanna join the squad. Thanks for listening, guys.
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