Baseball Magazine

Interview - Alan Jaeger of Jaeger Sports - Part 1

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard
This post is the third interview I have done for Baseball By The Yard.  The first two have become two of my most popular posts in terms of overall readership and I’m confident this one will eventually be up there as well.  Because of the length of our conversation, the interview will be broken up into three parts.  

Interview - Alan Jaeger of Jaeger Sports - Part 1

Alan Jaeger 
Jaeger Sports founder

I recently had the pleasure of talking with a southern California guy who has done some amazing things in the area of baseball training.  He is the founder of a company called Jaeger Sports.  Starting  in 1991, Alan Jaeger has been at the forefront in changing (or as you’ll read, returning to) the way baseball players create arm strength and how they care for their arms.  His passion for training the “whole player” (both body and mind) has won over some of the top players (click HERE for a list) and front office people in the game today.   We spoke at length about what he does and how it is affecting the game in a big way.  Below is the transcript of our conversation.
BaseballByTheYard (BBTY):  I came across Jaeger Sports when I saw a number of people online mentioning the value of what they called "J-Bands."  I later found out that they were referring to your popular program for baseball players that use your Jaeger Band product.  Were Jaeger Bands your first product?
Alan Jaeger:  No, my first product was actually a book titled Getting focused, staying focused which delves into more of the mental side of performance.
BBTY:  That’s actually what drew me into your website.  I’ve always felt that the mental side of the game is an untapped area of training and it seems your company feels strongly about that as well.  What kind of training or education do you have in that area?
Alan:  I studied and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology so I’ve always had a fascination with that side of performance.  I also have had a strong connection with the more Eastern methods of peak performance that include the concept of Zen using yoga and Pilates as an avenue to improving and integrating the mind and body at the same time.  The book gets into that side of things and its value to players.
BBTY:  Why should players be interested in the more Eastern techniques?
Alan:  Besides the overall health benefits, it is very process oriented whereas many of the popular training methods today are results oriented.  It fits well with baseball in that the best players in the game focus more on the process that leads to success as opposed to only focusing on the results.  It’s a perfect match for what leads to success in the game.
Interview - Alan Jaeger of Jaeger Sports - Part 1
BBTY:  Most coaches agree, especially at the higher levels, that the mental side of the game becomes more and more important to the success of players as they get older.  However, virtually no attention is given in practice to improving the mental side of the player.  Just about all the drill work stresses the physical side of baseball.  Why do you think there is so much of a disconnect between what leads to great performance and how players actually practice?
Alan:  It basically comes down to education.  The physical side of the game is really the only side of the game that most people know how to address.  It’s not their fault.  If success in the game involved nuclear physics, I’d be lost too.  I have no understanding, training, or background in that.   That’s why our programs emphasize it so much.  We do it to train and to educate.
BBTY:  I guess it helps that some of the top players in baseball have come out publicly to say that they have benefited from working with sports psychologists.
Alan:  It certainly does.  On top of that, it is more common now for college athletes to have some mental training.  More schools are employing sports psychologists for their programs and also are tapping into student interns and grad assistants who are studying that area of sports.   Our clinics and camps through Jaeger Sports also expose younger players to the concepts and techniques as well so the movement is growing.
BBTY:  How receptive are younger players to what you are exposing to them on the mental side?
Alan:  The response is tremendous.  It helps that a lot of the organizations and kids that we work with seek us out, in part, because of our focus on that side of the game.  They already understand that there is a deeper side to the game that needs to be addressed and they know our programs help them get there.
BBTY:  What would your mental training at one of your camps look like?
Alan:  Probably the best thing to do would be to look at a couple of our clips on Youtube that show how we do this.

(Check out the other YouTube clips from this camp also!)In Part 2 of the interview tomorrow, Coach McCreary and Alan Jaeger discuss the physical side to the Jaeger Sports training philosophy and program!

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