TEAM FEATURE: ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY
Jason Tower reached out in the fall of 2016, looking for a way to get his pitchers stronger and throwing harder while, most importantly, keeping them healthy. As the head coach of Roger Williams University baseball (DIII), his program was operating without a strength coach and within a tight budget.
After an offseason of TreadAthletics programming, we decided to sit down with him and discuss how things went.
Jason Tower, head baseball coach - Roger Williams University
What were some of your initial concerns with outsourcing your strength training remotely?
Jason: My only real concerns with training remotely were actually addressed right away – accessibility and demonstration of the actual exercises. Ben was very accessible, and the exercise video library that the guys had access to was impressive. Gone are the days where kids use paper anything, let alone in the weight room, so they all have their phones with them at all times. They were able to pull up videos of any lift they had a question about and watch how it is supposed to be performed right there in the weight room.
Our current Exercise Database (above) has 500+ videos
Describe the implementation process. How easy was it to implement the programming within your coaching framework?
Jason: The best thing I did during the implementation process was to meet with a small group of pitchers (2 from each class) and go through every little detail of the program we were about to start. This gave me a chance to answer any initial questions and give them the info they needed to become a resource to the other guys on the pitching staff. I then met with each guy after the first week to explain what we were doing. I encouraged them all early to read through all the information that Ben had sent, and really get familiar with how the spreadsheet works.
A glimpse of RWU's month 3 workout
What was the main benefit of working with Tread?
Jason: The biggest benefit for me as a college coach without access to a strength and conditioning coach, was that it provided much more structure and informed detail than I ever could have provided. I’ve always felt that if something was important, it should be measured, and this program provided so many tools and resources to do just that. We’ve given our guys more data and information on their progress than ever before, and this generation feeds off that (rightfully so).
How was this program received by your players? Were they skeptical?
Jason: Some were a bit skeptical at first, mostly from a throwing standpoint because they had never thrown that much in the off-season before. Guys that had typically shut down their arms completely from October-February were a little reluctant to pick up a ball, but once things got going and testing started to be incorporated, guys really enjoyed the progressive nature of the program. I would say that most guys were very excited to start it, and have been very happy with it.
"I've always felt that if something was important, it should be measured, and this program provided so many tools and resources to do just that."
How was the communication with Tread Athletics?
Jason: The communication was outstanding and Ben was very receptive to all of our needs.
Anything else you want to say about working with Tread Athletics?
Jason: The level of detail in this program is incredible. It has changed the way I look at our off-season, and it has changed the way our guys train. I would recommend this to any college coach who does not have access to a designated strength and conditioning coach, or any college coach whose designated S&C coach doesn’t meet their needs. I would also recommend Tread to any HS or Travel coaches that could raise the money to do so. For those three examples, in particular, it is the best investment you could make…far more important than extra team gear, cleats, and other BS that coaches seem to waste money on.
I would also HIGHLY recommend to any player who is seriously committed to what they’re doing. We all have those few kids that truly get it, and will put in the real work to achieve a big goal. Too often those kids miss out because they don’t have the right guidance. Tread Athletics is perfect for those high motor, high drive athletes that will actually commit to getting better. Lastly, I recommend it to every kid shelling out thousands of dollars to go to showcases at 16 years old. Spend that money on getting as strong as possible so you actually have something to showcase!
We established a protocol that not only fit within his budget, but included: