This past winter Zac Carey, a senior right-handed pitcher at Bowling Green, emailed me about completing his summer practicum with LPT. I coached Zac during the summer of 2013 with Ohio Elite and Zac spent the summer of 2016 training with LPT. Zac is also an exercise science major at Bowling Green, so having Zac come aboard as an intern was a no brainer.
Zac’s work ethic and dedication to helping athletes this summer was far greater than I envisioned, and that is why he is the August Spotlight Athlete.
As a college coach I take great pride in the athletes that I train who not only have success on the field, but also in the classroom. Zac sports a 3.9 GPA and has been a two-time member of the Academic All-MAC Team. A task that is not easy for a division 1 athlete. Zac will look to pursue a career in cardiac rehab upon his graduation next spring.
Not only did Zac work hard at helping other LPT athletes get better this summer, he worked extremely hard to help himself become a better pitcher and to help BG get back to the MAC Tournament. Zac has been in the weekend rotation at BG since his freshman year. In 2015 Zac was named MAC Freshman Pitcher of the Year, 2nd Team All-MAC, and a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.
Zac made the 45-60 minute drive to Westerville every day to start his training at 7am before LPT athletes began to make their way in at 9am. Zac lifted and threw four times a week with a focus on getting stronger, putting on weight, and increasing his fastball velocity. Zac’s squat max went from 275 x 3 to 305 x 8, he went from 169lbs to 182lbs (falling just short of our goal of 185lbs), and a fastball that usually sits 85-87 was 90 mph on 11 of 12 fastballs on his final testing day.
Zac’s dedication to the LPT athletes he helped train and to his own training was top notch this summer and I look forward to Zac having a great senior season at BG!
I asked Zac about his experience this summer and this is what he had to say...
1. How was your experience interning with LPT?
This summer interning with LPT was a great experience for me. This was my first time working hands on with clients in the real world. The amount of knowledge I gained about what it is like to have a client surpasses anything I have learned in a classroom. A career in the exercise science field means working with clients of all ages and abilities. Being able to work with athletes this summer helped ease my way into the client-patient career. Also, I learned a great deal about different teaching techniques. John is a great teacher, and has the ability to instruct with different methods depending on how the client is comprehending the information. I learned a great deal of being able to explain things multiple ways to ensure the client was able to understand and ultimately learn the information. As the summer progressed, I was able to explain the information in multiple ways and work with clients one-on-one. Finally, learning the the information John was teaching, and being able to work with a client myself is a rewarding feeling.
2. You also spent the summer training with LPT. Talk about your training and how LPT helped you get better as a pitcher.
This summer was more than a learning experience for me. I also had the privilege of working out this summer with John. We worked out in the weight room every morning before the day began. John is a great strength coach and helped me increase my weight of squatting and benching by almost 30 pounds. By the end of the summer, I gained about 10 pounds of muscle. Gaining this weight enabled me to use my lower half a lot more effectively. I also had the privilege of being a part of his velocity training days, which strengthened my arm tremendously. After working with John this summer, I feel that I am in the best shape in my four years at BG, and my arm feels it's strongest. Interning with John, I always warmed up his clients, and it gave me the opportunity to long toss and do a throwing regimen everyday to keep my arm in shape. On the days I would work out with his clients, John would also videotape me as I threw, and helped me make some corrections to get as much power as I could out of my legs and really firming up my front side to help my deceleration. This ultimately helped me throw harder, but most importantly it helped me become less sore after intense throwing days. The amount of weight I gained, the velocity increase, and my increase in explosiveness can all be attributed to John’s teaching. All of these things have helped me become a better pitcher, and feel that I am in the best shape going into my senior year.
3. What are your goals for your senior season at Bowling Green?
I want my senior season to be my best one yet. I am going to keep working and getting stronger as the fall progresses. My biggest goal for the season is to consistently go deep into games I am starting on the weekend. Being able to go 6 or 7 innings every game and allowing no more than 3 runs would be great as I would be setting up the team for a great chance to win every time I threw. When my teammates know it's my day to start I want them to think that they already have a strong 6 innings from me and have the attitude that we are going to win the game. I could care less about how we win, as long as we are winning. Just giving the team the best chance to win is my goal. The team winning and making it to the MAC Tournament is our goal and I want to help lead them there. The past couple of years I have been right at about 80 innings for the year. This year I want to get as close as possible to 90 innings. This means I am doing my job as a starting pitcher and giving the team quality starts. With all of the help I have received from John this year, I believe I can achieve these goals and have a great senior year as a team.