When did you begin your sports career?
I played my first T-Ball game at 4 years old on my older brother’s team. From there it was playing every possible sport I could get involved with from soccer, basketball, football, wrestling, swimming and golf. It wasn’t until high school that I narrowed the focus to just baseball and ultimately had the opportunity to play collegiate ball at Rice University and professionally with the Boston Red Sox.
What was your greatest accomplishment throughout your career?
Participating in the College World Series for Rice was the most fun I had on a baseball field. We worked incredibly hard as a team to get to Omaha, unfortunately we came up short and never finished the season in a dog pile but it was an experience I’ll always cherish.
Why did you start phantom weights?
In professional baseball each athlete is required to do a shoulder maintenance program, but they all fell short of what I believed their intended purpose was: keep players healthy and add strength (read: velocity). The weightlifting programs would get athletes bigger, but bulkier too, and ultimately not result in added velo. The surgical tubing and various shoulder programs with lite weights were great for a pre-hab purpose to keep one healthier—but again, didn’t gain velocity. Weighted balls seemed to mess up my release point, which is obviously not what you want in a game of precision. The only way we found a true velocity gain was to go out and long toss… And an idea was born: if you wanted to get stronger in the weight room, you add more weight. Why can’t we do this with throwing? Adding resistance on the body where we could still use our in-game tools (5oz ball, 34/31 bat, etc) was the perfect way to intensify our training while not disrupting mechanics or location!
What’s been the biggest obstacle?
Honestly, getting the word out. As poor Minor League baseball players, we didn’t have the money to properly build a company, create a marketing department, and get this on the shelves in major stores. At the grass roots level, every professional player we pitched the idea to was all in, especially after they tried it and had that “AHA” moment.
Where do you see phantom weights 5 years down the line?
Phantom will be the leading wearable resistance training method for athletes in all sports.
What tips do you have for kids just starting out in their playing careers?
Play everything under the sun, and HAVE FUN!!! The skills you’ll pick up in certain sports will apply to others you play later. The game will decide when you need to narrow your focus and start dedicating everything you’ve got to a particular sport. Until then, as long as you’re having fun, keep going mach 12 with your hair on fire!