In the past, baseball coaches were reluctant to have their athletes lift weights, unless it was light dumbbells to rehabilitate a shoulder or elbow injury. Now the sport has embraced the weight room, and one athlete who has benefitted from this paradigm shift in coaching is Jake Guggenheimer.
Jake has been playing baseball since a child. His love of baseball is evident, and he is passionate about the sport. Jake is a catcher and has been training both at school and outside privately to improve his performance on the field. This has been challenging for Jake because his academics have always come first.
Jake first enrolled in AM Fitness at Great Neck North High School in Great Neck, New York, as a 10th grader. He and came in with some previous knowledge of training because his mother is a personal trainer. But he needed a program that could fit into his schedule and afford him the opportunity to always been an in-season athlete. That is where BFS came in.
Marisol Mahler, a certified BFS clinician and physical education teacher at the school, runs a class from 7:00-7:50AM on Mondays and Thursdays. It’s for athletes who need to train both off-season and in-season but cannot do so after school or who cannot go to a gym due to travel issues or just age requirements. More importantly, gyms do not offer the instructional support or technical training that Coach Mahler provides. As a result, Jake has improved tremendously in all aspects of technical training, his lifts have become proficient, and his PR’s always improve.
Says Head Baseball Coach James Bailin, “For the past four years, Jake has played varsity baseball for me, starting every game for those four years. I’ve watched him evolve and grow from an undersized, overmatched freshman into a strong, athletic young man.”
Jake batted leadoff and led the team in stolen bases the last two seasons, a testament to his strength and speed training. Bailin says Jake was the best hitter on the team as well, and is one of the best catchers in the county. “Jake played the most difficult, important position on the field, catcher, and did it with outstanding success. And, he did it through hard work in the weight room and his baseball training in the off-season. Jake dedicated himself to becoming the best player he could be, and he has proven to me, and himself, that he was willing to do whatever it took to be that player.”
Jake Guggenheimer will be playing baseball later this year when he attends McGill University in Canada. “I know that Jake will continue to make strides as a player and person, to always work hard to become better,” says Mahler. “I am proud to have coached Jake, as I could only hope that he set a good example for every player that pulls on the uniform after him, because he played with pride and dedication, and was the epitome of the word “captain.”