Buddy Biancalana, former MLB player, presents...
Buddy Biancalana, former MLB player, presents...
Brian Leighton Assistant Athletic Director Head Baseball Coach - Albertus Magnus College
“Buddy's Zone Motion training is unlike any other training out there. It had an immediate positive impact upon our student-athletes. This past season, despite our largest roster size ever, we posted the highest team GPA in the history of the program. We also drastically improved all offensive categories including our quality at-bat avg. and consistency of hard contact. With virtually the same starting lineup, our offensive production went to another level. Student-athletes reported fewer injuries, a higher quality of rest and recovery, better stress management, and higher quality sleeping patterns. I am skeptical by nature but believe wholeheartedly in this system. This is not a Sports Psychology program, this is a Sports Biology program. Gone are the days of "Muscle Memory" as we now know that "Motion Memory" is at the center of athleticism. We were able to transform players and overcome training plateaus and challenges in record setting fashion. As a coach that often talked about the importance of the mental game in sports, Buddy's Zone Motion program is THE WAY to unlock your true abilities through sports biology! I am fortunate to have found this program and cannot wait to follow up our best season in the past decade with an even more impressive one.
George Brett, Baseball Hall of Fame
I worked with Buddy on the golf driving range. It was an extraordinary experience. I am a 5 handicap golfer and I have a fairly consistent swing. But after working with Buddy , my game went to another level. I was hitting the ball further with less effort and making more solid contact with the ball.
Adam Ottavino, New York Yankees
This program allows my true ability to rise to the surface. I feel that I am getting better with each outing and I know where to look when I need to reset the clock when I am a little off.
Jeremy Affeldt, San Francisco Giants retired
I think that this fluid motion my body experiences through Buddy's teaching will allow anyone to pitch with more freedom and reduce pitching injuries. The more fluid you are, the less strain you put on your ligaments and muscles.
Austin Davis, Pittsburgh Pirates
Buddy possesses knowledge about the brain-body connection that I have not been exposed to anywhere else. My work with him has transformed how I look to increase performance. When I work with Buddy I feel “in the zone.” He brings a fresh perspective to the world of baseball that has transformed me as a pitcher and I know will transform others.
Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants—Retired
Giants Hall of Fame
It was an incredible feeling when I pitched my perfect game. I felt tremendous freedom. I was so locked in. Buddy has helped me understand what allowed me to pitch so well that day and more importantly how to duplicate that feeling. It’s taken so much pressure off me.
Brad Markey, Chicago Cubs
My work with Buddy has helped me with the mental and mechanical sides of pitching. I went from Extended Spring Training to the Runner up for Pitcher of the Year, in the same year. I was even put on the Top Prospect list. Buddy has figured something out that majority of baseball players don’t know about.
Jake Petricka, Milwaukee Brewers
In all using the training has helped me pitch at my highest ability more frequently than ever before. I used to find the "zone" every now and then and would dominate on those days. Now I feel every time I go out on the mound I am in control. I feel more at the top of my game than ever before.
Four Time PGA Tournament Winner
Buddy’s understanding of the brain-body connection is second to none. He possesses a great ability to help an athlete achieve consistency. I am grateful to have crossed paths with Buddy.
Dr. Stacy Fuchino
I can't say enough about Zone Motion. As a doctor, I am always trying to find reasons why things happen. The most important factor that I found from this revolutionary understanding is that you need to get out of your own way and allow your subconscious side of your brain do what it is intended for. I can't say enough how this has helped me.
Logan Miller, Basketball Player
Buddy does a phenomenal job finding out exactly what it is that enables a person from getting in, or staying in the zone. What I appreciate the most about Buddy’s training is its ability to contribute to all aspects of life, not just athletics.
Alex Wimmers, Minnesota Twins
There may be nothing more physically and emotionally challenging for a pitcher than having the yips and not being able to throw a pitch anywhere near the strike zone. Buddy Biancalana clearly understands the path to getting a pitcher back to his full ability. Buddy helped me navigate through the intricate process I needed to once again throw strikes. I am very grateful for his work.
As a high school infielder, I went through a very difficult time when all of a sudden I couldn’t even throw the ball in the vicinity of the first baseman. It was like nothing I’ve ever felt and completely destroyed my confidence. Working with Buddy allowed me to make a 100% recovery. His patience, understanding and skills were exactly what I needed. I am now able to play with as much confidence as I’ve ever had.
Morris Lukowich, Winnipeg Jets (retired)
During my NHL career, I always wanted to play my best. Why did I play great, very focused and in the zone sometimes and not other times? Buddy Biancalana has the answers. His incredible zone training is simple and effective and can be taught to athlete in all sports.
Hunting The Zone: Profiling State Of Play For World Class Athletes
By Tony Abbatine on May 14, 2020
It is the holygrail, the secret sauce and the end all in athletic performance. Hundreds of books and lectures describe the experiences of athletes trying to and, at times, finding this timeless state of being that allows the game to become easy and without conscious thought. The zone, the flow, mindfulness.
Call it what you want but athletes know when they are in it and performance coaches spend careers trying to unlock the path to this state of no thought and high performance. All coaches have different ways to "free up" athletes to play with this feeling. Athletes themselves often find their own ways to quiet the voices and slow time down so decision making and reacting become simple.
Buddy Biancalana, the former Royals shortstop and co-author of The 7 Secrets of World Class Athletes provided insight on this state of mind for athletes.
"When an athlete is in the zone, the motion becomes fluid and, for the most part, effortless. You feel as if you have more time, you don’t feel rushed, your motion is very fluid and the timing is excellent or even perfect," Biancalana said. "Three things are essential for all of this to occur, two of which I learned from Dr. Fred Travis, the Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition.
"The signals or information you’re processing must get to the cerebellum uninterrupted by the prefrontal cortex, and the athlete must generate intention from a quieter state of mind. This is done through a process of thinking various cues such as numbers. In addition, mechanics must include the kinematic sequence. The brain-body connection is a two-way street. My experience in working with athletes in many professional sports is, if there is weakness in the kinetic chain, processes in the brain necessary for zone motion will break down. An athlete can still have some success, without the kinematic sequence, however for full ability to surface consistently and for maximum force to take place as safely as possible, both the kinematic sequence and zone motion must occur.
"The current baseball training model is incomplete, thus the reason for slow development, inconsistency of performance and the high rate of soft tissue injuries. In order for an athlete to play their best, there can never be a time in which the processes in the brain are not the priority. The brain is the operating system to the muscles.
"The integration of the mechanics with the brain in the correct state to allow the motion to get stored and consistently accessed, is what sets zone motion apart. The work must take place on the field. When a player is accessing zone motion, it feels as if they are not thinking. It is similar to someone who drove a car for 20 minutes and can’t remember much about the drive, yet they were very alert as they were driving safely to their destination."
The 7 Secrets of World Class Athletes, as Biancalana describes them, are listed below in descending order.
Zone Motion training takes place on the field by working at the intersection of the mental and physical. It is complementary to current on-field and off-field coaching and mental skills training. Players are progressively taught cues and drills such as numbers to think at various points of their motion depending on their state of being.
For performance coaches, the need to expand insight and realize the many strategies that are available to share with athletes is crucial. The industry, at times, has become a one-trick pony, one tool fits all. Supporting and coaching athletes at all levels requires insight and vision beyond the traditional sports psychology paradigm.
Scott McCarron, PGA Senior Tour
September 20, 2017 Updated: September 20, 2017 4:34pm
Most of this week’s phone interview with Scott McCarron made perfect sense. McCarron talked about his wild success on the Champions Tour, his fondness for Pebble Beach and trying to keep pace with ageless Bernhard Langer.
Along the way, McCarron dropped a name out of the blue, out of another sport, out of short left field: Buddy Biancalana.
This might not resonate for golf fans, but it probably does for those of a certain age who follow baseball. Biancalana was a scrappy shortstop from Marin County who spent parts of six seasons in the major leagues and played spectacularly in helping the Kansas City Royals win the 1985 World Series. And now, as it turns out, he’s helping McCarron enjoy a renaissance on the golf course.
McCarron also has Northern California roots. He was born in Sacramento, lived in Danville for a time as a kid and attended Vintage High in Napa. Then he went off to UCLA and stitched together a solid PGA Tour career, with three victories and more than $12 million in earnings. He largely vanished from the scene in his mid-40s, as many solid tour pros do. But he was primed and ready to join the PGA Tour Champions when he turned 50 in July 2015 and has won six times in 53 starts since then.
McCarron stands No. 2 on this year’s money list, behind only Langer, entering the Pure Insurance Championship (previously known as the First Tee Open) starting Friday at Pebble Beach. Langer and McCarron have separated themselves from the pack, easily the two best players in the 50-and-older crowd.
So what got into McCarron? Well, he’s smacking tee shots long and straight (sixth on tour in driving distance, averaging 295.6 yards). His putting has been great (third on tour). And Biancalana helped McCarron unclutter his mind. McCarron, now 52, described Biancalana as a sports psychologist, essentially, and characterized his guidance as “abstract thinking.” McCarron figures his body knows what to do, after a lifetime of hitting golf balls, and his mind just needed to stay out of the way. “It’s about letting your mind be quiet and allowing your body to do what it’s supposed to do,” McCarron said. Biancalana, who has worked with athletes in several sports, clearly has made an impact on McCarron.
Dr. Kevin Witte D.O., M.B.A
Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Andrews Research and Education Institute Sports Medicine Fellow
Kansas City, MO
"Using Buddy's system, during the throwing motion, the EMG findings show us there is less involvement of the latissimus dorsi and more recruitment of the pectoralis major. Based on throwing biomechanics and the kinetic chain of activities during the throwing motion, we can conclude that those results will lead to a more stabilized shoulder during the throwing motion. Furthermore, I think you can extrapolate that to more stabilization and less stress on the elbow.
We know that both the latissimus and pec show highest muscle strain during the acceleration phase of the throwing motion. In particular, the latissimus has traditionally shown more strain than the pec during this acceleration phase. The EMG findings on muscle strain, using Buddy's system, has shown a more balanced pattern with less latissimus strain and more pec recruitment.
We also know that too much tension in the latissimus can lead to core/trunk imbalance, which leads to injuries. In addition, we know that the latissimus is an accessory respiratory muscle and thus, a lower respiratory rate combined with less latissimus strain would be evidence of a more balanced and relaxed state. A previous study by Fleisig et al at ASMI has shown that Buddy's system does not alter the overall throwing mechanics, but lead to a less perceived level of fatigue. It is important to note, that Buddy's system, while changing muscle recruitment patterns, has also been shown to increase strike rate per the ASMI study without any drastic change to the pitchers' throwing motion. In fact findings are showing an increase in the baseball spin rate after training with Buddy. The goal for every baseball player is to maintain or increase performance, while remaining healthy and injury free. If you put all the data together, I believe Buddy has a system that helps accomplish that."
Dr. Scott H. Calzaretta, C.C., C.C.S.P.
Certified Chiropractor Sports Physician
President Chiro-Medical group
San Francisco, CA
"As a former Olympic team doctor and someone who has treated many professional, world class and amateur athletes during my 30 years of practice, I am always looking for something that can help my patients succeed. The “Zone Motion” has caught my attention. I met Buddy through a friend and he did a demo for 6 of us on the driving range at a local golf course. Within minutes we looked around at each other and smiled in disbelief. The beneficial changes were obvious and immediate. My personal experience at that moment was the ease of the golf swing, change in ball flight, consistency and mobility in my finish. As a sports medicine doctor and an athlete, I knew this was something big, really big. I told him that he needs to research this program and he informed me that there was a study in progress by a colleague of mine who is a bio mechanist and one of the foremost experts in the field of sports medicine as it pertains to baseball. The results of that study confirmed what I had expected, and in my opinion, any athlete who wants to improve their game (don’t we all) should be knocking down Buddy's door. I have seen the testimonials Buddy has from professional and amateur athletes alike, and they only confirm what I have personally experienced. Better performance, more fluidity in motion, a sense of calm, an accelerated learning curve and less fatigue following the activity. With the aforementioned in mind this may also have a significant effect on reducing injuries.
In my professional and personal opinion, this methodology is absolutely an invaluable training tool for athletes."
Paul McGannon M.S., A.T.C.
President Sports Rehabilitation and Hand Therapy Kansas City
Kansas City Kings NBA Trainer 1974-78
Kansas City Royals MLB Trainer 1975-1989
"As we all know there is an important chain that goes from diagnosis to rehabilitation to return to activity. Zone Motion is the missing link between the rehabilitation phase and return to activity phase. Based and supported by science and independent studies, it proves to be an invaluable asset."