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From Personal Training To Spring Training, Harrison White On Preparing for His MLB Career

Stephanie Held
April 6, 2018
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Harrison White was playing baseball before he could walk.

From the ceiling of his garage in Laguna Niguel, California, his dad hung a tennis ball and as a baby he would just sit there swinging at it with a plastic bat. By his freshman year in high school, Harrison was playing Varsity baseball. A modest dude, he explained that his school in California was small, and even the JV players would dress for Varsity games. But don’t be fooled, readers, Harrison was born to play baseball and started spring training this month with the Miami Marlins.

But what drove him there and helped him along the way? Here is a sneak peak into the athletic journey of a baseball player who prepared for his pro-career in New Haven.

Stephanie: How does a California guy find himself living in Connecticut?

Harrison: “In high school I knew I wanted to play college baseball at an academically rigorous university. Yale only had seven spots, and I was eighth on the list behind a pitcher. When they called to tell me they went with the pitcher, but to keep in touch, I accepted that I would be playing somewhere else, like Amherst, Mass. I really liked the coach there, and it is a good school. Then on my birthday, Yale called to tell me that the pitcher didn’t have the grades, so if I still wanted in, I was all but guaranteed a spot. I couldn’t believe it.”

Photo courtesy of Harrison White

Stephanie: Good things come to those who wait I guess! What happened from there?

Harrison: “I played an awesome four years at Yale and graduated with a B.S. in political science and pre-medicine, and wanted to continue playing baseball. But I hadn’t heard anything from professional scouts. I spent about month “broken up” with baseball. I went to the gym, but didn’t know what to do without my sport. Then, on the third day of the MLB draft, the Miami Marlins chose me in the 31st round. In minutes I was packing up my apartment in downtown New Haven and started spring training five days later. That period without baseball re-inspired a deeper commitment to it and I was ready. to. go.”

Stephanie: What level are you playing at now and how did you get there?

Harrison: “There are six levels of minor league baseball before making major leagues. I surpassed the first level, Rookie Ball and played Single A, short season last season. This season I will play out field at the same level, but striving to move up to the next level, Low A, in Greensboro, NC.

In the off-season, I worked out six times a week for two hours. One day out of the week I trained with my personal trainer John who helped me with mobility, speed and supplements. After the first personal training session with him, I was fried. Here is an example of a workout John gave me to do on my own training days:

  1. Mobility: stretch series 3x, val-slide lunge banded (15x, each leg 2x), wall-slide w with val-slide (2 sets, 30x).
  2. Leg curls with ankle weights (2 sets, 20x), hip extension with ankle weights (2 sets, 20x).
  3. Three Rounds: ankle jumps (yellow medicine ball) 20x, followed by 3 broad jumps.
  4. Sled sprints (45 lbs, 10x).
  5. Neutral grip dumbbell press: (50 lbs x10 reps), (60 lbs x 5 reps), (70 lbs x 2 reps), (80 lbs X 1 reps), (85 lbs x 1 rep), (90 lbs x 1 rep), (95 lbs x 1 rep), (100 lbs – as many reps as possible).
  6. Cable rows on the free motion machine (4 sets of 20 reps – 2 second rest).
  7. Two sets of banded push ups, feet should be on 12 inch box.
  8. Banded tricep extension (5 sets of 30 reps).
  9. Rotational (yellow) medicine ball slams (2 sets, 10/side)."
Photo courtesy of Harrison White

Stephanie: SHOOT! Besides personal training, what else supports you as an athlete?

Harrison: “Having two parts to my goal—staying physically fit and performing well as a baseball player—keeps me in step. It’s also important to me to stay informed about disease prevention. As pre-med guy, I study evidence-based health and recently read How Not To Die. It opened up my eyes to how nutrition can support prevention and recovery from diseases like cancer. In my daily life, I have found that no longer eating meat has helped me sleep better, too. Even so, I still follow my mom’s advice when it comes to new challenges—eat the elephant one bite at a time.”

Personal Trainer John and Harrison White at mActivity

Stephanie: Ha, I get it. Why Did You Choose mActivity?

Harrison: “I chose mActivity at first because it was close to home, it’s high-performance and clean facilities. I stayed because when you go inside, you see mindfulness immediately. I think that is something to value. Once you decide to be more conscious of your habits, you start thinking about how habits influence other parts of your life. Everything you do eventually weighs into the other until you find a sweet spot that makes you unstoppable.”

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