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 Post subject: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:57 pm 
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For starters, I never really gave a crap about the Buccos doing this with prospects. I'm not promoting an agenda about a particular journalist, the practice itself, or the FO.

Further, I recognize that the SEAL training was only part of the whole Hoka Hey thing, and not it's entirety.

So, I present this video as a backdrop. These are Buffalo Sabres prospects, including 2012 first rounder Zemgus Girgenesens doing SEAL training in Buffalo. patrick Kaleta, a veteran (most likely hated by most of you) joined them.

For entertainment purposes only:

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... IZBXzso7Y0

(Trying to get it embedded.)

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Last edited by Rochester on Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:59 pm 
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WTF. Won't embed...

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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:09 pm 
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Running in water, carrying telephone poles, running in sand, turning tires end on end .... how dare the Buffalo Sabres engage in such frivolity...

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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:14 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Running in water, carrying telephone poles, running in sand, turning tires end on end .... how dare the Buffalo Sabres engage in such frivolity...


But they're not protected like baseball players. Hockey players dont have a pitch count.

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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:09 pm 
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Training overseen by Navy SEALs was never the biggest problem in my mind. To me, the biggest issue was the Pirates taking that training and applying it during a "Hell Week" when they put prospects in danger without any trained supervision. That's irresponsible and wrong.

Also, baseball is very much an individual sport. I don't believe SEAL training would be nearly as effective for baseball players than it may be for hockey players, football players, or basketball players, all of whom play true team sports. That's probably why the Navy SEAL stuff is fairly prevalent in those sports but absent in baseball (until I heard about the Pirates doing it).

Quite frankly, there are BETTER ways to train baseball players, in my view (and in the view of every other player development department in MLB).


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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:55 pm 
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SEAL training is also about building mental toughness and pushing through adversity. Those are skills that any athlete would derive benefit. Trusting teammates is also a component of the game which would be another portion of SEAL training. Might there be better ways? Might there be worse ways? Perhaps. But my issue was always the incredulity and indignation expressed by some when it was first reported along with what appeared to be a "rush to smear" and performing very little background before reaching a conclusive opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:19 pm 
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I would agree JC that the team aspect is far different.

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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:42 pm 
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Just a reminder here folks . . . the Navy Seals exercises lasted 3 days. I sometimes get the idea that some want to portray the Pirates' organization as completely abandoning their prior training program and replacing it with Navy Seals exercises. If anything, the Seals program was a supplement to what they were doing previously.

If you think that the 3 days would have been better spent with Charlie Lau, great. Maybe with Tony Robbins, fine. Maybe you think that running bases for 3 straight hours is better. Maybe a long weekend on a golf course . . . again, its 3 days. Its not causing any baseball player's skills to deteriorate.

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:01 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Just a reminder here folks . . . the Navy Seals exercises lasted 3 days. I sometimes get the idea that some want to portray the Pirates' organization as completely abandoning their prior training program and replacing it with Navy Seals exercises. If anything, the Seals program was a supplement to what they were doing previously.

If you think that the 3 days would have been better spent with Charlie Lau, great. Maybe with Tony Robbins, fine. Maybe you think that running bases for 3 straight hours is better. Maybe a long weekend on a golf course . . . again, its 3 days. Its not causing any baseball player's skills to deteriorate.

It certainly stands in stark contrast to the "Hell Week" that JC has been repeatedly flogging.

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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Willton wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
Just a reminder here folks . . . the Navy Seals exercises lasted 3 days. I sometimes get the idea that some want to portray the Pirates' organization as completely abandoning their prior training program and replacing it with Navy Seals exercises. If anything, the Seals program was a supplement to what they were doing previously.

If you think that the 3 days would have been better spent with Charlie Lau, great. Maybe with Tony Robbins, fine. Maybe you think that running bases for 3 straight hours is better. Maybe a long weekend on a golf course . . . again, its 3 days. Its not causing any baseball player's skills to deteriorate.

It certainly stands in stark contrast to the "Hell Week" that JC has been repeatedly flogging.


Agreed. Three days of supervised Navy SEAL training is one thing; instituting a "Hell Week" with military-style drills not supervised by military personnel is another. I don't support either for a baseball team, but I'm more willing to entertain the former. The latter is just risky and dumb. Period.


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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:16 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Willton wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
Just a reminder here folks . . . the Navy Seals exercises lasted 3 days. I sometimes get the idea that some want to portray the Pirates' organization as completely abandoning their prior training program and replacing it with Navy Seals exercises. If anything, the Seals program was a supplement to what they were doing previously.

If you think that the 3 days would have been better spent with Charlie Lau, great. Maybe with Tony Robbins, fine. Maybe you think that running bases for 3 straight hours is better. Maybe a long weekend on a golf course . . . again, its 3 days. Its not causing any baseball player's skills to deteriorate.

It certainly stands in stark contrast to the "Hell Week" that JC has been repeatedly flogging.


Agreed. Three days of supervised Navy SEAL training is one thing; instituting a "Hell Week" with military-style drills not supervised by military personnel is another. I don't support either for a baseball team, but I'm more willing to entertain the former. The latter is just risky and dumb. Period.

I'll agree with you there, but are we certain that the PBC instituted a "Hell Week" exercise with its minor leaguers?

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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:23 pm 
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Yup. The SEAL training was September 14-16.

"Hell Week" started on October 14.

http://triblive.com/sports/dejankovacev ... z2IG0RmrQt

On Oct. 14 at 11:45 p.m., the Pirates‘ minor-league coaches and instructors broke the midnight silence by banging on dorm rooms throughout the complex shouting, “It‘s Hell Week! It‘s Hell Week!”

Players were told to be dressed in 20 minutes and to meet outside by the batting cage. Waiting there were Kyle Stark, the assistant general manager and architect of the team‘s “Hoka Hey” ways, as well as Larry Broadway, the first-year farm director who never before held any instructional position at any level of baseball.

Look it up.

Broadway told the assembled players this would be their “rite of passage” to become Pirates, then sent them on a two-hour scavenger hunt for envelopes hidden across the complex.

(Don‘t ask. No idea.)

At 5 a.m., after a wink or two of sleep, they were bused over to Bradenton Beach for a two-mile run, followed by relay races in which they ran back and forth filling garbage cans with sand.

(Don‘t ask. No idea.)

This garbage — pardon the pun — went on all week.

On the “Hell Week” finale Friday, with a 10 a.m. road game on tap, the players again were awoken at 5 a.m. This time, it was to perform sliding drills on a still-dark field lit by a solitary quartz lamp. The coaches took turns manning second base and tried — not always successfully — to leap over players sliding into the bag, generally making a mess on the basepaths.


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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Rochester wrote:
For starters, I never really gave a crap about the Buccos doing this with prospects. I'm not promoting an agenda about a particular journalist, the practice itself, or the FO.

Further, I recognize that the SEAL training was only part of the whole Hoka Hey thing, and not it's entirety.

So, I present this video as a backdrop. These are Buffalo Sabres prospects, including 2012 first rounder Zemgus Girgenesens doing SEAL training in Buffalo. patrick Kaleta, a veteran (most likely hated by most of you) joined them.

For entertainment purposes only:

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... IZBXzso7Y0

(Trying to get it embedded.)

Obviously the video is a fake, because we all know from reading the Trib that no professional sports team has ever utilized that sort of dangerous training.

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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:14 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
Obviously the video is a fake, because we all know from reading the Trib that no professional sports team has ever utilized that sort of dangerous training.


Who at the Trib said that? I recall reading it reported, correctly, that no baseball team engaged in this sort of thing. And I posted in this very thread why that is the case.


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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:21 pm 
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http://www.baseballnews.com/features/st ... aining.htm

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:53 am 
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I definitely get JC's point about Hell Week. Some of the elements in his quote above do sound stupid, if not at least a tinge risky.

My real reason for posting the video (aside from the fact that I bleed Blue and Gold in the winter) is that I wanted you guys to see what was most likely the same kind of drills the 3 Day part entailed.

The Sabres, however, did not shoot pucks at a goalie in the dark. So point taken.

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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:47 am 
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No. 9 wrote:
http://www.baseballnews.com/features/stories/navysealtraining.htm


So you're on board with it because an amateur women's softball team did it? Really?

I stand by my points about why such "teamwork" training is potentially useful in true "team" sports, but not so much in baseball. I also stand by my point that the derivative military-style training the Pirates carried out during "Hell Week," without Navy SEAL supervision, was risky and dumb.


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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:27 pm 
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Christ Almighty.
Let me see if I can repeat my point for the umpteenth time. Despite efforts by many to portray the Pirates hiring Acumen Performance Group to conduct a three day Seals training course as ridiculous, lacking any semblance of benefit, having no application to the sport of baseball, etc., I'm merely pointing out that there are other teams that have hired this group or other Seals groups to not only "team build" but also to strengthen individual mental toughness and to advance an athlete's performance through adversity.

I get it. You see absolutely no value in it whatsoever. You think that it has no benefit because baseball is an "individual" sport and not a team sport. Fine. You are entitled to your opinion. I happen to think that it is a knee jerk, ill-thought and outcome determinative analysis which just happens to mirror your favorite columnist in Pittsburgh.

Other teams are doing it. APG claims that it has been contacted by other professional baseball teams. Whether they've been retained by other teams, I don't know. And, to be frank, I don't really care. Unless and until someone can demonstrate to me why Gerrit Cole or any other player's development has been hampered by these exercises, I see it pretty much as a non-issue. I've posted many times here that I don't know whether any benefit is conferred by such a program. I just don't see the downside and I don't get why people have their "panties twisted" about it. Unless they are advancing an agenda . . . that's the only thing that makes sense to me.

BTW, I posted the USA Softball link because of the reference to "Hell Week" which was apparently advanced by the Seal group. I think its funny that a bunch of women's softball players can survive a Hell Week but a bunch of minor leaguers complain about it and a bunch of people typing at their computers are outraged by it.

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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:39 pm 
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One other point . . . baseball is a team sport. While it differs from the "team" aspects of basketball, football, hockey and others, it remains a team sport. If "team building" includes building faith and trust in teammates, then perhaps a pitcher will trust his infield to make plays behind him; an outfielder will trust his cut-off man to make a good relay throw; an infielder will trust the first baseman to scoop a somewhat errant throw; a pitcher may trust his catcher to block a curve ball in the dirt.

Also, the linked article clearly demonstrates that the benefit sought by the US Women's Softball team was primarily an individual mental benefit. To assist an athlete to understand that a human can acheive about 10 times what he/she thinks that he/she can acheive. Maybe that helps a physically and mentally tired pitcher get through the sixth inning, maybe it assists a batter who is down 0-2 and facing Aroldis Chapman.

You claimed that the Seal Training was only about team building and then proceeded to argue that baseball isn't a team sport. I disagree on both points. I think that you are creating false assumptions to advance your point. But . . . if you want to show me where the Seal training isn't about challenging an individual athlete to acheive the greatest performance possible and why that doesn't apply to what you call an "individual" sport, I'll be happy to read it. And, BTW, there are many elite athletes that participate in Seal Training that aren't participants in team sports (ie; cycling, swimming, track, etc.)

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: The SEAL Training
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:20 pm 
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In my first post in this thread I wrote the following:

Training overseen by Navy SEALs was never the biggest problem in my mind. To me, the biggest issue was the Pirates taking that training and applying it during a "Hell Week" when they put prospects in danger without any trained supervision.

That's pretty clear. While I don't see any real benefit to Navy SEAL training for baseball players, I said it wasn't the "biggest problem."

In a later post, I wrote the following:

Three days of supervised Navy SEAL training is one thing; instituting a "Hell Week" with military-style drills not supervised by military personnel is another. I don't support either for a baseball team, but I'm more willing to entertain the former. The latter is just risky and dumb. Period.

Once again, I acknowledge that I would be "willing to entertain" three days of supervised Navy SEAL training, but I would not support a "Hell Week" that did not include such supervision and which involved making players run through risky drills with bad lighting. As I've said again and again, that's just risky and dumb.

My views on this issue don't perfectly match those espoused by Dejan Kovacevic. However, those views are informed by his reporting and by reporting done by others at Yahoo! and other sports outlets. The Pirates' "Hell Week" was a bad idea, No. 9. In fact, you're the only poster I see on this board defending that particular player development tactic, which involved players being woken at all hours and drills conducted with poor lighting.

Whatever perceived benefit -- real or imaginary, mental or physical -- the three-day Navy SEAL training imparted to the Pirates' prospects who participated was not furthered by the team's ridiculous "Hell Week." That's my position. Clear as crystal. Now kindly refrain from mischaracterizing my position and battling strawmen.


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