The motto of my Alma Mater, Springfield College, is “Spirit, Mind, and Body.” By training the body, the mind, and the spirit of an athlete you are developing a complete and connected athlete – that is how I personally interpret the SC motto. Over the past few years, I have visited a lot of sports conditioning facilities which focus solely on physical fitness and conditioning. Physical fitness is very important in the development of youth baseball players. And recently, I visited a sports performance facility which incorporates not only those physical skills but others such as developing enhanced hand eye coordination, good sportsmanship, leadership, and helping your teammates on and off the field. That facility is called GLG Athletic Performance Facility.
GLG, which stands for “Get Large Garage” is run by Jason Oldham. Jason is a teacher, an educator, a certified personal trainer, a coach, a baseball enthusiast, and a parent. His GLG dream started in his garage and made several trips around RI before he landed a great spot literally next to Upper Deck Baseball Academy. GLG is a physical fitness dream – power cages, functional training space, bumper plates, indoor turf track, functional trainer, benches, medicine balls. There is enough room to drag a weight sled across the room or squat inside one of the power cages or throwing a medicine ball against the wall. At one point, I counted 20 guys working out, but you would never have guessed it. It didn’t feel crowded at all. The layout of the room is comfortable and well positioned for athletes large and small.
Working the facility, at any given time, are Jason, a pitching coach, a physical therapist, a sprinting coach. Jason mentioned that he has 4 instructors plus himself who monitor the athletes. “We give them a detailed assessment when they walk in,” mentioned Jason. “Weight, physical limitations, flexibility, mechanical assessments just to name a few of the many different criteria we use to evaluate the status of an athlete.” The baseball players are given a chart to use each time they enter the gym. Their weight and goal weights are recorded on a chart as they walk into GLG. Jason monitors the athletes from the start and keeps a close eye on the newcomers to make sure they are doing exercises correctly. In fact, he excused himself more than a few times to correct an athlete’s lifting technique or to show a ball player how to perform a specific exercise. “Sure we want to build independence in the athletes, but that comes with time. Our staff does the right thing teaching and educating these young men to do the exercises properly. If we have to step in to make them better, we do not hesitate.”
One of the interesting assessment tools at GLG is the FitLight™ training system. I had seen cognitive software used before, mostly for concussion protocol testing and neurological assessments. But the staff at GLG uses this FitLight™ system to enhance the hand-eye coordination and visual recognition aspect of baseball. Picture standing 60 feet 6 inches away from a pitcher throwing 95 mph. Could you react in time to swing your bat and hit the baseball? Well, this FitLight™ system will assess the answer to that and much more. The software is connected to a hand held tablet which gives real time data to Jason and his coaching/training staff. One of the baseball players at GLG gave me a demonstration and did remarkably well.
There was a very positive vibe at GLG throughout the facility. The music playing in the background was energetic and lively. The players were enthusiastic with Jason and each other, but not over the top. No shouting or grunting or screaming. Older players were helping younger players. Younger players were high fiving the coaching staff and the older players. Jason mentioned that there were baseball players from LaSalle Academy, Hendricken, as well as local middle school teams in attendance. In addition, there were high school players who had made Division 1 and 2 commitments to play college baseball in attendance. And one professional player in the New York Yankees farm system working out with everyone else. A positive group of baseball players working out, getting stronger mentally and physically, being a good role model and representative of GLG. The signatures on the wall represent players who workout at GLG and the list grows every year. The T-shirts that line the walls represent the many collegiate and interscholastic programs that GLG has positively affected.
It was a fantastic visit to GLG Athletic Performance Facility. They have an amazing space with functional training equipment, strength training and performance machines, and free weight equipment. An athlete can workout in space to use medicine balls or pull a weighted sled across the room or use a weight bench – all without bumping into another athlete. Jason and his staff really pride themselves on teaching and educating the athletes on how they can become better mentally and physically. His wall of fame and signature wall are really cool images of the success GLG has accomplished with the many athletes who have walked through their locations over the years. I thought it was a great use of space and the positive energy in the room was just incredible. Thanks to Jason Oldham and his staff and players for letting me see a glimpse of why GLG Athletic Performance is one of the best baseball training facilities in Rhode Island. And stay tuned for future articles on how GLG and Upper Deck Baseball Academy work together to create a comprehensive baseball program for our Rhode Island baseball players.
GLG Athletic Performance Facility – 1 John C. Dean Memorial Blvd, Cumberland, 2nd Floor, next to Upper Deck Baseball Academy; 401-787-5563;
Facebook – GLG Athletic Performance Facility