This past year, I have had the pleasure of traveling around Rhode Island to meet coaches and players, visit iconic baseball fields, and learn more about indoor facilities. My goal is to educate and inform all of Rhode Island on the many, many baseball resources we have in the state and let families and players decide on what is best for them. A certified personal trainer on Facebook contacted me about his programs and services he runs in Warwick, out of local gym It Start Here Fitness. His name is Gary Howard, Jr. and I had the opportunity to meet Gary at It Starts Here Fitness this past week.
If you look up “FIT” in the dictionary, you will see Gary Howard’s profile. Gary’s knowledge of fitness, mobility, the anatomy and physiology of the body from head to toe (and how they all interact with each other) is just astounding. Gary is a certified personal trainer through ACE (American Council on Exercise) in biomechanics and assisted stretching. He is golf certified through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). He is TRX Certified. He is the owner of Diamond Performance Fitness. His work extends to local Massage Envy in Cranston as a stretch provider. From a technical and bio-mechanical standpoint, Gary Howard is an expert in how the body moves, why it doesn’t move a certain way, and how to correct the body’s inability to move. Gary makes clients move better so they can play baseball, run faster, and be more athletic. Plus the man is in top physical condition and could put a lot of people half his age to shame physically.
Gary is the coach of the Rhode Island Reds 11U baseball team and trains his baseball players at It Starts Here Fitness. Another Reds team, the 12U team coached by Jerry Coro also trains with Gary. Gary mentioned that he works on several principles, mostly focusing on mobility, functional training movements, and baseball specific conditioning. Exercises that encourage the body connection, separation of top and bottom halves of the body, flexibility, and stretching are all explained in detail to the baseball players. “I train baseball players like baseball players,” stated Gary at one point. “We work on shoulder, elbow, ankle joint mobility. You can see it as the kids progress in these mobility skills. Their performance as baseball players gets better and better.” He went on about sports specific baseball training, “Baseball is a start/stop sport so we train the body for those types of movements. Catchers, we get them to move like ninjas. Quick to the ball, quick on your feet, the strength to squat and then pop to get the baseball.”
It was so fascinating talking fitness and baseball with local fitness expert Gary Howard, Jr. The man knows his stuff. His knowledge of how the body works and how that translates into athletic performances is off the charts. Gary works with baseball players and other athletes as a trainer for Diamond Performance Fitness at It Starts Here Fitness, as well as being a stretch provider at Massage Envy in Cranston. If you have a youth athlete that is looking to improve on mobility, natural body strength and awareness, and is looking to improve performance athletically, you need to meet Gary Howard, Jr. I was so impressed by his demeanor, his knowledge of sports and conditioning, and his character. And here is a flyer for an upcoming special set of classes Gary is running:
Contact information for Gary Howard Jr:
Facebook – Diamond Fitness Training
Cell phone – 401-473-4344
The RIBBE is The Rhode Island Baseball Experience. It is promoting the game of baseball here in the great state of Rhode Island for the entire baseball world to see. The RIBBE is positive stories, photos, videos, and responsible social media posts. The RIBBE is an information resource for families looking for an AAU team or a summer camp or a great place to buy a first baseman’s mitt. The RIBBE is a network of coaches, tournament directors, parents, leagues, and baseball junkies whose passion of the game of baseball is unquestioned. I believe that providing expert analysis, information and directions to ballfields, and coaching advice from some of the top RI baseball minds will help promote the game of baseball here in RI to a whole new level.