COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Football players are getting ready, baseball players are trying to stay ready, and in Columbus they're doing it together at a local gym. Chason Perry of Impact Performance is running this show.
“A lot of the people get caught up in sport specificity,” Perry said, “but really when you're training guys it's just are you moving weight up and down, left and right, and twisting and turning.”
Most of the athletes at Friday morning’s workout grew up playing both sports, but once you start specializing, everything changes. Mixing the athletes from the two sports has been educational for everybody.
Incoming Auburn freshman defensive end Zykevious Walker is enjoying the setup. “I think it's actually pretty cool because working out with different athletes from different sports you get to show the different types of skills and strengths and stuff from different sports.
“Just seeing what they excel at, what we may be a little better at, because they do different stuff than we do when it comes to moving our body,” said San Francisco Giants minor league pitcher Blake Rivera. “Each sport has different things they excel at and need to be good, so it's cool just getting after it and just seeing all the things that each of us can do.”
And there's a lot of information exchange going on at these workout sessions.
“I learned a lot talking to the football guys about how they take care of their bodies throughout the year because their bodies are everything,” said Anfernee Grier, outfielder in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. “In baseball we kind of take it for granted.”
“I've been learning a lot,” said Ucambre Williams, a five-year veteran of the Canadian Football league. “I’m asking a lot of their questions, what's their mentality going into games, how they conserve their body because they play a lot of games, I think 180 and we play like 18 games, so how do you conserve your body through that long duration of time?”
Friday was fun day at the Impact Performance workouts, with Perry keeping things lively by setting up competitions.
“These guys are all high-level athletes, so if you make them compete, they're going to want to compete and get better against each other, which is awesome,” Perry said. “Today was a high energy day because it's Friday, it's the end of the week, and they just really kind of get after it.”
There was one competition that was no contest. We'll call it Cam versus Wall. Ucambre Williams was in a footrace while dragging a weight behind him. His fullout sprint took him into the wall.
The wall didn't win, as his forearms hit and crumbled the wallboard despite his efforts to slow down. That's an Impact Performance. Williams was laughing about it despite getting a cut on his arm.
“Yeah man, just trying to compete, you know. Stuff happens, that's football, that's life, so. It was a lot of weight moving very fast. It's kind of hard to stop it. I'll be good.”
When it was mentioned that he did better than the wall, Williams agreed.
“Exactly. Hopefully Chason doesn't take it out of my account, but I think we'll be good.”
As for Perry, he laughed along with Williams, gave him a thumbs up, and shouted out, “Liked the finish!”
The athletes working out on Friday are far from finished as they get ready for what they hope will be a 2020 baseball and football season.