Cedar Park - Leander | November 2020




Minnesota Twins catcher Kyle Schmidt talks to Heath Bell, an 11-year MLB player, in the classroom at 180.

True Grind Systems is located in the same complex as 180 Performance Center.

Dustin Geiger (right), who has played with the Chicago Cubs’ and Miami Marlins’ minor-league teams, utilizes the center’s data-gathering technology.

Keith and Tracy Jackson opened 180 Performance Center in the summer of 2020. (Photos by Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)

180Performance Center Baseball, softball players of all levels improving their game in Leander T he recently opened 180 Performance Center teaches high level skills and pro- partner, True Grind Systems, works with players on strength and agility. “We train under a movement-rst philosophy,” owner Brandon

Kyle Gray of the New York Yankees practices using a virtual reality program.

failure and adversity: Don’t go drink. Don’t shout and throw equipment. Understand how to accept hardship, manage it and move forward.” Many of the kids who trained with Jackson and went on to become major-league players have since come back to teach the skills they learned to the next generation of athletes in the Central Texas area. “We believed we had the right individuals who could really help the kids,” said Jackson’s wife, Tracy, about the decision to open the center. “We oer an atmosphere and an experience here. Not one of these guys is ego-driven. A lot of people in sports and baseball are all about themselves, but none of these guys are like that.” Jackson’s team, Action Baseball, has placed more than 500 players in college baseball programs, and over 60 have signed professional contracts over the past 15 years. While he is passionate about his players, Jackson said he wants Performance 180 to be a space for the entire community, so it is not aliated with Action Baseball. He said all area teams and individuals are welcome to all of 180’s camps, classes and other oerings.

180Performance Center 2100 Downing Lane, Leander 512-215-6014 www.180performancecenter.com Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. PLAY BALL Athletes can take advantage of a variety of resources at 180 Performance Center: • Integration of the latest baseball technologies, such as Hittrax, Rapsodo, Hack Attack, Win Reality and more; • Indoor hitting cages, separate pitching lanes and plyo wall; • Virtual reality hitting room; • Outdoor turf ineld for training and scouting events; • 10 Outdoor Hitting Cages for individuals and team practice; and • A 30-seat classroom for skill analysis and life-skill curricula.

vides resources for both aspiring baseball and softball players and current professionals. But it is more than batting cages, owner Keith Jackson said. “Servant leadership is the vision behind the center,” he said. The facility includes two training centers: one indoor, at 10,000 square feet, and one outdoor, at 6,500 square feet. Programs focus on physical and mental skills. At 180, 6-year-olds and Major-League Baseball players alike partake in long-term development plans and instruction; take group and indi- vidual pitching, hitting, catching and ineld lessons; and are granted access to technology used in the MLB. When a player hits a ball in the batting cage, video analysis soft- ware captures statistics about their performance to be analyzed later. It also shows a digital version of the player in real time so they can see their own form and how a swing in the cage would transfer to the eld. While 180 focuses on game skills and mental health, its next-door

Janecka said. “If a player is having a mechanical deciency, it’s usually because of a strength, or core or range-of-motion decit. That’s where we come in and take them o the mound and out of that environ- ment of pressure to just get them moving properly in here.” Janecka said the collaboration between True Grind and 180 is a way to attack an issue from two fronts, with the shared goal of improving the player. “That way, we’re able to see xes a lot quicker,” he said. When players are not working on their skills or on physical training, they can watch video breakdowns of their work and review their own data in the classroom, a carefully designed space that is also used to teach lessons on character, leader- ship, decision making and more. Jackson said it is important to him that players are emotionally t when they leave for college. “Nobody was addressing the men- tal side,” Jackson said of the indus- try. “For example, how to handle






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