Chris Forsten-Divergent Performance

BEST Coach or Trainer, Fauquier

Training for baseball is a lot more than just being coached and developing sport-specific skills, such as pitching, throwing, or hitting. Chris Forsten and his all-kinesiologist staff at Divergent Performance understand, and teach, that very well. They have been training baseball and softball players in physical fitness with a sport-specific approach for three years.

Divergent Baseball was formed in 2014, a few years after Chris graduated from college and returned to Warrenton to join his family’s business, Old Town Athletic Club. Chris said, “Once I finished playing ball and studying at William & Mary, I came back to Warrenton, and became certified as a Performance Coach for the Parisi Speed School. Since I had spent many years on a baseball field, I wanted to stay involved in some way. Coaching baseball has allowed me to keep spreading the knowledge and the love of the game.” Thus, Divergent Baseball was born.

“Divergent Baseball (now known as Divergent Performance) focuses on training the whole athlete, both body and mind. The first evaluation will include more than sport-specific skills, strengths, and weaknesses. We want to know about the individual’s diet and nutrition, their sleeping regimen, team workouts and training schedules. They are all important components to develop a plan for success,” said Chris.

Chris expanded, “Many times, athletes and their parents want to begin training on specific skills during their first session, such as pitching, and we have to encourage them to take a more balanced approach. We need to evaluate the imbalances, inconsistencies and dysfunction that may have been created during the course of the season and/or previous training. We have a strength performance program that Coach Matt Davenport designed to build muscle mass and bone density, which will make the athlete stronger, more resilient, and can help stave off injuries. We have a speed performance program that Coach Russell Hill directs which offers speed, power, mobility training and more. Yoga and Pilates can also do wonders for these athletes and challenge them in entirely different ways. We also create exercises for specific skills that are applicable to that particular athlete. For instance, we create movements that are very similar to the throwing action and start to teach mechanics without actually throwing a ball, in order to decrease overuse patterns.”

Divergent Performance, which launched this June, is a combination of all the youth programs offered at the OTAC campus, from “Fit and Fun” for toddlers all the way to performance training for college and professional athletes. “We are also continuing to expand our sports specific offerings,” said Chris.

Chris said, “The number one thing we can accomplish at Divergent Performance is to make kids believe in themselves… that’s the core fundamental tool to progress. Once they start to believe, their potential can be unleashed. They start to see progress and results and they are motivated to figure out how they’re going to reach that next level. The strength, speed and movement education training helps to build confidence.  Once the mindset changes for an athlete, they start to play the game differently, they start to approach life differently, they start to see the world in a different way and they start to realize their potential. That’s the most beautiful thing we can provide to any athlete.”

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