As a yoga studio owner, you’re in the unique position of marketing the benefits of your practice to different types of athletes. First you must develop personas to help target your messaging and promotions. Next you must create a targeted marketing plan to help get your business in front of these individuals.
Today we’re going to cover how you can market the benefits of yoga to a specific type of athlete: baseball players. No matter what level these athletes play, the season is a grind. From high school and colleges through semi-pros, the Minor Leagues and the grueling 162+ game season in the Majors, the day in day out, wear and tear of a baseball season on a player’s body is immanent. Every position has different recovery needs and many players have their own little recovery tricks that they have picked up over the years, but adding a yoga routine to that recovery process will definitely help. Recovery is the first, but not only benefit of a yoga practice. Promote the following five benefits to help get more baseball players practicing at your studio.
With such an arduous season, spanning at minimum six months, many players are flat-out “gassed” by the end of August. Take a pitcher, for example. First of all, the pitching motion is one of the most unnatural motions the human body can do repeatedly. Have you ever watched a pitcher throw a curveball in slow motion? The bend and torsion in the elbow, shoulder and oblique is cringe-worthy. Yet starters do this 100+ times every four or five days. It’s no wonder that by September fastballs seem to lose a little bit of life.
Yoga is a great way to recover from the strain on the joints and muscles day in and day out. It’s more beneficial than lifting heavy weights or just doing a cardio routine since the player knows what their body needs and where the “sticky” areas are that they may need help recovering a little more. Yoga is a great way to build the necessary strength in between games. And without that consistent recovery routine, batters risk losing a fraction of a second off their swing, pitchers run the risk of their fastball velocity dropping and fielders may lose a step or two going for that grounder in the hole.
2). Injury Prevention
It’s always better to prevent something from happening than getting hurt and recovering. A consistent yoga routine (especially in the off-season or Spring Training) will help build the initial strength ballplayers need prior to the season starting. There is so much stop and go, lightning quick movements that happen in baseball, that without the body properly prepared for these motions, there is a higher risk of pulled muscles or strains.
3). Build Strength, Not Bulk
Ever since the late 1980’s, there has been this idea that baseball players need to look like Greek Gods, chiseled from stone with rippling biceps and an engorged chest. Because the only way to hit a homer is to be able to bench 315, right? Wrong. Bulking up – depending on the position and the player – ultimately leads to more bad than good. The more muscle, the larger the strain on the joints and ligaments. When a player already is doing something day in and day out that puts such an incredible strain on their joints and muscles, why add to that fatigue?
Yoga is a great way to build the necessary strength that a ballplayer needs. Yoga will help with fatigue throughout the season (and each individual game), will build flexibility in a player over time which is crucial when you look at positions like catchers who are in a squatting position the entire game, and first basemen who stretch for an errant or low throw from the other side of the diamond. A solid yoga practice will also pinpoint where your weaknesses are and will help build those up. Even something as simple as being aware of your breath during your practice will pay dividends on the diamond.
4). Mental Focus
Speaking of breathing, body and mind awareness that is cultivated during a yoga practice will translate directly onto the field. On average, a Major League fastball is barreling down on the batter at 95 miles per hour. From 60 feet, 6 inches away. Loosely measured, this gives the batter one one-thousandth of a second (less than a blink of an eye) to decide whether or not to swing at the pitch. Any sort of distraction, any sort of outside influence that may get into the batter’s mind will ultimately lead to failure.
The mental focus that yoga helps cultivate is incredibly important when it comes to not only batting, but pitching as well. Legendary sportscaster Vin Scully said during Sandy Koufax’s perfect game in 1965, “I imagine that the mound at Dodger Stadium must be the loneliest place in the world. There are 29,000 people here…and about a million butterflies.” He wasn’t far off. Pitchers need to have an incredible amount of mental strength to not get distracted or “rattled” on the mound. And a great way to prevent those jeers from getting in your head, or bouncing back after the other team’s pitcher just roped a double down the line, is to be mentally focused. Yoga, the process of deep breathing and being aware of your breath helps clear the mind and helps the pitcher focus on the next adversary.
Like Yogi Berra once said, “Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.”
5). Real-Life Application
Watch footage of Reggie Jackson swinging. He puts his entire body into every swing, spins and contorts like a corkscrew, facing almost completely behind him with each follow-through. This is incredibly tasking on the spine and the oblique muscles, shoulders, hips, ankles, pretty much everything.
Chair twist, Eagle, Side Angle Twist all help strengthen the spine and breathe space into your sides to be able to swing like that thousands of times a season without getting seriously injured. Poses such as Tree, extended side-angle, and even floor poses like half-pigeon help strengthen the hips, spine, and core for pitchers to be able to continuously hurl fastballs.
Interested in learning more about how you can market your studio to different targeted groups of people? Get your free copy of our 10-Step Marketing Guide for Yoga Studios.