When a backup catcher hits .182 at the high school level, you don’t automatically assume that player will go on to fundamentally improve the way players train. But that’s exactly the unlikely path Mike Rathwell has taken.
On the second episode of the Rapsodo Baseball Podcast, Rathwell joins Seth and BP to discuss his journey from power-washing the streets of Seattle by day and working out by night to helping lead Driveline Baseball as the company’s CEO.
“I was looking for a new professional challenge, and I approached Kyle (Boddy),” Rathwell said. “It really clicked because he and I see the world very similarly, but have nearly non-overlapping skill sets.”
While the rise of Driveline has been marked by increasing buy-in at the Major League level, Rathwell points out the company’s early success was equally fueled by coaches and players at the D-III level, like our very own BP!
“It’s great to have Major League players seeing success and showing that our theories are directionally accurate,” Rathwell said. “But it was just as important to have the Brian Page’s of the world, who have always sat 84, come back from the in the fall sitting 89, and having people go, ‘what did you do!?”
The End of The Beginning
Driveline’s training methods aren’t just directionally correct, they are undeniably effective. But the company isn’t resting on their laurels. Rathwell is quick to point out their programs have evolved over the years and will continue to do so, with a major focus on the uniqueness of each athlete, and customizing the right programs around that uniqueness.
“As an industry, we’ve really started to coalesce around the idea that athletes’ bodies are different, and require different moving solutions and different planning around what may or may not transfer from the training environment to the game environment,” Rathwell said. “And I really think we’re still in the shallow end of the pool with that.”
We are no longer debating whether or not to effectively measure specific things and build training programs around those measurements. Now the debates are around which assessment protocols are best. Rathwell calls this period The End of The Beginning.
Driveline & Rapsodo Make It Official
Rapsodo and Driveline have worked together since meeting at ABCA in 2016. Feedback from the Driveline team has been so influential in our product development, many assume we’ve always had a formal partnership.
Well, now we do.
Rathwell mentions a continued desire to work with companies and people with a mission of moving the game forward and improving the way players train. With an ambitious goal of creating the ultimate data and player development experience, Driveline and Rapsodo will now provide developmental feedback within the Rapsodo app.
“We’re excited to eliminate the friction level for players and coaches between the data being collected and displayed in the Rapsodo Cloud and the knowledge of what to do with it,” Rathwell said.
To learn more about the partnership, and to hear our entire conversation, check out the second episode of the Rapsodo Baseball Podcast.