For the past four years, Steve Shenbaum, Head of Communication Training at IMG Academy and President of game on Nation, has delivered his unique program to the New York Yankees.
This year, though, the Yankees wanted Shenbaum to create a show that incorporated all 68 players in camp for Spring Training as participants. The results from the March 1 performance at the Tampa Improv?
âSteve and his team put on an amazing show," said Mark Teixiera. "That was a blast.â
Said Nick Swisher to the Star-Ledger: âI got one quote for you: Mark Teixeira, MVP. That's all I can say. I wish I could give you more, but I can't... This and Old Timer's Day are my two favorite days of the year.â
For Shenbaum, who has worked with nine No. 1 overall picks and countless other professionals across all four major U.S. sports, this represented a truly unique experience. The goals of the program were to improve team chemistry, help create a trusting environment and showcase the power of positive, healthy humor. To ensure that everyone felt involved, Shenbuam tailored the program to include both English and Spanish elements.
âI witnessed one of the most successful sports franchises in the world authentically and courageously embrace the power of positive humor for two straight hours," Shenbaum said. "The veterans took care of the rookies and the Spanish-speaking players were just as involved as the English-speaking players. Everyone put their guard down and stepped outside of their comfort zone and took care of one another. It was the definition of 'Team' and it was an honor to help facilitate this amazing experience.â
Communication Training is only one portion of the TOTAL ATHLETE approach to athletic development at IMG Academy that includes Physical Conditioning, Mental Conditioning, Vision Training, Nutrition, Athletic Body Management, College Planning and Placement, and Life Skills.
For Yankees manager, Joe Girardi, solid communication is a key component to success.
"What I appreciate about Steve and his team is how talented, passionate and authentic they are, and that is why our team was able to let their guard down and relax and have fun during this awesome team-building experience," Girardi said. "Steve's work with us these past few years has become one of the highlights of our Spring Training in Tampa.â