120 : Chasing Big League Dreams w/ Retired Pro Baseball Player, Rob Kral

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In this weeks episode of the podcast, Josh Boyd (co-host of the Fantasy Football Injury Report) and I interview one of our high school baseball opponents, Rob Kral.  Rob was a standout baseball and hockey player at Randolph High School before heading to The College of Charleston to continue his baseball career.  Rob was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 10th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.  After turning pro, Rob was named first team All-Southern Conference in 2010 and 2011. He led the Southern Conference in on-base percentage (.482) and walks (58) in 2010.  After reaching AAA ball with the Padres, Rob came home to play for the independent Somerset Patriots before retiring from baseball after the 2016 season.  The focus of our conversation surrounds adjusting to life after playing baseball for 20 years, the ups and downs that come with being a pro baseball player and of course overcoming the injuries along the way. Below you will find other topics of discussion from our conversation.

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"Baseball doesn't define you as a person."

  • The experience gained from helping out with his family's business (Allen Paper Supply) in the off-season.
  • Redefining his identity outside of baseball.
  • Filling the void of baseball after retirement.
  • Why Rob is not interested in coaching at this point in time.
  • Translatable skills learned in baseball that help him today in sales.
  • Why Rob misses the competition but not the monotony of a long baseball season.
  • Favorite restaurants Primanti Brothers (Josh), Hansel 'n Griddle (Kevin) , buffet (Rob).
  • How Rob dealt with the disappointment of getting so close to the major leagues.
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  • How Rob lost his confidence after an all-star season with the Padres organization.
  • Rob takes us through his labrum surgery in college and how it affected his game afterward.
  • The offense-defense dynamic in baseball and how the ability to hit pushes players to play injured.
  • Discussion on concussion and catchers article.
  • Comparing old school vs new school catcher masks.
  • Why baseball players can be critical people.
  • The lack of career development opportunities while striving to be a major league baseball player.
  • How Rob took care of his body during the season. 
  • The difference between Rob's appetite during his playing days and now.
  • Ways to have success on the field even with a glaring hole in your game.
  • Why its important to be great at your strengths and to focus on what you are good at.
  • How Aaron Judge was a great example of toughness last year.
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119 : High School Teammates Reunited, Battling The Injury Bug & Wisdom For The Youth Of The Nation w/ Former Wilkes QB, Tyler Bernsten

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In episode 119 we hear from my former high school teammate, Tyler Bernsten.  Outside of football Tyler and I also worked the same landscaping job in the summer at Barnes III & Sons.  Tyler and I had a blast reminiscing about games we played in, trips to Applebees for half-price appetizers and appreciating the opportunity and the lessons learned from playing football for the West Morris Central Wolfpack.  Tyler takes us through his journey of bouncing back after throwing 5 interceptions in his first Varsity game to going pick-less in his senior year and ultimately becoming a division-1 college football player. This is my first attempt at a video podcast so please watch and share the YouTube video below.  Let me know if this is something you want more of in the future.   More talking points discussed in our conversation will be scattered throughout the rest of this post.  



"You invest so much time into one thing, and it is so hard when that is taken away in a second."

  • What went into Tyler's decision to play football at Monmouth University.
  • The difficult conversation Tyler had with his tight end coach at Monmouth when he decided to transfer to Wilkes to pursue his dream of playing quarterback.
  • What Tyler's Mom told him as a kid that sticks with him to this day. 
  • How Tyler won the starting job at Wilkes without a red jersey.
  • Tyler's thoughts on youth tackle and flag football.
  • The role Tyler's Mom played in his love for football and his determination in playing quarterback. 
 Tyler handing the ball off to me in a game against Roxbury High School.

Tyler handing the ball off to me in a game against Roxbury High School.

"It's okay to run out of bounds."

  • The importance of ignoring the ego when trying to stay healthy.
  • Tyler takes us through his laundry list of injuries while at Wilkes:
    • High ankle sprain
    • Concussion
    • Hamstring
    • Separated shoulder
    • Broken wrist (career ender)
  • The mental and emotional tole of these injuries and what kept him coming back for more in his last year of eligibility.
  • Tyler's advice to young quarterbacks.
  • How witnessing my injury impacted Tyler and his future teammates.
  • The unique bonds forged in high school football.
  • The transition to life after football.

"Never let someone in your life tell you, you can't do something."

- Tyler's Mom

 Tyler quarterbacking the State Semi-playoff game in his senior season.

Tyler quarterbacking the State Semi-playoff game in his senior season.

"It's a little piece of heaven, where our football field is."

- West Morris Central Wolfpack Head Coach, Kevin Hennelly

 The football field remains a happy place for me to this day.  I took this photo during a track workout a few years after graduating from WMC.  It truly is a little slice of heaven and I am sure Tyler's Mom has something to do with that.

The football field remains a happy place for me to this day.  I took this photo during a track workout a few years after graduating from WMC.  It truly is a little slice of heaven and I am sure Tyler's Mom has something to do with that.


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Download Episode 119 : iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud

118 : Setbacks Are Blessings In Disguise w/ former High School All-American & D1 Softball Player, Bella Picard

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Bella Picard is a former high school All-American and Division-1 softball player at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA.  In a game against Fordham University on April 18, 2015, Bella suffered a spinal cord injury while sliding head-first into second base on a hit-and-run play. The injury compromised the movement on the right side of her body. In this episode Bella takes us through her recovery and overcoming the odds as she works towards a return to the diamond.  Below is a short video of Bella's story produced by Bleacher Report.  You will also find a list of topics Bella and I discuss throughout the interview:



  • Takes us through the play that changed her life and her first thoughts after regaining consciousness.
  • Bella's initial thoughts after being told by doctors that she wouldn’t be able to play softball anymore.
  • The necessary surgeries she underwent. 
  • Setbacks experienced due to circulation troubles after finally re-learning how to walk.
  • Why these setbacks were actually a blessing in disguise.
  • The incentive to make as much progress as possible within the first year after a spinal cord injury. 
  • The evolution of Bella's rehab, which includes locomotor training.

“We can do any exercise, it just looks a little weird”


“its something that you can’t stop thinking about every night, its like that good play you made in the game”

  • The importance of not comparing herself to what she did before her injury.
  • Learning from failure and how softball allows for that.
  • The importance of not taking yourself too seriously

“Why be miserable in a miserable situation, that is double miserable”

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  • How her fitness goals have changed since her injury.
  • Why athletes need to lose the go hard or go home mentality.
  • How she pulled her wrist out of socket.
  • The mental and emotional setbacks she makes for herself at times.
  • The power of her faith when she gets down on how her life is different than it was when she was an All-American athlete.
  • How she looks for God’s signs.
  • Where her interest in Space and NASA came from.

“How did I break my neck and still can’t do things how I used to, yet we can go to space?”

  • Why the spinal cord is like the ocean.
  • How her approach to goal setting and expectation has changed.
  • The benefits of meditation for gray matter in the brain and spinal cord.
  • How the saying "work like horse, eat like horse" still applies and the nutritional changes Bella has made since her injury.
  • How she became friends with Eric LeGrand and the greatest lesson she has learned from him.
  • Thoughts on sliding headfirst.
  • Dealing with the loss of muscle after injury.
  • How her dog Benny Has helped her throughout her recovery.
  • Why its important for athletes to listen to their bodies.

Honestly I didn't even think to share this bc it just absolutely crushes me to see these pants literally hanging off of my body now. But I'll go ahead & push my ego aside bc I know I'm def not the only human being on this earth rn who gets that lil extra slap in the face of reality sometimes that makes ya feel that distinct sadness u probably try to avoid feeling everyday. All I can say is don't ever fear ur reality just bc of the things u can physically see right in front of u. What u can see in front of u does NOT dictate or even define ur future whatsoever. So I'd like to encourage anyone who needs it to find that strength, motivation, discipline, & hope that I KNOW everyone can choose to seek & find within themselves if the effort is there. All of those GOOD things that u can find within urself will help u get a clearer view of what u can't quite see yet physically in front of u. I call it faith, believing in what u cannot see. Let ur mind, heart & soul be ur vision, don't just think ur eyeballs are the only tools u have to view this life. I met a blind man sitting on a bench by the beach not too long ago who said "I've never been able to physically see something that scares me, yet I can still paint scary thoughts in my mind that come from negative thinking." The mind is powerful. Do ur best to think beautiful thoughts & create unbelievable dreams that are beyond human comprehension. With that u can build an indestructible tower of faith that will be MUCH bigger than any fear u have about ur reality #scirecovery #faithofamustardseed #iwillplayagain #bringbacktherightside

A post shared by Isabella Picard (@isabellapicard) on



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