About the Illinois Baseball Edge, Ltd., Algonquin, IL

The Illinois Baseball Edge, Ltd. (IBE) brings age specific hyper-personalized training to overhead throwing athletes to improve their performance, reduce injury risk, and educate families and coaches in how to train and prepare the mind and body for competition. Our training is focused upon long-term development and performance enhancement, with measurable results. By partnering with experts in the fields of performance training and therapy, physical training and therapy, and data analytics (as described below), we offer a unique approach that is based in the most current research available.  We are living in an era when average velocity in throwing athletes is increasing. At the same time there is a correlated increase, a dramatic rise, in the number of ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries at all levels of baseball. UCL injuries have risen to a point where some have called the issue an epidemic, and Tommy John Surgery (TJS) is occurring at a rate not seen historically. The question is, “what is the best way to improve performance, while at the same time combating the surge in injuries, to benefit our sport?” Companies such as Driveline Baseball in California, the Texas Baseball Ranch™, and the Florida Baseball ARMory, have created great programs for improving pitching performance, educating players, parents, and coaches, and reducing the chance of injury. Many players and coaches from the central part of the United States have never heard of these programs and do not have the ability or money to travel to remote regional locales. If we are going to help the greatest number of players, we need to be able to locally amplify the knowledge that is available, develop expertise, and educate the baseball community. We will initially lease space but will work toward building a facility, a local hub, where players and coaches can gather to obtain knowledge and train. As CEO of IBE, I feel blessed to have two experts working with us who are personal friends and who also care deeply about helping athletes:

Kathy Ceisel

 Kathy Ceisel is a Champion Sports Performance Specialist and Overhead Throwing Expert who is the CEO of Athletic Edge & Wellness, Ltd. Kathy has been certified by Mike Reinold, former Boston Red Sox head athletic trainer and PT, and who has worked with the American Sports Institute. She has obtained a number of other certifications that make her one of the most accredited people in the industry. 

James (Jay) Burke

Jay Burke has worked in the computer industry for 20+ years as a data modeler and analyst of the highest caliber.  He obtained his Master of Science degree in computer science from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) with a concentration in artificial intelligence expert systems.  His work includes doing large scale simulations at McDonalds plus similar efforts involving military transportation for the United States Army (MTMCTEA) at Argonne National Laboratory. Jay is also a huge baseball and saber metrics fan who has held season tickets with the Chicago White Sox for his entire adult life.

It is through partnering with experts, sharing information, fine tuning and evolving our approach over time that we will serve the baseball community in a unique and hopefully significant way. Our team feels that if you want to play better or coach better, and give yourself the best chance to avoid injury, this is the best way forward. 

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith, aka “Smitty”, founded the Illinois Baseball Edge, Ltd. in 2021. His coaching career began long before that in the summer of 1980, and continues to evolve today with over 110 seasons of experience (if one counts Spring, Summer, and Fall separately). His focus upon long term player development and performance enhancement, with measurable results, is an approach not often found in baseball or softball and has led to some significant milestones. In recent years that approach has blended well with the evolution of player centric training methods including hyper personalization.

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