FlexibilityPRO “IS” Bill LeSuer: Not Your Average Major League Coach
SIDE LINES OR HEADLINES….ITS YOUR CHOICE!
Bill LeSuer’s tag line above his treatment table. In this office you will find no fluffly blankets, no zen music, no candles or babbling brooks. This is NOT your regular body worker. Bill is indefinable, and he is has an incredible gift. Oh, and the room, sweet baby popsicles … is a little slice of man cave heaven.
WHO IS BILL LESUER?
Bill is a native of Brooklyn, NY, but has earned the nickname “Frenchy” from his French Canadian roots. Most of the sports industry will know Bill from his medical staff days with the Major League Baseball Team, but before that, before the reinvention of his life, Bill Le Seur was a fireman in Fountain Hills, Arizona. In 1993, at the age of 33, he decided to make a change. Like many of us, reinventions of oneself are usually brought about by a life changing event. In December of that year, he was involved in one of a fireman’s greatest fears going to a call; known as the infant code. Unfortunately, the infant code was at his own house. After unsuccessful CPR, they lost their daughter Taylor. Any event of this magnitude is undeniably life shattering, life changing and life altering. It can either break you, or your learn to build yourself back up. Bill knew it was time to find his calling.
“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I had this very strong, overwhelming feeling that I really wanted to help people. While working my shift one day, I saw an ad in the paper for a Massage Therapy School in Scottsdale,”
Upon completing Massage Therapy School, I thought to myself “I must get this to athletes.” Now keep in mind, this is 1993, there was no such thing as muscle therapy in Major League Baseball. “I WILL BE THE FIRST” I decided.” – Bill
Bill began his career on the Angels and the Dodgers Major League Traveling Medical Staffs. Interning at the age of 33, he worked his way up the ranks. A simple kid who grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y, sitting in the bleachers of Yankee Stadium with his Dad and brother, was now a grown man standing on the field.
“One day Paul Bradley introduced me to a gentleman “This is Jim Merrick, Pitching Coach for the Milwaukee Brewers Rookie ball team.” My stomach churned, “no way”, I thought. So this is why I’m here. Turns out Jim Merrick had a painful hip. “What do you do” asked Jim. Before I could respond, the trainer blurts out “he’s a rub guy.” I got Jim on the table and treated him for about 30 minutes. It was at this moment that I knew I wasn’t just a rub guy. I wasn’t going to massage him, I was going to release his hip muscles. He gets off the table and walks across the Training Room to test out his “new hip”. He turns around, looks at me and says “Would you mind working on some of our players?” – Bill
The major reason Bill has been so successful, is because he did not conform to traditional “massage” or “stretching.” He took a tool and molded it, to create a niche that suited his players and supported growth, that was also quantitative. A player plays better, less pain, joints mobile – it works. When you walk into his office the walls are filled from one wall to the other of “Thank You’s” from every major player in the MLB, NHL, NFL, Olympics Track and Field, even, Arnold pump you up” schwarzenegger, Robert Plant Led Zepplin. The guy has more thanks you and testimonials on his wall, than I have facebook friends! Joe dimaggio is on his wall. LEGEND!
“I created the positions of Muscle Therapist and Flexibility Coach in a Major League Training room back in the mid-90s at a time when no teams recognized this type of work. I got my start with the Milwaukee Brewers Minor League Organization and also spent a couple of seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks Training Staff at the end of my career. I was the personal therapist to 3 times Gold Medal Olympian Gail Devers, and also was a member of the 1996 British Olympic Medical Staff. I’m the owner of FlexibilityPRO Studio in North Scottsdale, AZ” – Bill
It is a series of precise palpation techniques that actually releases muscle groups. This allows full extensibility of the tissue, allowing the athlete to achieve their fullest potential and performance. After many years of treating Major League Baseball players, Bill realized that most of the injuries were from a direct result of poor muscle condition. Pulling tools from his coaches toolbox he developed and founded a treatment plan called (PFT) Performance Flexibility Training.
This therapy includes a systemic and comprehensive evaluation of the client’s tissue health; taking into account; contractures, adhesions, and restrictions in the muscle tissue. In order to improve tissue health; one much focus on removing these negatives; which are done through precise palpation techniques, along with improving the elasticity in the fascial system and the relationship between the musculoskeletal and fascial systems.
Upon meeting Bill, I wasn’t sure what to expect…RMT, PNF, FST? All of these techniques aim to provide the same thing – improve tissue health. However, Bill has been able to pull from all of these tools AND use palpation techniques, I have never experienced before to restore pliability, flexibility and range of motion. Our muscles and fascia are made to move, our bones are made to float and be pliable. Bills technique does just this. It resets the nervous system, improves proprioception and identifies where a client may lack the ability to sequentially engage or activate tissue in their body.
For example, as a ball player, if you are asked to contract your right quad and you contract both, asked again and you can’t differentiate between firing your right to left… this is risk factor and most likely will result in a lower mechanical injury down the line. Much like FMS and how we approach our operating systems in Corrective Movement, Bill’s approach is to address the cause of the dysfunction, not just chase the symptoms.
TISSUE HEALTH IS NOT ABOUT FLEXIBILITY:
“Stretching a muscle group without manually releasing the dysfunctional tissue is like waxing a dirty car…. An important step has been missed. Using a simple analogy…..we all know how far you can stretch a tube sock. This represents healthy tissue. Put three staples in the center of the sock. These staples represent past injuries, adhesions, contracture, and fascial restrictions. Now try to stretch the sock. Not too much movement between the staples is there? No amount of stretching will remove these staples. ” – Bill
As a movement coach, I am asked all the time; “I stretch every day, why am I still tight.?” My answer is always simple; what is the state of the tissue, and second, what is your approach to “stretching.” As you all know, I use that term loosely. First off, a compensation or dysfunction is rarely one muscle; it’s a series of muscles and a pattern that works inefficiently as a team. Secondly, most of my clients that ask this are athletes who put their bodies through intense training, contact and rigor.
One needs to understand that you tissue health will look much different from that of, let’s say a Yoga teacher on a resort beach. Tissue holds contracture’s, adhesion’s and scar tissue – thus inhibits movement and dulls facilitation and activation. Standard stretching, PNF or FST will not get you to where you want to be. You need to move that tissue around so that it can move freely from it’s neighbor and slide with the surrounding tissue.
The palpation technique and transitions from technique to facilitated stretch back to palpation etc is what makes FlexibilityPRO so unique and successful.
What we deduced in my session with Bill, is that my left side has significantly reduced proprioception and activation (less responsive), and my right is overly responsive, to the point my sensory feedback was much more pronounced.
Bill’s unique ability to sense muscle tissue condition has enabled him to assist world class athletes in increasing their performance. He is widely considered to be one of the foremost consultants in the field of performance muscle therapy.
I am sure Arnold would agree, when I say this – Bill LeSuer is the terminator of tissue! No more dysfunction, no more restrictions, no more pain. Subtle, extensible, pliable and just down right read to perform tissue health. If you are not aware of this man’s talent, I suggest you start following his blog here – http://flexibilitypro.blogspot.ca/. Thank you Bill for all that you give this world, for stepping outside the box and becoming a leader in an industry that “po-poos” “rub guys and gals” your technique just makes us all stronger and better people, as well as athletes. It was an honor to learn from you.