EASLEY—About two hours before playing in the semi-final round of the Big League World Series Tuesday, members of the Easley-based host team were making final preparations in the new batting cages at the JB “Red” Owens Recreation Complex.
Some were taking the time to do some final work on their hitting, but many players were waiting for their turn on a portable chiropractor’s table set up for the Easley players in one section of the batting cages.
Dr. David Jones, who owns “Conscious Living,” his chiropractic office located at 205 East First Avenue in Easley, volunteered his services to the Easley team as a way of helping players get ready for the games. He said athletes in a variety of sports, including the Olympic Games, have been using chiropractors for years as a way of getting their bodies ready to perform.
“I am getting them lined up and ready to play,” Jones said. “I give the guys an opportunity. I don’t think it is the be all and end all, but I think it has done a lot of good for them.”
Jones had his first session with the players July 23, two days before the host team’s first game of the Big League World Series. He said this was the first time he had worked with players in the tournament and he hopes to be involved again next year. He said about a dozen of the players on the team have taken advantage of the opportunity. He had a few extra Tuesday night, including some players on the Indiana team —-Easley’s opponent in the semifinals Tuesday. He was back at the Owens complex Wednesday, offering adjustments to the SC District 1 team before the host team played Puerto Rico in the Big League World Series championship game.
Jones said the adjustments can lower the “sympathetic tone” which causes tension in the muscles when someone is in a “fight or flight mode” as players are before a big game.
“It allows the nervous system to function at the optimal level,” said Jones. “It takes about an hour to do adjustments for all of the players.”
Jones has set up his portable table at the Bagwell Gynasium at the Owens complex and in the batting cages. The players also came to his office on their off night Monday. Several times during the tournament, Jones provided the adjustments prior to a game as was the case Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We play so many games that our bodies get worn down,” said Easley’s Trey Hayes, who got his adjustment less than two hours before he pitched a complete game in a 6-2 victory over Indiana to send the local team to Wednesday’s championship game. “It’s good to put everything back in line. It is refreshing for my body to have this done before a game.”
“I think it is good to get my body loose before a game,” said Tucker Burgess, who was the starting pitcher in an 8-4 win over New Jersey last week and pitched for the host team in Wednesday’s championship game.
Bobby Youngblood, one of the assistant coaches for the Easley-based host team, said Jones’ time with the players has helped them in many ways.
“We are not just getting the services of a professional, but he may be our number one fan,” Youngblood said. “He doesn’t just get their bodies ready to play. He talks to the players and encourages them.
“These players are playing so many games in such a short period of time,” Youngblood added. “That kind of schedule wears on a young man’s body. To have a professional offer these kind of services is a blessing.”
Jones said he has tried to help the players without interfering with their pre-game routines.
“Ballplayers have a routine and some get pretty superstitious,” said Jones. “I don’t want to mess that up.”
Jones said he has enjoyed watching the team’s success in the tournament and tried to take the opportunity to offer encouragement.
“I tell them, ‘hit me a home run,’” he said. “And I remind them that any team can win on any given day.”