Rachel Balkovec: The Yankees' First Female Hitting Coach, Sabbaticals, and the Utility of Being a Generalist
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Rachel Balkovec is in her second year as a minor league hitting coach with the New York Yankees. She is the first woman (alongside Rachel Folden of the Chicago Cubs) to hold that title in the history of professional baseball. She is one of 4 women that are in uniform in 2021 in various roles with Major League clubs. Rachel joined the Yankees in 2019 after completing her second master’s degree in biomechanics in the Netherlands where she served as an apprentice hitting coach for the national softball and baseball programs. She completed her research for this degree in eye tracking at Driveline Baseball.Previous to crossing over to being a hitting coach, she spent 7 seasons in professional baseball as a strength and conditioning coach in various roles with the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals. In addition to her more recent groundbreaking role with the Yankees, she was also the first woman to be hired full time as a strength and conditioning coach in MLB.Before entering professional baseball in 2012, she served in various apprentice roles for Louisiana State University, Los Tigres Del Licey Beisbol, The Chicago Whitesox, Arizona State University and EXOS. The Omaha native is a former NCAA Division I softball catcher and has special interest in organizational culture and behavioral psychology. She has an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science, and a master’s degree in Sport Administration from LSU.•This episode of The Ready State Podcast is sponsored by LMNT, our favorite electrolyte drink mix. It was created based on a science-backed electrolyte ratio, with no sugar, no coloring, no artificial ingredients, or any other junk. Everyone needs electrolytes, but if you’re an active person and/or on a low-carb diet, you really need electrolytes to feel and perform your best. We drink LMNT every single day and it is our go-to drink for mountain biking. For more info and to get a free sample pack (just pay shipping), click thereadystate.com/FreeLMNT!
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