Andrew Harmon


 

 


 


 

Matt Zoltak:
 Local Athlete Turned Entrepreneur

By Kira Jones

A college baseball injury turned out to be life-changing for ProCore Sports President Matt Zoltak, but not exactly in the way he expected.

Zoltak, a left-handed pitcher, played four years of varsity baseball at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School before accepting a scholarship to pitch at Clemson University. After his sophomore year of college he played in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League before transferring to Florida Southern College. He had dreams of becoming a professional baseball player, so when he starting experiencing severe pain in his pitching elbow, he was more than a little nervous. Recalls Zoltak, “The first doctor I went to told me the MRI revealed a partial tear in my ulnar collateral ligament. This injury leads to the infamous Tommy John surgery, which has a recovery time of about a year for pitchers. The thought of not pitching for an entire year was terrifying.”   

Luckily, Zoltak went to Dr. Michael Ciccotti of the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia for a second opinion.  Ciccotti told him his elbow was fine; he was experiencing pain in his elbow because his core and throwing shoulder were fatigued. He didn’t need surgery, just some physical therapy. Upon learning that throwing and other athletic movements are a chain reaction starting from the ground up, Zoltak endeavored to create a training device that would resist the throwing motion from the ground up. He and a high school teammate crafted several prototypes before finally creating his vision. That vision eventually became a heel-based resistance training device now known as ExcelCord®. 

After college, Zoltak decided to follow his dreams and continue playing baseball. He played professionally for two years before deciding to devote all his energy to his company, ProCore Sports, and its first product, ExcelCord®.

According to Zoltak, the company has come a long way in a short amount of time. “In less than two years we have patented our product, created a brand, created a website, hired employees and successfully launched ExcelCord®,” said Zoltak. “I see ProCore Sports building momentum every day.”

Although ExcelCord® was designed for baseball pitchers, it has a myriad of other uses. Zoltak worked closely with Jim McCrossin, the Athletic Trainer/Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Philadelphia Flyers, to design the exercises featured in the ExcelCord® Workout Guide. In addition to throwing exercises, the guide also includes speed training exercises, and upper body, lower body, and core exercises that can be combined to get a full-body workout. Said Zoltak, “Our program resists movements from the heel in order to activate the core while strengthening upper and lower body muscles. On top of that we offer sport-specific training exercises focused on improving balance and core strength through functional training.”

ExcelCord®’s unique heel-based design allows for dynamic resistance of athletic movements without disrupting the athlete’s mechanics. A variety of professional athletes have incorporated ExcelCord® into their workout routines including two with local ties. Germantown Friends School alum—and Philadelphia Phillies 2010 first round draft pick— Jesse Biddle said, “[ExcelCord] is an easy and productive way to work on power and explosiveness, something that every pitcher needs to get to the next level.” Fellow Philly native Thomas Young, who attended Plymouth Whitemarsh High School and now plays professional basketball overseas, recently started using ExcelCord® and commented, “I was amazed by how quickly after using ExcelCord® I noticed increased speed, quickness, and balance.” Members of the Mets’, Mariners’ and Rays’ organizations are also training with ExcelCordÒ, just to name a few. 

Each ExcelCordÒ package includes a left and right foot harness, covered resistance cords of different lengths and resistances and a workout guide featuring over 100 exercises. It also comes with a snap hook and door anchor so one can do the exercises with a workout partner or alone using a door or fence.    

With a number of professional teams and athletes using ExcelCordÒ, Zoltak’s next goal is to have it sold in retail stores so that anyone and everyone can experience the benefits ExcelCordÒ can provide. In Zoltak’s words, “Being sidelined by injury is every athlete’s worst nightmare.  Training with ExcelCord can prevent injuries from happening in the first place while helping athletes get better at their craft.” Currently the product can only be purchased online at ExcelCord.com or at select events where the ExcelCordÒ team holds live demonstrations.

 

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