A disappointing 2011 season for Andre Ethier, punctuated by career-low numbers in several offensive categories, provoked a myriad of questions relating to his health, work ethic and future with the Los Angeles Dodgers entering the 2012 season.
While Ethier battled through a right knee injury for most of 2011—he still managed to play in 135 games for the Dodgers—the right fielder had already created the blueprint for a bounce back campaign in 2012. In fact, construction was already underway.
In the works was a pre-fabricated, two-story, custom-built metal barn, located just behind the Ethier family home.
He calls it "The Shed," but it's way more than your typical backyard storage unit.
What started as a vision of having his own personal gym evolved into the ultimate in training facilities, and by the first of January, Ethier was doing work in his Athletes' Performance-inspired weight room, sharpening his tools for the upcoming season.
"The last two years I was missing [Athletes' Performance] from my workout plan; I was doing stuff on my own," says Ethier, who trained at AP-Tempe since 2002 before the flagship facility relocated to Phoenix. "Moving forward into this season, I wanted to be able to stay consistent and strong, and get back to the feeling that I've had in the past when I was training with AP."
So Ethier brought AP to him. Three times a week in the off-season, members of AP's performance and culinary staff set up shop in The Shed to work with Ethier and several of his big-league buddies, including fellow All-Star Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox.
"The last couple of years I might have been a little more mentally beat down because my physical side was lacking," Ethier says. "It wasn't lacking when I was working at out at AP, and that's something I wanted to re-establish in my off-season training program. I've been able to achieve it by building this place and with the help of AP."
The return on Ethier's off-season work has been immense, as the 2009 Silver Slugger Award winner has rebounded as the run-producing threat in the middle of the Dodgers lineup.
Trying to recover from your own season-ending injury? Check out our Injury Recovery Guide.
Photo: Jason Wise
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