Jon Mungle, a personal trainer at Germantown Athletic Club, has found a way to incorporate his background in baseball and his passion for fitness into his daily life. Playing a variety of sports growing up, Jon decided to focus on baseball during high school, and put everything he had into developing his skills. The hard work paid off, and he went on to play college baseball at Mississippi State University.
With an undeniable passion for sports and fitness, Jon decided to major in kinesiology. His studies in class went hand-in-hand with his life on the field. They even tied into his career-ending ACL injuries.
“I tore my ACL the fifth game of the season in my junior year. Ironically enough, the day I tore it, we were studying the ACL in class. After going through 11 months of rehabilitation, I tore it a second time. It was very difficult – two surgeries on such an intense injury are extremely hard to come back from,” Jon said. “If there was an upside, it was the fact that through the hours and hours of therapy, I actually learned a lot about sports-related injuries. And not only how to properly rehabilitate them, but also how to avoid them.”
Jon now specializes in sport-specific training for athletes, weight management, flexibility and nutrition. Drawing from his own personal experiences, he is able to bring a lot to the table as a personal trainer at Germantown Athletic Club.
“My main goal is to teach the importance of posture and proper technique in order to avoid injury and excel on the field or in the gym,” Jon said.
Jon utilizes a workout technique called rate-of-force development, which involves taking movements and motions athletes use on the field and applying resistance in order to build strength. This type of training is commonly used by baseball players to increase the speed and power of their swing and overall quickness on the field.
One professional player that uses this training technique is Ed Easley, a friend of Jon’s and catcher in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Ed started playing baseball as a child and decided his freshman year in high school to make it his main sport. When his senior year rolled around, Ed was offered full scholarship from every school in the Southeastern Conference and a few from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“Mississippi State had a strong baseball tradition, was close to home and offered me the best opportunity to play as a freshman,” Ed said.
Before deciding to go to Mississippi State, however, Ed was approached by scouts from the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Yankees. Both teams flew him to their respective facilities for a workout, but after much consideration with his family, he decided to forgo the pros and play college baseball. After three years of catching at Mississippi State, Ed was selected as a first-round draft pick for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007.
With his all-time goal of playing in the majors within reach, Ed realized he needed to use the off-season to build and develop his strength and technique.
“Ed called me and wanted me to build him a custom workout program. His primary goal was to get stronger and build flexibility,” Jon said. “He told me, ‘I need somebody to make me do it, and make me do it right.’ So that’s exactly what I did.”
Ed trained at the Club four to five times a week during the past off-season. After each training session, the pair headed to the batting cages where Jon would throw to Ed and critique his swing. The partnership is dynamic, and both men use the relationship as an opportunity to grow.
“I have been fortunate enough to workout at high-end gyms with professional trainers, and the Club is no exception. It has everything I need to achieve my goals. I really appreciate Jon and the rest of the staff taking time to not only help me but also the community get healthier,” Ed said. “I would recommend Jon to anyone looking to improve their athleticism. He comes from a strong sports background, which makes him great at what he does. And he’s an all-around good guy.”
In addition to training during the off-season, Ed gives back to the community by giving catching and batting lessons and hosting an annual pre-season baseball camp at Olive Branch High School, featuring professional and college baseball players. Jon helps lead the baseball camp with Ed and also uses his sport-specific training and coaching skills as an assistant coach for the St. George’s Gryphon’s varsity baseball team.