How we train
"It took me a while to figure that out and to realize what a gift that I had been given. And when I finally did, I dedicated myself to be the best pitcher I could possibly be, for as long as I possibly could be"
From a physical standpoint, the lack of mobility (tightness) is the most common contributor to arm pain and a major detractor of velocity for most pitchers. We train pitchers with a focus on increasing mobility, thus giving them the ability to get their body in high velocity positions.
Tightness in the thoracic spine (mid-upper back), hamstrings, pelvis and hips are some of the most common mobility issues we see. When a lack of mobility exists in these (and other) areas, the body has no choice but to move less efficiently and because of this, the shoulder and/or elbow are put in compromising positions.
For the pitcher, strength is an incredibly specific attribute. Pitchers, unlike any other position, must be strong in areas that are not generally trained by most programs. Our training specifically aims to build stability in the shoulders, scaps, and legs, while increasing explosive strength in the lower half and core.
We have found most of our pitchers come to the program unable to properly control their bodyweight. Because of this, our classes are designed to lay a foundation of movement and then strength, rather than starting with heavy loads. For those more developed athletes, we have a high level strength coach who coaches olympic lifting and barbell training full-time.
Each pitcher has a unique throwing motion. We believe this is a great thing because there is not one "right" way to throw. What there is however, are a list of movement patterns that have been extensively researched and found to be "contributors" to pain/injury. Eliminating these is our priority when teaching throwing mechanics. We do this in 3 ways:
First, we do not believe in predominantly using "verbal" cues for pitchers. The goal for a pitcher is to think about the game itself, not be thinking about mechanics. So, we use a variety of tools that help pitchers train the correct motor pattern without having to think. They do these drills repeatedly until the body defaults to these healthy patterns.
Second, we train using many drills that are not highly stressful on the arm, but rather prioritize the body's movement, giving you the ability to train more often throughout the year without experiencing the damaging effects of overuse.
Lastly, we train with loud music and sometimes throw from unstable foundations that include varieties of jumping, lunging, and running. The goal for us is not to find the perfect throwing motion and repeat it. The goal is to learn control over the body and to be able to adjust in the real-time milliseconds that are different in each and every pitch.