To help parents and young athletes in their quest to become the best players they/their child can be, I wanted to provide a basic outline of what the best throwing programs I’ve seen incorporate to get results. This obviously isn’t a fully comprehensive list but if you are looking to train somewhere that doesn’t have one or more of the following, I would strongly reconsider. So, without further ado, here is my list of what a throwing program NEEDS to have:
Any program worth a damn should include a movement screen of some sort (FMS, TPI, etc.), video breakdown, range of motion assessment, strength assessment, etc. The Coach/Program needs to understand physical limitations, strengths, weaknesses, of each athlete and know where to begin programming. If a trainer/coach doesn’t appreciate an athlete and what their movement profile, skeletal structure, etc. can present, it’s only a matter of time before injuries happen. A vast majority of injuries that occur while training can be prevented. Making an informed decision on what exercises/drills an athlete should or shouldn’t be doing as an absolute MUST. If where you currently train doesn’t assess AND reassess their clients, RUN. Being able to evaluate if/where improvements are being made and making an INFORMED decision on where to alter programming to minimize this risk. Which brings me to the next point….
Recently I was having a discussion with Jimmy Jackson, the PC at JMU. He made a comment to me that I was a bit surprised by. He said he never hands a folder to his pitchers and says, “here’s the JMU pitching program, get to work.” Instead he sits down with each individual player and tries to figure out what has made each of his players successful in the past. Obviously, something had to be done right by the players to be playing at a quality D1 program. I know Eric Peterson, the now HC at Benedictine College, has his “U” Program that he hands each of his pitchers, which is a very loose template designed to allow his players to find their best process to prepare themselves to perform. Now are all coaches as awesome as this? Absolutely not.
By Josh Boggs
This has become a theme with the throwers I’ve been working with in-house at Prime Performance and is a very common question I receive on twitter. I’ve had several athletes tell me bicep pain is the worst pain they ever have when throwing. So, I shall try to some potential reasons why, from a movement and mechanical perspective, your bicep hurts and potential ways to correct the issue.
Why Bicep Pain Is Bad
Plain and simple: it HURTS. BAD. It also is a likely precursor to bigger issues, namely in the elbow and shoulder. Because the bicep is a muscle, it’s highly likely the bicep isn’t going to be what eventually tears or breaks. Eventually it’ll likely be either a UCL tear from the poor deceleration pattern that’s likely an issue or, because of where the bicep tendon attaches in the shoulder, it becomes a labrum issue. Needless to say, not something you want. Simply put, bicep pain is something to address, not put off.
I thought I’d write a brief article discussing the ups, downs, and everything in-between of what happened this fall/winter with my throwers here at Prime Performance. If you’d like to follow us on social media, here are the links: Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter. Overall, we averaged an increase of 2mph across all participants, but that number jumps to 4 mph only including throwers who started before December 1. All throwers were also required to join our performance training class as well to correct basic movement patterns and increase total body strength, awareness, etc.
As most of you know if you’ve been following me on twitter (@PitchMechanics) I’ve been releasing some research on a couple athletes I’ve been working with here in my new setup at Prime Performance. I’ve gotten some great feedback but wanted to have a central place for everyone to go back and see the data, testing methods, etc. in case anyone wants to replicate any of it themselves.
Testing Method: After the thrower completed a full warm-up, we began to play catch with a weighted baseball. He made 15 throws with each ball (11, 9, 7, 5oz in this order) and the Motus sensor recorded the data. The first 15 throws with the 11oz ball were “warm-up” throws while the remainder were “shuffle” throws where the pitcher did a simple shuffle into the throw, similar to how an outfielder may make a long throw.