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.
What Went Well
Plain and simple: we had several guys CRUSH previous PR’s. As previously mentioned, we had an average increase of 4 mph among 12 throwers who joined by December 1 with 0 injuries in our facility. Average Motus stress stayed roughly the same across all throwers consistently measured (some weren’t due to us not having small enough sleeves). We saw two HS juniors dramatically increase their individual throwing velocity by 8 and 10 mph respectively (neither were pitchers) as well as two HS sophomores improve their mound PR’s from 76 to 83 (would hit 82 at a showcase) and 75 to 81. Both players are now currently sitting at a velo higher than their previous PR’s that occurred in the Fall season. Overall every thrower that joined before December 1 increased their velo minus one, who is out of consistent arm pain now, and one player who was injured outside of our facility (now healthy and playing well according to teammates).
In our youth program we saw our 3 12u players increase 2, 4, and 7 mph respectively. Each off to strong starts in their spring seasons. Most importantly with each of these players, they are vastly better athletes (thanks mostly to their individual hard work and Tommy’s strength programming) and better humans. Each have reported to me having more on-field confidence as well as their coaches and parents reaching out to thank me for helping them improve (like I had much to do with it).
In my first “off-season” here at Prime Performance -I started in September- I obviously knew nothing about the area, the attitude of players around here, as well as my individual players themselves. I feel I did a good, not great, job of getting to know my players, what motivates them, and how to get their best effort every time they walk through the door. I set expectations high and pushed my players to reach them. By and large, they rooted for one another on velocity days and actively competed with one another to reach new records. Even as far as a few 12u players talking trash on Instagram about not being on the leaderboard. A late addition to the facility this “off-season” was our throwing leaderboard. Posting the top 3 throwers on HS mound velo, 12u mound velo, as well as 6, 5, and 4 oz pulldown records. I even allow players to write their own names/numbers in to give them more ownership.
Every thrower in my program started to understand their individual process that they need to follow to continue progressing. I discussed programming with each of them and even gave them the option when it comes to certain drills/constraints to give them ownership of their program/process. We also addressed the importance of a quality warm-up and recovery program with each athlete and early reports are that guys are sticking to their process now that they’re off with their HS teams. Guys owned the importance of a quality recovery program and invested in that almost as much as their throwing program. Was it perfect? No but it was better than what I expected it would be when I started here.
What Did Not Go Well
We had some guys not offering up exactly how much they were throwing or training outside of our facility that impacted some of their progress. Even one narrowly avoided a big injury because of not following any warm-up routine and just throwing. Overall this was solid, but my attention to detail to get more info from my players could’ve been better and will be moving forward into the spring and summer season when guys are playing games.
I mentioned culture in the things that went well, and overall I’m pleased with our culture not only among the throwers but in our facility as a whole, but we could always be better. While guys were genuinely invested in one another for the most part, the day-to-day energy was a bit inconsistent (mostly on me) as well as the overall attention to detail. This being the first time I’ve managed small groups, I improved in handling the flow of the group, but I let too many things slip that should’ve been pointed out. I read somewhere that your culture is the worst behavior/act/attitude you allow, and I think my bar was a little lower on that than what it should be to help each player reach their potential.
Overall, I’m happy with how our first off-season went. If anyone wants the full data sheet I have for our guy’s velo I’m more than willing to share. I don’t have the Motus data (thanks for the update that deleted it all Motus!) as easily shareable but I did just record for each athlete in separate excel files. If anyone has any comments, questions, concerns, etc., please feel free to reach out. I’d love to share. Now as the HS season begins this week here in Maryland, hopefully I can get out and watch some of my guys dominate.