Nearly all developing pitchers at the moment do not have much of an off season thanks to the rise in popularity of travel teams and the mix of prep, summer and fall leagues. This has caused a rise in elbow and shoulder injuries at a early age for pitchers who are not allowing themselves an off season to recover and rebuild. I became a victim of this pattern during my own career. I received a career ending shoulder injury at 18 to repair a destroyed rotator cuff right after my first college appearance. The 3 common issues contributing to my tear, the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI), lead by the famous Dr. James Andrews, has defined as the reason for the rise in elbow and shoulder injuries in youth pitchers inside their Position Statement released in 2011.
3 frequent factors of the majority of pitching injuries:
- Excessive use of arm
- Poor throwing mechanics
- Poor physical fitness
This is important to comprehend mainly because injury prevention should be the major focus of any in-season pitching method. According to these details an excellent in-season throwing system ought to include a reduced amount of throws to protect yourself from overuse, drills to maintain good throwing mechanics and ultimately incorporate a strength and conditioning program which will institute great physical fitness.
Before I structure the perfect in-season training system we have to first establish and list typical methods to pitching that will belong to the category of these common injury issues.
Extreme Long Tossing (Exceeding distances of 150 feet)
This style of practice, although it is rather well-known, includes a cautionary tale. ASMI carried out a number of scientific tests with this form of training and yes it produced elbow varus torque inside the pitching arm and throwing mechanics which were not favorable to the pitching mound. ASMI advised against these kind of tosses for rehabilitation and training intentions.
This type of training could easily bring about excessive use of the rotator cuff and elbow and if poor mechanics are present, the pitcher is a lot more at risk of an injury.
Weighted Baseball Training (Over Under Load Training)
I actually have no scientific studies against this kind of practice. I have in fact employed both of these throwing methods in my career, but it was before my arm injury. This type of training once again falls into the three common issues of most throwing injuries. This would increase the amount of pitches and with bad mechanics, puts the thrower in danger.
Television and Net Gimmicks
I’m not saying that every gadget or attention-grabber on tv or the Internet is trash, nevertheless, you must ensure that they don’t place you into the group of the 3 typical factors ultimately causing arm injury while in-season. A number of these gizmos promote a high number of pitches and weak mechanics. I suggest for you to educate your self on good mechanics and use this ideal in-season training curriculum before you decide to squander your dollars.
The Ideal In-Season Pitching and Strength Maintenance System
This routine includes both the programs, the throwing program and the strength and conditioning program. You should understand that we are not attempting to increase velocity or strength while in-season. The foundation of an ideal in-season pitching system is to protect against injury as well as sustain power. Should you do well at this you are going to undergo consistent velocities between performances and you should stay off of the Disabled List (DL).
This is simply not a cookie cutter program as it is able to handle any age, all levels along with your throwing workload. Your pitching work load includes your amount of throws per appearance.
There exists a vital component to an in-season throwing system that will not be included here which happens to be eating plan. Effective eating plan supports your own body’s capacity to heal and repair.
Relief Pitcher Workload (According to two day Pitching Rotation)
21 – 35 pitches = 24 hours rest from pitching
36 – 50 throws = 2 days rest from throwing
Day one (Maintenance & Mechanics)
- Dynamic Warm-up
- Throwing Drills (Instruction In this article) 3X Medicine Ball Throws, 3X Target Drills on Pitching Mound
- Plyos (1 each, 20 yards) Pogo Jumps, Bunny Hopes, Frog Jumps
- Anaerobic Conditioning (3-6 sets) Hurdles, Resistance Sprints, Regular Sprints
- Rotator Cuff Routine (Tubing or 2-3 pound weights, three sets ten repetitions) External Rotation, Positives and Negatives, Shoulder extensions, Up and Out, Windmills
Day two (Eat, Rest & Rebuild)
- Dynamic Warm-up
- Visualization (Visualizing your own self throwing perfect pitches with perfect mechanics, has been shown being far better compared to actually practicing)
Starting Pitcher Amount of work (Determined by four Day Pitching Rotation)
51 – 65 throws = 72 hours rest from throwing
66 throws and Up = four days rest from pitching
Day one (Routine maintenance)
- Dynamic Warm-up
- Plyos (1 set, twenty yards) Pogo Plyos, Bunny Hopes, Frog Hopes
- Anaerobic Training (3-6 each) Hurdles, Resistance Sprints, Regular Sprints
- Core Program (3 sets 10 reps) V-Ups, Med Ball, Russian Twists, Double Leg Jack Knife, Medicine Ball Slams, Back crunches
- Rotator Cuff Program (Resistance Tubing or 2-3 pound dumbbells, 3 sets 10 reps) External Rotation, Positives and Negatives, Shoulder extensions, Up and Out, Windmills
Day 2 (Mechanics)
- Dynamic Warm-up
- Pitching Routine (Tutorials Below) 3X Med Exercises, 3X Target Drills on Mound
- Twenty five Pitch On Mound around 60% effort (10 Fastball, 10 Curve/Sliders, 5 Off Speed)
Day three (Eat, Rest and Recover)
- Dynamic Warm-up
- Visualization (Visualizing oneself throwing perfect pitches with perfect mechanics, has been proven being more beneficial than actually practicing)
For additional data on these kinds of drills and exercises remember to visit TopVelocity.net. Anyone can contact me privately at TopVelocity.net/Contact.
This area of the program could consist of any drills to help develop the motor coordination for superior mechanics while not putting a high volume of throws on your arm. I have listed 2 mechanics exercises coming from the 3X Pitching Velocity program as well as a hyperlink to the 3X Pitching Mechanics Movie in the resource section below. I seriously suggest watching the video before using the 3X Exercises so you have a good knowledge of the method.
3X Medicine Ball Throws (15-25 Throws along with 2lb med ball. DO NOT Exceed 2LBS)
Start in a full stride, which is 80-90% of your height. Each of your feet should be facing the catcher. You sit on the powerpads of your drive leg foot with the majority of of your weight on your drive leg. Your shoulders are inline towards the catcher. The medicine ball is right behind your head, over your throwing shoulder, with the two of your hands controlling the baseball. Your chin is tucked and behind your belt buckle.
Pick up your lift leg and triple extend your drive leg just before your lift leg foot strikes. Triple extension is the extension of the ankle, knee and hip flexor. Land strong without the need of permitting your lift leg knee move past your lift leg heel. At front foot strike you are going to feel your hips fire wide open as you maintain your shoulders closed. This should create core torque or hip to shoulder separation which will coil your body and after that release your shoulders towards the zone externally rotating your pitching arm.
You want to end with your chest out over your front leg and your chin always tucked. Release the ball by extending your arms out and up and do not PULL THE BALL DOWN TO RELEASE.
3X Target Pitches (15-25 Pitches with Ball)
The importance here is to implement the motor coordination or muscle memory from the med ball throws into the target throws.
You are in the very same position and stance as the Medicine Ball Throws Step #1. Full stride, feet towards target, shoulders closed. The only distinction is your pitching arm is behind your head cocked and prepared as well as your baseball glove side is elbow to zone and baseball glove hand relaxed. Utilize the glove side to help you aline your shoulders up with the target.
Identical to the Medicine Ball Throws Phase 2, begin by picking up your front leg while loading your weight against your back leg. Follow this by having an explosive drive of the drive leg, reaching triple extension just before the front foot lands. This should create power through your stride and fire your hips open when the lift leg lands and holds. The shoulders must reside closed to generate ideal hip to shoulder separation.
Commence the pitch by allowing your shoulders to release the core torque, leading with your chest towards target. Keep your chin tucked when your chest pushes out over your front leg plus your arm externally rotates. Be sure at this spot your pitching elbow is above your shoulder. Complete the pitch by internally rotating your throwing arm and extending your elbow up to release point.
- Position Statement for Youth Baseball Pitchers http://www.asmi.org/asmiweb/position_statement.htm
- Biomechanical Comparison of Baseball Pitching and Long-Toss http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21212502
- 3X Pitching 101
- 3X Pitching Velocity Program
- Optimum Pitching Program for In-Season