One of the most important tools any athlete has at his/her disposal is the ability to honestly assess their current performance level. This allows athletes to make changes necessary to improve themselves and their ability enough to make it to the next level. That’s been one of the most important parts of my journey so far.
So staying with that theme I’ve taken a step backwards in my training in order to set myself up better long-term. One of my biggest weaknesses throughout my baseball career and development has been a view that is too short-term. I’ve always been focused on the upcoming season or workout for a team (which is still important) rather than looking at that as well as farther down the line to put myself in the most advantageous position in terms of development.
I have some issues in my throwing pattern, which are holding me back from reaching my goal of 100 mph, and the only way I’m going to give myself a chance of reaching that goal is to correct those problems. Rather than continuing to push velocity and work on multiple patterning issues at one time, I’ve simplified my approach and started working on my upper body and arm pattern specifically.
I’ve been a push dominant pitcher for a long time. Meaning I’ve had an issue with elbow lead, or I am elbow flexion and extension dominant rather than relying more on horizontal abduction (scap load) and adduction. I’ve also been struggling with hip/shoulder separation. In order to improve these problems I’ve gone to a very basic approach. I’m working on three drills; marshalls or pivot pick-offs, a wide stance ten toe drill, and a drill that I made up (video coming out in a week) to pattern my upper body and arm action. Along with these I’m doing some light arm path patterning work and blending that with my throwing drills.
I had a conversation with Ben about a week ago and he helped me think a bit more clearly about how I want to approach my throwing programming. I’m building velocity in these drills, mainly the ten toe drill and my drill, and then I will start adding pieces back in until I have a more complete pattern. It’s going very well so far, and it’s a great feeling when you have a simple plan and you go execute it day after day and build a better pattern.
The weight room is still a very helpful piece as well. I’m still working on building power and maintaining strength while I focus on my sport specific work. My med ball throw velocities are going up and my jumping distances are as well, while starting to feel more comfortable.
My mobility is starting to improve as well since I’ve narrowed my focus within that aspect of training. Instead of trying to work on all areas of mobility I’ve chosen my four most pressing needs and hammered on them-thoracic spine rotation, hip internal rotation, horizontal abduction, and shoulder external rotation. I have a simpler program that I built around those needs and it’s been more successful than prior programs have been.
I’m excited to see where this goes and as always I’ll keep you guys updated.
Thank you for following me on my journey to the show and check back in the next few days for new content!