Make my kid throw harder!

Continuing with the recent trend of blog posts, here is another baseball/softball specific post on how to improve power production, more specifically increasing velocity off the mound or in the circle.

Velocity is probably the most looked at and talked about aspect of pitching in the game today, baseball and softball alike. The trend towards power pitching over the last 10+ years has athletes and athletes’ parents pushing harder than ever to find the right recipe to add a few more mph to the fastball. Let’s be honest, it is one of THE BIGGEST factors to getting “paid” to play the game you love, whether that’s getting drafted and playing professionally or being paid in college tuition scholarships. Unfortunately, this quest to throw the ball harder has also led to skyrocketing shoulder/elbow, and to some extent, lumbar spine (lower back) injury rates in baseball/softball athletes. Advice from certain sources recommending long toss programs, weighted ball programs, and the trend toward year-round throwing has led to extremely high stresses to these areas. Don’t get me wrong, I do think long tossing and weighted ball programs can be effective. When implemented in the right person and dosed appropriately they can be a useful adjunct to a good strength training program to help increase velocity. As a general rule though, most baseball/softball athletes at this point throw too much during the year as it is and will actually benefit MORE from taking time off from throwing throughout the year. So few athletes take time to truly work on the things that will give them the most “bang for their buck”…strength, power, explosiveness. I know I have talked at length about these things in recent posts, so check those out if you’re looking for more information about how strength training can set you up for success.

To summarize the last couple of posts…In a nutshell, here’s the recipe for GAS…and BOMBS!!!

·       Put down the baseball, just give your arm a little more rest throughout the year and you’ll be amazed at how it responds (recommended rest time is 3, preferably 4 months off each year. Not sure how to make that happen? Contact us for recommendations)

·       Pick up heavy weight, put it down, then pick it up again (“heavy” is relative to the person lifting the weight, never sacrifice form or technique to lift heavier)

·       Train with medicine balls

·       Run REALLY fast for short distances…rest…repeat

·       Jump as far and/or high as you can…rest…repeat

Obviously, this is a basic list of concepts. A good baseball/softball strength training program follows these general guidelines, but the gains are in the details and individualization of the programming. Fall and winter is the time to take steps to take your performance to the next level, to prepare to dominate next season, to push yourself physically, to set yourself apart from your teammates and competitors. If you are a baseball/softball player legitimately looking to improve their game this offseason, not just someone that says they want to get better but expects it to magically happen, but someone that really wants to work hard to set themselves apart…then ask us about our Elite Baseball and Elite Softball Performance Programs. We are only accepting 8 athletes into each program this year (that’s 8 baseball and 8 softball) and these slots will go fast. So, if you’re interested…jump on it quickly!!